Friday, 31 January 2014

'Dear Ancestor'

I just came across this poem, Dear Ancestor, on the Twisted Twigs on Gnarled Branches Genealogy Facebook page. It was written in 1906 by Walter Butler Palmer. I loved it so much that I had to share it with all of you.

'Dear Ancestor' (1906).
Source: Twisted Twigs on Gnarled Branches Genealogy

Monday, 27 January 2014

Some Great Cemetery News.

Last June, while I was in Sydney on holidays, my Aunt & I had a cemetery day. We went to 3 different cemeteries where our ancestors are buried - Rookwood, Field of Mars & Macquarie. We hadn't had a cemetery day in quite some time, and we were very keen to speak to someone about two things we wanted to do -
1. See if it would be possible to have a headstone done for my Great Great Grandmother & Great Uncle whose grave is unmarked at Rookwood.
2. Have the death date on my Great Grandmother Elizabeth's headstone fixed at Field of Mars.

Rookwood Cemetery

My Great Great Grandmother Christian Croal & Great Uncle Adam Gow have been buried in an unmarked grave at Rookwood since Adam died in 1905 & Christian died in 1909.

Sitting at the grave of Christian Croal & Adam Gow
Rookwood Cemetery, June '13.
Image from my personal collection.
This was my second time to see their grave. The first time was in 2009 and it took us a good hour to find it. On this day, it took me 10 minutes. I have a pretty good visual memory with landmarks and whatnot.

My Aunt & I went up to the Office and spoke to someone about having a headstone done for Christian & Adam. They said to e-mail them with the details of our request which we did that night.

After not hearing anything for a few weeks, my Aunt rang them a few times, until finally, in November, we received approval to do the following 'We are able to supply you with a basic form of grave marker called a "sloper & plaque." This is an unpolished granite base with a lawn size bronze plaque with 8-10 lines of inscription.'

My Aunt didn't actually tell me any of this until the beginning of January because she forgot to forward me the e-mail, haha. But being told this in person was so much better anyway.

Now it's just a matter of deciding what we want the plaque to say. 

Field of Mars Cemetery

When I found my Great Grandmother Elizabeth's grave for the first time ever in 2009, I was a bit shocked to discover that the year of her death was incorrect. She died in 1952, but it says 1962. My Aunt & Dad do not remember my Poppa talking about his Mother's grave having a mistake on it. He was very much into family history as well, so we're not sure if he ever actually saw the headstone after it was done because he would not have let the incorrect year remain. Since then, my Aunt & I have always discussed about having it rectified. I also found her grave again within 5 minutes of being there (I really do love my awesome memory, heheh).

Grave of Elizabeth Gow, Field of Mars Cemetery, June '13
Image from my personal collection.
The Office at Field of Mars was closed, and said that it now operated under the same trust as Macquarie Cemetery so any queries were to be directed there. Well, that was quite convenient for us as that was our next stop. We were going to find some of my Poppa's cousins' graves. The Office at Macquarie Cemetery directed us to one of their onsite tombstone businesses. They were closed that day, but we went back the next day and spoke to them. That took some persistence from my Aunty as well because they couldn't find the grave so she had to go meet them out there one day. Along with the news about Christian & Adam's grave, she told me that Elizabeth's grave had now been fixed. She's hoping to go out there in the next couple of weeks to check. It's not a permanent fix, only a temporary 4-5 year thing. The only way we're going to be able to fix it permanently is if we get a completely new headstone. Because my Poppa did this one we were a bit hesitant, and are going with the temporary solution for now. In the future, if it comes down to it, we will get a new headstone for her.

Friday, 24 January 2014

Australia Day Challenge 2014

Earlier this week, Cassmob posted an Australia Day Challenge geneameme. I think most of you know by now that I love geneamemes, so of course I had to have a go! Anyone can participate, and you don't have to live in Australia. This geneameme made me do some real thinking and digging through my family tree - I even discovered two new siblings of my Great Great Great Grandmother Jane Walker.

My first ancestor to arrive in Australia was: William Wright in 1823.

I have Australian Royalty: I have two ancestors who were convicts – William Wright & Elizabeth Graham. William was transported to Australia in 1823 on the ship ‘Surry’. Elizabeth arrived in 1833 on the ship ‘Buffalo’. It just so happens that two years later they married.  

I’m an Aussie mongrel, my ancestors came to Oz from: Mostly Scotland & a little bit of England.

Did any of your ancestors arrive under their own financial steam? William Gow in 1886, and David Croal & his family in 1883. The others were assisted.

How many ancestors came as singles? 3 – William Gow, my Great Grandfather &  my 2 convict ancestors.

How many came as couples? None.
How many came as family groups? 6

Did one person lead the way and others follow? William Gow’s older brother was already in Sydney when he arrived.

What’s the longest journey they took to get here? The longest journey I’ve been able to establish is 154 days which was traveled by my convict ancestor William Wright.

Did anyone make a two-step emigration via another place? Nope.

Which state(s)/colony did your ancestors arrive? New South Wales.

Did they settle and remain in one state/colony? Yup, New South Wales.

Did they stay in one town or move around? A couple stayed, a few moved. Those that moved generally stayed within the general New South Wales Mid-North Coast area.

Do you have any First Australians in your tree? No.

Were any self-employed? Yes – most of them were farmers.

What occupations or industries did your earliest ancestors work in? Farming, the Police Force & the Railway.

Does anyone in the family still follow that occupation? No.

Did any of your ancestors leave Australia and go “home”? Nope.

What’s your State of Origin? Queensland. However, when it comes to the rugby, I'm a Blues supporter. Dad's from New South Wales...
Do you still live there? Sure do. Brisbane to be specific.

Sydney Harbour, January '12
Where was your favourite Aussie holiday place as a child? Sydney. My Dad grew up there, so we always visited my Grandparents & Aunty 4 or 5 times a year. I’d pretty much done all the touristy things by the time I was 15. It’s like a second home to me.

Any special place you like to holiday now? Mid-North Coast of New South Wales – Coffs Harbour, Macksville, South West Rocks etc. It’s the area that my Grandparents grew up in, and it’s just a beautiful part of Australia.

Share your favourite spot in Oz: Brisbane, Sydney & the Mid-North Coast of NSW will always be favourites. I haven’t really been anywhere else in Australia.

Road trip to Coffs Harbour, NSW, January '13
Any great Aussie adventure you’ve had? We went to Coffs Harbour in January 2013 and spent a week there. Dad & I had a father-daughter-genealogy-day, & we visited my Great Aunt who we hadn’t seen in a few years. That was a pretty special trip for me.

What’s on your Australian holiday bucket list? So. Many. Places. I’m dying to go to Melbourne!! I’d like to go to the South Coast of NSW, The Northern Territory, Tasmania, North Queensland & Western Australia one day.

How do you celebrate Australia Day? We don’t really do anything too exciting. We just enjoy the day, usually at home & watch the tennis. I also listen to Triple J’s hottest 100.