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Friday, October 7, 2016

Oh my - A bigamist in the family!

Why it pays to keep a copy of everything!

I was researching the convict John Donovan, and had found a permission to marry, but I was pretty sure he was already married.  I assumed it was just a mistake in the name of the ship as there were several John Donovan's transported.  Saved a copy anyway as I often do with the name "unlikely 1824 permission to marry John Donovan.

I had forgotten about it until I found a petition from his Irish wife which included some information about when she arrived.  THEN I LOOKED AT THE NEXT PAGE!

This is what I found

It's hard to decipher but this is what I have translated so far:
Was there any other woman came out in the Lady Rowena?
 This is the woman whose husband married another woman before her arrival.
Whatever may be done for the return of the poor woman, the husband certainly merits our indulgence.  When the wife arrived she found him married to another and having questioned him, I have no doubt that he married [ileg] having [ileg] that his Irish wife was dead although [ileg].
In punishing the husband it seems we would punish the wife - let him sleep and work for himself being off the stores for a time until we see how he behaves.
He must attend church and [ or that under? ..ileg]
Date July 28th, 1826
So not only was he a horse thief, and a convict, he was also a bigamist!

More investigation is required about John Donovan, but  I am very glad I saved a copy of that document that was 'wrong'!  I really want to find out what happened to the poor 2nd wife.

Interestingly, John and his 1st wife Elizabeth were buried in two different places, John in a private cemetery at Mangrove Creek, NSW, and Elizabeth at Spencer Cemetery.

Two lesssons learnt here-
  1. Always keep stuff that looks like it is correct but does not fit what you already know.
  2. Take a look at the previous and next pages of documents.

P.S. Many thanks to members of the 'Genealogy my ancestors came to Australia' facebook group for help in the transcription.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Get the most out of a free weekend

When Ancestry has a free weekend, I find I have a lot to research and very little time, so here are my hints for getting the most out of the limited time.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Genealogy Boomerangs is now on Pandora!

You may have noticed this logo appear on the left of the blog.  That is because my blog has been listed on Pandora.  What is Pandora?  It's the National Library of Australia's website archive.  Anything on Pandora is available through Trove.  - or as NLA put it:
 "The PANDORA Archive is a selective collection of web publications and websites relating to Australia and Australians. It includes materials that document the cultural, social, political life and activities of the Australian community and intellectual and expressive activities of Australians"

Pandora is used by over a million people a month, probably many through Trove, to access websites.  Well it's a great honour mine will be there too, and I am thrilled!

Monday, August 29, 2016

Surprising what you will find in an obituary.

Obituaries can tell you a lot, and require careful examination, and some organisation and time.  Recently I found an obituary for one of the people on my tree, Emma Elizabeth Charlotte Billet, who married Walter Batchelor.  From the Cumberland Argus and Fruitgrowers Advocate of 19th November, 1931.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

My top 10 Aussie research sites

Recently I gave a talk at a local club, and although I thought most people would know about a site like Trove, they did not.  So it prompted me to do this list, I hope it helps. 
Remember also, that my pinterest site has links to all sorts of online resources, categorised as much as possible. All you need to do is follow me there.  So these are the sites I use the most and find most useful, and all of them are free.


Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Finding places that no longer exist

Places change their names!  I know, its confusing, and downright inconvenient and sometimes even whole countries do it!  Street name changes are the worst, and very difficult to find.

I have several places or locations in my family history where a town or suburb has changed it's name.  So here are my top tips on finding locations that do not seem to exist anymore.

Sunday, July 3, 2016

A family story

I was on the SMH Archives site and saw this photo:

I'ts a photo of Australia's worst rail accident, Sydney's Granville train disaster.  83 people died, and 210 were injured.  It certainly brought back some memories for me.

On the day it happened in 1977 I was running late for work and caught a later bus from Lane Cove to the city that day.  At the same time, my sister was starting a new job in the city and had caught an early train (as it was her first day) that was going to be heading through Granville.

I knew nothing about the disaster, as I alighted from the bus at Wynyard station, but just caught a glimpse of my sister coming out of the train station heading to her new job.  I was too far away to catch her eye, despite waving, but I knew it was her.

The minute I got to my desk I heard about what had happened, and people were heading to the blood bank.  I knew my mother and father would be frantic, and unable to contact my sister as they would have no phone number for her yet.  This was the days before mobile phones, being 1977.  I phoned my mother immediately to let her know that I had seen my sister coming out of the train station - alive and well.  I could hear the relief in her voice.  Later we found out she had been on the train that went under the bridge before the one that hit, she had a lucky escape that day.

In all the years my sister and I worked in the city I never once saw her traveling to or from work again.  Spooky things do happen.  It was a shocking few days, with many people traumatised, I hope we never see anything like it again, but it will be part of Sydney's history forever.


Wednesday, June 15, 2016

1828 Census in NSW

There is an excellent guide about the census at the NSW ARCHIVES

Included is this table which is very useful when reading the abbreviations.

Common Abbreviations used in Convict Musters and Censuses

Abbreviation        Meaning
B.C. Born in the Colony
C.F. Came Free
F.S. Free by Servitude
A.P. Holding an Absolute Pardon
C.P. Holding a Conditional Pardon
T.L. Holding a Ticket of Leave
C. Convict
C.S. Colonial Sentence
G.S. Government (or Assigned) Servant                

Saturday, June 11, 2016

An addition to the Blog

I have recently been doing the UTAS course in family history on Convicts.  Its a great course, and I have learned a lot.  I would recommend it to anyone with convict ancestors.  If you are an AUS citizen, it is free.

As a result, I had to write a story about one of my convict ancestors.  Quite a challenge for me.  This led to the creation of a new page on the Blog, where monthly I intend to write about one of the characters in the family.  Hope my readers enjoy reading about them.

To find out about THOMAS BATES - thief, convict and capturer of bushrangers, click on the link.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Any convicts in the family?

I searched and searched for convicts in my family, and finally came across Thomas BATES , my  step-3rd great-grandfather's wife's granddaughter's husband!  Rather a tenuous relative - but no matter, I'm claiming him!!

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

6 Tips for a sucessful research trip.

If you are heading out to a family history group, library or archive to do some research, here are some tips that may help you use your time wisely.  Warning!  It is addictive.

NSW Mitchel Library

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Two Great Uncles of mine.

This Anzac day I want to tell the story of my Great Uncles, Patrick Joseph and John Harold Stettler.  They were not well educated, they were not well off, and did not cover themselves in glory in France.  They were just young boys who did their bit, and suffered the consequences.

We remember

This anzac day
We honour
William Ellis, 
 GG Grandfather, who fought at the Charge of the Light Brigade with the 11th  Hussars.
William Stewart Heard,   
G Grandfather, who fought in India with the 4th Queens Own Hussars.
Frederick Walter Heard
G Uncle, 4th Hussars Machine Gun Corp, who fought in France WW1
William Stewart Heard,  
 Grandfather, Royal Army Service Corp, France WW1
Willaim James Zealey
Cousin, Royal Garrison Artillery, France, WW1
Charles Henry Ellis, 
 Cousin, Royal Fusiliers, WW1
Arther James Heard, 
G Uncle, U.S.A. Army, WW1
Percy Hector Clark
 G Uncle, 45th Battalion, AIF, WW1
Thomas Binfield
G Uncle, Queens Royal West Surrey Regiment
who was killed in action in France, WW1 
Reginald Henry Fulton
G Cousin, 1st Artillary, AIF
who was killed in action in France, WW1 
 Herbert Holman Clark 
G Uncle, 52nd Battalion, AIF, 
who was killed in action and is buried in France, WW1
Patrick Joseph Stettler
G Uncle, 14th Battalion, AIF, WW1
John Harold Stettler,
G Uncle,  57th Battalion, AIF, WW1
Charles Robery Urquhart
G Uncle, 59th Battalion, AIF WW1
William Stewart Heard, 
 Uncle, 13th Battalion, Royal Aust. Engineers, WW2
Frederick Walter Heard, 
 Uncle, 13th Battalion, Royal Aust. Engineers, 
was killed in action and is buried at El Alamain, WW2

Reginald Ernest Heard,
  Uncle, 11th Field Company Aust. Engineers, WW2
Edward John Clark,
  Uncle, 1st. Battalion, AIF.  P.O.W. WW2
Kenneth Russell
Uncle, POW, AIF WW2
James William Colyer
   24th Squadron, RAAF. WW2
Ronald Percy Clark, (my dear father) 
2/16th Battalion, AIF, WW2

Lest we forget.
Edward John Clark, my Uncle who was a POW in WW2 at Stalag 13.

Friday, April 22, 2016

University of Strathclyde - Genealogy Researching your Family Tree Course.

I did this course online at the same time that I did the Uni of Tas. course.  It consists of videos and written material and short quizes at the end of each week.  Along the way there are comments from others and the opportunity to add your own.  A case study is used to illustrate the various weeks work.