An Heirloom Christmas Recipe...

When thinking about what to write for Christmas, I wondered if my mum had inherited her mum’s recipe books. Sure enough she did, and what treasure it is. Can you tell it was well used? And guess what the very first recipe written in the book is … yep, “Mother’s Christmas Pudding”. So here it is. The Christmas pudding recipe from my great grandma. In case you can’t read my grandma’s handwriting, here’s a transcription: Mother’s Christmas Pudding 3 Large Cups Flour 2 Cups Sugar 1 lb Seeded Raisins 1 lb Currants 1/2 lb Lemon Peel 1/2 Cup Bread Crumbs 1 lb Suet 8 Eggs 1/2 Teaspoon Carb Soda Mix Soda in Flour. Boil about 6 hours. I generally boil mine 4 hours the first time. __________________________________ Now don’t go getting any ideas thinking I’m going to make this. Firstly I’m not much of a cook. Secondly I’m totally not a fan of Christmas pudding. And thirdly I had to google to find out “suet” even is, and that should not go in anything, let alone a pudding!! But still I do believe in preserving history, and this is an heirloom recipe, whether I make it or not! I don’t know what date this would have been written, but my grandma’s name was Evelyn Phebe Hannaford (nee Randell) b.1916, and her mother’s name was Ella Alice Randell (nee Sinkinson), b.1876, so no doubt it dates back a fair way! Wishing you a all Merry...

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...

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...

Happy 100th Birthday to my Grandma...

Evelyn Phebe Randell was born on 24 June 1916 in “Caringa Private Hospital”, the first hospital in the small town of Gumeracha in the Adelaide Hills. She was born in the town, grew up living in the town, went to the local school, and married at Salem Baptist Church in Gumeracha too, and is buried there too. Known as Ev to some, Lyn to others, Evelyn was my grandma. Although she is no longer with us, having died a few years ago, I am remembering her on this day that would have been her 100th birthday. When I was young, the apple orchards, and her place at Cudlee Creek were my second home. So I have a lot of memories from that era. The daily morning and afternoon teas with Sao biscuits, the picnics on the side of the road, rock buns and jelly cakes, roast dinners, the old oven, the pantry, the outdoor loo, the small knife that was permanently in her bag to cut up a burger from McDonalds in half, the birds, the washhouse, her aprons, how she used a cup and saucer (rather than a mug), and the garden … oh she so loved her garden!! She would elbow my grandpa to wake him up during church, she would comment on what people wore, and the way she and my grandpa would sit in the car in their driveway on a Sunday afternoon, if it was cold but sunny. I remember how she got hooked on watching both Home and Away, and Punky Brewster, and was quite upset when it was taken off, even writing to the TV station. When she wasn’t cooking, cleaning or in her garden, she was crafting – taking up knitting,...

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...

Cross Writing – What Is It and How Do You Read It?...

I’ve come across a number of articles recently that talk about the younger generation and how they can’t read cursive writing since it is no longer taught at school, and as a result they are going to find reading historical documents very hard. I would say that is a very valid point, though I’m not sure what the answer to that is. But it got me thinking that if they find straight cursive writing hard to read, what would they think of cross writing? In case you’re not familiar with the term cross writing (also sometimes called crossed letters), this was a common practice back in the 1800s where you would write a letter – using not only the front and back of the paper, but also by turning the paper sideways, and continue to write. It was a way to save paper and postage costs. The Wikipedia entry states … A crossed letter is a manuscript letter which contains two separate sets of writing, one written over the other at right-angles. This was done during the early days of the postal system in the 19th century to save on expensive postage charges, as well as to save paper. The technique is also called cross-hatching. The letter below is one that my family is fortunate to have, and is written by Samuel Randell (one of William Beavis Randell’s sons) to one of his sisters. Born in England, but having spent most of his life growing up in South Australia, Samuel was about 20 years old when he ventured back to the other side of the world, and found himself in Devon, England. While I don’t specifically know why he went back, based on the letter it sounds like it could...

Looking Back: Photos of My Grandmas...

I’ve been good recently and have been scanning a few more old family photos. Scanning isn’t the funest job in the universe. In fact it’s rather a drag. But still it is nice to have a few more done. And they are nice high res ones, named, and filed appropriately, ready for when I need to access them again in the future. But while I was scanning some photos of one of my grandmas, I thought I’d like to share them so came up with an idea to do a mostly pictorial blog post of both of my grandma’s (maternal and paternal), and in another one I’ll show you my four great grandma’s. So let me introduce you firstly to Evelyn Hannaford (nee Randell) my maternal grandma (1916-2006) And that brings me to Valda Phillips (nee Winter), my paternal grandma...

28 December 1876, RIP William Beavis Randell...

Today is a special day. Maybe “special” isn’t the right word. Maybe “remembrance” would be more suitable. As it was on this day 138 years ago … (28 December 1876) that my great great grandpa William Beavis Randell passed away. He was not only my emigrating Randell ancestor, and the patriarch of the entire huge Randell clan in Australia, he was also an employee of the Adelaide Company, a miller, founder of the town of Gumeracha, JP, councillor and parliamentarian amongst other things … I’m going to share with you an entry from the diary of his second wife Phebe Randell (nee Robbins) about his passing, together with an obituary I found on Trove.                           I know Phebe’s handwriting is quite readable considering what some handwriting was like back then (and even many nowdays), but whatever she wrote this entry in, is really really faint, so I know you’ll have trouble reading it, even enlarged, so I’ll transcribe it for you … This entry is undated, but the entry prior to this was dated 2 July 1876, and she seemed to be writing details of a number of days or weeks happenings in one entry. Page 19 … What a changing world is this on the 17th of August 1876 I became a wife though in the Sight of God a wife before I fully believe we haveing Pledged ourselves each to other before God without the worldly form but the ceremony was by Mr Jacob Abbott on the day afore said and by my dear husband and I lived very happly together for four Short months after the ceremony and then failing health laid him aside. He...

Movember Ancestors #6: The Randell Brothers...

For today’s Movember picture we hit the jackpot with three of four Randell brothers having impressive moustaches. Anyone who had followed my blog for any length of time will know that I have written oodles of posts that relate to the Randell family from Berry Pomeroy in Devon and Gumeracha, South Australia. However I have tended to focus on my direct line, my great grandpa John Beavis “JB” Randell, and his father William Beavis Randell rather than branch off onto many of William’s other children – those from his first marriage (he had nine). Francis Henry “Frank” Randell was one of William Beavis’ sons, and these handsome boys are his sons. From left we have: Gerald, Allan, Horace, and Francis “Frank Jnr”. This photo isn’t dated, but Gerald was born in 1881, so I would say that this photo was taken early...