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Showing posts from October, 2013

My Grandfather was a Bigamist!

My late Aunt told me in confidence many years ago that her oldest sister had confided in her that their father was a bigamist and that it had been a huge public scandal, hitting the front page of the local newspapers and causing the family trouble with the Catholic Church.  She said that this was part of the reason my Grandmother rarely spoke about him, Nan kept her family secrets well hidden (My father was in his fifties before he ever found out!).  So when I started researching my tree it was high on the list of stories I wanted to check out.  The certificates for the two marriages were easy to obtain but they added to the mystery rather than solved it.  I even managed to get in contact with relatives of his first wife, only to find that she was quite a mystery to them too and they didn't know about her marriage to my Grandfather.   Today the first of a series of articles about the case has been released on Trove and I can finally confirm that the story was true and my Grandfathe

Sunday's Obituary - Roma Marguerite O'Connor

Today's obituary is for Roma Marguerite O'Connor, who is my 1st cousin once removed.  Roma was the daughter of my Grand Aunt Elizabeth Minnie O'Connor (known as Minnie) and an unnamed father. She died in February 1932 at Cobar District Hospital from Gastro Enteritis and was buried in the Roman Catholic Section of the Cobar Cemetery. Source: Cobar. (1932, February 19). Narromine News and Trangie Advocate (NSW : 1898 - 1956), p. 8. Retrieved September 22, 2013, from Transcript: Cobar. Little Roma Marguerite O'Connor, aged 2 1/2 years, of Harcourt-street Cobar, was taken to the hospital on Thursday, died on Saturday and was buried on Sunday, Father Brennan officiating at the graveside. Source: Trove. DEATH FROM GASTROENTERITIS (1932, February 17). Western Age (Dubbo, NSW : 1914 - 1932), p. 2. Retrieved from Transcript: DEATH FROM GASTRO-ENTERITIS Little Roma Marguerite O

Sunday's Obituary - Ada Lucy Baxter nee Rhall (1882-1937)

My first cousin five times removed, Ada Lucy Baxter nee Rhall was born in 1882 the daughter of Peter 'John' Rhall and his wife Mary Ann (nee Camfield).   She married Henry Baxter in 1923 in Sydney, New South Wales.  Ada died on the 21st April 1937 at a private hospital in Sydney and was buried in the Catholic portion of the Young Cemetery near her parents and some of her siblings (see here ). Source: MRS. ADA LUCY BAXTER. (1937, May 13). The Catholic Press (NSW : 1895 - 1942), p. 33. Retrieved October 1, 2013, from Transcript: MRS. ADA LUCY BAXTER Her many friends were grieved to hear of the death at a private hospital, Darlinghurst, on the 21st ult., of Mrs. Ada Lucy Baxter, formerly of Young.  Born in 1883, the late Mrs. Baxter was educated by the Presentation Sisters at Young, and spent most of her earlier life in that district.  After coming to Sydney she married Mr. Harry Baxter, Rev. Father E. McAuliffe, P.P., p

Wednesday's Wedding: George Last and Winifred Pierse

George W. Last married Winifred Pierse at St. Denis' Church, Wagra in 1902.  George was the son of George Last and his wife Ann (nee Costello).  While Winifred was the daughter of John Pierse and his wife Mary (nee Quirk).  John and Mary Pierse are my third great grandparents, and Ann Last (nee Costello) is my fourth great grand aunt.  George and Winifred had one son Edwin George Last.  Winifred died in 1926 and George in 1932, they are buried together at the North Gundagai General Cemetery.   Source: MARRIAGE. (1902, September 20). The Gundagai Independent and Pastoral, Agricultural & Mining Advocate (NSW : 1898 - 1928), p. 2. Retrieved October 23, 2013, from Transcript: MARRIAGE. At "Shadybrook," Darbalara, on Thursday last, Miss Winnie Pierse, daughter of Mr. John Pierse, of that place, was married to Mr. George W. Last, son of Mr. G. Last, of Fern Hill.  The ceremony took place in the forenoon, the cel

Trove Tuesday: Strange Remedies

I came across this article on Trove and just had to use it for Trove Tuesday .  One can imagine the trouble superstitious early settlers would have had if they continued the practice of swallowing live spiders, especially if they chose red backs, white tails or funnel web ones. As to some of the other suggestions eww! Source: Strange Remedies. (1887, October 25). The Maitland Mercury & Hunter River General Advertiser (NSW : 1843 - 1893), p. 4. Retrieved October 22, 2013, from Transcript: Strange Remedies. In an articles on "Strange Medicines," in the Nineteenth Century, Miss Cumming quotes a few of the healing spells which are to this day practised by the peasantry of various districts in Great Britain, and which are considered certain remedies. The Northumbrian cure for warts is to take a large snail, rub the wart well with it, and then impale the snail on a thorn hedge.  As the creature wast

Military Monday: Albert John Rhall

Today's post involves Albert John Rhall who is my second cousin four times removed.  He was the son of Michael Rhall and his wife Mary Elizabeth (nee Connors) and was born in 1897, with his birth registered at Young, New South Wales.  He enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force on the 5th January 1916.  Albert Rhall died of wounds in France on the 15th May 1917. First World War Embarkation Rolls - Albert John Rhall Service Number: 5437 Rank: Private Roll title: 2 Infantry Battalion - 13 to 23 Reinforcements (December 1915 - November 1916) Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918 Date of embarkation: 14 April 1916 Place of embarkation: Sydney Ship embarked on: HMAT Ceramic A40 Source: Albert John Rhall. First World War Embarkation Roll.  Retrieved from His digitised Embarkation file can be found  here Red Cross Wounded and Missing - Albert John Rha

Sunday's Obituary - Ann Elizabeth Last nee Costello (1836-1920)

My 4th great grand Aunt Ann Last (nee Costello) was born about 1836 in Ireland the daughter of Michael Costello and Ann (nee Hogan). In 1858 along with her mother Ann, brother James and niece Mary she left Ireland and came to Australia on board the ship Peter Maxwell .  Prior to her departure she had been a housemaid from Durra, Kings County, Ireland.  In 1860 she married George Last, with the marriage being registered at Tumut.  George and Ann raised a large family together, with George dying in 1919 and Ann in 1920. Source: OBITUARY. (1920, February 23). The Gundagai Independent and Pastoral, Agricultural & Mining Advocate (NSW : 1898 - 1928), p. 2. Retrieved October 7, 2013, from Transcript: OBITUARY. MRS LAST. SEN.  Mrs Last, relict of the late Mr. G.W. Last, died at her residence. Fern Hill, on Friday afternoon.  About two months ago she was stricken down, a paralytic stroke catching her on the left side.  Dec

I ♥ Trove!

So excited,  I feel like doing a happy dance at the moment!  A series of articles involving my Grandfather's bigamy case is finally coming to Trove soon.  It was a closely guarded secret, so much so that the younger children of the family including my father were totally unaware of it until I started researching the family tree back in the late 1990's.   This didn't make me very popular with some family members, but my Dad was wonderful, supportive and really interested in the case and all of my research.  Unfortunately Dad died last year and I cannot share my finds with him anymore, which I miss immensely!  Growing up I soaked up his family stories like a sponge and since his death I have made so many finds on Trove about the family, confirming stories and filling out our knowledge of their lives, which I know he would have loved.  Unfortunately the majority of my family tolerate my research but are not very interested in it, so this blog lets me record and share my fin

Thursday's Tragic Event: The Death of Edward Pierse

Edward Joseph Pierse, my second great grand uncle died a terrible death as a result of an incident involving a train.  Born in 1873 to John Pierse and his wife Mary (nee Quirk). Edward (Ned)  married Ellen Jane Flynn in 1909, with the marriage registered at Gundagai, New South Wales.  Together they had five known children, two of whom died prior to Edwards death.  Edward died in 1924 and was buried in the Roman Catholic Section of the Harden-Murrumburrah Cemetery.       Source: MR EDWARD PIERSE. (1924, February 25). The Gundagai Independent and Pastoral, Agricultural & Mining Advocate (NSW : 1898 - 1928), p. 2. Retrieved October 17, 2013, from Transcript: MR. EDWARD PIERSE. A Gundagai district native, Mr Edward Pierse, met with a shocking death of Thursday last, being cut to pieces by a train at Nubba. He was working with four other fettlers at the time, and the fatality happened at 5 past 7 on Thursday morning.