Showing posts with label FRENCH. Show all posts
Showing posts with label FRENCH. Show all posts

Thursday, April 19, 2012

ANZAC Day 2012 – A mother’s perspective

ANZAC Day, observed on 25 April each year, is the national day of remembrance for Australians and New Zealanders who died at war.

Last year I co-hosted an ANZAC day blogging challenge with Central Auckland Research Centre, Auckland Libraries. This year I have bowed out of co-hosting, due to commitments of life in general. However, I didn’t want to miss out on participating. This is my contribution to the 2012 ANZAC Day Blog Challenge.

My great-uncle Charles George French was not yet 21 when he tried to enlist in the military. It was a little too soon for his mother’s liking:

“I have no objection to his enlistment for Home Service. I object to his enlistment for Active Service Abroad he is too young. Make any use you like of him for Home Service”

Elizabeth French, 3 June 1918

Digital copy of item

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© Commonwealth of Australia (National Archives of Australia) 2012.

Without consent for Active Service Abroad, Charles’ application to enlist was cancelled.

Charles must have talked his mother around, as just a week later he provided a consent form with her signature. With her consent, his application was accepted. He embarked for France on 31 August 1918 the same year. His elder brother Walter had already seen service and returned home to Australia, discharged from duty with deafness.

As I was reading Charles’ military service file, I already knew that he had returned home alive. Having come home in October 1919 he married in 1920 and went on to raise a family. His mother Elizabeth didn’t have the reassurance of this knowledge as he set sail for France. On 31 August 1918, Charles’ fate was unknown. How hard it must have been for Elizabeth to let her young son, just 19 years of age, go off to war.

© Shelley Crawford, 2012

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

My first FHL film: Amherst Hospital In-patient's Registers

With all the excitement of Australia Day and my DNA results coming in, plus my son starting school and my daughter having an adenotonsillectomy a few days ago, I haven't had a chance to report on my findings from my first ever FHL microfilm loan - the Amherst Hospital In-patient's Register (Victoria, Australia).

I knew from an index of the register that there were nine records of interest to me. Four of these related to my French/Tregonning branches, which I keep on saying are my current focus. It was these records that prompted me to order the film.

On the French/Tregonning side I found:
  • My great granduncle William Tregonning was admitted on 30 June 1871 with a fracture of the middle third of his femur. He was discharged, cured, 111 days later.
  • My great grandfather's first wife Marget [Mary] Ann French [Charlesworth] was admitted to hospital from 1 February 1881 to 12 February 1881 with pneumonia. She was cured.
  • My great-great grandfather James William French was admitted to hospital from 22 February 1881 to 27 June 1881 with chronic pneumonia. At discharge he was relieved, rather than cured. 
  • My great grandmother Elizabeth Tregonning was admitted from 8 January 1888 to 22 April 1888 with anteflexion cervical ???. She was cured.
I can't work out the final word(s) of Elizabeth Tregonning's reason for admission. Can you help?

I would like to know what it was. It seems to be some sort of problem with a tilted uterus and given the timing I would very much like to know the nature of this problem. At this stage, she was married to Joseph Tregonning (not related, as far as I know) but it seems the family had fallen on hard times. I am trying to determine if Joseph Tregonning was insolvent in 1887, and went to gaol shortly after. A Joseph Tregonning fitting his description did. Certainly the problem that hospitalised her did not cause Elizabeth infertility, as she bore five more children.

Many of the hospital stays were very long. I wondered how the hospital was funded and what the conditions were like. I've discovered that there is a book describing the history of the hospital at the National Library of Australia, so reading that is now on my list of things to do.

On my Bennett side I found:
  • My great grandfather Henry Michael Bennett was admitted to hospital aged 6 on 7 May 1871. He left 40 days later on 15 June 1871, cured. He had injured his elbow joint in an accident.
  • Henry Michael Bennett was admitted again at age 12 on 20 March 1877 with a contused wound. He was discharged, cured, on April 24.
  • My great grandaunt Elizabeth Bennett was admitted on 18 January 1883 with cephalagia. At just 20 years of age she had been suffering a headache for two years. The register indicates that she was discharged, cured, on 11 March 1883. I hope she was.
  • My great-great grandfather James Bennett was admitted 22 February 1883 and discharged, cured, on 1 April 1883. He had been treated for a fracture caused by a horse kick.
  • Elizabeth Bennett was admitted again on 9 July 1883 and discharged, cured, on 22 August 1883. I haven't worked out the cause of her admission.
I am having trouble reading a few of the entries here.

Henry Michael Bennett (at age 6) was admitted with:

Can you make out the first word?

I'm also having trouble with the comments on his case. Something about the acute inflammation being relieved, but his arm is bent at a right angle and immobile.

What was Elizabeth Bennett admitted with, in her second admission of 1883?
 Any help on making out he words would be appreciated.

The best bit
That's all very interesting, and in some cases may be even more so when I learn more about what was going on in their lives at the time.

The best bit was that the "relatives" column showed names of parents, even for adults. At long last, I have evidence that my great-great grandfather James Bennett's parents were Michael Job Bennett and Mary Ann Barnes. I'd had my eye on the baptism record for that particular family group for some time so it's great to find that it really is him.

I consider my first foray into FHL films a huge success!

My next FHL film is another hospital admission record. There are only one or two entries in the index for that register that may be of interest to me, but if I have the right people... if all the columns are filled... I may solve another little mystery.

As usual, if you have a connection to any of the people mentioned please get in touch with me via comments or the email address on my "About Me" page. I'd love to hear from you.

    Sunday, November 21, 2010

    Can you help date this photo?

    Here are six strapping men that I would like to date. The man at the back right in particular has caught my eye. Before you jump to conclusions, remember, I am a married woman and this is a genealogy blog. The only type of dating I am interested in is finding out when this picture was taken! You may be able to help.

    The photo comes from the collection of another French family researcher, who has given his permission for me to post it here. He's as keen to find out about the man at the back right as I am, as this man may be our shared ancestor. Click the picture for a closer look.

    On the rear of the photo a handwritten note says:

    B. French
    R. Marshall
    J. French Snr

    H. Trickey
    P. Trickey
    J. Marshall


    The photo's owner is confident that B. French is his ancestor, Albert Edward "Bert" French (1887-1958). The photo was in Albert's collection and was first seen by other family members after his spouse's death in 1983. The writing was already on the photo at that time, but it is not known who made the identification, or when.

    We want to work out who "J. French Snr", standing at the back right, is. There were four generations of the family named James French in Victoria, Australia. There was only one John we know of who is believed to have died before the likely time period of this photo, and no other known  J names. We think this is most probably one of our James Frenchs. But which one?
    • James William French (c1824 - 1896)  
    • James Henry French (1849 - 1915)       - son of James William, father of Bert
    • James Thomas French (1880 - 1965)    - Bert's older brother
    • James William French (1913 - 1965)     - son of James Thomas 
    The most likely candidates, given the apparent age of Bert, are James Henry (our shared ancestor) and James Thomas. The family lived in the Avoca, Victoria, region which is around 250 km (150 miles) from Ouyen, Victoria, where the photo was taken. Do you know any of these men? Have any tips or suggestions for dating the photo? Perhaps you are a Trickey or a Marshall descendant who is just as interested in this photo as we are? Even if you stumble onto this page a long time after it's publication, please get in touch! Leave a comment, or contact me via my details on the "About me" page.

    UPDATE - 6 April 2011
    The photo has been more widely circulated among French family members for comment. As a result, P and H Trickey have been identified as Percy (c1903-1937) and Harold (c1904-1936). Given that they appear to be older than 10-11 years of age in the photo, this dates the photo after 1915, when James Henry French died. We believe that the man in the photo is therefore James Thomas French.

    Saturday, May 1, 2010

    Surname Saturday: French - Channel Islands to Victoria, Australia

    Surname Saturday is a daily blogging theme suggested on the geneabloggers site. I intend to use my Surname Saturday posts to highlight, briefly, each of my male great-great-grandparents and their families. All information presented here should be considered a work in progress, requiring further research and verification.

    James William FRENCH

    My great-great-grandfather, James William French (1824 to 1896), son of mariner James Henry French and Elizabeth Adelaide De La Roche, was born in England. At some point the family moved to the Channel Islands, where James William French married Ann Spence in 1845.

    James and Ann travelled to Victoria Australia in 1848 as assisted immigrants on board the ship, Mahomed Shah.

    The move to Australia may have been driven by financial difficulties. In 1848, while James William French was en-route to Australia, bankruptcy proceedings against a man by the name of James William French were being undertaken in the Jersey Court. He did not make an appearance in court. I have not yet taken the (daunting) step into Channel Island research to determine if it was indeed the same man and to seek further information.

    James and Ann had the following children:
    1.  Matilda Sarah Ann French (1847-1919)
    2.  James Henry French (1849-1915)
    3.  George Walter French (1852-1854)
    4.  Helen Catherine French (1844-1931)
    5.  Annie Jane French (1858-1862)
    6.  Catherine Hope Fremch (1860-1862)
    7.  Louisa Jane French (1866-1939)

    All but Matilda were born in Victoria Australia.

    James William French lived in Collingwood and worked as a painter, before making his way to the goldfield area of Lamplough, near Avoca, where he worked as a miner and later a farmer. He died in 1896 and was buried in Avoca.

    Please get in touch with me if you are connected to this family!