Tuesday, 30 May 2017


While browsing through TROVE, I started to wonder about what the earliest Australian newspapers were like... where to find out? TROVE, naturally.

 There were a number of articles to help... the first Australian newspaper was published on March 5th, 1803... a mere 214 years ago... 

Australians have had a great love affair with newspapers, current and old. We may not all have weekly subscriptions as we once did, but there are so many of us who still love the printed word, even if it is online, and in repositories such as libraries. Many's the time I notice that cafes and coffee shops attract a regular clientele who sip their lattes while browsing the local newspapers...

A little over 103 years after the event, the Hilston Spectator and Lachlan River Advertiser gave the details of the first edition... you can click on the image to enlarge. 

They seemed to be at great pains to point out that the first essential was a guaranteed supply of paper... seems logical to me. However, they had two things that were far greater... determination and persistence. I do love the last line as what the publisher of that great edition with grandiose name of the "Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser" was prepared to accept as payment for subscriptions..."copper, grain or bills".

By 1821, we learn that the original publisher of the "Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser", who we later discover, was a man called George Howe, had passed away... and there was an impassioned plea that his son, Robert Howe, would be accepted as publisher.

Letters to the Editor have always played a big part in newspapers, perhaps a little less so now, as there are so many other outlets, but they gave the public a voice, as in this extract in May 1823. I won't post the full article, which would be eight pages long, but will give you the article's reference so you can read more than the first two pages if you wish...

Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 - 1842), Thursday 15 May 1823, page 1


Later in the same year, (November) 1823, we see that there were numerous court reports.. which make very interesting reading. If you are looking for repeat 'felons', then the "Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser" may be just the place to search.

Shipping news was also important, as was the arrival of papers from other countries.  Far too many items of interest to select just a few pages... 

Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 - 1842), Thursday 27 November 1823, 


Then we come to this small item celebrating 129 years of newspapers... it appeared in the Northern Argus (Clare, S.A. ) in 1932...

We have so much to thank the likes of George Howe for... our news, our links to other countries, or even states and towns, details re shipping and court cases, local gossip and so much more. In effect, newspapers became the equivalent of the town squares of old.. it would be such a shame if they ever faded away.

Tuesday, 23 May 2017


 on 16 October 1863 in Tipperary, Ireland, 
daughter of James Edward O'Dwyer, gentleman, 
and his wife Marguarette, née Hunt.

'Her mother died in Daisy's infancy and she had an unstable childhood. On the death of her maternal grandmother she was put, aged about 8, in the care of Sir Francis Outram's family in London.'

 (Is she familiar to you? Perhaps a little more of her biography might help...)

'On the death of her maternal grandmother she was put, aged about 8, in the care of Sir Francis Outram's family in London.
Suspected of having contracted pulmonary tuberculosis, she migrated to Australia in 1884 and lived briefly at Townsville, Queensland, as a guest of Bishop G. H. Stanton. On 13 March 1884, at Charters Towers, Daisy May O'Dwyer married Edwin Henry Murrant. It is almost certain that this was Harry Harbord Morant. Shortly afterwards, he and Daisy separated. Late that year she was employed as a governess at Berry, New South Wales.'

Maybe just a little more...

On 17 February 1885 at Nowra she married Jack Bates, a cattleman. When he resumed droving she travelled to Sydney where, on 10 June 1885, she married Ernest Baglehole. Within months she was back with Bates; they had a son Arnold in 1886. She showed only a distant attachment to husband and son, leaving both in Australia when she returned to England in 1894 for what turned out to be a stay of five years. In London she worked on the Review of Reviews, learning the craft of journalism which was to become a crucial source of income when she lived with the Aboriginals.
Daisy Bates returned to Australia in 1899. Interested in an allegation in The Times about atrocities against Aboriginals in north-west Australia, she went to the Trappist mission at Beagle Bay, north of Broome. Here she had her first long contact with Aboriginals while working at this decaying settlement and its market gardens. '

 You can read a lot more about the energetic Daisy May Bates
here in her biography, though TROVE also has numerous articles...
I knew of her as grandmother or 'kabbarli' as Australian natives called her. I knew she was always working to improve their standards of living and health care, as I was taught in school, but not a lot more. These articles helped me to learn more.

West Australian (Perth, WA : 1879 - 1954), Friday 19 October 1934, page 24

nla.news-article52258038.3 Daisy Bates 1939

nla.news-article47243762.3 Daisy Bates 1940

Australian Women's Weekly (1933 - 1982), Saturday 28 September 1940, page 2

 Apologies for the awkwardness of the clippings positions...


nla.news-article48196528.3 Daisy Bates 1951

nla.news-article48196528.3 1951

nla.news-article49026922.3  1952

Despite other memorials that were dedicated to Daisy O'Dwyer Bates, I somehow think that this one may have pleased her the most...


You can find further information at 


From Wikipedia...
BornMargaret Dwyer
16 October 1859
RoscreaTipperary, Ireland
Died18 April 1951 (aged 91)
Adelaide, Australia
Resting placeNorth Road CemeteryNailsworth, South Australia
Other namesDaisy May O'Dwyer, Daisy May Bates
Spouse(s)Harry Harbord 'Breaker' Morant, bigamous marriages to John (Jack) Bates and Ernest C. Baglehole
ChildrenArnold Hamilton Bates

North Road Cemetery, Nailsworth, S.A. 5083

Daisy Bates (centre, in the hat) with a group of Aboriginal women, circa 1911. PD-Australia as a photograph taken before 1 Jan 1955.
Courtesy of Wikimedia

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

TROVE TUESDAY..16TH MAY, 2017 - Certificate of Freedom List, NSW Government Gazette 1838



My particular interest in this list was the convict, John SWADLING. Though I don't know of any connection to my SWADLING ancestors, there is always more to learn...

From the Convict Records site..  

Convicted at : Middlesex Gaol delivery
Sentence Term: 7 years
Ship:  Hercules
Departure Date : 14th June, 1832
Arrival Date : 16th October, 1832
Place of Arrival: New South Wales
Passenger Manifest: Travelled with 199 other convicts

Primary Source: Australian Joint Copying Project. 
                            Microfilm Roll 89, Class and Piece 
                            Number HO11/8, Page 
                            Number 357(179)

Source Description:          This record is one of the entries in the British convict transportation registers 1787-1867 database compiled by State Library of Queensland from British Home Office (HO) records which are available on microfilm as part of the Australian Joint Copying Project



“John Swadling, one of 200 convicts transported on the Hercules, 14 June 1832”     Convicted at Middlesex Gaol Delivery for a term of 7 years on 27 May 1830


ANZ_AUSREC_999_00473  SWADLING, John convict Cert. of FREEDOM butt  x FMP.jpg

John Swadling convict  x FMP

Lindsay Swadling has a lot more information on his site re John Swadling at   http://wc.rootsweb.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/igm.cgi?op=GET&db=john_swadling&id=I2


Tuesday, 9 May 2017


TROVE just keeps on giving...

I thought I had found all I could there re my family, but each time I revisit, there is more.. I began to compile the articles re Con Catsoulis's boxing career, which ranged from when he was a teenager till he joined the army... There are numerous articles about his fights, some he won, some he lost, but he seemed to be considered a formidable opponent by many.  I cannot stand boxing to this day, but it played a big part in my uncle's life in those days... 

Con was born in Bellingen, in 1913... the second son and third child to Theo (Theodore) and Chrisanthe Catsoulis. 

 From what I can find, he started boxing around the 1930s, and by the time he was 19, he was boxing regularly. There were a few different venues, School of Arts Halls were popular as were other small country halls.. my father told me that some were held in beer gardens or rings erected in the showgrounds. 

 Please click on images to enlarge..

Coff's Harbour Advocate 21 February 1933 loss

Coff's Harbour Advocate 11 July 1933 hopeful

Coff's Harbour Advocate 25 April 1933  win..

Coff's Harbour Advocate 30 May 1933  draw

It seems Con, ever ready for a challenge, decided to show his strength, and set out to push the local publican, Peter Gleeson around Urunga's outskirts in less than an hour. Let's just say Peter was not a lightweight... the event soon became known as the Wheelbarrow Derby...and the townsfolk came out in droves to watch.

Coff's Harbour Advocate 12 July, 1935

Con, labelled as a youth, was 22..  Grafton's Daily Examiner also picked up the story.. on 11 July, 1935.. a slight weight difference between the pusher and the passenger ..

Boxing remained part of Con's life..
Daily Examiner Grafton 12 May 1936..

Con joined the army with two of his brothers, in 1941.  They were all sent to New Guinea.. In 1945, Con was injured when the truck he was in, rolled over down an embankment.. he fractured his hip, and pelvis.. with what was described as a traumatic injury and was sent back to a military hospital, then to Concord, Sydney. He suffered from this the rest of his life, developing arthritis, and was often in extreme pain. Insomnia also accompanied him.

In 1946, the three Catsoulis brothers were among the group of URUNGA soldiers welcomed home...

Con passed away in 1984, having been a farmer, a hotel roustabout, a hotel cook, a boxer, a qualified sign writer and commercial artist, a soldier, the family prankster, and the teller of very imaginative tales, especially to small children. He never married and spent the last years of his life sharing a home with the oldest brother, Harry.

Tuesday, 2 May 2017


Ireland and Australian have long been involved in each other's history, whether it was with some of the earliest settlers in Australia having been given free passage, like it or not, or free migration over many years. Many Australians have Irish ancestors ... some who remained in Ireland, some who came to Australia to live and work. Over the years, one of the big attractions was the lure of the goldfields, particularly in Western Australia.

TROVE brings us many reports of earlier times...please click to enlarge.. The Hon. E.O. McDevitt wrote fondly and in detail about Irish in Australia in 1876, as published in the Telegraph, Brisbane..

Mr. W. O'Donnell, who was described as a celebrated explorer in the Freeman's Journal of 1886, travelled over much of western Australia.

I was interested to read of the Technological Museum in 1894, in Ultimo, Sydney...  as detailed in the Australian Star, published on April 27... I wonder what they would think of today's technology, sone 123 years later...

I was also intrigued by the School of Arts lecture "A Trip to Ould Ireland" illustrated by means of lantern views no less, not to forget Miss O'Shannessy who was to sing Irish songs.

J.F. Hogan, M.P., was lauded as something of an authority of the Irish in Australia... he goes into great detail about the problems faced, the positions held and the adventures that the Irish were involved in over many years. He had a number of articles published, this was in the Southern Cross newspaper, Adelaide, published on 8 January 1897. He covers so many fields, from those in the clergy, mining, army and of course, politics..

In 1906, Kalgoorlie, Western Australia, celebrated St. Patrick's Day with great enthusiasm as detailed in the W.A. Record Goldfields Notes published on Saturday 24 March. The Hibernian ladies even got a mention, as did the Kalgoorlie Model Band .. there was a parade of course, and morning and evening church services...

Do take note of the wise words often used as fillers at the end of a column...

W.A. Record was quite a popular paper in Western Australia, from 1888- 1922, so it seemed the best place to acknowledge the generous donations to the Irish Parliamentary Party in 1912. 
"We were all delighted at the near approach of Home Rule for poor old Ireland, ..."

Though living in Australia, the ties to their Irish homeland were still very strong... History tells us that all wasn't to be as it appeared at that time, but hope was there...