Tuesday, 17 September 2013

You look like your mother

Although I haven't been posting my responses online, I have been playing along with Julie Goucher's Book of Me, Written by You this week's prompt asked us to describe our physical self and this got me thinking about family resemblances.

It's something that I have thought about before - especially when using the face recognition tools in Picasa as it struggles to work out who is who - so I thought I'd post some family photos to see what you all think. Are the resemblances that family and friends comment on noticeable to virtual strangers?

I look like my Mum who looks like her Dad.

Me at 26
Mum at 16
So can you pick my Grandfather out of this photo from the National Archives?

Grandpa & Mum on her Wedding Day

Grandpa's genes are pretty dominant

Two of My Cousins at the elder's graduation

My nose may also be the fault of my father's genes, specifically his paternal grandmother

My Great Grandma Rebecca Sinclair
Noses are a matter of serious discussion in our family. I happen to think both My Dad and my (half) brothers noses are worse than mine and they can't blame my Grandfather for that. 
Dad, earlier this year

Brother #3 earlier this year
Brother #1's nose is worse but I can't find a photo of that ski jump that isn't 25 years old.

Brother #2 is looking more and more like our Grandfather the older he gets

Pop & Brother #2
No, not that Grandfather (although there is some resemblance happening), this one:
Grandfather Walter
So there you have it, some of the family resemblances that people comment on. I have also been told I look like my brothers and like a step-cousin that I'm not genetically related to at all, and Mum has been told Brother #1 looks like her where again, there is no genetic relationship. It is a funny thing the similarities that the human eye picks out. 

What do you think? Can you tell we are related?

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Procrastination, frustration and those bloody Tozers.

I'll admit, my family history research often gets more than its fair share of attention when I am avoiding something else, in this case a uni assignment I just cannot get into (Its ok, I still have a week and a half before it is due and I have been working on it, just not enough to have it knocked over by this Friday like I intended) but it seems that I have unintentionally hit upon one of the methods for dealing with procrastination that I was taught by a uni counselor during my PhD. The premise being that a certain amount of my procrastination is caused by frustration, so in order to overcome procrastination you just have to find something more unpleasant and frustrating in order to make the avoided task more appealing. Makes sense?

Now I haven't reached the point where I need to overcome the procrastination on this assignment - I still have time and I am working on it slowly - so my other more 'pressing' task has been the family tree. Now my father has always called the Tozer branch of my mother's family "those bloody Tossers" and right now given my level of frustration, I am a little inclined to agree.

My Great Great Grandfather is Thomas Henry Tozer, I know from his 1909 marriage extract that his father's name is Henry and from a death notice that he had died in 1948 at 61 years old. A little subtraction and you have a birth year of around 1887. Now Thomas Henry Tozer is actually a pretty common name, common enough that I couldn't confirm which was my Thomas Henry from this alone. I ordered a death transcript to see if that would narrow things down a little and yes, birth place was given as Gippsland, Victoria.

Off to the Victorian BDMs we go where there is a single Thomas Henry Tozer born to a Thomas Henry Tozer and a Mary Jane Grubb in 1888. The birth place however is listed as Ballarat East. Which is not in Gippsland. But death certificates are notoriously unreliable so we'll take both into account when continuing the search. Still, just to be sure I plug Mary Jane Grubb & Thomas Henry Tozer into the Victorian BDMs to see what else comes up and well, Houston we have a problem.

And I am really glad I was suspicious enough to search around before ordering the certificate. So the only Thomas Henry Tozer born in Victoria in the right age bracket is not my Henry bloody Tosser Tozer.

NSW then:
A recheck of SA?
And back through all BDMs looking for Henry's or Thomas's of the appropriate age. Nada. So that's it. I give up. I am frustrated enough at the moment to work on the suddenly less frustrating assignment because hell if I know where I should try next.

Monday, 2 September 2013

Amanuensis Monday: It is Old, but Still Good.

In amongst the certificates and photographs documenting the family is two pages of hand-lined yellowing paper, covered in a careful script. My Nana gave it to my Father and I when I was 15 and first asked about my Grandfather (Walter Thomas Muffett, 9/4/1916-13/3/1958) and family history. She'd kept it for how much it represented his sense of humour, a trait that is certainly evident amongst his children and grandchildren.

It is Old, but Still Good
On the assumption that "a laugh will always win,"I am indebted to Albert Falk for the following. If anyone can read it without a laugh, I'll go quietly
I had twelve bottles of whiskey in my cellar, and my wife told me to empty the contents of each and every bottle down the sink or else -- So I said I would, and proceeded with the unpleasant task,
I with withdrew the cork from the first bottle and poured the contents down the sink, with the exception of one glass, which I drank. I extracted the cork from the second bottle and did likewise, with the exception of one glass, which I drank. I then withdrew the cork from the third bottle, and emptied the whiskey down the sink, with the exception of one glass, which I drank. I pulled the cork from the fourth sink and poured the bottle down the glass, which I drank. I pulled the bottle from the cork of the next and drank one sink out of it and threw the rest down the glass. I pulled the sink out of the next glass and poured the cork down the bottle and drank the glass. I pulled the next cork from my throat and poured the next sink down the bottle. The I corked the sink with the sink glass, bottled the drink and the pour;
When I had everything emptied I steadied the house with one hand and counted the bottles, corks, and glasses and sinks with the other, which were twenty-nine. To be sure, I counted them again, and when they came by I had seventy-four, and as the house came by I counted them again, and finally had all the houses, and bottles and glasses and sinks counted, except one house and one bottle, which I drank.

Amanuensis Monday is a daily blogging prompt from GeneaBloggers