Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Trove Tuesday: Highway Robberies on the Great Northern Road

Well it appears I may have found the antecedent to that bushranger anecdote passed along by my father:

"HIGHWAY ROBBERIES ON THE GREAT NORTHERN ROAD."The Maitland Mercury & Hunter River General Advertiser (NSW : 1843 - 1893) 22 Dec 1863: 3. Web. 26 Feb 2014 <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article18711885>
Mrs Friend being Mary Maria Friend (nee Baker), my 4th Great Grandmother and the outlaw she met none other than Captain Thunderbolt or at least someone purporting to be him.

Monday, 17 February 2014

Family Anecdotes and Gossip

I often joke that I am related in someway to half the people in the town that I grew up in, and with my maternal grandmother's family having been in the region since the 1840s it is pretty true. So it is no surprise that when Mum and Dad came to visit this weekend Dad had plenty of family anecdotes and gossip to share. He'd been to have his hair cut and the barber is his second cousin.

They talked a lot it seems about their mutual great-grandmother Julia Christiana Boss later Winter then Bird. I have a bit of a fascination with this part of the family due to the lashings of scandal that make life interesting. In any case I now have the following tidbits:
  • Julia was, according to our cousin, born in Australian waters and as such was an Australian Citizen. Now this is something I have been having trouble proving, she is not listed as one of the births on the Commodore Perry.
  • The family was questioned as enemy aliens during WWI. As such I really hope I can find the file!
  • Julia was a staunch Nazi supporter. This I already knew, Dad has a Nazi pin tucked away in his box of family bits that belonged to Julia. We can only be glad that she died in '37 given the rest of the family's stance on the matter. 
  • Julia owned a lot of property around town. It will be interesting I think to start looking at land records, Dad is keen to map out exactly who owned what so it looks like another father-daughter history project is in the works (we seem to do a lot of those)
  • Julia was not a very nice person. Ok so this is a cleaned up version of how she is generally described by the family. Let's just say I am yet to hear anything complementary. Although the Nazi thing is kind of a clue there.
Dad also remembered hearing that someone in his mother's line had been mixed up with a local bushranger. The reference to Captain Thunderbolt on the Michael Caton episode of Who Do You Think You Are? reminded him. Tantalising, but given the number of relatives we have and the plethora of 'local' bushrangers, not that easy to trace. Still, I like a challenge.


Thursday, 6 February 2014

I think they swam

because I'm not having any luck finding an arrival for Patrick Lynch (b.1832, Ireland d. 1891, NSW) his wife Bridget nee McGraie/McGrail or his children Mary (b. 1856, Scotland?) and John (b. 1857, Scotland?). I have a marriage record for 1855 in Scotland and a birth record for a daughter Annie in 1859 in Wellington NSW but between that...

Yeah. They swam.