Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Trove Tuesday: Love, Life & Death in Newspapers

In December last year, I wrote a post about my favourite free websites, and Trove was on that list. I hope that this post will give you an idea WHY I love it so much, and show you how the treasures you can find there could add a bit of extra colour to your own research!


John Houston and Elsie Hughan

My great-grandparents, John Houston and Elsie Hughan, died in the early 1970s, more than a decade before I was born. Writing this post has made me realise I really should talk to their children (and their grandchildren) about what they remember about them. In the meantime, I thought I would share some of the treasurers I have found in Trove marking key events in their lives.

John Houston was the eldest son of James Houston, a coal miner, and his Welsh-born wife Gwillymia John. James' grandparents had emigrated from Scotland with their children in the 1860s.

Elsie Hughan was the youngest daughter of William Wright Hughan, a proud Scot, and his English-born wife Emma Breakwell. Sadly, Elsie's mother did not live to see her youngest child married.

 

The Death of Elsie's mother - Emma Hughan (nee Breakwell)



1925 'Family Notices.', The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), 19 November, p. 10, viewed 16 August, 2012, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article16255853

This next wonderful section from the Family Notices give me SO much information - their home address, the cemetery Emma is buried in, her children's married names, her brother and sisters, and the fact that her husband was the Vice President of the Dumfries and Galloway Society of Australasia. And in the above death notice, we get her date of death, and her age.

1925 'Family Notices.', The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), 19 November, p. 10, viewed 16 August, 2012, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article16255853

 

 The Marriage of John Houston and Elsie Hughan 

1927 'Family Notices.', The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), 23 April, p. 14, viewed 16 August, 2012, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article28055621

 

The Birth of John and Elsie's First Child - Elsie Joyce Houston

1928 'Family Notices.', The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), 21 January, p. 16, viewed 16 August, 2012, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article16435504

 

The Birth of John and Elsie's Second Child - James Hughan Houston

1932 'Family Notices.', The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), 26 November, p. 12, viewed 16 August, 2012, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article16933494

 

The Birth of John and Elsie's Third Child, my grandfather - John Maxwell Houston

1934 'Family Notices.', The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), 10 November, p. 14, viewed 16 August, 2012, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article17125788

 

The Death of Elsie's Father - William Wright Hughan

1942 'Family Notices.', The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), 23 November, p. 10, viewed 16 August, 2012, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article17831144
1942 'Family Notices.', The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), 23 November, p. 10, viewed 16 August, 2012, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article17831144

A man with as many funeral notices as William Wright Hughan must have left a huge gap in the lives of those around him. I definitely need to ask my grandfather what he remembers about his grandfather.

 

John and Elsie Houston's Silver Wedding Anniversary

1952 'Family Notices.', The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), 19 March, p. 28, viewed 16 August, 2012, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article18247365

This is just a taste of what the Family Notices section can reveal about our ancestors, but there are other treasurers to be found in newspapers too! I especially like reading the other news on the day of an ancestor's appearance; it really gives a rich context to their story.

Watch this space next Tuesday when I show you some more treasures from Trove! And why not join me on "Trove Tuesday" and blog about what you've found too - it doesn't have to be something about an ancestor, you might just find a good yarn and want to share it. If you don't want to blog it, but still want to share it, why don't you put a link in the comments below?