Friday, 30 December 2016

KELLAM family DNA match

I have to say again that this genetic genealogy is a huge learning curve!

I think I have been lost for several months in FTDNA and GEDmatch websites trying to work out how I am related to those I share DNA with and watching for new matches.

I wrote about my first lucky break on matches to my KNIGHT family HERE AND HERE.

A few weeks later I sent an email to Ron who I later found out lives in Canada.
Ron and I shared a total of 25.7 centimorgans with me, the longest block being 20.5 centimorgans.
GEDmatch calculated our "Estimated number of generations to MRCA (most common recent ancestor) at 4.7

I was overjoyed at Ron's reply to my email in which I included my surname list.
He said "Hello Kerryn, how nice to hear from you, distant cousin! We scored!
Quick response is, it's the Kelhams, of Waltham on the Wolds, in North Leicestershire.
My paternal grand father's ancestors were Kelhams from there.  My grandfather and great grandfather came to Canada in 1905 from the Nottingham area in England. "

Ron attached a relationship chart.
We shared common 5th great grandparents.
My 3rd great grandmother, Mary KELLAM married Mark BIRD (although I have found no record of the marriage) They both died in 1834.

Their daughter, my 2nd great grandmother Catherine BIRD, emigrated to New Zealand with her first husband Thomas MUNTON and their two daughters.  Thomas died soon after arrival and Catherine remarried to my 2nd great grandfather William MUSSON.

Interestingly, Ron's 4th great grandfather Charles KELHAM married an Ann MUSSON at Waltham on the Wolds, Leicestershire in 1790.  I haven't yet found a link for Ann to my MUSSON line though.  Perhaps Ron and I are "double cousins".

My earlier paper trail genealogy research had found two other descendants of Mary KELLAM and Mark BIRD, Cathy and Corrinne, who share my passion for family history.
We have shared some great discoveries.



I would like to thank Corrinne for making it possible for me to take the FTDNA family finder test. XX

Tuesday, 13 December 2016

Kiely family of Edi Upper

My Mum's paternal grand-aunt Amelia Agnes "Millie" HART married Edmund Wills (or Wells) KIELY in Victoria in 1901.

Millie was born in 1879 at Echuca, the sister of my Mum's grandmother, Margaret HART.  They were daughters of Peter HART, originally from Huntingdonshire, England, and Agnes MASON.

Millie and Edmund KIELY had 7 children all born in the Wangaratta region, Victoria where they farmed for many years.

One of the boys in 1912 swallowed strychnine and luckily survived.


Edmund Kiely died in 1935.


Millie KIELY nee HART died in 1971 at the grand age of 92 years.
Longevity seems to run in the family as Mum's grandmother also lived to her 90s as did many of the HART sisters.


Wednesday, 9 November 2016

Knight family Wiltshire to Australia 1842

Update to my post of 29 September about My first foray into DNA for genealogy

When Karen told me she hadn't been able to find Martha KNIGHT's arrival in Australia I began searching.  According to her newspaper obituaries Martha's sister, my great-great-grandmother, Ann Jane KNIGHT, was said to have arrived in Australia in 1847 from Gloucestershire.  I don't know who supplied the information.

According to information given to Karen by other family members, the family came from Trowbridge in Wiltshire.

The DNA matches of we four KNIGHT descendants do agree with these findings.

In the 1841 census, John KNIGHT was a weaver living with his family at Melksham, Trowbridge.


John had married Ann LUCAS on April 8, 1824, in Trowbridge, Wiltshire.

The Knight family, consisting of father John, mother Ann and daughters Sarah, Jane (my Ann Jane), Martha and Ruth arrived in Tasmania on the ship Orleana in 1842.

Ruth went into domestic service for George MacLean who was the Deputy Commissary General for Hobart. 


John went to work for a W Wilson of Davey Street.


The PINCHEN family also arrived on the Orleana.
In 1846 Ruth married William PINCHEN.  
They had five children born between 1849 and 1859 in Geelong, Victoria.
William 1849, Charles 1850, Jane 1853, Ellen 1855 and Elizabeth 1859.

William must have had health problems as there was the following notice in the Star newspaper of Ballarat in September 1857.

Ruth didn't stay with William though as records show in 1862 she had her first of six children with John TEASDALE.
Florence born 1862 at Creswick, Victoria.  
John Knight born 1864 at Spring Creek, Victoria.  
Ruth born 1866 at Happy Valley.  
Wallace born 1866 at Happy Valley.
Lucas born 1869 at Linton.
Alice Maud born 1871 Spring Creek.

Ruth PINCHEN married John TEASDALE in 1883.
Ruth died in 1915; death Registration Number 12228

On the 9th of September 1852 in Geelong, Martha KNIGHT married James WHITE. 
Witnesses were William and Ruth PINCHEN.

Martha and James had two children, Elizabeth Ann born 6 September 1853 at Ballarat, Victoria and James William born 11 September 1855 at Ballarat East.
On the 6th of September 1863 at Geelong Martha married Henry Phillip MARETT.
They had nine children at Ballarat.
Esther Zitella - 1858
Henry Phillip - 1860
Alfred Thomas - 1861
Jane Amelia  -  1864
Sophia Julia  - 1866
Martha Letitia - 1868
Selena Janvin - 1871
Emily Maude - 1872
Francis James - 1875

Martha's husband, Henry Phillip MARETT died at Leederville, Western Australia on the 6th February 1905.
Martha died on the 9th of December 1907 at Caulfield, Victoria.

I have yet to find deaths for John KNIGHT and his wife Ann nee LUCAS.

Monday, 7 November 2016

Peter Webster MASON - Trove Tuesday

A further confirmation of the details and death of my 3rd great-grandfather, Peter Webster MASON, was found this week by his great-great-grandson Steve Wakely.

Thanks Steve.


(1892, April 4). The Bendigo Independent (Vic. : 1891 - 1918), p. 2. from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article174510836

Tuesday, 25 October 2016

A nasty experience for young Elizabeth Mason of Myer's Creek

Elizabeth MASON was born about 1845 in Cupar, Fife, Scotland.
She was the second eldest daughter of my 3rd great grandparents, Peter Webster MASON and Margaret Leslie nee CARSTAIRS.  

Peter and Margaret Mason sailed from Plymouth, UK aboard  the "Cheapside"  on the 21st of May 1848. They reached Port Phillip on the 18th of August as assisted immigrants with children Andrew aged 2 and Susan aged 3 months.   
Elizabeth did not come to Australia with her parents because she was sick in 1848.  She arrived on the "Ebba Brahe" on 8 Dec 1857 as a Governess. 
Peter and Margaret's next 8 children were born in Victoria.  One being my great great grandmother, Agnes MASON.

Not long after her arrival as a young teenager, poor Elizabeth had a rather nasty experience.

EAGLEHAWK POLICE COURT. (1858, November 23).
Bendigo Advertiser (Vic. : 1855 - 1918), p. 2.,
 http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article87985087
Transcription:
Bendigo Advertiser (Vic. : 1855 - 1918), Tuesday 23 November 1858, page 2

EAGLEHAWK POLICE COURT.

Monday, 22nd November, 1858.

(Before Messrs. L McLachlan, P.M., and

J. Ganley, J.P.)

THE EFFECTS OF THE BOTTLE-John Williams, who has been detained for some time on remand, having been suffering from delirium tremens, the result of his excesses, was cautioned and discharged.

CRIMINAL ASSAULT.- Duncan Robinson, alias McCullum, was brought up on remand charged with feloniously and criminally assaulting one Elizabeth Mason, at Myers' Flat, on the 17th instant.

Mr. O'Loughlin appeared for the defence. The Court having been cleared,

Elizabeth Mason who is a rather good-looking-girl of about fourteen years of age, but with a peculiar look of slyness and cunning in her physiognomy-deposed that she was the daughter of Peter Mason, a dairyman at Myers' Creek. Knows the prisoner; on Wednesday morning last, between nine and ten o'clock, prosecutrix was selling milk at Pegleg Gully; was at the tent of a man named Henry, who is living with, or is the husband of Christina Robinson (the sister of the prisoner). The prisoner and another man were sitting in the tent at the time. On leaving, the woman told her to call back at dinner-time for the money. On leaving and going to Sailor's Gully, there was no one with her. On returning from Sailor's Gully, between 11 and 12 o'clock, the prosecutrix again called at the tent of the prisoner's sister to get payment for the milk, she had sold her in the morning. On looking into the tent, she saw the woman lying on the floor. Saw the prisoner come round the corner of the tent, told prosecutrix to go inside the tent, which she refused to do. There was another man with the prisoner.

[The husband of a female witness was found to be tampering with the witness, and endeavoring to drive her off by threats. He was immediately consigned to the logs.]

Prosecutrix then went away towards home. The prisoner came after her and said, " Come here; I want to speak to you." Prosecutrix then ran away. The prisoner followed, and caught her about half way between the tent and the schoolhouse. He seized hold of the prosecutrix, who pushed him, and he fell over a stone. The prisoner again got up and followed the prosecutrix, and laid hold of her again. Witness screamed and said to prisoner that she would tell Henry. Prisoner said, " Will you tell lies upon me:" Prosecutrix was thrown down on her knees. She screamed "Murder," and said, " I'll tell my father." Prisoner threatened to kill her " if she told any more lies on him to her father." She then pushed him off and ran away. After running some distance, the prisoner caught her and stopped her, and prevented her from going into the school-house by saying that he would take her home. Prosecutrix again screamed "Murder!" she called out also, "Mrs. Enright," and the woman came and drove the prisoner off. She said to him, "What are you doing to the girl ?" Prisoner said "I am driving her home to her father." Mrs. Enright said to him. .' Go away, or I'll break your head ! " Mr. Enright then took the witness to the tent of a woman named Marshall, and afterwards went to Mrs. Enright's tent. The prosecutrix, after waiting a few minutes, left for home, and on her road, about half way home, on a bush road, met the prisoner, and another man (John Hunt). The prosecutrix endeavored to reach a tent belonging to Mrs. Richter; the prisoner ran after her, Hunt being left behind; the prosecutrix then picked up a large stone and ran away, the prisoner following; overtook her, and pulled her bonnet or hat off, breaking the ties in doing so; he then seized her, drew the shawl which she was wearing over her head, struck her, and kicked her; she then fell on the ground. [The remainder of the evidence, which is unfit for publication, fully substantiated the capital charge.] Immediately on arriving at home she informed her mother and father of what had occurred.

In answer to the questions of Mr. O'Loughlin she stated that she had on one occasion run away from home, and gone to Barker's Creek ; that was about three months since ; her friends found her at a public-house. Nothing of any further consequence was elicited.

By the Bench : When she went to Barker's Creek, she went alone ; she took with her 10s., which she took from a shelf; she went to the Barker's Creek Hotel to nurse the baby at 10s. per week ; on the second night her mother came for her, and she returned with her; why she left her father's house was because her father had threatened to beat her for "something." [After a great deal of pressing and threatening with the pains of' imprisonment for contumely, the witness admitted that the " something" was telling lies.] She had been in the colony about a twelvemonth; she came from Cupar, in Fifeshire.

Mary Enright, a widow, residing in Dead Horse Flat, deposed that on the day referred to she saw the prisoner and the prosecutrix together near the road in Pegleg Gully; heard the prisoner say to the girl, " go on;" heard the girl give the prisoner a stiff answer ; witness gave the prisoner a blowing up. After a long course of malingering, fencing, and prevarication, the threat from the Bench of twenty-four hours imprisonment, brought her to her senses, and she further deposed to a conversation with the prisoner, in which she asked what was he doing with the girl? He said that was nothing to the witness. She said that he should not use the girl so, and chucked a stone at the prisoner, because she saw him handling the girl; witness took the girl home and gave her a drink; she was not crying.

Maria Falcon Egan deposed that she knew the prisoner and the prosecutrix; on Wednesday she heard the cries of a girl in the bush, it was a cry of lamentation, not of murder, and afterwards saw a man pushing the prosecutrix about; she could not with certainty identify the prisoner as that man ; she eventually swore to the prisoner as being the man; the girl came down about five minutes afterwards with Mrs. Enright; the girl had been crying; told witness that a man had been pulling her through the bush, and had asked her to go home with him; a little girl, named Dolly Wright, came and told the prosecutrix that two men were watching for her; Mrs. Enright promised to see the girl safe home, and prosecutrix and she went together.

The case was at this stage remanded till Thursday, for the production of the witness Dolly Wright.
http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article87987592
Transcription:
Bendigo Advertiser (Vic. : 1855 - 1918), Friday 26 November 1858, page 3

EAGLEHAWK POLICE COURT.

Thursday, 25th November, 1858.

(Before Mr. L. M'Lachlan, P.M.)

DRUNKENNESS.—Two persons were fined five shillings each on this charge ; and another, who pleaded that the heat of the weather on Monday last had made his head bad, was fined one shilling.

RAPE —Duncan Robertson, who had been remanded from Monday on a charge of criminally assaulting Elizabeth Mason, was again brought up. Mr. O'Loughlin defended the prisoner. The following additional evidence for the prosecution was taken,

Janet Ann Wright, a little girl ten years of age, deposed that on a day last week (witness could not recollect distinctly which day) she was near Mrs. Falcon Egan's house, in Pegleg Gully, when she saw the prisoner chasing the prosecutrix amongst the bushes, and push her down. She saw Mrs. Enwright (another witness) take up a stone, and throwing it at him tell him to let the girl alone. He answered that she had nothing to do with the girl.

Eleanor Marshall deposed that she was in her own tent with Mrs. Egan 0n Wednesday week last, when hearing an unusual noise outside the tent they went to the door, and saw the prisoner darting past through the bushes. Shortly afterwards Mrs. Enwright and the prosecutrix came into the tent. She appeared as if she had been crying.

Margaret Mason, the mother of the prosecutrix, deposed that she left the house on the morning of Wednesday week last, shortly after six o'clock, to go to Pegleg Gully with some milk, which she was in the habit of taking round to the customers. When she returned, about twelve o'clock, sha was greatly agitated and crying. From information which her daughter communicated to her, witness examined prosecutrix, and found indications of her having been violently abused. She did not take her to a medical man that day.

Dr. Sorley deposed that ho examined the prosecutrix on Thursday, tho 18th inst., but found no particular marks of violence. The prosecutrix had arrived at the age of womanhood six months since. He was of opinion that the chastity of the prosecutrix had been violated previously, There were no indications of recent violence.

Senior Constable A'Hern, stationed at Myer's Flat, stated that when he took the prisoner into custody, at Fletcher's Creek, he resisted in a violent manner, and it was only with the assistance of another constable that ha was secured and conveyed in a spring-cart to Myer's Flat Police Station.

The prisoner, who reserved his defence, was committed for trial at the next Circuit Court.

CIRCUIT COURT. (1859, March 11).
Bendigo Advertiser (Vic. : 1855 - 1918), p. 3.,
 http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article87987592
Transcription:
RAPE.
Duncan Robinson was informed against for having criminally assaulted Elizabeth Mason, on the 17th November.

Mr. O'Loughlin appeared for the prisoner.

The counsel for the Crown, in opening the case, said that they had been unable to obtain the presence of one of the witnesses for the prosecution (Mrs. Enwrigbt.) They had subpoenaed her, but she could not be found. After stating the case, he called Elizabeth Mason, the prosecutrix, a girl about 14 years of age, who deposed that she lived with her father at Myers Creek, who was a dairyman.
On the day mentioned in her information she went to the tent of a Mrs. Henry, where the prisoner's
sister stopped. When she returned to Mrs. Henry's, about twelve o'clock, to get paid for the milk she had left in the morning, and was leaving, the prisoner came round from the back, and after
asking her to go inside the tent, and on her refusing he followed her. She walked away fast, and he overtook her and laid his hand on her shoulder.

She told him to let her alone, or she would tell his brother-in-law. He threatened to knock her head off if she did. He would not let her go, and she gave him a knock and pushed him away, when he fell. She ran away, and prisoner ran after her, and again overtook her. She called out to a Mrs. Enwright, whom she saw. and she coming up, took up a stone, and throwing it at prisoner, told him to let her (prosecutrix)
alone. She went to Mrs. Enwright's tent, and after staying about ten minutes she left, and again saw the prisoner, who again ran after her, and overtaking her committed the criminal assault upon her. This was in a place between her father's place and Dead Horse Flat.

By His Honor : No one had ever used her in a similar manner before this occurrence.

Cross-examined by Mr. O'Loughlin : A man named John Hunt was with prisoner when she met him the second time. [The prosecutrix was submitted to a searching cross-examination, in order to show compliance on her part, which she, however, denied.] She had once ran away from home, and gone to Barker's Creek. She did so because her father threatened to beat her. It was not for telling lies.

The depositions of the prosecutrix were read, but did not show any very material discrepancy with her present testimony, except that on that occasion she stated to the Bench that her father had threatened to beat her for telling lies, which was the cause of her running away.

His Honor remarked that the depositions were taken in the most careless manner possible, as were all that came before him In that Court.

There was no telling by them what a witness did say.

By a Juror: She did not leave her father's house four months ago, and take shelter in a farm house near Bullock Creek.

The Juror wished a witness sent for, who would prove that she was not telling the truth in this instance. The witness was accordingly sent for.

Mary Falcon Egan deposed that she saw the prisoner running after, the girl and knock her down amongst the bushes. She was standing at her tent door

By Mr. O'Louglilin: She had never seen the prisoner before that occasion. She was rather short-sighted, but she had a glass which she used on that occasion.

Janet Ann Wright, a girl ten years of age, who was with the prosecutrix when they first met the prisoner, stated she saw him chasing prosecutrix through tile bushes. She saw Mrs. Enwright throw a stone at prisoner for running after the prosecutrix.

Margaret Mason, the mother of the girl, deposed to having examined the prosecutrix, in consequence of a complaint she made on her return home, and finding indications of her having been treated with great violence.

Dr. Sorley, of Eaglehawk, who examined the girl on the 18th of November last, gave medical testimony to the effect that if the criminal assault had been committed, it was not accompanied with violence. With a girl of that age, the assault might have been committed without leaving any traces of violence.

James Shine (the witness spoken of by the juror), was called, and, on the prosecutrix appearing, he stated that he believed the girl, whom himself and wife had sheltered about four months ago at Bullock Creek, wa3 tho same. He could not, however, swear to it. She stated then that her name was Mason, and that her father kept cows, and lived at Myer's Creek. They sheltered her for a week.

The prosecutrix, in answer to His Honor, denied ever having seen the witness.

This was the case for the prosecution.

Mr. O'Loughlin having addressed the jury for the defence, called John Hunt (at present under sentence for a robbery committed in company with the prisoner on the same day as that on which the present alleged offence was committed), deposed that when they met the prosecutrix, prisoner, after enquiring of her if she was going home, asked her to give him a kiss, but added, that he supposed she would be telling her father. She replied, that
there was no b-y fear; she was not that b-y flat. He was in company with prisoner all day, and saw nothing of the offence sworn to.

The Crown Prosecutor replied at considerable length; and His Honor having summed up, the jury, after an absence of about twenty minutes, returned a verdict of guilty.

Sentence of death was recorded; His Honor stating that, while his life would be spared, he would confer with the Executive Government, as to the amount of punishment his crime should receive.




Stay tuned for the rest of Elizabeth's story to be told by her great-grandson, Steve Wakely who has done extensive research and shared many family stories.


Thursday, 29 September 2016

My first foray into DNA for genealogy

I have recently had an autosomal DNA test done by FTDNA.
I was so excited when my results came back the other day.  
What a huge learning curve!
I uploaded the raw DNA data to GEDmatch and waited for those results to come through.
Once they had, the third highest match shown in my results was a known third cousin with whom I have done a lot of family research.
The top two and the fifth highest DNA matches to me in my GEDmatch results indicated fairly close relationships.
The fifth match was Karen who contacted me saying she believed she would be a third cousin once removed and the other two would be third cousins.
It turned out they are descendants of a John KNIGHT as am I.
My maternal great-great-grandmother, Anne Jane KNIGHT was born about 1832. She married William Finlay FLEMING in Melbourne in 1852.

They went on to have thirteen children, the fifth being my great grandfather, Donald FLEMING.  
Ann Jane died aged 88 years on the 10th of November 1920 at the home of her daughter, Mrs. Matilda WORRALL.

One of the newspaper obituaries for our Ann Jane FLEMING states she was born in Gloucestershire and arrived in Australia with her parents in 1847. 
Another stated she arrived in 1847 with her parents and 2 sisters, since deceased. 
The birthplace on her death certificate is only recorded as England, the informant was her son John Knight Fleming.

It looks like she may have actually come from Trowbridge in Wiltshire which is roughly only 30 to 50 miles south of Gloucestershire.
The 1841 census has a Knight family, John, a weaver, age 40, his wife Ann age 40 and their daughters, Ruth age 13 (b 1828), Sarah age 11 (b 1830), Jane age 8 (b 1833) and Martha age 6 (b1835) living at Timbrell Street, Trowbridge in Wiltshire.
Karen is a descendant of Martha KNIGHT. 
In her email, Karen says "If Martha is indeed the sister of Ann Jane, which the DNA suggests, there’s still some mystery. I’ve never found when Martha arrived in Australia, the earliest record of her here that I have found is her marriage to a James White in Geelong in 1852. 
A William Pinchen (one of the witnesses) married a Ruth Knight … which fits with records I currently have as Ruth being one of Martha’s sisters.
Other cousins visited Trowbridge in Wiltshire a few years ago and tracked down details of Martha, her parents, and siblings.
HOWEVER … Martha is a bit of a mystery … on various birth certificates for her children she gives her name as Martha Lane / Lain / Knight … and usually from Trowbridge, Wiltshire. I’ve never found any record of her marrying her partner / my ancestor Henry Philip Marett."

Our Ann Jane named daughters Ruth and Sarah. 
I have repeatedly searched passenger lists etc for the Knight family with no luck.  
There is a marriage in Trowbridge 8 April 1824 for a John KNIGHT and an Ann LUCAS.  

Tuesday, 30 August 2016

Tipperary Ancestors - Week 4 NFHM blogging challenge.

I do love my "sunburnt country" and most of my ancestors, except my paternal grandfather, have been here since the mid to late 1800s.  They all settled in Victoria and pretty much stayed here.  I have enjoyed researching them all but my contribution for week 4 will be to record current research I have done on my Tipperary ancestors.

I have known the origins and parents names of my great great grandmother, Alice KELLY nee MORGAN for some years now and have researched later information on her and all but one of her five brothers who came to Australia.

Margaret Alice KELLY (known as Alice) was baptized in December 1834 at Dualla, Tipperary, Ireland to parents Cornelius KELLY and Mary MULLOUGHNY/MOLOUGHNEY.
Sponsors were Laurence MOCKLER and Judith DWYER viccs (which I am told means standing in for) Judith MULLOUGHNY.

image from ancestry.com.au 
                                Ireland, Catholic Parish Registers, 1655-1915
                           
Cornelius (Con) and Mary were married on the 6th of February 1834 at Dualla by Reverend William Kirwan in the presence of Daniel D Corkoran (I think) and Daniel Mahony. The last word in the record also looks to be MOCKLER?

image from ancestry.com.au 
                                  Ireland, Catholic Parish Registers, 1655-1915

Their son's baptisms and further known details I have recorded HERE

Today I found a couple of possible baptism records that could fit Cornelius KELLY and Mary MULLOUGHNY.  The only problem is that the parent's names for these baptisms haven't been used for any of Con and Mary's children.  No naming pattern seems to fit.  Is that usual?

image from ancestry.com.au
Ireland, Catholic Parish Registers, 1655-1915

It is very hard to read but the transcription in ancestry.com.au is as follows:
Name: Cornelius Kelly
Baptism Age: 0
Event Type: Baptism
Birth Date: 1807
Baptism Date: 31 Jan 1807
Baptism Place: Gortnahoe, Tipperary, Ireland
Parish Variants: Glengoole, Gurtnahoe and Glengoole
Diocese: Cashel and Emly
Father: Philippi Kelly (Phillip Kelly)

Mother: Marie Dohony

Gortnahoe/Gortnahoo is about 30kms from Dualla.

and for Mary:

image from ancestry.com.au
 Ireland, Catholic Parish Registers, 1655-1915

Transcription in ancestry.com.au is as follows:
Name: Mary Mulloughny
Baptism Age: 0
Event Type: Baptism
Birth Date: 1807
Baptism Date: Aug 1807
Baptism Place: Moycarkey, Tipperary, Ireland
Parish Variants: Borris, Moycarkey and Borris, Moycarky, Mucharkey, Muckarkey, Muckarky
Diocese: Cashel and Emly
Father: Laurence Mulloughny

Mother: Mary Dwyre

Moycarky is about 12kms from Dualla.

I may be way off but at least this post will record these possibilities.  
One day perhaps I will find more clues.

Read more contributions here

NFHM blogging challenge theme for Week 4 - Sunday 28 August - Australian poet Dorothea Mackellar in her poem My Country talks of a "sunburnt country, a land of sweeping plains, of rugged mountain ranges, of droughts and flooding rains".  What does "country" or place mean to your family?  What makes your place unique or special? What are the features or landmarks  that stand out in your family history?

Monday, 22 August 2016

NFHM Blogging Challenge - Week 3 - August commemorations

Alex of Family Tree Frog has put the theme for Week 3 of the National Family History Month blogging challenge as - 
"Significant military battles are commemorated during the month of August such as Mouquet Farm in WWI and Milne Bay in WW2.  The Australian Comforts Fund was also founded in August 1916.  Did your ancestors have connections to these places or battles?  Is there another anniversary or significant event that your family commemorates/remembers in August?" 

Read more contributions here
In researching and recording the stories of soldiers in my family history I discovered that several had paid the ultimate sacrifice in the month of August during WW1.  
Click on their names to read their stories.

William John Pike MORGAN,  Private and bugler in the 14th Battalion A.I.F  was killed at the Battle of Lone Pine on the 8th of August 1915.   He was a first cousin of my maternal grandmother, Daisy FLEMING nee MORGAN.

Edmund James AH-KING - A Private in the 22nd Battalion A.I.F  was killed at Pozieres on the 5th of  August 1916.  Edmund was a first cousin of my maternal great grandmother, Margaret FLEMING nee HART.

William John BEATON - A Private in the 14th Battalion A.I.F was initially reported missing and many months later reported killed at Gallipoli on the 27th of August 1915.  William was a first cousin of my great great grandmother, Mary Ann MORGAN nee PIKE.

George FORSYTH - A Private in the 47th Battalion A.I.F was killed at Pozieres on the 9th of  August 1916.  George was a first cousin of my paternal great grandmother, Margaret Ann Hay MUSSON nee FORSYTH.

HERBERT JOHN MORGAN/WAKENSHAW - A Lance Corporal in the 22nd Battalion, 3rd reinforcements enlisted on the 19th of  July 1915.  He Died of wounds in France on the 5th of August 1916.  Herbert was a first cousin of my maternal grandmother, Daisy FLEMING nee MORGAN.

Joseph Stanley SAXON - A Private in the 22nd Battalion was killed in action on August 5th, 1916 at Pozieres.  Joseph was a first cousin of my maternal great-grandfather, William Thomas MORGAN.

Significant family anniversaries for August are:-

The birth of my paternal grandfather, James Richard MUSSON on the 23rd of August 1906 at Belfast, Canterbury, New Zealand and his death, as James Musson FORSYTH on the 16th of August 1976 at Mooroopna, Victoria, Australia.

The birthday of my maternal grandmother, Daisy FLEMING nee MORGAN  who was born on August 10, 1908, at Myrrhee, Victoria.

The death of my father in law, Allan Taylor on the 7th of August 1992 at Numurkah, Victoria, Australia.  He was 84 years of age.


Private George FORSYTH

George Forsyth enlisted in the 47th Infantry Battalion of the Australian Imperial Forces on the 24th of January 1916.  His rank was Private, service number 1654.
On his attestation paper, George stated he was born in the Parish of Pitsligo near Fraserburgh, Scotland.
He was 25 years and 3 months of age, single and gave his occupation as labourer.
George’s parents were John Gill Forsyth and Jane nee Birnie of Hillfoot, Cortes, Lonmay, Aberdeenshire, Scotland. (pictured above)
John Gill Forsyth was the younger brother of my great great grandfather Robert Forsyth who settled in Kaiapoi, New Zealand.
Thanks to Sandra Playle on the Australian genealogy facebook page I learnt that George enlisted at Charter’s Towers in Queensland.
His mother states on the Honour Roll form that he was 18 years of age when he came to Australia.
George was living in Friezland, via Cloncurry.His younger brother, Robert, had also enlisted but he was with the Gordon Highlanders in Scotland.
One question George was asked on his enlistment in Australia was “had he ever been rejected as unfit for His Majesty’s Service and if so for what reason?”
His reply …. Yes, defective teeth.George was 5 foot 7 and a half inches tall.  He weighed 136 pounds, chest measurement 36 inches.  Complexion fair, eyes blue, hair colour dark brown and his religious denomination was Presbyterian.The attesting officer who signed his enlistment form was Fred Johnson.
20 – 4 – 1916    Embarked at Sydney per H.M.T “Hawkes Bay”
27 – 5 – 1916    From 12th training Btn, allotted to 47th Battalion at Tel-el-kebir
2 – 6 – 1916    From H. T “Caledonia” proceeded to join B.E.F at Alexandria
9 – 6 – 1916    Disembarked at Marseilles.
The 47th Battalion was raised in Egypt on the 24th of February 1916.  About half its new recruits were Gallipoli veterans and the rest were fresh reinforcements from Australia, the majority being recruits from Queensland and Tasmania.
Arriving in France on 9 June 1916, the 47th entered the trenches of the Western Front for the first time on 3 July. It participated in its first major battle at Pozières. Initially, the battalion provided working parties during the 2nd Division’s attack on 4 August, and then, with its own division, defended the ground that had been captured. The 47th endured two stints in the heavily-contested trenches of Pozières
Transcript of Battalion war diary:
5 – 8 – 1916    Battalion moved from Tara Hill and took up position near Pozières as reserves to front line.
7 – 8 – 1916     at 6.30 am received message to reinforce front line occupied by 48th Battn.  despatched C Coy at 6.40am. Three platoons returned at 7.15 am and the other remaining.
At 2.30 pm commenced relief of front line occupied by 48th Battn. Relief was completed by 4.30 pm.  A  and D companies occupying front line.  O, G, I and B Coy in close supports in Tramway Trench.
One platoon of C Coy which reinforced the 48th Battalion at 6.40 am was sent back to join up with remainder of C Coy at Sunken Road.  C Coy remained in support.
The relief of the 48th Battalion was carried out under a heavy bombardment by the enemy and considerable casualties were inflicted on the Battalion.
On the 9th of August 1916 Private George Forsyth was killed in action at Pozières, although his sister, Jean Butcher of Taupo, New Zealand had received notification of his death on dates in both August and November 1916.  She wrote to the war minister In Nov 1917.
She received a reply in December.
On his war service record, it states that he is buried “500 yards N.E. of Pozières”.
Underneath are location co-ordinates 57D SE X5A R35C Martinpuich.
I am told the coordinates may be taken so they can go back and retrieve the body for burial.
Sometimes the bodies cannot be found and that is when the soldier’s name and details are put on the memorials.  I’ve yet to work out if George’s body was found for burial.
Martinpuich village is about a mile north-west of High Wood,and like the wood was captured on September the 15th, 1916.
It is ironic that troops of the 15th (Scottish) Division took the village.
Military historian Matt Smith of  http://www.australianwargraves.org    says “Martinpuich is the village NE of Pozieres. The name refers to the trench map, not where he was buried. George would have been killed and buried on the old German Line OG1 and OG2, probably attacking the Windmill site. It is the site of the current 2nd Australian Division memorial.”
commemorative certificate
George’s name is included on the Villers-Bretonneux memorial at Somme, France.
Both George and his brother Robert are also commemorated on the War Memorial at Rathen, Aberdeenshire, Scotland.
Rathen war memorial G and R Forsyth
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