I have been going through my parents photos and photo albums looking for old photos of my parents, their parents and other family members.

Below is one of my Paternal Great Grandfather Ernest Mitchell born in Adelaide South Australia in 1882 and died in NSW in 1945. The photo was taken in the late 1930′s. On the back of the photo it says “Grandad in Stage Costume”.

Ernest apparently appeared in a number of plays, including ‘Uncle Tom’s Cabin’. I’m yet to find any other information on what other plays he would have been in or what thearte they were performed in. Ernest and his wife Daisy were living in Northy Sydney during the 1920′s. Maybe one day I will find some additonal information.

Postcards of Sydney

Posted: August 14, 2010 in Photos

Today I was sorting through some family photos and came across the following two postcards that I must have bought at some time and thought I would share:

The first one is of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, in April 1930.  On the Back of the post card it says:

“This was the great era of the Sydney Harbour Ferries. The multidude of steam ferries at berth and crisscrossing the harbour linked the north shore with the city. The Harbour Bridge seen five months from the closing of it’s arch was still two years from completion’.

The second one is of the Pyrmont Bridge Sydney, dated 1902. On the back of the post card, is reads:

“Looking east across Darling Harbour to the city. Clearly the traffic jam is not a modern phenonemon!”.

In Search of the Birth of William George Baker

This is the first post of a series that I intend to write to show my research into finding the UK birth record of my GG Grandfather William George Baker.

William George Baker married Sarah Baldwin in Woolwich Kent in 1863. They came to New South Wales with their young son, William George, on the ship ‘Trebolgan’ in 1865.

On a number of records found here, William’s birth appears to be between 1836 and 1840 and his parents were Samuel & Sarah Baker.

On the shipping records, his age is listed as 27 years old. This makes his birth year to be around 1838. His native place reads Sudbury Suffolk. His parents are listed as Samuel & Sarah, with his mother living at Woolwich England. He is also shown to have ‘an Uncle George King’ living in the colony. I’m have not yet found any record of George King nor have I found a shipping record that matches to a George King coming from Suffolk. I did find a marriage between a Samuel Baker and a Sarah King in 1831 at Boxford, Suffolk. (M13246-1).

On the birth certificate of his son Albert Samuel, in 1870, William was 31, making his birth year to be 1839.

On the birth certificate of his daughter Emma, who was born in 1874, William was listed as 37, making his birth year to be 1837 and born at Bures, Suffolk, England.

On the birth certificate of his son Ernest, born in 1876 he is again shown as being 37, making his birth year to be 1839 and he was born at Bures, Sudbury, Suffolk, England.

On William’s death certificate, his age is listed as 45 born in Sudbury Suffolk. This makes his birth year to be around 1836. His parents are listed as Samuel Baker & Sarah Sampson. (The Sampson, I believe is incorrect or maybe Sarah remarried).

Anything is possible considering the different ages he is across the various documents. He could have been born as early as 1835 but I’m sure he was born in Bures (or surrounding districts) Suffolk.

I have over the years checked parish, civil & census records on FindMyPast, Free BDM, Ancestry UK and as yet not found a definite match.

With the changes on FindMyPast and the ability to now be able to in more detail on the Birth Indexes, I performed a search on William Baker born between 1837 and 1841 and this produced 13 results, 2 of which I can discount due to the child’s middle names, so that leaves the following. The advanced search would be better if you were able to include the names of both sets of parents.

BAKER William Wangford Suffolk 1837
BAKER William Blything Suffolk 1838
BAKER William Hoxne Suffolk 1838
BAKER William Bosmere Suffolk 1838
BAKER William Plomesgate Suffolk 1839
BAKER William Cosford Suffolk 1839
BAKER William Woodbridge Suffolk 1840
BAKER William Woodbridge Suffolk 1840
BAKER William Hartismere Suffolk 1840
BAKER William Hartismere Suffolk 1841
BAKER William Wangford Suffolk 1841

A search using just ‘George Baker’ brings up 9 records, of which one ‘Henry George Baker’ born at Sudbury, Suffolk in 1841 could be a possible relative.

Checking the 1841,1851,1861 UK census finds no record of the family in Suffolk.

My paternal GG grandfather was George Honey Harris.

  • He was born in 1844 at Guernsey, Channel Islands United Kingdom and died in 1932 at Encounter Bay South Australia.
  • His middle name was also spelt ‘Honney’ in some records.
  • His parents were: Pierre George Harris (1805-1877) and Adelina Bienvenu (1813-1877).
  • George arrived in South Australia with his parents after 1851

The following notice appears in the The South Australian Advertiser (Adelaide, SA : 1858-1889)  Thursday 18 April 1878 for the marrige between George Harris and Rose Ann Hurst

“HARRIS—HURST.—On the 3rd April, at Truro, by Rey. W. H. Newbould, George Honey Harris, Station Manager Overland Corner, to Rose Ann, second daughter of Mr. John Hurst, of Truro”.

Overland Corner, is 16 km from Barmera on the Morgan Road and was a convenient watering place and camp site for the overlanders and drovers operating between New South Wales and the colony based on Adelaide in the early years of the 1800s. It was also the stopping place for paddle steamers and coach passengers on the Adelaide to Wentworth route.

On the South Australian Genealogy & Heraldy cemetery index, I have found a record for a death of a George Honey Harris in 1932. The SA BDM index has his date of death as the 27th April 1932 at Encounter Bay SA.

RoseAnn Harris nee Hurst died at Morgan South Australian on the 27th September 1890.

They had the following children that I am aware of:

  • Daisy Edith Harris (born 1879-1932) – my Great Grandmother – who married Richard Mitchell
  • George Herbert Hurst Harris (born 1881 ANG:265/369 )
  • George Harry Webster Harris (born 1885 ang:351/371)
  • Charles Howard Churchward Harris (born 1886 – died 1969)
  • Violet Harris (born 1890 – Died 1891)

I have been a volunteer indexer on the Family Search project for about 2 years. Unfortunately, I haven’t indexed for about 6 months, but this project is a great way to become involved in having data available online and helping to acheive their goal of indexing 200 million records by the end of 2010.

Refer to the following posts for more information

Five Ideas to Get Others Involved in Indexing

Indexing Goal: 200 Million Records Complete in 2010

Following the discussion on Genealogy Leftovers and 10 things I can’t live without, the below is my list of 10 things related to Genealogy I couldn’t live without.

1.      My Entire book & software collection – all Genealogy, Family History & Australian History related – http://baker1865.wordpress.com/resources/

2.      Legacy Family Tree – Deluxe Edition  – it has all of my research and data

3.      NSW State Records office:  both at Kingswood and the online indexes

4.      My PC: It’s the first thing I turn on every day. Will also include my External Hard drives here as they both have backups of all of my data.

5.      The Internet:  Without it, I wouldn’t be able to do some of my overseas research, especially on my Irish Connections and whilst on the subject of the ‘internet’, these are my top 3 sites that I use for my English & Irish research:

6.      Genealogy Blogs:  I love the idea of blogging and am enjoying reading other people’s blogs.

7.      My Netbook:  I use this to take with me to the library or State Records, so that I can review information and record anything I find.

8.      Every one of my birth, death and marriage certificates I have obtained over the years which has helped (or hindered) my research.

9.      Trove – one search – a wealth of information – especially the Australian Newspapers 1803-1954 section.  It’s been great finding different newspaper articles on my ancestors.

10.  My Job – cause without it, I wouldn’t be able to fund all of my research…(though I wouldn’t mind not having it)…

What are your 10 things genealogy related that you can’t live without?

As per my post a few days ago, I’ve been checking out the new search function on Irish Family History Foundation. So far for all of the records I have viewed, I have come up trumps in my search for my Quirke Family from Kilkenny.

From a transcript of the life of Thomas Quirk, which was written in the late 1890’s, Thomas wrote that his paternal grandparents were James & Alice Reid and had married around 1796 in Tipperary and shortly after marriage, “They went to reside at Mount Nugent House near St John’s Well County Kilkenny. My grandfather acted as agent for the landlord named Millet who resided at St John’s town”.

The ability to search on full names for marriages is only available for some counties, including Kilkenny and South Tipperary.  I found no marriage in South Tipperary for a James & Alice Reid (variant spellings, Read, Reade & Reed) but I did find the following marriage in Kilkenny in 1797 at St Johns Parish, which fits will in to where my Quirke’s lived.

  • Date of Marriage:        02-Jul-1797
  • Parish / District:          ST. JOHN’S      County:           Co. Kilkenny
  • Husband: James Quirke
  • Wife: Ally Reed
  • Denomination:            Roman Catholic
  • Parents Names: Not listed
  • Witness 1 John Reed                  Witness 2   Mary Quirk

James & Alice had a total of 12 children, 10 males and 2 females. Up until the last couple of days, I only knew the names of 4 of the males, Peter, John, Thomas & Nicholas, 3 of which came to NSW to live in the 1850’s & 1860’s.  Now after finding the baptism records, I believe I now have a few more of the names of the children of James &Alice:

For the following, the father’s name is consistent; being James Quirk, but the mother’s first name or last name is spelt differently.

  • Peter – 17/05/1798 – Parish St Johns’ – mother listed as Alice Rice
  • William – 3/07/1803 – Parish St John’s – mother listed as Ellis Reed
  • Patrick – 24/02/1805 – Parish St Johns’ – mother listed as Alice Reed
  • Martin – 25/03/1809 – Parish St John’s – mother listed as Ally Reed
  • Michael – 14/06/1813 – Johns Well, Parish St John’s – mother listed as Alice Reade
  • Nicholas – 19/04/1817 – Johns Well, Parish St John’s – Mother listed as Ally Reade

The only baptism record that almost matches to my direct ancestor, John Quirk is this one:

John Quirk – 26/01/1800 – Parish St John’s – Father listed as John Quirk, Mother listed as Ally Read. It’s likely that the father’s name was listed incorrectly as John, instead of James on the original parish record.

The next thing to do is to find the names of the other 3 males and the 2 female children.  From the transcript of Thomas Quirke’s life he also wrote that ‘after my grandfather’s death my uncle John was appointed Agent for our Landlord and held the position until he was accidentally killed by being crushed between a gatepost and a vehicle.  My paternal Uncles and Aunts were all well-educated. Some died young, and others emigrated to America. One was a Master Tailor in Liverpool England, and another a grocer’s assistant in Kilkenny. The other an officer in the army.

I’m not sure when James Quirk died, but John died sometime prior to 1853, as on the NSW shipping record, for his daughter Mary, who arrived on the ship Athenian, it’s listed that her father was deceased and mother was living in Johns Well Kilkenny and I’m thinking also that he died prior to 1847, as he is not listed on the Griffith’s valuations at Mount Nugent, though three of his brothers are. There is a John Quirk who was in the parish of St John, listed as a Tenant & Landlord at the place name of ‘McGrahth’s Lane’ in 1849 & 1850. I’m not sure if the John Quirk at McGrath’s lane is mine or not, as mine was the ‘agent for Millet up until his death.

County: Kilkenny, Parish: Rathcoale, Lessor: James Millet

Townland: MountNugent – Lower

  1. Nicholas Quirke – Land. – Total net value of Land : £3.
  2. Peter Quirke – House, Office & Land. – Total net value of Land/Buildings: £18.5
  3. William Quirke – House, Office & Land. – Total net value of Land/Buildings: £13.10

Townland: MountNugent – Upper

  • Nicholas Quirke – Land. – Total net value of Land : £4
  • Catherine Quirke – House, Office & Land. – Total net value of Land/Buildings: £3.5 –
  • Nicholas Quirke – House, Office &Land. – Total net value of Land : £21

I did it again.  I decided today that I would record some of my ‘notes’ and other items that I have found recently into my Legacy Database.  But once again, I got side tracked…..

Firstly, I was recording an event against my ancestor Dennis McCormack into the legacy database and I wanted the actual link to the Trove website to include. So because I didn’t have it, I did another search.  That’s when I first got side-tracked.  I found an article I had not seen before in relation to William McCormack, the eldest son of Dennis & Mary McCormack, which related to his death in 1878. He died of burns to his body and there was an investigation into how William was treated at Maitland Hospital prior to his death.  Interesting reading: Maitland Mercury Article – William McCormack

Then I started back into inputting more information into my Legacy database and for the last couple of days, I’ve been working on my ‘Quirke’ Surname and once again, instead of concentrating on what it is that I should be doing, I somehow, ended up at http://www.connorsgenealogy.com/Kilkenny/ and found the following:

County Kilkenny Tithe Applotments 1827 St Johns Civil Parish Kilkenny Poor Law Union
Gowran & Shillelogher Baronies and Kilkenny City

  • Quirke John 30 3 Radestown Cramer
  • Quirke William 302 45 Gardens at Michael’s lane

The John Quirke above, could be my ancestor, but there were a number of ‘Quirke’s living in the Kilkenny area during the same time.

So far, I have not gone back to the pile of things to input into the database, because then I whilst  as some of you know, when you start to get sidetracked, other ideas get into your head and think, maybe I’ll try this search or that search and whilst I was searching, I ended up at Origin’s Network and I have in the past ignored any links to subscribe but today I decided to subscribe for 72 hours full access for £8.00.  So far the £8.00 is worth it, as I have found a bit of information, some of which is below. Some I know are definitely my ancestors, some others maybe, but I I will keep for later reference.

1: There are 139 Quirke’s listed in the Griffiths’ Valuations for Kilkenny, of which some I already know are connected to mine (considering GV can be viewed for free on Griifth’s Valuation I’ll check on the full list another time)

2: A total of 18 Quirke’s are listed on the Tithe Defaulters, 1831 – of which the following 3 I know are my ancestors.

  • Quirk James farmer Mt Nugent
  • Quirk Peter farmer Mt Nugent
  • Quirk John farmer Mt Nugen

3: The following are listed Electoral Registers for Ireland 1832-38

  • James Dilworth  - Tyrone Dungannon. (I have a Joseph Dilworth & a John Dilworth from Tyrone. Joseph came to NSW in 1842)
  • John Fitzgerald – Limerick – 1838 – Freemen admitted since 1831
  • John Fitzgerald, Limerick – 1837 – Voters & Excise Licences (the father of my Mary Fitzgerald who was born in Stonehall, Limerick was a ‘John Fitzgerald’).]
  • A total of 18 ‘Quirke’s are listed but none of them are in Kilkenny.

Just got to get back to that recording and filing of that information that I have found, but it’s so much more fun searching for stuff then actually inputting into the database, once I have found it.

Oh the joys…

I have now discovered after reading the update by Chris over at Scottish Genes that there is an advanced search function where you can search for baptisms if you know the names of both parents.  The advanced search is used when you click on the particular county that you are interested in, such as Kilkenny.

I did another search this morning for the children of John Quirke & Catherine Slattery. The number of hits was 5, of which I had already purchased one (which yesterday to view cost me €5.00).  To view the other 4 hits, the cost was discounted to only €12.00, which means it only cost €3.00 per record instead of €5.00.  Pity I didn’t realise this yesterday when I was searching.

One thing though is that I found another child born to John & Catherine Quirk.  I was only aware that they had 4 children, all of whom immigrated to New South Wales during the 1850’s, along with their mother Catherine. The baptism record for ‘Ally Quirke’ shows her baptism to be on the 20th July 1835 at St John’s Well Kilkenny.  I did a quick look and found neither a death nor a marriage for Ally within Kilkenny.  I’ve also just checked the NSW State Records website to see if maybe she had come to NSW but not listed there either.  So I wonder what happened to her. Did she die in childhood?  Did she marry in Ireland and then immigrant? Maybe she went to America with some of her Aunts or Uncles?  From the transcript of the ‘life and times of Thomas Quirke’, he wrote that  “My paternal Uncles and Aunts were all well educated. Some died young, and others emigrated to America”.

The baptism records that I got today are great in that they show some possible clues to some family.

  • On the Baptism record for Margaret Quirk (1838), sponsor 1 is Michael Quirk
  • On the Baptism record for Mary Quirk (1832), sponsor 1 is William Quirk
  • Also, of interest is that On the Baptism record for Catherine Quirk (1841), sponsor 1 is James Millet (the quirk family acted as agents for the landlord named Millet at Mount Nugent Estate)

I only know the names of four of the male children of James & Alice Quirke, 3 of which immigrated to NSW (Peter, Nicholas & Thomas) and John my GGG Grandfather, who died sometime prior 1850 in Kilkenny.  I’ll be looking forward to when I can also do a parent search in Tipperary, as James & Alice were married in Tipperary around 1798 (haven’t found the marriage yet). When I did a search within Kilkenny, I only got a hit for 3 baptisms, which I’m yet to purchase.

I read with interest the post written by Chris at Scottish GENES (GEnealogy News and EventS) today of the changes at Irish Family History Foundation, especially the pilot search function.

I have also thought in the past that it was at times impossible to find the correct entry and not sure whether paying 5euros for a record was worth it. It has been a hit or miss affair.

Today I logged into the new database and did a search for the baptism of my GG grandmother, Mary Quirk (parents John & Catherine) who was born around 1832. I know that they were from Kilkenny so I was able to narrow down the search. Previously without having to input the name of the father, I got 6 possible matches between 1830 & 1835.  Today I was able to add Mary’s father’s name and it gave me two options, one of which I had already viewed a couple of months ago (which was wrong).  So I decided to take the plunge and hey, I have Mary’s baptism record.  I already knew her mother’s maiden name was Slattery, as Catherine came out to Australian in 1857.

Name: Mary Quirk Date of Baptism/Birth: 12-Aug-1832
Address: Johns Well Parish/District: ST. JOHN’S
Gender: Female County Co. Kilkenny
    Denomination: Roman Catholic
Father: John Quirk Mother: Catherine Slattery
Sponsor 1 /
Informant 1:
William Quirk Sponsor 2 /
Informant 2:
Mary Quirk

It’s interesting to see that both informants’ names were ‘Quirk’s’. I’m guessing that William was one of John’s brothers, as his parents had a total of 12 children (10 males and 2 females, of which I only know the names of 4 of the males) whereas the second informant, Mary, could have been the wife of one of John’s brothers, or possibly the sister of John.

My next look will be to see if I can find the death record for John Quirk, as all I know is that he died sometime prior to 1850 (or thereabouts) – John died as a result of an accident after being crushed between a vehicle and a gate. Unfortunately a quick look at the index only brings up one death for a John Quirk but this was in Meath in 1846. I cannot be certain of exactly when John died or if in fact he died in Kilkenny.

If the cost to view the records on the IHF were even ½ the price they are, I’d probably spend a little bit more looking for my Quirk ancestors, but at the moment, it’s still debateable whether I’d pick the right one when I complete search.