Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Trove Tuesday - Sad Drowning Case at Cross Keys Hotel

In 1891 when my great great grandmother, Alice Morgan, was the licensee of the Cross Keys Hotel at North Essendon there was an inquest held there on the death of a young local girl named Nellie Bloxham who drowned in the Moonee  Ponds Creek.



Sad Drowning Case. (1891, November 18).The Coburg Leader (Vic. : 1890 - 1913), p. 1. Retrieved March 26, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article66898764

This post is part of the Trove Tuesday series  initiated by Amy of  Branches, Leaves & Pollen.

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Trove Tuesday - Coonan's Dog and the trouble it caused.

Further to an earlier one of my Trove Tuesday posts Hostilities about Michael Coonan's aggression towards the Morgan family is this rather amusing news report of Mr. Coonan's denials of his hostile behaviour.


This post is part of the Trove Tuesday series  initiated by Amy of  Branches, Leaves & Pollen.

Monday, 24 March 2014

Mystery Monday - Forsyth - Burnett family

Today I found the answer to another question but raised more.  
Isn't that the way genealogy always works!

My great great grandfather's sister was Helen Gordon Forsyth born on January 5th 1859.  Helen died of Phthisis (pulmonary tuberculosis or a similar progressive wasting disease.) on the 11th of November 1897 at Mill Terrace of Sandhaven, Pitsligo, Aberdeenshire, Scotland.
Helen had had a relationship with a James Wood.  
Together they had a daughter, Helen Thomson Forsyth who was born on the 17th of January 1882 at Tyrie, Aberdeenshire.  

In the 1891 and 1901 census young Helen Thomson Forsyth was living with her maternal grandmother, yet another Helen Forsyth, at Shore Street, Pitsligo.

We're not sure what happened to James Wood but in 1885 Helen Gordon Forsyth married a mason named Thomas Burnett.  They went on to have four children together.  Thomas pre-deceased Helen in 1892.

Their children were:-
Margaret Dickie Burnett born 1886 Sandhaven - died 1890 Aberdour
Annie Burnett born 1887 Aberdour - died 1921 Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Isabella Sangster Burnett born 1889 Aberdour - died 1914 Aberdeen
Alexander Merson Burnett born 1891 Aberdour - possibly died 1976 Alberta, Canada.

Helen Gordon Forsyth's nephew Patrick and his wife Dorothy have been an amazing and invaluable source in our family research.   Dorothy had sent me this postcard/photo


On the back was a letter dated Jun 1906 to Helen Forsyth at Eddle House, Sandhaven, by Fraserburgh,  from her sister Bella.


The letter says:  "Dear Sister,  just a few lines to let you know I am well.  I have been a long time in writing to you.  This is a photo of my chums and myself by Mr. Pender.
Write soon please.
Kind regards from your sister Bella xxxxx

So one of the girls in the photo is Isabella Burnett.  I wondered where she would have been living in 1906 as her parents had both died.  I thought Mr Pender may give me a clue.  Sure enough I found Isabella Burnett aged eleven years in 1901 census at a boarding house at 37 Belmont Street, Aberdeen South with an Alexander Pender the headmaster and his wife Matron.  

A Google search revealed that Mr Pender, (who wore long johns under his kilt!  see photo and story here ) was the headmaster for the Aberdeen Institution for the Education of the deaf and dumb. 
So Bella must have been deaf.  She died in 1914 at the young age of 24.  I have added her death certificate to my "to do" list.

Her sister and brother, Annie and Alexander Burnett both migrated to Canada.

Below is a photo of Alexander in uniform.  Another thing on the "to do" list is to find his military details.  


From this photo and the one of the three girls, which girl do you think his sister Bella would be?

Friday, 21 March 2014

Family Friends Friday

My brother and I spent our first 12 or so years growing up in a street with lots of friends of similar ages.   It was like a big family.
We all called each others parents "Uncle" or "Aunty".

Today one of those families said a final goodbye to their Mum.
I hope they find comfort in their good memories.
Rest in Peace Aunty Bunty.

I have lovely memories of those days and those friends.

We had a dog named Lassie (very original :), not a Scotch Collie but a red German Shepherd.  The breed was better known then as Alsation.
Lassie was the same age as me.  I can remember Mum saying that if my little brother was trying to head out the gate Lassie would keep cutting him off and steering him into the back yard.

We had lovely next door neighbours, Aunty Pat, Uncle John and their son Paul. John was away a lot driving so I only vaguely remember him.  The old photo below is of my little brother, Paul and another boy playing in front of our house.


Down the end of the street Bruce and his family had a white Alsation dog named Prince.

Pictured is Prince and Lassie with Bruce, Pat from next door and all Lassie and Prince's puppies.  My brother named one Monkey.

I think I would have been about five or six years old when the puppies came along.

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Wedding Wednesday - Nellie Fleming and Roy Vines

Eleanor Grace Fleming, known as Nellie, was the seventh child (fifth daughter) of the eleven children born to my great grandparents Donald Fleming and Margaret nee Hart.
On the 17th of March 1925 at Wangaratta she married Roy Merten Vines.
The best man was her brother, Donald Percy Fleming and the bridesmaid was her sister Lilian Myrtle Fleming.


The Wangaratta Despatch, Wednesday, March 18, 1925 - Wedding - Vines - Fleming
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
The marriage of Miss Eleanor Grace Fleming, fifth daughter of Mrs. D. Fleming "Valley View", King Valley and the late Donald Fleming, and Mr. Roy Merten Vines, youngest son of Mr. F. Vines, Dean St. Albury, was celebrated at Holy Trinity Cathedral by Rev. E.A. Hunt yesterday.  The bride who was given away by her brother-in-law, wore a pretty wedding frock of broche satin mesoline caught at the side with a spray of orange blossoms.  Her veil was lent by Mrs. Canterbury, St. Kilda (cousin of the bridegroom) and she carried a bouquet of asters, roses and maiden hair fern.  Miss L. M. Fleming, sister of the bride, who was bridesmaid, wore powder blue crepe de chine, and her blue tulle veil hung from a silver bandeux.  Her bouquet was of roses and asters.  Mr. D. Fleming, brother of the bride was best man.  The party were photographed at Vine's studio, and afterwards partook of wedding breakfast, served at the bull's Head Hotel.  Mr. Prest, cousin of the bride, presided, and the customary toast list was honoured.  The bride travelled in a navy costume and hat en suite.  The honeymoon will be spent in Sydney, and the future home of Mr. and Mrs. Vines will be at Albury.

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Trove Tuesday - MORGAN'S GANDER!

 I have a paternal Irish great great grandfather,  John Morgan of Essendon and a maternal English/Welsh great great great grandfather,  John Morgan of Euroa.
It does get a tad confusing.

In this news article in 1872 John Morgan of Euroa was described as a decrepit
old man and a very old resident in the district.

My maternal ggg grandfather, John Morgan of Euroa, would have been 70 years old and most probably "decrepit" as he died in 1873 and yes he was indeed a very old resident in the district, having arrived in Euroa in the 1840s.

So I am assuming this is he.


VIOLET TOWN. (1872, March 9). The Benalla Ensign and Farmer's and Squatter's Journal (Vic. : 1869 - 1872), p. 3 Edition: Weekly.. Retrieved March 18, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article66840639

For the  Trove Tuesday theme by Amy from Branches, Leaves & Pollen

Monday, 17 March 2014

Military Monday - Great Uncle Frank Adams

My childhood memories of perhaps my only visit to my grandmother's brother's house were that Uncle Frank had red hair and Auntie Dot had bright red lipstick!



Francis Edward Adams who for some reason later called himself Frank Francis Adams was my paternal grandmother's youngest brother.  He was born on the 12th of July 1906 at Kensington, a suburb of Melbourne, Victoria.  The son of Mary Agnes Adams nee Morgan and her husband John Adams who had separated and went through a lengthy maintenance battle in court ... read here >

I remember being told that Uncle Frank and Auntie Dot weren't married.  Not sure why I was told that.  Uncle Frank was quite a small man and apparently had been a groom and a jockey.  Dad said he used to work on the De Havilland aeroplanes made for the airforce because he was small enough to crawl through the cramped spaces.

When I started researching my Adams family I was told that the family story was that Uncle Frank was batman for General Thomas Blamey in World War 2.

I searched but found nothing that corroborated that story.  I did find some very surprising facts though.  Talk about a tight lipped lot!

I looked up Uncle Frank's war service details and found that he enlisted on the 15th of June 1940.  He was single, a groom (strapper) and listed next of kin as his sister Mrs Catherine Goodwin of Darnum.  Aunty Kit and Uncle Willie (as I knew them) lived at Darnum in Gippsland all their married lives.  Frank's address at the time was 155 Epsom Road, Ascot Vale.


He was recruited to the 8th Division petrol company and then in August 1940 was detached to the G.M.H school of fitters mechanics.  He was discharged by the 23rd of October 1940 as "medically unfit for service, not occasioned by his own default".  Quite a short stint of only four  months.  I thought that was it but no ......

I don't know why I revisited the World War 2 army records but one day I stumbled quite by accident on another war service record for a Frank Francis Adams with the same birthdate.
World War 1 war service records are available openly but World War 2 records need to be purchased.  So I paid the fee and after a short wait the records were opened to me.  Well what a surprise.

Uncle Frank Francis Adams had re-enlisted on the 19th of October 1942 at Paramatta, in New South Wales. His second service records were rather confusing.

This time his attestation paper named his next of kin as his wife, Florence Adams of 20 Claude St, Northcote and his occupation was cabinetmaker.   It also listed his previous service and his sister's address.  So it was definitely the same Frank Adams.  How strange.


He was posted to HQ 2 Aust. Army.  Maybe this was where General Blamey came in to it but I still found no mention of him.
In March 1944 it seems Frank was transferred from HQ 2 to another area which was 3 A.T.T.D .  He was a student at 3 Australian Army Trades Training Depot (staff) whatever (staff) meant.  His service records contained a student report for this section.
Uncle Frank didn't do well at carpentry apparently and failed to qualify.



I emailed Dad's cousin's wife who had started on this family history and she was gobsmacked.  No one had ever mentioned Frank was married.  I doubt they even knew either that or they just never spoke about it which fits with the way the family was.
She did say there was a few pieces of furniture in Aunty Kit's house that were said to have been made by Uncle Frank but they were very nicely made and valued by the family, so his work must have improved.
Well my next step was to find a marriage certificate.  There was one.

On the 2nd of October, 1942 Frank Francis Adams had married a Florence Francis.  She was a widow, born in Middlesex, England, the daughter of John Woods and Florence Gay.  She had three children and was ten years older than Frank.
All I could think of was to look in ancestry.com for a Florence Woods married to someone Francis.  I found a tree with them in it and it showed that Ralph Russell Francis had died in 1925 leaving Florence with three children.  I sent a message to the tree owner who was also amazed.  He lived in England and was connected to Ralph Francis.  He had traced him to Melbourne Ports working on the docks but had no further details.  He did give me the email address of a lady who was connected to Florence though.   She was also surprised by my message.  She said it was known that Florence had remarried but not who he was.  Apparently they were friends and as Florence was a widow and Frank re-enlisted, he put her as next of kin so if anything happened to him she would receive his war pension.

What a gesture by a very kind man.  Frank was discharged on the 30th of October 1945 and I couldn't find him again for sure in the electoral rolls until 1963 at 3 Hobson Street, Altona with a Dorothy May Adams.  Aunty Dot.  From 1977 he was with Dot living at 3 Prismall Street, Altona. (pictured below)


Frank died on the 17th of February 1979.
When I obtained his death certificate the informant was Dorothy May Adams, friend, living at the same address.  So he had never divorced Florence who had continued to live at 20 Claude Street Northcote and who died in 1976.

I could never find anything concrete on Frank being batman for General Blamey and I would love to find out if Aunty Dot - Dorothy May Adams, had other family.  All I know about her is her name and that she was still listed at 3 Prismall Street in the 1980 electoral roll.