Thursday, February 10, 2011

Friday Family Finds..

Today is Friday and the end of the week is drawing near. A thought occured to me this morning (which is quite something given that I am tired by this part of the week!). I have never taken the time to examine at the end of each week just what discoveries I have made. My family tree has evolved over many years without any account of exactly when I found each of the ancestors. I do have records of all of my sources but many are not dated and so do not remind me of when I discovered them. I feel that it would be interesting to keep an account of my weekly 'finds'. My challenge to myself is to sit down each Friday and to take note of at least three major things I have achieved for that week.

This is the first account of my weekly journey in Family History. These are some discoveries I made in the week beginning Monday 7 february, 2011.

1. I discovered the above photograph of my great great grandfather, Edward Joseph Weston, on, on the tree of a cousin I have never met. I have never seen a picture of my g g grandfather Edward Joseph before, however the resemblance to my maternal grandmother is striking. Edward arrived in Maryborough in 1870, as a child, accompanying his mother Mary Ann (Turner) on board the ship 'Flying Cloud'. I have been researching my Weston family for a long time and before this week, Edward Joseph was a name on my tree. Seeing this picture of him has really made him feel like a real person. This was a special find as my mother and grandmother lost all of their family photographs in a house fire when my mother was a teenager. Seeing Edward Joseph almost took my breath away. A great 'find' to take note of on this Friday. Now I would like to find out how the photograph got torn in half. I hope he didn't upset g g g grandma!

2. After writing a blog recently, about an ancestor of my husband, (about whom I found fabulous information, in a book purchased in a secondhand bookstore), I googled the ancestor's name, Charles of Ord. I had, of course googled him in previous years, but not since the Trove ( digitalised Australian newspapers) site came online. On the very first page I discovered a news article from the Sydney Morning Herald dated 22 March 1871, which informed me that Margaret Anne Macdonald, daughter of the late Charles Macdonald of Ord, Skye, Scotland, was married at the residence of the Presbyterian minister at Coonamble, NSW, Australia. She married a Godfrey Bosville MacKinnon on the 2 March, 1871.

Margaret Anne was the half sister of my husband's g g grandfather, Mathew MacDonald ( the family in Australia use a capital 'D' in MacDonald) and we had never known that she also had immigrated to Australia. Mathew was born in 1812 to Charles of Ord and mother unknown (as yet). Margaret Anne was born in 1839 to a different mother, Anne MacLeod. Mathew had no contact with his family after arriving in Australia in 1837 with his wife Mary MacPherson, who had been the nanny to Mathew's half siblings. From letters to Mathew in his late 80's it is clear that he had not known his half sister, born two years after he left the Isle of Skye in Scotland, was also living in the country that he had made his home. An exciting 'find' and one has already set me on the trail of Margaret Anne's descendants here in Australia.

3. I found a new McDade/Gibson relative in Queensland this week through my blog . A photograph of my great grandmother, Elizabeth (Gibson) McDade ( pictured right), had caught her eye and she recalled seeing a similar picture in her mother's collection of family photographs and wondered whether we were connected. It turns out that we are related, and just today organised a three way phone call to have a chat about our ancestors. I am very excited as I always love to find new relatives and to exchange stories.

1 comment:

  1. I like the idea of a regular research update. I think I may have to copy it! That photo was a great find. I think that photos bring it home that these names, dates and stories we collect relate to real people.