Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Joining the Genealogy Do-Over Challenge

If you have followed me here and over at Facebook you'll know that I have had some database issues and disasters over the years, this past year I have spent the time attempting to 'fix' the problems and I feel as though I am getting nowhere fast.

However, 2015 is a whole new year and I am tired of wasting my time trying to 'fix' it, so I am going to join Thomas McEntee and throw it all out and start fresh, oh boy this is going to be a HUGE and wondrous journey.  Completely re-sourcing every single item, along with new ones, one person at a time.

If you are game and would like to join me, see here

Sunday, 28 December 2014

William Johnston 1888-1926, Inquest

Sometimes when researching your family you'll find something that pulls at your heartstrings, this is one such case.

William Johnston is my 1st cousin, 3 times removed, our common ancestors are George Brown and Mary Cleary.  I found his death a while ago but tonight was searching through Trove for any snippets and I found a Coroner's account of his tragic death.

PRIMITIVE HOPPERSCORONER'S SEVERE COMMENT  SYDNEY, Thursday.Some caustic comments were made to-day at an inquest concerning the death of William Johnston, who fell into the water while opening the doors of the hopper Kestrel. Evidence was given that when the large doors at the bottom of the hopper jammed it was customary to strike the ram with a hammer to release them. Johnston   had been doing this for about 10 minutes, standing on a pile of ashes, before the doors opened and he and the ashes slid into the water. 
William Tait, who was also employed on the hopper, endeavoured to save Johnston's life, and had managed to grasp his hand when another load of ashes crashed on to his shoulders, and he lost his grip. 
The coroner, in returning a verdict of accidental death, said he had inspected the hopper and it appeared to him that the method of opening the doors was most primitive; in fact, it seemed to, be an invention of the early eighties when human life was not of much value. He could not imagine that a better method of opening the doors could not be provided. A man might escape 100 times and then lose his life through no fault of his own. "It occurred to me," he added, "that a man has not anything to stand on except the ashes. Men become so accustomed to this sort of thing that they lose their sense of danger." 
The owners of the hopper informed the coroner that they had taken steps to prevent such accidents in future.
PRIMITIVE HOPPERS. (1926, August 20). Northern Star(Lismore, NSW : 1876 - 1954), p. 5. Retrieved December 29, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article93563163 
Further, his death appears to have left his surviving parents, William Johnston and Alice Mina Lola Brown in hardship.
DEATH OF A WORKER.PARENTS AWARDED COMPENSATION. Sydney, November 30.The Workers' Compensation Commission to-day awarded the parents of WilliamJohnston, who drowned at the Heads on July 22, by being precipitated through the hatches of an ash hopper, £400. Both were partly dependent on their son.
DEATH OF A WORKER. (1926, December 1). The Advertiser(Adelaide, SA : 1889 - 1931), p. 13. Retrieved December 29, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article40745600 

Saturday, 25 October 2014

DNA confirms there is ONE Thomas Graham Melrose (1806, Scotland - 1888, Michigan)

Excitement is immense here. This week we have a MAJOR DNA confirmation on the Melrose line.

Thomas Graham Melrose, my 4th great grandfather, who married Mary Anne Irvine is the very same
Thomas Graham Melrose that married Anna O'Neil in 1848, Motréal, Québec. Research shows that Anna is also known as Horrigan, Harrigan, Wilson and Willston.

This is confirmed with a triangulated match of a great grandson of Thomas Graham Melrose and Anna O'Neil to a great great grandson and great great great granddaughter of Thomas Graham Melrose and Mary Ann Irvine.

Saturday, 11 October 2014

DNA confirms that Patrick John Cummins is the daddy, now to find William John Cummins b. 1870, Warrnambool, Vic

This post relates to the father (my grandfather) of Peggy Lucas (my mother).

We truly didn't need to do this DNA test because instinctively we knew after seeing a photo of Patrick John Cummins the very first time that he was indeed Peggy's father. The resemblance to one of my nephews was incredible. However, I am a stickler for getting things right and with all the DNA we have on record I wasn't coming up with any matches to the surname "Cummins". It started to make me wonder if he could possibly 'not' be my grandfather. Enter another DNA test, this one was my 1st cousin and Mum's sister's daughter. Test results are in today and she is indeed a full blood niece.

So, give it up for Paddy, DNA can't deny parentage, we don't truly know the reasoning behind why Paddy and Cecilia adopted Mum out, a lot of it has been hearsay, some from adoption records and affidavits, but none of that is important, as we now have the truth of her heritage.

Could you have imagined if she wasn't? I would have had to re-write the family tree and the website! Thanks Universe, I really did not want to do that!

So, now we need Patrick's spirit to come out of hiding and push us along the right path and knock down the proverbial brick wall.

We have Patrick John Cummins born 24 June 1908 at Cowra, father William John Cummins, labourer, aged 37, born Warrnambool, Victoria. His birth certificate states that his parents William John Cummins and Ada May Matthews were married 21st June 1907 at Dubbo, but this is not true as exhaustive searches have not found a marriage. Note that Ada used "Matthews" as her maiden name which was her step-father's name (she was born Ada Mary Hamilton). There is a confirmed marriage of Ada to Alfred Oborn in 1898 which leads me to believe that she was attempting to hide that she was still legally married to Alfred. Essentially all the Cummins children are illegitimate.  Could they have stretched William's place of birth too?

There is a William John Cummins born at Avoca, Victoria in 1870 with the parents William Cummin(g)s and Mary Ann Clappard (aka Leppard and Lappard), I haven't had reason to get this birth certificate yet as I am looking for further confirmation and Avoca is 207 km's north of Warrnambool.
  • 1906 - Son William John Cummins born, location unknown, birth appears to not be registered, confirmation from other sources.
  • 1908 - Son Patrick John Cummins born 1908, Cowra, NSW
  • 24th December 1909 in "The Burrowra News" there is mention of a William John Cummins of Cowra being granted a Hawker's Licence. [HAWKERS' LICENCES. (1909, December 24). The Burrowa News (NSW : 1874 - 1951), p. 2. Retrieved October 11, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article101577691]
  • 1910 - Daughter Dorothy May Cummins born Cootamundra, NSW
  • 1912 - Son Thomas Joseph Cummins born, Fairy Meadow, NSW (Wollongong)
  • 1915 - Son Michael Richard Cummins born, Campbelltown, NSW
  • 22nd September 1917; "The Cumberland Argus and Fruitgrowers Advocate", as follows
William John Cummins pleaded guilty at Liverpool Court to stealing a quantity of military goods, including blankets, 15 suits of dungarees, 22 bars soap, a quantity of tea, coffee, etc. Constable Stack- pool said that he went to accused 's camp on the vicinity of Warwick Farm racecourse in company with Sergeant Gibson and a member of the military provost staff. Accused was lying in the camp under the influence of liquor and there was a quantity of military sundries lying about. Arrested accused and brought him to the lockup; where Cummins stated that he was a dealer and that he had been a cook at Liverpool Camp, and had Been discharged on three occasions. He said he was entitled to a lot of the military clothes he had, and that some of the stuff in his possession came from the German concentration camp. He also said that when the Warwick Farm encampment was broken up, he was given a lot of things, and some were given to his wife to wash. Police sergeant Gibson stated that as a result of a fire which had occurred at Cummins' camp, a lot of goods there had been identified as military property. The Bench inflicted a fine; of £5, in default two months' hard labor in Parramatta Gaol.[STOLEN MILITARY STORES. (1917, September 22). The Cumberland Argus and Fruitgrowers Advocate (Parramatta, NSW : 1888 - 1950), p. 5. Retrieved October 11, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article86091394]
  • 1914-1918 William John Cummins enlisted in AIF but was rejected or discharged during training, at the time of enlisting he was age 50, born - Warnambool Victoria. (I haven't seen the benefit in ordering this file (yet), maybe down the track.
  •  1919 - Son of Ada born Sydney Alfred Burton registered as Cummins

From the above timeline William appears to disappear between 1915 and 1919.  I can't find any reference in the NSW Police Gazettes to followup on the above conviction.

If any of this rings a bell in your genealogy please make contact, all input welcome.


embeddable family tree updated live from WikiTree

Monday, 6 October 2014

A lesson in how 'Ancestry' and 'Shaky Leaves' can be very dangerous to the health of your family tree

Since Ancestry.com introduced the "Shaky Leaves" I have developed a love-hate relationship with them.  If you use it to look up other tree's you are bound to find a lot, and I mean a LOT of misinformation, however, on the plus side if you use it to comb the site for sources, genuine real sources from Immigration, Convict or BDM Indexes and find what you need, it's a bonus and will help you grow your tree in the right direction.

To give you an example, today whilst searching any new documents for my GGG Grandfather George Robert Miller's marriages I had forgot to untick the 'Family trees', being curious I had a look to see who had him/them in their tree.  I spotted one that had Mary Ann (Deliser) Miller with a place of birth as Kent, England, as far as I am aware no researcher to date has found her documented arrival to Australia or where she was born, if you have please reveal yourself!  I was excited, WOW, then I looked again, and again. This tree had her being born in 1822, convicted in 1815 at Middlesex and marrying George Miller in 1833 (unsourced), interesting.  Then I spot she has 2 George Miller's attached as her husband and some children are doubled up.  Even more interesting, Mary is living back in Kent in 1851 after her death in 1849.  Seriously scary misinformation, so I clicked on the "Member Connect" button to see that there are 11 other family tree's this person has gathered information from or is connected to.  Oh boy, what a mess.

George is already a difficult person to sort out, see a previous post laying out the children and the names used for their mothers http://www.dixie9.com/2009/05/george-robert-miller-debate.html.

My lesson to you, PLEASE stop and research the information before adding it to your tree, just because it's on Ancestry does not mean it is correct.  You can't just enter your name and have your family history revealed to you like the ads indicate, it's not that simple!  The tree's on ancestry are the work of individual people that have gathered information over the years, some correct, some incorrect, some speculative.  Make notes and source the information for yourself to prove in your own mind that the information is correct.  The thing is, I can also understand how it happens, the sheer excitement of connecting the dots and thinking wow! and having a whole family line unfold right in front of your eyes.  Just slow down, keep your tree private until you have sourced your information ie gathered the documents to prove the dates, and then when it's ready share your tree with the correct information.

Below is the family group sheet of Mary Ann (Deliser) Miller as mentioned above so you can see for yourself, the identity of the family tree has been removed.

Here is the family according to current research, as I have it recorded:

updated live from WikiTree

Sunday, 5 October 2014

Henry Hilliard Miller (1854, Moruya, NSW - 1916, Bingara, NSW)

Henry Miller, son of George Robert Miller and Mary Ann Jones.  Profile now available on WikiTree, 'open' status, so if you are a descendant please feel free to add or embellish on the information there.

Family Finder DNA testers listed to compare DNA.

embeddable family tree updated live from WikiTree

Thursday, 2 October 2014

Melrose DNA Project at FamilyTreeDNA


The Melrose DNA Project is now live at Family Tree DNA (FTDNA), the link is http://www.familytreedna.com/public/melrose/

All FTDNA testers with an occurrence of the surname MELROSE or variants in their line are encouraged to join.


  • yDNA (Male lineage with the surname Melrose)
  • mtDNA (Female lineage with a Melrose woman appearing)
  • auDNA (Family Finder or autosomal) If it's in your tree ANYWHERE please join

If you need any help, please email me at dna at dixie9 dot com

Lastly, if you are considering having a DNA test by ordering it through the project you will get a special project price.

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Emily May Davis (Scobie/Miller) 1895, Tamworth, NSW - 1967, Fremantle, NSW

Emily May Davis married James Warren Scobie then Charles Miller, her profile is now up on WikiTree.

Still have a brick wall on her paternal grandparents George Davis and Fanny Jones, hopefully the DNA will help knock it down.  Emily's line through these grandparents is on Peggy's X Chromosome.   See further down the page for this chart.

embeddable family tree updated live from WikiTree


Males inherit one X-chromosome from their mother. Females inherit one X-chromosome from their mother and one X-chromosome from their father. Here are seven generations of ancestors who could have contributed to Peggy's X-chromosome and their approximate average percentage of contribution. These are adapted from Blaine Bettinger's X-DNA charts.
  50% — Patrick John Cummins descendants (24 Jun 1908 - 07 Apr 1966) 
    50% — Ada Mary Hamilton descendants (17 Mar 1881 - 12 Dec 1952) 
      25% John Adam Hamilton descendants (abt 1844 - 01 Mar 1888) 
        25% — [G-G-Grandmother Unknown] 
          12.5% — [G-G-G-Grandfather Unknown] 
            12.5% — [G-G-G-G-Grandmother Unknown] 
              6.25% — [G-G-G-G-G-Grandfather Unknown] 
              6.25% — [G-G-G-G-G-Grandmother Unknown] 
          12.5% — [G-G-G-Grandmother Unknown] 
            6.25% — [G-G-G-G-Grandfather Unknown] 
              6.25% — [G-G-G-G-G-Grandmother Unknown] 
            6.25% — [G-G-G-G-Grandmother Unknown] 
              3.125% — [G-G-G-G-G-Grandfather Unknown] 
              3.125% — [G-G-G-G-G-Grandmother Unknown] 
      25% — Matilda Fritchley descendants (29 Oct 1857 - 12 Jan 1935) 
        12.5% — Richard Fisher Fritchley descendants (01 May 1813 - 19 Jun 1897) 
          12.5% — Anne Newton descendants ( - ) 
            6.25% — [G-G-G-G-Grandfather Unknown] 
              6.25% — [G-G-G-G-G-Grandmother Unknown] 
            6.25% — [G-G-G-G-Grandmother Unknown] 
              3.125% — [G-G-G-G-G-Grandfather Unknown] 
              3.125% — [G-G-G-G-G-Grandmother Unknown] 
        12.5% — Winifred Burke descendants (abt 1823 - 17 Sep 1897) 
          6.25% — Patrick Burke descendants ( - ) 
            6.25% — [G-G-G-G-Grandmother Unknown] 
              3.125% — [G-G-G-G-G-Grandfather Unknown] 
              3.125% — [G-G-G-G-G-Grandmother Unknown] 
          6.25% — Mary Ward descendants ( - ) 
            3.125% — [G-G-G-G-Grandfather Unknown] 
              3.125% — [G-G-G-G-G-Grandmother Unknown] 
            3.125% — [G-G-G-G-Grandmother Unknown] 
              1.5625% — [G-G-G-G-G-Grandfather Unknown] 
              1.5625% — [G-G-G-G-G-Grandmother Unknown] 
  50% — Cecilia Miller descendants (02 Feb 1920 - 01 Aug 1959) 
    25% — Charlie Miller descendants (27 Jul 1894 - 10 Oct 1949) 
      25% — Mary Jane Melrose descendants (22 Apr 1860 - 28 Apr 1935) 
        12.5% — George Melrose descendants (19 Dec 1829 - 18 Aug 1903) 
          12.5% — Mary Ann Irvine descendants (abt 1811 - 07 Aug 1866) 
            6.25% — [G-G-G-G-Grandfather Unknown] 
              6.25% — [G-G-G-G-G-Grandmother Unknown] 
            6.25% — [G-G-G-G-Grandmother Unknown] 
              3.125% — [G-G-G-G-G-Grandfather Unknown] 
              3.125% — [G-G-G-G-G-Grandmother Unknown] 
        12.5% — Jane Schofield descendants (14 Mar 1830 - 01 Apr 1885) 
          6.25% — William Schofield descendants ( - ) 
            6.25% — [G-G-G-G-Grandmother Unknown] 
              3.125% — [G-G-G-G-G-Grandfather Unknown] 
              3.125% — [G-G-G-G-G-Grandmother Unknown] 
          6.25% — Betty Wilkinson descendants ( - ) 
            3.125% — [G-G-G-G-Grandfather Unknown] 
              3.125% — [G-G-G-G-G-Grandmother Unknown] 
            3.125% — [G-G-G-G-Grandmother Unknown] 
              1.5625% — [G-G-G-G-G-Grandfather Unknown] 
              1.5625% — [G-G-G-G-G-Grandmother Unknown] 
    25% — Emily May Davis descendants (14 Sep 1895 - 01 Jan 1967) 
      12.5% — John Charles Davis descendants (abt 1844 - 25 Dec 1913) 
        12.5% — Fanny Jones descendants ( - ) 
          6.25% — [G-G-G-Grandfather Unknown] 
            6.25% — [G-G-G-G-Grandmother Unknown] 
              3.125% — [G-G-G-G-G-Grandfather Unknown] 
              3.125% — [G-G-G-G-G-Grandmother Unknown] 
          6.25% — [G-G-G-Grandmother Unknown] 
            3.125% — [G-G-G-G-Grandfather Unknown] 
              3.125% — [G-G-G-G-G-Grandmother Unknown] 
            3.125% — [G-G-G-G-Grandmother Unknown] 
              1.5625% — [G-G-G-G-G-Grandfather Unknown] 
              1.5625% — [G-G-G-G-G-Grandmother Unknown] 
      12.5% — Zenobia Mundy descendants (abt 29 Jun 1858 - 15 Mar 1912) 
        6.25% — Peter Mundy descendants (abt 1811 - 10 Dec 1887) 
          6.25% — Ann George descendants ( - ) 
            3.125% — [G-G-G-G-Grandfather Unknown] 
              3.125% — [G-G-G-G-G-Grandmother Unknown] 
            3.125% — [G-G-G-G-Grandmother Unknown] 
              1.5625% — [G-G-G-G-G-Grandfather Unknown] 
              1.5625% — [G-G-G-G-G-Grandmother Unknown] 
        6.25% — Jane Prisk descendants (25 Jun 1823 - 20 Aug 1892) 
          3.125% — Thomas Prisk descendants (abt 1779 - ) 
            3.125% — Mary Johns descendants ( - ) 
              1.5625% — [G-G-G-G-G-Grandfather Unknown] 
              1.5625% — [G-G-G-G-G-Grandmother Unknown] 
          3.125% — Mary Andrew descendants (abt 1789 - ) 
            1.5625% — [G-G-G-G-Grandfather Unknown] 
              1.5625% — [G-G-G-G-G-Grandmother Unknown] 
            1.5625% — Mary Andrew descendants ( - ) 
              .78125% — [G-G-G-G-G-Grandfather Unknown] 
              .78125% — [G-G-G-G-G-Grandmother Unknown]