4th Blogiversary

Well, that snuck up on me.  It’s Western District Families’ 4th Blogiversary.

Image courtesy of the Argus Newspaper Collection of Photographs, State Library of Victoria.  Image No. H98.101/329 http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/202825

Image courtesy of the Argus Newspaper Collection of Photographs, State Library of Victoria. Image No. H98.101/329 http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/202825

Western District Families’ fourth year was the quietest to date and I don’t like to promise much more in the blog’s fifth year, but I’ll try.  I’m off to a good start with a new tab at the top of the page, “Hamilton’s WW1” and two more planned, another WW1 related and an index of the Passing of the Pioneer obituaries.  The monthly Passing of the Pioneer posts are having a short break while I get the two WW1 projects up and running, but the prospect of having the pioneers indexed is exciting.  It will certainly make my research easier and I hope it will help you too when searching for relatives among the obituaries.

There’s not too much to report on the top five posts for the year, something I’ve done in past years, except the Old Portland Cemetery – Part 1, continued to keep up its popularity. It was good to see the July Passing of the Pioneers post making it into the top five for the year and the post on the Western District enlistments of the 8th Light Horse Regiment B Squadron from January.

Almost all of my posts over the past four years would not be possible without the resource we all love, Trove.  Now there is an opportunity to give something back to Trove with the Inside History/NLA  Pozible campaign to raise funds for the digitisation of the Hamilton Spectator (1860-1913).  My pledge was a win-win  Not only will it boost the Spec’s chances of digitisation which, as a Western District researcher, is huge, but I also get to support Trove, a free resource that maybe we sometimes take for granted. For for me, a visit to an overseas newspaper archive site always reminds me how lucky we are to have Trove.  The Pozible campaign runs until 25 April and with pledges only just reaching the halfway mark, now’s a perfect time to give a bit back to Trove.  Plus it would my make my blogiversary month so much better knowing that at least ten years of the Hamilton Spectator at Trove was just around the corner.  This is the link if you would like to pledge – www.pozible.com/project/191002

Make a Pledge for the ‘Spec’

You may remember the National Library of Australia and Inside History Magazine running a poll last year to select a newspaper for digitization for the Trove website.  After vigorous voting, thanks greatly to the people of Hamilton past and present, the Hamilton Spectator (1860-1913) came out the winner.  Now it’s fundraising time.

With a target of $10,000, Inside History Magazine are conducting a Pozible campaign to raise funds for the digitisation of the ‘Spec’.  A pledge of just $25 will enable about a week of the ‘Spec’ to be digitised.  One hundred dollars digitises around a month of ‘Specs’.

If you are a self-confessed “Trovite”, this is a great chance to give a bit back to the wonderful free resource that is Trove.  For those of you with an interest in Western District history, the digitisation of the Hamilton Spectator is an important addition to Trove, complimenting the likes of the already digitised Portland Guardian and Horsham Times. The Spectator was (and still is) an important and respected voice of the Western District.

To pledge – Go to  Pozible – Inside History Supports Trove.  There are just twenty-four days left to make your pledge.

Vote 1 – Hamilton Spectator

"[No heading]." Hamilton Spectator (Vic. : 1914 - 1918) 6 Jan 1914: .

“[No heading].” Hamilton Spectator (Vic. : 1914 – 1918) 6 Jan 1914: <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-page13375984&gt;.

When the Hamilton Spectator (1914-1918) made it to Trove, I was pretty excited and my post Its Official was evidence of that.   What a benefit those five years of papers have been to my research. But I’ve always thought it was unfortunate more issues of the Spec were not available at Trove.  Portland, through the Portland Guardian & Normanby General Advertiser, the Portland Guardian and the Portland Observer & Normanby Advertiser, is represented from 1842  through to 1953.  Horsham has the Horsham Times from 1882 to 1954.  The Spec would compliment those publications as the newspapers from the three towns were all important voices for the west of the state.

The National Library of Australia with Inside History Magazine are conducting a poll to choose one of  six newspapers for digitisation and the Hamilton Spectator from 1860 to 1913 is one of those.  In fact it is the only Victorian newspaper.  We can make the digitisation of the Hamilton Spectator a reality and the first step is to vote.   If you go to the following link – Vote Now – you can cast your vote.   But hurry…voting closes on November 30. Crowdfunding will raise the money to digitise the winning paper.  With the I’ve Lived in Hamilton, Victoria Facebook group of 3500 members getting behind the campaign, hopefully it will be the Spec.

Inside History Magazine has put together a history of the Hamilton Spectator and you can read it on the link – Spec History

If you need any more incentive to vote, the following from the Hamilton Spectator of November 21, 1914 suggests a few good reasons.

"[No heading]." Hamilton Spectator (Vic. : 1914 - 1918) 21 Nov 1914:   http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-page13385110>.

“[No heading].” Hamilton Spectator (Vic. : 1914 – 1918) 21 Nov 1914: http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-page13385110&gt;.

Trove Tuesday – Hamilton’s Hero Herbalist

Well it’s Tuesday and that could only mean one thing…Trove Tuesday. It’s been too long.  I’ve read a lot of  the Table Talk newspaper lately, a recent addition to the wonderful collection of Trove Digitised Newspapers.  Because Table Talk (1885-1939) was  a social newspaper, I have enjoyed the comings and goings of Western District folk from those times, spending their holidays with friends or living it up in the “big smoke” as guests of Melbourne’s best hotels.  Alas, my Western District families were not in the same class of people who graced the social pages, but I still enjoy the photos of those from a higher station in life enjoying tennis and golf tournaments and fox hunts all in the finest fashions.

One feature of Table Talk is wedding photos.  I have found several  Hamilton brides, and have admired their beautiful gowns and bridesmaids’ dresses while following the changing trends in wedding attire.  One particular photo caught my eye, mainly because I didn’t recognise the Hamilton  family names as those that regularly graced the Table Talk pages. It was from the marriage of  Caleb Shang and Annie Kassene , celebrated at the home of Mr J. Quing Yen of Brown Street, Hamilton.  The bridal party consisted of members of the Shang, Kassene and Quing Yen families.

shang

TOILET ECONOMY. (1923, May 24). Table Talk (Melbourne, Vic. : 1885 – 1939), p. 12. Retrieved June 22, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article146570075

 

I searched Trove for Caleb Shang and was immediately met with headlines of “War Hero”.  I then Googled his name and there were entries from the Australian Dictionary of  Biography , Wikipedia, the Australian War Memorial and various newspaper articles.  I checked with those sites and the same Caleb Shang married Annie Kassene, but considering Caleb was from Cairns, I was left wondering why he was in Hamilton?

As it turns out,  Caleb served with the 47th Battalion during WW1 and after a battle at Messines Ridge in 1916, he received a Distinguished Conduct Medal(DCM).  In 1918, while still with the 47th, his brave actions at the Somme saw him awarded a Military Medal and a bar was added to his DCM , thus becoming the highest decorated Australian soldier of Chinese descent. In August 1918, he was shot in the leg and returned to Australia where he was given a hero’s welcome by the people of Cairns.

Sometime after his return, Caleb worked as a herbalist and moved to Victoria to practice.  To be precise, he moved to Hamilton, joining another herbalist John Quing Yen who married Maud Elizabeth Wah Shang in Queensland in 1910.  Presumably Maud was Caleb’s sister.  As a herbalist,  Caleb not only serviced the people of Hamilton but also travelled to Mt Gambier offering consultations at a local boarding house, as seen in this advertisement from the Border Watch of September 22, 1922, eight months before his marriage.

Advertising. (1922, September 22). Border Watch (Mount Gambier, SA : 1861 - 1954), p. 2. Retrieved June 22, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article77677775

Advertising. (1922, September 22). Border Watch (Mount Gambier, SA : 1861 – 1954), p. 2. Retrieved June 22, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article77677775

After the wedding,  Caleb and Annie did not remain in Hamilton long, returning to Cairns. After a long illness,  Caleb passed away in 1953.

I thought it necessary to find out a little about the bride Anna (Annie) Louise Kassene,  born at Hamilton in 1900.  She was the daughter of bootmaker Gustav Kassene and Hulda Grambau of Hochkirch (Tarrington).  Hulda died in 1901 after the birth of her third child at barely 20 years of age and Gustav died in 1915.  The two Kassene men in the wedding photo are possibly Annie’s two siblings.  Annie died in Cairns in 1955.

 

Sources

Australian Dictionary of Biography

Australian War Memorial

Herald Sun

 

 

Happy Birthday WDF

That time of year has rolled around again…blogiversary time.  Yes, Western District Families is three today and it’s party hat time.

_221

MY NANA, LINDA HADDEN, IS IN THE BACK ROW WITH THE POINTY WHITE HAT

At first glance, my blogging year seemed uneventful.  With much time taken up with study and family, and little left to write the type of posts I enjoy.  But when I look back over the 100 or so posts of the past year, when at times I’ve felt as though I was in a tug of war with demands from everywhere, I didn’t too badly.

hb

Image Courtesy of the State Library of Victoria. Image no. H2010.137/14 http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/85452

I managed to write posts that are now among my favourites of the past three years including Sweet Daisy, stories of The Vagabond, the Muddy Creek Reeds, Claremont, Portland and  Skipton, the Local Horse, each requiring plenty of research to sink my teeth into.  I also enjoyed writing the post that evolved while cooking, Stretching My Genealogy Muscles.

There has also been the ever dependable Trove Tuesday posts. This time last year I had written 33 Trove Tuesday posts and in the past year another 49 have evolved. I particularly enjoyed learning about Aaron Weller, who in 1897 was Victoria’s oldest man.  I know some you are missing the Trove Tuesday posts, but they’ll be back.  Another regular, Passing of the Pioneers, is still going strong and I will keep up the posts over the coming months.  I haven’t counted for a while, but the number of pioneer obituaries is nearing 500.

There were some other highlights such as The Hamilton Spectator (1914-1918) arriving online at Trove.  Also the birth of the Western District Families Facebook page  now with 162 members.  And of course,  the re-incarnation of the “I’ve Lived in Hamilton, Victoria” Facebook group , with 2590 members. It has been huge, bringing me new friends, new research ideas and an increased knowledge of Hamilton and district.

But the biggest highlight once again was Western District Families inclusion in Inside History magazine’s 50 top genealogy blogs.  To have Western District Families recognised with 49 fantastic blogs from Australia and overseas definitely takes the cake.

http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/85452

Image Courtesy of the State Library of Victoria . Image no.H2010.137/14 http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/85452

 

So what’s been popular this year?  The Top 5 includes two new posts, another only 13 months old and two old favourites.

  • A Pleasant Distraction – Introducing the Hamilton Facebook group and an insight into the gathering of Hamilton social history that has resulted.
  • The General Hewitt – Portland Bay 1856 – First posted in March 2013, this post tells the story of the ship’s arrival in Portland Bay and the events in days after, along with some of the passengers who made the Western District their home.
  • Muntham Station – A You Tube clip, produced for the sale of the former Henty property, spurred me on to share a little of the history of the former Henty property.

It is also great  to see the Links page getting many views and lots of clicks.  I hope you found a useful Western District link.

Western District Families has really moved forward in the past 12 months.  Views to the blog have almost doubled and at the last blogiversary had 64 followers, today there are 144. I would love to get back to the usual two posts a week, but while I’m working on my Diploma thesis I will be limiting my output here, but I’m looking forward to the second half of the year when I can share some more stories of our Western District Families.

Thank you to everyone.

 

Image courtesy of the Lindsay G. Cumming Collection, State Library of Victoria.  Image no. H2005.88/353 http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/26100

Image courtesy of the Lindsay G. Cumming Collection, State Library of Victoria. Image no. H2005.88/353 http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/26100

 

Trove Tuesday – The Australasian

Editions of The Australasian Melbourne (1864-1946) began arriving at Trove in early January and since there has been five further updates.  On my first search of the paper, and there are still many issues “coming soon”, I was pleased to find many articles, with photos, that are of interest to me.

The Australasian grew out of the  Weekly Argus (1855), Examiner and Melbourne Weekly News (1857), Yeoman and Australian Acclimatiser (1861), with the first issue published on October 1, 1864.  Later,  Bells Life in Victoria and the Australasian Sketcher (1873) merged with The Australasian.  Sold as a “town and country” paper,  it includes plenty of news from Western District towns.  The Australasian became the Australasian Post in 1946.

There was one photo I was keen to get access to from The Australasian, that of “Bewsall”, the home of Robert Stapylton Bree of Hamilton.  I have searched everywhere for a photo of the house which no longer exists,  but I had seen one in Don Garden’s book, “Hamilton, A Western District History” (1984), sourced, including others in the book, from The Australasian.  Well, the photo of “Bewsall” is now available and you can see it below.

HAMILTON. (1903, May 2). The Australasian (Melbourne, Vic. : 1864 - 1946), p. 27. Retrieved February 18, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article138684187

HAMILTON. (1903, May 2). The Australasian (Melbourne, Vic. : 1864 – 1946), p. 27. Retrieved February 18, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article138684187

The following photo is of Hamilton’s main street, Gray Street, published in 1903.  The Christ Church steeple is in view as well as the black face of the Hamilton Post Office clock, later changed to white.

IN AND AROUND HAMILTON, INLAND METROPOLIS OF THE WESTERN DISTRICT. (1903, May 2). The Australasian (Melbourne, Vic. : 1864 - 1946), p. 26. Retrieved February 18, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article138684186

IN AND AROUND HAMILTON, INLAND METROPOLIS OF THE WESTERN DISTRICT. (1903, May 2). The Australasian (Melbourne, Vic. : 1864 – 1946), p. 26. Retrieved February 18, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article138684186

Influence from Bells Life in Victoria,  a  sports newspaper, is present in The Australasian, which has some great sporting photos, including the following from the 1902 Hamilton Golf Tournament.

HAMILTON GOLF MEETING. (1902, August 9). The Australasian (Melbourne, Vic. : 1864 - 1946), p. 33. Retrieved February 18, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article139129326

HAMILTON GOLF MEETING. (1902, August 9). The Australasian (Melbourne, Vic. : 1864 – 1946), p. 33. Retrieved February 18, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article139129326

As I page through the many illustrated articles from The Australasian, I can see that there are still many more articles with photos to come from the Hamilton district.  Thank you Trove, for once again providing us with such a wonderful newspaper.

Australia Day

Because of time restrictions, I’m not participating in the 2014 Australia Day Blogging Challenge.  Don’t despair, some great geneabloggers have written posts for the 2014 Australian Day Challenge, a Geneameme, C’Mon Aussie created by Pauline Cass of the Family History Across the Seas blog.

Instead, I will re-visit my 2012 and 2013 posts, Wealth for Toil – William Hadden and The Drover’s Wife

The 2012 Challenge was about occupations and the phrase “wealth for toil” from the Australian National Anthem.  “Toil” stood out for me and I chose to write about my gg grandfather, William Hadden of Cavendish, and his work of almost 70 years, at Mokanger Station.  Full Post

The following year threw up a new challenge and for 2013, the task was to write the story of my first ancestor to arrive in Australia.  I decided not to go with my ggg grandparents Thomas Gamble and Ellen Barry, both early arrivals, because I had told their stories on other occasions.  Instead I chose Sarah Hughes, another ggg grandmother, who I had suspected arrived in 1840.

Sarah married James Bishop in 1852 and after time in Mt Gambier and the goldfields of Ararat, they settled around Byaduk and later Macarthur.  Jim was a drover and my post explores life for the wives when their husbands were away for long periods on the road. I enjoyed writing this post and I have only now read again it for the first time in a year.  As I say in the post…pass the tissues please.  Full Post

WATTLE & WILDFLOWERS 1886,  Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria.  Image no. IAN13/11/86/SUPP http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/253970

WATTLE & WILDFLOWERS 1886, Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria. Image no. IAN13/11/86/SUPP http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/253970