Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Sepia Saturday 198 - a launching

This week's Sepia Saturday blog post topic is of the launch of HMAS Albatross, the Royal Australian Navy's first seaplane carrier which was launched in February 1928 at Cockatoo Island Dockyard in Sydney.

In family history---in history generally---we can never be sure what results will flow from our intentions. Here I am in 1987 with my mother Christa and my husband Greg launching our dinghy 'Titania' for its maiden voyage on Lake Burley Griffin in Canberra. But 'launch' has the same root as 'lance', a thrown spear does not always meet its target, and Titania did not always stay upright, as a good dinghy should. Some of our other boats---and projects---have floated better, but this often became apparent only in retrospect.

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Trove tuesday : Daniel Budge

 Although I had spent a long time looking for the death of Daniel Budge (1842 - 1895), the brother of my great great grandmother Margaret Cudmore née Budge, and had found a death index entry for him in Western Australia, I couldn't be sure this was the right man.  It wasn't until I had searched the digitised newspapers on Trove that I learned how he died and why he was in Western Australia.

 COMPARATIVE LEGISLATION. (1895, January 26). The Capricornian (Rockhampton, Qld. : 1875 - 1929), p. 18. Retrieved October 22, 2013, from
It is with feelings of the deepest regret that we (Barcoo Independent,) learn of the death of Mr. Daniel Budge, who expired at Coolgardie on Sunday last of typhoid fever. The deceased gentleman was well-known throughout the pastoral districts of Queensland, and to many of the older residents of the western portion of New South Wales, and was exceedingly and deservedly popular with all classes of the community. Born in Scotland in 1842, he accompanied his family to Adelaide, South Australia, in 1853. He adopted pastoral pursuits, and about 1862 was appointed manager of one of the Tolarno stations, on the Darling River, New South Wales. In 1875 he joined his brother, Mr. Kenneth Budge, an part owner of Gooyea Station, near Adavale, Queensland, where he remained until the death of his brother, after which the station was sold. In 1880 or 1881 he purchased Mr. A. Mossman's share in Delta Station, baring for a partner Mr. W. P. Tozer, which station he managed for some years, during which Mr J. M. Niall bought Mr. Tozer's share. About 1886 Messrs. R. Rarr-Smith and Co. bought Mr. Budge's interest in that property, and the latter removed to Blackall, where he pur- chased the old Barcoo Hotel. This property he sold to Mr. R. Moss about 1888, and then entered into partnership with Mr. J. D. Hughes as auctioneers, stock and station agents, Blackall. Mr. Budge was the lessee of this paper from April, 1891, to April, 1894, and in September, 1894, he left Blackall for Coolgardie, where he died. He took a great interest in local matters, more especially in the welfare of the local racing institutions. At various times he occupied the offices of alderman of the Blackall Municipality, chairman of the Kargoolnah Divisional Board, vice-president of the Blackall District Hospital, and vice-president of the Blackall Racing Club. From his genial manner and cheerful disposition he was a general favourite with everyone with whom he was brought into contact ; while his extreme generosity will make his name long remembered on the Barcoo, and his good deeds a fruitful subject of conversation at many a camp fire. Poor old Dan will be greatly missed, and many a long day will elapse before his name fades in the memory of a host of friends. He leaves a wife and two children, who reside in Sydney.

The obituary also appeared in Rockhampton's Morning Bulletin of 24 January 1895.

There is a longer obituary in The Western Champion and General Advertiser for the Central-Western Districts (Barcaldine, Qld.), 22 January, page 9.  It mentions Daniel Budge's connections with the Niall, Cudmore and Tozer families, his property dealings and his interest in local government and in horse-racing.

Barcaldine Small Debts Court. (1895, January 22). The Western Champion and General Advertiser for the Central-Western Districts (Barcaldine, Qld. : 1892 - 1922), p. 9. Retrieved October 22, 2013, from

Thursday, 3 October 2013

Sepia Saturday 197: a blurry photograph

This week's Sepia Saturday prompt is a blurry photograph. We are urged to "by-pass the best, avoid the crystal clear, and focus [our] attention on the less than perfect, because, as we all know, all too often, life is less than perfect."

This blur of dogs, our dog Toby playing on the beach with my parents' dogs Max and Maurice, reminded me of how little we know about our forebears.

We are pleased when we are able to record public facts about our forebears, but we usually know very little about them as people. What were their hopes and fears, what gave them pleasure and pain? The dry facts remain; the things that matter are quickly lost. 

I am sure that many of my ancestors loved their pets, and it's sad to think that death and the passage of time removes even the name of the family dog.

But here I have to finish this post because Toby, the fawn-and-grey chap in the foreground, says it's time for a walk.

Related post: 

Tuesday, 1 October 2013


James  Cross (1828 - 1882) and his wife Ellen Cross née Murray (1837 - 1901), the great great grandparents of my husband Greg, moved to Carngham between the births of their first and second children. Frederick James Cross, their oldest son, was born on 1 April 1857 at Green Hills near Buninyong. Their daughter Ellen was born on 27 May 1859 at Carngham. James and Ellen had nine more children all born at Carngham. James Cross died at Carngham in 1882. Ellen Cross died in Ballarat in 1901.

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From Lost and almost forgotten towns of Colonial Victoria : a comprehensive analysis of Census results for Victoria, 1841-1901 by Angus B.Watson. 

Carngham, 27 km west of Ballarat, about 30 km from Buninyong, and 4 km north of Snake Valley, was a mining township, surveyed and proclaimed in 1855. State School number 146 operated at Carngham from 1856 until 1911.

Snake Valley was not proclaimed a township. It was a mining centre, surveyed as a hamlet. State School number 574, which began in 1854, is now part of the Woady Yaloak school.

According to the census of 29 March 1857 there were 459 people in Carngham, 292 males and 167 females. This figure probably includes the population of Snake Valley. In 1854 there had been 58 people, 15 males and 13 females.   There are no 1854 figures for Snake Valley. In 1861 there were 22 dwellings counted in Carngham with 92 people of whom 54 were male and 38 female. Snake Valley had 204 dwellings housing 714 people: 454 males and 260 females. In 1871 Carngham and Snake Valley were counted together, with 384 dwellings housing 1,693 people of whom 958 were male and 735 female. In 1881 there were only 133 dwellings housing 611 people, 313 males and 298 females. In 1891 Carngham had 30 dwellings housing 126 people and Snake Valley had 92 dwellings housing 333 people. Watson, Angus B Lost & almost forgotten towns of colonial Victoria : a comprehensive anaysis of census results for Victoria, 1841-1901. Angus B. Watson and Andrew MacMillan Art & Design, [Victoria, Australia], 2003. Pages 84, 408.

Today Carngham amounts to little more than a few houses where the Snake Valley - Trawalla road crosses the route from Ballarat to Beaufort.  Snake Valley is still the larger settlement. Overlooking Carngham is a cemetery where James Cross, his wife Ellen and some of his children and their families are buried.

The name Carngham is said to derive from the Wathawurrung people's word for house or hut.  In 1838 James and Thomas Baillie squatted there and adopted the Aboriginal place name for their property. The local clan was the Karrungum baluk or Carringum balug. Clark, Ian, and Toby Heydon. "Historical Information - Carngham." VICNAMES. Victorian Aboriginal Corporation for Languages (State Government of Victoria), 2011. Web. 01 Oct. 2013. <>.

Snake Valley is said to have got its name when a gold miner found snakes in a shaft he was sinking. Clark, Ian, and Toby Heydon. "Historical Information - Snake Valley." VICNAMES. Victorian Aboriginal Corporation for Languages (State Government of Victoria), 2011. Web. 01 Oct. 2013. <>.In turn citing Porteous in Smyth 1878b: 179. 

The Ballarat Star reported on the gold rush to Carngham in November 1857. CARNGHAM. (1857, November 23). The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), p. 2. Retrieved October 1, 2013, from

Trove Tuesday: a splinter

A hundred and fifty years ago there were no effective antibiotics. Brandy didn't help.

James Cross (1828 - 1882), the great great grandfather of my husband Greg, lost the use of a hand through an infection that would have healed quickly with modern antibiotics.

NEWS AND NOTES. (1869, February 16). The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1870), p. 2. Retrieved October 1, 2013, from

The Genealogical Index of Names (GIN) compiled by the Genealogical Society of Victoria (GSV) includes an index record of his hospital admission.

James Cross, at the time of his accident a miner, was born on 22 March 1828 at Windle, near Liverpool. I have no information about his immigration to Victoria but other sources such as his death record and newspaper notices from his brother and concerning unclaimed letters, suggest that he arrived around 1853, a date consistent with the '16 years in the colony' note on his hospital admission record.  

James Cross married Ellen Murray on 28 November 1856 at Black Lead, Bunninyong. By 1869 they had seven children, with the youngest, Mary Gore Cross, born 28 September 1868 at Carngham, less than six months old at the time of her father's accident.

When as a result of the infection James lost the use of his hand, a local singing group called the Carngham Amateur Ethiopian Minstrels gave a charity concert to raise money for him.

NEWS AND NOTES. (1869, August 27). The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1870), p. 2. Retrieved October 1, 2013, from

NEWS AND NOTES. (1869, August 31). The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1870), p. 2. Retrieved October 1, 2013, from

On 31 January 1882, thirteen years after this unfortunate encounter with the ineffective medical remedies of his time, James Cross died in Carngham of dysentery.