Irish Ancestral Heritage

Past stories of my Éire families

Monday, 11 September 2017

Mystery of the Marysville Pitman's - The Missing of Olive Pitman and details of Marysville.

It is believed that the story is something as follows. Info was put together from News Reports, Family Stories and also info supplied from the Marysville Historical Society. This I suppose, could be the Pitman's real life version, of Joan Lindsay's "Picnic at Hanging Rock".

A small town nestled in some hilly territory, about 78KM's North East of Melbourne, lays the township of Marysville.

The 6th Child of Clarence & Caroline Pitman, was Olive Pitman.
The 7th and youngest child, was Gwendoline Pitman.
These Pitman's were known to Marysville during the early decades of the 1900's.

Olive managed a property called "Kooringa" and it was located about 180 Metres South of the Main road from Melbourne. It was a guest house property, offering a "Get Away" for all those city dwellers to escape the pressures of the city grind. Gwendoline lived in and managed a property called the "Log Cabin", just metres away from Kooringa.
They were only separated by a road's width, so even though they were independent of each other, they were still "a stone's throw" from each other.

Parts of the family also moved freely about, between Melbourne and Marysville over the years.
The Pitman's were the 2nd owners of the Kooringa property.
Because of the travel time to get there and the road conditions, it would have taken hours, maybe half a day to get there. I think people travelled up there for a week at a time, not just like day trips like we do today (as the below map shows).
 



GOOGLE Aerial Map of Marysville


12th July 1926


Disappearance of Olive Pitman


Sometime in the morning of 8th of July 1926, Olive walked out of the Kooringa property. No-one knew at that time, it would be her last "walk".
It's been suspected and told as a history, that she may have taken a walk to visit her Father's Grave at the local Cemetery, which is approx 1.3Km's away.
Her Father - Clarence, just passed away in March of that year. So his death was still quite raw.
When Olive did not return to Kooringa for Lunch, the alarm was raised to find her.
Olive must of been quite affected by her Father's death, to visit him on a cold July day.

What is known from that point, is that Olive never returned to Kooringa and was declared "missing".
What is unknown from that point, is where Olive ended up and what happened to her.
Search Parties went out looking for her for days on end, to no avail of finding her. After 2-3 weeks of frantic searching, with no known sighting, the search patrols realised that Olive could not have survived out in the bush for that long. She apparently wasn't dressed for cold weather, nor was it known that if she took food and drink with her.
The approx daytime temperature was around 10-12 deg. C, dipping to about 4-6 deg. C overnight.
The news reports of her disappearance, went as far as Interstate.





6th December 1929

The Age



After this lengthy rescue/search period had ended, her body was still never found or recovered and she was declared dead about a few years later (by a Court Case). But there were stories of later sightings of what was believed to be "Women's Apparel" and a Shoe in the area where Olive was thought to have ended up. And some bones were found as well, but it was never established or proven, that it was indeed the remains of Olive. Only today's world of DNA technology could prove that - if evidence still survives?

Things go through the mind what might have happened to her.
Did she slip and fall or maybe twist an ankle? Did she have a drink before going out?
A snake bite maybe - snakes are normally in hibernation mode in Winter, but some types of Australian snakes do tend to venture in the cold.
In any case, Olive had to be found, in the first 1-2 days of going missing.
In today's world, she would have been found within in that time, but back in 1926, with no phones, beacons or EPIRB's, walking and searching in dense hilly bush land, she had next to no chance, if she couldn't raise her voice to oncoming rescuer's.

It seems that since Olive was never found, Gwen took over the Kooringa property.

Bringing the story to a much later date, unfortunately, on February 7th 2009, known as "Black Saturday", a large firestorm ravaged the Marysville township, bringing it to it's knee's. The firestorm all but destroyed Kooringa and the Log Cabin, along with many other properties.

Kooringa was never rebuilt, but the land now lays bare of this majestic Guesthouse. Apart from the information sign put up by the Historical Society, the "Red Dirt", is now just a poignant reminder, of what was there.

To this day, Olive's "remains" still have not been found or formally identified.

Initial Takeover - October 1918

(3rd Oct 1918 - Table Talk)





























Local Distribution of Leaflet. circa 1929




April 2017 - Kooringa Property



Aerial Map showing the Southern side of Marysville and relation to the Town Cemetery

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by Brett Fitzgerald Monday, September 11, 2017 No comments

Sunday, 13 August 2017

Prelude to - The mysterious deaths of the Marysville Pitman's.

On discovering the Pitman's of Marysville, I was told about how 2-3 of the kids, met untimely deaths.
I learnt a lot more about this sad story online, using "Trove" and a bit of assistance from the Marysville Historical Society.

This is a prelude or back story, in understanding why things may have happened the way it did for
                                                            3 Pitman children.

Part of my research with the Pitman's, was to understand what information was out there, that could help assist, in learning about the Children & Grandchildren of Henry H Newenham & Annie Persse.
Their eldest child (and my 3rd GGM) Eliza, died in 1891 and of course, all info related to the family partially stopped and that the surviving family had moved to Adelaide at the turn of the century-which didn't help.
So in order to understand many living people around that time, who directly descended down from Henry and Annie, I had to learn about their lives, to bring out our story and how we connect, to put my thoughts back on track.
As Eliza was the eldest but a female, inheritances may not have favoured her. I know she had holdings in a Gold Fund, maybe to assist her wealth, but it seems it that it went a bit awry as it looks like she gave up the "shares" or were forfeited. Her husband - Frederick J Hasler, also had shares in a Gold Fund as well, but it didn't take off either and I think he forfeited them as well.

Since Eliza died in 1891 and knowing of the inheritances and the family history connection back to Ireland via Henry and Annie, I believe the family's inheritances were mainly split between younger siblings - Caroline and her twin brother Edward - when their Father Henry had passed away in 1895.
My interest was the mining lands or mining business prospects back in Ireland. It goes back to Caroline / Edward's Paternal Grandfather (Edward Worth Newenham 1762-1837) and centres itself in Tipperary and surrounding areas.
So many questions I wanted to know - How long did they keep the lands for? Did they sell it? Did they still mine it? How did it affect the economy of Ireland? Were they good at it or was it a failed venture? And part of my questioning, how can you run a mine successfully, whilst outside of Ireland?
Were the locals happy with the mine? What exists today? etc etc etc.....

By news reports, it looks like Caroline had some mining interests and that her Nephew - Edgar C Hasler (aka Dr K. R. Moure) also had a hand in proceedings.
For Edgar, this was his forte, his bread and butter, learning of mining and the business of it. But it was very late in his life. Now at this exact point of the story, everyone has their "hand in the pie" and learning each other's story is absolutely crucial to understanding the Marysville Pitman's and what happened next.

But by 1937, only 1 person was left standing - 2nd child and eldest Daughter of Clarence and Caroline -  Rosalind Persse Pitman (married name Stringer).
I'm in belief that Rosalind inherited a residual of her Brothers estate, when he died.
I was hoping for Rosalind to survive without any drama but just days ago, I learnt that she too, had a major drama to contend with, but in a different way. She was involved in a car accident and the person died. It was just an unfortunate accident of the "Pedestrian vs Motorcar" type. Rosalind was driving a Car and a Pedestrian stepped on to the road with out looking properly - the pedestrian also was noted to have bad vision. You can see what happened next!

I believe the Pitman lineage may only survive via Rosalind Pitman's "Stringer" family.
Newenham M Pitman had a child - Constance. She married an Edward Kelso, but unsure if they had a child.

I'm hoping that their Mining history can be found, to help explain a bit more on the family's dealing with Mining in Ireland - including with the one and only Edgar Hasler - "Dr. Moure".
Simply because the mines that the Family were involved with, were of a large size and in full production in around the early 1800's.
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by Brett Fitzgerald Sunday, August 13, 2017 No comments

Sunday, 9 July 2017

The Story of the Pitman's of  Marysville.

I was told the story of the Marysville Pitman's, many years ago.
I didn't know their story to well, so I found it hard to learn their lives and how they fitted in with my Maternal story. As I didn't fully understand the connection, I wanted to search their story and help "connect the dots".
I decided to visit Marysville a few months ago, to find out more details, on who they were.

Ironically, after learning what I did, there is so much mystique to their story, along with Family connections and stories. But, also knowing their circumstances of fate or tragedies that befell them, they still carried a lot of history with them, which also ties up with me and is the reason, why I write these blogs.

As I am just putting the list of the kids down, it shows in great detail on the true reality of tragedy.
But Clarence and Caroline kept plowing on, knowing that one of their children, would survive to Adulthood or even survive them.

Father     - Clarence died in 1926 (Buried in Marysville Cemetery)
Mother    - Caroline died in 1937 (Cremated and Scattered at Springvale "Necropolis" Crematorium)
  • Henry Newenham Pitman        - b1872-d1873 -infant
  • Carrie Rosalind Persse Pitman - b1874-d1948 -approx 74
  • Alice Burton Pitman                 - b1875-b1875 -infant
  • Clarence Edward Pitman         - b1877-b1877 - infant & buried with GM Annie Persse Newenham
  • Newenham Mueller Pitman                  - b1880-d1933 -approx 53
  • Olive Dora Blakeney Pitman    - b1885-d1926 -approx 41
  • Gwendoline De Burgh Pitman  - b1890-d1931 -approx 41

    The children share quite a few names from the Galway/Dublin Persse/Newenham ancestry
    (Persse / Burton / Edward / Blakeney / De Burgh)

Carrie, was the only child to survive both Parents. It also shows that out of the first 4 kids, she was the only one to survive infancy. Ironically, the last 3 children who survived infancy, struck tragedy later in life.

What is really interesting in the above table, is when Newenham Mueller Pitman was born in 1880, Newenham and the 2 successive children survived infancy.
It begs the question, did medical technology - intervene on the health of Melbourne's citizens?
Just shows quite the "juxtaposition" where death in infancy was quite high vs infancy survival rates after 1880. I haven't researched why this is, though the table hits right on the plausibility of better health / medical practices, after around 1880.
What is interesting, is that after Gwen, they didn't have anymore children. Even though they were older than 40, the Bank Crash of 1892 probably would have sealed the fate of no more children, as Clarence lost quite a bit of money (Over 5,000 Pounds).

It is also believed that all children died in Victoria.

I don't know much about Carrie, as she got married to Reginald Stringer (of Perth origin), but there is some details of her (or what I think is of her line), that pertain to hereditary inheritances.
Because I don't know enough of this line, it is the reason she isn't included with much details.
Part of my main aim of this blog, was to learn about the last 3 kids of Clarence and Caroline.
I am looking at the 3 untimely and very unfortunate deaths, that must of taken it's toll on Caroline and Carrie.
I don't know much about the children's early lives, other than living in Marysville.
Their earlier days would have been spent around Albert Park / St.Kilda districts and Blairgowrie.
I am certain that they would have known, their Maternal Grandfather - Henry Hood Newenham.
But it does seem that the 2 girls had to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life.

In their later part of their lives, Olive and Gwen resided in Marysville, Victoria.

Marysville, was quite an isolated part of Country Victoria back then.
Weather could have really hampered the access to the hills surrounding the town, during certain times of the year. Snow, and the bad rains, could have really made the town inaccessible for a few days at a time, before the roads were of any good standard. Summer would have been stiffling hot, in amongst the trees, bushfire's would have been as deadly to the town (as per the 2009 "Black Saturday" firestorm).

When Olive and Gwen moved to Marysville, they had a sort of a partnership, with a Guesthouse called "Kooringa" during the 1920's. Gwen lived across the road from the Kooringa Guesthouse, in the property known as the "Log Cabin".
Brother - Newenham, had business relations with a Steel company (Minerva Metals - Spencer Street) in Melbourne and lived around there, but most probably frequented Marysville from time to time, to see his Sister's.

Images of where Marysville is, in relation to Melbourne and the details of the 2 properties, with Olive & Gwen, in Marysville. The 2 properties, are around 250 metres South East, of the main road roundabout.

Travel Time to Marysville - In Today's World


February 7th 2009, known as "Black Saturday", was a major bushfire / firestorm.
It ravaged the township of Marysville and burned down, both the Pitman's residences - Kooringa nd the Log Cabin.




 3rd Oct 1918 - Table Talk Melbourne

Local Leaflet - depicting "Winter" and the snow.

















Kooringa, was Olive's residence, until she went missing (covered in the next blog)
This is a local leaflet, approx dated in 1929





The Log Cabin, was Gwen's residence.




Details of the later lives of the 3 Pitman children, will be in the next blog.

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by Brett Fitzgerald Sunday, July 09, 2017 No comments

Sunday, 28 May 2017

Learning of the "Maternal Collateral" Pitman's.    *Updated 22-03-18

The term "Collateral", is referred to a brother or sister line to that of your own, from a set of certain Grandparents.

This is a story of a colleteral line of my Maternal family - The Pitman's from Marysville, Victoria.
This family has totally captivated me. It taught me, no matter how tragic stories get, there can be endless details found that can help you understand, how historical data, interacts with your own lineage.

This part, is centered on the parents of the Marysville Pitman Family - Clarence and Caroline Pitman.

  • Clarence is the 3rd son of Jacob Pitman and Emma Hooper. Jacob was an Architect and also taught "Pitman Shorthand". Jacob and Emma, emigrated to South Australia in 1838. Clarence was also a nephew of Sir Isaac Pitman (inventor of the "Pitman Shorthand" Phonographic system).
  • Caroline is the 2nd daughter of Henry Hood Newenham and Annie Persse. Caroline's heritage is of the Persse family of Dublin and Roxborough Co. Galway and the Newenham's from Cork and Dublin, but also including the Blood families from Applevale, Co. Clare.

Their story, has historic value in connection with Marysville-Victoria, but also adds a story with a letter from George Washington in 1789. It was sent to Caroline's Paternal 2nd Great Grandfather - Sir Edward Newenham and that letter somehow landed in Melbourne/Marysville.
It also shares a tragic end, to 3 of the Pitman Children, who seem to think that there is a family curse among them.

I recently took hold of this story and wanted to find more about them, particularly why things happened the way they did.
As I am writing this, I am discovering more and more of Clarence Pitman, than I have ever heard of, which is adding to the story.
It is a tad longer than I wanted, but I am trying to show the parental side of this story and to keep within one blog. But also still trying to keep in mind, where this "family curse" thought is coming from. Is it, the Pitman's or Newenham's?

The Newenham's, as they arrived in Melbourne in 1856


Original Immigration Shipping List - 1856
Voyage took 140 days from Liverpool, aboard the ship "Sultana"

Parents : Henry and Annie are up the top. My 3rd Great Grandmother, is Eliza and is the eldest child.
This blog story centres on the 4th child down - Caroline.
It is believed that Eliza was born in France and the the rest of the kids, were born at St. Helier - Jersey Island.
*Note - disregard Henry's age, it is incorrect (born 1805). They may have had to lower it, to fit in with an Age limit of migration?



Caroline Anna Blood Newenham, was born 26th January, 1847 in Lempriere St, St. Heliers - Jersey Island. She was a twin and her Brother was Edward Persse Newenham.
I don't have an image of her, but I do have one of her twin brother Edward. There is reason to believe, that Caroline may have looked like, her 2nd cousin - Lady Gregory.
Why would I say such a thing, well, you'll just have to wait and see, I'll let the images do the talking. A key point on my theory is that, Henry and Annie were 1st cousins, that is via Henry's Mother and Annie's Father - they were siblings. Henry and Annie can trace to the same Grandfather - Col William Persse of Roxborough - Co. Galway.

The Persse face, is pretty profound and I do believe that it maybe making it's appearance down the lines. I don't have any photos of Caroline or Clarence Pitman to draw conclusion, but their daughter Gwen, supports this theory.

I don't have any info of Caroline's early story, prior to her being married or even much after. Other than following her Father's addresses etc and as far as I know, Caroline was in the St. Kilda and surrounding districts.

I can only find Caroline in a few ventures.
She published details of historic war battles, that many of her close and far relatives were involved in.
One of many details was with her Nephew - Edgar Hasler (pseudonym :  Dr Kelwylyn R. Moure), with mining lands in Ireland (1930's era) and another was with issues relating to her children, with the inheritances, that came down via Henry Newenham.
It seems later in life, she moved to Blairgowrie on the Mornington Peninsula, which I think back in those days, were holiday type places (1/2 day trip to get there from Melbourne City). And then later, moved a bit closer to Melbourne - to the suburb of Sandringham.


13th Mar 1897 - Melbourne Argus



On 30th October, 1871, Caroline Newenham married Clarence Pitman, in the Anglican Church of St. Mary's. The district written as "Hotham", is now known as North Melbourne.
The reference to Firmont, is I think is either the last place in Ireland, that Henry/Annie were from, or land that Henry owned. Henry's family held mining lands around Nenagh, Co. Tipperary, which fits this story.

1st Nov 1871 - Melbourne Argus


On Clarence's story, his father Jacob was an Architect. from near the town of Bath, England. In 1838, Jacob and his family, migrated and settled in Adelaide, South Australia, just after it had been proclaimed as a Colony (Dec 1836). They were in Adelaide for a number of years, were Jacob was not only an architect, but also a Minister of Religion (Swedenborgian Church).
Clarence was born in Adelaide c. 1848.

To put another twist of an added connection to this Pitman Family, I am pretty certain, that they knew of the Newenham name well before Clarence met Caroline.

Charles Burton Newenham, was the State Sheriff of South Australia, for more than 20 years, around the time that this Pitman Family were of Adelaide.
Charles B Newenham was a 1st cousin of Henry Hood Newenham, both their Grandparents were Sir Edward Newenham and Grace Anna Burton.

The Pitman's, then decided to pull up stumps and re-settle in Geelong, Victoria, sometime in the 1860s-1870's period. This is where we start to find Jacob's son - Clarence. I was recently advised by my relative - Michael Collins Persse (curator of the Geelong Grammar School), that Clarence also attended Geelong Grammar, as a student.

As time went on, it seems that due to the family's mantra of teaching / instructing and also interaction with the Pitman Shorthand system, we would have to assume that we "should" find Clarence, a very well educated man. And we do. Quite an accomplished fellow.
It seems that if you had a committee going, a banking trust, accountancy of the books, a business audit or even secretarial type jobs, Clarence was your man.

25th Sep 1867 - Geelong Advertiser

The earliest document that I could find so far, is that we find Clarence, in Geelong and he is part of the early formative years, of the Geelong Football Club. Here he is noted being the Secretary of the club in 1867 - 4 years before his marriage to Caroline.
This is quite the find and in my view, it is a great historical link, to one of the strongest Victorian Football Clubs around.





24th Jul 1880 -  The Telegraph
(St Kilda, Prahran and South Yarra Guardian)








25th Feb 1882 - The Argus




Here we see a movement to Grey St,
St. Kilda - Melbourne in 1880. This is where Caroline's Father (Henry H Newenham) lived in around that time.

18th Oct 1886 - Bendigo Advertiser




























As a Bank Teller, he had to face many people, who forged Cheques. This is just one of a few cases, that Clarence had to deal with.





















One of the many companies, corporations and businesses, Clarence had associated himself with. An accomplished Accountant, Secretary and Manager over many years.

 1st Aug 1890 - Table Talk Melbourne

Clarence also had continual workload, with promoting the Pitman Shorthand system over many years. It also shows, even to this day, a lot of people struggled with the learning of the Pitman Shorthand system. Clarence clarifies this point, that "laziness" is the reason you fail.
Though what comes to mind and I think the term would be "Practice, Practice, Practice" and if you didn't, you'd get ruler across the back of the head or hands (Well, I know I did in school...)

But something happened in the early 1890's in Australia. A Banking Sector Collapse.
By 1 report, that Clarence is listed in, states that how could a bank have such an amount of a loss, in the vicinity of £300,000?
This loss of money, created a huge slump in the Australian Bank's sector, allowing a lot of banks to close, thus creating a huge depression period that followed.

Clarence was involved in this "Bank Loss" and in some way, it must have taken a toll on the family.

19th Aug 1892 - Table Talk

31st Mar 1893 - Table Talk


I can only speculate, that it must of forced Clarence to keep working, as I can see no holidays of sorts or family interaction. Did this force Clarence to diversify his business interests (put more time into Pitman phonography?) He was a busy man and for many years after this, it seems he kept on working.
I cannot determine, if this was because he wanted to provide for the family, or he was really a very good business man and just wanted to "work". I don't have any info, showing family time together. Caroline was bringing up the kids, so I can only assume, with Clarence's business interests, that the children may not have seen much of their Father. Maybe in the later years only when the kids took up residence in Marysville, Victoria.
In both of the below documents, Clarence also shows, that he had to have the courage to stand up to some form of critique, of the Pitman phonography. The 3rd document from The Argus Newspaper, shows quite a stern retort to a previous contributor - "Oriel" and his views .



6th Sep 1892 - The Age

10th Dec 1892 - The Standard Port Melbourne


 

 2nd Feb 1897 - The Argus

                                                                                            

  Bendigo Advertiser  - 1st Dec 1903















It seemed also, that in the future years, Clarence was involved with a lot of traveling around the State of Victoria and Auditing Council's "financial bookworks" as what looks like to be, an appointed Government Auditor.

 18th Mar 1926 - Kilmore Free Press





And the ending of an era with Clarence. His death was reported by the Kilmore Free Press.









Clarence died in 1926 and was buried in the Marysville Cemetery.
Caroline died in 1937 and was cremated. It is not known if she was scattered and or placed into Clarence's plot, or if indeed the family kept the remains.


15th Mar 1926 - Argus

 20th Apr 1937 - The Age

Clarence's Burial Plot at the Marysville Cemetery.

** Thanks to Bill & Judith, from the Marysville Historical Society, for assisting me in this story **





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by Brett Fitzgerald Sunday, May 28, 2017 No comments

Thursday, 27 April 2017

Delay is over *phew*

A pretty difficult and very complex 8 odd months I had. Our care of my Nephew is over for now.
I had to take timeout, to refresh the mind and I suppose, "one's soul".

I am now in a better place, with a lot more stories at hand. So I'm hoping to format the stories, in the best way I can. In my time off, I had encountered both Maternal and Paternal lineaged stories.

In these few weeks,  I traveled to many places in Victoria and a tiny bit into New South Wales, looking for ancestral connections back to Ireland.

I have encountered the following stories, some of which are still discovering in the last few days.
Just like a good book, I just can't put these stories to bed. So much Irish culture, it's "oozing shamrocks out it's pores". One of the stories in the last few days, also may contradict many thoughts of mine about the Easter Rising and how it affected a collateral descendant.

  • I traveled to Marysville, Victoria and followed quite a tragic tale of 3 Maternal Cousins.
    I shared details with the Marysville Historical Society, to help them understand, what sort of family background these 3 people had. The Historical Society had details on their Paternal side, which greatly helped me out with that side of the family name. Their Maternal Grandparents were, the Irish Newenham/Persse lineage. And I believe that this ancestry was very crucial, to their lives.
    The were (sic. so to speak) struck by a plausible family curse and I had been chasing what was happening to the family.
    3 lives ended very abruptly and they had been mentally affected by certain circumstances, that I had to learn "why". Their remnants of their existence in Marysville, sadly took another turn in 2009, when one of the worst Summer Bush Fires ever seen in history, brought the small town to it's knee's and destroyed a major part of the Township - including their 2 properties (A Guesthouse and a Log Cabin).
    Even 8 odd years after the disaster, you can still see the devastation from a firestorm, that spawned from a 46-47o Celsius day. To their credit, the town was rebuilt (and still rebuilding goes on) and the historical society needs people like us, to feed back to them, stories and photographs of a past that was burned away. Part of the reason why I did what I did. The town's historical connection, to these Maternal cousins, were revived and put on display, to show where they lived and what they did.
    They were the Pitman's of Marysville. (Paternally connected to the "Pitman Shorthand" family - they were Great Nieces-Nephews of Sir Issac Pitman)
     
  • I traveled to Albury, New South Wales and met up with a 2nd Cousin, who shared details of my Paternal Great Grandmother - who shared lineage to very same Cork City Church (St. Finbarrs RC South Parish), to my Fitzgerald line in the early 1800's.
    She also shared a Northern Irish connection, that was written about, back to some plausible English Planters.
    We shared stories and went through the township, to discover and swap stories, to see if anything dug up may have eluded to bigger stories.
    Albury shared a great connection to this family connection and seemed the family had a lot of history there.
    Initially, I was discovering my distant immigrant Irish ancestors, but one of their descendants (Paternal Great Grandmother's - Brother), shared a very involving story of serving for the Australian Imperial Force during WW1 (Gallipoli).
    He was a 2nd Generation Australian, with a supposively very Irish Catholic family.
    He went to Gallipoli under the 1st Light Horse Train Brigade (a support train as such).
    He was mentally affected from shell shock and a few other illnesses (how could anyone blame him), but it's what he did after his service that changed everything that I knew of him. Being from a very catholic family, I challenged his "Irish-ness" against his "Australian-ness" - some would say Australian - but these people back then were still "British Subjects" and treated as British, even though we were Australian. Trying to understand, what was going through his mind during that time.
    He was part writer, part reciter, part poet, part politician, part founder of services for people who have returned from War (to get them motivated back into life after the war).
    And maybe, just maybe following his Maternal Great Grandfather of being a Policeman.
    I challenged my thoughts of him, from the moments just before to just after the Easter Rising. A very very critical time period for being Australian, to my research about him
    and how he carried his persona through this time.
    If you had Irish Catholic background in Australia (whether born here or not), the Easter Rising (moreso the executions after it), changed the political/religious landscape in the country. Yet- hardly anyone knows of it, how it affected the Australian way of life for many years. There was a conscription debate, to force Australians to fight under the British Empire at Gallipoli. And as you would image, why would an Irish Catholic, fight for the Empire, when the Empire executed 16 of their own people (fight for freedom over the British).
    Dr. Mannix (Archbishop of Melbourne) was absolutely pivotal to the Irish Catholic cause, after the executions and denounced these tactics of barbarism. He went radical, and pushed the voting down (campaigned for the "No" vote) to the Conscription plebiscites, to all Irish Catholics.
    Simply, he (Mannix) succeeded to compromise the Monarchial Australian Government's plan to conscript Australians, to fight with and in favour of the Empire during WW1.
    The 2 plebiscites failed because of Mannix.
    My collateral descendant connection, shows quite extraordinarily, he is with the Monarchial Australian Government, almost in a "volunteer Member of Parliament" type of way. But yet, his mind is set for this purpose, his very native Cork Irish family name and Irish Catholicism, is put to one side, for his way to help the country, under a "British Subject" kind of way.
    A proud Australian, doing what he can do best for his country, but if he had very an "Irish Catholic Core", I don't think he would have spoke the way he did - after the Rising.
    His life after the Rising, is changing or moreso, challenging everything I am learning about Irish-Australian life, during and after the Rising period.
    Either way, I'm a bit flabbergasted to find a much different story than what I was looking for. I am proud of his achievements, but totally bewildered or perplexed about his way of life. I am challenging a few things, but one thing I want to find, did he lose his "Irish-ness", being a 2nd Generational Australian?
    He was of the Sheehan family of Albury-New South Wales.

    It might take a few weeks to get the story out of my head.
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by Brett Fitzgerald Thursday, April 27, 2017 No comments

Thursday, 9 March 2017


Slight Delay to writing.



For the past 7-8 months, I have reduced my blog posts, because I am looking after my Nephew.

Long and very complicated story, but morally being family, we had to take him in to our care.
But 3 weeks later, there was a complete misunderstanding with the time of care and somehow we were forced to take care for an "indefinite" time. Unbeknownst to us.
In this time of 7-8 months, we think he may have discovered that my Nephew has ASD. This was not explained to us, when he arrived to our care. If anyone knows how demanding a child with ASD gets, you can understand, why I have been quiet for a while.
Though I have had to make a decision to end our care, because it has taken a great big toll on my household and we cannot provide the level of support that he needs. This will happen in about 1-2 weeks.

I will be on leave next week, for about 6 weeks. I have saved up some stories (I think) and I am in the middle of a few more.

I have to take a visit to Albury NSW / Wodonga VIC, and visit a cousin, who shares a link to my Paternal Hatch/Sheehan families. I'm hoping I can link a bit more of stories to this. This will be 1860's/1870's period. It has links back to the 1st Irish Immigrants - Hatch family was Northern Ireland and Sheehan's, should be from Cork, but DNA is most probably pointing me in the direction of an ancient link to Far West Cork (Skibbereen). The Sheehan link has the potential to link back to my direct Paternal lineage, back to, atleast the 12th Century. The Sheehan/Hatch family link, is from my Paternal Great Grandmother Kathleen T Sheehan.

I'm also going to try and visit Marysville, Victoria, which carries a tragic story to my Maternal Newenham line (The link is a Collateral Descendant off Henry Hood Newenham and Annie Persse).

Stay tuned.
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by Brett Fitzgerald Thursday, March 09, 2017 1 comment

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