Saturday, February 22, 2014

52 Weeks of Genealogical Records in 2014 – Week 6 Land Records

This week is week 6 of  Shauna Hicks challenge for 2014.  Shauna said that this blog challenge is to stimulate my own genealogy blogging efforts in 2014 by focusing on a different kind of genealogical record each week. I wanted a challenge that reflected my own archival background as well as my own genealogy interests and there are probably lots of other records that I could have included. The challenge has an Australian focus but most of these records will be found just about anywhere in the genealogy world.

Sometimes it can be difficult in a challenge like this to actually narrow the focus of the individual blog post. I could talk about the difficulties encountered because I grew up 50 metres from the Queensland and New South Wales border and spent a long time looking for a family property at the Queensland State Archives only to find that it was in New South Wales. However, I won't discuss that here today.

Instead I want to discuss two consecutive records from New South Wales. 

Patrick Flynn who arrived in Sydney aboard the Southworth in March 1822 and his wife Hanora who arrived with their children on the Thames in 1826 have left a paper trail which documents parts of their life in Australia. One of the most interesting is one land record pertaining to Patrick Flinn. What makes it so amazing for us is that the typed record spanned two pages and the record following is the one that still has us wondering.






Indenture of Lease to Patrick Flinn 23 December 1836
Parts of the Flynn story have been mentioned in a few publications including Joan Lawrence's Pictorial History of Pittwater and James J Macken, Martin Burke -  The Father of Pittwater.

Macken in his book Martin Burke -  The Father of Pittwater mentions Patrick Flynn several times.

In a small hut on the point of land 200 years east of Church Point lived a fisherman, Paddy Flynn.......Both John Johnson and Paddy Flynn were to join Martin Burke in the first application for a grand of the Basin land. (p. 70)

So it was that in 1829 Martin Burke and John Clarke decided to transfer their stock and farm equipment to their land at Mackeral Beach. For geographic reasons the 100 acres was made up of 40 acres at Little Mackeral Beach (now Currawong) and 60 acres at Great Mackeral Beach. (p. 71)

Two other of Martin Burke's close associates also applied  to buy land surrounding the Basin. Paddy Flynn, who had moved from Bayview to Little Mackeral Beach with Martin Burke applied for 50 acres on the southern shore of the Basin and John Johnson, the Foley farm worker did so also. (p. 77)
They were not successful in their application.

Burke and Flynn must have been good friends as the 999 year lease dated December 1836 from Martin Burke to Patrick Flynn was to be held in trust for his daughter Ellen. The remainder of the lease was finally sold by Ellen and her husband Henry Merrett in 1854 to Cornelius Sheehan. Along with the land the transfer included houses, outhouses, edifices, buildings, barns, stables, yards, gardens, orchards ways, paths, passages, waters, watercourses, timber, wood, hedges, ditches..." (p. 85)

Photo - http://www.flickr.com/photos/george/

Unfortunately I can't locate any of the photos I took when I visited Currawong Beach. This highlights my biggest genealogy nightmare - images. However, it was possible to imagine what the place may have been like as there were still large undeveloped areas. Oh to still have the lease!

We were fortunate that the next lease in Book K also relates to our family.

Indenture of Lease to Thomas Moylan 9 January 1837

Patrick Flinn was a witness to the second document and Thomas Moylan was his son-in-law. Thomas had married Ann Flinn on 24 August 1828. By 1837 they had four sons, Thomas (b. 1829), James (b. 1831), John (b. 1833) and William (b. 1836). 

Like much genealogy research these documents ask more questions than they answer.

Unfortunately we do not know if the Moylans ever lived in Maitland. Thomas died in May the following year and was buried at the Devonshire Street Cemetery.

The 999 year lease was to be left to Ann and then their eldest son Thomas. However, on 17th December 1839, Ann applied to have her two eldest children Thomas and James admitted to the Male Orphan School (the Catholic School being full) because she was in destitute circumstances and unable to support them.

My questions and future tasks:

  1. Get a copy of the 1854 transfer from Ellen and Henry Merrett to Cornelius Sheehan.
  2. What happened to the Maitland land? Did Thomas sell his lease before he died?
  3. Did Thomas or Ann default on the one shilling which was to be paid on 1st January each year?
  4. Go to Maitland and see if I can work out exactly where this I can find this piece of land?
  5. Find my photos of Currawong Beach

Thanks Shauna for this topic as it has got me thinking again.







Saturday, February 8, 2014

52 Weeks of Genealogical Records in 2014 – Week 5 Family Stories

I'm doing well. I'm still here for week 5 of  Shauna Hicks challenge for 2014.  Shauna said that this blog challenge is to stimulate my own genealogy blogging efforts in 2014 by focusing on a different kind of genealogical record each week. I wanted a challenge that reflected my own archival background as well as my own genealogy interests and there are probably lots of other records that I could have included. The challenge has an Australian focus but most of these records will be found just about anywhere in the genealogy world.

Where does one start with this topic? There are so many family stories I could share starting with those my nanna told me when I was a very young girl. Space was at a premium so I slept in her double bed with her and she kept me up most of the night telling me stories and laughing. How I wish they had been recorded because I'm sure I have forgotten more than I can remember!

However, the story I wish to share is one that came from one sentence in a letter written to me by my grandfather's first cousin.

My great, great grandfather Dr William Lee Dawson died in Franklin, Tasmania in 1871. Shortly after his wife, Emma and their four children, Catherine, Harry, Louisa and Robert moved to Melbourne where several of Emma's siblings lived. Many years later the four children lived in Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria. As a consequence the cousins didn't live near each other and most didn't meet each other.

Many years ago, well before the internet, I discovered a man called Franklin Heathcote Dawson on a Victorian electoral roll. I wondered if he was my grandfather's cousin. My reason was that Robert Dawson had been born in Franklin in Tasmania and Helen Spinks the women he married was born in Heathcote in Victoria. Could they have named a son after the towns in which they were born?

I wrote to this man and sure enough he was who I had hoped he was. Even though he was getting on in years we began corresponding. He loved to write and we corresponded for many years. He wrote his life story for me and I was privileged to read it. His writing was so difficult to interpret that I had to copy the letters out as I worked out what it said. Now is not the time to share what he wrote for me except for one sentence and one small story.

"There is something about a family connection with Ned Kelly."

Ned Kelly - c1854-1880
No copyright restrictions apply. http://trove.nla.gov.au/work/167605738


My first thought of course, was disbelief. Many Victorian families probably claimed some connection with Ned. What to do about this?

I raced off to  the history section of Dixson Library at the University of New England and took all the Ned Kelly books off the shelf. One branch of the family, the Baumgartens (Catherine Dawson had married a Gustav Baumgarten) lived at Barnawatha. A quick browse of the indexes indicated that Gustav and his brother William were mentioned in several books.

Gustav and William had purchased horses from Ned that had been stolen. Recent commentary varies about whether they were guilty or not. However, William was found guilty at the Assizes in January 1878 and spent four years in jail. Gustave was acquitted. On the same day Ned's mother was Ellen was also in court.

The most exciting find however, was when I discovered the Baumgarten brothers were mentioned in the Jerilderie Letter.

And along with all this sort of work, Farrell the Policeman stole a horse from George King and had him in Whitty and Farrell's Paddock until he left the force and all this was the cause of me and my stepfather George King taking their horses and selling them to Baumgarten and Kennedy the pick of them was taken to a good market and the culls were kept in Peterson's Paddock and their brands altered by me two was sold to Kennedy and the rest to Baumgaren who were strangers to me and I believe honest men They paid me full value for the horses and could not have known they were stolen, no person had anything to do with the stealing and selling of the horses but me and George King.

Kelly later says The Queen of England was as guilty as Baumgarten and Kennedy, Williamson and Skillion of what they were convicted for, when the horses where found on the Murray River.

Who will ever know the truth? Were they guilty or innocent?

This is what I love about family history. You can place specific members of your extended family at significant events in history. You might not know a lot about them but you can say they were there. They saw what happened.

What other significant events were members of our families involved in or witnesses of? There are many. Sharing the story of a family member who was on the Hindenberg when it crashed is however, for another time.


Saturday, February 1, 2014

52 Weeks of Genealogical Records in 2014 – Week 4 Memorial Cards

Week 4 of  Shauna Hicks challenge for 2014. This blog challenge is to stimulate my own genealogy blogging efforts in 2014 by focusing on a different kind of genealogical record each week. I wanted a challenge that reflected my own archival background as well as my own genealogy interests and there are probably lots of other records that I could have included. The challenge has an Australian focus but most of these records will be found just about anywhere in the genealogy world.

This weeks challenge is Memorial Cards.

I am fortunate to have three memorial cards and the original photographs which were used in these cards in my possession, each coming from my husband's family. 

Jacob Frederick Scheef 1835-1904



Christina Jacobina Scheef nee Glock 1842-1912


Margaret Waters 1879-1905

Shauna's post set her off in the direction of finding out how the little boy died. However, as I know the life stories of these three people I have decided to investigate the company which produced these cards.

Jacob Scheef's card (1904) was produced by The Memorial Card Co, 142 King Street, Sydney.
Margaret Water's card (1905) was produced by NSW Memorial Co, 542 Geo Street, Sydney.
Christina Scheef's card (1912) was produced by The Memorial Card Co, 142 King Street, Sydney.

Advertisements can be easily found on Trove in the Freeman's Journal, The Catholic Press, The Australian Town and Country Journal and country newspapers.

Freeman's Journal (Sydney, NSW : 1850 - 1932), Thursday 30 May 1907, page 28
The Independent (Deniliquin, NSW : 1901 - 1946), Friday 12 September 1902, page 2
It is interesting to note the differences between the two selected advertisements. The first in the Freeman's Journal stresses the fact that the cards have been approved by the Church and includes appropriate prayers. The seconds states their memorial cards are a genuine work of art. Different wording for different audiences.