Wednesday, 15 August 2018

William Thomas Morgan Obituary 1950

My Mum's Grandad, Bill (William Thomas) MORGAN, passed away on the 19th of December 1950.
He was born in Euroa, Victoria in 1872.  The fourth son of Thomas Fitzherbert MORGAN and Mary Ann (Marian) nee PIKE.

photo from his daughter, Daisy's album.


Mr. William T. Morgan

Aged 78, Mr William Thomas Morgan, Moyhu, died in the Wangaratta Base Hospital early on Tuesday morning.  He had been in failing health for the past few months, and a patient in Hospital for a week.
Born at Euroa, he came to the Moyhu district over 50 years ago.
He was first employed at Redcamp and was then share farming with Shanley Bros.  He retired from active life about eight years ago.
Mr. Morgan took no active part in public life, but was well liked by all.
He is survived by his wife, who was formerly Miss Ada Hulme, Milawa, and the following family: Herbert (Moyhu), Clarice (Mrs. Jones, Moyhu), Daisy (Mrs. A Fleming, Hansonville), Mavis (Mrs. L. Robinson, Myrtleford), and Lila (Mrs. H. Flanigan, Katamatite).
Brothers are George (Euroa), Robert (Edi Upper), Jack (Berrigan, NSW), and Edward (Seymour).
Funeral took place yesterday at the Milawa cemetery where the Reverend A.T. Stevens officiated at the graveside.
Handley's supervised arrangements.
Coffin bearers were Messrs H. Morgan, son, K Fleming, N Jones, grandsons, H Flanagan, son-in-law, Messrs H. Hulme, brother-in-law, P. Shanley, K. Lewis, F. Bowen, R. Jones, A. Gibson and W. Gibson.

From The Chronicle Despatch, Thursday, December 21st, 1950

Courtesy of my lovely and very helpful friend Jenny who was paying a visit to the State Library of Victoria and managed to get this obituary despite a "scuffle" with a rogue microfilm machine.  
So glad you survived the flying film, Jen! 

Copyright free Photo by John Moeses Bauan on Unsplash

Thursday, 12 July 2018

Birthday remembrance Great Uncle Frank Adams.

Today is the birthday anniversary of my Great Uncle Francis Edward Adams who for some reason later called himself Frank Francis Adams. 
He was my paternal grandmother's youngest brother, born on the 12th of July, 1906 at 35 Smith Street, Kensington, a suburb of Melbourne, Victoria.  
Frank was the youngest child of Mary Agnes Adams nee Morgan and her husband John Adams who had separated and went through a lengthy maintenance battle in court ... read here 

My childhood memories of perhaps my only visit to my grandmother's brother's house were that Uncle Frank had red hair and Auntie Dot had bright red lipstick!

Photo from the slide collection of my grandmother Brenda Adams in my possession.

I remember being told that Uncle Frank and Auntie Dot weren't married.  Not sure why I was told that.  Uncle Frank was quite a small man and apparently had been a groom and a jockey.  Dad said he used to work on the De Havilland aeroplanes made for the airforce because he was small enough to crawl through the cramped spaces and that he was deaf.  The story Dad heard was that with a friend, Frank used to ride sidecars and the leaning over in the sidecar, toward the engine of the motorcycle affected his hearing.

When I started researching my Adams family I was told that the family story was that Uncle Frank was batman for General Thomas Blamey in World War 2.

I searched but found nothing that corroborated that story.  I did find some very surprising facts though.  Talk about a tight-lipped lot!

I looked up Uncle Frank's war service details and found that he enlisted on the 15th of June 1940.  He was single, a groom (strapper) and listed next of kin as his sister Mrs Catherine Goodwin of Darnum.  Aunty Kit and Uncle Willie (as I knew them) lived at Darnum in Gippsland all their married lives.  
Frank's address at the time was 155 Epsom Road, Ascot Vale.

Image from Frank's army service record at National Library of Australia

He was recruited to the 8th Division petrol company and then in August 1940 was detached to the G.M.H school of fitters mechanics.  He was discharged by the 23rd of October 1940 as "medically unfit for service, not occasioned by his own default".  Quite a short stint of only four months.  I thought that was it but no ......

I don't know why I revisited the World War 2 army records but one day I stumbled quite by accident on another war service record for a Frank Francis Adams with the same birthdate. 
World War 1 war service records are available openly but World War 2 records need to be purchased.  So I paid the fee and after a short wait, the records were opened to me.  

Well, what a surprise!

Uncle Frank Francis Adams had re-enlisted on the 19th of October 1942 at Paramatta, in New South Wales. His second service records were rather confusing.

This time his attestation paper named his next of kin as his wife, Florence Adams of 20 Claude St, Northcote and his occupation was a cabinetmaker.   It also listed his previous service and his sister's address.  So it was definitely the same Frank Adams.  How strange.

Image from Frank's army service record at National Library of Australia

He was posted to HQ 2 Aust. Army.  Maybe this was where General Blamey came into it but I still found no mention of him. 
In March 1944 it seems Frank was transferred from HQ 2 to another area which was 3 A.T.T.D .  He was a student at 3 Australian Army Trades Training Depot (staff) whatever (staff) meant.  His service records contained a student report for this section. 
Uncle Frank didn't do well at carpentry apparently and failed to qualify.

Image from Frank's army service record at National Library of Australia.
I emailed Dad's cousin's wife who had started on this family history and she was gobsmacked.  No one had ever mentioned Frank was married.  I doubt they even knew either that or they just never spoke about it which fits with the way the family was.
She did say there were a few pieces of furniture in Aunty Kit's house that were said to have been made by Uncle Frank but they were very nicely made and valued by the family, so his work must have improved.
My next step was to find a marriage certificate.  There was one. 

On the 2nd of October, 1942 Frank Francis Adams had married a Florence Francis.  She was a widow, born in Middlesex, England, the daughter of John Woods and Florence Gay.  She had three children and was ten years older than Frank. 
All I could think of was to look in for a Florence Woods married to someone Francis.  I found a tree with them in it and it showed that Ralph Russell Francis had died in 1925 leaving Florence with three children.  I sent a message to the tree owner who was also amazed.  He lived in England and was connected to Ralph Francis.  He had traced him to Melbourne Ports working on the docks but had no further details.  He did give me the email address of a lady who was connected to Florence though.   She was also surprised by my message.  She said it was known that Florence had remarried but not who he was.  Apparently they were friends and as Florence was a widow and Frank re-enlisted, he put her as next of kin so if anything happened to him she would receive his war pension.

What a gesture by a very kind man.  Frank was discharged on the 30th of October 1945 and I couldn't find him again for sure in the electoral rolls until 1963 at 3 Hobson Street, Altona with a Dorothy May Adams.  Aunty Dot.  From 1977 he was with Dot living at 3 Prismall Street, Altona. (pictured below)

Photo from the slide collection of my grandmother Brenda Adams in my possession.
Frank died on the 17th of February 1979.  He was cremated on the 27th of February 1979 and his remains were interred at Altona Memorial Park [A] Rose Garden AL-RG*12*RP**225 

When I obtained his death certificate the informant was Dorothy May Adams, friend, living at the same address.  So he had never divorced Florence who had continued to live at 20 Claude Street Northcote and who died in 1976.

I could never find anything concrete on Frank being batman for General Blamey and I would love to find out if Aunty Dot - Dorothy May Adams, had other family.  All I know about her is her name and that she was still listed at 3 Prismall Street in the 1980 electoral roll.  

The family tree can be seen at

Monday, 11 June 2018

Morgans of Keady Parish, Derrynoose, Armagh, Ireland

New DNA matches are coming in regularly with people who have connections to Morgan families in Derrynoose, Armagh, Northern Ireland which is where my 3rd great-grandparents Alexander Morgan and his wife Ann (Nancy) Lennon are recorded as having children in the 1820s and 1830s.

As the following people are living I can't share too many details for privacy reasons but a recent new DNA match had a father Fred Morgan who lived in Rowan Road.  I haven't found Fred as yet.

Another has a great-grandfather Thomas Morgan from Clontibret, Co. Monaghan which is very close to Rowan and where many Morgan families lived.  DNA matches are also to there but yet to be confirmed and connections found.

In the Griffiths Valuation for Armagh (1864), there was one Alexander Morgan who was leasing land from Andrew J Crawford at Rowan, Derrynoose.  There were quite a few other Morgans in the same area.

I don't doubt they were connected, I just haven't found how as yet.

Alexander's son, my great-grandfather, John Morgan named his Essendon hotel "Cross Keys".
There was an area named Cross Keys only about 5 miles from Derrynoose.
As with Rowan, Cross Keys now just seems to be a road rather than a townland.

 John Morgan's first son was named Francis Edward Morgan.  There were 2 Francis Morgans living near Alexander.  It's possible that John named his first born after his own grandfather and his second son was Alexander after his own father.  Not strictly sticking to the traditional naming pattern but fairly close.

As with Rowan, Cross Keys now just seems to be a road rather than a townland I think.

In the 1901 Irish census, taken on the 31 March,  there are 4 Morgan families living at Rowan, Derrynoose.

At number 6 Rowan Road was Felix Morgan, aged 50, a farmer who was born in Co. Armagh and not married.  Living with him at the same address was his niece Anne Mullegan, aged 30 also not married.  They were both Roman Catholic and could read and write.

At number 8 Rowan Road was Peter Morgan, aged 56, a farmer who was born in Co. Armagh and who could read and write.  His wife Bridget, aged 40 also born in Co. Armagh, could read and write.
Seven children were listed and these children's names and ages tally with Derrynoose baptisms for children of Peter and Bridget.
Mary A aged 12  (Maryann baptised 31 Dec 1887)
Francis  aged 10 (Fris Miles baptised 18 Aug 1889)
John J aged 9 (John James baptised 21 June 1891)
Elizabeth aged 7 (baptised 27 June 1893)
Helena aged 3 (Ellen baptised 17 March 1897)
Peter no age given (baptised 6 March 1900)

Patrick and Catherine look to have been twins who may not have survived.
Brigid and Patrick also look to be twins born after the 1901 census.

In the 1911 census, the Morgan household is listed as Residents of a house 9 in Rowan (Derrynoose, Armagh)*

Peter and Bridget are now aged 68 and 51.  It states they had eleven children and 9 are living which fits with the baptisms as Bridget and Thos Patk both aged 8 years  (Brigid and Patrick baptised 24 March 1903) also tally with the baptism records.

At number 10 Rowan Road in 1901
Bridget Morgan aged 75, born in Co. Armagh, Roman Catholic, Farmer, Widow
Thomas Morgan aged 46, born in Co. Armagh, Roman Catholic, Farmer's son, not married.
Henry Morgan aged 38, born in Co. Armagh, Roman Catholic, Farmer's son, not married.

At number 17 Rowan Road in 1901
Margaret Morgan aged 70 Head born Co. Monaghan, Farmer, Widow
Joseph Morgan aged 37 Son born Co. Armagh, Farmer's son, not married
Kate aged 25  Daughter born Co. Armagh, Farmer's daughter, not married.

In 1911

Residents of a house 3 in Rowan (Derrynoose, Armagh)
Felix age 62 is single and living alone.

Residents of a house 6 in Rowan (Derrynoose, Armagh)
Thomas aged 50 Head, born Co. Armagh, Farmer, Roman Catholic
Catherine aged 30 Wife, born Co. Armagh
Francis aged 2 Son, born Co. Armagh
Michael aged 0 Son, born Co. Armagh

Residents of a house 7 in Rowan (Derrynoose, Armagh)
Joseph, aged 47, Head, Roman Catholic, Farmer, born Co. Armagh, Single
Kate, aged 35, Sister, Roman Catholic, born Co. Armagh, Single

Residents of a house 9 in Rowan (Derrynoose, Armagh)* see above Peter and Bridget.

Rowan Road is the red marker balloon below. 
Image from an early post at

Thursday, 7 June 2018

My New Updated Ethnicity Estimates from AncestryDNA

A person's DNA doesn't change but their ethnicity results can as companies update using "improved ways" to analyse the data.

Many people only test to get ethnicity results.  That's their prerogative.
I love finding relatives all over the globe and am lucky to have "met" both in person and virtually, some lovely new cousins and like-minded friends through both paper and genetic genealogy.

I certainly don't have a hope of understanding the technicalities of how it's done but the genetic genealogy experts say ethnicity estimates are just that, estimates.

I think of it as an extra, interesting and even fun addition to my DNA matching for genealogy but I don't take it as gospel even though the results are pretty much what I would have expected from my years of research. 
Given that quite a lot of that research has been confirmed through DNA matches I am in agreeance with their "estimates" and find not all that much difference between the results of the companies I have uploaded to.

This is my initial AncestryDNA ethnicity results breakdown and the map.

Below is my newly updated breakdown estimate and map:

There are also explanations available.

You can read further AncestryDNA FAQs about the updates HERE 

And more in-depth information on updated ethnicities by Debbie Kennett at Cruwys news  Blog.

Thursday, 10 May 2018

Birthday Remembrance - Mary Ann Morgan nee Pike

My maternal great-great-grandmother, Mary Ann (Marrian/Marion) PIKE was born at River Loddon on the 10th of May 1847, youngest daughter of Isabella nee BEATON and John PIKE.  

Loddon District covers a wide area and the exact location seems to be unknown, although likely somewhere near the Murray River.  

The River Loddon which, after the Goulburn River, is the second longest in Victoria.  It begins near Musk, just East of Daylesford and travels North for nearly 400 kilometres to merge with the Little Murray River around Winlaton near Swan Hill.

A map of the river can be seen HERE at

Following the death of her father, Mary Ann's mother moved her and her sisters to Euroa. 

On the 11th of April 1866, Mary Ann married Thomas Fitzherbert Morgan at Euroa.

photo from Morgan Family reunion book 1980.
photo from Morgan Family reunion book 1980.

Mary Ann and Thomas had 13 children.
Their fourth son William Thomas was my great-grandfather.

Mary Ann Morgan nee Pike died at Euroa on the 4th of August 1933


The death occurred at her residence, Euroa, on Friday last, of Mrs Marrian Morgan, one of the oldest and most highly respected residents of the district. The late Mrs Morgan was one of the earliest residents, coming to this district in 1851, with her widowed mother, at the age of four years, and has thus resided here for 82 years. She was born in Loddon district, and had a good recollection of the early days, recalling an occasion, when she resided in the north, her mother had to leave her children and cross the Murray, a mile wide in flood, in a frail boat, to obtain provisions. They did not expect their mother to return safely. After her marriage she resided for many years on a farm a few miles from Euroa, near Mr G. Harrison’s. She raised a large family, four of whom, with her husband, pre-deceased her. Her eldest son, John, was drowned in the Seven Creeks, near the Sydney road bridge, in flood time. For many years the late Mrs Morgan had resided in the town. The possessor of a kindly and genial nature, she held the affection of a large circle of friends and relatives. She leaves an adult family of one daughter (Mrs A. McNay, Yarrawonga), and eight sons, all of whom are well known here and held in high respect. The funeral took place on Sunday last. The graveside service was read by Rev. L. Hume. The pall bearers were Messrs, H., Edward, George and Arch Morgan, S. T. McNay, G. McCoomb and N. McCoomb; the coffin bearers were Messrs G., R., A., J., E., and F. Morgan, and Messrs T., J., and George Morgan jr., acted as flower bearers. Mr T. G. Ferguson carried out the funeral arrangements.

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