Monthly Archives: March 2016

Mary Jane Casey nee Cushley

Working on the Casey family tree over Easter I came across this wonderful photograph of Mary Jane Cushley who was married to Daniel Casey (see post of 28 December 2015) among a collection of family photographs we had received from an aunt and forgotten about.

The photograph was taken by the L Herbst photographic studio which operated from 28 Oxford Street, Sydney between 1890-1905. My guess is, the photograph would have been taken in the early 1890s.

Mrs Clark front

Now if only we knew why she was dressed like that?

Unlock the Past Cruises

I recently spent 18 wonderful days combining my two favourite passions – cruising and genealogy.

Participating in the 10th Unlock The Past Genealogy Cruise I boarded the Celebrity Solstice in Auckland, New Zealand and sailed to Fremantle, Western Australia visiting the Bay of Islands, Tauranga, Wellington, Akaroa, Dunedin, Dusky, Doubtful and Milford Sounds, Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide, along the way.

The magnificent Celebrity Soltstice

The magnificent Celebrity Soltstice

Our Unlock The Past team: Eric Kopittke, Alan Phillips, Rosemary Kopittke, Helen Smith, Alona Tester

Our Unlock The Past team:
Eric Kopittke, Alan Phillips, Rosemary Kopittke, Helen Smith, Alona Tester

The concept is wonderful – each evening after dinner a talk was presented, then on sea days you could attend all, or as many, conference presentations as you wanted while also enjoying the opportunity to visit travel destinations on the port days.

The team at Unlock The Past put together a terrific mix of 75 lectures plus 3 one-on-one research help zone sessions covering an eclectic mix of research strategies, case studies, techie and general interest presentations.

I especially found the number of 50+ participants to be a good size allowing more flexible and friendly dining and activity options than is available at land-based conferences.

Louis Kessler, Alona Tester, Judy Russell and Helen Smith - great dining companions

Louis Kessler, Alona Tester, Judy Russell and Helen Smith – great dining companions

More dining options were available than land-based conferences

More dining options were available than land-based conferences

Our conference room located on Deck 14 was amazing, with a floor to ceiling glass wall that allowed us the opportunity to search for marine life while listening to our speakers. So important was this feature, in fact, that the order was given by Judy Russell to disrupt her talks should a whale or any dolphins be seen!

Judy Russell - preparing to speak

Judy Russell – preparing to speak

Judy Russell is better known through the genealogical world as The Legal Genealogist and based on her humour, knowledge and presentation of her talks, I would loved to have seen Judy in action in the courtroom.

Covering such topics as copyright law for genealogists, women under common law, DNA and ethics of genetic genealogy, circumstantial evidence and reconstructing life-changing events, Judy had a full room of participants completely enthralled from go to whoa.


Our other international speakers were: Paul Blake from England who delivered several informative presentations covering British probate records, Irish research, the English manor and tithes and crime and punishment; Louis Kessler from Winnipeg, Canada, opened our eyes to improving our research with source-based genealogy, making the most of our genealogy software, organising our computer files and using life events to solve genealogy problems; and Jan Gow from New Zealand enlightened us with new gadgets and better ways to internet search, prepare for research trips as well as new ways to look at familiar procedures.

Our #10th Unlock The Past Cruise speakers: (Standing, l-r) Eric Kopittke, Shauna Hicks, Paul Blake, Judy Russell, Jan Gow, Louis Kessler. (Sitting) Rosemary Kopittke, Diane Foster, Helen Smith, Geoff Doherty, Marg Doherty

Our #10th Unlock The Past Cruise speakers: (Standing, l-r) Eric Kopittke, Shauna Hicks, Paul Blake, Judy Russell, Jan Gow, Louis Kessler. (Sitting) Rosemary Kopittke, Diane Foster, Helen Smith, Geoff Doherty, Marg Doherty

Our Australian presenters – Helen Smith, Geoff & Margaret Doherty, Diane Foster, Rosemary & Eric Kopittke and Shauna Hicks – also covered an amazing range of topics, too numerous to mention here.

I’m already booked and looking forward to meeting up with the UTP team for the #13th Unlock The Past cruiseBrisbane to Papua New Guinea – on board the Pacific Aria 28 July to 7 August 2017.

Mud Slide - official drink of the #10 UTP cruise

Mud Slide – official drink of the #10 UTP cruise


The Show Is In Town

This week I made one of my rare visits to Homebush Bay for the Sydney Royal Easter Show. I say rare, because I still miss the old Moore Park showgrounds!

DSC04386 DSC04379The Sydney Royal Easter Show is run by the Royal Agricultural Society of New South Wales and for two weeks each year, obviously around Easter, country people descend on Sydney to display and judge rural produce and livestock as well as various competitions for cookery, photography, arts and crafts.

Originating in 1823, the Show had its beginning in Parramatta before first moving to Sydney’s Prince Alfred Park, in 1869 (where it became an annual event), and then moving on to Moore Park in 1881. It would have a final move in 1998, when it became part of the Olympic Park site at Homebush Bay.


For me, as a child growing up, Easter wasn’t all about receiving chocolate from the Easter bunny, it also heralded a much anticipated visit to the Show as well as how many showbags I could talk Mum into buying.

Back then, Mum would take us kids to the Show on its last day, always a Tuesday, and which was then known as Children’s Day. The truth is, being the last day of the show it was the cheapest day to take us. Adults got in for half price, children received free admission and everything was discounted including the rides and, more importantly, the showbags! Back then the showbags were actually sample bags of products from various producers unlike the exhorbitantly priced showbags of today. Of course, Mum always packed our lunch and drinks which meant the only food item that had to be purchased was the fairy floss. And once we were through the gates, the lost children’s room was dramatically pointed out so that we were in such fear of getting separated from mum that, fortunately, that never eventuated.

DSC04394 DSC04388The day would be spent wandering around the livestock stables where we’d stand in awe at the cattle and horses but hold our noses looking at the pigs and goats. Lunchtime was spent sitting in one of the grandstands to watch whatever was being paraded at the time and no visit to the Easter show was complete unless you had visited the industry halls and, in particular, the district exhibits. Sideshow alley was another “must do” with the main aim being to win a Cupie doll on a stick.

DSC04416 DSC04382There were rides to be had and strange people walking on stilts to be stared at, and there was a lot of walking. The Moore Park showgrounds covered an area of 40 acres and the buildings were surrounded by a maze of meandering lanes and streets.

At the end of the day we would pile on to a bus, clutching our goodies, to return home totally exhausted.

Francis Edenborough

The following story of Francis Edenborough was reported in The Morning Chronicle of 6 October 1859 under the heading:


Francis 1 Francis 2

Francis 3 Francis 4

Francis Edenborough and his partners in crime were brought before the Central Criminal Court on 25 October 1859 whereby the jury returned a verdict of guilty against Alfred Grantham Snr, William Bland and Thomas Mead, recommending Bland and Grantham to mercy, and acquitting Alfred Grantham Jnr and Francis Edenborough.

Captain Henry Edenborough

Henry Edenborough, fifth child of Samuel & Sarah Edenborough (née BOLTON) was born on 14 May 1812 at Bruce Grove, Tottenham, Middlesex. At the age of 15 he was employed by the Honourable East India Company in the Mercantile Marine Branch as a midshipman, per Lord Lowther (1827-28), and Abercrombie Robinson (1829-30).

By late 1833, Henry had left the employ of the HEIC and had made at least one voyage to Sydney as captain of the schooner Emma. Then in 1834, he took up the position of master of a newly-built 380-ton barque part-owned by his father Samuel. This first voyage, as the newly installed master of the Augusta Jessie, was to Tasmania, arriving 22 Jan 1835 with a cargo of 210 male convicts.

Several more voyages to Australia followed before Henry married Margaret Stedman in London in 1836. They eventually travelled to Australia, on board the Elphinstone in 1840, to take up residence at Wollogorang in the Goulburn district of New South Wales. It is believed that the impressive homestead that still stands today was built by Henry in 1846.

The first of Henry and Margaret’s six children, Henry Bolton, was baptised in Sydney shortly after his parents arrival in the colony in 1840; the remaining five children though – Charles Allen (1842), Bishop Reynold (1843), Margaret Annie (1845), Edith Jane (1846) and Spencer Neville(1848) – were all born at Wollogorang.  The 1841 census of New South Wales shows that Wollogorang supported four ticket-of-leave men, five shepherds, eight gardeners and stockmen, and four domestic servants.

Wollogorang Homestead as it appeared in 2008

Wollogorang Homestead as it appeared in 2008

As if running a large sheep and cattle station wasn’t enough, Henry also involved himself in the local community; gave an acre of land for an Anglican church as well as a further acre for a cemetery and became a Justice of the Peace before being appointed a Magistrate of the Territory in 1844.

Henry is often quoted as being a colourful figure who owned a racehorse. But this statement is incorrect. It was, in fact, Henry’s younger brother, Horatio, who spent some time in New South Wales and who was the racehorse owner.

The Goulburn Herald of 17 Jan 1849 stated that Governor Fitzroy, Deas Thompson (the Colonial Secretary) and party “partook of luncheon” at Wollogorang and “were much gratified at the off-handed and unpretending hospitality of Mr Edenborough, for which the gentlemen of the district know him to be so remarkable”.

In 1854, Henry sold Wollogorang and all stock to his neighbour, J W Chisholm, and with his entire family returned to England arriving there at the end of 1854.  Henry died at Chesham Lodge, Surrey, on 6 Feb 1855, aged 43 years. Margaret survived her husband by 14 years dying at Sheffield Gardens, Kensington on 26 Oct 1869.

In 1992, Henry was honoured for his participation in the development of Australia by having his name affixed to a plaque located near the Overseas Shipping Terminal on Sydney Harbour.

sydney cove 3 sydney cove 1