Showing posts from 2015

They are every bit as good as they look

"This week I present two of my best nieces—Johanna and Katie Horgan. I am sure you will all agree with me that they look good, but I can assure you that they are every bit as good as they look. I will not say more, or I may be thought to be flattering."

So wrote "Aunt Eily" (Mrs A.M. Ryan) the editor of the Children's Page in "The Southern Cross" newspaper of 24 April 1903.(1) She addressed any contributors to the page as nieces and nephews even though they were not blood relations. By 1898 Johanna's and Katie's mother, Hanora, had taken out a subscription(2) to this Catholic weekly paper. As regular readers these young women would probably have been contributors to the orphans' home established at Goodwood as funds were regularly sought for the orphanage through "Aunt Eily's" page. Perhaps Johanna and Katie had visited Mrs Ryan's Catholic Book and Art Depot in Gawler Place in Adelaide, as in this picture they are certain…

Christmas Eve 1923

My father, Edward John Horgan would have been 15 years 7 months on Christmas Eve 1923. What did Christmas hold in store for him?  I wonder if they ever went to Adelaide for any shopping. Alma where he lived, is 106 km (65.8 miles) from Adelaide on today's roads, so a trip to Adelaide in 1923 would have been a major undertaking.
His Christmas Day would certainly have included a trip to Mass at either Tarlee or Hamley Bridge with his parents Andrew and Elizabeth and younger brother Joe. After that we imagine the hot traditional Christmas meal served often in temperatures well above 35 degrees Celsius. Eddie's grandmother, Hanora who was 83 at this stage was still living on the farm with his bachelor uncles, Thomas now 52 and John, 48. His aunt Kate, also unmarried but cooking and caring for all of them was now 51. Perhaps they travelled across to the farm at Linwood for Christmas Day.

My mother Hannah O'Dea had moved back to Hamley Bridge by 1923 after the death of her fath…

Linwood, Stockport, Tarlee, Pinkerton Plains

Rural schools in South Australia in my grandparents' times Schools established early in the life of the colony of South Australia were funded by the ability of parents to pay for tuition and provide a suitable teacher and building. An application for a licence to teach in schools could be submitted to the Board of Education which had been established in 1847. The Act made it clear that it was incumbent on the local community who:
are desirous to place such children under the tuition of a teacher to be named by them, with their residences and a description of the place where the school is proposed to be kept, and it shall also be certified by at least one Justice of the Peace, that he knows the residences of such persons to be as stated by them, that such teacher is known to him as a person of moral habits, and every way fit to undertake the care and instruction of children, and that proper accommodation has been provided for the said school.... The teacher appointed could be paid …

Keeping up to date with Trove - Peter Maurice Horgan

Does this photo belong in our family tree?
As new titles are digitised on Trove there is always the chance that more information can be added to our family history. Trove's latest selection of South Australian titles include:
Border Chronicle (Bordertown, SA : 1908 - 1950)Critic (Adelaide, SA : 1897-1924)The Express (Adelaide, SA : 1922 - 1923)The Pennant (Penola, SA : 1946 - 1954)The Terowie Enterprise (SA : 1884 - 1891) When I receive notification of new titles I set aside some time to explore each one individually by limiting the search to one title and one family name and its variations at a time. This way I can quickly review any articles that may be relevant without having to search the entire newspaper database.

Here my search in the Critic (1) has found a photo of an M. Horgan as captain of a college football team in August of 1910. The annual football match between teams representing "Past" and "Present" scholars of the Christian Brothers' College wa…

A house in my heart

Home is where the heart is, or so the saying goes. When a house is truly a home, memories of that house are embedded in our lives. This week horrific fires ravaged the mid-north region of South Australia and dozens of houses were lost.

In the midst of the fire region a house precious to my family was saved through bravery, fortune, blessings and the heroic dedication and fire-fighting knowledge and skills of my brother and his son. They lost property as paddocks burned and they endured a terrifying experience as smoke and flames swirled around them, so we are thankful they are safe. Thank you Maurice and Tom.

The house is the one our parents built in the 1950s, the family having outgrown the small original homestead abutting the creek. Many happy years have been spent beneath its roof, many tales could that house tell if its walls could speak. As my siblings and I matured and moved away to jobs, marriages and places near and far, my brother and his wife worked the farm and raised their…

Galvin wedding in the news

My interest in family history has led me to my search for my husband's ancestors.I knew my husband's grandfather was John Michael Galvin and that he had died in Victoria about the time we had met. An easy place to start was Trove. I built a list of Galvin related announcements then proceeded to verify details with other sources of information relating to this family. Several months into my research I discovered my beloved father-in-law John Dominic Galvin 1918-2003, had compiled a hand drawn tree on paper which was in our filing cabinet. I was delighted to discover that what I had reconstructed from sources matched his findings even though his sources were undocumented.

 Here is a notice for the wedding of his parents John Michael Galvin and Grace Walmsley Payne.
A full description of the wedding was also included in the same paper.

A pretty wedding was celebrated before a Choral Mass in St. Patrick's Church, Adelaide, on November 21, the contracting parties …

Selling off the farm

Years of hard work, good seasons and bad, little or abundant rain, dusty dry paddocks or golden fields of grain are the lot of the South Australian farmer in the lower mid-north region. How difficult then must it be to sell the land where one has worked and toiled for many years? In tough years a clearing sale may bring in some needed cash.

In March of 1933, a successful clearing sale held on my grandfather's farm at Alma could have helped them weather the world wide depression afflicting business, industry and indeed the farming communities.

We see from this article that 13 valuable horses, essential on a farm in these years, were sold. It is worth noting that "there was a good attendance from local and surrounding districts" Some folks were probably looking for bargains but we can hope there were others there to support the family in their time of need.

Less than a year later sadness struck on March 4th with the death of Elizabeth, my grandmother, at age 64. (1) Now A…

A Fathers' Day remembrance

The first Sunday in September is celebrated as Fathers' Day in Australia, so in tribute to my father I record some of his early years gleaned from newspaper clippings up to his marriage in 1937.
Early years On 30 May 1908 in Riverton, South Australia my father Edward John Horgan was born to Elizabeth (born Smyth) and Andrew Horgan. They had been married in February 1906 and already had a 17 month old girl, Hanora Mary, when Edward, Ted or Eddie as he would become known, was born. It is likely that he was named after his maternal grandfather Edward Smyth who had died seven years before his grandson was born.

His early years were spent on their farm at Alma from where he attended the local Alma South primary school, riding there on the pony with his little brother Joseph who was born 2 years after him. (1) His best friend and companion in these years was Edward John Smyth (the late Rev Fr Eddie Smyth 1905-1978) a first cousin living on the adjacent property. This devout close knit …

A child writes letters

The Children's Page Through the eyes of children we can glean snippets of the lives of our forebears. Many newspapers and magazines have had children's sections where young people were encouraged to write about their lives and contribute to the publication. The Southern Cross paper in South Australia was no exception starting out with a children's corner in its early editions.
In a Children's Corner of the 21 September, 1894 edition, Mrs A. M. Ryan  of the Catholic Book depot in Gawler Place under the nom de plume "Aunt Eily"(1) suggested children write to her (2)
By March 1895 the children's corner had become St Vincent's Juvenile Club and all children were treated as cousins, with "Aunt Eily" referring to them as nieces and nephews. The club was open to all young people from the age of 5 - 18.  "Cousin Rosaleen" - Josephine Moroney succeeded her in 1908 and edited the children's page until her death in April 1922 .


An April wedding 1937

The recent digitisation of the South Australian Catholic Weekly paper 'The Southern Cross' has provided access to this description of the wedding of my parents, Edward John Horgan and Hannah Olive O'Dea and provided me with another reason to display their wedding photo once more.


 O'Dea—Horgan Wedding.

St. Mary's Church, Hamley Bridge, was the scene of a pretty wedding on Tuesday, April 6, when Hannah Olive, youngest daughter of Mrs. G. E. O'Dea, Hamley Bridge, was married to Edward John, eldest son of Mr. A. J. Horgan, Alma. The Nuptial Mass was celebrated by Rev. Father R. Farrelly, P.P., assisted by Rev. Fathers E. Smyth (cousin of the bridegroom) , and A. Noone P.P. (Riverton). 

The bride, who entered the church on the arm of her eldest brother, Jack, looked charming in a white matalasse frock, bodice made with a high peaked neckline, fastened in front with a spray of orange blossom, and long tight-fitt…

When I was young

My childhood years This genea-meme is a set of questions or prompts about childhood. These questions were proposed by Alona who says:
Like it or not, life today is a whole lot different from when we grew up. And as genealogists and family historians, we are mindful of recording our own history, yet so often it doesn’t happen, and sits in the “I must do that” list. This has certainly sent me down my memory's lane. I look forward to reading responses from some of my siblings too. As I am the youngest of seven their memories and mine are sure to differ.
**Hint, hint - write this up for your children and grandchildren!**

1. Do you (or your parents) have any memorabilia from when you were a baby? (ie. baby book, lock of hair, first shoes etc.)
This is the earliest photo I have of me at 12 months old.
2. Do you know if you were named after anyone?

My parents liked to choose saints' names and as I was born close to the Feast of Our Lady of Mt Carmel, that could have influenced their ch…