Saturday, June 22, 2013

Sepia Saturday: Horseriding for pleasure

The above scene must have been such a typical one a century ago in Australia. By law the land selected by the farmers in the late 1800s had to be cleared of its natural vegetation, had to be ploughed and planted to pasture or crop, fences and dams had to be constructed and homes built. For the most part the farmers were  were happy to comply with the regulations because they had families and stock to feed, and they needed a roof over their heads. A number of my farmer ancestors would have felt very much at home in this scene. But of course we know now that the environment suffered enormously. Just look at the picture above - tree stumps and stark eucalypts that have been ring-barked prior to felling.

While many farming families owned horses for transportation to church, school and shopping, and as work animals, one of my husband's families truly enjoyed their horses. The Alfords knew a good horse when they saw one and were called on to act as judges at rural shows. They rode for enjoyment and they bred fine horses for work and for pleasure (including trotters).

Ralph Alford on 'Splinter' and Dick holding 'Old Dan'.
Thomas Alford at 'Myall Marsh' Mologa, 1903.
Thomas Alford with his granddaughter Mary on 'Cob' at 'Myall Marsh' Mologa.
Mary Alford
George Alford and his trotter 'Alarm Bells' at Brighton, Victoria c1920.
Photo from Museum Victoria No. MM002081.
If you want to read and see what other Sepians have posted for this theme trot on over to Sepia Saturday.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Sepia Saturday: Bling

There seems to be a distinct lack of a love of bling in our ancestors - maybe their strong Methodist/Presbyterian beliefs were contributing factors -  but I found a few examples of our albums.

Lena dressed-up (as a gypsy?)
Maggie wore several necklaces and a brooch with her lace-yoked dress.
An unknown young man with a tie clip, a lapel badge a watch chain
 (with medals attached) and some other sort of clip. (See detail below.)
Anyone recognise the medals?

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Trove Tuesday: In which James Taylor's death is reported

Ovens and Murray Advertiser (Beechworth, Victoria), 12 Jan 1916
I'm confused.

Yesterday I found this notice, in a newspaper at Trove, announcing the death of my ancestor James Taylor. He died at Eldorado in Victoria where he'd been goldmining for many years.

I have his death certificate that has proved to be accurate about his birthplace, parents, occupation and marriage details. As I had expected the death certificate doesn't mention his illegitimate son, Henry (my great-grandfather). And it doesn't mention that the mother of said son (Emily) was the sister of his wife (Annie), but I know all of that is true because James provided the information on the birth certificate and acknowledged paternity. Annie was present at the birth. You might need to read that paragraph again to sort it out in your head, or read the rundown below instead.

1 James TAYLOR b: Abt. 1831 in Durham, Durham, England, d: 02 Jan 1916 in Eldorado, Victoria, Australia

... marr. Hepzibah Anne (Annie) CHAUNDY b: 09 Nov 1839 in St Aldate, Oxford, Oxford, England, m: 09 Apr 1864 in Beaufort, Victoria, Australia, d: 1920 in Ferntree Gully, Victoria, Australia

... partner Emily Rachel CHAUNDY b: 03 Sep 1843 in St Aldate, Oxford, Oxford, England, d: 28 Mar 1928 in The Rock, New South Wales, Australia

........2 Henry TAYLOR b: 27 Jun 1869 in Eldorado, Victoria, Australia, d: 25 Jun 1950 in Echuca, Victoria,   Australia

Emily married someone else but Annie never did and when she died at Ferntree Gully (where her brother lived) she was still calling herself Taylor. Annie and James never had any children.

Now for the confusing part. I had assumed (silly me!) that Annie didn't stay with James although I've never found a divorce. But now I'm thinking that maybe she did stay because the newspaper notice states James 'leaves a wife, who is also well advanced in years'. Is it Annie or is it someone else living as James' wife. I wish the newspaper had given her a name.

[Update: I have now checked the Electoral Rolls and found Annie and James together at Eldorado. I'm wondering why I hadn't thought to check the rolls earlier! But my excuse is that now they're on Ancestry it's so much easier.]

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Sepia Saturday: Army hospital

WW1, a kitchen on a hospital train, nurses, cooks, pots and pans. I'm looking forward to reading the other blogs for this week's theme on Sepia Saturday, but I'm going to write about WW2 hospitals (and not a train in sight).

Have you heard of a place called Tarakan? Or Morotai?

Both are islands in the Indonesian archipelago and in WW2 and both were held by the Japanese until battles late in the war secured them as bases for the Australian and American forces. I had heard of Morotai because my father was on Morotai with the Australian Army until he was hopitalised there with a tropical skin condition and then sent home. I had never heard of Tarakan.

But then an album of photos came my way, small photos taken by an Australian soldier while he was serving in Morotai and Tarakan in WW2. We aren't sure who the soldier was but I have now scanned all the photos and added them to my online Flickr album and the associated National Library of Australia's group called Trove. Maybe we'll find out for sure who the photographer was one day.

I was interested to see that there was a photo of a hospital at Tarakan and also Morotai. I showed my dad but he said he couldn't remember what the hospital looked like but he did remember almost falling out of the ambulance because he had a high fever!

Hospital, Tarakan, WW2
Army Hospital and ambulance on Morotai, WW2


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