Thursday, May 04, 2006

I heart genealogy, too


Today I spent a very happy afternoon in the State Library of SA, checking out the records of South Australian births, deaths and marriages since 1842, and am happy to report that I have finally filled the gaping hole in what was otherwise a full set of sixteen great-great-grandparents.

I tracked down the parents of this woman, born Florence Jane Cassidy Quigg in 1862, the redoubtable mother of my soldier grandfather in the Anzac Day post.

Turns out she's pure Irish on both sides: her parents Andrew and Eliza emigrated in the 1850s from Londonderry. Which makes my dad half Scots and a quarter each Cornish and Irish and therefore 100% Celt. The mystery of why he can neither give a direct answer to a simple question nor think logically in a straight line to save his life has finally been solved.

18 comments:

naomi said...

Aw, quit with the Irish jokes!

But I do know what you mean - my grandmother was Irish and such a hick she grew up speaking Gaelic even though she lived just a few miles from Dublin and it was banned there.

She resolutely refused to speak it to me, and certainly didn't see it as a radical thing to speak Gaelic. She understood the IRA, without supporting what they were doing, but then she lived in Birmingham most of her early life, before emigrating here.

It's great you've got a picture going back that far!

Pavlov's Cat said...

Sorry, I didn't realise that would come out sounding anything but affectionate -- it was actually more of a logic-and-straight-answers joke. I am a great lover of things Irish.

Don't know about this one's accent, but her mother-in-law was famous for a Cornish accent so thick it was hard to follow her. 'Arrr, give they corners of they pasties to they maids, they be good enough for they.' (She meant the girls, of course, not the non-existent servants. The men got the meat.)

The pic is a studio portrait, taken around 1900. A scholar of costume could probably date it to the year.

elsewhere said...

I think maybe I can see a faint resemblance. She does look Cornish, well, she does look a bit like a headmaster we had who was Cornish. Something about the eyes and the small face.

Happy ferreting! I've often wondered about doing some of the maternal genealogies in my family since the paternal ones have been mined so extensively.

Pavlov's Cat said...

I hesitate to do this to you, E, knowing how addictive it can be -- but if the family are from NSW, go wild: the entire Birth, Deaths and Marriages records (up till where the Privacy Act kicks in ) are here.

The one in the pic is the Irish one -- the Cornish one was her ma-in-law -- but they're all of them Celtic. Fey, stoic and and grumpy all at once, like Van Morrison.

Ron said...

The Ryerson Index is a good tool for genealogy research.

Ron said...

That link I just posted is for NSW. I am sure you can find the similar indexes for other states by putting 'Dead Persons Society' into Google and use 'pages from Australia'.

Daniel said...

Why do people want to discover those who preceded them? Why does it matter?

I have a relative who, like a ghoul, frequents graveyards looking for family names.

Give me a glass of wine and thoughts about tomorrow. The past tells us tooooo much about our mortality!

Pavlov's Cat said...

Sceptical, by that reasoning, why does anything matter? I know your blog is called Life's Hell and I am very sorry you feel that way, but personally I quite enjoy life. It's because there are so many things I find interesting, like footy, and genealogy. (And glasses of wine, and the future.)

Since you ask, the reasons I like researching ancestors are that I'm interested in history and in other people, that I like solving mysteries, that it gives me useful insights about my own nature, and that I find the gaggle of toughies I'm descended from a major source of strength to draw on when things get difficult.

If you're uninterested in things or don't value them, then there's a very simple solution -- don't read the posts. Maybe you should be calling yourself Eeyore.

Daniel said...

Pavlov's Cat! Apt name.

R H said...

Catty remark. Nasty.

I copped a similar comment from this perv at another blog, and when I replied in kind it was deleted.

Well you can bar me from this site if you want, but I get as upset as anyone by dirty little comments thrown at me, and think I should have the right to defend myself. And I think too that whenever bloggers do delete comments - even if they don't explain why - they should at least say they've done so. Or else this is just a ghost medium, nothing more.

Pavlov's Cat said...

Sorry RH, but I can't work out for the life of me who you're talking to, or whether by 'this perv' you mean me or Sceptical.

Naomi said...

Oh my, RH is a stalker of teh feminist collective.

R H said...

I'm referring to 'Sceptical's' effete comments.

And Naomi you hysterical woman, I am not stalking Miss Pavlov - as you well know.
And it'll disappoint you that I've no idea what the feminist collective is and couldn't care a damn. Anything with the word feminist in it just gives me - and most people - the utter shits.
I don't rate people by gender, or even by their politics.

Grow up.

comicstriphero said...

Anything with the word feminist in it just gives me - and most people - the utter shits

Always a sign it is doing its job then.

R H said...

Doing it's job? So what's its job, a knob job?

Laxatives do their job too.

I'm very pleased with feminism, and with any other crack-brained rubbish I can get a knife into.

comicstriphero said...

Geez rh, that's a kind of scatter gun approach to thinking you've got there.

Anyway, the idea I was trying to convey was that if you are agitating to change the mainstream or status quo, then the more your ideas upset people, the more you know you're on the right track.

Pavlov's Cat said...

Actually, RH, now that comicstriphero puts it like that, it's an idea I would have expected you to be in a lot of sympathy with!

R H said...

Well I consider feminism very selfish, and insular. The recruits are mainly educated well-off women with a social concience who've abandoned traditional support for the poor to look after themselves. If they were Marxist or Maoist, I'd support them. But they are not political, they are selfish.
The capitalist dogs who are aways in charge welcome any diversion away from class consciousness among the suckers. Feminism provides it.

Of course women should have equal wages! Equal rights in everything. But feminists as I see them are just a lot of young and privileged middle class women making a huge noise about themselves. They don't reach working class people at all, and can't, because they've nothing to offer them.