Here we are and it’s mid-November already with only three Blog entries for the year and this will be the first since June – not the best of efforts! Yes, Neville Jones Services has been busy and but a lot time was expended on watching AFL!
Still, research has been continuing even if a bit haphazard and I devoted a fair amount of time to a project, on behalf of a friend, investigating the Montefiore and Court families which is always fascinating as there is so much written about these prominent people. Of course this is a distraction from the main mission of locating my friend’s missing great grandparents. Early last year I discovered the great grandmother Alice Maude (Joyce) Montefiore who died a seemingly lonely death in Victoria in 1907 just seven months after the marriage of her daughter in Queensland. The newspaper wedding story referred to the late “Mr and Mrs Montefiore”. As for the mysterious – and apparently disowned – great grandfather, Sidney Benjamin Baron Gompertz Montefiore, well – he is still missing.
I had the pleasure of meeting Sir Tony “Time Team” Robinson back in May when the History Channel team was at the ‘Defence of Darwin Experience’ Museum to film an episode of the upcoming series Tony Robinson’s Tour of Duty (due for release in January 1015).
Back in July, my wife Lorelei was contacted by her second cousin Fiona Pak Poy-Davis who was in Darwin for the National Masters Hockey Tournament. Fiona has represented South Australia, New South Wales and Australia in field hockey. This relationship is somewhat unusual in that while the two share a common great grandfather in James Chee Quee, Fiona is descended from the first wife Moo Kim Foong and Lorelei is descended from the second wife Moo Kim Kow with the two wives being sisters (see Is this Marriage Legal? September 2012). We took Fiona along to the Chung Wah Society ‘satay skewering working bee’ (preparation for the fundraiser Food Stall at the Darwin Show) where she was able to meet many of the Darwin Chinese families. Looking through the museum, we met Natalie Fong from Sydney who was catching up with her relations and researching discrimination against the Chinese in the 1900’s. The picture below shows Fiona and Kathleen standing in front of a 1903 photograph of Darwin Chinese merchants at the Government Resident’s office the day they all signed a letter of remonstrance protesting the stereotyping of Chinese businessmen as opium dealers. The maternal great grandfathers of both Fiona and Natalie are in the group.
Apart from my mother’s photo collection – including an album she compiled as a teenager and which I digitally restored a few years ago – I have very few historical photographs. So it was very pleasing to discover that my cousin Rick has an album of our grandfather’s – Norman Muir. While I am yet to see this album, Mum has sent on number of photos, Christmas cards and World War I postcards demonstrating the ongoing connection between the Muir and Flavel families (see The “Aha” Moment in Family Research – Solly and Flavel in my Muir-Buirchell Tree April 2013). Below is just a sample.
In response to a question from another cousin (“where are all the Buirchells buried?”), I set about to answer this and carried out quite a satisfying piece of research although at this juncture it remains in a tabular form of chronology, incident and location. A large part of this research involved the emergence and disappearance of the town of Eticup just to the east of Kojonup.
I reworked my story Elva Trevelion – An Untold Story from Trove (January 2014) for publication in the Genealogical Society of the Northern Territory quarterly Progenitor. I was told just yesterday that the GSNT’s Progenitor was reviewed in the Genealogical Society of Victoria magazine Ancestor featuring the edition containing my story The Search for Neville Robert Sexton (not yet published on this Blog) and which re-published the photograph of the Mounted Constable and his horse and dog I used to illustrate that story.
So – looking back, perhaps I have not been as idle as it seemed. Still, I need to be more strategic and tackle some of those ‘brick walls’; especially those Irish ones.