Trove Tuesday – A Newspaper Photograph

August is National Family History Month so for today, a Trove Tuesday post with a family theme. The digitised newspapers at Trove are a great place to look for photos of family members. When I search I always filter the results to show any illustrated newspapers…just in case.

Recently I was searching the newspapers specifically for four and five generation family photos to share on the Western District Families Facebook page. Such photos were often in the papers, sometimes sent in by readers for Readers’ Snapshots pages or sometimes they made the general news. You may remember a newspaper photo I found of my ggg aunt Amelia Bell (nee Harman) with four generations of her descendants.

My search found the following photo from the Weekly Times of 25 April 1925 taken at Dergholm north-west of Casterton. The caption told me the photo included Mrs Jones, described as the oldest resident in the Dergholm district, holding her great-grandaughter Heather McCrae. Standing to the left is Mrs Jones’ daughter Mrs McNamara and standing to the right, her granddaughter, Mrs McCrae.

FOUR GENERATIONS AT DERGHOLM (1925, April 25). Weekly Times (Melbourne, Vic. : 1869 – 1954), p. 48. Retrieved August 19, 2019, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article223165492

When sharing photos to the Facebook page I like to include some extra information about the subjects. Only Mesdames Jones, McNamara and McCrae wasn’t going to do. With not much to work with and common surnames, “Dergholm” was going to be key in the search. 

Staying with Trove I searched for Jones Dergholm and quickly found the obituary of James Jones, late of Dergholm in The Casterton News and the Merino and Sandford Record from 1 June 1914. He was the second son of Mrs Jane Jones and the late Henry Jones of Dergholm. Jane and Henry had ten children, four sons and six daughters and among the daughters listed was a Mrs McNamara.  Unfortunately, no Christian name for her but James’ obituary had me a step closer to confirming Mrs Jones was Jane Jones. Also, if I wanted to research the whole of the Jones family of Dergholm, there are a lot of good clues to go on with.

Crossed the Bar. (1914, June 1). The Casterton News and the Merino and Sandford Record (Vic. : 1914 – 1918), p. 3 (Bi-Weekly). Retrieved August 20, 2019, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article74761214

I then went to Births, Deaths and Marriages Victoria to search for James Jones’ entry in the Death Index. There I confirmed his father was Henry Jones and his mother was Jane Holt.1  I then searched the Death Index for Jane Jones and found a Jane Jones (nee Holt) died at Casterton in 1935 aged ninety-two.2  On that, she would have been around eighty-two in the photo. Although there were no further details of Jane’s parents if I wanted to find more about her, from the entry I knew she was born around 1843 possibly at Geelong. But I wanted to find out about her descendants next.

Turning to Mrs McNamara, I took a punt she also lived at Dergholm and searched the Birth Index for McNamara births at Dergholm and found three daughters born to Michael McNamara and Eliza Jones – Hilda Constance in 18983 Annie Elizabeth in 1900 3and Queenie in 1909.5  One of those girls could be Mrs McCrae. Queenie was too young, maybe it was Annie but I thought I’d start with Hilda. Searching the Marriage Index for Hilda McNamara I found her marriage to Alexander McCrae in 1923.6   While there, I  found Eliza Jones’ marriage to Michael McNamara in 18967 and then back to the Death Index to double-check it was the right Eliza Jones who married Michael McNamara. I found Eliza McNamara, the daughter of Henry Jones and Jane Holt died in 1928 at Casterton aged sixty-one.8 That was just three years after the photo and seven years before her mother.

The chances of finding more about baby Heather were slim, but I thought I would give it a try. A Trove search for Heather McCrae found nothing but a search of McCrae Dergholm, resulted in the following engagement notice from The Argus.  A tip for searching Trove using words with a prefix –  I find I have better results if a drop the Mc altogether and search Crae or Namara, for example. The same for “O” and “St” etc.

Family Notices (1946, December 26). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 – 1957), p. 6. Retrieved August 20, 2019, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article22387849

Back to the Victorian Marriage Index. With the groom’s surname from the engagement notice, I quickly found Heather and Lionel married in 1947.9

Something else I found at Trove was a letter Hilda McNamara wrote to “Aunt Connie” of The Weekly Times, published on 13 July 1912 when Hilda was fourteen. It’s a bit hard to read but if I were related to Hilda, I’d be happy to find it.

INDUSTRIES OF DERGIIOLM (1912, July 13). Weekly Times (Melbourne, Vic. : 1869 – 1954), p. 38. Retrieved August 20, 2019, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article224848393

In a short time and using just two free websites, I was able to find out a lot more about the subjects of the Weekly Times photo. I found names, dates, a nice letter by Hilda and plenty to go on with if I wanted to. But for now, I can update the caption to read Jane Jones (nee Holt) holding her great-granddaughter Heather McCrae, the granddaughter of Eliza McNamara (nee Jones) back left, and daughter of Hilda McCrae (nee McNamara) back right.

FOUR GENERATIONS AT DERGHOLM (1925, April 25). Weekly Times (Melbourne, Vic. : 1869 – 1954), p. 48. Retrieved August 20, 2019, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article223165492

SOURCES

1 Victorian Death Index, James Jones, 1914, Reg. no. 4830/1914
2 Victorian Death Index, Jane Jones, 1935, Reg. no. 12397/1935
3 Victorian Birth Index, Hilda Constance McNamara, 1898, Reg. no. 10478/1898
4 Victorian Birth Index, Annie Elizabeth McNamara, 1900, Reg. no. 25996/1900
5 Victorian Birth Index, Queenie McNamara, 1909, Reg. no. 18510/1909
6 Victorian Marriage Index, Hilda Constance McNamara, 1923 Reg. no. 165/1923
7 Victorian Marriage Index, Eliza Jones, Reg. no. 14/1896

8 Victorian Death Index, Eliza McNamara, 1928, Reg. no. 9356/1928
9 Victorian Marriage Index, Heather McCrae, 1947, Reg. no. 2300/1947

Passing of the Pioneers

The stories of the Western District pioneers continue with June Passing of the Pioneers.  Pioneer obituaries come from a woman who was the first European woman at Colac, a man who survived a shipwreck off Tasmania, and a Reverend who started his career as a journalist for the London Times. Look out for the July obituaries when Passing of the Pioneers celebrates a birthday.

Nicholas COLE: Died 22 June 1879 at Darlington. Born in England and heir to an estate in Plymouth, Nicholas Cole decided to try his luck in Australia and arrived in Sydney in 1839. During his voyage, he met another man Peter McArthur and together they sailed on from Sydney to Geelong. They became partners and took up the West Cloven Hills and Menningort runs at Darlington. Those early pioneers faced many hardships including the Black Thursday fires in 1851.  Nicholas, thought to be a descendant of “Old King Cole” the subject of the nursery rhyme of the same name, ran Merino sheep and built up a herd that produced high yields of good quality wool. 

"Pastoral Pioneers" The Australasian (Melbourne, Vic. : 1864 - 1946) 13 October 1934: 49 (METROPOLITAN EDITION). .

“Pastoral Pioneers” The Australasian (Melbourne, Vic. : 1864 – 1946) 13 October 1934: 49 (METROPOLITAN EDITION). <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article145242490&gt;.

More information about Nicholas is available on the links –  The Colac Herald 24 June 1879    The Cole Family at West Cloven Hills

Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria

SHEARING SHED, WEST CLOVEN HILLS (1987) Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria J.T. Collins Collection, La Trobe Picture Collection. Image no. H95.200/65 http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/217139

Elizabeth YOUNG: Died 11 June 1892 at Barongarook. Jean Young was born in Scotland in 1823 and as a girl sailed to Tasmania with her parents and her father worked as a solicitor in Hobart. In 1841, she married Hugh Murray. They moved to Geelong and Hugh, considered the founder of Colac, moved to that area, before Jean and her young son joined them, becoming the first European woman in the district.  She raised a family of fourteen children and endured the many hardships faced by early pioneer women in Victoria. Among other things, Jean and Hugh were founding members of the Colac Presbyterian church and Jean remained a pillar of the church during her life. Hugh passed away twenty-three years before Elizabeth in 1869.

George COXON: Died 20 June 1892 at Portland. George Coxon was born and married in England and in 1857 he and his family, including seven children, travelled to Victoria. After a short time on the Victorian goldfields, he took up farming pursuits in the Casterton district.  In his later years, he moved to Portland where he passed away.  A profile of George and his family his available on the SW Pioneers website –    http://www.swvic.org/sandford/coxon_george.htm

Lawrence McKENNA: Died June 1914 at Curlew Hill.  Lawrence McKenna was born around 1830 in Ireland and travelled to Adelaide around 1861. The South Australian explorer John Stuart was about to leave on a government funded expedition to cross the continent and Lawrence joined his party. Stuart eventually abandoned his attempt. After ten years on the goldfields of Victoria and New Zealand, Lawrence gained work at Woodhouse near Dunkeld in 1872. He took a trip back to Ireland in 1874 then returned to Dunkeld to marry Elizabeth Irwin and they settled at nearby Curlew Hill.  In 1900, he was badly burnt while trying to protect his property during bushfires and never fully recovered.

Sophia GERDTZ: Died 5 June 1914 at Hamilton. Sophia Gerdtz was born in Germany around 1831 and arrived in Melbourne during the early 1850s. Her family travelled to Hamilton, where few buildings stood. She first married Robert Thomson at Lyne Station in 1852 but was left a widow during the 1860s. She then married storekeeper Cavendish Neville.  Again widowed, she spent the last years of her life living with her son at Pierrepoint, just out of Hamilton.

 Bridget McNAMARA: Died 19 June 1914 at Tower Hill.  Born in Ireland around 1843, Bridget McNamara arrived with her parents to Port Fairy in 1852 and they settled near Farnham and later Dennington. In 1866 at Warrnambool, Bridget married Hugh Reilly, afterward settling at Southern Cross where they lived for the rest of their lives.

THE Roroit Sentine[?] AND Tower Hill Advocate. (1914, June 27). Koroit Sentinel and Tower Hill Advocate (Vic. : 1914 - 1918), p. 2. Retrieved July 1, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article119554315

THE Roroit Sentine[?] AND Tower Hill Advocate. (1914, June 27). Koroit Sentinel and Tower Hill Advocate (Vic. : 1914 – 1918), p. 2. Retrieved July 1, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article119554315

Reverend George Duke LEE: Died June 1915 at Hamilton. Born in Derbyshire, England around 1830, George Lee first worked as a reporter for the London Times in America. After briefly returning to England he sailed to Victoria aboard the Blue Jacket in 1853 and made for the Ballarat goldfields. He worked as a teacher but left after medical advice as his eye sight was failing. Instead, he went on a lecture tour for the Sons of Temperance Friendly Society through the Western District. While visiting Chetwynd he became interested in the teachings of the Presbyterian church and entered the Ministry. He was sent to the St. Johns Presbyterian Church at Cavendish where he remained for thirty years.

Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria

ST JOHNS PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH, CAVENDISH (1974). Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria J.T. Collins Collection, La Trobe Picture Collection. Image no. H94.200/605 http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/217138

When George retired around nine years before his death, he moved to Hamilton.

William ALFORD: Died June 1916 at Ellerslie. William Alford was born in England around 1831 and twenty-one years later he travelled to Australia. He was a steward on the ship he sailed aboard which wrecked off the Tasmanian coast. William and other passengers were able to reach shore on a dingy and they walked to Hobart without shoes. William then travelled to the goldfields of Victoria, working as a driver with the gold escort out of Ballarat and later driving the mail coach between Ballarat and Geelong. He moved to Ellerslie in the mid-1860s and he remained there for the remainder of his life. William was a caretaker of the local Mechanics Institute and was involved with the Ellerslie Football Club.

James WORLAND: Died 18 June 1916 at Warrnambool. James Worland was born in Melbourn, Cambridgeshire around 1851 and arrived in Port Fairy two years later with his parents and they settled in the Warrnambool district. When working age, James took a job at a tannery and later purchased his own tannery. William also took up many roles in the community including warden of the Christ Church and a founding member of the local branch of the Society of St. George. At the time of his death, he left a widow and nine children.

William DAVIDSON: – Died June 1917 at Woolsthorp.  Born in Aberdeen, Scotland, William Davidson arrived at Port Fairy in 1855. He first took up labouring at Minjah, a property near Hawkesdale before opening a store at Woolsthorpe. He later  then turned to dairy-farming.  William was known as “The Chaffer” around Woolsthorpe because he enjoyed having a tease.  A widower at the time of his death, William had twelve surviving children.