Friday, 31 August 2012

Q is for ........... Query


Queen, Quinn or other?


 This is my contribution to Alona from Gould Genealogy's                     


According to her marriage certificate my husband's great grandmother was Eliza Queen.

Below is a snip of the first section of marriage certificate.  To me it looks like Tween and it is so transcribed for one birth of one child in the Victorian BMD indexes.  The others are transcribed Queen.

Does it look like Queen?


Eliza was born in County Down, Ireland about 1832
She said her father was James Queen - a surveyor and her mother was Sarah Blakeley
















There was a surveyor named James Quinn in Belfast.
from  http://eppi.dippam.ac.uk/

 My family history through the alphabet list


Not sure where to go from here.

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Wedding Wednesday - Clarice Morgan

Clarice May Morgan married David Jones in 1930.  Her bridesmaid was her sister, (my nana), Daisy Marion Morgan and the best man was the groom's brother, Ernie Jones.

Clarice, known to us as "Aunty Tod" because all the girls in the family had boys nicknames, was born at Moyhu on the 23rd of September 1905. She was the eldest daughter of William Thomas Morgan and Ada May nee Hulme.
Aunty Tod died at Wangaratta on the 16th of January 1998, aged 92 years.  Her husband David died at the very young age of 35 in 1942.  They had 2 children, Carol and Neil both now deceased.


Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Travel Tuesday - Fleming Family from Scotland to Australia

FLEMING

Andrew and Ellen/Helen Fleming (nee Finlay) and their six children traveled to Australia from Scotland in 1848 on the barque "William Stewart"  Their son William Finlay Fleming was my great great grandfather.  He and his wife, Ann (Jane) Knight  moved to Whitfield in 1901 but before that spent many years at  Kotupna (near Nathalia).


"Pioneers of Nathalia and District"

FLEMING
The Chairman of the immigration board at Port Phillip, was not overly impressed with the appearance of the immigrants who had arrived after a voyage of 111 days, on board the "William Stewart", on 15th May 1848.
"Although three young children have died, the remainder of the passengers have remained remarkably healthy", he wrote "but the description and general appearance of the passengers appears to be amongst the most miserable that have here-to-fore reached the district".
Not a wonderful description of the Fleming Family who were amongst the 233 passengers on board.  Andrew and Ellen Fleming, both aged 38, and their six children, William Finlay 17,  Annie 12,  Ellen 11,  Mary Ann 7, James 6 and Andrew 4, had left their home in Galloway shire, Wigton, Scotland, to make a new life in Australia.
William had travelled in the "unmarried males" quarters and was hired immediately upon arrival while still on board, by David Anderson, to work as a waiter at his hotel at Burbank (Lexton).
The remainder of the family were sent to the Government Depot before they could find employment.
Ellen was the daughter of William and Marion Finley, nee Bride, and this name Finley/Finlay, is carried through later generations as a forename.
It is not known what became of Andrew Snr, but his wife Ellen died at Nhill in 1885, where she had been living with her granddaughter Mary Connary. (sic)  ...(Convary)
William spent some years in the Clunes area working as a shepherd, farm hand and miner.  He later purchased a team and worked for some years in the carrying business, before moving to Melbourne where he was employed as the the town Herdsman.
Before coming to Kotupna where he selected Allotment 22, he was a butcher at Creswick.
By 1897 he and his family were living in a four roomed weatherboard house, lined inside with deal and measuring 25 x 21 feet.  His land was well fenced, some four acres were sown with wheat, 22 acres of trees had been rung with the dead wood cleared, and he had established an orchard containing 60 fruit trees.
William had married Ann Jane Knight in 1852 with their family of thirteen children, Anne Jane, William James, Ellen,  Sarah, Donald, Alice, Finlay, Moses, Ruth, Matilda, Christina, John Knight and Selina, all being born before the family moved to Kotupna.  Three of these sons, William James, Finlay and Moses also farmed at Kotupna before most of the family moved to the Wangaratta area in the early 1900's.
William Finley died in 1911 at Whitfield, with his wife living another nine years before she passed away at Wangaratta in 1920.
A great grand daughter of William Finley Fleming, Mrs Joe Waite, still lives at Nathalia and her great grandchildren make the 7th generation of this family to live in the Nathalia Shire.



Myrrhee?


 
Another photo from my grandmother, Daisy Morgan's, photo album.
There is a list of names but nothing to say what the gathering was for.
I would think it is possibly a school gathering of some sort as a teacher is mentioned.
I don't know if these names are in proper order.

Names are:
Reg LEWIS, Stanley PRATT, George MELVILLE, Ted JONES, Ronnie TULLY, Alan JOHNSTON, Bert MULLINS, Alan STEWART, Allan JONES, Victor SCHULTZ, Allan SHEEHAN, Eileen TULLY, May JONES, Blanche LEWIS, Elsie MULLINS, Gladys LEWIS, Clarice MORGAN, Alice FORGE, Avis WHITTY, Mary NOLAN, Eileen CATON, Ada MULLINS, Mary WHITTY, Muriel SAMPSON, Lily SAMPSON, Rosie TULLY, Dolly TULLY, Iris BYRNE, Nell JONES, Mavis MORGAN, Clare WHITTY, Jack WHITTY, Grace LEWIS, Don SHEEHAN, Grace JOHNSTON, Daisy MORGAN, Florrie DOOGE.
sitting:  Max WHITTY, Matt NOLAN, Percy JOHNSTON, Terry JOHNSTON, Ken MELVILLE, Dan BERRY, Frank BERRY, Kathleen TULLY, teachers twins, Dulcie SIMMONDS.

If anyone knows or has suggestions as to what this photo may be about please contact me.

© AncestorChasing 2012

Trove Tuesday - Mary Agnes Morgan


Amy Houston from Branches, Leaves & Pollen suggested the great idea of a Trove Tuesday theme. 

Earlier this year I made a major, if rather confronting discovery in Trove.
  
We had always suspected that my great grandparents, Mary Agnes nee Morgan and John Adams were separated but it had never been spoken about.  
Earlier research of the Victorian electoral rolls has shown they weren't living at the same residence for many years.

Mary and John were found to be living in the Essendon - Kensington area of Melbourne in the early years of their marriage but just a few years after the birth of their last child in 1906, John was no longer around.  The last electoral roll I found them listed at the same residence was in 1909.  

Then the Essendon Gazette and Keilor, Bulla and Broadmeadows Reporter (Moonee Ponds, Vic. : 1914 - 1918) became available in Trove. Wow, that set the ball rolling.  
To date I have found 16 articles spanning the years 1913 to 1918.

My grandmother was their second last child, born in 1905.  She and her younger brother were the children for whom their mother was seeking maintenance.  It is any wonder my grandmother never spoke much about her parents:

LAW COURTS. (1913, October 16). The Advertiser (Adelaide, SA : 1889 - 1931), p. 15. Retrieved August 28, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article5806094

Another Adelaide newspaper had much the same article but with slight differences.

POLICE. (1913, October 16). The Register (Adelaide, SA : 1901 - 1929), p. 5. Retrieved August 28, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article59107621
"LAW COURTS." The Advertiser (Adelaide, SA : 1889 - 1931) 20 Oct 1913: 5. Web. 28 Aug 2012 http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/5806604.
"FLEMINGTON POLICE COURT." The Essendon Gazette and Keilor, Bulla and Broadmeadows Reporter (Moonee Ponds, Vic. : 1914 - 1918) 15 Apr 1915: 6 Edition: Morning.. Web. 28 Aug 2012 <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article74588438>.
"Flemington Police Court." The Essendon Gazette and Keilor, Bulla and Broadmeadows Reporter (Moonee Ponds, Vic. : 1914 - 1918) 29 Apr 1915: 2 Edition: Morning.. Web. 28 Aug 2012 <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article74588587>.
"FLEMINGTON POLICE COURT." The Essendon Gazette and Keilor, Bulla and Broadmeadows Reporter (Moonee Ponds, Vic. : 1914 - 1918) 11 Nov 1915: 6 Edition: Morning.. Web. 28 Aug 2012 <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article74590791>.
"Tuesday, Noveber 28." The Essendon Gazette and Keilor, Bulla and Broadmeadows Reporter (Moonee Ponds, Vic. : 1914 - 1918) 30 Nov 1916: 3. Web. 28 Aug 2012 <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article74600954>.
"FLEMINGTON POLICE COURT." The Essendon Gazette and Keilor, Bulla and Broadmeadows Reporter (Moonee Ponds, Vic. : 1914 - 1918) 31 May 1917: 3 Edition: Morning. Web. 28 Aug 2012 <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article74602661>.
"Arrears of Maintenance." The Essendon Gazette and Keilor, Bulla and Broadmeadows Reporter (Moonee Ponds, Vic. : 1914 - 1918) 22 Nov 1917: 2 Edition: Morning. Web. 28 Aug 2012 <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article74604381>.
"FLEMINGTON-POLICE COURT." The Essendon Gazette and Keilor, Bulla and Broadmeadows Reporter (Moonee Ponds, Vic. : 1914 - 1918) 20 Dec 1917: 2 Edition: Morning.. Web. 28 Aug 2012 <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article74604660>.
"FLEMINGTON POLICE COURT." The Essendon Gazette and Keilor, Bulla and Broadmeadows Reporter (Moonee Ponds, Vic. : 1914 - 1918) 17 Jan 1918: 2 Edition: Morning. Web. 28 Aug 2012 <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article74604859>.
"Tuesday, March 26." The Essendon Gazette and Keilor, Bulla and Broadmeadows Reporter (Moonee Ponds, Vic. : 1914 - 1918) 28 Mar 1918: 2 Edition: Morning. Web. 28 Aug 2012 <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article74605514>.
"Tuesday, April 23." The Essendon Gazette and Keilor, Bulla and Broadmeadows Reporter (Moonee Ponds, Vic. : 1914 - 1918) 25 Apr 1918: 3 Edition: Morning. Web. 28 Aug 2012 <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article74605757>.
"Arrears of Maintenance." The Essendon Gazette and Keilor, Bulla and Broadmeadows Reporter (Moonee Ponds, Vic. : 1914 - 1918) 23 May 1918: 6 Edition: Morning. Web. 28 Aug 2012 <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article74606022>.
"FLEMINGTON POLICE COURT." The Essendon Gazette and Keilor, Bulla and Broadmeadows Reporter (Moonee Ponds, Vic. : 1914 - 1918) 11 Jul 1918: 2 Edition: Morning. Web. 28 Aug 2012 <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article74606540>.
"Tuesday, September 10." The Essendon Gazette and Keilor, Bulla and Broadmeadows Reporter (Moonee Ponds, Vic. : 1914 - 1918) 12 Sep 1918: 3 Edition: Morning. Web. 28 Aug 2012 <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article74607127>.
I haven't yet found if my great grandfather ever served any jail time or if there was further news coverage at later dates.

Thank you Trove for such a wonderful resource.

Monday, 27 August 2012

Bald Hill - Moyhu or Myrrhee?

These photos are in my grandmother's album and I would think had been taken around the late 1920s.



Some people nana remembered names for, others may have been surveyors.

The gentleman sitting at far left is my great grandfather William Thomas Morgan. (1872-1950)
There is also my grandmother, Daisy Morgan and her sister Clarice.
A Gladys Morgan, my nan's cousin.
Gladys is the daughter of Edward Morgan and Maria nee Patterson.

Other names are Wally Savage, Les Forge, Ollie Patterson, Norm Napier and Bob Forge.

I think the photo below may have been taken on the same day.  Nana has written on the back
"We us and company taken on top of Bald Hill".
some extra names on this photo are Bill Patterson, Mavis Morgan and surveyors.
I wonder what they were surveying.
© AncestorChasing 2012

Thursday, 23 August 2012

P is for ....... Occupations continued


PUBLICAN  

Is my contribution to Alona from Goulds
"Family History through the alphabet"  theme
















                                                   There was a PUB in my family

My great great grandparents, John and Alice Morgan started the original Cross Keys Hotel in North Essendon, Victoria in 1871.  I wondered why John named it the Cross Keys but through my research of the area he came from in Armagh, Ireland I was told there is a place called Cross Keys not far from where the Morgan family lived.

John Morgan purchased the block of land from Crown Grantee, William Jones, on the 10th of October 1859 for ₤81.  Read more here
I'm not sure if anything was on the land between him purchasing it and being granted the license in 1871.

On my wish list of books at Gould is Carole Rileys "Land research for family historians.



The Morgan's didn't seem to have the luck of the Irish even though Alice's brothers had done quite well with prospecting.   Michael Kelly had done quite well at the Kimberley in South Africa and Thomas Kelly in the New Zealand gold rushes.
  
In 1872 John and Alice Morgan's young daughter Margaret died of convulsions at the age of five.

John Morgan died of chronic alcoholism in 1880.  His wife Alice  then took over the license. 

In 1886 their second son Alexander moved to New Zealand where he was employed by the treasury department until his retirement.  It seems he had gone to join his Uncle Thomas Kelly.

Alice had a tough time in 1900 losing both her eldest son Francis Edward Morgan at 41 years of age and her youngest daughter Agnes age 25.  That year she was also fined ₤2 for selling under proof Brandy. Alice died in 1904 

Their son John Felix Morgan then became licensee but in 1907 he tragically drowned in the Hotel's water tank.  His wife Margaret (nee O'Meara) then took over the license until sometime around the mid to late 1920s.  I'm not sure if Margaret sold the pub or just closed it.  She and John had no children to hand it on to and and a new Hotel was built on the old site in about 1929 according to an article in the Argus newspaper.

Very helpful sites for researching Publicans are:
The  Cole-Tetlow Index of hotel records at the State Library of Victoria.
Sue O'Neill's Publican Index of 19th Century Victoria
and of course Trove  for the newspaper articles about licensing and excise matters.

my paternal grandparents.


Papa

As today is the 23rd ofAugust I must add to this post a birthday remembrance for my much loved paternal grandfather. 

James (Jim) Forsyth was born James Richard Musson on this day in 1906 at Belfast, Canterbury, New Zealand.

He died on the 16th of August 1976 here in Victoria, Australia.

My grandmother Brenda, nee Adams (pictured) was the grand daughter of John and Alice Morgan who owned the Pub.






 My family history through the alphabet list

Sunday, 19 August 2012

Sunday's Obituary - Allan Percy Fleming

On the Obituaries Australia website I've just found an obituary for my Mum's cousin, Allan Percy Fleming.
Allan was born in 1912, the son of Albert Henry Percival "Alf" Fleming and Margery Waters.
Albert Henry Percival "Alf" Fleming was the eldest brother of my grandfather, Archie Fleming.


Fleming, Allan Percy (1912–2001)

As a soldier, journalist and senior Commonwealth public servant, Allan Fleming had a long, distinguished and exceptionally varied career, marked at times by high romanticism.
Allan Fleming, 1971In all that he undertook, he showed initiative, creativity, ability to adapt readily to new situations and relate well to people. All these attributes were evident when, during the North African campaign in 1941 when he came face-to-face with the famed commander of the German Afrika Korps, General (later Field-Marshal) Rommel. This now almost legendary incident occurred during a tank battle in the midst of ‘Operation Crusader’, south of Tobruk. Fleming, then a captain, was serving with 60 or so other Australians with British forces as part of a unit co-ordinating air support for ground troops.
He and another Australian, Major Arch Molloy, were in a British command vehicle being pursued by the Germans as they raced to link up with some British tanks they could see in the distance. When they reached the tanks, they found they were in the hands of the Germans and they were captured. Taken to a German advanced post, a German motorcyclist turned up with a bottle of Fourex beer, which he had picked up from an overrun British canteen. After trying it himself, the German handed it to Fleming and Molloy, who polished it off. Suddenly, they heard the Germans around them shouting, ‘Rommel, Rommel’ and there he was arriving in his famous pose – peaked cap, silk scarf, goggles with hands on the windscreen of a Volkswagen command car. As General von Ravenstein, one of his divisional commanders, was showing him the British command vehicle, the Australians were summoned to join them.  Rommel was fascinated to learn that they were Australians and asked what others were in the battle, to which Fleming and Molloy gave a non-committal reply.
Rommel went on to say, ‘You Australians are not bad fighters’ and they replied, ‘Well, we think so’. When Rommel then told them, they would not win the war, Fleming, getting a bit cheeky, said, ‘We don’t think so, because we have a secret weapon’ and pointed to the bottle of Fourex. Giving them a quizzical look, Rommel moved on. After being dragged around with the Germans as the battle swirled around the countryside, Fleming and Molloy managed to liberate a truck and escape to their own lines. There they were summoned by the British commander, General (later Field-Marshal) Claude Auchinleck, who thought they might have information about Rommel’s strength and intentions.
Entering the Public Service through the Defence Department, Fleming played a  significant part in the formative stages of Australia’s post-war military intelligence agencies as director of the Joint Intelligence Bureau, Controller of Joint Intelligence, later becoming an assistant secretary, then Controller Joint Service Organisations. Later he held senior positions in the Department of Trade and Industry before becoming Parliamentary Librarian and later National Librarian. At the behest of Sir Peter Lawler, as Secretary of the Department of Administrative Services, he came out of retirement in 1976 to spend two years as Commonwealth Government VIP Security Co-ordinator. In this, his last Public Service appointment, he was responsible for the general planning of security arrangements for all public figures.
However, Fleming, who has died in Melbourne from lung cancer aged 88, is probably best remembered in his role as National Librarian, to which he was appointed in 1970, having previously been Commonwealth Parliamentary Librarian for two years. Coming to the National Library in succession to the long-serving and legendary Sir Harold White, the task confronting Fleming was not an easy one, particularly as he was a non-librarian. This aroused a certain amount of ire among professional librarians, as it had when he went to the Parliamentary Library. But in his disarming way, he soon overcame this. Interestingly, it was Sir Harold White who had recruited him for the parliamentary job.
It was a time of change in library practice as computer technology began to be applied to the delivery of library services. Against this background, what he set about doing was to produce a national information policy oriented towards user needs. From the basis that, ‘you can’t get anywhere without people in libraries’, he built up staff with the expertise needed to integrate all areas of information and make it available to users as speedily as possible. And in seeking to extend the library’s scope beyond the humanities and social sciences, he sought to make information on science and technology available to library users. To do this, he was not averse to seeking co-operation of outside bodies and working with them.
With Fleming at the helm, the library entered a major development phase with his appointment of Alec Bolton, from Angus and Robertson, to establishing a publishing section; the acquisition of a major music collection and, in the film area, copies of the Cinesound-Movietone collection, now a prized item in Screensound Australia’s holdings.
The emphasis he put on the dissemination of information at the National Library, was a natural progression from what he had put in train after becoming Parliamentary Librarian in 1968. There he had consolidated and expanded the research service, established on a small scale a few years previously. The service was greatly enhanced by the introduction of a subject ‘groups’ concept, which led to substantial increases in output as measured against the number of requests. As well as generally building up staff, another of his projects was to encourage and foster the development of the current information section.
Born in Melbourne on March 5, 1912, after his parents moved there from Whitfield, north-eastern Victoria, Fleming was educated at Lee Street State school, North Carlton, and on scholarships to Scotch College and Melbourne University, from where he graduated with an arts degree and, among other things, edited Farrago, the student newspaper. At Scotch, among his schoolmates were Geoffrey Hutton, Alan Moorhead and Ross Campbell, later well-known journalists, and Ted Laurie who became a communist lawyer. While at university, he helped support himself by taking up an offer to be a teacher-in-training and housemaster at Scotch. And it was there that he met is future wife, Margaret, a nursing sister, whom he married in Jaffa in 1940, after she managed to secure passage on the last ship allowed to carry civilian passengers to the Middle East and actually arrived before his ship docked.
He abandoned the prospect of a teaching career when offered a place as a cadet reporter on the now defunct Melbourne Argus. Approached by the Herald papers in Melbourne, Fleming went to the Courier-Mail, Brisbane, where he became assistant editor of the Sunday-Mail, and wrote leaders (editorials) and a daily column for the Courier-Mail. Enlisting in the AIF as a private in 1939, he saw service in North Africa, Greece, New Guinea and the South-West Pacific. He rose to Lieutenant-Colonel, having been commissioned before leaving for the Middle East, and, after various intelligence appointments, finished the war as air liaison officer Advanced Land Headquarters. He was awarded the OBE and twice mentioned in despatches.
Another short stint in journalism at the Sun, Melbourne, followed; he was senior magazine editor and a columnist. His career in the Public Service began when, at the instigation of Charles Spry, then director of Military Intelligence, he applied and was appointed director of the Joint Intelligence Bureau. He went on to become Controller of Joint Intelligence before serving as assistant secretary 1949-53 and Controller of the Joint Services Organisation (1953-58). Then he switched to Trade and Industry with three years in Paris as Trade Commissioner, four years in Canberra as a first assistant secretary in the international and policy divisions and a further year in London as special commercial adviser. While at Trade, he led delegations to GATT and UNCTAD and was president of the UNCTAD board in 1965. In 1968 he became Parliamentary Librarian and two years later National Librarian. His last Public Service appointment was in 1976 when he was appointed Commonwealth Government VIP Security Co-ordinator. There, until 1978, he was responsible for the general planning of security arrangements for all public figures and for ensuring that all the agencies involved worked together and knew what each other was doing.
Though he had no specific training for most of the jobs he ended up in, he never left any of them without having made a significant contribution. This was recognised with the award of a CBE in 1979. After his retirement, he lived quietly in Melbourne with his wife, Margaret, who predeceased him in 1999. His daughter Alannah and his grandchildren survive him.
Allan Percy Fleming, Born March 5, 1912; died January 18, 2001.

Original publication

  • Canberra Times, 26 January 2001, p 23
  • Sydney Morning Herald, 23 January 2001, p 27

Additional Resources

Related Entries in NCB Sites

Citation details

Farquharson, John, 'Fleming, Allan Percy (1912–2001)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://oa.anu.edu.au/obituary/fleming-allan-percy-387/text388, accessed 19 August 2012.


Friday, 17 August 2012

O is for .... Occupations

This is my O contribution to the  Family History through the Alphabet Challenge  by Alona from Gould Genealogy.

Knowing or finding out our ancestors Occupations  helps enormously with researching their families as many continued on in the same line of work even if they moved away.
A number of my ancestral families have followed the same occupations for generations.
My research has produced, as do many family trees, a few good old "ag labs"  

I've also found grocers in London, England,  builders and bricklayers in Essex, England whose descendants carried on the same trade here in Australia. I had wheelwrights in Lincolnshire, Carters in New Zealand, a currier (tanner) in Australia as well as miners, blacksmiths, drystone dykers, gardeners, shepherds and many domestic servants.

I'm very pleased to have had 3rd great grandfathers who were farmers in Ireland as without the  Griffith's Valuation Rolls I probably wouldn't have got as far as I have with my Irish research.

My Forsyth families in Aberdeenshire Scotland were meal millers for many generations.  The earliest (confirmed) found in parish records is my 5th great grandfather, James Forsyth.  He was a meal miller at the Mill of Auchterellon in 1781.
He may also have had a brother, Alexander Forsyth, who was a meal miller at Little Mill of Esselmont.

James Forsyth's son Alexander (my 4th great grandfather) was also a meal miller.
Alexander's first three children (1811 to 1815) were born at Old Mill Foveran where some of the old buildings still stand.
His next 7 children's births were all registered at Ellon.
They were most likely born at the Mill of Broomfield as by 1841 Alexander was miller there until about 1851 when he moved to the Mill of Aberdour.
His older son James stayed on as master miller at the Mill of Broomfield until the late 1870s when he moved back to the Old Mill at Foveran where his older siblings had been born.

I'm told nothing remains of the Mill of Broomfield.

When Alexander retired at Aberdour, his next eldest son Robert (my 3rd great grandfather) took over as head miller.  My great great grandfather, also Robert Forsyth who was born in 1852, became a Miller at the Mill of Aberdour until he and his wife decided to pack up and head to New Zealand in 1874 where he became a farmer at Kaiapoi  just North of Christchurch.

The following photos are what today remains of the Mill of Aberdour.  They were very kindly taken for our family history research by Patrick and Dorothy Forsyth.  Patrick's ancestors stayed in Scotland.
It is wonderful to have someone living in the area who knows so much about the family's history.






To be continued .......................



Sunday, 12 August 2012

N is for ... Nhill

Nhill is a town in the Wimmera in Western Victoria.
I haven't visited there yet but it is on my "to do" list as Nhill may hold some family secrets.
Recently in Trove I found the death notice for my ggg grandmother, Ellen Fleming, in 1885. 
She was living with her daughter, Annie Convary, at Nhill in Victoria's West.

Gould Genealogy 
In 1896 at Nhill, Annie was burnt to death in her home.  

Her life is a bit of a riddle. It seems she may have had 2 or 3 marriages but we can't find any record of them.

Annie was 63 years of age according to her death certificate even though a couple of news reports say 53 years.
She may have first been married to someone with the surname Kiblin/Kibbing/Kibbin and then to a Joseph Harris.  On her death certificate there were 3 children by a former marriage but this marriage was not listed. These children appear to have the surname Harris.
Five other children were listed from her marriage to Peter Convary/Convery but no certificate or registration has been found for this marriage.
Peter was killed in a mine accident at Sebastopol in 1869.
He seems to have 2 death certificates. Informant on one is the police constable who was present at the inquest and on the other informant is the Coroner.
Is one in error containing incorrect information and the other made to correct it, or did he have 2 wives?

His death certificate naming Anne Fleming as his wife has four children but no names or ages.  Unless the last two of Annies Harris children were actually Peters ..............................

The last 3 of Annie's children who are listed on her death certificate were born after 1869 (the year of Peter's death)

Annie's great granddaughter, Margaret, is still trying to sort and  piece together information.

Click here to read Margaret's blog

Below are transcripts of some of the news articles.

Precis of inquest taken from the Nhill Free Press Tuesday 28 January 1896.
'FATAL FIRE AT NHILL 12-45  am MONDAY JANUARY 27 1896.

Annie Convary, resident of Church Hill in Nhill was burnt to death in her home - aged 63 years.  Deceased was the mother of a large family, most of whom were absent from Nhill at the time of the fire.
Occupants of the house beside the above were daughter Ellen, William Huntly, son James Harris - both children.  William Huntly was the grandson of Annie Convary.
Annie, James Harris and Ellen slept in the one room.  Huntly in the adjoining room.  Annie woke Ellen saying the house was on fire and Ellen took Harris outside and returned to wake Huntly.  She did not see her mother again.  House was ablaze when fire brigade arrived and it was impossible to make any entry to the house.
The coroner returned the verdict that Annie Convary was burnt to death with no evidence to show how the fire originated.
Annie Convary occupied a house on allotment 11 section 1 Langford street Nhill.
Shire rate books of 1894, 1895, 1896 upon which arrears of water rates were owing.

Nhill Newspaper, January 26, 1896
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Fatal Fire at Nhill - sad end of a widow - Burned to death in her cottage.
About a quarter to one o'clock on Monday morning the bell of the fire brigade rang out its warning notes, and in a remarkably short space of time a large majority of the townsfolk was astir, each enquiring of the other the locale of the fire.  It was soon ascertained that a house on Church Hill, in which a family named Convary were living, was in flames.  The brigade responded to the summons with praise-worthy alacrity, but the fire had got well under way before the alarm was given, so that it was plain on its arrival at the scene that there was no hope of saving the building.  The pressure of water was good, and two streams were got on to the flames.  In the meantime it became known that Mrs. Convary was confined in the doomed building.  This was first made known by her daughter Ellen, who was in a distracted state, bordering on frenzy.  On being questioned by Mounted-constable Kroon, who was amongst the first arrivals, the unfortunate girl appeared quite unable to give a coherent statement.  When the fire had pretty well exhausted itself a search was made for the remains of Mrs. Convary, and they were found under the debris of one of the front rooms.  The body was terribly charred beyond recognition, and the legs were missing.  It was at once removed to the police station under the direction of Senior-constable Montiford.  The origination of the fire is shrouded in mystery.  Besides the deceased, her daughter Ellen and two little grandsons were the only occupants of the house at the time of the outbreak, which according to a subsequent statement by her daughter, deceased first discovered.  She evidently had plenty of time to escape, but it is presumed that she lingered too long  in the room and was overpowered by the smoke.  With the exception of a few burns sustained by one boy named Harris the other occupants of the house escaped injury.  The whole of the family's belongings was destroyed.  Deceased, who had resided in Nhill for some time, was the mother of a large family most of whom were absent from Nhill at the time of the sad occurrence.  Fuller particulars are furnished in the depositions taken at the Magisterial Inquiry.

Magisterial Inquiry
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~`
A Magisterial Inquiry was held at the Court House Yesterday morning, before Mr. J. Young, J.P. Senior-constable Montiford represented the Crown.
Ellen Convary deposed: I am a daughter of the deceased woman, whose name was Annie Convary.  She was a widow, 53 years of age, living at Church Hill, Nhill.  I was at home with her on Sunday evening.  Besides me there were in the house when we went to bed, my mother, William Huntly, and James Harris, the two latter are children.  I slept in the same room as my mother in a separate bed.  The boy, James Harris, slept with my mother.  We went to bed about eight o'clock.  I was awakened by my mother, who told me the house was on fire.  She had Jim Harris in her arms.  When I awoke the room was on fire, and I went outside with Jimmy Harris, and returned for the boy William Huntly.  Huntly was sleeping in another room just behind ours.  When I returned for Huntly I did not see my mother.  At this time the flames were confined to the front room where my mother and I slept.  When I went to sleep Willie Huntly was reading to my mother.  I was asleep when Huntly left the room and cannot say whether the light was left burning or not.  There had been no drinking in the house during the day, and my mother was perfectly sober when she went to bed.  There was no fire about the house, as I saw the fireplace before going to bed.  I don't think my mother was dressed when she called me.  I was unable to get dressed.  I can from no ideas as to how the fire occurred.  The house was not insured.  My mothers life was not insured.  
William Huntly deposed:  I lived with my aunt and grandmother, the deceased.  I last saw my grandmother in her bed.  I was reading to her.  This was about 8 o'clock.  I think I was reading to her about half an hour.  My aunt was in bed asleep in the same room.  My grandmother after a time said I had read enough, and could go to bed.  My auntie Nellie awoke me saying the house was on fire.  My aunt took me out through the back door.  When I got up I saw flames rushing out of the middle door into the back room.  When I went out I looked back and the fire seemed to be coming out of the front room, opposite my grandmother's room.  There was a fireplace in the room where the fire was coming out of, but there had been no fire used in it for a long time.  When I finished reading I left the candle where it was, which was some distance from where my grandmother was sleeping.  I looked at the kitchen fire before going to bed, and there was no fire burning.
Thomas Murphy, captain of the Nhill Fire Brigade, deposed:  I was present at the fire at Convary's.  When the brigade got there the place was wholly on fire.  I, living near, reached the place before the brigade, the place was enveloped in flames.  I knew the room where the body was found.  It was impossible to get into it.  When we were able to get into the room the body was found lying on the right side with arms turned back, the feet were under the bed, the seat of the fire seemed to be in the room where the body was found.  A verdict was recorded that the deceased, Annie Convary, was burned to death at her residence, Church Hill, there being no evidence to show how the fire
originated, being apparently accidental.

 My family history through the alphabet list




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