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:

Thursday, May 14, 2020

Down a rabbit hole with the Pusells

As I turn my research focus to my Pusell ancestors I am reminded of a story I read on Trove recently. I am not sure which William or Walter Pusell in my tree this chap was. The article reports on a visit by the Rabbit Controller to a property where Pusell was working.

1948 'MORE RABBIT CASES', National Advocate (Bathurst, NSW : 1889 - 1954), 27 November, p. 1. , viewed 14 May 2020,
This article is a fitting analogy for the task facing me. I currently have 424 descendants listed for the Pusell line in Australia which descends from my convict ancestor, James Pusill/Pusell who arrived in the colony on "James Pattison" in 1837.  As much of this research was done in the days before online databases were freely available some of the my records are poorly sourced.  

Like Mr W Pusell in 1948 I will be going down several rabbit holes as I chase cousins and their details. As well as updating my database in Family Historian I will be correcting articles I find on Trove and adding them to my Trove List for Pusell Deescendants. I will leave a website update until I have done a reasonable amount of  burrowing.

I wonder how many more Pusells I will find or if I will need to lop off any branches ! 

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

It's a boy!

Recently on Twitter I replied to a Trove post stating "How about genealogists correct some personal notices? #genealogy #payingitforward.

That is in the same vein as what I, as a Voluntrove, have been doing for the past hour. I entered the search term "birth son" into the newspaper zone on Trove and I have been correcting some of the entries that I find.

I'm sharing some of the good news stories with you here to demonstrate how so many geneafacts can be found from such entries. Please join me as a voluntrove and correct some personal notices.

1938 'Celebrated Birth Of Son', The Daily Telegraph (Sydney, NSW : 1931 - 1954), 31 January, p. 10. , viewed 11 May 2020,

1937 'Birth Of Son', The Labor Daily (Sydney, NSW : 1924 - 1938), 22 June, p. 9. , viewed 11 May 2020,

1950 'Birth of a son', The Sun (Sydney, NSW : 1910 - 1954), 4 July, p. 18. (LATE FINAL EXTRA), viewed 11 May 2020,
1952 'BIRTH OF SON EXCUSE FOR CELEBRATION', Northern Star (Lismore, NSW : 1876 - 1954), 20 August, p. 4. , viewed 11 May 2020,
1983 'BIRTH', Nota (Hawks Nest and Tea Gardens, NSW : 1970 - 1999), 1 April, p. 3. , viewed 11 May 2020,
1932 'Birth of a Son', The Sun (Sydney, NSW : 1910 - 1954), 10 March, p. 19. (FINAL EXTRA), viewed 11 May 2020,

Monday, May 11, 2020

Waiting time

Sitting at my computer waiting for a video to upload I went looking for a monument on the Monument Australia website, It didn't take me long to find what I was seeking so then I started playing around. I noticed that many of the monuments were dedicated to People  and Bing! My inbuilt Genealarm went off. Could this site be a good place to search for people?

In addition to the monuments dedicated to people and looking at a few of the descriptions on other entries I realised that many of them included names. Had I  found a new-to-me genearesource?

One of the tabs on the home page of the site is "Search", so I selected that and went to the Search Page. As many of my genimates know I am doing a surname study for the Curry surname in Australia. I simply entered the word Curry on the Keyword area and hit search.

I was rewarded with quite a few irrelevant hits as the search also returns results where Curry is part of a word so there were many mentions of  Cloncurry and Tuncurry. However hidden among this list were a few mentions of Australian Currys.

There were Currys on several honour rolls and a Memorial Tablet. I'm keen to find out more about Les Curry who is memorialised on a plaque in Bellrive, Tasmania.

Due to the limitations of the Search facility on this site if you have a common name this database will probably not be too useful for your purposes. If your ancestral names are less common you may find some surprises. It behoves us as genealogists to look under every possible rock.

Friday, May 8, 2020

GeniAus - #AtoZChallenge - Reflections

During April 2020 the month of this #AtoZChallenge I will be sharing short posts on some of the 2,000+ descendants I have identified of my 3x Great-Grandmother, Elizabeth Phipps

Elizabeth Phipps 1785-1869 was a convict who was transported from England to New South Wales in 1814 per Wanstead

Will I do it again? 

It really depends on the time I have in the weeks leading up to the challenge. This year I had plenty of time to prepare, research and even write up a few posts before the challenge commenced. This buffer enabled me to take days off during the challenge. At the moment I think that my next challenge will focus on some of the thousands of photos I have taken during my travels.

Taking part in the challenge forced me to go over research done years ago, I was able to add more to direct ancestors' stories plus discover new cousins. I realise that posts of the type I wrote aren't of particular interest to other bloggers. My purpose was not to attract readers but to put the stories in to cyberspace so that they would be available for distant cousins to find in the future. I wasn't hoping for immediate success but paving the way for future connections.

I tried to comment on a few posts from each of those geneabloggers who were participating in the challenge, this wasn't something I did on a daily basis but at times when I could spare half an hour for reading. I appreciated the comments made on my posts, it's always good to get some positive rinforcement.

Congratulations to all those who rose to the challenge and demonstrated their support for  collaboration by generously sharing family stories. We must celebrate our ancestors by telling their stories.


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