Monday, March 5, 2018

Surprises! A lesson learned!

I have researched my various lines of family ancestry now for over 27 years. The whole extended family are aware of this.
Recently a close family member came and spoke to me at a family function and showed me a newspaper article relating to an award my Grandmother was given. I had never read the article but was aware of the award. They then continued to share with me details of a collection of things they had from my Great Grandfather, war items like medals, coins, bullet cartridges. I was very thankful as I did not know these existed, they went home and emailed me photos which was wonderful within the email there was a photo of my Great Grandparents I had not seen. You can imagine my happiness. BUT then came the Surprises!!
In the emails that followed they sent me photos of my Grandfather as a child, my other Great Grandparents, at various ages and of a wedding gift my Great Grandfather received from the officers of the ship he had been on in 1902! To say my weekend was made is an understatement.
But it has reminded me that as the ones in the family researching we need to continuously be vocal, especially with the older members of family. Be vocal in what you would love to have - photos, mementos - not to keep but to photograph and/or scan! You never know what is hiding in biscuit tins and cupboards!

Thursday, February 22, 2018


Music is usually passed down the generations, favourtie songs, music has been part of human existence for all time.
In my family it was a big part of my childhood. Family holidays were full of a car filled with music! When tape players were included in a car our lives were changed! Disney songs were often a favourite!
But singing was important at home too, listened to records, then tapes then CD's we sang along but as a family we would sing together. My family once sang together at church, my sisters and I sang at a couple of school functions and as individuals we took part in school musicals and performances, choirs and vocal groups, I was fortunate to even sing at a wedding service.

For me I loved to perform in the mass choirs, the MetWest festival and the Combined Choir at the Sydney Opera House - for me one of these sticks in my memory as we sang Handel's Messiah and Zadok the Priest - it was fantastic being a part of such an event and then I was fortunate enough to be in a 12 piece vocal group who sang two items arcapella on the stage of the Sydney Opera House during the Combined Instrumental performance.It was a daunting but incredible moment in my life.

Fast forward to having children and I continued to enjoy music and sing, needless to say my children sing. My eldest daughter has enjoyed time with the Australian Youth Choir and in a selective choir at our local school area level. She was able to perform a few times at the Sydney Town Hall.  The youngest daughter is now in her second year with the local selective choir and I am involved in assisting!

I have run a choir at my children's school as noone else was willing, took a group to perform in Starstruck so they had that experience and am now back assisting the current teacher who was willing.

For as long as I can remember the Sydney Conservatorium of Music has been a bit of a 'holy grail' if only I could go there...perform there. The castle built in 1915 has been one of those places I have passed during my life and longed for....well it happened... They ran a course which I could attend because of the selective choir I now assist with....I was excited as I would get to go beyond those hallowed doors finally....BUT it got better....the workshop required us to sing!!  Well the bucket list is ticked off - I have sung at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music!

I know this is a small thing...but to me it solidifies a lifetime so far of singing, connecting with my parents, my grandfather who was a conductor of Leichhardt's Municipal Band - linking the generations to music!!

Click on the link to view the Castle that is The Sydney Conservatorium of Music

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Family History - why do it?

I have come across those people who do not understand why I am passionate about the research into family history that I do (shocking I know), but if for no other reason I am often reminded that one good reason to research my heritage is for medical issues.
Genetic issues with health are bound to prepare, warn or assist us during our lives. Some may never affect us but then you will come across something you have that is genetic, that you had no idea of existed in your family until you start to really look!
Recently I was told I have Otosclerosis, the first question the ENT specialist asked was "do you know of any of your ancestors who had it?"  Did I? Well my father has a hearing issue, which I believed (from what he had said) was fluid in his ear. The one defining difference...the pressure test - if there is fluid in your ear the pressure in both ears is different....if it is otosclerosis the pressure is the same! He, by luck was going to a hearing test the next day so I asked him to find out about the pressure - they had done a test on him a year ago...the pressure was the same in both ears! Bingo! As the ENT suspected when I mentioned my father, I have inherited this from my fathers line. I guess the question for my research now is which line did he inherit it from?!
As you do, I have jumped onto Trove - was this a known condition? If so, how far back can I find some detail on it for the common folk  - the answer Yes it was and the earliest mention I found in a newspaper was
1st Feb 1913 they even knew then it was inherited! But no one in my family has passed this information down..3 generations!?
By 10 June 1945 a surgeon had perfected a surgery to rectify this form of deafness with great success!
Today, now in this world of technology what can be done?! Well otosclerosis is no longer as common as it once was due to flouride in toothpaste and the there are not as many surgeons performing this operation, in NSW there are about 4 who see approx. 40 patients per year for the whole state! This, I have been told, is a precise operation, although 98% are successful there are risks of losing your hearing in that ear altogether; having the facial nerve damaged, not improving your hearing at all. 

The alternative is hearing aids - this is the path I shall begin with as the less invasive no risk avenue!

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Trove Tuesday Post

Given that Australia Day is almost upon us I decided to search for Australia Day in Trove...what I share today has nothing to do with it, but came up in the search!
Read and enjoy! A well written Letter to the Editor (surprised it was published) written by a female in 1823!

Click the link to read -  Letter to the Editor

1823 'To the Editor of the Sydney Gazette.',The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 - 1842), 9 October, p. 4. , viewed 23 Jan 2018,

Friday, January 19, 2018

2018 - A renewed committment

Last year I attempted to be a more consistent blogger - I did much better than previous years but ultimately failed.

So this year a lot of exciting things are happening and I really would like to come of age as a blogger.

I just completed the Diploma of Family History through UTAS (University of Tasmania), I will "walk through" in the Sydney Graduation day in April!

The 15th Australasian Congress on Genealogy and Heraldry will be held in Sydney from 9 - 12 March 2018.I am all booked in and am excited as it will be my first Congress!

I will have all four set of parents dna results back early this year and I am looking forward to delving into what information and relatives I can locate using this information.

As you can see, there should be a lot of fodder for me to write about and if I get stuck, well I can go back and discuss the UTAS units I have done, because I didn't complete that task as I wanted last year! There is also Trove articles to share, so surely I can do this!

For those who know me, you will know that for a number of years now, I have been a supporter of those trying desperately to protect Windsor Bridge and Thompson Square at Windsor, from the NSW Government replacing the bridge and altering traffic. If you have no idea of what I am writing about, do future generations a favour and go here to learn more, support them, write to Parliamentarians on both State and Federal levels.

I am going to finish this entry by sharing the latest in this story which occurred earlier this month. I am really amazed that our Federal Government has failed to intervene here given that this is not just NSW heritage BUT Australian heritage and of historical significance.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Trove Tuesday! Sick

So I have been in bed asleep for the past two days - today I have been awake more...but not thinking clearly at short and sweet post! I searched Trove for SICK to see when the earliest mention of it was...
and here is the gem.

The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser; Saturday 12th March 1803 p2

  • WOW! What a life he must have had!

    Tuesday, June 20, 2017

    Trove Tuesday - Biscuits!

    Trying to get in early today, given last weeks late entry

    Whilst searching something totally unrelated I came across this advertisement in The Australian Star Wednesday 5th June 1889 p5! That is 128 years ago!!

    Milk Arrowroot biscuits in our family are known as "Nanny Biscuits" due to the fact that my children's Nan has always had them on hand for them to eat!
    For me the Milk Arrowroot biscuit was one of the first 'solid' foods I introduced to my children. A biscuit placed on a saucer, boiling water poured on it so it soaked it up and expanded and let cool - was a great morning tea item after the Farex breakfast! As my children grew I would add less water and mix it in with custard and/or puree fruit!

    So coming across this wonderful advertisement showed that the iconic biscuit was highly regarded so long ago too!

    I decided to do a search for "Arnotts Biscuits" to see how far back I could find a reference to the company on Trove...the result...Saturday 25th January 1868 (149 years ago) in the Newcastle Chronicle page 3.

    New discovery - Arnott's originally made bread and were confectioners too!!

    So a little more investigation and I discovered a lovely write up about the company in the Newcastle Morning Herald and Miners Advocate Saturday 18 September 1880, page 8

    I am even more saddened now that Arnott's biscuits is no longer Australian, given its very long history as an Australian Company.
    So if you would like to enjoy more reading on Arnott's biscuits type "Arnotts biscuits" into the Trove search bar and you will not be disappointed! From the fire in the company factory, to the many medicinal claims of the treasured Arrowroot biscuit Trove will provide you with some interesting reading!