Hit By Two Cars, Neither Drivers Stopped...

Tuesday … so it’s Trove Tuesday time. And again Trove has come up with an amazing tid-bit relating to my family. Ok, technically it’s Mr Lonetester’s family, but you get the point. And again it’s something I never would have thought of (of known about) if it wasn’t for the wonders of Trove. I will admit I haven’t done a whole lot of research on this side of the family, so am still learning a lot as I go, however I do know that Richard John Tester survived this accident and lived on for another 20 odd years, and is buried in the Warrnambool Cemetery in Victoria,...

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...

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...

South Australia’s Record Breaking Heatwave...

At present Adelaide is the middle of another heatwave, we’re melting on our third day of over 40°C. It is one of those “burn-the-moment-you-step-outside” type of heatwaves. The “burn-yourself-on-the seatbelt” type heatwaves. On the plus-side this weather is absolutely fabulous getting your washing dry, though you will get sunburnt while you’re hanging it out. While South Australia usually gets one or two heatwaves a summer, they usually hit later in summer. So to say that is has hit us all rather unawares, is an understatement! For those who come from the colder parts of the world (ie. everywhere else), I just wanted to claify what a “heatwave” is defined as. The Bureau of Meteorology define it as “three or more days of unusually high maximum and minimum temperatures in any area”. Which is similar to my understanding of it, which is that it was a run of three consecutive days with the temperature 35°C or higher. But hot weather in Adelaide is nothing new. A quick look on Trove comes up with numerous articles which mention the “record breaking” weather. And while it hit 45°C the other day, it has been higher than that back in 1939! A quick check on the fahrenheit to celsius converter tells me that 116.9°F is 47°C. So yes, that’s most certainly M-E-L-T-I-N-G weather!! And just think … back in 1939 they wouldn’t have had all the comfort that we do with air conditioners in our house, car, workplace, shopping centres etc. So think what it would have been like back...

The Newspaper 100 Years Ago...

It has often been said, and rightly so, about many things, that they simply don’t make things they way they were. These days you buy something, use for a bit, then throw it out and buy a new one when it breaks. Back then, things were MADE to last. Having decided it was time to browse Trove again, I decided to see what a newspaper from 100 years ago looked like, and how it compared with today’s. I chose to look at The Mount Barker Courier, which is the local paper for the area of South Australia that my family grew up in, and this issue is dated 23 October 1914. So it’s over 100 years ago. I made it to the front page, and was instantly engrossed with all the adverts. You’ll see everything from cocoa, to corsets, gas to insurance, saddles and harnesses, a bronchitis cure, as well as gates, pianos, pig troughs, Ford cars, and even mustard. See for yourself … (click here for a larger view) Isn’t is beautiful. I’m pleased to say that Mount Barker Courier, which is now known as The Courier, is STILL going … 101 years later. In a comparison of the old and new, you can see their current issue online. And maybe it’s just me, but I feel that there’s just no class to newspapers these days! Please note, I have only used the Mount Barker Courier as an example. I was not meaning to pick on them specifically, but rather use them as an example of the difference bin the style of newspapers from back then and...

Trove Tuesday: Men Chased By Wild Sea Lion...

It’s been a while since I have done a Trove Tuesday post, but when my auntie-in-law sent me a link to an article about her dad Dick Tester, that appeared in the News newspaper back in 1952, I knew that was going to be my very next post. So we have a group of young men. A fishing trip to Kangaroo Island. And a sea lion.  Was this a young man’s adventure, or was it a scene from a scary movie? You be the judge. Based on my knowledge of the Tester family, I could totally believe that the person who actually poked the sea lion was indeed Mr Lonetester’s grandpa, Richard ‘Dick’ Tester. Once again the newspapers on Trove have come up with the most amazing story. And while the older generation had sort-of heard of this story, it was totally new to me and Mr Lonetester, so may well have been another story lost to time, had it not been for discovering this...

150 Great South Australians – Part 2 J-Z...

A little while ago I introduced you to the to 150 Great South Australians list that was originally published in The Advertiser. As it was WAAAAY too long to reproduce all in one post, I split it into two. If you missed the earlier post, you can find the A-I list here, with the J-Z list below. This second list of “great South Aussies” which by the way you’ll be pleased to know includes women as well as men, contains inventors, businessmen, ministers, politicians, charity workers, doctors, manufacturers, educators, explorers and many, many more. You’ll find that many are ‘pioneers’ in their field, because basically they were coming to a colony that was just developing, and was in need of expertise. So you’ll find that many of these people helped shape not just South Australia with their skills, but in some respects, Australia as well. ————————————————————— Roland Ellis Jacobs (1891-1981) Businessman and philanthropist For nearly 20 years Roland was the managing director and chairman of the SA Brewing Company and worked widely for charities and the arts. Jimmy James (1913-1991) Aboriginal police tracker Born as a waterhole near Ernabella, James was a vigorous worker for Aboriginal rights and became a talented tracker for the South Australian police, assisting in the infamous Sundown and Pine Valley murder cases. August Ludwig Christian Kavel (1798-1860) Lutheran migrant leader One of the first Lutherans persecuted in Germany to resettle in South Australia, where he led the establishment of strong Lutheran communities in the Adelaide Hills and the Barossa Valley. Sidney Kidman (1857-1935) Pastoralist and philanthropist Kidman established transport and cattle interests in the north of South Australia and eventually became Australia’s biggest landholder with holdings stretching through Queensland, Northern Territory and South Australia....

Trove Tuesday: When the Plague Hit Australia...

Everyone has heard of the bubonic plague, right? I’m sure you have. Anyway this was also commonly known as the “Black Death“, and for good reason. When it spread across Europe in the 14th century it killed at least 25 million people. That my friends, is more than the current-day entire population of Australia, which by the way is just over 23 million. Anyway for someone who was infected and didn’t get any treatment, your chances weren’t great as the bubonic plague was said to kill about two thirds of humans within four days. So “HORRIFYING” is the word that comes to my mind. So when it hit Australian shores in 1900 there was panic, which I would say is totally understandable. And I would say would be much like today’s reaction, though obviously with less social media, and far less news hype. As it was back in the day they reported things as they were. Anyway my reason to this topic, is that while browsing around on Trove I found the following article in the Sydney newspaper ‘The Chronicle’, from 1900. And I must say the word Plague and Excitement aren’t two words I’d ever expect to be in the same sentence, there they are. But honestly I think they shouldn’t be, but that’s just me! The above image shows about half of the article, so if you’d like to read the full article, click on the link in the caption. And after finding this particular article, of course I went searching further. So on the Trove search screen I typed in bubonic plague, then narrowed it down to the year 1900,  and it gave me 14,057 results. And while I didn’t read every single entry I can...

150 Great South Australians – Part 1 A-I...

What defines a “great” South Australian? Well, I believe it to be someone (man or woman) who has not only done something exceptional within the community, but also someone that has potentially changed the way things are done. I came across a newspaper article in The Advertiser dated 12 July 2008, titled “150 Great South Australians”, which was a compilation by a group of senior writers of who they believe has earned the title of “Great South Australian”. The criteria was simple: to be eligible the person must have either been born in South Australia or had “contributed in some way to the promotion of South Australia”. It was no easy task and with the list far longer than the 150 names, it ended up being tough on who to actually leave out. Because listing all 150 names in a single list would make it ridiculously long, I have decided to make it a two-parter post. With the first 75 names covering A-I, and the second being J-Z. You’ll see that each person has their full name, date or birth and date of death (if relevant) listed as well as a brief line or two on why they made the list. Each is hyperlinked to where you’ll find more details about the person. Have a read through the list, and see how many names you recognise! George Fife Angas (1789-1879) Merchant, banker, philanthropist Was a major landholder in the early colony of South Australia, chairman of the South Australian Company and started the SA Banking Company, later the Bank of SA. George French Angas (1822-1886) Naturalist and artist Son of George Fife Angus, he made an international reputation as a painter, with much of his work involving South Australian...

Trove Tuesday: Death of an Old Colonist...

Following on from yesterday’s post that I wrote about William Beavis Randell who founded Gumeracha, is his obituary that I found in the South Australian Register on Trove. I actually found this article last week, but felt that I needed to introduce him before his giving details of his death, so I decided to make this a Trove Tuesday post. And because I know the newspaper text isn’t the most readable, even blown up in the pic above, here it is transcribed … DEATH OF AN OLD COLONIST. — Mr. W. B. Randell, of Gumeracha, who had been ill for some days, died on the evening of December 28 at his residence, Kenton Park. Gumeracha. Mr. Randell, who was born near Exeter, in Devonshire, was a very old colonist, having come out to South Australia by the Hartley, which arrived in October, 1837. Prior to leaving England he carried on a milling business, and came out to the colony under engagement to the South Australian Company. He was engaged in looking after the sheep, cattle, and land of the Company, and during the latter portion of his service was employed in discovering and selecting land for the Company. The Company’s Mill on the Torrens was built under bis directions. The land on which Gumeracha stands was formerly bis, and had been selected by him when in the Company’s service. Mr. Randell sold portions of it to form the township. He built two mills — one at Gumeracha and the other at Blumberg — the latter of which is now owned by one of his sons. His life latterly has been spent in improving his estate at Gumeracha, which is an exceedingly beautiful and valuable property. He built a chapel...