Skip to content

Hollow – a drama #threelostchildrenofdaylesford

lost children

The world wide premiere of Hollow, a drama depicting the story of  Three Lost Children of Daylesford was performed at the Daylesford Town Hall over the past weekend.

There is no way I would have missed seeing this performance, as I was involved for a short time when research was being done, having had an interest in this tragic tale for a few years now. When I first stumbled across it, my three grandsons, brothers, were about the same age as these boys who became lost. I can’t help but think  of what it must have been like for three little boys of this age to be lost in the Wombat Forest in June when the nights are extremely cold.  Over the past few nights, temperatures have got down to -4 and -5. Can you imagine a small child being lost in the Australian bush in those low temperatures?

The play was performed by Tripwire Theatre Inc with Megan Riedl the writer/director.   The following paragraph is taken from the Director’s Note that appeared in the program for Hollow. Megan’s words convey better than I could, the angle that the play took to tell the story.

From the first time I read about the disappearance of three little boys in Daylesford in 1867, I knew this story had to be told in theatrical form.  An idea to stage a historical re-enactment of linear timeline of the events on June – September 1867 was floated to me, but it was the behind the scenes moments, which don’t make the newspaper, which interested me more.  What would the mothers be thinking while their husbands went to search every day?  What would happen to a normal neighborly friendship when one woman’s son was spared and the others were lost?  What was the real reason the boys never heeded the advice to return home, given by two neighbors that fateful Sunday?  Why did the community continue to search for weeks, knowing the cause was lost?  The lack of detail about the women – their lives, their reactions and even their first names – was striking and saddening.  I wanted to recreate this story with a shift in focus to those usually left behind from Australian history – women, children and indigenous people. 

Big congratulations have to go to Tripwire Theatre Inc and especially Megan the writer/director, for the sensitive and touching approach taken. The roles were also perfectly cast.  The despair and sadness of the two mothers really touched my heart. I found myself trying and not succeeding, to hold back the tears more than once. I did hear a few other sniffles around the theatre also.

I was surprised to feel quite emotional to see this story that I have researched for so long, being played out in front of me on the stage.

If you are interested to follow this tragic tale I have a Facebook page dedicated to the Three Lost Children.

Three Lost children

The three lost boys

Graham parents

Parents Sarah and William Graham

Burman parents

Parents Elizabeth and Benjamin Burman

Sarah Graham – Nell Jeandet
William Graham Snr – Thomas Aston
William Graham Jnr – Drusilla Dickenson-Bray
Thomas Graham – Pepper Eisner
Elizabeth Burman – Liana Skewes
Benjamin Burman – Paul Pearman
Alfred Burman – James Dawson
Missy Burman – Kira Dawson
Mrs Griffiths – Emily Wilden
Griff – Quinn Le Fevre
Councillor Bleakley – Darcy Oliver
Reverend Main – David Mark Farrington
Geo H. Jamieson / Dr McNicoll – Mark Collins
Tommy Farmer – Jacob Honeychurch
A Bush Spirit – Perri Eaton
A Traveller – David Elias

source and photos: Tripwire Theatre Inc and the official Hollow program


Researching Abroad Roadshow Ambassador #utproadshow17

Regular readers will see that there is a new badge in the sidebar of this page. I am now very happy and proud to be an Ambassador for Unlock The Past’s  Researching Abroad Roadshow 2017. 

During August the Unlock the Past team will travel across Australia and New Zealand to conduct seminars which will focus on Irish, Scottish and European research. There will be a particular focus on German research.  DNA testing will also be covered.

Presenters will be CHRIS PATON from Scotland and DIRK WEISSLEDER from Germany. The roadshow will be held in seven cities :

Brisbane       08-09 August
Auckland      11-13 August
Sydney          15-16 August
Melbourne   18-19 August
Canberra           21 August
Adelaide       23-24 August
Perth                  26 August

I will be attending the Melbourne Seminar and am looking forward to hearing these two world renown speakers sharing their information.










Three Lost Children – 150 Years On

This week, I was in Daylesford and picked up a flyer from the information centre detailing commemorative events to remember the story of the Three Lost Children of Daylesford.

This year marks 150years since the children went missing.  The major event, Hollow  presented by Tripwire Theatre Inc.  premieres at the Daylesford Town Hall on June 30.

As well as Hollow, there are a few events happening around Daylesford:

Thursday 29 2017, 2pm 
Greg Pyers: Three Lost Children Author Talk at the Daylesford Library

Friday 30 June 2017 – Sunday 2 July
Hollow – a dramatic play performed by TRIPWIRE at the Dayesford Town Hall

Saturday 01 July – Sunday 30 July 
Commemorative Exhiition at the Daylesford Museum 1.30-4.30 Saturdays and Sundays

Friday 30 June, 9am
Bushwalk following a section of the Three Lost Children Walk
Assemble at the Three Lost Children Monument on Central Springs Road, opposite
Mill Market.


Monument to the Three Lost Children at Daylesford Cemetary


Hollow – Three Lost Children of Daylesford

lost children

The days are counting down now until the story of Three Lost Children of Daylesford is told by Tripwire Theatre Inc in the play HOLLOW. The play is being performed at the historic Daylesford Town Hall from June 30 – July 02, 2017.

With my interest and blogging about this story over the past few years, it’s very exciting for me to follow the progress of the play and rehearsals. It’s only a few weeks away now, and I can’t wait to see this production which I have no doubt will be a great memorial to the 150th anniversary of the date that the children went missing in the Wombat Forest

Below are the official press photos taken by TRIPWIRE THEATRE COMPANY. I think they are amazing and really whet the appetite for what is to come in the play.

lost children graham bros

Hollow press shots

Tickets to Hollow are available at

You can  catch up on previous blog posts about this tragic story by searching in the box to the left.

Check out the Facebook page page so that you don’t miss out on any updates:   Previous blog posts can also be found there.

#Congress_ 2018 Sydney

The 15th Australasian Congress on Genealogy and Heraldry is being held in Sydney in March next year. As the event is only held every three years, I’m very excited to be attending.

I have registered and looked over the program which is huge. As yet I haven’t chosen which seminars I’d like to attend, but with multiple seminars occurring at the same time, the choice will be difficult.

Fellow geneablogger Jill aka GeniAus has been posting about 101 reasons to attend Congress 2018. Here are just a few of my reasons.

*So much learning to be done. There is always something new in Genealogy.

*Great opportunity to catch up with fellow geneabloggers and geni-mates.

*Congress is being held at the new International Convention Centre at Darling Harbour.

*The Exhibition hall is a great opportunity to catch up with societies and traders and see  what’s new in the world of genealogy.

*I’m hoping to stay in Sydney for an extra few days so that I can visit Rookwood General Cemetery and the Hyde Park Barracks

There are so many more reasons to attend Congress, but these are just a few that occur to me quickly.




April A-Z Challenge: Reflections Post

Here it is halfway through May and as yet, I haven’t published my April A-Z Challenge Reflections post. This probably reflects the way the blogging challenge went for me this year.

This is the third year that I have participated in the challenge, and the first that I found to be a really hard slog and not really enjoyable. The reason for this is that I definitely chose the wrong theme this year. In 2015, my first year, the theme I chose was people or places in my family history. In 2016 I blogged about places in Victoria, not necessarily related to my family history. This year I decided that my theme would again be people in my family history. My plan this year was to blog about the people who were more distantly related to me than those I blogged about in 2015.

One of the problems with this theme was that many of those more distantly related were lesser known to me. In many cases because of the letter of the day, I had to choose a person that I had virtually no information about. Due to the pressures of the challenge, there was no time to do any research during the month.

I really was poorly prepared, and this caused me to stress every day about my post. There were a few letters that I couldn’t post about as I had nobody in my family tree by that letter – either christian name or surname.

Another thing that went wrong was that I didn’t get to visit as many blogs as I  had intended.

But there were positives. I did find some gaps in my family history that I need to work on, so now have a ‘to-do’ list of research questions that need answering. I intend this list to be attended to over the next few weeks. I had some really lovely comments on my blog. I always appreciate comments, and am ever surprised that my blog does have readers. Of the few blogs that I did visit, most had family history themes. Some of those blogs I was aware of or already following, but there were a few blogs that were new to me, and that I really enjoyed.

I am committed to visit blogs of other challengers over the next couple of weeks.  I am particularly keen to visit blogs, other than family history or genealogy blogs. In previous years I have found that one of the joys of the challenge, was finding blogs on a huge range of topics and themes. I’m looking forward to catching up with more of these also.

So, will I be back for April A-Z in 2018? I’m really not sure. If I do join the challenge again next year, maybe it will be on my fitness blog, instead of here.

Poem – Three Lost Children of Daylesford

This poem about Three Lost Children of Daylesford  was written in 1867. The author is unknown. The poem was donated to the Daylesford Historical Society in 1979

When I first came they welcomed me- the ghosts and spirits past

I did my best to comfort them to tell their story true

They thought they’d found a spirit free to rescue them at last

But as the years crept slowly by and no one heard their wanton cries

The spirits said ‘Enough’

‘Let them believe the lies and leave the legend as it is’

The truth it hurts too much

But slowly people on this side began to ask the question why

And people of today came by; saw the hollows past the trees

In a story turned as legend grew the spirits feared the worst

‘It’s time’ they said ‘to close the door we don’t want the truth be known

The safety of the legend long will keep our secrets safe and gone’

So they all joined force together as they did so long ago

And the spirits of our bushland closed once more the door

Where once three boys were placed in a birth tree standing tall

To give them another chance to live, a chance to grow- to live again

Only a wisp of truth was left the rest was on the wind

But now the spirits turn from me- embrace a new spirit turned free

For she has turned the legend back to keep the truth again in check

The spirits of the bush cloak over sleeping boys once more

The space where once stood a mighty tree

 To wait their new rebirth.

Stepheny Forgue Houghtlin

"If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need." Cicero

Finding Family

One woman's obsession with family history.


A Tribute to my ancestors by Kerryn Taylor

Next Phase In Fitness & Life

Living a full life of fitness & fun in my senior years


Where the words go when they're not busy elsewhere.

'Genealogists for Families' project

Family History and Genealogy


Family History and Genealogy

Western District Families

Stories of Pioneering Families From the Western District of Victoria