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Tag: Genealogy

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James Patrick Terence O’Brien

At this stage, I don’t know for sure if I’m related to James Patrick Terence O’Brien of Lismore, NSW but his story fascinates me, nonetheless. It’s a story I discovered quite accidentally, searching for family history connections using the Trove newspaper database. The many newspaper reports clearly indicate James had a really, really serious long-term problem with alcohol, which resulted in many convictions over many years. Although my interest started with his convictions in Lismore, the evidence suggests he may have also spent some time in Brisbane around the mid 1920s. I think it’s worth noting the Queensland newspaper records have him listed as “Patrick James Terence O’Brien” instead of “James Patrick Terence O’Brien”. Although it’s quite possible these were […]

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Jenny Kee and Me

On the weekend I finally got around to watching the brilliant television program “Friends Of Dorothy” by William Yang. William is a really important Australian photographer whose work documents, in particular, Sydney’s gay and lesbian scene in the last forty years. I have met William on a few occasions and have concluded he’s a very lovely man. He also has […]

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Now Hear This

I didn’t expect to, but ended up telling a story at the “Now Hear This” story-telling night in Sydney tonight. I told the story of my great-great grandmother who had a relationship with her first cousin (no, I don’t have two heads). After the birth of their fourth child together, he married someone else and had four more children. My […]

Liverpool Cemetery
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Searching for Ellen

In stark contrast to some of the impressive mausolea at Liverpool Cemetery (in Sydney’s west), my great-great grandmother, Ellen Lang is buried there in an unmarked “pauper’s grave” (as they were called then). She died 15 years before I was even born, so I don’t know very much about her. I don’t even have a photograph of her. But her […]

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Family History

I was looking tonight at a photograph of me and my dad. By the look of things I’m less than twelve months old, so it was probably taken sometimes towards the end of 1966. Dad’s wearing a cardigan, so it was probably the winter of that year. As I looked at the photograph, I suddenly realised how close I am now to being the age my dad was in the photograph. He was born in September 1917, so he would have been about forty-nine years old at the time. I still have a couple of years before I catch up with him, but it was still interesting to look closely at the photograph and think about stuff. He still had […]

Kerry O'Brien
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Cousin Kerry

“Who would imagine you’d get so emotional about someone from 160 years ago?” Kerry O’Brien observed on tonight’s edition of “Who Do You Think You Are?” on SBS TV. The ABC-TV presenter was a little bit teary when reflecting on the plight of his ancestors. I completely understand what he was talking about, as I’ve often felt that way as […]

Celebrations for the 200th Anniversary of Appin
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Appin Bi-Centenary

“I have a connection to the pub across the road” I told the woman who was looking after things at St Bede’s Catholic Church in Appin today. “Two of my ancestors ran the pub back in the 1840s”, I told her, referring to William Rixon and Ann Hoare. “There was a close connection between the church and the pub” she […]

2011 Love Family Reunion at Rockhampton

Common Ancestry

If you look closely at the faces of the people in this photograph, there’s bound to be someone who looks a bit like me. All of these people and I have the same ancestry: a couple called John and Elizabeth Love who came to Australia in 1792. John Love, his wife Martha, and his daughter Elizabeth came to Australia on […]

Unmarked grave for Joan Kathleen O'Brien, East Lismore Cemetery
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More History

I went in search today of details about the still-born child my mum and dad had back in 1953. As with many things in my family, it wasn’t something that was talked about. Indeed, when I mentioned it to one of my older sisters, and showed her the record from the online historical indexes of the NSW Registry of Births, […]

Elizabeth Hore and Ann Phibbs photo from 1865`
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Granny was a Hoare

Sometimes you can forget how beautiful Sydney is at this time of the year. That is, until you take a walk along the coastline near Bondi, Bronte and Tamarama. The sandstone cliffs, the blue-green colour of the water, and the gentleness of the walk are both relaxing and hypnotic. The walk wasn’t overly busy, though, as most people were down […]

Major work underway at a nearby property
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Don’t Tell Me What To Do

As I walked home this afternoon I noticed a bit of renovation work underway in my back laneway. As I wrote a few weeks ago, For as long as I’ve lived in Surry Hills, I’ve been quite intrigued by a warehouse located on Wiltshire Street. It’s remained a bit of a mystery for me. I’ve never known how many people […]

West Dapto Catholic Cemetery
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West Dapto Catholic Cemetery

I went in search today of the grave of two of my ancestors – John Hoare and Elizabeth Love – who are buried in the West Dapto Catholic Cemetery, near Wollongong. “Search” is probably not the right word to use since I had a guide, someone who’d been there before, Terry Hore, who also maintains a strong interest in genealogy. […]

The Sydney Morning Herald Monday 16 April 1928, page 12
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Family History

I didn’t go to the pub tonight, as is my usual routine. And I won’t be going for the next couple of weeks either, since Swedish class has swapped to Wednesday night for the next few weeks. Instead, I stayed home and did some family history research. There was a terrific documentary on television tonight about the female convicts brought […]

Airmail from Eire
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Lovely Package

After few days on the road it was nice to come home to my own bed tonight. But on checking the letterbox there was further reason to be happy; an envelope from Ireland which I’ve been anticipating for a few weeks Unfortunately the volcanic eruption has held up the mail somewhat, so I’ve needed to hold on that little bit […]

Loads and loads of photographs
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Family Reunion

In the last twenty four hours I’ve had some interesting chats with people who share my passion for genealogy. I caught up yesterday with Joye Walsh, an historian of the Rixon Family. And then today, I caught up with Barry O’Brien, an historian of the O’Brien Family. I’m a descendant of both families, and I’ve known Joye and Barry for […]

Sydney Harbour Bridge
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Big Ticket Day

It’s always lovely going to the Opera House, and especially so tonight with Michaela. It was light when we arrived and dark when we left. We were there to see the “Year In Review” Comedy Gala, hosted by James O’Loghlin and featuring the likes of Wil Anderson (as funny as ever), Fiona O’Loghlin (so incredibly personal in her humour tonight, […]


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