After a promising 2012 start to my fledgling blogger career, 2013 has proved quite unproductive! Indeed my family history research activity has been sporadic and quite haphazard. Sadly, I have not been able to attend at the NT Genealogical Society either to do my own research or volunteer work on the Pioneer Index. However two weekends ago, I did attend a NTGS seminar presented by Susie Zada who as usual, imparts a great degree of knowledge and enthusiasm. I put this down to being quite busy with having to earn a quid but also I do not discount the impact of the AFL season and innumerable hours of available television viewing!
My last article The “Aha” Moment in Family Research – Solly and Flavel in my Muir-Buirchell Tree – did invoke two interesting responses. For my long-term corresponding research collaborator Maureen in Queensland (in my Jones-Sexton Tree), the name Flavel leapt off the page. She has been doing research for her granddaughter who has a strong connection to the Flavel family.
For new collaborator Heather, it was an “OMG” moment. She was able to demonstrate to me the connections between Head and Solly via Jolly to Bailey and Flavel. Edith Margaret (Solly) Muir’s aunt was Rachael Rebecca Head; her son Egbert Rudolph Jolly married his cousin (twice removed) Edith Jolly whose great grandfather was Stephen Bailey whose daughter by his second marriage was Honora Alice Bailey who, having married Thomas Flavel, raised Edith Margaret (Solly) Muir. Confused? So am I for the present!
Not only has Heather laid out an interesting path to follow, it transpires she is also into the mysterious Mr Bell Freeman and his connections (or perhaps I should say “liaisons”) with the Head family. I gather Heather has now made contact with my fellow Bell Freeman investigator Jessica. Speaking of Jessica, during my visit to Western Australia in February we were able to meet and share coffee and a chat at the State Library. Check out Jess’ blog Finding Family at http://ancestrysearch.wordpress.com/
Neville Jones Services projects are still keeping me busy and the pressure – not to mention excitement – is mounting with final details of our trip to the United Kingdom and Europe in July and August being put in place. By Monday 15 July – our wedding anniversary – we will be ensconced in the Coll Hotel, Arinagour, Isle of Coll, Scotland. My 3 x great grandfather Lachlan McInnes and his daughter Flora originated from here and they departed Glasgow on the Flora McDonald in 1852 bound for Portland, Victoria. There will not be any time for diligent genealogical research but I am planning to visit as many villages, churches and places appearing in my Trees as possible.
Included in this list is a visit to the Bell Inn, Evercreech, Somerset for a pint. My 2 x great grandfather Edward Treasure, then aged 15 years, burgled this establishment in company of his brother and future brother-in-law, in April 1840. It is amazing that the pub still exists! Edward was eventually transported to Western Australia in 1851. It was he that married Anna Maria Norrish – see The Young Thief was my Second Great Grandmother.
We then cross to Paris to join a four day Western Front Battlefield Tour, the first stop in which is Ieper in Belgium (or Ypres as it was earlier written). Ian Campbell Muir, a Private in the 57th Battalion, and my first cousin (twice removed), appears to have been one of only two people wounded on 25 October 1917 as the Battalion moved towards the front line at Westhoek Ridge near Ieper. He was taken to the 3rd Canadian Casualty Clearing Station near Poperinghe but died the next day and is buried in the nearby Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery. In one of those intriguing family history quirks – the Battalion Adjutant was Captain JB Laing; Ian Muir’s great grandmother was Margaret Laing.
My great grand uncle Thomas George Rogers was in the 51st Battalion and was wounded for the second time at Villers-Brettoneaux on 24 April 1918 and repatriated to England where his leg was amputated. Returning to Kojonup, “Tommy” worked as a Saddler and I well remember him getting around on a ‘peg-leg’. I am sure that this tour is going to be an emotional one seeing the places, cemeteries and memorials associated with the twenty-odd people in my Family Trees that served on the Western Front. I guess the initial emotional challenge will be watching the Menin Gate Last Post ceremony on the first night in Ieper.
I will experience some World War II moments as well – I plan to drive from Prague to Lambinowice in Poland, the site of Stalag VIIIB where my great uncle “Bonnie” Buirchell was imprisoned after being captured in Crete. Heading back towards Italy, I hope to be able to visit the cemetery at Durnbach near Munich where my first cousin (once removed) HS “Peter” Jones is buried. Peter was a Flying Sergeant Wireless Operator/Air Gunner attached to 44 (Rhodesia) RAF Squadron and whose Lancaster PD373 was shot down near Kleiningersheim following the air raid on Heilsbronn 4/5 December 1944. Peter is in a communal grave with some of his fellow crew members.
This means this blog will not be up-dated for a while but hopefully the September report will comprise an interesting account report on our travels.