Friday, August 31, 2018

Jas McCook Royal Hotel, Wallangarra - Postcard

I grew up in the small border town of Wallangarra and members of my family lived there from the very early days of settlement. Recently I was alerted to a postcard on eBay of James McCook's Royal Hotel. When I saw the postcard I knew I had to have it.

Jas McCook, Royal Hotel, Wallangarra, c. 1914-1915?

Reverse of postcard

Starting with the reverse of the postcard I wanted to identify the 3 people mentioned. Polly was easy. She was my great-grandmother Mary Moore (McColm) (1885-1939). Mary is readily identified with the McCooks and the Royal Hotel. My grandfather, her second son, was born there in January 1909 and Mary's husband Knox was the nephew of Rosetta McCook, wife of the proprietor. The Moores lived and worked at the hotel.

A search on electoral rolls has identified Elizabeth and Christopher Noye living in Warwick with their daughter Alice Elizabeth. Alice was born in 1889, so she, rather than her mother, was probably Polly's friend. ( Australia, Electoral Rolls, 1903-1980 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2010.)

The postcard is a treasure trove! Details that I can make out on a high resolution scan include:
  • 6 men, 6 women and 5 children
  • Jas. McCook. Royal Hotel sign
  • Licensed Billiards sign
  • BAR sign
  • bedrooms on the second storey which open onto the verandah
  • gauze doors on the bedroom windows
  • a chaise lounge and 3 single chairs on the verandah on the second storey
  • a long ladder on the ground
  • a hitching post outside the hotel
  • a teacup on the rail

Who are the people?

I am positive that the boy on the left in front of the bar sign is my grandfather James Moore. I have another confirmed image of him when he was smaller and the likeness is remarkable. The boy on the right is likely to be his older brother Matthew. The woman who looks most like my great grandmother Mary (Polly) is standing on the verandah behind the hitching rail with another child sitting on the rail. This child is probably her fourth child, Knox born in 1913. There is no man resembling her husband Knox. I assume the man in the centre is Jas McCook, but presumptions can be dangerous. 

I wonder who the others are?

Date of the image?

An earlier image of the Royal Hotel can be found on Trove.

Royal Hotel Wallangarra, c. 1909 
If you look at the postcard image you can see a single storey section sandwiched between the front and back two storey sections. I wonder if extensions were built in front and behind the building above?

My grandfather looks as though he is about 5 or 6 so I believe the photo on the postcard may have been taken in about 1914 or 1915. Was this when the hotel was extended?

Unfortunately, the Royal Hotel was destroyed by fire on Friday 13th June 1952 so I never got to see where my grandfather grew up. (The Courier-Mail (Brisbane, Qld. : 1933-1955, Saturday 14 June 1952, p. 3.)

A wonderful find which I will treasure!

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Trove Tuesday - Isabella Taylor

I have been researching my family for over 40 years but thanks to Trove I have a new branch to add to my family.

I searched for Knox Moore (my g grandfather and a ggg uncle had the same name) in Trove as I have done many times before. I was rewarded with a funeral notice for Isabella Taylor, his sister. This was big news to me.

The Telegraph (Brisbane, Qld. : 1872 - 1947), 19 Aug 1911, p. 6.

I purchased her death certificate and yes, she was the daughter of John Moore and Margaret Glen, the sister of John and Knox Moore. Which leaves me to wonder, how many more Moores are there?

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Bridging the Past and Future - Congress 2018

Congress 2018

Finally I have time to sit and reflect on a fantastic four days last week. I am very pleased with my decision to take two days LSL and attend Bridging the Past, the 15th Australasian Congress on Genealogy and Heraldry. I was always going to wait until I retired to do something like this.

My takeaways and homework include:

  • Avoid being sucked into the never-ending hole - only when you start writing do you see the gaps in your research
  • Don't forget about the Government Gazettes and Journals on Trove
  • If we don't tell the stories of those who came before, the history will be lost in just three generations
  • Don't forget to revisit the Historical Land Records Viewer
  • Phase my DNA to work out maternal and paternal lines
  • Check our Scotland's Places in more detail
  • Download Phillamore's Atlas from
  • Learn more about clandestine marriages
  • Check out Dusty Docs
  • Add more of my family images to Flickr and add to Trove group
  • Revisit Griffith's Valuations
  • Fix up this blog - it looks very ordinary! (Must have been going through a minimalist phase when I last updated its look.)
  • Look at the Glasgow Poor Law Records
  • Check out mapping on Google Earth Pro
I hope there is another congress in three years time. I'll be there! 

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Mystery almost solved

When my great great grandmother Margaret Jane Moore (Henry) died on 1st August 1923 her death certificate stated that she had three deceased sons.

Margaret Henry had  married John Moore on 21 September 1871 at Ballymoney, Antrim, Ireland.

Upon her death she had 5 surviving children.

Knox            b     c1873     Ireland
Rosetta         b       18 February 1875     Ballymoney, Ireland
Elizabeth      b       1884     Glencoe, NSW, Australia
James            b      1887     Queensland
Margaret       b       1889    Brisbane, Queensland

My previous research had discovered two of the sons.

John             b       28 December 1872  Dervock, Ballymoney, Antrim
James           b        25 September 1881, Greenock, Renfrewshire, Scotland

These 2 had obviously died but who was the third son?

A visit to Scotland's people today solved the mystery. I decided to purchase the birth certificate of James and discovered that he was a twin. He and his brother John were born in the early hours of 25th September 1881. Sadly, both James and John died in October 1881; James on 4th and John on 13th.

I now had to discover when John (b1872) died. His brother John's birth indicates that he must have died between 1872 and 1881. The question was did he die in Ireland or Scotland?

A search for a John Moore dying in Scotland between 1872 and 1881 did not reveal a likely candidate.

An Irish search was more successful. There is a John Moore dying in Ballymoney district in the 4th quarter of 1876, aged 3 years. Unfortunately there is not a direct link to this certificate, so to solve this mystery I may have to pay 4 euro.

My only problem now is that I have never been able to locate the official records of the c1873 birth of their son Knox, my great grandfather.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Trove Tuesday - Trouble with horses (2)

My last Trove Tuesday post told about an accident my grandfather Jim Moore of Wallangarra had with a horse.

The previous year his father-in-law Philip Merchant had a more serious accident involving a horse which according to the Sydney Morning Herald left him in a critical condition.

The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842-1954), Thursday 12 March 1931, page 10

Unfortunately, The Tenterfield Star is not yet on Trove but I also have the story from that publication.

The Tenterfield Star, 12 March 1931.

I wonder which newspaper is correct - critical condition or severely injured?

Saturday, February 10, 2018

52 Ancestors in 52 weeks - Week 4 - Invite to Dinner

The Week 4 prompt for Amy Johnson Crow's "52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks" blogging challenge is “Invite to Dinner”.

Who to invite to dinner? As usual there are so many choices but I have decided that I would like to invite one of my gggg grandmothers - Hanora Flynn (Connor).

I have managed to discover many things about Hanora but there are still so many unanswered questions.

What do I know?

I know that Hanora married Patrick Flynn on 26th February 1811 at Shandrum, Cork, Ireland. 1. At least three children were born in Ireland, Ann, Mary and Thomas. In March 1821 Patrick was arrested in Wexford County and sentenced to transportation for life. 

I know that her husband Patrick applied for Hanora and their three children to be sent out to the colony at the expense of the crown. The Rev. J.J. Therry recommended the application. Hanora lived in the parish of Liscarroll and was known to the Rev Malachy Sheehan, Parish Priest and William Purcell Esq. J.P. of the parish. 2.

I know that Hanora arrived in Australia aboard the Thames with their children Ann (12), Mary (9) and Thomas (4) on 11th April 1826.

I know that just days later, on 18th April, Hanora petitioned the Governor, Lieutenant General Ralph Darling praying her husband Patrick Flynn may be granted to her as her assigned servant as she had three children she was unable to provide for. George Blackett, the Superintendent at Rooty Hill stated that Patrick Flynn had been under his superintendency since 19th December 1823, “during which period I have found no fault in his conduct have been very attentive to his duty and all along demeaned himself in a manner much to my satisfaction.”  3. Hanora’s request was granted.
By October 1829 when Hanora had again petitioned the Governor, they had two more children, Patrick and Ellen. That your Memorialist has now five children viz. 3 female and 2 male whereas 4 of which are now looking to their mother for support. That  your Memorialist on arrival was immediately allowed the indulgence of taking her husband Patrick Flynn off the stores, he then stationed at Rooty Hill Establishment....My husband’s character since his arrival in the colony will bear the strictest enquiry as  your Excellency will see, should your Excellency be pleased to have his character investigated.
That your Memorialist since her arrival and with the industry and help of her husband has obtained 27 head of horned cattle for which with the exception of a few milch cows has to pay for the grazing of the same, not having any land to graze them on. Your Memorialist therefore most humbly solits (sic) your Excellency will be pleased to allow her a certain portion of land for the run of her cattle, for such a period of time as to your Excellency’s wisdom and goodness shall seem meet, which favour will be considered by Memorialists for ever and of infinite service to her infant children......... Hanora Flynn I reside at No 47 Kent Street Sydney.
In her book The Women of Botany Bay Portia Robinson described Hanora as a woman of “persistence and determination.”  4. 

I know that Hanora lived at Pittwater in the 1830s on 40 acres at Little Mackerel Beach. 5. (It's a shame I've lost the photos I took several years ago.)

I also know that 2 more sons John and Michael were born to the family. Michael was baptised on 26 May 1836 at St Mary's  in Sydney.

I know that Hanora died at her residence, Parramatta Street Sydney on Thursday 11th June 1852. 6. 

Empire (Sydney, NSW : 1850 - 1875) Saturday 19 June 1852 p 2 

But there is so much I don’t know. What would I ask Hanora if I could invite her to dinner?

  • How did you survive with 3 young children from 1821 until 1826?
  • Why did you leave Pittwater and return to Sydney?
  • I wonder why you are called Mary when Michael was baptised?
  • Was Ann the only child to have children?
  • You died only a few years before civil registration so I would love to know the names of your parents and siblings?  Did any of them come to Australia?
  • What happened to your 2 grandchildren, James and William Moylan who were put into an orphanage after their father died and their mother Ann was left destitute?

There would be many more questions but I would also like to thank her for her courage, persistence and determination to bring her family to Australia to be reunited with her husband and their father Patrick Flynn.

My lineage from Hanora Connor
4G great grandmother         Hanora Connor m Patrick Flynn
3G great grandmother         Ann Flynn m Thomas Mylan
2G great grandfather           John Mylan m Matilda Agnew
Great Grandmother              Bridget Mylan m William Dawson
Grandfather                          Donovan Dawson m Elsie Ryan
My mother



 1. Irish Family History Foundation,, 15 Mar 2008. 
 2. AO Reel 697 4//163 7 p.236 no. 39
3. AO 4/7084, 19 Apr 1826  - also in Shelagh and George Champion 1997 Manly Warringah and Pittwater 
4. Robinson, Portia, The Women of Botany Bay, p. 226
5. Lawrence, Joan, Pictorial History Pittwater, p. 111.
6.  Empire (Sydney, NSW : 1850 - 1875),, 19 Jun 1852, p. 2. and NSW BDM 1029/1852 V18521029. Death registered as Hannah Flynn.

Sunday, January 28, 2018

52 Ancestors in 52 weeks - Week 3 - Longevity Part A

The Week 2 prompt for Amy Johnson Crow's "52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks" blogging challenge is longevity.

Going through Reunion, the genealogy program I use I decided to check out the longevity of my family.

The following are the top 10 in my extended family. There may be others but these are the family members for which I have verified data. I have included the most common recent ancestor I have with them.

1.  105 years       Mary Selina FORD (1C3R)                         24 Apr 1880 – 15 Aug 1985                   James MERCHANT and Sarah NEAL

2.  102 years       Maud Eileen SEABROOK (2C2R)              19 Feb 1901 – 28 Sep 2003                     Henry SEABROOK and Sarah WHITE

3.  101 years       Florence Jean TURNER (2C2R)                   28 April 1914 – 30 July 2015                (Henry SEABROOK and Sarah WHITE

4. 100 years        Mavis Joyce HOOTON (1C3R)                     9 Oct 1914 – Jun 2015                          Joseph HOOTON and Rebecca BETTIS

5. 99 years           William Ernest Herbert FORD (1C3R)         1 Aug  1871 – 30 Jul 1971                     James MERCHANT and Sarah NEAL 

6. 99 years           Cliffie  ROWLAND (2C3R)                          24 Feb 1900 – 15 Sep 1999                  Harry SEABROOK and Harriet SMITH  

7. 99 years           Annie May SEABROOK (1C3R)                   27 Sep 1876 – 2 Feb 1976                    Henry SEABROOK and Sarah WHITE

8. 98 years            Mervyn Roy (Mick) SEABROOK (3C1R)    26 Jan 1916 – 27 Jul 2014             Henry SEABROOK and Sarah WHITE  

9.   98 years          Charles Walter McLEOD (2C2R)                   9 Mar 1912 – 21 Jun 2010                Henry SEABROOK and Sarah WHITE

10. 98 years          Annie Elizabeth FORD (2C2R)                      21 May 1900 - 28 Jul 1998                  James MERCHANT and Sarah NEAL

4 are from my paternal grandmother's father's side of the family.

6 are from my maternal grandfather's father's side of the family.

1 lived in England, 1 in the US, 4 in NSW, 3 in Victoria and 1 in Tasmania.

Mary Selina Ford and William Ford are brother and sister and Annie Ford is William's daughter.

Not one of them is a direct ancestor which means that this post doesn't really fit the theme of 52 ancestors in 52 weeks.

I'll try and post a part B to this post.