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.


  1. Sharon, You are giving the Tozer family a bad name. Henry and Mary Jane had at least 10 children in both Adelaide and Victoria (Brunswick, Richmond and Pakenham ) of whom your gg grandfather and my grandfather are but two.
    You did not ask for the remaining details after contacting me two years ago

  2. My default setting of tongue in cheek flippancy often offends, but I doubt it will give anyone other than me a bad name.

    I did eventually find Thomas Henry, and wrote about it here