Gustav Ferdinand Buring

It was only because I noticed a Mr G. Buring listed on the passenger list, at the South Australian Maritime Museum, for the Princess Louise that I found my 3x great uncle Gustav Ferdinand Buring. He wasn’t listed on any other passenger lists that I had found. In finding Gustav I was then able to find his parents and make the connection back to the family in Germany.

Passenger List for the Princess Louise

Passenger List for the Princess Louise

I was recently contact by Ian from Bendigo Graves to find out if the Gustave Buring buried in the Raywood Cemetery, Victoria was one of my ancestors.  When I confirmed that Gustav is my 3x great uncle, Ian asked if I could write a short piece about him.  This is what I wrote;

Gustav Ferdinand Buring

b 9 Jul 1824

Berlin, Prussia

Gustav Ferdinand Buring was born on 9 July 1824, to Charlotte Klauser and Johann Andreas Buring/Biering and was baptised on 05 Aug 1824 • Sankt Georgen, Berlin Stadt, Brandenburg, Prussia1.

In 1849 as part of the South Australian Colonisation Society Gustav, with his brother Friedrich Adolph Buring and his family, left Hamburg on the Princess Louise bound for South Australia2.

There is no record or indication that Gustav ever married.

I have been unable to ascertain exactly when Gustav went to the Victorian gold fields from South Australia. Gustav’s brother Friedrich went also however Friedrich returned to South Australia when he became ill and died in South Australia on 3 Dec 18563 at 40 years old.

Gustav Ferdinand Buring death notice

Gustav died in 1880 in Raywood, Victoria, Australia.

Gustav is the uncle of Theodor Gustav Hermann Buring of H. Buring and Sobels Quelltaler Winery and great uncle of Hermann Paul Leopold Buring better known as Leo Buring. Germany, Select Births and Baptisms, 1558-1898 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2014.

2South Australian Maritime Museum passenger list database Australia, Death Index, 1787-1985 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2010.


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.

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.

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?

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!

A Lost Photo Album

I found an old photo album at a market today and on looking through it realised that my Mum may know the family pictured therein.  I bought it with the hope of returning it to a family member.

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The album belonged to a Miss Elizabeth Rachel Cornell and Mum and my Grandma both worked for Cornell’s a well known South Australian business.  The album contains a guest list for Elizabeth’s 21st birthday as well as photos, telegrams, letters and newspaper articles.  The party was held on 10 Aug 1945.  Elizabeth’s parents were Frederick William and Marjorie Cornell nee Fox.

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This newspaper article which is in the photo album I also found on Trove

If any Cornell descendants would like this album please leave a comment with your email address and we can make arrangements for its return.  I’ll also be persuing any leads my Mum and Stepfather can give me.