Thursday, April 5, 2012

Fab Find in Forbes

For our homeward journey from Congress in Adelaide we took the long way round. We had never visited the outback City of Broken Hill but had been wanting to do so for a number of years. Taking this route through western New South Wales provided, in addition to some sightseeing, an opportunity to visit a few cemeteries.

In Broken Hill I looked for my grandmother's sister's grave but could not find her listed in the Broken Hill Cemetery database even though I have her funeral notice indicating that she was buried in the Catholic Section of that Cemetery. I did, however, locate a few graves of more distant relatives in that cemetery.

My Great-Grandparent's headstone in Cobar
Our next stop was Cobar where I wanted to get better quality images of my Duncan Great-Grandparents' grave. This we accomplished early in the morning after we had been repelled by the over 100f. temperatures on the afternoon we arrived. I also wanted to locate Elsinore, the property my grandparents, my  mother and the family lived on in the 1920s and 1930s. The staff at Great Cobar Heritage and Visitor Information Centre went out of their way to help us but we were unable to locate Elsinore on maps in the Centre. I was pleased to see that there was a huge photo of my Granddfather's catering truck in one of the displays and in another display a large photo of Gertrude Pusell, another of my grandmother's sisters.

About another 300 km down the road was Forbes. I knew that my Great-Great-Grandmother, Bridget Curry (Nee Ryan), was buried in the cemetery there and wanted to visit and take a photo. While we were travelling along I discovered on the internet that The Forbes Family History Group was open yesterday, Wednesday; we did not tarry as I was keen to visit the group to see if they could direct me to the grave and hopefully give me some other information on the family. I have never been able to locate any information about Bridget's family or her immigration as there are so many girls named Bridget Ryan in the NSW immigration records.

Volunteers at work - Forbes Family History Group
 As I gingerly opened the door of the centre I was greeted by laughter and happy chatter; tiptoeing into the room I found around ten people working away at tables and computers. They appeared to be engrossed in indexing tasks. I was greeted warmly and within ten minutes a volunteer, Jan, had found the grave location in their cemetery index. Another volunteer was concurrently looking in other files for me; she found an obituary for Bridget. At first I wasn't too impressed as I already had an obituary from the Sydney newspaper that didn't tell me much; then I stopped and read the proffered obituary; it was a more detailed one from the local, Forbes Times. I let out a squeal.
Bridget Curry (nee Ryan) Obituary

For twenty years I had been trying to find out more about Bridget and this scrap of paper gave me some wonderful leads. It listed Bridget's children confirming their places of residence in 1911. The best piece of information was that she had a brother who was a pioneer priest in New South Wales. From using the clues supplied in this article I have, in a couple of hours, found so much about the interesting life of Rev Michael Harrington Ryan and also that Bridget had a sister who had emigrated to the Colony with her husband Peter Birmingham in 1842. Once I can get to some libraries and use print resources I should be able to add more branches and leaves to my tree. I also need to go through the microfilm of The Forbes Times to see if I can get a clearer copy of the document.

Forbes Family History Group
I was so impressed with the collection at The Forbes Family History Group; it isn't a collection that is rich in published print resources, its strength is in the huge collection of locally prepared indexes and files that were stored around the walls in A4 folders. I am ever so grateful to the volunteers in that group who have devoted many hours to developing these local resources.

I cannot express how thankful I am for the work done by The Forbes Family History Group.


Cassmob (Pauleen) said...

Fantastic discovery Jill...great news. nd even more to come when you're back to home base. Well done the volunteers!

Linda said...

Is there any chance you could be looking for Elmore, a property north-east of Cobar, almost over to the Mitchell Highway? They sound a little similar.

The only Elsinor seems to be over Menindee Way:
For 1884 from the NSW Govt Gazette for sheep brands:

KILLEN W.W.; Elsinore, Wanaaring; (Menindee District)

Linda said...

On second thoughts - the Menindee Stock Brands District of 1882 was a big district. Wanaaring is north-west of Cobar, way over on the other side of the Darling. But Elsinor was/is (?) a large property there. About halfway between Tibooburra and Bourke.

Just google Elsinor + Wanaaring

Anonymous said...

Jill were you following me haha we went to Cobar and Broken Hill and did the same thing as you (2 weeks ago)- they were all helpful. went to Forbes last year and had the same help and they also got in touch with a fellow researcher on our line! was thrilled, they are a lovely group of people. Glad it went well for you too! Maree :)

Kylie Willison said...

Don't you just love these little groups!! I'm getting restless to go travelling again.

Fi said...

What a great find by the vollie! I love my local family history group and sometimes I even do research ;)

A O'Brien said...

What a great find!! The small societies are so helpful.

GeniAus said...

Thanks for the suggestions, Linda. I do know a bit about Elsinore. It was 40 miles west of Cobar near KiaOra Station. My grandfather owned Elsinore, a 32,000 acre property, from about 1922 to 1936.

I suspect it is the property now called Ryandale - consulting the old parish maps is on my task list.

Deb said...

Glad you enjoyed yourself,i will be doing the same thing in a few weeks.

Anonymous said...

Hi Jill

You might be interested in the story Annie Ryan - my great grandmother - and the niece of your g-g-grandmother

Michael O'Donnell

simon said...

Elsinora Station is now part of Thurloo Downs which is about 90km NW from Wanaaring on the Hamilton Gate Road. My Great Grandfather was the Manager there and retired off Thurloo Downs in 1917. He managed Thurloo, Elsinora and Thurloo for the Killens and Goldbourough Mort. I have photos of Elsinora which are rare.

simon said...

Oops I mean Thurloo, Elsinora and Urisino


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