Wednesday, 14 March 2012

New Research Territory.......

In the early 1990s I spent a year living in Australia, using the home of my Mum's first cousin as a base. I was made to feel so very welcome and I do believe, that upon his arrival in Australia in 1946, Mum's cousin had no intention of ever returning to England. It broke my Great Aunt's heart, but she was proud of her son and what he achieved with his new family.

What a family it was, as he and his wife had 10 children! His wife was lovely and although they are no longer with us, I did several times promise that I would research his wife's family, in case at some point in the future their children, Grandchildren or even Great Grandchildren wanted to know about their roots. My Cousins's English roots are well documented here, but his wife had a complex family and over the last few days I have been sitting looking at the small amounts of data she shared with me,and from what research I have done previously in readiness of my trip later in the year.

I am heading much as her ancestors did into new territory, mine initially from within the confines of my home and later the various records offices in Australia, and those ancestors from the depths of Prussia to South Australia. I have spent several hours confused, and so much so that my head is spinning! The research is fascinating, and I so wish that my Cousin's wife was here with me so that she could share the journey of her ancestry, alas that is not to be.

Whilst I was in Australia I did in fact stay with my Cousins's father in law. He was a fascinating man, who I do  not think particularly thought his son in law was good enough for his daughter! He was a lovely chap and we shared several afternoons together talking about the old days. He knew snippets of his family history and shared them with me. He also directed me to a book that had been published in the early 1980s and that his daughter had. I borrowed the book and for the next 6 months or so devoured the contents several times. 

As I  looked back at those early notes I made, I became acutely aware that this side of the family was well known for repeating the names within the family and various female versions of the names. Is it any wonder I am confused? We have already wandered into the territory of 3 siblings with the surname of Hohnberg marrying 3 siblings with the surname of Hartwig. A Google search reveals that there are passenger lists available and I intend to try and focus on these Prussian families for a while.

So, here are the briefest of details - 
Ships - Caesar & Helene (1859), Skjold (1855), Reihersteig (1866), Wilhelmine (1855)
Locations (Prussia) - Sawade, Silesia, Janny, Silesia
Loctions (Australia) - Eden Valley, Maddum both in South Australia and then across into New South Wales - Temora and Coolamon
Religion - Lutheran

As I said, the briefest of details. I have various information and data that I need to place into a visual family tree so that I can become familiar with the names - a real favourite is Johann August and various variations


  1. Fascinating Julie, I bet you would love to take another trip to do more research.

    1. We already have a trip to Australia planned for the Autumn.


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