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……….