Wednesday, 14 June 2017

My head goes round and round...

I must admit I have been contemplating this subject for so long and done so much reading, and still have more to do but the biggest question is?

What is the aim of doing your family history and what is the best way to do it. Lets start from the beginning. To establish the main differences I suppose between genealogy and family history research. From meeting lots of different types of researchers I would believe the main difference is that genealogists deal mainly in facts, dates and places and putting the details together in a logical format.

Whereas a family historian tends to find the dates, names, and places then writes a story to bring the person to life, some family historian researchers don't have an overly strong bearing towards verfying facts.. who wants to let facts get in the way of a good story.



Both genealogists and serious family historians will try and back up any information they have and if given a story they will try and work out whether it is true or just a family folklore..

I am I believe a genealogist first based on I love gathering facts, then verifying stories to work out whether there is any way they are true and how the story fits in the timeline. I often find I get lots of interesting stories and then have to try and turn it into facts. I also use lots and lots of sources for research and a huge part of doing family history is using local resources, and sites that are run by reputable departments etc. User inputted sites have so much allowance for incorrect facts or a slip of the old keyboard.

Yet there are so many things I have read recently on the family historians that use only Ancestry or the others now call themselves DNA Genealogists... all I can say is "What on earth are you talking about" in the most polite way....... how can you document something that may be the only source of information on your heritage in say 100 years time and only rely on what information somebody may have found or on contacting the 420 6th cousins that may just may have a connection to you. Do you do any of the relevant checks to ensure your on the right track.

Only today I was doing research for a friend and 2 brothers and their families emigrated to Australia in 1872 and I out of curious notions dipped into Ancestry and low and behold a person has the two families but has all the children mixed up.. wow..... and I am in facebook groups where people are randomly contacting maybe cousins to find a match..

To DNA or not to DNA... I must admit some of the wierd stuff I have read leaves me to wonder, I have sent away my heritage sample to discover my roots ( which I already know fairly confidently) but am going to compare it with a relative of mine who has had her done ( and we found out we are related the old fashioned way) to see how it all works.. but will I put y results on to the sites that are available.. I am pretty sure that I will not be advertising the fact... although I might make some new friends in the wierdest way.

Once upon a time everybody saw the little green leaves jiggling and thought it was that easy... so they joined and got their first taste of family history.. then the green leaves stopped wiggling and the site had to find a new way to keep people entertained so they bought DNA to the forefront of everybodies attention.. but is it the only way... I know I will still be digging through old papers and cemeteries till my stories are done.. and along the way might be able to find somebody that can explain how this DNA gig really works.. If you have any answers then please I would love to hear about it.

Side note ** the books on DNA don't have cool pictures in them.. they are just totally confusing**
Till next time

Friday, 2 June 2017

So many things going on

Life catches up so quickly when your bogged down in family history, there are so many things we have been doing and yet where do you start and finish.

Blogger - I have been updating my blog page and reading how to keep people interested and do people read your blog. Well I enjoy writing it and if you read it and enjoy it then goal achieved. My new layout is hopefully easier to read.

So whats been happening.
My gggrandfather was recently honoured by our local council as a pioneer in the area and he now has a plaque in the local walk of achievers path and we attended a lovely lunch that was provided by the council and met the other recipients of the awards. You forget or sometimes don't realise how many amazing people spend a tiny bit of their lives in your area. I often find when doing data entry a fascinating story about something or someone that I know nothing about.
Tom King was a policeman in the Wide Bay area for many years and then went on to be a timber worker for a short period on Fraser Island and then Tom and his wife Jane built the Urangan Hotel.

At the Walk of Achievers luncheon we gathered as descendants and proud to be a part of the King clan :) this photo was taken after the plaque was unveiled and a photo we will hold dear for years to come .  Since then we have been exploring more family connections and adding more to the story of the family.

Missing Family
I often find when trying to fill in the gaps in my family history you just can not find the missing link to build the tree and one side of my family the Hunters have alluded me so far till the luncheon and Dale Clayton nee Hunter who attended the luncheon is my Mums cousin and she opened her home to us to catch up and what an amazing time we had.

David and Florence Hunter nee King have the most amazing history in Queensland they run a dairy called Tilsons for a few years and had 80 odd cows to maintain in Granville and they then moved to Ipswich where David worked in the Railways then back to Maryborough where they settled in Ann St and David went to work at Walkers and he stayed in that house for nearly 32 years. I got the most amazing insite into the family just from one coffee session, okay it was a long session

Things you learn 
One of the most conflicting things I have discovered when your doing your family story is how to present it and how to make it readable to everybody so I have been using onedrive to upload the books into and have them in a word format and with a spreadsheet as an index. I think it has been working well and everybody can access it anywhere and don't need any special software to read the stories....

DNA... test submitted

I have over the last couple of years been watching the dna revolution and have watched in interest how people have used the dna results, then I got to checkout Cathys ( a distant rellie) and then on a plastering job one day I got to see the one a client who had his paternal one done through a different company and he got some interesting results so I got 2 kits one for me to do the heritage test and I have an amazing Uncle who is going to do the paternal one to see if we can trace the paternal life more comprehensively. So mine is up and running and on its way to the labs and now I will wait for my Uncle to come home to do his and I will wait impatiently for my results to come through. The bonus is with Cathy's results and mine we should be able compare to see how to utilise the data to its max. So I will keep you up to date on the awesome things happening there.

Research unravels mysteries
I have been searching for a missing link to an abandoned baby for so long.. the baby was found in a hut and raised by a different family. Since first hearing the first version of this story I have doubted it I think because I have such an inquisitive mind and then the other day I had this tiny little link that gave me a whole new direction. So don't ever give up if the true story is there it will come out.

So I think I have kept you occupied for long enough, stay tuned and I will post my next story which has not a thing to do about my family but I was doing data entry today and found an amazing story about the Mail Train Murders.... I will put it all on here.. enjoy and catch you soon

Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Such a Dilemna

I have been busy still cleaning up and writing family histories and have realised that the living stories are so important and memories are such a fragile thing. This weekend we are off the the Walk of Achievers lunch in memory of Thomas Orpan Irvine King he is being honoured for his contribution to Maryborough. It will be an interesting luncheon from a historical point of view as the Council have about 10 recipients and they all contributed to the local area.

So we are off to hear their stories and plaques will be unveiled in the Wharf St Precint, there are already so many interesting stories and people recognised and if you haven't been down to see them you really should a sense of place and how great an area we live in is told from seeing these amazing stories. The Customs House museum has them all listed on a wall so you can see who is on the footpaths and their stories. This PDF link gives you an overview of the recipients click here.

We had the pleasure in our pursuit of the life of Tom King on the weekend to meet descendants of Tom's sister Charlotte, it is amazing when you come together and meet a branch of the family that you never knew existed or for that matter even linked. I gathered so many tiny titbits of information from the conversations and we have a new story to add to Toms book, which we are following up.

On the Schwarzrocks side of the family I am still delving into the Prussia/Poland records and think I may have established a whole family tree based in Europe but our connection is still in the air. There are so many wonderful sites coming out for looking up German ancestors and if your on facebook there are some amazing groups based around German records.

I got this link this week and can't wait to delve in and see what i can find the link is HERE anyway I had better be off, am supposed to be a plasterer today so had better go and do some work

Till next time happy hunting

Thursday, 27 April 2017

What a mess to sort

I had a really bright idea I would sort out all my info on the King family as my family connections have grown so much in the last 6 months and so I decided I would put the info about each family and person in a book style that everybody can access..

It started as a fine idea but then when I started I found I have so much info and how to put it together and how to put it in a list so everybody else can find it.

My first thing was to set up a spreadsheet with the main stories and family group sheets then I started the individual books.. This then led me to going through my notes and recorded audios to clean them out and put them together. I have hours of recorded audio and now have to sit and listen to it.

Then I got thinking I have piles and piles of pictures and documents that I have scanned and I think I need to sort the albums next. How does everybody else deal with this I wonder I know I am in the middle of a bog of info but having a  ball inserting it.

Poland and Schwarzrock

I have since I started sorting the Kings decided to keep going on all my other families and got to thinking I need to back to pre arrival in Australia so the Schwarzrocks were my starting point  but how to do this. So off I went into Familysearch and thought how to write it up well.... I now have a database based only on a family line with over 100 people in it but still havent found my connection.

Wow there are so many Schwarzrocks in early Poland but not mine yet.. so where to go from here. I am thinking of trying to get Gottfrieds birth certificate which would be a huge achievement to see who his parents were.. 

Living Stories.. 

In writing all of these documents I realised that we really do need the stories to make up the missing bits.. to make a person come to life so we can see what sort of person they were, I recently did Agnes Jane King and she had the saddest life and ended up being found drowned in Hervey Bay. 

Her stories we have put together from newspapers, statements re her death, and what anybody can remember but did we capture the true story we will never know, although I suspect she may not have drowned but been murdered.. 

Well I am off to Prussia again... talk soon 


Sunday, 19 March 2017

History of Maryborough Boxing

Harry Steve had a boxing stadium in the old Naval Hall
Max Gornik had a boxing stadium in Kent St Maryborough, Pat Delaney
was the promoter for Max and was often busy signing up new names

In between having stadiums the main places for the fights were the Town Hall and the Bungalow theatre.



1921 - The main fight listed on the bill to be held at the Bungalow theater is Stan Goode (Marborough) will fight Billy Murphy (Bundaberg) This series was a fiver - 5 Friday nights in a row. (Full Article) 

1922 - Gilshenan defeats Neilsen..... Nearly 2000 spectators filled the Bungalow Stadium to witness the fight between Frank Gilshenan  ( Maryborough) and George Neilsen Wondai which was billed as the amateur welterweight championship of Queensland. This fight was six three-minute rounds and it was by no means a thrilling for all those who went along to watch... Article

1923 - Frank Johnson fought Billy Murphy (Bundaberg)  and Frank won on points at the Town Hall.

1923 - HARRY HOLMES KNOCKED OUT 
    Before a good house int e Town Hall last night "Curley" Hincks (Brisbane) 9.2 knocked out Harry Holmes (Maryborough) 9.4 in the 20th round  (http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article178439359)


1927- Amateur Boxing and wrestling champion ships were held in Maryborough
<http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article150972778>


1937 - Another capacity house at Max Gornik's stadium saw Dannie Ritchie (10.8) box a ten rounds draw with Morgan Tanner (10.6). In the second feature Snowy Regan (9.12) stopped Al Meredith (9.8) in the third round. Regan won his last six fighters here in brilliant style (M/boro Chronicle 21/8/1937)

1937- Another big night a Gorniks stadium saw Ron Sylvester lost to "Lofty" Stig. It was a huge fight and other interesting fighters for the night  included Snowy Regan, Otto Scheffler, "Kid" Cole, and Alf Wells.. Check the whole article here 

1937- Dan Ritchie versus Morgan Tanner (10.8) the boxer from Pialba. The full article is here

1937- Boxing was forming into a major sport and the Maryborough Boxing Association was formed.. they celebrated by a fight night.. read about Conroy v Tanner

1938 - Tiger Thompson versed Flash Gordon.... it was a grueling fight but Tiger secured a meritorious decision over Flash, who was unable to continue after the seventh round owing to having injured his left hand in one of the hard punching duels with which the match was liberally sprinkled.
Other fights on the night were Jackie Burns and Otto Scheffler , with Jackie winning by knock out.
Ren Corie defeated Kev Lynch on points, Les Smith TKO'd G Burns in two rounds and M Anderson KO'd J Jackson in 2 rounds ( Full article here)

THE BULL...


References:

Trove, Various Newspapers and various dates.

Thursday, 16 March 2017

Boxing Troupes, skating rinks and Harry Steve

Two gentlemen came into the rooms asking about Henry/Harry Steve who was a boxer and also a Boxing Promoter. Harry ( as he was generally known ) was born in South Africa and he was the owner of ????? in South Africa before coming to Australia.

He had a long and successful career as a boxing promoter and his main fighter was Arthur Douglas who was born in South Africa and was a ???? champion fighter with varied and fascinating descriptions of his stature. Harry was a very talented man also and during his life of travels was a promoter, a vet, a hairdresser and publican sometimes all 3 at once.

His second wife Lucy died in Maryborough and is buried in the Maryborough Cemetery, she lived in North St prior to her death. Harry remarried and we established he was cremated in Rockhampton but may have been interred at Biloela and our gentlemen left with this task to discover.

Lets start a little further back Harry had came to the Wide Bay area and was attending other boxing matches and was fairly confident in his ability to properly promote the sport locally and would make comments regularly in the local paper.

Maryborough Chronicle 29/1/1923.. Murphy Johnson Fight

Harry was quite adamant on the management not stopping open betting being conducted and his stated it would tend to put boxing on a very low level indeed.
He believes the majority of people go to view a match from a sportsmanlike attitude and to see two well trained gladiators doing their best to win by fair means. But once the betting enters the game to the extend it did last night the whole thing fell apart.

Very interesting read on the match held between Murphy and Johnson at the Town Hall Maryborough . You can read it here

Harry Steve decided to set up a boxing stadium/ rollerskating rink in Maryborough which was an amazing addition to our town at the time. The story featured in the Maryborough Chronicle went like this:

SPORTING
Boxing and Physical Culture
Converting Naval Hall into Stadium
Raising Standard of Noble Art
Mr H Steves Adventure 1923

What promises to be a very big development in connection with boxing in Maryborough, is at present being arranged by the well-known promoter, Mr Harry Steve. In fact, if the scheme is carried out according to the original plans, and there seems no valid reason why it should not be, the noble art should receive the biggest impetus that has ever been experienced locally. Mr Steve has been for the greater portion of his life engaged in the promotion of big boxing contests. and being fortified with a practical experience extending over many years, he has invariably made good. 

In South Africa he figured prominently in the preparation of some fine men for the ring, and among those was Arthur Douglas, whose name is familiar to every follower of the sport.
For a long time, Mr Steve was located in Durban, where he was secretary and treasurer of one of the biggest clubs in South Africa known as the Lords Amateur Athletic and Cycling Club. Since coming to Australia he has been engaged in business, but has always kept in close touch with the sports he was formerly identified with abroad. His latest project has been t take a lease on the Naval Hall, Maryborough for a term of five years and the preliminary arrangements for the conversion into a sporting rendezvous are now int he course of progress. The principal feature will be to enter for boxing, and the scheme is apparently not going to be dealt with on any mean scale.

A staff of workmen is occupied in transforming the hall for boxing purposes and when this is completed the equipping of the stadium will be proceeded with. The various appointments will be carried out in the most modern style, and nothing will e wanting in this respect, when the first contest is arranged. 
The boxing ring will be 21 feet square overall, and the enclosure itself, 18 feet square, while the seating accommodation for spectators will be arranged on the most modern lines. It is the intention of Mr Steve to endeavor to raise the standard of boxing in Maryborough by stringently adhering to the policy of only putting on contests to which he has every confidence from the spectators point of view. He leaves for Brisbane this week in the hope  of arranging some good fights at an early date, and is hopeful that on Eight hour night the first programme will be submitted. Every boxer will require to sign an agreement safeguarding both himself and the promoter, who is out for the best available talent. 

 The Hall which is capable of accommodating 2000 spectators, should be admirably suited for the purpose to which it is being devoted. Mr Steve also purposed inaugurating physical culture classes and gymnastics. The gymnasium is now being constructed, and will be right up to date in every details. The undertaking is a big one, bu the promoter is confident that boxing and the allied sports are popular, and he is determined to place them on a permanent footing. No expense will be spared to attain that end, and the public will be given the opportunity to demonstrate its appreciation of his enterprise. 
MARYBOROUGH BOXING

As a continuation we thought we would also outline the early history of boxing in Maryborough Qld.. so if you would like to read more on that go to MARYBOROUGH BOXING

References

1923 'SPORTING.', Maryborough Chronicle, Wide Bay and Burnett Advertiser (Qld. : 1860 - 1947), 17 April, p. 8. , viewed 17 Mar 2017, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article151301396

PIC/8395 LOC Drawer PIC/8395-Arnold Thomas boxing collection [picture]/[Portrait of Arthur Douglas, South African boxer who fought in Australia, 1] [picture] /

 1877,  Arnold Thomas boxing collection [picture]  <http://nla.gov.au/nla.obj-148523186>


Wednesday, 15 March 2017

The arrival of the South Sea Islanders to Maryborough

I recently attended a planning meeting for the 150th Anniversary of the landing of the Mary Smith in Maryborough. The Mary Smith was  a labour recruiing ship that had travelled to the Pacifc Islands to bring the first group of South Sea Islanders to work on cane and cotton properties on the Fraser Coast.

The is much discussion around the blackbirding trade and whether all SSI were blackbirded or whether there was also legitimate boats that were declared as recruitment ships. So as a part of the ongoing discussion we are currently compiling a list of ships that were docked in Maryborough with indentured labour and blackbirded labour on board. 

There are a couple of interesting definitions that were first discussed.
..
Definition of a slave ship-A ship transporting slaves, especially one carrying slaves from Africa. 
Definition of a slave - Slave is a person who is legally owned by someone else and has to work for that person
Definition of a kanaka: A Pacific Islander employed as an indentured labourer in Australia, especially in the sugarand cotton plantations of Queensland
.
Definition of a blackbirder : A person engaged in press-ganging or kidnapping labourers in the south Pacific region for work on the sugar plantations or a ship engaged in this trade.

With these definitions and the discussions fresh we decided to do a little research into the recruitment ships to see if we could in any way discover and cover the ships, where they came from, who owned them and how many they bought into Australia. 

For more information on each ship go to the  Labour Recruitment Ships page and there are links to individual ships on there for your reading. 





References: 
https://en.oxforddictionaries.com
http://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/
http://trove.nla.gov.au 




 

Thursday, 9 March 2017

Wow how time flies..

I realised I haven't posted anything since Christmas the time has gotten away from me this year yet I have been achieving so much. When the Society went on holidays I stayed on over the break to catch up with all the tasks I hadn't finished and decided to clean up the computer and my records.


It was definitely worth it and I had the opportunity to meet a lovely lady who is looking for her ancestors. The Great Grandmother she is looking for is we believe is known as Elizabeth Thurechts who was married ot a George Berry and they lived at Wondai.. but we have a major disaster in that we can not find any trace of her she gave birth to children, but wierd enough is that her surname is different on every birth certificate. So Elizabeth and I are trying every avenue to discover this person who she owes so much to.

I think I have tried every avenue of research and I dont' think there is any way to go but we will keep plodding along. Then in the process I have also been helping Bill with his family and filling in the missing gaps of his family. It can be so rewarding helping somebody else discover new people and family.

Then the most exciting thing was announced that Tom King my GGGGrandfather is being honoured by the Fraser Coasts Council at their Walk of Achievers and they are having an official ceremony on the 7th May.. this is awesome as Tom and the family contributed heaps to the local area as most of the family were Irish Policemen.



Tom was part of the initial party that went to Victoria to track Ned Kelly but Tom liked a drink or two and was arrested by the Victorian Cops for drunk and disorderly.. and sent home but he went back to work and continued on his merry way. :)

I have more exciting news I have been enrolled at the University of Tasmania for Place Image, Object course.. this should be fascinating to do as it explores how objects, places, and images assist you in writing the history of someone.. I am sure it is going to expand my research skills heaps and I am also waiting to see if I get accepted into another course which will advance my skills and qualifications hugely.

So as you can read I am flat out getting nowhere and having a ball.. I am going to a meeting on Saturday for the 150th anniversary of the landing of the schooner "Mary Smith" in Maryborough. This is a recruiting ship for South Sea Islanders, and we are already having some of the most interesting conversations with my old pal Alistair who has roped me in for this. Although I am quite looking forward to it..

So I am rambling along and your probably thinking now I know why she can't get anything on paper.. I need to get my stuff more organised for sure but I love flicking from one thing to another as I learn more and more things daily.

Till next time
Enjoy