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Book Chat: Non-Fiction

The following books are part of a package of non-fiction books I bought without knowing the titles, earlier this year. There were 100 books in the package, 50 fiction and 50 non-fiction, most of which I’d never heard of previously. The following two books, both unusual titles, looked quite interesting to me, but I wasn’t expecting much from them. I was pleasantly surprised.

The Transatlantic Marriage Bureau; Husband Huinting in the Gilded Age:
How American HeiressesConquered The Artistocracy
by Julie Ferry

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In 1895, nine American heiresses travelled across the Atlantic to find titled husbands for themselves. Unofficial marriage brokers, Lady Minnie Padget and the Duchess of Manchester, Consuelo Yzanga, helped with the matches. 1895 was their most successful year.

English men were very happy with this arrangement, as it was a way to sustain their land, houses and all the trappings that go along with the aristocracy. These American girls came from new money, and at home were not considered to be part of the American elite. By agreeing to these arranged marriages, the girls were able to obtain the social prestige they craved.

The stories in this book are about the women, the seasons, parties, money and titles of the arranged marriages of 1891.

The experience of both parties to the marriages, provided a really good insight into the social history of the time. I had never heard of these arranged transatlantic marriages, and loved learning about them. For many, these marriages weren’t what the participants were expecting. The stories showed the priveleged lives behind the scenes, and the way American money helped to ensure the survival of the crumbling mansions of high society families. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Published March 2017 by Aurum Press Ltd. Hardcover 320 pages

London Bridge in America by Travis Elborough
The Tall Story of a Atlantic Crossing

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In 1968 the world’s largest antique went to America. But the big question is, how would a 130 year old bridge be transported 3,000 miles across the ocean. It had been purchased by a multi millionaire oil baron and chainsaw manufacturing king. The next question is why would he want it in the first place and why would he want it to go to the desert in Arizona, a long way from any water.

There are many more questions to be answered and the books answers them all beautifully. I would never have thought that a story about a bridge could be so interesting. The author tells a wonderful story of American-English relations. I found it to be very clever and a delight to read. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I never expected to finds two wonderful books such as these in my parcel of mystery books.

Published February 2013 by Jonathan Cape. Hardcover 288 pages.

Images: Goodreads

©2021 copyright. All rights reserved

Inquests and My Family History

Inquests form an important part of my family history research. Since I first started researching my family history, and realised that it was possible to access inquest files, inquests have been a special interest of mine. Inquests can be accessed through state archive centers and usually they were reported in local newspapers. Quite often the newspaper report will be an exact transcript of the inquest,but often the entire transcript of the index is reported.

As yet, the inquests in my family were all held in Victoria, so I’m quite familiar with the Public Records Office of Victoria (PROV). I love the entire process of viewing these records. When researching an ancestor, one of the first things I would always do, is check the Victorian Inquest Index. On finding my ancestor’s name there, I would then order the record, to be viewed at PROV in Melbourne. Well, that was the process up until recent years. The inquest records have now been digitised and are available online, making it possible to view them more quickly and online. A trip to PROV for me was a two hour drive and so it wasn’t possible to go just any old time. I love that I can now view these records from home.

There have been a few interesting inquests in my family history. Below, are just two examples.

Ellen BOYLE was the daughter of Patrick BOYLE, my second great grand uncle. Her life was taken by her husband in 1871, when she was aged 18, and a mother of two, including her new born baby, of only a few weeks old. The big surprise of this inquest was that after being hit in the head with an axe, no cause of death was able to be given. The postmortem was delayed, and occurred three days after her death, The resultant condition of the body at the time of the post-mortem, made it difficult to ascertain a cause of death. A very gory desciption of the state of the body was discussed in great detail at the inquest. What I really loved about this inquest was that my great grandmother, Mary CALNAN was a witness. Reading her statement, I was able to get a better knowledge of the way she spoke, and I really did feel that I could hear her voice in my head.

Joseph Henry Jones, my 2x great grandfather, for many years was my brickwall. I had tracked his life from his birth in Hobart, and to Victoria, after his marriage, and the birth of his first child, Thomas James JONES. After a few years in Victoria, and the birth of another six children, he became elusive, and I was unable to discover his death certificate. Another family researcher gave me information that Joseph’s eldest son died in a mining accident in a remote area of Victoria. As usual I chased up the inquest file, expecting only to find interesting information about the death of Thomas. To my surprise, I found that his father ,Joseph, was present when he died, and was the main witness at the inquest. Finally I had found my missing great grandfather and was able to read his words as recorded in his statement. I then knew the area where he was living and was able to find his death certificate after many many years of searching.

I’ll never forget the file that I received from a very early inquest. Immediately, it was obvious that the paperwork hadn’t ever been handled, since being filed away in the archives, at the time of the inquest. As I opened the very stiff and crackly paper, particles of brown ‘stuff’ fell out. The subject of the inquest had left a suicide note where the particles had been hidden, which, as the archivist told me, was dried blood.

The above are just a few examples of interesting information that can be found in inquests. Each of the inquests that I have seen for my family, have interesting and unexpected information. Viewing the inquest files of family members who died suddenly, or in institutions, can give a better understanding of our ancestors and the lives that they lived. I believe they can help us better understand our ancestors. Many also contain statements from family members and friends.

Over the past couple of years, I’ve been occasionally publishing posts about the inquests in my family. There are still more to go but below are the links to those published so far.

Alexander McQueen

Ellen Chute Part 1 and Part 2

Baby Jones

Joseph Lowe Jones

Thomas James Jones

The Murder of Ellen Chute

William Stroud Dale

Thomas Love

©2021 copyright. All rights reserved

Thomas Waters and Ann Izzard – My 3x Great Grandparents

This is the first of a series of posts about the Waters family.

Thomas WATERS was born in about 1793 in Eyeworth, Bedfordshire, the fourth child of Thomas WATERS and Mary MASTERS. On 14 September 1824, Thomas married Ann IZZARD, at Dunton Bedfordshire. Ann is the fifth child of Samuel Izzard and Charlotte THURLEY.

Thomas and Anne had nine children, five boys and four girls:

William born 1824

Edith born 1825

Elizabeth born 1828

Thomas born 1829 (My 2nd Great Grandfather)

David born 1833

John born 1835

George born 1838

Mary born 1840

Annie born 1843

Deposition 1830

About three weeks ago, Thomas Randall sold me eight ducks, and said he had them for sale after some bargaining. I gave him five shillings for them. These ducks which are here, are the same I bought off the prisoner, Thomas Randall.
(signed, Thomas Waters)

Newton Bury Farm

I’m not exactly sure when Thomas purchased Newton Bury Farm. It’s possible that he was there in 1830, when he made the above deposition about receiving stolen ducks. However, it can be confirmed that he was farming there in 1838. A survey of the Farms and Land taken in the Parish of Dunton, Bedfordshire, shows that “on 09 June 1838, Thomas Waters was the holder of 173 acres, 0 roods and 38 perches of land.” Of the 24 landholders in the Parish of Dunton, Newtonbury Farm was the 7th largest, the Parish consisting of 2548 acres, 2 roods and 8 perches.

The Newton Bury moated site is a Scheduled Monument in Dunton, Central Bedfordshire, England, scheduled under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979. The moated site at Newton Bury Farm is a well-preserved example of a small, double- island type which retains evidence of the water management system. Despite alterations to the monument, particularly the infilling of sections of the ditches and the later use of the moated enclosures as a farm, the major part of the site has survived with minimal disturbance. Environmental evidence will be preserved in the silts within the ditches, and the islands will contain evidence of the original buildings. The monument lies in an area where moated sites are particularly numerous, enabling chronological and social variations to be explored.

Poster advertising Newton Bury Farm for sale in 1909

Newton Farm is situated 1 kilometre north west of the village of Dunton. I have written a post previously about Newton Bury Farm. To read more about Newton Bury Farm, check out my previously written post.

1841 census

Census held on 06 June 1841. Newton, Parish of Dunton, Bedfordshire.
In this census ‘Waters’ has been written as ‘WARDEN’ I have recorded the names as ‘WATERS’. The image is poor quality, with some words being almost unreadable.

Thomas WATERS, 45, farmer, born Dunton, Bedfordshire
Anne WATERS, 35, born Dunton, Bedfordshire
William WATERS, 15, born Dunton, Bedfordshire
Edith WATERS, 15, born Dunton, Bedfordshire
Eliza WATERS 13, born Dunton, Bedfordshire
Thomas WATERS, 11, born Dunton, Bedfordshire
David WATERS, 8, born Dunton, Bedfordshire
John WATERS, 5, born Dunton, Bedfordshire
George WATERS, 3,born Dunton, Bedfordshire
Mary WATERS, 1, born Dunton, Bedfordshire
Jan RULE, 15, female servant, born Dunton, Bedfordshire
William ? , male servant, born Dunton, Bedfordshire

1851 Census

Census held on the night of 30 March 1851. Newton, Parish of Dunton, Bedfordshire

Thomas WATERS, 57, marrried, head, farmer of 170 acres, employing 12 labourers, born Eyeworth
Ann WATERS, 45, married, wife, born Cambridgeshire
John WATERS, 15, unmarried, son,born Dunton
George WATERS, 12, son, born Dunton
Ann WATERS, 6, daughter, born Dunton
Ann IZARD, 39, widow, house servant, born Wrestlingworth
Jacob CRAFT, 60, unmarried, labourer, born Dunton
Noah JEVES, 20, unmarried, shepherd, born Dunton
John PEPPER, 14, unmarried, farmer’s son, born Dunton

1861 Census

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is bdfrg9_992_997-0738.jpg

Census held on the night of 7 April 1861. Newton, Parish of Dunton, Bedfordshire.

Thomas WATERS, aged 68, widower, farmer of 175 acres, employing 6 men and 2 boys, born eyeworth
Edith WATERS, aged 35, widow, daughter, born at Dunton
George WATERS, aged 23, unmarried, son, born Dunton
Annie WATERS, aged 17, unmarried, daughter, born Dunton
David WATERS, aged 28, married, son, born Dunton
Sarah WATERS, aged 29, married, daughter-in-law, born Biggleswade
William WATERS, aged 10, grandson, scholar.
David WATERS, aged 3, grandson, scholar, born Gamlingay
Thomas W. Burton, aged 13, grandson, scholar, born Biggleswade
Anne ISARD, aged 49, widow, dairymaid, born Wrestlingworth
David PEPPER, aged 32, unmarried, carter, born Dunton
Thomas TOLL, aged 16, unmarried, shepherd, born Dunton


Ann WATERS (IZZARD) died on 16 October 1851 at Dunton, Bedfordshire at age 46. Her cause of death was cystitis and muco enteritis. The informant of death was Eliza Pepper, female servant at Newton Bury Farm.

Thomas WATERS died 01 December 1863 at Dunton, Bedfordshire. His cause of death was apoplexy. He was described as a retired farmer. The informant of death was David Waters, son, of Upper Caldecot, Northill, present at death.

Will of Thomas Waters

WILL dated 07 May 1863 proved PR 10 Mar 1864

1864 10 March, WATERS Thomas, Effects under 3000pounds.

The Will of Thomas Waters, late of Newton Bury in the Parish of Dunton in the County of Bedford, Gentleman, deceased who died 1 December 1863 at Newton Bury aforesaid was proved at the Principal Registry by the oaths of John William Ryder of Ramerwick Manor House in the Parish of Ickleford in the County of Hertford, Farmer and Waters Masters of Wrestlingworth in the said county of Bedford, Farmer, two of the Executors.

This is the last Will and Testament of me Thomas Waters of Newton Bury in the Parish of Dunton in Bedfordshire, Gentleman I direct my Executors hereinafter named to give up to my son David Waters any Note of hand or bond or other security I may hold of his at the time of my decease as security for money advanced by me to him for the purpose of the same being cancelled.  I appoint my friends John William Ryder of Wrestlingworth in Bedfordshire Farmer Robert Hunt of Biships Hull near Taunton in the County of Somerset Esquire and my son in law Waters Masters of Wrestlingworth aforesaid Farmer Trustees and Executors of this my Will.  I give and bequeath unto the said John William Ryder Robert Hunt and Waters Masters their Executors administrators and assigns all my Personal Estate and Effects of what nature of kindsoever upon trust that they the said trustees and Executors do and shall with all convenient speed after my decease sell dispose of and convert into money so much thereof as shall be in its nature saleable and collect get in and receive the residue thereof and with and out of the said monies to pay all my just debts funeral expenses and the charges of proving his my Will and the charges incident thereto and after payment upon trust to pay the following legacies viz unto my son William Waters a legacy or sum of two hundred pounds unto my son Thomas Waters a legacy or sum on One hundred pounds unto my son David Waters a legacy or sum of three hundred p;ounds unto my son George Waters a legacy of sum of four hundred pounds unto my daughter Edith the widow of the late William Burton a legacy or sum of three hundred pounds.  Unto my daughter Eliza the wife of Joseph Langton Robarts a legacy of sum of three hundred pounds.  Unto my daughter Mary the wife of Waters Masters a legacy or sum of three hundred pounds and unto my daughter Anne Waters a legacy or sum of three hundred pounds which said eight legacies I direct to be paid to the respective legatees at the end of twelve calendar months next after my decease and as to the residue of the said trust monies I direct my said trustees and executors to pay and divide the same unto and equally between and amony my said daughters Edith Burton Eliza Robarts Mary Masters and Anne Waters share and share alike and I declare that the said legacies and shares shall become vested interests in my said children immediately on my decease except as to my said daughter Anne whose legacy and share shall become vested upon her attaining the age of twenty one years and in case she shall depart this life before having attained the age of twenty one years having lawful issue then I direct that such issue shall take her legacy and share if more that one share and share alike and if  but one child then the whole to him or her and in case my said daughter Anne shall depart this life before having attained such age and without leaving lawful issue of leaving such shall not attain the age of twenty one years then I direct that her legacy and share shall be paid unto my other daughters Edith Burton Eliza Robarts and Mary Masters in equal shares and proportions as tenants in common.  I give devise and bequeath unto the said John William Ryder Robert Hunt and Waters Masters their heirs executors administrators and assigns according o the nature and quality thereof all the Estates of which I am a trustee or mortgagee and whether constructively or otherwise to be held or disposed of  accordingly and my Will and meaning further is that my said trustees and executors shall out of my said estates reimburse themselves and himself all expenses which they shall necessarily pay expend or be put unto in and about the execution of this my Will and I further declare that my said trustees and executors and each of them shall be charged and chargeable respectively for such monies only as they shall respectively actually receive notwithstanding either of them giving or signing or joining in giving or signing any receipt or receipts for the sake of conformity and that the one of them shall not be answerable for the other or others of them or for involuntary losses. 

In witness whereof I the said Thomas Waters the Testator have to this my Will contained in two sheets of paper set my seal upon the label which fasteneth the two sheets together and my hand to the first and to this second and last sheet thereof this seventh day of May one thousand eight hundred and sixty three – Thomas Waters – Signed and Declared by the said Thomas Waters, the Testator as and for his last Will and Testament in the presence of us present at the same time who at his request in his presence and in the presence of each other have hereunto subscribed our names as Witnesses thereto – W Thos Chapman Solr Biggleswade – Edmd Stanton – Clerk to Mr Chapman

Proved at London 10th March 1864 by the Oaths of John William Ryder and Waters Masters two of the Executors to whom Admon was granted.  Power reserved of making a like Grant to Robert Hunt the other Executor

CENSUS 1841: Class: HO107; Piece: 2; Book: 14; Civil Parish: Dunton; County: Bedfordshire; Enumeration District: 15b; Folio: 3; Page: 2; Line: 9; GSU roll: 241190 1841 England Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc, 2010.
CENSUS 1851: Class: HO107; Piece: 1753; Folio: 294; Page: 1; GSU roll: 87678-87680 1851 England Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2005.
CENSUS 1861: Class: RG 9; Piece: 995; Folio: 125; Page: 16; GSU roll: 542733 1861 England Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2005.
Survey of the Farms and Land in the Parish of Dunton, Bedfordshire, DDP/51/28/1
DEATH CERTIFICATE retrieved from General Register Office, England, WATERS Thomas, Registration District: Biggleswade, Sub-District: Potton, Country of Bedford DYA463218
DEATH CERTIFICATE retrieved from General Register Office, England, WATERS Ann, Registration District: Biggleswade, Sub-District: Potton, Country of Bedford DYA461485
REVELL, Graham, Family Researcher
Imperial Gazetteer of England & Wales
The Victorian History of the County of Bedford, Vol 1
Bedfordshire Archives and Records Service Ref: Z 956/26
Ordinance Survey Map List entry Number: 1010113 – historic
“A survey of the Farms and Land in the Parish of Dunton, Bedfordshire”, prepared by Catlin Johnson, Land Measurer

©2021 copyright. All rights reserved

My 3 x Great Grandfather – Census Registrar

William Morison

My 3 x great grandfather William MORISON was born in 1780 at Glenshiel, Ross-Shire, Scotland, to parents Alexander MORISON and Margaret MacLEOD. In 1817, William married Jennat MacRAE at Glenshiel. They had a large family of eleven children – eight boys and three girls, including a set of twins, a boy and a girl, who passed away shortly after their birth. Their second child Farquhar was my great great grandfather, who arrived in Australia in 1848.

William was the schoolmaster at the parochial school in Glenshiel. He was also the Registrar for the area. At census time he was the census registrar. After his death in 1860, both positions, went to his eldest son Alexander MORISON, who passed them on to his brother, James. Their sister,Jane, eventually took on the positions, which it appears she kept until her retirement.

About The Census

The census provides a snapshot of the people at a particular address on a given night. This information can be used to further your search for direct ancestors, to broaden your knowledge of the local community and to act as a bridge between the statutory registers and parish records. An official census of population has been taken every ten years since 1801 with the exception of 1941. Little information about individuals survives for 1801 to 1831. From 1841 to 1911 enumerators copied information from schedules completed by heads of households and of smaller institutions into enumeration books for each district”. –

Census Registrar

As district census registrar it was William Morison’s responsiblity to ensure that all residents of the area, completed the census. He usually wrote a comment about the area, and why there may have been changes to the population numbers. These comments are really interesting for me, as a family historian in general and as his 3 x great granddaughter. In some cases his comments allow me to get inside his head and understand his thoughts about the area.

Registrars Comments – 1841 census

On the 1841 census William’s comments were attributed to the Schoolmaster, however in subsequent census he was referred to as the Census Registrar.

Registrars Comments – 1851 Census

Remarks of Schoolmaster of other Person appointed to divide the Parish by the Sheriff or Provost
1st. That the population has increased since 1831 to the number of thirty, which may be attributed to many strangers being introduced into the Parish. In the case of shepherds, the consequence of the Parish being converted into sheep walks, so that the greatest part of the population are crowded in a state of poverty along the ? coast
2nd. To an amount of strangers happening to be lodging on the night of 6th June?
Absent at the Linlithgow Railroad …..of ….this parish at an average of 25.
William Morison
Emigrated to America since 1831. Four families consisting 25 persons.
To Australia two families of 10 persons

©2021 copyright. All rights reserved

August Family History Month Update #sentenceaday #NFHM021

August is Family History Month in Australia and New Zealand, and to celebrate, Alex from Family Tree Frog came up with a really great blogging challenge to blog each week in August. This is my 9th post for National Family History Month. Huge thanks to Alex for providing the inspiration to post more times than usual in August.

We have been in lockdown for most of August due to the latest Covid outbreak. To keep myself entertained during National Family History Month, I decided to do one thing, genealogy rated, every day. In some days those things were small, but on other days they were more time consuming.

While making a conscious effort to spend more time in genealogy, I’ve ticked a few things off my to-do list, which is a great outcome for this family history focused month.

Below is a list of all those tasks both big and small, that I concentrated on during the month. I’ve chosen to post the list in the format of a sentence for each day.

  1. Publish first blog post for National Family History Month Genealife in Lockdown: Learning and Research
  2. Plan posts for National Family History Month
  3. Transcribe indexes for Scottish Indexes Also #ANZAncestryTime discussion on Twitter
  4. Add missing source information to Legacy family history software
  5. Transcribe indexes for Scottish Indexes
  6. Sort and file archival documents for One Place Study Axedale Then And Now
  7. Publish post on One Place Study blog, Axedale Then and Now Fire at Axedale – Quarry Hill Hotel 1888
  8. Publish second blog post for National Family History Month My 2X Great Grandfather Joseph Henry Jones
  9. Research to fill in gaps for the life of my 3 X Great Grandfather (Corporal) James McEwan for a yocoming blog post.
  10. Watch National Family History Month opening, presented by Shauna Hicks. Also, #ANZAncestryTime discussion on Twitter
  11. Publish third blog post for National Family History Month Book Chat: Non Fiction – On Radji Beach by Ian W. Shaw Also publish post for One Place Study Axedale Then and Now Axedale Burial: Catherine McGrath 1921 and Mary McGrath 1895
  12. Transcribe indexes for Scottish Indexes
  13. Publish fourth blog post for National Family History Month Grandma’s Disease by Virginia Day McDonald
  14. Sort and file archival documents for One Place Study Axedale Then And Now
  15. Add links from family stories on blog to Legacy family Tree software
  16. Legacy Webinar: Three Letters From Sarah -A Case Study
  17. Publish fifth blog post for National Family History Month Corporal James McEwan – My 3 X Great Grandfather
    Also #ANZAncestryTime on Twitter
  18. Transcribe indexes for Scottish Indexes
  19. Publish sixth post for National Family History Month Historical Book of the Month – August
  20. Publish blog post for One Place Study Axedale Then and Now, Axedale Colonial Country Fair 1994
  21. Sort and file archival documents for One Place Study Axedale Then And Now
  22. Watch SAG Webinar: Introduction to WikiTree – Veronica Williams
  23. Publish seventh blog post for National Family History Month My Great Grandfather Ernest Welfare Waters
  24. #ANZAncestryTime on Twitter.
  25. Plan and draft blog posts for September
  26. Watch Legacy Webinar: The New Family Tree and Relationship Diagram
  27. Catch up on reading missed blog posts of other Family History Month bloggers
  28. Transcribe indexes for Scottish Indexes
  29. Publish eighth blog post for National Family History Month Kiva Micro Loans
  30. Family Search Geneopardy Quiz
  31. Post this final blog post for National Family History Month

©2021 copyright. All rights reserved

Kiva Micro Loans

August is Family History Month in Australia and New Zealand, and to celebrate, Alex from Family Tree Frog has come up with a really great blogging challenge. The Challenge is to blog each week in August. This is my 8th post for National Family History Month.

Part 1: The story behind Kiva's brand refresh | by Kiva | Medium

Kiva is a non profit organisation that works with microfinance institutions, to enable people, without access to banks, to expand their businesses, educate their children and provide a better future for themselves and their families.

A lender, of which I am proudly one, chooses a borrower to support with a loan of $25. Other lenders, combine to add the same amount until the required total is reached. All being well, the borrower quickly starts to pay back the amount in small instalments, to all lenders until the loan has been paid out.

When a lender’s $25 is paid back, they can choose to withdraw it, or to re-loan it to another borrower. Money that has been loaned and re-loaned over and over does more good than a one time donation.

My Involvement

I am extremely passionate about this cause and have re-loaned my original $25 many times over. I get to choose who receives it, male or female, the sector that they are employed in and their country. Kiva loans are my preferred way of giving.

I first heard about Kiva in 2011, when Judy Webster, a genealogist friend tweeted about it. I immediately made a donation, as it seemed like a great way of making a difference, without having to invest a large amount of money.

Very quickly Genealogists for Families, of which I’m a member, was set up and registered as a team on the Kiva site. There were just a handful of genealogists in the team at the beginning, but we now have 375 members from many countries. It is not necessary to be a genealogist to join our team. The team is made up of genealogists and their friends and families. Our original donations have now funded 15,501 loans for a total of $414,075 donated, as each member has loaned and re-loaned their original $25.

So far, my original donation has now become a total of $875.00, loaned to borrowers from 19 countries. This figure shocks me every time I see it. No matter how much I supported a cause, I wouldn’t be able to make a donation of $875.00. Microloans make it possible to make a huge difference without a huge financial outlay.

I love choosing my borrowers, deciding on a borrower from a particular sector and country. Kiva provides a brief bio of a borrower and how they intend to use the money. Some examples are to buy flour to bake bread for their street stall, or to buy equipment for their tiny business. I tend to loan to women mostly, as I think, in some of these countries, they could be facing big battles to have successful businesses, and provide income for their families.

The sectors I have loaned to over the years, are food, agriculture, retail, clothing, education, health and wholesale. The locations are Kenya, Philippines, Peru, Armenia, Bolivia, El Salvador, Tajikistan, Vietnam, Rawanda, Uganda.

The risk with these micro loans is that it is possible that a borrower could default. I decided the risk was worth taking, as it was such a small amount. As yet, I have had just one borrower default on a loan. The default amount was only for the final payment of $2.42, so I wasn’t at all concerned.

Kiva quote the repayment rate as 96%. 100% of the money donated goes to the borrower. A total amount of $1.6 billion dollars has been loaned by 1.9 million lenders in 77 countries. To me this is proof that small loans can definitely make a huge difference.

My Latest Loan

Borrower image

My latest loan, made just a few days ago, was to Susan from Eldoret, Rift Valley, Kenya who is raising money to buy cereals, to add to her business of dairy and crop farming. Susan is a mother of three children, and has been a farmer for more than a decade.

If you would like to loan to Susan click here

To join our Genealogists For Families team click here

©2021 copyright. All rights reserved

My Great Grandfather Ernest Welfare Waters

August is Family History Month in Australia and New Zealand, and to celebrate, Alex from Family Tree Frog has come up with a really great blogging challenge. The Challenge is to blog each week in August. This is my 7th post for National Family History Month.

Ernest Welfare Waters

Ernest WATERS was born in 1878, at Rochester, Victoria, Australia. His parents were Thomas WATERS and Elizabeth COX, who came to Australia from England, and married in South Australia. He was the second youngest of twelve children. Just two of his siblings died soon after birth, the others all living long lives.

I knew my great grandfather, as a child, as he lived until I was 17 years old. We called him Grandpa.  I remember as a child, thinking of him as hard and just a bit scary, but I’m not really sure why. I did think he was very, very old. He passed away when he was 93, so I suppose any child would have thought he was ancient. I remember being a little fearful of him, but not because of anything he ever did. Again, I think it was a small child’s fear of someone of such a great age.

Ernest married Bessie MACROW at Rochester, in 1899, when he was 21. Unfortunately Bessie became ill and died a little less that two years later, in January 1901. Her cause of death was tuberculosis, and on reading her obituary, it would seem that she had a very long period of illness prior to her death.

On 29 January 1902, Ernest married Hilda Mary Beatrice GILMOUR at Fitzroy. They were members of the Salvation Army when they met, and this continued for their entire lives. I can well remember my grandparents wearing their Salvation Army uniforms at all times. They were both very active members and very highly respected by all at their Salvation Army corps. As a young person, most times when I came into contact with a Salvation Army elder they would want to talk to me about my great grandparents.

Ernest and Hilda went on to have eight children. It definitely was not easy raising a large family in the early 20th century, particularly during WW1 and WW2 and the depression. Ernest had a number of occupations. It appears that when work may have become scarce, he could always turn his hand to something else that was needed in the community. He worked in carpentry for many years and then went on to be a butcher, owning his own butchery, for most of his working life. Some of his other jobs were – Coffin making, working in a co-op and in a pottery, as a labourer.

WW1 brought sorrow, as the sad news from the front, continued to arrived. Three nephews of Ernest passed away during World War 1 – David WATERS of Rochester in 1917, age 18, and his cousins, brothers, Albert William MANCER in 1917, age 25 and Ernest Charles MANCER in 1917, age 19.

Ernest’s wife, Hilda passed away at age 81, four years prior to his death. For many years before her death, she had needed constant care, due to health issues, caused by a severe stroke.

Ernest Welfare Waters passed away at age 93, on 28 July1971, at the Salvation Army’s Bethesda Aged Care Centre, at Blackburn South. He was buried with his wife at the Shepparton Cemetery.


from ‘War Cry’, February 22, 1902
SALVATION BRIDES AND BRIDEGROOMS: Brother Ernest Waters and Sister Beatrice Gilmour, Fitzroy 11. (Vic).
A wedding at Fitzroy 11, is a rarity, therefore a good deal of interest was manifested in the wedding which took place at the barracks on Thursday night. Brother Waters and Sister Gilmour were the parties most nearly concerned.
The esteem in which they are held by comrades and friends of both Fitzroy 1 and 11 corps was evidenced by the number present. Major Albiston, our genial D.O. securely tied the ‘knot’.
The platform was nicely decorated, and the ceremony took place under a draped canopy, the work of the comrades. The ‘I wills’, were said distinctly and determinedly, the ring was brought forth and adjusted, and the major GODS BLESSING on the union.
The speakers for the evening were Ensign Blake, Captain Anstice, Brother Williams (best man) and Sister Considine (bridesmaid) and the bride and bridegroom, who both assured us the step was taken only after much prayer and for God’s glory.
A company of junior girls sang very prettily a song appropriate to the occasion, and each presented the bride with a bouquet. The major did not forget the main object of all our gatherings, and earnestly exhorted the unsaved to come and seek God. No one responded, but we trust eternal good has been done to some soul. CAPTAIN ANSTICE

Golden Anniversary

Golden Anniversary
To celebrate 50 years of marriage Mr and Mrs E. W. Waters, of 199 Skene street, held their golden wedding at the Salvation Army Hall on Monday night.

The hall was decorated with gladioli and hydrangea and with a large gold 50 at the back of the stage.
Mrs A. MacDougall gave a pianoforte solo; Mr Stan Chenery a cornet solo, Mr Albert Kellock and Mr Aberle piano accordian solos, and Lieut and Mrs German, a duet.
Congratulations were offered by Cr. A. Rigg, the chairman, Lieut German, Sergeant-Major Albert Wright, Mrs Bautivitch, on behalf of the Home League; Mrs Aberle, on behalf of the young people.
Little Leola MacDougall presented her godmother with a bouquet of flowers.
Baskets were also presented to Mrs Waters by Irene Livens, on behalf pf the Young People’s Corps; by her grandson, Leonard Waters, on behalf the Bernard Waters family, and by little Joy Chenery, on behalf of the Chenery family. Shepparton Corps presented the couple with a leather-bound Bible. They were also the recipients of many other lovely gifts.
Messages of congratulation were received from the Premier (Mr McDonald), State Commissioner of the Salvation Army, Mr Evan Smith; Divisional Officer, Mr Roy Darlow; Divisional Officer when Mr and Mrs Waters were living in Echuca, Mr R. Henry; Major A. Ahkow, and Sergeant-Major and Mrs Wright.
A delicious supper was served. The two-tiered golden cake was given pride of place.
Mr and Mrs Waters were married in Fitzroy Salvation Army Hall on January 29, 1902. Major Aldcrstone was the celebrant. Mrs Waters was formerly Miss Hilda Gilmore.
Mr Waters was a native of Rochester. He and his wife came to Shepparton 25 years ago. He was a butcher in High street for many years.

The couple are proud of their 15 grandchildren and five great grandchildren. They have three sons and four daughters all except one of which attended their golden wedding.

Diamond Anniversary

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is img_5137.jpg
Note: The girl behind the couch on the left is me.

Surrounded by members of their family on their diamond wedding are Mr. and Mrs. E.W. Waters of St. Georges Road. Mr. Waters holds his most prized personal possession, a cornet given to him as a youth, which he still plays. With them are (front) Ross and Leanne with Mrs. Smith and Mrs. T. Jones with baby Kristen and Lynette Smith. (Back row) Merna McDougall, Cheryl Sly, Jennifer Jones, Leona McDougall, Mrs. T. Morrisa, Mrs. A. McDougall, Chris and Ian McDougall.

*note some of the names in the above article have been spelled incorrectly in the newspaper.

Ernest’s wife, Hilda passed away at age 81, four years prior to his death. For many years before her death, she had needed constant care, due to health issues, caused by a severe stroke.

Ernest Waters & Hilda Gilmour on their Wedding Day
Ernest Waters and wife, Hilda Mary Beatrice Gilmour
on the occasion of their engagement
Ernest Welfare Waters with his son Bernard in their Salvation Army uniforms
Ernest Waters with his son, Bernard.
Ernest Welfare Waters as an older man. This is how I remember him
Ernest Waters, still wearing his Salvation Army uniform.

War Cry, Salvation Army, February 22, 1902
Golden Anniversary (1952, January 11). Shepparton Advertiser (Vic. : 1914 – 1953), p. 5. Retrieved August 25, 2021, from
Sixty Years Wed, Shepparton News, February 1962

©2021 copyright. All rights reserved

Historical Book of the Month – August #NFHM2021

August is Family History Month in Australia and New Zealand, and to celebrate, Alex from Family Tree Frog has come up with a blogging challenge that I cannot resist. The Challenge is to blog each week in August. I’ve chosen to blog weekly, about research that I’ve done recently into three of my direct ancestors. There also will be posts on other topics, between those research posts. This is book review post is my 6th post for National Family History Month.

This is the first in my new series of highlighting my favourite historical book of the month. That book could be either fiction or non-fiction. As a family history researcher, I always have a non fiction history book at hand. When I read fiction, my favourite genre is historical fiction, particularly Australian history and World War 2 history.

My book of the month for August is one that I picked up as a holiday read when we were in Queenscliff, Victoria. The Bookshop At Queenscliff is a must visit for me each time we’re there. I always leave there with an armful of books. The Exiles is one of those books, and sat on my bulging ‘too be read’ pile, until I saw that blogger, Jill aka Geniaus recommended it. I have previously read books recommended by Jill, and found we have a similar taste in books, so I immediately off the shelf to be the next read.

This post isn’t a book review, but simply an overview of this book and my rating. My star rating is not at all based on literary merit. I have no qualifications for that. I base my star rating on enjoyment. If I absolutely loved a book and couldn’t put it down, I would give it 5 stars.

The Exiles by Christina Baker Kline

The Exiles is is the story of Evangeline, who due to certain circumstances, finds herself being transported to Australia for a crime she committed. We follow her on her harrowing journey across the seas, after having spent many months in Newgate prison.

The young aboriginal girl in the story, Mathina, was based on a real person who was taken in by the new Governor of Tasmania, Sir John Franklin and his wife Lady Jane Franklin, as an experiment, to see if a native Australian could be educated and integrated into their life. I found it upsetting at times, to read about Mathina, but do realise this this was the attitude of the times.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading The Exiles, even though some of the attitudes from people in the early days of settlement in Van Diemens Land, did make me cringe. I have read a few books about Sir John Franklin and his wife, and enjoyed the appearance of this strange couple, in this novel.

The female characters were all very strong, even though they faced impossible situations in their lives, which had me crying for them at times. There were scenes that I found absolutely heartbreaking and the thought that they were based on historical fact, made me feel even more sad.

If I was to give a criticism, it would be that I wanted to read more about Mathina in the final pages. It felt to me that her story was left incomplete. For this reason, I went to the author’s website, and found a link to Mathina’s life story. The link is at the bottom of this page.

From the back cover: “Amid hardships and cruelties, new life will take root in stolen soil, friendships will define lives, and some will find their place in a new society in the land beyond the seas

I love this quote from The Exiles: “All of them fused together to give the tree its solid core. Maybe humans are like that, she thought. Maybe the moments that meant something to you and the people you’ve loved over the years are the rings. Maybe what you thought you’d lost is still there, inside of you, giving you strength.”

My only disappointment about this book, is that it fell apart as I was reading it. By the time I reached the halfway mark, all pages from the first half were unattached from the book, and in a pile next to it.

Publications details
Hardcover, 370 pages
Published August 25, 2020 by Allison and Busby Ltd, London

More information can be found about Mathina on the author’s website. It makes very interesting reading.

©2021 copyright. All rights reserved

Corporal James McEwan – My 3 X Great Grandfather

August is Family History Month in Australia and New Zealand, and to celebrate, Alex from Family Tree Frog has come up with a blogging challenge that I cannot resist. The Challenge is to blog each week in August. I’ve chosen to blog weekly, about research that I’ve done recently into three of my direct ancestors. There also will be posts done between those research posts. This is my 5th post for National Family History Month.

Corporal James McEwan

I’ve done very little research into my 3x great grandfather, and have relied on fellow researcher Marcia, for most of the information that I do know. Marcia contacted me through the blog a few years ago, and sent me the information she had found. Recently I have started to do a little more research and plan to do more in the future.

The Story So Far

James McEwen, born in Scotland, was a Corporal of the 33rd regiment in the British Army, which was known as the 33rd Foot Regiment. In 1853 this regiment became known as the Duke of Wellington Regiment. James McEwan was stationed in Jamaica when he married Susannah Jackson on 16 January 1825, at Trelawney, Cornwall, Jamaica.

Their son, Thomas James Jonathan (my 2X great grandfather) was christened at Trelawney on the same day as his parent’s marriage. Two more sons were born in Jamaica – James in 1826 and John Alexander on 10 November 1830.

The McEwan family came to Australia on the ship “Lavinia” which departed Liverpool on 10 June 1832. James McEwan’s name is recorded in the ship’s passenger list, but the rest of the family is recorded as the McEwan family.

The Lavinia was a barque carrying merchandise and passengers. The captain of the ship was Captain W.T. Gray The ship travelled via The Cape of Good Hope, arriving at Hobart on 28 November 1832 and Port Jackson on 6 December 1832.

From: The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser, Saturday 8 December, 1832, page 2

Shipping Intelligence
From Liverpool, via Hobart Town, the same day, having left the former place the 10th of June, and the latter the. 20th ult. the barque Lavinia (300 tons), Captain Gray. Lading, merchandise. Passengers, Mrs Dillon and 2 children, Mr. Crozier, Mr. J. Fagan, Mr. James Fagan, Mr. J. M’Donald, surgeon, and 72 steerage passengers, principally mechanics, with their families.

The McEwan family settled in Launceston Tasmania. Disappointingly, I haven’t been able to find the deaths of James, or his wife, Susannah. I have no real evidence at all that Susannah came to Australia, so it’s possible she may have died in Jamaica. The other idea is that perhaps she remarried after James death, causing her death to be registered under a different name.

I have searched in Tasmania for both deaths and found nothing, so I suspect James may have moved to Melbourne, to be closer to his son, who went there with his family, between 1845 and 1848. To make research of this family more difficult there are many variations to their surname – McEwan, McEwan, McQueen, McQuinn, McQuien.

Research to be done

I know very little about researching in Jamaica so have joined the Society of Australian Genealogist’s Caribbean Research Group to hopefully learn as much as I can, in order to go forward in my research into my ancestors who came to Australia from Jamaica
Finding deaths of James and Susannah would make further research very helpful
Find military records for James McEwan
Access the report of the voyage of the Lavinia at RHSV Melbourne, Entry No 131, Box 131/1
Research James and Susannah’s other sons James and John Alexander

Jamaican Family Research Library
Personal Communication from fellow family researcher, Marcia

Caribbean Marriages 1591-1905: Jamaica Easy System Batch No. 104099-9 Film 1291671
Jamaica Births and Baptisms 1752 ’96 1920: Jamaica Easy System Batch No. 104099-9 Film 1291671
Jamaica Births and Baptisms 1752 ’96 1920: Jamaica Easy System Batch No. 103863-0 Film 1291711
NSW Passengers List ’96 Assisted Immigrants Passengers 1828-1896 Film 1 Page 3
Shipping Intelligence. (1832, December 8). The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 – 1842), p. 2. Retrieved August 17, 2021, from
Shipping Intelligence. (1832, December 11). The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 – 1842), p. 2. Retrieved August 17, 2021, from

©2021 copyright. All rights reserved

Grandma’s Disease by Virginia Day McDonald

I came across the following poem, when archiving documents for the small town of Axedale, the place of my One Place Study, Axedale Then and Now The poem made me chuckle, so I thought I’d share it. I’m sure many genealogists/family historian’s will identify with this Grandma. The poem was printed in the Axedale Antics, the Axedale community newspaper in September 2000. According to the Axedale Antics the author was unknown. I googled it but couldn’t find an author.

After publishing the poem with unknown author, and promoting it on Twitter, one of my Twitter friends, Jenny Hart very quickly told me that she found the author named in the Gwinnet Historical Society Journal, September Issue, 1987. Grandma’s Disease was attributed to Virginia Day McDonald, of Macon, Georgia. Gwinnet is a suburban county of Georgia, USA.

There’s been a change in Grandma, we’ve noticed her of late
She’s always reading history, or jotting down some date
She’s tracking back the family, we’ll all have a pedigree
Oh, Grandmas got a hobby – she’s climbing the FAMILY TREE

Poor Grandpa does the cooking, and now or so he states
That worst of all he has to wash the cups and dinner plates
Grandma can’t be bothered, she’s busy as a bee
Compiling genealogy for the FAMILY TREE

She has no time to babysit, the curtains are a fright
No buttons left on Grandpa’s shirt, the flower bed’s a sight
She’s given up her club work, and the soaps on TV
The only thing she does any more, is climb the FAMILY TREE

Away she goes to the court house, and studies ancient lore
We know more about our forebears than we ever did before
The books are old and dusty, they make poor Grandma sneeze
A minor irritation, when you’re climbing FAMILY TREES

The mail is all for Grandma, it comes from near and far
Last week she got the proof she needs to join the DAR
A monumental project, all do agree
All from climbing THE FAMILY TREE

Now some folks come from Scotland, some from Galway Bay
Some were French as pastry, some German all the way
Some went west to stake their claims, some stayed there by the sea
Grandma hopes to find them all, as she climbs the FAMILY TREE

She wanders through the graveyard, in search of date and name
The rich, the poor, the in-between, all sleeping there the same
She pauses now and then to rest, fanned by a gentle breeze
That blows above the fathers, of all our family trees

There are pioneers and patriots, missed in our kith and kin
Who blazed the paths of wilderness, and fought through thick and thin
But none more staunch than Grandma, whose eyes light up with glee
Each time she finds a missing branch, for the FAMILY TREE

Their skills were wide and varied, from carpenter to cook
And one, alas, the records show, was hopelessly a crook.
Blacksmith, weaver, farmer, judge – some tutored for a fee
Once lost in time, now all recorded on the FAMILY TREE

To some it’s just a hobby, to Grandma, it’s much more,
she learns the joys and heataches of those that went before
They loved, they lost, they laughed, they wept – and now, for you and me
They live again in spirit around the FAMILY TREE

At last, she’s nearly finished, and we are each exposed
Life will be the same again, this we all supposed
Grandma will cook and sew, serve cookies with our tea.
We’ll all be fat, just as before the wretched FAMILY TREE

Sad to relate, the preacher called and visited for a spell
They talked about the gospel, and other things as well
The heathen folk, the poor and then – ’twas fate, it had to be
Somehow the conversation turned to Grandma and the FAMILY TREE

He never knew his Grandpa, his mother’s name was…….Clark?
He and Grandma talked and talked, outside it grew quite dark
We’d hoped our fears were groundless, but just like some disease
Grandma’s become an addict – she’s hooked on FAMILY TREES

Our souls are filled with sorrow, our hearts sad with dismay
Our ears could scarce believe, the words we heard our Grandma say
“It sure is a lucky thing that you have come to me”
I know exactly how it’s done. I’ll climb your FAMILY TREE


Axedale Antics, September 2000. Editors: Ann Mason and Sarah Fahy.
Gwinnett Historical Journal, September issue, 1987, page 57.

©2021 copyright. All rights reserved

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