Reminiscences of WW2 from My Grandparents – Part 2...

ANZAC Day. A day that Australians and New Zealanders remember of those who went to war. A day to remember those who never made it home. And it is also a day to remember those who were left at home during the war and afterwards. Last week I wrote “Reminiscences of WW2 from My Grandparents – Part 1” which is primarily an interview with my grandparents Evelyn and Cecil Hannaford about their experiences during World War 2. This interview, which was done as a high school project a number of years ago by a friend who interviewed them, is written as a transcript. So this is my grandparents talking about their own experiences during the war, In. THEIR. OWN. WORDS! Not as history books records it, but as they experienced it. As it was a long interview I decided to split it into two, and this is the continuation. Continuation of the interview … What type of weather was it? Mr H. It was winter time. Then when we got up to Trincomalee [Sri Lanka] it was summer time, in the tropics. We were out in the bay and the sister ship, Mary, went out into the harbour and they had all the port holes open, light shining everywhere. We had to have ours shut and it was hot. Did you have enough food? Mrs H. Well, everyone was rationed. What were the ration books like? Mrs H. We were given ration books and you had to have so many coupons for tea and sugar and butter. We weren’t troubled about the butter because we made our own. How did they actually work? Mrs H. We had to go to the shop or on the other hand thee was...

Reminiscences of WW2 from My Grandparents – Part 1...

“Don’t talk about the war to your grandparents”. That’s what I was told. So I didn’t. But fortunately for me (and the rest of my family), someone did. And for that I’m eternally grateful. When a friend was doing a school project on WW2 and needed to interview someone about the war, and didn’t have any reli’s here in Australia who were in the war, she asked my grandparents, Cecil and Evelyn Hannaford (nee Randell). So I have to thank both Cathryn and my grandparents for this, because if she hadn’t asked, I guarantee that these memories would have been lost forever. Before I begin I shall just say that the original interview is quite long, so I won’t include every question, but even so it’s still long enough that I’ll split this over two posts. The introduction … As a brief introduction, at age 25 Cecil Hannaford joined the army in 1940, and was trained at Woodside Army Camp before going aboard in 1941. During his time with the army he travelled to Libya, Palestine, Syria and Egypt. Aged 25 when he signed up, he went away as a driver, but also had to man the anti-aircraft guns at times. My grandma, Evelyn Hannaford (nee Randell) lived at Gumeracha with her family during the war. On their farm they grew vegetables which were needed for the army. The interview … How old were you when World War II was declared? Mrs H. 23 years old. Mr H. 25 years old. In what country were you living in? In what state? Both. Australia, South Australia. Living at Cudlee Creek. Were you living at Cudlee Creek all through the war? Mrs H. I was at Gumeracha during the war. Mr...

Anecdotes, BDMs, Obits and Adverts – What Are These Records?...

I have come across an incredible source of information relevant to my research. One that includes local town news choc full of anecdotes relating to the locals, mentions of births, deaths, marriages and obituaries, and a heap of adverts from the local area. So just what are these records? Church Journals! Really? You bet. Let me give you some examples. Here is a page from the “Local News” section (also called “Editorial Notes”, “Miscellaneous” or “Church News” in various editions) … So you’ll see from this one page of Local News we learn of several people’s  health troubles, several people moving, the introduction of some of the new equipment in the district, election chances, local meetings, a new business venture, a prize a local business won, and a bunch more. And that’s just a page from ONE journal! You’ll also find some marriage and death notices (sorry no births afterall. But how do you write BDMs without births? DMs just doesn’t make sense) … And of course the obituaries which are just awesome! As well as anniversaries … And other newsworthy events, like town sports news and this brave deed! There’s also general history on the church, town and pioneers … And if all that wasn’t fabulous enough, then there’s the adverts. Many from local businesses – others from Adelaide. Here’s just a few examples of them. So you see, there is potentially so much you can find in Church Journals. And while my family were heavily involved in the church scene, many other researchers would say their family wasn’t, so wouldn’t think to look in Church Journals. So I hope this has opened your eyes to the possibilities of what could be out there. If you are fortunate...

Trove Tuesday: Gumeracha’s Annual Ploughing Match in 1860...

Oh how times have changed. I must say that the thought of going to a ploughing match really doesn’t excite me, but obviously it was a different time back in the mid-1800s when Gumeracha’s Annual Ploughing Match held, and it was certainly something to look forward to, as it brought out the whole town plus more! Browsing on Trove certainly brings up a bunch of articles relating to Gumeracha’s Annual Ploughing Match. This seems to have started in 1850 or there abouts, and continued at least until the 1890s. Anyway I’ve chosen to share the one from the South Australian Weekly Chronicle, dated 11 August 1860. As the article mentions it was held on land owned by William Beavis Randell, near the Gumeracha Mill (now Randell’s Mill B&B), and over 600 people attended! Even the Gumeracha Rifle Volunteers were there, and went through their drill. It must have been quite an event. There were 9 men competing, and 8 boys, and they were … And the winners were … The article is a long one, and goes on to discuss the dinner and speeches that were held afterwards. If you wish to read the full article you can find it here. After reading the article, I must say I’ve changed my mind, and I’d love to see what a ploughing match is like. But I mean one back then, not one now. It was truly a different way of life back...

Just Playing Along …...

When I got home from work today and logged on to Facebook, I noticed that my feed was full of 5 generation colour charts. Wondering what all this was, I discovered that my geniemate J. Paul Hawthorne started the trend by posting a picture of his chart saying … “A little visual I created in Excel. 5 Generation chart of my direct ancestors birth state — starting with me. A good way to visualize migration patterns.” Obviously this piqued everyone’s interest, as they decided to play along too – as did I. Creating a chart in Excel that covers 5 generations (starting with yourself), and then putting the birthplace (state or country) in each box for your ancestors, colouring each place a different colour. It does make for interesting viewing. Here’s mine … Go ahead, do yours. You’ll find it really...

Facebook and Genealogy: 151 More Links for Australian Researchers...

The link between Facebook and genealogy just seems to keep getting stronger, with more groups, societies, history pages and so on popping up all the time. It really is THE way to keep up to date with numerous places these days. Afterall you can join a group for the area you are researching, and post queries to it. Follow a page for the town your ancestors came from and see what it was like “in the olden days”. Reminisce what life was like when you were young. Follow various state archives and societies to keep up with their latest news … and more. Back in late 2012 I created a list of 100 Facebook links for Australian researchers, and since then I have created a list with 54 links for local history. Things change quickly online, so it seemed that it was timely to create another list with even more Facebook links for Australian researchers. Grouped by Australia, Australian state, and then topics, hopefully this makes it easier for you to find groups and/or pages you might wish to follow. Please note I don’t claim that this is all the groups/pages out there for Australian researchers. In fact it’s far from it, as I know for a fact there are plenty more. But it is a good list, and hopefully you find this (and my earlier lists) useful. == AUSTRALIA == Aussie & UK Angels – Reuniting lost family https://www.facebook.com/groups/1669732293272781/ Aussie Help for all Genealogy https://www.facebook.com/groups/1424411964495247/ Australia Genealogy Research https://www.facebook.com/AustraliaGenealogy/ Australia Old Pioneer Photos https://www.facebook.com/groups/australiaoldpioneerphotos/ Australia Remember When https://www.facebook.com/AustraliaRememberWhen/ Australian Family History and Genealogy https://www.facebook.com/groups/141114082690049/ Australian Historic Photographers for Genealogical Research https://www.facebook.com/groups/1447633032180173/ Australian History Bloggers Fan Page https://www.facebook.com/groups/AussieHistoryBloggers/ British-Australian Ancestry https://www.facebook.com/groups/1691451644416442/ Genealogy ~ Resources ~ Help https://www.facebook.com/FamilyHistoryResousesHelp/ Genealogy My Ancestors Came to Australia https://www.facebook.com/groups/107640276041406/ Old Service Station Photographs – Australia https://www.facebook.com/groups/567854296691889/ Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness – RAOGK Australia https://www.facebook.com/groups/169770909883489/ Using DNA for Genealogy – Australia & NZ https://www.facebook.com/groups/400009620157960/ Vintage Memories-Australia through time https://www.facebook.com/groups/old.australiana.album/ Vintage Rural Australia https://www.facebook.com/Vintage-Rural-Australia-839951842687685/   ==...

My “Spirit of Anzac” Centenary Experience...

The “Spirit of Anzac” Centenary Experience arrived in Adelaide, and what an experience it was. The exhibition gives viewers a “once-in-a-lifetime” opportunity to walk through various recreated World War 1 environments (via sound, audio, images, and in some cases figurines on sets) featuring more than 200 artefacts. You walk through “rooms” at your own pace, and are given stories and details of the various events and campaign via the audio headphones that you are given at the beginning of the tour. Generally it takes attendees anywhere from 1-2 hours to makes their way through. There really is a lot to see. This travelling exhibition which is transported from place-to-place on 10 semitrailers has been on the road since September 2015, and has already visited Albury/Wodonga, Launceston, Hobart, Ballarat, Bendigo, Wollongong, and Melbourne. With Adelaide only having a few more days left. After Adelaide the tour heads to: Tamworth – Apr/May 2016 Toowoomba – May 2016 Brisbane – Jun 2016 Mackay – Jul 2016 Cairns – Aug 2016 Townsville – Sep 2016 Darwin – Oct 2016 Port Augusta – Nov 2016 Perth – Nov/Dec 2016 Bunbury – Jan 2017 Kalgoorlie – Jan/Feb 2017 Geelong – Feb 2017 Orange – Mar 2017 Newcastle – Mar 2017 Sydney – Apr 2017 Entry is free, but bookings are required, and you can do so on their Spirit of Anzac website www.spiritofanzac.gov.au. First, here’s a short behind-the-scene video of the Spirit of Anzac Centenary Experience, which will give you an idea of the work that’s gone into creating this exhibition. And here’s just a few photos from my visit today … If you get a chance, go and see it. It will give you more of an understanding on what our ancestors went through....

One Obituary, So Many Clues...

Obituaries (aka obits) are fabulous if you can find them. While browsing around on Trove (aka Troving) recently I came across this obit for Private Charles Spurgeon McCullough. This gent is one of my great grandma’s (Dorothy McCullough) brothers – so that makes him my great grand uncle. It’s not a long one in comparison to some – but you really have the be in awe of the detail that this obit includes. While this is a great read for anyone (family or not), for this post I have decided to extract each detail one-by-one to highlight just how valuable an obituary really can be. And while newspapers may not be 100% accurate, they can be used as a guide. So let’s start … we know his name – the article names him as C.S. McCullough – no it doesn’t give his actual name, but it doesn’t just list him as Private McCullough or Mr C. McCullough either. It has both initials, so that’s a bonus. and says that he was in the Australian army and in which battalion – the article lists him as a Private in the army “who left with the 4th Reinforcements for the 6th Battalion of the A.I.F.” we learn his position in the army – “Private C.S. McCullough” this was in World War 1 – the newspaper date was in 1915 the date of his death – the article lists his date of death as 13 July no year of death given but it is inferred that it is the same year as the newspaper (1915) he has an older brother as he is listed as “the second son” his parents are listed as Rev. R. and Mrs McCullough his father’s title is...

10th Unlock the Past Cruise: Days 15-19 Koalas, Dolphins and a Helicopter...

The last few days of the cruise involved a stop at Adelaide, followed by three full days of talks as we sailed to Fremantle. So lets get into it … Day 15 – Adelaide (Sunday 28 February 2016) Our stop in Adelaide, which is my hometown, was one of touristing. Mr Lonetester picked myself, Judy Russell and Helen Smith up from the port and we went off for the day. After driving through the city of Adelaide to show Judy why Adelaide is called “the city of Churches” we headed for the hills, and went to the Gorge Wildlife Park at Cudlee Creek. It’s a small wildlife park, but there is still so much to see (and photograph). Before leaving there I did have to make sure that Judy hadn’t put either the adorable baby wallaby or koala in her backpack. I know she desperately wanted to!! Our second stop was lunch at Billy Baxter’s which had great food and was conveniently located in the same shopping centre as Haigh’s Chocolates – which was a MUST VISIT place for Helen. And since she’s deprived of Haigh’s stores in Queensland, she stocked up. As Judy is missing her kitty’s, we did a quick stop at my house as I have four furbabies. Two of them reluctantly decided to show their face, and Judy got to pat them, so she was happy. The last stop of our whistlestop outing was a quick visit to my shop (Gould Genealogy & History). Afterall how could you be a genealogist, come to South Oz, and not visit our store? Lovely weather. Lovely company. It was a great day out. And the day finished with Louis Kessler giving us a beginners guide to Jewish genealogy. As this wasn’t...

Cyndi’s List: The Genealogy Mega-Portal Site Turns 20...

Cyndi’s List without doubt is one of the top websites I use, but it is also one of the top ones worldwide for genealogy. While when people think of the big names in genealogy, they automatically thing of Ancestry, Findmypast, MyHeritage and FamilySearch … right? But in my thinking, Cyndi’s List is just as important. No, it’s not a site that contains billions of records like the others, but rather a mega-portal site that can direct you places that may well have what you’re after. Having known of Cyndi for years and years, it was a true honour to meet her in person for the first time in 2013 at RootsTech, and I’ve been fortunate enough to catch up with her several times since. She is not only a dear friend both personally and in the genealogy industry, but in my opinion I believe she has changed genealogy … or more specifically I should say, her website has. In thinking about this post I was asking myself to describe in one sentence what what Cyndi’s List is, here’s just a few I came up with: – It is one the the most important genealogy websites around, and everyone should be using it – It is the mega-portal for genealogy (the stats speak for themselves) – It has provided me with places to search, that I never would have known existed, and am therefore I am indebted to it – and it has been a labour of love for the past 20 years by one women, Cyndi herself On the 4th of March 1996 Cyndi’s List was born. It started as a list of 1025 top genealogy links which she had compiled for her local genealogy society, and by the end...