Monday, 19 January 2015

Arundel King - 52 Ancestors #2

Week 2's theme for 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks is King. Seeing the theme, I thought it might be a good opportunity to do some more research on someone in my family tree with the surname King - and there aren't too many of them at the moment. I chose Arundel Sidney Arthur King. He is not one of my direct ancestors, but we do share some. Arundel (also spelled as Arundle) was a great grandson of John Gill & Sarah Fielder - my 5x Great Grandparents. Arundel descends from their daughter Dinah (who married John King), whereas my ancestor is their son Silas.

Arundel was born in 1877 in Morpeth, New South Wales. His birth registration on the New South Wales Births Deaths & Marriages Index is recorded as the following...

Birth Registration of Arundel King
[Source: NSW BDM]
I had already known his parents names from his death registration which you can see below - Earl James King & Isabella Jemima Card. When I saw the birth registration I immediately had questions. Why is Earl James King not listed as the father? Why does he have his mother's surname?

Death Registration of Arundel King
[Source: NSW BDM]
I decided to double check Earl & Isabella's marriage which I already had recorded.

Marriage of Earl James King & Isabella Jemima Card
[Source: Australia Marriage Index, 1788-1950;]
Of course! They married in 1878. The year after Arundel was born. That makes a lot more sense now. Why it did not click with me originally I do not know. I also have a copy of Arundel's baptism certificate which states that his father is Earl. Anyway, let's continue with Arundel...

Arundel married Mary Jane Gill in 1907 in Maitland, NSW. Until this week, I did not have Mary's parents listed. However, this intrigued me because a majority people with the surname Gill in the Maitland area at that time are connected to me in someway. That and Arundel's ancestors were also Gill's which I mentioned previously. Our common ancestors John Gill & Sarah Fielder who lived in England had three children who came to New South Wales - my ancestor Silas, Arundel's ancestor Dinah, and William. William and Silas both had over 10 children, so there are A LOT of Gill cousins out there. Hence, I wondered if Arundel and Mary were cousins somehow.

After some researching, I discovered that Mary was the daughter of George Gill and Sarah Andrews who married in 1885 in Maitland. I went through the George Gill's in my family tree to see if I had any that fit the bill. I landed on George Gill (1851 - 1916), and what do you know, I had a note for a possible marriage to Sarah Andrews (1862-1898). Funnily enough, George Gill was a GRANDSON of my 4x Great Grandfather Silas Gill.

I think it is pretty safe to say that Arundel and Mary were cousins. Second Cousins 1x Removed in fact.

Family Tree of Arundel King & Mary Gill

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Getting Creative with Genea-Graphics

I was very excited to watch DearMYRTLE's (a.k.a Pat Richley-Erickson) recent Wacky Wednesday video on how she creates her graphics. I listened, watched and took a page full of notes as she demonstrated how to create them using PowerPoint. Truth be told, I had never thought of using PowerPoint and completely forgot you could even save PowerPoint slides as an image. 

I was feeling quite inspired after watching the video (which you can watch HERE by the way) and had a play around in PowerPoint creating a couple of images. I have an older version of PowerPoint, thus, I do not have as many themes available as Myrt does, but I still managed to find something I like. Please also note that I am not a whiz when it comes to graphics. I did Information Technology (Computers) in High School, however a majority of what I learned seems to have left my little noggin. This might be because we used advanced programs which I have not used since High School...and which would cost me a whopper to use at home, haha.

So far I have created the following graphics/images in PowerPoint...

Image 1 - Created in PowerPoint by me

Image 2 - Created in PowerPoint by me

I am not entirely sure if I am 100% happy with them, or what I would use them for at the moment. Your comments are thoroughly appreciated! I also created one to use at the end of my YouTube videos, but you won't see that one until my next video, hehehe.

While watching the video, Jill Ball (Geniaus) mentioned that she uses Canva. I had never heard of Canva, so naturally I headed to the website to check it out. Result: I love it!!! Canva lets you create images/banners for social media with the dimensions for your relevant social media platforms available. However, you can also pop in your own dimensions if you feel the dimensions they have are not suitable to your image creating needs.

I created the following banner on Canva using the Facebook Banner dimensions. I am quite in love with it and it is currently the banner on my personal Facebook profile. 

Facebook Banner created on Canva by me
I am going to see if Heather, my partner in genea-blogging-crime at Young & Savvy Genealogists is interested in a couple of graphics for Y&SG. That would be pretty cool to do.

On another note, I just thought of the word genea-graphics. Another word to add to the GeneaDictionary, Jill? 

Have you created any graphics for your genealogy profiles, talks or other things? Did you use PowerPoint, Canva or another program? I would love to hear your ideas! :)

Monday, 12 January 2015

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks #1: William Gow

I’m giving myself a new challenge this year - 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks which is run by Amy Johnson Crow from No Story Too Small. I noticed many blog posts from people who took part in the challenge last year and thought it would be something fun to do in the future. Plus, I’m hoping it will help me identify areas for further research.

The theme for Week 1 is Fresh Start. When I think of a fresh start I think of my Great Grandfather William Gow.

Born on the 21st of May, 1868, William was the youngest of 5 children to parents William Gow and Jean Drummond. He grew up on his family’s farm at Cairn, Muthill, Perthshire, Scotland. Sadly, his father passed away the day after his 6th birthday in 1874. William remained on the farm until 1886. By then, his siblings and mother had all relocated, including his brother Robert who had immigrated to Sydney in 1884. In 1886, when he was just 18 years old, William made the long journey to Sydney arriving on October 5th, 1886. William did not have any family with him when he made this trip, so it must have been quite daunting! 

William Gow in 1889, aged 22.
[Source: Personal Collection]

When he arrived in Sydney, he lived in Potts Point, an inner-city suburb. William had worked as a gardener in Scotland, and continued to do so in Sydney. In his diary for the year 1887, William recorded what he did each day. Some entries are detailed, others are not. On January 17th, he was “cleaning [garden] beds in front of the house and watered them and pots at the door and veranda.” Potts Point is also situated on Elizabeth Bay. On February 6th, William “got out the boat and went over to Darling Point and had another row around Elizabeth Bay.” In quite a few entries he mentions doing some gardening at a Bush House. I currently have no idea where Bush House is/was but it would be interesting to find out. According to William’s obituary, he also worked as a gardener for Sir Adrian Knox. Perhaps Bush House could have been something to do with Sir Adrian Knox? Some investigating to do here I think.

In 1896 William became a police officer, and in 1897, after the 12 month probation period, became an Ordinary Constable. 

William Gow's Police Appointment on NSW State Records
On the 14th of December, 1904, William married Elizabeth Croal. They lived in Stanmore (inner-west Sydney) where they had two children – Adam Gow (1905 – 1905) and William David Drummond Gow (1910 – 2003). 

Wedding of William Gow & Elizabeth Croal, 14th Dec 1904, Sydney
[Source: Personal Collection]
In 1905, William became a 1st Class Constable. I actually have all this wage sheets from his career as a police officer which I got from the New South Wales State Records! William became favourably known throughout the Sydney Police Traffic Department, and when he retired in 1912, he was asked to reconsider. However, William believed that gardening was his true calling. With that in mind, in 1913 William, Elizabeth & their son William Jr moved to Gumma, a small town near Macksville on the Mid-North Coast of New South Wales. William became well known for growing tomatoes and he thoroughly enjoyed working on the land. 

Article from Farmer and Settler, 1 Nov 1929
[Source: Trove]
William passed away on November 28th, 1943 at the ‘Jalna’ Private Hospital in Macksville at the age of 75. He is buried in Macksville Cemetery. When he died, William had been living at Gumma for 31 years.  I feel that moving to Gumma gave William a fresh start. His obituary states that he was “a very kindly Scotsman who nevertheless was ever ready to speak his mind and defend what he considered was right and just.” Now that, that makes me very proud.

William Gow's death notice, Sydney Morning Herald, 11 Dec 1943
[Source: Trove]

Saturday, 4 October 2014

Collection of Wedding Invitations

I found some old wedding invitations earlier this week that my Great Grandparents Elizabeth Croal & William Gow had received in the early 1900s. They are still in quite good condition which is wonderful as they are over 100 years old. I think I would like to do some research on the families to see if there are any descendants. It might be interesting for them to know that we still have an invitation to their ancestors wedding.

Wedding of Mary Walder & David Croal,
my Great Grandmother's cousin.
19th August 1911
I believe the next three brides were all sisters...

Wedding of Mabel Jessie Rogers & Harold Brain
23rd December 1908
Wedding of Clarice Rogers & Norman Sharp
23rd November 1910
Wedding of Ethel Rogers & Charles Wiley
1st September 1909
The next two brides as well...

Wedding of Jessie Douglas Lindsay & William Evans
10th January 1906
Wedding of Roberta Agnes Lindsay & Henry Johnson
15th March 1911
Wedding of Ada Lawrence Pepper & A. B. Jung
5th June 1907
An invitation for the Lindsay family requesting their presence at the wedding of my Great Grandparents on December 14th, 1904.

Just beautiful!

Monday, 22 September 2014

One Lovely Blog Award

The One Lovely Blog Award has been going around the blogosphere in recent weeks. This morning to my surprise, I discovered that I had received this oh so lovely award from Shauna Hicks of SHHE Genie Rambles & Diary of an Australian Genealogist. Shauna is the sole co-ordinator of National Family History Month in Australia and New Zealand, and she does this voluntarily. I am always eager to read her blog posts and articles in Inside History magazine. I love all that she does for genealogy in Australia, plus she’s a wonderful person too! I was very lucky to meet her at the launch of National Family History Month last year. 

Here are the Rules for the “One Lovely Blog Award”:
1.     Thank the person who nominated you and link to that blog
2.     Share Seven things about yourself – refer below
3.     Nominate 15 bloggers you admire (or as many as you can think of!) – also listed  below
4.    Contact your bloggers to let them know that you’ve tagged them for the One Lovely  Blog Award

Seven Things about Myself
  1. I have lived in the same suburb my entire life thus far, except for one year when I lived in Virginia when I was a baby.
  2. I am double jointed. I betcha didn't know that did ya? I get a lot of requests from the kids at work to show my double jointed fingers.
  3. I have always loved cemeteries. Even before I knew genealogy existed.
  4. When I was a kid, I wanted to be a teacher. I studied Education for the first 2 years at Uni. It was towards the end of the second year, and just after I caught the genealogy bug that I realized I was not enjoying it and wanted to do something else. That something else turned into Criminology and it was one of the best decisions of my life.
  5. I have always been a shy and quiet person, so making YouTube videos and participating in Google Hangouts is a very big step for me.
  6. I am 23 and still don't have my drivers license. I got my Learners at the end of 2007 for ID purposes, but never actually wanted to drive until last year. Currently I have done 75 hours of driving out of the required 100.
  7. I absolutely love reading. I fall in love with books and stories so easily. I can stay up reading for hours. I buy books a lot quicker than I can read them. My To Read shelf is overflowing and I'm now making stacks on the floor. I don't even have room for books that I have read anymore.
Reading with my Poppa!
Nominate 15 Bloggers You Admire (or as many as you can think of)

I have decided to nominate 7. I know quite a few people have been nominated already, so I’d like to spread the love to some others and hope you check out their blogs too. Please do not feel offended if your blog is not on the list – this was just off the top of my head. I love the genea-blogging community! 
  1. Of Trees & Ink by Heather Collins. Heather is another young genealogist under the age of 30. I was super excited when I discovered her last year! Heather & I co-run Young &Savvy Genealogists together which is awesome. She also does very informative and creative YouTube videos and has an epic love for gifs like I do.
  2. Elyses Genealogy Blog by Elyse Doerflinger. Elyse is a young genealogist who introduced me to the world of the NextGen Genealogy Network. I love reading her blog – her recent post on collaborative genealogy was really neat! Elyse speaks at a lot of genealogy seminars and events and is a big supporter of engaging the next generation.
  3. A. Warde & Co. by Ameya Warde. Ameya and I kind of stumbled upon each other late last year. She’s only been blogging for a year, but I’m always intrigued by anything that she has to say. She’s also done a YouTube video too! I’d love to do a genealogy collaboration video one day with Ameya, Heather & Elyse. Now wouldn’t that be hella awesome?!
  4.  Ruths Ancestors by Ruth Hogan, another young genealogist. Can you sense a theme here? Ruth is an avid blogger who is also following The Book of Me, Written by You prompts.
  5. Ancestral Breezes by Jen Baldwin. She runs #genchat and Conference Keeper and she is awesome. Need I say more?
  6. Confuse The Dead by Laurie Desmarais. Laurie has recently been blogging about her Mastering Genealogical Proof Class. Plus she is a rad chick!
  7. Your Roots Are Showing Dearie by Liam Hobbes. He’s the barkeep during #genchat and his blog makes me giggle with delight! You just need to read it okay.
A little something for everyone! ^_^

Amanuensis Monday: The Will of Alexander Mackay

Earlier this month, Find My Past released New South Wales Will Books 1800-1952 (currently offline for improvements). Seeing as my Australian side of the family is from New South Wales (NSW), I had to take a look. Of the 10 I have found so far, I definitely think the most interesting (and most detailed) one belongs to my Great Great Grandfather Alexander Mackay.

Alexander was born in 1856 at Dungog, NSW to parents Donald Mackay and Jane Gilliban Walker. In 1885, he married Elizabeth Lucilla Gill at Nambucca, NSW. After they married, the family relocated to Bowraville where Alexander was a farmer.

Elizabeth Gill & Alexander Mackay
[Source: Personal Collection]
Alexander & Elizabeth had 6 children -
  1. Alice Jane Mackay (1886 - 1979, married Charles Churchill)
  2. Eva Florence Mackay (1888 - 1976, married James Albert Dyer)
  3. Ethel M Mackay (1890 - 1892)
  4. Lottie Mabel Mackay (1894 - 1990, married David Glyde)
  5. Archie Burton Mackay (1901 - 1993, married Sylvia Kelsey)
  6. Elizabeth Lucilla Mackay (1905 - 1996, married Clarance Lumsden)
Elizabeth died during the birth of their youngest child who was named after her. Because of this, I was curious to see what Alexander's Will would entail and what he would leave to his children. I transcribed it as is and have not added any punctuation to it, other than what was already there. With or without punctuation, it is quite straightforward and easy to understand. Here is the transcription in italics:

[Source: Find My Past]
Mackay, Alexander (sometimes called Alexander McKay)/Late of Bowraville, Farmer.

THIS IS THE LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT of me ALEXANDER MACKAY (sometimes called Alexander McKay) of Bowraville in the State of New South Wales Farmer I HEREBY REVOKE all former Wills heretofore made by me AND I DECLARE this to be my last Will I APPOINT my son ARCHIE BURTON MCKAY and JAMES ALBERT DYER (hereinafter called my Trustees which expression shall be deemed to include the Trustees or trustee for the time being of this my Will) to be Executors and Trustees of this my Will AND I DECLARE that all trusts power authorities and discretions hereinafter vested in my Trustees be exercised by the survivor of them or other the Trustee or Trustees of this my will I GIVE DEVISE AND BEQUEATH to my daughters EVA DYER LOTTIE MADEL GLYDE ALICE JANE CHURCHILL and ELIZABETH LUSCELLA LUMSDEN share and share alike as tenants in common the proceeds of my life insurance policy or policies and also any money standing at my credit in the Commonwealth Savings Bank I GIVE AND DEVISE to my Trustees two allotments of land in Bowraville and the house standing on one of the said allotments IN TRUST to sell the same and to divide the proceeds between my said four daughters share and share alike I GIVE AND DEVISE to my son ARCHIE BURTON MCKAY all my other property including my other real property upon condition that the said Archie Burton McKay pay each of my four said daughters the sum of Two hundred pounds (£200) each within twelve months after my death and I charge the said real property hereinbefore devised to the said Archie Burton McKay with the payment of the said legacies I GIVE AND BEQUEATH to the said Archie Burton McKay my shares in the Bowraville Co-Operative Society Limited and in the Coastal Farmers Society AND I DECLARE that the share of the said Archie Burton McKay shall bear the costs of my funeral and testamentary expenses duties and fees and the payment of my debts including the mortgage debt on any property devised to the said Archie Burton McKay to the intent that the bequests that I have made to my said daughters shall be exonerated from payment of any part of the said expenses duties fees debts and mortgage debts AND I DECLARE that if any child or children of mine predecease me leaving a child or children surviving them such last mentioned child or children shall take (and if more than one then equally between them) the share which his or her or their parent would have taken under this my will had such child of mine survived me IN WITNESS WHEREOF I have hereunto set my hand this Ninth day of July One thousand nine hundred and thirty-six.
SIGNED by the Testator as and for his last will and testament in the presence of us both present at the same time and we at this request in his presence and in the presence of each other have hereunto subscribed our names as witnesses. M. Richardson, Law Clerk Bowraville. L. O’Neal, Solicitor, Bowraville.

23rd February, 1938. PROBATE of the Will was granted to ARCHIE BURTON MCKAY and JAMES ALBERT DYER the Executors named therein. Testator died 1st November, 1937. Estate sworn at £1814.19.7. Nett.
It seems that Alexander really cared for his children, particularly after his wife died and he was left with a newborn and young children. Before my Nanna died, she told me many times that she remembered her Grandfather Alexander Mackay and the Mackay's in general as people who worked hard for their money. She said that Alexander hoped he taught his children that, and Nanna believed that he had.
Alexander Mackay & his children, 1930s
L-R: Elizabeth, Alice, Alexander, Eva, Lottie & Archie
[Source: Personal Collection]

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

The Gow Siblings: Isabella Gow

Isabella Gow, my Great Great Aunt, was born on April 9, 1859 in Cairn Farm, Muthill, Perthshire, Scotland. She was the third child of William Gow and Jean Drummond (her older siblings being John & Robert). Isabella lived on the family farm until she was 18 and married John Reddoch on January 22, 1878.

Isabella Gow, 1869, Scotland
[Source: Personal Collection]

Isabella & John lived in Kinross at a house called Tullibardine. I forget if John built it for her or if he bought it. I think that information is written down in a letter my Aunt has. I have often searched for information on Tullibardine House such as where it was in Kinross, but have not been able to find anything solid.

Isabella & John had 9 children together -

  1. Jean Drummond Reddoch, born 1879, Govan
  2. John Drummond Gow Reddoch, born 1880, Muthill
  3. William Gow Reddoch, born 1881, Dalginross
  4. Robert William Reddoch, born 1883, Ardoch
  5. Isabella Gow Reddoch, born 1885, Ardoch
  6. Helen Christie Reddoch, born 1887, Ardoch
  7. Charles Gow Reddoch, born 1889, Ardoch
  8. Jessie Gow Reddoch, born 1892, Orwell
  9. James Gow Reddoch, born 1895, Kinross
As you can see, most of the children were given either Gow or Drummond for their middle name. There were two more children, however both were stillborn. 

Isabella died on October 13, 1897 at Tullibardine House at the very young age of 38, as a result of complications during childbirth in which the child was stillborn - the second of the two. I do not know where she is buried, but in some family history information that a distant cousin wrote, apparently the two stillborn children she had are mentioned on her gravestone.

Siblings John & Isabella Gow with Mrs Lawson, 1862.
I have no idea who Mrs Lawson is.
[Source: Personal Collection]