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History is a novel for which the people is the author

— Alfred de Vigny.

I am finally starting the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge and have quite a bit of catching up to do. Hopefully this blog will be a good forum for me to celebrate family achievement; explore family myths and legends and perhaps to shine a not too bright light on some family skeletons.

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Week 8: Family photo

The post Family photo Friday – A study in sepia features 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 photo is particularly special as my paternal grandparents lost most of their family photos in Lismore’s devastating 1954 floods.

Week 22: Cemetery

The post Scenic Saturday – Franklin Tasmania features a photograph of the graveyard surrounding the now deconsecrated St John’s Church of England in Franklin, Tasmania. William Woolley, mo 3 x great grandfather, was buried there in 1863.

Week 23: Namesake

The post Trove Tuesday – Namesake demonstrates how three articles in the Northern Star of 1953 helped me to discover the origin of my middle name, Roger.

Week 32: Sister

The post Family Photo Friday – The Sisters features a photo of my paternal great grandmother Christina Anne Hicks, a sister Margaret and a sister-in-law Lucy.

Week 34: Tragedy

The post A cry for help illustrates one small part of the incredibly sad life of my 3 x great grandmother Ane Mulvena nee Muldoon.

Week 35: At work

The post Red Gold looks at work of the cedar getters who looked for the Red Gold – or red cedar – in the Big Scrub of the far north coast of New South Wales Australia. In particular I look at the life of William Harris, my paternal 3x great grandfather.

Week 36: School Days

The post Osborne Ladies’ College: A Gothic Fantasy Tale is about Osborne Ladies’ College in Blackheath, NSW Australia. I explore the unique nature of the school and the eccentricities of the head Miss Violet Gibson. The post also investigates the roles my great aunt, Victoria Tresna Everingham, played in the school – from a pupil in 1923 to acting head at the school’s closure in 1958.

Week 37: Mistake

The post “I foolishly gave it all away…” tells how my paternal great grandfather Herbert John Harris regretted giving up a property that he selected in 1899 to run the Orient Coffee House in Byron Bay 20 years later.

Week 39: Map It Out

Google Mapping – Byron Bay shows how I used Google My Maps to plot the lives of the Harris, Woolley and Poolman families in the town during the first half of the twentieth century.

Week 40: Harvest

This post The Hungry Years describes Matthew and Elizabeth Everingham’s survival in a time of near starvation in the early years of the colony of New South Wales following the arrival of the First Fleet in 1788.

I have used two primary sources for the post – the diaries of Captain Watkin Tench and letters written by Matthew Everingham.

Week 41:Context

The Ugly Sisters of Lismore Base Hospital features two photos of some very unattractive nurses,: one of them being my grandfather Allan Harris.

Week 42: Adventure

John Knight’s Passport: Another step towards freedom is a post about how a maternal 3 x great grandfather’s Ticket of Leave Passport was another step on his long road to freedom.

Week 43: Transport

The post The Neptune; The ‘Hell Ship’ of the ‘Death Fleet‘ tells the story of the Neptune‘s horrific voyage to Australia as part of the Second, or “Death Fleet”. Two 4x great grandmothers,Elizabeth Rymes and Kezia Brown, were convicts transported on the ship.

Week 44: Trick or Treat

he case of The Everingham Millions’ was a minor sensation in Australia in the 1920s and early 30s. Claims were made that my 4 x great grandfather and First Fleeter Matthew James Everingham (1769 – 1817) was the son of Sir John Everingham and the heir to his vast estate. Was this a cruel trick or a real treat for the Everingham family?

Week 45: Rich man

James Blackman, mt 4 x great grandfather was described as being ‘a handsome, well-educated, spoilt and flamboyant young gentleman’. Read about his life here

Week 47: Soldier

Pte John David Jacob Woolley enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force (AIF) in 1916. He was 19. By October 1917 he was fighting in the trenches of the Western Front. He was killed only six months later. The post Pte John David Jacob Woolley – Lest We Forget is about his short life.

Week 48: Thief

My 5 x great grandfather was transported to Australia for Life for the minor crime of ‘pocketpicking’. Eleven years later he was charged with murder. During that time he was imprisoned in increasingly harsh and isolated institutions and received brutal floggings. His story reflects the often brutal, and brutalising, beginnings of my country . Read all about him in the post John HOOPER – A “notorious character”.

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