Monthly Archives: January 2016

Grandma’s Cousin Isabella

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This week Sepia Saturday shows us an Irish  family group which has four sons and two daughters, carefully posed  for the outdoors with hats, parasol, pet dog and  toy yachts

Among  my collection of family photos is one where the family with Scottish origins has six sons and three daughters.  The father has already died but the family is posed in front of their house with rugs, cushions, stool, chairs and table, the best family tea service and a potted plant.

McGregor Family

My grandmother had a cousin  Isabella McGregor, seen seated here on the left. Isabella and Amelia were the children of sisters Catherine and Jane Buchanan who, with their sister and mother had been driven out of  Gearros on the Isle of Skye by the Highland Clearances.

When married my grandmother,Amelia McDonald, lived first in Geelong, then Murtoa and other country towns whereas her cousin Isabella had married a farmer and settled at Callawadda in the country near Stawell.  I have no way of knowing if the two cousins knew one another.  I do know that when my parents lived in Stawell for four years my mother had no idea that she had a great aunt buried n the local cemetery and other relations living  in the area.

Malcolm and Isabella’s youngest child was born in 1901 so this would place the group photo as slightly before World war 1.

Janet/Jessie McAllister and husband Malcolm McGregor

This photo is of Malcolm McGregor with his first wife Jessie thanks to   John Alderson who was the first to post  it to Ancestry. It is also linked to the Good(e) family tree.

When Malcolm  died in 1903 at the age of 66  the newspaper report just happens to mention that he had had 19 children in all.  What a job fitting all those names into the available space in the last column of the death certificate.  But fitted they were, showing 10 children with his first wife and 9 with Isabella.

More family groups can be seen on this week’s Sepia Saturday.

Malcolm McGregor obit 1903

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Dear Little Bertie

Titanic Survivors

Most people know the story of the Titanic and the Iceberg.  This week Sepia Saturday gave us  a photo pf two young orphans who survived the disaster.

They are

Louis and Lola.

My family had a different kind of sad story with

Alan and Albert

 

 

These are my father’s two younger brothers, Alan and Albert Edward Fricke of Apollo Bay, being photographed in 1920.

Bertie&Alan

At the time this photo was taken my father, their older brother, was 16 years old and was only home on the farm at weekends, the weekdays spent boarding in Colac while he attended High School.

Alan was just six and a half months old which would place this photo as early August in 1920.  Bertie of the golden locks was 2 years and 5 months old.

Two months later, on October 11th, 1920, Bertie  died of diphtheria

They talk about people wearing their best bib and tucker.  It looks as though Alan is actually wearing his best “bib” for the photo..

On the back of the photo is written “dear little Bertie”

The photographer was Mendelssohn so the photo was possibly taken on a trip to Melbourne.

For other interpretations of the Titanic orphans go to Sepia Saturday.

Trove Tuesday — From Telford to Forsyth to Greig

It’s long been known the brothers Peter and George Telford came to Victoria from Roxburghshre. Peter married and had many descendants, includding myself,  unlke George who remained single.

What little was seen of George was always in the vicinity of Peter and he died  in Apollo Bay where Peter lived.

But then I came across this small newspaper article in the Melbourne Leader in 1891

George Telfords insolvent will

He had so little in the way of assets but his relatives were scrabbling to get their hands on it .  And so a Trove search on George and his executor led me on to a different search. and another branch of the family.

The first surprise came in George’s will where his main beneficiary was his sister Janet Forsyth of  Bankhead, Hamilton.  I knew he had an older  sister Janet who I thought was safely tucked up in Scotland.  I had never found any evidence to show she came out to Australia.

The second surprise came when I found that the executor, William Steedman Greig, was  Janet’s son-in-law, married to her daughter Jane.  William was formerly of Bank Head but by then a storekeeper at  Macarthur.

I’m thinking that Bankhead was the name of a farm, particularly as that was the name of a farm  in Linton near Kelso in Roxburghshire, an area with which  both Janet and John had connecions.

Janet’s husband John Forsyth had died in 1875 and left her with a comfortable sum .  Janet was the executor of his will and her brother George made a statement to the effect that he was not a beneficiary of the will but having lived in the Western District for many years he could testify to the value of the property.

All of this seems to suggest that George was well known to Janet and her family and had not been his brother Peter’s shadow for all his life in Australia..  It suggests that George was familiar with Hamilton and I wonder if he lived there for some of the time, rather than just visiting.

Thanks to Trove leading me to one small newspaper article I was able to expand the picture of our C19th immigrant Telford family from Scotland.

Unidentfied – but no balls

Sepia Saturday 312 Header

Balls.   What possible connection does my family photo album have with balls ?  Very little.

There is one photo of a six year old kicking an AFL football.  There is a globe of the world shaped like a ball and included in the Christmas presents one year.  There were those Waltz-me-around again Willy or Wally- or-whatever your-name-was Balls but they never seemed to get recorded in the family album

So I will go with another one of my unidentified photos.

Unknwn Melbourne Children

Boy, girl, girl, undecided .  I cannot fit this group into our family tree though ti was originally given to me by a relative and I am assuming it was taken in Melbourne.   Possibly the youngest child is a little older than first glance suggests, due to the clothing.  But the children are beautifully groomed and dressed Though I wonder if Mother was impressed when she saw the petticoat peeping out from under the dress. The girls are lucky to each have a brooch to wear on their dress.

I am pleased with the quality of most of my early scans.  It is a relatively small file – 640 x 422 but those were the days of twin floppy discs  and large image files weren’t considered necessary.  But I do wish I had been a better record keeper and knew who lent me the various photos to scan.

Trove Tuesday – from Pettavel to Snitterfield

Until now when using Trove I have mostly searched for family names and places.  I hadn’t even considered the possibility that small English villages might be mentioned in an Australian newspaper.  That was until I read Jennifer Jones’s post on “Playing with Edged Tools

After that I was to find that Trove had many mentions of the village of Snitterfield where my grandfather Tom Tansey was born.    One small entry mentioned two places of interest to me – Pettavel, a vineyard to the south of Geelong,  and a cupboard, supposedly with a carved inscription done by Shakespeare, being auctioned in Snitterfield.

From the Geelong Advertiser, March 2nd 1903

Geel Addy 2-3-1903 Sale of Shakespeare chair at

These are two unrelated notices sitting together on the page.

The first concerns the Pettavel vineyard just south of Geelong where a sale of items was to be held.  David Pettavel from Switzerland established the vineyard in 1842.  It is now called the Mt Duneed Estate and has been  in the news this week because of the annual Falls Festival, a three day music festival ending on New Years Day   Normally it is held just outside Lorne on the Great Ocean Road but bushfires made it necessary to either cancel or re-locate the festival. There is an excellent article on the ABC about the mammoth task of shifting to a different venue.  What would David Pettavel think about the hordes of people and the noise on his estate ?

The second notice from the Auctioneers concerned both Snitterfield and Shakespeare.  Shakespeare’s family had connections with this village.  Did Will really make and inscribe this cupboard which was up for auction ?   By switching from the freely available Australian Trove newspapers to the British Newspaper Archive  I read that on Jan 9th 1903, two months before being mentioned in the Geelong Advertiser, the auction was also reported in the Leamington Spa Courier, a town near Snitterfield.

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But was it all one big con ?  Back in 1891 there  were many articles and letters about this same piece of furniture claiming that it could not have been inscribed by Shakespeare.  One such article was published in The Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser on September 5th, 1891

Cupboard discredited

Shakespeare pops up everywhere in connection with Snitterfield, which is just to the north of Stratford on Avon, such as in my post on A Parting Gift.

Shop Front – Vegetable Mart

Sepia Saturday 311 At first glance this 1942 photo from Nebraska appears to be of a fruit and vegetable shop but closer inspection shows the produce to be part of a larger store, the Grand Grocery Co.

But it reminded me of an unidentified photo given to me by a distant relative many years ago.

FruitShopManChild

So where was this photo taken ?  My best guess would be Maryborough in central Victoria, or possibly South Melbourne. I am completely lacking in inspiration for identifying this one.  Hopefully some time in the future someone will recognize it.  If only the Proprietor’s name were showing.

This post was shared onto the Carisbrook Historical Society page and some members of this group have made some interesting observations.