Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Parkfield Estate - Tenterfield

I lived for some time during my childhood in Tenterfield. Prior to the advent of Trove I  spent many hours trawling though both hard copies of old Tenterfield Stars and digital copies at Dixson Library at the University of New England.

The Tenterfield Star is not yet on Trove so many finds are serendipitous. Such was the one about the land sale in the street I lived as a teenager.

The Tenterfield Star, undated

The Parkfield Estate Land Sale

The sale of the Parkfield Estate sub-division, which has occupied public attention for some weeks past, took place yesterday on the ground. There was a good attendance of local buyers, but not so many from a distance as had been anticipated. The large barn fronting Pelham-street, was utilised as a   sale-room, in which also a very substantial luncheon was laid out. 

I wonder if the barn was on the block where I once lived? I also query my poor referencing with this undated newspaper clipping. Pelham Street is a long street but I seem to remember an auctioneer's flyer for this land which showed it was in the section where I lived. But certainly no proof.

This really illustrates the fact that one must keep accurate records of information and appropriate sources.

Perhaps one day I will be able to come back and update this post.

Friday, October 20, 2017

The Book of Dirt

A recent trip to Melbourne saw me visiting The Avenue bookshop in Albert Park. I was looking for suggestions for my choice for bookclub. I ended up choosing The Book of Dirt by Bram Presser. 

A few lines before the story begins had me intrigued.

Within a few generations almost all
of us will have been forgotten. Those who
are not will have no bearing on how we are
remembered, who we once were. We will not
be there to protest, to correct. In the end we
might exist only as a prop in someone else's
story: a plot device, a golem.

It's got me thinking about my ancestors - those people who were most certainly forgotten before I or other members of my family began our research. People who we have rediscovered in census data, old baptismal records, convict records, newspaper articles, shipping records, letters, military records and much more. People who were born, married and died and left no other records to others who have left a plethora of data for us to discover. I hope none of them would want to protest about what I write about them.

Another few sentences in the book also got me thinking and remembering.

"We are all hoarders when it comes to the lives of those we loved..... I wanted my grandmother's card table on which she always kept boiled lollies hidden under a tea towel." p. 74-75

When my grandmother died I wanted her sifter. Almost on a weekly basis she made my brother and I little patty cakes perfectly iced with coconut on top. For our birthdays she made us the most wonderful chocolate cake which no matter how hard I try,  I have never been able to replicate. But at least when I use the sifter I remember my grandmother, Esme Eileen Moore (nee Merchant).

My grandmother's sifter - a little worse for wear.

Friday, October 13, 2017

DNA match breaks research brick wall

Recently a DNA match of mine made contact with me.  It appeared that we were both descended from a William Harrison and his wife who lived in Liverpool, England. William and Ann are my ggg grandparents.

Family members here in Australia had searched for years to discover the death of both William and Ann. The last record we could discover for them was the 1861 census where they were living at 3 Hornby Street in Liverpool with their daughter Ann Meacock, her husband and family.

I was sent a link to a video from the Museum of Liverpool which talks about Court Housing - small houses build off dark, narrow courtyards which provided cheap housing for the huge numbers of people moving moving to the city. Hornby Street is mentioned at the end of the video.

Our conclusion was that William and Ann both died sometime between the 1861 and 1871 censuses. Our only clue to his death was a story told by my nanna that her great grandfather had died after being kicked by his horse. Of course you never know whether these stories are true or not!
However, my newfound relative Lyn who lives in Liverpool has had more success. She has death certificates for them both and also a copy of the newspaper report into the inquest into William's death on 30th October 1861.

Liverpool Mercury, 1 November 1861, p. 3, col. 7

His death certificate (297/1861) states that he received a compound fracture of his right leg after being run over by his own cart.

It looks like the story my nanna told may at least have some element of truth in it.  I wonder if there are further archival inquest records available in Liverpool.

Perhaps we may find out the truth of the other stories my nanna told about both William and Ann.

My lineage from William Harrison.

William Harrison
Elizabeth Harrison m. Peter Ogden
Sarah Ogden m. Michael Patrick Ryan
Elsie Ryan m. Donovan Dawson (my grandparents)

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Trove Tuesday - Intercollegiate Athletics

Earlier this year my mother wondered if there was a newspaper account of an athletics carnival she attended in the early 1950s. At this carnival the Armidale Teachers College girls team of which she was a member had broken the 440 yard relay record. A little searching and I found the account.

Armidale Express and New England General Advertiser,  Monday 21 December 1953, page 2

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Organising my DNA data

It's been twelve months since I first received my DNA results from Ancestry. Since then five more members of my immediate family have tested. Many close results have been people I have met or corresponded with over the years. Another has provided me with evidence that we may have found a descendants from a sibling missing in the late 1800s. However, there are some close matches who we can't accurately place in our family.

After a couple of months I decided I needed to work out a system to visualise these results for myself.  (I can't remember if I got this idea from someone or not). I decided to enter details in a spreadsheet with columns headed Match Name, Relationship, MCRA, My ancestor in the next generation, Match's ancestor next generation, Shared CM, Segments and a contact address if I had one. I then had pages for each of my grandparents and their ancestors. As further members of my family tested I also started pages for them. It got very messy! I needed another solution.

I was sent a spreadsheet by a relative and decided to try that.

I made a template and then set up an individual page for each of the six trees I manage. Matches were placed underneath the most distant sibling of one of our ancestors. I add the name of the match (removed here), their ancestor's name, our relationship and the match.

Illustrating some of my Agnew and Mylan matches

I can now see that I have matches with John, Margaret, James and Ellen, all siblings of Bridget Mylan. One day I may get matches with Thomas, Annie, Matilda, Esther and Mary, the other siblings.  The ? indicate matches who we know are related to this family but can't identify the link at this stage.

This method seems to be working much better and I feel as though it is more under control. However, I can see that in the not so distant future I will run out of space on the spreadsheet in some branches. The problem is finding time to go though all matches and then just being able to catch up with new matches.

Even while writing this I've just thought of a further refinement.  I could link each name to their match on Ancestry or GEDmatch. That could be a job for my next holidays!

Does anyone have any other suggestions?

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Letters of 1916

Three years ago I posted that I was going to contribute one of the family letters to Letters of 1916.

This digital collection includes letters held at institutions in Ireland and abroad alongside those in private collections. There are hundreds of letters connecting thousands of lives commenting a myriad of topics including the Easter Rising, literature and art, the Great War, politics, business, and ordinary life. Letters of 1916 adds a new perspective to the events of the period, a confidential and intimate glimpse into early 20th Century life in Irelandas well as how Ireland was viewed abroad. Letters of 1916

The letter I contributed was written by Maude Dawson (Kilronan, Swords, Ireland) to her cousin Louisa Spinks in Victoria on 9th June 1916.

I went back to the website today to check that the letter was on the public site and there it was.

Letter from Maude Dawson to her cousin Louisa Spinks, 9 June 1916

My only disappointment is that it says the letter belongs to Dennis McGrath, private collection. I have emailed them to sort that out.

The scope of Letters 1916 has now been extended to include letters from 1916-1923. Unfortunately the other letters I have were all written earlier than this period.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

St Joseph's Cathedral, Dunedin

Those who know me know that wherever I go I need to check out anything that relates to ancestors and distant family members.

A holiday to New Zealand earlier in the year provided me with a few such opportunities. The first was a visit to St Joseph's Catholic Cathedral in Dunedin and St Joseph's Catholic Church in Queenstown.

Photo - Paul Kennedy

The obituary of Daniel William Woods states that he was the builder of St Joseph's Cathedral, Dunedin. 

Past Papers - Otago Daily Times 17 April 1923

The brochure I picked up at the cathedral states that Mr D.M. Woods built the choir loft in December 1883. The surrounds of the icon of the Our Lady of Perpetual Succour were designed by Mr F.W. Peter and constructed by Mr D.W. Woods. However, nowhere does it give details of the builder of the cathedral. 

A trip to Queenstown and a walk uphill to visit St Joseph's Catholic Church which was consecrated in 1898.

Daniel William Woods married Catherine Mary White in at St Joseph's, Hobart, Tasmania on 5th January 1865. Catherine was my great great grandmother Emma Seabrook's cousin. Daniel and Catherine had five children, one of whom John Daniel Woods married Florence Adeline Seabrook (Emma Seabrook's niece).

I believe (but yet to work out the exact connection) that Daniel was related to John Joseph Woods who composed the music to New Zealand's national anthem, God Defend New Zealand

Sunday, October 1, 2017

The Ancestral Places - Geneameme Part 2

Following on from my previous post, this is a list of the known places that my husband's ancestors have lived. His family haven't moved as much as mine particularly in Australia.


Armidale (Brennan, Scheef)
Armley, Yorkshire, England (Spatch, Spetch)


Bedfordshire, England (Bills, Burton,  Holton)
Blunham, Bedfordshirek, England (Ingram, Matthews)
Booralong, NSW, Australia (Waters)


Cardigton, Bedfordshire, England (Hare, Saunders) 
Cashel, Tipperary, Ireland (Cleary)
Clophill, Bedfordshire, England (Ellis, Hare)
Crail, Fifeshire, Scotland (Kerr)


Donegal, Ireland (Doherty)


Enmore, NSW, Australia (Brennan)


Glen Innes, NSW, Australia (Ker
Great Barford, Bedfordshire, England (Smith)
Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, England  (Lydamore)
Großbottwar, Württemberg, Germany (Glock)


Hessigheim, Württemberg, Germany (Veyh)
Höpfigheim, Württemberg, Germany (Wagerle)

Ireland (Deeves)


Kentucky, NSW, Australia (Ryan)
Kilcooley, Tipperary, Ireland (Ryan)
Kilkenny, Ireland (Tobin)


Lasswade, Midlothian, Scotland (Kerr)
London, England (Key, Pickett, Turbett, Wade)


Metz, NSW, Australia (Waters)
Mt Slow, NSW, Australia (Kerr)
Muckalee, Kilkenny, Ireland (Brennan)


Norfolk, England (Barber, Fuller)


Old Warden, Bedfordshire, England (Hare, Ingram)


Ravensden, Bedfordshire, England (Dawson)
Renhold, Bedfordshire, England (Dawson, Richardson)
Rocky River (Uralla), NSW, Australia


Saumarez, NSW, Armidale (Dawson)
Selkirkshire, Scotland (Smail)
Scotland (Smart, Wishard)
Stonehenge, NSW, Australia (Spetch, Key)


Tipperary, Ireland (Heffernan)


Untertürkheim, Würtemberg, Germany (Lauterwasser,  Munk, Scheef, Steinle)
Uralla, NSW, Australia (Ryan)


Wanstead, Essex, England (Squires)
Westminster, London, England (Waters)
West Maitland, NSW Australia (Kerr)
Württemberg, Germany (Häberle, Nagele, Zaiss, Zeitbös)

Yorkshire, England (Hartley)

Saturday, September 30, 2017

The Ancestral Places - Geneameme

It's holiday time for me and time to catch up on some of my favourite blogs. I came across Geniaus' post on Ancestral Places Geneameme  so I thought while watching the AFL Grand Final this afternoon I might work on my own ancestral places post. I might even have time for one for my husband's family too.

These are all places that my direct ancestors have lived. I'm sure I've missed a few.


Alberton, Vic, Australian (McInerney)
Antrim, Northern Ireland (Henry, Moore)
Ashton Under Lyne, Manchester, England (Ogden)


Bairnsdale, Vic, Allsop
Ballymacashel, Antrim, Norther Ireland (Moore)
Ballytaggart, Antrim, Northern Ireland (Henry)
Balmain, NSW, Australia (Flynn, Ogden, Ryan)
Barnardiston, Suffolk, England (Seabrook)
Bolton, Lancashire, England (Ogden)
Buittle, Kirkcudbright, Scotland (Fleming)]
Brisbane, And, Australia (Ryan)
Brough, Castledawson, Antrim, Northern Ireland (Agnew)
Brooklyn, New York, USA (Ogden)
Brisbane, Qld, Australia (Ryan)


Castledawson, Antrim, Northern Ireland (Agnew)
Chilvers Coton, Warwickshire, England (Handley)
Clarborough, Nottingham, England (Merchant)
Clare, Ireland (McInerney)
Clogher, Tyrone, Ireland (Lee)
Clone, Kirkkudbright, Scotland (Smith)
Cooma, NSW, Australia (Agnew, Moylan, Mylan)
Cootehill, Cavan, Ireland (Giles, Moore)
Cork, Ireland (Flynn, Moylan)
Countegany, NSW, Australia (Mylan)
Crick, Northamptonshire, England (Blackman)
Culbane, Antrim, Northern Ireland (Hannah, Kerr)


Darling Downs, Qld, Australia (Ryan)
Dawley, Shropshire, England (Merchant)
Derry, Northern Ireland (Agnew)
Drake, NSW, Australia (Hooton)
Dunkerrin, Offaly, Ireland (Halloran, O'Halloran)


East Melbourne, Vic, Australia (Dawson)
Elbow Valley, Qld, Australia (McColm)
Edinburgh, Scotland (Fleming)
Ematris, Monaghan, Ireland (Dawson)
England (Teesdale)
Ettrick, NSW, Australia (Dawson, Ryan)


Farnworth, Lancashire, England (Hope)
Franklin, Tas, Australia (Dawson)


Great Gonerby, Lincolnshire, England (Merchant)
Guilford, Surrey, England (Seabrook)
Greenock, West Renfrewshire, Scotland (Moore)


Hillgrove, NSW, Australia (Moore)
High Ongar, Essex, England (Sawtel)
Hobart, Tas, Australia (Seabrook)
Holloway Down, Essex, England (Bettis)
Hundon, Suffolk, England (Seabrook)


Ireland (Davenport, Lyons)
Islington, London, England (Neal)


Kedington, Suffolk, England (Seabrook)
Kelton, Kirkudbright, Scotland (Fleming)
Killarney, Qld, Australia (Allsop)
Kirkmaiden, Wigtownshire, Scotland (McColm)
Kyogle, NSW, Australia (Dawson, Ryan)


Leichhardt, NSW, Australia (Dawson)
Leigh, Lancashire, England (Hope)
Leswalt, Wigtownshire, Scotland (McCarlie)
Liverpool, Lancashire, England (Harrison, Ogden)
Lucknow, Vic, Australia (Allsop)


McLeod's Creek, NSW, Australia (Merchant)
Michelago, NSW, Australia (Dawson)
Midtown, Kelton, 
Minnigaff, Kirkcudbright, Scotland (McGill)


Newton Stewart, Dumphries and Galloway, Scotland (Milroy)
New Town, Tas, Australia (Seabrook)
Norfolk, England (White)
Nottingham, England (Neal)


Old Bonalbo, NSW, Australia (Dawson)


Pentonville, London, England (Neal)
Pittwater, NSW, Australia (Flynn)
Polesworth, Warwickshire, England (Orchard, Sherlock)
Portlaw, Waterford, Ireland (Ryan)
Portpatrick, Wigtown, Scotland (Milroy)
Prestwich, Manchester, England (Ogden)
Pretty Gully NSW, Australia (Merchant)


Ravenswood, Qld, Australia (Moore)
Richmond, Vic, Australia (Allsop)
Roscrae, Tipperary, Ireland (Halloran, O'Halloran)
Roxwell, Essex, England (Westwood)


Sale, Vic, Australia (Allsop)
Sampford Arundel. Somerset, England (Merchant)
Shandrum, Cork, Ireland (Flynn)
Smithfield, NSW, Australia (Ryan)
Southgate, Middlesex, England (Hooton)
Stepney, Middlesex, England (Bettis)
Stonden Massey, Essex, England (Bettis)
Stoneykirk, Wigtownshire, Scotland (McCaul, Milroy)
Stranraer, Wigtownshire, Scotland (Fleming)
Subiaco, WA, Australia (Ogden)
Sunnybank Hills, Qld, Australia (Moore)
Swatragh, Derry, Northern Ireland (Lagan, McElwee)
Swords, Dublin, Ireland (Dawson)
Sydney, NSW, Australia (Flynn, Moylan)


Tamworth, Staffordshire, England (Handley)
Tenterfield, NSW, Australia (Merchant, Moore)
Thurlow, Suffolk, England (Seabrook)
Tipperary, Ireland (Maley)
Toowoomba, Qld, Australia (Moore)
Tottenham, Middlesex, England (Hooton)
Tuena, NSW, Australia (Merchant)
Tyldesley, Lancashire, England (Hope)


Wallangarra, Qld, Australia (McColm, Moore)
Whittlesea, Vic, Australia (Dawson)
Wigtownshire, Scotland (Summers)

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Henry William Seabrook builder of Hobart

After many years of searching I finally have an obituary for my great great great grandfather Henry William Seabrook. Unfortunately it doesn't offer any new information except that perhaps there is further information in the Southern Star. Unfortunately this publication doesn't appear to have been digitised.

The Launceston Examiner, 12 July 1883, p. 2.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Trove Tuesday - Bazaar at Franklin

The Mercury, Tuesday 10 January 1871, p. 3

My great great grandmother Emma Dawson must have spent some time with Mesdames Walpole and Innes organising this bazaar. As a teacher librarian I'm pleased to see that she was part of the committee raising funds for the Mechanics's Institute Library in Franklin, Tasmania.

Little did she know that five and a half months later she would be widowed at the age of 36 and would soon leave Franklin to live closer to her siblings in Melbourne.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Crowd Sourcing Georeferencing Sydney Maps

Today it has been very wet where I live so I've spent some time this afternoon working on a crowd sourcing project.

Sydney Subdivision Maps Crowd-Sourcing Project involves volunteers matching historic subdivision plans to a modern map.

It's actually very satisfying to work on a project such as this.

Here's one I've completed in about two minutes.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Pandora Archive

Exciting news! Like many other Australian genealogy bloggers I have received an invitation from the National Library requesting permission to regularly archive my website to the Pandora Archive. It's great to know that my blog can be viewed well into the future.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

William Thomas Seabrook

Today marks the 103nd anniversary of the death of William Thomas Seabrook. William the sixth child of William John Seabrook and his wife Maria Sophia Mason was tragically drowned at Point Lonsdale in Victoria while trying to rescue Muriel May Hunter.

You can read what I wrote about William on the centenary of his death here.

This photo is available at the State Library of Victoria.

William Thomas Seabrook (1881 - 1914) Photo -  State Library of Victoria