Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Travel Tuesday - It's a long way from Tipperary

In the 1850 Griffiths Valuation Cornelius Kelly was leasing house land and office from M Penefather at Fussough near Dualla, Ballysheehan, Tipperary.

Yellow highlighted area is roughly map reference 8 on the old Griffiths Valuation map.  This is where Cornelius Kelly's leasehold was situated in 1850.

Cornelius Kelly and his wife Mary Moloughney married on the 6th of February 1834.
Cornelius had died about 1851.
I haven't found when Mary died but perhaps it was about 1858 as her three youngest sons, John, Thomas and William Kelly, aged 18, 15 and 13 resepectively, sailed from Tipperary to Melbourne, Australia just in time for their older sister Margaret's wedding in June 1858.

Margaret Alice Kelly, (known as Alice) my great great grandmother, had moved to Australia possibly about 6 years earlier and their older brother Michael had gone to South Africa to make his fortune.  He remained a bachelor.

All the brothers except John were interested in mining.  Michael did well in Kimberley, South Africa but contracted Tuberculosis and came to his sister in Melbourne where he died in 1898, age 62,  leaving large sums of money to his remaining family members.  Read Michael's Will.

Meanwhile in 1861, Thomas headed for the New Zealand gold rushes where he was one of the discoverers of Noble's Rush on the Grey River in 1865.  Read Thomas' story. 

William it seems was also a miner but a bit more elusive than his brothers.  I have obtained one death certificate which may be him but perhaps I'll never know.  William's story.

John Kelly became a Tanner and it seemed he had a rather tragic life.  His wife and one daughter both died in Melbourne in 1888.  It is on my "to do list" to find out what happened to them.  As yet all I know is his daughter died from accidental burns.  John's story

Dualla - a charming village in Co. Tipperary, nestled in between the local Kill Hills, Slieve na Mbhan (the mountain of women), and the distant Galtees. A lovely, modern church, a beautiful Grotto erected by local people, a Community Centre, tennis court, all add to the picturesque village on the road between historic Cashel and Killenaule.

At the foot of the Kill Hills, which was once thickly populated, can be seen the remains of Killballyherbry Church, built in the 13th century. This church was in use for the locals before Dualla was built. There is a graveyard nearby, where many of our ancestors are buried.

There are various interpretations of the origin of Dualla, but a widely accepted one in Duche Ui Cheallaigh - the land of Kelly.

A few miles down the road as you approach the main Dublin road can be seen the ruins of a Cistercian Monastery in Ballykelly.

The chief attractions of Dualla are it's unspoilt beauty, and the warm, welcoming and friendly people, who are always ready to greet friend and stranger with a Céad Míle Fáilte.

Dualla sounds like a beautiful place and it is my dream to one day visit my great great grandmother's homeland.

Bernard Riley

Thankfully mental health has improved considerably in the last couple of decades but it still has a long way to go.
My husband's great grandfather, Bernard Riley, "drove me mad" trying to find information .... Is it any wonder.
It's not known when he came to Australia but poor Bernard Riley died at the Ararat Benevolent Asylum on the 2nd of September1879.
I had purchased the death certificate that was the closest fit, according to age, to being the death of our Bernard as the details below show it held no helpful information.
Died 2 September, 1879 at Lunatic Asylum, Ararat age 43 years.
Occupation = Charcoal something I can't read, perhaps burner?
Parents not known.
Cause of death = disease of the Brain.
Magisterial Inquiry held.
Buried Ararat Cemetery.
Born Down, Ireland.
Widower, further particulars not known.
(this whole page of deaths was at lunatic Asylum)

A few years later I was in touch with another family member, Diane Schneider, who had been able to obtain the asylum records for the same Bernard Riley as she had more, earlier, family stories to go by when tracing Bernard.

The asylum in 1880
This image was created in Australia and is now classified as being in the public domain because its term of copyright has now expired.
A distinctive feature of the grounds of the Asylum were the Ha-Ha Walls constructed around the patient's courtyards.  They consisted of a trench, one side of which was vertical and faced with stone or bricks, the other side was sloped and planted with turf. From the inside, the walls looked high to patients, preventing them from escaping, while from outside the walls looked low so as not to suggest imprisonment.

The asylum is now known as Aradale psychiatric Hospital .
photo from Wikipedia
and further information is available at the National Trust database

Bernard Riley was born about 1836 and had come to Australia possibly from Co. Down, Ireland.  He was an Irish Catholic.  He met and fell in love with a young Irish Presbyterian girl, Jane Russell.  The Russells had come to Australia from Co. Antrim, Ireland in 1838 on the ship Mandarin.  They settled in the Geelong area where Jane was born on the 15th of June 1843.  
Bernard and Jane eloped and she was only 16 years old when their first child, John, was born in 1859.  Their next three children, Margaret, William and James were born in close succession at Warrnambool, Victoria. William Riley, born in 1862, was my husband's grandfather.
Their last living child, Jane, was born at Ballarat in 1866 and then poor Jane died during her last pregnancy in 1870.  This must have badly affected Bernard's mental state.

There was an inquest held into her death which produced the following statements.
Bernard Riley's deposition at coroner's inquest of his wife.  16th day of April A.D. 1870
I am a labourer residing at Bullarook Forest.  I am the husband of the deceased.  I brought her yesterday afternoon into the Daylesford hospital.  I saw the resident surgeon, he said my wife was dying.  I heard that the same evening - About six ?? I brought her to the hospital as an oupatient and Dr. McGregor prescribed for her - I wanted my wife to come into the hospital three weeks ago but would not saying she would be rather at home.  signed Bernard Riley his mark.

Dr. John McGregor's deposition at inquest.  16th day of April A.D. 1870
I am a legally qualified medical practitioner and resident surgeion at the Daylesford Hospital. About three o'clock yesterday afternoon the deceased was brought into hospital by her husband.  She was then in a dying which I told him.  She continued to sink and died at twelve o'clock the same night.  In knowing the cause of death I reported it to the coroner.  At the request of the Coroner I have made a post mortem.  Found no marks of external violence - in opening the chest and examining the heart I found it very much diseased - the valves expecially - the bicusp ? also showed symptoms of ....? disease.  The other organs were tolerably healthy - She was pregnant.  I consider the cause of death to have been vascular disease of the heart.  I had prescribed for her more than six weeks ...?  ...? but then she was dangerously ill.  I did not see again till she was brought in a dying state yesterday.

Jane Riley was buried as a Roman Catholic and a pauper in the Catholic section of the Daylesford cemetery  on the 17th of April 1870.  She was 26 years old.
I don't know who raised the rest of the children, it may have been a family member. There was no mention of them being with their father when his mental state worsened and he was arrested.

In May 1879 police constable Willliam Stoddart of Bungaree,  gave a declaration:
I am a constable of police stationed at Bungaree.  At 11 o'clock on the night of the 22nd  .....? my attention was called to the patient now before the court by a farmer residing? near who stated that he was going from fence to fence gathering wood and from his manner he judged him to be a lunatic.  I went to the place and arrested him by the road side where he was sitting.  He was then quite silly and vacant? in his conversation.  He was then charged with vagrancy and remanded  ...? with a view to medical examination.  31st day of May 1879

Then the following report was found.

Bernard Reilly was admitted to the Ararat Lunatic Asylum on the 5th of July 1879, he was paralised and very weak.  He took a bad change on the 29th and was ordered to bed where he gradually sank and died at 3.45pm on 2nd September, 1879.  I was present at death.  Signed Richard Hill, attendant at Asylum.

Medical condition - In feeble bodily health.  Mind dull and feeble.  Answers questions in a slow and imperfect manner. Cannot do any work.  Skin thin? Extra poor.

Monday, 27 February 2012

Black Sheep Sunday - "Wife deserter"

I record events but I don't make judgements on any of my ancestors lives/decisions/situations as I have not walked in their shoes. 

Until I started my genealogy journey I knew nothing about my great grandfather, John Adams.  He wasn't spoken about.  I really only call him a "black sheep" because of the news articles I found.

One of Dad's cousins related to his sister in law that many years ago when he was a child this man was pointed out to him walking on the other side of the road.  "See that man over there, that's your grandfather".

It has always been thought that my great grandparents were separated as in all the electoral roles for Victoria they were only together in earlier ones.

Recently in Trove  new newspaper archives have been added.  Imagine my surprise when I did a search and all these results popped up. 

Many of the actual images of the news archives are very hard to read so I am just posting the transcriptions.

Beginning in 1913 an article in the Adelaide Advertiser:

Thursday 16 October 1913
John Adams was charged with having, on April 1, deserted his wife at Ascot Vale, Victoria. Detective O'sullivan produced a provisional warrant for the apprehension of the accused. On Tuesday afternoon the witness and Constable Mcinerney saw the accused in Gouger-street. He asked him for his name, and he replied that it was John  Gray. The witness said, 'I believe your name is John Adams, and you are wanted for wife desertion at Ascot Vale." The accused answered, "Yes. my name is John Adams." Inspector Burchell asked for a remand until Saturday, in order that an escort might arrive from Victoria. The request was granted. The accused, in asking for bail, said he was a bricklayer by trade, and had been in Adelaide twelve months. Bail was allowed in himself of £30 and one surety of £30.

The Adelaide Register on the same day had him giving a different name:
Thursday 16 October 1913 page 5
John Adams was accused of having deserted his wife at Ascot Vale, Victoria, on April 1. Detective O'Sullivan gave evidence of arrest. When asked what his name was, defendant replied,  'John Berry.' The detective informed him that he believed his name was John Adams, and that he was wanted for wife desertion in Victoria, whereupon accused admitted that he was the man. Inspector Burchell asked for a remand until Saturday, October I8, to permit of the arrival of an officer from Victoria. This was agreed to, and bail was allowed, defendant in, £30. and one surety of £30

Then later in the same week the Advertiser again reported:

Monday 20 October 1913
John Adams was charged, on remand with having failed to maintain his wife at Ascot Vale, Victoria. He was remanded when previously before the court pending the arrival of an officer from Victoria. On Saturday morning he was remanded to Victoria in charge of an officer from that State.

I couldn't find any reports after that until the Essendon Gazette article in 1915 and the ongoing saga in later years which seems to have been played out in the Flemington Court house. One of the children involved was my grandmother.

Flemington Court house and police station at 28 Wellington Street.
Former Flemington Court House Heritage Listed Location
From The Essendon Gazette and Keilor, Bulla and Broadmeadows Reporter (Moonee Ponds, Vic. : 1914 - 1918)

Thursday 15 April 1915
Father's Responsibilities.
Mary Adams proceeded against her husband, John Adams, on a charge of disobeying an order of the court, directing that defendant should contribute £1 per week as maintenance for his two children. The arrears under the order were set down as £14 5s. Adams pleaded that he was out of employment, and the Bench adjourned the case for 14 days, and advised him, in the meantime to adjust something in the nature of a proposition for payment.

Thursday 29 April 1915
Flemington Police Court.
There was an uninteresting bill-of- fare before the above court on Tuesday, when Messrs. C. J. Cook (chairman), W. Shaw, and J. McSwiney J.'sP., presided. Mary Adams proceeded against her husband, John Adams, for maintenance arrears amounting. to £14 5s. The case had been adjourned to allow defendant, who stated that he was unemployed, to make a proposition regarding payment. On Tuesday Adams said that he was still out of employment, but anticipated securing work almost immediately. Mr. Cook said if defendant failed to put forward a reasonable proposition, the Bench would be compelled to send him to gaol. As, however, this would benefit neither party, the Bench had agreed to further adjourn the case till May 18.

Thursday 11 November 1915
Tuesday, Nov. 9. Before Messrs. W. Shaw (chairman), A. L. Crichton and W. L. Eddy, J.'sP. Maintenance:   Mary Adams proceeded against her husband on a charge of failing to comply with a maintenance order. Complainant said that the order was for £1 per week, and defendant was now 14 weeks in arrears.   
The case was dismissed on defendant promising to regularly contribute £1 per week and wipe off the arrears by instalments.

Thursday 30 November 1916
Adams v. Adams.
Mary Adams proceeded against John Adams, her husband, on a claim for £20 10s 6d. being arrears on a maintenance order of £1 per week for the support of defendant's two children. Mr. C. J. McFarlane for complainant, Dr. Jones for defendant. Evidence having been given by complainant as to the manner in which the order had been disobeyed, defendant admitted his default and said his inability to pay was the result of scarcity of work. As an illustration, defendant, who is a brick layer, swore that during a recent stretch of seven weeks his earnings only amounted to 10s.
Cross-examined by Mr. McFarlane, defendant denied that he was living with another woman. Mr. McFarlane suggested that there were other avenues for employment open to defendant, and that he need not confine himself to bricklaying. Dr. Jones: If he accepted work at an other trade, he would probably be branded by his union as a "scab" and "blackleg." 'The Bench decided to postpone the case for six months.

Thursday 31 May 1917 page 3
Maintenance Claim. Mary Adams proceeded against her hus band, John Adams, on a charge of neglecting to comply with an order of the court. granting complainant and her two children maintenance.  Mr. C. J. McFarlane, on behalf of complainant, said that since defendant was last in court, in November last,
Adams had contributed £13 5s on the order, but the arrears to date amount to upwards of £50. Some time ago defendant was brought from Adelaide on warrant.
In Adelaide he was living in adultery with another woman, and was at present continuing those relations and living with the woman at Kensington, while his lawful wife was left to support two children, aged respectively 10 and 12 years.
Unless defendant entered the witness box and gave sound reasons for his failure to comply with the order, he (Mr. McFarlane) would ask that Adams be committed to gaol. Defendant, on oath, said he was a brick layer, and for some time past had only been in temporary work. He had contributed as much as he possibly could, and had run into debt as a result of borrowing to meet the order. To Mr. McFarlane I admit that I cleared   ? on a recent tender. I am living in the same house with a Mrs. H---- and her two daughters. I also stopped at her place in Adelaide. We are not living together as man and wife and I have never made admissions to that effect. I defy anyone to prove such as assertion. I do not want my children put on the State. I cannot support my wife because I find it impossible to get constant work. Mr. McFarlane: Do you remember the woman referred to suing her husband for maintenance? Defendant: Yes. Was the claim disallowed because the daughter of this woman swore that she had taken tea and toast to you and her mother who were in bed together?
Yes. she swore that because she was promised a new dress. Mr. Shaw, J.P. said the Bench experienced much difficulty in endeavouring to deal with this case. Defendant had since he was last in court paid his wife £13. and it was clear that he would not have been in a position to do that had he been sent to gaol. While sympathising with the   complainant the Bench felt that it was advisable to adjourn the case for a further term of three months to give defendant an opportunity of ascertaining what he could do in the way of meeting the order Mr. McFarlane suggested that the case might be adjourned, to be dealt with by a police magistrate. Complainant took the view that if her husband was committed to gaol he would come to his senses and make an effort to pay for the maintenance of his wife and children rather than go there. The Bench did not favour the suggestion, and the case was adjourned till August 21.  

In another search of the electoral roles to find a "Mrs H" I found that from 1919 to 1936 John Adams was listed in Rankin's Road, Newmarket, Melbourne with a Mary Hildebrand, nee Moss.  
John Adams died in 1937 aged 79.  
Whoever was the informant on his death certificate got his details wrong and gave his half sisters name as his mother.
I may never know if they did have a relationship.  
In 1936, at 61 years of age, Mary Hildebrand married a James Henderson.  
She died in 1941 aged 66 years.

Thursday 22 November 1917
Arrears of Maintenance John Adams, who owed £14 on an order for the maintenance of his two children, was told by the Bench that if he did not make some sort of reasonable settlement within a month he would have to go to gaol.

Thursday 20 December 1917
Arrears of Maintenance. Mary Adams V. John Adams -.arrears of maintenance.   
The complainant said the case had been before the Court and adjourned, The arrears were then £13 but were now £18. The chairman (to defendant): What have you to say? You are letting those arrears mount up. Defendant: I have not been working for some time except for a few days at the chemical works, but I shall be in work after the holidays. The case was further adjourned for a month.

Thursday 17 January 1918
Maintenance Claim.   Adams v. Adams was again called. Defendant, John Adams, secured an adjournment for a fortnight. The indebtedness on the original order was £18; and defendant promised to reduce this sum in the meantime.

Thursday 25 April 1918
Adams v. Adams. Mary Adams proceeded against her husband John Adams, claiming outstanding payments on a maintenance order amounting to £23. Defendant, who did not appear, forwarded £2 10s in reduction of the claim. The Bench made an order for £20 in default imprisonment till the full amount is paid.

Thursday 23 May 1918
Arrears of Maintenance. John Adams, who was ordered to pay £21/10/-, arrears of maintenance due to his wife on a maintenance order, applied to the bench for further time to meet his obligations. The bench had ordered that Adams, in case of failure to meet the order, should be imprisoned.   
On Adams paying in £6/10/- on account, he was given four weeks to pay the balance of arrears.

Thursday 11 July 1918
Maintenance in Arrears. John Adams was again called on to show cause why he should not be imprisoned for failure to comply with an order of the court to support, his family. The arrears amounted to £10. Defendant pleaded lack of employment. but Mrs. Adams contended that defendant was underestimating his income and misleading the Bench. The case had repeatedly been before the Bench, and after hearing the evidence of Mrs. Adams the justices. in a spirit of weariness retired to their room to consider the advisability of arriving at finality in the matter. On returning to the Bench, the chairman said that a majority of the justices had decided that the defendant must pay £10 by Friday next or go to gaol until claim is paid.

Thursday 12 September 1918
Maintenance Arrears, Mary Adams proceeded against her husband, John Adams, for £10 arrears of maintenance. An order was made against defendant on 11th November, 1913. for £1 a week for the support of his two children. and the case has been before the court many times since. Defendant was ordered to pay the arrears in a month at the rate of £5 a fortnight.

Friday, 24 February 2012

Thankful Thursday - Two heads are better than one

I am extremely thankful for my family members who are fellow researchers.  

Not that they have two heads of course.

It is so rewarding when two heads (or more) get together and solve a family mystery.

I am very lucky to have a few wonderful rellies who I can research with, toss ideas around with, argue with,  ask questions of and they all have their own areas of expertise.

Some are "Google masters"

Some have that "gut feeling" about a person we are researching and that gut feeling is nearly always right.

Some can find a story or document in the most improbable places.

Some can decipher the most illegible scribblings on documents

Some know instinctively when "that photo" was taken or can assess every aspect of a photo and give it a very accurate date within a year or two.

Some are great with dates and others can tell an awesome story.

I am also extremely thankful for the family historians who have gone before me and done such a power of research.

Building on the information already found is one hugely rewarding aspect of family history.

One example of this sort of teamwork that really sticks in my mind was the finding of information for my Great Grand Uncle, George Adams junior.

Christine is my fellow family researcher of the Adams line and we only had a birth year for George jnr. 

He was born in North Melbourne in 1856; the second child and first born son of George Adams and Catherine nee Barry.

From his father's death certificate in 1921 we knew he was already deceased and wondered how he had died so young.

Anyone who has ever tried to find information on a George Adams in Australia will know that you first of all have to claw your way past all the TATTERSALLS information!

I had gone through the Vic BMD indexes endless times searching for Geo Adams deaths in those years.  We left it, deciding he would show up one day somehow.  Every so often it was re-visited.

Christine was searching the newspaper archives and found an article about the death of a young labourer named George Adams.  This death took place at Dookie, way North of where they lived at the time.  We just sat on that for ages.  Then one day I decided out of the blue, as I do, to have another search through the Vic Indexes.  I narrowed down date, ages etc and was left with only a couple of Adams that could fit.  
Interestingly one of these was a Page Adams.  Weird name!   With father George and mother Catherine.  

Death certificate for Page Adams

The date of this death registration was the same year as an Inquest was held for a George Adams.  1876 not only tied in with how old our George jnr would be but it also tied in with the newspaper article that Christine had found ages ago.

From The Melbourne Argus 18th January 1876
With team work we had found our George junior.   A relative we could relate to as being a fun loving Aussie Larrikin.  I would love to have known him.

Now we just have to find his brother DAVID ADAMS ............ arghhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Travel Tuesday - Farewell to Dear Old England

In tracing the lives of my ancestors I've had some interesting and educational "virtual" journeys.  
My one dream in life is to visit their homelands. Maybe one day ................
Meanwhile I love to read about their travels and as their stories are often long gone it's major a excitement to me when any written stories are found.   
They all came to Australia in the days when travel by sea was the only option and often a very uncomfortable and dangerous one at that.
The travel story below is one written by my 3rd Great Grand Uncle, Edward Hulme in his little book "A settlers 35 Years Experience in Victoria, Australia 1856-1891"


We did intend taking our passage in the new ship "Schomberg" just launched, owned by the "White Star Company". On enquiring at the London office, they informed me that I could send our goods on at Liverpool, but they would not be put on any ship until our passage money was paid, and that I could find them in the company warehouse at Liverpool, consequently, I sent the goods on. We could not however get ready to go by  the "Schomberg". On arrival at Liverpool, and enquiring for our luggage, I found it had been sent on in that vessel.

Now the fate of that fine new ship, I presume is generally known. The captain had a bet with the captain of the ship "Kent", a well known clipper, and declared "if he did not beat the "Kent" he would knock the "Schombergs" bows in". On hearing that the "Kent" had made the passage before him, the "Schomberg" was wilfully run on shore just a little way from Cape Otway. Luckily it was fair weather and the passengers and crew were taken off, but with only the luggage they could carry in their hands, there being only just standing room on board the rescuing steamboat. The "Schomberg" became a total wreck.

This I suppose, is one of the most wicked and shameful incidents that ever happened on the shores of Australia. We took our passage in the next ship, the good ship "SULTANA" from Liverpool, on the 2Ist October, I855.

I remember, as we weighed anchor, being some distance out in the stream, and out of hearing of any friendly cheer, a serious calm appeared to pervade the ship, all appeared absorbed with their own thoughts, when we found the ship was under way, more by the apparent moving of the receding shore, she being a sailing vessel. I dont know the feelings of the other passengers, possibly many were like our own, at departing from the good 'Old Land'. Hitherto, we had borne up well in parting from kindred and friends. We said 'Good Bye' in London, but now, in those few calm moments, seated upon the ships deck, with wife, six sons, and a baby girl around us, we felt the necessity of faith in that good Providence on Whom we had cast the future. Our feelings, however, would have vent in a few hot tears, but these had to be brushed quickly on one side.

I do not think it necessary in this little sketch to give a long account of our voyage, or the various incidents that happened. There was nothing very sensational, our worst experience was our first night out. The ship was so crowded that there were not berths enough, and, as we came late on board, ours had to be erected, so that we had to huddle down between decks, as best we could. The children being our great care, there was no rest for wife or self. We had fearful weather in the channel, and everything being loose on board, the din was fearful, the heavy iron cable on deck rolling from side to side, and the ships bell tolling at every roll of the ship, and the carpenters working all night fitting up berths, and the state of the passengers...one can guess the confusion!

And what added to it more...just as we reached the most dangerous part of the channel, off the coast of Ireland, the tug-hawser parted but, when pulled on board, it evidently had been cut adrift with an axe, a most shameful act. The contract was to take us clear of the channel. this then made further trouble, as all hands had now to set to and work the ship, and there was great danger in working her out of the difficult position she was left in, and anxiously did all wait for the morning.

It may be imagined that the whole of the voyage was no pleasure trip for wife or self, in a crowded ship, and seven children (under I2 years of age) to look after. Neither do I think the children liked it, they were too young, and they did not thrive at all on the rough ships fare, particularly the hard ships biscuits...they could not manage them at all. After a time, though we got on better, I had a carpenters plane with my goods, and we shaved the biscuits down on that, and made it into puddings, and so managed to get rid of them in this way. The plane went the round of the ship after this, particularly among the old people. We had however, on arriving in Melbourne, an American cask full, unconsumed, these we took ashore with us, and they went fine in soups etc with good Australian beef at 3d a pound.

Monday, 20 February 2012

Amanuensis Monday - Robert Forsyth's letter home

Patrick Forsyth in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, has a letter that his Uncle (my great great grandfather) Robert Forsyth wrote home to his mother from Coutts Island, New Zealand.

Robert Forsyth and his wife Jessie nee Farquhar emigrated from Scotland to New Zealand in 1874.

The letter was dated September 28th 1896 only 10 Months before 
Robert Forsyth died on 20th July 1897.

I am extremely grateful to Patrick for sharing this letter with myself and other family members.

Robert wrote:
My Dear Mother,
I now write you this few lines to let you know that we are all well at present hopping (sic) that this will find you all the same.  You will remember the Simpsons that lived near the Cranbog there is one of them come to live on our Island.  She is housekeeper for a man about 2 miles from us. She has been calling on us twice.  Maggie is her name she came out here about 12 years ago to keep house for her brother but we have never seen her till she came up here.  I hope Helen is getting on all right you was to write and let us know how she was but we never had any word so I suppose she is all right. 

I forget if I ever told you that there was another Aberdour man here Alex Mitchel a son of old Cork Mitchels the soutar.  He is a grocer to trade but is worse for drinking than the old man was.  I don't know what he is doing now I have not seen him for the last 7 or 8 years.  You was asking how Willie Dickie was doing Him and his wife have been separated for years.  She lives in Kaipoi (sic) and goes out washing and he goes about the country working and drinks all the money he makes.  Sandy Dickie is married and has a place about 40 miles from here.  He is fairly steady.  

We had a grand harvest here this year The best for years and very good prices but there was a lot of people that lived near the hills had there grain nearly all shaken out with the wind.  All round we can't complain.  We have had a very wet winter here more rain than there has been for the last ten years.  Last year we had plenty of snow but no rain.  

How is John always getting on with his farm.  I have never written to him yet but will have to make a start sometime.  He would be able to give us more news than we could give him.    How is George and his wife getting on.  She has got a bad leg or something hasn't she. But I think he ought able to give you a little help when they have no family but just themselves two to keep.  
I ought to have written long before this time but it is better late than never.  We have been very busy for a good bit we have been having additions made to the house 2 new rooms ...?... that takes time & money to pay.   Must thankyou very much for sending the Peoples Journal.  No more at present but I herewith enclose you a post office order for two pounds.  Write soon with love to all.  We remain your loving son & Daughter

R . J  Forsyth

Saturday, 18 February 2012

Sympathy Saturday - A sad story

In my very first post


I wrote 
 "I was looking through my grandmother's photo album (or one of them) and I saw a photo of a grave.  I asked her whose it was and she said it was her first husband.

There was a photo of a little boy always on the sideboard.  One day I realised the photo of the little boy looked a bit different to the photo of my Dad.
I asked Nana who he was.  She replied "That was my first little boy who died."

She didn't encourage further questions so I left it there and being only young I had no clue as to the trials she had been through."

My grandmother, Brenda Mary Adams was born in Kensington, Victoria, Australia in 1905 to John Adams and Mary Agnes Morgan.  I only found out recently, after new additions to the Trove newspaper archives, that her parents had been separated for quite a few years.

Nana had 4 older siblings, two boys and two girls,  and a younger brother.  There were a dozen or more articles in the Essendon Gazette spanning nearly seven years (1913 to 1919) about court cases in which her mother took her father to court for child maintenance because he had deserted her and seemingly shacked up with another woman.  He even had to be extradited from Adelaide, South Australia to answer to the courts.  

On the first of September, 1928, Brenda married Eric Ebor John Daniels.  He was a young driver who lived around the corner from where she was living in Canning Street, North Melbourne.  At the time she was working as a confectioner at the McRobertson's factory in Fitzroy.  Eric's father, William McDonald Daniels, was a produce merchant in Newmarket.

Eric must have become ill only about a year or so after their marriage.

In February 1930 Eric and Brenda had a little boy, Ronald Francis Daniels.  Eric had a brother named Ronald and Brenda's younger brother was Francis so I can see how they chose their baby's name.

In the photo that always sat on Nana's sideboard, little Ronald had long curly locks.  
Nana always blamed his first haircut for the disease he contracted and from which he died on the 15th of December, 1931.   His death certificate stated cause of death was Influenzal Meningitis.  
(Dad told me she wouldn't get his hair cut until he started to look like a girl!)

Eric died on the 17th of January 1932, just one month after his baby son.  The disease that took Eric was Hodgkin's Disease and his death certificate stated that he had it for two and a half years.

Eric and his little boy are buried together at Fawkner Memorial Park. 

Then only 18 months later in August 1933 my grandmother lost her mother from cardiac failure and cerebral haemorrhage. 

What a hell of a period in her life.  The odd thing is that I have not yet found any newspaper death or funeral notices for any of them.  
I hope one day to be able to visit their grave at Fawkner.  


Thursday, 16 February 2012

Those places Thursday - My Irish ancestors.

Those places Thursday is a current theme for blog posts. 

 As soon as I saw the words "Those places" I immediately thought of my reaction whenever I would purchase or read a marriage or death certificate looking for an Irish ancestors birth place.


When I was new to genealogy research, one more experienced informed me that a town-land name was necessary.    

Hmmmm, I didn't have a clue on how to find out what town-land my MORGAN'S, KELLY'S and BARRY'S came from.  I went through all the Irish surname maps but with such common surnames what hope did I have.

My great great grandfather, John MORGAN from West Armagh came to Australia in 1855.  Here in 1858 he married Margaret Alice (known as Alice) KELLY who was from Tipperary.

For years I had only Australian information on them apart from their parents names from their marriage certificate.
Alexander Morgan and Agnes Lennon were John's parents.  
Cornelius Kelly and Mary Moloughney were Alice's parents.
I managed to find a sister to John Morgan, also in Australia but still no town-land name.

It wasn't until I had searched Trove and came across John Morgan's death notice in the Argus newspaper saying "New Zealand and Gippsland papers please copy".

That sent me off on a search to try and find which family members were in New Zealand.   
I hadn't had any luck finding other siblings and there was only one son, Alexander Morgan, that I hadn't found a death or further information on.

Into the newspaper archives for New Zealand.  My jaw nearly broke hitting the ground when I came across news articles from 1904 for an Alexander Morgan receiving news of his mothers death in Essendon, Victoria!

This also delivered Alexander's uncle, Thomas KELLY!  
 (the name Charles was found to be a misprint by the newspaper)

So I purchased Thomas Kelly's New Zealand death certificate and BINGO ....... there were the correct parents AND the town-land name of Dualla, (was also known as Dually) Tipperary for my Kelly family.   

After finding THOSE PLACES I have moved further and further forward with my Irish ancestors.

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Wedding Wednesday - Archie Fleming and Daisy Morgan

A quiet but pretty wedding was celebrated at the home of the bride's parents "Willow Bank" Moyhu, on Saturday, October 8th, when Daisy Marion, second daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Morgan, became the wife of Mr. Archie W. F. (third son of Mrs. D. Fleming "Valley View", King Valley, and the late Mr. D. Fleming).
The Rev M.C. Day of Wangaratta officiated.  The charming bride, who was given away by her father, was tastefully gowned in ankle length white satin with a yoke of silk lace.  A fitting bodice and slender skirt with fullness given by inlet pleated flares.  Her beautiful veil of embroidered tulle (lent by her sister Mrs. D. Jones) was worn cap fashion, and held by a wreath of orange blossom.  She also wore a necklace of crystal beads, and carried a bouquet of semi-sheaf arum lilies, intermingled with maiden hair fern and white satin streamers.  The bride was attended by her sister Miss Mavis Morgan, whose pretty ankle-length frock of powder blue  satin, with puff sleeves, looked very attractive with her head band of satin and flowers.  Her pretty posy was of arum lilies, maiden hair fern and pink satin streamers.  Mr. H Fleming was best man.  Immediately after the ceremony satin horse shoes were placed on the arm of the bride by her little brother Bert, and little Graeme McLaren (nephew of the bridegroom) and Caroline Jones (neice of the bride).  After the ceremony a reception was held at the home of the bride's parents.  The tables looked charming, the central decoration being a tiered wedding cake.  The bride's travelling frock was of maroon crepe-de-chene with hat to tone.  The bride's gift to the bridegroom was a travelling rug and that of the bridegroom to the bride a xylonite toilet set and to the bridesmaid a xylonite clock.  Many beautiful presents were received, including many cheques.  The future home of Mr. and Mrs. Fleming will be at "Greenfields" King Valley.

Daisy Morgan and her sister Mavis is bridesmaid.

My maternal grandparents, Daisy Morgan and Archibald William Finlay Fleming were married for 45 devoted years.

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Tombstone Tuesday

The family grave of my Morgan and Kelly ancestors originally from Ireland.  It is situated in the Roman Catholic section F Grave 53 at the Melbourne General Cemetery, Carlton North, Victoria Australia.
The headstone inscription reads:


Erected by
in memory of her beloved husband
died at Essendon
24 Feb 1880
age 48 yrs

also their second daughter
died 5 Nov 1872
age 6 yrs

Michael KELLY
died at Essendon
19 Apr 1898
age 59 yrs

also their dearly beloved youngest daughter
Agnes Mary Magdelen MORGAN
died at Essendon
30 Apr 1900
age 24 yrs

also their son
died at Essendon
11 Jun 1900 age 40 yrs

also the beloved mother of above
died at Essendon
30 Sep 1904
age 69 yrs.

John Morgan and his wife Alice, nee Kelly owned the original Cross Keys Hotel at Essendon.

52 weeks of abundant genealogy - Historical documents - Week 7

Helen Forsyth nee Thomson, daughter of Jean Hay.
The historical document I was so excited about getting was a transcription of the Kirk Session minutes for Turiff, (St. Ninians) Aberdeenshire, Scotland.   NAS- CH2/871/2

These minutes were badly damaged by water so are very very patchy but enough information could be gleaned to get the general drift of the happenings.

My 4th great grandmother was Jean Hay born at Alvah, Banffshire, Scotland to James Hay and Janet Christie.
James Hay, being such a common name in the area, was a bit difficult to research.

Finally, through the process of elimination, the Church records for Alvah  and most importantly the Turiff Kirk session minutes it was revealed that James Hay had first married a Margaret Dustan in 1784.  They had 2 children, Catherine born 1784 and James born 1786.  No death for Margaret has been found so I researched Catherine and found she had married a George Webster at Turiff in 1820.

James married Janet Christie in 1791.  No birth registration has been found for Jean Hay but heaps of further records of her life have come to light.

Jean was always listed as a midwife and Unmarried in all the census.
Her daughter, Helen Thomson, was born in 1825 at Turiff.

Helen married Robert Forsyth in 1847 at the Manse of Aberdour.
In the 1861 census, Jean Hay was head of household at 59 High Street, New Aberdour, Aberdeenshire, Scotland.  Also living there were, Alexander and Jean Forsyth, the parents-in-law of her daughter Helen.

Photos courtesy of Patrick and Dorothy Forsyth of Fraserburgh.

A James Thom(p)son, seemingly of Huntly, was brought before the Kirk to answer to allegations by Jean Hay that he was the father of her child.

The patchy transcription is as follows:

November 7th 1874

------------------------   that James Thompson lately-----------------in Turiff-----by Jean Hay in Turiff as the--------------------------------------- and lodged with -----------------------------in Huntly and instructions ----------------------------------------------to appear be ------------------------------ the 26th day of December
                   Closed with Prayer.

26th December 1824   (next entry)
-----------------------------------------------confirmed lately------------------------- ---------Turiff and now ------------------------------------the charge brought --------------Jean Hay in Turiff on the 31st day of ------------------(denying?) that he is the father of ------------------------had any criminal connexion ------------------------her former child of which-----------------------------------himself the father.

Being further interrogated he declared that he has not (been?) with the said Jean Hay nor Thomson in her sisters house since the birth of her former child and never was there with her alone. That he never was in her own house by night or day since the birth of her former child except upon the Sunday evening previous to his leaving Turiff about the end of --?   
But when he called in consequence of receiving a letter from her regarding---------------------that he never----------------------------------------the said Jean Hay to meet her-------------------since the birth of her former child.
He was then directed to call on her again this? Day week and the officer------------------------------the woman to attend at the same time.
                          Closed in Prayer

27th January 1825  (next entry) 
(entry on Davidson then:)
Compeared Jean Hay----------------------------- accusing James Thompson------------------child
The said James Thompson-----------------persistent? in his former objections.
Thereupon the ----------------------------------------last to two of ---------------------------------------- as she can--------------------------------------------who will---------------------------------------------here this day---------------------------------------- the parties were-----------------------------------
                    Closed in Prayer.

? January 1825
The Session being --------------------------------Jean Hay  who----------------------------------As the father of her child-----------------------

Being called upon to bring forward any witness she might have to consolidate her accusations.
Compeared Mary Shine? Wife of Charles Bly, the late servant to rt Chisholm in Turiff, who being interrogated stated that she lived before Whit Monday 1824 in the same house with Catherine Hay, spouse of George Webster, carter? in Turiff - that she the declarant frequently saw James Thompson and Jean Hay together and that it is consistent with her 
----------------that they not only met but were often in the house by themselves.
Compeared Catherine hay, Spouse of George Webster in Turiff and upon being interrogated declared  that James Thompson and her sister frequently met in her? House - that she has often left them there, and found them there, -----and positive that either in the one case or the other they were alone .
Compeared Isobel Stuart, residing in Turiff who being interrogated declared that on passing
---------------------she accidentally called there ---------------------Whit Monday 1824 - that she then found James Thompson & Jean Hay , and -----------------------in the house, and that she ---------------------------------------------------------.

                    Closed with Prayer. 

I was told that normally the kirk would strongly instruct the couple to marry unless of course the male involved was already married.

I would dearly love to fill in all those gaps!

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