Thursday, 17 August 2017

NFHM2017 Blogging Challenge Week 3 - River Lodden Victoria

One river in my family history that comes immediately to mind is The River Loddon which, after the Goulburn river, is the second longest in Victoria.  It begins near Musk, just East of Daylesford and travels North for nearly 400 kilometres to merge with the Little Murray River around Winlaton near Swan Hill.

A map of the river can be seen HERE at

My great-great-grandmother, Mary Ann (Marrian/Marion) PIKE was born at River Loddon on the 10th of May 1847, youngest daughter of Isabella nee BEATON and John PIKE.  Loddon District covers a wide area and the exact location seems to be unknown, although likely somewhere near the Murray River.  

Her Obituary in the Euroa newspaper in 1933 had an interesting snippet about her memories.

The death occurred at her residence, Euroa, on Friday last, of Mrs Marrian Morgan, one of the oldest and most highly respected residents of the district. The late Mrs Morgan was one of the earliest residents, coming to this district in 1851, with her widowed mother, at the age of four years, and has thus resided here for 82 years. She was born in Loddon district, and had a good recollection of the early days, recalling an occasion, when she resided in the north, her mother had to leave her children and cross the Murray, a mile wide in flood, in a frail boat, to obtain provisions. They did not expect their mother to return safely.  After her marriage she resided for many years on a farm a few miles from Euroa, near Mr G. Harrison’s. She raised a large family, four of whom, with her husband, pre-deceased her. Her eldest son, John, was drowned in the Seven Creeks, near the Sydney road bridge, in flood time. For many years the late Mrs Morgan had resided in the town. The possessor of a kindly and genial nature, she held the affection of a large circle of friends and relatives. She leaves an adult family of one daughter (Mrs A. McNay, Yarrawonga), and eight sons, all of whom are well known here and held in high respect. The funeral took place on Sunday last. The graveside service was read by Rev. L. Hume. The pall bearers were Messrs, H., Edward, George and Arch Morgan, S. T. McNay, G. McCoomb and N. McCoomb; the coffin bearers were Messrs G., R., A., J., E., and F. Morgan, and Messrs T., J., and George Morgan jr., acted as flower bearers. Mr T. G. Ferguson carried out the funeral arrangements.

Wikipedia - electoral district of Loddon
Created/Published Melbourne : Surveyor Generals' Office, Dec. 8 1855

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Fleming brothers marry Mummery sisters

*"George William Finlay Fleming was born at Moyhu and was the 8th child of 11.  His parents were John Knight and Margaret Jane Fleming nee Splatt.  George started school at Edi and had to walk 5 miles each day, when the river was in flood the only way across was by a flying fox.  At about 6 years of age the family moved to a farm near Wangaratta.  They lived on several farms within this area during his school life.  George used to tell of how he would have to milk the cows of a morning before going to school in Wangaratta.  At the age of 19 he went to Melbourne for the show.  A group of them went for the evening and George had no partner so Edith Mummery agreed to blind date.  As she said " Thats how it all began."   We do not know for sure of the reasons, maybe he got tired of making regular trips to Melbourne - but about 2 years later George moved to the city where he got a job in a grain store.  He worked there for a short time until he got a more permanent job with Hoeffman's carting bricks to building sites - he carted the bricks to the memorial Shrine when it was being built.  In April 1936 he and Edith were married.  George became a warder at Pentridge - but he would joke that he always had a key to get out.  From there and his family moved to a farm at Timboon in the early 1950's.  He worked the farm and supplemented the farm work with building.  After leaving Timboon he moved to Kyabram for a short time then to Dandenong where he built flats, then about 1965 he returned to Kyabram.  His interests were fishing  and he was a keen shooter.  Graeme relates to a shooting trip to Queensland on which George hit the mark every time without a miss for 70 consecutive shots - he equalled his age which was a great achievement.  He loved the outdoors and he had an appreciation for nature and enjoyed travelling around Australia.  Towards the later years of George's life he would say we are not going up North this winter then the first frost would hit and George would start packing the caravan and be gone before the second frost arrived.  Alma Edith Mummery was known to most of us as Edie and she was born in Dandenong and was the 4th of 6 children.  She must have been a favourite of a particular Uncle, as he put her through Business College, after finishing Business College she got a job in the Dandenong Shire Office and from this she was teaching as a primary school assistant.  When Edie first met George she is quoted as saying " Thats the man I'm going to marry".  When Edie and George set some sort of record on a motorcycle from Berwick to Dandenong that Ron admits he hasn't been able to equal.  Edie was Secretary and President of the Ladies Guild.  She was always involved with the family and taught the grandchildren card games.  Unfortunately Edie was killed in an accident on Norfolk Island while on a holiday there with her sister Beryl."

I didn't find any engagement or wedding notices for Edith and George, perhaps because of the War.

Family Notices (1940, December 23). The Argus (Melbourne,Vic:1848-1957), p. 6.

A.C.F. Notes (1942, February 11). The Dandenong Journal (Vic:1927 - 1954), p.16.
*"Gordon Raymond Fleming was the son of John Knight and Margaret Jane Fleming nee Splatt and was the 10th of 11 children, he was born at Edi. After his schooling he worked on the family farm, and at the age of 21 he got a job at H.V. McKay Massey-Harris working on farm machinery and installing milking machines.  Earlier at the age of 20, he attended his brothers wedding as groomsman, there he met Beryl, the brides sister who was also a bridesmaid, five years later, after World War II had begun, they married.  Three months after the wedding Gordon was assigned to England with the Department of Agriculture to help assemble farm machinery and demonstrate the machinery to Land Army women.  He was there for two and a half years, and on his return worked as a mechanic and bus driver for three years.  In 1949 Gordon, Beryl, Joan and John moved to Myrtleford where Gordon worked in Robertson's grocery store for 5 years, he then worked at Price's Garage as a car salesman for eight years before returning to farming at Rosewhite.  Whilst in Myrtleford Gordon took a keen interest in local football and later in lawn bowls, and his interest in bowls lasted many years.  In 1965 the family moved to another dairy farm at Nanneella near Rochester, in 1970 they moved to Katunga.  In 1985 Gordon, Beryl, John and Jill moved into Numurkah township.  Gordon belonged to the Numurkah Masonic Lodge and was actively interested in the Numurkah Golf Club, his other interests were the Bowling Club, fishing and duck shooting expeditions.  He was also a keen gardener, with fresh vegetables all year around and a wonderful array of colourful chrysanthemums especially for mothers day."

*The above notes were compiled by Mrs Jean Sharrad, a great-great granddaughter of William Finlay Fleming and Ann Jane Knight.  Jean has done an amazing amount of research and willingly shared her findings with interested family members.  She interviewed many family members although it isn't noted who supplied the above stories.
We thank you Jean
Read about the origins of Trove Tuesday at GOULD GENEALOGY HISTORY & NEWS

Friday, 11 August 2017

#NFHM Blogging Challenge - Week 2 - Careful He Might Hear You

Brenda Mary Adams (1905 - 1999)
taken 1926 (family collection)

My paternal grandmother kept her secrets very close.

It wasn't a custody battle but a battle for child maintenance which seemed to begin in 1913.  Nana would have been 8 and her brother 6.

I didn't know until a few years ago when I was searching through newspaper archives that they were almost made wards of the state because for many years their father didn't contribute maintenance for their care.

In 1913 he was found in Adelaide.

The first article I found was in the Adelaide Advertiser.

Thursday 16 October 1913
John Adams was charged with having, on April 1, deserted his wife at Ascot Vale, Victoria. Detective O'Sullivan produced a provisional warrant for the apprehension of the accused. On Tuesday afternoon the witness and Constable Mcinerney saw the accused in Gouger-street. He asked him for his name, and he replied that it was John  Gray. The witness said, 'I believe your name is John Adams, and you are wanted for wife desertion at Ascot Vale." The accused answered, "Yes. my name is John Adams." Inspector Burchell asked for a remand until Saturday, in order that an escort might arrive from Victoria. The request was granted. The accused, in asking for bail, said he was a bricklayer by trade and had been in Adelaide twelve months. Bail was allowed in himself of £30 and one surety of £30.

I couldn't find any reports after that until the Essendon Gazette article in 1915 and the ongoing saga in later years which seems to have been played out in the Flemington Court house right through to 1918.

Thursday 31 May 1917 page 3
Maintenance Claim. Mary Adams proceeded against her husband, John Adams, on a charge of neglecting to comply with an order of the court granting complainant and her two children maintenance.  Mr. C. J. McFarlane, on behalf of complainant, said that since defendant was last in court, in November last,
Adams had contributed £13 5s on the order, but the arrears to date amount to upwards of £50. Some time ago defendant was brought from Adelaide on warrant.
In Adelaide, he was living in adultery with another woman and was at present continuing those relations and living with the woman at Kensington, while his lawful wife was left to support two children, aged respectively 10 and 12 years.
Unless defendant entered the witness box and gave sound reasons for his failure to comply with the order, he (Mr. McFarlane) would ask that Adams be committed to gaol. Defendant, on oath, said he was a brick layer, and for some time past had only been in temporary work. He had contributed as much as he possibly could, and had run into debt as a result of borrowing to meet the order. To Mr. McFarlane, I admit that I cleared   ? on a recent tender. I am living in the same house with a Mrs. H---- and her two daughters. I also stopped at her place in Adelaide. We are not living together as man and wife and I have never made admissions to that effect. I defy anyone to prove such as assertion. I do not want my children put on the State. I cannot support my wife because I find it impossible to get constant work. Mr. McFarlane: Do you remember the woman referred to suing her husband for maintenance? Defendant: Yes. Was the claim disallowed because the daughter of this woman swore that she had taken tea and toast to you and her mother who were in bed together?
Yes. she swore that because she was promised a new dress. Mr. Shaw, J.P. said the Bench experienced much difficulty in endeavouring to deal with this case. Defendant had since he was last in court paid his wife £13. and it was clear that he would not have been in a position to do that had he been sent to gaol. While sympathising with the complainant the Bench felt that it was advisable to adjourn the case for a further term of three months to give defendant an opportunity of ascertaining what he could do in the way of meeting the order Mr. McFarlane suggested that the case might be adjourned, to be dealt with by a police magistrate. Complainant took the view that if her husband was committed to gaol he would come to his senses and make an effort to pay for the maintenance of his wife and children rather than go there. The Bench did not favour the suggestion, and the case was adjourned till August 21.  

The many other news articles through until 1918 that show that Mary Adams wasn't going to give up her fight can be read HERE

It hasn't been revealed by any family members what happened in the following years and I haven't yet found where my grandmother and her brother attended school in Ascot Vale.

On the 1st of September 1928 My grandmother married her first husband, Eric Ebor Daniels. His occupation was a motor driver and hers a confectioner. She worked for the MacRobertson's chocolate factory. At the time of her marriage she was living at 24 Canning Street North Melbourne and Eric lived around the corner in Erskine Street where his father had a business as a produce merchant.

The next year the Wall Street Crash in October 1929 caused the Worldwide horrific economic downturn of the Great Depression.  The impact worsened in Australia over the following years and many people of all classes were financially crippled, out of work, homeless and in despair.

In these early years by grandmother and her little family suffered even more despair and heartache.

In 1930 (I am fairly sure in February but yet to obtain his birth certificate, the process of which I am unsure of as it isn't classed as a historical certificate.) little Ronald Francis Daniels was born. Again I need to obtain Ronald's birth certificate to find out where they were living but within the next year, I do know they at 10 Molesworth Street, North Melbourne.

Ronald Francis Daniels (family collection)
Location not recorded.

Poor little Ronald developed "Influenzal Meningitis"  He was admitted to the Royal Children's Hospital where he died two weeks later on the 15th of December 1931.

Family Notices (1931, December 16). The Age (Melbourne, Vic. : 1854 - 1954), p. 1.
Dad told me Nana always blamed the meningitis on Ronald's first haircut and she wouldn't get Dad's hair cut until just before he started school.

But their heartache wasn't over.
Thirty-three days later, on the 17th of January 1932, Ronald's father Eric died of Hodgkin's disease at the Royal Melbourne Hospital.
Eric and Ronald's grave
(family collection)
Eric Daniels
(family collection)

His death certificate states the duration of his disease was two and a half years. 
I just cannot imagine how my grandmother coped with all of this heartache.

Family Notices (1932, January 18). The Age (Melbourne, Vic. : 1854 - 1954), p. 1.
The house at 10 Molesworth Street was only a ten-minute walk from both hospitals so on a recent visit to the Royal Melbourne Hospital where my husband had to undergo some tests I went for a walk to see the house. On the way, I wondered just how many times my poor grandmother had walked these paths.  

Royal Melbourne Hospital ca 1930 to 1940
 Author / Creator: Edwin G Adamson 1895-1974, photographer.
from State Library Victoria - No copyright restrictions
The hospital looks completely different today and I took a few photos at the entrance but never thought to take a more distant one of the whole hospital.

On the 24th of August 1933, only nineteen months after Eric passed away,  Mary Agnes Adams, my Nana's mother passed away at 10 Molesworth Street.

My great grandmother Mary Agnes Adams nee Morgan (1864 - 1933)

At that time the house was owned by Albert John Harford of 86 Molesworth street.
Albert had inherited the house from his mother Mary Ann Harford who died in 1910.  
Mary Ann Harford had owned the house since 1889.

The Great Depression would still be having an impact in Australia when Nana married my grandfather, James Forsyth (born James Musson - long story!) in 1937.
From a child's perspective, I think they lived a happy life together.

My grandparents at the wedding of my parents in 1958.

My grandmother, Brenda Mary Forsyth, formerly Daniels nee Adams.
#NFHM Blogging Challenge - Week 2 - Careful He Might Hear You
by Alexandra at Family tree Frog
Theme - Sumner Locke Elliott wrote a haunting tale about PS and his aunts, custody battles and secrets called Careful He Might Hear You.

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