An Interesting Journey

An Interesting Journey

I’m beginning an interesting journey to research and publish articles about my 1st cousin 3x removed Blanka Buring. Blanka is the sister of well known Australian wine expert Leo Buring. There are many, many websites, articles, books etc about Leo but very little about Blanka or her sisters Meta and Edelgarde. My main focus at the moment is Blanka. This will be a long term project which I’ll be able to work on in between my other work and interests.

No one in my immediate family had any photos of Blanka so I was thrilled to find one right at the start of this research.

I’ve done a small amount of editing to the photo as it is a newspaper photo and very poor quality. I haven’t been able to remove the discolouration and make it look passable yet.

Blanka was born in Adelaide, South Australia on 24 Mar 1881 and died in Avalon, New South Wales on 11 Jun 1956. She is the youngest surviving child of Theodor Gustav Hermann Buring and Henriette Friedricke Louisa Lina Dohrenwendt.

Blanka attended Norwood school and the Advanced School For Girls whose purpose was to prepare girls for entry into the University of Adelaide. She passed her Junior Examination in 1896 and Senior in 1898. Blanka then went on to study Invalid Cookery at the School of Mines in 1912 and Nursing at Adelaide Hospital (now Royal Adelaide Hospital) in 1913. In 1915 she also completed study at Queen’s Home which became the Queen Victoria Hospital. This study was possibly in midwifery or paediatric nursing.

After a time of nursing in Western Australia and after the death of her father she began travelling the world. Her trips throughout the 1920s and 30s included British Columbia, America, Crete, and Spain. I am yet to find out the full extent of her travels. The newspaper reports of her travels speak about her interest in social work particularly with regard to nursing and hospitals.

I am currently researching the influences in Blanka’s life growing up and whilst at university to see from where this interest in social work came. I have found connections to Catherine Helen Spence and indirectly Miles Franklin. Blanka’s uncle Heinrich Franz Rudolph Buring and his family were all part of the Adelaide Unitarian church right down through the generations to my mother. The Unitarian beliefs of social justice and individual beliefs (no one guiding creed) may have also influenced Blanka however I still need to confirm this.

I won’t go into detail of Blanka’s life achievements here on my blog just yet. This will come in future posts.

This is a far deeper dive into an individual’s life than I have previously undertaken. It differs from my usual genealogical research in that I wouldn’t usually look heavily into childhood or family influences in someone’s life. I do look at historical context and people’s achievements when researching but nothing like this depth of research. It is very interesting and has so many aspects of life in South Australia, feminism, German immigrants and Adelaide society that I am very happy to have found this wonderful person to research and write about. There is so little about Australian women’s achievements from the turn of the century that I’m hoping to add a small piece to the wider picture.

Another area where this research differs from genealogical research is the software I am using. Being a proponent of Free and Open Source Software I am using Zotero to gather and organise my research rather than a commercial, proprietary software such as Endnote or others. Not having been to university I hadn’t used this form of software before but I am finding Zotero extremely easy to use and will continue to use it in my future genealogical research.

The journey continues……….

You Can Research Your Home

If you live in an older home in South Australia you may be able to find out about it by following the tips from the State Library and State Records of South Australia, you don’t need to be a historian to find things out.

You will be surprised by what you can find out about the home you live in.

The State Library has a downloadable guide for Researching your locality in the collections of the State Library of South Australia which covers

Almanacs and directories
• Architecture in South Australia
• Mapping sources for South Australian history
• South Australian newspapers

as well as Tracing the History of a House

State Records has House or Property History which takes you through how to use their Archives Search, the South Australian Integrated Land Information System (SAILIS), Location SA, Maps of the Surveyor General’s Office, 1808-1946, land tax assessment returns and more.

Murder, Suicide or Accident?

This is the script of the above video which I made this week. There are still photos of the River Torrens and Torrens Lake in Adelaide, South Australia as well as video footage I took at the river as it is today.

Police report to the coroner 11 August 1900.
George Mathews reported to Constable Lucas that his nephew William Hollwell had seen something in the water while working near the weir at Torrens Lake. Mathews took his boat and went to the place and discovered what he thought was the body of a woman. Constable Lucas went with Mathews to the spot and discovered a body of a woman, name unknown, and removed the body. It was lying in about 2 1/2 feet of water about 200 yards from the weir. The body was taken to the morgue at West Tce.

The woman was Mary Hayward. She was 80 years old.

Mary’s daughter Catherine at the inquest said she had last seen her mother, who had been living with her for about 6 months, on Monday 6th August when she left home to get rations. She was not seen for five days. Neither Catherine nor any other members of the family reported Mary missing.

Catherine said she wasn’t anxious because her mother often went away for days at a time. The jury found that Mary died from drowning however there was no evidence to show how she got into the water.

Where was Mary for those 5 days she was missing?

It makes me wonder was there foul play? Did she slip and fall into the river? When did she die? How long had she been in the water for? The coroners reports for this period were pulped during World War 2 so these questions may remain unanswered.

In this day and age we would have so many more answers, my brain keeps asking these questions. What happened to her? Mary Hayward was my great, great grandmother.

Mistaken Identity

When I received this photo it had names written on the back. About 6 years ago I mistakenly identified the woman on the left hand end of the third row from the front Annie Wigley as being Annie Jane Nee Mulholland however it is actually Elizabeth Ann nee Tyrrell. Her husband, as pictured below, isn’t in this group picture. I was looking at my tree on Ancestry.com.au when I saw my mistake.

Elizabeth Ann Tyrrell and her husband Richard Henry Wigley my 2x great grandparents
Elizabeth Ann Tyrrell

I don’t have any photos of Annie Jane Wigley nee Mulholland to compare with Elizabeth Ann but I’m confident I have it correct now.

Find Records For Government Childrens’ Homes in South Australia

Find Records For Government Childrens’ Homes in South Australia

I recently found a listing of state government childrens’ homes in South Australia. Here are all the named homes. Searching Google for any of these names will help you find pictures and info about them. Below the list are links to help with finding records.

Bedford Park Boys Training Centre
Boys Reformatory Hulk, Fitzjames
Boys Reformatory, Magill
Brookway Park
Campbell House Farm School, Meningie
Central Depot
Destitute Asylum

Photograph Campbell House Farm School
Campbell House Farm School

Edwardstown Industrial School
Girls Reformatory, Edwardstown
Girls Reformatory, Magill
Glandore Industrial School/Children’s Home
Grace Darling Hotel
Ilfracombe, Boys Reformatory
Lochiel Park Boys Training Centre
Magill Industrial School
McNally Training Centre
Redruth Girls Reformatory
Seaforth Home
South Australian Youth Remand and Assessment Centre
South Australian Youth Training Centre
Struan Farm School, Naracoorte
Vaughan House
Windana Remand Home

Allambi Girls Hostel


Allambi Girls Hostel
Davenport House
Kumanka Boys Hostel
Luprina Hostel
Nindee Hostel
Stuart House Boys Hostel
Woorabinda Hostel (and Campsite)
Cottage Homes
Clark Cottage, Clarence Park
Colton Cottage, Thorngate
Dartmouth Family Home, Port Augusta
Family Home, Mount Gambier
Fullarton Cottage, Myrtle Bank
Glandore Family Home
Hay Cottage, Lockleys
Kandarik Cottage
Klemzig Family Home
Largs Bay Cottage Home
Malvern Cottage
Merrilama Cottage, Glenelg
Morada Cottage
Port Lincoln Family Home
Port Pirie Cottage/Family Home
Pybus Family Home, Port Augusta
Reception Cottage, Glandore/Somerton Park
Slade Cottage, Glandore/Somerton Park
Spence Cottage, Kensington Gardens
Stirling Cottage, St Peters
Tintoo Cottage
Unit Living, Marion

This document Government Institutions South Australia gives a description, the history and where to find records for each institution listed above. If you had an ancestor who spent time in one of these homes you may be able to find them in the records.

There is more information here at Care Leavers Australasia Network https://clan.org.au/

Find and Connect A resource for Forgotten Australians, Former Child Migrants and anyone interested in the history of child welfare in Australia.