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.

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.

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……….

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, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article64202773

1930 ‘BRAVE RESCUE REMEMBERED BY THOSE SAVED’, The Register News-Pictorial (Adelaide, SA : 1929 – 1931), 22 January, p. 5. , viewed 16 Aug 2021, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article54167266

James Wigley – 2017 Update

James Wigley – 2017 Update

I’ve been doing some more research into James’ life and rather than do a whole new blog post with links to this one I thought it would be easier to understand if I put the updates in a different coloured font here.

James Wigley is my 4x great grandfather. There are some family stories about James and some mysteries so I’m researching these to ascertain fact from fiction.

James was born in Wirksworth, Derbyshire, England to Obadiah and Mary Wigley (nee Wheatcroft) on 12 March 1807.

James’ first wife was either Jane Brock or Jane Carousa.  They were married in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire.  On their son Charles Robert Wigley’s death record it lists his mother as Jane Brock but the only marriage of a James Wigley in Nottinghamshire at the right time is one to a Jane Carousa.  So I’ve emailed the Nottinghamshire archives and will be sending off for the parish register entry to see if this can shed any light on Jane’s surname.   If this doesn’t help then I’ll get a copy of the marriage license.  I got an email back from the Nottinghamshire Archives and as they don’t have a payment method I can use I’ve contacted a research agent instead.

I didn’t follow through with the research agent, at the time, however I was able to order documents via the Nottinghamshire Family History Society.  Jane was approximately 32 years old when she married James so I believe that she had been married previously hence the different surnames.  I will continue searching for Jane’s origins.  This is further complicated by that fact that she says on the 1841 census that she was born in Jamaica.

22 December 2017 update Samuel Barratt, who took part in the Pentrich Revolution with James’ father Obadiah, was a witness to James and Jane’s marriage. https://blog.kyliesgenes.com/2017/12/isaac-ludlam-executed-for-treason/

 

James and Jane had five children Mary, Grace, Charles, Eliza, Ellen.  In 1843 Jane and two of the children, Eliza and Grace, died in a house fire in Wirksworth, Derbyshire, UK.  I just recently found out that Mary didn’t die in the fire.  I will need to find death records to confirm if Eliza and Grace died then too.

In the 1841 census Jane was living in Nottinghamshire with Mary, Charles, Eliza and Ellen.  It appears that Grace died as an infant also James isn’t listed as being in the household either.  So far I haven’t been able to confirm or deny the story of the fire however, if it did happen, it would have only been Jane and Eliza who died in the fire as Mary, Ellen and Charles went on to marry and have families.  

I’ve been told that James stole the plans to a lace making machine and went to France and sold them there.  I don’t know that this story can ever be verified though.  It just may not be possible.

photo of James Wigley

James Wigley

When I think of James Wigley it always gets me thinking about this story of the lace making machine and taking the plans to France so I googled ‘English lace makers in France’ and came across an article from a genealogist right here in Adelaide, South Australia!!  Graham Jaunay writes about the Lacemakers of Calais in South Australia.  

The Calais Lacemakers were English men who designed, built and maintained the extremely complex lace-making machines that had been originally developed in Nottingham. Despite the best efforts by the British to keep the manufacturing process a secret, the techniques were leaked to France and the industry developed in the Calais region using British experience and skills. After the British got over the loss of their monopoly everything was fine until the 1848 Revolution that proved to be an economic disaster for the workers as their factories were closed and English owners returned to England. The workers were faced with destitution if they remained in France or returned to England. G. Jaunay

From there I found the Lacemakers of Calais website which says: 

With very low profits and high wages in England, around 1816 one Robert Webster, with an accomplice Samuel Clark, smuggled a machine into Calais. The machine was dismantled, packaged as old iron and shipped on numerous boats to Calais. Clarke reassembled it in a shop on quai du Commerce in the village of Saint-Pierre, outside the walls of Calais itself. 

James Wigley was only nine years old in 1816 so it is highly unlikely that he was involved with Robert Webster and Samuel Clark so that part of the family story may not be true however lacemaking in Calais went on for many more years and there are more tidbits which point to James perhaps being in France.  He wasn’t listed in the 1841 English census as being in the household in Nottingham with his wife and children and I haven’t been able to find him anywhere else in the UK.  Could he have been in France at this time?  I am currently going through the French census for 1841, for Calais, page by page as it isn’t indexed yet.  The lace makers who went to Calais were from Nottinghamshire where James lived.

James’ name isn’t on the Lacemakers of Calais website as one of those who left in 1848 and came to Australia however he does show up in Stepney, Middlesex, England where he marries Maria (as below) and then proceeds to South Australia in 1849.

Between 1841 and 1848 Charles Robert Wigley could have been in France with his father. (see below) 

In July 1848 James married Maria Lihou nee Bray and in 1849 he took the family to South Australia.  James and Maria, Maria’s daughter Sarah Lihou and Ellen and Charles.  There they lived in Burra for a time before moving to Victoria.

James’ son Charles Robert Wigley who I’ve mentioned above is said to have gone to boarding school in France and that he forgot how to speak English.  Apparently there was a sign on his house in Bendigo, Victoria, Australia which said, “French spoken here”.

I’ll keep adding updates as I find out more.