Thursday, September 27, 2012

Historians vow to bring Private Dudley Clift’s story to light

From the Maitland Mercury report:
The mystery surrounding a sepia-toned image of a Maitland soldier has partly been solved.
Stored in a box for almost 100 years, the identify of the solider has been revealed as Pitnacree’s Dudley Joseph Clift.
But the identification is leading researchers on a whole new trail to unveil Clift’s story before he enlisted and that of his family left behind.

Maitland resident Heather Yates discovered Private Clift’s photo in a box of memorabilia belonging to fellow (Maitland) fallen war soldier Sam Robinson.
Through their research, Maitland war historians John Gillam and Yvonne Fletcher have discovered the former stock and station agent’s name, age at the time of enlistment along with his height and weight. The strapping six footer was a month short of his 32nd birthday when he enlisted on March 30, 1915 a month before Australia’s baptism of fire at Gallipoli.
They have also learned the details of Private Clift’s tragic death in France in March, 1917. “Dudley was hit carrying rations to the front line in France. It was a very quiet period and it was bad luck,” Mr Gillam said.

Full article by Emma Swain available at Maitland Mercury, Sept. 26, 2012.

A history lesson . . . through the wardrobe

From the Maitland Mercury report:
The Australian museum of Clothing and Textiles will hold Discover Local History Through the Wardrobe – a parade of fashion from the past – which will focus on men’s and women’s garments from the area’s history.
Models will enter through a wardrobe.
Compere Nell Pyle will wear a skirt and apron dated 1900, the oldest outfit to be worn on the day. “But the oldest garment at the parade will be a wedding gown dated 1840 – it’s just too fragile to be worn,” Mrs Pyle said.
And she said the parade was as much about the history of the original owner of the garment as it was the fashion of the day.

Full article by Margartet Dennis available at Maitland Mercury, Sept. 24, 2012.

City Wall of Fame proposed to honour Maitland

From the Maitland Mercury:
POLL: City Wall of Fame proposed to honour Maitland greats

Les Darcy, Doc Evatt, Edmund Barton and Garry Barton are just some of the names suggested for a Maitland wall of honour.

Seeking Australian coal mining museums

The National Coalmining Museum for England is producing a publication on the coal-mining museums and heritage sites around the world. Australian coal mining museums are encouraged to contribute to this publication, which will be published in both Chinese and English.

Contact: Dr Margaret Faull

Bound for Australia: new edition out now

U.K. National Archives
Completely revised and expanded to include new research, Bound for Australia is the essential guide to the records kept in Britain of those who were sent there as punishment or who went to start a new life.

The book is an invaluable tool for any family historian who discovers an ancestor amongst their number and who wants to trace their antipodean relatives.

Friday, September 21, 2012

NSW Government Heritage Volunteer Awards

2012 Heritage Volunteer Awards - Call For Nominations

Do you know of an individual or organisation who has contributed to the conservation, management or promotion of heritage in your local community?
Would you like to pay tribute to the men and women who have volunteered their time and personal commitment to ensuring that our State’s unique history and heritage is protected for future generations?
The NSW Go
vernment invites you to nominate your local ‘heritage hero’ as a recipient in the 2012 NSW Government Heritage Volunteer Awards.
A Heritage Volunteer Award formally recognises the outstanding performance by individuals and community groups who have significantly improved the profile of heritage management in their local communities, successfully motivated and managed heritage projects and promoted the value of heritage by significant means and through exemplary work.
The awards would be presented within 9 broad categories: Aboriginal Heritage, Archaeological Heritage, Built Heritage, Cultural Heritage, Engineering Heritage, Landscape and Garden Heritage, Maritime Heritage, Movable Heritage, and Multicultural Heritage.
Nominations close Friday 12 October 2012        Information on website

Morpeth courthouse lit up

From the Maitland Mercury report:
Morpeth resident and museum volunteer Janet Goodwin was chosen to switch on the restored floodlights outside Morpeth Courthouse Museum this week.
Mrs Goodwin was curator at the museum for 10 years and is the longest serving volunteer with 14 years service.
She is now the museum secretary and loves all things history, especially Morpeth’s long and rich heritage.

Full article by Rebecca Berry available at Maitland Mercury, 

Leading historian to pay tribute to Boyle

From the Maitland Mercury report:
A woman who has pioneered history outreach programs and spent hundreds of hours interviewing others about their lives will deliver the seventh annual Harry Boyle Memorial Lecture.
Dr Julia Horne has been chosen to deliver the lecture, titled History, Heritage and Home, which celebrates the contribution and achievements of Mr Boyle – one of Maitland’s most loved and respected historians.
The lecture will be held at Brough House, Church Street, Maitland on Friday, September 21, at 6.30pm.

Full article available at Maitland Mercury, Sept. 19, 2012.

Maitland Memoir

Riverlights Multicultural Festival is Maitland’s first celebration of cultural diversity. It celebrates the vibrant interaction of diverse cultures, some well-established, others new and emerging.
Maitland Regional Art Gallery is liasing with two young artists, Trine Deans and Kate Parker, to create an artwork that will be a vibrant part of Riverlights on Saturday 13 October when Kate and Trine will be working on Maitland Memoir in the Maitland Heritage Mall for all to see. Trine and Kate have created the idea of Maitland Memoir as a cabinet of curiosities and they need your input.
Maitland Memoir is about recording and displaying the stories and history of Maitland in an artwork full of objects that have a connection to Maitland and to the cultures of the people who make up Maitland.
If you want to contribute to our project we'd love your objects and your stories. Your object should be small and significant.
Pop into Maitland Regional Art Gallery to collect your envelope for your contribution and bring it back to the gallery over the weeks leading up to Saturday 13 October, Riverlights Day.
Saturday 13 October 2012
Maitland Heritage Mall and riverbank

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Can you date this photograph? Maitland

From Archives Outside - Can you data this photograph?

The cars and streetscape might help in dating this image of Maitland Hospital.
Can you help?

Larger version on Flickr

New books from Unlock the Past

Finding Ancestors in Church Records: A Brief Guide to Resources
This publication highlights the wealth of information that can be found in religious publications, church newspapers and magazines. Information and photographs on individuals, not usually found elsewhere, can be discovered and may include obituaries, details of weddings, school news, social events.

Trove: Discover Genealogy Treasure in the National Library of Australia
While people may be aware of Trove, they are not aware of how to effectively use the various filters to narrow down their searches to maximum advantage. Features such as comments, lists, tagging or correcting text are other areas that many have not yet explored and there are always a few who put up their hand to say they haven't got an eResources card.

See the Unlock the Past web site.

Inside History magazine

Inside History September-October edition 2012 (issue 12):
  • We spotlight FamilySearch marriage records, and how to find "the one" you're after
  • Learn what our convict ancestors got up to, all in the name of love
  • Who is the beautiful bride on our cover, you ask? Discover why her veil is a treasured heirloom
  • Jill Dupleix shares her favourite family recipes and the stories behind them
  • Our digital history guide: test the free online tools that could transform your research
  • The Trove team answer your family history research questions
  • Read about the brave Anzacs who served in Papua New Guinea in WWII
76 pages of terrific features, practical information on genealogy, chances to network with other family historians, and book and app reviews. On sale now.

Morpeth Courthouse: let there be light

From the Maitland Mercury report:
Morpeth Courthouse Museum facade will light up in time for the building’s 150th anniversary this month. A set of floodlights that were broken for some time will be switched on again to highlight the restored courthouse exterior.
To mark the sesquicentenary, a special exhibition of National Textiles memorabilia has been brought in thanks to collector and museum chairman Alan Todd.
Mr Todd worked at National Textiles for 20 years between 1980 and 2000 and his memories will be shared in a slide show of factory pictures taken in the 1990s.

Full article by Rebecca Berry available at Maitland Mercury, Sept. 13, 2012.

Needle, thread and 10 years of patience

From the Maitland Mercury report:
Eunice Morris has spent the past decade embroidering the names of 400 people on a single piece of cloth for all posterity.
And now Mrs Morris, aged 84 – a foundation member of the Morpeth Women’s Bowling Club – has bequeathed her work to the Morpeth Courthouse Museum.

Full article by Emma Swain available at Maitland Mercury, Sept. 10, 2012

Friday, September 7, 2012

Journal of the Great North Road

The Pick - Journal of the Great North Road - Volume 9, August 2012 - Evidence.
Articles include:

Experimental and deducted, E.A. Roberts
I survived, Geoff Potter
Blasting and quarrying, Grace Karskens
Physical evidence of the method of building the Great North Road, E.A. Roberts
Following Simpson's track, Gregory Powell
More physical evidence Old Maitland Road, Elizabeth Roberts.
Water for road gangs, Ian Webb.
Cranes and oxen, 1818 to 1849, Ian Webb.

See the Convict Trail website for details.

Look Who's Talking Local History

As part of Heritage Week, the Maitland City Library's  Look Who's Talking Local History event features Justine Malinowski from the Australian Museum of Clothing and Textiles:

Long before the fashionistas of today decided 'the look', dress was an important element of human expression. Join Maitland City Library and Justine Malinowski to unpick the meaning behind some wardrobes of the past.

Tuesday 11 September at Maitland Gaol, 6.00-8.00pm. $15 includes wine and canapes.

Booking and payment prior to events is essential. Booking and payment may be made in person at any Maitland City Library branch, by phoning 4933 6952 or online.

More information at Maitland City Library, Local Studies.

What to put on the old gas site at East Maitland?

From the Maitland Mercury report:

Recreational and business uses have been floated for the old East Maitland gasworks site.While the findings of an environmental report are not expected until the new council term, debate has sparked numerous suggestions for the site.
“We will be able to use it in the future but what we want to use it for will depend on how big a clean-up people are prepared for,” Maitland City Council development and environment manager David Simm said.
“For residential use it would require more of a clean-up than for use as recreational area.”
Mr Simm said he would have to analyse the preliminary report and liaise with the consultant before the final report is sent to the Office of Environment and Heritage.

Full article by Sam Norris available at Maitland Mercury, Sept. 6, 2012.

Day of rest for Ray Fairweather

From the Maitland Mercury report:
Friday marks the final day of Cr Ray Fairweather’s 35 years of service to Maitland City Council. His service has been recognised numerous times from his Australian National Medal for Public Service in 1987 to the Australian Centenary Medal for service to the community in 2003. But it’s the physical achievements for East Ward that give him the greatest sense of pride as Sam Norris reports.

Full article available at Maitland Mercury, Sept. 7, 2012.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Mercury’s history award

From the Maitland Mercury report:
The staff gathered around yesterday as representatives of the Maitland Historical Society Inc presented the Maitland Mercury with an award for the paper’s contribution to preserving the history of the city and its surrounds.
This was the first such award the society had given and would be presented when an individual or organisation was found deserving of it, Mr Bogan said.
The society wanted to recognise what the Mercury has done for Maitland over the years, and we thought it was particularly appropriate now with the newspaper’s 170th anniversary approaching.

Full article by Margaret Dennis available at Maitland Mercury, Sept. 6, 2012.

National Archives of Australia

Restoring the dreams of colonial entrepreneurs

The worn leather cover gives few hints of the treasures within. The faded label reads ‘Trade Marks Register, No. 1’. Inside are trademarks registered in New South Wales from as early as 1865. Some are colourful works of art; others merely hastily-drawn product names. There are beer labels, flattened bottle caps, and advertisements for potions that promise to cure all manner of ailments. The trademarks were glued in the register, and their details duly recorded by a clerk.

Each colony had its own laws about trademarks, copyright and patents. After Federation, the registration of trademarks became a Commonwealth responsibility, administered by the Trade Marks Office.

Full article available at National Archives of Australia

History Week Maitland Displays

8th to 16th         Saturday to Sunday -  History Week – The theme for 2012 is “Threads”
            AustralianMuseum of Costumes and Textiles have a display at the Gaol.
            (In the Governors Residence) 

9th Sunday Friends of Grossmann will be displaying their garment collection.
            Please ring Holly for further information.49344314

National Trust News

National Trust News volume 5, number 10 includes:

  • our heritage a tangible and intangible link to our past
  • amazing stories - heritage festival highlights
  • Garden Island beginnings
  • community heritage grants
  • Clarendon - new Australian Fly Fishing Museum
  • 40 years of the Aboriginal Tent Embassy
  • peeling away the layers in old buildings
  • Saumarez Homestead wins tourism award
  • an Australian memorial at Mont St Quentin

History Week 8 – 16 September 2012

Threads They wore what?!

Long before the fashionistas of today decided ‘the look’, dress was an important element of human expression. From status to style, culture to professional identity, clothes have defined us. History Week 2012 will explore the history of threads and unpick the meaning behind the wardrobes of the past.
History Week 2012 Program - view at the History Council of NSW website.

Australian War Memorial

Nestled within the industrial suburb of Mitchell is a huge purpose-built shed. Within its walls are to be found some of Australia’s national treasures. The Treloar Technology Centre is the Australian War Memorial’s conservation facility and storage hub. Once a year its doors are opened to the public to reveal a vast array of aircraft, rockets, vehicles, tanks, artillery, and equipment used by – or against – Australians in war for over a century.

Big Things in Store gives visitors a chance to see “behind the scenes” at the Memorial. Come and see the Large Technology Object workshops, where conservators preserve these intriguing items and talk to them about their latest projects, such as the conservation of a Hudson Bomber and a rare Japanese Ha-Go tank. Curators will also be on hand to reveal the stories behind this amazing collection.

Sun 16 September            10:00am to 3:00pm         More information

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Six designers, six muses, six stories

Date: Sunday 9 September 2012
Time: 3.00 PM to 4.30 PM
Venue: Mitchell Vestibule, Mitchell Building
Cost: Adults $30, Friends/HCNSW Members/Concessions $25

In the stunning vestibule of the Mitchell Library, leading Australian fashion designers will exhibit original pieces, created using historical muses as inspiration.

The muses have been selected by the History Council of NSW, their stories shine a light on the history of dress and fashion in Australia. How will Bennelong, the first Aboriginal diplomat who insisted on the highest standard of European dress, or Annette Kellerman, whose form-fitting attire shocked the world and led to a career in Hollywood, inspire today’s leading designers. How will old become new? This special event fuses the glamour of contemporary fashion with evocative images of the past.
History week - in collaboration with the History Council of NSW and Vogue Australia.
More information at the State Library website.

Australian Family Tree Connections

September 2012 Issue of Australian Family Tree Connections magazine.

Lorna Spackman tells us about Francis Szarka: Furrier, from Retz in Hungary; Kaye Bowden talks about Alexander McLean and Isabella Robb, and answers the questions where did they come from, how and when did they arrive in Australia, and why did they move so much?; Thomas Sutcliffe Mort was an entrepreneur, philanthoropist and visionary; while Jennifer L. Green introduces us to Gottfried Wilhelm and Anna Dorothea Schenscher. Kathy Pritchard informs on on her husband’s grandfather James Munro Matheson.

In the Can You Help? section, can you help identify those in a photograph of the Coonamble Wagon Wheelers; or help John Beaton with research on Joseph Douglas(s). Kevin tells us how he was wanting a time machine to help understand the reasons of past events while researching Anne Hanna (Campbell) Forssberg, and Garry Hughes says that his great grandfather George Hughes is still proving to be elusive; and Patricia is looking to get in contact with anyone who knows of the sailing ship GMS Gera, in relation to helping for her greandather George Beck’s arrival in Australia.

The Cape Banks Family History Society feature as the Guest Society for this issue. You’ll get a brief background history of the group, togehter with their hours, resources, membership and meetings, publications and various services.

The Computers and Genealogy section has a heap of websites, such as Find & Connect Australia, the latest news from Trove News, make use of the newly released free guide to researching your London Ancestors on FamilySearch, FreeCen, Historical Directories and GenDocs (which contains a Vicotrian London A-Z Stret Index) all get a mention. And discover more mailing list son RootsWeb and RootsChat.

Society of Australian Genealogists

Activities in September include:

Australian Dress Register
Wednesday 12 September: Richmond Villa - 120 Kent St, Sydney

10.30am-12.30pm. The Australian Dress Register is a collaborative online project about clothing worn by men, women & children from everyday to special occasions. Museums and private collectors are encouraged to research & photograph garments they hold and to share the stories behind them by participating in this online project.

Representatives from the Powerhouse Museum will demonstrate the registration process and highlight the history and scope of this project.    Bookings essential.

New Zealand records
Saturday 22 September: Richmond Villa - 120 Kent St, Sydney

10.30am-12.30pm. Learn more about what the SAG Library holds for your New Zealand research and see how to navigate and order on-line through NZ BDM and Archives NZ. Other on-line resources will be highlighted including the latest on Family Search and learn about the new NZSG Kiwi Index v1.0. Presenter: Pauline Weeks    Bookings essential.

Insights Into Researching Your Jewish Ancestry

Saturday 22 September: Richmond Villa - 120 Kent St, Sydney

1.30-3.30pm This session, which covers Jewish research in Australia and overseas, will show how history and certain traditions can play a part in solving tricky problems and will also discuss the sources, websites & tools for Jewish genealogy, with examples from the presenter’s research. Presenter: Jeanette Tsoulos.

Full list of events at the SAG website.

Heritage: saints be praised

From the Maitland Mercury report:
One of Maitland’s oldest churches and a historic home with links to the city’s strong Jewish heritage are the latest additions to the State Heritage Register.
St Peter’s Anglican Church, East Maitland, and Cintra House in Regent Street have been listed as items of state or local significance in the register.
“I am delighted that the highest level of heritage recognition is being given to these beautiful and significant local landmarks,” Heritage Minister and Maitland MP Robyn Parker said.
“St Peter’s is one of the finest examples in NSW of a sandstone church in the Victorian Academic Gothic style as interpreted by one of the leading architectural practices of the time, Cyril and Arthur Blacket, sons of Edmund Blacket (colonial architect).”
Ms Parker said the site had been continuously occupied for ecclesiastical purposes since 1829.
She said Cintra House was an outstanding example of late Victorian architecture in the Italianate town villa style.
“Along with its remarkable garden and stables, Cintra House has outstanding aesthetic quality, symbolic of the Hunter’s expansion prior to the growth of Newcastle,” Ms Parker said.

Full article by Emma Swain available at Maitland Mercury, Aug. 31, 2012.