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52 Ancestors - The Maiden Aunt

This week's theme for #52ancestors is The Maiden Aunt. And our star this week is Miss Delia Sedgwick, who was my Great Aunt. Delia Gertrude Sedgwick was born on 13 June, 1887, the fifth of eight children of Gasper Sedgwick and Catherine (Kate) Morley. After Kate died when Delia was 6 years old, Gasper married her sister, Cecilia and had a further five children, including my Grandfather, Joseph.

Delia never married - she worked as a maid for Miss Nan Garvan, herself an "old maid", who we believe is one of the six daughters of James Patrick Garvan (who also had six sons).

The Garvan Institute of Medical Research began as a small research department of St Vincent's Hospital in Darlinghurst, Sydney. The Sisters of Charity used funds raised from their Centenary Appeal to establish the Institute and one of the primary donors was Mrs Helen Mills, who contributed 100,000 pounds and requested that it be named after her late father, James Patrick Garvan, NSW parliamentarian an…
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52 Ancestors - The Old Homestead

This weeks theme on #52ancestors in 52 weeks is "The Old Homestead". Now that's a really American term and I don't really have much information on an old farm that has stayed in the family for generations. But we do a bit of family history linked to a house.

"Fifeshire" - 9 Eurobin Ave, Manly (Sydney's northern beaches).

It was owned by my great-grandmother (my mother's father's mother) Emma Ivanhoe Morton. She was born in Manly in 1878, and married Arthur John Hardwick in 1909 and they lived in Brookvale, NSW. However, after he ran off with another woman, she lived with her son George Arthur Hardwick in Redfern and Punchbowl, before moving purchasing the house in Manly.

She would have named it "Fifeshire" because her father, David Morton, was born in Pittenwheem, Fife in Scotland, before coming to Australia in 1859.

George Arthur lived with her until he married my maternal Grandmother in 1938. However, after they divorced in 1943, he …

52 Ancestors - Misfortune

For this week's theme of 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks we have Misfortune.

In my tree, I have so many relatives who were born, lived a mundane life, popped out a few kids (some of whom died young), and then shuffled off their mortal coil. They certainly weren't rich, didn't live exciting lives and luckily very few of them experienced huge misfortune.

We do have at least one notable exception, however.

Vincent Lovell McCarthy was the Great-Uncle of my husband. He was the fourth child of Daniel Joseph McCarthy and Margaret Spinks (and the younger brother of my husband's paternal grandfather).

He was born in Dubbo, New South Wales in 1891, like all of his siblings, and appeared to live all of his childhood and youth in the area.

However, on 26 July, 1912, it appears his life came to an abrupt end at the age of 20, being murdered by George Albert Thorby, in Wongarbon, a town nearby:

The coroner at Dubbo found: "Verdict: I find that ... Vincent Lovell McCarthy at Albion Hil…

52 Ancestors - Lucky

For this week's #52ancestors, the theme is Lucky. So today, being St Patrick's Day and all, we will discover William Buckley, who is Andrew's father's mother's mother's father (so his 2nd great grandfather). 
William was born in Ferbane, Offaly County (formerly Kings County), Ireland in about 1834 (I haven't been able to find a reliable record of this - it is estimated from other documents). His father was Carson (or perhaps William) Buckley and his mother was Julie Doyle.

I think he came to Australia as a free settler in April 1857 on the FitzJames. He married an Irish lass Margaret McBrien when he was 25 in Parramatta, NSW in January 1859. They had 13(!!!) children, one of whom was Julia Catherine Buckley born in 1873, who went on to have Sabina Langdon in 1893, who was Andrew's paternal grandmother. William worked as a labourer and died in October 1918 in Toongabbie, aged 84. In Australia, there was another famous William Buckley, who was an English …

Back again!

I'm back. Not back as in homeschooling blog back, but back, at least sporadically to write, muse, inform and become a famous internet influencer (all true except the last one).

I toyed with the idea of changing the blog title - something funnier, more hip, with it. But then, I thought "fuck it". Defying Gravity can mean anything and everything. And that's pretty much what you are going to get.

I'm going to write about:

family life, but without any identifying details;whinging about things that shit me (and as I get older and more menopausal, if that's possible, more things shit me);holidays (yay!) - there should be more of them;my family tree - it's my new procrastinating hobby and whether you are interested or not, I'll be trying to write once a week about interesting bits of the now rather-extensive tree I have;maybe some cool science things (let's not commit ourselves to too much here, Ingrid);yet more attempts to lose weight and get fit, or alt…

52 Ancestors - Strong Woman

I'm doing my family tree and I thought I might try to share some of it with you (the plan is each week with a prompt from the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks to write and share your genealogy, but we'll see!).

This is my father's mother's mother (so my great-grandmother) Susannah Jane Freeman, or Grandma Parsons as she was known. She was born 28 Sept 1873 in Crow Mountain, near Tamworth, NSW. With her husband, Charles Parsons, she had 7 children (one before her marriage - scandal! and supposedly the last one at age 51 - we are not sure of the story behind that one!). She died in 1956 aged 82 of heart disease.

So, for International Women's Day this week and for the Strong Women theme of #52ancestors, I think she looks like a strong and formidable female ancestor.

Is there anything better than a NEW PUPPY?

We've been mulling this over for a while.

It's a big decision, you know, to go again.

The sleepless nights. The early mornings. The interrupted sleep.

The toilet training, the chewing, the energy - so much energy!

But, Wombat Girl had been nagging. The cute pics of puppies kept turning up in my Facebook feed (not that I was cyber-stalking Cloudcatcher Labradoodles...much).

And one day...Wombat needed his forever home!

I mean, really! His name was Wombat! Look at that face! The answer was never going to be no! So all of a sudden, we found ourselves puppy-proofing our home and getting ready for puppy-joy! 
Wombat had to give up his home by the beach to come to the cold of Canberra, but I thought that maybe he would be OK with that - he was certainly fluffy enough! He is a medium cream fleece coat labradoodle (Max is a standard black wool coat, as a comparison).

 Now, poor Maxi-doodles has been an only-puppy for nearly 8 years. He's not well socialised. Some would call him hi…