Prompted by a Dream

Been a busy few weeks working on a large-scale project but had to write about the discovery of the week that came about really because of a dream I had a while back. Some branches of my tree seem to come so easily that it feels at times as if ancestors are throwing themselves at me whilst there are some lines that seem to grind to a halt and you can’t seem to get any further on them despite searching every possible avenue. I have a few brick walls in my tree that have proven to be very difficult but can testify that time and long-suffering and widening searches can be fruitful and pay dividends if you have the patience for it.

Today I am writing about my Great Great Grandfather on my father’s side of the family. His name was James Thorpe and for many many years all we had known about him had come from my mother’s research and our knowledge of him consisted of his life after marriage to my Great Great Grandmother Eliza or Elizabeth Powderley. Information about him prior to marriage was limited to the information contained on his marriage record and search after search had proven inconclusive. However, prompted by a post I made on my social media sites to mark the 160th year of Eliza Powderley’s birth and by an idea that had come about through a dream about James Thorpe I decided this week to look again at James to see if I could make any sense of my theory about him and find any answers as to why I was struggling to discover anything more about him. Continue reading

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The Gift That Kept On Giving

For me family is everything. The most important people in the world are the ones immediately akin to you and you should “do or die” for them. That is the strength of feeling I have about my family and that attitude has given rise to some incredible family moments over the years that have reinforced these feelings even more. We are very close as a family it is fair to say. Very recently I had a birthday and received a most thoughtful gift from one of my brothers that shouted of the bond we share as a family and made me feel most special. That gift was a piece of paper hidden within a birthday card! Not any old bit of paper – this paper was special and made so by what was on it and what follows is an account of what came about as a result of receiving that bit of paper.

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A Burden Too Great To Bear!

One of my most heavily researched lines in my family tree is that of the Brumby Family. The Brumby’s are prolific and branches of the family can be traced globally and my research has taken me 6th and 7th cousins deep along that line. My Great Great Grandmother was a Brumby – Annie Brumby (1862-1925) and I never expected when I first began researching the Brumby line, the information I would find or the people I would meet along the way but I have become acquainted with many cousins who have assisted my research and shared their stories and the Brumby line has become a study all on it’s own full of trailblazers and pioneers who took the Brumby’s to America, Canada and Australia and remains easily the line I receive the most emails and questions about.

Annie Brumby (1862-1925) – where my Brumby journey began!

In the middle of all these Brumby’s is the story of one particular lady who married into the Brumby family and captured my attention because of the great burdens she bore upon her shoulders. Her story is not an uncommon one but stands out to me because of the sheer magnitude of loss and pain I feel this lady endured during her lifetime. I feel for her and when I looked into her story my heart bled for her and I wanted everyone to know and understand her bravery and courage. Her name is Leah Brumby. Continue reading

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The Influence Of A Good Woman

I am finally getting back to writing after a spell away. I haven’t physically been anywhere but after the death of my Uncle it took a while to feel like writing again and I have been incredibly busy besides – always with family history! My ancestors keep me very busy!

When considering what should be my first writing venture back after such a while I re-read some of my former posts and felt that I should write more about family members who are near whom I haven’t yet written about before the opportunity is lost and memories are dim so today I am taking the chance to tell you just some of my memories of a beautiful Aunt – Irene Edwards.

Irene Edwards – 1994 – pictured at her brother’s wedding

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Missing Bobby

So this week brought about a very unexpected and shock departure of a much loved family member but that brought the opportunity to write to my door again. To write so soon after someone’s passing is a difficult thing but cathartic too allowing me to concentrate my thoughts on the extraordinary life of a unique individual who was so special and who will forever sit so close to my heart.

(Pictured  abt 2006)

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Tale Of A Bigamist

The stories I have written so far are about closer family members that are known to my living family so the stories were also already known to them but my journey into my past has led me to characters previously not known to myself nor to my living family and so there are many fascinating stories that I have discovered that have gone unreported to my entire family. Some of those stories are deeply embedded within me because of the effort it took to unravel the detail but they would remain nothing more than a memory of mine unless I told the story and passed it on to those who are living. My family history is largely left to me to do and document as everyone alive knows my interest in it and they are happy to leave me to it, only on occasion contacting me to ask about some detail or another that they are interested in, but otherwise, the things I discover will remain undiscovered unless someone delves into the things I have documented. Some stories more than others though deserve to be told and deserve to be heard.  Continue reading

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Three Brothers

I did wonder whether to write this post just yet as it seems all I have been doing lately is writing about war heroes and fallen soldiers in my family but that is the subject matter on my mind most at the moment given I’m currently working on a large scale project to commemorate these wonderful men but also I’ve had some new information come to light a couple of weeks ago about one of the individuals in this post and just felt it had to be shared. My post this week is about a whole family really but with particular attention being paid to three members of that family. It is the story of my Great-grandfather and his family.michael-charles-metcalfe (MIchael Charles Metcalfe, 1885-1917)

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“They Poured Their Shells Upon Her”

One of my most favourite things to research is the lives of fallen soldiers. Telling their story and bringing to the fore once again the smallest detail of their lives just seems like the very least I can do for these wonderful men who paid the ultimate price for the freedoms that I enjoy now. I am working on a larger project that will honour the memory of every single war hero that has been discovered since I began researching my family tree but until that is ready I will continue to make smaller tributes to these servicemen wherever I can. Today’s offering is for John Shields. I have two men of that name in my family tree and both of them had their lives taken by war. One died during WWI and the other during WWII and it is that John that I write about today. Continue reading

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From Chemist To Local Celebrity

There are certain families on my family tree that I get messages and questions about more than others simply because they are so prolific and heavily researched. I spend so long researching these family names that they really do become a part of me. Some of my most heavily researched lines include the names of Brumby, Doo, Metcalfe, Batters, and Edwards. It is a member of the Doo family that I am writing about today who was as far as I can tell a bit of a local legend in his day but whose name is remembered in a way that even he would not have conceived of when he was alive. His name was Harold Emile Doo or H. Emile Doo as he was known in business or just Emile to those closest to him. He was my 3rd cousin 3 times removed and his Great-grandfather James Doo was the brother of Holmes Doo who was my 4x Great-Grandfather on my mother’s side. (Remember that name for I have further stories to tell of Holmes Doo and his family!) Continue reading

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