Sunday, 23 August 2015

Smith family

In 1909 Estelle Maud Smith (1881-1961)  [daughter of Frederick Smith (1836-1915) and grand-daughter of John Smith (1800-1885)] married Bayer Spain (1880-1963).

After reading the blog post about James Campbell Thom (1863-1929) Kathleen, (also researching this branch of the Smith family) suggested that there could be a connection between the family of Bayer Spain and the family of one of the partners of the legal firm, Spain and Sly, where James Campbell Thom once worked.

Bayer Spain is an unusual name so it was easy to search Trove for articles about his career as a captain of small ships sailing along the NSW coast. I also found articles in Trove and online via Google about two of his brothers - Commander Staunton William Spain (1865-1946) and Alfred Spain (1868-1954). Alfred was an architect. Their father was Staunton Spain (1833-1888), a solicitor while their grandfather, William Spain (1803-1876) was an attorney. Searching Ancestry family trees was also helpful. Using Ancestry I also searched the Sands Directories Sydney and NSW  for entries for the Spain family in the 1870s and found entries for Staunton Spain in partnership with George Sly in the firm Spain and Sly from 1874. A search in Trove located an advertisement in the Sydney Morning Herald 1 January 1874 stating that Staunton Spain had dissolved his partnership with the firm Roxburgh, Slade and Spain and was joining George Sly in the firm, Spain and Sly. Staunton Spain withdrew from the partnership in 1881.

James Campbell Thom therefore worked with Staunton Spain at the firm, Spain and Sly for a number of years. When Staunton Spain left the partnership with George Sly, James Campbell Thom continued to work for George Sly until 1887 when he left to form a legal partnership with his brother, John Stuart Thom. 

Annie Smith (1864-1911) was the wife of James Campbell Thom. She was the daughter of Charles Septimus Smith (1833-1912) who was Frederick Smith's brother. It is therefore possible that Bayer Spain and Estelle Maud Smith may have met via this previous connection between Estelle's uncle and Bayer's father. However it is probably a co-incidence, especially as Staunton Spain died in 1888 when Bayer and Estelle were children. We will probably never know.

Death of Dr G J Sly

An article written about a house built for George Sly but it also has a well referenced article about George Sly and his career.

Mr J C Thom - obituary

Saturday, 22 August 2015

McCallum family

The McCallum family - John, Anne, Dugald, Catherine and Sarah (who was listed in the Single woman listing) - arrived in Brisbane on 19 January 1855. John's occupation in Glasgow was listed as a labourer.

The next we hear of the family is when the announcement of the wedding of Sarah, third daughter of John McCallum of Glasgow, to Charles Septimus Smith is made in the Darling Downs Gazette and General Advertiser on 23 June 1859.

How many children?
I hadn't noticed the third daughter reference previously as my main interest had been in the names and date of the wedding but in the last couple of weeks I have found additional references to other children in the family. On the shipping records Sarah, aged 15, is the eldest of the children who came to Australia. The 1851 Scotland census lists another daughter, Mary, who was two years older than Sarah so would have been 17 when the family left for Australia. Sarah, Dugald and Catherine were also mentioned in the 1851 census. I also found a record in the 1841 Scotland census which appears to be the same family although the surname has been spelt as McAllum. This record does not mention Mary but does mention another daughter, Hellen, as well as Sarah and Dugald. These census records were found in Ancestry so are index records only. I will add this to the list of items to check in Scotland's People one day. The older girls possibly remained in Scotland. Anyway something to investigate further.

Looking at the places where Sarah and Charles' children were born they remained in Queensland until 1860. In 1861 they were in Free Church Street West Maitland when their second child was born. From 1867 they appear to be living in Wollongong. Articles in Trove show that John and his family are also in West Maitland in the 1860s. From 1863 the Maitland Mercury and Hunter River General Advertiser contains occasional advertisements for Randall's Estate containing the name of John McCallum. The advertisements are for tenders to repair properties - cottages or shops - and changes in the rent prices of houses in 1866. One advertisement in July1863 lists the address of John McCallum as Alma Cottage, West Maitland while one in September 1866 lists his address as Forest Lodge in East Maitland. There are also a series of articles in the same newspaper about a court case in February 1867 over a dispute about the collection of rents. Mr Bailey was questioning whether John McCallum was a collector of rents and this was confirmed in a letter from George Lee: "Mr McCallum has been for the last two years employed by me to collect my rents and debts, and still continues that service for me..." [2 February 1867].

When Catherine McCallum married Matthew Waddell on 2 August 1864 the ceremony took place at Alma Cottage West Maitland.

John McCallum died in Singleton in 1878. His wife had died in 1867 at Patrick Plains (a former name for Singleton). Consequently it would appear that John and Anne probably moved to the Singleton area in 1867. They may have moved there as their son, Dugald lived in Singleton. On 6 July 1867, when Dugald married Mary Munro Waddell, Dugald's occupation was listed as storekeeper. Trove provides a number of references in the Maitland Mercury and Hunter River General Advertiser to Dugald McCallum in Singleton. In 1875 he was a witness in a court case against a person who had been forging cheques [17 September 1875]. In 1881 he applied for permission to build a verandah in front of his new stores in George Street, to plane the front step, to alter the guttering and asphalt the footpath [26 February 1881]. Two years later, however, the local paper was reporting Dugald's financial problems [22 February 1883] and [11 September 1883]. New South Wales State Records record in their Insolvency Index that Dugald McCallum was declared insolvent from 20 February 1883 until 7 November of that year when a solvency certificate was issued. 
Sarah and Charles Septimus Smith also lived in Singleton for a time. When Lily was born in 1875 the family was living in Singleton however when Norman was born in 1878 the family had moved to Sydney.

Connections with the Waddell family
 Sarah's sister, Catherine, and her brother, Dugald, both married children of William Wadell of Singleton. William Waddell was born in Scotland on 15 September 1803. In 1839 he brought his family to Australia as Bounty Immigrants. The Bounty Immigrant scheme opperated between 1828-1842 to encourage skilled British labourers and tradespeople to migrate to the Colony of New South Wales. A bounty was paid to recruiting agencies to find suitable people and to the masters of ships to ensure safe passage. William and his family travelled aboard the Royal Admiral arriving on 26 September 1839.
Bounty Index cards
William was a gardener and was 35 when he came to Australia. His wife, Elizabeth (Munro) was 28. They had four children when they left Scotland - Matthew 7, Munro 5, William 3 and Catherine 9 months. The Singleton Argus 16 October 1895 contains a detailed obituary for William Waddell who died on 11 October 1895 aged 90. The family first settled at Glendon near Maitland where William worked for Mr Scott. They then moved to Singleton where he rented places of his own and established an orchard, vineyard and market garden. The property became known as the Greenwood Estate which was later subdivided and William then purchased a section - Townhead - on which he established an orchard. William and Elizabeth had four more children, including a daughter, Mary, when they arrived in Australia.

Catherine McCallum married Matthew Waddell in 1864. Dugald McCallum married Mary Munro Waddell at Townhead, Singleton in July 1869. Catherine, daughter of Sarah and Charles Septimus Smith, has Waddell as her second name. Kathleen, a researcher of the Smith family has noted that her great grandparents - George Newton and Elizabeth Smith (sister of Charles Septimus Smith) - lived in Singleton for many years and George was listed as one of the chief mourners at the funeral of Matthew Waddell in 1904. [Obituary in Maitland Daily Mercury 30 September 1904].

Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Sarah McCallum part 2

 In the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks project Sarah McCallum was Ancestor 25. When writing that post I had no information about Sarah's life before she came to Australia except that she was born in Glasgow in Scotland.

Recently Kathleen, who is also researching this branch of the family, sent me copies of records showing the immigration of Sarah and her family to Australia. The papers held by the State Records of New South Wales record that the family arrived in Sydney aboard the ship, William Miles, on 16 January 1855.

On this list of immigrants aboard the William Miles in Sydney on 16 January 1855, Sarah appears in the list of single women whose occupation was listed as House servant. She was aged 15, Native Place and County was Glasgow, religion was listed as Presbyterian and Neither was in the column Read or Write.

Also on the list was John McCallum, aged 49, who was a labourer from Argyleshire. His religion was Presbyterian and he could read and write. His wife, Anne, was 43 and Argyleshire was also listed as her Native Place or County. She could also read and write and was Presbyterian as were the other two children listed with their parents. Dougul was 13 and was from Glasgow. He could read and write but Catherine, his nine year old sister, also from Glasgow, could only read.

The State Records of New South Wales has digitised some of the shipping records on microfilm including Passenger Lists of the Family Colonization Loan Society 1854-1855. The Family Colonization Loan Society was a project founded by Caroline Chishom in the 1850s to assist families, particularly from Ireland and Scotland where there were employment problems, to migrate to Australia.

The South Australian Register 26 July 1851 published the following article about the visit of Caroline Chisholm's husband to the colonies to promote the project:
We have much pleasure in calling the attention of the public in general, and the industrious classes in particular, to the arrival of Captain A. Chisholm, of the Madras army, and husband of Mrs. Caroline Chisholm, whose benevolent exertions in the cause of free and particular female Emigrants, both in the Australian colonies and in England, for so many years, are so well known. The object of Captain Chisholm's visit to these colonies is purely benevolent: in order to aid in carrying out the Family Colonization Loan Society originated by Mrs. Chisholm, the principal object of which is to promote the reunion of the separated members of families. Amongst the members of the Central Committee of the Society in London we find the well-known benevolent names of Lord Ashley, and the Right Honourable Sydney Herbert. Parties wishing to send for their relations in England will have an opportunity of consulting Captain Chisholm, either personally or by letter, post-paid, at the office of the Society in King William- street, near the Southern Cross, Adelaide. Persons expecting relations out, may see at the office a list of the names of parties coming out here by the Society's next ship. We understand that Captain Chisholm intends in the course of next month to proceed to Port Phillip for the promotion of similar objects.
The Illustrated London News 28 February 1852  provides an article about a meeting of the society attended by more than 2,500 people. The article includes information about the operation of the society. Those deciding to emigrate to Australia paid part of the fare in advance and borrowed money from the Society to cover the rest of the fare. The money borrowed was to be paid back within two years of arriving in Australia. The website of the Caroline Chisholm Society also includes information about the Society.

The William Miles was only passing through Sydney as Queensland State Archives has records showing the passenger list of the William Miles arriving in Moreton Bay on 19 January 1855. The McCallum family are on the list in the Register of Passengers on Immigrant Ships Arriving in Queensland.
Sarah was listed as a Domestic on this list.
Argyle is listed as the place of origin for the family.

We know from reports in Australian newspapers digitised in Trove that the ship, William Miles, left Liverpool with emigrants for Morton Bay on 15 October 1854. (Maitland Mecury and Hunter River General Advertiser 10 January 1855)

The Ships List Emigrant Ships to Australia and New Zealand 1854-1856 shows that 406 people were aboard the ship when it left England on 16 October and two male passengers died during the three month voyage to Australia. Any child over 14 was classed as an adult. There were 210 male passengers and 101 female passengers plus 95 children - 50 boys and 45 girls.

In January 1905 advertisements were placed in local papers regarding the 50th anniversary of the arrival of the William Miles in Brisbane.
Ship William Miles Fiftieth Anniversary
Those persons who arrived in Queensland by the ship William Miles, in 1855, are invited, by advertisement, to attend a meeting at Eschenhagen's cafe, on Friday night, to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of this event. (The Telegraph 17 January 1905)
After the reunion there were a number of long articles describing the event including reminiscences of the voyage and first impressions of Brisbane. Reunion of old Colonists. Celebration of 'William Miles' Immigrants was the title of an article in the Courier Mail 21 January 1905. Immigrants' Jubilee. Arrivals by ship William Miles was the title of an article in The Week 27 January 1905.

According to the memory of  former passengers:
The ship "brought some 400 immigrants, chiefly Scottish, people. All the male immigrants were armed with muskets and cutlasses, fearing the possibility of attack by the Russian warships, the Crimean war then being in progress. Although the immigrants were brought out under Government immigrant regulations, every man of them paid his full passage money."
and once in the colony
"The vessel sailed from Liverpool on October 10, 1854, and her passengers arrived at the Queen's wharf just 50 years, ago that day. Brisbane was a very small place in those days. He remembered a man who was in what now is Queen street asking in which direction the town lay (Laughter). There were not a dozen houses to be seen in Brisbane at that time." (both quotes from article in The Week)

So from the information provided in one set of documents I was then able to use a range of resources to add to the information about the journey of Sarah and her family to Australia. However the search produced one more bonus. An immigration search in Ancestry produced further details about McCallum family in the New South Wales Australia Assisted Immigrant Passenger Lists 1828-1896. Although the details were basically the same as in other listings there was an additional column - Parents names and, if alive, their residence. For John McCallum the names in this column are Dugald and Sarah (dead) while for Ann the information given is Ronald and Mary Campbell. Her mother is listed as dead and I cannot read the placename for her father.

Sunday, 16 August 2015

Using Facebook for Family History research

In a recent post on the Genealogy-Do-Over Facebook group, Thomas MacEntee mentioned the Legacy Family Tree webinair he had recently made - Facebook: a tool for Genealogy Research. This is a member only resource for those who subscribe to Legacy Family Tree webinairs but the GeneaBloggers site has a link to a preview of the webinair.

This led me to think about how I use Facebook for genealogy research.When I set up my Facebook page in 2013 it was primarily to communicate with family and friends. However I soon discovered genealogy, history and library or archive organisations with Facebook pages and selected a number that I now receive regular updates from.  These Facebook groups are usually open sites and once you click the Like button you will receive in your News Feed any subsequent posts made in these groups. This is a good way to keep up to date with what is happening in your area of interest. Some of the Facebook pages of organisations that I have Liked include:
  • Scotlands Genealogy
  • Scotlands People
  • Irelands Genealogy Page
  • National Archives of Australia
  • National Archives (UK)
  • Inside History Magazine
  • VicGum
  • Royal Historical Society of Victoria
  • Facebook pages of a number of local historical societies
  • Hawkesbury Family History Group
  • Hawkesbury Library Service
  • Ancestry
  • Find My Past
  • Lost Melbourne and Lost Sydney
To locate the Facebook page of an organisation go to the Find Friends box at the top of your News Feed page and start typing in the name of the organisation - the more letters you type the more likely you will find what you are looking for. If you find a Facebook site you want to investigate click the link to go to the Facebook page.
In this example I was looking for Public Record Office of Victoria (third on the list). The note at the bottom of the page (in blue bar) - See more results - will provide additional options if you cannot find what you want in the initial list.
If you want to receive updates from this Facebook page click the Like button. The name of the group that you have Liked will appear in the left column of your Timeline page.

You can use the same method to locate people who may also be interested in your area of interest.

One of the features of Facebook is that groups for people with similar interests can be created. Recently I joined two groups related to my Convict research. I no doubt will add others to my list. There are also groups relating to specific branches of a family.
  • Norfolk Island History Lovers
  • First Fleet 1788 Researchers
Already I have found other researchers investigating members on my family tree as well as relevant information mentioned in earlier posts. Private messages can be sent to members of the group arranging to share information.
In the Search this group box under the header of the group page type in the name of the person you are researching. Any posts mentioning this name will then be displayed. Sometimes the person may be mentioned in a comment relating to the post.

Facebook can therefore be a useful tool for locating fellow researchers plus information relating to your family history research.

Since first writing this post I have discovered another interesting way that Facebook can be used to promote history or tell a story.  Anzac Live recounts the involvement of individual Australians during World War I as if they were posting their thoughts on Facebook.