Ancestors with Secrets

How can it be that  a well-connected Irish bookbinder with a wife and seven daughters, and who worked for decades in the Victorian city of Cork just disappears in every historical record that could tell you who he is.No birth, death or burial records denotes the start and end of James Journeaux’s life:  if it … More Ancestors with Secrets

Saving Country: Killarney Beach coastal environment under commercial racehorse training stress

Local community are up in arms about the surge in commercial racehorse training  on Killarney’s coast in southwest Victoria and have launched a Petition to take the fight to State level. Warrnambool  City Council’s sudden ban on racehorse training on it’s beaches  has seen an immediate surge of training at Killarney, which is also part of the Belfast … More Saving Country: Killarney Beach coastal environment under commercial racehorse training stress

Mauled English: the fate of James Brabner

With over two decades of experience in researching family history records I really should have seen it coming:  ‘Colonial Maul’  as a death cause for my  ancestor’s brother instead should have read ‘Colonel Maule’, and it was actually the  name of a ship. It had started off as a  really exciting day to finally find a reference to James Brabner, the missing … More Mauled English: the fate of James Brabner

A Grave Matter: Booley family plot at Ballarat’s Old Cemetery

A grassy single plot within the Ballarat  Old Cemetery hides the heartbreak of an immigrant family who fled political unrest in England to seek a new start in colonial Australia,  the proposed new  land of opportunity, health and wealth. No gravestone exists in this  country cemetery  in Victoria’s west to count the mounting death toll as  Suffolk-born Robert Francis Booley (1829-1875) … More A Grave Matter: Booley family plot at Ballarat’s Old Cemetery

Mystery Ballarat School unravelled as Preston Bell School #4309

There is growing accord among the historians at least that our mystery 1938 Ballarat ‘Bell School’ photo   is instead the every well known ‘Bell School’ in  Melbourne’s northern suburb of Preston. In the absence of any evidence that a Bell School ever operated at  Ballarat,   I have to agree with one experienced historian  who says I have … More Mystery Ballarat School unravelled as Preston Bell School #4309