Monday, 30 December 2013

Matrilineal Monday: Myrtle Gow (1887 - 1946)

Myrtle in 1921/1922, Sydney.

Myrtle Gow was the eldest child of Robert William Gow (Great Uncle) & Mary Agnes Ryan. She was born May 19, 1887, in Sydney, New South Wales. She never married, and died when she was 59 on September 1, 1946, in Sydney. She is buried with her father in Macquarie Cemetery.

While researching my family history, I’ve become quite fond of Myrtle. I’ve heard from other family members that she might have had a learning disability. Her death certificate states that she was an ‘Invalid Pensioner.’ I am still hoping and trying to find out more about that.

Myrtle with her father Robert, 1902/1903, Sydney
The grave of Myrtle Gow, Macquarie
Cemetery, Sydney.

I think of Myrtle often. I’m not sure why I’m drawn to her, but I guess it’s a good thing! I even named my Cactus after her. Myrtle’s name was the first I thought of when I was deciding what to name her. Yes, I named my plant & refer to it as a her. Myrtle was my Poppa’s cousin. Poppa was not that close with his cousins, but my Aunt remembers him talking about Myrtle quite a bit. I wish I could ask him questions about her as she intrigues me.

A Mother & Sons.

My Great Great Grandmother Mary Frances Smith (1861 - 1955) with her sons. Corsicana, Texas, 1940s.

Left to Right: Great Grandfather Roscoe Eugene Renfrow (1892 - 1982), Ernest Bascom Renfrow (1888 - 1979), Arthur Otis Renfrow (1894 - 1982), Frank Daniel Renfrow (1897 - 1962), Luther Marvin Renfrow (1887 - 1965).

A Cute Bunch.

This photo was taken in Corsicana, Texas sometime during the 1940s.

Left to Right - Grandad (Living), Walter Paul Kessinger (1930 - Unknown), June Kessinger (1932 - Unknown), James Calvin Renfrow (1926 - 1990), Launa Renfrow (1902 - 1999) & Vivian Renfrow (Living).

How they are all related?

  • Grandad & James Calvin Renfrow are brothers.
  • Walter Paul & June Kessinger are also siblings. 
  • Grandad & James are first cousins with Vivian.
  • Walter & June are the children of Cleo Renfrow, who is a first cousin of Grandad, James & Vivian. Therefore, Walter & June are their first cousins once removed.
  • Launa is Grandad, James & Vivian’s Aunt, and Great Aunt of Walter & June. 

Fact: Vivian is the only remaining first cousin of my Grandad’s, and I met her at a family reunion in 2011!

Sunday, 29 December 2013

Isabella Gow Reddoch

Isabella Gow Reddoch, was born in 1885, in Ardoch, Perthshire, Scotland. Her parents were Isabella Gow & John Reddoch, & her mother died when she was 12 years old. She was the middle child with four older siblings & four younger siblings. According to her death certificate, she was a nurse & never married. Isabella Gow Reddoch died at the young age of 33 on December 26, 1918 at the Reddoch’s home, Tullibardine House, in Kinross, Scotland. Her father, John, had died three years earlier in 1915.

The death certificate of Isabella Gow Reddoch (courtesy of Scotlands People).

Death Certificate of Isabella Gow Reddoch (Source: Scotlands People)

Isabella Gow Reddoch, Nurse, Single.
December 16, 1918. 10:15pm. Tullibardine House, Kinross.
Female. 33 years.
Father: John Reddoch, Builder (Deceased)
Mother: Isabella Reddoch, M.S Gow (Deceased)
Cause of Death: Phthisis Pulmonalis.
Informant: James Reddoch, brother.

Isabella died of Tuberculosis, which affects the lungs.

Seen below is the funeral card from her brother, James.

Funeral Card for Isabella Gow Reddoch
From my personal collection

Friday, 27 December 2013

Accentuate the Positive 2013 Geneameme

Jill, a.k.a GeniAus, has challenged us to think about our genealogy achievements this year by responding to the following set of questions. We can write as little or as much as we like.
Enjoy! ^_^

1.  An elusive ancestor I found was    

This year I didn’t find any elusive ancestors. However, I am still on the trail of my Great Great Aunt Jeannie Gow (who I found last year!), and what happened to her children after she died.

2.  A precious family photo I found was

The Smith Family, taken in Union County, Mississippi, in 1906. It is of my Great Great Great Grandmother Louisa Clementine Smith nee Brister and many of her descendants, including my Great Great Grandmother Mary Frances Renfrow nee Smith.

Smith Family, Mississippi, 1906.
Image from my personal collection.
My Great Great Grandmother, Mary, is the lady in the 2nd row, 2nd from the left, with the little girl in front of her. The little girl is my Great Great Aunt Launa. My Great Great Great Grandmother Louisa is also in the 2nd row, 4th from the left.

3.  An ancestor’s grave I found was

I found so many of my ancestor’s graves at the beginning of the year in January when I was in Bowraville, NSW. Many of my Nanna’s family are buried there including her parents, brothers-in-law, aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents, great grandparents etc. I also found my Great Great Uncle’s grave, as well as his wife and children’s graves in July.

Here’s a photo of me & my Great Great Uncle Robert Gow’s grave. He’s buried at Macquarie Cemetery in Sydney, and is buried with his daughter Myrtle.

Grave of Robert Gow & his daughter Myrtle Gow.
Macquarie Cemetery, NSW.
Image from my personal collection.
I’d been trying to find his grave since I started researching my family history in 2009! My Nanna & Poppa (Robert was his Uncle) are buried at Macquarie too. Poppa died in 2003…and this whole time Robert has been buried quite close to him. Robert’s name never came up in the online index for Macquarie Cemetery because his last name was listed as ‘Tow’. That has now been fixed, and no future descendants of Robert’s or mine, should have difficulty finding him in the index!

4.  An important vital record I found was

The birth certificate of Martin McFarlane, Great Great Aunt Jeannie’s youngest child. He was only 2 when she died. A lovely lady who got ‘hooked’ on my article about Jeannie in Scotlands People did some more research and found Martin’s birth certificate which I had been unable to find. The census records I have list his name as Malcolm….

5.  A newly found family member who shared

Carolyn who provided me with the Smith Family photo above, and Carole (a relative of the husband of my relative), who provided many photographs of my Gow ancestors.

6.  A geneasurprise I received was

Oh goodness! Three of them are Scotlands People wanting to publish my article, Thomas MacEntee interviewing me for How I Hack Genealogy & Shauna Hicks inviting me to the launch of National Family History Month.

7.   My 2013 blog post that I was particularly proud of was

This one:

8.   My 2013 blog post that received a large number of hits or comments was

This photo for some reason:

9.  A new piece of software I mastered was.

10. A social media tool I enjoyed using for genealogy was

Facebook, Twitter & Google+.
Oh, and Google Hangouts which is a new toy for me (well, most of us I think). Yay for Pat (DearMYRTLE) & Jill’s (GeniAus) Hangouts!

11. A genealogy conference/seminar/webinar from which I learnt something new was

I attended the launch of National Family History Month this year! I learned about The Hive, which is the NAA’s new thing where you can transcribe records for them, particularly World War 1 records.

12. I am proud of the presentation I gave at/to

13. A journal/magazine article I had published was

Scotlands People published my article on my Great Great Aunt Jeannie! You may find it here:

14. I taught a friend how to

Use the Victorian BDM website!

15. A genealogy book that taught me something new was
16. A great repository/archive/library I visited was

The Queensland State Archives! I went on a private behind the scenes tour which was amazing! Check out my video review here.

17. A new genealogy/history book I enjoyed was

18. It was exciting to finally meet


19. A geneadventure I enjoyed was

The Father/Daughter genealogy day I had with my Dad in January, the cemetery day I had with my Aunt in July & the tour of the Qld State Archives I had with Mum in November.

20. Another positive I would like to share is

Thank you for all your support and friendship this year. It means a lot, especially to a young one still trying to find her way in the genea-world. I love being a part of this wonderful online community, and I’m hoping to meet a few of you in 2014. ^_^

LET’S BREAK THOSE BRICK WALLS IN 2014! *karate-genea-chop*

And just because it’s been an awesome year…

Wednesday, 25 December 2013

Christmas in Brisbane.

What’s Christmas like in Brisbane you ask?  Have a read of this!

Christmas in Brisbane, The Queenslander, 3rd Jan 1903.
Source: Trove
It was published on the 3rd of January, 1903 in The Queenslander (discontinued in 1939). I think it’s such a beautiful little article. I couldn’t help but smile, nod & agree with it! This really did warm my heart. Thanks to Trove for gracing me with this article’s presence. (Trove really is a miracle!).

On another note, I hope all my lovely followers out there have a wonderful Christmas & festive, holiday season, where ever in the world you are. <3

Saturday, 21 December 2013

Kids at Christmas.

How cute are these kids!

Christmas 1956, Texas.
From my personal collection,
L-R: Aunt Molly, Mum, and their cousins Jim & Mike.
December 1956 in Corsicana, Texas.
Mum was 23 months old, as she would have turned 2 at the beginning of January.

Video: Christmas Series #3


The third video in my Christmas Series for Geneabloggers Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories.

Friday, 20 December 2013

Santa Claus

A cute Santa Claus story published in The McIvor Times & Rodney Advertiser on 19 December, 1901. How sweet!

Santa Claus
The McIvor Times & Rodney Advertiser
19 Dec 1901
Source: Trove

Video: Christmas Series #2


This is the second video in my Christmas Series which I’m doing as my response to Geneabloggers Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories.

Friday, 6 December 2013

Video: Christmas Series #1


Two videos in one day, aren’t y’all lucky!

This is my first video in my Christmas series which I’m doing as my response to Geneabloggers Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories. 

And if any of you would like to see a 10 second clip of me terribly singing Six White Boomers, then you should definitely watch this video. And perhaps subscribe to my YouTube Channel while you’re watching pretty please?

Video: Archives Adventure

My adventure at the Queensland State Archives last Thursday. I went on a private behind the scenes tour! So awesome!

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

A letter to Grandma.

Dear Grandma,

Happy 81st Birthday in Heaven! <3
I wish I could have known you. You were taken away from us too soon.

I know you’d be so happy that I caught the genealogy bug from you. You’d be amazed at all the technology, and the discoveries I’ve made about my ancestors. I think you would have loved being part of the online genealogy community, but you would still have used your traditional methods ^_^ How I would have loved to go to court houses, churches, cemeteries and Civil War Battlegrounds with you. We would have had so much fun together, especially with all the genealogy happy dancing I’ve been doing lately!

For most of my life I knew you through a small number of photographs and stories. Then came June of 2011. That was the first time I ever saw video footage of you. No words. Silence. It didn’t need words. I saw you moving, walking and smiling. I don’t think anyone in my family really knows just how happy I was, seeing the videos of you.

This year, in October, Aunty sent Mum some old letters that you had written to my Great Grandparents in the 1960s. For the first time, I was reading things you had written. For the first time, I was reading what you were thinking. Your thoughts. That’s something I never thought I’d get to discover.

Thank you for giving me this love that I have for genealogy.

I love you.
My Grandmother, Nancy Robinson.
Author's personal collection.
Nancy Robinson
Born: 3 Dec 1932, Texas, USA.
Died: May 1980, New Mexico, USA.

Thursday, 21 November 2013

Video: Ten Questions.


An interesting set of questions. Don’t forget to hit that subscribe button please ^_^

Sunday, 10 November 2013

Video: Genealogy Happenings.


Finally getting back into it now that I’m on holidays. The length is a bit ridiculous, but there are bloopers at the end which I’m sure will make it worthwhile. ^_^

Saturday, 9 November 2013

How I Hack Genealogy Interview.

Every week, Hack Genealogy (run by Thomas MacEntee) features an interview with a genealogist, called ‘How I Hack Genealogy.’

I’ve been reading these interviews for a few months, and they’re always a great insight into what technology other genealogists use.

Who was interviewed this week? Me!

Caitlin Gow: How I Hack Genealogy | Hack Genealogy

I never thought I’d be asked to feature in one. It came as a total surprise when Thomas contacted me back in late September. I actually had a massive assignment due that day, so trying to contain my excitement and focus on my assignment was a challenge, lol. This is another wonderful opportunity the genealogy world has given me! :D Wooo!

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

A Genealogy Happy Dance.

As a result of Scotlands People publishing my article about my Great Great Aunt Jeannie Gow, I’ve received many messages from others asking if their Gow’s are related to my Gow’s. Two people even recognized the handwriting in the photo. The handwriting is that of my second cousin once removed, Betsy, who lives in New Zealand. Betsy is a descendant of my Great Grandfather William’s brother John. I’ve never met Betsy, but she was in close contact with my Grandfather in the 70’s & 80’s. In the late 80’s, they even travelled to Scotland together. They lost contact during the 90’s, and my Grandfather passed away in 2003.

Before I go any further, here’s a quick back story: My Great Grandfather William Gow was the youngest of 5 – John, Robert, Isabella, Jeannie & William. John immigrated to Ireland, Robert & William to Sydney, and the girls remained in Scotland.

When I started delving into the family history a few years ago, my Aunt always said that we must get in contact with Betsy, but we never succeeded in doing so. About 2 years ago, another distant cousin, John, who lives in Canada (also a descendant of John), put me in contact with many descendants of Robert. One of my new found distant cousins, Heather, who also lives in New Zealand, had an address for Betsy. When I solved the mystery of Jeannie, I posted a copy of the documents to Betsy, but never received a response.

Now, a few weeks ago, I had an email from Carole. Carole’s husband is related to Betsy on the non-Gow side. I was so excited!

I learned that Betsy is 85, and living in a nursing home with early stages of dementia. Hence, she hasn’t delved into the family history for a while. Carole took Betsy a copy of my Scotlands People article which she read, and also helped Betsy with establishing where I fit in her family tree. Betsy had only completed up to my Dad. Betsy gave Carole her genealogy folder full of information on our Gow family for her to scan and send to me.

Yesterday, I received a few e-mails from Carole, and it was not at all what I was expecting. The first contained photos of my Great Grandfather William when he was a teenager. These photos I had not seen before, so I was quite excited. However, my excitement shot through the roof when I discovered that Carole had sent me photos of Isabella, Jeannie & Robert too!!! I had never ever ever seen photos of Isabella, Jeannie or Robert before! I was massively happy dancing!! A little later last night, I realized that I now have photos of all 5 siblings!! And of course, I had my own dance party in my room.

I felt like this moment deserved fireworks. Sadly no fireworks could occur in my room for safety reasons.

I shall be posting these new photos over the next couple of days, so do keep your eyes peeled.

And to Carole, all I can say is thank you!

Saturday, 26 October 2013

Oops, my mistake.

Two weeks ago I posted a map on my Facebook page. This map showed the location of my Grandparent’s house in 1966, when they lived in Anchorage, Alaska, compared to the location of the Latter Day Saints Family History Centre.

It wasn’t until after I had posted it & shown my Mum that I realized I’d gotten it wrong. I had retrieved the Anchorage address off a few old letters written from my Grandma to my Great Grandparents that year. I thought the address said ‘Arctic Circle.’ Nope. It said ‘Arctic Boulevard.’ How my brain decided to read Boulevard as Circle beats me. It was then that I discovered that Arctic Circle & Arctic Boulevard are two very different streets.

Incorrect Map:

 Correct Map:

I made a mistake. I was wrong, and I’m not afraid to admit it either. It’s easy to make mistakes in genealogy, especially when you’re just starting out. But sometimes, it’s not easy to admit that we were wrong.

Well folks, it’s okay to be wrong!

I’d been thinking about correcting the map for a few days when on Friday, my partner in blogging Heather, posted something on our Young & Savvy Genealogists blog. The post is titled ‘Learning: How To Be Wrong’ and can be found here. When I saw the title, I thought it couldn’t have come at a more perfect time! Everyone should go read it. It hits the nail on the head. A hole in one really.

Monday, 7 October 2013

A Century Milestone.

Church News for Friday, Oct. 4, 2013

Blooming Grove United Methodist Church (Blooming Grove, Texas) will be celebrating 100 years in its present location next weekend.

The Church originally began as a Methodist mission church in 1869 in a building constructed on land on Rush Creek, which was donated by Richard and Susan Gowan nee Peacock.

Richard & Susan Gowan were my Great Great Great Great Grandparents! They also donated land for White Church Cemetery near by, which is where they are buried.

Sunday, 6 October 2013

Sunday's Ship: The SS Waihora

The Steam Ship Waihora. My Great Great Grandfather David Croal committed suicide in 1893 by jumping off this ship.

S.S. Waihora
Photo from a relative's personal collection.

Friday, 4 October 2013

The Book of Me, Written by You: Week 5

This is my response to Week 5’s prompt ‘Your Childhood Home.’ More details about the prompt can be found on Julie’s blog here.

In my 23 years of existence so far, I have lived in not one, not two, but six houses.

House 1: 1990 – 1991
House 2: 1991 – 1992
House 1 (again): 1992 – 1993
House 3: 1993 – 2007
House 4: 2007 – 2010
House 5: 2010
House 6: 2010 – current.

All houses were in Brisbane, Australia, except for House 2, when we lived in Virginia, USA. The houses I have lived in in Brisbane have even been in the same suburb! Yep, you read correctly. Except for living in the USA, I have lived in the same suburb my entire life! We refer to House 1 as the Yellow House, because it was yellow. I have no memory of living there though, or the house in the USA.

This is a photo of the yellow house, which I have cropped from Google Maps Street View.

House 1: The Yellow House. Source: Google Maps.
 House 3 was definitely my childhood home, and I lived there for my entire schooling life. It was a 2 & a half story house. The bottom level was the rumpus room. This had 2 guest bedrooms, and a general entertaining area. The only guests we ever really had were my grandparents from both sides, and family friends from overseas. I do remember having sleepovers with my friends down there though. Other than that, I don’t remember it being used much, and it did get quite dirty. It had this weird linoleum floor too. The rumpus room also led outside to our pool. Gosh, that pool brings back so many memories. I really miss having a pool because it can get so hot in summer here.

The middle floor consisted of the kitchen, living room, bathroom, laundry, and also led onto a small balcony. The kitchen and living room had white walls, but the bench tops and cupboards were brown. I remember a lot of brown, white & this patterned floor below. My mum absolutely hated it.

Actually, now that I think about it, my mum described the brown as ‘mission brown’ which was apparently quite popular in the 70’s & 80’s. In the living room, there was a long wall which had doors that led out onto the balcony. This wall also had black louvers along the bottom. When I was young, I was sitting at a table next to the wall; I fell off the chair and hit my head on the edge of the louvers. I don’t really remember it. I think I went to hospital, but I’m not sure. I do remember wearing something on my head for a couple of day’s though maybe?

Here’s a photo of me in the living room when I was little.

Me. Approx 1994/1995.
The top floor, the half level, had the lounge room, study, entry way, and three bedrooms – parents, brother’s and mine. The lounge room had white woolly carpet, a very high ceiling, and lights that seemed like the size of planets when I was young. We didn’t really use this room except for special occasions such as Christmas. The study & my brother’s room had white carpet. I’m not too sure what the carpet in my parents’ bedroom was but I think it was a mixture of white and brown.

What color carpet did I have in my room? GREEN. GREEN GREEN GREEN. You know, the colour of grass. I loved my room, and I went through many phases with different posters and whatnot.

When I was 3 or 4, I was still wearing nappies sometimes for reasons I don’t remember. What I do remember though, is mum opening the closet and pulling the nappy out. I was all ready to plonk my naked butt down on that nappy when mum folded it out…there was a giant Daddy Long Legs spider just chillin’ in the nappy. Thankfully I did not plonk my naked butt down on the spider. That would have been fun.

I would post photos of the house, but I don’t have any on my computer. They’re all in boxes with the rest of mums photos.

Towards the end of 2005, our house was starting to get quite old, and the balcony was not safe anymore. My parents began consulting with builders because they wanted to demolish & have a new house built. At the end of 2007, on my second last day of high school, we moved to our first rental house (House 4) which was on the other side of the suburb. Our house was demolished at the end of 2007, or early 2008. I don’t remember exactly. At the beginning of 2010, we moved to our second rental property, House 5, which was on the same road as House 4, just further up. Construction of our house began sometime in 2009, and was finished at the end of 2010. Here’s a picture of it during the construction process.

Construction of House 6
Our original house was situated on two blocks of land. When we rebuilt, we built on one side, and sold the land on the other. At the end of 2010, our house was finally finished, and we moved in. So yes, House 6 is where House 3 was.

I still live at home with my parents. Most kids in Australia don’t usually move out until they have finished Uni, or close to it. I’d like to move out next year or in 2015 at the latest, but we’ll see what happens.

To finish, I’d like to leave you with the image of our house on Google Maps Street View. When did Google Maps decide to take this photo? Not before our house was demolished, not after our house was finished being built, but at the beginning of the building process. I think Google might need to do some updating…

My house according to Google Maps.

Funeral Friday: Margaret Dalgleish

The Funeral Notices for Margaret Dalgleish nee Learmond. She was my boyfriend’s Great Great Grandmother.

She was born in about 1860 in Roxburgh, Scotland to parents George Learmond & Elizabeth Brock. In 1879, she married Jasper Dalgleish, also in Roxburgh. They arrived in Brisbane on September 14th, 1883 after travelling on the ship Nowshera. They had 11 children together. Margaret died on 7 December, 1910. She is buried in South Brisbane Cemetery with her son John Francis Dalgleish, my boyfriend’s Great Grandfather. Her husband Jasper died in 1942. His grave is unmarked, but he is either buried with her, or next to her.

Grave of Margaret Dalgleish. South Brisbane Cemetery, Qld.
Source: Australian Cemeteries Index
South Brisbane Cemetery is actually within walking distance of where I live. I went there for the first time a few weeks ago for a Ghost Tour. I definitely plan on going again soon to check out all of my boyfriend’s ancestors’ graves.

Monday, 30 September 2013

A Hidden Cemetery.

Wiseman's Ferry Cemetery, NSW. 

A lone grave at the end of a pathway.

Wiseman’s Ferry Cemetery, NSW, Australia.
30 June 2013.

It was a forest, quite literally, but it was such fun to explore and it's so beautiful. Half of the cemetery really is hidden. It’s full of history and is where I saw my first convict grave. I had to climb up a very steep bushy hill to reach the grave in the photo below, however, the angle I took the photo at makes the ground look flat. It wasn't.

I was bursting with so much excitement that day. Is that weird? I just love cemeteries okay. And a hidden cemetery?! Now that's even better.

I spotted a grave up this steep hill.
Dad said 'Go on, you know you want to.'
Translation: Start moving!

Friday, 27 September 2013

The Book of Me, Written by You: Week 4

This is my response to Week 4’s prompt ‘Favorite Season’. More details about the prompt & the 15 month challenge can be found from the creator Julie here.

For a long time my favorite season was Spring. This was due to the fact that my birthday is in Spring. Yep, I’m a Spring baby. Oh, and just so you know, my birthday is less than 2 months away. If anyone’s a bit confused reading this, Australia’s seasons are opposite to the USA & England. It’s Autumn there right now, Spring here.

I hate hot weather, and recently, Spring has become quite hot. The past few days in Brisbane have been very hot. Yesterday (Thursday) was 33 degrees Celsius (91.4 F)!! Hotter than usual for September I think. Do you know how annoying it is when it’s already 26 degrees & you need to have a coffee & you’re already sweating like hell from walking to the bus stop and it’s not even 9am yet? And don’t even get me started on straightening my hair in hot weather. Well, this is turning into all the reasons I don’t like hot weather. Oops.

Winter has been my favorite season for a couple of years now. Give me cold weather, a hot chocolate, hoodie, jeans and a scarf any day. I love cold weather. I feel happier in winter too. One thing I don’t like about winter in Brisbane though is that it does not snow. I have seen snow twice in my life – when I was a baby in Virginia, which I have no memory of, and Christmas 2010 in Texas. That’s my happy memory which I associate with winter. Christmas 2010 was the first time I really saw snow. I was at my cousin’s house. She was in her early 30’s and I was 20. I was so excited. She was excited for me. I was asking her silly questions like ‘what is sleet?’ I made my first snow angel with her. I made my first snow man with her. Oh gosh, it was amazing. Here’s a photo of us below.

Caitie & her cousin Kristie in the snow, January 2011, Texas.
My snow angel.

Snow angel!

Playing in the park with my brother & cousins.
Snow at the park.

There’s another reason I love winter. Scarves. I am obsessed with them. I’m always buying them, even in summer! I hate not being able to wear scarves in summer. I mean, I totally would if it didn’t get so hot! You’re probably wondering how many scarves I own (if you weren’t, you are now!). I counted 24. And I want more.

Scarf collection, September 2013.

Thursday, 19 September 2013

The Book of Me, Written by You: Week 3

This is my response to Week 3’s prompt ‘Describe Your Physical Self’. More details about the prompt & the 15 month challenge can be found from the creator Julie here.

“Describe your physical self.” Well, where do I start?

According to my Drivers License, I’m 164cm tall. That’s about 5’5”. I’m taller than my Mum, but shorter than my Dad & younger brother. My weight has been a bit of an issue for me. I’m not at all skinny. I was skinny when I was a kid, and I had dance classes every week. Since I finished high school & stopped dancing, I’ve put a bit of weight on. I wouldn’t mind losing a few kilos, but I’m happy with my weight & body.

My natural hair colour is a blondish brown. Sometimes it gets long enough that it reaches my bra strap. Right now it’s halfway between my neck & bra strap. Currently my hair colour is light brown with blonde highlights. It’s been blonde & dark brown in the past. My eyes are brown too. I often get compliments on my eyes, which makes me quite happy. What else do I see when I look in the mirror? No make up. I rarely wear make up. I had to wear it for dance concerts & special occasions, but otherwise, I don’t wear it. I’ve never really liked it I guess. Only recently have I started using blush & mascara voluntarily.

I don’t have any scars…that I know of. Haha. I do have a birth mark though. It’s right on the edge of my belly button, and about one centimetre long. In regards to piercings and tattoos, I only have my ears pierced. I got my ears pierced quite late in life compared to most – I was 18. I don’t have any tattoos, although I would like one.

I’m always wearing jewellery. I have a watch on my right wrist as I’m left handed. I wear a ring on each of my middle fingers. They’re usually ones that my boyfriend has given me. I do change it up a bit every now and then though.

Wanna know something else about my hands? I’m double jointed and damn proud of it! It’s not something I can stop. It’s just the way I am, & I love it.

Here’s a picture of my left hand as normal & with my double jointed-ness.

Double jointed!

It either freaks people out or they find it wickedly cool. Another thing that goes with my double jointed-ness, is that I can bend by knees backwards weirdly. Kind of like a reflex angle, but that’s another picture for another day. So for now, I will end this with my fingerprints, which I did using light purple stamp ink.


Saturday, 14 September 2013

Launa & Cleo.

Did you see that photo I posted of my Great Great Aunt Launa Renfrow, with her niece Cleo in 1913?

Well, this is a photo of Launa (left), her husband Ben Thompkins & Cleo. Photo taken in May 1978, Grand Saline, Texas, USA.

I believe that due to their small age difference, Launa & Cleo were more like cousins, rather than aunt & niece.

Photo from my personal collection

Reader Geneameme

I love books & reading, so I decided to do the Reader Geneameme. Check it out & go hit that thumbs up button pretty please! :)

(Image Source: Fanpop)

Thursday, 12 September 2013

Wordless Wednesday: Launa Pearl & Dolly Cleo.

Launa Pearl Renfrow (1902, Texas - 1999, Texas) with her niece Dolly Cleo Renfrow (1910, Texas - 1988, Texas). This photo was taken in approximately 1913 in Texas. Launa was my Great Great Aunt, and Cleo my first cousin twice removed. I think this is such a beautiful photo of the girls.

Monday, 9 September 2013

The Book of Me, Written by You: Week 2

It’s a tad bit late, but here’s Week 2 of The Book of Me, Written by You.
This weeks prompt was ‘Your Birth.’ You can find more details about this weeks prompt & the 15 month challenge from the creator Julie here.

I am my parents’ first child. I was the first grandchild for my paternal grandparents, but the fourth for my maternal grandparents. My due date was sometime in early December, however, my mum was having issues with high blood pressure. So, in November, the doctor decided it was time for me make an entrance. My entrance into the world occurred in Brisbane, Queensland. I was born 2 weeks early via a caesarean on Friday, the 23rd of November, 1990, around 3pm. I was a tiny baby, weighing only 5 pounds & 1 or 2 ounces. When I went home, I was just under 4 pounds. A week later, I was 6 pounds. My Dad fondly & often remembers that I fit nicely on his forearm. I had a little hair when I was born, but I’m actually not sure what my eye colour was. My eyes are brown, so I’ve always assumed they were brown when I was born.

I have plenty of photos of me as a baby! I think my parents went a bit crazy with the camera, but hey, I was their first child. Sorry bro! Haha.

This is one of my favourite photos of me as a baby.

Watching State of Origin with Dad, 1991, Brisbane.
I’m watching my first State of Origin game with my Dad in 1991. For those of you that don’t know what State of Origin is, it’s an epic three Rugby League games between Queensland & New South Wales. Whoever wins at least 2 out of 3 wins State of Origin for the year. Currently, Queensland has won 8 years in a row. My Dad is from Sydney so he barracks for New South Wales, and that’s what he’s taught my brother & I to do. New South Wales are known as the Blues, hence the blue suit I’m wearing.

In late 1991/early 1992 we moved to Virginia, USA for about a year. I had always thought that I learned to walk in Brisbane or Sydney. Wrong. I learned to walk in Virginia! I’m half American, so part of me feels quite proud that I took my first steps on US ground. Well, it was probably carpet. This carpet below in fact. Here I am playing with my Mum’s makeup.

Virginia, USA 1991/1992
I’m not a twin, but sometimes I wished I had a twin when I was little. I do have a younger brother though. He was born 3 years & 6 weeks later in January 1994. When he was born, I had recently turned 3. My Dad took me to the hospital to see Mum & my new baby brother. After a few hours, it was time for Dad & I to go home. Mum and bro had to stay in hospital for a couple more days. I was NOT happy about this! I threw quite a tantrum, stating that “I want to take my baby brudder home!” (My th’s were d’s then). I cried & cried all while Dad carried me through the hospital, to the car, and all the way home.

Well, I wasn’t expecting this to be so long, and it’s not entirely all about my birth. Ah well :)

Acrobatics with my brother.