Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Trove Tuesday: Kathleen's birthday



Today is the anniversary of the birth of my grandmother Kathleen Cudmore, who was born 27 June 1908, 109 years ago. She died 11 June 2013, aged 104.

An action snapshot of Miss K. Cudmore, who returned a card of 95 at Seaton [Royal Adelaide Golf Club] yesterday in the second round of the club championship.







Women Golfers At Seaton: Low Tide At Millbrook: Picturesque Links: Thrills Of The Speed Track: Shot From A Bunker (1930, June 18). The Register News-Pictorial (Adelaide, SA : 1929 - 1931), p. 12. Retrieved June 27, 2017, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article54236180


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Sunday, 18 June 2017

250 posts later

In writing on the Web about my family - I have just submitted my 250th blog post - I try to go beyond just listing names and dates and adding relatives to my tree.

How have I gone about my research and what have I noticed along the way?

My method is to be thorough. When I prepare a blog, I revisit any earlier work I might have done and check my notes and the original records. There's always more to know on any subject, and often there's something new to say, though I do feel that despite more research I can't help thinking that I don't know and understand my more remote ancestors any better than I did. I certainly don't feel more Scottish or Irish, for example, despite confirming Celtic DNA in my blood.

More than any other topic, I have written about my forebears and relatives who have my maiden name Champion de Crespigny. Because this surname is uncommon it's easier to research. People with the name Champion de Crespigny are certainly related to me and to one another.

I have enjoyed being inspired by 'Sepia Saturday' prompts and by 'Trove Tuesday'. It's great fun to explore the immense digitised repository ofthe National Library of Australia, especially its digitised newspapers.

For the last four years I have joined in the 'A to Z Blogging Challenge' in April. Trying to find ideas for every letter of the alphabet is not easy but it has lead to some fascinating research. For example, in the first Challenge, I was wondering what to write for the letter Z. My son suggested the Zulu wars. I knew my paternal grandmother's Mainwaring relatives were in the army and sure enough I found a second cousin of mygreat great great grandfather who fought against the Zulus. I had heard of the Zulus, of course, but the blogging challenge led me to learn much more. It was fun and satisfying.

I used to enjoy historical novels, but now I can find real life history in my own family researches. Who needs fiction!?

And it's everywhere. For example, next week our family is travelling to the Northern Territory for a short holiday. One of the main streets of Darwin is named after my great great grandfather Wentworth Cavenagh. I visited Darwin many years ago and knew of Cavenagh Street though I only learned about the family connection afterwards.

I've looked in Trove to learn more. On 13 January 1869 the SouthAustralian Advertiser, and other newspapers,  published instructions from W. Cavenagh, commissioner of Crown Lands, to Mr Goyder, the Surveyor-General, giving guidance to Goyder in his expedition to survey the Northern Territory. These instructions had been tabled in Parliament. The document was more of a mandate to proceed than detailed instructions. The SouthAustralian Register of 13 January 1869 notes that the instructions were in keeping with the Strangway's Government's laconic style. It was interested to see what Cavenagh's role was and how it was interpreted by newspapers of the day.

In the unlikely event that someone asked for my advice about writing family history I'd say just go ahead and do it. It's great fun.

Wentworth Cavenagh who, after being Commissioner of Crown Lands, served as Commissioner of Public Works of South Australia from 1872 to 1873. Image retrieved from the State Library of South Australia id  B 5622/17


Cavenagh Street Darwin photographed in 1915 by Ted Ryko: Chinese shops at the north west end of Cavenagh Street, Man Fong Lau in foreground. Photograph retrieved from Territory Stories ID PH0135/0045



Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Trove Tuesday: MCG not available for 1956 Olympics

Harry Lawson (1875-1952) was the cousin of my great grandmother Beatrix Champion de Crespigny née Hughes (1884-1943).

Lawson was a politician from Castlemaine, Victoria. He served as premier of Victoria from 1918 to 1924 and later, from 1928 to 1934, a senator in the Federal Parliament.

He was also a trustee of the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

In 1952 the trustees of the Melbourne Cricket Ground refused to make the MCG available for the Olympics. They were concerned that "there was no guarantee that the ground could be reconsolidated afterwards, and this would upset cricket and football"


The trustees and politicians managed to come to an agreement early in 1953 and the MCG was the main stadium for the 1956 Olympics.

Lawson had died in June 1952 so was not party to the resolution of the issue.

Newspaper items 



Saturday, 3 June 2017

Five books I refer to constantly when researching my family history

Jill Ball has suggested writing about five books  especially useful in your family history research.


One of my favourites is the Road to Divorce: England 1530-1987 by Lawrence Stone. Stone's insights on marriage and divorce at different times in history have helped me enormously.

I referred to The Road to Divorce extensively when I was trying to understand the 1849 divorce of my great great great grandmother Charlotte Champion de Crespigny née Dana formerly James. In those days divorces were heard in two courts, the Court of Arches plus a suit for criminal conversation brought before the Queen's Bench,  and also required an Act of Parliament by means of presenting a private bill before the House of Lords. It was extremely expensive to go through the process, and there were only about four divorces a year in England.

In 1987 Fairfax, Some and Weldon published Australians: A Historical Library. While there have been criticisms of the series, for example a 1988 review by Jenny Lee, I have gained a lot from the Historical Statistics volume edited by Wray Vamplew and to lesser extent to of the Events and Places volume. The statistics volume was useful to me when I was trying to understand more about the age at which women marry.



A most encouraging statistical picture of the reduction in the deaths as a result of pregnancy between 1908 and 1980 (click on image to enlarge). 


some statistics on education (click on image to enlarge)
I have often referred to Angus Watson's Lost & Almost Forgotten Towns of Colonial Victoria. I cited it in my post on Carngham. I bought this book direct from the author some years ago. It is now selling on-line for five times what I paid for it.

The page referring to Lamplough - there is a lot of history in the few facts and statistics. (click to enlarge)
I think reading about the context of our ancestor's lives can be most illuminating.  At the moment I am reading London in the 18th century: A Great and Monstrous Thing by Jerry White. I borrowed it first from the library in an attempt to curtail my spending on books - but had to own it, it is so full of information and well written.

My husband Greg is reading Michael Cannon's The Land Boomers which was passed recently to me by my father. He says it is fun. My turn next.

I constantly refer to the family histories written by my relatives. As a way of passing on family history, nothing beats a book!

Some of the family history books written by my relatives
I use LibraryThing to keep track of my books and  the books in my study are organised by the Dewey system.

So many books! So much reading! 

Greg tells me however, that the Chinese say, 书山有路勤为径,学海无涯苦作舟, which means, roughly, 'There is a path through the mountain of books. Work hard to find the way. The ocean of learning has no limit. Work hard to build a boat.'

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Books

References