Saturday, 30 April 2016

Z is for names beginning with or containing Z AtoZ challenge 2016

Z, of course,  is a difficult letter to use as a prompt.
I looked in my family tree to see how many times I had names  with a Z in the beginning or within the name and I was quite surprised to find the following:
  Zed -1
  Zoe -1
  Kezia -1
  Elizabeth - 120( and I didn't count the times it occurred as a second name)
  Eliza- 20
  Eliza Jane Hepzebah-1 ( 2 Z's-Wasn't she lucky?)

and I had one family name beginning with Z
and others containing Z
  It's been great participating  in the challenge and I've made it to the end again. Yeh!

Friday, 29 April 2016

Y is for You. AtoZ Challenge 2016

Have you written your story for your descendants? Wouldn't it have been nice to have your great grandfather's story written down for you. It would have saved you a lot of time and trouble trying to work out which "John Smith" he was and did he really steal the pig. Be kind to your descendants and write your story now.
Where were you born? Is the place still there? If so take a photo.
Where did you go to school? Do you have school photos?
What did your parents do? Did you live in different places?
What about funny family stories. These are the things that records don't give you. Help your family out.
When & where did you get married? Do you have photos of the wedding and some of the relatives that attended?
I hope I've given you enough questions for you to think about for your descendants. Perhaps you have some other information that they might like to have.
Don't delay, start today.

Thursday, 28 April 2016

X is for names beginning with X AtoZ challenge 2016

I was really scratching my head to have something to write for this one. Then I remembered I should look to see if any of the family had names beginning with X. I knew I had a Xanthin but I also found Xavier. There are only 2 X's in the whole tree.
When the organisers' said write short blogs well here is a short one.

Wednesday, 27 April 2016

W is for William Blackledge

William Blackledge is one of my great grandfather's younger brothers. He was born on August 20 1866 (1) in St Helens Lancashire. In 1881 he was apprenticed to the sheet and plate glass manufacturers Pilkington Brothers of St Helens. It is interesting to read the apprenticeship indenture papers to see the conditions of the day. He was apprenticed for 6 years and one calendar month.
As part of his conditions  he shall obey the company's reasonable commands and will not waste, neglect, embezzle or spoil their goods and he must not frequent taverns, inns or alehouses nor play cards, dice or any other unlawful game.(1)
His conditions  and pay rates are set out in great detail.

He'll be paid 7/0 per week for the first month  and then 8/0 per week for the first year, 10/0 per week for the second year, 12/0 per week for the third year, 14/0 per week for the fourth year16/0 per week for the fifth year and 18/0 per week for the sixth year as long as there is enough fuel for the pits. If not, then he will be suspended from work and paid two-thirds of his wages. If he is not able to work at any time then he will not be paid.
Another interesting bit is that his father must "provide good and sufficient meat, drink, lodging, and washing. And also sufficient wearing apparel and medical and surgical attendance when necessary". (1)

He continued to work at the glass works as in the 1891 census he is listed living at home with the family at  112 Peter St Eccleston St Helens and working as  a glass works warehouseman (2) and in 1901  he was married, living at 248 Dentons Green Lane St Helens with wife Elizabeth and a 2 year old daughter Doris  and listed as Manager, glass works (3)
By 1911 he is living at 23 Hard Lane St Helens and is manager of the warehouse of the sheet glass manufacturer. (4)
 Sadly he died aged 58 on January 3 1926  (1) and is buried in the St Helens Cemetery.

(1)Contract of Service: William Blackledge with Pilkington Brothers, St Helens  20th July 1881)
(2) 1891 census of England, 112 Peter St, Eccleston, St Helens, Lancashire, folio 79, page 7 , William Blackledge; digital images, ( : accessed 24 Apr 2016); citing PRO RG 12/3021

(3) 1901 census of England, 248 Dentons Green Lane, St Helens, Lancashire, folio 50, page 22, William Blackledge; digital images, ( : accessed 24 Apr 2016); citing PRO RG 13/3519. 
(4) 1911 census of England, 23 Hard Lane, St Helens, Lancashire,  William Blackledge; digital images, ( : accessed 24 Apr 2016); citing PRO RG 14/22760

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

V is for Variations AtoZ Challenge 2016

On my trip to Boulia I took many many photos of the Variations in the Channel Country. I was amazed at the Channel country. I had never been out that way before so was eager to see it especially as they had had some summer rain after many years of drought. Here are just a few-well quite a few.

Quilpie to Windorah
Between Quilpie and Windorah

Windorah to Birdsville
Windorah to Birdsville
Windorah to Birdsville
Windorah to Birdsville
Birdsville to Bedourie

Birdsville to Bedourie
Bedourie to Boulia

Bedourie to Boulia

Bedourie to Boulia

Bedourie to Boulia

Bedourie to Boulia
Now you can see why I had to take so many. It really varied quite a bit.

Monday, 25 April 2016

U is for Up the creek

In Aussie speech "up the creek without a paddle" means you have no hope of doing whatever you planned. (1)
For me up the creek means going to the creek for a swim and a picnic. Our favourite spot as  children was the Washpool at Sandy Creek just west of Warwick. Even grandfather Armitstead was a frequent visitor but he also visited Iron Pot at Sandy Creek nearby.
Betty, Harley, Jack & Rene Armitstead at Iron Pot

 Harley, Betty & Jack Armitstead at Iron Pot

Walking up the creek

At the Washpool 1953
Both these spots are now covered by water from the Leslie Dam but the Washpool name is still used as there is now a Washpool recreation area.

Washpool Recreation Area 2016

(1) See for a better description

Saturday, 23 April 2016

T is for Throupe sisters

Mary Ann Throup was my great,  great grandmother and she left her home in Yorkshire after she married John Holmes. However this post is not about her. I was given a photo of her sisters. Trying to work out who's who is great fun. The 3 sisters on the right are married as  you can make out their wedding rings under magnification. One sister Jane Ann did not marry so I think she is on the left. Mary Ann had  6 sisters but one, Elizabeth died in 1856 so the ones that could be in the photo are Hannah, Jane Ann, Margaret Caroline, Martha Selina and Maria. I suspect that these are the four younger sisters of Mary Ann- from Left to right. Jane Ann, Margaret Caroline, Maria  and  Martha Selina. The labels with the photo are not mine but I concur with the bottom set of names but add Maria as the one not named on the album as she looks younger than the rest and Maria was the youngest daughter. Isn't it great to have a photo of your great great grandmother's sisters even if I can't be sure which one is which.

Friday, 22 April 2016

S is for Stump AtoZ Challenge 2016

Most Australians will talk about "beyond the black stump" as being as far away as possible.
In Boulia they have to be different as they have the red stump and beyond it you will find Simpson's Desert. Travellers are warned to take supplies with them if proceeding beyond the RED STUMP.

Boulia's red stump

Thursday, 21 April 2016

R is for resolving a change of name AtoZ Challenge 2016

At last we have a resolution of a name change. Amelia  Cook Richardson ( sister to my GG Grandfather William Frank Laws) changed her name to Amelia Richardson Cooke somewhere between 1851 English census  and her younger sister's marriage in 1860.
In a previous blog  I detailed the reasons why I thought she had changed her name.
Now we have it  resolved.  I have DNA matches with a descendant of Ida Emilie Robertshaw and a descendant of Amy Hannah Cleverdon(Ida Emilie's sister). Yay!

Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Q is for Quilpie AtoZ Challenge 2016

On my recent trip to Boulia I flew via Quilpie. It is one of the little towns in Western Queensland and I mentioned it in my blog post  where I have a map. The population of the shire in 2011 was 1034
Aerial view of Quilpie

Wind sock at Quilpie airport
 All the stops we made on this trip from Brisbane to Boulia except Windorah and Charleville we had to stay on the plane as they were just stops to pick up or let down passengers or freight. Hence they are aerial shots or photos of airports.

Note the sign for the airport.

Channel Country between Quilpie and Windorah
More of the Channel Country between Quilpie and Windorah.

Tuesday, 19 April 2016

P is for please may my bill. AtoZ Challenge 2016

Please pay my bill.

 When I was looking for examples of searching techniques for showing how to use Google I searched for Joseph Platt Lofthouse. I had done this many times before but this time I came up with 4 results I had never seen.
They were from the Archives of the Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851.
I had previously found a plan of the 1851 exhibition area that surveyor Joseph Platt Lofthouse had done and been sent a photo of it by the National Library in London.

However these were letters to do with payment for work done. I wrote to the archivist there and asked about visiting the archive when I go to the UK later in the year but she very nicely offered to scan the letters for me and they arrived a few days later along with the new plan. We now had 2 plans prepared by J P Lofthouse. My husband was delighted to see his great grandfather's hand writing and new plan.
The first letter was  dated Nov 3rd 1854 and from Brompton Rd Kensington.  Mr Lofthouse asked for payment of his attached account of £91/11/-  for the work connected with the Acts of Parliament and the Commissioners for the Exhibition of 1851   which was for surveying the area for proposed roads between Kensington Gore and Old Brompton Road. 

The next letter he wrote was Aug 24th 1854 from Sandon, Stone Staffordshire. 
"Dear Sir, With thanks I beg to acknowledge the recof your letter of the 21st. I have not a stamp here but will obtain one and forward same tomorrow. I have the honour to be Dear Sir, your faithful & obedient  J P Lofthouse" My husband's comment on his great grandfather's writing. " Mine is not so bad after all"  J P Lofthouse did not have the best hand writing. A friend's comment was "well he was a surveyor and probably scrawled in the dirt and was not used to writing on paper"  I didn't think that was very nice as he did do very nice plans.

The third letter  October 23 1855 was very interesting because Mr Henry Hunt was questioning the amount to be paid and as you can imagine J P Lofthouse was not happy in the fourth letter.
He sent his letter from Milwich, Stone, Staffordshire on November 26th 1855 expressing "his surprise and annoyance" at having his account being questioned. He went on with much more explanation about his account but I'm not putting it here as it will go on for pages. Mr Hunt wrote again on Nov 30 and reiterated that he thought the bill excessive but Sir W Cubitt should be consulted as to the payment.
 Finally on Dec 6th 1855  the last letter gives the go ahead to pay Mr Lofthouse.
Mr Hunt was visited by Sir W Cubitt who wished the matter settled & thought very highly of Mr Lofthouse and gave his certificate for the payment.
It only took 12 months to pay his bill. He must have been well off or he couldn't have survived for  a year without pay.

The Great Exhibition that Prince Albert initiated had been  a financial success and it was  shifted from Hyde Park to Sydenham in South London.  The Commissioners bought land in Kensington and built the museums-Victoria and Albert Museum, Natural History Museum and  Science Museum. See
The financial success is still evident today as it is the longest running Royal Commission ever and is still giving out  fellowships. See

Monday, 18 April 2016

O is for Outback Events AtoZ Challenge 2016

While visiting Boulia I found a list of Outback Events for 2016 so I thought I would share them with you and find the links for you to explore some more.  The Outback sure puts on lots of events through the cooler months of the year. Some are more traditional like the Birdsville Races but some not so traditional like the Windorah Yabby Races.

April 30  Boulia Barn Dance
April 30-May 2  Windorah Yellowbelly Classic ( for those of us not familiar with the yellowbelly it is a freshwater fish)

May 7-8 Birdsville Campdraft, Rodeo & Bronco Branding 

June 11 Jundah Sheep Shenanigans and Rugby League Nines Birdsville ( Rugby League is one of our football games)
June 25-26 Birdsville Horse & Motorbike Gymkhana
June 25-30  Birdsville Big Red Run 
July 1-3 Bedourie Campdraft, Rodeo, Gymkhana & Bikekhana
July 4-6 Big Red Bash Music Event 
July 9 Bedourie Pig & Camel Races & Camp Oven Cook-off.
July 9-10 Windorah Bronco Branding, Gymkhana & Stockman's Challenge 
July 15-17 Boulia Camel Races

August 12-13 Rodeo & Campdraft, Windorah
August 20 Boulia Outback Drags
August 20-21 Stonehenge  Bronco Branding,Rodeo & Gymkhana
August 29 Beetoota Races  see, Boulia CWA Spring Fair
August 31 International Yabby Races Windorah  see

September 2-3 Birdsville Races
September 3-4 Jundah Golf Open Competition
September 10 Bedourie Races & Rodeo
September 24-25 "Needle Creek"-Shane Rayment Memorial Motorbike Enduro & Gymkhana Jundah

October 1 Annual Races Jundah
October 15 Boulia Pink Ribbon Night Golf
October 29 Boulia RDFS Diamonds & Dust Ball

For more information about these events and to check the dates contact the local information centres.

Stonehenge :

Saturday, 16 April 2016

N is for Nicholas Armitstead AtoZ Challenge 2016

Nicholas Armitstead, the first son of William and Agnes Mawson Armitstead  was  baptised in the Roman Catholic Church Kendal Westmorland England on January 26 1840. Sadly he died on March 19 1840. Although he did not live very long he has provided some food for thought.

This is the family tree I would like it to be. However have I got it correct? I'm sure I have more work to do to  prove this result.

Facts I have
1763 Nicholas Armitstead baptised  Inghamite Pear Tree Chapel Kendal, Westmorland, England
1785 Nicholas Armitstead married Mary Beaumont  Tatham Lancaster
1786 William Armitstead first son of Nicholas and Mary Armitstead baptised Bentham Yorkshire

1809 William Armitstead married Dorothy Conway  Kendal( William a bachelor from Lancaster)
1810 Dorothy Armitstead died a papist  Kendal
1811 William Armitstead married Eleanor Halliday( William a widower of Kendal)
1815 Willliam Armitstead died a papist,  aged 29. Hence why I want him to be the son of Nicholas & Mary.
1815 William Armitstead (son of William and Eleanor) baptised Roman Catholic Church Kendal
1837 William Armitstead married Agnes Mawson Troughton Kendal
1840 Nicholas Armitstead first son of William and Agnes Armitstead baptised Roman Catholic Church Kendal
1840 Nicholas Armitstead dies in Kendal
Did William & Agnes name their first son after the great grandfather? I hope so.
I guess I will need to get the parish registers for Bentham and Tatham to see what other evidence I can find. Much more work needed I'm sure.

Friday, 15 April 2016

M is for Murals at Boulia AtoZ Challenge 2016

Couldn't resist having more photos from Boulia. It  has many murals painted by the locals. As you come into town from the airport the first ones you see are the water tanks.
Then around town there are the ones at the State School

the ones in the playground
and, of course, the rubbish bins