Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Trove Tuesday - The First Australia Day Public Holiday

In 1818, on the thirtieth anniversary of the landing of Governor Phillip, Governor Macquarie ordered the first official celebrations - including the all important public holiday!

1818 'GOVERNMENT AND GENERAL ORDERS.', The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 - 1842), 24 January, p. 1, viewed 29 January, 2013, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article2177714

I hope everyone had a wonderful Australia Day long weekend, and stayed safe from floods and fires. As Dorothea Mackellar's poem reminds us, we have long contended with nature in this sunburnt country.

1908 'POEMS AND RHYMES.', The Register (Adelaide, SA : 1901 - 1929), 24 October, p. 13, viewed 29 January, 2013, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article58937317

Friday, 25 January 2013

NSW Parliament House presents 'Sentenced Beyond the Seas'

Tomorrow, as part of the Australia Day celebrations in Sydney, NSW Parliament House will be open between 10am and 4pm. Despite being in and out of that building nearly every week (my day job is in government relations), I was going to be heading in to the city tomorrow morning to see something very special – instead I had an even better treat – I was given a sneak peek this afternoon!

In addition to the current exhibit, Twenty Five Stories from Australia’s First Parliament, they are displaying, for one day only, the original indents of the convicts sentenced to transportation on the First Fleet. These indents are rarely seen by the public, and it is a great opportunity to do so – especially if you have an ancestor named in those lists!

The Twenty Five Stories from Australia’s First Parliament is well worth a visit too – it is a collection of artefacts from the NSW Parliament’s archives that each tells a story about a personality, event or decision that helped shape our glorious State, including the book of the first muster ever undertaken of the population in 1800. I am told that this is the first time it has ever been on public display!

Entry is free, and you can get more information by visiting the Parliament’s website or contacting Parliamentary Education on +612 9230 2047 or education@parliament.nsw.gov.au.

I urge anyone who can get in to Parliament House tomorrow to go and have a look! You have until the 1 March to see Twenty Five Stories from Australia’s First Parliament, but you only have tomorrow to see the convict indents!

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the President of the Legislative Council, the Hon Don Harwin MLC, whose interest in our history and passion for sharing the Parliamentary collection with the public has made this possible, and the Hon Shelley Hancock MP, Speaker of the Legislative Assembly. All these things cost money, including the restoration of some items, and it was possible only with the private sector support of the NSW Business Chamber, the Sydney Business Chamber, Thiess and Macquarie.

It was the President’s office that allowed me to have an early look at the convict indents, and a member of his staff even gave me a guided tour of the Twenty Five Stories from Australia’s First Parliament exhibit - thanks Andrew!

I would also like to acknowledge the incredible work of the Parliamentary Education team and archivists in preparing the Twenty Five Stories from Australia’s First Parliament exhibit – what a great insight in to the Parliament’s collections! And thanks to the NSW State Records office for preparing and loaning the convict indents – I just wish one of my convicts was on that list!

Burns Night: Haggis, Neeps and Tatties, and the all important Scotch

A Portrait of Robert Burns.
Source: "Bibliothek des allgemeinen und praktischen Wissens. Bd. 5" (1905), Englische Literaturgeschichte, Seite 55
(This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published before January 1, 1923.)

Today, 25 January, marks an important date in the Scottish calendar ... the Bard's birthday.

And in true Burns Supper fashion, tonight we will be having some friends over to celebrate the life, words, and spirit of Rabbie Burns.

We will be having haggis (purchased from the exceptional Hills Butchery, easily Australia's best Scottish butcher), mashed neeps and tatties, with a creamy whisky sauce. Followed by a rather decadent chocolate brownie made with Glenfiddich 15 Year Old (this Scotch smells delightfully like Christmas pudding), and served with whipped cream and boozy raspberries.

So grab a glass, and raise your Scotch to the "Great Chieftan o’ the Puddin-race!" and to the man who wrote the words of the immortal Auld Lang Syne.

And, if you're like me, you will use this as an excuse to do some Scottish family history research! I've already had a look at the National Archives of Scotland's 'The Legacy of Robert Burns' page ... which I discovered when I went on to scotlandspeople.gov.uk to check how much credit I had.

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Trove Tuesday - What Can I Find Out About ... Sarah Jane Thurgood

This Trove Tuesday, I dived into one of my trees, which has over 10,000 names in it, and picked a name at random to see what I could find with Trove about them.

The name I pulled out was one Sarah Jane Thurgood, who was the wife of the grand nephew of the husband of my 4th great grand aunt (I think I may have been collecting dead people for too long).

Sarah Jane Thurgood was the daughter of Samuel Thurgood and Sarah Ann Levett.

Samuel Thurgood and Sarah Ann Levett married in Mudgee, NSW in 1867, and had ten children:
  1. Mary L (b. 1868 - d. 1869)
  2. Mary E (b. 1869 - d. ?)
  3. Sarah Jane (b. 1872 - d. 1937)
  4. Susan Emily (b. 1874 - d. 1919)
  5. James Samuel (b. 1876 - d. 1927)
  6. William John (b. 1878 - d. 1879)
  7. Jemima Ann (b. 1880 - d. 1968/9)
  8. Florence Lydia (b. 1883 - d. 1958)
  9. (An)netta M (b. 1886 - d. ?)
  10. Walter C (b. 1887 - d. 1934)
Sarah Jane married Samuel Ernest Crouch in Sydney in 1894.

While looking for her, I found the death notice of her mother:

1934 'Family Notices.', The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), 17 September, p. 8, viewed 22 January, 2013, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article17095289

I then went to the NSW BDM and found which daughter was which Mrs (apart from Sarah Jane, who I knew to be Mrs Crouch).

Mrs Gomm is Annetta M, who married Leopold A Gomm in 1919 in Sydney.

Mrs Hedges is Jemima Ann, who married Charles J E Hedges in 1904 in Sydney.

Mrs Teason is Mary E, who married William E Goodin in 1895 in Campbelltown. They had Dorothy N in 1895 in Ryde, Wilfred S in 1897 in Young, Wynstead E 1899 in Granville, and Selwyn K in 1902 in Granville before moving to Victoria, where she remarried after her husband's death.

Mrs C Wood is Florence Lydia, who first married Francis H Crosbee in 1902 in Granville. I found their divorce proceedings reported in the SMH through Trove, where Charles Arthur Wood is named as the co-respondent. I haven't found a marriage record for Florence and Mr Wood - regardless, she clearly became known as "Mrs C Wood".

1920 'IN DIVORCE.', The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), 6 May, p. 4, viewed 22 January, 2013, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article15888466

1920 'IN DIVORCE.', The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), 7 May, p. 7, viewed 22 January, 2013, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article15888616

1920 'IN DIVORCE.', The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), 25 May, p. 6, viewed 22 January, 2013, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article15891284

1921 'IN DIVORCE.', The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), 23 March, p. 8, viewed 22 January, 2013, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article15948964

Not mentioned in the death notice were the children who had predeceased their mother, including the two who died in infancy, Mary L and William John, and Susan Emily, who married John B Pye in 1907 in Kogarah, and died in 1919 in Parramatta.

Okay, I got way too sidetracked with this one! It is now 10:30pm, and I've been following trails all over the place! And it is not even remotely on a direct line...

What have you found on Trove lately? Share it next Tuesday on Trove Tuesday!

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Trove Tuesday: Make Home Attractive

My first Trove Tuesday post since the beginner of December is a gem of social history! It is a fascinating section from the Ladies' Column of the Bendigo Advertiser in 1898 which deals with some of the same issues we deal with today (anyone else without house help find laundry a burden, or is that just me?).

But, my favourite bit is:

Almost all women are fond of good china, and yet in a great many households there are only the most ordinary dishes put upon the board for the use of the people themselves. This is a mistake, and one that all well-to do establishments aught to avoid whenever it is possible. It is very unwise to bring children up to feel that every fine and costly and beautiful article in the house is for the use of company and outsiders. There should be no one who is more worthy of consideration, courtesy, and the best the house affords than the parents who by their industry and painstaking have accumulated the means to keep up the home, or the children who are the most precious of their possessions. From their earliest years the little ones should be accustomed to some of the good things of life.

And so my completely non-genealogical challenge for you is to dig out your "good" china and serve dinner on it tomorrow night - even if you get pizza! Who is more special than family? Why wait for "good" to use your special things, when you can enjoy them today? Who knows, tomorrow, they might be gone in a bushfire. I'll try to remember my own challenge and put a photo up tomorrow! Maybe we can all dig out some heirloom china and share with one another a photo of us using and enjoying items that our ancestors "by their industry and painstaking have accumulated".

1898 'MAKE HOME ATTRACTIVE.', Bendigo Advertiser (Vic. : 1855 - 1918), 2 April, p. 7, viewed 15 January, 2013, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article89469282

The list of Trove Tuesday blogs is updated every week (usually) and can be found here. What have you found on Trove? Why not join in next week and share what you've found?

Monday, 14 January 2013

An Unplanned Sabbatical Was a Very Good Thing

I just wanted to let you all know I'm sorry about the unplanned sabbatical... well, I'm sorry I didn't update you all sooner, but I'm not sorry about the sabbatical!

I've been in Mozambique visiting my brother, sister-in-law, and darling niece and nephew!

My parents, very generously, and very last minute, were able to buy me a ticket to join them on a visit. All we can say really is that God is gracious in His timing and His gifts, and all worked together to get me there in time for Christmas.

As my last Christmas before my wedding in 6 weeks and four days (ARGHHHHHH - so much to do!), it truly was a blessing to be able to spend that time with my only sibling and his family (as well as my parents and friends).

I did a few exciting things while I was there, including a visit to the maternity hospital to hand out baby bundles. I brushed off my very limited Portuguese so I could go capulana (a length of material used for skirts, wraps, baby carrying, etc etc) shopping in the market (I am really good at asking how much - qanto custa - but not so good at understanding the answer), and played with my niece and nephew until I was exhausted (a daily occurrence - how is it that toddlers have SO much energy?). I also learnt how to sew, thanks to my very talented and patient quilter sister-in-law and an awesome skirt pattern that was in my Mum's head. We also ate dinner in a village where we spoke English, my brother translated to Portuguese and then his language helper translated to Chiyao (Yao tribal language) for his mother (our hostess), and then back again. Despite the language barrier, we discussed some pretty amazing things.

All the capulanas I came home with! Well, I had to fill my suitcase with something once I'd given the kids their Christmas presents and re-stocked my brother's supply of Mint Slice biscuits and Dairy Milk!