Asha described finding details of her grandmother; while Bev displayed a photo of St Carthage’s Church in Lismore NSW taken during the recent devastating floods, explaining that her father had married his first wife there in 1924. Bev also spoke of genealogists’ deep concern about the loss of photographs, documents, and memorabilia during the floods.
Wendy described visiting the bush nursing home in Pyramid Hill where she was born and the grave of a baby brother who died there. Robyn described finding mention of relatives who eventually came to Australia from Skye when reading the ‘Low Road’, a family history book she had borrowed from Wendy.
Marg’s gain - re-joining Ancestry. Pain - she has not used it yet!
Barry’s gain? The photo of his parents’ wedding, previously thought lost, has been found and should be in Benalla by the weekend so he can scan it and finish two family histories, after almost three years of research.
Elly described a family history full of passion and pain, intriguing us all. Her gain – finding a lot of documents related to her mother, her pain, continuing mystery surrounding her father.
Graeme shared details of a Great Grandfather who fought in many theatres of war. He is buried in a lone grave which is now on Aboriginal designated land. His GGF has a musket ball still in his body which could be of historic significance. Graeme is not sure what to do next, however will contact local Aboriginal elders to see what can be done. Graeme also shared symbols he is using to assist him to track and follow up people and events in the family records he is creating.
Jane’s role as the Secretary of the Benalla Family Research Group is already proving to be of great value to the class. Jane shared news of Benalla History Week events from the 26 – 29 April (keep an eye on the website for details) and news of a free Zoom webinar this week ‘Discovering Trove’.
Our Family Story topic for sharing after the coffee break was ‘Hunch’. Following a hunch to try a different variation of a person’s name – ‘Jas’ instead of ‘James’; ‘Annabella’ instead of ‘Annie’; ‘…1st Duke of Kingston upon Hull’ instead of ‘General Hull’ – resolved what had been frustrating problems for three class members. Following a hunch based on our session on DNA last year by Jim Burnell proved worthwhile, as did pursuing a hunch gleaned from reading an article about German citizens interned in Australia during WWI. Inserting an advertisement in The Belfast Telegraph newspaper proved to be another successful hunch, unearthing Irish relatives and leading to treasured outcomes. Finally, a hunch related to a mystery surrounding the paternity of a family member was found in a very small newspaper report of a 1906 trial. This named a possible candidate whose history has proven easy to find. Next step–the trial transcript!
Our April 28th session has been cancelled to provide members with the opportunity to attend Benalla Family Research Group’s Australian Heritage Festival workshops. April’s topic, ‘They were there when….’ “Did someone in your family tree experience a significant news, historical or cultural event first-hand? Share your understanding of what may have been their experience” will be shared along with May’s topic ‘Obituary’ at our May meeting.
Bev Lee, Wendy Sturgess, Barry O’Connor