Last week I visited Auckland to attend the 150th anniversary of Pollok settlement on the Awhitu peninsular to the south-west of Auckland. My 3 x great uncle Robert Scouler with his second wife, Mary McWatt and their children travelled to Auckland on board the Ganges in 1863. Luckily an account of their journey survives that was written by on the of the cabin passengers, David Buchanan. The Scoulers were in the steerage cabin.
I travelled up to Sydney with my mother to visit her sister who is not very well. On the way we spent a night in Canberra and visited the Mapping our World: Terra Incognita to Australia exhibition at the National Library. It’s well worth visiting if you can get to Canberra. It tracks the discovery of Australia by the Europeans through maps. Alongside the maps there are globes and scientific instruments, it’s amazing how they were able to create such beautiful and detailed maps. The map by Fra Mauro is not to be missed. There were maps from the early explorers, names I remembered from history lessons.
A few months ago while searching the Australian newspapers online, Trove, I came across an article in the Kyneton Guardian of 11 January 1917 mentioning the cousin of Cr. John McKnight (known as Johnny to family) and Mrs. M Moore (formerly Margaret Gregg McKnight) and thus nephew of Johnny and Margaret’s mother Sarah Jane Dunlop. Sarah Jane Dunlop married Alexander McKnight in Raphoe, Co Donegal, Ireland on 15 January 1857. They are my great great grandparents. For those of you who are family, they were Elsie McKnight’s grandparents.
Captain J G Dunlop was said to be serving in British East Africa but that his commission was awaiting him in Europe with the Royal Irish Rifles. He had served in the Boer war and in the operations in German South West Africa. He had taken part in four campaigns and was hoping to complete his fifth. It mentioned that he had been a captain under Major Maritz who had defected to the Germans but J G Dunlop had fortunately been sent by headquarters to military college and had escaped being a prisoner of war.
Maria Roberts was my great, great, great grandmother on the Collier side. She outlived two husbands and five of her seven children. She was born on 14 November 1822 in Hatfield Street, near St Giles Cripplegate, London to Robert Roberts and Sarah Ann Pearse Barnes. Her father was a whitesmith. A whitesmith worked with light metal such as tin and pewter. Conversely to blacksmith’s they tended to work with the metal cold. Maria was baptized at St Giles without Cripplegate on Christmas day in 1822. (I have used Wikipedia’s history of the church as it has more historical information at the moment)
I’ve begun this blog to share stories and photos of my ancestors with my family and to encourage interaction with all of my extended family. I hope to find new cousins with family stories and photos to share as well as connect with my known family. I will also be posting some photos where the subjects are unknown in the hope that someone will recognize them.