John George Dunlop – what collaboration can achieve

Since writing my earlier posts on John George Dunlop I’ve had descendants of members of the Dunlop family contact me.  George (as I believe he was known) must have been a prolific writer.  Letters have turned up from Australia and Ireland that he wrote to family members, along with more poems that he wrote and additional photos of him.

Continue reading John George Dunlop – what collaboration can achieve

Visiting Lower Grange, Co Armagh on the trail of the McFaddens

On my trip to Ireland in August I drove via county Armagh to Raphoe, county Donegal from Belfast airport.  I wanted to see the countryside that the McFaddens came from.  Peter Patrick McFadden (son of Thomas) was born in Lower Grange, Oneilland West co Armagh around 1831.  He married Mary Reid (daughter of Septimar Watson and James Reid) in Armagh at the registry office on July 17, 1852.

Continue reading Visiting Lower Grange, Co Armagh on the trail of the McFaddens

McKnights, Gregg & Dunlops/Delap from Raphoe, Co Donegal

I’m back after too long without any posts.  I had an eventful 2016 which included two genealogy trips, the second to the UK with my mother.  We visited Donegal and Belfast in Ireland at the end of August on the trail of our McKnight, Gregg and Dunlop families from Raphoe in County Donegal.  I also visited where the McFaddens (on my dad’s side) were from in County Armagh but more about them in another post.

Continue reading McKnights, Gregg & Dunlops/Delap from Raphoe, Co Donegal

What happened to Francis Collier?

There has been a large gap between posts as I’ve had a lot of work on and been doing some courses but hopefully posts will be more frequent going forward.

Francis was the father of John Collier who emigrated to Australia with his wife Ann Schofield and their son Francis in 1840.  Francis was living with his wife Mary and their children Ann, Betty and Robert at the time of the 1841 census.  He was a weaver aged 45 and Mary was aged 50, remembering that ages of adults were rounded down to the nearest five in the 1841 English census.

Continue reading What happened to Francis Collier?

ANZAC Day 2016

Following on from my ANZAC day posts in 2014 and 2015 I have found additional family members who fought in various 20th Century wars.  As always I’d love to hear from anyone who is related, interested, connected, has more information or photos.  Unfortunately this post is lacking in images.

Emil Lyell Joseph Austin

Emil was the husband of Vera Selina Stokes, she was the daughter of Elizabeth Ann Sims and William Henry Thomas Stokes.  This is on the Boyd side of the family.  Emil was the son of James Henry and Lucy Austin.  He joined up on 21 May 1918 in Adelaide, South Australia long before he married Vera.  Although he only made training camp at Mitcham he managed several late and absent charges.  The war ended before he was sent overseas.

Robert Stanley Barnicott

Robert was on the Baldwin side of the family, through Maria Roberts.  He was the son of Catherine Casbard and Walter Nicholas Barnicott.  He married Cassandra Tovee in 1914.  He enlisted on September 6, 1914 at Tower Hamlets, London in the navy.  He was initially on the President II and then the Dacdalus at Dunkirk.  He was a machine ruler when he enlisted.

Edward Ethelbert Nelson Bertram

Again on the Baldwin / Roberts side of the family Edward was the son of Eliza Ann Dartnall and Edward Ethelbert Bertram.  He was married to Ethel Annie Beddoes in Stourbridge, England in 1903.  He enlisted in the Canadian Over-Seas Expeditionary Force on June 20, 1916.  He said that he had previously been in the Australian Light Horse.  He was a mining engineer.

Percy Victor Bertram

Percy, brother to Edward, also enlisted in the Canadian Over-Seas Expeditionary Force.  He joined up a week later and said that he had been born in Melbourne, Australia whereas he appears to have been born in Cambridge, England.  He also that he had previously served in the Australian Light Horse.  He married Edith Armfield in 1904 in Kensington, England.

Henry George Eyre

Henry was born in 1889 in London, the son of William James Eyre and Charlotte Seals.  This is again on the Baldwin / Roberts side of the family as Henry’s grandmother was Mary Roberts (sister to Maria) who married Henry Eyre.  Henry married Florence Caroline Dowsett in 1914.  He was a munitions worked when he enlisted on December 11, 1915.  He was a signaller at HQ 84 Brigade, R.G.A.

John Frederick Fiedler

John joined up as John Frederick Fielder and although initially saying he was Lutheran on his attestation papers, this was crossed off and replaced with Church of England, probably trying to play down his German background which was two generations away.  He was the son of John Augustus Fiedler and Selina Stothers and was born in North Fitzroy in 1891.  He enlisted in the 46th battalion on January 17, 1916.  He was a metal worker.  He suffered a gunshot wound to the head in 1917 but survived.

Henry Angelo Hallpike

Also on the Baldwin / Roberts side of the family Henry was the son of Jamie Maria Dartnall and Vincent Henry Hallpike.  Henry had married Alice Maud Middleton in 1912 in Kennington, Surrey.  He enlisted on 26 June 1916 in the navy and was on the same two ships as his cousin Robert Barnicott.

Albert Johnstone

On the Collier side of the family, Albert was the son of Andrew Alexander Johnstone and Annie Hood.  He was born in 1878 in Pleasant Creek,Victoria and enlisted on February 2, 1915 at Box Hill and assigned to the 21st Battalion and sent to Gallipoli.  He was invalided back to Australia in March 1916 after a few bouts of influenza, heat stroke then defective eyes.

Godfrey Gleeson Johnstone

On the same side of the family Godfrey was born in New Zealand in 1895, the son of Robert Johnstone and Anastasia Gleeson.  He was a second Lieutenant in the 22nd Squadron, Royal Flying Corp and was killed in action on January 30, 1918.  He is remembered with honour at Merville, Community cemetery France.

Godfrey Gleeson Johnstone


John Sanders Johnstone

John was a cousin of Godfrey and son of Adam Bryden Johnstone and Margaret Fotherington Huddell.  He was also born in New Zealand but in 1888.  He was a rifleman in the New Zealand Rifle Company Reinforcements H Company.  He survived the war and married Irene Elsie Clark in 1921.

Melville Johnstone

Melville was a brother of the above Godfrey and was also in the Royal Flying Corp.  He was a captain in the 27th Squadron and was killed in action on July 16, 1917.  He is remembered with honour at Longuenesse (St Omer) Souvenir Cemetery, France.

Melville Johnstone


Norman Quail

Still on the Collier side of the family, but on the Britnell part.  Norman was the son of Emily Swan and Robert Ray Quail born in Bairnsdale in 1894.  He was a gunner on enlistment and promoted quickly to lieutenant.  He embarked on the Aeneas on 3 October 1916.  He went from the 119th Howitzer Battery, to the 4th DAC, then the 11th FAB then to France where he was gassed on 25 October 1917.  He was wounded again on 10 July 1918, rejoined his unit, then wounded again.  He was discharged 26 July 1918.  He was awarded the Military Cross on 16 September 1918 for conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty.  “When his battery in close support of the infantry came under very severe fire at close range, he showed cool courage whilst clearing the casualties and reorganizing the team.  His timely service was of great value to the battery”.

Robert Arthur Quail

Robert was the older brother of Norman mentioned above.  Robert was born in 1888 in Bairnsdale.  He enlisted on July 10, 1915 and was in the 7th 21st Reinforcements.

Florence Elizabeth Roberts

Florence was the daughter of Robert George Roberts and Elizabeth Atkinson.  She was born in 1880 in Middleton in Teesdale district, her father was a  Wesleyan minister and the brother of Maria Roberts who married Joseph Baldwin.  She enlisted on October 3, 1915 as a nurse but resigned in October 1916 to nurse her sick sister.  She then re-enlisted and spent time in Genoa, Italy.

Arthur Welsley Roberts

Arthur was a brother to Florence mentioned above.  He was born in 1893 in Knaresborough, Yorkshire.  I only have his medal card from which I know he enlisted on September 11, 1914 and was discharged on March 10, 1917.  He was in a Yorkshire & Lancashire Regiment.

Robert George Roberts

Robert was brother to Florence and Arthur above.  He was born in 1882 in Blyth, Northumberland.  He was initially a Sergeant in the 12th Yorkshire & Lancashire Regiment then promoted to Lieutenant.  From his medal card I know he was in Egypt in 1915.

Stanley Halford Roberts

Another brother to the above three, Florence, Arthur and Robert, Stanley was born in 1883 in Blyth, Northumberland.  When he enlisted on August 9, 1915 he was a secretary. He was a Sergeant in East Africa with the 622 Company and was a driver.

Frank Atkinson Roberts

Frank was another brother to the above four.  He was born in 1886 in Whitby, Yorkshire and enlisted in the Canadian Over-Seas Expeditionary Forces in Edmonton, Canada on January 20, 1915.  He married Muriel Lousie McLaren in Ottowa, Canada on January 27, 1922.

Claude Zimmer

Claude was born in 1894 in Geelong and was the older brother of Leo Vincent mentioned below.  Much taller than his younger brother he was a wood cutter by profession.  He enlisted at Geelong on January 26, 1916 and was assigned to the 9th Reinforcements of the 2nd Pioneer Battalion, then in mid 1917 transferred to the 37th Battalion.  He was then returned to Australia as unfit, amongst other things he had phitisis and died in Heidelberg in 1923 aged 28 years.

Leo Vincent Zimmer

Leo was the husband of Adeline Myra Johnstone.  She was the daughter of Andrew Johnstone and Nellie Lindsey.  Leo was a jockey and the son of Ernest Zimmer and Mary  Bolger.  He was born in 1901 in Geelong and enlisted on May 29, 1916 at Geelong in the 4/2nd Cyclists AIF.  He was promoted to Lt. Corporal and wounded in action in France on August 10, 1918 and invalided home to Australia.

William James Zimmer

Another brother to Claude and Leo, William was born in 1884 and married Catherine Mary Stratton in 1913.  He joined the 29th Battalion B Company on July 12, 1915.  He was a labourer.  He was transferred to the 32nd Battalion on August 12, 1918.


Keith Desmond Collier

Keith was the son of Harold James Collier and Jessie Victoria Longmore and was born in 1924 in Box Hill, Victoria.  He served with the RAAF as an aircraftman.

Louis James Collier

Louis was the brother of the abovementioned Keith.  He was born in 1922 in Victoria.  He was a lance corporal in the SIGS 4 Australian Division.

Dempster, Alexander Elder

Alexander was the son of William Dempster and Ellen Mary Owen and was born at Birkenhead in 1908.  William was the son of Jessie Johnstone and John Dempster so for the family out there, the Collier – Johnstone side of the family.  Alexander was a 2nd Lieutenant with the Royal Welch Fusiliers.  He was killed on June 23, 1941 and buried in Belfast City Cemetery.


Two days in Raleigh State Archive & Library

This was my second visit to the Raleigh state archive and library in downtown Raleigh. I spent a day there when I was last in Raleigh four years ago. The first day I spent in the library looking at the family books and files they had on the McIver family. For family members this is on the McGillivray line so the Boyd side through Mary Jane McGillivray. Her great grandmother was Ann McIver who lived well into her 90s on the Isle of Skye. She is closely related to the McIvers who settled in North Carolina from the Isle of Skye in the late 1700s.  She was married to Archibald McGillivray grandfather of Alexander who migrated to Australia.

Continue reading Two days in Raleigh State Archive & Library

Day out to Durham


We had a girls day in Durham this week.  Firstly we had lunch at Guglhupf an artisan German bakery there.  It was a nice lunch but nothing out of the ordinary as far as food goes.  We talked about history and families which is always interesting.  One of the girls has no ancestors on her grandfather’s side as his father jumped a train from somewhere in America when he was 7 during the depression.  He had no knowledge of his real name, parents or where he came from.  He got off the train in West Virginia and was brought up by a family.  I suggested DNA which they were already looking in to to see if there are any cousin matches.  To make it even more difficult there are no males alive on that line.  We shouldn’t complain about our brick walls!  I also hadn’t thought about or considered about those young children who jumped trains when they were so young and disappeared, too young to keep their memories.


After lunch we drove into downtown Durham past many of the old tobacco warehouses and businesses to the 21C Museum hotel.  What an amazing place.  If you are ever in Durham or one of their other properties visit them to have a look.  We bought drinks in the bar on the ground floor to take around with us while we traversed a number of floors.  On the ground floor at the entrance to the bar and restaurant was the most wonderful installation / waterfall made from plastic spoons.  I don’t think my photo can do it justice.  I just realised I should have taken a short video.

There was an amazing image of the American flag that was made up of plastic soldiers.  Then a picture that you could only see when you took a photo of it with your flash, and a ‘bendy’ Empire state building. Another image ‘moved’ as you walked past it (the black and white man’s torso).


We went downstairs to the old bank vault (this was an old bank), the tiles on the floor were bank notes.  All the safety deposit boxes had been welded in.  Reminiscent of the GSV in Melbourne was the corridor completely around the old safe.

Upstairs where the reception and business centre were were more art and installations.  One had a couple sitting at opposite ends of a table, both on their mobile phones with a wedding cake in between them, complete with mouse eating the cake!  I loved the different cloud images throughout the building and the pink penguins.

Thank you to Kim and Grace for a lovely day.  We finished it off with a drive through Duke University.

Last day of RootsTech and final days in Salt Lake City

Saturday was the final day of Rootstech for this year. The first keynote was given by Mike Leavitt, former Governor of Utah. He recounted some amusing stories from his time as Governor.  He told how the governor’s house had burnt down one Christmas.  The Christmas tree had been put up in the lobby but the lighting was faulty and caught on fire.  The house was ruined.   His family’s visit to homeless shelters that Christmas were  poignant as they themselves were homeless but had been helped by so many people unlike those in the homeless shelters.   He showed a clip of when they found out that Utah had won the right to host the winter Olympics, everyone was jumping up and down, over seats and literally leaping around with enjoyment.

Continue reading Last day of RootsTech and final days in Salt Lake City

McCollier Heritage on Tour day 4

Rootstech, Salt Lake City

What a day, my head is spinning with all the information and probably jet lag and lack of sleep.  No photos of beautiful Salt Lake City today as it was dark when I left the hotel and dark when I returned.  This morning’s first keynote speech was from Steve Rookwood, Company President and Chief Executive Officer of FamilySearch International.  I saw him speak in 2012 and he is a very good speaker.  He spoke of his family and shared photos and memories of them, particularly of his father.  His message was to engage our younger family members in family stories and therefore history by giving them 1 to 2 minute bites of family history.

Continue reading McCollier Heritage on Tour day 4

Family history, stories and photos

%d bloggers like this: