Nov 12, 2018

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Review of The Promise of Tomorrow: final volume in The Garth Trilogy...

Review of The Promise of Tomorrow: final volume in The Garth Trilogy

L F (Lynette) McDermott, Promise of Tomorrow, Book 3 of the Garth Trilogy, Lynette McDermott, Sydney, 2018, ISBN: 978-0- 9946057-2-6, $30.00 plus $8.00 postage within Australia, 462pp, paperback and ebook also available. The Garth Trilogy is a series of historical novels which tell the story of two First Fleet convict families, the Garths and the Belletts, first transported to Sydney then to Norfolk Island and finally to Van Diemen’s Land (Tasmania) when the convict settlement on Norfolk Island closed. The first novel in the series, Of Angels and Eagles, looked at their convictions and their time on Norfolk Island. Perseverance is the second volume and takes up the story after the two families resettled in Tasmania. The third volume in the Trilogy, The Promise of Tomorrow, is the story of Edward Garth and his wife Sarah and their children, especially their daughter Lil. Edward has wandering feet and a desire to do all kinds of things and we follow the family from Tasmania to the Gippsland Lakes of Victoria, to Newcastle, Wyalong and other New South Wales mining towns, and finally to Sydney where Lil and her sister Louisa settle. It could also be the story of many other families who travelled around looking for somewhere to call home and to find their fortune on a mining field. As were the times, men made the decisions and the women followed and we can feel for Sarah as she thinks what it would be like to have a permanent home. Her children are all born in different places and tragically some die and they are left behind when the family moves on. Edward and Sarah had their love and respect for each other and together they made the most of their lives and raised their children to carry on family traditions. The second part of The Promise of Tomorrow is Lil’s story and we follow through her early love, her sad, lonely and tragic marriage and her desire to still provide the absolute best that she could for her children. Like her mother, Lil knew the heartbreak of losing her children in different places. Still looking for love she has an affair and more children, and her first love appears throughout at brief moments. World War One impacted on everyone but we see it through Lil’s...

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Oct 23, 2018

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Trove Tuesday – Body Discovered, Unknown Identity...

Trove Tuesday – Body Discovered, Unknown Identity

My great great grandfather James Henry Trevaskis is one of my last remaining brickwalls – he was last known to be working for the Municipality of Clermont and Copperfield in 1868. His wife Elizabeth remarried George Guy as a widow in 1873, still in Copperfield. Sometime in that five year period James Henry died or left but searches for his death, probate or any newspaper references have all been unsuccessful. Elizabeth was left with her own two children and James Henry’s three children from his first marriage. It is unlikely that he would have left his family so we must assume he died  and for whatever, reason his death has not been registered. My topic for this Trove Tuesday post relates to people who simply disappear and then perhaps years later their body is discovered and reported on. Could this have happened to James Henry Trevaskis but if so, why didn’t his wife report him missing and a search or enquiry held which would have been reported on in the newspaper. My thoughts have been around this following the discover of an article in the Rockhampton Bulletin on 9 Apr 1874 about human remains discovered within 23 miles of Copperfield and within my 5 year time period. The article was copied from the Peak Downs Telegram (remember not all papers have survived and date ranges may be incomplete). On receiving the report of a body, a police constable went out and located a human skull, collar bone, ribs, and thigh and shin bones which he gathered together and took in to Copperfield. Dr Codrington examined the remains and as far as he could see there were no marks of violence. The deceased was a male, about 60 years of age, and had been deceased for about 12 months. My James Henry would have only been about 35 years old so definitely not him. A tin billy and a pannikin were found near the body with the name H Bailey engraved. No clothing was found on or near where the bones were picked up. From the appearance of the surrounding countryside, Constable Halligan believed that a bushfire had passed over the place where the body was lying. So who was H Bailey? A search of the Queensland deaths index online for 1874 revealed no death registered...

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Sep 28, 2018

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Report on Unlock the Past Alaska Genealogy Cruise – Part Two...

Report on Unlock the Past Alaska Genealogy Cruise – Part Two

This is the second blog post on my recent genealogy cruise to Alaska – read Part One here. Day 5 started with an amazing trip up Tracy Arm Fiord and there is nothing like looking out the window (porthole) and watching ice bergs drift past. Had breakfast with a window seat in the Windjammer and just watched all the ice drifting past. It was as the Captain predicted, too much ice for us to go all the way...

Sep 23, 2018

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Report on Unlock the Past Alaska Genealogy Cruise – Part One...

Report on Unlock the Past Alaska Genealogy Cruise – Part One

The Unlock the Past (UTP) genealogy cruise to Alaska was seven nights with two full days and one half day of seminars plus an evening seminar each night of the cruise. Given the number of sessions attended, I am dividing this report into two separate blog posts. A number of UTP cruisers also attended the UTP in Seattle seminar the day before we left – read my review of that day here. Day 1 of the cruise was...

Sep 21, 2018

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Review of Unlock the Past in Seattle One Day Seminar...

Review of Unlock the Past in Seattle One Day Seminar

In conjunction with the Unlock the Past genealogy cruise to Alaska (a separate blog post to follow), there was a one day seminar in Seattle open to cruise registrants as well as those in the Seattle area of the USA. There were four speakers – Blaine Bettinger, Maurice Gleeson, Cyndi Ingle and Wayne Shepheard. The event was also live streamed and recorded for those unable to attend. As with any conference with multiple streams, it was often a...

Aug 15, 2018

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National Family History Month 2018 Review of Talks Attended...

National Family History Month 2018 Review of Talks Attended

August is National Family History Month in Australia and there are lots of events across Australia and in the first half of the month I have been to three events. First there was the FamilySearch Discovery Day at Forest Glen which was an all day series of talks across four streams. You cannot go to everything so some hard decisions have to be made. Fortunately my first choice was Brenda Wheeler’s session on English parish chest records and...

Jul 24, 2018

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Trove Tuesday – Family Weddings & What They Wore...

Trove Tuesday – Family Weddings & What They Wore

My son was married yesterday so my thoughts have been all around weddings. So for my first Trove Tuesday post in a while I looked for weddings on my mother’s side of the family. Mum’s cousins were all much older than her and some of them even married before she was born. Mum was the last of 10 children and her father Henry Price was the 6th of 10 children so there were lots of cousins. When I first...

Jun 12, 2018

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Report on Unlock the Past Perth genealogy seminar, 8-9 Jun 2018...

Report on Unlock the Past Perth genealogy seminar, 8-9 Jun 2018

Unlock the Past held a genealogy and local history two day seminar in Perth on 8-9 June 2018 at the State Library of Western Australia. Friday’s program started with a comprehensive talk on Immigration to Australia by Kerry Farmer. This covered everything from the arrival of convicts, free settlers, emigration schemes and certainly gave the audience  lots to think about. In the break someone said that their ancestor still ‘swam’ and I think there will always be those...

May 17, 2018

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Review of The Wicked Trade and The Suffragette’s Secret: genealogical crime mysteries...

Review of The Wicked Trade and The Suffragette’s Secret: genealogical crime mysteries

This is the latest book covering the adventures of fictional forensic genealogist, Morton Farrier by UK author Nathan Dylan Goodwin. It combines the short story of The Suffragette’s Secret with the full-length novel The Wicked Trade. A lovely double dose of Morton Farrier! Usually when I finish one Morton Farrier adventure I want to read another one straight away – my wish was granted. The Suffragette’s Secret is the story of a militant suffragette who is the great...

May 1, 2018

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Trove Tuesday – Voyage of the Chyebassa to Queensland in 1883...

Trove Tuesday – Voyage of the Chyebassa to Queensland in 1883

My great grandfather Herbert William White was from Farley in Wiltshire and he arrived in Townsville, Queensland on board the Chyebassa on 8 March 1883. Trove is a fantastic resource for locating information about an ancestor’s voyage to Australia. It’s not just digitised newspapers and in this blog post, I look at newspapers, books and photographs and make some interesting discoveries. By 1883 the trip was much easier than earlier voyages and in some respects, it seems almost...