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……….

How Did Leo Buring Get A Mention In A Mickey Mouse Cartoon?

How Did Leo Buring Get A Mention In A Mickey Mouse Cartoon?

My first cousin 3x removed Hermann Paul Leopold Buring, known simply as Leo Buring, is pictured below with Walt Disney. Leo is much better known for his wine making than he is for knowing Walt Disney and gifting him a pair of wallabies in 1934.

This was new information to my Mum, whether my Grandmother knew or not we don’t know, she never mentioned it. She would have been 17 at the time.

This is the passenger list for the S.S. Mariposa, Leo is the last person on the list. He is travelling from Sydney, Australia to the United States.

Left to right Walt Disney and Leo Buring, photo from Twitter

The Adelaide Advertiser reported on the gift. 1934 ‘OUR COUNTRY SECTION’, The Advertiser (Adelaide, SA : 1931 – 1954), 19 November, p. 13. , viewed 17 Aug 2021,
1934 ‘Out among the People’, The Advertiser (Adelaide, SA : 1931 – 1954), 20 November, p. 17. , viewed 17 Aug 2021,

The following year 1935 Walt names Leo in a short cartoon named Mickey’s Kangaroo.

Mickey’s Kangaroo

If you don’t know who Leo Buring was, here is a fairly good article There is just one error that I know of which I left them a comment about.

Rescued From Drowning

30 January 1924 Brighton Beach, Adelaide, South Australia, Meta and Edel Buring were swimming when they got into difficulties. Meta Caroline and Edelgarde Adele Buring are my first cousins 3x removed.

1924 ‘RESCUED LADIES’ GRATITUDE.’, The Register (Adelaide, SA : 1901 – 1929), 22 March, p. 8. , viewed 16 Aug 2021,

1930 ‘BRAVE RESCUE REMEMBERED BY THOSE SAVED’, The Register News-Pictorial (Adelaide, SA : 1929 – 1931), 22 January, p. 5. , viewed 16 Aug 2021,

Sharing Family History With My Grandchildren-Burra, South Australia

Inside Redruth Gaol, Burra, South Australia

We recently went to Burra, South Australia. It is about 2 hours from my home in Adelaide, South Australia. Burra is renowned for its copper deposits and the Cornish people who came to South Australia to mine it.

My Cornish Scadden ancestors did things a bit differently from others who came to South Australia. They were miners but they came later than the main influx of immigrants and chose occupations other than mining when they got here.

My Wigley ancestors from Nottinghamshire came to Burra to work in the mines however when gold was discovered in Victoria, Australia they moved there and settled in Bendigo. Here is my blog post about our visit to Bendigo.

Catherine Daglish nee Plunkett (my 2x great Aunt) was born in Ireland and came to South Australia with her family when she was very young. In 1880 records show that she was sent to Redruth Gaol for idle and disorderly conduct. She was sentenced to fourteen days hard labour. There is a lot more to Catherine’s story which I may cover in another blog post.

Newspaper Clipping from The Areas Express
Redruth Gaol, Burra, inside one of the exercise yards

I didn’t go into details about why Catherine was in gaol but my oldest grandson Mr 8 understood that it was an awful place to be, even for a short time.

Gaol Layout, download and zoom in on the photo for greater detail

Sharing Family History With My Grandchildren – Bendigo, Victoria

Poppet Head of the Central Deborah Mine
Bendigo, Victoria, Australia

On a recent trip to Bendigo we visited the Central Deborah Mine and Museum to show my grandchildren a little bit about what mining was like there. We were unable to go underground but explored the above ground exhibits and parts of the old mine buildings above ground thoroughly.

My Wigley ancestors went from Nottinghamshire, England to Burra, South Australia and then to Bendigo, Victoria, Australia. In Bendigo they worked at many different mines and in different jobs.

Central Deborah Museum Trying Out The Drills

The kids were fascinated by all the mine equipment.

Central Deborah Mine Museum

Outdoors at the Central Deborah Mine Museum

As well as visiting places of family significance the grand kids like looking at our family tree too because they can see where they fit into the family. They also like the photos of the family members they know and the older photos of the ones they don’t know. I try and keep the family stories I tell them short and to the point.