Saving Graves South Australia

It’s been an exciting and busy time with Saving Graves this week.  As we prepared and researched for a newspaper article we had no idea the media storm it would raise!  I’m lucky to be part of a great team who have taken up the cause with gusto and stepped up when needed. Kirrily Burton has been our spokesperson this week and is carrying on her Mum’s, Catherine Crout-Habel’s, legacy as it was Catherine who started the group. Kirrily didn’t feel that she could handle the interviews but she did a wonderful job! Maybe she was channeling Catherine just a bit.

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Kirrily being interview by Channel Nine News at Centennial Park, Adelaide.

Here are links to the articles and interviews.

The Advertiser story by Miles Kemp
Kirrily Burton’s interview with Chris Smith from 2GB Sydney
Mornings on Channel 9
Sunrise on Channel 7
Channel 9 News this is another news story they did for us, I haven’t got a copy of the interview with Kirrily yet.

We have a petition up on which we are asking everyone to sign!


Leases are expiring on our Diggers’ graves and those graves will be reused if families don’t know about their expiry and/or cannot afford to renew leases. We need urgent action to prevent the graves from being reused. This affects soldiers who survived the war and returned home and later died from injuries unrelated to their military service, all others are protected by the Office of Australian War Graves. All South Australians whose grave or niche has an expired lease which has not been renewed after two years can have their site reused. This involves the ‘lift and deepen’ process whereby the human remains are excavated, placed in an ossuary, reburied deeper in the grave and a new burial is placed on top leaving no record of the earlier burial.

We need the support of as many people as possible to show the Government that we don’t want graves being reused in South Australia. Saving graves in South Australia is saving our heritage, culture and history. Cemeteries are sacred places where families can go to mourn and remember their loved ones as well as researching local and family history. What heritage are we leaving for future generations?

Share Sometimes Gets A Bad Rap

Please note: I don’t have any affiliation with and I don’t receive any money from them at all I simply like their product.

I feel that sometimes gets a bad rap and it’s not necessarily all deserved. I’ve used over the last eight or nine years of researching my own and others’ family trees and yes I’ve fallen for beginner mistakes however I like to think I’ve learned from those mistakes and found a way to make Ancestry work for me.


I have some basic rules which I stick to:

– I don’t use Ancestry’s tool for merging someone else’s tree with mine because this is how errors are copied from one tree to another. I write down any information I didn’t have before and then click on Ignore Hint. I can always go back and look at it at a later time because Ancestry keeps a list of your ignored hints. The things I’ve written down from other trees I can then investigate for myself.



– Birth, death, marriage, census and electoral roll hints. I try to remain sceptical, and look for any inconsistencies in the information provided and what I already have. Ancestry gives you loads of hints but remain sceptical and research the hint before accepting it. I use other websites such as,, newspapers eg. Trove or the Gale News Vault, local libraries, history centres, visiting cemeteries, books etc. to either prove or disprove the information.

Two of these hints are about a lady in New Zealand instead of Australia.

Two of these hints are about a lady in New Zealand instead of Australia.

– Cite your sources. This is a general research rule which is largely overlooked by people using and I’m not really sure why as it can be as simple or as complicated as you would like. You can use the Add A New Source Citation button (as in the picture below) or use the description field to add source information.




– If you’re not sure then don’t do it.  If it’s information you’ve gathered and you’re not sure whether to add it or not then keep a record of it and you can return to it later.  There is no rush to add new information to your family tree.  I have a pin up board on the wall near my computer and sometimes I will pin notes there and as I do more research I will often go back to those notes and find out that they either do or don’t fit with the new information I have.

In January, Thomas MacEntee of GeneaBloggers fame suggested a Genealogy Do-Over .  I’m not doing a do-over but I am, when I have time, revising all the branches of my family tree to root out my errors which have crept in along the way.



Movember Ancestors

Two Brothers

Following the lead of Alona Tester on her blog lonetester HQ and supporting men’s health I thought I would post some photos of my moustachioed ancestors too.

William Chapman Jnr

William T Chapman

I’ve posted photos of William T Chapman before, he’s my 2x great uncle.  In this photo he’s looking rather distinguished and a bit bleak but I have another photo of him in which he looks very cheerful and jolly with a lovely twinkle in his eyes.

George Chapman

George Chapman

George is my 2x great grandfather and brother of William.  He kept a quite detailed diary for many years which one of my cousins is transcribing.


Getting To Congress 2015

I’m planning on driving to Congress next year.  I’ve driven from Adelaide to Canberra and back once before so I already know I can do it.  Congress runs from 26th to 30th March so my travelling dates will be roughly either side of that.



I’m looking for any ladies who would be interested in sharing the driving and petrol cost.  Adelaide to Victoria, then Victoria to Canberra and return.  It can be for part or all of the trip.  It doesn’t matter to me if you’re attending the genealogy conference or you just need a lift.

I’ve been inspired by Community Exchange Road Trip to share the ride and try and use my LETS units as much as possible to pay for my accommodation and food and then I can save my cash to pay for the conference and petrol.

cyberscooty-cartoon-carYou can contact me for more details by leaving a comment on this post, email kira0030 @, or Google +.



Rowley Park Speedway Reunion 2014

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On Sunday my brother Michael and I went to the Rowley Park Speedway reunion.  Now this might seem like an unlikely place to go for a genealogist however my Dad’s cousin, Don Willison, raced motorbikes there and at other tracks in South Australia and nationally.  We had a wonderful time at the reunion talking to several of Don’s mates and co-riders who were very pleased that we were so interested in Don and his career.

Don was born in 1926 in Gawler, South Australia.  I don’t know exactly when he began racing however I have found newspaper articles dating back to 1948.  He won sidecar championships and also rode solo as well as having a foray into stock cars, winning a Stock Car Title in 1968.  Rowley Park Speedway opened in 1949 so I think it’s safe to say that Don was there from the start.

A replica of Don's JAP bike

A replica of Don’s JAP bike

One of the stories I heard was that Don bought the original of the above bike from Jimmy Davies (USA) later that same night that Jimmy beat him on it.  Apparently it was important to buy a bike and take possession of it straight away so that no changes could be made to it.  Don wanted to own the exact bike which had beaten him.

Built from a bike and collection of parts that have been in a collection for many years, reputed to have belonged to past racing legends Jimmy Davies and Don Willison. From Youtube

In the video the sidecar has been removed for testing.  When the video gets to 1:43 you can see Don and Jimmy’s names on the bike.

It seemed that everyone had a nickname, Sprazza, Chook, Eagle Beak, Tubby and more and Don’s nickname was “Willo”.  Saturday must have been hangover day because there was plenty of drinking after racing on Friday nights and well into Saturday morning at Rowley Park.  Don had several bikes and a number of men who rode them for him – Bruce Kelly, Ron Wakefield, Vin Ryan, Stan Smith, Len Bowes, Mal West, Alain Thain and Morrie McMillan are the ones we were told about.


Don Willison


Left to right - unknown, Tommy Davies, Don Willison, Joe "Tubby" Francis, and Malcolm Bunny

Left to right – unknown, Tommy Davies, Don Willison, Joe “Tubby” Francis, and Malcolm Bunny

I’ve had a digital copy of this photo for some time now but never knew who the others in it were until Sunday.  Ian Parrish and Stan Smith were very helpful in identifying them.  There was some discussion as to the location of the photo which was taken either at Park Tce, Bowden or at Port Adelaide.  Mr Parrish told us that he believed this photo was taken the day the motorbike was delivered to Don.  The photo proved a very useful tool in engaging people in conversation and I would recommend it to anyone going to meet new people to take along an item to ask about.

We also found out about two of Don’s living relatives his younger sisters who we will now be able to contact!!  This may even lead to further contacts! Woohoo I’m doing my genealogy happy dance!


Inside History’s 50 Best Genealogy Blogs

Inside History magA big thank you to Jill Ball aka Geniaus for nominating my blog for Inside History’s 50 best genealogy blogs list!!!  It’s a great honour for this little blog to be on the list.

Congratulations to all my genimates whose blogs are also on the list!  I won’t list you all because I’ll be sure to miss someone out.