Tuesday, 20 August 2019


Government Gazettes? They sound boring... unless you're a family historian/genealogist or just plain curious about what happened when. They are a wealth of information .. mostly. This one has something for everyone... published on January 1st, 1834, this New South Wales Government Gazette, covers a whole range of items...remembering that it often has news and proclamations about the whole of this colonial outpost called Australia.
Please click to enlarge..

In these early years, streets were being planned and named, as were various areas...which we now know as suburbs. 

National Gallery of Australia
Map of the town of Sydney 1833
William Wilson

Jettys were established, essential for the only means of communication with the mother country or any country at that time... all via sea. A notice announced the arrival of the ship LAYTON 'with Female Immigrants' and how to apply to employ them.  See passenger details here also on FMP and Ancestry

* Sydney Cove 1845

Want to buy some land... it was selling for the exhorbitant sum of five shillings an acre...

Section from New South Wales. Department of Lands. (1886). Parish of Narrabeen, County of Cumberland Metropolitan Land District,Eastern Division N.S.W http://nla.gov.au/nla.obj-233833505 

Masons were required to supply Stone Curbing for the streets of Sydney... The Court of General Quarter Sessions of the Peace met 'to regulate and fix the Rates and Fares to be charged by any licensed carter, porter or boatman'.... etc.

 The Lansdowne Bridge, by convict stonemason David Lennox. 
Still carries the Hume Highway over Prospect Creek near Liverpool. 
courtesy of Roads and Maritime

Invalid Troops were to be conveyed to England and tenders were required..

The Commissariat Office put out a number of tenders and notice of an auction... wonder if there were many takers for the ' whole of the Materials of the Old Military Barracks' noting of course Terms-Cash.  History of Military Barracks

Sydney Barracks and Military Windmill, 1817
                                     Edward Charles Close   

The Abstract of a Census had been taken in September 1833... and sectioned as to counties and towns, male and female, free or convict, etc.

The state of the Female Factory at Parramatta was published, a very interesting summary.

The Female Factory c 1826

Then came the list of absconded prisoners.. 'some of them being at large with stolen Certificates and Tickets of Leave..'  Hundreds of names are listed, along with numbers... age, place they left, sometimes the ship they came on, occupation, full description, name of employer etc. 

Cerificate of Freedom
See post, with full details.. the first of a series on convicts... just continue through the series by scrolling through to newer post..

These are priceless for those who are researching Australian Royalty.. 

You have to love some of the descriptions... such as 
Woods Michael, Waterloo (2), 31-679, 22, Dublin, Hair Dresser, 5 feet 4, ruddy comp. much pock-pitted, light brown hair, hazel eyes, fish, heart, hope, tree, and other marks called a christian barmer, on right arm, Dragoon 12th October 1830 on left, 2nd time of absconding from No. 9 Road party, since 27th Dec.

or poor

Johnson Margaret or Sarah, Surry(6), 33-167, 28 Co Fermanagh, Nurses Maid, 4 feet 9 1/2, brown comp. brown hair, grey eyes, mark of a burn on top of forehead, small hairy mole right side of upper lip, lost a front tooth right side upper jaw, from Henry Robertson, since 30th Dec.

 They did also post a list of runaways apprehended, a much smaller list than the aforesaid.

View of the Heads, and part of Botany Bay - from the End of Cooks River 1822-1823
Joseph Lycett From the collections of the 

Impounded livestock got almost as much attention..

 'Miller's Point' by Joseph Fowles/ State Library of NSW
Free roaming stock

and some very detailed descriptions of those were included as well.

TROVE is the easiest way to access Government Gazettes. It's like Pandora's box, you never know what you will find.

* The History of Sydney  Late Colonial History 1822-1838

# The Dictionary of Sydney has many wonderful photos and interesting stories.

Tuesday, 13 August 2019



The Sydney Morning Herald 7 Sep 1916

The Brisbane Courier 26 Oct 1916

The Argus Melbourne 7 Jul 1917

The Brisbane Courier 6 Sep 1917
The military authorities request the next of kin
to No 3482, Private Charles Clarence Evans,

47th Battalion, to communicate at once with
the A.A.G., Victoria Barracks, Brisbane,

The Brisbane Courier 30 Oct 1917
The military authorities request the
next of kin ofBrisbane  No 4095, Private Henry
Patrick Murphy, 31st Battalion, Aus-

tralian Imperial Force, to communicate
with the officer in charge, Base Re-
cords, Victoria Barracks, Melbourne, as
early as possible.

The Brisbane Courier 5 Nov 1917

The military authorities request the next of kin of
 No. 3017?, Private A. Wright, 25th Bat-

talion, A.I.F., to communicate with the Offi-
cer in Charge, Base Records, Victoria Barracks,
Melbourne, as early as possible.

Barrier Miner (Broken Hill) 21 Nov 1917

The Brisbane Courier 23 Feb 1918

The military authorities request thenext of kin of
No. 4618/4382, Private J. J. Walsh, 12th
Reinforcements, 31st Battalion, A I F , and No.

3134 Private P. J.Downing, 8th Reinforcements
47th, Battalion, A.I.F., to communicate with the
Officer in Charge, Base Records, Victoria 
Barracks, Melbourne.

The Brisbane Courier 26 Sep 1918

The military authorities desire thenext of kin of
No. 4209. L-Cpl. W. C Sorensen. 26th
Btn., to communicate with the A.A.G., Victoria
"Barricks, Brisbane, at the earliest possible

The Brisbane Courier  22 Oct 1918
The military desire the next of kin of No.
7082, Corporal Richard George Elliott, 15th

Battalion, to communicate with the A.A.O.,
Victoria Barracks, Brisbane.

The Queenslander 23 Nov 1918


    The military authorities desire the next of kin of the following soldiers to communicate 
    with the Officer in charge, Base Records, Victoria Barracks, Melbourne, at the earliest 
    possible moment: 
No. 2315, Pte. A. E. Yarra, 3rd Fld.Art. Bde. Amm. Column; 5050, 
Pte. R. F. Martin, 13th Rfts., 25th Battn.; 228, S.S.M. J.P. Edginton, "A" Sqdn., 5th Light Horse Reg.;
1710, S.S.M. H. W. Birkbeck, 7th Battery, 3rd Fld. Art.; 1713, Pte. T. Markey, 2nd Rfts., 25th Batt.;
1000, Pte. C. E. M. Duff, 7th Rfts., 2nd Light Horse Regt.; 17, Sgt. J. Blackman, "A" Coy., 28th Battn.;
886 L./Cpl. F. Nethersole, 3rd Pioneer Battn.; 5081, Pte. P. J. Nelson, 14th Rfts.. 31st Battn.; 
6620,Pte. E. Saunders, 19th Rfts., 26th Bttn.; 973, Pte. E. L. Redwell, "D" Coy., 25th Battn.
The military authorities request that the next of kin of  No. 7100, Private James Stanley, 49th,
late 9th Battalion, should communicate with the A.A,G., Victoria Barracks, Brisbane.
The military authorities request the next of kin of 6886, Private William Wilson, 25th
Battalion, and 44,883, Private R. Williams, New Zealand Force, to communicate with the A.A.G.
Victoria Barracks, Brisbane.

The Brisbane Courier 26 Nov 1918

The military authorities ask the next of kin of
the following soldiers to communicate with
the Officer In Charge Base Records, Victoria
Barracks, Melbourne at the earliest moment -

7238, Private R. T. Edwards, 24/9; 2310, Private
C. S. Graham, 4/41; 543, Private P. Harvey, 5th
L.H.; 3509, Sergeant G. Miller, 8/26; 1678,
Private W.H. Moroney, M.M., S A.S.C.; 31922,
Private F. A. Rowe, F. Artillery; 5654, Private
H. D. Snowdon, 11/3 F.A. Bde.; 230, Private J.
Shaw, D. Co., 25th Btn.; 3671, Private H. Wilson,
8/25 Bde.; 115, R.Q.M.S. B. Woodcroft, 9th Btn.;
3137, Private J. M. Woods, 2nd L.H. Mac. Gun
Co.; 2632, Private E. Cunningham, 18/2nd L.H.;
1113, Private H. C. Harwicke, 7/5th L.H.;
413, Private J. Johnston, 25th Btn.: 3289, Private
F. E. Monk, 11/9th Btn.

The Brisbane Courier 19 Dec 1918
The military authorities desire the next of
kin, of Second Lieutenant, A. Reid. A Company,

26th Btn, to communicate with the Officer in
Charge Base Records, Victoria Barracks, Mel
bourne, at the earliest possible moment.

The Brisbane Courier  14 Jun 1919

The Queenslander  10 Jan 1920

Examiner Launceston 23 Jun 1920

Cairns Post 19 Dec 1923

for those who have aren't familiar wth the records available, especially using SODA.

To follow up on these soldiers' stories, first stop should be National Archives Australia, record search.. at 

For this example, I have used the very first name.. 
2239 Pte. S.T.Turner.. we know by the date that is is WW 1. What we don't know at this stage is his Christian names, but having the service number will be all we need..
Just fill in the surname, select WW1 from the drop down menu and then the service number, click search.

That will bring you to this page...we know it's the correct person as we have that all important service number. 

In the top right hand side, you will see View Digital copy.. click on that and next will be this.. you can see that an Uncle is listed as Next of Kin, with an address, given as "Uncle G. Turner, 81 Regent St., Redfern". So, we have a name and address as NOK, so why couldn't they find him.. 
Beside the image you will see a different NOK M Walker Mary Jane. When and why did that change and why couldn't she be found. Click through to P 2.. and you will see this notice.. last entry.. killed in action.

Following that, go to page 5.. note that the entry says killed in France, then Place..not yet to hand... hence Missing in Action.

If you wanted to have a copy of the whole 66 pages, you could simply download an image of each page, tedious and time consuming. There is another way...Note the Barcode above .. in this file it is 1921449.   Go to SODA... http://soda.naa.gov.au and Click on Barcode retrieval..enter the Barcode  and the file is there for you. There is a big difference from the original file to this... look for the list of symbols.. the one I am most interested in, is the printer. A choice again, you can print the whole 66 pages as a .pdf, pr you can be patient, wait a few seconds and you should see a window with options for printing..note that PDF on the bottom bar has a drop down option, click on that and you can simply save as a .pdf.

If you continue reading through to p.16, you will note that there is a new address added as well as Samuel's mother's name, Mrs.M.J. Watkin, as contact, so at least we know that they could find a NOK after all. Another interesting fact is on p. 23, Samuel's will, whereby he leaves all to Mrs. Percy Watson.. who was she? Then on p.24... more detail re will..

From p.25, we learn that Samuel was Killed in Action on 7th Aug 1916. P.27... note that Samuel's war medals were returned unclaimed by the earlier mentioned Mrs. M.J.Walker.. yet see p.31, and Mrs. Walker signed for Samuel's effects on 19th Mar 1923. it seems the Army didn't give up. P.34 shows us that Mrs. Walker was Samuel's mother.

P. 39.. Mrs. Watson is named as Samuel's cousin...slowly this story is coming together. 

Still with me... ? P.39 explains who Mrs. Walker was and who she is by 1923.. you have to keep reading... p. 48 could change everything... then again, so could p. 53 and 54... this is bigger than Ben Hur.. p.65, we're nearly finished... shows the cousin, Ruby Watson, didn't get what she was after. However, there are more than 66 pages, up in the 80s, though some are blank.

It pays to look for the story behind the initial story .. we started with just one name "2239 Pte. S.T.Turner " By searching further, we have an uncle, cousins, mother, father,  and did you see we also have a brother's name, which we could easily follow.. I'll leave that to you.

* image Army badge, courtesy of Wikimedia
* all others from free clipart's sites