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]

Sunday, 27 July 2014

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun: Ahnentafel Roulette

It's time for another round of Saturday Night Genealogy Fun, well Sunday morning for me! This week's challenge from Randy at Genea-Musings is Ahnentafel Roulette.

Here's the challenge:

1. What year was one of your great-grandfathers born? Divide this number by 80 and round to a whole number. This is your "roulette number."

2. Use your pedigree charts or your family tree genealogy software program to find the person with that number in your ancestral name list (some people call it an "ahnentafel" - your software will create this - use the "Ahnentafel List" option, or similar). Who is that person, and what are his/her vital information?

3. Tell us three facts about that person in your ancestral name list with the "roulette number."

4. Write about it in a blog post on your own blog, in a Facebook status or a Google Stream post, or as a comment on this blog post.

5. NOTE:  If you do not have a person's name for your "roulette number" then "spin" the wheel again - pick a great-grandmother, a grandfather, a parent, a favorite aunt or cousin, yourself, or even your children!  Or pick an ancestor!

Here's mine:

1. Dividing each of my Great Grandfather's birth years by 80 gave me either 23 or 24.

2. This led me to a couple of unnamed people. Instead, I picked my Great Great Great Grandmother Matilda 'Tillie' Gowan (1840 - 1908) who married John Young (1836 - 1888) in 1860 in Mississippi, USA.

Matilda 'Tillie' Gowan Young
Approx 1880's
[Source: Personal Collection]
3. Three facts about Matilda 'Tillie' Gowan Young

a) She was born on December 18, 1840 in Mississippi, USA to Richard Gowan & Susan Peacock. She had 9 siblings.

b) She and John Young had 7 children - Emma Rosalie Young (1861 - 1868), Matthew Garret Young (1864 - 1933), Mary Gowan Young (1867 - 1927), Susie Fannie Young (1870 - 1928), Matilda May Young (1873 - 1936), Terri Pearl Young (1875 - 1959), & Frank Richard Young (1878 - 1958).

c) She is buried in White Church Cemetery, Blooming Grove, Texas. Her grave says she died on August 20, 1908, but her death certificate says she died on August 21, 1908.

Grave of Matilda 'Tillie' Gowan Young
White Church Cemetery, Blooming Grove, TX.
[Source: Personal Collection]

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Look out Rootstech! I'm coming!

Last year, I made it my goal to attend Rootstech in 2015, and now it's happening! I'm going to Rootstech! Two weeks ago my Aunty & I booked our hotel room at the Salt Lake Plaza Hotel. Currently, my Aunty is coming with me to Salt Lake City and she will do her own thing while I am conferencing it up. 

I am so excited y'all!!! Booking the hotel room has made it all so real. This is actually happening. I am going to be at Rootstech! You can expect many blog posts and videos about my preparation for Rootstech. I am also going to be needing lots of advice from you all too.

I want to meet as many of you as possible! I know it's going to be a blast and I want to soak up the experience as much as possible. DearMyrtle mentioned in her latest Mondays with Myrt that she is excited to meet me and will have to do another open house like she did this year. Woo! :D  

Here's my video that I did right after the hotel room was booked. I'd only woken up about 45 minutes prior, but I was like, I need to tell you all right NOW.

I am just so excited. And to see my family in Texas too of course! 

Thursday, 26 June 2014

I'm going to Canberra!

I am on holidays for a month y’all! I am getting back into my much loved genealogy and figuring out which ancestors I would like to spend more time with over the next few weeks.

This Saturday I am off to Sydney for two weeks to hang out with my Aunty. During my schooling years, we went to Sydney 3 – 4 times a year. Now, it is usually one or two. I really love Sydney and know my way around the CBD better than my Dad & Aunt sometimes! My Aunty has all the family heirlooms so I imagine I will be taking some photos, recording details, and scanning while I am there.

One exciting part of my holiday is that my Aunty & I are going to Canberra for a couple of days. For my overseas genea-friends, Canberra is the capital of Australia and is where the Federal Parliament sits. The last time I went to Canberra I was 12 or 13, so I wasn’t really into history or politics then. But now I am, and I’m very excited to check it all out. The initial reason for going to Canberra is that I am going to a Criminology conference at the Australian Institute of Criminology on Friday, July 4th. As I was going to be in Sydney anyway, I was originally planning to fly to Canberra on Thursday night and fly back to Sydney after the conference or early Saturday morning. However, my Aunty suggested that we make it a road trip of sorts and spend a couple of days there exploring. We are arriving on the 3rd and leaving on the 6th. I am so keen and spent some time procrastinating before my exams by researching the places we must go. So, here is our current to-do list…

When I began my adventures in genealogy, I discovered that my Great Grandmother’s 1st Cousin’s name, Alexander Croal, is inscribed in the Roll of Honour. It is the #1 thing on our list.  

I am really keen to check out the NAA. It is where Shauna Hicks is having the launch of National Family History Month this year. After reading a recent post of hers about her visit to Canberra and the NAA, I am keen to check it out and see their current exhibition, A Place to Call Home: MigrantHostel Memories.

Shauna also recommended a bookstore called Paperchain. I love books and reading and cute little bookstores! 

and genealogy! :D

If we have time, I’d like to see the NLA and have a sticky beak at their Treasures Gallery & Canberra: Then & Now exhibition.

5. Cockington Green Gardens

A distant cousin recommended that my Aunt & I visit the Cockington Green Gardens. I had never heard of it before, but after some googling and browsing their website for a good while, we definitely have to go! It looks so cute! Their website states that it is a 'delightful and fascinating display of meticulously crafted miniature buildings set within beautifully landscape gardens.' 

Cockington Green  Gardens
[Source: Google Images]
If anyone has any other suggestions please let me know, particularly food places too as I am sure we will be eating out a lot!