A Walk Before Church

Sunday morning I went for a little walk before church to take some photos of Hobbs House as I had seen it on a walk once before.

Hobbs House


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Hobbs House


Split Tree


This tree is just a little way along the path in front of the house and was possibly used as a shelter by Indigenous people and European settlers.

Split Tree


A Precious Treasure

I received an email from a distant cousin, Carmel, a couple of days ago. She found me via my tree website kyliesgenes.com and told me that she had a photograph of my 2x great uncle Charles Noah Wigley which she wanted to pass on.  The photograph arrived today and I am ‘over the moon’.  Charles was a saddler and in 1919 was working for G. Harper Esq. of Charing Cross, Bendigo.  He later had his own saddlery.

Photograph of Charles Noah Wigley

Charles Noah Wigley 15 May 1919, Bendigo, Victoria, Australia

The photograph is on its original mounting and was taken at the Kalma Photographic Studio in Pall Mall, Bendigo.  It is a coarse, matt photographic paper and it looks to me like a faded sepia print.  The photo is glued to the mount.  It has had some water damage in the past which thankfully hasn’t marred the picture.

Now I have some more research to do about Charles’ lodge and the positions he held in it.



What Is An Outdoor Pauper?

I came across the term outdoor pauper today while searching the 1891 English census so I went straight to Google to find out what it meant.

For all things relating to poor relief and workhouses I turn to www.workhouses.org.uk/.  The glossary says that indoor relief or an indoor pauper was a resident of a workhouse who was receiving their poor relief in that way.  Outdoor relief was given to those who still had somewhere to live but little to no income.

Here is a definition I found via Google Books;

Book text meaning of outdoor pauper

Ageing and Generational Relations over the Life Course by Tamara K Hareven

Has anyone else come across this before?  Have you heard a different meaning?


The Murder of Corky Jack – Trove Tuesday

Probably the most sensational happening Elmore has ever experienced was the murder of John Duggan………  You will have heard of John Duggan as he was commonly known as “Corky Jack”.  He was murdered during the winter of 1888.  He got his nickname by wearing pieces of string with corks attached on his hat to keep away the flies.

He was known as a quiet, thrifty, inoffensive man who came to the district each summer to obtain work on the harvest.  In 1888 he was camped in Robinson’s shepherds hut…………

Excerpt from Andrew Scott’s memoirs – reprinted in the book Garnie’s Corner by Mr Garnet James Lonsdale, Elmore, Victoria, Australia.

This murder took place in the home town of my 3x great grandparents James and Tamar Heeps.  James was heavily involved in the Elmore community through not only his grain business but also the Elmore Progress Association and as a local Justice of the Peace and magistrate.  I am sure James would have followed the trial very closely from a personal and professional view point.  James’ mention in the newspaper article below is as the employer of William Sylvester a witness.


1888 ‘THE ELMORE TRAGEDY.’, Bendigo Advertiser (Vic. : 1855 – 1918), 9 August, p. 3, viewed 18 February, 2014, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article88552835

This together with a bank draft found in Bendigo for several hundred pounds which had been taken from Corky Jack and traced to Harrison, was the last link in the chain.  William Harrison was found guilty of the murder and was hanged in Bendigo on March 17th 1889……………

Excerpt from Andrew Scott’s memoirs – reprinted in the book Garnie’s Corner by Mr Garnet James Lonsdale, Elmore, Victoria, Australia.

There is much more about the trials on Trove if you’re interested in reading more.  Search for “Corky Jack”.


Chris Paton and Thomas MacEntee Downunder Seminar

I had a great day at this seminar put on by Unlock The Past yesterday.  I met up with other geneabloggers some I already knew and some I hadn’t met before.

Geneabloggers from all over the world

Geneabloggers from all over the world.

Here are some of the things I learnt from Chris and Thomas they aren’t in any special order:-

If you upload a picture with text in it to Google drive then right click on it, go to Open With, and click on Google Docs it will open the picture in a word processor document and OCR (Optical Character Recognition) will do its best to read the text and insert it into the document underneath the picture.  You can then edit and use the text however you would like.  You can also do the same thing with a .pdf file.

Thomas MacEntee speaking at podium

Thomas MacEntee

In Google Images if you click on the little camera icon in the search box you can upload a picture and Google will search for all websites which have that picture on them.  It doesn’t do facial recognition yet so some of the results can be quite funny but there are enough accurate ones to make it worth checking if someone else has a picture of one of your ancestors and is also researching them.

Google images search box showing camera icon


Google Books has many complete copies of Ancestry Magazine for free.  I did a search for “Ancestry Magazine” on Google Books and got over 7000 results.  Lots and lots of good reading there!!

The British Gazettes website has London, Edinburgh, and Belfast gazettes available for use under the Open Government Licence.  Under this licence you are free to:

  • copy, publish, distribute and transmit the Information;
  • adapt the Information;
  • exploit the Information commercially and non-commercially for example, by combining it with other Information, or by including it in your own product or application.

You must, where you do any of the above:

  • acknowledge the source of the Information by including any attribution statement specified by the Information Provider(s) and, where possible, provide a link to this licence.

The gazettes contain insolvency and bankruptcy notices, wills and probate, military and civilian awards.

Searching Find My Past UK for Irish soldiers.

www.nationalarchives.gov.uk has Irish military and merchant seamen records.

Chris Paton talking about Irish records online

Chris Paton

Chris went through loads of online sources for researching Irish ancestry.  The notes for his talk are publicly available at http://www.sog.org.uk/learn/who-do-you-think-you-are-2013-speakers-handouts/ near the bottom of the page. I’m looking forward to getting his book Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet when it comes out as an Ebook.



British India

India is an entirely new place for me to be researching.  I’m doing some research for a friend and finding it utterly fascinating.  This cemetery in Secunderabad has a lot of British interments and these great monuments.

Parade Ground Cemetery Secunderabad

Parade Ground Cemetery Secunderabad


Parade Ground Cemetery Secunderabad

{Cemetery photos courtesy of http://www.flickr.com/photos/mars1940/10883216765/in/photostream/}



The Families in British India Society is a wonderful research resource with photographs, maps, military records, cemeteries, censuses, maritime, wills and probate and much more.


The photos on  the FIBIS website are geotagged showing their location on a map.  As I know nothing about India this is helping me get my bearings.



This website is a great example of modern technology being used to further genealogical research.