Friday, December 30, 2011

Why were the Keough children were admitted to the Randwick Asylum for Destitute Children?

Annie Nicholson was the third child of Fanny Norman and Henry Nicholls, two convicts who had been transported to Hobart in Van Diemen's Land (Tasmania, Australia); and a younger sister of my Great, Great Grandmother, Louisa Nicholls. 

Note: Some of Anne's siblings were given the "real" surname of her father, Henry Nicholls, and other's had their name given as Nicholson. It seems ex-convicts commonly changed their names to remove the stigma of being a transported criminal.

Anne was born on the 16 March 1858 in Maitland, after her parents had left Tasmania and resettled in New South Wales. In December of 1874, Anne married William Keough aged 18 in Elizabeth Street Sydney, at the residence of James Fullerton L.L.D., a minister in the Presbyterian Church, who was occasionally sanctioned for performing "Quick" marriages.

Four children were born to this couple:

  • William Henry Albert George Keogh in 1975
  • Florence Annie Matilda Keogh in 1977
  • Victoria Ellen May Keogh, aka May in 1880
  • Annie Louisa Keogh, aka Louisa in 1882

In September of 1885, three of the children, William, Florence and Victoria were admitted to the Randwick Asylum for Destitute Children by their father, William. The reason recorded by the asylum was that "[Their] Mother deserted. Father cannot look after them" William had to pay 7/6 (7 shillings and 6 pence) for the board of his children.

From the records of the Randwick Asylum of Destitute Children

The children stayed for many years in the Asylum until they were old enough (around 13 years of age) to be "Be Transferred" to wealthy households as servants, having done one years apprenticeship to the Asylum, training for their new duties.

My question however is why the youngest daughter was not sent to the asylum? Did her mother take her with her? Or was it because their mother was very ill? Anne died 8 years later in 1893, aged only 36 of "Chronic Brights Disease", a kidney disease, and described in terms of the day at the link provided.

I have the records, but not necessarily the real reasons or answers. I have a theory that the children were sent to the asylum as Anne was too ill to look after her children, rather than deserting her family, or so I would like to think!

  • New South Wales, Australia, Registers for the Randwick Asylum for Destitute Children, 1852 - 1915; NSW State Records
  • Certificates from the NSW Register of Births Deaths and Marriages held by self

Thursday, December 22, 2011

William Clarence Morgan : Christmas in waiting

My Great Grandfather's brother, William Clarence Morgan, a member of the 20th Battalion A.I.F. was wounded in France during WWI, on the 27th July 1918,  suffering a gunshot wound to the stomach. Many letters were exchanged between my Great, Great Grandparents  and the War Office as they were justifiably concerned about the welfare of their son. Below is a sample of the correspondence Will sent to family members during his convalescence and in anticipation of getting home in time for Christmas.

Will is in the last bed on the left
The verso reads:
Dear Niece, (26.9.18)
Just a P.C. to let you know I am getting on well now, and that I received your parcel which pleased me very well indeed. I suppose by now you have all heard the news of me being wounded. I am presently in our own [Australian] Hospital at Harefield Park, having being shifted from Bath Hospital on Saturday last. Well, I hope to be on my way home before Christmas. I have been marked for home, but don't know when I will be leaving here. I hope you are a good girl & getting on well at school, and that [your] Mother and Father are well & that you visit Grandma & Grandpa often. No more this time, so I will close now

With love & Kisses from Uncle Will

"Christmas Compliments"
from wounded Australian Soldiers, UK, 1918
However, Will was a very resilient young man, who after being transferred through many hospitals, both in France and the UK, was eventually deemed fit to return to Australia. This card sends his Christmas Greetings to his family. He was a prolific letter and postcard writer, and seemed very fond of his nieces, including my Grandmother and her sister, as I still have many of the cards he sent. 

This photograph was sent to my Great Grandfather, Thomas Morgan, and it reads:

My Dear Brother, (9.11.18)

I am doing A.1. at Lloyds now & looking forward to getting home. We should have  left here yesterday, but once again the boat was postponed. Never mind, we will all be home shortly & peace will be signed before XMAS. Keep a pint of Tooths XXX [brand of beer] should I be late in arriving old boy. Last word I had from Bert [another brother], he was doing O.K.  You will pick yours truly out in this Photo; doesn't look  as if I have just done 14 weeks in bed. Takes more than a hard headed "Fritz" [slang for  a German soldier] to kill a Morgan, although I had a narrow squeak. Love to Fran [my Great Grandmother]  and children.

Your affectionate Bro, Will

Will eventually returned home to Sydney and was discharged as "Medically Unfit" on the 19 July 1919, He had travelled from Weymouth, UK aboard the Hospital Transport Ship "Czar" which firstly arrived in Melbourne on the 16th May 1919. 

From the photograph below, it seems the whole family turned out to greet him and I'm pretty sure that there was more than one cold beer put aside for him! 

Morgan Family gathered to welcome home William Clarence, Lidcombe NSW, 1919
Surrounded by flags of the World

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Tombstone Tuesday : Carol Judkins and her Headstone Photograph Collection

I have been doing a small amount of research into my husband's family - why he doesn't do it himself, I don't know - he is always interested in what results I find! But I digress. Being limited in our mobility, travelling to cemeteries, either near or far can be a difficult prospect for us. My husband grew up in rural Victoria, Australia and luckily  for us there is a wonderful person named Carol Judkins who spends her weekends roaming Victoria, photographing and the adding pictures and names to her database at "Carol's Headstone Photographs" which can be searched by Cemetery name.

I'm unsure as to whether this fabulous resource, one that is provided free, and carried out as a labour of love has been written about before, but for those of us who are less mobile, and have ancestors who lived in rural Australia, this site is a must!

When I emailed regarding some photos listed for my husband's Jesser Family (His Paternal Great Grandparents) who are buried at Chewton Cemetery, I had a reply within the hour!

These are the results of my two minute search plus an email.

Charles and Mary Jesser (Sands) and their daughter Faney

Leonard Herbert Jesser and his wife Francis Louise Fraser

Hilda and William Douglas Jesser

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Michael Dillon from Ireland : Origins lost in transcription

My 3x Great Grandfather, Michael Dillon whom I had previously listed as one of my "Most Wanted" ancestors, along with his wife Mary (O'Grady) and son Michael, my Great, Great Grandfather, arrived in Australia on the 12 April 1848, aboard the barque "Subroan", carrying 209 Bounty Immigrants. According to the transcription of the ships arrival into Sydney by Ancestry, they had departed from Scarriff in County Clare, and the family's place of origin was Baher, County Galway in Ireland. records

Place of origin from the original record hosted by ancestry
Looking at the original record from the New South Wales, Assisted Immigrant Passenger Lists, 1828-1896 collection, it still states that the family's place of origin was Baher, Galway. Ireland.

Scarriff (A) to Barna (B) from Google Maps

However, searching Google Maps, no such place existed. The closest I could find is Barna (Baher), Co. Galway which is a coastal town, while Scarriff, Co. Clare is an inland town, 80 kilometres away.

I believe that the family must have had a very strong brogue, as Michael's daughter's surname was written as Denham on her birth certificate. The record shows that Michael's parents could neither read nor write, thus the possible misinterpretation of the place of origin

This discrepancy of place names and misspellings, put beside the evidence of the map, leaves me wondering just how wrong the transcriptions can be, and how vigilant we must be in checking out just what is the reality of our history, and what is meant by such terms as "place of origin".

I have had to change many of my original assumptions as to where Michael Dillon was born; Instead of being born in Barna / Baher in Co. Galway, he was born in Scarriff in Co. Clare, while the ship, (spelt Subraon on the record and Sobraon on the transcription)  departed from Barna / Baher. If I had done this simple check it may have saved me quite a few Euro's, searching Irish databases for birth and marriage certificates.

Michael Dillon, 1843-1906, Memorial Card

Monday, November 14, 2011

Names, Places and Most Wanted Faces

Following Geniaus' suggestion about adding our "most wanted" ancestors from Australia and their homeland, adapted from Thomas MacEntee's Surname Saturday blog post, I have created a new blog. Here are the (public) answers to my very first meme regarding my most elusive ancestors.


1. List your surnames in alphabetical order as follows:

[SURNAME]: State/Province (county/subdivision), date range
as in:

AUSTIN surname: New York (Jefferson County, Lewis County, St. Lawrence County), 1830-present; Rhode Island (Kent County, Washington County), 1638-1830

2. At the end, list your Most Wanted Ancestor with details!

Aston, Mary: Armagh, Ireland, ?-1903; Emigrating to Australia at some unknown time

Cook, William Henry or Henry William: Shoreditch, Middlesex, England, 1819-1869, Emigrating to Australia at some unknown time

Dillon , Michael: Baher, Galway, Ireland, 1811-?
Michael Dillon arrived in NSW, Australia in 1848 aboard the "Subroan" with his son Michael and wife Mary.

Jones, Mary: Tredegar, Wales 1831-1889
Mary Jones married Thomas Pugh Morgan in Abergavenny in 1851. Together with their children, they immigrated to Queensland, later settling in Wallsend NSW

King, Olive: Brighton, Sussex, England, 1820?-1898
Convict, Olive King was transported to NSW for 7 years aboard the “Mary Anne”.

Lefroy, James: Ireland? 1804-1884
Convict, James Lefroy was transported to Australia aboard the “Eliza” in 1832 for 7 years.

Matheson, Christiana: Isle of Skye, Scotland, 1815?-1895; 
Emigrating to Australia at some unknown time

Morgan, Thomas Pugh: Monmouthshire, Wales 1827-1881.
Thomas Pugh Morgan married Mary Jones in Abergavenny in 1851. Together with their children, they immigrated to Queensland, later settling in Wallsend NSW

Nicholls Henry: Rochester, Kent, England, 1818-?
Convict, Henry Nicholls was transported to Tasmania for 15 years, arriving aboard the “Gilmore” in 1843. There he met and married another convict, Fanny Norman in 1852. Sometime after 1854, the family moved to, and settled in Sydney NSW. Henry then disappears from the records

O’Connor, James: Ballinalack, Westmeath, Ireland 1837-1902; 
Emigrating to Australia at some unknown time

O’Sullivan / Sullivan, Julia: Boherbue, County Cork, Ireland, 1833-?; E
migrating to Australia at some unknown time

Smith, Owen – total brick wall – only named on son’s baptism certificate as a shoemaker, at Boorolong Station near Armidale NSW, Australia

Wotton, William: Bridford, Devon, England 1830-1870; Emigrating to Australia at some unknown time

My Most Wanted? Owen Smith (see above) and his wife Christiana Matheson by a long shot. My Mother started her search for this couple over 40 years ago, and it was only recently that Christiana's surname and place of birth were discovered. But even contacting a researcher on the Isle of Skye, nothing can identify her parents or when she would have arrived in Australia!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Counting our Blessings : Living with Parkinson's Disease

This is not really a genealogy blog about ancestors; It is about the life my husband and I have lived over the past years and will serve as a story for generations to come. 

A few months ago, I was approached by Parkinson's Victoria, wanting to know if I would be willing to be interviewed for an article, describing life as a carer for someone who has had PD for 25 years. The article was used as part of Parkinson's Victoria's Christmas Appeal, 2011. This morning, without notice, I received the actual copy, sent to all Parkinson's Victoria members. It was a slight shock, to see your words on such a personal matter in print.

I was interviewed by a wonderful lady named Indira Kennedy. A half hour interview turned into a two hour chat. I described the problems we have faced, warts and all, and she came up with a wonderfully sensitive take on the difficulties we face on a daily basis. I have added some details to round out the story in italicized type.
Here is how she worked a terrible tale into a blessed life:

Counting Our Blessings

I may not have the man I married but I do have much to be grateful for

Living with Parkinson’s takes courage and strength, dedication and patience. It can also take the things you love - if you let it.

My husband Paul has lived with this challenging illness for over 25 years. He was only 32 years old when he was diagnosed, but probably had developed the disease a few years prior to diagnosis. It was so early in life and such early days in understanding how to manage it and live well with an ‘older person’s disease’.

I met Paul as a father of two girls. I have three boys. My own health is challenging, living with chronic pain from a bad fall,  and sometimes I wonder who is looking after whom! Between us, as a second marriage for both, you could say we had a lot on our plate.

At first Parkinson’s wasn't so noticeable. Paul had a lot of coping skills and hid the symptoms well. As a scientist he knows everything there is to know about the physiology of disease. Paul was a senior research scientist at CSIRO for 22 years, specializing in Molecular Biology. He also won many awards including the prestigious "Chairman's Medal". He loves history and immersed himself in the thousands of books lining our home; Seriously! He has an amazing sense of humour and a wonderful way with language. But at an emotional level, it’s another thing altogether.

You could say Paul doesn't want to know, to face up to what has gradually taken so much of him. But what I have learned is that Paul hates confrontations, always looks for peace and doesn’t allow his condition to rob him of his good nature.
At Cross Country, Benalla

For example, Paul was fabulous with the children when they were young. He took them to Little Athletics every Saturday during summer, and cross country during winter, despite his condition. When he could no longer drive, he took a taxi. He quietly soldiered on.

As for me, I have learned to express the emotion for both of us. I know what it is to go through the stages of grief, having lost both my parents around the same time Paul's health began to worsen, to feel robbed of the fit & strong man I married, to have the children struggle to confront the reality of a dad who was ill.

Many times I have fallen into total exasperation, burdened by the dependency on me. At times it was like looking after my father in the last months of his life - Paul had become an "old man". Sometimes it feels like I’m flying blind dealing with how Paul is feeling or what he needs to be comfortable. I’ve come home to find him frozen in muscle spasms on the floor, or in the full throes of tremors. I had to give up work, in 2008 just as he did, aged 49 two years previously, to try to live better with the progression of this demanding disease. 

My saving grace was contacting Parkinson’s Victoria when I just didn’t know how to go on. Their useful tips about simple things like shirts with press studs, tracksuits with no elastic in the ankles, slip on shoes, all gave me a new view of daily life. Getting dressed and doing up buttons on a shirt or tying shoelaces was beginning to take half an hour for each task, so I was dressing him, an embarrassing proposition for a man in his prime!

But more importantly, I learned what side effects to expect from the many drugs Paul needed to control his spasms, to know what stages to expect as the disease took its path, got referrals to other services, and I learnt what our options were. One of those options was a change in his drug regime which  included a 24 hour infusion pump of the dopamine agonist of Apomine, changed daily, until there was nowhere to put the butterfly needle as he was so skinny, and finally, Deep Brain Stimulation in May of 2010. Note: The solutions that suited Paul are not for everyone. Please talk to your neurologist!
Infusion pump and needle
Even more so, I was grateful to have a time to cry and let go when no-one else could truly understand. I’ve needed to speakup and have someone support us. Parkinson’s Victoria got us on the right track when another track wasn’t working. They referred us to the right agencies who arranged for easy access to the bathroom and install hand rails, and find respite care. They helped us to bring the whole emotional experience into one that became, ‘This is how it goes.’ I learned to accept and keep fighting on.

Charging across a Southern US battle field

We travelled to America for three months, driving 2500 miles, mainly looking at Civil war sites in the Southern states - one of his passions while it was possible, and had the trip of a lifetime together. And we can still holiday in places where we are still able to meet Paul’s needs.

These days Paul snoozes a lot during the day, and seems slower. But his mind is just as sharp and his love is just as powerful.

Thankfully, Parkinson's will not shorten Paul’s life - he can expect to live as long as any averageAustralian male. But Parkinson’s will continue to challenge us, and sometimesin unpleasant ways. We will still need Parkinson’s Victoria to help us, every step of the way.

There is no doubt Parkinson's has changed Paul a lot. I might not have the man I married, but I do have the man who in his own way keeps on fighting along side me, in the best way he knows how. And we constantly count our blessings.

Everyone has their own story, and their own journey. Parkinson’s Victoria remains dedicated to taking those steps with us all.

Please give generously to this appeal. We know, as most likely you do, the incredible difference this service makes to so many lives.

Thank you and please have a safe and joyful festive season.


Friday, October 14, 2011

The Death of William Smith : A PITIFUL STORY

William Smith, my paternal Great Grandfather born in 1854, was the son of Owen Smith and Christiana Matheson (from the Isle of Skye). Owen disappeared from the records, however in 1857, Christiana went on to marry Jabez Smith, a shepard then later a store-keeper on the station "Boorolong" near Armidale.  Jabez and Christiana had three children, Eliza and Catherine - twin girls, born in 1858 and Charles born 1860. 

Jabez wrote his will in 1885, and died in 1888. His will states that "My stepson William to have all my horses and 1 dray & harness". The probate papers for Jabez' will describes these items as " 1 harness (old) worth £1, 10/- and 1 dray (old) worth £6". When in total his whole estate was valued at probate for just under £1000 with the majority of his estate being granted to his son Charles and his son in law, John Archibald Chisholm ; it seems step-sons were not very important in the scheme of things.

In 1881 William married Agnes Jane Johnson. I do not know why William and his family left  the thriving Boorolong station, and moved to such a remote area. I might assume that he was no longer welcome at Boorolong after the death of his mother in 1894 and perhaps  they thought he might "Make his Fortune"  carting goods to the miners whom had flocked to the area  because of the gold rush that was happening along Swamp Oak Creek during that time, but those reasons are now lost to time. Together William and Agnes Jane had 4 sons and 4 daughters; William Thomas, Ernest Jabez, Albert James, Henry Owen, Eliza Pearl, Janet Christina, Ethel May, and later, an illegitimate daughter, Vida F. Smith

However in 1895 tragedy struck. I was recently reading a book called Three of a kind : a history of Niangla, Weabonga & Ingelba by Claire Brazel et al. There was no mention of the Smith family in the index, although, from NSW death certificates held by me, I already knew that William had died at "Swamp Oak" - later renamed Weabonga in 1917. I was casually reading some of the small inserts of newspaper clippings that illustrate chapters in this book, when I was came across this passage on page 161 which rocked me to my core:

A PITIFUL STORY:- A sad story of destitution reaches us from Swamp Oak (writes the Walcha “Witness”) A Mr [William] Smith, a carter by occupation, has been living with his wife [Agnes Jane Johnson] and family near the school there. One boy got injured and was taken to Tamworth Hospital with a broken leg. From inquiries made by Constable Payne it appears the rest of the family were sleeping in the house without one blanket between them. Sickness set in, in the shape of inflammation of the lungs. The residents of Swamp Oak subscribed a little money and sent the father to Tamworth for medical advice. He reached Tamworth, but appears to have got no advice and no medicine for the children. On his return, although he did not complain, it was noticed that he was bad. Now the father and two boys have died, and the mother and remaining two [where were the other three?] children are in a bad state. Constable Payne came into the town – having ridden through from Tamworth and made arrangements for the admission of the mother and two children to the Walcha Hospital. Mr W. Moore has gone out for them.
Tamworth Observer, 24th August 1895

This trip, done either on horseback, by dray or by foot would have been no mean feat. The distance between Weabonga and Tamworth is about 45.5 miles, and the terrain is steep  and wild and the tracks at that time, rough.

from Google Maps 2011

I had previously found a plaque inscribed with the name  "W. Smith and his two sons" from  their burial place at the Weabonga Cemetery, with only minimal details listed. I wrote to the Tamworth Historical Society filling them in with the missing details and asked if they had any information regarding an outbreak of diphtheria  - the offical cause of death given on  the NSW Death certifcates of William and his two sons, Henry Owen  (aged 10) and Albert James (aged 6) - in the area during July and August (the months of their death) of 1895, but they could not give me any answer.

Weabonga Cemetery plaque - from Australian Cemeteries Index

Information on Diphtheria:
"Diphtheria is aninfectious disease which primarily affects the mucous membranes of therespiratory tract (respiratory diphtheria).
Throughouthistory, diphtheria was a leading cause of death among children, and it wasonce referred to as the "strangling angel of children." Thediphtheria bacterium was first identified in the 1880s. In the 1890s, theantitoxin against diphtheria was developed, with the first vaccine beingdeveloped in the 1920s.
The signs andsymptoms of respiratory diphtheria are caused by the bacterium's ability tocause a localized inflammatory reaction of the cells lining the upperrespiratory tract. In certain cases, the disease can become more severe andwidespread, and it can involve other organs of the body as well. 
Diphtheria is transmitted to closecontacts via airborne respiratory droplets. Overcrowding and poor livingconditions can further contribute to the spread of diphtheria."

Family lore always had William and the two children dying, after his horse and dray were  broken up and washed away while trying to cross a flooded and swollen creek.

It is a story worthy of more investigation, but no matter what the circumstances, the idea of my Great Grandparents and their children "living without a blanket between them" will always send a shiver down my spine.

NSW BDM Certificates
Australian Cemeteries Index
Three of a kind : a history of Niangla, Weabonga & Ingelba / Claire Brazel et al, 1991
Google Maps

    Tuesday, August 30, 2011

    Arthur Roberts : From Boyhood to Fatherhood : The Making of a Good Man

    The Life and Times of Arthur Thomas Herbert Roberts, as told by his daughter Marjorie Roberts : edited by his Granddaughter, Linda.

    Arthur Thomas Herbert Roberts, as he always called himself, on official occasions or Arthur, on formal occasions and Artie to friends, was born on the 21st of January 1898, at his parent’s home in Riley Street, Surry Hills; an inner city suburb of Sydney, which at that time was well known as a slum area. A good description of the area and times can be found in the novel Foveaux”  by Kylie Tennant.

    He was the 2nd eldest of eight children born to Thomas Roberts and Elizabeth Olive Dillon.The grandparents of both his parents were convicts, sent from Britain to New South Wales between 1830 and 1850. John Roberts and Sophia Chapman were his paternal Great grandparents, while his maternal Great Grandparents were Olive King and James Lefroy. Arthur's eldest sibling, Olive was born in Surry Hills in 1896, while his youngest, Mavis France, was born in 1916 at their new home "Olveena" in Austral Street, Long Bay, where she lived for the whole 91 years of life.

    As a child he used to walk the 8 miles out to Long Bay with his father Thomas, to visit his aunt, Hannah Roberts, his father’s sister. Hannah had married Lawrence “Larry” Burns in 1896, and had moved to Long Bay around 1900. In 1910 Arthur’s family also decided to move from the inner city to the almost unknown suburb of Long Bay,with its fresh air, clean drinking water, seaside and space. Long Bay had been “settled”  less than 25 years earlier. But for many thousands of years had been home to the local Aboriginal people, many who still resided there, while the newcomers built around them.

    A.T.H. Roberts, 1915
    By this time, at the age of 12, Arthur had finished his schooling, eventually training as a tinsmith, making travelling trunks.

    At the age of 17 and 10 months, on the 8th of November 1915, he joined the Australian Imperial Force and was enlisted into the 19th battalion (The South Sydney Battalion)

    Records show that he lied about his age, which is listed as being 18 years and 9 months. The Army records also show that he was 5’ 2” and weighed 8 stone, 3 pounds, when he left Australia on the 12 December from Sydney, New South Wales, on board HMAT Berrima. 
    HMAT Berrima
    After stopping over in Alexandria were he was transferred to the 2nd Battalion A.I.F. (the battalion he remained attached to for the rest of the war), he arrived in Marseilles, France in March of 1916, and by late July 1916, was wounded in the battle of Pozieres, when  up on a church wall, a shell exploded and a piece of shrapnel was lodged in his temple. Arthur was one of only a handful of men to survive such an injury, but he always claimed that he survived because he was ordered to walk from the front line to find medical assistance, as the battalion was in retreat.  In his words, “the circulation from walking helped me survive”. He was eventually sent to the Third West General Hospital near Cardiff, Wales in August of 1916 for recovery, but by October of 1917, he was back in France. Put on cooking duties, he spilt a large pot of boiling water on his right arm, and was again sent for medical treatment.

    He returned to Australia on His Majesty’s Troop Ship, “City of Poona”; leaving Southampton in England on the 28th March 1919, and arriving in Melbourne in Victoria on the 14th May 1919, from where he had to make his way home to Sydney by train; a distance of some 600 miles.

    On his return home, he was presented with a special 9 carat gold medal inscribed “Pres TO, A.T.H. Roberts, from his friends A. & AE SUMNER, on his return from the, GREAT WAR, 17. 5.19”  ; Mr Sumner being the well known and respected local Anglican Minister at St. Mark's Church of England.

    Once home, even the peaceful, sleepy suburb of Long Bay could not settle his nerves. He left Sydney and “went bush” down the south coast of New South Wales near Shoalhaven, staying away for four years. On his return home around 1923, he bought a horse and cart and went around the local area selling fruit and vegetables, many of which he bought from the local Chinese market gardeners at Matraville. When a green grocer’s shop opened in Long Bay, it was Arthur who supplied them with their produce.

    In 1924 he bought a Ford truck to carry on his old business more effectively. In the year before he passed away, John Anderson, a pioneer of Long Bay who had had a long running carting business, sold his business to Arthur, whom he thought was a dependable character, thus his truck was named "Dependable". The goods Arthur now carted included coal, coke and wood which households burnt for heating and cooking, and ice to keep food cold, as electricity was connected to only a very few of the houses in the area, and refrigerators were not yet on the market; it took his wife Doris until the 1970's to give up her “Ice Chest” for such a new, and in her opinion, useless Electric Refrigerator!
    Newly weds, Arthur and Doris,
    leaving All Souls Church
    1924 was an eventful year for Arthur, as he also met his future wife, Doris Louisa Morgan, at one of the many dances that were regularly held at Anderson's Hall in Victoria St. In June 1926, they were married at All Souls Church of England in Petersham, back near where they had both been born.

    Arthur and Doris in their new home
    The newlyweds settled in a cottage named “Longhaven” in Prince Edward St. Their first daughter, Doreen Lorraine was born in 1927. Business remained promising, and Arthur bought a number of housing blocks to ensure his family’s future. 

    When in 1929, the world was hit by an economic depression, Arthur continued to give service to clients even if they could not pay. The couple began to argue, as Doris believed that many families whom had pleaded poor, could in reality, afford to pay as many husbands worked on 'the quite' or QT as it is said in Australian slang, while her family went without. Arthur however, kept up his charitable attitudes by giving a lift to men he saw walking to Moore Park for food handouts, even though he could barely afford the petrol. He continued to struggle economically, and the blocks of land he had purchased against such an eventuality had to be sold. He would never consider signing up for “The Dole” nor accept handouts himself, but continued to struggle financially, while maintaining his compassionate work. However, soon all his assets were gone and he was left with nothing. 

    Long Bay Fire Station, Raglan St., Malabar
    In 1929 Arthur became a notable member of the local Volunteer Fire Brigade, located in Raglan St, near to where he lived with his new family. Arthur was an active member until 1965, just over 35 years, being given life long membership and a medal for long and outstanding service.

    Arthur was also a founding member of the “Long Bay Social Club”, set up to assist, and provide  sustenance and entertainment for those unfortunates who had settled at Long Bay after losing their livelihoods, homes and sometimes families during the "Great Depression"

    By this time, Arthur and Doris had another daughter to feed; Beverley Frances born in late 1928. Doris had also had stillborn child during this period, and the family must have been in turmoil. His health began to suffer, and on doctor’s orders, he moved with his family to Shoalhaven Heads; his old stomping grounds of the South coast of NSW. The family lived in the back of his truck until he found somewhere to rent.
    Baby Beverley being Bathed

    After six months respite, he returned to Malabar living in Raglan Street, while building a new house for his family, next to his mother's home in Austral Street, on land previously purchased by his father Thomas who had recently died. Many friends aided him in his building work; the blueprints were donated to, and are now held by, the Randwick  and District Historical Society. 
    One boon for this period was the wreck of the ship "The Malabar" in 1931. Despite the official efforts in trying to stop the public taking home the cargo that had washed ashore, or floated in the bay, the temptation was too much for many Long Bay residents; with barrels of butter, nails, wood and many more useful and even life-saving items being there for the taking. Items were hidden when Custom's Officers came to investigate the missing cargo. The SS Malabar contributed to the suburb in one more very important way, and that was its name; In 1933, Long Bay was officially renamed "Malabar"

    Life went on relatively smoothly for Arthur and Doris, though busy working, dancing and raising three daughters; Marjorie had been born in 1933. The beginning of World War II began to impose hardship on the population once more. Being good at his business served him well, and he soon gained employment with the Royal Australian Naval Dockyards as a carrier of goods. Many of the invoices from this period show that he was indeed a very busy man. He continued his work with the dockyards until 1954; well after the war had ended.

    Dances were an integral part of their lives as well as other social activities like organising cricket matches between the warders of Long Bay and Emu Plains Prisons. All the players would load themselves on the back of "Dependable" and Arthur would drive the many miles out past Penrith for the game

    Arthur, along with his father and other family members was a member of the Long Bay Masonic Lodge which is still operating strongly today

    Lodge Long Bay 569 ANZAC Night

    Arthur passed away in 1985, aged 87, with 8 grandchildren, and 14 great grandchildren, loved by all, he was not just a family man, but an integral part of the whole community

    Arthur and Doris with Great Grandson,
    Patrick, 1981


    National Archives of Australia, WWI personnel record 
    Family papers, diaries and photographs
    NSW Registry for Births, Deaths and Marriages  
    Archives of NSW photos on Flicka and the National Library of Australia
    Notes taken by his daughter, Marjorie Roberts from talking to her father
    Australian Electoral Rolls
    Randwick : a social history