It was so pleasant to be made a fuss of at the Family Research 'tech savvy' group's end of year morning tea at the Northo. Not only did we have a warming fire to start, but a table spread with a delicious lemon cake to accompany our coffees. Thank you to Mel, Wayne and staff - we had such a relaxing and enjoyable time!
Everyone had such a great story to tell … yet again! November’s topic was ‘Heroes and Villains’. Sometimes finding a “hero” was straight forward. Bev’s family boxer Tancy Lee, with his unusual name, was a physical talent with amazing 1920’s celluloid records, a lifelong community commitment, and tragic early death as a result of an accident. Dawn’s character was introduced to us in a sepia photo showing her uniformed grandfather sitting proudly and confidently upon his horse as he prepared to lead an Anzac Day March in Melbourne. A member of the light horseman of WW1, he was seriously wounded in battle, then given 6 weeks to heal before being sent back to the war zone. An incredible, sadly not uncommon experience, and one which he carried with him on his return to “normal” life with his family and friends.
Some enigmatic characters earned both monikers of “hero” and “villain”. David’s relative earned his vast wealth through some eyebrow raising means, while also becoming noted for his extremely generous distribution of his wealth as a philanthropist.
The joy of infinite possibilities emerged with both Graham M and Graham J’s stories of heroes in plain sight. Graham J’s story was predicated on a reported conversation between Barack and Michele Obama at a restaurant owned by an ex-boyfriend of Michele’s. Barack asked her "So if you had married him, you would now be the owner of this lovely restaurant," to which Michelle responded, "No. If I had married him, he would now be the President." This incited Graham to review an “ordinary” relative, and to re-discover her, not simply as a woman of her era, with all that went with that, but also as a woman with extensive, successful and influential business skills. Marg’s hero, her great, great aunt Helene, established a successful wholesale clothing business in Flinders Lane in the mid 1880’s, also evidence of highly developed business skills.
Not all heroes were long gone. In a very poignant and rich story-telling, Malcom described a living tribute to his talented, respected, and much loved cousin who, in the 50's through to the 70's, had designed an amazing national transport legacy through central and eastern Australia.
Storytelling at any age can be a rich, insightful and inspiring experience. We love stories in our childhood and then we become family historians. Our “Hero or Villain” discussion was just so.
In our Pains and Gains segment, Graham reported listing his family research on a UK website and receiving feed-back from a distant relative, also the pleasure experienced on learning a grandson had drawn upon the knowledge of family history he’d shared with him during a school excursion in Sydney. Graeme, pleased with himself last month for completing the paternal family tree, now realises he still has the maternal family tree to complete! Andi used photographs to report on her discovery of the unmarked graves of relatives in the Coburg, Old Melbourne and Fawkner cemeteries in Melbourne. She is now considering the possible marking of some of these. David Hall received a link from My Heritage containing possible details of the location of a family grave in Kilmore, while Bev found the location and family sites of her Irish Lee family via a tiny, hand-written mention on her great grandfather’s baptism of ‘Greaghnagloch’, a townland confirmed later by a Griffith Valuation entry for Michael Lee. Location was also on Jane’s mind, as she spoke of developments in the Family Research Group’s quest for a new home.
‘In Search Of…' is the first topic for 2023 - ’Have you found yourself needing to search extensively for someone who holds a fairly central place in your family tree? Begin by describing the details you had at the beginning of your search. How did you apply yourself to get a better sense of their lives and their relationship with other people? What did you find out? Choose someone you haven't written about before.’
‘Time Travelling!’ is the alternative topic - 'Have you ever felt that you have been time travelling into the lives or your ancestors, or that you have grown very close to a particular person or family in your family tree? Share this experience with the group.'
Our end of year break will be celebrated by 'Coffee and Cake' at the Northo on Wednesday 14th December at 10.30 am.
Jane Rushworth, Barry O’Connor and Bev Lee
Family Research is a guided self-help group for members who are already working on their family tree. Sessions commence with report backs on ‘pains and gains’ during research over the previous month accompanied by shared problem solving, encourage-ment and ideas for next steps. Presentations by group members and guest speakers provide inspiration and suggestions of different approaches and resources. Stories are also shared each month on topics designed to encourage deeper reflection on our research.
Convenor/s Contact Details
0478 607 838
0407 266 688
0437 621 575
4th Thursday 1 to 4 pm
Digby Family Stories - Penny Bristol Jones
Program to convert PDF files to Word –https://www.pdf2go.com/pdf-to-word
Photo restoration - simple projects -