NFHM Blog Challenge Week 2: Family...

Week 2 of the National Family History Month blog challenge, and this week I’m writing about “family”. Family for a family historian is such a broad topic. Do I write about an individual, or a family? A recent story or an old one? So. Many. Choices. And surprisingly it’s taken me a while to narrow it down. Reunions are a place where ‘everyone’ is family, so it seems appropriate to write about big a big family reunion one of my family’s had … the Kelly Family Reunion. 31 December 1938 was the date chosen as it marked both 100 years since the arrival of William Kelly and his second wife Jane (nee Caley) in South Australia from the Isle of Man, as well as 50 years since the death of William. The reunion was held at the Kelly family property, “Sulby Glen”, in the tiny country town of Cudlee Creek, South Australia, the drew 300 of the 400 descendants, with quite a number making the trip from interstate. The article in the Advertiser, dated Monday 2 January 1939 writes … Never has the old Sulby Glen property at Cudlee Creek seen so many visitors as passed through its beflagged entrance gates on Saturday morning, when almost 300 of the 400 descendants of William Kelly, from the Isle of Man gathered together to pay homage to his memory and to commemorate the centenary of his landing in Australia. The gathering was certainly unique as far as South Australia, is concerned, and one of the very few of its type ever held in the Commonwealth. The day was also the 50th anniversary of the day of his death.  Sixty cars and a large motor bus brought the visitors, who came from New South Wales, Victoria, and Western Australia, and from many parts of South Australia...

Finland Day 11 & More: Pen-friends, a Castle, Giant Forests, Graves and FAMILY!...

This post completes my the report of my trip to Finland. To say that it has been the trip of a lifetime is an understatement. It has been truly extraordinary in so many ways, and while I’m still jetlagged, and haven’t caught up on work that piled up while I was away yet … I’m sure I’ll be back sometime, but not next week. Anyway, after coming back from the island yesterday it was nice to have a quiet start to Sunday enjoying the sunshine and watching the squirrels in the trees while I had breakfast … before heading out for the afternoon and evening where I got to see a whole heap more of Finland. Seriously, how big is this country? It really is tiny on a map, but obviously is bigger than it seems! Sunday 9 July 2017 – Today was yet another exciting day in Finland (they all seem to be) … as it’s the day that I met my pen-friend, Heli for the very first time in person. But more than just a pen-friend, she’s my 4th cousin once removed. So she’s family! We started writing many years ago (ok, ok, quite a few years ago. Back in the day when letter writing was actually a thing, and it didn’t cost a fortune to post a letter either). Anyway, we arranged to meet up, and she and her partner took me to see a whole lot of Finland for the day. It was a wonderful day with great company, and great sights along the way. First stop was Häme Castle at Hämeenlinna and this is one of Finland’s medieval royal castles. It is believed to have been built at the end of the 13th century....

“Dead” Soldier Returns...

Anzac Day. The day to remember those who fought for our country. Some survived. Many didn’t. And in reality those that returned were changed forever. It was while I was going through the military records of Arthur Vincent Elphick (Mr Lonetester’s great grandpa), that I kept seeing the name of Donovan Russell Elphick written in his records. Arthur was one of twelve children in the family, and Donovan was his youngest brother. On checking Donovan’s military records on the National Archives of Australia website, and reading through the dossier, one page in the record jumped out at me. But firstly, some background information … Born in Prospect, South Australia, but living in Western Australia, 24 year old Donovan signed up to serve his country in January 1915. After training in Western Australia, he was assigned to the 5th Reinforcements 11th AIF, and sailed to Egypt in June 1915, and was obviously in the thick of it from arrival, as within a week of arriving he was in hospital suffering from “deafness”. From here, I’ll let you read the article as that explains it all … The above article came from a Victorian newspaper, and is dated 20 October 1915. This story was repeated in numerous Victorian, South Australian and Western Australian newspapers over the weeks following. As you can imagine it was quite a story. And to say that it shocked his brother (Harold), when he walked in would be an understatement. Donovan was one of six boys in the family, with three going off to war. Sadly only two returned. And while Donovan Elphick did survive World War 1, he died in Perth on 25 December 1936, aged just...

Sudden Death at the Railway Station...

Some days just don’t go as planned, and 22 June 1869 was certainly one of those day for the Elphick family of Adelaide. There’s certain words when researching that grab a researchers attention. One being the phrase ‘sudden death’ with another being ‘inquest’. Both of these we terms I came across in the newspapers on Trove, when looking for info on Mr Lonetester’s 3x great grandpa, William Kennard Elphick. I imagine that Tuesday the 22nd of June 1869 started out as a fairly standard day for the Elphick family of Adelaide. William Kennard Elphick was out and about, and made his way to the Adelaide Railway Station on North Terrace by late afternoon, either to head out or head home. However that’s when tragedy struck. While walking down the stairs William collapsed, and died … INQUEST ON MR W.K. ELPHICK On Wednesday, Mr. T. Ward, J.P., held an inquest at the Adelaide Hospital, for the purpose of ascertaining the cause of the death of William Kennard Elphick. A Jury of 13 having been empanelled, and Mr. J. M. Dowie chosen foreman, the following evidence was taken, after the body had been viewed:— James March Stacy, bootmaker, said yesterday afternoon about 4.20 he was at the Railway Station. Saw a crowd assembled carrying the deceased, whose body he had just seen in the dead-house. Recognised it as that of W. K. Elphick, late of the Burra Mine. Some females bathed his head with cold water. Felt his pulse, and found only one pulsation. Then placed his hand on the heart, which had ceased to beat. Dr. Phillips then came in. Left the deceased in charge of the police, and afterwards communicated with his friends. By a Juror—The cold water was applied whilst he was feeling the pulse of the deceased. James Phillips, surgeon, said he had made a...

1 Name. 61 Variants

Anyone who’s been researching been researching for longer than a week will know that name variants play a big HUGE part in research. Both with first names, and surnames. Figuring out how names were potentially spelt (or ‘spelled’ for my North American readers) can be the difference between finding them or not. I’m not going to go into the in’s and out’s of name variants, but rather I wanted to highlight two particular surnames, and all the variants that I’ve found for them so far. There’s 61 of them for one, and 31 for the other. And truth is, I really wouldn’t be surprised if more show up. So let’s start with ELLIOT. This is one of Mr Lonetester’s branches, while ELLIOTT (with two “Ts”) is one of mine, with no connection that I know of between them at this stage. We all know that there are numerous variants of Elliott: one “L”, two “Ls”, one “T”, two “Ts”, but what I didn’t realise is just how many more there really are. One thing I like to do when beginning searching a new surname is to note down all the variants. That way when I’m searching, be it a website, a book or records, I can look for them all, and see what I come up with. Mr Lonetester’s ELLIOT family possibly came from Sussex (that’s still to be verified), but I headed (online) to the Sussex Family History Society to browse around and see what they had. Now they have the coolest thing on their website, and that’s the Sussex People Index.  In their words … The Sussex People Index consists of any names that anyone can submit from anywhere – the only condition is that the event reported must...

Genealogy Close Calls

I was inspired to write this post as a result of reading Heather Rojo’s blog, Nutfield Genealogy, when wrote about her “Top Ten Genealogy Close Calls“. The title alone intrigued me, as I wasn’t quite sure what she meant by ‘genealogy close call’. But she explains it well: “What’s a “Genealogy Close Call”? It happens when I research an ancestor and realize that if fate didn’t intervene I wouldn’t be here today. Some of our ancestors narrowly escaped disasters, only to live on and produce a descendant that led to YOU. “ So that got me thinking. Did I have any “genealogy close calls”. My initial thoughts were no, but as the day progressed I remembered the following incidents: MY GENEALOGY CLOSE CALLS WILLIAM KENNARD ELPHICK (c1815-1869)  – Survived the voyage and wife SUSANNA ELPHICK (nee ELLIOT) (c1812-1899) William and his wife Susanna married in London in November 1838, and then immediately boarded the ‘Plantar’ ship to start a new life in Australia. The journey which on average takes about four months, took almost six months partly due to the captain’s incompetence – missing a port where they were meant to collect supplies, and having to stop elsewhere as a result, together with other misadventures such which included much of the crew being lost, as were some passengers and most of the livestock. Eventually a new crew was acquired and the journey continued. For more on their story click here. The Elphick family settled in Adelaide, and had numerous children. The Elphick’s are Mr Lonetester’s 3x great grandparents. While not everyone survived this journey, they did, and if they hadn’t he wouldn’t have be here. OTTO RAFAEL WINTER (1880-1961) – WW1 injuries Otto Winter was born in Finland and spent 7...

My First Hannaford Family in Australia...

For Australia Day this year I decided to write about the Hannafords, who are one of my immigrating families. Or more specifically I should say, about  Susannah Hannaford (nee Elliott), who is truly the matriarch of the family, and her children. I admit I am in awe of Susannah,  in some ways anyway. She was a widow by age 48, not an easy thing for anyone, but then to pack up all of your belongings and move to the other side of the world, to a colony that had only been founded a few years before, with her six children, leaving her family, friends and whole life behind, to start again from scratch. I can’t even begin to think of what that would be like or how she managed it.  But she survived. So did her children, and now her descendants number the thousands. But let’s go back a little bit first. Back in Devon … Susannah Elliott was born in 1790 in the market town of Totnes, in Devon, England. Meanwhile the Hannaford family (the ones I’m writing about anyway), grew up just four miles away in the little town of Rattery. I mention that as the Hannaford name in Devon is much like Smith or Brown everywhere else. Hannafords are everywhere! When Susannah was 30 years old, she married William Hannaford (one from the neighbouring parish in Rattery), and who was actually a few years younger than her. Sadly William died at age 42, leaving Susannah with six children ranging in age from 17  down to 6. Devon at that time (actually probably England at that time) had limited employment opportunities, and with high taxes (land tax and window tax for instance), it would seem that emigrating...

95, and What a Birthday it Was!!!...

Today’s Trove Tuesday post doesn’t really require much text from me, as the article is self-explanatory. The article below comes from the Australian Christian Commonwealth newspaper, and is dated Friday 2 September 1921. This article is about my 3x great grandma, Elizabeth Kelly (nee Gould) on her 95th birthday party. NINETY-FIVE AND ENJOYS A BIRTHDAY PARTY! A good old Methodist, in the person of Mrs. Elizabeth Kelly, celebrated her ninety-fifth birthday on Saturday, August 20. The members of her family gathered at Mr. Joseph Kelly’s home, Valmai Avenue, Clarence Park, to do her honour. During the afternoon numerous visitors called to pay their respect, amongst them being Mrs. Thyer, who is also ninety-five years of age and went to school with Mrs. Kelly at High Ham, Somersetshire, England. They met again some years later when both were young married women, and lived a few miles from each other at One Tree Hill. Mrs. Thyer moving to the Angaston district they lost sight of each other, and half a century later they meet again. It was interesting to note the pleasure with which they recalled incidents of their childhood days, and how solicitous they were for each other’s safety as they stepped off the verandah together. Mrs. Kelly came to South Australia, with her father, the late Joseph Gould, in the “Prince Regent,” September; 1839, at the age of thirteen. She remembers well the discomfits of the journey to town in a spring dray, the cramped accommodation of Emigration Square, and all the incidents attendant on setting up a home in a new and young country. Her father first took up land at Brown Hill Creek. Mr. Sleep, after whom Sleep’s Hill is named, used to conduct services in his...

Homeopathy and the Treasures Between the Pages!...

Homeopathy: “The study of natural therapy which stimulates the body’s immune system to restore health”. It was something that my great grandpa, J.B. Randell taught himself. Ever looked through an old book and found something slotted in the pages in between? I have. Regularly. I’ve mentioned before that my mum’s side of the family weren’t one’s to throw things out. Putting it nicely “hoarders”, and for that I’m eternally grateful, as it has meant that we have SO MANY family heirlooms dating back generations, it’s truly amazing. One thing that seems to have been a ‘thing’ that’s been passed down through the generations of Randell’s, was the habit of putting things in the middle of books. I’ve always known my grandma to do that, and have often discovered random newspaper cuttings, birthday cards, flattened Easter egg wrappers and more in the pages of books of hers. Now this book of her fathers, John Beavis “JB” Randell (to my surprise) has even more bits filed in between the pages. I found a total of 25 items in amongst the pages of the book, and I have scanned each one of them, and that’s what I wanted to share with you today. Some are interesting, others not. But from there there are clues which could lead to further research … As you will see there’s a collection of all sorts, from receipts, to newspaper cuttings, to bible verses, envelopes, hair, leaves, a bookmark and other printed items. I’ve noted them below, as the caption on the slider was so tiny it wasn’t readable. 1. Gumeracha Town Hall Concert, 9 August 1924 2. Receipt from Norsworthy’s store, Gumeracha, dated 9 September 1924 3. Dried leaves 4. Hair or fur 5. More dried...

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,...