Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Trove Tuesday: Wedding Flowers

I have been so pre-occupied with wedding plans, I've barely had time to do any family history related research, so I thought I would share some of the wedding articles I've been reading on Trove (again)!

The following pages about Wedding Flowers are from a special Bridal Supplement from an October 1953 edition of the Australian Women's Weekly. 

It is amazing how fashions repeat themselves, especially with something like weddings. Many of the dresses pictured in this same supplement are back in fashion now, and not unlike the dress I have chosen to wear on my big day!

Now, the reason I'm sharing the Wedding Flowers pages is because I'm contemplating what I *really* want and what I really don't need... (wedding) flowers are EXPENSIVE. Over $1,000 for a bouquet for me and three bridesmaids and the buttonholes. Insane. I'm not going to spend that much. I may end up at the markets instead and do my own (oh, the horror - when my Mum reads this she is going to call me and say NO WAY to that idea because she knows who will end up having to rescue me from my own DIY disaster).

Luckily, I'm saving money by trawling through Trove for wedding ideas, instead of spending $20 a pop on wedding magazines. Each magazine I don't buy is one more rose for my bouquet...

1953 'Wedding Flowers.', The Australian Women's Weekly(1933 - 1982), 28 October, p. 18, viewed 26 November, 2012, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article47399971
1953 'Wedding Flowers.', The Australian Women's Weekly(1933 - 1982), 28 October, p. 19, viewed 26 November, 2012, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article47399971

Friday, 16 November 2012

William Suttie and Catherine Purdie

My third great grandparents, William Suttie and Catherine Purdie, immigrated to Australia from Scotland at the end of the Edwardian era, at the height of luxurious sea travel, faster than it had ever been before.

William Suttie was the illegitimate child of domestic servant Margaret Suttie and her mistress’s son Robert Thomson. Margaret gave birth to William on 18 February 1862, in Southside, in the parish of Newbattle, Midlothian. She registered his birth herself on 6 March 1862, without listing a father.

On 29 April 1862, the Sheriff’s Court of Edinburgh found that William’s father was Robert Thomson, the 25-year-old son of Margaret Suttie’s former employer, Mrs Margaret Pringle. A note was then placed on William’s birth registration and an entry placed in the Register of Corrected Entries to this effect.

Catherine Purdie was born to Peter Purdie, millwright, and his wife Christina Ewing on 22 May 1859 in Bonnington, in the parish of Ratho, Midlothian. Her parents had been married for more than a decade, and already had a number of children. The Kirkliston parish register, in an entry dated 10 September 1847, says: “Peter Purdie and Christina Ewing both of this Parish gave up their names in order to marriage”.

William Suttie and Catherine Purdie married on 7 June 1887 at East Calder, in the parish of Kirknewton, Midlothian. They were married after banns, according to the forms of the Church of Scotland. On the marriage certificate, William cited his parents as “William Suttie, Grocer (deceased)” and “Margaret Suttie m.s. Gray” – which left me searching in circles for a long time looking for his parents.

East Calder Parish Church, photo courtesy of Kirknewton & East Calder Church

William, a successful grocer, and his wife Catherine went on to have six children together, before immigrating to Australia with their five surviving children, and first grandchild, in 1912. All but their last child were born at 181 Gorgie Road, Edinburgh.

Their first son, William, was born on 18 April 1888. Sadly, William did not survive his infancy. He died when he was just 18 months old, from accidental poisoning, suffering for four days before dying on 10 November 1889.

Their eldest daughter, Christina, my second great grandmother, was born on 8 November 1890.

Their second daughter, Mary, was born in October 1892. Mary gave birth to an illegitimate son, William and Catherine's first grandchild, George James Suttie, on 29 March 1911.

Their only son to survive childhood, William Peter John, was born on 7 January 1896. Later, he would fight as part of the Australian Imperial Forces during World War I. I have previously posted a letter from Private Suttie to his father that I found on Trove.

Their third daughter, Catherine Margaret (aka Maggie), was born on New Year’s Day 1898.

Their fourth and last daughter, Elizabeth Purdie (aka Bessie) was born on 29 April 1902 in Pathhead, in the parish of Crichton, Midlothian.

William and his son William Peter John immigrated first, paying for their own passages; leaving Glasgow aboard the Union Line’s RMS Maunganui on 27 December 1911, they arrived in Sydney on 5 February 1912. It was the ship’s maiden voyage, on its way to take over the Tasman “Horseshoe” route between Australia and New Zealand.

Maunganui, picture by Allan C Green
held by the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/28279

Catherine, along with her daughters and grandson, departed Liverpool aboard White Star Line’s SS Waimana on 16 July 1912, arriving in Sydney on 29 August 1912, also as unassisted immigrants. This was only three months after the Line had lost the RMS Titanic, and I wonder if they were worried about sailing so far around the world after such a tragedy. Or perhaps they had been saving up to move to the new world for so long, that they were excited and trusting God to deliver them safely to their new home.

Waimana, picture from www.photoship.co.uk

Whilst William’s family was still on their way to join him, he was successfully preparing to provide for his family, taking over the Imperial Hotel in Singleton. In an article I found on Trove about the license transfer, the author stated “No doubt “brither Scots” and the public will give him [William Suttie] a warm welcome.”

1912 'Hotel License Transfer.', Singleton Argus (NSW : 1880 - 1954) , 27 July, p. 4, viewed 15 November, 2012, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article80063925

I truly hope the Suttie’s welcome in Australia was warm, and that they were happy with their decision to move to the other side of the world.

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Trove Tuesday: Knightly Growths & the Sultan of Movember

Apologies for the belated Trove Tuesday post, I thought I had pressed "Publish" last night, but I must have just pressed "Save"... wedding brain is my only excuse.

My fiance, using our house rabbit Sultan as his mascot, is doing Movember to raise awareness and funding for prostate cancer, in his introduction, he shared his personal reasons for taking part:

"I have decided to do Movember because my grandfather is a prostate cancer survivor and it claimed the life of my step-grandfather. I would like to take the opportunity to raise awareness of the disease."

While he was busy soliciting donations... I went on Trove and found this gem to give him some inspiration:

1970 'Knightly Growths', The Australian Women's Weekly (1933 - 1982), 18 February, p. 15, viewed 14 November, 2012, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-page5345299
Isn't it amazing what you can find on Trove even when you just search something like "moustache"!

In other news (and my excuse for not finishing the more comprehensive post I had planned), I have found a wedding dress! Only 3 months and a bit to go, so it was getting a little stressful not having something to wear down the aisle of my lovely church.