Saturday, October 29, 2011

Beyond the Internet Geneameme

Pauleen from the Family history across the seas blog has created a Geneameme Beyond the Internet which focuses on genealogy resources beyond the Internet.

Although I use the predominantly use the internet I try to visit archives, record offices etc whenever I travel & have my list on the go for my next visit to the Queensland archives.

Things you have already done or found: bold face type
Things you would like to do or find: italicize (colour optional)
Things you haven’t done or found and don’t care to: plain type

You are encouraged to add extra comments in brackets after each item
  1. Looked at microfiche for BDM indexes which go beyond the online search dates.
  2. Talked to elderly relatives about your family history.
  3. Obtained old family photos from relatives.
  4. Have at least one certificate (birth/death/marr) for each great-grandparent.
  5. Have at least one certificate (birth/death/marr) for each great-great-grandparent.
  6. Seen/held a baptism or marriage document in a church, church archive or microfilm.
  7. Seen your ancestor’s name in some other form of church record eg kirk session, communion rolls.
  8. Used any microfilm from an LDS family history centre for your research.
  9. Researched using a microfilm other than a parish register (LDS family history centre/other).
  10. Used cemetery burial records to learn more about your relative’s burial.
  11. Used funeral director’s registers to learn more about your relative’s burial.
  12. Visited all your great-grandparents’ grave sites.
  13. Visited all your great-great-grandparents’ grave sites.
  14. Recorded the details on your ancestors’ gravestones and photographed them.
  15. Obtained a great-grandparent’s will/probate documents. (not sure if any to find)
  16. Obtained a great-great grandparent’s will/probate documents. (Uriah Palmer)
  17. Found a death certificate among will documents.
  18. Followed up in the official records, something found on the internet.
  19. Obtained a copy of your immigrant ancestors’ original shipping records.
  20. Found an immigration nomination record for your immigrant ancestor[iii].
  21. Found old images of your ancestor’s place of origin (online or other).
  22. Read all/part of a local history for your ancestor’s place of residence.
  23. Read all/part of a local history for your ancestor’s place of origin.
  24. Read your ancestor’s school admission records.
  25. Researched the school history for your grandparents.
  26. Read a court case involving an ancestor (online newspapers don’t count for this).
  27. Read about an ancestor’s divorce case in the archives.
  28. Have seen an ancestor’s war medals.
  29. Have an ancestor’s military record (not a digitised copy eg WWII).
  30. Read a war diary or equivalent for an ancestor’s battle.
  31. Seen an ancestor’s/relative’s war grave.
  32. Read all/part of the history of an ancestor’s military unit (battalion/ship etc).
  33. Seen your ancestor’s name on an original land map.
  34. Found land selection documents for your immigrant ancestor/s.
  35. Found other land documents for your ancestor (home/abroad)
  36. Located land maps or equivalent for your ancestor’s place of origin.
  37. Used contemporaneous gazetteers or directories to learn about your ancestors’ places.
  38. Found your ancestor’s name in a Post Office directory of the time.
  39. Used local government sewerage maps (yes, seriously!) for an ancestor’s street. (in Lewisham, London looking for property left by John Lovelace in his will)
  40. Read an inquest report for an ancestor/relative (online/archives).
  41. Read an ancestor’s/relative’s hospital admission.
  42. Researched a company file if your family owned a business.
  43. Looked up any of your ancestor’s local government rate books or valuation records.
  44. Researched occupation records for your ancestor/s (railway, police, teacher etc).
  45. Researched an ancestor’s adoption.
  46. Researched an ancestor’s insolvency.
  47. Found a convict ancestor’s passport or certificate of freedom.
  48. Found a convict ancestor’s shipping record.
  49. Found an ancestor’s gaol admission register.
  50. Found a licencing record for an ancestor (brands, publican, etc).
  51. Found an ancestor’s mining lease/licence.
  52. Found an ancestor’s name on a petition to government.
  53. Read your ancestor’s citizenship document.
  54. Read about your ancestor in an undigitised regional newspaper.
  55. Visited a local history library/museum relevant to your family.
  56. Looked up your ancestor’s name in the Old Age Pension records.
  57. Researched your ancestor or relative in Benevolent Asylum/Workhouse records.
  58. Researched an ancestor’s/relative’s mental health records.
  59. Looked for your family in a genealogical publication of any sort (but not online remember).
  60. Contributed family information to a genealogical publication.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

The Ancestors' Geneameme

Been a but slack with the blogging so decided to take part in Geniaus Geneameme

The following list shows
Things you have already done or found: bold face type

Things you would like to do or find: italicize (colour optional)

Things you haven’t done or found and don’t care to: plain type

You are encouraged to add extra comments in brackets after each item 

Which of these apply to you?
  1.  Can name my 16 great-great-grandparents
  2.  Can name over 50 direct ancestors
  3.  Have photographs or portraits of my 8 great-grandparents (would love to but with only 3/8 currently I think this may prove elusive)
  4.  Have an ancestor who was married more than three times
  5.  Have an ancestor who was a bigamist
  6.  Met all four of my grandparents (unfortunately only 1was alive when I was born)
  7.  Met one or more of my great-grandparents (missed by more than 20 years)
  8.  Named a child after an ancestor
  9.  Bear an ancestor's given name/s
  10.  Have an ancestor from Great Britain or Ireland (many)
  11.  Have an ancestor from Asia
  12.  Have an ancestor from Continental Europe
  13.  Have an ancestor from Africa
  14.  Have an ancestor who was an agricultural labourer
  15.  Have an ancestor who had large land holdings  (do have a land steward who looked after someone else's land)
  16.  Have an ancestor who was a holy man - minister, priest, rabbi
  17.  Have an ancestor who was a midwife
  18.  Have an ancestor who was an author
  19.  Have an ancestor with the surname Smith, Murphy or Jones
  20.  Have an ancestor with the surname Wong, Kim, Suzuki or Ng
  21.  Have an ancestor with a surname beginning with X
  22.  Have an ancestor with a forename beginning with Z - not a direct ancestor but Zillah Whitehead (1870-1871) is a second cousin twice removed.
  23.  Have an ancestor born on 25th December
  24. Have an ancestor born on New Year's Day (My great grandmother Margaret Hudson was born 1 January 1867 in Ballinatry, Wexford, Ireland)
  25.  Have blue blood in your family lines
  26.  Have a parent who was born in a country different from my country of birth
  27.  Have a grandparent who was born in a country different from my country of birth
  28.  Can trace a direct family line back to the eighteenth century
  29.  Can trace a direct family line back to the seventeenth century or earlier
  30.  Have seen copies of the signatures of some of my great-grandparents
  31.  Have ancestors who signed their marriage certificate with an X
  32.  Have a grandparent or earlier ancestor who went to university
  33.  Have an ancestor who was convicted of a criminal offence (no direct but still hope to find a convict link somewhere)
  34.  Have an ancestor who was a victim of crime
  35.  Have shared an ancestor's story online or in a magazine (Tell us where) - Had a photo and a brief Can you Help? in AFTC (Australian Family Tree Connections)
  36.  Have published a family history online or in print (Details please)
  37.  Have visited an ancestor's home from the 19th or earlier centuries (I've visited some of the areas my ancestors came from like Lisvernane in Tipperary, Weymouth in Dorset and Standon Bowers in Staffordshire but not actually visited an ancestor's home so hope to firstly identify the home address & then to visit one) 
  38.  Still have an ancestor's home from the 19th or earlier centuries in the family
  39.  Have a  family bible from the 19th Century
  40.  Have a pre-19th century family bible

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Unlock The Past Expo Cairns

I attended the Unlock The Past Expo Cairns.  Despite doing my family history for a number of years it was my first ever family history expo / fair /conference.  It was great to have an opportunity to attend something locally.  I attended a variety of sessions, mainly on the first day including:
  •  Social Media for family historians by Carole Riley.  It reminded me it was about time I did another blog post!  I got some tips from seeing what was on Carole's i-google page.  While not a big facebook user I did go home & "like" various organisations and/or bookmark their web page including the Cairns & District Family History Society.
  • Newspapers: bring your family history to life by Helen Smith which used great examples from local  papers
  • DNA for genealogists by Kerry Farmer which gave a really useful run down for people like me that know very little about DNA.
I also received a couple of tips for breaking down a brick wall & I came straight home and followed through
  • look at the church register - I've placed my order so will now have to wait & see
  • post on a forum - I've posted & will see what suggestions I get
I thought the Treasure Hunt was an excellent way of taking a look at what the various exhibits were about.  I also enjoyed hearing about the Cairns & Queensland family history societies.  I will have to join one.

For me the main benefit in attending an expo as opposed to reading a book or magazine or blog was in hearing a presenter's comment that clicked with my research or in seeing something on the presenter's screen or in the exhibitor's hall that gave me ideas to pursue as well as seeing there are lots of other family history researchers in my local area.

I am pleased I went along.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Not Just Ned

Today I visited the excellent Not Just Ned exhibition at the National Museum of Australia.

Highlights for me were
•The Australia House dolls house given to Lord Belmore's (13th Governor 1866 - 1872) 5 children & taken back to Ireland
•A beat as a policeman - I wish my police ancestors had kept a scrapbook of newspaper clippings about himself like Constable Thomas Waldron
•The video "Live at the Quiet Man" traditional music & dance.
•All the Kelly gang armour together.

I also liked the Ancestors of Jeff & Karen Toohey printed family tree with the use of colour to show born overseas (with small flag of country) or Australian born.

You can search for your family on computers provided & there were several people available to help. You can also search at home on

So definitely worth a visit. The Irish seem to feature in every part of Australian life!!

While you're there it's also worth checking out the other exhibits as well.


Thursday, April 21, 2011

Hugh O'Brien at the Australian War Memorial

Visiting Canberra went to the Australian war memorial. Excellent displays & tour. Placed a poppy for Hugh O'Brien on the wall. So many names. So many families impacted.

Picked up tickets for Anzac day service on Monday.

My First post using blogpress app - hope it looks OK.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

In memory of Hugh O'Brien

My Great Uncle Hugh O'Brien of 9th Battalion Australian Imperial Force was killed in action 23 July 1916.  He is remembered with honour on the Villers Bretonneux Memorial in France.

His WW1 file is available on the National Archives of Australia website.

Hugh arrived in Brisbane, Australia from Ireland in January 1912 with his sister Bridget.  He then nominated his father Hugh, brother Richard and sisters Ellen & Maria who arrived in Brisbane, Australia in December 1913.  At the time Hugh was working for the Woodford & Kilcoy Railway.

Hugh enlisted 7 October 1915.  He embarked from Brisbane on the HMAT Kyarra on 3 January 1916.  Passing through Colombo, Alexandria & Marseilles he joined the 9th Battalion in France in May 1916.  He was killed within 2 months.  From the 3rd Brigade Diary available on the Australian War Memorial website we learn a total of 15 officers and 348 other ranks from the 9th Battalion were killed, wounded or missing between 19 July and 26 July 1916 in fighting near Pozieres.

Following Hugh's death his father Hugh & his sister Maria (my grandmother) received a pension.  I understand he had been supporting them prior to his death. 

Hugh's Victory Medal was received by his brother John O'Brien in 1923.  With the death of my great grandfather Hugh O'Brien in 1922 the medal needed to be claimed by Hugh's eldest brother John who was residing in the USA even though there were 3 sisters and a brother in Australia at that time.

Sadly we do not have any photos of Hugh O'Brien.

Lest we Forget

Sunday, April 3, 2011

My Australian Irish research in words

Using Wordle to really easily display family names, places and research tools with a focus on my Irish Australian family links. 

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Ancestry hint points me in the right direction

I was looking at 'people with hints' in my ancestry tree.  My great grandmother Margaret HUDSON had a hint to her death record in the Australian Death Index. I've had her death certificate for a while so wasn't too interested.  But I noticed
  • mother's name Jane Fitzsimm*   
and that gave me an idea - to search the Australian Death Index only giving mother (I used the * after fitzs) & father name in the hope I may find any brothers/sisters of Margaret who had also immigrated to Australia.  And it paid off for I found:
  • Annie SKELLY
  • Mary Jane TATTON
I thought I had done this type of search before on the Queensland births, deaths and marriages search site.  
In fact this is how I had already found Annie Skelly and obtained some certificates to verify she was the sister of my Margaret Hudson.  So why had I not previously found Mary Jane Tatton? 

Looking back at my records I can now see I was only able to seacrh to 1929 on the Qld BDM site at the time I searched ....Mary Jane lived to 1953.  In any case you have to enter a family name now in the Qld BDM site to search for a death which is no use if you don't know the married name.

So the lesson - whenever a new database becomes available check it, even if you've done a similar check in another database before.   And follow through on the ancestry hints, it's not that time consuming to just ignore those that are no use.

I'm busy now researching Mary Jane TATTON - I have obtained her death certificate and first marriage to Edward SHIELDS so know I'm on the right track.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

John Beere, Waterford, Ireland

My great great grandfather John BEERE (1817-1878) was a land steward at Woodhouse, Waterford, Ireland.

Woodhouse, near Stradbally Waterford


John and his wife Mary (nee EVANS) had the following children

  • William BEERE (1845-1968) - member Metropolitan police, London
  • Richard BEERE (1857-1889) - member Royal Irish Constabulary
  • George BEERE married Hannah POWER - member Royal Irish Constabulary, then lived in England
  • Leger BEERE married Katie ROGERS - member Royal Irish Constabulary, then migrated to USA, living Connecticut in 1900
  • John BEERE - member Royal Irish Constabulary, otherwise no information - speculate may have migrated to USA (Connecticut) but needs some proof
  • Mary BEERE married Thomas CRANWELL (member Royal Irish Constabulary) - immigrated to USA (Connecticut)


  • Henry BEERE married Mary Ann LANGMAID - joined Royal Navy at 15 and then lived in Suffolk, England
  • Annie BEERE married Thomas LANGMAID (brother of Henry Beere's wife Mary Ann) - lived Suffolk, England
 Other daughters
  • My great grandmother - Maria BEERE married Hugh O'BRIEN - children migrated to Australia & USA with one staying in Ireland
  • Jane BEERE married George BATER - lived in England before immigrating to Canada
  • Martha BEERE - no information following baptism in 1849
  • Margaret BEERE - no information following baptism in 1843
 If you are connected to any of these BEERE children it would be wonderful to get an email from you.

Friday, March 11, 2011

One Lovely Blog Award

Thanks to Aillin of Australian Genealogy Journeys for nominating this blog for One Lovely Blog Award.  Being such a new blog I was most surprised!

The rules for accepting the award are:
  • Accept the award, post it on your blog together with the name of the person who granted the award and their blog link.
  • Pass the award on to 15 other blogs that you've newly discovered.
  • Remember to contact the bloggers to let them know they have been chosen for this award.
In starting this blog I looked at many blogs to get inspiration.  Here's a few of the blogs that have caught my eye; and for whatever reason be it layout, content, location, blog name, I liked them. 

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Fearn Jackson

Fernie, or Harriet Esther Fearn FLETCHER (nee JACKSON) 1903-1985 was my grandmother Maria O'BRIEN's first cousin.   Maria arrived in Brisbane from Tipperary, Ireland in 1913 with her father Hugh, brother Richard and sister Ellen.  I understand they stayed with Hugh's sister Mrs JACKSON & family at Spring Hill.

I was not sure when I first heard it what Fernie might be short for.  But it didn't really matter as when browsing the Toowong Cemetery monumental inscriptions in my local library I found
  • Beatrice JACKSON d 8 March 1914 aged 21, erected by Mother, Willie, May & Fernie
I obtained the death certificate for Beatrice (registered as Britto) & knew once I saw the mother was Mary O'BRIEN that I was on track & this has been further confirmed with
  • marriage certificate of Mary O'BRIEN and John Thomas JACKSON at Roma, Queensland in 1882 showing Mary's parents as  Michael O'BRIEN & Bridget Mackay ( surely the same as the way the Irish say MULCAHY) 
  • more recent release by Queensland Archives of the index to persons nominated as immigrants naming Mary's son-in-law John James MCKEW as nominator for Maria's brother Hugh & sister Bridget who arrived in Brisbane in1912
It looks like Fernie's name (FEARN) is the maiden name of her father, John Thomas JACKSON's mother Annie Fern.  It seems that Fernie had some other cousins on her father's side who also used Fern or Fearn as a middle name including
  • Annie Easter Fern Jackson who married Thomas Patterson in 1908; and 
  • Harriett Esther Ann Fearn Jackson who married William Farrell in 1905 in Queensland.

Fernie became a dancing teacher and I have found several articles about her - she seems to be often mentioned in the social and advertising pages.  It is her bridal picture in The Queenslander on 13 June 1935 that is the most impressive:

Fletcher- Jackson The wedding took place at St. Brigid's Church, Red Hill, Brisbane, of Mr. Percival Fletcher (youngest son of Mr. and Mrs. A. C. Fletcher. Lerin. Kelvin Grove) and Miss Fearn Jackson(youngest daughter of the late Mr. T. Jackson, and Mrs. Jackson, of Menzies Street, Petrie Terrace), The Rev. Father Masterson officiated. The bride, who was given away by her brother (Mr. W. Jackson), wore a frock of ivory satin cut on classical lines, featuring a cowl neckline, and long sleeves cut to give the cowl effect on the upper arm. Her skirt, which showed side panels of diagonal tucking, finished in a long train, the centre panel of which was studded with flesh coloured seed pearls. Her hand-embroidered veil was worn with a coronet of orange blossoms, and she carried a bouquet of roses. She was attended by two bridesmaids —Misses Tib Fletcher (sister of the bridegroom) and Beatty McKew (niece of the bride), who were attired in pink mariette tightly-fitting dresses inlet with frilled godets, with hat to tone, and carried bouquets of pink roses. Frances Ubank (flower girl), was dressed in pink organdie, and carried a basket of pink roses. The duties of best man were performed by Mr. Syd. Fletcher, and Mr. Jack McCarthy was groomsman. Mrs.Jackson (mother of the bride) wore a frock of black marocain with hat to match, and carried a posy of carnations. Mrs. Fletcher (mother of the bridegroom) wore a black crepe de Chine dress with hat to tone, and carried a bouquet of red roses. On leaving for the honey moon the bride wore an ensemble of brown crepe de Chine, with hat with shoes to match.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Had he known it was Constable Galligan, he would not have assaulted him

Continuing my exploration of Trove I find another article from The Brisbane Courier 7 August 1886 detailing an assault on John Galligan

A ROUGH-LOOKING fellow named Frank Clifford was again brought up at the City Police Court yesterday morning, charged on remand with having assaulted Constable Galligan, in Queen-street, on the 2nd August. The prisoner, it will be remembered, was "brought up on the previous Friday, but "had to be remanded, as Constable Galligan was not considered by Dr. Hobbs, Who examined the constable, to be in a fit state to give his evidence. From the evidence adduced yesterday it appears the prisoner was creating a disturbance near the Queensland National Bank, and Constable  Galligan went to arrest him, when the prisoner struck him three times in quick succession, causing serious wounds about the eyes. While being brought to the watchhouse the prisoner slipped his arm out of his coat and ran off in the direction of Elizabeth-street, but was arrested by Constable Roche. When brought up to the watchhouse, the prisoner remarked that he was sorry, as, had he known it was Constable  Galligan, he would not have assaulted him. Dr. Hill stated the wounds were of a serious nature, and that the constable was still unfit for duty. The prisoner was further remanded until the 13th instant.

The Brisbane Courier then reports on the City Police Court 13 August 1886

Mr Pinnock severely cautioned the prisoner, and said he had a good mind to send him for trial. On hearing this the accused began to cry, and said if the bench would let him off this time he would clear out of the town. When asked if he had any witnesses to call he replied in the negative, but a young man came forward from among the spectators and said he was the man whom prisoner was fighting and that the accused was drunk at the time. The prisoner was sentenced to one month's imprisonment with hard labour for the assault, and was fined £2 or forty eight hours imprisonment

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Via email : Trove search page

Testing out blogging a photo by email from my mobile phone

Does the punishment fit the crime?

1 month imprisonment for assault, 2 months imprisonment for the uniform, 3 months imprisonment for obscene language - does seem a bit back to front!

The sentencing The Queenslander 24 March 1883 
City Police Court.
JOHN STARCH alias Bourke, was fined £5, or three months' imprisonment in default, for using obscene language; for assaulting Constable Galligan he was sentenced to one month's imprisonment with hard labour, and for destroying that constable's uniform he was sentenced to two months' imprisonment with hard labour. Thomas Bohen, alias Irish, was similarly dealt with for assaulting Constable Galligan, and destroying his uniform, and for rescuing the previous prisoner he was fined £5, or one month's imprisonment with hard labour. Peter Clark, charged with assaulting Constable Galligan and rescuing the prisoner Starch from him, was remanded till the following morning.

Tuesday, March 20. Peter Clarke, charged with having assaulted Constable Galligan, was discharged on the application of Senior-detective Anderson, who stated he had ascertained he was the wrong man.

And the Queenslander 31 March 1883 reports finding the right man

City Police Court.
GEORGE Roots, a powerful-looking man, was charged with having, in conjunction with the prisoners Starch, alias Bourke, and Bohen. alias Irish, assaulted constable Galligan last Friday afternoon. Senior-detective Anderson prosecuted. The prisoner, on being asked to plead, said, "Well, I was in the company or the persons who committed the assault, but I did not strike the constable." Mounted-constable Beatty then gave evidence to the effect that he had arrested the prisoner on warrant, on Thursday morning, at Durun dur, twenty miles from Caboolture. He made no answer when the warrant was read to him. At this stage Roots was remanded till Tues day for the production of further evidence. Bail was allowed—the prisoner in £10 and one surety of £10.

I encourage you to check out Trove.  I have signed up & now I can tag any articles so I can easily find them again.  Some of the OCR (optical character recognition) produces some unusual results but it's very easy to make corrections and once done they stay there for all to enjoy.  So get searching.

A most brutal assault

Searching Trove on the National Library of Australia website for Constable Galligan has produced a number of interesting articles.  To make sure that I'm referring to my Constable (John) Galligan I searched the Queensland State Archives and found 4 Galligan police staff files with the following service dates:
  • My John 1882-1913
  • Unrelated as far as I know
    • James 1868-1877
    • Morgan Francis 1886
    • Another John 1907-1972
So to the Brisbane Courier 17 March 1883

A most brutal assault appears to have been committed upon Constable Galligan about 3 o'clock yesterday afternoon, in Albert-street, by three cowardly roughs. From what we have been able to gather it seems that the constable had occasion several times during the afternoon to caution a well-known character, John Starch, against behaving in a disorderly manner, and also for using disgusting language. About the time mentioned the man Starch was reclining in a yard off the street, and as he had been using obscene language the constable requested him to go home. The cowardly fellow rose and dealt the constable a vicious blow in the eye. This was the signal for two of his pals-Irish and another-and the three ruffians attacked the constable, and brutally maltreated him. They left him quite in a helpless condition, with the blood pouring from his face, and blinding him. Galligan was afterwards taken to the police barracks in Roma-street, where he was examined and prescribed for by Dr. Hobbs. His left eye is completely closed, and the whole of his face bears strong proof of the scandalous treatment he received. He will be unfit for duty for several days at least, and will probably have to go to the hospital. Two policemen were told off in plain clothes, and succeeded in arresting two of the offenders -Starch and Irish. Both men have been punished before for similar.

It was even mentioned in the Melbourne Argus on 19 March 1883

Constable Galligan was brutally assaulted and seriously injured on Friday afternoon by three roughs, one of whom he was attempting to arrest.

Cylone debrief

Having very fortunately missed the damage done by Cyclone Yasi but been near enough to get very ready for it I have now started the big job of
  • scanning all my certificates and other documents so that I have a backup copy other than just having the one in my paper files
  • scanning old photos and labelling them - I'm exploring the picassa face recognition right now
  • storing a backup of some of my photos and family tree info online
This is a big job and not very exciting when you can be doing new research .... but on the other hand I would hate to lose all the hard work I've already done. So the plan is to scan a bit at a time and any new stuff as soon as I get it.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

His services are much needed

Following the reference from HE King "he is a good man & will I think make a good bobby" John Galligan was sworn in as a recruit on 13 February 1882.  Then in July 1882, being well drilled and of good conduct, recommendation was made that he and 3 others be appointed Constables, "particularly as their services are much needed at present".

According to the Queensland Police website
Conditions were arduous and police often worked a seven day week, although they were entitled to every second Sunday free, they rarely benefited from this arrangement. A police officer worked a minimum nine hour day and often more when the situation warranted it. Leave was infrequent.
John's first station was Brisbane (Roma Street).  He almost certainly lived in the barracks, at least until his marriage in 1888.  From the State Library of Queensland -

Roma Street Police Barracks, ca. 1883
[John Oxley Library, neg. no. 65395]
The Roma Street Police Station and Barracks were erected in 1879/1880.
"This building provides barrack accommodation for about forty-five men and room for officer-in-charge. The lower floor contains cells to provide for the use of the station, if needful, as a lockup."
Queensland Legislative Assembly, Votes and Proceedings 1880, Vol II p.1007

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Australia Day 2011: John Galligan joins the Queensland police

Happy Australia Day 2011

As part of the Twigs of Yore Australia Day suggestion to find the earliest piece of documentation about an Australian ancestor I have selected this letter written by my ancestor John Galligan in 1881 "respectfully applying for a situation in the Queensland Police Force".

I first obtained this letter early on in my research after hearing from relatives that John had been a policeman.  It  came in reply to a letter I wrote to the Queensland Police Department.  The covering letter to that reply said "I hope the material forwarded provides new data and further avenues for investigation." It most certainly has.

This letter in John's own hand and hopefully accurate on the facts tells us
  • John was in Brisbane in 1881
  • John could read & write
  • John had been in the country for the last 7 years - if I was absolutely certain his arrival was on the Clara in 1875 then the shipping list would be the earliest piece of documentation  
  • John was 27
  • John was 5 feet nine 
  • John had worked for Hon HE Ring who was the speaker of the Legislative of Assembly (Queensland Parliament).  At the time there were 42 members (there are now 89).
Visiting the Queensland State Archives in 2009 I thought I may as well look at John Galligan's police file which I had seen in their index.  My expectation was it would be the same as what I already had.  Instead there were a few surprises including his application to get married to Miss Maggie Hudson residing with her father in Montague Road South Brisbane.   This sentence has opened the door to new Australian & Irish research on the Hudson family.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Opening blog

Welcome to my new blog launched in January 2011.

I hope to share some of my family history research findings & illustrate them with pictures & maps.

Thanks to Twigs of Yore for the upcoming Australia Day challenge.  This has inspired me to get this blog started now so it would be ready in time for me to do my first real post on Australia Day.

Feel free to comment or email me - especially if you think there's a family connection.