Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Trove Tuesday - Evidence uncovered


As I have been overseas for the past 9 weeks I have not been posting regular Trove Tuesday contributions.  I find this an interesting and worthwhile activity so I now hope to return to a pattern of weekly posting (until my next trip that is).

An elderly cousin of Mr Geniaus told us a number of years ago that Mr Geniaus' grandfather, William Purves Gowans had received an award for diving into Sydney Harbour and saving a life. Until tonight, when I was seeking an article from Trove for a Trove Tuesday post, I had no evidence to support this story. In Trove's early days I spent hours searching for articles on our direct ancestors and was able to find a few about William Purves Gowans but nothing about his supposed bravery. Tonight I found this:

1899 'THE NATIONAL SHIPWRECK RELIEF SOCIETY.',Australian Town and Country Journal (NSW : 1870 - 1907), 26 August, p. 21, viewed 18 December, 2012, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article71332892

Transcription of text:
William Purves Gowans.-On December 3, 1898,Mr. Gowans, who was on the North Coast Com-pany's Wharf, Sussex-street, hearing cries of"Man overboard," at once ran to the spot, and,without divesting himself of his clothing, jumped in and succeeded in rescuing a youth namedRose, who had accidentally fallen into the wa-ter which is very deep at this spot, and Rosewas unable to swim, and would undoubtedly have been drowned. (Awarded silver medal and certificate of merit.) 

In addition to the text pasted above there was a photo of William in the article which is very similar to one I have of a young William. This article  provides further evidence that my photo is correctly identified.

Fellow family historians keep reminding us that we need to repeat our searches on Trove as new newspaper  titles are added to the database regularly. Following on my success tonight I must find some time to redo those searches - Who knows what new stories  I might uncover?

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