Saturday, February 8, 2020

Faceless no more

I have been preparing my slides for the webinar on Online Books that I am presenting next week for The Society of Australian Genealogists.

I was browsing through an online .pdf copy of  Parramatta and District Soldiers in the Great War, 1914-1919Mr GeniAus on seeing the image on my desktop asked whether there were pictures of his Ball Ancestors in the publication.

I had used the publication several years ago for another purpose but didn't think to check for photos of  Grandfather James Ball or Great-Grandfather, John James Ball. Mr GeniAus immediately fired up his laptop and entered the term "Ball" into the publication's search box. He was rewarded with three Ball images. The first was for Fred Ball, brother of James and the second was of James. We had previously seen copies of these images in local newspapers via Trove.

The third image was of "Pte. J. Ball Sen of Liverpool"John James Ball. We have been researching the Ball family for thirty years and this is the first photo we have found of John James. We were both gobsmacked and annoyed with ourselves because we had first looked at this publication several years ago but had blinkers on as we were consulting it for a different purpose.

Needless to say we are both excited that John James in no longer  a Faceless Ancestor. Now we can look again at the few unlabelled Ball images we have to see if we can identify more for John James' gallery.

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Trove Tuesday - Denis the Undertaker

I knew that my Tierney ancestors lived in Mackay Street, Dungog up until the 1830's when my Great-Grandmother, Mary Tierney (nee Kealy) died but I am not sure when they first lived on the site.

My Troveing this morning took me to the map below that indicated that number 21, in Mackay Street on the map, was the site of "Tierney, undertaker etc." I knew that my Great-Great-Grandfather, Denis Tierney as wel as being a carpenter and wheelwright acted as an undertaker, so can presume that the Tierneys were in Mackay Street from at least 1867. I have visited this site to photograph the Tierney home that is still standing.

1934 'LOOKING BACK INTO THE PAST DUNGOG FROM 1855 TO 1867', Dungog Chronicle : Durham and Gloucester Advertiser (NSW : 1894 - 1954), 17 July, p. 4. , viewed 04 Feb 2020,

Monday, February 3, 2020

Spruiking in 2020

From time to time I deliver online and face to face presentations to fellow family historians and other other groups interested in learning about family history. I am an amateur family historian but I aim to take a professional approach to the preparation and delivery of these talks.

I don't submit formal applications to present at many events because I find some of the application processes quite tedious and, at my age, I am not anxious to embark on a speaking career.. However, I usually respond in the positive to invitations to present at venues that are within a reasonable distance of home and they don't interfere with my travel schedule. I love sharing my passion and enthusiasm for family history and technology with fellow researchers and curious folk.

I have just updated the Presentations page on this blog with my confirmed talks and there are a couple more engagements that I will add when details are finalised. I look forward to meeting new genimates at these events especially at THE Genealogy Show in Birmingham, UK in June where I  will represent Australia.

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Trove Tuesday - A Magick Uncle Writes

I've recently been Troveing to see what I can add to the stories of fellow descendants of my ancestor Elizabeth PhippsMy Great-Great Uncle James Magick/Madgwick who lived to the ripe old age of 91 is Elizabeth's Grandson.

I have struck gold mainly in the Gilgandra Weekly and Castlereagh (NSW : 1929 - 1942) the newspaper for the area where James resided for most of his long life. In 1934 James wrote a series of reminiscences in this newspaper. To be able to read the words of an ancestor is priceless. There are also many other articles mentioning James on Trove.

In the interests of saving space I will not post the original articles here but links to those articles on Trove.

This article found here announced the series,

Gilgandra Weekly and Castlereagh (NSW : 1929 - 1942), Thursday 24 May 1934, page 6 

There is probably no more picturesque figure in the Gilgandra district than Mr. James Madgwick, who recently celebrated his 81st birthday, having been born at Cobbora on 9th February, 1853. Practically the whole of his life has been spent in this district, and he is one of the few pioneers alive to-day who can reliably comment upon the remarkable changes that have occurred dur ing the past 30 years. A splendid type, a thorough gentleman and one who is highly respected by all classes of the community, it is with pleasure we announce the publication of a series of articles from Mr. Madgwick's pen. They will deal with early life along the Castlereagh and Marthaguy, as well as personalities whom the young er generation know in name only. The first article will appear in our next issue.

Links to the articles written by James:

31 May 1934
1934 'THE FIRST INSTALMENT', Gilgandra Weekly and Castlereagh (NSW : 1929 - 1942), 31 May, p. 10. , viewed 01 Feb 2020,

7 June 1934
1934 'Turning Back The Pages', Gilgandra Weekly and Castlereagh (NSW : 1929 - 1942), 7 June, p. 10. , viewed 01 Feb 2020,

14 June 1934
1934 'Turning Back The Pages Early History Of The District', Gilgandra Weekly and Castlereagh (NSW : 1929 - 1942), 28 June, p. 9. , viewed 01 Feb 2020,

21 June 1934
1934 'Turning Back The Pages', Gilgandra Weekly and Castlereagh (NSW : 1929 - 1942), 21 June, p. 10. , viewed 01 Feb 2020,

28 June 1934 
1934  'Turning Back The Pages Early History Of The District', Gilgandra Weekly and Castlereagh (NSW : 1929 - 1942), 28 June, p. 9. , viewed 01 Feb 2020,

It is interesting to note that James claims to have been born in 1853 while I have a reference to a baptism for James in 1852!!! 


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