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...

Trewartha’s Candy Store, Dover, New Jersey...

My regular readers will know that my 4x great grandma Charlotte Phillips and her husband Samuel Trewartha are two of my fav ancestors, and I’ve written about them from time to time. Born in the 1820s, they grew up in Cornwall, England and in the English 1861 census Samuel Trewartha’s occupation was given as Copper Miner, while Charlotte’s was Confectioner. This is followed by an entry in the 1866 Directory for Redruth (England) where Samuel is listed as a Sugar Boiler, so obviously they were making candy to supplement his income from mining. It was in 1867 that they made the lifechanging decision to move from England to the United States, ending up in Rockaway and Dover, Morris County, New Jersey, and they opened a candy store there … which from what I can tell was a wonderful store, with an incredible reputation and ran for at least several generations, with her son John and his wife Minnie running it in her later year, and I believe some granddaughters did after that, with Black Rock Candy being their signature treat. While I know a fair bit about Charlotte’s life from records, one thing I didn’t have is any photos of Samuel,  Charlotte, the candy store. That is, at least until cousin bait worked, and some distant relatives saw my previous posts, and have sent me some photos, and have kindly allowed me to share them with you here. So I must say a HUGE, HUGE thank you to Glenn Rush who sent me the photos below, and has allowed me to share them with you. And also to Eric Bullfinch who has sent me a map showing the exact location of the store in Sussex Street, Dover.   So...

Christmas Time at the Candy Store...

For my Christmas-related post this year, I decided to go trawling through New Jersey’s old newspapers. In particular The Iron Age. This is a small town newspaper for the area of Dover, in Morris County. Lucky for me these have been digitised and put online (for free), so I have spent a couple of days browsing through them looking for adverts of my 4x great grandma’s candy shop. And what fun I have had!!! Over a period of 25 years (1872-1897), I have found 16 adverts! I won’t put them ALL here, but rather I’ll just choose a few to share with you. But first let me tell you a little about my 4x great grandma. Charlotte Phillips was born in Redruth, Cornwall, England in 1822, and married Samuel Trewartha in 1847. He had tough life as a miner, while according to census records Charlotte was a ‘confectioner’, no doubt to supplement the family income. In 1867 the family made the life changing move to New Jersey, USA where they set up a candy store in Dover, Morris County, New Jersey. She ran this for years with husband Samuel, though after his death in 1885, her youngest son Richard helped out. While I’ve never seen any photographs of the shop, I am picturing from the adverts that it was a popular place. For one thing it was there for YEARS! And Samuel (also known as “Candy Sam”) was famous not only for his Black Rock Candy, but also his cough drops. Enjoy the vintage adverts from 4x great grandma Charlotte’s shop. And for more on Charlotte herself, you can read an earlier article I wrote about her here. ** As the advert from 1889 is rather hard to read, it...

Movember Ancestors #1: Samuel Phillips...

November is here, and that’s means that it is Movember – the month for mo’s! While I do contribute by donating to the cause as I believe it is an important one, I have decided to make November a month to highlight my moustached-ancestors. I’ve spent some time time browsing through all the old family pictures that I have scanned, and have come up with a number of moustached men, so have decided to share some of them with you throughout November for Movember. So for person #1 in my Movember Ancestors series I have chosen Samuel Phillips together with his wife Kezia ‘Sis’ Phillips (nee  Beecken). They are my great great grandparents. This photo was taken in 1939 when Samuel was 70, and Kezia was 72. She died shortly after this photo was taken, while he lived for another 20...

“She Looks Just Like You”...

Once upon a time (isn’t that how you’re meant to start stories?) … I was out shopping with my grandma Evelyn Hannaford (nee Randell) at the local supermarket. Now there wasn’t anything particularly unusual about that, as it wasn’t uncommon event. But this particular day, has stuck in my mind … and all because of five words that were mentioned. We shopped at Lobethal which is a small country town in Adelaide Hills, where you ALWAYS bump into others you know. And as expected that happened on this occasion. Now I don’t remember the lady who we met, but it was someone that grandma knew, but hadn’t seen for a while. And I was introduced to her, to which she said “She looks just like you”. Trust me, being a 10 year old (or so), and being told you look like your grandma is NOT what you want to hear, which no doubt is why it’s stuck in my head. But now that I’m older, and with a passion for genealogy, and having to opportunity to see old family photos, including some of my grandma when she was young, I’m beginning to think that maybe there is some likeness. What do you think?...

Finding Genealogy Evidence in the Most Unlikely Place...

I know it sounds incredibly cliche to say that “you can find genealogy evidence in the most unlikely places”, and more to the point when you’re not even looking for it, but it can (and has) just happened to me. Mr Lonetester and I were invited out to a friend’s birthday party recently which was held at the Tea Tree Gully Golf Club. And although I am a genealogy tragic, I must say that genealogy wasn’t exactly on my mind while I was there (except for the twice I was asked about how to search for people’s lost relatives, once they found out I work in the genealogy biz). Anyway aside from that, I was there enjoying the nibbles and chatter etc. of the party.Now I did mention that this party was held at the Tea Tree Gully Golf Club. And I know that my grandpa, Ron Phillips was a member there for years. And during the evening I noticed what looked like an Honour Board in an adjoining room, so Mr Lonetester and I decided to take a wander and go check it out. This room was impressive, and didn’t just have “ONE” Honour Board, but rather it had Winners (Honour) Boards going from top to bottom covering about half of the room. After looking through all of the boards one by one, I came across my grandpa’s name (H.R. Phillips) one two of them and it seems that 1986 was a big year for my grandpa! Unfortunately I didn’t have my camera with me, but Mr Lonetester does have a camera phone, so he kindly took some pictures for me. So there you go, who would have thought to look for genealogy evidence at a sports club....

Family History Through the Alphabet Challenge: X is for … Signatures...

After thinking about what to do for the letter X for weeks, I still hadn’t come up with anything. So the fact that this post has even happened is a tribute to Wendy who commented on the Gould Genealogy Facebook page for the Family History Through the Alphabet, the letter X, and gave me the idea for this post. X is for … Signatures Actually technically this post is about the lack of signature, as in those that were illiterate and used X for a signature (ie. X is the mark of _________ ) was the actual wording that was used on certificates.After getting the idea, it made me re-look at all the certificates I have to see how many signed, and how many put ‘X’ as their mark. Interestingly most of the certificates I have show that they were literate, or at least enough to sign their own signature. However amongst them, there are a some that do have X as their mark and I must say I was surprised at who. So here’s just a few of the examples of signatures using the letter X from my collection: So there’s a few of my X for signatures. Do you have many X signatures in your collection of...

Family History Through the Alphabet Challenge: P is for … Charlotte PHILLIPS...

Continuing to work our way through the Family History Through the Alphabet challenge, and we’ve made it to the letter P, and as intended right from near the beginning, I want to tell you about one of my favourite ancestors … Charlotte Phillips. P is for Charlotte Phillips Phillips is my maiden name, so naturally I have an interest in knowing just where I came from. Now you see this picture on the right, that’s Charlotte … ok, ok, no it’s not, but I’m saying it is  for now … at least until I get an actual picture of her. So no, I don’t have pics of my fav ancestor yet … but still let me tell you more about Charlotte Phillips, as she’s quite an amazing woman. Firstly she is my 4x great grandmother, and the mother of my emigrating Phillips family (her son George being the first of the clan to set foot on Australia’s soil – so that’s significant right?) Also, she not took her family over to the US to find a better life (and did so), she became an amazing businesswoman as well. But before I jump too far ahead here’s a little background info: Charlotte was born in 1822 Redruth, Cornwall to Eliza Phillips (yep, Charlotte was illegitimate). I don’t have much info on her prior to her having kids and getting married as there are 3 Charlotte Phillips’ in the various Census, none living with her mother, so it does make it hard to know just which one is ‘my’ Charlotte. But I have a feeling that the one that was a Servant could well just be her, but that is still yet to be proven. It appears that in her early...

Family History Through the Alphabet Challenge: N is for … Never-Ending New Stuff and New Jersey...

As has happened numerous times throughout the Family History Through the Alphabet Challenge, I’ve changed my mind of what to write about after already starting this post. So for this N post I’d like to say that N is for NEVER-ENDING NEW STUFF We all know that the internet is an absolute wealth of information with new websites and new records being added online daily. Seriously the rate of growth is overwhelming. So how do we keep up with what new online that interests us? And by that I’m meaning anything genealogy or genealogy-related, but you knew that didn’t you … just checking!! Well there are several ways, so let me share those with you … Firstly you can keep up to date with what’s new on the big websites (arranged alphabetically: WEBSITES Ancestry.com.au – To check our the latest additions to the Ancestry website look for the Search button on their top bar, the scroll down to Card Catalogue.  That will bring u a listing of collections on the Ancestry.com.au website sorted by popularity. You can change this to sort by Newest, and on the lefthand sidebar you can choose to click off the “filter to show only records from Australia”and it will then give you all the latest records on any Ancestry site. Note: this also applies to Ancestry.co.uk and Ancestry.com. Cyndi’s List – Cyndi’s List is a directory of websites, not records, but I feel it is important to keep up with what websites are new too … so to view her newly added sites, she has a button titles “Browse New Links” and from there you can check the links added each day for the past month of so. FamilySearch – To view what’s new...