Tag Archives: family history

Lest we forget …..

During the past six months I have found some more extended family members who took part in military conflicts.  If you can add anything to any of these or have a photo of anyone I’d love to hear from you. As always any sources can be obtained by contacting me. Previously I have detailed other family members involved with the military that can be seen here: Anzac day, Anzac Day 2015, ANZAC Day 2016 and ANZAC day 2017 – Additional family military personnel.

Robert Collier

Robert was the son of Robert Collier (1797 – 1870) and his wife Elizabeth.  His grandparents were James Collier and Ann Walton.  Robert (married to Elizabeth) was a brother of Francis Collier (married to Mary Wardleworth for the Collier descendants).  Robert (1797 – 1870) migrated to America.  His son Robert was a private in the 50th Regiment in Pennsylvania.  He was discharged on 2 June, 1865 after 1 year.  His wife Charity applied for a widow’s pension which is how we know he enlisted.

Nesbitt and Robert Gregg

Nesbitt and Robert Gregg were two of the sons of William Gregg and Eleanor Nesbitt (we think Nesbitt is probably her maiden name).  They were born near Raphoe in County Donegal, Ireland and migrated to Pennsylvania in the 1840s (at different dates).  They both were in the civil war draft registration.

Spencer Murch Mumby

Spencer was the third husband of Esther Rowe and she in turn was the second wife of Benjamin Scarfe.  Benjamin had been previously married to Elizabeth Johnstone, a sister of Andrew Alexander Johnstone (who married Annie Hood) and daughter of John Joseph Johnstone and Elizabeth Pattison.  Elizabeth died after child birth. Spencer was a 2nd Lieutenant in the 6th Hampshire Corp in 1879.   When he married Esther in 1899 in London he was ‘of New York’ and the son of the late Colonel Mumby, JP.

Edward Harold Row

Grandson of Mary Ann Kent and Joseph Row, Mary Ann was the daughter of Robert Kent and Jenny Pront and Robert the son (I believe) of John Kent and Mary Warren of Tavistock.  Edward was a clerk when he joined the Royal Artillery in 1886 and served in Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) from 1887 to 1890.

Emil Lyell Joseph Austin

Husband of Vera Selina Stokes who was the daughter of Elizabeth Ann Sims (the Boyd side) and William Henry Thomas Stokes.  Emil enlisted on 21 May 1918 toward the end of WWI and the war ended before he was sent overseas.  He was an engineering apprentice when he enlisted.

David Scott Boyd

David was the son of John Boyd and Jessie Watt and the great grandson of James Boyd who married Mary Brown.  David was a merchant seaman in WWI.

Douglas Gordon Elliot Brown

Douglas was the husband of Evelyn Watt Boyd Young who was the niece of the above David Scott Boyd.  He was a pilot in the 485 (NZ) Squadron, RAF New Zealand airforce and became a squadron leader.

Walter Herbert Castle

Elizabeth Britnell was the grandmother of Walter.  She was the grand-daughter of Jonah Britnell and Charlotte Rush.  Walter enlisted in the army service corp in England in 1917.  He was 38 years old and married to Amy Caroline Bird.

Angus Henry Gregg

Angus was the grandson of Richard Gregg and Catherine McKay and the genealogy connection here is interesting.  Richard was from near Raphoe in County Donegal and Catherine was from the Isle of Skye – who is the connection?  Or is it both?  Angus enlisted in 1917 when he was (probably) 17 years old.  (His birth was registered in 1900 in Victoria so he could have been born earlier).  He was a private with the AIF.  He married Beatrice May Evans in London in 1919 when he said he was 23. When he died in 1973 he was said to be 72 suggesting a date of birth of 1900.

Noel Hilton

Noel was born in Wardleworth, near Rochdale in Lancashire, in 1915.  He was the great grandson of Ellen Collier (daughter of Francis Collier and Mary Wardleworth) and James Hilton. His family emigrated to Australia when he was twelve years old. He enlisted in Adelaide in the RAAF at the outbreak of WWII and served until 1948.  He was an NCO.

Arthur Cuthbert Turner

He was the great grandson of Henry Gardiner Turner and Judith Sloggett (Sluggett) born in 1904 in St Kilda, Victoria.  He married Doris May Stapleton in Victoria in 1929.  He enlisted as a Flying Officer in the RAAF in 1943 when he was thirty-nine years old.  Arthur died in 1989 when he was eighty-five years old.







Canberra Congress 2015 days 2 to 4

Sadly Congress 2015 finished this afternoon after four days packed with great speakers (mostly), meeting old friends and making some new ones.  Following is a recap of the past three days.  I won’t mention every session I went to, just the memorable ones.

Saturday morning’s keynote was given by Josh Taylor who wears a number of hats including being the current President for the Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS), a presenter on Genealogy Roadshow and Who Do You Think You Are in America.  He told the wonderful story of his summer holidays traveling with his grandparents across America and visiting all the family history societies and graveyards.  Look out to my girls!  Fun times ahead!  His message was about tying in family history with popular culture and the fun and adventure of discovering your own history.

Josh Taylor at Congress 2015
Josh Taylor at Congress 2015

I attended all the sessions for Paul Milner except the lunch time session as it was already booked out.  His Scottish gazetteers session was excellent and although I thought I knew quite a bit about the subject I still gained some knowledge.  He speaks very well and retains the audience’s attention.  One of his differences was that he was early for his talk allowing the audience to ask questions ahead of the session.  The first moderator couldn’t quite come to terms with this.  Paul spoke about the wonderful variety of maps online via the Scottish National Library.  Another great idea was to add your own findings to the familysearch wiki so that you could always retrace where you’d found something.  Paul spoke on Sunday about tracing pre-WWI British soldiers which was very informative.  You can trace an officer’s military life through the records but it is slightly more difficult for enlisted men.  If the regiment came to Australia we have the regimental pay lists on the Australian Joint Copying Project (AJCP) held at the National Library in Canberra and also at the State Library of Victoria. Otherwise you still need to visit the National Archives of the United Kingdom in Kew, just outside London, or have a researcher do so for you.  His final talk was on tracing your mining ancestors which was also full of great resources and ways to research.  He has a background in mining which added to his knowledge and expertise.  I have tin miners from Devon in the late 1700s which I need to do more work on.  This is the Kent family from Beer Ferrers, Peter Tavy and Mary Tavy.  There is a plethora of websites and books to refer to on this subject.

Paul Milner at Congress 2015
Paul Milner at Congress 2015

The next session was as good, David Rencher from familysearch on the Irish census and census substitutes.  Again I almost didn’t attend  thinking I knew quite a lot about the topic.  I did, but he told us so much more and how to interpret and analyze what we are looking at.  Invaluable.  I have found one of my ancestors, John Dunlop, on the 1796 spinning wheel premiums and now I know what it means exactly.  His next talk was on interpreting and evaluating Irish name lists.  He used Leck parish in County Donegal which borders Raphoe parish where my ancestors are from.  I recognized a few of the names.  This talk was really about the methodology and interpretation of the documents you are studying.  It was a very insightful talk.  It was hands on with the audience analyzing part of the population from a hearth roll and a protestant roll.  You could work out family groups, religions and more from this analysis.  David also did a talk on the Irish poor and landless and mentioned quite a number of resources available for finding people despite the loss of so many Irish documents in the 1922 fire.  There are possibly many documents to be found on our Irish ancestors depending how lucky we are.  However, not all survive.

David Rencher at Congress 2015
David Rencher at Congress 2015

David Holman was another excellent presenter from overseas.  He is from England.  I attended his talk on military medals which was most informative and interesting.  He explained gallantry awards and medals.  He also gave the Monday morning keynote on the amusing forenames and surnames there are in England and includes some of his own so as not to offend anyone.  Very entertaining!

David Holman at Congress 2015
David Holman at Congress 2015

Another inspiring speaker was Perry McIntyre who spoke on memories and remembering our ancestors.  She is the chair of the Irish famine commemoration committee.  She spoke about the Irish famine memorials both in Ireland and the one in Sydney, a must see at the Hyde Park Barracks, Macquarie street, Sydney.  It’s all about connecting back to our families in Ireland.  Perry also spoke about the documents available in the National Archives of Ireland using convicts as her case study.  One very interesting website is the registered papers of the Office of Chief Secretary of Ireland (CSORP) from 1818 to 1852 that were digitized by a Frank J. Crowley bequest.  I’ve found some names of interest in these already.

DNA is a fascinating part of genealogy and Kerry Farmer’s presentation on autosomal and X-chromosome DNA was absorbing.  We should all be having our parents or grandparents (if possible) take a DNA test.  I will be doing this and it will be interesting to see what I can find out.

Michael McKernen’s keynote on Sunday morning was moving as he recounted stories of the families here in Australia who suffered the loss of a son or, in the case of one family from Briagalong, four sons out of their six sons in WWI.  Loss in war is always personal and tragic.  The parents of one soldier posted a memoriam in the paper every year from 1916 for thirty years after his death.  One thing I wasn’t aware of was that the families of soldier killed in WWI had to pay for every letter including spaces, for a personal message on their headstone in Europe.  Many could not afford it.

One of Monday’s keynotes was by Grace Karskens (Associate Professor at the University of NSW), she spoke on men, women, sex and desire within family history on Australia’s frontier.  It was centered on the ‘lost world of Castlereagh’ and told a story that is worthy of any soap opera on tv today. There were multiple entanglements within the people of the district, with stories including murder and the marriage of very young girls to their father’s contemporaries.  An intriguing story.

Overall it was a wonderful four days with motivating speakers and a wonderful group of people to network with.  The next Congress is in Sydney in 2018.

Who was Captain J G Dunlop?

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.

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