Whilst this post might seem like an easy cop-out on the subject of “close up” I would truly like to share it in the hopes of putting a name to the child. The photo has been staring at me from the pages of my grandfather’s collection since 1981 and yet I am no closer to identifying him. My grandfather, Edward Thomas Bailey, had a number of un-named photographs in his collection of family photo’s and postcards.
I would think that it is a male child only because of the way he is dressed, and the style of haircut and he is possibly aged around 10-12 months. It is a stunning photo of a child who actually look as if he is about to fall asleep he’s so tired, poor little mite.
Surely some out there can help me identify him – any ideas?
First up – Apologises to all, as I am running very late!
For this weeks prompt I wanted to take you to visit the grave of my paternal grandparents Joseph & Christina Lorna Di Salvia nee: Hastings.
By all family accounts these two loved each other deeply, although the family was hit with some very hard times. My dad once told me of the wonderful evenings he shared with his family when his father would play the violin and the rest of the family would join in with singing, playing the spoons and clapping.
Christina passed away at the young age of 48 years on 20 Apr 1935 and Joseph would live a further 21 years, eventually dying on 29 Nov 1956. Joseph missed his wife terribly and would place memorial notices in the paper for many years. He never re-married.
Joseph and Christina Di Salvia are buried together at Rookwood Cemetery in Sydney. Also buried with Joseph and Christina is their infant son Eric Joseph who died in Nov 1912 aged just 6 1/2 months. Obviously the family were not in a position to put a headstone on Eric’s grave at the time.
In August of 2001 my sister Noeleen Macintosh and I decided to go to the Rookwood Cemetery to try to find their plot. The cemetery is huge and I would have been lost in no time if it hadn’t been for my sister. Nonny had told me that she thought the graves were unmarked, and only had vague memories of visiting them once before. We did eventually find the plots, and I was surprised how very sad I felt, as I had actually never met these people. The small area, amongst many other old graves with headstones, felt lonely and a little unloved.
We left flowers as markers so as anyone who saw the area would know that the relatives who laid there were indeed loved and remembered. The purple flowers mark where Christina rests and the white flowers show where Joseph rests.
Headstone/Resting Place: Joseph & Christina Di Salvia nee: Hastings, Rookwood Cemetery, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. Photographed by Julie Preston 4 Sept 2015
This story breaks rules on so many levels when looking at it from today’s point of view. Who in their right mind would exhibit a wild, 18 foot long alligator in a store frequented by the general public, in a cage that was clearly not designed to safely contain it?
It is amazing that the child mentioned was not seriously injured, or even killed by this huge predator.
There has long been a tradition of a travelling circus visiting regional towns in Australia, but I had never heard of travelling exhibitions of a single wild animal. I wonder if my grandparents, Ines Maude Smith and Edward Thomas Bailey, took time out of their day to come into town and see this alligator? Whilst I understand that thinking was different 110 years ago, I do hope that they didn’t join in, as I think it quite barbaric.
Don’t you just love it when family history throws you a curve ball that hits you right between the eyes!!
For years I have believed that my grandparents, Ines Maude Smith and Edward Thomas Bailey, were married on 10 May 1908, but a few weeks ago when I went to scan their original marriage certificate for part of a Trove Tuesday post I discovered that they were in fact married on 5 Oct 1908.
At least I was consistent with my mistake. I had it wrong in both my software (Family Tree Maker) and hence my synced Ancestry tree, and in a printed copy of that family line that I keep in the study, which I’d printed out in 2009. I then went to my original “Our Family Record” book which I had started writing up in January 1980 – and there it was as plain as you could like – I had written the date of 5 Oct 1908.
Just when the day and month of my grandparents marriage became transposed from 5/10 to 10/5 I have no idea. I do know that at one time in Family Tree Maker, very early on, if you added dates to the software you had to be careful that the program didn’t convert it to the American form of date (month/day/year), and I guess that was when the mistake was made. I think I bought my first Family Tree Maker software in the late 1980’s and I have to wonder if my grandparents marriage date has been wrong for all that time.
So folks, I have posted this article under the Trove Tuesday category so that anyone following my posts about what was happening in Tamworth in 1908 will know the truth about the wedding date. I will however continue my Trove Tuesday – It Happened in Tamworth in 1908 posts for the remainder of the year. I must apologise for the rooky mistake.
My grandmother may have wished that this helpful little hint had been printed a couple of weeks earlier so she could have treated her teeth and had gorgeous “pearly whites” for her big day. As it turns out the article was printed in the paper on the day of her wedding – Sunday 10 May 1908.
We now have all manner of treatments for whitening our teeth – scale and clean at the dentist and whitening toothpaste just to name the obvious, but it seems quite a foreign idea to me that everyday folk had to prepare their own teeth whitening treatments by purchasing ingredients from a pharmacy.
A drachm (the measurement noted above) is equivalent to about 1 1/2 grams, but the ingredients are amazing! Bicarbonate of Potass(ium), cream of tartar, cuttlefish powder, orris root & myrrh: I wonder if some of these things are even available for purchase today! I don’t think the taste would have been wonderful though, even with the myrrh and orris root.
I wonder if my grandmother, Ines Maude Smith, ever prepared a dental powder, or whether she used toothpaste in a tube similar to what we use today. Toothpaste in a tube was introduced in the 1890’s, prior to which it was sold in jars. I didn’t know though that toothpaste between the 1850’s and approximately 1945 contained soap – yuk! I’m so glad I can use a decent tasting tooth paste.
My grandparents Edward Thomas Bailey and Ines Maude Smith were married on 10 May 1908 so for the next 9 days I will be blogging about what was happening in their town prior to their wedding, even though it is a little out of character for a Trove Tuesday post. The newspapers in New south Wales on May 1, 1908 were full of details about all manner of events as the excitement of the impending wedding grew.
A few weeks ago I blogged about the outbreak of Typhoid. It was announced in the papers on May 1, 1908 that a Doctor would be sent to the town for the purpose of making a sanitary inspection.
Apparently a rail accident had occurred previous to May 1, 1908 as a letter appears in that days papers from a member of the public to request an interlocking system between Newcastle, New South Wales & Werris Creek, New South Wales – making Werris Creek the interlocking station. This arrangement I believe, although much more technically modified, still exists today
The unexpected death of the Matron of Tamworth Hospital filled the papers on May 1, 1908. By all accounts she was a fine woman dedicated to her work and the members of the local community
An article noting that sewing was in full swing – presumably this was wheat and oats, which the area is still known for
The accidental death of a solicitor’s clerk was reported when he was thrown from a sulky – I wonder if my grandparents knew him?
And finally – the death of a pet magpie made the news! Sometimes it astounds me as to what makes the newspapers!! Magpies can routinely live between 25 & 30 years.
I wonder if Granma had time to read papers at this point? Did she make a trip into Tamworth for last minute shopping only to have someone she knew bring up local issues? Did she meet friends or family for a snack at a tea house and discuss any of these events?
I didn’t know of any specific storm that affected my ancestors so I decided to research what storms might have taken place in Tamworth in the few years after my grandparents, Edward Thomas Bailey & Ines Maude Smith were married there in 1909.
The Tamworth storm season traditionally comes with spring each year, with the main onslaught of storms coming between October and the end of February. Most of the storms are electrical with vivid lightning displays, rain and sometimes hail. Depending upon the weather in the previous years leading up to a storm season, Tamworth can also be hit with large dust storms.
In November of 1908, just six months after my grandparents were married, a tremendous rain and hail storm befell Gidley which is a small geographical area located on the outskirts of Tamworth. My grandmother’s parents, John (known as Jack) Edward Smith and Mary Ann nee: Whiteman, had a property named “Fairfield” there.
The Mr Britten mentioned in the newspaper article would have been a neighbour to my great grandparents Jack and Mary Ann. There is no doubt that my great grandparent’s property also suffered some degree of damage by the same storm that hit Mr Britten although, as he is not mentioned in the papers of the time, I can only assume that he was lucky enough to escape the worst of it.
Another severe storm hit the Tamworth area in February of 1909. Nemingha is on the opposite side of Tamworth from where my great grandparents lived, so they may not have been affected to the same degree as the folks of this small village.
October of 1909 saw yet another storm hit the township of Tamworth with very heavy rains and lightening causing an electrical “blackout” and a number of “shocks” to local residents.
In recent years Tamworth has been hit with many storms but two enormous storms spring to the minds of many residents. There was a huge dust storm affecting much of the state of New South Wales, including Tamworth, on 23 Sept 2009. I vividly remember driving to work on that morning when our town was cloaked in an eerie red haze. Everyone that I saw on the road that morning was driving to the conditions thankfully, as visibility was poor. The other storm at the forefront of the minds of Tamworth residents took place on 3 Dec 2012. The Super Cell storm ripped though South & West Tamworth causing large amounts of damage to housing and personal property with winds peeking at 100 kilometres per hour and destructive golf to cricket ball sized hail. Our own home suffered roof, carport, pergola, shed and garden damage, but our neighbour also lost a number of windows to the storm. Another neighbour suffered damage to his car, which was parked on the road, with 3 of the windows smashed by hail.
I don’t think that Tamworth is any worse off than any other Australian town or city, or in fact any country in the world, when it comes to storms though. Storms are essentially a part of our “Aussie” life. World wide people recoup after a storm – and then they rebuild, begin again and start anew.
My Goodness! I love a day where I learn something new!!
When I first looked at the title of Insanitary Conditions I thought that there had been an error in spelling. As it turns out insanitary is very different from unsanitary and without knowing the difference I would have chosen to use the wrong word.
After the flooding of Tamworth the month before, apparently there was indeed a sanitation problem. As discussed last week in my TROVE Tuesday post infectious diseases had reared their ugly head in the town, and then I found this notice in The Daily Telegraph stating that a number of hotels in Tamworth and area had insanitary conditions. Insanitary would actually have meant that the hotel establishments were in such frightful condition that they were a potential health risk to any member of the public that may choose to walk through the door. A number of notices were given to the proprietors of these hotels to clean up their premises as quickly as possible or risk loosing their license.
I know that the Caledonian Hotel and the Royal Hotel were established in Tamworth in the early 1900’s but I cannot say that either of these particular establishments were serving customers under insanitary conditions. Both of these hotels were situated in Peel street where the flooding was at it’s worst, but it is documented that the Royal Hotel in particular had a very fine reputation by 1909. Both premises look to be fine establishments in these photographs.
My grandfather Edward Thomas Bailey may have frequented these hotels for the odd ale, although I doubt that my grandmother Ines Maude Bailey would have set foot inside such a place. Many years later my grandfather was a keen lawn bowler and helped establish a bowling club in Sydney, so I feel confident that he may have had a drink now and again.
Actually, I suspect that the weeks and even months before my grandparents wedding in May must have been very trying for them. With major flooding to the town and area, the outbreak of serious disease and the subsequent insanitary and unsanitary living conditions of 1908 they must have faced many difficulties when trying to accommodate extra family and friends at their home. Any normal bride today will tell you how stressful it is to organise their wedding day, never mind the additional social problems faced by my grandmothers family.
I really had to research what Typhoid and Diphtheria were and how one caught such a disease. After doing as much research as Google would allow I discovered that it is no surprise at all that an outbreak of infectious diseases began after the recent, large-scale flooding of Tamworth a few weeks prior.
Typhoid and Diphtheria continued to plague Tamworth residents for many weeks to come and by the end of the month of April there had been 40 cases of Typhoid with an undisclosed number of Diphtheria cases.
From what I could learn Typhoid is spread through water that has been contaminated by excrement from sufferers of the disease and also through food infected by contaminated water. The symptoms include fever, sweating, severe headache, abdominal pains, diarrhoea or constipation and lack of appetite. My grandmother Ines Maude Smith suffered with a prolonged but undocumented illness before marrying my grandfather. I have postcards that she wrote to my grandfather letting him know that her recuperation was going slowly, although the headaches continued to plague her for some time. During this time my grandfather was not allow to visit the homestead and I have written before about how he would ride his horse close by to see if there was any smoke coming from her bedroom chimney. If he saw the smoke he knew that she was till alive. (read story here). Of course this is conjecture on my part – she certainly may not have had Typhoid at all.
Diphtheria is of course spread from person to person through the air by coughing and sneezing, and was potentially lethal if left untreated as 40 – 50% of cases died. Having had a major flood in Tamworth the spread of Typhoid was inevitable and as Diphtheria was also prevalent many households in Tamworth would have succumbed to one of the illnesses. I wonder how the families of Ines Maude Smith and Edward Thomas Bailey coped and if they were at all affected by these diseases. I do know that neither of my grand parents suffered long term complications from these diseases so if either of them contracted one, or the other of theses illnesses they were lucky indeed. Whilst death from the complications of these diseases was a distinct possibility there was also a reasonable chance of survival if caught early, with little or no further problems.
Both of these illnesses are almost unheard of in Australia today and once again I am so grateful for the advances in medical sciences that have allowed generations of my family a healthy and fulfilling life.