Aug 042012
We are now halfway through Alona’s Family History Through the Alphabet and M is for Memorial

Now the general consensus of a definition of a memorial is something “in the memory of an event or more usually today, in people’s minds,  a person”.

So of course I will start with the Caskey Memorial carved by my 2x great-grandfather, William Busby. 

Of course a headstone may also be a memorial. If someone is mentioned on a headstone it does not necessarily mean that their mortal remains are buried within reach of the headstone.

Another form of memorial is the funeral or bereavement card as shown here for Alice Annie Rollason.

These cards can be very ornate.

The photo below is also a memorial. The two family members who had died prior to the photo being taken were added, fairly obviously.

I have seen more modern additions which have been photoshopped and can be difficult to detect the additions or in one case I saw of a divorce in that family, a deletion!

Memorials can also be used to remember an event such as the one at the Migration Museum in Adelaide remembering all the immigrants.

Or this medallion celebrating my having given 100 blood donations.

It may be a book plate saying your ancestor had received it for perfect attendance at school or church,  the key given for a 21st birthday, the first shoes worn by your baby, the inscription on the flyleaf of the Bible given for a First Communion.

We should look for memorials of all types among our possessions as these can give clues which will tell us more about our ancestors and bring them to life and may even break down a brick wall in our research.

What unusual memorials have you found in your family research?

Aug 032012
Continuing with Alona’s Family History Through the Alphabet Challenge it is time for L which is for Leisure.
After the work is done our ancestors also enjoyed their leisure time. Sometimes we are lucky enough to have photos or ephemera showing us how they spent their time.

Attending the Brisbane Exhibition
Football Grand Final

David Smith walking his dog about 1953

Violet Busby aged 9 in 1949 on her yearly visit to Lone Pine Sanctuary. Each year Violet would be taken by her Aunt Gladys Trost nee Weeks.Sometimes they took the ferry up the river to Lone Pine to be met at the dock by a German Shepherd with a koala on his back.

Sometimes we do not have any pictures but maybe we have some letters: From Myrtle Busby in a notebook where she noted what she wanted to write in her letters to her husband William away at war in 1943:
“I went to Church on Sunday night and it was a real good service, May Brown and Allan Campbell was the speakers after Church we had a half hour singing all the favourite hymns”
“On Wednesday I went to His Majesty’s to see the play “My Sister Eileen”. It was real good. I am sending you the programme in the envelope to read. They are having another one on the week of my birthday called “Arsenic and Old Lace”. I think it will be very comical. Pansy took Violet down to see my Grandfather on Thursday.
“Last Friday I went to Redcliffe for the day. We had a good day but it was hot, we gathered shells, Violet and I we made sandcastles. We went for a walk and I went paddling with the her. At half past twelve a pie man came around so I bought hot pies for dinner. Pansy bought ice-creams and Katy got malted milks.” 
Maybe you don’t have any letters or postcards either, don’t discount the newspapers to find out how your ancestors spent their free time
These were found in Trove the free digistised Australian newspapers site in just a few moments search.
Remember Trove is not just newspapers, it is also pictures from a variety of sources, such as this one from the John Oxley Library Queensland of William Rollason with his bicycle.
Even if you do not find your ancestor listed by name you are able to determine what leisure pursuits were in style at that time.  Was there a theatre? What was playing? Was it an open air film show that came to town on a circuit? Did the circus come to town? Were there activities at the school while your ancestors were either children or parents of children at the school?
How did your ancestors enjoy their leisure time?