Thursday, May 28, 2020

Dementia in the Family?

Both of my parents suffered from Senile Dementia in their later years. Mum who lived until she was 94 knew me to the end and sometimes recognised my husband. She knew that our descendants belonged but she was unable to identify any of them.

Last week in another Facebook Group a genealogist, Robert, posted a copy of a document he had created for a family member who is affected by dementia. As I thought this was too good a resource to be shared just in a small group I asked Robert for permission to share it here.

In the following image are instructions for Robert's Visual Family Tree which you may find useful if you have a family member suffering from Dementia. To protect the privacy of living individuals Robert has blurred images. I have copied Robert's instructions at the bottom of this post in case you have trouble enlarging the image.

Thank you Robert for your genearosity.

The Visual Family Tree

Here’s something you can make if you have a family member in a care facility. It’s a Visual Family Tree and it serves four purposes:

 It places the Elder person(s) proudly at the top, with their subsequent generations cascading
 It has everyone’s names, as a memory jogger
 It shows birthdates and wedding dates, as a reminder
 Importantly, if displayed in their room, it provides a safe place where a visitor or staff can
interact with the Elder(s).

A large sheet of cardboard, photos, glue stick and neat handwriting is all you need, and get it
laminated because people will touch it. If you have Photoshop skills, then make it that way. Good luck!

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Trove Tuesday - Aunty Mary

My Aunty Mary would have been ninety-seven yesterday. I have many fond memories of Mary Aileen Curry (1923-2014) but one of my favourites is when I was flower girl at her wedding to Edward Corbett in 1957. I was so honoured to be part of this occasion and took this role seriously but, as the event did not make the local press, I have to rely on my memories and photographs.

Jill and Mary, April 1957

Trove has given me a few insights into Aunty Mary's earlier life.

1926 'Spencer.', The Gosford Times and Wyong District Advocate (NSW : 1906 - 1954), 18 February, p. 3. , viewed 26 May 2020,

This short snip reports on the first major challenge young Mary faced. She just took this disability in her stride and forged ahead with a happy and successful life.

1937 'DIOCESE OF BATHURST', National Advocate (Bathurst, NSW : 1889 - 1954), 28 January, p. 4. , viewed 26 May 2020,

The Currys were a Catholic family, until I found this snip, I thought that the name of the school that Mary and her siblings attended was different from the one cited in this article. I was obviously getting confused with the name of their Parish Church. The results above are for religious knowledge exams in the Diocese of Bathurst.

1938 'DIOCESE OF BATHURST', National Advocate (Bathurst, NSW : 1889 - 1954), 19 January, p. 6. , viewed 26 May 2020,

Twelve months later the tables had turned with Uncle Tom scoring 81 in the religious knowledge exams. I know that Aunty Mary left school after her third year of secondary education. I wonder where she worked between then and 1942. There is mention in Trove of a Nurse M. Curry at Canowindra in 1939, perhaps that was Mary.

1942 'About People', The Forbes Advocate (NSW : 1911 - 1954), 13 October, p. 2. , viewed 26 May 2020,

Mary used to talk about working in Forbes but I didn't know when this started and for whom she worked.

1942 'About People', The Forbes Advocate (NSW : 1911 - 1954), 24 December, p. 2. , viewed 26 May 2020,

1945 'About People', The Forbes Advocate (NSW : 1911 - 1954), 5 January, p. 2. , viewed 26 May 2020,

I remember this story as Aunty Mary told me that my Dad sent her money to hep buy replacement clothing which may have been hard to come by in the war years. 

1945 'Advertising', The Forbes Advocate (NSW : 1911 - 1954), 5 January, p. 5. , viewed 26 May 2020,

So Mary was working with Goldsborough Mort before she moved to Sydney.

1945 'About People', The Forbes Advocate (NSW : 1911 - 1954), 26 January, p. 4. , viewed 26 May 2020,

I didn't know that Mary was a VAD volunteer during World War Two. 

1948 'About People', The Forbes Advocate (NSW : 1911 - 1954), 12 March, p. 2. , viewed 26 May 2020,

With her younger sister, Kathleen, Mary moved to Sydney to work at Goldsborough Mort, this article tells me it was by 1948. As there was a post-war shortage of rental accommodation in Sydney Mary and Kath, who lived in Springfield Avenue, vacated their flat so that after I was born my parents could have a place of their own for our family. 

1948 'About People', The Forbes Advocate (NSW : 1911 - 1954), 3 February, p. 6. , viewed 26 May 2020,

 No doubt Mary enjoyed this opportunity to return to Forbes and catch up with friends.

I previously blogged about Aunty Mary here:

Those of us who have relatives from rural areas are fortunate that local newspapers that are digitised on Trove give us glimpses into their lives. 

Thursday, May 21, 2020

A Reference from Macarthur

Read to the end of this article and you will know why I felt like dancing.

My ancestor Patrick "Paddy" Curry has been the subject of a number of my blog posts. The last time I told Paddy's story was here in 2016.

In a recent weekly members' Hang Out with SAG  on Zoom the theme was emigration so I decided to share Paddy's interview on "The Advantages of Emigration" with Caroline Chisholm. Prior to the Hangout I set up my browser with several websites so that I could share my screen and show the interview during the hangout. 

After I reread the interview in the Sydney Morning Herald I gave some thought to the original source of the article "Douglas Jerrold's Paper" and realised that I had never followed that up.

1848 'Advertising', The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), 8 June, p. 3. , viewed 17 Mar 2016,

After a little bit of googling I discovered an article about Jerrold on the Victorian Web. He was "a boy with minimal schooling from a lower middle-class family raised in a dockyard town in Kent goes up to London, where, after an apprenticeship as a journalist, he emerges in the 1830s as one of the country's most popular writers."

Listed on the page of Jerrold's works on the site I found that Jerrold edited "Douglas Jerrold's Weekly Newspaper, 1846-1848" and that fitted the timeframe for the original article. I popped that title into Google and, hey presto, found a link to a record in the catalogue of the National Library of Australia

NLA Catalogue Record

I was on a roll. I found my NLA Library Card and logged into their site from the link on the catalogue record which took me straight to the digitised paper in the Gale collection. I did a search for Caroline Chisholm and found three articles. One of these was the one I was seeking. In addition to the article that was published in the Sydney Morning Herald the original contained the following introduction written by Caroline Chisholm. 

Gale Document Number  

"I have a great respect for him, have always found him most trustworthy, honest and punctual."

Any tenant would love to hear a reference like that from his landlord! 

On reading that sentence from one of the McArthurs I was elated. This was my best geneafind of the year. Being able to share it with my genimates from SAG on the day I found it was a bonus.

Paddy was a convict but like so many fellow convicts he was a victim of his times. My great (x3) grandfather, Paddy,  was a good man

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Trove Tuesday - Zoom Sunday

If I asked you what you think of when I mention "Zoom Sunday" I would wager that you would think it had something to do with an online meeting, webinar or catchup with friends using the Zoom platform. 

How times have changed. When I was a girl living in Randwick in 1969 "Zoom Sunday" had a different meaning - it related to an event held down the hill from Randwick at the University of NSW that was "free, fun, non habit forming" and you could bring a friend! Sounds like Zoom in 2020?  Read on.

1969 'ZOOM SOAOAY', Tharunka (Kensington, NSW : 1953 - 2010), 17 June, p. 36. , viewed 19 May 2020,

Follow this link to read the full article:


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