Zöller/Zeller reunion 16 November 2013

Anyone with Zöller/Zeller ancestry from Toowoomba or Chinchilla might be interested in this reunion. You can read more detail on my other blog, From Dorfprozelten to Australia.

http://dorfprozeltenaus.wordpress.com/2013/08/31/zollerzeller-family-reunion-16-november-2013/

Sepia Saturday 192: A life in railway service

Sepia Saturday 192 smallToday’s Sepia Saturday image is “men in braces”, or perhaps working clothes, or newspapers.

In a way my post combines all of these elements. Among my photo collection is a photo of my grandfather taken for a news story.

James Joseph McSherry 1956

James Joseph McSherry 1956

James Joseph McSherry was an incredibly hard worker, having notched up a normal lifetime’s service with the Queensland Railways, building the old red rattlers at the Ipswich Railway Workshops and before that in the Townsville Workshops. Not content to just take his ease on official retirement, he signed up with Commonwealth Engineering (ComEng) to repair 1500 wagons in three years, completing the task (with his team) in two years. I suspect he was a demanding boss probably having high expectations of his working team.

News article JJ McSherry

By the time of this story he was 74 years old and had a staff of 254. Unfortunately the newspaper clipping is not identified by date or name but I suspect it may have been in The Telegraph and would have been sometime in 1956.

It wasn’t as if this was all he was doing either, because as an active member of the Hibernian Society he did lots of carpentry jobs for them and people in need. Even in his late 70s he was painting St Mary’s church West End in Brisbane and the Legion of Mary hostel in Indooroopilly. He was a dedicated worker for the Catholic church all his life, yet on his death there was very little representation at his funeral….sad.

The Blogger’s Geneameme

This geneameme is a response to a challenge set by Jill at Geniaus in celebration of Australia’s National Family History Month, August 2013. Thanks Jill for yet more blogging inspiration.

  1. What are the titles and URLs of your genealogy blog/s?I have two genealogy blogs. My main (and inaugural) blog is Family History Across The SeasThe other, more recent, is From Dorfprozelten to Australia about the emigrants from that Bavarian village to Australia.
  2. Do you have a wonderful “Cousin Bait” blog story? A link to a previous blog post might answer this question. The biggest round of “cousin bait” is the links for the Dorfprozelten families: there’ve been so many I started to feel like a matchmaker! Hence why I started the other blog
  3. Why did you start blogging? Is there someone who inspired you to start blogging? I had attended a couple of sessions of adult classes about learning web page design, when I learned about blogging and decided it was for me. An early influence was Shauna Hicks and a great early supporter, with the first comment by Geniaus and supportive comments by Carole Riley. Thanks Shauna, Jill and Carole for your early encouragement!
  4. How did you decide on your blog/s title/s?  One of my key interests is migration history, hence the combination of migration and family history in the title.
  5. Do you ever blog from mobile devices? What are they? No, but I check comments and respond on my smart phone or iPad. I get my thoughts down so much faster typing on the laptop.
  6. How do you let others know when you have published a new post? Through Twitter and directly to my followers on email.
  7. How long have you been blogging? Nearly four years, come December!
  8. What widgets or elements do you consider essential on a genealogy blogA search facility, categories/archives and a “follow me” option. I think an “About me” page is important so readers can know where I’m coming from, as they say. I also have a “translate this” page because of my German interest-not sure anyone uses it though.
  9. What is the purpose of your blog/s? Who is your intended audience? To document my families’ histories, to some extent my own personal history, and those of the extended groups I research. My audience: anyone who’s interested, though rarely my own family. I also publish my posts in a Blurb book so I can leave it for my descendants to digest later on.  I love the opportunity to shine a light on the Dorfprozelten emigrants as a collective rather than as individuals.
  10. Which of your posts are you particularly proud of? Too hard….perhaps Wealth for Toil on the Railways? It’s like asking to choose between your children… Or maybe my Beyond the Internet series.
  11. How do you keep up with your blog reading? Since the demise of Reader I’ve been a bit rudderless but either with Feedly or Bloglovin’.  
  12. What platform do you use for publishing your blog/s? WordPress.com
  13. What new features would you like to see in your blogging platform? The ability to isolate out the stats for every post, irrespective of whether readers hit the home page or that specific post.
  14. Which of your posts has been the most popular with readers? I can’t easily tell this from my stats because it lists that day’s posts under “home” (or I haven’t figured out the right way to find it! feel free to enlighten me if you know how!), but this post certainly was a high scorer: V is for the Valiant of Villers-Bretonneux. It’s not the day I had the highest number of hits, but on that day the visits were spread over a lot of posts. Did Time Thief read my mind: this is her post today http://onecoolsitebloggingtips.com/
  15. Are you a sole blogger or do you contribute to a shared blog? Sole blogger.
  16. How do you compose your blog posts? I write my posts on Word and copy and paste then add images. The inspiration sometimes just “pops into my head” and is easy to write.
  17. Do you have any blogs that are not genealogy related? If you wish please share their titles and URLs. I have a book blog, Bewitched by Books and one about the Top End of Australia (and travel) called Tropical Territory and Travel.
  18. Have you listed your blog/s at Geneabloggers?  Yes
  19. Which resources have helped you with your blogging? A wordpress site by Time Thief called  One Cool Site, Geneabloggers for linking all genealogy bloggers world-wide, Geniaus for linking and supporting Aussie geneabloggers and, most importantly, my fellow bloggers for their support and inspiration.
  20. What advice would you give to a new Geneablogger? Just do it! It’s fun and you’ll make great friends world-wide.

 

Anniversary of Battle of Milne Bay

This week is the 71st anniversary of the Battle of Milne Bay.  Far less known to the average Aussie than Kokoda in the annals of our military history, it was a vitally important victory against the Japanese Forces.

This is the approximate location at which the Japanese landed: very difficult to get a good photo when bouncing along in a banana boat.

This is the approximate location at which the Japanese landed: very difficult to get a good photo when bouncing along in a banana boat.

You can read what I wrote about it for last Remembrance Day, not long after we returned from visiting Milne Bay, as well as the memorial stained glass windows in the Catholic church.

This excellent link provides an interactive map of the battle field, and progress of the battle itself.

Facebook fans might be interested in liking the Milne Bay Memorial Library and Research Centre.

Milne Bay Province is on the south-eastern corner of Papua New Guinea. Image from Google Earth.

Milne Bay Province is on the south-eastern corner of Papua New Guinea. Image from Google Earth.

Knock on effects from the demise of Reader

Are you missing Google Reader to keep up with all your favourite blogs?

I certainly am, and it didn’t help that it’s demise coincided with over a month away from home, going flat chat on a task. Once you get behind it’s a very slippery slope to catch up, that’s for sure.

Prior to the the dreaded 30 June deadline I had imported my links into WordPress Reader and also into Feedly. I’d even practiced using them as well. But still my heart lies with Reader. It was so easy to keep up via the iPad and short comments were manageable.

Recently I happened across one of the geneabloggers who uses Bloglovin (sorry I’d give credit if I could just remember whose it was!). So now I’m sampling that as well.

I do like Bloglovin’. I’m finding it a little easier to keep up with the reading and commenting and it gives me an added push by sending off a daily email of published posts (which I could also do with Feedly).

Of course what doesn’t happen if I flip between the programs is that they each don’t recognise that I’ve already read a particular post, so I do need to settle down to use just one. At the moment I’m leaning towards Bloglovin’.

The further complication is that we have an original iPad which won’t let me upgrade the ios to cope with many of the apps I want to use. So now my smart phone is given the job to keep up with the blog reading.

So to all my blogging friends, I apologise for neglecting you lately (well a while actually) but it doesn’t mean I’ve lost interest. Hopefully before long I’ll be back on track.I'm sorry

How did you resolve the dilemma of Reader’s demise?

A tale of threes

Sepia Saturday 191They say “two is company and three is a crowd” and there are times when that can feel quite true. Growing up as an only child, it was easy at times to feel odd one out, or conversely to lend allegiance to one or the other parent: a triangulation of emotions. Envy of those with siblings, bouncing around them like puppies, was not uncommon and yet, once accustomed to, a change in the sibling status would have been a shock to the system, however much wished for or welcomed.

Scared of a camera...me?

Scared of a camera…me?

On reflection it seems that the number three was destined to play a significant role in my life.

Throughout high school I had two best girlfriends to share the highs and lows of those teenaged years in an all-girls school.

Joan Pauleen and Norman Kunkel query Anzac Sq crop

Different tertiary paths eroded the friendship but two of us remained, and a new one was added –the boyfriend, now husband. Broader friendships were formed but at the core those two.

Then over the years we were to have three daughters to brighten our lives and keep us on our toes.

The three sisters in front of the rock formation in the Blue Mountains called the Three Sisters.

The three sisters in front of the rock formation in the Blue Mountains called the Three Sisters.

Now we have three grandchildren, delightful all, with the gender distribution changed to two boys and a girl.

Isn’t it strange how “fate” follows you around, and in my case, three has been a recurring theme. Comparing these photos with the Sepia Saturday one, it struck me that in mine, the balance is different: the youngest has centre place in every one with the older family members providing a protective barrier.

Why not have a look at what other Sepians have had to say about threes.

Learning about blogs

Today I’m talking about blogs as part of the Seniors’ Month activities.

Image from Microsoft Office

Image from Microsoft Office

Different people tell me the very word “blog” makes their eyes cross and sends them to sleep. My goals for the talk are:

  • Not to go blank when someone mentions blogs
  • to be able to recognise one when you meet it
  • not be afraid to interact with one.

Can I convince other family historians of these benefits of blogging?

  •  Learn new research strategies
  • Cousin connections
  • Regional history and information
  • Get ideas for your own family history writing
  • Build a network of good bloggers and be part of their support team
  • News bulletins and information

Let’s hope I can persuade a few listeners to jump on the blogging magic carpet around the world, either as readers or writers.

How did the talk go? Not sure – there may be a few converts to reading blogs and one or two interested in writing them, but hopefully those who attended will at least feel they know more about what blogs actually are. Thanks to all those who came along to hear this talk, hosted by the Northern Territory Archives and the Genealogical Society of the Northern Territory.

The world is your family tree oyster with blogging. Edited image from Office Clip Art.

Share your discoveries on your blog.

Sepia Saturday and Trove Tuesday: Two for one on picnics

Sepia saturday 190There I was, thinking of the myriad picnic photos I could use for this week’s Sepia Saturday 190, when I had a sense of déjà vu. A quick search of this blog and I realised I’d posted at some length on this very topic during the February Photo Collage Festival. If you’d like to read what I had to say about family picnics back then, here is the link.

I thought I’d have an early mark for Trove Tuesday and see what was on offer for picnics near Murphys Creek, Queensland where my Kunkel ancestors lived.

oai:bishop.slq.qld.gov.au:92588. Negative number: 54369 SLQ, Copyright expired.

oai:bishop.slq.qld.gov.au:92588. Negative number: 54369 SLQ, Copyright expired.

This image of Charlie and Alice Patrick and their family is from the State Library of Queensland (copyright expired). Are they setting off on a picnic or some other more formal event? The image is taken near White Mountain, very close to the Kunkel property at the Fifteen Mile.

And then there are picnics with a purpose. I’d guess that most Aussie school kids have been on picnics and things were no different in earlier times.  One school picnic I remember in particular, took us to Stradbroke Island across Moreton Bay, however privacy prevents me from sharing the photos with you.

The Brisbane Courier (Qld. : 1864 - 1933), Monday 24 December 1928, page 21

The Brisbane Courier (Qld. : 1864 – 1933), Monday 24 December 1928, page 21

And then there were the church picnics:

The Brisbane Courier (Qld. : 1864 - 1933), Friday 7 May 1926, page 18. The Chapmans were neighbours of the Kunkel.

The Brisbane Courier (Qld. : 1864 – 1933), Friday 7 May 1926, page 18. The Chapmans were neighbours of the Kunkel.

When I went searching Trove I had in mind a particular image of boys swimming au naturel in Lockyer Creek near Gatton and Murphys Creek. Imagine getting away with taking a photo like this today!

Group of boys swimming in Lockyer Creek 1890-1900. oai:bishop.slq.qld.gov.au:52304 Copyright expired.

Group of boys swimming in Lockyer Creek 1890-1900. oai:bishop.slq.qld.gov.au:52304 Copyright expired.

The newspaper gave me a different perspective of what seemed like youthful fun. Mr Gill, another resident of Murphys Creek was upset that his cows were disturbed by the boys swimming in the creek –or was it that they were nude? I love the Council response: the boys could keep swimming so long as they were appropriately attired. Do you wonder if Mr Gill and his cows were satisfied by this outcome?

The boys, the cows, the creek and the fences.

The boys, the cows, the creek and the fences. Queensland Times (Ipswich) (Qld. : 1909 – 1954), Wednesday 7 February 1923, page 8

And then there’s this lovely 1896 report of a cricket competition between the Toowoomba men and the Murphys Creek team, and ancillary picnics. The fifteen mile route by horse is likely the one through the Fifteen Mile where the Kunkels lived, or perhaps it’s the more direct route down the range? And what on earth does he mean by “the blackboy in the waste paper basket”?

Australian Town and Country Journal (NSW : 1870 - 1907), Saturday 18 January 1896, page 11, 12

Australian Town and Country Journal (NSW : 1870 – 1907), Saturday 18 January 1896, page 11, 12

Do have a look at the Linky Lists on both themed topics to see what other bloggers wrote about this week.

Sepia Saturday 188: The Melvin/Melville Family of Leith

SS 188Despite my late response to this week’s Sepia Saturday post, this theme produced an instant image association. It was so reminiscent of photos I’ve seen of the old harbour in Leith – the port for Edinburgh, Scotland, over many centuries. Just imagine the whisky that may have been shipped!

Cassell's Old and New Edinburgh by James Grant Vol 6. This 1829 engraving reflects life in Leith as my ancestors would have known it.

Cassell’s Old and New Edinburgh by James Grant Vol 6. This 1829 engraving reflects life in Leith as my ancestors would have known it.

My own Melvin (aka Melville) family were closely associated with the waterfront of Leith for many generations. Much of the time they lived either on the Shore or very close by. I first visited Leith in 1992 when it had that run-down, vaguely seedy atmosphere stereotypically associated with busy working ports. On my most recent visit in 2010, gentrification had settled in, with Michelin-starred restaurants and flash water-side apartments.

Cassell's Old and New Edinburgh by James Grant Volume 6: Leith Shore.

Cassell’s Old and New Edinburgh by James Grant Volume 6: Leith Shore.

Despite this, so many of the old buildings remain that it’s easy to see where my ancestors lived and, with some imagination, envisage the bustling scenes they’d have witnessed daily as goods and ships were loaded ready for their voyages up or down the English coast or across the North Sea to Scandinavia.

Image of Leithh shore including the Martello tower. © Pauleen Cass 2010

Image of Leith Shore including the Martello tower. © Pauleen Cass 2010

My Melvin family included porters (perhaps bustling with the whisky casks being loaded) and many merchant seaman, some just ordinary seamen but a few who were also the ship’s cooks or stewards. The life of a seaman is not an easy one, with the risks of the sea and the economic hazards of getting work. The evidence suggests that my ancestors were fairly poor, living in the tenements near the waterfront in small rooms, but they presumably gained regular work.

Shore, Leith © Pauleen Cass 2010

Shore, Leith © Pauleen Cass 2010

Of all my emigrating ancestors the Melvins were perhaps the best prepared for the long voyage ahead. They would also become the first of my families to make the voyage back and forward to the old land: international voyagers. The price they paid can be counted in the graves of Janet Peterkin Melvin, my great-grandfather’s first wife, who died at Peel Island in Moreton Bay shortly after arrival in Australia or that of my great-great grandfather Laurence/Lawrence Melvin who is buried somewhere in Rotterdam.

Leith and Australia have other connections. Governor John Hunter was born here.

Leith and Australia have other connections. Governor John Hunter was born here.