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Discover the latest Irish records online A bugler’s tale from World War One

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176 YEARS ON Re-examining the Myall Creek massacre Experts from the Australian Dress Register answer your questions

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ISSN 1838-5044

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ial record How you can change incorrect offic

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CALLING ALL SOCIETIES

Learn how to get your journals digitised PLUS The convict boys of Point Puer, Tasmania

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Contents ISSUE 22, MAY-JUNE 2014

On the cover

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A cup of tea with… D Joshua Taylor Hear how findmypast is helping societies to digitise their journals and newsletters

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Ask our experts Experts from the Powerhouse Museum and Australian Dress Register answer your questions

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What’s new online? We discover the latest Irish archives to be digitised, plus 49 other collections that will help with your research

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Restoration ancestor Want to right an incorrect official record? Genealogist Megan Gibson shows you how

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Lost boys of Point Puer They were sentenced to transportation and robbed of their childhood. Stephen Orr looks at the convict boys of Point Puer, Tasmania

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Justice evaded, justice denied Mark Tedeschi, Senior Crown Prosecutor for New South Wales, re-examines the trials of those responsible for the Myall Creek massacre. In the first of a series of two, Mark looks at the atrocity and the events leading up to it

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A bugler’s tale How a love of music allowed one man to survive the horrors of war

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Subscribe or renew with Inside History… …and you’ll go into the draw to win one of five box sets of the new War Popular Penguins!

Inside History | May-June 2014 |

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Contents

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your family

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“Here is the dark mildewed hole in the earth” The Australian War Memorial’s Jennie Norberry examines the World War One diary of a brave soldier and the letter sent to the Memorial by his mourning mum

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Tracing your Lutheran family Genealogist Shauna Hicks discovers the best places to start searching

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Ryko’s ride In 1914 Eddie Reichenbach cycled from Adelaide to Darwin in less than a month. His record still stands. Now Eddie’s grandaughter is recreating part of that epic ride

your history 24

Behind the scenes at History SA Paula Grunseit interviews its CEO and learns why May is the time for history lovers to visit South Australia

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Exploring Australia’s oldest church How faith built a church in regional New South Wales, plus some of the oldest places of worship around the country

regulars 6

Editor’s letter

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Postie’s here! Your thoughts, your say

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Bob’s your uncle Network with other researchers

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History now Great events you won’t want to miss

27 A mile in their hooves Melanie Ball takes a trek in the footsteps 69 of explorer Edmund Kennedy. And her companions on the journey are not who you would expect! 74

travel

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History apps From Irish Sydney to the streets of London, we look at the latest apps built for historians On the book shelf What we’re reading right now One picture…1,000 memories The story behind one reader’s precious family photograph

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our family

PO Box 406 Erskineville NSW 2043 Australia EDITOR Cassie Mercer cass@insidehistory.com.au ART DIRECTOR Lucy Glover EDITORIAL ASSISTANT AND FEATURE WRITER Sarah Trevor EDITORIAL CONTRIBUTORS Michèle Adler Melanie Ball Jean Bedford Megan Gibson Paula Grunseit Barbara Hall Shauna Hicks Kylie Mason Jennie Norberry Stephen Orr Michael Richardson Mary Roper Mark Tedeschi Anni Turnbull Lindie Ward David Wilson INTERN Claire Paterson PRINT SUBSCRIPTIONS See page 71 or subscribe online at www.insidehistory.com.au DIGITAL SUBSCRIPTIONS For iPad, find us on Apple Newsstand For Android and PC, find us at zinio.com

COVER IMAGE

Titled “A family and their pets”, this photograph was taken c.1890–1900 by F Partridge. Courtesy State Library of Victoria, ID H2013.374/2.

Inside History (ISSN 1838-5044) is published six times a year by Cassie Mercer (ABN 13 353 848 961) PO Box 406 Erskineville NSW 2043 Australia. Views expressed by the authors are not necessarily those of the publisher. Copyright 2014 by Cassie Mercer and Inside History. All rights reserved. Warning: All readers should be aware that this magazine contains content that may be distressing. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander readers should be aware that this magazine contains names of people who have passed away. DISTRIBUTED BY Gordon and Gotch Australia PRINTED BY Ligare Pty Ltd 138 Bonds Road Riverwood NSW 2210

Inside History | May-Jun 2014 |

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letters

Postie’s here!

Like us on facebook.com/ insidehistorymagazine Join us on twitter.com/ insidehistory

LET’S HEAR IT FOR THE GIRLS

CANTERBURY’S BOYS

I enjoyed reading Inside History as usual especially the articles about World War One. I thought your readers might be interested in knowing that Canterbury & District Historical Society in Sydney has had a publication in print for a few years called Canterbury's Boys, which documents the men of the district who served in World War One. It is also available on CD-ROM and a supplement is being planned. If any of your readers are interested in this publication or have information for the supplement they can contact the secretary by email at cdhssecretary@gmail.com. — Kerin Wanstall, Hurlstone Park, NSW

I loved the focus on women in issue 21. And I loved the choices of historical photographs. The story of Mrs Allen who lost her two sons to World War One (“We send you the following report”) was so poignantly sad but really well researched. And who could not like a story about George Clooney and the fascinating true story of the World War Two treasures (“Of monuments and men”). A fabulous issue! — Anne McLennan, via Facebook

BEST IN SHOP

I picked up my copy of issue 21 from the newsagent and love everything in it as usual. Inside History is the best magazine in the shop. — Glenda Middling, via Facebook

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Reading Dr Craig Wilcox’s excellent article “Recycling war’s waste” (issue 19) about war experiences away from the battlefield reminded me of my uncle, John. Captain Wilfred John Leader was responsible for co-ordinating the catering and accommodation aboard troop trains travelling across the Nullarbor from Perth to Sydney during World War Two. Uncle John was a captain in army supply and, in civilian life, a grocery manager. He used his organisational skills and catering knowledge to improve the cramped conditions and terrible food endured by troops in the early train crossings. In 1942, Uncle John was promoted to Major and awarded an MBE for his non-combatant services during the war. These war experiences are a reminder that for victory, effort off the battlefield was just as important as effort on the battlefield. Thank you for an interesting magazine, I really enjoy the articles and great photos. — Karen Newman, Kallaroo, WA

BACK ISSUE BINGE

I love this magazine, the iPad edition has so much to read and follow through with the links. Also, thank you for offering the earlier editions at the special price of 99c. This will keep me going for ages trying to catch up before the next new edition arrives. Keep up the great work to all involved. — Stephen Diamond, Carlton North, VIC

Want to have your say on “Postieʼs here” ? Write to us at contribute@insidehistory.com.au Each issue our star letter will receive a prize for writing in! This issue, Glenda Middling wins a copy of Eyre: The Forgotten Explorer (HarperCollins Australia, $39.99).

Image Courtesy State Library of Victoria, ID H99.201/2810.

Share your thoughts with the Inside History team.

A TRUE WWII LEADER

your family

Bob’s your uncle Are you looking to connect with other descendants or historians? Each issue we’ll feature who and what people are researching. SEEKING PHOTOS OF NANCIE STIMPSON

I am seeking a photograph of my paternal grandmother, Nancie Stimpson, whose married name was Langley. She married Lt. Ralph Langley at the Oxford Registry Office in February 1917 and joined him in Australia, disembarking from the ship Zealandia in 1919. They spent a short time in Clifton Hill before settling at Ralph's birthplace in Chiltern, Victoria, on soldier settlement land. This is a desperate attempt to locate a photograph which would fill a void in our family history. Nancie must have been camera-shy! Thanks for your wonderful magazine. — Denise Langley, dlangley3351@hotmail.com

Image Douglas Stewart Fine Books, www.douglasstewart.com.au

THE FAMILY TREE'S AUSSIE BRANCH

I am helping my cousin research the Rowe family tree. We are seeking information on members of the Rowe family who emigrated to Australia. Six of William and Marie Armstrong Rowe's nine children emigrated from Ryhope and Sunderland in County Durham, England, to Australia. They were: Frances Armstrong Fradgley née Rowe (1862-1944), believed to have arrived in Brisbane in 1886 on the Jumna; William, born in 1864, who arrived on the Duke of Sutherland in 1885 and worked as a prospector near Toowoomba and Bundaberg; and Annie Davidson née Rowe (1868-1898), who arrived in Brisbane in 1885. Next, George Henry (1870-1955) is thought to have

arrived on the Merkara in 1889. He married Mary Theresa Wechsel in 1893. Finally, Frederick Barnaby (1885-1956) arrived on the Perthshire in 1909 and married Hannah Folds Brown in 1915. Most of the siblings went on to have children. The five siblings' nephew, John Stephen Rowe (1897-1955), also emigrated to Australia. He later married Edyth Mary Helm and had six children with her. We would be more than happy to share our information with anyone who is interested. — George Henry Rowe, georgerowe12@hotmail.com

RESEARCHING COLONIAL MIDWIVES

I am seeking records, diaries, journals or letters from between 1788 and 1900 that colonial midwives may have written about their work and experiences, or those of colonial women who wrote about their childbirth experience. Primary documents such as these appear only rarely, but who knows what lies hidden in boxes of memorabilia, in attics or bottom drawers. If you have or know of any such documents I would be very pleased to hear from you. — Lesley Potter, catch63@bigpond.net.au

Lots of researchers are linking up and knocking down their research brick walls via “Bob’s your uncle”. To place an ad, email contribute@ insidehistory.com.au. Adverts are free!

Inside History | May-Jun 2014 |

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Latest news

from the history and genie world Interactive 1826 map of Launceston now online Launceston City Council has recently published an interactive online version of a historic city map dating back to 1826, just 20 years after Launceston’s founding. Compiled by surveyor William Stanley Sharland in August 1826, the Sharland Map is the earliest comprehensive survey of Launceston. Highly accurate, it displays property boundaries, street names, buildings and a list of roughly 200 people who occupied parcels of land. A collaborative effort between local historians, Launceston City Council’s Spatial Science Department and two University of Tasmania students helped bring the map online. Historians John Dent and Jenny Gill, long-time users of the Sharland Map, researched historical and biographical information about Launceston’s early residents from historic newspapers and archival sources to develop a special accompanying ‘story map’. “The Sharland map is a terrific snapshot of what was happening in Launceston, and the actual people who were living here, rather than just the officials or convicts,” Mr Dent says. “We set about taking these 200 names and trying to find out a bit about these people, because these are the people who built Launceston.” The 1826 Sharland map and its new digital edition. Courtesy Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment, Tasmania.

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“That information is then uploaded and tagged to the specific property on the online map, so if you click on a property it will load images and biographies about the people who occupied that property in 1826,” Mr Dent says. A treasure of a map indeed! MORE launceston.maps. arcgis.com/home

100 records in 100 days on findmypast It’s the genie version of a marathon: findmypast will be uploading 100 new record collections in 100 days between now and 17 July. Local highlights include Australia Births and Baptisms, 1792-1981, Australia Deaths and Burials 1816-1980 and Australia Marriages 1810-1980. Other stand-outs among the 100 new additions include parish registers from Shropshire, England, and a range of British military records such as Royal Marines 1899–1920, Royal Navy Seamen 1899–1920, British Red Cross Register of Overseas Volunteers and many more. MORE findmypast.com.au

Sands Directory now digitised

The Directory contains a wealth of information on Sydney householders, and is a great resource for researching the history of a house.

The City of Sydney Archives has digitised the first ever complete set of the Sands Sydney, Suburban and Country Commercial Directory to be published online. Long a microfiche staple for Sydney genealogists and local historians, the invaluable Sands Directory contains household and business information spanning from 1858–59, when it was first published, through to 1932–33 (though there are gaps in 1872, 1874, 1878 and 1881). Scanned from the microfiche version, this digital edition is far easier to search and navigate. You can search its contents by keyword or navigate the directory volumes grouped into specific years and sections. MORE cityofsydney. nsw.gov.au/sands

Do you have a convict or three in your family tree? The Claim a Convict website lets you network with other descendants! Courtesy State Library of NSW, ID a2821047.

The Islamic Museum of Australia opens Australia’s first Islamic art museum has opened its doors in Melbourne. The Islamic Museum of Australia is a not-for-profit organisation aiming to share Australia’s rich Muslim heritage as well as the strength of Islamic contributions to art, architecture and history around the world. Showcasing the cultures of Australia’s diverse Muslim communities, the Museum will share the stories of Macassan fishermen who visited Australia’s northern latitudes in the 1700s, 19th-century cameleers, and post-war migrant workers, among many others. MORE islamicmuseum.org.au

Claim a Convict relaunched

The Claim a Convict website is back online after a relaunch and redesign. A boon to those with convict ancestry, simply activate an account and you can search the database by surname or ship and contact fellow researchers directly by email. A recommendations facility for convicts and ships not already listed will be added in time — stay tuned! MORE hawkesbury.net.au/claimaconvict

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what’s on

History now

The best events across Australia & New Zealand COMPILED AND WRITTEN BY SARAH TREVOR

Right School children line up to visit their local dental clinic, date unknown. Courtesy Public Record Office Victoria, ID VPRS 14562/P0006, Unit 5.

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Dig the Archives: Victorian Archives Centre Open Day

17 May The Victorian Archives Centre is opening its doors, inviting you to Dig the Archives and explore its vast collection of historical records during its free open day. Between 10am and 4pm, there will be talks on property research with Adam Ford of the ABC’s Who’s Been Sleeping In My House, true crime with author Russell Robinson and caring for your collection with a professional conservator. You can also take a behind the scenes tour of the treasures of the archives, or attend presentations covering every stage of Victorian history. Bookings are essential. Visit prov.vic.gov.au/dig-the-archives

Inside History | May-Jun 2014 |

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Planning a genealogy, history or heritage event that you’d like to share with Inside History readers? Email us at contribute@insidehistory.com.au Events are subject to change. We recommend contacting the organisers beforehand to confirm details.

NSW Women of the Chinese Tearooms

17 May In 1880s Sydney, you would find the menfolk gathered in pubs, saloons and chophouses — but where did women go to socialise? When tearooms opened for business in Sydney, thanks to the entrepreneurial immigrant Quong Tart, ladies used these elegant spaces to meet, socialise and discuss social issues such as temperance and women’s right to vote. Learn more about Sydney’s Chinese tearooms and the fascinating women who frequented them — customers, waitresses and social reformers alike — at this illustrated one-hour presentation by Dr Nicola Teffer at the Museum of Sydney. Visit sydneylivingmuseums.com.au

Larrikins and Leg Irons

25 May Stories of larrikins and leg irons await you at the Taree Family History Fair. Hosted by Taree Family History Inc, this year’s fair focuses on convicts, gaols and reformatories. Several seminars are scheduled, including one from Gail Davis on how to flesh out the details of your convict ancestor using State Records NSW. Graphologist Meryl Bolin will be available to analyse the handwriting of your ancestors’ old letters, while Ancestry.com.au representatives will be on hand to answer your questions about using the site. A number of local and family history societies from around New South Wales — from Port Macquarie to the Central Coast to western Sydney — will also attend. Entry costs $5 for adults. Visit tareefamilyhistory.com

A Family History Smorgasbord

31 May Brush up on your search techniques and learn about how untapped resources can help expand your family’s story during this all-day seminar at the Coffs Harbour District Family History Society. Transcription agent Lorraine Turtle will present talks on vital genealogy records beyond the usual birth, marriage

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Above The Womanhood Suffrage League of NSW, 1892, who would often meet at the Chinese Tearooms. Courtesy SLNSW. and death certificates, outlining probate and deceased estate records plus other collections available through State Records NSW. The cost is $25 for members and $30 for non members, and morning tea and light lunch will be provided. Bookings are essential. Email coffsgenie@gmail.com or call 02 6653 9240

Preserving Your Family History Photographs

26 June Discover how to preserve your treasured family photographs for posterity at this two-hour workshop held at the State Library of NSW. This session will focus on the long-term care and archival storage of photographs. Expert conservators from the Library will provide guidance and tips on what materials you should use and where you can find them. Attendees are also welcome to bring along a couple of family photographs for hands-on guidance from a Library conservator. The cost is $30. Bookings are essential. Visit sl.nsw.gov.au

ACT Cufflinks, Cricket, Critics and Cash: The Keneally Archive

7 May Take a whirlwind tour through the National Library of Australia’s extensive Thomas Keneally collection. Although the renowned Australian author is best known for his award-winning work Schindler’s Ark, he has penned nearly 50 histories, memoirs, plays and fiction books during his long, influential career. In this free, one-hour presentation, Professor Paul Sharrad from the University of Wollongong will give an overview of Keneally’s life and work as revealed through the Library’s collection. Visit nla.gov.au

Silversmiths and Wigmakers: Huguenots of Soho & the West End

21 June In the late 17th century, Huguenot refugees flocked to the city of London. Soho and the West End soon became vibrant hubs of skilled artisans: silversmiths, wigmakers, tapestry weavers, ceramicists, sculptors, tailors, watchmakers, perfumers, wine merchants and more! Join Robert Nash from the Huguenot Society of Australia for an illustrated lecture at the HAGSOC Education Room in Cook to learn more about these fascinating West End characters. The cost is $5. Visit huguenotsaustralia.org.au

QLD Researching Your German Family in the Information Age

21 June Do you have German ancestry? Get tips on researching your German heritage online at this Genealogical Society of Queensland (GSQ) talk. Presenter Eric Koppitke will outline the early steps involved in researching German families online, as well as the most useful websites and resources available. The session runs from 9:30 to 11:45am. Cost is $10 for GSQ members and $15 for non members. Visit gsq.org.au

Captured

Until 22 June The Museum of Brisbane exhibition Captured: Early Brisbane Photographers and their Aboriginal Subjects presents a visual record of the city’s Indigenous communities from the 1860s to 1890. Brisbane’s early photography studios often took staged photographs of Indigenous people against elaborate backdrops, and these Above Thomas Bevan, images were circulated 1870s. Courtesy City widely as collectors’ items. of Brisbane Collection, Forty-six original carte Museum of Brisbane. des visites and more than 170 reproductions of these images are featured in Captured, which centres on the work of four early Brisbane photographers: John Watson, William Knight, Thomas Bevan and Daniel Marquis. This

exhibition documents intriguing interactions between Aboriginal people and European settlers and offers snapshots of Brisbane’s social history. Visit museumofbrisbane.com.au

Where There’s a Will

7 June Become a master in all things wills and probate at this informative Queensland Family History Society (QFHS) seminar. The 3.5-hour session includes presentations from three genealogy experts: Saadia Thomson-Dwyer from the Queensland State Archives will guide you through the Archives’ records, while renowned genealogist and Inside History contributor Shauna Hicks will provide an overview of different will, intestacy and probate administrative records around Australia. Next, Ann Swain of QFHS will look at wills from the British Isles and provide tips on accessing wills in England, Wales, Ireland and Scotland. The cost is $15 for members and $20 for non members, with morning tea provided. Visit qfhs.org.au

Transparent: Watercolour in Queensland, 1850s–1980s

Until 20 July Trace Queensland’s history through the painter’s perspective. Transparent showcases the Queensland Art Gallery’s rich and diverse collection of watercolours, spanning the early colonial era, late 19th century, through the dynamic postwar period to the modern, expressionist strains of the 1980s. Artists Conrad Martens, Vida Lahey and Joe Alimindjin Rootsey are among those featured in this exhibition. Visit qagoma.qld.gov.au

Inside History | May-Jun 2014 |

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VIC

Finding Lost Diggers: Fromelles 1916

19 June Considered by some to be the nation’s greatest tragedy, the Battle of Fromelles cost Australia alone more than 2,000 lives and 5,500 casualties. Until recently, Fromelles also presented a great mystery; over 1,335 Australian soldiers killed in the battle lacked a known grave until in 2007 archaeological investigations uncovered the remains of hundreds of Australian and other Allied soldiers. In this lecture, Tim Whitford will discuss the search and explain how his research and advocacy helped uncover a mass burial site where over 250 soldiers were interned. Held at Warragul RSL, the lecture is free (gold coin donations are welcome). Visit shrine.org.au

Irish Convict Petitions

26 June Irish convict petitions are a fantastic lesser-known resource from the National Archives of Ireland’s Convict Transportation database. Containing the files of approximately 7,500 men and just under 1,000 women who petitioned the Lord Lieutenant to have their sentences reduced, these records provide an invaluable wealth of information. At this talk, Colleen Arulappu will introduce the Irish convict petitions and explain the potential insights they may reveal. Held at the Genealogical Society of Victoria (GSV) meeting room on Collins Street, Melbourne, the talk is free for GSV members and $8 for visitors to attend. Visit gsv.org.au

SA

On the Home Front

9 May While the National Archives of Australia is renowned for its significant World War One military collections, less widely-known are its equally valuable resources relating to daily life on the home front. To learn more, join the National Archives at Adelaide City Library for a free, one-hour evening talk, ‘On the Home Front: South Australia during the war years 1914-1918’. Presenter Sara King will provide insights into South Australians’ wartime experiences. Topics include immigration, customs, communications, construction, security, railways and even the internment of ‘enemy aliens’ at Torrens Island. Visit http://bit.ly/1crW4S2

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TAS

Tasmanian Tiger: Precious Little Remains Opens 4 May The last known thylacine died in the Hobart Zoo on 7 September 1936, just eight weeks after the Tasmanian government had finally granted its species legal protection. Decades of intensive hunting, habitat loss and disease claimed the distinctive Tasmanian tiger, leaving only museum specimens, old photographs and footage in its wake. This new exhibition in the Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery, at Inveresk, Launceston, includes never-before-seen thylacine remains, plus historical photographs, artefacts and stories documenting the existence of this remarkable, now sadly historic creature. Visit qvmag.tas.gov.au

From Reign of ‘Taste’ to the Dominion of Expression

29 May The grand colonial house of Clarendon, south of Evandale, will host this interesting talk on the evolution of 19th-century Tasmania’s aesthetic and cultural ‘taste’. Peter Hughes, senior curator of Decorative Arts at the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, will examine the extent to which Provincial Britain shaped Van Diemen’s Land. Uniquely situated geographically and socially, far from the European centres of style and taste, the colonial interior of early Tasmania came to develop its own distinctive twist, even amidst the strong British cultural influence. This hour-long National Trust talk costs $20 for the general public, $15 for National Trust members and $10 for Clarendon volunteers. Morning tea will be served afterwards. Visit nationaltrust.org.au

Farina Restoration — A Work in Progress

18 May to 18 June It’s not often that you are invited to visit an old ghost town in the throes of restoration, but this fascinating regional event of the About Time History Festival welcomes you to do just that. Farina, in the state’s far north, was established in 1878 but gradually withered away during the 20th century following crop failures and mine closures. Now, the hard-working volunteers of the Farina Restoration Group are restoring the abandoned township. See their progress at the Farina precinct where you can check out features of an early narrow-gauge railway and a 1890s underground bakery that is again in operation! Email peter.harris@museco.id.au

Left Catherine Mulhall poses with items similar to those her convict ancestor stole, photographed for the exhibition, A Convict in the Family?. Courtesy Sydney Living Museums.

WA

A Convict in the Family?

2 May to 22 June Popular Sydney Living Museums exhibition A Convict in the Family? comes to the Western Australian Museum at Geraldton. Documentary photographer Mine Konakci put together this intriguing show — previously featured in issue 16 of Inside History — which connects 40 ordinary Australians with their convict heritage. They were photographed in everyday settings alongside an object representing the petty crime that had their ancestor sentenced to transportation. The resulting images are snapshots of links across generations, between convict settlers, their living descendants, and the thefts that changed the course of their family history. Visit museum.wa.gov.au

What Do We Do With Our Information?

26 June While family history research can seem like a never-ending quest, there comes a point where you have to step back from your research, assess what you’ve uncovered so far and plan your next steps. This hands-on workshop by the Western Australian Genealogical Society in Bayswater asks and answers several important questions: what should be done with the paperwork and information gathered throughout the search? How? And why? This two-hour session should help you organise your research, not to mention progress along the journey. Bookings required. The cost is $5. Visit wags.org.au

NEW ZEALAND

FIBIS: The Gateway to British India

25 June It is an exciting time to be doing family history research on ancestors from British India. Auckland Libraries presents this one-hour talk, as part of their family history lunchtime series, on the Families in British India Society (FIBIS). Speaker Eleanor Neil will provide an overview of the resources available for genealogists interested in researching their European ancestors who lived or worked in India. Introducing FIBIS and its many varied sources, Eleanor will guide you through the different avenues you can pursue. Book http://bit.ly/1aAhklK

Heritage Lost and Found

Until 31 August Delve into Dunedin’s built heritage and architectural history at this free Otago Museum exhibition. A collaboration between the Museum and the New Zealand Historic Places Trust, Heritage Lost and Found: Our Changing Cityscape surveys the evolution of Dunedin’s skyline over the decades. Uncover the stories of buildings that have been preserved, demolished and even hidden behind modern facades, from the foundations of Dunedin’s historic architecture through to today’s modern city. Fittingly, the exhibition is held at the Museum’s H D Skinner Annex, itself an iconic historic building as the former home of the Dunedin North Post Office. Visit otagomuseum.govt.nz

Inside History | May-Jun 2014 |

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profile

Behind the scenes at History SA Margaret Anderson, CEO of History SA, is a busy woman, managing three museums, the State History Collection, a statewide community history program, and the About Time History Festival, which runs each May. Here, she speaks with Paula Grunseit about History SA’s many successes.

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Images Courtesy History SA.

H

ISTORY SA is a unique institution in the sense that it’s the only state government-funded organisation that was set up specifically to interpret, research, and preserve collections of the history of the state,” says Margaret Anderson, CEO of History SA. In a career spanning three decades, Anderson has taught history at Monash University and worked as a public historian in various museums, including the Migration Museum where she was inaugural director. She has written and launched. With entry points including People, published in the areas of women’s history, the Places, Collections, Events, and Organisations, it demography of the family, the practice of public is an evolving, interactive site which encourages history, and South Australian heritage generally. contributions from its visitors.“Adelaidia sits within Initially though, she did not know where her a broader program that we’re calling the SA History interest in history would lead. Hub, which looks at all sorts of elements of South “I wrote a thesis in the ’70s and it was one Australian history as a digital resource,” Anderson of the early theses on women’s history,” says says. “We’d love to expand and build on that in Anderson. “A job came up at the Western Australian the next few years and build the social media Museum and I applied for it not knowing what programs [alongside it].” it might mean. I got hooked on museums In a more traditional sense, and apart from a six-year stint teaching Anderson is hopeful that in addition history at Monash in the late ’80s and to South Australia’s three specialist ’90s, I’ve been in museums ever since. museums, there will be a museum I guess it was a love affair for me with I really dedicated solely to the history of the the presentation of history through want to build state. “Since the closing down of the museum exhibitions, but I also Old Parliament House Museum in developed an interest in historical and embed 1997, there’s been nowhere that can collections and artefacts,” she says. our digital really tell a comprehensive story,” she Having been at the helm of History says. “And it’s been our ambition for SA for 14 years, Anderson is forthright programs” a long time to have a museum of about the issues it faces. “The main South Australian history because we don’t have one. challenge we face is not having enough staff and If I could make some progress on that in the next enough money to meet our ambitions. We’ve got far five years I would be really pleased,” she says. more ideas than we can ever realise either in our Meanwhile, preparations are in progress for the spaces or through the resources we have to hand,” annual About Time SA History Festival which runs she says. “So the challenges for us are funding and every May and, this year, it features a staggering the capacity to maintain collections and historic 465 events. It will have something for everyone, buildings, and the capacity to present the sorts of including family historians, says Anderson. “There’s exhibitions we would like to present — and to do that everything from walking tours to lectures to at the same time we maintain our digital programs.” seminars, from the quirky to the scholarly. There Anderson is passionate about the opportunities are programs in libraries, at churches, in historical presented by the digital age and has big plans for societies, archaeological digs, and cemeteries.” the future. “I really want to build and embed our Events such as How to Start Your Family Tree, digital programs. Fifteen years ago there was History Collection Master Class, Family History a feeling that museums would become redundant Research Workshop, Local and Family History, because collections could be digitised. The reverse and Brighton Uniting Church Celebrates 150 Years seems to have been the case. The numbers [of will be of particular interest to family historians. visitors] in museums in South Australia and in other places around the country are booming, and the ✻ For more on Adelaidia, see adelaidia.sa.gov.au digital program has expanded people’s interest To view the About Time SA History Festival in looking at the real [thing],” she says. program, visit history.sa.gov.au/about-timeHistory SA’s Adelaidia app and website, which south-australias-history-festival explores the city’s history and stories, was recently

Inside History | May-Jun 2014 |

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History apps

Though hardly hallowed by the passing of time, these apps harness the latest technology to help you link with the past in informative and interesting ways. Claire Paterson and Sarah Trevor roadtest four of the latest to see how they fare.

THE ART OF SCIENCE Free; iOS compatible

LOGINBOX Free; iOS compatible

OLD IRISH SYDNEY Free; Android and iOS

MUSEUM OF LONDON: STREETMUSEUM Free; Android and iOS

The vivid and hyperreal butterfly and moth paintings by sisters Harriet and Helena Scott are collated here in this app by the Australian Museum. The Scott sisters spent 20 years dedicated to their father Alexander Walker Scott’s ambition to document and illustrate all known Australian butterflies and moths. Users can flick through roughly 100 paintings by the sisters, and further information on the painting or species depicted. The app also features videos about researching and preserving the Scott collection and the ‘About’ section shares interesting biographies of the Scott family. A whole exhibition condensed for your phone or tablet!

Tired of having to remember a different password for every online account? If so, meet LoginBox: an app that automatically logs you into websites with a single tap. The app records and remembers your password, account name and log-in process for chosen websites, so that next time you’re but a click away from logging in. As for security, your data is protected by hardware-accelerated encryption, plus you can add a passcode or PIN-protected auto-lock. While the free version is limited to three websites, the paid option, LoginBox Pro, is unlimited (costing A$7.49). If you, like me, are an internet addict, this app could save you much time and energy.

Old Irish Sydney offers a self-guided, one-hour walking tour through highlights and littleknown gems of Sydney’s Irish heritage, brought to you by the Dictionary of Sydney. Audio commentary narrated by Irish actors accompany detailed written descriptions and vivid photographs of each site. There are also links to Dictionary of Sydney entries and further reading resources on all 11 stops along the way. Android users, note that in Play Store, you must first download the ‘Dictionary of Sydney walks’ app then select Old Irish Sydney individually — we hope this means there are more Dictionary of Sydney apps to come.

Explore hundreds of snapshots of London in bygone eras on this app. Streetmuseum features a map of London dotted with hundreds of pins denoting historic streetscapes, buildings and points of interest. You simply tap on a pin to view historic images of that particular site. Handy links to the Museum of London website and its current exhibitions help you easily learn more. The 3D function overlays historic images of your location onto the camera view of the scene in front of you, but unfortunately only works in London itself. Nonetheless, it’s a great companion for exploring London, whether firsthand or from the comfort of your own home.

Inside History | May-Jun 2014 |

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your family

Lost boys of

Point Puer In colonial Tasmania, gruel, floggings and isolation were the order of the day if you had the misfortune of being a ‘convict’ child. Stephen Orr tells us how Point Puer Boys’ Prison stamped the youth and spirit out of its troubled inmates.

I

MAGINE: TEN years old, brought up in the East End of Victorian London, abandoned by your parents, left to find your own Artful Dodger and make your own way in the world. Your first picked pocket, or break in, and you’re up in front of the ‘beak’. He looks at you and tells you you’re no good and suggests a few years in Hobart Town might be in order. Five months later you and 100 other 10 to 14 year olds are lined up in the bleak southern capital and inspected by farmers and factory owners in search of free labour. It’s called the Assignment Scheme, but you’ve got another name for it. After a hellish journey, packed into a dark hold, fed on gruel and biscuits (just in case you were in any sort of condition), the Board has decided you are, after all, no good for coal mining, quarrying or building roads. So, it’s back to the barracks, and the thieves and murderers destined for the Port Arthur penal colony. By now you’re learning how to protect yourself from abuse, to obtain your share of food and water, to stay sane at an age when other children are playing with tin soldiers and paper windmills. Soon, you learn you’ll be sent to Point Puer Boys’ Prison. The name is muttered as some sort of omen, or warning, or damnation. You realise it doesn’t sound good. In 1843 Benjamin Horne visited Point Puer to observe and write a report on conditions for the

34

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governor, Sir John Franklin. His notes make it clear that this wasn’t a place for the faint-hearted: In the sleeping apartments lights are kept burning during the night, and they [the boys] are constantly watched by Overseers, but the efficiency of this system must depend wholly upon the moral character and vigilance of these Officers. Sometimes the Overseer relaxes his vigilance and falls asleep, and, if he is not a favourite with the boys, they put out the lights and invert and empty a night-tub over his head and shoulders. This trick which is called ‘Crowning the Overseer’ has occurred once during my visit. Point Puer was established to cater for boys who had been sentenced to transportation. It’s difficult for us to fathom

Main image An aerial view of Point Puer, photographed between 1951 and 1973. Courtesy Archives Office of Tasmania, ID AB713-1-3988. Below A still from the film adaptation of For the Term of His Natural Life, which features a character from Point Puer prison.

a government and judiciary that could treat children as the worst sorts of criminals. To some extent, English society thought itself better off without these ‘types’, but there was also an idea that these boys needed to be saved from themselves. They could be reformed, taught to fix shoes, bind books, mill wood and contribute to the future of their new colonial home. Horne believed the juvenile prisoner was ‘deplorably ignorant of religious and moral duties … or of reading and understanding good books …’ In other words, these ‘rascals’ just needed a firm hand. Thirteen-year-old Walter Paisley was sentenced to transportation for seven years for housebreaking. He was one of Point Puer’s first arrivals. He was no angel. During his time at the prison 44 charges were brought against him for insubordination, stealing and assaulting overseers and superintendents. Mostly, the punishment was solitary confinement, but this didn’t bother him. A few weeks after his arrival he was sentenced to the cells for a week for insubordination. A few months later he was back for smuggling tobacco. He sat singing, shouting obscenities, determined to make life difficult for his captors. After his release he struck the schoolmaster, stole a chicken from the superintendent’s garden and assaulted a boy who had given evidence against him. The first few years at Point Puer were tough. Discipline was strict. The boys were mostly a product of the slums within growing cities such as London, Birmingham and Manchester. Either this, or used as free farm labour from an early age. Despite not having chosen their own path through childhood, they were seen by authorities as ‘very depraved and difficult to manage, perhaps more so than grown men.’ Boys were up at 5am, rolling their mattresses and washing in tanks of Point Puer’s scarce water. After which came prayers (‘Singing is not u

Inside History | May-Jun 2014 |

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Issue 22: May-June 2014