A Short Farwell

To Everyone who follows what I do on the blog:

Does anyone else feel that “the Ancestors” have ganged up on them lately and decided to make life harder than it needs to be? 

I have piles of documents sitting in random order in random places in my office.  There are literally hundreds of photographs that need scanning and to be digitally filed in some sort of workable order. And of course – my Ancestry family tree is a mess with almost a thousand little green leaf hints to be looked at, pondered overed and a decision made as to whether it belongs, or doesn’t belong, with my relative.

If I were to drop off the planet today nobody would be able to walk into my mess and pick up where I left off, and I fear they would throw up there hands and toss all my hard work out.  I would need 48 hours in a day for weeks on end to do the “house keeping” of my research AND blog as well, so, it is with sadness that I must let you all know that I will be taking a bit of a break from blogging. 

Thanks for all the comments and encouragement over the last few years, just know I will be watching what you are all up to and working hard to clean up my work so that I can get back to writing stories about my wonderful family.

Cheers to you all – and happy blogging



TROVE Tuesday – It Happened in Tamworth in 1909 – Gold Fever

Gold Discovered

Every persons dream would be to find a substantial nugget of gold just lying around: it would be pay day heaven.  John Deegan was indeed a lucky man.  This find in 1909 comes quite a bit later than the actual gold rush to the Nundle area which my great, great grandfather, Thomas Duncan, had participated in during the 1850’s and 1860’s.  Hanging Rock is near Nundle which is situated roughly 60 kilometres from Tamworth.

Gold Discovery

I know the gold rush didn’t make my 2 x great grandfather wealthy so I wonder how things panned out for Mr Deegan?




Alphonsus Charles Allsop 1881-1920

Alphonsus Charles Allsop – 1918

Each Anzac Day I like to showcase one of the many in my family who served their country in either WW1 or WW2.  Alphonsus Charles Allsop is my husband Terry’s 1st cousin 2 x removed and was born on 23 Feb. 1881 in Maitland, New South Wales.  He has what I thought was quite an unusual World War 1 service record so I thought I would share it with you.

Alphonsus was the 3rd child born to Robert Rowland & Elizabeth Eve Allsop nee: Idstein.  He became an accountant and at the age of 18 he is listed in the New South Wales, Australia, Government Gazette (1853-1899)  as living in East Maitland.  On 16 Feb. 1907 he married Beryl Ethel Resleure in Sydney, New South Wales and they went on to have three children, all born in West Maitland: Bernice Elizabeth b. 1907, Yvonne M b. 1910 & Richard Roland b. 1915.  The Australian Electoral Rolls 1903-1980 have the family living in Hunter Street, West Maitland.

Richard, Yvonne & Bernice Allsop

At the age of 37 years Alphonsus joined the Australian Imperial Forces on 19 Apr 1918 and on his application he states that he and Beryl were living at 5 Walga Road,  Mosman in Sydney. After enlistment he was posted to the Liverpool Camp and ultimately was assigned to the 27th (NSW) General Service Reinforcements.  There is a good physical description of him which states that he had no distinctive marks or scars on his body, standing 5 feet & 11 inches tall, with blue eyes and auburn hair.  Interestingly, the record states that his teeth needed attention, although there is nothing to indicate that the dental issues would prevent him from enlisting.  On April 30th his record shows that he needed fillings in 2 teeth on the right and 1 tooth on the left, however the record doesn’t state if these teeth were on top or bottom.

He, along with many others, embarked from Sydney aboard the “Medic” on 2 Nov 1918. 

Just 9 days into the journey Germany signed the Armistice to end the war on 11 Nov 1918 however Alphonsus came down with Influenza and was admitted to the ships hospital on 23 Nov.  On the same day he was discharged from the ships hospital and admitted to a Quarantine Hospital where he spent the next 7 days.  He was officially discharged from the Quarantine Hospital on 30 Nov 1918 to a Quarantine Convalescence Compound.  There is a conflicting document in his medical history which states he had NO admissions. 

Beryl was notified by the Base Records Office in Melbourne, Victoria of his illness on 29 Nov 1918.

The “Medic”, crew and all soldiers were recalled to Australia on 12 Dec 1918 and Alphonsus arrived in Sydney on 23 Dec 1918, just in time for Christmas with his family.

Just 18 months later Alphonsus died on 4 Jul 1920 in West Maitland at the young age of 39 yrs.

In April and May of 1921 Beryl applied for a War Pension but his records don’t indicate if this was approved for her or not.

TROVE Tuesday – It Happened in Tamworth in 1909 – Death on a Train

Death on a Train 1

An unusual incident was written about during April of 1909 which I’m quite sure my grandparents, Edward Thomas & Ines Maud Bailey nee: Smith would have speculated about over the dinner table.  Duri (pronounced Dew-Rye) is just less than 20 kilometres from Tamworth with a station that is quite small.  The railway guard in this article, Thomas Deeves, was apparently discovered dead in the store van, and was brought to Tamworth for post-mortem/inquest into his death.

The inquest into his death stated that he had a dislocated neck, which may have been caused by the jolting of the train; that must have been some jolt though!   I didn’t even realise that you could dislocate your neck – as opposed to breaking it.

Death on a Train 2

What a freak accident for a man just going about his work.





My Mother Said – Interview with Kim Davidson

Kim will be sharing with us some memories she has of her mother Madeleine Ines Di Salvia nee: Bailey.

Our Mum – Madeleine Di Salvia

Can you describe your mum for us please Kim?

My mum was Madeleine Innes Di Salvia nee: Bailey and she was born on 20 Sept 1913 at Winton, NSW.  Mum was a small woman in stature (not petite) and had grey/white hair with brown eyes. She was olive skinned and always kept her fingernails short.

Can you tell us some of the activities that your mother enjoyed.

Mum was pretty typical of her generation and had all the usual skills of females her age like sewing and knitting.  She also enjoyed raising her chickens and gardening.  I remember having to help in the garden in Tamworth.  The earth was so rocky that Mum paid my sisters and I 10 cents a bucket for all the rocks and pebbles we could dig out.

I can remember mum buying a knitting a machine.  She really loved learning what she could make on it, progressing from plain cardigans and jumpers to fair isle patterns, cable knits and lace knits.

Mum made home made ginger beer and it was always a favourite.  It was such fun waiting to see if the bottle would explode during the waiting period for them to be ready to drink.

Mum also enjoyed being involved with the local Tamworth Seventh Day Adventist Dorcas Society and was, for a lot of years, the local Dorcas leader. With Dad driving we spent many a weekend travelling to all different towns to help support other Dorcas Societies in the region.  She was very dedicated to helping those in need whether it be with clothing, food parcels or whatever their needs were. She continued with this calling until she was unable to keep it up due to age.

Mum use to make up doll bassinets to fund raise for the Dorcas Society. Dad would make up the collapsible wooden  frames & mum, along with the the volunteer Dorcas ladies would sew up mattress bedding and lovely girly dressings. They would then be sold at stalls that mum & the ladies would hold in the town centres.

Please share a recipe from your childhood that you remember your mum cooking for you.

There are a few favourite recipes that I remember.  Macaroni, which I also made for my family growing up, Tomato Frick, Sally’s Lemon Dumplings, Gramma pie (YUM – which I don’t know how to make).

Mum made mostly vegetarian dishes like Sweet and Sour TVP (a Sanitarium vegetarian product), home made ice cream and Rice and Tomato Mould (recipe here) which we would have with salad and her home made mayonnaise made with condense milk, vinegar, salt & pepper, and which is still a regular staple in our house.

Probably the recipe that I still cook the most and really enjoy would be mum’s Macaroni.


Macaroni – 3 cups cooked

1 x  810 gm can of either crush of diced tomatoes 

Grated cheddar cheese – approx 1 cup – more if you like

Butter – about a heaped tablespoon

Salt & pepper to taste


Cook and drain macaroni, then return to saucepan

Over low heat add butter & tomatoes & mix well to combine & heat through.

Add cheese and continue stirring until melted & bubbling gently.

Season with salt and pepper to taste

NOTE:  It does make a sticky mess of your saucepan but easily cleans off with a soak, and really –  who cares!  It’s yummy on the day of making but the leftovers are sensational on toast the next day.

2 Sisters Marry 2 Brothers

There are a number of times in my tree where sisters from one family have marry brothers from another family, but in nearly all incidences the siblings are quite close in age.  I also found that, except for this one instance, this type of event usually took place in smaller regional towns. 

Agnes Ellen Buck b. 16/3/1884 is my 1st cousin 2 x removed.  She married her sweetheart John Michael Earls on 2/10/1920.  John had been born in 1873. 

Jessie Gertrude Buck was 4 years younger than Agnes but married her sweetheart Arthur Herbert Dalton Earls in 1913. 

Jessie’s marriage took place a good 7 years before her older sister so presumably, the sisters were not dating the brothers at the same time. Both weddings took place in Sydney and all four people were born in Newtown, a bustling suburb of Sydney.  In this one case I found that one brother in this story is 8 years older than the other and the sisters were just over 4 years apart in age.

TROVE Tuesday – It Happened in Tamworth in 1909 – Local Business

Local Business Advertising

This page of advertising was found in Freeman’s Journal (Sydney) not the local town paper.  Nevertheless, I found it gave me a real insight to the businesses that were operating in Tamworth at the time my grandparents Edward Thomas & Ines Maud Bailey nee: Smith were living here.   It also gave me quite a thrill to think that I had a sneak peak into their lives on the days they “went to town”.

Did Grandad buy Granma’s engagement and wedding rings at Canter Bros. Jewellery?

Could Granma have bought material for dresses and shoes at P. G. Smith & Co whilst grandad looked for new boots at J. T. Briggs store.  They may have frequented T. S. Pullman Pharmacy for their medicinal needs and then stopped by the Great Northern Bakery before getting into their horse and cart for the trip back to Gidley. 

I don’t recognise any of the business names from the main street of Tamworth today, although we have a number of great bakeries, clothing & shoe stores, pharmacies and jewellers stores.