Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Old Sydney on Camera (and Trove Tuesday)

A combination of a post for the blogging prompt celebrating the wonderful resource Trove, and a reminder of our next family history group meeting, to be held this Saturday 4 May.

The morning session starts at 11am in our research rooms and will cover English Parishes and Counties with plenty of time for Q&A.

The afternoon meeting starts at 2pm in the meeting room (between Gordon Library and our Research Rooms) in the Old Gordon Public School on Pacific Highway Gordon.

The guest speaker, Richard Whitaker, will tell the story of Sydney in photographs from 1841 when the first photograph was taken.

Visitors are welcome and afternoon tea is provided.

According to an entry in Wikipedia:
The first photograph taken in Australia, a view of Bridge Street (now lost) is believed to have been taken by a visiting naval captain, Captain Augustin Lucas (1804-1854) in 1841, as indicated by a note published in the Australasian Chronicle for 13 April of that year. Lucas arrived in Sydney aboard the Justine, captained by his younger brother Francois Lucas.

Here is the note from the Chronicle:

Thursday, April 25, 2013

One of our Ku-ring-gai ANZACs

As part of our WWI project, we are starting to write up some of the Ku-ring-gai Anzacs for our book and for our newsletter. Here is a 'short' version of one from this month's newsletter.
A soldier who gave his life on what has now become Anzac Day, 98 years ago.

Private Cecil Thomas BARRACK, 1103 was killed in action at the Gallipoli landing on 25 April 1915.
He is memorialised on the Roll of Honour at Gordon Railway Station and on the Lone Pine Memorial at Gallipoli.

An excerpt from in his Red Cross file:
“Saw him killed on 1st day of landing 25th April. Killed outright. He was well out in front and we had to leave him.”

At the time, it wasn’t so straightforward for his family, brothers William (Wal) and John (Jack) and mother and stepfather, Sarah and Fritz Hakanson.

A letter to his brother John in February 1916 gives a little more information:
Barrack was with a party that was sent from our trenches to make a demonstration while a big attack was being delivered on the left. This party got caught in the ‘Valley of Despair’ and could not regain our trenches. There is a good chance, however, that Barrack may be a prisoner, as the names of other of the party, who, like him had to be posted as missing – have been received that they are prisoners.
The tardiness of the receipt of the names of prisoners is due to the fact that many have been sent to places in Asia Minor.
It wasn’t until after a Court of Inquiry Proceedings held in France on 5 June 1916 (over a year later), that Pte Cecil Barrack was recorded as Killed in Action at Gallipoli Peninsula.

Cecil Thomas Barrack was born in 1884 in Murrurundi, NSW, the youngest of three sons to James Alexander Hale Barrack and Sarah Ellen Davies. James Barrack died in Woolloomooloo when Cecil was just 8 years old and his mother remarried (to Fritz Hakanson) in 1894.

Cecil was an engineer and not married, so had listed his brother John as next of kin. His address at the time of his enlistment in September 1914 was in Chatswood with his brother John.
By December 1915, brother John was living in Bonnyrigg, Moree Street, Gordon.
By May 1920, John Barrack had moved to 19 Northcliff Street, Milsons Point, and was living with his mother and stepfather.
At the time of her death in 1922, his mother, Sarah Hakanson (also known as Hawkinson) was living in Cecilthel, Pymble Avenue, Pymble.

So, it appears that Pte Cecil Barrack never lived in Ku-ring-gai, but at the time the war memorials were erected, his mother and brother were living in Gordon and probably catching the train from the station where his name appears on the Roll of Honour.
(From the Sydney Morning Herald on Wed 25 April 1917 page 10)
BARRACK. -Killed in action the landing, Gallipoli, April 25, 1915, Cecil T. (Jerry) Barrack 9th Battalion of Gordon beloved youngest son of Mr and Mrs Hawkinson, and brother of Wal and Jack Barrack.

Lest We Forget

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Australia's Pearl Harbour

David Rosenwax is the guest speaker at our next general meeting on Saturday 20 April at 2pm.

David tells the little-known story of the loss of lives and aircraft during a surprise attack on Broome by the Japanese on 3 March 1942.

Some of you may have been to the exhibition at the Museum of Sydney last year, Home Front: Wartime Sydney 1939-1945
Several items from David's extensive collection were part of that exhibition, including children’s books, games and his father’s air raid warden certificate.

The meeting is held in the meeting room between Gordon Library and our Research Rooms in the Old Gordon Public School on Pacific Highway Gordon.

Visitors are welcome and afternoon tea is provided.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Mac Users in the iCloud

The next meeting will be on Monday 15 April at 2pm in the research rooms.

Topics we hope to cover include: using iCloud, and making folders on the iPad.
So, if you use, or have tried, iCloud, please come along and help us answer some of the questions.

Our May meeting will be on Monday 6 May at 2pm in the research rooms. 
Most of our meetings from now on will be on the first Monday of each month, except when there is a public holiday (as in April).

If you have any specific questions, please email them in advance so they can be circulated to the group for answers.

No need to book, just turn up. Bring your laptop or iPad if you like.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Trove Tuesday – A Soldier of Ku-ring-gai

We have an enthusiastic team of members who are undertaking a project to research, write and publish biographies of the WWI Killed in Action soldiers, decorated soldiers and nurses who are named on memorials in the Ku-ring-gai area.

Here is how Trove helped us link one of our soldiers back to Ku-ring-gai.
Nowell Johnstone SIEVERS didn’t appear on the Australian War Memorial website or the NAA Mapping Our Anzacs website.
Research revealed he was a Captain in the 9th Essex Regiment.

So, how to link him back to Ku-ring-gai?

A search on Trove revealed his death notice and his parents residence as ‘Sydney’.

A search of the BDMs revealed siblings born in NSW but didn't include Nowell. 
He was born in the UK in Dec 1890.
The birth notice of one of these siblings showed a local address in 1896: 
Craigmyle in Wahroonga.

Then the death notice of the father in 1932 showed an address of: Garth, Kuring-gai Chase avenue, Turramurra. 
Nowell’s father Edward was a Valuer General of NSW and his obituary reads like a who’s who of old Ku-ring-gai names.

Another article from Trove, and one from New Zealand’s Papers Past revealed some more details of his life.

Evening Post, Volume XCIV, Issue 153, 27 December 1917, Page 7

Monday, April 8, 2013

Irish Research Special Interest Group

Join a lively group of Irish descendants for some shared stories and family history research in a relaxed environment.
Each meeting, members of the group share their findings and brickwalls and look at various websites.

The next meeting is Friday 12 April at 1.30 pm in the KHS research rooms. 
All welcome, no charge - and you don't have to be a member to come along.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Convicts and Germans

Our next family history group meeting is being held this Saturday 6 April.

The morning session starts at 11am in our research rooms and will introduce some early convict records that are now available.

The afternoon meeting starts at 2pm in the meeting room (between Gordon Library and our Research Rooms) in the Old Gordon Public School on Pacific Highway Gordon.
The guest speaker, Allan Rost, is better known to our members as one of the regular contributors to our annual journal The Historian, and the 2012 KHS Historian of the Year.

Allan will talk about his German origins.
This photo is of Allan's mother's paternal grandparents, Carl and Justine Kleinschmidt from the Uckemark region of Brandenburg.

Visitors are welcome and afternoon tea is provided.

Also a reminder: the German research special interest group has its next meeting on Monday 8 April at 1.30pm in the research rooms.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Shake your Family Tree Day

The National Archives hosts an annual Shake Your Family Tree event in all capital cities. 

The Society has received notification that The National Archives of Australia will be hosting this event on Tuesday 16 April 2013 from 10am to 4pm. The theme of the day is 'Journeys and arrivals' and you can learn how to find records related to your family's story of arriving and settling in Australia. Tours of the repository  l will be held on the day as well as a number of seminars and webcasts on a variety of topics.

There will be events held in all State offices details of which can be found at http://www.naa.gov.au/visit-us/events/syft-2013-details.aspx. The open day is free however bookings are essential for all seminars and tours.  For events in Sydney bookings can be made  by phone  (02) 9645 0102 or by email sydney.events@naa.gov.au.