Google Mapping – Byron Bay

Week 39 OF 52 ANCESTORS CHALLENGE PROMPT: MAP IT OUT Byron Bay is the touchstone of my paternal family; a place where generations lived, worked and played. It is also the centre of several family ‘myths’. This map, created using Google My Maps, is designed to plot the lives of the Harris, Woolley and Poolman…

Family photo Friday

To me, the really amazing thing about this week’s photo is that I was nursed on many occasions by the subject; someone who had been described in the Northern Star as an “early pioneer’ of the far north coast region of New South Wales . (1 ) The ‘early pioneer’ in this informal portrait is…

TROVE Tuesday – Henry Standen was “capitally convicted…”

While convict records provide a wealth of information about a person following conviction, contemporary British newspaper accounts can be a rich source of information about the crime as well as that person’s life in the UK before transportation. Therefore, this week’s finding is not from TROVE but from the 19th Century British Newspapers Collection (Gale),…

Scenic Saturday – Hobart

This tranquil harbour is where some of my ancestors began the Australian chapters of their life stories. Those stories, featuring imprisonment, hardship, separation, love, recidivism, isolation, theft, bushranging, adultery and even manslaughter, take place in Tasmania, Sydney, Newcastle and the far north coast of New South Wales. Eventually their lives intertwine. The Tasmanian arrivals John…

Family photo Friday – A study in sepia

Week 8 OF 52 ANCESTORS CHALLENGE PROMPT: FAMILY PHOTO . Today’s photo is a 1920s studio portrait of my grandfather William Henry Allan Harris (i906-1985), his sister Iris Edna Harris (1910-1998) and his brother Herbert Erroll Harris (1908-1996). The subjects are the three children of my paternal great grandparents, Herbert John Harris (1881-1977) and Mary…

Trove Tuesday – The namesake

Week 23 OF 52 ANCESTORS CHALLENGE PROMPT: NAMESAKE I think that most of us have wondered where on earth our parents found our first names and why they gave them to us, particularly if the name isn’t a traditional family name. Why Brian Roger Harris? Where did the Brian and the Roger come from? Was…

“I foolishly gave it all away…

Week 37 OF 52 ANCESTORS CHALLENGE PROMPT: MISTAKE In 1919 my paternal great grandfather Herbert John Harris made what he considered to be the biggest mistake of his life. He exchanged life as a farmer on his property at Wadeville, in the far north coast region of New South Wales for that of a businessman,…

Scenic Saturday – Irish Famine Memorial, Sydney

The Australian Memorial to the Great Irish Famine (1845-1852) is located at the Hyde Park Barracks on Macquarie Street Sydney. It commemorates the arrival in Australia of over 4,000 single young women, most of whom were teenagers. (1) The girls arrived under Earl Grey’s Famine Orphan Scheme (1848-1850), a scheme designed to resettle destitute girls…

Family Photo Friday – The Sisters

Week 32 OF 52 ANCESTORS CHALLENGE PROMPT: SISTER Today’s family photo is a wonderful studio portrait of a paternal great grandmother Christina Ann Woolley nee Hicks (1875-1951), one of her her sisters Margaret Cook nee Hicks (1865-1952) and a sister- in law Lucy Hicks nee Keene. Lucy was married to George Hicks (1873-1956). One of…

Osborne Ladies’ College – A “Gothic Fantasy Tale”

Week 36 OF 52 ANCESTORS CHALLENGE PROMPT: SCHOOL DAYS The story of Osborne Ladies College, a girls’ school which operated in Blackheath in the Blue Mountains from 1923 until the death of its founder in 1958 reads in places more like a gothic fantasy tale than reality “‘In the spirit of the Navy’: Violet Gibbins…