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Wednesday, May 13, 2015

A different Anzac day

We have been on a trip to Hawaii, and during our time in Honolulu Anzac day, in fact commemorating 100 years since the start of WW1 was happening.  After some enquiries, we found that there was an Anzac day service being held at the Punchbowl Cemetery, so of course we decided to attend. 
Being a hot morning, with lots of sunshine it was a different Anzac ceremony to what we are used to, and the usual Anzac day biscuits I make were missing.   It started at 10.30, and I estimated that at least 2000 people attended, probably more.  Here are some of the photos we took on the day.
The program
At the beginning of the ceremony

Some of the Aussie soldiers who attended
The salute party
After the ceremony
 During the ceremony, which was a very sombre affair, the Polynesian Centre laid a wreath, and performed a haka.  It lifted the spirits of everyone there.
Haka performed by the Polynesian Centre

We laid a card next to the Australian wreath, remembering our family that served their country:
William Ellis
11th Kings Hussars - who fought in the Charge of the Light Brigade
William Stewart Heard
4th kings own Hussars
Frederick Walter Heard
4th Hussars Machine Gun Corp WW1 France
William Stewart Heard
Royal Army Service Corp WW1 France
William James Zealey
Royal Garrison Artillery WW1 France
Arthur James Heard
USA Army WW1
Charles Henry Ellis
Royal Fusiliers WW1
Thomas Binfield
Seargeant, Queens Royal West Surrey Regiment
Killed in action, Ypres, France, WW1
Percy Hector Clark
4th Batallin AIF WW1
Herbert Holman Clark
52nd Battalion AIF
Killed in action, France, WW1
Patrick Joseph Stettler
14th Battalion AIF WW1
John Harrold Stettler
57th Battalion AIF WW1
William Stewart Heard
13th Battalion, Royal Aust. Engineers WW2
Frederick Walter Heard
13th Battalion Royal Aust. Engineers
Killed in Action, El Alamein, WW2
Reginal Ernest Heard
11th Field Company Aust. Engineers WW2
Edward John Clark
1st Battalion, AIF
Prisoner of War WW2
Ronald Percy Clark
2/16th Battalion, AIF WW2
Kenneth Russell
43rd Dental Unit AIF WW2
James William Colyer
24th Squadron, RAAF WW2


Sunday, March 29, 2015

Australian Military Records

Continuing the "getting started" series - lets find military records for Australia.
I have found some really interesting family stories from the military records I found.  One of them was the two Stettler brothers who signed up at the same time, when one of them was shot in France, he must have told the army about his brother who enlisted underage.  He was then sent back due to his underage, back to Australia.  Fortunately both brothers survived.  It made me wonder about them, when the older brother was injured I bet he had a wake up call, and he wanted to make sure his brother survived.
Then there was my Great Uncle who nearly got shot in WW1 as a deserter but was sentenced to 10 years in goal instead, and my Uncle who died in WW2, and his brothers put wattle on his grave on Australia day.  Where did they get it from?  When I obtained my dear father's papers, I found that he had not only been shot in WW2, but was involved in hand to hand combat with the Japanese after seeing his best friend killed.
My Dad, Ron.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

You never know where your research will send you.

Some of you will know I have been trying to track down the owner of a book of postcards that form a letter to home during WW1 from the SS Gilgai.  See the two posts Digging into the Gilgai History and A peak into the past to understand the whole story.

Thanks to some links on Pinterest and via two wonderful podcasts, Genealogy Gems and Genies Downunder I have had many people look at the posts, and a few comments that might help tracking down the family.

Recently I was contacted by the  Chairman of the Gilgai Public Hall and Recreation Reserves Trust, who have produced a pamphlet about the ship and its history.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Tracking down the dear departed

In this post I will try to uncover the resources for determining date of death in Australia, UK and USA.  So lets go delving into the wills, tombstones, cemeteries, notices and archives of our ancestors.....

Harlay monument, Greyfriars 

Many of the graves I saw at Greyfrairs Cemetary, Edinburgh, Scotland
had skulls and crossbones on them.  This was quite common in the 1600's

Monday, January 5, 2015


Thanks to the Cow hamshire blog for adding me to their list of favorite  blogs!  This site has lots of information on New Hamshire, USA of course, but also a lot of good tips for all family history researchers.

Monday, December 22, 2014


to all my readers.

Here is a little cocktail to start the Christmas cheer (and maybe a new tradition)  with....

Just pulp up some watermelon in the bottom of a cocktail glass
 and top with chilled champagne! 

Friday, December 5, 2014

Waving at the Statue of Liberty

Continuing the Series on Getting Started and Immigration to the USA.
Welsh immigrants arriving at Ellis Island, New York

Thursday, November 13, 2014


Continuing the Series on Getting Started and Immigration to Australia. IMMIGRATION PART 2
Lets look at post-convict immigration.
Group of migrants on MV Toscana at Trieste, 1954.
ANMM Collection Gift from Barbara Alysen to National Maritime Museum

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Irish immigrants - a little add on.

Immigration part 1A - a bit more...

If your ancestors came from Ireland and immigrated to Australia, check out the site : Irish Lives Remembered  In this month's magazine they have a great article on the Irish immigration to Australia.

While you are there, sign up for the FREE monthly magazine, I always find it very informative.

Monday, November 10, 2014

They came from far and wide to Australia

Continuing the Getting start series of post, here is Immigration part 1.
Immigration records can be some of the most rewarding records there are, just full of interesting information about the family.  In this post I will only be looking at immigration to Australian convicts, late we will look at the other waves of immigration and also give some links at the end for immigration to the USA.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Quite a week for genealogy

Well it has been an interesting week with some genealogy finds:
  • As I thought, the shotgun wedding is not correct, looks like I will have to search further for Alice Zealey's parents.
  • I asked some of the people at rootschat to help, but so far no luck.
  • I found that looking on the back of photos is important too - there is one that is of my grandparents house in Auburn, and my father has written on the back "the house dad built for the family".  As he was a talented carpenter, from a long line of builders, I am not surprised.  Interesting that my husbands family lived in Albert Street, Surrey Hills when they first came to Australia, and my grandfather built his house in Albert Street, Auburn.

  •  I was contacted by a distant cousin Sue, who is related to my Great Aunt Clarissa La Farre (love that name), it was such a nice email to receive.  
  • The national archives of Aust sent me an email to say they have not got around to examining my Uncle's prisoner of war records yet.  It's been 30 days now, but they must be busy and have not forgotten me! 
  • I found this great video on youtube, itis a good video about just the problem I am having with Alice Zealey - it might help you sort out some of your issues too!

  • I am just about finished my post continuing the beginners series on immigration, so stay tuned, there are some good links in it.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

A shotgun wedding.

Well, you do come across some interesting things when you start digging into the family history!  Here is the story of what must surely have been a shotgun wedding:

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Take a closer look at some of your old photos.

I have been going through an old photo album and finally found some of my mum and dad's wedding photo's.  These photos tell a story much more than you would first think.  It is worth taking a good look at some of your family photos, to see what they can tell you.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Where to start looking for census records

Continuing the series of Genealogy for beginners, lets look at census records from outside the UK, USA or Australia

So, what if your family does not come from the UK, USA  or Australia?  Never fear! There may be census records out there.

The first place to look is to the wiki on family search.  Then click on the country you are looking for, if it is not there, chances are there are no census records. (sorry!).  If you can't find anything, go back to the main page and try searching for the country you are after.  At least this way you sill get guidance on what is available.

I have family that came from Ukraine, and there are no census records for this part of the world.  But if your ancestors came from Canada you may have more luck!

The next step, if you find no joy on family search, is to check the national archives of the country you need.  These will usually have a search function, so try searching for "family history" or  "census" and see what you can find out.  you may need translation for this, just right click and then click on <translation with bing>.  Or just go to google and search for census records and the country you need - eg <census records Ukraine>.

Sometimes you just will not find any census records, and you will have to look for other types of records.  Sometimes you may just get lucky, after all, the word census originated in Rome and the Romans were taking census when Jesus was born.  So don't give up, keep searching.

Marble Roman artwork, Census Frieze, 2nd century BC. From the Campo Marzio, Rome