I’ve been having fun working on a number of projects lately.  Family history research, designing two websites, making an e-textiles wall hanging and learning to draft a pattern for a skirt for myself and making the skirt too.

This is the website I’ve designed for Deja Vu Beach Cafe, my cousin’s new cafe which opened yesterday in Christies Beach, South Australia.  I will also be making her restaurant website too, The Vault Food and Wine, that’s this week’s job.

A couple of months ago I was asked to research a piano which I thought sounded like an interesting thing to do and it was.  The family wanted to know if their ancestors had brought it with them from England to Australia as that was the story which was passed down.


Ernest Gabler was a well known piano manufacturer in New York so there is a lot of information available about him and his brother who was also a piano manufacturer.  From the serial number on the piano’s frame I was able to find out that the piano was manufactured in 1882.  The family in question came to South Australia from England in 1884.  Gabler pianos were being exported to England and also to Australia and South Australia in particular at this time.

Unfortunately I was unable to determine whether the family brought the piano with them to South Australia on the S.S. Port Jackson or purchased it in South Australia as there is no remaining ship’s manifest listing the ship’s cargo that I could find.


What Did Hazor Bodger Say? – Trove Tuesday

What did Hazor Humphrey Bodger, my 3x great uncle, say to the judges at the Strathalbyn Show on March 4 1869?  Hazor was a farmer in McHarg’s Creek, South Australia, and from newspaper advertisements and articles I can see that he was breeding and showing draught horses in South Australia for a number of years.


A description of the show and underneath Hazor’s prize win.

1869 ‘THE STRATHALBYN SHOW.’, Adelaide Observer (SA : 1843 – 1904), 6 March, p. 6,

On March 4 one of Hazor’s horses came second to that of Mr. W. Rankine.  Now the Rankine name is very well known in Strathalbyn as the town was founded by two Rankine brothers William and John.  I have been unable to ascertain if this is William Rankine the said co-founder or another Rankine however, I feel sure the Mr. W. Rankine listed here if not the man himself is a member of said family.  Did Hazor suspect favoritism or was it simply that he could have charged a higher price for his stallion’s services had he won the competition.

Apology Requested

Apology Requested

1869 ‘THE WEEK’S NEWS.’, Adelaide Observer (SA : 1843 – 1904), 20 March, p. 5,

I don’t know what Hazor said but the Secretary of the Strathalbyn Agricultural Society was requested to write to him.  He was informed that unless he apologised to the Committee for his conduct towards the Judges at the last show, he would not be allowed to exhibit there again.  I’m guessing he used some fairly strong language.

There are no further newspaper articles showing Hazor entering horses in the Strathalbyn Show again, that I have found, so I don’t know if he gave the apology or not. He later moved to Victoria and entered horses in shows in Victoria and south eastern South Australia and unfortunately died when he was thrown from a horse at only 52 years of age in 1879.


1879 ‘ITEMS BY CABLE.’, The Narracoorte Herald (SA : 1875 – 1954), 11 November, p. 2, viewed 25 May, 2015,


Trove Tuesday – Finding Photos

I decided to search Trove for newspaper articles with pictures.  My surname Willison (my maiden name) isn’t very common so I did a search for Willison, then narrowed it down to South Australia and Illustrated as in the picture below.


I got 37 results from this search 21 of these were for my family.  Here are some of the pictures I found.

Gilbert Gordon Willison

Gilbert Gordon Willison


Don Willison



Edith Willison crouching, planting the tree.


Don Willison On the Second Motor Bike







Congress 2015

I’m having a great time at Congress it’s Saturday night so we’re half way through, there are still two days to go.  The talks I have been to have been of a very high standard and have given me much food for thought and new avenues for research.

In the main auditorium

In the main auditorium

From Helen Smith’s talk on Friendly Societies I learnt about their role in society, what some of the acronyms stand for IOR -Independant Order of Rechabites and the OFG – Order of Free Gardeners and where I may be able to find records.

Carol Baxter’s talk on surnames has me thinking of names more in the way they sound rather than how they’re spelt.  Carol told us that to an illiterate person their surname has no spelling.

Following The Gold by Carole Riley had special significance for me because so many of my ancestors were miners and I now know more about the gold mining process and the areas where Australia’s gold mines were located.

Richard Reid spoke eloquently and touchingly in Stories of the Western Front relating stories of Diggers who lost their lives as well as ones who returned.  He also told us about records we could access other than the National Archives’ attestation papers such as the Red Cross records.

Another talk focusing on WWI was by Jennie Norberry.  Jennie covered a lot of ground in her talk from defence force records to personal record collections.  She told me that to find out more about my grandfather’s WWI service I should contact the National War Memorial for help with finding Unit Diaries for the Anzac Mounted Division Signal Squadron.

Speaker’s profiles

In the exhibition hall are the stands and tables for lunch

In the exhibition hall are the stands and tables for lunch


Family Photos

I recently got a big bag of family photos from my cousin Glenda, here are just a few.


Dad, Nan and Uncle Bill

Dad, Nan and Uncle Bill circa 1950


Nan with Favorite Chris and Lightning Larry

Nan with Favorite Chris and Lightning Larry

I knew that my Uncle Bill trained greyhounds as did my Dad but I didn’t know how early he started.  This photo is from 1948.  I found Favorite Chris’ pedigree online but not Lightning Larry’s.


Great Grandma Elizabeth Willison nee Reid

Great Grandma Elizabeth Willison nee Reid

Elizabeth and William (photo below) came to South Australia from Scotland on board the Loch Fyne in 1879.

Great Grandpa William Willison

Great Grandpa William Willison

William had a farm at Para Hills (South Australia) for many years.

Nan Daphne Willison nee Scadden

My Nan, Daphne Willison nee Scadden

I’m not sure where Nan worked as a nurse.


Kylie’s Genes Research Services

I’ve been doing research work for clients since 2013 and I have finally made a website.  Kylie’s Genes Research Services  I would really appreciate it if you could have a look at it and if you notice any typos or I haven’t explained myself fully please let me know.  It is still quite basic and I will be adding to it over time.  I’m also looking into becoming a transcription agent for South Australia.