Trove Tuesday – Gone Home to Ireland But Still Remembered Here?

3 April 2018

So much for trying to do a Trove Tuesday post once a month! My last post was back in January and February/March went past way too fast. I am getting in early for April and maybe I will do two and get back on track. It is definitely worth while reviewing your research as new digitised newspapers are being added all the time.

I can tell what is new as I use tags and lists when I find family information. Anything without a tag is definitely new. My review family this time was my great great grandmother Elizabeth Rosewarne/Trevaskis/Guy and her husbands James Henry Trevaskis and George Guy. I also looked for her brother John Trevaskis and his wife Mary Kelly.

With Elizabeth and George Guy I didn’t learn anything new that I hadn’t already found out at Queensland State Archives through probate records many years ago. What was interesting was reading about these types of records in the newspapers. There is usually a call for any claimants or debtors to the estate and then a formal announcement of who the estate goes to. The deceased’s occupation, residence and often date of death are also given.

In George Guy’s case, his widow Elizabeth received everything (which was usual with husband and wife) but I had forgotten that his estate was valued at £2274 2s 7d. There are photocopies of the probate file in my paper records but when I looked them up in my genealogy database, I have never added the information in these records into the notes section of the database. One of the problems of having started researching in pre computer days. From time to time I do have a blitz of digitising and adding information into the genealogy database, but it is a big job and mostly boring. I would rather do new research!

Herbert and Dorcas White and family ca 1912, daughter Frances missing

Herbert and Dorcas White and family ca 1912, daughter Frances missing

With Elizabeth’s will she left everything to her two sons George Guy and James Henry Guy and nothing to her two children Dorcas White (nee Trevaskis) and John Trevaskis. I remember sitting at the archives looking at Elizabeth’s file and reading how Dorcas and John had queried the will as they could not believe their mother had not included them.

It’s probably about 35 years since I did that and even today seeing it again in the newspaper, I can’t help think why did Elizabeth not mention her first two children. Why didn’t she at least say why she was not including them? They must have been hurt and puzzled at a time when they were also grieving for their mother.

Elizabeth Guy died in 1904 in Charters Towers and just 18 months later, her son John Trevaskis was killed in a mining accident. There is a detailed account of the accident in the newspapers (and I have a copy of the inquest file from Queensland State Archives). The last paragraph in the report in the Gympie Times and Mary River Mining Gazette on 25 January 1906 said:

The injuries and shock were so severe that Mr Trevaskis succumbed to them and passed away in the hospital at a quarter to 7 pm, one hour and a half after admission. Deceased was born in Copperfield 37 years ago, and had not been out of Queensland since his birth. He leaves a widow and two children to mourn their loss, one a little girl aged 10, and the other a boy aged one year. Northern Miner.

Note that the Gympie newspaper copied the story from the Charters Towers newspaper. This was common and sometimes if a newspaper is not digitised for the area you want, there may be references to the accident or event in other papers. At right is the only known photograph we have of John Trevaskis and although it is not in the best of condition, we at least have an idea of what he looked like.

John Trevaskis

John Trevaskis

John’s wife Mary Kelly was from County Tipperary, Ireland and she took the two children back to Ireland with her. This was the family story that Dorcas’ youngest daughter told me back in the 1970s. I did try to find them but couldn’t. A few years ago I found some descendants through MyHeritage and learnt that Mary had remarried (change of name to Lonergan from Trevaskis). With that I located her in the 1911 Irish census and found her living at Two-Mile Borris, Thurles, County Tipperary.

I searched Trove today for Mary Trevaskis to see if there was anything about her after her husband’s death and was totally surprised to find a death notice in the Townsville Daily Bulletin on 25 April 1944. It was under the name of Mary Trevaskis (any of her friends and relatives here would not have recognised her new married name of Lonergan which is probably why the surname Trevaskis was used). The notice simply read:

Trevaskis – On January 23rd 1944, at her residence Two-Mile Borris, Thurles, Co Tipperary, Ireland, Mrs Mary Trevaskis, formerly of Charters Towers, Queensland. RIP. Inserted by her son.

How many people read that notice in 1944 and remembered Mary? Was it her wish for her son to arrange it or was she still in touch with people back in Charters Towers even though she had left over 35 years before?

While Trove often helps to fill in the pieces of our ancestors lives, it also leaves us thinking of new questions to ask. A great reason to get into the Trove Tuesday blogging habit. Thanks Trove.

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  1. A great find and shows just how much is hidden in those old newspapers…and how much more is in the Archives! It’s funny to think our ancestors would definitely have known each other in Charters Towers.

  2. Hi Pauleen

    Yes I am sure that lots of us have families who knew each other in Charters Towers. There are so many connections. Thanks Shauna

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