Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Trove Tuesday: in which we go for a record

In 1908 Sampson Smith wrote a letter to the Editor of The Argus. His parents, Ephraim and Elizabeth Smith, had just celebrated their diamond wedding. Sampson has done a few calculations and worked out that his grandchildren have four surviving great-grandparents (Ephraim and Elizabeth Smith and Edward and Mary Barker) whose combined ages was 339 years. And not only that, all four were shipmates when they migrated from England on the the 'Flora McDonald', landing in Portland, Victoria in Aug 1852.

The Argus (Melbourne), 18 Dec 1908
I too have done a calculation. My grandsons have four surviving great-grandparents as well. Nan and Pasy (Neil and Shirley Phelan of Kerang) are 90 and 88. Grandad and Hazel (Angus and Hazel Wyllie of Drysdale) are 93 and 81. That's a total of 352 years. But I'm cheating just a little. Hazel and Angus have only been married for 23 years - my mother, Mavis, died in 1988 when she was 61.

But isn't it interesting that diamond wedding anniversaries (60 years) and octogenarians (80 years) were considered worthy of comment in 1908.

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