Thursday, July 12, 2012

E is for....

E is for Elizabeth

Lack of energy and exhaustion or excuses, excuses, excuses…. But excited to still be able to take part in Gould’s challenge of “Family History through the Alphabet”

From Wikipedia, the name Elizabeth or Elisabeth is the Greek transliteration of the Hebrew name Elisheva, meaning "God's promise", "oath of God", or "I am God’s daughter”.  Elizabeth and Elisabeth are the parent unit names of Lisa, Liza, Lilly, Lizzie, Liz, Beth, Betty, Ella, Elisa, Elise, and Eliza; Elsa, Bitsy, Betsy, Isabel, and Isabella are etymologically related variants.

Elizabeth Olive as a young girl
Elizabeth is the first name of my Great Grandmother, her full name being Elizabeth Olive Dillon, though everyone called her Lizzie. Born in 1876 in Sydney, the granddaughter of convicts and Irish bounty immigrants, “Old Nana” lived two houses away from where I was born. I called her “Old Nana” to distinguish between her and my Grandmother Doris, or “Nana” who lived next door to my family; so we had 4 generations in three houses all in a row. 

She died in 1966 when I was a child, but was a huge influence on my childhood. Strong willed, with strong opinions, living for 34 years after her husband had passed away, she kept her family bound to her by that will.

Obituary of Elizabeth Olive Dillon

“Old Nana” had a goitre that endocrinologists are amazed to see today, but Lizzie was not one to fuss with doctors.

Elizabeth Olive Dillon, in her home

I often wondered why the majority of our family members bled Red and Green blood; were Rabid Rabbitoh’s or in other words, South Sydney NRL club supporters. It was only a few weeks ago, in correspondence with another family descendant that I found out that Elizabeth Olive’s uncle by marriage was Henry Clement Hoyle, who amongst other things, was a founding member of the South Sydney Rugby League Club in 1908. This I believe is the foundation of a legacy that has been passed down through at least 5 generations. So Lizzie’s legacy lives on… “Go Rabbitoh’s”


  1. What a great story. So nice for Old Nana to be remembered with such a personal obituary. Too many obits concentrate on achievements outside the home, neglecting those important traits of 'love and devotion'.

  2. A great post Linda, I didn't know all the names derived from Elizabeth, very interesting. Being from South Australia I know nothing about NRL but there are many AFL supporters in my family and a few players too.

    1. I've lived in Victoria since 1976 and have mad Geelong supporters all around me (3 sons and husband) but I still don't understand AFL! I guess what is instilled in you as child, can stay strong even in the face of strong competition

  3. So enjoyed reading about Doris in your previous post Linda and am loving this info about your G.Grandmother. Also to know the origin of her name is wonderful. My Grand-mother was also named Elizabeth and referred to as Lizzie, I'm told.
    Sure know just how difficult it can be to keep on with "the Challenge" when health/ family matters etc. intervene but do encourage you to keep on and just take it at your own pace. Why? ... because your posts enrich my life. "Go Rabbitos!!!" ... Cheers,Catherine

    1. Thank you Catherine,

      I'm glad you enjoyed my posts. Life in all aspects is a bit of a "challenge" at the moment, but I do try to keep up - at least in my mind I know what I want to write, it's just finding the right moment to do so. I have only just seen your comment, so apologies in replying so late

      Cheers from Linda

  4. Your great grandmother was obviously an amazing woman, and to have that wonderful obituatry written about her just takes the cake. Thank you for sharing about Elizabeth.