Friday, 27 July 2012

Coincidences – I Love Trove


After all this skyping Mum and Dad and stimulating their memories, I got onto Trove digitised newspapers to check out a few things they talked about. Well, one thing led to another, and almost a week later …

I got distracted by a divorce case – a really juicy one, one that stretched over a couple of years!
I thought I had already found the juiciest divorce case a year or so ago – that of my 2 great grandfather and his first wife (probably his only wife as I can’t find any evidence of the next marriage). This case was Terry vs Terry and went for five days in May 1864. All the ‘gory’ details were published in The Argus, including witness statements from publicans about calling him to come and get his drunk wife who was dancing on the tables and ‘entertaining’ men. This case set a precedent as my 2g grandfather was wealthy and it was found that there was no case for any claim by the wife for alimony.

So, not so surprising when I found another case, Lewis vs Lewis in 1868-9 that referenced this finding, but surprising when I read further and found who it was!
It was my 2g grandmother’s brother, and his divorce from his first wife. Similar situation, wealthy prominent man, drunken wife but this time about five co-respondents, all men she had had affairs with. And again, all the ‘gory’ details published in full in The Argus.

Confused how this all fits together – my Mum and Dad were, probably still are – Dad just said “make sure everyone knows it’s your mum’s side not mine”!
The 1864 case was Alfred TERRY, my grandfather’s maternal side.
The 1868-9 case was Robert Edward LEWIS brother of Louisa LEWIS, the same grandfather’s paternal side.
The daughter of Alfred Terry, by the second ‘wife’, married the nephew of Robert Lewis in 1905. These two court cases happened before either of them were born.

Not one of the divorced couples - a link between them -
my great grandparents,
Constance (nee TERRY) and Lewis GARRETT
Don’t you just love Trove newspapers?






As a younger couple

Sunday, 22 July 2012

Grandmothers are special


My Nanna, Mavis Fanshawe LONG was born on this day in 1906, the 3rd (and last) child of Australian born parents, Edward LONG (1872-1951) and Sarah Henrietta STONEHOUSE (1873-1953). They lived in the Beeac area of Western Victoria on a property called ‘The Sisters’.
Such a gorgeous photo

The Fanshawe part of her name was passed down from her great grandmother and we were always told stories of a ‘royal link’. Despite the number of Baronets and Sirs that keep cropping up, I haven’t yet found a link that would have been valid in Nanna’s times - I have since found a link to Princess Diana who joined the royal family only a year before Nanna died.

We heard in very hushed tones about a convict ancestor! This was referring to John MARSDEN (c1767-1827) who arrived in Hobart on the Indefatigable in 1812. His daughter Jane MARSDEN (c1800-1839) also came to Australia and then married Robert STONEHOUSE (c1794-1855) – Sarah Stonehouse’s grandparents.
What we didn’t hear about was the other convict link, who arrived in Hobart on the Lord Lyndoch [1] in 1831. Thomas BROOKE / BROOKS, (c1810-1894) was Edward Long’s maternal grandfather. I didn’t discover this fact until much later, when I found his marriage certificate (with TL on it – Ticket of Leave), and the ‘convict application for permission to marry’ register in the Archives of Tasmania (now online). I wonder if she knew.
So, a convict on both her mother and her father’s sides, and my only grandparent with convict ancestry – I know Nanna would not have liked that! British royalty, yes but ‘Australian royalty’, not!

Nanna and her sister Jean, were mothercraft nurses. She met my grandfather when she was working with his sister. She married John Raikes GARRETT (1908-1992) when she was 29 years old and had her first child at 31 – very late for those times. They lived in Glenhuntly and Carnegie, Victoria while their two girls were growing up, and moved to Mt Eliza and Frankston in later years.
Nanna was smart; smart enough to know to keep a rein on my grandfather’s spending – he spent a lot of time at racetracks as a racehorse transporter. She was awfully good at picking winners, particularly in the big races like the Melbourne and Caulfield cups.

Nanna had all the accomplishments you read about in Jane Austen novels, she played the piano, sewed, embroidered, made doilies, and was a whiz at cards. When we would visit as kids she always asked me to play Für Elise and Barcarolle.
As a mothercraft nurse, my Mum has so
many photos of her with babies
I was their first grandchild, and with no other granddaughter for about four years, enough time to be thoroughly spoiled! Not that she didn’t spoil all of us.
When I moved from the country to go to Uni, I lived in the flat next door to them for most of my first year – a pretty good transition to life at Uni and the ‘big city’.
Nanna died when I was on my first trip overseas in 1982. She had suffered many, many years of asthma and that year’s flu really affected her.

I’m sorry I didn’t have the chance to get to know this lovely gentle lady when I was an adult (uni years barely count as that). It’s a shame so many kids these days live so far away from their grandparents – they are missing out on all those stories, and all that love. Writing the blog has already helped me though, with Mum offering more photos and stories. I must take a recorder and make a big pot of tea next time I visit.
Nanna loved horses
Not a nurse anymore - a Nanna
Here she is with me


Nanna seated at the front, her parents in the
chairs, sister Jean and brother Bill standing
More as I remember her

Saturday, 21 July 2012

A Life of Service


Soldier, Fireman, Scout Master - Lewis Charlwood George GARRETT was born 5 months after his father’s death, on this day in 1876. His father, Henry Raikes GARRETT died in Sydney in Feb 1876, aged just 37. His pregnant wife Louisa Jane LEWIS (1845-1917) moved back to Melbourne with her five other children to be closer to her family.
c1887 Lewis Garrett (L) with his cousin
Truda Lewis
The Charlwood part of his name came from Louisa’s older sister Emily’s husband, Charles Joseph CHARLWOOD (grandfather of recently-deceased author, Don Charlwood).

In his later years and after the death of his older brother, Lewis changed his middle name to Raikes – it had been a family tradition for the eldest son to hold the name. This came from Robert RAIKES (1736-1811), the English philanthropist, proprietor of the Gloucester journal and ‘inventor’ of Sunday school. He was Lewis’ great great grandfather. Lewis was the great grandson of two distinguished Naval men, Vice Admiral of the White, Henry GARRETT (1774-1846), and Captain John CLAVELL (1776-1846) who was wounded at the Battle of Trafalgar. I mentioned these ancestors and connections in my blog on 18 July. My grandfather (Lewis’ son) used to tell us stories years ago about these ancestors and we were always pretty sceptical. It wasn’t until much later, and many birth certificates and wills, that the links became clear, and true (unlike many family stories passed down).

Obviously Lewis knew something of this part of his family even though his father came to Australia as a teenager and alone, whereas his mother came as a nine-year-old with her parents and 10 siblings – and that journey is a whole other story!

c1901 a proud member of Thorneycroft's
Mounted Infantry, 'on the cape'
Lewis worked as a solicitor’s clerk for his uncle before going to the Boer War in 1901 as part of Thorneycroft’s Mounted Infantry, ( read more here  ) and was part of the Relief of Ladysmith. My research of this troop is that they saw some of the bloodiest battles, so it was hard to imagine why he would want to sign up for WWI years later. He was at this time deemed to be unsuitable, at 39 years and probably a bit overweight.

In 1905 he married Constance Edith FITTS nee TERRY (1871-1925), a widow with four children. They had four children of their own, the second was my grandfather, John Raikes GARRETT (1908-1992).
In 1906, Lewis began working for the Metropolitan Fire Brigade in Melbourne and St Kilda, a job he held for 33 years until his death in 1939.
He was also quite involved in the early scout movement, and was a scout master.

His wife died when his youngest child was just 12 and the oldest daughter from the first marriage then had a big part in raising the young children. This sister, Dorothy Louise FITTS (married Henderson), Auntie Doff as she was known, was very special to my grandfather, and to us – she was tiny, had a sing song voice and lived to be 98 (1895-1993), still keeping an eye on her little brother, my grandfather.

Lewis (2nd from right) with his wife and family
The three children standing are his step children, and the four
sitting are his, my grandfather is sitting on the right

Fireman, Lewis is front of picture and his son,
my grandfather is just to his right

Scout Master, Lewis is at the right of this picture
some of the scout meetings were held at the fire station

In his older years



Friday, 20 July 2012

A Day to Remember: Fromelles


On our recent trip overseas, Paul and I included a visit to Fromelles. That blog post is titled Respect and Sacrifice.
Part of the cemetery with the village church in the background
- a beautifully tended cemetery
Visiting Fromelles was eerie.  Low (foggy) clouds and a strong and frigid wind created a gloomy atmosphere.  We visited the cemetery at Fromelles (Pheasant Wood) where the comparatively few identified victims of this wasteful exercise in war had recently been laid to rest. This cemetery, just opposite the village church, contains the graves of 250 Australian and British soldiers whose remains were recovered from a number of mass graves in nearby Pheasant Wood. 

The Battle of Fromelles took place 96 years ago today, and 5533 Australian soldiers were killed, wounded or missing, along with about 1500 British.
One of the plaques outlining the Battle
This was a significant battle as it was the first serious engagement of the Australian forces in France, and the only one to achieve no success. Some of the ‘story’ of the battle, the discovery and the identification process was told on plaques at the cemetery, and it was scattered with poppies as our visit was only a few weeks after ANZAC Day.

A few kilometres away are the Cobber’s Memorial and VC corner. VC corner cemetery contains the graves of Australian soldiers who died in the attack but couldn’t be identified. The graves here are not marked but all names are recorded on a memorial overlooking the cemetery. This memorial commemorates over 1200 Australian casualties.
A uniform 'Rising Sun' badge that was recovered with Allan
Bennett. The Australian War Memorial cleaned it and encased
it in a presentation box to present to the family.
My 'new cousin' Peter sent me this photo.

For those who don’t know my family’s connection with Fromelles: my great grandfather’s cousin, Allan BENNETT (1885-1916) was one of the soldiers identified. I was contacted by a military researcher some years ago and helped to find the relations who provided the DNA. I now have ‘new’ cousins (in WA).
William Collier FRANCIS (1864-1946) was my great grandfather. His mother, my 2great grandmother was Anne / Anna COLLIER (1841-1924), and her sister was Fanny COLLIER (1846-1939). Anna and Fanny came to Australia as did at least three other of their siblings, Thomas, Jenkin, and Margery, and at least five of their first cousins, also Colliers.
Fanny married Henry Goulding BENNETT (1845-1934) and Allan was the eighth of their 11 children all born in Victoria. The family moved to Western Australia before 1900.
Allan Bennett's grave
I wonder whether the families maintained contact because I do know that on his return from the Boer War, William Francis disembarked in WA and spent a little time there before returning to Victoria. Maybe he visited his cousins.

I took many photos at the cemetery and the memorial so if other readers have a relation / ancestor involved, please contact me.
For a more in-depth account of the 1916 Battle of Fromelles visit
Commonwealth War Graves Commission website


We stayed at a small farm-stay B&B, Rosembois, in Fourne en Weppes, very close to the little village of Fromelles.  (Highly recommended if you should visit the area.)
The hostess remarked that the people of the region were very grateful to the Australian soldiers who fought against the Germans in the Great War. She added in her limited English, “Fromelles was important”.


a close up of the Cobber's Memorial
The Cobber's Memorial from the road, notice the bleak weather!
VC corner from the road
VC corner from inside the gate, the memorial at the back
contains the names of all the soldiers, some fading already.


Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Fact or Fiction, the search continues


My 3great grandfather John Thomas GARRETT (1802-1852) was born 210 years ago today (baptised two months later).
In planning to write something about him, I came across a common problem when tracking down details and stories of your ancestors – both variations and conflict in what is available. There are advantages in having a family with many ‘famous’ people, particularly a family that doesn’t move much – there are many references to them in many different sources. This is exciting when you are searching for the stories, but this also gives rise to disadvantages – all these sources don’t say the same things, and not all members of the families are included.

John Thomas Garrett was a fairly ordinary man in a family of many extraordinary people – his father was Vice Admiral Henry GARRETT (1774-1846), his uncle Sir George GARRETT (1772-1832), his mother Mary RAIKES (1773-1812) was the daughter of the founder of Sunday Schools, Robert RAIKES (1736-1811), and there were numerous other high ranking military, clergy and business men.
He even married well – Mary Charlotte CLAVELL (1803-1876) was the eldest daughter of Captain John CLAVELL (1776-1846) who was Collingwood’s right hand man in the Battle of Trafalgar. His mother’s younger sister, Jane Newnham Collingwood CLAVELL married Jane AUSTEN’s nephew.
John Garrett’s mother died when he was only 10.
From a book by John Pile with the Havant Borough Council in 2011
Belmont Park, Bedhampton
The Estate, The House and it's People
(if you click on this it will come up bigger)
His father remarried in 1819, the same year that his eldest brother was killed in India. Four other brothers, all younger, also served in the military, most in India.

John Garrett ran the family brewery in Penny Street, Portsmouth, Hampshire until his death, aged 50 in 1852. The brewery appears to have started as Websters in about 1705, was purchased by his great grandfather William NORRIS (1719-1784) and then passed down to his grandfather Daniel GARRETT (1737-1805) who had married William Norris’ daughter. After his death, the brewery passed to Sir George Garrett’s son-in-law. It appears there were still some Garretts associated with the brewery over the years until 1880 when it was sold.
Henry Raikes Garrett c1853,
son of John Thomas Garrett

The names of Norris and Garrett also popped up a lot in the lists of Burgesses of the Town and Boroughs of Portsmouth, in the elections of the first Council in 1835, and on subsequent Councils too.

At the time of his death, John Garrett’s only surviving son, my 2great grandfather was only 13. Young Henry Raikes GARRETT (1838-1876) joined the Merchant Navy (see photo) and ended up in Adelaide, South Australia, arriving in Sep 1858 on the African.

I have death certificates, census records, marriage settlements and wills that have helped support most of what I have written here, and some websites are more reliable than others, eg History in Portsmouth website
Another website has him as ‘Sir John Thomas Garrett’ – but on checking, it was only his uncle that was knighted for services to brewing.
There is little mention of him in his father’s naval biographies – these only seem to mention the other military/naval brothers and their achievements and/or deaths.

I welcome more information or corrections, preferably with proof - although 'a good story' can be a hint about where to start looking.

Monday, 16 July 2012

Skype Your Family History


About the time I began Jax Trax, just before we went overseas, I connected up on Skype and talked my Dad through setting up too. Having heard horror stories of global roaming charges blowing out I thought this the best way to keep in touch, and keep an eye on them.
Since coming home I have found a few unforeseen benefits:

Mum doesn’t like computers – Dad says she’s scared the mouse might run up her skirt! She would barely even look at an emailed photo of a grandchild without Dad printing it out.
Benefit 1: Since skype, she now sits in front of the computer – because she can see me. She even sits long enough to read my blog and look at the photos, although I think she still gets Dad to scroll down for her. Who knows what she will do next!

One of the gems Mum showed me on skype
3 generations: Mum as a baby with
her mother and grandmother (father behind)
Now I am writing some genealogy blogs, she is even more interested. So much so that she has got out her old photo albums, and boxes (yes, shock, horror, boxes!) chock full of photos to show me over skype. I have quite a few old family photos that Dad has scanned in over the years and knew there were more, but not how many more!
Benefit 2: Finding out how many photos of ancestors your mother really has, while she still has the memory to tell you who they are.
Benefit 3: Being able to get the randomly stored photos digitised before they fade (any more).

Some of the photos are of family groups where we haven’t always known who they all were.
Benefit 4: Now with me seeing the photo (held up to the computer camera), or having a copy (scanned and emailed by Dad), I can open my iFamily program and look at ages and relationships to jog Mum’s memory – all as we talk over skype. We can both see the same thing at the same time without being in the same room.

This is more important when your family live long distances from each other. I can’t spend as much time with them as I would like, and when I do there are always so many other things to talk about. This way, Mum can have a few photos ready to show each time we talk – maybe we’ll even get through them all – or at least more than we could before.

Yesterday, we identified everyone in this photo, even the
children - while on skype we talked, zoomed in, and looked at
ages from the genealogy program. It's Mum's grandfather on the
left with his mother next to him, his sisters, one of their toddlers,
and his brother's son (brother not in the photo). Taken c1895


Saturday, 14 July 2012

More than Bastille Day to me



The anniversary of my Grenny's birthday (and the birthday of my nephew)

How do you fit a life, and a big one, into a few paragraphs? You can’t, so here’s a little on my Gren. Most of this was gleaned from spending time with her and talking (and talking and talking) – something many people wish they did, and often too late. I didn’t record any of it and sometimes wish I did – lucky I have a great memory (so far).
My Gren with her grandmother
Anna FRANCIS nee COLLIER

Mary Waveney Kathleen FRANCIS, known as Kath, was born in 1910, the third child of Australian-born parents William Collier FRANCIS (1864-1946) and Florence May PEARSON, known as May (1875-1947). They lived in Yinnar, in Gippsland, Victoria, and named their house Tythegston after the town in Glamorgan, Wales where William’s parents were married. We don’t know where the ‘Waveney’ in her name came from.
She married Keith Leo GRENFELL when she was 25 years old, a bit late for those times and had one son either side of WWII. They lived in Yallourn, Victoria.
Between Mar 1944 and mid 1947, Gren lost her husband, father in law, and both her parents. In post-war rural Victoria, it must have been tough with her two little boys, the youngest not even one year old when his father died.
Gren retired at 59 years old and went on her first overseas trip – a cruise to Japan. She loved it so much she decided on her return to get another job so she could travel more. She worked for another 21 years, travelling every year, well into her 70s. She loved Asia, particularly Malaysia but also went to Hong Kong, LA, Disneyland, Philippines, South America, including the Andes and even Columbia. Sometimes she travelled on organised trips, other times with another lady from work or friends she met on an earlier trip.

She didn't like her photo taken
 but my brother managed to sneak this one in 1984 
I was very lucky to be her only granddaughter, and her last overseas trip when in her late 70s, was with me. We went to Malaysia, her favourite. We travelled by car, visited some friends and she showed me some of her favourite places. She loved to shop but rarely for herself – all for the family, especially the grandchildren.
She was always happy to accompany me on my trips to the country for work or pleasure. She used to love to ‘mow the grass’ at my parents’ farm but it was really because she found it easy to get around the place on the ride-on mower.
She loved to watch sport on TV, particularly tennis (as she used to play) and was disgusted to see the demise of white tennis clothes. I hate to think what she would have thought of the ‘grunters’ now. She liked a flutter on the horses in the bigger races but pretty much stuck to ‘the greys’.
Grenny retired at 81 to the surprise of her work colleagues, who thought she was 65. At the time she died, aged 88 she had four great grandchildren, the first one shares her birthday.
She was called Grenny rather than Granny, like a nickname (from Grenfell), because she was everybody’s ‘granny’ – all our friends, and the kids in her street.

Friday, 13 July 2012

Two types of Trax

From tomorrow this blog will start to morph into a Geneablog - not always as there are still some classic Where's Wally shots to share with you, and I do anticipate having some more holidays.
There was also a family history side to our holiday and it's time to get that in order too.
So, sometimes I will post blogs about the trax/tracks of my ancestors, partly to share with the family, partly so I start to get my head around what information I have, and partly maybe to prompt some members of the family to share their memories.
Stay tuned...

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Our Just Desserts


My quest, in search of the perfect crème brulee – and the winner was:
The BEST creme brûlée
Aux Anysetiers du Roy, Ile St Louis, Paris. This great little place was recommended to us by a friend as “an unpretentious restaurant with a very good chef/owner” and it was well worth the visit. We went for late lunch and had the place all to ourselves.
What made the crème brulee the winner: the ‘custard’ underneath wasn’t too sweet, it relied on the beautiful crisp topping for the sweetness. This one also had the best crust – oh so yummy!
The most unusual was the ‘espresso’ (a coffee crème brulee) at Paul Ainsworth at Number 6 in Padstow. It was served in a coffee mug with a froth and chocolate sprinkles like a cappuccino, and was accompanied by sticks of cinnamon ‘donuts’. Underneath the froth were crunchy choc-coffee ‘granules’. Not the usual ‘toffee’ style topping but pretty good all the same. 
Keep reading down for the choc desserts...
'Espresso' creme brûlée 
Creme brûlée at Chez Bruno
Creme brûlée at Printemps under the beautiful dome


Chocolate desserts worthy of mention:
-       chocolate dome with absinthe sauce and mint icecream at le Dome du Marais in Paris
-       trufas de chocolate, ganache and lemongrass icecream at La Mar (Peruvian) in NY
-       chocolate sphere filled with two types of chocolate mouse, with caramalised bananas at Domaine des Hauts de Loire in Onzain (near Amboise)
-       chocolate tulip filled with mousse in the Maastricht Vrijthof


Other desserts - see pics below:
Our fabulous ‘welcome cake’ in New Jersey with our friends Bobby and Raj, Nim and Mitra.
The lime meringue tart at Paul Ainsworth at Number 6 in Padstow
The amazing ‘pre-dessert’ tray at Domaine des Hauts de Loire (as big as most desserts), then Paul’s unusual local dessert that he says was a great mix of soft meringue and peach.
The pretty little ‘two-tone’ framboise tart at Chez Bruno in Amboise, white and red raspberries. Paul had this while I ‘tested’ the crème brulee – pretty good and the winner until Paris.

Chocolate dome with absinthe sauce and mint icecream
Hot chocolate ganache sauce poured over
cold chocolate coating over lemongrass ice-cream

Chocolate sphere with gold leaf and 'label', filled with
two types of mousse, served with caramelised bananas

Chocolate tulip - white and dark chocolate

Lime meringue pie with rum and raisin ice-cream
pre-dessert platter!

The local Loire dessert of soft meringue and peach


Framboise tart at Chez Bruno

Friends made us feel so welcome in New Jersey

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Four Fat Ducks !?


A few people brought to my attention that I hadn’t written much about The Fat Duck experience. This was probably due to the fact that we completely over-indulged that night and had to take it slow the next day. Also, it was our last full day with our friends in Berkshire.
The wining and dining experience at The Fat Duck was theatrical. Super friendly staff on arrival, and a table set with sealed envelopes (containing our menu as a souvenir).
A waiter welcomed us, checked any food allergies and gave us an ‘introduction’ to the evening – what we were in for: a 14 course degustation. The young but extremely knowledgeable sommelier came over to talk to us about the wine option, which we took (except Sean our designated driver). Throughout the evening, the sommelier was able to discuss all sorts of wine regions with us and not only knew where the Mornington Peninsula was but where Rye was within it.
The banter between the waiters was fun too. Their nationalities included Italian, Greek, Austrian, French and the token Englishman. The one liners ran thick and fast between them, for example when Allison spilled the last of one of her wines, one was quick to say, “don’t worry it’s only the Italian wine, the French one is next!”
We started with 4 glasses of champagne (not each but one of each of the ‘by the glass’). This way we all got a taste of each of them – surprisingly different, and Paul’s first experience of Bolly (Grande Annee 2002)!
The reviews I had read about The Fat Duck before going there didn’t say much about the food as the best way to experience it is if it is a surprise.
So, if you think you might go to The Fat Duck sometime in the near future (they change the menu slightly seasonally) then stop reading now.
If you can’t resist reading, then just remember this is an account of my experience and you will see things differently - and I'll try to leave out the actual food details anyway.

They said 14 courses but you could actually say 15 because there was a cute little amuse bouche, a beetroot ‘macaron’ with (very light) white horseradish cream – so pretty and surprisingly tasty (I don’t really like beetroot).
Starting spectacularly, out came the liquid nitrogen, scented air spray and ‘nitro poached aperitifs’. Then straight onto what we know Heston as – food that doesn’t look like what it is. A cold red puree with ice cream…not! Gazpacho with mustard ice cream. Sweet but savoury.
Then out came little film cases containing a small piece of ‘tissue paper’. We were instructed to take out the paper and put it on our tongue – of course we all blindly followed the instructions. The paper dissolved and our mouths were filled with ‘oak moss’ smell and taste in preparation for the next dish. As the plates were served, a box of ‘greenery’ was placed in the centre of the table and hot water poured over it to create a ‘smoke/mist’ that flowed up and over to cover the table as we ate.
I’ll have to finish this another post – or it’ll never get posted or will end up too long.