Monday, January 27, 2014

Anderson's Reunion - Australia Day

A few days ago I spoke about the Anderson's Reunion which was taking place over the Australia Day long weekend at Wallangarra.



I wish to devote this post to part of Sunday afternoon. As it was Australia Day, we paused to listen to two former employees of Anderson's - Dennis Scanlon and Mac Riding.

Dennis performed his poem You Know You're in Australia which he has allowed me to print below. Then he and Mac sang Advance Australia Fair. Both were moving renditions and I'm sure all of us there were moved by the performances.



You Know You're in Australia

If you've ever watched the Southern Cross, blazin' in the sky
Gazed in awe at the majesty, of a wedge tail circling high
Seen the break the big waves make, as they roll in at Bondi:
Then old mate, you know you're in Australia

If you've camped at Koscziusko - skied the new season's snow
Been in the New England - seen the autumn glow
Or if you walk right up Cape York and there's nowhere north to go
Then old mate, you know you're in Australia

When you've "rode" the Canning Stock Route, with a team of drover mates
Where a broken legged Stockman, for the Flying Doctor waits
Or done time on Sarah Island, looking' out towards Hell's Gates:
Then old mate, you know you're in Australia

When you've caught a Barrumundi, or dived the Barrier reef
Seen AACo Stations and delighted at the beef
Or climbed the Sydney Harbour Bridge - the view beyond belief
Then old mate, you know you're in Australia

If you've felt the power of the Dreamtime, as you stand at Uluru
Or sat and yarned to a new found mate in the land of Kakadu
Marvelled at the Kimberleys, with a crimson sunset hue:
Then old mate, you know you're in Australia

If you've been at Wooloongabba, when the Lions have beat the Swans
Or at Flemington on Cup day, with the favourite "odds on"
Or you've stood at Bowral Oval : felt the spirit of "The Don":
Then old mate, you know you're in Australia

When you see 'em march on Anzac Day, without a single boast
The bugler takes a deep breath and delivers "The Last Post"
And you try to speak, but nothing comes past the lump, deep in your throat:
Then old mate, you know you're in Australia


This poem can be found in Dennis' book You Know You're in Australia.

© Dennis Scanlon - Reproduced here with the author's permission 26 January 2014

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Can't believe I'm 3!



From my cousins Loretta and Kelvin
Today is the third  anniversary of my blog Genealogy Matters to Me. It doesn't seem that long ago that I bit the bullet and finally decided to start a serious blog.

Last year I rummaged around for one of my 2nd birthday cards to show, so I went back to the box and looked through my 3rd birthday cards. (I know I have hoarding issues but sometimes things come in handy.)

Looking through the cards I was delighted to see that I actually saw some of the people who sent me cards last weekend - a half century since they were sent to me.

I know I shouldn't make any promises I can't keep for the year ahead but I really would like to complete Shona Hicks  52 weeks of genealogical records challenge.

Wish me luck!














Friday, January 24, 2014

52 Weeks of Genealogical Records in 2014 – Week 3 Probates (wills and administrations)

Week 3 of  Shauna Hicks challenge for 2014. This means I'm 3/52 finished. Will I get to the end?

We all have copies of wills that "give devise and bequeath all my real and personal property of whatsoever nature and wheresoever situate unto ....." But what items make up the personal property ?These are the interesting aspects of wills.

Over the years the wills I've collected highlight many differences between families. In many, the proceeds are given to the spouse and later shared equally among all children. In others, some children are given significantly smaller proportions. Did they upset someone in the family? Perhaps they had been given a helping hand earlier in life. Who knows now? In some families there was absolutely no doubt about who was going to get what.

So what has been specifically willed in my extended families?


  • Jacob Scheef left his working horses, working bullocks, farming implements and machinery to all his sons (except my husband's grandfather)
  • Christina Scheef left her buggy and harness to her daughter Johanna Rosina Scheef
  • Henry William Seabrook left his book stand and portraits of myself and wife to his beloved daughter Sarah Caroline Reid
  • His carpenter's tools and chest were left to his son Daniel
  • Winifred Burleigh specified several items in her will including: shares, a ruby brooch , signet ring, silky oak bedroom suite, small wardrobe and chest of drawers and gold watch
  • Money was left by one family member to the Masonic Centenary Medical Research Foundation
  • Knox Moore left his draught horses to his son Knox
  • Peter Laurie Reid left money for the maintenance, advancement and benefit of his grandchildren
  • He also left his books, portraits, pictures, ornaments, jewellery, china and plated ware to his wife Sarah Caroline
Reading these now has made me think about my own will. I'm afraid it's one of those boring ones. Perhaps I need to make it more interesting!












A weekend for reminiscing - Anderson's reunion - Wallangarra

This weekend will be a weekend for reminiscing. I am going to Wallangarra to attend a reunion for employees of Anderson's Meatworks.

My father was the manager during the 1970s and early 1980s and we have a series of photographs taken at the works in the 1950s which detail the work that occurred in each department. My mother decided to put together  a small book for the occasion using these photographs and information from many other sources.


Book to be launched January 25, 2014
A sneak preview of one of my favourite photos in the book.

Boning at Anderson's, Wallangarra c1950s
The books will be for sale from this weekend. I'll add purchase details to this post when they come to hand.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

National Handwriting Day

Apparently today, the 23rd January 2014 is National Handwriting Day. I didn't know such a day existed until it came up in a Facebook post.

This got me thinking about a possible blog post. I have original examples of handwriting dating from the early 1800s amongst my personal possessions. I have photocopies of other early writing as well.

However, I thought about a dictation. I had hoped to find three examples but could only come up with two. I must have tossed my Spelling book!

The first is a copy of a dictation test given to my great, great uncle James Moore when he applied to join the Queensland Police Force in 1909. The results of this test indicated that his writing was "Fair".

Queensland State Archives A/40562  AF 3092


The second example comes from his nephew, my grandfather's brother Matthew Moore. It is taken from his Qualifying Examination Tablet dated 10th November 1922. I was very fortunate to find this sample. In 1990 I was at Jennings School Centenary and I saw the book on display. Apparently it had been found at the back of a cupboard. After the centenary it was posted it to me. I was extremely grateful to receive it.



James was 22 and Matthew was almost 14 when they sat these "tests". 

In the middle of writing this I have looked through many old school or college books belonging to my mother, me and my three children and started to wonder when someone's handwriting is fully developed so that many years later someone will recognise that writing. The writing in my mother's college book is instantly recognisable as hers. 

I wonder if in 100 years time families will be able to find examples like these? As we spend more time writing on computers what examples of handwriting will actually be left?

Monday, January 20, 2014

Australia Day Challenge 2014 : C'mon Aussie


This geneameme comes from Cassmob who has issued a 2014 Australia Day Challenge. 

The geneameme comes in two parts: one to test whether your family is ridgey-didge and the second to show us how Australia runs in your veins, without any flag-waving and tattoo-wearing. Shout it out, be proud and make everyone wish they lived in this wide brown land of ours.


My first ancestor to arrive in Australia was:  Patrick Flynn who arrived on the Southworth in 1821. A few more years until our family can celebrate its bicentenary. 
I have Australian Royalty (tell us who, how many and which Fleet they arrived with)Unfortunately no one arrived early enough to be on one of the numbered fleets. However, Patrick Flynn (see above), James Agnew (see below) and Thomas Mylan 1824 Prince Regent all arrived courtesy of the British government.
I’m an Aussie mongrel, my ancestors came to Oz from:  England, Ireland and Scotland
Did any of your ancestors arrive under their own financial steam? No convicts, assisted immigrants and ship's employee (surgeon)
How many ancestors came as singles? 5
How many came as couples? Not one.
How many came as family groups? I have previously blogged about this here. 
Did one person lead the way and others follow? My convict James Agnew led the way. He arrived aboard the St Vincent in 1837. Thanks to Caroline Chisholm his wife and 4 children arrived aboard the Waverley (the ship on the $5 note) in 1847.
What’s the longest journey they took to get here?  I don't actually know. This must be the only statistic I haven't investigated in my family. Perhaps this is worth a blog post later on.
Did anyone make a two-step emigration via another place? Yes, my Ogden family left England to live in Brooklyn, New York for several years, returned to England and then came to Australia.
My Moore family from Antrim also lived in Grenock, Scotland for a few years before arriving in Brisbane.
Which state(s)/colony did your ancestors arrive? New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland and Tasmania.
Did they settle and remain in one state/colony? No, the Tasmanians went to Victoria and some of the next generation to New South Wales. Another group from Queensland to New South Wales and then to Western Australia. Others from Victoria to New South Wales. 
Did they stay in one town or move around? Many moved. See a recent post about this.
Do you have any First Australians in your tree? Yes, but not a direct line.
Were any self-employed? Yes, a doctor, builders, miners, farmers, a publican and a dray proprietor. 
What occupations or industries did your earliest ancestors work in? See above and a shop assistant.
Does anyone in the family still follow that occupation? Built by Seabrook - Hobart buildings constructed by the Seabrook family from the 1830s by Malcolm Ward discusses 100 years and 4 generations of building in Hobart by the Seabrook family. 
Did any of your ancestors leave Australia and go “home”? One son who was born in Australia went and lived in England.
NOW IT’S ALL ABOUT YOU
What’s your State of Origin? I was born in Queensland. 
Do you still live there? I lived there until I was almost thirteen. Mind you, I was only 50 metres from the border fence. I've lived in New South Wales ever since but still call Queensland home.
Where was your favourite Aussie holiday place as a child? It would have to be the Gold Coast as we went there every August holidays.
Any special place you like to holiday now? I love going to Tasmania.
Share your favourite spot in Oz: The top of Ubirr Rock in Kakadu. The sunset is spectacular.
Any great Aussie adventure you’ve had? Last year I went with a bus load of 14 year olds on a two week safari to the Northern Territory. I'm not an animal lover but I had my photo taken with a baby croc on my head and I held a snake. If you know me you would realise that was quite an adventure!
What’s on your Australian holiday bucket list? Perhaps Uluru.
How do you celebrate Australia Day? Honestly, very quietly.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

52 Weeks of Genealogical Records in 2014 – Week 2 Internal Migration

I'm now ready for week 2's challenge in Shauna Hicks challenge for 2014.
Week 2 - Internal Migration
The subject of internal migration in Australia is one that has always interested me, especially as it highlights the extreme differences between my husband's family and mine.
All his ancestors lived in northern New South Wales and the distance I had to cover headstone hunting in the 1980's was only one and a half hours from north to south. They arrived in Australia, made their way to the New England area (some taking longer than others) and settled.  This had to do with the purchase of farming land.
My family, however tend to be travellers. My headstone search has taken me to NSW, Queensland, Victoria, Tasmania and Western Australia just for direct ancestors.
Some of my families moved short distances often, others very long distances.
One family story involves my great great grand parents Peter and Elizabeth Ogden. The Ogdens came from Liverpool, England but had lived for several years in Brooklyn, New York.
Upon arrival in Brisbane in 1878 where they intended to settle a very pregnant Elizabeth decided it was far too hot and promptly decided they would move further south to Sydney. By 1910 (possibly earlier) they left Sydney and moved to Perth where Peter died in 1911 and Elizabeth in 1927.
Sometimes we know the reason why families moved and in this instance I know the reason. One of my great great grandfathers Dr William Lee Dawson and his wife Emma Seabrook lived in Franklin in Tasmania from 1854 until his death in 1871. Emma stayed living in Franklin until the following year when she moved to Melbourne. What prompted this move? I believe it was the fact that several of her brothers and sisters had moved to Melbourne. One of her sons, my great grandfather, William Henry Dawson is next found in Michaelago, NSW working as a police officer. Later he and his family moved to Sydney where he worked as a wardsman at Callan Park. When land became available on the north coast of NSW around Old Bonalbo he moved his family there believing there would be more opportunities for his large family. However, he did not die there. He died in 1916 in Whittlesea, Victoria while visiting his brother.
My Allsop family may be the most continuous movers in my family. Samuel Allsop and his wife Elizabeth Handley lived in the Dandenong region of Victoria and are both buried there. Their son, William Henry Allsop and his wife Mary McInerney moved continually throughout their lives. 
Between 1871 and 1894 their children's births were registered in the following places: Alberton, Sale, Hotham, Richmond, Lucknow, Bairnsdale, Geelong and back to Richmond. 
While living at Richmond between 1893 and 1896 they lived in at least three houses. They next appear in Tenterfield in northern New South Wales in 1903. Why the move? I have no idea. They also lived in Killarney in Queensland in 1908. When William and his wife die in 1919 and 1921 they are living in Newcastle.

William may have moved chasing work as a labourer from one state to the next. Children were left along the way - the older ones stayed in Melbourne, my great grandmother was married in Killarney and lived in Tenterfield. Others later lived in Newcastle.

This continual movement certainly asks many questions most of which will remain unanswered and makes for more interesting research as one tries to unravel the mysteries of my family history.

Screenshot of Google map showing known locations of the Allsop family                                                                        1870 - 1921.                                                                                                                                         Zoom in for a better view.


Friday, January 17, 2014

52 Weeks of Genealogical Records in 2014 – Week 1 Military Medals

I have decided that I need a challenge to get me blogging again on a regular basis. So I was pleased this morning when I saw Shauna Hicks personal blogging challenge for 2014. Each week Shauna intends to blog about a different genealogical record. I have tried a weekly blogging challenges before and have never lasted more than about 6 weeks, so my aim this year is to improve on this.

Week 1 - Military Medals
Last week's challenge is about military medals. In my direct line I have no one who fought in any recent wars.
However, my parents did have uncles who fought in both the First and the Second World Wars.

William Vesey Dawson 1892 - 1974 - Brisbane 1914

William Vesey Dawson was born in Gladesville on 29th May 1892. His family later moved to the north coast of NSW and it was there that he joined the 5th Australian Light Horse Regiment on 25th October 1914.
He served with this regiment at Gallipoli but it was to be later in the war while he was with the  Camel Transport Corps that he was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal (DCM).
His official records dated 1st August 1918
From AIF in Egypt. Headquarters, Egyptian Expeditionary Force. Order 22
Awarded Distinguished Conduct Medal. The citation read: For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. He showed great initiative and sill during the operation and set a splendid example to his me.
A letter was sent to his father at Old Bonalbo. Unfortunately his father had died almost 2 years previously.
National Archives of Australia

The only information that family members know about the event is as follows. Bill told one family member that
an officer was detailed to take a number of camels loaded with water and medical supplies to a regiment that was cut off by the Turks. This meant going through the Turkish lines. However, the officer took sick, so it fell to Dad (Bill) as a senior NCO, to do the job...... The camels were muzzled, as were the horses. Anything that may rattle or make any sound was made noise-proof. Horses and camels hooves were tied up with bagging. The party made their way through the enemy lines without a shot being fired. As to which Regiment or Battalion that was cut off, and how they were relieved, is not known.  
Alan Dawson - The Military History of Company Sergeant Major William Vesey Dawson.






Friday, January 3, 2014

William Thomas Seabrook 1881-1914

Today, 3rd January marks the centenary of the death of William Thomas Seabrook who was born in Melbourne in 1881 and was tragically drowned while trying to rescue Muriel May Hunter in dangerous surf at Point Lonsdale in Victoria.

William Thomas Seabrook 1881-1914




The following is a copy of what I have previously written and can be found on the Brighton Cemetery website.


William (Will) Thomas Seabrook was born in 1881 at Hawthorn, the sixth of ten children born to William John Seabrook (1846-1914) and Mary née Mason (d 1912).  As a young man Will was a member of the South Yarra Presbyterian Gymnastic Club, later becoming an instructor with the club.  In 1901, he joined the Victorian Scottish Regiment Association.  In 1905 he was a colour sergeant and by 1914 he held the rank of captain.  He worked for the estate agency business of “Sydney C. Arnold and Company”.  According to family sources, Will was described as “a well-proportioned, muscular young man, who took an interest in all classes of athletic exercises”.  As a swimmer he had been particularly successful.  Will was 32 years old and lived at home with his family at Dunmoreburn - 9 Alleyne Avenue, Malvern.
On New Year’s Day 1914, Will arrived in Point Lonsdale to join his younger brother Thomas (Tom) (d 1967), who had been there since Christmas staying atFelsenheim, on Beach Road.  They shared a room with Arthur David (Chairman of the Ballarat Stock Exchange and Liberal politician of Ballarat) and Rupert Anderson from North Fitzroy.  Each morning the men would conduct a physical culture class based on that of Eugen Sandow, a famous body builder of the time.
On the 3 January, the four men were part of a group of about a dozen people who had climbed from the village up to the lookout and down the cliff to the beach.  Also a part of the group were Miss Muriel Hunter, who had become engaged to Rupert Anderson the previous evening and Mr Quennell of Bendigo.
Locals described the ocean beach at Point Lonsdale as extremely dangerous because of the undertow, the breakers, enormous amounts of seaweed, treacherous cross-currents and a continuous heavy sea.  Arthur David was quoted by The Argus as saying “I have never bathed in such a rough sea as that which broke on the beach today, but because the waves tumbled about us we thought it rather added to the fun”.
By about midday most of the bathers were out of the water except Rupert Anderson, Muriel Hunter and an unknown third person.  Earlier in the day Will and Tom Seabrook and Arthur David were practicing life-saving and discussions had been held about the possibility of conducting a carnival to raise money to purchase life-lines and reels for the beach.  Anderson and Miss Hunter found themselves in difficulties after the sand bank collapsed and Anderson signalled to those on the shore.  Immediately, Will Seabrook, his younger brother Tom, Mr Quinnell and Arthur David raced into the surf to attempt to rescue the pair.
Mr Quennell was almost immediately injured when he gashed his leg on a rock.  The others battled out to those in trouble.  Arthur David became exhausted and said to Will who was close by, “I’m done, Will, save yourself”.  David was then caught on the crest of a wave and washed ashore.  He collapsed and was restored to consciousness by Mr Quennell.  Meanwhile, Tom Seabrook reached Miss Hunter.  He noticed that Will who had been behind him on the swim out had been swept further away and was now at least 30 yards further out to sea.  Tom Seabrook held Miss Hunter until a mountainous wave wrenched her away from him.  From the shore a body could be seen in the incoming breakers and Thomas Seabrook was dragged ashore unconscious.  Miraculously Anderson was also washed ashore.  Both men were revived on the beach.  William Seabrook was seen on the crests of several waves but he was too far away to rescue without a life-line.  Finally a huge wave swamped Will and he disappeared from view.  Miss Hunter managed to stay alive for another twenty minutes by alternatively floating on her back and swimming.  She was drawn towards the channel but did not succumb until she was almost opposite the lighthouse.  Her body was finally recovered by Mr William Patterson who had arrived at the beach with a life-line.
Tom Seabrook was quoted in The Argus:
“We were standing talking on the edge of the water, Will and I, when I saw Andy’s [Rupert Anderson] arm raised.  At first it did not strike me what it meant, but when I saw Mr David jump up, I knew they were in danger.  I raced Will in and fell over.  After we had been battling the waves for a while, I knew there was a difficult task ahead, and I began to feel tired.  I heard Mr David call out that he was done, and then the thought came to my mind that perhaps something awful was about to happen.  I hadn’t given it a thought up till then.  Will came up beside me looking all right, but I couldn’t see his face for the water.  Then we were swept out right to where Andy was holding Miss Hunter up.  He was almost under, and seemed to be trying to tread water.  I put my hand on Miss Hunter, and she looked into my eyes.  Then she jumped from Andy, and threw her arms round my neck, holding on tight.  I kept up for a few seconds, and saw Will further out still.  He was fighting his way. ‘How terrible it will be if we both drown’ was the thought that flashed through my mind.  I was weak, and felt myself gradually going, when everything became a blank.  I went through all the sensations of a drowning man.  I remember someone attending to me next, but I couldn’t collect my thoughts.  I never dreamt to Will being dead.  I can’t account for how I got ashore.  I had nothing to do with that; it must have been the hand of Providence.  I can just remember seeing Miss Hunter through the water with her face close to mine as we went down.  I have an idea that she thought I must be fresher than Andy, and she gripped me, thinking he might have a chance then, too. I suppose the way I was swept up to her made it look as though I was all right, whereas really I was done.  I am considered a fair swimmer by some people, but no one could swim in that sea.  I can’t imagine what has happened yet.  The last I saw of poor Will he was gulping and gasping, and I could do nothing for him”.
At the inquest into the death of Miss Hunter on 5 January, Mr E. Cuzens J.P. praised the courage of those who had attempted the rescue at the risk of their own lives.  Will’s body was eventually recovered and the inquest verdict was that he met his death by drowning in attempting to save a life.  He was buried on Sunday 18 January 1914 at the Brighton General Cemetery following a military funeral at the Malvern Presbyterian Church.  Many people admired Will’s qualities and abilities – said he was a wonderfully strong swimmer – they could not understand how he could drown.  His father William had now lost his wife and six of his ten children, some of whom are believed to have succumbed to tuberculosis.  He died just four months later at the age of 68.
A plaque from the Royal Humane Society was placed at the original Point Lonsdale Clubhouse.  This fifteen feet by ten feet building was taken over by the army in World War II.  In 1947 permission was granted for the club to occupy the building but it was later considered dangerous because of the encroaching sand dunes.  The plaque was later moved to the new clubhouse.

Today there will be a commemorative ceremony for William Thomas Seabrook at the Point Lonsdale Surf Life Saving Club.