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Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Identify your Ancestor in that Photo! Challenge - Day 3

I'm following along with Lisa Talbott Lisson's challenge to see if I can identify the people in this photo.


My previous posts are here and here, if you'd like to see what I've discovered so far - which isn't very much, I'm afraid!

Lisa's tip for Day 3 is to search Google for any matching images, just in case another researcher is perhaps on the trail of this family.  Unfortunately, I didn't get any matches.

However, closer inspection of the photo has revealed to me that the man on the left is wearing what I think is a Salvation Army uniform.

I've searched around a bit and the Salvation Army's site advises me that the organisation commenced work in the Australian colonies of South Australia, New South Wales, and Victoria between 1880 and 1882.  So the logical conclusion is that the photograph must have been taken after those years.

So that's where I'm up to now - still not close to a conclusion, but further forward than I was.

My next steps will be to:

  • contact my cousin for ANY more information I can get;
  • research whether any of Thomas' and Mary's children were members of the Salvation Army or married a member of the Salvation Army.

I wonder what Day 4 will bring?





Merry Month of May Movie Meme

Over on her blog, Pauline has challenged fellow bloggers to take part in her Merry Month of May Movie Meme, and who am I to refuse her?

She has provided a list of questions and here are my answers, which took longer to do than I thought!  Hope they are of some interest :-)

Here we go:

What’s the earliest movie you can remember:
Bedknobs and Broomsticks - a Disney movie that we went to see during school holidays at the old Theatre Royal in Mackay (Queensland).  I think I was about 10 years old at the time.  I'm sure we'd been to the movies before that, but I don't recall it.

Where did you go to the movies (place or type of venue):
Clearly, the Theatre Royal was one of the places I went to.  I remember it seemed very "posh" to me, having been originally built in 1912 and upgraded in 1936.  There was lots of plush carpet, gilt mirrors, and beautiful upholstery - but sadly it was all demolished in 1990.

Theatre Royal Mackay, 1970's
Exterior (above) and Interior (below)
Both pictures are from the archives of Mackay Regional Council and the Mackay Historical Society


We also went to the Civic Theatre in the main street of Mackay, which was also a bit getting a bit rundown - though I thought it was very sophisticated :-)  And then, there was the drive-in :-)

Did you buy movie programs:
No; I don't think they had them!

Did you take in food and drink (and what did you like):
I think we had ice-creams and I do remember rolling Jaffa's down the aisles when I was older (hehe)

Movies of your teenage years:
Jaws; Alien; Rocky; Mad Max; Saturday Night Fever; The Sting; Smoky and the Bandit; Kramer vs Kramer - so many!!

Do you remember how old you were when you went unsupervised:
I think we always went into the cinema unsupervised.  My brother, sister and I had to stay together though.  Mum would always deliver us to the cinema, and collect us from outside.

Mischief you got up to in the movies:
See above reference to Jaffa's!  That's about it, I think.  I do remember getting into BIIIIIGGGGG trouble when I went to the drive-in with a group of friends - I was about 17, I think - and a "dusk-to-dawn" showing was happening.  We were supposed to leave after the 11.00pm finish and be home by midnight, but we opted to stay for the rest of the night and I didn't get home till almost 6.00am.  This was before we even had a phone in our house, let alone mobile phones, so you can imagine the state my mother was in!

Did you watch movies at home:
Every Saturday night, we watched "Disneyland" for whatever was on.  I remember endless episodes of "Lassie"; there were movies like "The Love Bug".  And during the Christmas school holidays, there was always "Summer Holiday" with Cliff Richard, lots of westerns with John Wayne and Gary Cooper, and occasional Elvis movies too.

What was your favourite movie to watch at home:
As a child, it was probably "Sound of Music"; now it's the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy :-)

Do you prefer to watch movies at home or at the cinema:
I enjoy both.  I still love the "occasion" of going to the cinema, buying tickets and snacks, racing in for the best seats, the big screen and the big surround sound.  And I also enjoy watching movies (on DVD) at home with my family.  I don't enjoy watching movies put on by commercial TV stations because I can't stand the ads!

Does your family have a special movie memory:
We have a family tradition that, every year, we go to the cinema on Boxing Day and see whatever new movie has been released.  It's always a lot of fun and a nice relaxing way to wind down from Christmas Day :-)

Movies you fell in love to/with:
Nothing that I recall.

Favourite romantic movie theme music:
No idea!  I'm not very musically-aware, and can never identify music or songs or themes.

Favourite musical movie:
Rocky Horror Picture Show

Which movies made you want to dance/sing:
Rocky Horror Picture Show; Mamma Mia; Grease; Saturday Night Fever; Fame - to name a few.  Not that I can actually sing, but I love to scare my family with the noise I make [LOL]

Do you watch re-runs or DVDs of old movies:
Not re-runs (see above reference to annoying ads), but certainly I watch DVD's over and over again.

Do your children/family enjoy the same movies:
Yes and no.  Across the generations, we all love "Lord of the Rings", "Grease", "Sound of Music", "Priscilla, Queen of the Desert", "Love Actually".  But the younger ones are really into some of the "rom-com's" that just make me cringe.

What’s your favourite movie genre now:
Probably fantasy, and gentle comedy ala "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel" and its sequel.

Did you read the book before or after the movie:
Neither.  I read books.  If they happen to be made into a movie, then I generally don't want to see it.

Which did you enjoy more, the book or the movie:
See above.

What’s the silliest movie you’ve seen (silly funny or silly annoying):
Silly annoying: anything with Chevy Chase in it - remember those terrible 'family vacation' movies he did.  Ugh - makes me shudder just to think of them!

Pet hate in movies:
Background sound and music that overpowers the dialogue; and 3D movies - hate'em!

A movie that captures family history for you:
This might be a bit weird, but I think it's "The DaVinci Code" - the search for clues in strange places, the frantic confused search that keeps us looking for that next bit that will reveal all, and the great desire we have to be connected to our families and to our past - however strange that turns out to be.

If you could only play 5 movies for the rest of your life, what would they be:
Oh my goodness, how to choose [gasp] ... "Lord of the Rings" trilogy (which I'm totally counting as 1); "Love Actually"; "The Castle"; "Pirates of the Caribbean" (another trilogy which I'm counting as 1 hehe)  - no, there's too many to choose from.

Favourite movie stars (go ahead and list as many as you like):
Johnny Depp; George Clooney; Liam Neeson; Meryl Streep; Judi Dench; Maggie Smith; Alan Rickman; Patrick Stewart; Ian McKellen; Cate Blanchett; Emma Thompson - I'm much more partial to English and Australian actors and movies than I am to American efforts.

Well, I think that's it!  Thank you, Pauline, for the prompts.  It's reminded me of a few stories that I need to add to my "book of me" :-)


Monday, 23 May 2016

Identify Your Ancestor in that Photo! Challenge Day 2

I'm joining in Lisa Talbott Lisson's challenge to help identify the people in this photo.


You can read my first post here, explaining the little bit I know about the provenance of the photo.

The second step that Lisa suggests is to identify the type of photograph.  She lists 5 options. Since this photograph is a digital image downloaded from www.ancestry.com, all I can do is offer a "best guess"!

I do have some other photographs - not of the same people - with that similar sepia/cream colouring.  The extreme right edge of the photograph can just be seen, and it looks like it is attached to thick cream card. So I'm opting for a cabinet card.  Lisa advises that these were popular in the 1860's-1890's ... I wonder if that was also the case here in Australia?  Some further research is in order, I think :-)


Identify your Ancestor in that Photo! Challenge - Day 1

After my dismal attempt at the A-Z Blogging Challenge, and an absence from the interweb caused by moving house across 2 states, I've decided to return to my blog by joining Lisa Talbott Lisson's challenge to "identify your ancestor in that photo".

The photo that I've chosen to investigate is this one.


Whenever I log on to Ancestry, it's sitting there as a "shaky leaf" hint.  The photo was uploaded back in 2012 by a member who is my 3rd cousin (I think!)  Unfortunately, there is no source citation, so I feel a bit reluctant to accept the information without proof.

According to my 3rd cousin, the man on the right of the photo is my great-great-grandfather, Thomas William Pitts WEYMOUTH.  And the small round woman to his right is his wife, Mary Harris YOULTEN.

My 3rd cousin doesn't name any of the other people in the photograph, and I have no idea who they might be.

So, in terms of Lisa's first step - to understand the provenance of the photograph - I can only say that I think it belongs in my paternal line, and that it is likely a multi-generational gathering of the family.

Next step will be along soon :-)

Monday, 4 April 2016

A-Z Blogging Challenge: C is for Curiosity

Just a reminder that this post is part of the A to Z Blogging Challenge for April and my theme is Essential Characteristics for Successful Genealogy.

As a beginning genealogist, I've been giving some thought to the "how and why" of this practice I've taken on.  What makes me think I'll be any good at?  What do I need to do/be to ensure that the people I'm researching ARE actually related to me?

And, so this list was born.

C is for Curiosity

Curiosity is probably the common denominator linking all those interested in genealogy and family history. Why else would we spend hours examining illegible documents for the teensiest bit of information about our families?  Curiosity got us started and curiosity keeps us going.

Maybe in previous times we would be called "sticky-beaks" or "nosey parkers" - but I prefer to think that we are just interested in the lives of those who've gone before us.  Hmm, that sounds much better!

What are your thoughts about my list so far?

See you tomorrow for the next item :-)


Saturday, 2 April 2016

A-Z Blogging Challenge: B is for Broad-Minded

Just a reminder that this post is part of the A to Z Blogging Challenge for April and my theme is Essential Characteristics for Successful Genealogy.

As a beginning genealogist, I've been giving some thought to the "how and why" of this practice I've taken on.  What makes me think I'll be any good at?  What do I need to do/be to ensure that the people I'm researching ARE actually related to me?

And, so this list was born.

B is for Broad-Minded

Now, I like to think that I'm naturally broad-minded.  And I think it's an essential characteristic for any genealogist.  Our ancestors are not necessarily who we imagine them to be, and when we unearth true stories of bigamy, domestic violence, criminal behaviours, and plain old boring-ness, we must be prepared to accept what we find.

Our ancestors lived in times very different from our own, with resources and capacities that again were very different from ours.  The choices they made and the lives they led are not ours to judge or condemn.

We can instead try to understand, and perhaps even learn from them.

See you tomorrow for the next item in my list :-)


Friday, 1 April 2016

A-Z Blogging Challenge: A is for Analytical

Just a reminder that this post is part of the A to Z Blogging Challenge for April and my theme is Essential Characteristics for Successful Genealogy.

As a beginning genealogist, I've been giving some thought to the "how and why" of this practice I've taken on.  What makes me think I'll be any good at?  What do I need to do/be to ensure that the people I'm researching ARE actually related to me?

And, so this list was born.  

A is for Analytical

Genealogists must be able to examine a document or story or photo, and make sense of it.  And I don't mean making sense by making up a story!  We must be able to analyse whatever is in front of us in a careful methodical way.  And we must be able to position the particular document or story or photo in the context of others we've found.  

There are, of course, loads of books, articles, websites, and blog posts aimed at teaching genealogists to become better analysts.  Some of the best can be found by visiting Cyndi's List - but be careful, you could be lost for weeks in the awesomeness of that website!

See you tomorrow for the next item in my list :-)