Saturday, February 24, 2018

Sepia Saturday 407: 24 February 2018



This shows Ida Zornig along with her bicycle and - very well behaved - dog (from the State Library of Queensland's Flickr stream). Sepians are well known for being very well behaved and therefore they will undoubtedly come up with something inventive and interesting in response to this prompt. Whatever you come up with, post your post on or around Saturday 24th February 2018 and add a link here.

One could not say that I am a big bike rider.  All right, I'll be honest, I don't possess a bike at all at the moment.  However, I have many pleasant memories of owning a bike or riding a bike at different stages of my life.  As a child, it was a means of freedom and adventure, riding around the suburbs or by the lake in Canberra.  As a young adult, for a while there, I would ride a bike from Taringa to work at Toowong (not a great distance I know) and sometimes at lunchtime, I would ride with my colleagues into town and back again for fun.  Once the kids came along, there were lots of holidays at Noosa or Canberra where we hired and rode bikes again.  Lots of fun.  But no bike riding of late.  Despite all that - photos of bikes are far and few between in my albums.  Here are a couple for your amusement:



This is my father.  On the back of the photo in my grandmother's shaky writing are the words "Jim on his first bike".  Note the koala tucked under his arm, lest there be any doubt that he is an Australian child.  

The next two photos were taken on an overseas holiday when I had just completed my first year of University so I guess we're talking December 1979.  I didn't want to be in Europe at all.  I wanted to be on Sydney's beaches, getting a tan.  But I did love Holland as I insist on calling it.  I was fascinated by the clogs and the canals and the proliferation of bicycles.  And I liked playing with black and white as it turns out.  Thank goodness.

I wish I could remember where this was taken.  Maybe someone out there can have a good guess.



My father taught me how to develop photos.  We would use his workshop or the laundry.  I think this photo has suffered from too many chemicals.  Here is another version of it with a different filter which conceals the damage.



Here is a more artistic shot - taken in Amsterdam.  




I had quite a good eye I think for a teenager.  My parents had a good influence on me one way or another.

Looking for more photos?  Head on over to Sepia Saturday.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Sepia Saturday 406 - Those Carrett girls

This image depicts a swimming class for local school children. They are gathered on the diving tower and diving board. The water of the bay at Manly can be seen in the background.
Manly Swimming Pool Queensland 1936

Sepia Saturday this week encourages us to explore:

obvious theme possibilities of swimming and water available, but you might also want to investigate the possibilities of standing around and - like the child at the end of the diving board - hanging around.

It's difficult to know where to begin with this blog post.  I've been sitting on it for at least 24 hours.  In those 24 hours, I have managed to list just about every article/listing I could find about my paternal grandmother's swimming feats as found on Trove as well as those of her sisters. This is no mean feat - using the search words "Carrett AND swim*" I found 792 results.  Of course, not all of them are relevant but to give you some idea I now have the following lists and number of items for each sister:

Daisy - 70 items
Ethel - 130 items
Millie - 166 items
Nora - 94 items
Rene - 258 items

Moi - obsessed? Just maybe!

I have blogged about the sisters before here and here but there is always more to find and ponder.

This weekend I have found two new illustrated articles which are a lot of fun.  The quality of the images is not fabulous because they are from newspapers but I'm going to include them anyway.

But first of all, let's set the scene with a bit of a family tree....


Here is my best effort at showing a descendant chart for my grandmother and her siblings. 

I created it using bubbl.us - a mind-mapping tool.  I am open to any other suggestions you may have for creating family tree charts and the like on blogger.  I have tried wikitree widgets and Geni plugins but they didn't have the kind of chart I was looking for.  Onwards and upwards.

Back to the Carrett girls.  My grandmother was Ethel, the second eldest of this tribe of water babies.

This week I found a fetching portrait of her older sister Millie in an advertisement for cough medicine.  Here it is...


Advertising (1917, May 2). The Sun (Sydney, NSW : 1910 - 1954), p. 4. Retrieved February 18, 2018, from https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/page/24414462

It's a great shame that I seem to be suffering from technical incompetence today because I would love you to see a larger version of this ad.  Click on the link in the caption and go and look at the original if you can.  In the ad, it actually quotes the family's address i.e. Natoma, Fitzwilliam Road Parsley Bay.  I have blogged about Natoma before here.  


Millie is described as:

 "one of Sydney's best-known and most popular lady swimmers, who has distinguished herself at various carnivals.  In 1916 she won the S.L.S. Club's 33 yards Championship; later she won the 50 yards Interclub Handicap at the Metropolitan Ladies' Carnival and secured second in the NS.W. Ladies' Amateur Swimming Association's President's Cup Competition."

The other great photo I found this week was of the littlest of the sisters, Nora. Here she is!




THE WATER BABIES (1919, February 23). The Mirror (Sydney, NSW : 1917 - 1919), p. 3. Retrieved February 18, 2018, from https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/136734019


I learned a lot this week from my digging around.  I learned that my grandmother and her sisters swam with the likes of Fanny Durack and Mina Wylie.  I discovered this by finding this article about my grandmother's younger sister Rene.



(1923, August 12). Sunday Times (Sydney, NSW : 1895 - 1930), p. 19. Retrieved February 18, 2018, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-page13267458


At first, I thought the Mary Durack mentioned in this article was the Mary Durack of Kings in Grass Castles fame but then I realised that that Mary Durack was much younger and living in a different state. I realised the Mary Durack mentioned in the article must have been Fanny's sister but who was Fanny Durack?  Googling Fanny Durack, this is what I found.



 Portrait of Fanny Durack taken in 1912 - National Library of Australia

What a legend!  The first Australian woman to compete in the Olympics. And she won a Gold Medal in the 100m freestyle at Stockholm in 1912.  It is dreadful to be so ignorant I confess.  There is a beautiful tribute to Fanny here by the Marrickville Library.

Fanny's swimming partner was Mina Wylie.  She won Silver in the same competition.


Portrait of Mina Wylie 29 February 2012 - NSW State Library Collection


Mina's father was a swimming star in his own right and founded the Wylie Baths at Coogee.  There are some great artefacts you can see online here through a site called the Australian Dress Register - check out the Wylie Baths costume that you could hire here.  You can listen to an interview with Mina here.

My grandmother and her sisters swam mostly at Rushcutter's Bay baths, Coogee Aquarium Baths, (don't you just love this photo below? It captures all the excitement of winning I think)



An official hands a young woman swimmer a token, Tramway swimming at Coogee Aquarium, 27 March 1935, by Sam Hood

The Domain and Abbotsford Baths. For some reason, I think that tower at Abbotsford is ridiculously high.  I must be getting a softie in my old age.  

Look at this amazing photo I found on Flickr


Start of a girl's swimming race, Mina Wylie with raised hand - State Library of NSW

Just look at the hats of the girls watching.  Not sure when it was taken but aren't they beautiful hats!! 

And so, I come to the end of my post.  It has been good to submit this for Sepia Saturday.  

It has given me pause for reflection on many counts.  For example...when was the last time I went swimming???  

Here are some photos to finish off with....my dear Mother who was not always the happiest of swimmers, nevertheless looking pretty stunning in this outfit. No idea when or where it was taken.  That looks like Tom her father in the background reading the paper.  It could be at Manly with those pine trees.


Barbara McLoughlin c 1956

And last but not least, one of me and my lovely father, when we both had figures that weren't too misshapen by babies and old age....we are stepping out of the surf at Noosa if I remember rightly - before I was married so I'm thinking mid 1980s...that's close enough to 30 years isn't it?



When was the last time you went swimming?


Sunday, February 4, 2018

How to knock down a brick wall


Photo by Nicole Köhler on Magdeleine


I've been researching family history for a very long time...a very long time.  Let me say that again....a very long time.  So you think I'd know better but....we all get into habits and routines.  We all think we know how to do research. 

So, let me tell you a story about what happened to me the other day.  The other night actually.  Wednesday night specifically.

Wednesday night had been looming large in my consciousness because it was when my final assignment was due for the Writing Family History unit I'm studying at University of Tasmania (yes - even though I live all the way up in Queensland - don't you love modern technology?) The assignment was due at midnight.

So anyway, I'd decided to write about my two great-great-aunts Clara Rebecca Conner and Harriet Conner because I am obsessed with them.  During the course I had written a couple of short stories about them.  


Photo by Library Company of Philadelphia on Foter.com No known copyright restrictions


No that's not a photo of my aunts.  Aunt Fossie (someone else's aunt) is on the right apparently.  That photo is just to get you in the mood. Now, back to the story....

This course was a challenge for me because you were encouraged to write fiction and I have been so used to writing non-fiction and having all the facts that I found it quite confronting.  But it was a good course because when you don't have all the facts - what can you do?  You stretch your imagination and write well-informed fiction.

So here are the basic facts about my great-great-aunts.  Clara was eight years older than Harriet.  They were both born in Portsmouth, Hampshire or thereabouts in 1858 and 1866 respectively.  Their father worked in the Naval Dockyard.  They trained to be teachers.  Clara had a baby out of wedlock and shortly after moved to Yorkshire.  Harriet followed a couple of years later.  Clara got married to WH Smith in 1884 and they all moved to Australia and taught in Queensland in 1885.

My brickwall (and don't worry I still have plenty more when it comes to these girls) was that I could not for the life of me find them in the  1881 census.  Actually I couldn't find any of the Conners in the census anywhere - not Rebecca and Edward (the parents) and their youngest son Edwin or the two sisters.  I wanted to know why on earth Clara chose to go to Yorkshire after having the baby Daisy.  Did they have relatives there? 

So in the absence of the facts, I wrote the story in italics below and submitted it well before the due date on Sunday night. Then I re-wrote it and submitted it again on Monday night.  And then I re-wrote it and submitted it for a third time on Tuesday night.  

The first time I wrote it, the letters were from Harriet.  The second time I wrote it, the letters were from Clara.  Then I gave it to my husband to read and he wanted to know why Clara was so uppity.  So, I pulled her down a peg or two . Here it is.

Photo by CJS*64 on Foter.com / CC BY-NC-ND


10 September 1880

Dear Father

I cannot begin to thank you enough for all you have done for me this past year.  Allowing Harriet to join me in Liversedge is a great demonstration of your faith in my redemption. I did not realise quite how much I missed you all until I saw you at the station.  I know I should not speak of her, but giving up little Daisy  was almost more than I could bear and I have felt so alone of late.  Aunt does her best to make me comfortable and I am very grateful to her for taking me in, given the circumstances.   

I will be sorry to leave some of the teachers at Norristhorpe  but must take up this offer of advancement and, in so doing, make amends to you and Mother for the shame I have caused you.  Having Harriet as my Assistant  will be an enormous help and provide me some comfort besides. She tells me that the current Head Teacher at Robert Town is very disaffected with his placement.  I think the children and Harriet will all be relieved when he departs as his manner is so sour. He says he will be seeking a position in Commerce where he will be rewarded more for his efforts.  “God speed”, say I.

Harriet is finding the pupils very different to those in Portsea. She complains that she cannot begin to understand what any of them are saying. She was even more disconcerted to find that many are “half-timers”; they work in the mills or must help at home while their parents work.   She feels the pressure  and I have told her that she must apply herself.  If she does not pass the examination at the inspection, her stipend will not be forthcoming.
   
How is little Edwin?  How is the Dockyard Extension progressing?  It must be nearly finished now surely.

Please know that you are in my prayers.

Your Loving Daughter 
Clara


Photo by The Library of Congress on Foter.com / No known copyright restrictions - and yes I realise that this is an American postman but just go with me okay? Just imagine that is Edwin.


25th December 1880

Dearest Edwin

The happiest of birthdays to you.   You see that I have not forgotten you.  I hope you received our little parcel. It is very cold here.  Harriet and I walk together to school every day and our feet are quite numb by the time we arrive.  It is dark when we set out and dark when we return.  

Edwin, I know it must be lonely without Harriet at home now.  Father works so hard and mother has high standards.  You must be patient with them both.  They love you very much and with Edward at sea, you are all they have now.  Promise me you will study hard at school.  The Navy will not want you unless you have very good results.  Running away to sea may seem like a good idea at the age of eleven, but you will not want to be a stoker all your life.  You must learn to be an Engineer like your Papa.  

If you want to be the master of your fate and captain of your soul,  do your duty, as we are doing ours and forgive your older and wiser sister for lecturing you on your special day.

Your Loving Sister Clara


Picture of school after HM Inspector's Report 1986. Head Judith Jones centre, Addingham, West Yorkshire - can you believe I found this photo when I put HM Inspector into the search bar?


2nd April 1881

Dear Father and Mother

You will be pleased to know that HM Inspector gave Roberttown Board School a most favourable report.  Harriet passed her examination and so will be able to repay your advance within the month.  

We are saving our pennies for our return to you in summer.  Have you heard from Edward? How is little Edwin? I do miss him and his ever ready wit.   

Father you must not trouble yourself about young Mr Smith and his intentions.  He is obviously very devoted but I have made it clear that he can have no expectations of any return of affection on my part until he proves himself. To that end, he has enrolled at London University for a Bachelor of Arts and intends to apply for another position back home in Hertfordshire.  He says that, since my departure, the atmosphere at Norristhorpe has taken a turn for the worse and that the young boys there have no manners to speak of whatsoever.   

Harriet and I despair sometimes of ever keeping our charges from ignorance and vice.   Many of them can barely stay awake to hear their lessons. Opportunities for leisure are far and few between here.  I do miss our musical evenings with the Rowlands. Those days seems so long ago now. 

Your Loving Daughter Clara




A view of laundry, East Marton bu stephengg on Flickr

10th March 1883

Dear Father

You will be most amused to hear that Miss Philippa Wilkinson of Balmgate House successfully claimed damages from the Liversedge Board for injury to a dress caused by the dirty state of the town’s water to the tune of £2, according to today’s copy of the Leeds Times.   Such is village life.

Young Mr Smith continues to be gainfully employed at the Beechan Grove Boys School at Watford.  He has become like one possessed in his determination to win my affection by working all day and burning the midnight oil to obtain his matriculation.  You would find him most agreeable in conversation as he has a scientific mind and is currently studying Acoustics and Magnetism.  

Aunt is like an Admiral, commanding a flotilla of elderly acquaintances to provide cover and distraction should any young men in the district show the slightest interest in Harriet or myself.  I am grateful for her concern as our good reputation is essential to maintain respect in the district.  You know what small towns are like; positively famished for gossip.  I confess it is starting to grate on my nerves and I yearn for bigger horizons.

How are Mother and Edwin?  I hope the latter is applying himself to his studies and the former to your comfort.  Please give my warmest regards to the Rowlands. I have heard from the most reliable of sources that they are thinking of emigrating to Queensland, Australia  – can this be true? 


Your Loving Daughter Clara


A job well done or so I thought.  I rewarded myself with some Facebook time.  

Some marvelous soul had created a group for the students in the course and we were all chatting about our assignments and posting when we had finished etc.  Someone asked how we had tackled fictional accounts in the absence of facts and I explained my brick wall and how I had to guess why they went to Yorkshire.  Another student, Anthea, piped up that she was from Yorkshire and wanted to know how I knew they had been there and where they taught.  I explained that their teaching records held at the Qld State Archives noted which schools they had taught at in England.  Anthea hadn't heard of the villages in question but asked me to message her the names and dates of birth of my great-great-aunts and she would do a bit of hunting.  


Photo on Foter.com - yes I know it looks like a gratuitous photo of a cat but that's what came up when I put "hunting" in the search bar.



My husband started to clang plates about in the kitchen so I raced out and whipped up a meal.  We watched the news.  I washed up.  I brushed my teeth.  I read some George Eliiot.  I thought I'll just check my phone before I turn off the light.  And there was Anthea's message...

"I've found them!"

The surname CONNER had been transformed into CORMER.  And they were living with not one but two Hannah SUGDENs - one aged 73 and one aged 34.

Anthea found them on Family Search.  

She said "I searched for a Harriet of the right age born in Hampshire and living in the West Riding". 

So there's a tip folks.  Forget the surname altogether and you may have better luck.

"Can I re-write my assignment in an hour do you think?" I asked Anthea.

"No!" was the firm reply.

I still have no idea who the Sugdens are to the Conner girls - apart from landlady and boarders.  The census says that the two Hannahs are sisters but I think that is an error.  A search for them in previous census tends to suggest that they are mother and daughter. 

Needless to say, I tried to stay in bed and go to sleep as it was 10pm and I have to be up at 4:45 in the mornings.  But I must have lasted about 2 minutes, threw back the covers and got up to see where they lived.  Boy oh boy.....Heckmondwike is very atmospheric indeed. Google 202 Brighton Street Heckmondwike and have a look at where they lived.  The cemetery next door is very Bronte-esque.

Photo by Urban Outlaw on Foter.com / CC BY-NC-SA


So thank you very much indeed to Anthea Fraser Gupta - fellow student and super sleuth.  

Lessons learned? 

1.  If you're not having any joy, try searching without the surname and put in keywords like occupation (in this case "teacher") - Ancestry seems to be best for this sort of search I think.

2. Let people know you've hit a brick wall.  Fresh eyes, unbiased, unjaded eyes can often see things you can't

3. Facebook is a tool for good - sometimes :)

4. Keep learning - never stop.

Bibliography

Birth Certificate of Edwin Conner born 25 December, GRO Ref1869, J Quarter in PORTSEA ISLAND  Volume 02B  Page 377

Birth Certificate of Daisy Clara Conner born 6 January 1877 GRO Reference: 1877  M Quarter in FAREHAM  Volume 02B  Page 580

Marriage Certificate of Clara Rebecca Conner and William Henry Smith married 23 October 1884, West Yorkshire Archive Service; Wakefield, Yorkshire, England; Yorkshire Parish Records; Old Reference Number: D1/18; New Reference Number: WDP1/3/10

Marriage Certificate of Harriet Conner and John David Rowland married 23 December 1908, Registration Number 1909/1031 Queensland Registrar General

Record of Clara Rebecca Smith’s service, Dept. of Public Instruction, Item ID 822995, M/film no Z8565 Page no 522 Queensland State Archives Ref SRS5138/1/1 
http://www.archivessearch.qld.gov.au/Search/ItemDetails.aspx?ItemId=822995 Vol. 1

Record of Harriet Conner’s service, Dept. of Public Instruction, Item ID 987874, M/film no Z7591 Page no 171 Queensland State Archives RefEDU/V17 Source http://www.archivessearch.qld.gov.au/Search/ItemDetails.aspx?ItemId=987874 Vol V 

Record of William Henry Smith’s service, Dept. of Public Instruction, Item ID 987862, M/film no Z7587 Page no 253 Qsa ref EDU/V5 Source http://www.archivessearch.qld.gov.au/Search/ItemDetails.aspx?ItemId=987862 Vol V

“Portsmouth Police Court”, Hampshire Telegraph and Sussex Chronicle etc (Portsmouth, England), Saturday, May 19, 1877; Issue 4670. British Library Newspapers, Part I: 1800-1900.

Bartle, George F, ‘The impact of the British and Foreign School Society on elementary education in the main textile areas of the industrial North, History of Education, Vol. 22 No. 1, 1993, pp33-48

Coppock, David A. ‘Respectability as a prerequisite of moral character: the social and occupational mobility of pupil teachers in the later nineteenth and early twentieth centuries’ History of Education, Vol. 26, No. 2 1997, pp. 165-186

“Bradford”, The Leeds Times, Saturday, March 03, 1883; pg. 3; Issue 2603. British Library Newspapers, Part III: 1741-1950

“School teachers and all friends of education”, The Leeds Times, Saturday, July 14, 1883, p3.

Henley, William Ernest, Invictus, Book of Verses, 1888 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Invictus accessed 29 January 2018

Horn, Pamela, The education and employment of working-class girls, 1870-1914’ History of Education, Vol. 17, No. 1 1988, pp71-82

Horn, Pamela, The Victorian and Edwardian Schoolchild, Gloucester, Alan Sutton Publishing, 1989

Middleton, J. ‘The overpressure epidemic of 1884 and the culture of nineteenth-century schooling, History of Education, Vol. 33, No. 4, 2004, pp 419-435

Ordnance Survey Yorkshire CCXXXII.SW (includes: Cleckheaton; Gomersal; Heckmondwike; Liversedge; Mirfield.) 1894

Qld State Archives Index to Assisted Immigration 1848-1912 John Rowland aged 1 and family 15 Dec 1884 Item ID18481 M/film 1 Z1961 M/film 2 M1700 Page 330 Ship Waroonga Source
http://www.archivessearch.qld.gov.au/Search/ItemDetails.aspx?ItemId=18481

Thody, Angela M., ‘School management in nineteenth-century elementary schools: a day in the life of a headteacher’ History of Education, Vol. 23, No. 4, 1994, pp.355-373

“Assault on a Farmer’s Daughter”, Yorkshire Evening Post, 1 Feb. 1892, p. 4 British Library Newspapers http://tinyurl.galegroup.com/tinyurl/5qyJZ2. Accessed 27 Jan. 2018
  


Saturday, February 3, 2018

January Genea-pourri




Photo by [Segle] - REFLEX IS BACK ! on Foter.com / CC BY-NC-SA


With thanks to Randy Seaver and Jill Ball for the meme - Pot Pourri - It has been a very productive month for me family history wise.

Here is what I have been doing.....

Study

I completed another unit of my Diploma of Family History - Writing Family History on Wednesday night - the last day of January.  During January I had to write 3 x 250 word short stories and then one 750-1000 story. So that was quite a bit of work as you can imagine.

And then because I am a sucker for punishment I enrolled in another unit - Families at War.  I have to complete 8 units altogether to finish the Diploma.

I have completed:
  1. Intro to Family History
  2. Convict Ancestors
  3. The Photo Essay: an Introduction and
  4. Writing Family History
So that's all my foundation units done.

I have also completed Oral History.  So only two more units to complete after Families at War.  Writing the Family Saga and Convicts in Context are the two most likely.  I did start Place, Image, Object but unfortunately had to drop out.



Photo on Foter.com



Certificates

I decided to order a marriage certificate for a Harriet Conner in New Zealand because it was for the time period when I had lost my Harriet Conner.  I ordered it on 5th January and it turned up last week I think, so not really a long wait when you think about it.  It cost $33 which isn't cheap and, as I suspected, it is not my Harriet CONNER but a "No" result is still a result.

I ordered a birth certificate for Harriet Conner using the new GRO's PDF service which is much cheaper than the full certificate service. Cost is about $10.70.  I ordered it on the 7th January and received it on the 11th.  Fabulous service.  Did I learn anything new?  Yes, I learned that her family lived in Sydney Street.  Yay.

Needless to say I've order a few more since then - the birth of Clara Rebecca Conner, the death of Rebecca Conner and the marriage of Clara Rebecca Conner and WH Smith in Watford, Hertfordshire. They got married twice within a month - once in Hertfordshire and once in Yorkshire.




ISO Republic photo

Archives

I went to Queensland Sate Archives on the first Saturday opening for the year and ran into genea-buddy Helen Smith.  This was to try and find more out about Harriet Conner's experience at Bustard Head Lighthouse - I didn't really find out any more information but it was good to go back to the Archives and see how they've moved furniture around again - specifically the microfilm readers. You can now pre-order records before you visit so that it's ready when you arrive (thanks for that hot tip Chris Goopy) - pre-orders must be received by 12pm the day before your visit but you can order up to 1 week prior.  This is a trial so let's make sure we use it so that it is implemented.  

To pre-order records go here, then select 'General enquiries" and then "Other".  

The National Archives of Australia sent me an image of a house in Darwin which I requested when I was studying Oral History last year mid December.  It took six weeks for the CD to arrive and cost an eye-watering amount of money.  I don't know why I didn't order a digital download.  It would have cost $20 less but I think I just didn't read the form correctly or realise that option was available. Sigh.  I blame the rush before Xmas and being in a new job which was a bit distracting.

I wrote to the West Yorkshire Kirklee Archives service on 25th January and received a reply the next day.  A negative one but a speedy one :)  Kirklee suggested I write to Wakefield which I did.  I recevied an automated response and then a real one today so that wasn't very long to wait either.  Also a negative response but at least a response.  

I wrote to the Brunel University London Archives and received a response the next day - also negative but with some great suggestions.

I wrote to the UCL Institute of Education in London archives and received a reply the next day - once again speedy and with suggestions of where else to look.

I wrote to the Church of England record centre in London also seeing if they could assist with information about school archives - they wrote back within a couple of days too. Again a nil result but confirmed what I suspected.


Photo by DRs Kulturarvsprojekt on Foter.com / CC BY-SA


Libraries/Books/Sales

I purchased a digital copy of a map of Portsea from the National Library of Scotland. Cost $13.60.  Being able to look closely at this map was enormously helpful in the writing of one of my assignments and gave me a real sense of the place.  It also provided me with lots of other place names which I could search for in newspapers and gave me better insights into where my ancestors lived.  If you haven't checked out these maps, you should really give it a go.  You don't have to pay for maps like I did...you can just look.  It's just I wanted to be able to enlarge and print certain sections which you can't really do on the website.  I ordered the map on the 20th January and received it two days later.  What a great service.


photo by Andrew Neel on Magdeleine


I found a great little book called The Victorian and Edwardian School Child by Pamela Horn on the Internet Archives.  I could read it on my desktop or borrow it and download it as a PDF.  They offered me two choices of file - encrypted Adobe PDF and encrypted Adobe ePub.  I chose the PDF which had apparently High Quality Page Images whereas the other file could contain errors.  I couldn't read it at all when I opened it on Adobe Digital Editions.  When I went back today to have another look, I downloaded the ePub file and it worked perfectly - pictures and all - just so you know.

Books I borrowed to try and help me with my research or give me a feel for the time were:

Tracing Your Yorkshire Ancestors by Rachel Bellerby - this was a great reference book and helped me pinpoint which society I should join and which repositories to target.

The Secret Diaries of Miss Anne Lister (1791-1840) edited by Helena Whitbread - I didn't get to really get into this book but wow, what an interesting subject and a labour of love on behalf of the editor.

Writing a non boring Family History by Hazel Edwards - this looked great.  I didn't get to finish it but would borrow it again.

Felix Holt, the Radical by George Eliot  - I confess I am finding this somewhat protracted and turgid.

I confess to going to the Lifeline Booksale and buying quite a few peculiar cookery books and 


From my own personal library I pulled out:

Miss Marjoribanks by Margaret Oliphant - I am in absolute awe of Mrs Oliphant's prodigious output and career.


photo by Annie Spratt on Magdeleine


I joined the Huddersfield and District Family History Society in an attempt to find out more about why Clara and Harriet CONNER may have moved to Liversedge all the way from Portsmouth.  No joy so far. Cost $32.64

I received a Congress Newsletter from SAG and realised I'd better get on with booking travel and finding a place to stay in my old home town and birth place of Sydney. Congress will be held at the swanky new convention centre in Darling Harbour.  Here is what Darling Harbour used to look like when my grandfather was just 2 years old.


Darling Harbour from the Tyrrell Photographic Collection at the Powerhouse Museum - Gift of Australian Consolidate Press under the Taxation Incentives for the Arts Scheme, 1985


It looks a bit different today doesn't it?


A night time shot of Darling Harbour by Daniel Lee on Flickr

Social Media


Rootsfinder asked if they could feature me as a guest blogger on their site and I said "Yes" so look out for that in March.

I wrote a New Year and Trove Tuesday blog post.

Finally - I have made use of a few new-to-me Photo websites e.g. Foter and Magdeleine and ISO Republic - one of the handy tips I picked up on the Aussie Facebook group - Australian Local and Family History Bloggers. Thanks chums.