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My Christmas treat - British Newspaper Archive

Each year I try to give myself a genealogical treat. This year it is a one month subscription to the British Newspaper Archive. For the next month my research will concentrate on what goodies I can discover on this site.

This morning I discovered the birth announcement of my great, great grandmother Jane Smith Fleming who was born in Princes Street, Stranraer, Scotland on 29th October 1853.




This Google Map view shows the end of Princes Street with Loch Ryan in the distance. I wonder what changes there have been in the street in the past 160 years?



I have previously blogged about Jane McColm's (Fleming's) death and the about the fact that she had 2 death certificates
I wonder what else I will discover?

My World War 1 Soldiers (4) - Lawrence Seabrook

Lawrence Seabrook  1898 - 1951
This is the fourth post in a series of posts over the next few years to remember all the men in my extended family who enlisted in World War 1.

Originally I had identified 26 soldiers who enlisted between 20 August 1914 and 2 November 1918.  However, with more careful checking this number has now risen to over 35. Of these five were killed overseas or died here in Australia.

Lawrence Seabrook was the sixth son of William Alexander Seabrook and his wife Eliza Grant Lumsden of Hobart. Like the majority of the Seabrook family Laurie worked in the building trade. By November 1914, he had been apprenticed to his father as a bricklayer for 12 months and had been a member of the Naval Reserve.

His enlistment papers state that he was 19 years old. However, his actual birth date was 10 November 1898, so in fact Laurie was only 16 years old. 

This attestation paper was signed 30th November 1914 and Laurie was assigned to the Field Butchery. It appears as though his cor…

Lady Catherine and the Real Downton Abbey

Yesterday I was in my local bookshop and I saw the book, Lady Catherine and the Real Downton Abbey written by Fiona Carnarvon, the Countess of Carnarvon.



I had to buy the book, not just because of my love of the series, but simply because one of my family may be mentioned in the book. Sure enough, the index indicated a hit. Page 82 has a mention of Dick Dawson. So even though the reference to Dick was one sentence in the book it had to become part of my personal collection.

One of Porchey's first decisions was to build up his brood mares and then send his youngsters to be trained by Dick Dawson at Whatcombe, who trained the Aga Khan's horses.......

The horseracing, breeding and training world is full of dreamers and eccentrics, driven men (it is usually men, and certainly was in Porchey's day) whose existence has been overtaken by the hope that one day, one of their horses may win a Grand National, or an Epsom Derby, and become a household name. The sort is full of individua…

My World War 1 Soldiers (3) William Vesey Dawson

William Vesey Dawson (390)  1892 - 1974
This is the third post in a series of posts over the next few years to remember all the men in my extended family who enlisted in World War 1.

Originally I had identified 26 soldiers who enlisted between 20 August 1914 and 2 November 1918.  However, further checking has now revealed a total of thirty five enlistment.  Of the thirty five, five were killed overseas or died here in Australia.

William Vesey Dawson was the fifth child of William Henry Dawson and his wife Bridget Mylan.  Twenty two year old Bill enlisted in Casino, NSW on 25th October 1914,  just a month after his older brother Ernest. Bill worked as a saddler and a general farm labourer. Like many young men from the north coast of NSW Bill (No 390) became a member of the 5th Light Horse.











Brigadier L.C. Wilson who later wrote The Fifth Light Horse Regiment, 1914-1919 stated that men were selected to join the Light Horse after tests in horse riding and shooting. 

Six weeks after enlistment …

Letters of 1916

A couple of days ago I came across the Letters of 1916 website. I was quite excited when I read about this project.

The Letters of 1916 project is the first public humanities project in Ireland. Join the hundreds of people who are helping us create a crowd-sourced digital collection of letters written around the time of the Easter Rising (1 November 1915 – 31 October 1916) by contributing copies of letters to the database or transcribing previously uploaded letters.

In my collection of letters written from Ireland by my Dawson family I have two letters that fit the timeframe. The first written in November 1915 from Eleanor Dawson to her niece Louisa Spinks who lived in Whittlesea north of Melbourne. The second, was written in June 1916 by Eleanor's daughter Maude to her cousin Louisa.

Today I added the first of these letters to the website. My only disappointment so far is that I can't seem to be able to transcribe my own contribution. Hopefully it will be available for transcr…

My WW1 soldiers (2) - Ernest Lee Dawson

Ernest Lee Dawson (500) (1885 - 1968)

This is the second post in a series of posts over the next few years to remember all the men in my extended family who enlisted in World War 1.
So far I have identified 26 soldiers who enlisted between 20 August 1914 and 2 November 1918 and I feel sure I have missed some. Of the twenty six, five were killed overseas or died here in Australia.
My aim is to publish these posts on the 100th anniversary of their enlistment.
Ernest Lee Dawson (my great uncle) was the eldest child of William Henry Dawson and his wife Bridget Mylan. He was born in the Cooma district of NSW in 1885.
On 25th August 1914, less than three weeks after the outbreak of the First World War Ernie, a farmer who lived at Old Bonalbo enlisted in the 2nd Light Horse Regiment in Lismore.
Ernie had previous military experience. In 1906, he answered an advertisement to join the Shanghai Municipal Council Police Force, as a recruit. He was appointed on 10th January 1907, with four others, for …

My WW1 soldiers (1) - Walter Waldo Seabrook

Walter Waldo Seabrook (1894 - 1971)

This is my first post in a series of posts over the next few years to remember all the men in my extended family who enlisted in World War 1.

So far I have identified 26 soldiers who enlisted between 20 August 1914 and 2 November 1918 and I feel sure I have missed some. Of the twenty six, five were killed overseas or died here in Australia.





My first post is for Walter Waldo Seabrook (107) who joined the 3rd Field Company Engineers  on 20th August 1914, less than three weeks after Australia joined the war. Walter,19 years old was the third child of Alfred and Emma Seabrook and was born at Augustus Terrace on 23rd September 1894. He had been named after his uncle Walter Waldo Kennedy who had died, aged 13 while boarding at The Friends' School in Hobart.
Walter's attestation papers state that he had spent 1 year in the Junior Cadets and 2 years in the Mililtia and he worked as a clerk. He was only 5 foot 6 inches tall and weighed 10 st 4 lbs. He wa…

My World War 1 Soldiers

I have decided to write a series of posts over the next couple of years to highlight all the men in my extended family who enlisted in World War 1.

So far I have identified 26 soldiers who enlisted between 20 August 1914 and 2 November 1918 and I feel sure I have missed some. Of the twenty six, five were killed overseas or died here in Australia.

At this stage, I don't have information about them at my fingertips. I don't know if they were all single or if some were married with children. I have photos for some of them, but not all. They enlisted in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania.

My aim is to post on the 100th anniversary of their enlistment.

My first post will be on 20th August 2014 and the final one in the series on 2 November 1918.

30 August
Tonight I have found another soldier. So my tally now is 27 soldiers of whom 6 were killed.



52 Weeks of Genealogical Records in 2014 – Week 17 Court Records

This is week 17 of  Shauna Hicks challenge for 2014.  Shauna said that this blog challenge is to stimulate my own genealogy blogging efforts in 2014 by focusing on a different kind of genealogical record each week. I wanted a challenge that reflected my own archival background as well as my own genealogy interests and there are probably lots of other records that I could have included. The challenge has an Australian focus but most of these records will be found just about anywhere in the genealogy world.

This week's topic is Court Records.

In my research my main contact with court records that I have is via a secondary source -  what is reported in local newspapers.

Since the advent of Trove this has become a relatively easy task. 



Ludwig Glock found himself the victim of a robbery. George Parker was convicted of stealing £2, two boxes of matches, a handkerchief and a shirt from Glock. Parker, another man and two women came to Glock's house with alcohol. While there Parker "…

52 Weeks of Genealogical Records in 2014 – Week 16 Naturalisation & Citizenship Records

This is week 16 of  Shauna Hicks challenge for 2014.  Shauna said that this blog challenge is to stimulate my own genealogy blogging efforts in 2014 by focusing on a different kind of genealogical record each week. I wanted a challenge that reflected my own archival background as well as my own genealogy interests and there are probably lots of other records that I could have included. The challenge has an Australian focus but most of these records will be found just about anywhere in the genealogy world.

This week's topic is Naturalisation & Citizenship Records.

In all my research of direct line ancestors there are only two families who were not from England, Ireland or Scotland. Members of the Glock family do no appear to have become naturalised.

However, naturalisation papers are available for Jacob Frederick Scheef. It would be more than twenty years since I first discovered Jacob's naturalisation papers. They provided a significant breakthrough in my research. Although I…

52 Weeks of Genealogical Records - Week 15 - Civil Registration and Certificates

This is week 15 of  Shauna Hicks challenge for 2014.  Shauna said that this blog challenge is to stimulate my own genealogy blogging efforts in 2014 by focusing on a different kind of genealogical record each week. I wanted a challenge that reflected my own archival background as well as my own genealogy interests and there are probably lots of other records that I could have included. The challenge has an Australian focus but most of these records will be found just about anywhere in the genealogy world.

The challenge for this week is civil registration and certificates.

My post is going to be a repeat of an earlier post as it's easily the best story I have about certificates.

My great, great grandmother Jane Smith McColm has 2 death certificates. When she died on 22nd January 1888 just 3 weeks after giving birth to her 7th child, Ethel Peel McColm, her husband Malcolm obviously didn't know where to register her death.

Sound strange to you? Jane died at the Railway Yard at Wallan…

52 Weeks of Genealogical Research - Week 14 - Cemetery Records

This is my post for week 14 of  Shauna Hicks challenge for 2014.  Shauna said that this blog challenge is to stimulate my own genealogy blogging efforts in 2014 by focusing on a different kind of genealogical record each week. I wanted a challenge that reflected my own archival background as well as my own genealogy interests and there are probably lots of other records that I could have included. The challenge has an Australian focus but most of these records will be found just about anywhere in the genealogy world.

My husband's direct ancestors in Australia are buried from Glen Innes to Uralla - a mere 1.5 hours driving time. My direct ancestors however, are buried in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania and Western Australia. This means, that wherever I go there just happens to be an ancestor buried there. My daughter once asked if a visitor wanted to see our holiday photos - yes they were headstones.

There is now a proliferation of Websites such as Australian Cemeteri…

52 Weeks of Genealogical Records in 2014 - Week 13 - Personal Names and Surnames

This is my post for week 13 of  Shauna Hicks challenge for 2014.  Shauna said that this blog challenge is to stimulate my own genealogy blogging efforts in 2014 by focusing on a different kind of genealogical record each week. I wanted a challenge that reflected my own archival background as well as my own genealogy interests and there are probably lots of other records that I could have included. The challenge has an Australian focus but most of these records will be found just about anywhere in the genealogy world.

My story this week is about a man I never met but with whom I corresponded for many years. It is about how his personal name allowed me to know I was going to make a connection to my family.

William Lee Dawson had moved from Kilronan in Ireland to Franklin in Tasmania in 1854. After his death in 1871, his wife Emma moved to Melbourne to be closer to her siblings. Her four children Catherine, Harry, Louisa and Robert ended up living in Victoria, northern New South Wales and …

52 Weeks of Genealogical Records in 2014 – Week 12 Gazetteers

This week is week 12 of  Shauna Hicks challenge for 2014.  Shauna said that this blog challenge is to stimulate my own genealogy blogging efforts in 2014 by focusing on a different kind of genealogical record each week. I wanted a challenge that reflected my own archival background as well as my own genealogy interests and there are probably lots of other records that I could have included. The challenge has an Australian focus but most of these records will be found just about anywhere in the genealogy world.

A gazetteer  is a dictionary of place-names. Gazetteers describe towns and villages; parishes and counties; and rivers, mountains, and other geographical features. Gazetteers generally list place-names in alphabetical order.  Gazetteers may also be called topographical dictionaries. (Family Search)

The Family Search website give beneficial information about Gazetteers in Ireland. One of the most useful is Samuel Lewis' typographical Dictionary of Ireland which can now be downl…

5000 poppies in Federation Square

Recently I came across the blog 5000 poppies. Lynn Berry and Margaret Knight have a vision to plant 5000 poppies in Federation square in Melbourne as part of the 2015 Anzac Commemorations

The 5000 Poppies project will be “planting” a field of more than 5000 poppies in Fed Square Melbourne as a stunning visual tribute to Australian servicemen and women for more than a century of service in all wars, conflicts and peacekeeping operations.

People are asked to make poppies (instructions can be found on the site) to be part of this display. Already they have more than 10 000 poppies.

I have decided to contribute to this project. My idea is to make a poppy for each of my extended family who fought in World War 1. As I started to make my list of soldiers I became disappointed with myself as I have neglected to tag these men with a military flag in Reunion. I am now trying to amend this.

These are the soldiers for whom I will dedicate my poppies.


Ernest Lee DawsonBertram DawsonWilliam Vesey Dawson…

52 Weeks of Genealogical Records in 2014 – Week 11 Newspapers

This week is week 11 of  Shauna Hicks challenge for 2014.  Shauna said that this blog challenge is to stimulate my own genealogy blogging efforts in 2014 by focusing on a different kind of genealogical record each week. I wanted a challenge that reflected my own archival background as well as my own genealogy interests and there are probably lots of other records that I could have included. The challenge has an Australian focus but most of these records will be found just about anywhere in the genealogy world.

In the past I have made many trips to Canberra, Brisbane and Armidale to search microfilms of newspapers. I have searched through original newspapers at the Tenterfield library. I have even transported these bound papers in the boot of my car to Armidale so they could be microfilmed after I informed the university of their existence. 

However, these excursions are now more infrequent due to the advent of Trove in Australia. Genealogical research has certainly been simplified. No l…