Thursday, January 24, 2013

Family Recipe Friday - ANZAC Biscuits

Anzac Biscuits

Yesterday in my post on "Sharing Memories"  I mentioned a family favourite, the Anzac Biscuit, so as it has been quite a while  I  since I have posted a “Family Recipe”  I thought I would share this recipe. The recipe for Anzac Biscuits has been passed through our family for at least four generations.   Besides being a family recipe this is a very traditional Australia recipe that has been baked in Australia Homes since the First World War.  

First let me tell you a little about the history of the ANZAC Biscuit!!  ANZAC refers to the Australian and New Zealand Army Corp of WWI, and ANZAC Day, 25 April, is a public holiday day when Australia and New Zealand remember the soldiers who participated in all international conflicts.

The Anzac Biscuit or bikkie and my grandchildren call it!! Originated from the need to send troops a nutritional, tasty treat that would last the 2-3 months in transit to the battlefront.  The story goes, that a group of women came up with the recipe, based on a Scottish biscuit recipe that used rolled oats.  Using a combination of ingredients that didn’t spoil over time (golden syrup or treacle, rolled oats, coconut, sugar, plain flour, butter, water and bicarbonate of soda) they developed the recipe known as “soldiers biscuits” that were baked, packed into tins, and sent to the soldiers on the front.  After the landing of the Australian and New Zealand troops at Gallipoli the biscuits were renamed “ANZAC Biscuits).

As has happened in our family, this recipe has become an iconic tradition for families in Australia, with various forms of the recipe passed down from one generation to the other.  There is nothing better than Anzac biscuits dunked in your tea or coffee.  Not having any daughters, I taught my sons to make the biscuits, and now my eldest son is passing down the tradition to his sons.
Now for the recipe:

recipe notes

1 cup plain flour
1 cup of sugar (this can be white, brown or a mix of both)
1 cup of rolled oats
1 cup of coconut
125 gms butter
1 tablespoon water
2 tablespoons golden syrup
½ teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda

Sift flour into a bowl, add sugar, rolled oats, and coconut to the bowl and mix together.  Melt butter, and golden syrup in a saucepan (or microwave), mix bicarbonate of soda with water and add to the melted butter and golden syrup, mix together and add to the dry ingredient.  Mix together thoroughly, then roll the mixture into small balls (size of a walnut), place on a greased tray, flattening slightly and bake in a moderate oven (170 degrees ) for 15-20 minutes until golden brown.

When cooled and they will be nice and crisp. 

Foot note:  I have made different versions of this recipe where I have used honey instead of golden syrup, or substituted the rolled oats with muesli. 


Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Sharing Memories - Early days in the Bush - Day out with Dad

Map  Showing Nuntherungie Station

Here is my second post for Sharing Memories.  Thank you to  Olive Tree Genealogy’s Blog’s for providing me with the idea and motivation to write a little about my family history as I remember it. 

I was pleasantly pleased with the interest shown in my first  Sharing Memories blog , Early School Days in the Bush - School of the Air so I thought for today’s post I would relate another tale from my life in the far west of New South Wales and write a little about everyday life in the outback.

At the time life on a sheep station in the far north west of NSW seemed to be very normal, but when I look back on it I guess we did enjoy quite a different environment to families who lived a little closer to larger communities.  There was no pressure to fit in with timetables and set hours.  Life on  Nuntherungie Station fitted around shearing, lamb marking, drenching sheep and the weather. If I was able to complete the weekly school work sent to me from Blackfriars Correspondence School in 3 or 4 days it would leave me with the freedom to spend a day with my father while he worked on the property.  I relished these outings, and I am sure my mother enjoyed the freedom of having one less child to watch over. 

Sheep on Nuntherungie Station
Mum always packed my father a large lunch of sandwiches, biscuits and fruit for the day and if I was joining him, there would be a couple of sandwiches for me as well. We would always leave early before the heat of the day set in.  I would clamber into the passenger seat of my dad’s Jeep. The two working dogs, Mac and Spot (such original names) would jump in the back, dodging from side with eager anticipation and excitement of going out for the day.  Off we would go, leaving a cloud of dust behind us as we traversed the tracks through the property.  It would be my job to jump out and open the large gates between paddocks while Dad drove through and then close them after us.  A rule that was drummed into my from an early age, you NEVER went through a gate without closing it.

The work for the day could be varied anything from checking sheep with young lambs, checking for flyblown sheep (a serious problem for sheep in outback Australia), mending fences that had been knocked down by stock or recent rains, assessing water supplies and checking windmills that pumped underground water (from the artesian basin) into water troughs for the sheep.

Spot and Mac - Dad's working dogs.
Then at about 10.00am it would be “smoko time or as we would call it “morning tea” time.  We would find a nice shady spot; Dad would light a small fire. After giving both the dogs a drink of water from the hessian water bag that hung on the side of the jeep, he would fill his billy with water and put it on the fire to boil.  As soon as the water had boiled he would put a handful of tea leaves into the billy, a quick stir with a stick or small twig of the gum tree and the tea would be made.  I would sit with Dad on a nearby log with my pannikin of steaming hot sweet tea, and dunk the homemade Anzac biscuits that Mum had packed, until they became soft and gooey and melted in my mouth!!  Mac and Spot would rest in the shade with one eye open to see if I was going to drop some crumps or share one of my biscuits with them.

Smoko finished, we would cover the fire with sand and tip the remaining tea on top, making sure it was completely out. Off we would go again to check the next problem.  It would be even more exciting if Dad’s work meant we had to go off road!!  I loved it when we had to drive in and out of creeks, over bumps and around logs.

 Dad always took the time to point out the different types of plants and animals as we went and if he had seen come across an interesting plant or rock formation, he would take the time to show me if it was nearby. He would point out the quondong trees and we would check if they had any fruit on them and he would show me the clay pans where you could find lots of quartz and on the odd occasion small artifacts from the indigenous tribes who had lived in this area.

Dad's Jeep
These excursions were even more exciting if it had been after rain.  Rain was a very big event in this district, as the average annual rainfall was only 224 mm (or about 9 inches in old measurements). The Jeep would splash through the mud and puddles, spraying it all over us.  Of course there was always the risk of getting bogged, personally, I thought this added to the drama of the day.  I am not sure if my father was of the same frame of mind.

Around Midday, it was time to repeat the Smoko ritual of boiling the billy, giving the dogs water, and munching on our sandwiches and fruit as we sipped that sweet black tea.  As the weather was often quite hot in the afternoon, it was time to head back to the homestead to wash of the dust.  I am sure there was a number of occasions when Dad had to lift a sleepy girl out of the jeep when we arrived home.

Hope you have enjoyed this tale.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Mystery Monday- The Mysterious Disappearance of Christina McGregor

Wallance Street Braidwood,
Not long ago I came across an article that caught my attention. I was as I call it "playing" on Trove.  This means, I randomly put in names and places connected with my family tree and see what comes up.  Lots of fun if you have time.  This evening, I was searching for family names that lived in the Braidwood, Major's Creek and Araluen area of New South Wales.  In the late 1850-1860's this district was a thriving mining community and many of my ancestors gravitated here to try and make their fortune in the new colony. One branch of my family tree is the McGregors.  Peter McGregor and his second wife Christina Miller/Muller came to Australia from Scotland with their family.  Imagine my surprise when I came across this article.

Queanbeyan Age and General Advertiser (NSW : 1864 - 1867), Thursday 22 October 1863, page 2

MYSTERIOUS DISAPPEARANCE -On Thursday evening last, Mrs. McGregor of Berlang, left Toney's public-house at the top of Araluen Mountain to return home. The sun-was down at the time, and the night anything but favourable for a female to ride through a wild country alone. In the morning, as Mrs. McGregor had not returned home, search was made, and her horse with saddle and bridle on was found. Her husband, Mr. Peter McGregor, with some friends and neighbours,has been out ever since, but up to the date of the latest intelligence from Major's Creek, no clue can be found. It is much to be feared that Mrs. McGregor was thrown from her horse, and in the darkness of the night has fallen into some of the deep gullies and ravines which abound in this part of the country, in endeavouring to reach home. If such should turn out to be the case, but little hope remains that she will be found, for if dead her body would in all probability be devoured by native dogs, as was supposed to be the case with a lad who was lost in the same part of the bush some years since.

The article caught my attention, could this Mrs McGregor be related to me!!  I knew that my great,great,great Grandfather Peter McGregor had come to Australia and had settled into the Braidwood district, however, I had not heard any family stories about his wife Christina's untimely death!!

I searched  on Trove  little more, using the date of death to see if I could find any more information on Mrs McGregor's mysterious disappearance.  It took a while, finally I found another article that answered the question as to what happened to Mrs McGregor.

Empire (Sydney, NSW : 1850 - 1875), Saturday 24 October 1863, page 4

The late mysterious disappearance.  In our last issue we stated that Mrs. McGregor, wife of Mr Peter McGregor of Berlang had been missing since the previous Tuesday evening.  Her body was found on Friday Morning, and a magisterial inquiry held on the following day, at Toney's Public House, Majors Creek before J.H. Griffin, Esq. J.P., cleared up the mystery. It appeared from the evidence that the last time Mrs McGregor was seen alive was on Tuesday evening at about five o'clock, when she called at Toney's public house, which is a distant about four miles from her house, and remarked, on leaving, that she had plenty of time to get home before dark. The people who saw her last say that she had a glass, but was sober at the time she started for home. On the following (Wednesday) morning her horse was found about half a mile on the road between the public house and Berlang, tied to a sapling and inquiries to the fact that she had not yet reached her home, induced a further search, which was continued until Friday morning, when her cold body was found in an old shaft full of water about 300 yards at the rear of Toney's premises by her stepson. 

A post mortem examination by Dr Beer proved that she had been alive when falling into the shaft, and she had died from asphyxia.  The night upon which Mrs McGregor was missing was intensely dark, wet and stormy and the probability is that she had missed her way, and got off the road, and in making back for the public house lamp, had fallen into the shaft.  Her remains were interned on Sunday in the presence of a large concourse of friends and neighbours.  Braidwood Dispatch October 21 

Death Certificate - Christina McGregor
Oh what a sad story!!!  I still had not confirmed that she was  Christina McGregor, the wife of my Peter McGregor.  Time to look for some concrete evidence.  I did a search on the NSW Birth, Deaths and Marriages site, and found a Christina McGregor who had died in the Braidwood District in 1863.  I sent off my money and request for a copy of the death certificate.  I had to solve this mystery!!

 For the next week, I checked my mail box with eager anticipation!! 

The certificatee finally arrived and confirmed my suspicions. The death certificate for Peter McGregor's wife Christina stated that she had died from  asphyxia, after falling into a mine shaft.

My mystery solved!  Poor Christina who had travelled all the way from Scotland with her husband Peter McGregor and her stepchildren twelve years prior had met with such an unfortunate accident at the age of 44.  

Once again, thank you Trove!! for helping me find another fascinating story about my family tree. 


Friday, January 11, 2013

Friday's Family History Through the Alphabet Challenge" - D is for "Dog Tags"

Well it is the end of the week and as promised here my next post in Friday's Family History through the Alphabet Challenge which is my attempt to complete the Gouldgenealogy ChallengeFamily History Through the Alphabet Challenge.

With the first three letters,"A","B", and "C" ticked off, it is time to tackle "D"Again I wracked my brain for something that I had used to assist in the research of my family tree that started with D.  Then it came to me "Dog Tag" or as it was originally called in Australia "Identification Tag".

"Dog Tags" is the informal name for identification tags that are worn by armed service personnel.  The primary use for the tag through history has been for the identification of the dead and wounded, and advice of essential basic medical information such as blood type and inoculation history and relevant religion.  The term "Dog Tag" is an American term and wasn't used in Australia until around the time of the Vietnam War.*

The first conflict that records the use of "dog tags" or identification tags was the Boer War of (1899-1902).  The Australian and British forces were issued with a strip of tape that was to be carried in the pocket of their tunic to assist with identification if they were wounded or killed during battle. It was found that this tag was not always carried and from 1906 the troops were issued with tin disks that had their details stamped into them.  This practice was continued for the troops in WWI, with soldiers issued with two fibreboard discs, one to remain with the body, the other to go with the soldiers belongings when they were sent home.*

Identification Tags - Malcolm Michael Shepherd WWI
 It was found that the fibre board discs tended to rot in wet conditions so by the time of WWII the discs were made of metal and the cotton tape which hung around the neck was replaced by leather thong, or metal chain that wouldn't disintegrate in the extreme weather conditions of jungle warfare.*

Now, you may ask how do these tags assist you with your family research?  If like me you are lucky enough to inherit or have access to your father, grandfather, uncle, or great uncle's identification tags you can use the information on them to trace all the details of their involvement in the relevant military conflict.

 The tags of my grandfather Malcolm Michael Shepherd, provide me with the following details: his fathers name, religion, the town he came from and his service number and battalion.  From this information I am able to access the complete digital copy of his military record.   This information can be found on the Search Page of the Australian War Memorial Web Page.

Inserting your ancestors service number and name into the search boxes will enable to access to a digital copy of their complete military record which can be downloaded or if you prefer you can for a fee order a copy to be sent to you.

These records hold a mine of information, which can include: height, hair colour, next of kin, your ancestors signature when he signed up, the name of the ship they embarked on, a complete record of where he was stationed during the war, if he was wounded, if they went AWOL, the medals they received, the name of the ship they returned to Australia on and any correspondence that was written to family or from family after the war.

 I have accessed a number of  our family's members military records and have to say, besides being extremely interesting, they have helped me solve a number of family history puzzles.  One of my husbands family members had met and married a lady he met in England at the end of the war.  In his ditigal record I found: was record of the marriage, and a letter from his commander giving him permission to marry. Another record that amused me was for one of my great uncles who was a bit of a larrikin. His report showed he was up on charges for stealing a crate of beer and that he received the penalty of being confined to barracks for a month for this crime.

So if you are lucky enough to have or can access your ancestors identity tags or "dog tags" make use of them and they will allow you to uncover the story of their military involvement and give you a better understanding of some of the hardships they endured.

*  Australian War Memorial Encyclopedia, viewed 12/1/13.

Follow Friday - An accumulation of my weekly research - 7

It is quite a while since I have published a Follow Friday- An accumulation of My weekly Research post, I shall put this down to annual holidays, Christmas and the shock of having to go back to work in the new year.

Over the past few weeks I have been researching sisters  Emma Jane and Mary Anne Weston who came to Australia at Christmas time in 1856.  Emma Jane was my great great Grandmother.  It is an interesting story of two young girls travelling to the other side of the world to find employment in Australia.

Both sisters have an interesting story, Emma married Thomas Lee in 1858* and settled into the Braidwood and then Nelligen Districts of New South Wales and Mary Anne married the same year to William Pronger  and moved to Gympie in Queensland. I believe William and Mary Pronger moved from the mining gold town of Majors Creek/Araluen district (near Braidwood) to Gympie in the early 1860’s when Gold was discovered there. I have found some very interesting resources on both of these areas which have assisted me in gathering a little of their story.  If you are researching the early gold mining days in NSW and Queensland you might find some of these links useful.

Braidwood/Araluen and Nelligen, South Eastern, New South Wales

1. The Glenville Post Office Directory for 1871,
This is  a great resource and list names of people, and their occupations, living in the NSW settlements in 1871.
2.  A brief history of Nelligen, Batemans Bay and the Clyde River,
3. The Forgotten Mines of Nelligen,
4. Araluen, a brief History,
5. Braidwood settlers,
This has a short history on the settlers in Braidwood and some great photos of times past. 
6. Majors Creek, 
7. Araluen,
8. NSW Cemeteries List, 
On this page it is possible to link through to cemeteries in Araluen, Majors Creek, Braidwood and Araluen.
9.  Images of Braidwood in the National Archives:  
10. Braidwood Historical Society,

Gympie, Queensland

(You can join this library online, and then have access to quite a large collection of e-resources).
2. John Oxley Library Blog:
This can be found on the State Library site and has some great articles on the history and people of Queensland.
3.  Gympie Now and Then, 
This site provides you with pictures from the past compared with photos of the same place as they are now). Very interesting.
4. Gympie Cemetry Trust:
5.  Gympie Regional Council site:
On this page there is a link to a PDF copy of “Cooloola Shire… a golden past”, which tells the story of the pioneers of Gympie.
 6.  Historical Index's for BDM in Queensland.
 The BDM Indexes are of course invaluable for checking vital dates.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Sharing Memories - Early School Days in the Bush - School of the Air

As promised it is time to start fulfilling one of my new year resolutions, which was to join Olive Tree Genealogy’s Blog’s idea of Sharing Memories.  All family tree researchers wish our ancestors had put more down on paper or had passed on more of their family records and photos.  With this in mind I plan over the next twelve months (there has to be a starting point) to record some of my memories.  Maybe someone will be interested in years to come.

I don’t know that I will be able to be as diligent as Olive Tree Genealogy with a post each week, however I will endeavour to post as many stories as I can.  Here is my first:

Early School Days in the Bush – School of the Air

In the early 1950’s my father took up the position of “overseer” on a station in the far western corner of NSW, Australia.  Nuntherungie Station, a property of 175,000 acres was about 120 miles from Broken Hill and about 45 miles from the small opal mining town of White Cliffs.  The Wool Industry was Australia’s main industry at this time and Nuntherungie’s main produce was the fine merino wool from its flock of sheep.

I was the eldest child so when I turned 5 it was time for my parents to look at the options for my schooling.  Actually, considering the distances to the nearest school there weren’t many options.  I was enrolled into Blackfriars Correspondence School and School of the Air.  Blackfriars was based in Sydney and each week I would receive brown A4 envelope with my lessons for the week.  With the assistance of my Mum, I would work my way through the lessons and send them back the following week (on the weekly mail truck), for marking. 

Mrs Gibbs and children at School of the Air

School of the Air was in addition to the correspondence lessons and provided me with interaction with other isolated students and our teachers who were based in Broken Hill.  I can remember my excitement when the small two way radio arrived and was set up in our family room.  Each day, at 9.00am and at 2.00pm School of the Air Broken Hill would be on line.  Children from miles around would sit up in front of the Radio and wait for the morning broadcast and the teachers Good morning everyone, then there would be a clamour of children calling in with their call signs and a good morning to everyone.  My call sign was 8NEK Nuntherungie, and I would join the throng of calls with “ 8NEK Nuntherungie, Good Morning Miss Gibbs”.  The morning program would include singing “God Save our Gracious Queen” and the School of the Air song “Parted but United”, followed by news.  It would be very exciting if you were called on to tell everyone listening your news for the day.  The time slots would be taken up with lessons, reading, stories, music, all those wonderful interactive activities that children in “normal” schools took for granted.

Mrs Phyliss Gibbs
 When we were visiting Broken Hill we were able to to to the school and sit in on the lessons as they were broadcast out to all the children in the outback.  I loved the opportunity to visit the school, and to be able to borrow books from their library and talk to the teachers in person.  At the time I was a student, the principle was Mrs Gibbs, whose name was synonymous with the development of Distance Education in Broken Hill.

One of my most vivid memories of school of the air was playing the part of a chicken in a play.  All the children selected to be in the play were sent copies of the script and we had to practice reading and learning the lines before the big day when we  read our parts in the play over the two radio.  My mother put together my costume of a cardboard beak, a bonnet with a red comb stitched to the top and a hessian bag with holes cut in the side so that when I put it on the back corner stuck out like a hens tail.  Such an innovative mother!!  The big day arrived and I sat all dressed up in my costume, with my script, in front of the two way radio!!  The teacher announced the play and then asked each member of the caste to describe their costume to everyone.  Then we  waited excitedly for the spot in the script where we had to push the button on our microphone and read our lines.

My family dressed ready for the School of the Air Picnic Day
The staff of School of the Air organised two annual events in Broken Hill where all the children and their families would gather in Broken Hill.  The first was the annual School Picnic which was held mid-year, all the students would go to the school on the day before and be issued with our sports uniform (dark blue jacket, white shorts and white shirts with the big blue logo of School of the Air, on the pocket).  Then the next day, we would assemble in front of the school in our white uniforms, and newly whitened sandshoes ready to catch the buses out to the school picnic.  Our parents and younger family members would follow in the cars to join in the fun.  The day was full of running races, sack and egg and spoon races for all the children, followed by a big picnic lunch.  In the afternoons there were more novelty races and the parents were invited to join in.  Then the highlight of the day for all the children was the “Lolly man”.  One of the parents would don a plastic raincoat which had bags of lollies stapled to it.  He would then run around the oval with all the children running after him, trying to pull off the bags of lollies.  Just thinking about it makes me smile!

The second event for the year was the Christmas Party, which was held in the park next to the School of the Air building in Broken Hill.  Again, families would travel miles into Broken Hill to attend.  The party would start mid-afternoon and everyone  dressed in their best party clothes, would join in the games, receive a present from Santa Clause  and eat lots of party food. For children (and parents as well) who didn’t have the opportunity to socialise and mix with others because of their isolated environments these occasions were very important social events. I can remember myself and my three sisters being bundled along to the shoe shop in Broken Hill so that our parents could purchase some “good” shoes for the occasion.  (As we had always grown out of the shoes we had worn the previous year).

Our family moved away from this district when I was about 10 years old.  One of the driving forces for this move was for our family to be in a place where there were better education opportunities for myself and my sisters.  The burden on my mother of overseeing the education of four girls was considerable, and my parents thought was time that we were exposed to “main stream” education. 

In reflection I would not have changed those few years of my early education.  I believe that School of the Air and Blackfriars provided me with some skills that the mainstream education system would not have, i.e. the ability to be open to different forms of education, to be able to work independently and of course all those wonderful memories.  

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Friday's Family History Through the Alphabet Challenge" - C is for Census

Friday is here again and it is time for my next post in Friday's Family History through the Alphabet Challenge which is my attempt to complete the Family History Through the Alphabet Challenge.

"C" is the letter of the moment, and I am going with something very obvious!  "C" is for Census!  You may say "not very original", however, my justification is that I believe copies of the census play a very important part of family tree research.

As I am based in Australia I will, in this blog, refer mainly to the Australian Census.  However, a lot of this information is relevant for census records in other countries.

What is a Census?  It is the collection and recording of information on the population of a country. It collects information on occupation, number of people living in a dwelling, the type of dwelling and occupations of those living in that dwelling on Census night.  In Australia, the census is conducted every 5 years under the Census and Statistics Act of 1905.

The first national census in Australia was held in 1901, prior to this date the most common way to record information about the population was a muster or state census. Data on the population of Australia was collected from as early as 1788.  Up until the census in 1901 each of the states and colonies held regular musters or census that collected a variety of information, e.g. occupation, age, number of family members, gender and marital status. The state libraries provide access to these records  Victorian State Library, NSW State Library, and the State Library of Western Australia for example.

The collection of information on the Australia population in the early days of settlement wasn't easy, as is pointed out in the article written on the collection of the 1841 census for South Australia by Jaunay (2004). As Jaunay points out, the colony of South Australia was only 5 years old, the distances were vaste, tallies were incorrect, spellings were incorrect and there is a lack of detail. However, these musters if not entirely accurate,  provide us with a snapshot of the times. As the collection of information became more efficient over the years,  these systematic collections of population information have become a great source of information for social researchers, historians and genealogists.

If you are interested in an overall picture or snap shot of what it was like in Australia at a particular census time the Australian Census Web site provides summaries or "snapshots" of the data collected at the time of the census.  An interesting snapshot on the 1901 Census can be found on this site at "A Snap Shot of Australia 1901.

Now you may ask, how does the census help me with my family tree research?  Here is a brief summary of the information that can be gleaned from your ancestors census record:  It will provide some of if not all of the information on: their address, occupation, names of those in the house on census night, ages, where they were born, the relationship and gender of the people living in the dwelling and their neighbours. 

Looking at the census over a number of years will help you trace the movement of your ancestors, when the children left home, if the grandparents have moved in to be looked after in their old age and if they absent it may give you a clue as to when they may have passed away.  If a young child appears on one census report and then not on the next there is a fair chance that they may have died in infancy. 

A census record can also be very useful in locating other members of the family, once you have located one member of the family it is a good idea to go through the pages before and after on the census record as you can often find other members of the family who live near by. 

I would be interested to hear from others on their tips for gathering and analysing information re their family tree from census records!!

*Jaunay, G. (2004), "1841 South Australian Census, What you will and won't find",, viewed 4 January 2013.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Wedding Wednesday - Tilly (Matilda) Taylor and Harold Vincent Holman

Matilda Taylor and Harold Holman 1923
This wedding picture is my husband's Great Aunt Matilda (Tilly) Taylor and Great Uncle Harold Holman and was taken in 1923 on the day of their wedding in Marrickville, a suburb of Sydney, NSW, Australia.  Tilly was the daughter of Richard Taylor (1862-1935) and Marion Millar McNair (1864-1952) and she was the great granddaughter of Elizabeth Rushworth and William Taylor from Colne, Lancashire, UK.  I have recently completed a series of blogs on her grandmother,  Elizabeth Rushworth in my blog, "The Other Half of My Tree - stories of my female ancestors".

Matilda completed her teacher training in Sydney in 1920 and her first posting was in country NSW at the small bush town of Brewarrina.  At this time Harold was working in Gunnedah as a town clerk.  Harold was a WWI veteran, having joined the army when he was only 16 years old.  He served in France and was wounded three times and had suffered gas poisoning.  Despite the distance between their country postings Tilly and Harold met and were married in Marrickville, Sydney in 1923.*  After their marriage they moved to Geurie, a small village out side of the NSW country town of Dubbo.  There three children Vincent, Harold and Joan were born here.  Shortly after Joan's birth Harold accepted a posting as Town Clerk for the Cowra Council, where they lived for the rest of their lives.** 

Marriage of Harold Holman and Mathilda Taylor- 1923 Marrickville 1923


 * New South Wales Births Deaths and Marriages, 6119/1923
** Matilda Holman's Obituary from Cowra Guardian 26 January 2001