Teralbah Family History in Australia

From a First Fleeter in 1788 to latest immigrant in 1922, my ancestors came to Australia either by force or necessity, lived and have had families which are now scattered all over the country and the world too. I am also including my partner’s family here too, for our children to know who their ancestors were and where they came from.

This is another attempt to put all what I’ve gathered in my 30 years of family history research, sharing with all who are interested. I am hoping to share as many photos, certificates, clips and such, as I can in this blog, and I do welcome your contributions, which I will add to this blog wherever I can.

The families covered are:

  • AVERY – circa. 1700s in Devon UK to 1820s in Sydney Australia
  • HUMPHRIES (also ‘HUMPHREYS‘) – 1780s in London UK to 1788 in Sydney Australia
  • JACOBSON – 1930s in Germany to 1940s in Sydney Australia
  • PALLIER (also ‘de PALLIER‘) – 1795s in Caen region France to 1940s in Picton Australia
  • THORNTON – circa. 1790s in London UK to 1814 in Sydney Australia
  • STATHIS – 1897 in Crete Greece (Kytheria Island) to 1920s in Queanbeyan Australia
  • STEIN (also ‘FINKELSTEIN‘) circa. 1850s in Prussia to 1930s in Sydney Australia

Comments, corrections and additions are very welcomed.

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52 Ancestors/52 Weeks – Twelve (Week 12)

Yep – the topic of this week challenge is ~ 12 ~ 

So I’ve decided to put the spotlight on my 12 most ethically challenged ancestors and how they remediated that. Read on… 

#1   EDWARD HUMPHRIES     (1765-1804)

Edward had the most glorified job as a household waste collector in good Old London. One day, this impressionable 19-years old fella got to try on a fancy long coat and a pair of flashy boots (around $450 in today’s money) and walked away happily. He was spotted in the street by a fashion scout as he looked so good in the gear, that he was given an appointment at the Old Bailey to collect his prize.

Eddy scored a 7-years-long overseas trip away and ended up enjoying the world famous 8-months long trip, on a 5-star cruise ship ‘Scarborough’. He ended up at the “brand-new” resort called “Colony of Sydney”, arriving on 27th January 1788. He found the new surroundings, along with the other 700+ esteemed colleagues more to his taste that he never went back home to his family and friends.

Eddy hooked up with a lovely Welsh lass named Mary (#2) a few years later, and they managed to breed out 6 children, with one not going past the 2-years-old mark. He decided on a career change, having a go at farming and policing, kicking around at The Rocks, Parramatta, and Windsor. However, Eddy had to kick that particular bucket and left behind a cranky wife with 5 agitated kids picking up the mess.

#2    MARY WILLIAMS     (1767-1805)

Mary was nearly got onto the stage in front of the crowd, however, this 21 years old Welsh lass had her act together in time for a venture that would float better. Then, she figured out that, after dealing with the Death Fleet of 1790, it’s time for another change – something less briny and away from that horrible sea god, Neptune.

Mary felt that both the old Wales and the New South Wales are no different, just tad hotter and drier. But what’s worst – there were no readily available clothes for her to try on! Fortunately for her, a nice fella named Eddy (#1) saw through her terrible choices of clothes and begged her to share his wardrobe. 

Alas, this was but a short and sweet scene for Mary for as soon after her last baby popped out, Eddy decided to take a dirt nap. This meant Mary had to clear out his end of the shared wardrobe, however, the task was too arduous for her that she took the same dirt nap a year later. Their kids were forced to couch surfing elsewhere in the area of Sydney and Parramatta. 

#3    DAVID KNOWLAND     (1762-1835)

David was found working on someone’s room in Shadwell at the East End, but the owner was not too pleased with his work. So he was pushed into signing up on a special 7-years service, with travelling as a perk. However, he regretted his decision to develop his sea legs 159 days later, as he had to endure the horrendous trip on the floating Death ship ‘Neptune’.

During his time at Colony of Sydney, David elected to work for the NSW Corps, guarding the town’s garrison against any reprobate leaks. A decade later, he discovered his true calling – as a food producer!

He produced, with the help of Mary, his special partner, a team of 5 hardy daughters. David also took in several homeless lads (one of them being Catharine’s boy – #4) to be part of the team, oversee his little empire of over 50 acres in a remote post called Airds.

#4    CATHARINE MALONE     (1769-1841)

This Irish lass did not realise what she had done to herself when Catharine and her friend thought it would be fun to make $10K disappear in front of a guy. It took a sweet 157-days trip down to 5-years old ‘city’ via ‘Sugar Cane’ from Cork to contemplate on this disastrous move. 

In the Colony of Sydney from 1793, Catharine had trouble keeping tracks of the 3 M – men, money, male offsprings of hers. It seems third time luck with Edward Bennett turned out better for her than previous 2 relationships. The first two men gave her 1 daughter (who did not lived past 2 years), and 4 sons – who didn’t grew up much with her. After trying out several stints, one of them being a washwoman, she elected to be a housewife, in a house that was child-free. 

#5    Mary Smith     (1774-1831)

 

#6    Sarah Madden     (1788-1827)

For some bizarre reason, Sarah thought she could score a special trip to the Down Under to see her mother there by trying a choice cut of white meat without permission. 

#7    John Turner     (1792-1867)

 

#8    John Hockey     (1803-1878)

 

#9    John Pallier     (1799-1870)

 

#10    John H Duffy     (1809-1868)

 

#11    James W Woods     (1815-1902)

 

#12    Elizabeth Riley/Kelly     (1809-1866)

 

By now, you would have worked this out – those are my 12 direct ancestors, who were convicted and transported to Australia between 1788 and 1832 – it is also known as ‘forced immigration’ because it usually means they never got to ‘return home’ at all. All 12 are listed in order of arrival to Australia as convicts.

Were yours like those? Share please.

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David Knowland (c.1772-1837)

David KNOWLAND (also spelt as NOWLAND, NOWLAN, & KNOWLING)


  • Born: circa. 1772 in East Smithfield, England
  • Baptised: ?
  • Parents: Possibly Dennis Knowland and Mary Hall
  • Died: 24 January 1837 in Campbelltown or Liverpool, NSW, Australia
  • Buried: January 1837, Liverpool Cemetery (known as Liverpool Pioneer Cemetery), Liverpool Moore Park, NSW
  • Married: 6 May 1810 at St Matthew’s, Windsor, NSW to – Mary SMITH
  • Children: 6 – Ann (1801-1876), Bridget (1803-1880s), Mary (1803-1803), Sarah (1806-1874), Louisa (1809-1852), and Mary Ann (1809-1881).
  • Occupations: England – unknown. Australia – NSW Corps, farmer, land owner, settler, foster parent, wards man, honorary constable, subscriber, ploughman, convict overseer and employer.

Background on trial:

David got caught on 6th June 1788 at the Burrell’s house on Labour-in-vain-Street, Shadwell, England. He was hiding under a bed in a room upstairs, after hearing the someone at the front door. There was a Mrs Ann Burrell, who stated that she noticed the mess and found David under bed. She also said she had seen him around in this lane before.

Between the capture and the court trial 19 days later, more details came up on David: he was only 14 years old; he claimed he was pushed by another guy named Old Bowles to steal stuff; the constable named George Forrester stated he knew David as he was living toward Ratcliffe-cross, and that his mother does not really lived with him; David signed a confession about this housebreaking; during the trial his surname was spelt as KNOWLAND, however the record’s put as NOWLAND.

Old Bailey Online for further details of his trial: David Nowland, Theft > housebreaking, 25th June 1788 (trial) 

Sentence

The court found David guilty of housebreaking and stealing of items valued at 10d. So his sentence was ‘Transported for Seven years.’

David was held inside the Newgate Prison for about a year before he was transferred to the hulk “Dunkirk” at Plymouth in May 1789.

Arrival

What he did during his life in Australia

List of children

How did he died?

Any noteworthy events?

1822 – record shows that he had acquired his property at Airds by both grant of 500 acres with the other 30 acres from purchases, and that he was living on this property. By then, he was growing 25 acres of wheat and half acres in peas/beans, with 40 acres cleared ground. For the stock, he had 2 horses and 20 hogs. He had declared that he have 20 bushels of wheat grains in hand, and 50 maize grains (corn). Around this time from the Liverpool Population book, he had a convict named M? Thompson (per Grenada – 1819, 7 years sentence) assigned to him. On the same page, his daughter Sarah and her husband Thomas Martin (both natives of Sydney Colony) were listed just below, with Thomas as the land holder.


References

  • Convict Records Index, 1787-1867, State Library of Queensland; Australian Joint Copying Project. Microfilm Roll 87, Class and Piece Number HO11/1, Page Number 51 (27).
  • NSW Census and Population Books, 1811-1825. State Records Authority of New South Wales. Population musters, Dependent settlements; Series: NRS 1260; Reel: 1252.

52 Ancestors/52 Weeks – Frightening (Week 44)

This post is a bit silly as it was a nod to the Halloween, which is big in Northern Hemisphere, especially in USA. Not that we do not follow it, it is something we don’t do much here in Australia.

Anyway, I have lot of ‘scary’ stories to share, but I will only tell you of one.

Mum’s old electric clock

I have no idea how long Mum had this particular clock for, but it was a simple white clock with a round face, black numerals and hands on it.

It stood on top of the kitchen wall cabinet for years, powered by electricity. So to keep clock ticktocking away, we knew not to touch that particular switch on the wall.

First time I was aware of the special ‘power’ that clock had was when I was young and Mum casually mentioned that someone close to the family must have died just then.

Whoa, you’d say, right?

How could a clock tells us the news of a death?

By stopping.

That’s it. Bar any power outages, we have started to monitor that clock everyday, both for the time of the day, and possibly a timed death of someone. So far that clock was accurate in both times and days of the deaths of people we knew – not only family relatives, but family friends as well.

To this day, I still do not know how and why that clock would stop for no particular reason but to announce a death. It would take a flick at the switch to get it going once again.

The clock did not survive the house fire in the mid 1990s. So I could not have it tested for any possible explanation.

Should I rename it as the “Death Clock”?

Do you have anything similar to this?

 

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52 Ancestors/52 Weeks – Back to School (Week 35)

This one will be about the deaf schools that my deaf family members attended in Australia between 1915 to 2005.

New South Wales Deaf Dumb and Blind Institution

Known also as ‘Darlington Deaf School’ 

For historical information about this – Deaf History Australia

SLNSW - 1900s

New South Wales Deaf Dumb and Blind Institution (Newtown Road, Newtown NSW) Deaf & Source: SLNSW – Dumb Asylum [Newtown] / Star Photo Co.
Call Number: PXE 711 / 229
Digital Order No.: a116229

Pupils:

  • Keith Thornton (1915s)
  • Onita I E Woods (1925s)
    • And their two sons (1945s)
  • A Jennings – cousin of Onita (1920s)
  • John R Stathis (1935s)
    • and his sister (1950s)
    • and a 2nd cousin (1945s)

 

Royal NSW Institution for Deaf and Blind Children

Also including Thomas Pattison School, the bilingual deaf school on the campus.

Information on the history of RIDBC

North_Rocks_SchoolWiki

The main entrance to the old building (now demolished) of Royal Institute for Deaf and Blind Children at North Rocks. Source: 21 November 2007, by Bar, J, courtesy of J Bar, Wikimedia Commons.

Pupils:

  • Ian Thornton (1955s)
    • and his son (1990s)

Employee:

  • Me! (1995s)

 

Waratah Deaf & Dumb Institute

near Newcastle (Alfred Street, Waratah) 

Also known as Rosary Convent at Waratah: Rosary Convent, Institution for the Deaf and Dumb (Waratah)

Pupils:

  • My mum (1950s)
  • One of my aunts (1960s)

 

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52 Ancestors/52 Weeks – Family Legend (Week 33)

Ya know the old saying: “There is a legend, a story, or even a whisper of scandal in each family that has been passed down through many generations without anyone questioning its authenticity.” Yea, you got one too, eh?

We have so many in ours – however I am going with one that I like to remind myself with, how important it is to check and re-check the authenticity of the story.

You see, my grandmother Onita Woods was proud in re-telling the story, that her mother told shared with her as a young woman, about where their ancestors came from and why they’re in Australia.

The Legend

Apparently, my ancestor was a ship captain from France. He has a large ship that he travelled around. One day, he decided to check out South of Europe. There, he met and married an important woman from Spain. From there, they decided a new home to be found in Australia where they could start their own family dynasty.

A lovely tribute to my ancestors, eh?

Let’s start disassemble that story…

Who are those ancestors?

John Pallier & Eleanor Willocks

John Pallier was baptised with the name “John Joseph Pallier”, said to be born on 1st July 1799 in St James, Westminster (London). His parents were John (Jean) Joseph Pallier (1770s, France -?) and Margaret Watson (1770s, England -?). John Jnr’s baptism record shown that he was baptised at St Mary le Bone, in Middlesex on 11th November 1813, at the prime age of 13 years. On the record, it revealed that his father was already dead, and that they were living in the county of St Marylebone (Middlesex – London). Why was he baptised so late, with his father dead? 

On 27th March 1821, John Jnr married Eleanor Willocks (aka Wallacks / Willox / Wallocks) at St Anne, Soho (Westminster, London). Both were of the parish, and were married under Banns. However, the record I have was transcribed, so no original signatures shown.

Eleanor Willocks was born around 1796 in Gibraltar, a daughter of Robert Willocks (Wallox / Willow / Wallocks) and Ann Grifin Collins (Teeffe). While Eleanor’s birth or baptism records are still not found, her siblings were born at various places including Gibraltar, Devon, Kent, and Bedfordshire. Robert Willocks, a native of Fort Augustus, Inverness (Scotland) – born in 1764. He was in the military records, along with his father, and his sons. This could explain the Spanish woman angle.

So where does the ship captaincy comes in?

To this date, I have absolutely no idea why this was promoted. His occupations were listed as mechanic and window glazier, gleaned from his children’s baptism records in England, by 1829. In another record, he was a house painter.

And what about moving to Australia?

Now, this is the most interesting part.

The earliest Australian record found for a John Pallier was in 1852, with his name on the NSW Electoral Records. He was living on his own property in Narellan. Other clues revealed he was a postmaster and shopkeeper in Picton, Narellan, and Camden over the years before his death on 16th June 1870 in Narellan, NSW Australia. A long way from his original home in London, England, eh?

No records of his arrival. Nothing between 1829 and 1852.

So where did he hid for 23 years?

There was a petition to the Governor of Sydney Colony in 1834, asking for the family of 5 to be reunited to a convict named James Johnston. His alias was listed as John Joseph Pallier!

Ah – so John Pallier was a convict, however he used an alias to hide this fact.

James Johnston was arrested on 6th April 1829 for “burglarously breaking and entering,… with intent to steal the goods” in Newington, Surrey. Then 22 days later, he was marked “…to be severely hanged by the neck until they be dead”, along with his co-accused (James Bird and Henry Brown). However, they were reprieved with transportation for life sentences.

Transported straight to New South Wales on ‘Marquis of Huntly’ on 11 February 1830, and after arriving in the Sydney Colony, James/John was assigned to Mr. Thomas V. Broomfield of Maitland NSW. Over the years, he tried to have his family transferred to be with him on the pleasure of the Crown. However, it took almost 10 years before he see his family once again.

When the family were reunited, it expanded by the marriages and children and grandchildren, along with various land purchases, life choices, and opportunities. John, who have left his alias behind when he received his Second Class Pardon in 1845, died aged 72 years and was remembered as “…an old and much respected colonist”.

The family dynasty has continued to this day with numerous descendants from his 4 children, however there is nary a memento of him or his wife Eleanor, except for their headstones which still stand at Cobbitty’s St Paul’s church grounds. 

JJPallierheadstone

Headstone of John Joseph Pallier – “Sacred to the memory of JOHN JOSEPH PALLIER, who died on the 16 of June 1870, aged 72 years.”     (from my collection)

Re-defining the legend

So, to re-tell that story, it would be more accurate to put it this way:

John Pallier, of French ancestry, had a family of 4 children with his wife, Eleanor Willocks (who was born in Gibraltar) in London, when he was convicted and sent to Australia as a convict with life sentence in 1830. He managed to get his family moved to Australia to join him almost a decade later. There, his family expanded and lived all over NSW. His mother was also brought over to live the rest of her life in Camden.

Readers, what about yours? 

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52 Ancestors/52 Weeks – Cemetery (Week 17)

A short and sweet story about finding the neglected gravestones of my ancestors when I was a teen by accident.

I was only 17 and doing my final year of school Arts project – photographing the old sheds all over the rural areas not far from my home. My mum was driving me around, and I’d say stop, and hop out and snap a shot, then hop back in the car for next one. This went on for several weekends until I have enough to work with.

One Saturday afternoon in the early 1990s, we happen to drive south to Cobbitty, a small rural town. I fell in love with this town and told my mum that it would be lovely to live there. She, being practical as usual, replied – ‘what for, there’s nothing here!’

Anyway, we stopped at this old church with its run-down hall at the back. The cemetery is surrounded, with wildflowers, tall grasses, and trees all over the gardens. It was quiet and calm spot.

Cobbitty - St Pauls Anglican Cemetery

The graves around St Pauls Anglican Church at Cobbitty, NSW Australia. (image from https://billiongraves.com/cemetery/Cobbitty—St-Pauls-Anglican-Cemetery/150215)

I took photos of the old and run down hall – such lovely subject to work with, and I was a bit sad to know it cannot be saved (it was pulled down last time I was there a couple of years ago).

I enjoyed browsing through the gravestones, calculating the ages, collecting interesting names, and try to work out the family groups. I saw this weathered sandstone gravehead, letterings faded over years from exposure, stood in a patch of overgrown grass, with another sandstone gravestone on ground next to it.

I then read the names – looks familiar.

Wait a minute!

They were the graveheads of my ancestors…

JJPallierheadstone

Headstone of John Joseph Pallier – “Sacred to the memory of JOHN JOSEPH PALLIER, who died on the 16 of June 1870, aged 72 years.”     (from my collection)

EWillockheadstone

Headstone of Eleanor Pallier – “Sacred to the memory of Ellenor PALLIER, who departed … … aged 64?… (the rest unreadable)”     (from my collection)

It is believed there were several other Pallier family members buried there as well. The two graves above can be found only 3rd or 4th row west from the fence on the east side (on the north corner of church ground).

At that time, I was just starting on this family so naturally I was so excited as it was unexpected discovery! I show the photos of those to my grandma Onita and she was so happy to know that was where they were buried. This particular couple led an interesting and controversial life – their stories will be covered sometimes soon.

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52 Ancestors/52 Weeks – Valentine (Week 7)

We like to think there were some stories of romantic meetings of ‘love at the first sight’ moments of our ancestors, where we would go swoon with breathless gasps and lingering sighs, while our imagination goes wild with the rosy-tinted dreams of how love looked like for those couples.

Right?

Most of the time, it was not just like that. Some were ‘arranged’ marriages (in some form), others more of circumstantial marriages (due to financial, pregnancy, nanny-into-stepmother, or limited pool of eligible/available people), and only few the true love that were lucky enough to evolved into a life-long sweet partnerships that many of us dreamt of having.

I really love this passage, from one of my favourite book series “Anne of the Green Gables”:

“Perhaps, after all, romance did not come into one’s life with pomp and blare, like a gay knight riding down; perhaps it crept to one’s side like an old friend through quiet ways; perhaps it revealed itself in seeming prose, until some sudden shaft of illumination flung athwart its pages betrayed the rhythm and the music, perhaps. . . perhaps. . .love unfolded naturally out of a beautiful friendship, as a golden-hearted rose slipping from its green sheath.”     —Lucy Maud Montgomery, Anne of Avonlea

Out of the numerous ancestors I have, I decided to put the spotlight on my great grandparents (the parents of my Grandma Onita):

Percival Thomas Woods & Alma Ethel Pallier

1914 Wedding photo of Woods and Pallier

An original wedding photo of Percy T Woods and Alma E Pallier – only photo of Percy T Woods I have in my collection. (D. Thornton’s collection, 2018)

Backgrounds of the couple

Percy T Woods

  • Born: 10 October 1891, West Maitland, NSW Australia
  • Parents: Thomas Woods (1852-1935) & Elizabeth Agnes Boggs (1861-1919)
  • Siblings: Ivy M (1885-1953); Agnes M (1885-1973); Lilly E (1889-1958); James H (1893-1927); Edith R (1895-1976); Olive I (1897-1973); Violet M A (1899-1938); and Elsie E (1902-2003).
  • Occupations: Drover, farmer, & stockman
  • Died: 25 November 1949, Gladesville, NSW Australia

Alma E Pallier

  • Born: 26 January 1895, Narrabri, NSW Australia
  • Parents: Charles Edwin Pallier (1857-1930) & Hannah Long (1854-1944)
  • Siblings: Bertram H C (1882-1961); Amy M (1885-1885); Elsie (1885-1885); Beatrice E (1886-1965); Raymond (1889-1892); and Joseph (Joe) C (1892-1959)
  • Occupations: High School teacher, drover’s wife, and pianist
  • Died: 28 June 1972, Gosford, NSW Australia

Married: on 10 June 1914, at Narrabri, NSW Australia

1914-marriage-certificate-of-woods-and-pallier.jpg

The original marriage certificate of Percy T Woods and Alma E Pallier – 10 June 1914 at Wee Waa, NSW Australia (D. Thornton’s collection, 2018)


Children: 1 daughter – Onita I E (1915-2013), and 5 sons – Douglas P (1917-1973); Charles A (1919-1923); Hilton J (1920-1996); Ronald K (1923-1998); and Lindsay M (1927-1997).

A love story?

We can only imagine how they met – none of their children ever shared the story of their first meeting, nor any courting, as well the wedding of the couple. However, they do talk about how wonderful their mother was, the type of person she was, and how supportive she was with her children and grandchildren. The memories of their father were not that clear, though.

From the descriptions and stories I was shared with, it seems that their love story was a heart-wrenching, yet touching…

From the snippets of the conversations I’ve had with my Grandma Onita over the years, those are what I have gleaned:

  • Percy often went droving, leaving Alma behind to mind the farm, kids and farmhands regularly on her own.
  • The deaths of their brothers hit Percy hardest, after the death of one of his sons in 1923, as he was quite close to them, especially Alma’s brother Joe. It is not known whether he was around when the news of those deaths was announced.
  • Onita nearly drowned in the farm dam when she was 4, and her father managed to rescue her and told her not to tell her mother. A short story – A near drowning
  • Percy and Alma were very close to their families and friends, often visiting others around the North West of NSW (Narrabri, Boggabri, Wee Waa, Maitland and surroundings).
  • Alma was a high school teacher before she married Percy, and she was an accomplished pianist, who loved to play the piano with her son Ronald as much they could. There was a huge pile of music sheets Uncle Ron left behind, along with their latest model of a piano when he died in 1998. It is not known if other sons could play the piano as well.
  • Onita recollected a time when Alma had a shotgun ready and told her children to remain inside, while she went outside with the gun to deal with some men who came to the farmhouse, asking for food. She remembered one of them being an Aboriginal. She explained that back then, there is no guarantee that a woman would not be untouched when she’s being left alone without her husband around. She also believed those men were the farmhands, however, it was not that easy to deal in the evenings with concerns for the safety of the family. Onita, at that point of telling me this story, realised that there is nothing easy being a farm wife who’s being left behind to deal with all that and wondered if it was the same for many other women in the country.
  • Onita said that when her parents realised that their only daughter is actually deaf, they were trying to work out how to get her educated. Around that time, Percy had a deaf farmhand working with him and could communicate through fingerspelling, so they started to use that with Onita. A collector from NSW Deaf School in Darlington (Sydney) came through and told them about the deaf school. Alma immediately travelled to Sydney with 7 years old Onita in tow, all the way from the West, and there they had Onita enrolled as a pupil. For many years, Onita would travel back and forth once a year with her mother on the country train. Imagine this – Onita only gets to see her family for a few weeks every year, while she boarded at the Deaf School in Sydney. 
  • Percy had several mental breakdowns, the last severe episode had him admitted as an inmate at the Gladesville Mental Hospital, and there he lived for about 15 years before his death at this hospital. Alma visited him regularly and refused to abandon him during his stay at the Gladesville Mental Hospital. (Details about the Gladesville Mental Hospital can be found here and here.)
  • Alma had to pack the household and her young family from Narrabri all the way to Auburn, a suburb in Sydney when Percy was admitted to the Gladesville Mental Hospital. And there she managed to keep everything going, watching her sons sailed for World War 2, dealt with the deaths of her siblings and husband, and kept herself strong and collected right to end of her life.
  • She loved to attend churches in Wee Waa, Narrabri, Auburn, Woy Woy and Gosford, singing and playing the piano there, while supporting other church-goers.
  • Ron, one of her sons, remained with her as he was unmarried and refused to leave her side. Apparently, Ron has asked a woman to marry him and allow his mother to live with them, she refused. It was not known how Alma felt about this.
  • Onita mentioned that Alma was quite intimidating when Onita brought her then-husband Keith Thornton to meet her. They had a written interview before she gave the blessing on the courtship and eventually the marriage of Onita and Keith.

A tribute

Out of all that, I am getting the sense of who Alma was – a strong independent country woman, who had a sense of humour, a strong sense of loyalty to her family and friends, yet would give time to others and very caring. She had left a strong imprint on her children who thought very high of her. The recollections of Percy were scant and the ones I got were a bit of a quiet and hard-working man who liked to spend time with his wife and children as much as he could.

This quote summarised up perfectly how I interpret the loving relationship of Percy and Alma:

“What greater thing is there for two human souls, than to feel that they are joined for life–to strengthen each other in all labour, to rest on each other in all sorrow, to minister to each other in all pain, to be one with each other in silent unspeakable memories at the moment of the last parting?”   (Adam Bede, by George Eliot)

Do you have similar couples in your family history? Care to share with us?

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