Finding Hidden Gems!

The fact that my family has always been hoarders (well, my mum’s side of the family anyway), is a good thing, as it means there are so many documents, artifacts, photographs and other memorabilia that has been preserved, so I’ve started documenting these over on my other blog at Memorabilia House. But this post isn’t here to tell you all about that … well not exactly. It’s about the “hidden gems” that I have been finding as I’ve been documenting the items. And in this case I’m referring to what been finding in old bibles. Our family has a LOT of old bibles around the place. But since my reli’s were a religious bunch, as some were ministers, and others founded churches, and donated land for churches I guess it’s not really surprising. What I have found surprising, and absolutely astonishing, not to mention super exciting is finding out who these bibles actually belonged to, who they came from, and the story behind them, as well as other bits and pieces in the middle of them. 1. Sarah Hannaford (nee Stanger) This bible was given to Sarah from her daughter Mary Eliza. Dated 1869. It contains an inscription of who it was to and from, with a date, as well as names and birth dates of other Hannaford relatives that have been written in, and a piece of well-used blotting paper. For more about this bible => http://www.memorabiliahouse.com/2013/08/in-memory-of-susannah/ 2.  Eva McCullough (nee Richardson) This bible was given to Eva by her husband Rev. Robert McCullough on their wedding day, and I know this thanks to the inscription. Dated 1881 For more about this bible => http://www.memorabiliahouse.com/2013/07/my-own-eva/ 3. Phebe Randell (nee Robbins) this bible belonged to Phebe Randell (nee Robbins). It is...

Discovering Ephemera #2 – Old Newspaper Pictures...

It was back in July that I started off my Discovering Ephemera series by introducing your to my great grandfather’s school report card from 1886. That was very cool, and a wonderful little treasure to have found. Today I wish to share with you some old pictures the were printed periodically in the newspapers. These pictures came from the South Australian Chronicle (1888), and the South Australian Observer (1898). As both of these are newspapers that no longer exist you can read a little more about the history of each of these newspapers here. I’m not sure who originally kept them, but I got them from from my great aunt Dorothy Randell (Auntie Dorrie to me). But since she was only born in 1906, they obviously belonged to someone prior to that. Both pictures were stuck on to brown paper, so no doubt that helped keep them. The earlier one was in good condition, so I had it framed, the later one, sadly is in 3 pieces. But I still have it, and have preserved it via this blog for others to see. So that’s my old newspaper pictures. Newspapers these days just aren’t what they used to be are they. And it really puts it into perspective when you realise that the earlier one is 124 years old, with the latter one almost 114. So till my next Discovering Ephemera post … thankyou for...

Family History Through the Alphabet Challenge: T is for … Teddy Bears...

T is one of the few letters that I knew right from the beginning what I wanted to right about – annnnd have stuck to it. So for T in the Family History Through the Alphabet Challenge, I would like to say that T is for TEDDY BEARS I don’t there’s too many of us that weren’t given a teddy bear, or something similar as a baby. But how many of you still have your treasured teddy? I know some would, but in asking that question an awful lot of hands would have gone down. I wanting to share two very special teddy bears with you today – these are heirloom teddy bears. This first one, was given to my mum when she was born, so is over 60 years old, and yes dear old teddy has lot a little fur, and has a little hole in one paw, but he has survived this far without surgery and is doing remarkably well considering he has had three generations of children playing with him.               —————————————————————————————————————- Now this second one is mine … he’s just Teddy, he’s never had another name. And while he’s not as old as mum’s teddy (he is over 30), I’m sure that he has had a much a harder life, as he had me as his owner. While I did love my toys, I wasn’t always the kindest to them … like when I tried to …. (actually that’ll be another story). Anyway needless to say I really did go through a phase of giving all of my teddy bears earrings and makeup, yet surprisingly there is little evidence of it these days. Today my treasured teddy resides with...

Family History Through the Alphabet Challenge: L is for … Letters...

For the Family History Through the Alphabet Challenge I have decided to write about ‘Letters”. It’s almost a lost art these days, with email, texting, and DMs (direct messages) – who needs to write eh? L is for LETTERS Writing a letter was THE way to communicate up until relatively recently … well at least until phones became popular. I’m sure every one of you can remember just how exciting it was to actually get a letter (not a bill) in the mail. I know I sure was. Letters can be an enormous source of historical information. They told of life as it was, of happenings of friends and family and more. I find with letters there are two challenges: reading the handwriting, and  just taking the time to read through them all. Both I find equally a challenge. Anyway I’d decided to write about Letters, so as I have done with a number of my Family History Through the Alphabet Challenges, I visited my parents to see what they had in the way of old letters, and I came across something really special. I recently wrote about John Beavis Randell, my great grandfather. Well amongst the Randell ephemera that has been saved, I found a letter written by Samuel (a half-brother to John), to his sister Bessie. First things first, I know that trying to follow relationships in narrative form can be confusing, here’s a little chart. It’s the 10th child I’m descended from. As Bessie would have only been 14 or so at the time, Samuel addressed the letter to his father: W.B. Randell Esq., Dawlish, Devon. Obviously there weren’t many Randell’s in Dawlish, in Devon at the time. Now the cool, yet weird thing about this letter is...

Discovering Ephemera #1 – Old School Report...

Let’s talk about ephemera. That’s right e-fem-e-ra! Let’s start by checking the Oxford Dictionary’s official definition of the word, which states the following: “things that exist or are used or enjoyed for only a short time: there were papers, letters, old boxes—all sorts of ephemera” and also “collectable items that were originally expected to have only short-term usefulness or popularity: Mickey Mouse ephemera So  here’s a question for you, when is being a hoarder a good thing? I’m sure many would answer “never”, but trust me it is a good thing when it relates to keeping family records, documents, ephemera and photos. Rightly or wrongly I’ve always thought of letters, diaries, dockets and receipts, certificates, newspaper cuttings, and postcards as ephemera. Anyway back to the story … my dad fits into the category of ‘hoarder of family ephemera an photos’, though he would never admit it. But it is thanks to him keeping the ‘papers and photos’ when older reli’s have passed on, we have a truck load of ephemera relating to various families. So after spending a few hours of being delving into the depths of the collection, we (my dad and I) recently discovered an old school report dated 1886 that relates to my great grandpa John Beavis Randell. Just to be clear, as there was several John Beavis Randell’s, this is the one who was the son of William Beavis Randell and Phebe (nee Robbins). This is his school report from the Gumeracha Primary School, at age 9, and in grade 3. Anyway I thought I’d like to share it with you. And have decided that as I come across other treasures shall add them to my Ephemera collection of...

Family History Through the Alphabet Challenge: J is for [Heirloom] Jewellery...

Anyone that really knows me … knows that I am a total jewellery freak (the top picture is just a few of the M-A-N-Y necklaces I have). I love my rings, bracelets and necklaces … so it made sense to write about jewellery for this post. Though not about ‘my’ jewellery, but rather heirloom jewellery. J is for Jewellery While these items would be classed as useless jewellery to others, each has sentimental value, which is something that cannot be replaced. I’ve decided to show these heirlooms from most recent (meaning starting with me) and going back to the oldest items, which are ones that belonged to my grandma.   Having my grandma’s engagement ring is very special to me, and apart from the sentimental value, it is a really pretty ring. Very intricate. Writing this post, I realised that I actually had no idea of when my grandparents  got engaged. Was it a long engagement, or a short one? I had no idea. So that sounded like as good excuse (actually, who needs an excuse) to visit Trove. And 2 minutes later I had my answer … The Advertiser, Wednesday 15 May 1940 …. This post forms part of the Family History Through the Alphabet Challenge issued by Gould Genealogy &...

Family History Through the Alphabet Challenge: B is for [Family] Bible...

I’ve decided to take up the challenge set by Gould Genealogy to blog about the ‘Family History Through the Alphabet’, at least for some letters. For this challenge geneabloggers are asked to write about someone or something connected to their family history, that starts with the letter of the week. This week’s letter is B. B is for [Family] Bible For the letter ‘B’ I have chosen the to highlight the Bible. But not just ANY Bible, this is the Randell Family Bible. And while my dad is the current keeper of it, I do hope that it is one of the many family heirlooms he’s saved that I’ll inherit some day. So on recent visits to my parents place, it was a fabulous opportunity to bring out the old bible to photograph and scan it. But first things first … to put things in perspective,  I am connected to the Randell’s through my maternal grandma (Evelyn Phebe HANNAFORD nee RANDELL). While my Randell ancestry does go back to Devon, England, this story begins with John Beavis RANDELL who was born in South Australia in 1877. His parents (William Beavis RANDELL and Phebe ROBBINS) were both emigrants from England. Now back to the bible …  the bible originally belonged to my great grandparents, John Beavis RANDELL and Ella Alice SINKINSON. The birth, death and marriage inscriptions all start with them. Family bibles are a real treasure if they are used as intended. If you’re lucky enough to have one, you’re likely to find a whole bunch of family inscriptions, and if you’re really, really lucky a bunch of photos as well. I gotta say I’m one of those really, really lucky ones. 🙂 Here’s a few photos I’ve taken...