Monday, 31 December 2018

Music and the Moses Family

Some of the articles located in Trove relating to the Moses family.

On Saturday afternoon last, a Matinee Musicale, under the auspices of Herr Kretschmann, specially organised for children, was given in the University Hall, Sydney. The entertainment was a great success. Amongst the most successful items was the " Stephanie " gavotte, in which Master Stanley Moses, son of Mr. W. Moses, of Windsor, and who really promises to become a splendid player, took part. The S. M. HERALD says:- 

The favourite ' Stephanie ' gavotte was then played by a small string band, the violins all being played by youthful performers, four of whom were of very tender years, and all, save one, of the gentler sex. That the little violinists were well drilled in their parts was at once evident, and a very good render ing was secured, the intonation being generally accurate and the phrasing judicious, while every bow moved together with almost mechanical uniformity." Later on, a " Mazurka " by Wieniawski, for two violins, was played by a young girl and Master Stanley Moses, who showed fair command over their instruments, coupled with intelligent understanding of the music. Miss Moses also played in the orchestral parts and acquitted herself admirably.
Windsor and Richmond Gazette Saturday 13 October 1888 page 4

The concert arranged by Mr. W. Moses attracted a large and fashionable audience to the Church of England Schoolroom on Wednesday evening last, and the general verdict, at the close of the entertainment, was that nothing could have been more enjoyable. The instrumental music was of the highest order of merit, and the excellent manner in which each item was rendered demonstrated the fact patent to all-that the most careful study must have been indulged in by Mr. Moses and his talented family to attain such a remarkable state of proficiency. The violin, which is a favourite instrument just now, may be said to be only second in importance to the human voice, while so an orchestra without a violin would be as devoid of tone and balance as a picture without light. It alone has the powers of expression and tone-painting, of sympathy and musical speech, with which only the human voice can compare, and on hearing the delightful strains, when one of these instruments is artistically handled, one is led to feel that the superstitions of music in the past were not without foundation. Space will not permit of our going into details, but it is only just that reference should be made at length to some of the more prominent numbers. The concert opened with a waltz, " Meadow sweet " (Florence Fare), played by the orchestra, comprising the following instru mentalists: Master W. Moses (flute), Miss Moses, Stanley Moses (1st violins), Mr. J. Herman New ton, Master Kirk (2nd violins), - Webber (viola), J. Tout (cornet), - Armour (2nd cornet), W. Iiaggar (clarionet), F. Hannabus (euphonium), W. Moses (double bass) ; accompanyist, Mrs. Moses. This was followed by " Souvenir de Naples " (R. Gylla), flute and piano, by Mrs. and W. M. Moses, an item which obtained much well merited applause. Hilton M. Moses succeeded, and this little fellow handled the bow, and played a solo, " Norma" (Charles Duncla), very fairly indeed for one so young. Then came a song, " La Serenata," with violin obligato (Braga), by Miss Primrose and Stanley Moses, the music being fairly well treated, the item as a whole coming in for a round of well-merited applause. Miss Moses treated the audience to a piano solo, " Thalberg." and the precision and skill which marked her manipulation of the instrument was much appre ciated. Petits Trios No. 6 for three violins (Miss Moses, Stanley Moses, and J. Herman Newton) was substituted for the cornet and piano item, Mr McMahon's absence being apologised for. A song by Mr. Piddington, " The Bedouin love song" (Ciro Pinsuti), was one of the most enjoyable numbers on the programme. Mr. Piddington's rich and powerful voice was heard to great advantage here, and he really deserved the high encomiums passed upon him by the audience as a body. Stanley Moses brought the first part to a close by with a violin conce. to, 7th, (Charles De Beriot), and this he played very carefully indeed, and with a degree of skill and ease which points to greater achievements in the future. Part 2 opened with a govotte, " Kensington " (C. H. R. Marriott), played in splendid style by the orchestra; and Mr. Piddington once more treated those present to the song, " Beauty's eyes " (F. Paolo Tosti), with violin accompaniment by Miss Moses, A duet violin, " Chauson polonaise" (Wieniawaski), by Miss and Stanley Moses, was a highly successful and pleasing number, whilst the violin concerto (Chas. De Beriot) by Miss Moses was certainly treated in a manner which re flected the highest credit upon the taste, touch, and sympathy of the player, who, if she progresses at the same rate as hitherto, will make an exceptionally clever violinist. Master W. M. Moses (flute) was acccorded the warmest applause for the solo, " Petit Bijou de Jetty Treffz," and he really earned it. Mr. J. Herman Newton simply made his violin speak when playing " Blue bells of Scotland " and "Campdown races" (J. Herman Newton); in fact he proved himself to be a master of his instrument throughout. The " Toy symphony " (Romberg), a quaint and highly successful item, one of the most pleasing of the evening, brought the entertainment to a close. We trust to have the pleasure of again seeing Mr. and Mrs. Moses and their really clever family on the platform once more ere long. Mr. J. Herman Newton acted as conductor during the evening.
The committee of management in connection with the Masonic Lodge, for the benefit of the hall of which body the concert was given, worked well and assisted in making the audience comfortable.
Windsor and Richmond Gazette Saturday 23 February 1889 page 4

Nicholas Nubbles Says: Henri Kowalski's grand concert will be given in the Centennial Town Hall, Sydney, this (Saturday) evening, and amongst the advertised list of contributors to the programme, we notice Master Stanley Moses billed as " the Wonderful Australian violinist." Miss V. Moses is to be the violin soloist at Kowalski's concert to-night, and Master Stanley Moses contributes a violin solo.
Windsor and Richmond Gazette Saturday 25 October 1890 page 4

Windsor Musicians in Sydney.
At Henry Kowalski's Concert on Saturday evening last, Miss Moses and Master Stanley Moses appeared. From the " Telegraph " we take the following highly eulogistic reference to Miss and Master Moses:

The concert opened with a largo by Handel, affording great scope for the strings, of which full advantage was taken, and the beautiful theme was clearly played, the solos being well and crisply given by Miss Moses and Mr. Stevenson. Two of the features of what was throughout a high-class concert were the appearance of a boy violinist, Master Stanley Moses, and a girl pianist, Miss Edith Kinminster, 10 years old, of Manly. The former is a musical enthusiast, possessed of genius, and his playing of the difficult tith concerto of Spohr was wonderful, both for its breadth of tone and brilliancy of execution. The pianoforte accompaniment was played by Mr. Kowalski, and the little fellow seemed to throw his whole soul into the inspired music of the composer. He was enthusiastically recalled and repeated the last movement.
The " S.M. Herald " is somewhat milder in its praise of Master Stanley, but still it acknowledges the lad's undoubted ability:

The remaining soloists were instrumentalists, both of them children of tender years. Master Stanley Moses has in him the makings of a good violinist, and is apparently not troubled by any nervous peturbation, such as often militates against the public success of older performers, he has, for his age, a free style of bowing and seems likely to gain a broad quality of tone, while his fingers appear lissom enough to facilitate the acquirement of ready execution. At present, however, he has not attained to accuracy of stopping, and consequently not even admiration for the evident cleverness of the child could check a feeling of regret that his performances were not still confined to the practice-room.
Windsor and Richmond Gazette Saturday 1 November 1890 page 3

Entertainment at Wilberforce.
In point of numbers the concert; given under the auspices of the Wilberforce Pro gress Association (the object of the entertainment being to raise funds to fittingly celebrate Arbor Day at the local Public School), which eventuated on Friday evening last, proved eminently satisfactory -a result which must be very gratifying to the promoters, chief among whom were Messrs H. R. Bultsworth and Murray, ably assisted by Miss Bowd, and Messrs. E. Bowd H. Nicholls, and H. Stevens. The programme was long, varied, and well chosen, and the performance as a whole was thoroughly enjoyable. The instrumental items of Masters William and Stanley Moses -as also the comic songs and music hall ditties- were much appreciated, but we were surprised to see that the higher class vocal items-all thoroughly-well rendered-failed to please. In our judgment, the treat of the evening was the perfor mance of Master Stanley Moses. We have a modest estimate of our capabilities as a critic of the violin, but we are quite sure that the talent-patent in every movement of the bow and every note produced during his too brief stay with the audience, presages a career such as few who undertake the violin ever attain to. Master W. Moses, brother to the coming violinist, is likewise developing unusual proficiency on his own instrument-the flute-also left the audience with some recollections not easily to be dimmed, and both these young per formers received flattering orations at the conclusion of their respective pieces. Miss Primrose sang two solos, fully sustaining her reputation for excellent and cultured vocalization ; and Mr. B. S. Bennett, who journeyed from Sydney to assist in the praise-worthy cause, being in good voice, contributed two baritone numbers in capital style. Miss Pitt also sang two solos in a pleasing manner, and little Master Cobcroft was loudly applauded for his song. The accompaniments were played by Miss Eather, Miss Pitt, and Miss M. Dunstan. Miss Moses accompanied her brothers in their instrumental pieces. Following is the programme in extenso:-Class-song, by the children of the Wilberforce Public School; song, "O'er the hills with Patrick," Miss Pitt; flute solo, Master W. Moses; song " Queen of the Earth," Mr. Bennett; comic " Ask a Policeman," Mr. G. Mortley; song " The Little Hero," Master R. Cob croft ; violin solo, Master Stanley Moses ; solo, " The song that reached me Heart," Miss Primrose; song " The Maid of the Mill," Mr. A. Cobcroft; comic, Mr. W. Mortley, " Never Again"; recitation " The Lover's Sacrifice," Mr. W.Bowman; comic song " Many a Time" Mr. C. Davies; ballad "Some day I'll wander back Again," Master E. Dunstan; class-song, " In the prison Cell," by the children; recitation, "Shamus O'Brien," Professor Rex, who was encored and gave A. L. Gordon's " How we beat the Favourite"; song " Kathleen Mavourneen," Miss Primrose; song " Midship mite," Mr. Bennett; comic "Up to Date," Mr. C. Mortley; serio-comic " What a wicked young girl you are," Mr. A. Cobcroft; comic, "That's good enough," Mr. W. Mortley; recitation, Mr. W. Bowman. Mr. R. H. Buttsworth proposed a hearty vote of thanks to the performers, which was seconded by Mr. E. Bowd and carried by acclamation.
Windsor and Richmond Gazette Saturday 16 July 1892 page 6

A complimentary concert is to be tendered Master Stanley Moses at the Church of England School-room on Tuesday evening next, on which Mons. H. Kowalski and Mons. Poussard will contribute to the programme, which will be a first-class one in all respects. The same evening, a testimonial, - the proceeds of the concert being devoted to the purpose-will be presented to Master Moses. At the Sydney Quintette Society's concert on Thursday evening (says the " Daily Telegraph') " Master Stanley Moses, one of M. Poussard's cleverest pupils, and who leaves for Belgium on the 27th inst., displayed his skill as a juvenile violinist to advantage in Mendelssohn's Andante and Finale, the fanciful Finale being better in point of enunciation than the melodious Andante.
Windsor and Richmond Gazette Saturday 18 March 1893 page 4

Thus "Rip" in the "Nepean Times " of Saturday last, referring to the concert in connection with the Richmond Methodist Church : Mr. Hilton Moses, son of Mr. W. Moses, of George-street Windsor (and brother of the world-famed Stanley Moses), was there with the violin, and received vociferous applause for every item. That Mr. Moses has another ' star ' in , Hilton is beyond question ; and I trust the young and promising violinist will be sent to places where he will be able to attain the topmost round in the ladder, and that, after doing so, he will be spared many years of life to reap his reward. Often have I lingered in days gone by to listen to the Moses family in their home. Itwas elevating-it was soothing. I am afraid it would be a very difficult task to accurately describe this young violinist's performances.
Hawkesbury Herald Friday 23 January 1903 page 4

Friday, 28 December 2018

#52Ancestors - Week 52 - Resolution

Well the year is almost over and time to reflect on what has been achieved and start planning for next year's possible rearch projects.

Complete the2018  #52Ancestor challenge
Undertaking the #52Ancestors challenge has highlighted some of the areas where I would like to / need to do further research. But first I have eight more prompts (29 - 36) to write about that I left out when we were were overseas.

Organise my collection more effectively
A major project is to sort through the material that I have been collecting since I started researching the family history at the age of 17. Much of the material is in folders relating to families but there is also other material that I have not had time to sort properly. When I retired I was given a voucher for Archival Survival so need to order some more boxes and organise the material so it is easier to find what I want when I want to find it.

Further research
In my blog, Family Connections,  I have written posts on some of the themes that reoccur in my family history, particularly sport, music, theatre, art and writing and plan to investigate these areas further.

A major aim is to collect all the stories in my blog relating to specific families so I can start compiling histories of those families.

I need to do further research into members of my father's family, particularly members of the extended family. As many members of the Moses family lived in the Hawkesbury area articles in Trove provide a wealth of information.

Eight of my convicts lived in the Hawkesbury area so I need to do further research into what it was like living in the region in the nineteenth century.

Several years ago I did a great deal of research into the life of George Guest and Mary Bateman who moved to Hobart Town from Norfolk Island in 1805. I still need to investigate the story where George allowed the army to use a couple of buildings that he owned and they then sold off the land when he was in Sydney. Needless to say George was not pleased. I suspect that George may have also had some additional land in the Hobart area apart from his main properties at Risdon, on Macquarie Point and the Seven Stars Inn.

Several years ago I was sent information about family connections with India but have not had time to read it properly and do further research. Hopefully 2019 may be the year.

Perhaps the most important resolution for 2019 is to concentrate on working on a particular project and not become side-tracked by investigating what Thomas MacEntee refers to as Big Shiny Objects. Easier said than done!

It will be interesting to revisit this post this time next year and see what progress has been made on some of these research areas.

#52Ancestors - Week 51 - Nice

Continuing last week's theme of Naughty and Nice, in conjunction with the Christmas season, this week the emphasis is on Nice. Nice has many meanings in the online dictionaries including marvellous, good, pleasant, agreeable and kind.

Family history research creates many challenges especially when one of the ancestors is John Smith. Annie Smith is also a challenge to locate. Fortunately John Smith used more distinctive names for some of his children including the name of my great (x2) grandfather, Charles Septimus Smith.

My research has been assisted via my public tree on Ancestry and my Family Connections blog which have put me in contact with a number of people researching the same family and needless to say we are only too ready to share information that we uncover. Every little bit helps.

Earlier this year I received a communication via my blog from a researcher who discovered the name, Charles Septimus Smith, when researching her great (x2) grandmother, Mary Huskins. Mary had been arrested after attempting suicide and Charles Septimus Smith had paid the £50 bail money for her release from prison. The record was reported in a court record dated 23 August 1889 which I have not yet seen but there are references to Mary and her court case in Trove which provided background for the story. Below are some of the notes I made when investigating the story:

Charles had a large family - he and Sarah had fourteen children (one died when a baby). The family appear to have travelled widely, especially in NSW - Maitland, Singleton, Wollongong, back to Singleton, Newtown, Camperdown, Marrickville, then Glenbrook where he died. In 1889 he was probably living in Marrickville.

In the articles in Trove Mary was taken to Newtown Police Court and the doctor who spoke about the incident was from Croydon.  Marrickville and Croydon are in a similar area.

Looking in Trove, Mary attempted suicide on Thursday 20 June 1889 at Edwin Street, Croydon. (Sydney Morning Herald 22 June 1889).Mary was almost 60 years old when she attempted suicide and was charged. She subsequently went to court and was sentenced to 6 months good behaviour.

Apparently Adelaide had been very ill for some time and Mary had been looking after her.If her daughter, Adelaide, married John Shepherd, Adelaide died on 30 June 1889 and lived at Turner Street, Ryde. (Evening News 8 July 1889). [BDM NSW 1790/1883 Marriage John Shepherd to Adelaide Hukins]

It is possible that members of the Smith family and Huskins family may have met at some time. I am sure that Charles did not have sufficient funds to regularly pay bail for people so there must have been an association. One day we may discover what that association was and also locate more information about Charles and other possible good deeds.

In the meantime we must admit that it appears to have been a nice or kind or compassionate act of Charles to assist Mary when she was in need.

Some people just want additional information for themselves and are not interested in offering any information in return. However my experience has shown that many researchers are only too happy to keep in touch and share information. The sharing of information among family history researchers often provides additional layers to a story and to the character of the person being researched. The internet has certainly provided additional opportunities for family history research.
Gritty Newtown - Historic Walking Tour

Thursday, 27 December 2018

#52Ancestors - Week 50 - Naughty

In the festivities before Christmas my two school age grandchildren could be heard singing enthusiastically parts of the song,  Santa Claus is Coming to Town which includes the line - He's going to find out who's naughty and nice. My six year old grandson was reminded on several occations that he would end up only with a potato in his stocking if he did not stop being naughty.

The theme for the third last post in this series of #52Ancestors is Naughty. Looking at definitions of naughty in a number of online dictionaries the word usually refers to children in the context of being badly behaved, disobedient or not doing as they are told. Frequently young children learn by pushing the boundaries, sometimes with unfortunate results. Competition between siblings can sometimes end in disaster as this childhood recollection from my mother, who lived on a sheep station in south western Queensland, illustrates:

I had a very lonely childhood I suppose though I didn't think so at the time. There was only my brother, Michael, who was three years older. We did not have much in common. I guess I was my father's little girl until four or five, then I was run over.

The story as I remember it was I was with Mother and Huhu, who was driving. Michael and I were in the back (of the car). Not far from the homestead we came to a gate and we both wanted to open it. We had an argument. The door was opened and I somehow managed to fall out of the car. The car went over my leg above the right knee. It was not broken but a broken leg may have mended better. Fortunately Huhu, being a nurse, knew what to do. I was rushed into hospital and was in hospital for a couple of weeks. I still have a nasty scar. I remember walking around proudly with a large bandage on my leg.
The above incident would have occurred around 1930. Reading between the lines in the above tale both the children were no doubt being naughty and probably ignored the adults in the front of the car who would have been trying to keep the peace. I suspect that there were rules about taking turns to open and close gates. I know that many years later my sister and I would sometimes have discussions as to whose turn it was to open the gate when we were visiting my grandparents' farm. My two older grandchildren have constant arguments in the back of the car. Times do not change.
Mum and Uncle Michael when not arguing

Sunday, 9 December 2018

#52Ancestors - Week 49 - Weather Down Under

The prompt for this week's post is Winter but as the temperature reached 38 degrees Celsius in Melbourne on Friday followed by a hot and muggy day I have decided to look at the experiences of the convicts, especially those of the First Fleet, who arrived in New South Wales at the end of January 1788.

The ships of the First Fleet had left England in the middle of May with summer approaching. By the time the ships reached New South Wales it was mid-summer while back home in England it would have been mid-winter. The convicts and their minders were plunged into a climate very different from that experienced at home.

A number of reports written by first settlement participants provided their view of the climate. It wasn't just the heat but the sudden thunderstorms that concerned the new arrivals.

Lieutenant Ralph Clark recorded on 31 January  - what a terrible night it was of thunder and lightening and rain. (Hill p161)

Lieutenant Watkin Tench described the hot summer winds as being like a blast from a heated oven. (Tench p232) He recorded that one day the temperature peaked at a hundred and nine degrees fahrenheit, which killed some of the vegetables that had been planted.

Generally Tench seemed to approve of the New South Wales climate. The climate is undoubtedly very desirable to live in. In summer the heats are usually moderated by the sea breeze, which sets in early, and in winter the degree of cold is so slight as to occasion no inconvenience. However he later provided additional information regarding the storm experienced by Clark. Ere we had been a fortnight on shore we experienced some storms of thunder accompanied with rain , than which nothing can be conceived more violent and tremendous, and their repetition for several days, joined to the damage they did by killing several of our sheep, led us to draw presages of an unpleasant nature. He then added - Happily, however, for many months we have escaped any similar visitations. (Tench p76-7)

Tench was interested in the differences in temperatures experienced in Sydney compared with  Rose Hill and provided reasons for the possible cause of this.

After living in the colony for two and a half years Watkin Tench appears to have become used to the new weather patterns and observed:
It is changeable beyond any other I ever heard of ... Clouds, storms and sunshine pass in rapid succession. Of rain, we found in general not a sufficiency, but torrents of water sometimes fall. Thunderstorms, in summer, are common and very tremendous, but they have ceased to alarm, from rarely causing mischief. Sometimes they happen in winter. I have often seen large hailstones fall. Frequent strong breezes from westward purge the air. These are almost invariably attended with a hard clear sky. The easterly winds by setting in from the sea, bring thick weather and rain, except in summer, when they become regular sea-breezes...

To sum up: notwithstanding the inconveniences which I have enumerated, I will venture to assert in a few words that no climate hitherto known is more generally salubrious, or affords more days on which those pleasures which depend on the state of the atmosphere can be enjoyed, than that of New South Wales. The winter season is particularly delightful. (Tench p235)
Thanks to the records kept by Watkin Tench and other officers we are able to see how the early Europeans became used to and eventually adapted to the different climatic conditions experienced in Australia compared with England.

Tench, Watkin. 1788: comprising A narrative of the expedition to Botany Bay and A complete account of the settlement at Port Jackson. Edited and introduced by Tim Flannery. Text Publishing, 1996

Hill, David. 1788: the brutal truth of the First Fleet. William Heinemann, 2008

Sunday, 2 December 2018

#52Ancestors - Week 48 - Next to last

Family history research often produces mysteries that can take a while to solve, particularly when you are unaware initially that a mystery even exists.

My grandfather, Henry John (Reginald) Moses, was the youngest of five children, or so we thought. The first four children of George and Elizabeth Moses - Letitia, Parthenia, George and Elsie - were born between 1866 and 1879. Reg was born ten years later in 1889. I remember my aunt saying that my grandfather was a 'change of life' baby when the gap between Elsie and Reg was mentioned in a conversation. There was also a gap of eight years between the birth of George and Elsie which was a little unusual when babies were often born every two years in families at that time.

Records in the NSW Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages confirmed the births of the five children. The section about this family in the book, A Rich Inheritance, provided the same information. It was only when I was trying to locate the date of death of my great grandmother that I discovered that Reg had another sister, Constance, who was born in 1882.

The resources that helped me locate the existence and life of Constance Henrietta Moses are recorded in a separate blog post Moses family notes. Needless to say it was searching Trove for information about the death of my great grandmother that led to the discovery of the existence of another great aunt who was the 'next to last, child in her family.

Having discovered Constance the mystery still remains as to why her birth does not appear to have been registered when the births of her brothers and sisters appear in the official records. Another mystery is why family members appear not to have been aware of her even though she did not die until 1974.

Constance was 19 when she married her first husband in 1902. She and her husband moved to Queensland. After the death of her husband in 1926 she later remarried. Constance's mother had obviously kept in touch with her daughter as Elizabeth was staying at her daughter's house when she died. It was the death notice referring to Mrs E J Babington as Elizabeth's daughter that alerted me to the fact that there was apparently an unknown child in the family.

It is unlikely that we will ever know the full story as to why Constance (or Hettie as she was later known) was not recorded in any family records. However she has now been reinstated into her rightful place in our family tree.

Friday, 23 November 2018

#52Ancestors - Week 47 - Thankful

Once upon a time those researching information about their family history did not have access to the many resources now available to researchers via the Internet. Much of the information required was available on microfilm or microfiche and, of course, in books. It therefore could take a great deal of time to locate even relatively basic information.

Sarah Guest was born on Norfolk Island on 1 May 1792. On 12 September 1808 she married Thomas William Birch at St David's Church in Hobart. Sarah and Thomas had seven children and then Thomas died 1 December 1821. I was unable to locate any information about Sarah's death. It was a mystery. I did realise that she may have remarried, especially as Sarah was 29 when Thomas died, but I did not have the time to travel into the city to spend hours investigating microform records for possible information about Sarah.

Some years later, when working in a library, I came across a series of books with the title - Genealogical Research Directory. These volumes, published annually, contained the names of people being researched with the name of the researcher. You could therefore look up the name of someone on your family tree to see if they appeared in the book and, if so, who was researching that person.
Among the many names I discovered the name of Sarah Birch. I contacted the researcher and discovered that Sarah was also her great (x3) grandmother but she was was not related to Thomas. Her great (x3) grandfather was Edmund Irton Hodgson. We exchanged the family tree information that we each had for Sarah and I could now complete Sarah's life story. On 29 November 1823 Sarah had married Edmund Hodgson and she and Edmund had six children. Sarah died in Hobart on 31 March 1868 aged 75.

Needless to say, over the years I have been able to add the flesh to Sarah's story, especially via newspaper articles in Trove and other sources. However I am very thankful that many years ago the Genealogical Research Directory existed to assist family history researchers connect with others researching the same family member.

Thursday, 22 November 2018

#52Ancestors - Week 46 - Random Fact

One of my bearded ancestors in the last #52Ancestors post, Alfred Percy Lord, joined the local bowling club when he retired to Manly.

In November 1905 Alfred was chosen to play in a private New South Wales team against South Australia in Adelaide. This team also played matches against Victoria. The Adelaide Advertister and newspapers from New South Wales and Melbourne reported the activities of this touring team.
Sydney Mail and NSW Advertiser 8 Nov 1905
Alfred was not the only family member in this team - Harry Moses, the son of my great grandfather's brother, was also a member. Harry was well known in New South Wales as a cricketer and, as well as being a member of the New South Wales team, he played six games for Australia against England. Reports show that he was also a good lawn bowler and, after the tournaments against Victoria and South Australia in the Sydney team, he was selected in the official New South Wales team for another tournament.

Lawn bowls had been played in the colony from at least 1845 when advertisements appeared in newspapers advising of games in various locations. A number of hotels, including several Woolpack Inns, established bowling rinks. The first recognised bowls club in New South Wales was the Parramatta (Woolpack) Club which was established in 1869. Other clubs followed.

In May 1880 it was decided to form a bowling association and the first clubs to join were Parramatta, Annandale and Sydney (City). Other, but not all, clubs joined the New South Wales Bowling Association. The Victorian Bowling Association, with ten clubs, was also formed in 1880.

Inter-colonial matches between New South Wales and Victoria were quickly established. As other states also formed bowling associations inter-colonial matches between these states were also held. The first visit of a New South Wales side to New Zealand occurred in January 1900. In 1900 there were plans to establish the Australasian Bowling Association and in the following year the first accredited team of Australasian bowlers toured in the United Kingdom.

Newspaper reports discovered via Trove describe how the Sydney team travelled to Melbourne and then to Adelaide by train for the competitions. They played a number of matches in each city. Each match appears to have been played on five rinks with teams of four players on each side.
Evening Journal (Adelaide) 24 Nov 1905
The visiting players were well entertained during their visit to Melbourne and Adelaide as can be seen in the following newspaper report:
Critic (Adelaide) 22 Nov 1905
Generally a good time appears to have been had by all.

Alfred and Harry are from different branches of my family tree but they obviously knew each other through the game of lawn bowls.


Further reading:
History of Bowls in Australia

New South Wales Bowls to 1900

Centenary: the history of the Royal New South Wales Bowling Association 1880-1980.

Friday, 9 November 2018

#52Ancestors - Week 45 - Bearded

When I undertook the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks project in 2014 a number of the men featured in that series had prominent facial hair. Sometimes sporting beards, sometimes moustaches, portraits of these ancestors appear in this post.

I do not have images of all my ancestors, of course, however there are photos of four of my 2nd great-grandfathers.

Simeon Lord (junior) 1810-1892 would probably win the prize for the hairiest of my more recent ancestors. In this portrait he is shown with a splendid beard and moustache blending with his thick longish hair.
Simeon Lord 1810-1892
Simeon Lord was born in Sydney but moved to Tasmania in 1826, no doubt to look after his father's business interests. In 1831 he married Sarah Birch and they established the property Bona Vista at Avoca. In the 1870s Simeon and Sarah moved to Queensland where he had interests in a number of properties though he and his wife mainly lived in Brisbane.

Another gentleman with extensive facial hair was William Forbes Hutton (1816-1896). In the portrait below he has a rounded bushy beard, a moustache and thick sideburns.
William Forbes Hutton (1816-1896)

Colonel William Forbes Hutton was born in England but spent much of his life in the British Army in India. In 1871 he decided to settle in Australia and eventually purchased a property and built a large home for his family at Lilydale in Victoria.

John William Hillcoat (1828-1907, in the photo below, although he does not appear to have much hair on the top of his head has a thick rounded beard, prominent moustache and sideburns.
John William Hillcoat (1828-1907)
John William Hillcoat was born in Bath, England. He remained in England until November 1851 when, with his wife, he travelled to South Australia. John appears to have had a number of careers. In England his occupation was listed as Fundholder in the 1851 census. In South Australia he leased a property but was not successful at farming and was declared insolvent. The family returned to England and then some years later reappeared in Australia - this time in New South Wales where he owned a music store. He then tried his luck mining at Gympie in Queensland and must have made some money as he eventually purchased a property and raised cattle.

William Clifton Weston (1833-1889), in this photo which was later coloured, does not have a beard but he certainly has an impressive moustache and sideburns.
William Clifton Wilson (1833-1889)
William Clifton Weston was born in New South Wales. He was initially a surgeon and coroner at Sofala, a gold mining town. He also held a number of other public offices, including Clerk of Petty Sessions at Coonamble, and finally moved to Parkes where he was Coroner.

There are also photographs of two of my great grandfathers who had impressive moustaches.

Alfred Percy Lord (1852-1927) is the distinguished looking gentleman with the moustache in the photo below.
Alfred Percy Lord (1852-1927)
 Alfred Percy Lord was born at Avoca, Tasmania, and was the youngest son of Simeon Lord junior. In 1869 he headed to Queensland where he worked on family properties. With two of his brothers he became involved in a number of mining ventures. They also purchased a cattle property but he had to look for other employment due to a series of droughts in the 1870s. He found work in a bank and eventually became manager of the Gympie branch of Australian Joint Stock Bank. The 1890s depression saw him back on the land and he had a number of properties before eventually purchasing the sheep station, Victoria Downs, in south west Queensland. He also purchased a number of other properties for his sons. He spent the last years of his life in Manly.

James Campbell Thom (1863-1929) has a most impressive moustache in the photo below.
James Campbell Thom (1863-1929)
James Campbell Thom was born in Dunoon in Scotland and travelled to Australia with his family in 1877. He became a lawyer and in 1893 became the first Solicitor for Railways in New South Wales. He tried his hand at journalism for a time but eventually was admitted as a barrister of the Supreme Court. As the uniform in the above photo suggests James was also involved in the NSW military forces where he eventually became a Major. I also have a later photograph of James showing him clean shaven.

As can be seen from the above photos, the nineteenth century and early twentieth century certainly provided some men the opportunity to experiment with facial hair with a variety of styles are on show.

Saturday, 3 November 2018

#52Ancestors - Week 44 - Frightening

This prompt is meant to tie in with Halloween including family ghost stories. However there are many occasions when life could be frightening, perhaps even more frightening than ghosts, for the settlers trying to make a living in the Hawkesbury area of NSW during colonial times.

We all know that Australia is a land where you can expect droughts, floods and / or bushfires somewhere in the country each year however this would have been unsettling for newcomers in New South Wales at the beginning of the nineteenth century. The land in which they were attempting to make a new home was definitely foreign and could be considered threatening compared to the natural environment of their former homeland.

Many former convicts had moved to the Hawkesbury area to establish small farms and associated businesses in the settlements that were gradually established. However in order to create land suitable for farming the land needed to be cleared and accommodation of some sort constructed from available materials for landholders and their families. They were surrounded by thick, alien bush. Large cliffs and mountains formed a barrier to the west. Then there was the river which meandered through the landscape, often a source of transport as well as a food source providing fish. However the river could turn into a destroyer during heavy rains forcing torrents of water downstream, covering the land and destroying all in its path.

Such a flood occurred in the Hawkesbury area in 1806. The river flooded the surrounding land frequently - there had been substantial floods in 1796, 1799, 1801 and 1806 and this pattern continued over the years. With five years between 1801 and 1806 some of the residents would not have experienced the effects of major flooding and in many cases were devastated when they watched much of their livelihood float away. Five people died due to the floods.Crops that had recently been harvested disappeared down river. Buildings were wrecked and livestock drowned.

The chapter, 'Seeding and Breeding', in Grace Karskens' book, The Colony: the history of early Sydney, provides a useful account of life in the early Hawkesbury River settlement including the effects of the floods with the rivers suddenly rising fifteen metres or on one occasion 19 metres. In 1806 the valley flooded three times. These floods were not only catastrophic for those living near the Hawkesbury River but also for those in Sydney relying on the crops grown in this region.

A search in Trove for newspaper articles about Hawkesbury flood published in 1806 provides 33 articles. A search generally for Hawkesbury flood 1806 provides many more articles looking back at the devastation of the floods in 1806.

Novels can also convey the experiences and feelings of people living in settlements along the Hawkesbury River in the early nineteenth century. In 2005 Kate Grenville published her novel, The Secret River, detailing the story of William Thornhill as he attempted to make a new life in the colony. (Reading and other pursuits blog).  This year historian Peter Cochrane has published a novel - The Making of Martin Sparrow - where the 1806 flood is the background for all that follows. (Reading and other pursuits blog). Cochrane graphically describes the devastation of the flood on the small community situated along the river.
Recent armyworm invasion in Tasmania - ABC 11 Dec 2017
Of course the European settlers on the Hawkesbury in Colonial times also experienced other challenges to their survival apart from floods. Karskens describes concerns faced when rains required for the crops did not come on time, when the wheat crop was affected by blight (a plant disease often caused by a fungus) or when there were plagues of insects  such as flymoth or armyworms (caterpillar plagues). Problems could also exist between 'types' of settlers - free men, convicts, former convicts, officers who often did not get along. Settlements were also on Aboriginal land which could result in conflict. Bushrangers also roamed the area.

Consequently there would have certainly been times when our ancestors living in the Hawkesbury region of New South Wales may have found life frightening.

Hawkesbury River Floods - Hawkesbury Heritage and Happenings

The Hawkesbury River Floods of 1801, 1806 and 1809 by JCH Gill Royal Historical Society of Queensland vol. 8 no. 4 (1969) pp706-736.

Hawkesbury March 27, Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser 30 March 1806 pp2-3

Peter Cochrane novel The Making of Martin Sparrow set in the Hawkesbury - Hawkesbury Gazette 13 July 2018

Kate Grenville, The Secret River, Text Publishing, 2001

Peter Cochrane, The Making of Martin Sparrow, Viking, 2018

Grace Karskens, The Colony: the history of early Sydney, Sydney, Allen & Unwin 2009 pp 98-157.

Saturday, 27 October 2018

#52Ancestors - Week 43 - Cause of Death

On Wednesday the 18th instant, an inquest was held at Parramatta, before James Wright Esq. J. P. in the absence of the Coroner, on the body of Charles Daly, late of Windsor, who was accidentally killed on the previous evening, on the road near Parramatta, by the wheel of a cart, laden with maize, passing over his body. The jury returned a verdict accordingly.

Sydney Gazette and NSW Advertiser 26 May 1831

The brief report of an inquest reported the death of my great x3 grandfather, Charles Daley
Charles died on 17 May 1831. The website Irish Convicts to New South Wales states that Charles died 1831 in Windsor Road, Winston Hills. Winston Hills is approximately 7 km north of Paramatta while Windsor is approximately 29 km north west of Winston Hills if travelling via Windsor Road.

Barbara Hall in her book, Of Infamous Character: the convicts of the Boddingtons, Ireland to Botany Bay, 1793, provides some additional information: 'Charles Daley died when his cart ran over him, whilst he was returning from the Sydney market. His son-in-law John Wood found the body'.

Three mentions of the death of Charles Daley each providing a clue or clues to his sad demise.
Winston Hills to Windsor (Google Maps)
The John Wood mentioned by Barbara Hall was the son of two convicts and was born in Sydney in 1798. In 1829 he married Mary Ann Daley (1811-1894), the second daughter of convicts Charles Daley and Susannah Alderson. John Wood's detailed obituary published in the Hawkesbury Chronicle and Farmers Advocate provides information about John's life including his occupation as 'principal carrier in Windsor'. The paper described what his job involved:
The storekeepers and farmers of the district trusted him implicitly with the conveyance of their goods to and from Sydney, and many were the important commissions he executed on behalf of his patrons. It was a serious matter in those days carrying on the Windsor and Parramatta Road. Over dreadfully bad roads in danger of bushrangers and marauders, it was at least a two days journey each way.
In 1831 the journey from Windsor to Sydney was a long one taking at least two days. Originally the favoured route from Sydney to Windsor was by water, particularly when transporting goods of any kind. A narrow track between the two locations was constructed in 1794 and it was gradually widened to allow carts to travel via this route (Old Windsor Road). When Governor Macquarie arrived he made the improvement of the road a priority (Windsor Road). Toll gates were introduced to pay for the construction and upkeep of the road. However, as suggested in the newspaper article, the condition of the road was not good.

We know from the 1822 muster that Charles owned land at Windsor, including 14 acres of wheat, 6 acres of maize and 6 acres of barley. He also had 70 hogs. The inquest states that Chales' cart was carrying a load of maize so he was probably taking the produce to (not from) the market in Sydney and decided to travel with John on one of his trips there.

We know that the accident occurred on the Windsor Road near Winston Hills, not far from Parramatta. The road would have been narrow and not in good repair. There was probably bush on each side of the road. It would also seem that Charles and John were travelling separately for a time. The width of the road would probably have prevented them travelling two abreast. Perhaps John lost sight of Charles' cart when they went around a bend.

We can only surmise how the accident may have occurred. Maybe the cart wheel become stuck in a rut or went off the the side of road and Charles was run over when trying to rectify the situation. Maybe the horse was startled by an animal and the accident occurred when Charles tried to calm him. Whatever happened it must have been a shock for John to discover his father-in-law dead on the road.

We also do not know if Charles had made this journey to Sydney before. If the farmers in the Windsor area were all planting similar crops it would probably be easier to sell the maize in a larger centre such as Sydney. The market in Sydney was origially located near the wharf as much of the early produce was brought to Sydney by boat. The market then moved into Market Square in George Street.  

There are obviously questions arising from Charles' death which will never be answered however it is possible, from the information discovered so far, to try and understand how this accident may have occurred.
Barbara Hall,  Of Infamous Character: the convicts of the Boddingtons, Ireland to Botany Bay, 1793, (2004).

The late Mr John Wood - Hawkesbury Chronicle and Farmers Advocate 26 May 1883

RoadsOld Windsor Road and Windsor Road Heritage Precincts - NSW Office of Environment and Heritage

Windsor and Old Windsor Roads - NSW Office of Environment and Heritage

Roads - Dictionary of Sydney

Australian agricultural and rural life - getting to market - State Library of NSW

Sydney's Paddy's markets - History

Sydney's early markets were far from super - Daily Telegraph 20 June 2018

Tuesday, 23 October 2018

#52Ancestors - Week 42 - Conflict

The topic for this week's challenge, Conflict, provides the opportunity to look at the background of the Irish Rebellion of 1798. The words Conflict and Ireland often appear together, particularly in the twentieth century. However the conflict that occurred in Ireland at the end of the eighteenth century resulted in a number of Irish convicts being transported to Australia including my great x3 grandfather, John Pendergast.

On 11 January 1800 John Pendergast arrived in Australia aboard the convict ship, Minerva. The ship had left Cork on 24 August 1799. One hundred and sixty-two male convicts plus twenty-six female convicts arrived aboard the ship at Port Jackson. The Friendship, also carrying convicts from Ireland, arrived on the same day. The Anne, carrying convicts involved in the rebellion, arrived at Port Jackson thirteen months later. What caused this influx of Irish convicts to Australia at this time?
United Irishmen crest
In 1782 there had been some reforms regarding the Irish Parliament allowing Irish parliamentarians to make their own laws without reference to the English Parliament. However membership of the Irish Parliament was restricted to members of the Anglican Church and were therefore descendants of the English, rather than Irish, families. There were few elections and few people were able to vote. Changes in 1782 improved life in Ireland for some Catholics including provision of new Catholic schools and churches, Catholics were still excluded from political power and owning land was also restricted. Although some progress had been made, many people in the country decided it was time for a change.

The Society of United Irishmen was established in Belfast in October 1791. The aim of the group was to reform the Irish parliament and they planned to do this by uniting Protestants, Catholics and Dissenters in one organisation. The American Revolution (1776) and the French Revolution (1789) provided encouragement for the formation of the group. The leader of this movement was Theobald Wolfe Tone.

The initial plans were that this nonsecular group would lobby for the vote to be extended to Catholics and non-property holders. The motto of the group was 'to unite Catholic, Protestant and Dissenter under the common name of Irishman'.

Initially the group had some success. In 1793 Catholics received the right to vote (if they owned property worth more than 40 shillings a year), to attend university and serve in the civil service and in the military. However they could not sit in Parliament or hold public office.

However any gains were short lived when members of the group supported the French Republic, which was at war with England, forcing the United Irishmen to become an underground movement from 1794. The goal of the group then changed to achieving an Irish Republic. Riots in 1793 had resulted in more than 200 deaths.

The United Irishmen began training militia in preparation for a rebellion. They also began working with other groups including the Defenders (a Catholic secret society), and Protestant groups including the Orange Order.

An attempted invasion by the French army in 1796, encouraged by Theobald Wolfe Tone, did not eventuate because of severe  storms off the Irish coast. However this caused Parliament to pass the Insurrection Act. A new military force, the Yeomanry, was formed to fight the rebels. In reply the membership of the United Irishmen planned a national uprising for the summer of 1798. The plan was to overthrow the government, secede from England and form an Irish Republic.

In the end the rebellion was restricted to only sections of the county but fighting lasted for three months resulting in the deaths of thousands. The Irish Parliament was dissolved in 1800 and was not reinstated until 1922, after another rebellion. The plans of the United Irishmen were totally defeated.

John Pendergast's actual involvement in this movement is not clear. John was a Catholic and according to the convict records was a labourer. The leaders of the United Irishmen tended to be Protestant with a large proportion of the general membership being Catholic so John fits the demographics of the movement. John no doubt attended small group meetings, often held in pubs, and supported the aims of the organisation. Exactly why he was arrested is not known but it appears to have been before the actual planned uprising as he was in custody in April.

Once in Australia, John lived in the Hawkesbury area where he became a landowner - something that he would not have achieved back in Ireland.

Irish Story - 1798 Rebellion  a brief overview

BBC History - The 1798 Irish Rebellion website

Encyclopaedia Britannica - Irish Rebellion 1798 website 

Romantic Politics - Irish Uprising of 1798 - website

Tuesday, 16 October 2018

#52Ancestors - Week 41 - Sport

Anyone investigating this Family Connections blog will notice, in the Labels column, a special section for Sport. Sport is definitely a theme in my family history. I have always been aware of sport, probably because my father was a sports journalist and sporting events were therefore definitely part of my life. Family history research, however, has also revealed many sporting connections in the family story.

Since the first horse race meeting in Sydney in 1810 there has been family involvement with horse racing including the trainer of Archer, the first Melbourne Cup winner, and owners of Poitrel, winner of the 1920 Melbourne Cup. Family members for generations have played, and continue to play, cricket including Harry Moses who played cricket for Australia in 1887. And then there is golf, another sport that family members have played.

Eleanora Mary Hutton (daughter of my great x2 uncle) for many years was a well known female golfer in Victoria. Nell, as she was known, was born in 1908 and, following articles in Trove, was playing competitive golf from the early 1930s into the 1950s.

An article in the Sydney Sun (23 August 1936) reported that 'Miss Nell Hutton, only in the early
twenties, has held the Eastern Club (Victoria) Club championship for the last four years'. Another article in the same paper (2 September 1936) reported that Nell would be a future champion:
If one combed Australia for future champions, one could not do better than pin faith to the prospects of the Victorian, Miss Nell Hutton. Although she went down to Miss Oliver Kay yesterday, Miss Hutton has been quite the most outstanding of all the Australians who took part in the open championship tournament in Adelaide. Ever since she hit off on Monday in the interstate match her game has demanded attention, for she has a command of every club. She is inclined to a 'starter's' complex and rarely warms up right from the start, but her future is quite assured. She plays golf with a smile, spreads encouragement to others less fortunate and her attitude of thorough sportsmanship makes Australia proud of her.
Nell's name frequently appears in the newspaper reports of golfing events throughout Australia during the 1930s. In 1936 she was a member of the successful Australian team which retained the Tasman Cup that year while in 1937 Nell was the winner of the Victorian Women's Amateur Golf Championship.

In 1938 Nell and fellow golfer, Bertha Cheney, left for a golfing holiday in England which included playing in the British Championships.
News (Adelaide) 31 March 1938
Another article on their proposed adventure appeared in the Herald 26 March 1938:

Two clever young golfers, Miss Nell Hutton and Miss Bertha Cheney, both members of Eastern Golf Club Associates, are off in the Orcades on Tuesday for a holiday abroad. They are taking their golf clubs with them, but their holiday is not to be primarily a golfing one, Miss Hutton tells me. "We shall play In the British championships," she said, "and then we shall forget serious golf and go sightseeing." They will get a car and motor through England, Scotland, and Wales, and are planning, too, a trip to Norway. All the golf they will have will be an odd game or two when they reach a town with a course which attracts them, and they happen to feel like playing.
The following year Nell married William Hamilton Smithett, a tennis coach and golfer. Their son, Bill, was born in 1941. From 1946 Nell's name starts appearing again in the sports reports. Meanwhile another member of the family was also learning golf.
Launceston Examiner 5 June 1946
In 1948 Nell was runner-up in the Victorian Amateur Golf Championship but she was announced  the top Victorian female golfer for the season winning the Victorian Women’s Champion of Champions.

For a number of years the winner of the Victorian Women's Stroke Play received the Nell Smithett Trophy. Currently the Horsham Golf Club awards the Nell Smithett Memorial Trophy for a ladies team event. Nell had moved to Horsham and was ladies' champion 1964-1967 and Wimmera Champion in 1965. Nell died at Horsham in November 1969. 

Selection of articles:
Miss Hutton a Future Champion -  Sun (Sydney) 2 September 1936
Tasman Cup Retained by Australia Age 4 September 1936
Miss Nell Hutton's Golf Title Argus 10 July 1937

Nell Smithett Memorial Trophy - Wimmera Mail Times 23 October 2016
Nell Smithett Memorial Trophy competition 2018 

Sunday, 7 October 2018

#52Ancestors - Week 40 - Ten

The challenge this week is to write a post with a connection with the number ten.
Branches of my family tree show that in the nineteenth century many of my ancestors had a large number of children with the number ten featuring frequently. Generally these families made a successful transition to life in Australia often acquiring large areas of land.  Many generations on I have had people suggest that we must have inherited some  of their wealth. I just laugh and state that these families had ten children who had ten children. Consequently the family fortune has been dispersed long ago.

In this post I am looking at two branches of the family tree that came together when Arthur Brougham Lord married Nancy Hazel Hutton on 1 February 1922. Arthur and Nancy were my grandparents.

Lord Family
The first member of the Lord family to come to Australia was  Simeon Lord, a convict who arrived on the third fleet. Simeon Lord and Mary Hyde, another convict, were married at St Phillip's Church in Sydney on 27 October 1814. By this time they had five children and in the next seven years had another five children - ten children in all.

However the reality was that the Lord family, at this time, consisted of thirteen children, all of whom lived to be adults. Mary already had two children from a previous relationship so she gave birth to twelve children in total. In 1796 Simeon had adopted an orphan, Johanna Short.

Simeon made his fortune largely through trading and manufacturing ventures and also owned large landholdings in New South Wales. When Simeon, and later Mary, died their fortune was distributed between all the family members, including the girls.

Simeon and Mary's eldest son, also Simeon, was born in 1810. He married Sarah Birch and they had ten children. Simeon was a successful property owner initially in Tasmania and later in Queensland.

Simeon and Sarah's youngest son, Alfred Percy Lord, was born in 1852. Initially Alfred worked as a bank manager in Gympie before eventually purchasing a number of properties. In 1877 he married Catherine Anna Louisa Hillcoat. They did not quite make the target of ten children, only having eight. Their youngest son was Arthur Brougham Lord born in Gympie on Christmas Day, 1893.
Hutton family
Thomas Hutton (1772-1856), a merchant with the East India Company married Janet Robertson (1780-1862) and they had ten children. For many years Thomas and Janet lived in India and Penang before eventually returning to England.

Their second son, William Forbes Hutton, was born on 25 February 1816. On 27 June 1849 he married Eleonora Mackillop. William and Eleonora had eleven children - but one died when a baby. William served in the British Army in India before settling in Victoria where he purchased a property.
George Hutton, born on 5 May 1850, was the eldest son of William and Eleonora. George and his wife, Annie Hardwick Weston were married on 8 January 1889.  They broke the mould of having large families as they only had three children. Their youngest daughter was Nancy Hazel Hutton.

This pattern of large families also occurs in other branches of my family during the nineteenth century. Fortunately in the twentieth century family sizes were greatly reduced.

Wednesday, 3 October 2018

#52Ancestors - Week 39 - On the Farm

Farming is one of the themes in my family history research. Most branches of the family tree have had connections with the land.

The first European settlers in Australia, through necessity, often became farmers. This was certainly the case with my convict ancestors who settled in the Hawkesbury region of New South Wales. There was a shortage of food in the colony so convicts and former convicts were encouraged, through grants of land, to grow food and farm animals for themselves and the other members of the colony.
Google Maps
 William Roberts and Kezia Brown, Charles Daley and Susannah Alderson, Uriah Moses and Ann Daley, John Pendergast and Jane Williams plus Richard Holland and Mary Ann Roberts, according to the various census reports had land holdings in the region near Windsor.

This did not mean that they were all full time farmers. Uriah was best known as a baker and owner of a general store in Windsor though he did own land on which grain was grown. Richard Holland owned land at Cornwallis but also owned a shop in Windsor that was recorded, on occasions, as a bakers or butchers shop.

In 2015 I wrote a detailed post about the challenges of farming in the Hawkesbury area in the early 1800s.

  • The land needed to be cleared for farming, no doubt a time consuming process especially as limited implements for doing this would have been available. 
  • The local Aboriginal groups were used to free access of this land (their land) and were not happy with the idea that the land was now restricted to the use of the English settlers. 
  • The convicts did not necessarily have previous experience in farming. Finding crops that would grow successfully in New South Wales was initially a challenge. 
  • There was the need to protect new crops from animals and insects. Fences were required to mark property boundaries and enclosures to protect farm animals. 
  • Then there was the weather. The seasons were out of kilter with the northern hemisphere and the climate was different and more extreme than experienced in England. The most dramatic climatic event being the regular flooding of the Hawkesbury River.
Despite these challenges my early Hawkesbury farmers generally managed to make a living from the land and support their families. Members of subsequent generations continued farming, usually on larger land holdings. William Pendergast and Sarah Roberts are one example of this and several of sons of Uriah Moses had large land holdings in the region.

Monday, 24 September 2018

#52Ancestors - Week 38 - Unusual sources

For many years I had a brick wall in my family history research.
I could find information about my great x3 grandfather, George Mackillop (1790-1860) in a variety of sources including documents. Often the name, James Mackillop, also appeared in the same documents. I was certain that they were brothers but I needed proof. I also wanted to know the names of George's parents.

One day I decided to do some lateral research and instead of searching for information about George I decided to research James. I knew that, like George, he was a merchant in India in the 1800s so I decided to search British Newspaper Archive available online via some library websites for any references to James. Apart from references to where he lived and that he had made a great deal of money as a merchant I found articles mentioning that he was, at one time, a member of parliament.

A search in Google for "James Mackillop" member of parliament took me to the following post on the History of Parliament website. I had hit the jackpot.

The first information provided was that James Mackillop was the first son of John Mackillop and Mary who was the daughter of Robert Downie of Kilmadock, Perth. James was unmarried and died on 27 January 1870. In the following biography it was stated that George Mackillop was almost certainly his younger brother and that they both worked in India for a time in the firm where their uncle, also Robert Downie, was a partner. I knew from other sources about their association with the Downie family but it was only when I discovered their mother's connection to that family that it all made sense. Both James and George had travelled to India when young to work, initially, in the family business. They then made their own way as merchants.

This is an example of the benefits of researching other family members, not just the direct family line, and also looking at a wide range of sources that may provide a missing clue.

Saturday, 22 September 2018

#52Ancestors - Week 37 - Closest to your birthday

In 2015 I wrote a post with the above title where I used Family Tree Maker to locate family members with a birth date close to mine. I found five family members with a birthday either side of my birthday - a cousin, John Smith, Mary Farley, James Roberts and Thomas Sutcliffe.

John Smith (1800-1885) was my great x3 grandfather. He was born on July 26 1800 in Marylebone, London and migrated to New South Wales in the 1850s. The other people with birthdays close to mine, apart from my cousin, were either great aunts or great uncles going back many generations.

However other coincidences in dates can be found when investigating families.

  • In my immediate family 27 is a significant number as three of us have birthdays on the 27th of different months.

  • When I was shown the baby book my mother-in-law kept when my husband was a baby I noticed that he was baptised in England on the day I was born in Australia.

  • Some years ago a meeting was arranged for us to meet the parents of my son's fiancee. As we enjoyed morning tea the discussion, not surprisingly, turned to weddings. However we were all surprised when we realised that both sets of parents had married on exactly the same day. Robin and I were married in the morning while Larry and Ann were married in the afternoon. Now that is a family coincidence.
It would be interesting, one day, to have time to do a study to locate other statistical idiosyncrasies.