Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Work Day Wednesday - Sawyers on Acacia Farm

Sawing logs - Acacia Farm Nelligen

Today I would like to share with you another of my recently discovered pictures of life on Acacia Farm, This is a picture of my father Malcolm Shepherd helping his uncle Jordie Lee saw a log on the farm with an old two handed saw. 

The two man saw was used in the timer industry and involved two sawyers standing or sitting on either side of the log, and the sawyers would alternate in pulling the saw through the wood.  The saws were designed to cut in both directions, and the special tooth design of the saw allowed the sawdust to be cleared from the cut as the sawyers worked

Tombstone Tuesday - Lynn Shepherd II (1829-1903)

Gravestone - Braidwood Cemetery Lynn Shepherd II
Recently I visited the historical gold mining town of Braidwood and wrote about our family's connection with the Gold Mining history of this district in a blog on the Worldwide Genealogical Collaboration, Visiting Past Connections - a reflection on the influence of the gold rush on our family history.  In this post I mentioned that one of the branches of our family was involved in the carrier business.  Three generations of the Shepherd family lived in the Braidwood district and were instrumental in the transport of all kinds of goods from timber, supplies, mining equipment from the small outlying settlements around of this district, to Braidwood and over the Clyde Mountain to Nelligen.

This is the photo of my great great grandfather Lynn Shepherd II's grave, which is in the Braidwood cemetery.  Lynn Shepherd II, born in Newcastle, New South Wales, on the 14th February 1829, was the son of Lynn David Shepherd and Elizabeth Mariner. He married Harried Webb in Arualuen in 1855. They had a large family of  six sons and six daughters, among these was my great grand father Lynn Shepherd III (yes, three generations of Lynn Shepherds!). Also, his youngest son  Ralph Shepherd died in mysterious circumstances after a house fire. 

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Sentimental Sunday - More Pictures of Acacia Farm - Clyde River Nelligen

As I promised in my recent post "Those Places Thursday - Acacia Farm - Clyde River Nelligen" I would like to share some more of my recently discovered pictures of Acacia Farm, Nelligen.  These photos were taken about when my father visited his Uncle Jordie at Acacia Farm circa 1950.

Visiting Acacia Farm

Calves at Acacia Farm
Cattle at Acacia Farm

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Follow Friday - An accumulation of my weekly research - 10

It is a long time since my last "Follow Friday- An Accumulation of my weekly research" post.  However, I have been spending many hours focusing on the story of my greatgreat grandfather Donald McDonald. So today I would like to share some of my research discoveries. 

I discovered Donald McDonald's obituary at the end of last year in TROVE.  The article confirmed the family stories that he had immigrated from Canada, and added the additional information that prior to coming to Australia, he had spent some time in the goldfields in California.

As outlined in my previous post the article also provided some other clues to his life before arriving in Australia, ie. That he was from Glengarry, Ontario and his family had a link with the Hudson Bay Company. I was very keen to research these clues further, but to my dismay found that researching in a new country was not as easy as I thought it would be ie, lack of knowledge of the social and political history, geography, new languages, unfamiliar with archives, birth, death and marriage records etc.  I recognised this as “Genealogical Culture Shock” and wrote about this on my blog on the Worldwide Genelogical Collaboration last month.

Following on from this blog – which looks at some ways that you can overcome this brick wall or genealogical culture shock, I have been reading, collecting resources, identifying relevant history books, linking with genealogical societies, and searching facebook, pinterest and blogs by others who are linked to or researching in this area of Canada.  For my Follow Friday Post – I would like to share with you some of the Resources I have found. 
Do you know of other research resources for this area? It would be great if you could share them as well!!


Clan Donald by Donald J. McDonald
The Scots in Canada by J.M. Bumstead

Glengarry Archives: http://www.glengarryarchives.ca/
Library and Archives Canada: http://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/Pages/home.aspx
Hudson Bay Company Archives, http://www.gov.mb.ca/chc/archives/hbca/

Genealogical and Historical Societies

Glen Garry Historical Society: http://glengarryhistory.ca/new/

Web sites
RootsWeb, Glengarry County GenWatch: http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~onglenga/
Clan McDonald Southern Ontario:  http://southernontario.clandonald.ca/
Clan Donald Canada Incorporated: http://www.clandonaldcanada.ca/
Canadian Headstones Project, http://canadianheadstones.com/links.htm


Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry Library, http://www.sdglibrary.ca/
Toronto Public Library, http://www.torontopubliclibrary.ca/




Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Those Places Thursday - Acacia Farm, Clyde River, Nelligen

Acacia Far - Clyde River - near Nelligen, NSW

Last night I was going through some old files on our computer and found a folder of old photos that my husband had kindly scanned for me a couple of years. Note to self!!  I need to go through these and label and file into appropriate family files.    

I started looking through the pictures and was very excited to find quite a few of Acacia Farm.  I believe they would have been taken around very close to the time when my parents were married, probably just before they were married and my father bought my mother from Broken Hill to meet all his family who lived on the South Coast of NSW. 

 So over the next couple of days I would like to share with you some of the lovely old black and white pictures of Acacia Farm.  This farm was where five generations of the Lee family lived from the late 1800'.  My Nanna Christina Lee (daughter of George Lee and Catherine McGregor) grew up on this farm and travelled by boat down to the school in the small village of Nelligen.  Then when her husband Malcolm Michael Shepherd passed away my father lived there with his grandparents.  My Nanna’s youngest brother Jordie inherited the farm and it was then passed down to his daughter.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Mystery Monday - Donald McDonald

Life on the Gold Mines
Recently I posted a blog on the Worldwide Genealogy - A Genealogical Collaboration about the “Genealogical Culture Shock"  I was experiencing in my quest to discover more about my Great Great Grandfather Donald McDonald.  To assist in getting my head around the gaps in my knowledge of Donald's life and family, I thought I would examine the information that I do have and try and identify any leads that will assist in solving the mystery of Donald’s life before he came to Australia. 

Donald McDonald came to Australia in the late 1850's with a group of miners from the Californian Gold fields.  These miners became known as the Yankees in the mining district of Bells Creek at Araluen and newspapers of the times reported that they succeeded in etching out a reasonable living from their lease.

While working in the district Donald met and married an Irish lass, from County Clare, named Margaret
St Bede's Braidwood
Halnon, they were married on the 11 August 1864 at St Bede's Catholic Church, Braidwood. Donald and Margaret had eight children, one girl, Annie (who was my great grandmother) and seven boys, Malcolm, Angus, John, Donald, Denis, Michael and Alexander.

With a large family to support, and a decline in the mining in the district, Donald sought employment in the rapidly expanding timber industry.  To start, he managed a Timber Mill at Reidsdale for Mr Tippet and later purchased this mill.  From here the family moved to another  and started the first Timber Mill in the village of Mogo on the South Coast of NSW in the Moruya District. 

An Article written by Donald McDonald's son Angus Joseph McDonald "Tall Timber", describes the life of the timber cutters working for Donald's Mill, and the size of the enormous trees being felled for timber.

“A reference to an applicaton by Mr Hugh McRae for assistance in repairing the road to his sawmill at Reidsdale brings memories of the troubles the teamsters endured in the long, long ago in bridging the distance from McDonald’s Mill to the main road.Some of the trees felled at that old mill, me thinks, would lose nothing in comparison the the best in any part of the State.

One forest giant in particular, was staight as a gun-barrel, was attached by Jack and and Charlie Behringer from a 14ft platform, and the first 25 ft of the trunk was left where it lay – too big for jinker or sawgate to accommodate.  Then 98f of longs were cut to the first branch, above which a 16 ft log almost 3ft in diameter was taken."

Donald retired after the death of his wife and the onset of ill health.  He moved to Braidwood to live with his daughter Annie and her husband Lynn Shepherd II.  Then in the final year of his life he moved to live with his son Angus in the Winsor district north west of Sydney.  It was here in on the 31 March 1913 he passed away.  (Wow, just realised that was 101 years ago today!!). 

Now to the mystery of his life prior to his arrival in Australia.  To assist me with moving through my "Genealogical Culture Shock" I have made a list of the clues that his obituary as provided and this will be my starting point to exploring all possibilities. From his death certificate we know that Donald was born in 1834  Williamstown, Glengarry Ontario, Canada and his father was Malcolm McDonald.
  • He was born in Williamstown, Glengarry District of Canada.
  • His family had connections with the Hudson Bay Company and possibly still did at the time of his death?
  • He experienced a lot of adventures on the gold fields of California, from here he and a group of mates (who were later referred to as the Yankees), traveled to Australia to seek their fortune in the Australian Gold fields.
  • He traveled to Australia on a brig and from the tone of the obituary, this journey was quite an adventure in itself. I wonder what stories Donald told his family about his time on the gold fields and the journey to Australia?
Somewhere in this list of details there must be an important clue that will help me unlock Donald's heritage.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Wistful Wednesday - McGregor Family Photographs

One of the documents that  I found among the SAG McGregor Family files was a faint photocopy of two family pictures of the McGregor family with a note underneath explaining who everyone was.  

These two photos are so valuable for the McGregor Family History, and demonstrates that the McGregor Family  took a number of large family group photos. The photos show us that James, Margaret and their family were a close knit group, spending considerable time together.  James and Margaret McGregor are seated in the middle of their children. You can see the faint outlines of their faces and their family likeness.   I believe that the first picture would have been taken some time in 1889 as Isabella and George Wheeler's twins babies (Lily and Walter), sitting on their parents knees were born in 1889. 

 My great Grandfather George Lee is there standing behind my great Grand Mother Kate (Catherine) on the right hand side of the first picture. They were married in 1888, so if my estimation of the date is correct, they would have been expecting their first child William who was born in 1889. Perhaps this photo was taken on the occasion of their mother, Margaret McGregor (nee McPherson)'s 50th Birthday which would have been on the 8 December 1889.

 Looking at the people in both pictures, I believe that the top picture was taken first.  The children in the front of the photo are wearing similar clothes however, I think they look a little older.  The women in the second photo are holding bouquets of flowers, could this photo have been taken at the time of one of the McGregor's Weddings?  So many unanswered questions?

  It is wonderful to have these photocopies, but I really do wish I could see the originals or copies of these photos!!  I do wonder where they are now.