Saturday, December 28, 2013

Voyage to Australia: the ship 'Violet'

A newspaper report indicates that the ship 'Violet' sailed from London on November 6, 1856 and then another report states that it was moored at Southampton until 20 December on demurrage.
Demurrage refers to the period when the charterer remains in possession of the vessel after the period normally allowed to load and unload cargo ). By extension, demurrage refers to the charges that the charterer pays to the shipowner for its extra use of the vessel. Officially, demurrage is a form of liquidated damages for breaching the laytime as it is stated in the governing contract (the charter party). The demurrage sometimes causes a loss to the seller as it increases cost of the total freight. Reference: Wikipedia

South Australian Register, 3 Mar 1856
South Australian Register, 7 Apr 1856
The Violet arrived at Port Adelaide, South Australia on 13 April 1856 after a voyage of about 122 days. On board were 237 emigrants including some of my husband's ancestors. John and Susannah ANDREW, their son John and his wife Rhoda with their young daughter Mary Ann, and John and Susannah's other son Daniel. (They are first on the list of passengers, below.) The captain of the ship was Henry Hall and the surgeon-superintendent was T R Tumner.

South Australian Register, 14 Apr 1856
The surgeon-general reported that three births and six deaths on board and that the immigrants were 'generally a well-selected class of persons'. The six passengers who died were James Williams (10 months), Joseph Richards (11 months), Thomas Strange (1 year), Johanna Healey (45 years), Alfred Ward (10 years) and Mary Ann Harper (2 years). Their dates of death and causes of death can be found at www.shipslist.com and you can also find there a full and detailed list of the passengers (including the maiden names of the wives).

There is a newspaper report of a number of the passengers being violent, drunk and disorderly on board the Violet. Some were taken into custody and fined - a good start to their new lives in the colonies.

South Australian Register, 16 Apr 1856
The Violet also carried cargo. Before she arrived the Adelaide newspapers published a list that must have been in one of the London papers, and another list after the ship docked.

South Australian Register, 4 Mar 1856
South Australian Register, 14 Apr 1856
John and Mary Ann (nee Andrew) Leed. Mary Ann was a child on the Violet.
The Andrew family had been living in Oundle, Northamptonshire when they decided to move to Australia. Their oldest son, William, was already living in the Geelong area of Victoria, and so was their daughter Hannah who had migrated with her new husband, John Warrington. It's a mystery why the Andrews decided to go to Adelaide rather than one of the Victorian ports because they certainly didn't stay in South Australia. They moved immediately to Inverleigh near Geelong, probably on a coastal ship, and later lived near Pyramid Hill in central Victoria. But that's a story for another day.

There is a certificate (the original is in the Pyramid Hill museum) that states that "Mary Ann Andrew, 13 months old, is free from measles and able to emigrate." It's dated 27 November 1855. So I think young Mary Ann must have had a bout of the measles that could have prevented them from sailing.

The Violet left Adelaide to sail for Singapore on 30 April. She carried mail for England.

The South Australian Register, 30 April 1856

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Four generations

It's common thing to do, especially with the first great-grandchild - when the four generations are together set up on the front verandah or garden for a photo. And this is what happened when my father-in-law, Neil, was a baby in 1924.

The people in this photo had all lived in the Euroa area of Victoria, but only the great-grandmother was living there in 1924:

  • Great-grandmother Christina, about 75 years old, was born in 1849 in Scotland and came to Victoria with her parents in 1851. The Gordon family were farmers at Balmattum near Euroa. Christina married Daniel McKernan who was from Ireland and settled in the Balmattum area as well. (Daniel died in 1919, several years before this photo was taken.) 
  • Grandmother Maggie, about 50 years old, was born in 1873 and married William Phelan who was the head teacher at Balmattum school. Maggie and William lived in the house attached to the school. 
  • Roy Phelan, about 26, was born at Balmattum in 1897 and served in France during WW1. He was a storekeeper at Mitiamo when his son, Neil was born in 1923. 

It was the only possible four-generation photo for baby Neil. All of his other great-grandparents had died by the time he was born. The photo could have been taken in Balmattum or Euroa if Roy and Annie Phelan were visiting the great-grandmother, or Mitiamo if Maggie and her mother were visiting the new baby, or maybe at Rochford where William Phelan was teaching.

Four generations, 1924: Neil Phelan is the baby. He is held by his father, Roy.
His grandmother, Maggie Phelan (nee McKernan) is standing left,
 and his great-grandmother, Christina McKernan (nee Gordon) is seated.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Trove Tuesday: In which Germanton and Germantown are featured.

Christmas 1909. Edie from Germanton (NSW) sent her friend in Collingwood (VIC) a postcard wishing her a merry Christmas. I don't know these people because it's postcard I found at a market.

The card has a Greek or Roman theatrical theme that doesn't strike me as particularly relevant to Christmas but then I shouldn't be too critical because someone in a hundred years time will look at today's cards in amazement or amusement. Or maybe they'll be sending each other e-cards instead of wasting earth's resources. Or maybe the tradition will have died out altogether by then.



I wondered where Germanton was because I'd never heard of it, and it sounds similar to Germantown (now called Grovedale) near Geelong. So I searched the newspapers on Trove.

It turns out that in 1909 Germanton did indeed exist but a few years later the name was changed to Holbrook because of hostilities in World War 1. The area had been settled by a large and industrious community of German families from the mid 1850s.

The Argus, 19 June 1915
The same thing happened to Germantown near Geelong. The area was settled by many German families from the 1850s onwards and they had developed vineyards, orchards and vegetable gardens. In July 1915 the council voted to rename it Cornwall, one of the titles of the King, but the name was later disallowed because it was already in use in Victoria so the name Grovedale was chosen.
Geelong Advertiser, 3 July 1915
Germanton and Germantown weren't the only towns and localities in Australia to have a name change because of the war. And it wasn't just the town name that was changed - hotels, railway stations, sport teams and numerous other examples can be found. Why did they go to all that trouble? The residents with German background had been here for two or three generations and weren't stirring up trouble at the time but there were certainly tensions in the town. It must have been an uncomfortable time for all residents of German background.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Sepia Saturday: Christmas 1918



It was December 1918. The war was over, peace had been declared in November, but cousins, Roy Phelan and Alex Gordon, were still in England and they managed to meet up in London. It took a long time to get all of our boys home to Australia. Alex didn't get home until July 1919 and Roy in June 1919.

If you look closely at the photo below (click on it to view enlarged) you'll see that Roy appears to have a band under his hat. Indeed he did. He received serious head injuries from shrapnel on the battlefield in France and spent months recovering in England.

Roy Phelan (left) and his cousin Alex Gordon, London, December 1918
We have the letters that Roy wrote to his girlfriend (later his wife), Annie Sims, in Mitiamo, Victoria. These are two letters he wrote in December 1918. He wrote about spending Christmas with his friends, the Plumtree family, at Plumstead near London. I think their son was, or had been, the Church of England minister at Mitiamo. At the time Roy was still at the Military Hospital at Bronesbury Park north London, but must have been well enough to come and go a bit.

Letter 1
Brondesbury Park, Military Hospital, Kilburn, 23‑12‑18
My Dearest Annie, Again this week I received letters from my Love.  What a shock it must have been for my Darling when they told you I was wounded. It wouldn't have been so bad if you could have only found out how I really was. Well in any case I am as good as gold now and trust shall not be a great while now before I can say good‑bye to hospital for good. I still wear my night cap and think it is just as well for my hair has hardly grown at all yet. Only two more days till Xmas. How different it will be in every respect this year.Truly this year we can hear the Angels sing Peace on earth goodwill towards men, and yet will there will be many sad homes for there will be the vacant chair. Annie God’s ways are wonderful and perhaps dark to us, yet what a comfort for us to know there is Light if we could only see it. When I tell you of all my trips Sweetheart you will be thinking there is not too much wrong with me.  Monday I was in to Australia House and cabled home for money. I haven't been able to draw any pay since I have been in hospital. They said at the bank they would have it here within a week so that is pretty good going. Two or three days I have been out for walks and also back to Camberwell to see the other boys. Friday I met Miss Grace P. and she took me through Selfridges which is supposed to be one of the biggest shops in the world. Yesterday I was out to Plumstead again and if I can get away Xmas Day I am going out for dinner. Percy brought me home in the evening and then I went to Church. What do you think of me Dear.  Doesn’t sound as if I am very bad does it.... I hope Annie you have a very Happy Xmas and you may be sure I shall be thinking of my little Girlie so far away. Goodbye Dearest, With fondest love      
          From your ever loving boy, Roy

Letter 2
Brondesbury Park, Military Hos., 29/12/18 
My Dearest Annie, Another Xmas has come and gone and I could not help wondering how my Love would spend hers. Of course you would not be able to go anywhere for it is your busy time. I had 48 hours leave and of course went out to Plumtree’s arriving there about 11 o'clock Christmas morning. The usual good things for dinner Annie and you may be sure I did full justice to them. Except for going for a walk we stayed in both on Boxing Day & Friday so that, I had a quiet, but very enjoyable time considering I am so far away from my Sweetheart. Christmas morning I got up in good time and went to 7 o’clock Communion. I was surprised at the number of people who were there for at that time it was just about dark and jolly cold. Last Tuesday I met Percy & we were going to the museum but instead went shopping and are going to the museum on Saturday. When I came back Friday night there was a concert across the road, so over I went. It was extra good and was I glad I went. The next night our house gave an evening to the other house.  There was a set tea, and on the tables were all sorts of good things such as jelly, fruit salads etc. The concert lasted about an hour then games were played for awhile and they finished up with a dance. We were all given 3 packets of cigarettes, a couple of studs and a tie pin. By this I expected to see snow but although it has been cold, none has fallen yet. A couple of mornings ago I was out for a walk and noticed any water lying about was frozen and Love I suppose you are doing your best to keep cool. What price the ice‑cream this year?  Have come to a close once again. So darling trusting you are keeping well I am   Ever your loving boy, Roy  xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Happy Christmas to all Sepia Saturday bloggers (and our readers).  

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

A letter from William

I've written about William Alford's skill with the plough before - you can read it here - but today I found another reference I want to share. In 1869 William was living at Laanacoorie in central Victoria, and wrote a letter to his father, Jacob, who was living in South Molton in Devon in England. The local paper published a section of the letter, in which William talks about the weather and crop yields.

North Devon Journal, 9 Dec 1869
And at the end of the article they add:
Alford was always particularly fond of ploughing, and has, during the past year, been awarded no less than 8 prizes for ploughing in Australia! This success speaks well for a Moltonian and one who is now renting 500 acres of land. 
Do you think the proud father might have contacted the newspaper office and boasted a little?

I found the article on the British Newspaper Archive website. You normally have to register and pay to view, but I have registered and view for free at the library of the Genealogical Society of Victoria. I wasn't expecting to find a reference to William Alford because my search terms were 'Jacob Alford' and 'South Molton'. The newspaper archive is like Australia's Trove - a fantastic and growing resource.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Sepia Saturday: Grenfell St, Adelaide


A furniture van, a streetscape, a bicycle rider, an obelisk, a central pole - all good possible themes for this week's Sepia Saturday. But unfortunately I couldn't find a photo in my albums that I was happy to go with. So I am posting one from the Genealogical Society of Victoria's Flickr page of photos they hold in their research library. You can see more of their photos at this link.

It's a real photo postcard of the Grenfell St, Adelaide, South Australia, c1948. The postcard company was Valentine's. I chose it because it is a streetscape, it has a cyclist, a furniture van and a central pole.
Grenfell St, Adelaide
Grenfell St, Adelaide today [Google Maps] The tall white building is now dwarfed by its neighbours.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Sepia Saturday: Pinnies and pets


The theme this Sepia Saturday is 'aprons'. I remember when I was about six or seven, my friend Mary Gamble and I were in her kitchen and her mother was teaching us how to do up the bows at the back of our aprons. Well, actually, we didn't call them aprons, we called them pinnies. And, when you think about it, doing a bow behind your back is quite an accomplishment. And I remember when I was about 12 or 13 in our sewing class at school we made our own bibbed aprons (and matching hats) to wear in cooking class.

Every woman I knew wore an apron - my mum, my nana, my gran, the mothers of my friends - but now hardly anyone does. Maybe for a barbie, or if we're cooking something really messy, but they are made out of a plastic or a designer-linen. Not lovely, soft, cotton, hand-made aprons with frills, lace, gingham, rick-rack or gathers like our mother's.

As I looked through my albums to choose some photos of people wearing aprons they seemed to fall naturally into a theme. Can you guess before I tell you at the end?

My great-grandmother, Martha Taylor, at Cobden with her house cow.
My husband's aunt, Elva Alford, at Mologa feeding her pet lamb.
Lily Rowe nee Stone, at Bendigo with her pet dog.
My mother-in-law, Shirley Alford, at Mologa with a champion milking cow.
My husband's aunt, Joy Phelan, at Mitiamo
with her pet chicken. It's been for a ride
 in the pram I'm guessing.
Yes, you guessed it. People wearing aprons while they're with their pets.

Now I suggest you take off your apron, grab a cuppa, and check out the Sepia Saturday webpage to see some of the other contributions to the theme.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Trove Tuesday: Commonwealth Games in Perth

Australian Women's Weekly, 28 Nov 1962
The British Empire and Commonwealth Games [now that is a mouthful] were held in Perth (Western Australia) in 1962 and my husband's grandparents, Mary and Ralph Alford, went over from Victoria. They travelled overland both ways by train, met up with several relatives and explored some of the areas around Perth prior to the Games. They went to the stadium several times, including the opening and closing ceremonies, and out to Canning River to see the rowing one day. It was quite an adventure for a gentle couple from the quiet farming community of Mologa.

Mary and Ralph Alford, Commonwealth Games, Perth
Mary wrote a travel diary but here I'm only posting her record of the days they attended the Games. They stayed with a host family near the stadium in Floreat Park. The square brackets enclose my comments.

Thursday 22 Nov 1 [1962]
Floriet Park is a good suburb (Toorak!) all new brick houses, nice lawns & gardens. We are fortunate, too, to be so close to the Games Stadium [at home of Fred and Ellen Black of 36 Alderbury St, Floreat Park] Our room is very nice & roomy with D.B. & plenty of hanging space in built-in wardrobe, also empty drawers for our use. Mrs B comes from Ireland, has 4 attractive children & Mr B is an Auditor in Govt Dept , also helps organize Games (so were pleased to take Games guests. Took bus into City this morn, Did some shopping (flask and sun hat), sat in the lovely upstairs lounge in National Bank (where Gordon ... works), signed visitors book. Made to feel like honoured guests with our Games visitors' badge on. Saw the Duke [of Edinburgh] go by. Hurried back for dinner.  Mrs B[lack] filled our flask with tea, and took us up to the Perry Lakes Stadium. Our seats were near main entrance so saw everyone come in & go off - the VIPs, bands, athletes & others taking part in the march, marching girls very spectacular. A very hot day & the first couple of hours a bit trying but a breeze sprung up later. Our rubber cushions saved the day! ( Our Melb Olympic ones) & back rest. A wonderful sight to see all the crowds, the flags of other Empire countries, the athletes marching behind their banners, the naval army & pipe bands, the youth clubs all marching in also the State Governor, Prime Minister, the Duke arrive in separate cars & go out again at end of the day. Were disappointed not o be able to hear the choir of voices better as the amplifier system was poor. "The Heavens are Filling" was one of the numbers sung. Heard the Duke's speech, beginning " I have a message from the Queen". An exciting day. Met some lads this morn who'd driven from Ireland.

Opening Ceremony [WA library]
Sat
Very hot day. Mrs B drove us down to stadium for 10 am session for athletes. After waiting around for the gates to open, it was given out that there was no morning session. Owing to the extreme heat, the heats were run off yesterday, leaving only the finals today. So we trudged home & ate our sandwiches there when time came. Had a shower & relaxed - a good thing for us.
Mr B took us again for afternoon session. We had good seats & could see the finishing post. (Here the dearest 2 pounds ten shillings so ought to be good.) Hot at  first but shaded later under the T.V. stand. Saw the high jump. Aust 1st & 2nd (Hobson & Porter)... Betty Cuthbert failed to get a place. Saw the 6-mile, Dave Power 2nd to Canadian.

Dave Power, Australian Women's Weekly, 28 Nov 1962
Mon 26
Pleasant weather. Mrs Black took family and I for a dip in the surf this morn. Left Dad [Ralph] at Stadium where he got a ticket for Chris [Ralph's sister]. We came past the Games Village. After dinner Mr B drove Chris, Dad & I to Games. Saw men's discus throwing, Selvey of Aust, a powerful thrower won easily. Saw the 3-mile race (Snell of N Z, Clarke Aust 2nd, Kill Canada 3rd). Heats of 880, heats of womens 220 ( Aust has 4 in final) Womens high jump (Aust 1st, 2nd, 3rd). Bigger crowd than Sat. Plenty of room in some stands facing sun. We had a good position near No. 1 & shade part of time.

Tuesday 27
Out to Canning River for rowing 10 am (sun very hot on stand). A pretty spot and ideal calm stretch of water for the events. Aust won 1st race, the eights from N.Z. & England. Saw Duke there. It was the finals of all the rowing, 4s, pairs, singles, 8s and coxless 2s & 4s. Buses all crowded back to Perth & city crammed. Didn't get meal until 2 pm. Both tired out. Sat in Nat Bank lounge a while and watched Diving on T.V. Did bit of shopping, cup of tea & back home for rest. I was too tired for tonight's cycling so Chris took my ticket & Mrs B went too. Played games with girls. Left foot sunburnt after paddling in sea then sitting in hot sun this morn.

Thurs 29
Warm & cloudy. Went the athletics after dinner. Drizzling fine rain set in & after getting wet through went home to changed, had our flask of tea & returned in plastic coats - lucky to get car rides each way. Folks are very kind and helpful. There were finals of mens 220 yards, womens 220 yards, mens 440, hop, step & jump, javelin (women), hurdles (men) and the marathon 26 miles started and finished in the Arena. (D Power 2nd).  A huge jet made slow swoops over the Stadium as we arrived & nearly deafened everyone & broke windows in a nearby house with the vibration. 50 or 60 treated for noises in all. Further showers but cleared up. We took newspapers back & distributed to others to keep them dry, also umbrella. Cool evening. I donned a skirt.

Sat 1st Dec
Closing day of Games
Lovely weather. Dad & Chris went to morning session. I washed & packed up, took all morn, morn session to clear up heats of various events.
After dinner Mr B drove us to the Stadium which was packed, a change from the rest of the week when stands half empty. We were opp. side of arena, close to the Pole vaulting, a spectacular event, & not far from discus throwing, more difficult owing to the wind. Mens relay - Aust dropped baton. Womens Relay provided us with perhaps our biggest thrill when Betty Cuthbert running as the last leg, coming from a late start passed her opponents with a magnificent turn of speed & won the race for Aust. The crowd just roared its delight. (Betty had shown poor form in her previous race.) Finals of mens hurdles, 880 yds race, Womens long jump - Aust 1st & 2nd. Pole Vault took all day. Aust 1st & 3rd. Finals Womens hurdles Pam Kilborn 1st also in long jump.

Betty Cuthbert, Australian Women's Weekly, 28 Nov 1962
Closing ceremony com. just after 4 p.m. Boy Scouts picked up papers off arena first. Red coated Army Band marched in (also the Navy Band in white and the Guard of Honour then the standard bearers of the various nations, followed by the vast army of athletes all mixed up together. (Fun was caused by some of them with banners made of anything they could pick up - an old bag on a stick, a roll of toilet paper, one carrying a Peters Icecream tray, another with 'Blocks of Land for Sale', another dark chap rode a bike in and out. But that was later.) The Duke mounted the dais & declared the Games over after the Games flag had been lowered with ceremonial & presented to Games Chairman for keeping till next Empire Games at Jamaica.
The Choir of 700 voices sang 'Waltzing Matilda', also a specially composed song by Mary Durack, 'Will ye no Come Back Again', "Now is the Hour', etc, accom. by Police Band, and the crowd joined in. Also 'Auld Lang Syne'.

3 cheers went on all around the vast arena, someone in a red coat jumped up on the conductor's stand & conducted the cheers! The Duke finally entered an open car & was driven all around the arena as close as could get to the people & everyone stood up & yelled & cheers and he smiled & waved cheerfully. Then the crowd swarmed over the arena mixing with the athletes & everyone & thus ended a wonderful display and the 1962 Empire Games.