We Have Moved!

Conversations With Grandma moved several years ago to a self hosted site. All the posts on this site have moved over and I’ve added a whole host more. Plus there are free resources about the Wangaratta area including a list of midwives, a book index and lots more. Please pop on over to: https://conversationswithgrandma.com.au/

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Australian Local and Family History Bloggers

Listed here are blogs by members of the Australian Local and Family History Bloggers Facebook group. We are a support group for independent bloggers of Australian history. We don’t allow blogs about business publicity or bloggers attached to libraries or historical societies as they all have different needs and support networks. Please support independent Aussie bloggers by paying them a visit. If you like what you see please leave a comment on the blogger’s page and subscribe to their feeds.

This list may be distributed without permission but must not be given false attribution.

Blog Blog URL
Family Matters http://familyarising.blogspot.com.au/
ACT Early Lithuanians in Australia http://earlylithuaniansinaustralia.blogspot.com.au/
ACT Lynne’s Family: Tasmania families – Gillam, Sheean, Lamprey & Coventry https://lynnesfamilies.wordpress.com/
ACT Twigs of Yore http://twigsofyore.blogspot.com.au/
Aus Cicadas, Bees and Barge Poles http://cicadasbeesandbargepoles.com/
Aus Conquest – an inside story https://conquestaninsidestory.wordpress.com/
Aus Family Fractals https://familyfractals.wordpress.com/
Aus Laney’s Past https://laneyspast.wordpress.com
Germany Becoming Prue http://becomingprue.blogspot.com.au/
Germany The Weiss Family of Mulhouse http://weissfamilymulhouse.blogspot.de/p/home.html
NSW A Steely Genes Journey: Illawarra, NSW https://asteelygenesjourney.wordpress.com/
NSW Auld Genealogy http://auldgenealogy.blogspot.com/
NSW Boddy Lines http://www.boddylines.com.au
NSW CurryAus surname study https://curryaus.wordpress.com/
NSW Evertree http://evertree.com.au/blog/
NSW Family Convictions – a Convict Ancestor http://www.familyconvictions.blogspot.com.au/
NSW Family Stories, Photographs and Memories http://familystoriesphotographsandmemories.blogspot.com.au/
NSW GeniAus http://geniaus.blogspot.com.au/
NSW Genies Down Under http://geniesdownunder.blogspot.com.au/
NSW Hawkesbury Heritage & Happenings http://hawkesburyheritage.blogspot.com.au/
NSW Heather Clarey and Family History http://heatherclarey.weebly.com/
NSW In the Footsteps of my Ancestors https://tstclairhoney.wordpress.com/
NSW Janelle’s Family Tree Addiction http://janellestree.blogspot.com.au/
NSW Jennyalogy http://jennyalogy.blogspot.com.au/
NSW Jennyalogy podcast http://jennyalogypodcast.blogspot.com.au/
NSW Lilian’s Tree http://www.researchbylily.blogspot.com.au/
NSW Linga Longa: Thirroul https://lingalongathirroul.wordpress.com/
NSW Links in a Chain http://linksinachain.blogspot.com.au/
NSW Nola Mackey: Nola’s notes on history https://nolamackey.wordpress.com/
NSW Pieces of Me http://michellefnichols.blogspot.com.au/
NSW Shadowland – Uncovering A Lost Village – Sherbrooke https://shadowlanduncoveringsherbrooke.wordpress.com/
NSW Sharn’s Genealogy Hints http://www.sharnsgenealogyhints.blogspot.com.au/
NSW Sharn’s Genealogy Jottings http://sharn-genealogyjottings.blogspot.com/
NSW The Family of Jo Mottershead http://jomottershead.com/
NSW The Genealogy Bug http://genealogybugsherie.blogspot.com.au/
NSW The Other Half of my Family Tree : stories of my female ancestors http://womenfrommyfamilytree.blogspot.com.au/
NSW The Tree of Me http://genealogymatters2me.blogspot.com.au/
NSW Trevo’s Irish Famine Orphans: Earl Grey’s scheme https://earlgreysfamineorphans.wordpress.com/
NSW Wishing Linking Family History Blog http://wishful-linking-family-history.blogspot.com.au/
NT NJs Family History Research https://njsfamilyhistoryresearch.wordpress.com
NZ Cyrus John Williams 1862-1942 http://cyrusjohnrichardwilliams.weebly.com/
NZ War Memorials Wellington http://warmemorialswgtn.weebly.com/
Qld Ancestor envy http://ancestor-envy.blogspot.com.au/
Qld As They Were http://astheywere.blogspot.au/
Qld Boonah Branches http://www.boonahbranches.com/index.html
Qld Diary of an Australian Genealogist http://diaryofanaustraliangenealogist.blogspot.com.au/
Qld Earlier Years http://earlieryears.blogspot.com.au/
Qld East Clare Emigrants https://eastclareoz.wordpress.com/
Qld Family History across the Seas https://cassmob.wordpress.com/
Qld Family Tree Blossoms http://familytreeblossoms.blogspot.com.au/
Qld Family Tree Frog http://familytreefrog.blogspot.com.au/
Qld From Dorfprozelten, Bavaria to Australia https://dorfprozeltenaus.wordpress.com/
Qld From Helen V Smith’s Keyboard http://helenvsmithresearch.blogspot.com.au/
Qld Genealogically Speaking: The adventures of a young aspiring Australian genealogist sharing her journey on social media http://genealogically-speaking.blogspot.com.au/

German Family Matters

Qld In Search of Men & Women With Initiative – Solving Family Puzzles https://genielynau.wordpress.com
Qld Irish Graves – they who sleep in foreign lands http://irishgraves.blogspot.com.au/
Qld Leaves on my Family Tree https://leavesonmyfamilytree.wordpress.com/
Qld Library Currants- technology and its application in family history http://librarycurrants.blogspot.com.au/
Qld Life & Death in the Sunshine State: Boggo Rd Gaol, Brisbane http://boggoroad.blogspot.com.au/
Qld Living the Dream of a Family Historian http://maryboroughfamilies.blogspot.com.au/
Qld SHHE Genie Rambles http://www.shaunahicks.com.au/shhe-genie-rambles/
Qld That Moment in Time http://thatmomentintime-crissouli.blogspot.au/
Qld TravelGenee http://travelgenee.com/
Qld Trove Memorials: South Australian service men and women http://trovememorials.weebly.com/
Qld Various blogs re personal and Qld history http://www.judywebster.com.au/sites.html
SA GenieJen https://jengenie.wordpress.com/
SA GenXalogy http://genxalogy.blogspot.com/
SA History by Larzus https://historybylarzus.wordpress.com/
SA History from the Heart http://www.historyfromtheheart.com.au/heart-to-heart-blog
SA Kylie’s Genes Blog http://blog.kyliesgenes.com/
SA Lonetester HQ http://www.lonetester.com/
SA Memorabilia House http://www.memorabiliahouse.com/
SA Original Kin: My genealogy universe https://originalkin.wordpress.com/
Sweden Forgotten Tales https://holfiesfamilyhistory.wordpress.com/
Tas On the Convict Trail http://ontheconvicttrail.blogspot.com.au/
Vic A bit of this and a bit of that! Ballan, Victoria http://livinginballan.blogspot.com.au/
Vic Ancestor Chasing http://ancestorchaser.blogspot.com.au/
Vic Anne’s Family History http://ayfamilyhistory.blogspot.com.au/
Vic Axedale – Then and Now http://www.axedalethenandnow.com
Vic Backtracking http://boobookbacktracks.blogspot.com.au/
Vic Bound for Australia http://www.boundforoz.wordpress.com/
Vic Connecting the Family http://connectingthefamily.blogspot.com.au
Vic Conversations with Grandma: Genealogical Journeys in Wangaratta https://conversationswithgrandma.wordpress.com/

Dance Skeletons: Tracing our family history to Australia, one skeleton at a time

Vic Ellis and Fisher Families http://ellisandfisherfamilies.blogspot.com.au/
Vic Exploring Family http://www.exploringfamily.com/
Vic Exploring Military History  


Vic Geelong and District: covering local and family history in the greater Barwon region http://geelonganddistrict.com/
Vic George Griffith’s NZ Gold Rush Adventure http://goldrushadventure.blogspot.com.au/
Vic Georgie’s Genealogy http://georgiesgenealogy.blogspot.com.au/
Vic I Just Love History http://justlovehistory.com/
Vic Infolass https://infolass.wordpress.com/
Vic Journeaux Jinny http://jfawcettblog.com/
Vic Lois Willis – Genealogy and Family History http://loiswillis.com/
Vic McCollier Heritage https://mccollierheritage.wordpress.com/
Vic My Ancestors’ Arrivals http://ancestorarrivals.com/blog-2/
Vic My Family Hunt http://myfamilyhunt.blogspot.com.au/
Vic Pastlinks http://pastlinks.blogspot.com.au/
Vic Patsy’s Paddocks http://www.patsyspaddocks.com/
Vic Pear Tree Cottage http://xmastree2.blogspot.com/
Vic Sandra’s Ancestral Research Journal http://ancestralresearchjournal.blogspot.com.au/
Vic Strong Foundations http://shazlex.blogspot.com.au/
Vic The Empire Called and I Answered: Soldiers of WWI from Essendon and Flemington http://empirecall.blogspot.com.au/
Vic The Resident Judge of Port Phillip https://residentjudge.wordpress.com
Vic The Scots at Springdallah http://www.scotsofaus.org.au/2014/11/30/the-scots-at-springdallah/
Vic Time travellers in Essendon, Flemington & the Keilor plains http://essendontimetravellers.blogspot.com.au/
Vic Tracking Down The Family https://jonesfamilyhistory.wordpress.com/
Vic Western District Families http://westerndistrictfamilies.com/
Vic Wirreandah Wandering http://turnerstreettopics.blogspot.com.au/
WA Finding Family : one woman’s obsession with family history https://ancestrysearch.wordpress.com/
WA Outback Family History: Western Australia goldfields http://www.outbackfamilyhistoryblog.com/


Posted in Australian Bloggers, Wangaratta | Tagged | 4 Comments

Margaret Considine (c1818-1895)

Conversations With Grandma has moved to a self hosted site. All the posts on this site have moved over and I’ve added a whole host more. Plus there are free resources about the Wangaratta area including a list of midwives, a book index and lots more. Please pop on over to: https://conversationswithgrandma.com.au/

Another post from my earlier university days. Much more research has been done since this was first penned in 1999. This post has NOT been updated with the new research.

Margaret Considine was born circa 1818 at Sixmilebridge, a townland in the civil parish of Kilfinaghta, eight miles from Limerick in County Clare, Ireland.[1] Her parents were Michael Considine and Bridget (nee McMahon).[2] Margaret arrived with her younger sister Bridget in Sydney, New South Wales on 3rd October 1836 aboard the Duchess of Northumberland.[3] On the 30th January 1838 the sisters welcomed the arrival of further family members when their brother Patrick, his wife Honora (known as Flora), (nee McInnes/McGuiness), their young son Michael and a younger sister Ellen arrived aboard the Strathfieldsaye.[4]

 Bridget and Margaret, aged sixteen and eighteen respectively came out to Australia under a female emigration scheme. Some as yet unproven family research indicates that relatives of the girls’ mother may already have resided in Goulburn, New South Wales. Shipping records for all four siblings do suggest that their mother was deceased by 1836.[5] Bridget and Margaret made their way to Goulburn, and were later joined by Ellen, while Patrick and his family made their home in Richlands, New South Wales. Bridget went on to marry Robert Humphries, a former convict, while Ellen married Christopher Cook, a former convict and later a prominent brick maker and bricklayer in the Wangaratta district. Margaret’s life, however, became a little more complicated and intriguing.[6]

On the 25th of March 1838 a baptism was performed in St. Saviours Church, Goulburn, by Reverend William Sowerby of a child named Henry. The child’s mother was given as Margaret Concidine, (sic) singlewoman of Goulburn.[7] An examination of the original record of baptism shows the child’s name pencilled in as Henry Faithfull, born to Margaret Concidine. It is also interesting that the baptism was Anglican, not Roman Catholic, the faith that Margaret followed for the rest of her life. The infant Henry was acknowledged by his father William Pitt Faithfull and was brought up as a Faithfull, enjoying the use of the name and the financial benefits that went with it.[8] At Henry’s marriage to his cousin Alice Faithfull (a daughter of William Pitt Faithfull’s brother George and Jane McKenzie), he gave the names of his parents as William Faithfull, and Margaret Considine.[9] When he died, Henry’s parents were again given as William Faithfull and Margaret Considine.[10]

ST saviours Goulburn cropped

St Saviours, Goulburn, by unknown artist c1875-1900, from the Max Wagner collection, courtesy of the State Library of Victoria. The two story houses on the left of the image give a sense of scale to the building.

Evidently Margaret was working for the Faithfulls in Goulburn when she became pregnant and she continued to work for them after Henry’s birth. On the 3rd of September 1839, Margaret married the Faithfull’s dairyman, John Moore, in St Peters and Pauls Old Cathedral at Goulburn, with her sister and brother-in-law, Ellen and Christopher Cook as witnesses.[11] She was three months pregnant and it would be logical to presume John Moore to be the father but in a further twist, evidence suggests that one of the Faithfull brothers was also the father of this child.

William Pitt Faithfull, NLA - cropped small.jpg

William Pitt Faithfull, pastel by Myra Felton, 1867, courtesy of National Library of Australia

Matilda Margaret Moore was born on the 9th of March 1840, and baptised in the Anglican faith as the child of John and Margaret Moore of Springfield. Springfield was the pioneering merino sheep station south of Goulburn established on land granted in 1828 to William Pitt Faithfull.[12] Curiously, a Matilda Faithfull began to appear as a witness at Faithfull weddings and baptisms in later years, including the marriage of Henry Faithfull, Margaret Considine’s first child. No record of any other Matilda Faithfull can be found so it seems likely that when representing the Moore side of the family Matilda used Moore as her surname and Faithfull when at Faithfull family events. An examination of these signatures supports this contention as the signatures of Matilda Faithfull and Matilda Moore are almost identical. Perhaps out of respect for the man who raised her, or for her mother, Matilda Moore seemed careful never to openly declare her father as a Faithfull, preferring instead to name John Moore as her father, including at her marriage to Frank Heach.[13]

To add further intrigue, neither Matilda nor Henry is named as a child of John or Margaret Moore on their death certificates even though both were still alive and Margaret and John’s oldest son, John jnr, registered the deaths.[14] This strongly suggests that he knew both Henry and Matilda were not children of the marriage between Margaret Considine and John Moore. Years later, in 1938 one of William Pitt Faithfull’s legitimate daughters, Constance Mary, died intestate in England. Henry and Alice Faithfull’s daughter Ada May Elliott lodged a claim against the estate and in an effort to prove Henry’s paternity an enquiry was made to the Registrar of the Bishop’s Registry, Diocese of Wangaratta. His reply amongst other matters stated in relation to Matilda Heach (nee Moore), “While I cannot state any facts about Mrs. Heach’s parentage, I can say quite definitely that I was informed by my late partner and always understood that she was an illegitimate daughter of George Faithfull..”[15]. This response suggests that the fact that John Moore was not Matilda’s biological father was known and widely accepted. This time, whichever Faithfull brother was Matilda’s father, he was not as generous towards Matilda as he was in the support of the clearly illegitimate Henry, possibly because John Moore had taken over the fathering role. If Matilda’s father was William Pitt Faithfull, less than four years after Matilda’s he had married and may have wished to play down that part of his life. George Faithfull never married and died in Wangaratta in 1855.[16]

One does wonder how John Moore got himself into this situation. Did he know of the pregnancy when he married Margaret? Did William Pitt Faithfull give him any incentives to marry Margaret? The tales that Margaret could tell of Goulburn and the exploits of the Faithfull brothers in particular can only be imagined. Margaret and John’s marriage nevertheless went on to be a long and happy one. They remained working for the Faithfulls at Goulburn where their first son, also John, was born in January 1843.[17] Sometime between July and November 1845 the couple moved to The Hollow Station at Hedi (later Edi), in Victoria, to manage the station for William Faithfull.[18] Around 1850 they moved on to Whorouly to manage a station for Dr. George Edward Mackay, J.P.[19] Later John bought a property on One Mile Creek at Wangaratta which they named Tenterfield, perhaps in some reference to the New South Wales town, although a connection there is yet to be found.

Margaret and John had five sons and two daughters together, however only one daughter survived infancy. Settling into family life, Margaret became known for “her kindness of heart and skill in the treatment of sickness”.[20] She saw all of her adult children marry except Thomas, the youngest. The girls in particular can be said to have ‘married well’. Matilda married Frank Heach, a wealthy butcher, hotelier and business entrepeneur while Harriet married Dr. Thomas Marum, although neither women had any children.[21] Two sons – John and William – married daughters of William Clark, the ‘Father of Wangaratta’, a large landowner and publican.[22]

Margaret Moore memorial card

Margaret Moore memorial card- author’s private collection

Despite her husband’s Protestant faith, Margaret kept the Roman Catholic faith. When John died in 1891 he was buried in the Church of England section of Wangaratta cemetery and Margaret erected a fitting monument. However when Margaret succumbed to the effects of influenza in 1895 she was buried in the Roman Catholic section where she remained without a headstone until the 1950s.[23] This great loss to the history of both Goulburn and Wangaratta was echoed in her obituary. “.. the district loses one of the very earliest pioneers, and one whose kind and gentle nature has brought relief and comfort to many a sad and distressed family”.[24]

Genealogy Snapshot

Name: Margaret CONSIDINE

Parents: Michael CONSIDINE and Bridget McMAHON

Spouse: John MOORE

Relationship to CWG: Great Great Great Grandmother

  1. Margaret CONSIDINE
  2. William MOORE
  3. James Edgar Gordon MOORE
  4. Alma Caroline MOORE
  5. Living
  6. CWG

[1] Birth certificate of Sarah Moore, born 20 May 1854, Number 2969, Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages, Victoria; Lewis, Topographical Dictionary of Ireland, publication details unknown.

[2] Death certificate of Bridget Humphries (nee Considine), died 13 October 1898, Number 13950, Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages, New South Wales.

[3] Dispatches to Governor Bourke, A1273 pp.435-439, Mitchell Library, Manuscript Collection.

[4] Bounty Emigrants Index, Strathfieldsaye 1838, Mitchell Library.

[5] Bounty Emigrants Index, ibid.

[6] Death certificate of Bridget Humphries, op. cit.; Marriage certificate of Ellen Considine and Christopher Cook, Vol. 23, No. 408, Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages, New South Wales.

[7] Baptismal registration of Henry Concidine/Faithfull, Vol. 22 No. 1199, Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages, New South Wales.

[8] Fred and Diana Bienvenu, Faithfulls of Omeo, Buffalo Creek Press, Myrtleford, 1997, p16.

[9] Baptismal entry certificate of Alicia Faithfull, 15th May 1841, Number 36902, registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages, Victoria; Marriage certificate of Henry Faithfull and Alice Faithfull, 19th January 1857, Number 468, Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages, New South Wales.

[10] Death certificate of Henry Faithfull, 3rd November 1896, Number 15556, Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages, Victoria.

[11] Marriage entry for John Moore and Margaret Considine, entry number 7, St Peters and Pauls Old Cathedral, Goulburn.

[12] Baptism record of Matilda Margaret Moore, 28th March 1840, Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages, New South Wales.

[13] Marriage certificate of Matilda Moore to Francis Heach, 1857, No. 2754, Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages, Victoria.

[14] Death certificate of John Moore, died 3rd August 1891, Number 12661, Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages, Victoria.

[15] Letter from F. Purbrick, Registrar, Diocese of Wangaratta, to F. F. Elliott, dated 7th March 1939, original in possession of Max Elliott.

[16] Bienvenu, loc. cit.

[17] Baptism record of John Moore jnr, born 16 January 1843, Vol. 27, No. 1330, Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages, New South Wales.

[18] Stock Returns, 1 July 1845, Oxley Plains, State Library of Victoria; Obituary of Margaret Moore, The Wangaratta Dispatch and North Eastern Advertiser, 13th July 1895, State Library of Victoria.

[19] Obituary of Margaret Moore, The Wangaratta Chronicle, 13 July 1895, State Library of Victoria.

[20] Ibid.

[21] Marriage certificate of Matilda Moore to Francis Heach, loc. cit.; Marriage certificate of Harriet Moore to Thomas Marum, 1871, Number 1806, Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages, Victoria.

[22] Marriage certificate of John Moore and Elizabeth Mary Clark, 1 February 1864, Number 333, Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages, Victoria; Marriage certificate of William Moore and Alice Rebecca Clark, 1 May 1872, Number 1259, Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages, Victoria.

[23] Obituary of Margaret Moore, The Wangaratta Chronicle, op. cit.; Wangaratta cemetery register, copy held by Australian Institute of Genealogical Studies.

[24] Obituary of Margaret Moore, The Wangaratta Dispatch and North Eastern Advertiser, op. cit.

Posted in North East Victoria, Wangaratta | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

Gordy Moore (1885-1967)

I am having a break from the blog while I concentrate on my PhD. This post comes from research I did for an Advanced Diploma in Local and Applied History that I was completing at the University of New England in 1999. My research has come a long way since then and the full story is much more interesting but for the time being this will have to suffice.

James Edgar Gordon (Gordy) Moore was born on the 11th May 1885 at Wangaratta, to William Moore and his wife Alice Rebecca (nee Clark)[1]. The youngest of nine children, he was brought into the comfortable world of parents from wealthy families. Born in the family home on Three Mile Creek, his early days were typical of country boys of the time. Entertainment was usually outdoors and often involved the ponies or horses that were such a part of Moore family life[2]. Gordy grew up with five older brothers and two surviving sisters. His closest sibling, Frederick Edward, became a jockey, while another brother, Francis Richard, followed in their father’s footsteps, becoming a horsebreaker and Clerk of the Course at Wangaratta racecourse after the death of their father.

Gordy, however, had a passion for bicycles and motorbikes. Before giving in to this passion, he tried various occupations including work with Kelly’s travelling Merry Go Round. Later he moved around Victoria with the Water Commission. This job took him to Cohuna where he is thought to have met his wife Caroline Ann Ritchie[3].

Caroline was born at Borung, just north of Wedderburn in Victoria, about 60 kilometres from Cohuna[4]. When Gordy and Caroline finally married, the circumstances had changed dramatically. They were married in Fitzroy, Caroline giving her occupation as waitress and place of residence as 39 Napier Street Footscray. Gordy gave his place of residence as Wangaratta and his occupation as cycle builder[5].

Had Gordy followed his sweetheart across Victoria? If they met in Cohuna, or Bendigo where Caroline’s family now lived, how did they come to be in Melbourne? Perhaps the answer lies somewhere in the fact that a baby boy was born to Caroline at Bendigo on the 27th June 1910, barely seven weeks after her marriage. This child was Albert (Bert) Edgar Moore[6]. No doubt Caroline had gone home for the birth of her first child.

The new family moved to Wangaratta, living in Green and then Rowan Streets. Soon after a new house was built by Gordy on the family property in Appin Street adjacent to the One Mile Creek. His son Bert recalls that it had three bedrooms, with a laundry and kitchen across the back. The kitchen had a brick floor.

Some general farming, growing wheat and millet was carried on, but Gordy’s main occupation was at his bicycle shop in Murphy Street. He rode a belt drive Triumph motor cycle to work in those early days, sometimes taking some of the kids to school on the way. [7]

Moore, James Edgar Gordon - trout fishing award 2 - small

Hobbies and recreation in those early days remained in the minds of Gordy’s children. A keen fisherman and swimmer, he was once employed to disappear under water and reappear minutes later, holding aloft an advertisement for Bob Sloan’s suits. He also enjoyed skating and shooting. Motor cycles and bicycles were however, relegated to the men folk. Family outings occurred with the aid of the piano box buggy, drawn by the legendary ‘Pete’, a large chestnut.[8]

Gordy’s family slowly grew with the addition of Richard (Dick) in 1912, Edna in 1914, Alma (Bub) Caroline in 1916, and John (Jack) in 1921[9].

Gordy expanded his interests to include membership of the local fire brigade and goat races for charity. He was in great demand for his carts that he managed to make from odds and ends that came to hand. Perhaps the most memorable of Gordy’s characteristics was his inventiveness. His son Bert recalled that in summer the kitchen was cooled by a water powered fan driven by a turbine made from two halves of a telephone bell with a small rotor inside and a fan on the outside. He is quoted as having said that there was never any rubbish at the farm in Appin Street, only material to be recycled![10]

In 1919 Gordy’s mother Alice Rebecca died at their home from influenza.[11], and the property was sold in 1920. Gordy and his family moved to Moore Street where they enjoyed the luxury of a real bathroom instead of the old bath in the kitchen. The cycle shop prospered and life went on as usual until 1933. Caroline had not been well for some time and in August she was hospitalised with pneumonia, a complication of the flu. The children went to see her in hospital. Their last of view of their mother was of her in an oxygen struggling for breath. Anitbiotics were not available then. On 24th August Caroline died.

Gordy was left with three children at home. Bert had married in 1932 and had a baby of his own on the way, and Dick had left home to seek his fortune. Edna was nineteen, Bub seventeen and the baby Jack, was only twelve. Gordy seemed to languish for a while, however the girls took over the running of the house and kept things as normal as possible. Little is known about these later years. Gordy seemed to retire quietly. Occasionally he was involved in historical events. One such event was the saga of the eventually successful attempt to pull his maternal grandfather’s punt from the bed of the Ovens River. This historic event continued over a number of years after the punt was found intact but covered in 100 years of silt and debris. Its eventual demise came about after some injudicious decisions were made about the best method of getting the massive structure up the steep banks of the river. This important part of Wangaratta’s history was thus almost lost[12].

Moore, James Edgar Gordon watching efforts to raise punt- small

Gordy lived on in quiet retirement, reflecting on his life and smoking cigarettes in home-made crab claw holders until just after his 82nd birthday.[13]

He died peacefully at the Ovens and Murray Home at Beechworth on the 2nd of June 1967 and was buried with Caroline in Wangaratta cemetery[14].

Genealogy Snapshot

Name: James Edgar Gordon (Gordy) MOORE

Parents: John MOORE and Margaret CONSIDINE

Spouse: Caroline Ann RITCHIE

Relationship to CWG: Great Great Grandfather

  1. James Edgar Gordon MOORE
  2. Alma Caroline MOORE
  3. Living
  4. CWG



[1] Birth certificate of James Edgar Gordon Moore, born 11 May 1885, No. 22182, Registry of Births, Death and Marriages, Victoria.

[2] Discussion between Albert Edgar (Bert) Moore and the author, 24th September, 1999.

[3] Albert (Bert) Edgar Moore, James Edgar Gordon Moore, manuscript, late 1980s, copy held by the author, p 1.

[4] Birth certificate of Caroline Ann Ritchie, born 16th November 1884, No. 12185, Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages, Victoria.

[5] Marriage certificate of James Edgar Gordon Moore and Caroline Ann Ritchie, married 7th May 1910, no. 4929, Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages, Victoria.

[6] Birth Extract of Albert Edgar Moore, born 27th June 1910, no. 16746, Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages, Victoria.

[7] Albert Edgar Moore, manuscript, loc. cit.

[8] Albert Edgar Moore, manuscript, loc. cit.

[9] Index to births, Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages, Victoria.

[10] Albert Edgar Moore, loc. cit. p 3.

[11] Death certificate of Alice Rebecca Moore, died 2 August 1919, no. 15278, registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages, Victoria.

[12] North Eastern Historical Society Newsletter, North Eastern Historical Society

[13] Albert Edgar Moore, loc. cit, p 2.

[14] Wangaratta cemetery register and headstone, copy of register held by Australian Institute of Genealogical Studies.


Posted in North East Victoria, Wangaratta | Tagged , , , , , , | 5 Comments

The Real Grandma

The impetus for this blog came out of many years tracing my family history and long talks and explorations of Wangaratta with family members. One of those family members was my dear Uncle Bert who had a wonderful memory and fabulous sense of humour, and a willingness to share everything he knew and had experienced. He was also a gentleman in the true meaning of word. His charm, grace and dignity were a wonder to experience and a life lesson for us all. Uncle Bert was born Albert Edgar Moore on 27th June 1910 to James Edgar Gordon Moore and Caroline Ann (nee Ritchie) at Bendigo, where his maternal grandmother Jane was living. Bert lived in Wangaratta all his life and married Agnes Elizabeth Cordy in Wangaratta in 1932 at the Church of Christ on the corner of Rowan and Baker Streets.

Bert was the big brother of my Grandma Alma, after whom this blog is named. Alma married Ivan Keith Jackel, also in the Church of Christ, on 10th August 1940. Together, Bert and Alma spent many hours discussing their family and how they lived, at first at Appin and then from around 1920 in Moore Street, and the shop that their father had in Murphy Street. Their generosity in sharing all their memories, in identifying photos and telling tales when their memories were triggered in walks or drives around the town was deeply appreciated, not to mention entertaining. Bert was a keen family historian and wrote several memoirs – of his life during his service in WWII, and of his childhood and family.

Bert Moore and Alma Jackel

Sadly, we lost Bert in October 2000, five months after his 90th birthday. And we lost my darling grandmother Alma on the 1st July 2015 at the wonderful age of 99 years and 4 months. Grandma was the last of the five children of James Edgar Gordon (Gordy) Moore, and the last of the six children of Caroline Ann Moore (nee Ritchie). It was a great privilege to have known both Bert and Alma, and to have experienced their kindness, love and compassion and I will always be indebted to them. There is so much to say about my grandmother and our talks but I will leave this post with a eulogy that I gave at her funeral.  Sweet dreams darling.

It is my great privilege and honour to be able to say a few words in tribute to my darling Grandma today.

 Alma Caroline Moore was born on the 7th February 1916 at Mrs West’s private hospital in Templeton Street, Wangaratta. She was the fourth child of Caroline Ann Ritchie and James Edgar Gordon Moore (known as Gordy). Apparently the family thought she was going to be the last child as she was nicknamed Bub, a name she retained throughout her life. Her siblings were Bert, Dick, Edna (known as Poppy), and the baby Jack, who was 7 years Grandma’s junior. Her early life was spent on the small family farm where Appin Park Primary School is, and the family moved into Moore Street around 1920. Alma was always very close to Dorrie Ritchie whom all the Moore children thought was a cousin. It was only in 1987, after over 80 years of silence that Dorrie revealed she was actually the Moore children’s older half sister. They were all absolutely delighted and said that they had always known that Dorrie was special.

Grandma reflected on her close knit family when I recorded her memories in 2001.

“Oh, we were always a very happy family together. We all got on very well with one another. I don’t ever remember squabbling about anything. I always admired my eldest brother Bert. For some reason I thought he was quite wonderful. And even up to the time he died, we still empathised with one other. We seemed to read one another’s minds. We were on the same wave length.”

It was this close knit family that assisted Grandma through the darkest days after her mother died when she was seventeen. The house had to be kept, meals had to be cooked and 10 year old Jack had to be cared for. A family meeting was held and it was decided that Grandma would give up work and become the housekeeper.

“So I stayed home after that, and tried to keep house. Not that I could ever do it as well as Mum did because she seemed to make a home. I always admired Mum, the way she’d be able to make scones. Seemed to be one of those things that we always had at home – scones. I missed her very much but you were a family. I suppose everybody missed her just as much as I did.”

Now, I could go on with Grandma’s biography for hours but I really want to turn to who she was as a person.

I believe these early family experiences along with her peaceful, gentle nature underpinned Grandma’s whole philosophy on life. Married for 36 years and widowed for over 38 years, she never complained about being lonely. When my Grandpa Ivan died suddenly in 1976 she soldiered on with the family business, not wanting to be a burden to anyone. When her siblings Edna, Bert and Jack each passed away she lamented how much she missed them and how good they were to her, but never made it about herself by speaking of loneliness.

Grandma was a very strong and stoic person with simple needs. She had no interest in the trappings of life such as clothes or jewellery. Despite describing herself as a dullard once, she could hold a mean conversation about politics, world affairs and religion. She watched the news avidly [and Question Time in Parliament!] and would do the Herald Sun crossword every day.

I have wonderful memories of holidays with Grandma in Swan Street where I was enveloped in her extended family and treated as their own. Her home was a sanctuary of warmth and compassion. Her desserts were also notable – cooked mostly in the wood fired stove. Her perfect scones I have never been able to emulate. Her passionfruit sponges, and sponges with cream and jelly on top will remain one of my favourite childhood memories and one that invokes involuntary licking of the lips. She taught me to knit and to crochet with exemplary patience. The wood fire that was the center of the home and the calm, comforting nature of the house in Swan Street evoke memories of a place where everything seemed right with the world. The old adage that home is where the heart is, was certainly true with Grandma.

Grandma had her moments and pet hates of course, but she stuck by everyone through thick and thin. She was always there for everyone, taking an active interest and asking questions about everyone’s lives. She had a very wide connection with family, probably borne out of her early years as a surrogate mother for her siblings. She was finely tuned into what was important to other people, knew how they were feeling, knew what to say, and at times knew when to shut up.

Grandma had true friendships that lasted a lifetime. When she moved to St Johns she made new friends – friends who taught her new ways to laugh and enjoy life. Most notable amongst these was her dear friend Maisie Nixon with whom she could complain about people who could not make a decent scone. Maisie is also famous for utterly corrupting Grandma by teaching her to read the form guide so they could follow the races together.

Grandma could name, and discuss with real interest the children, grandchildren and great grandchildren of all her siblings. She was interested in everyone and often expressed worry about family members. She worried about her brother Bert’s granddaughter living in the US, so far away. She worried about how her individual great grandchildren were faring. I will miss being told as a 50 something year old that she worried about me driving back to Melbourne alone and lamenting that I was driving into the setting sun – something I think she said for 30 years. I will miss her sometimes wicked sense of humour and her sweet innocence that made us all laugh. At her 99th birthday party Grandma was presented with a hand-made birthday card by Gemma, one of Judy Field’s grandchildren. As delighted as she was, she was also taken aback and declared that she thought she was only 97.

Grandma always thanked everyone, from her family members to nursing home staff, for anything they did for her. She had an amazing ability to connect with people. Her personal pleasure came in those simple things such as seeing family members. She never complained about how long it had been since she saw someone. She was merely grateful that they were there. In her home, and later at St Johns she took simple pleasure from seeing ducks on the lawn outside her room, and watching the leaves change colour in autumn – and she expressed how lucky she was to be able to see those things. She was quite content to sit with me holding her hand and just look out her window. She had an ability to live in the moment and take all that she had as a blessing.

Grandma’s heart was full of simple gratitude that exemplified her humble life. I will always be grateful for the gifts her pure and gentle love gave me.

My darling Grandma, I leave you with this:

In our hearts you will always stay, loved and remembered every day.

Thank you for the years we shared, the love you gave, and the way you cared.

Alma Caroline Jackel, copyright Jenny Coates


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“Scenes of riot and debauchery” – Dr Murphy’s letter

Sir Francis Murphy, by T. F. Chuck, 1872, courtesy State Library of Victoria

Sir Francis Murphy, by T. F. Chuck, 1872, courtesy State Library of Victoria

Dr Francis Murphy was born in Cork, Ireland, in 1809 to public servant Francis Down Murphy and Mary (née Morris). He trained in the medical profession in Cork, Trinity College, Dublin, and London qualifying  as M.R.C.S., in 1835. The next year he migrated to Sydney in where he was appointed by Governor Bourke as colonial surgeon to the Bungonia district of New South Wales in January 1837 at the age of only 27.

Murphy relinquished his medical career and became a successful farmer. He was a prominent member of the Goulburn community, acting as a magistrate on the Goulburn bench for eight years. Murphy married Agnes, daughter of Dr David Reid, in 1840 and in 1846 they followed Agnes’s brother David Reid jnr to Port Phillip where Murphy worked Reid’s Tarrawingee run until he was elected to  the Legislative Council representing the Murray district. Tarrawingee was sold in 1853 and the Murphy family moved to Collingwood. Murphy was a very influential man in the Wangaratta district in the 1840s, including being a Justice of the Peace. His connections gave him a power that few other men had. Hence, when Murphy complained about something, people in Melbourne listened.

The following is an annotated transcript of a letter written by Murphy in December 1849 to the Colonial Secretary complaining about the lawlessness and lack of police in Wangaratta. I wish Murphy had been a little more descriptive about the “scenes of riot and debauchery”!

Sir, I extremely regret, that I feel it to be my duty once again to bring under your Honours’ notice the lawless state of the township of Wangaratta, and the want of police protection in the district immediately surrounding it, and to express my conviction that sooner or later, some fatal occurrences will be the result of the present unchecked scenes of riot and debauchery which daily occur.

It is interesting to note that this was not Murphy’s first complaint about the lack of a police presence in the town.

Owing to the circumstance of this being the only township in these districts where no police are stationed, it has followed that the idle and disorderly, far and near, congregate here, and I am constantly receiving complaints from the residents of outrages committed upon them both in person and property and which I am wholly unable to take notice of, through want of the necessary means of redress.

These scenes are interesting as the discovery of gold at Beechworth was over two years away so these trouble makers weren’t fresh from the goldfields and flush with money. Most of them were probably ex-convicts from New South Wales, moving away from areas where they would be under easy surveillance, as Murphy pointed out.

Saturday afternoon at the diggings 1854 by Charles Lyall, courtesy of the State Library of Victoria

The above image, while probably sketched around Victoria’s central goldfields gives an idea of what was going on in the pubs on a good day.

The publicans have frequently stated to me their inability to prevent the hordes of drunkards, which are always to be found upon their premises and about them, and I know that they have upon several occasions been subject to great violence with serious damage to their homes and persons in their efforts to keep disorderly people away and to suppress outrage.

Sydney Hotel on the site of Clark’s Hope Inn c1860s, courtesy Museum Victoria

William Henry Clark’s Hope Inn was operating at this time, as was his Commercial Inn on Murphy Street. Thomas Bond’s Travellers’ Inn was on Sydney Rd (now Ryley St) and James Melville held the Wangaratta Hotel on the north bank of the Ovens. There may have been two other hotels in the town that I’ll post about another time.



It is but a few days back that one of the innkeepers had a narrow escape from being shot by a scoundrel who put a loaded pistol to his breast and snuffed it when it providentially missed fire. The pistol was loaded with ball and went off the second time in the hands of the innkeeper who wrested it from his antagonist. Upon this occasion I had the police sent for, from the Broken River [Benalla], some 40 miles off, but before their arrival, which always takes place after a most leisurely interval, the thing was well known, and of course the offender was out of the way. The police made, as usual, a careless and ineffectual search, returning to their quarters the following day, and thinking no more of the matter, and when their backs were about, the man I am told reappeared. And I have every reason to believe from the reports I have heard, that he will again attempt the life of the publican. The latter’s offense appears to be, that he gave some information about a robbery which there is no doubt this villain had committed a few days before, as the stolen property was found by some blacks near his hut.

I would really like to know who this poor terrified innkeeper was. I’ve found no reports of this incident in newspapers, although coverage was sparse at this time, and police gazettes revealed nothing. It seems appalling that the ‘villain’ wasn’t apprehended and that the event and victim’s name have disappeared from the record.

Yesterday I was waited upon by Mr Gemmell, a medical practitioner at Wangaratta, who informed me that his house had been attacked in his absence by some drunken fellows, who broke in his windows in the face of his wife, a lady at the time in a very delicate state of health, and he describes the place (the township), to use his own words ‘as a Hell upon earth’ where it is becoming utterly impossible for any decent person to live.

Dr Murphy didn’t take the advice of Dr Gemmell merely because he was a fellow medical practitioner and therefore respectable. The two doctors had other connections that show them to be more than mere acquaintances. They owned land in Melbourne next to each other and both had political aspirations amongst other things. Murphy’s mention of Dr Gemmell’s wife being “in a very delicate state” was a term commonly used for pregnancy. Maria Caroline Nash (nee Winnington) Gemmell was barely 21 years old at the time of these attacks, and pregnant with her first child John Gemmell junior and as Murphy reported, was alone in the house. Gemmell’s house may have been targeted as it had real glass windows which were expensive and signalled a relatively wealthy person lived there.

He says that drunken people are frequently about stark naked in the day time, and that all kinds of rioting and blasphemy exist from one weeks end to another. As Mr Gemmell is I believe, about going to Melbourne I have recommended him to wait upon your Honour and represent the state of the place of which he is a constant eye witness.

I can’t say much more about people swanning around the streets of Wangaratta in drunken stupors and stark naked except that I wish Murphy had named names!

There are now considerably upwards of two hundred person living at ‘Wangaratta’ and many houses of brick and wood are built and are in course of erection.

Dr Murphy uses ‘Wangaratta’ as the town was named only in the April of 1849, previously being known as the Ovens Crossing Place. His mention of the housing stock indicates that for the past 12 years accommodation had largely been temporary with tents and bark huts the norm. Wood and brick buildings were signs of establishment and that people were prepared to invest in the future of the town. Murphy clearly thought the town had potential if only it had adequate policing.

I would strongly, but respectfully, press these statements upon your Honour’s attention, with the view of urging your Honour to take whatever step your Honour may deem requisite in the matter and that be in your Honour’s power.

And I have the honour to be your Honour’s most obedient humble servant.

Francis Murphy JP

If you have any stories of crime and police in early Wangaratta I’d love to hear from you.

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On This Day In Wangaratta – 4th July 1875

This day marks the 140th anniversary of the death of George Moore at the tender age of 28 years. George died at the home of his parents on the One Mile Creek after a four week battle with typhoid fever. It must have been a horrible lingering end for the young man.

George Moore - part death certificateGeorge was born on the 23 November 1845 at Hedi Station (otherwise known as Oxley Plains or Edi) on the Ovens River where his father John Moore was an overseer for the brothers George and William Pitt Faithfull. His mother Margaret (nee Considine) also worked on the property.  George’s birth was quite unusual for the time as he was a twin, and both babies survived to adulthood. His (possibly identical) brother was William Moore, my great great grandfather.

The death of George was a tragedy greater than the loss of a son and brother. George had married Moyhu resident Mary Jane Armstrong less than three years before his death. The marriage took place on 25th September 1872 at the old Holy Trinity Church and was conducted by William Charles Ford. Witnesses to the union were John Moore junior (George’s eldest brother), and Harriet Marum, one of George’s sisters. Mary Jane was only 17 years old and permission for her marriage was given by her mother Sarah Ann Montgomery Staton. Sarah had been widowed when her husband John Armstrong, a mines inspector died, and had remarried when Mary Jane was around two years old.

On the 1st February 1874 Mary Jane had given birth to George Earl Moore. Now, less than 18 months later she was aged 20, and was a widow with a child to raise. The parallels between Mary Jane’s experience and that of her mother are obvious. Mary Jane continued to be part of the Moore family, with her son George Earl visiting the Moore family until well into the 1930s.

Mary Jane did marry again, to Moyhu blacksmith James Lonnie Fulton in 1879.

She continued to live at Moyhu, and had seven daughters in a row and finally another son with James. When that son William Dunsmore Fulton was only two years old James Lonnie Fulton died aged only 42. Incredibly, the cause of death was typhoid. Mary Jane was again a widow, this time with eight children, the oldest of whom was only 16. At least in these circumstances Mary Jane inherited the land at Moyhu that the family lived on. George Earl, by now aged 23, assisted his mother and remained close to her all his life.

This is an image of Mary Jane Fulton and her first child George Earl Moore taken in 1935, probably on the occasion of Mary Jane’s 80th birthday. Mary Jane passed away in 1936. George Earl married Rosalie Salmon in 1901 and raised five children in Melbourne. This image was kindly given to me by George’s son Charles Bertram Moore in 1991.

Genealogy Snapshot

Name: George MOORE

Parents: Margaret CONSIDINE and John MOORE

Spouse: Mary Jane ARMSTRONG

Relationship to CWG: 2nd Great Great Uncle

  1. William MOORE (twin brother of George)
  2. James Edgar Gordon MOORE
  3. Alma Caroline MOORE
  4. Living
  5. CWG

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The bank teller and Ned Kelly

Regular readers of this blog will know that I don’t spend a lot of time on Ned Kelly. Blogs and websites dedicated to the Kellys explore the subject in great depth and I could never, nor do I want to, go into the kind of detail found on them. The history of north eastern Victoria is so much bigger than the story of the Kelly Gang and so I have focused on things that interest me and what I can relate to my family history and my own experience.

Ned Kelly, wood engraving published by Alfred May and Alfred Martin Ebsworth, November 1878, courtesy State Library of Victoria

So, now that you’ve read that disclaimer you are probably wondering what I’m up to.

Early this year I had the opportunity to research some letters written in early 1879 in order to authenticate them. The letters were written by a bank teller named George Vernon McCracken when he was working at the Colonial Bank of Australasia in Benalla. The letters mention a whole host of interesting things, not the least of which were the Kelly Gang. The letters had been brought to the attention of Wangaratta solicitor John Suta, known for his work in the repatriation of Ned Kelly’s remains, and a self confessed “Kelly tragic”. John immediately saw the value in the letters and determined to have the letters authenticated. He enlisted Jamie Kronborg, a journalist for North Eastern Media  who wrote this article, published in January this year.

Not long after Jamie’s article I was hard at work, analysing every part of the letters and verifying their provenance. Using dozens of research questions I was able to verify the letters as genuine with a solid provenance. The story and information that came out of this research is complex and very interesting. The connections to Wangaratta come in the most unexpected form and every aspect of the letters and of it’s provenance has its own story.

Just one of the comments young McCracken makes on bank letterhead is that there was “great dissatisfaction at the movements of the police in the matter of the Kellys and people are beginning to declare against the force in general”. He makes other comments about the Kelly Gang, his home and family, and about ordinary events in the bank. The letters give an insight into the life of a young man making his way in the world and reporting back to his parents during his first job away from home.

Needless to say the writing up of this research will take quite a while. It may end up as a peer reviewed journal article as it will probably be too long for one blog post. While I’m working on getting all this down there will be questions about different aspects of the letters and the author but please hold off as all will be revealed in the final publication. I will not respond to specific questions, nor debate about the content of the letters or the author until after the publication. Comments asking about specifics or making uninformed assumptions about the letters, my research or qualifications will not be approved for publication.

While you’re waiting for the bigger story a truncated version of Jamie’s latest newspaper article on my findings can be found for free here. If you subscribe to the Wangaratta Chronicle you can see a more detailed review of the research on page 6 of the edition published on Friday 26th June 2015. This article will also be published in the Beechworth based Ovens and Murray Advertiser. After three months I believe these editions will be available for free via Press Reader.

**Postscript 3rd July 2015** Unfortunately some readers have not understood the above information regarding comments so all comments have been disabled on this post.

This post was first published on https://conversationswithgrandma.wordpress.com. If you see it anywhere else, please contact the author of this blog.

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On This Day in Wangaratta – 22nd June 1857

Bushranging has long been a part of Australia’s history and folklore. We have all heard about the big stories, but we probably don’t realise that bushranging occurred regularly in poorly policed areas and that Wangaratta was one such place, until at least the early 1860s. This sketch by S. T. Gill, composed in 1852 and courtesy of the State Library of Victoria is of bushrangers lying in wait for ‘contributions’ by passersby who were transporting their gold findings around Bendigo.

Bushrangers by S T GillBelow is an account of bushranging carried out by one Wangaratta resident and an accomplice at the One Mile bridge on 22nd June 1857. Their victims were John Currie and Robert Cousens. Even in these early days the bandits tried to add a romantic element and a touch of notoriety by giving themselves nick names. Robert Harding dubbed himself “The Trooper”, while his partner in crime John Banks had yet to determine to own personal style. Also in this article published in the Ovens & Murray Advertiser is a report that John Brown, a butcher, was burgled by John Hilton, also known as John Robinson Hall, who fancied himself as “the Marquis”.

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