My Maternal Great Grandmother and Grandfather
I always struggle with how to start part 2 of a story. After 49 posts I can see the patterns in my writing and can hear in my head when I’m using some phrases that I rely on a lot. Boring, I am trying to change that.
It is strange to me when I think of it, you have a conversation with someone and it just disappears into the ether but here in type, in a post, it is constantly there to remind you of your failings. Perhaps that is the lapsed catholic in me shining through. Hopefully, you will forgive me for any repetition.
I shared in a message recently with my 2nd Cousin once removed, (thanks Ancestry for that) Patricia, that when I’m writing these posts I know exactly who my target audience is. It is my Nan, Kathleen, (Joe and Kathleen’s daughter). I have sat for many hours in the past, talking with her about the family, and I know for certain she would love this blog and would definitely forgive me for my lack of prose.
So with that being said, “Nan, let us get back to your Mum and Dad’s story.”
I thought we might jump back in and see if we can find out more about Kathleen and Joe and more specifically how they got to Gulargambone and then see if we can discover what they did next.
It has been a couple of weeks since I wrote the previous line and I have to share frustratingly I cannot unearth anything to tell me why they were in Gulargambone. (Spoilers, they leave within a couple of months of the wedding) In addition to that, I think I have pretty much exhausted the stream of information on them from their time in Gular, but before we do move away, I did find some fascinating items about the people around them.
The first item is in regard to the man who established the IXL store (where Joe was working) in Gulargambone, A F Garling. He sells the store to Mr J J Burke in 1912 and has what I can only think to describe as a manifesto, printed on the wages that he paid his staff. It is an amazing insight into the thinking of the middle-class rural employer at the time.
I have no information to date that tells me when Joseph starts working at the IXL store, so I’m not sure if he was working under these wage conditions, but as this is only three years out from when we know he is there, I don’t think it would be a big assumption to make that he was more likely than not, operating under this or something similar. I found an online calculator through the Reserve Bank of Australia site and if I’m reading it correctly, 5 shillings in 1911 is the equivalent of $0.50 today. https://www.rba.gov.au/calculator/annualPreDecimal.html
Joe was 18 years of age in 1910, so I could imagine that he would fall under the Carter category in Mr. Garling’s wage structure. We know from the last post on Joe that when he had his accident with the horse and sulky he was delivering goods to customers. So at that time he was probably on the £2 wage and working between 57–58 hours a week. £2 in 1914 had roughly the purchasing power of what $265.00 would get you today. https://www.rba.gov.au/calculator/annualPreDecimal.html
Another interesting fact is, in relation to the next owner, a Mr Bolger. He purchases the store from Mr. J J Burke. (Mr Burke would have been Joseph’s boss at the time of his accident with the horse and sulky).
The next two articles below give us some background on Mr Burke and Mr Bolger.
So you can see that Mr Bolger takes over the IXL stores in 1921. I know Kathleen and Joseph probably had nothing to do with him as they are already in Sydney by then. Their second son, Hector Ashton Raymond is born there in the January. But I’m sure they would have been aware of Mr Bolger and also possibly this tragedy described below.
It is a very sad story, Mr Bolger’s brother, was shot in the back of the head and thrown down a well. It must have been shocking to read at the time. I have only put up a small section of the article above but if you are interested check it out on Trove.
I know I’ve screwed up that timeline of following Kathleen and Joseph already but those articles above were just too good not to share.
So, getting back on track. We know that they are definitely living in Gular in 1914, as it is noted on their wedding registration. Working backward, and as I have previously mentioned, I was trying to discover when Joe arrived in the Gulargambone area and then to see if I could discover how he and Kathleen might have met. Nothing was coming up, so I went back to what I knew again.
I knew that Joseph’s mother, Eva May Raymond, died on the 26th of June 1910, and she was living at 164 Norton Street Leichhardt.
164 is now the Norton Asian House, great to see it still standing.
I’m assuming that Joe was probably living here with his mother, brother, and sister and that it was probably after his mother’s death that he moved. Their father Henry Raymond was long gone by this stage. Another deserting husband.
The big question here for me is, what makes an 18-year-old city boy move to a speck of dust town, Gulargambone, 800 miles west of what is left of his family? At this stage and very frustratingly again, I know this question, will probably go unanswered too.
As I stated above, there was no information coming up in my searches to confirm the time of the move. However, I did find this note from 1919, five years after the wedding, indicating that Joe was joining a local branch of the Gulgong Hibernian Society in Dunedoo. Not only that, but there was another familiar name appearing on the list joining with him.
Yep, the timeline has gone again, but this gives us another anchor point for Kathleen and Joe, Dunedoo, in 1919. We will come back to it soon, we aren’t done with Dunedoo just yet.
And that familiar name? Check out the very last line above, K. Ashton. I’m suggesting that this might refer to Kathleen’s younger brother Ken Ashton, Joe’s brother-in-law.
I had never heard of the Hibernian Society before, this description below is from the Dictionary of Sydney.
This is obviously the catholic trait, coming out strong. My Aunty Jan, my mum’s sister, and Kathleen and Joe’s granddaughter, recently shared with me that she remembered her grandmother, Kathleen, as being ultra-religious. She didn’t say anything about Joseph, but I can imagine him being involved in an organisation like this if his wife had such strong beliefs.
I have to say this is the first time that I have seen anything directly related to the Irish side of my ancestry. I haven’t chased the Ashton line down yet, but I’m assuming that this must be where they come from.
I have been aware for a long time that the Ashton family were long-time residents of the district. Nan used to mention places like Gulgong, Uraby, Cassilis, and Green Hills often.
With this lack of Ashton knowledge, I thought I might attack the research from this angle. As luck would have it this allowed me to find a couple of great pieces of information. This first find, well I can’t imagine my Great Grandmother, Kathleen would have been too pleased with this detail of her health being shared with the wider community.
Hydatids are cysts that form in the vital organs of the body caused by a tapeworm, usually by ingesting sheep meat or drinking water that has been infected. https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/conditionsandtreatments/tapeworms-and-hydatid-disease
Next, and as is always the case, at this time, tragedy wasn’t too far away, with a notice of Kathleen’s sister’s passing.
We have this wonderful picture of Mrs Cleary, Catherine Elizabeth Ashton below, thanks to a cousin, Patricia. It is Catherine on her wedding day.
Next is the full wedding party portrait below. The woman standing up on the left of the photo is Honorah, another of Catherine and Kathleen’s sisters. The gentleman standing on the other side of Catherine is Mr Thomas Fitzgerald, (presumably, the best man) and the gentleman seated with his face very unceremoniously crossed out is Mr W Cleary, Catherine’s husband. The other three faces are unknown, unfortunately.
The marriage took place in 1906, and just three years later Catherine is dead. The “…grief-stricken husband…” (as described above) according to cousin Patricia and the family history she is aware of, is that he was so upset by his wife’s passing that he abandons his children immediately after their mother’s death and they never hear from him ever again. It is thought that one of the children, Terrance or Norah, was responsible for crossing his face out in the photo above.
It has since come to light through another Ancestry member seeing Patricia’s information shared in her tree, that Mr Cleary did indeed remarry and have a further four children. He apparently was charged with wife desertion of his second wife and quite a few other crimes throughout the 1920s. (Ancestry user: christinacleary1976 )
I found his World War One enlistment papers and I think the comments below show he was definitely a man battling some demons.
In a recent email conversation with cousin Patricia, she shared a gem of information with me, that William and Catherine’s children who he deserted, Norah and Terrence eventually go to live with their aunt and uncle, Kathleen and Joseph. I can only suppose that the rest of the family must have shared looking after them at first, as their wedding is still 5 years away at the time of Catherine’s passing.
I recall my nan telling me on many occasions about how close she was to her cousin Terrance Cleary, I don’t remember her talking about Norah but there may be a reason for that. More to come on that when we hit the appropriate spot in the timeline.
In this next section of the post, I’m going to share with you the remainder of the few items that I found on Kathleen and the Ashton family. First, off, I did find a pastoral link between the Ashtons and the district. Specifically Kathleen’s father, my 2x Great Grandfather George Bernard Ashton.
So it was the station he either owned or leased named Green Hills. From the reading I have done so far on Trove, it was also the name of the town or community as a number of articles refer to different groups of people living in Green Hills. The Mudgee Guardian even had a column specifically for news from the Green Hills community. It is virtually impossible to find it on a map anywhere today. This notation on this Bonzle map below was the first I came across after a couple of hours of searching.
This map allowed me to focus on the area on Google Maps but still no luck. No mention of Green Hills but you can see the shape of the roads match up with the Bonzle map and the place names around the area too, where Green Hills was.
Another fantastic resource that I was sure would help us nail down exactly where the family property sat, is the Department of Lands. This area where Green Hills is noted is in the parish boundary of Bligh. I searched the few maps they had but again nothing.
It must have been a pretty decent homestead that the Ashton’s had as there are a few mentions in Trove of different social functions that they hosted at the property.
Looking at the information in the article in Figure 20, it not only mentions the genial Mr Ashton’s residence as the site of the good night’s dancing but it also has an amazing piece of information buried in there that I had no idea what it was referencing until I had nearly finished putting this post together.
Mrs Byers whom the ball is being held in aid of, is Kathleen’s eldest sister, Margaret Anastasia Ashton.
She married Arthur Herbert Byers in 1896 and then they proceeded to have 5 children in rapid succession. In between no’s three, Kathleen, born in 1901 in Cassilis, and number four, Herbert, born in 1904 they move the whole family to the far north coast of Western Australia, to the tiny coastal town of Onslow.
What a trek that would have been. Of course, I’m sure it would have been by sea, but I still can’t imagine the trials and tribulations that they must have faced on that journey. But anyhow that is another whole other research project.
Reports at the time state that Herbert, as he was known was working there, roo shooting with his brother John in the surrounding districts to Onslow. Now, what can only be described as an absolute calamity occurred for Herbert, Margaret, and the children.
This next article gives a much clearer picture of what actually happened and then in the final paragraph just drops an absolute bombshell in terms of information. I know it doesn’t make much sense, just read and you will see what I mean.
This situation described here in that last paragraph, refers to a very dark period of Australian history and it was the subject of the 1978 Australian movie based on the book by Thomas Keneally “The Chant of Jimmy Blacksmith”. It tells the story of Jimmy Governor and his ultimate rebellion against the white racist persecution that he and his brother suffered. https://www.britannica.com/topic/The-Chant-of-Jimmie-Blacksmith
This means Kathleen’s brother-in-law shot Jimmy Govenor and that the family has a direct link to a story I grew up learning about. I just can’t believe it. There is a whole world of research that I want to do on this story. I will keep this discussion for another post coming up at a later date.
Next are the examples I mentioned earlier from the Mudgee Guardian about news from the area. I have included a number of mentions of not only Kathleen but also other members of the family being involved in the community as well.
The Miss B Ashton above, I’m pretty sure will be Kathleen’s cousin Isobel Ashton, daughter of her father’s brother, John Asthon. Isobel is 10 years of age at this time so you can imagine how she would have been chosen belle of the ball.
The Messrs Cohen and Byers I can’t be certain who they are but I have an idea. Mr Cohen could be Mr George Cohen who Margaret Byers marries two years after losing Herbert to the lightning strike. Mr Byers I’m assuming would be another one of Herbert and John’s brothers.
The following article on the “Spinsters’ Ball” mentions Kathleen, her uncle, John Ashton, (father of Isobel), and her sister, Ethel.
Again I’m so lucky that I have a photo of each to share with you.
It took some tracking back in Ancestry but I just figured out that Margaret Lockhart Auld who Kathleen was being bridesmaid for was in actual fact her cousin. Margaret is the daughter of Kathleen’s Aunt, Mary Agnes Auld nee Boyce, sister to her mother.
Talking of, Mrs G Ashton and Mr G Ashton mentioned above are Kathleen’s parents, my 2x Great Grandparents, Catherine Elizabeth Ashton, nee Boyce, and George Bernard Ashton.
Also mentioned above, Mrs G Rivas, who is another sister to Kathleen’s mother, Catherine. She is Margaret Frances Rivas nee Boyce. Margaret is married to George Rivas.
Another cousin who I haven’t met yet, Moya Bayly, had these pictures of her great-grandparents, Margaret and George, in her Ancestry tree.
The next couple of articles shows Kathleen’s musical side. I remember my Nan saying that her Mum had a great singing voice and apparently she was well-known for it in the Green Hills community.
How lucky to find this article below from 1951 just mentioning in passing about Kathleen’s singing ability.
So, that is about it, in relation to any mentions of Kathleen before she and Joe married. There is more about the extended family but I think I will save that for the other upcoming post too.
We are still missing information on when they met, how they met, and when they specifically leave Gulargambone. But don’t forget we do know that they end up in Dunedoo in 1919, so still a bit to fill in before then.
In the middle of searching for this information on the Ashton’s above I did come across a couple of articles that ultimately help us to fill in some of that gap.
The first is another article describing Joe’s Sulky accident in Gulargambone. The reason it assists us? Well, it confirms the date of the actual accident. It happened on Friday the 10th of July 1914.
This confirms that the accident was not even two months before their wedding on the 2nd of September. It must have been such a shock to them both and must have added considerably to the stress they were both living with. More to come on this.
The second article I came across is another one from 1951 and confirms the details we know about them living in Dunedoo but also gives us a new lead of inquiry to follow, Mudgee, and ultimately is the key to unlocking the information of how they get to Dunedoo.
What is fantastic here in this article is the additional employment information for Joseph, Loneragans, and T. H Marks and Co at Mudgee and Loneragans at Dunedoo
With these new search combinations in hand, I went searching and almost immediately came across this jaw-dropping piece of information below. This amazing article fixes them firmly in the timeline and reveals that Mudgee was their first stop in December 1914, well Joe at least.
I mean really, what can I say about this article? It is astounding as a family history researcher to have this type of luck again. Not only is it jammed-packed with new information but it also has information that lines up with what I already know about Joe and confirms that it is him.
Joe is a young man, he is only 22 years old in 1914, we also know that he worked at T H Marks and Co, as mentioned in the article above from 1951. In addition to this, we now know that he worked here first before moving on to Loneragans in Mudgee but the absolute winner here is the last line of this article above mentioning that he’d never taken a fit in his life before.
I have grown up knowing from a very early age, that the defining feature of my great-grandfather Joseph was, that he had battled living with epilepsy his whole life. Nan talked about it often.
She told me the story, that in the early 1930s her dad’s condition became so bad and the fits so frequent that it was decided that he needed someone to be with him at all times to ensure that he didn’t choke or injure himself badly when he had a fit. It was decided that out of her two elder brothers and herself, it made more sense to take Nan out of school to be with her dad than one of her brothers. The reasoning was that the boys would need an education for any future careers, whereas she would only be going on to get married and have children one day, so staying in school wasn’t as important for her. Nan couldn’t remember exactly but estimated that she was probably 11 or 12 years of age.
I remember thinking as a kid when Nan first told me of this, how sad it was for her but she said that it wasn’t done with any spite and she loved spending the time with her dad. Nan adored her father. She said that he used to call her “…Girly” and say to her, “…come on Girly, let’s get ready to go…” She said that he was always very kind to her and never raised his voice with her. I have more to share with you about this time Nan spent with Joe but we will come back to it when we get to that point in the timeline.
Back to the “Badly Knocked” out article above. I described it as astounding and incredible because it specifically reveals the first time the fits start happening for Joe.
I am no expert when it comes to head trauma but with the little, I do know, I think these factors certainly stack up to show that there is a connection between the two accidents and the onset of the epileptic fits. Don’t forget, it was on the 10th of July 1914 that Joe sustained his first major head trauma in the accident with the horse and sulky in Gulargambone and here we are, five months to the day later and Joe is experiencing his first seizure and has the second head injury as a result.
A quick search on Google and it is flooded with links describing the relationship between seizures (epilepsy) and injuries. This is just a short example below.
This second injury Joe suffered in Mudgee sounds absolutely terrible. I can only imagine he must have hit the pavement with some real force to sustain the level of damage he did. I think also on reflection, that he may have been by himself.
I could be wrong but the article doesn’t mention his wife waiting for him at the boarding house. Perhaps Kathleen has stayed in Gulargambone possibly waiting for Joe to set things up for her in Mudgee after starting his new position at T H Marks and Co.
The first issue to address from this new influx of information is the Park View Boarding House. As I’m sure you can guess, I went searching for it, I mean that article gives the precise location, the corner of Market and Duro Streets.
Amazingly, it is still standing, although the first photos in Google Maps show that it is certainly wearing its age.
The building was actually built in the early 1870s, there is some conjecture as to who it was built for but it is thought that William Richards Lester, a chemist, was probably the most likely. A photograph was taken of the building in 1873 which clearly shows that Lester was using the building.
With Trove’s help, I was able to confirm who was actually running the boarding home at the time of Joe’s seizure in 1914.
The first article confirms that the Misses Lonergan were owners before Joe’s accident and the second article from 1919 confirms that they were definitely the owners in 1914 when the accident occurred. I note the slight difference in the spelling of Lonergan but I wondered if they may have been responsible for Joe’s next work opportunity as mentioned in the 1951 article above, Loneragan’s Mudgee and Dunedoo.
After many decades of different owners and uses, the building was extensively renovated back in 2015 and is now run as a luxury boutique hotel. The Parkview Hotel Mudgee.
The phenomenal photograph of the building from Figure 43 above and the gallery of interior shots of the hotel below, were generously shared on the Parkview Hotel Mudgee website. I reached out to the hotel and I now have permission from Hannah, who is part of the Parkview Management Team to share them here.
And I have to say, what a gift, to be able to see inside what was the boarding house. There are seven suites now, and I can find nothing written about the layout of the rooms changing. Of course, even if we could be certain the layout hadn’t changed, there is no way to be certain which one was Joe’s room. But to know that one of them is where the doctor assessed him back in 1914 is pretty amazing.
The next few photos show a couple of before and afters of the renovations of the interiors.
Referring back to the “Knocked Out Badly” article, It is very interesting to note the fact that the report specifically states that Joe can’t account for the seizure never having had one before. But we, of course, know now that it most likely was caused by the sulky and horse accident in Gulargambone. It is also interesting to note the “…temporary home…” statement. I think this definitely supports my theory that Joe was there just getting things sorted before Kathleen’s arrival.
There is another pressing issue for them, at this time of Joe’s first seizure, that being, Kathleen is only three months away from giving birth to their first child.
This next point I’m going to raise here might seem out of the blue, but stick with me, I think you will see why I have raised it here.
It has been a couple of months now that I have been working on this second part of the story of my great-grandparents and with the small collection of information I have been able to gather on the Ashton clan, Kathleen’s family, there is one thing that really stands out for me. That is, all the articles show the family as being very connected and heavily involved in their community, and highly respected. Why then when the youngest daughter of the clan, Kathleen gets married is there no mention of it anywhere? Why are they living in Gulargambone miles away from the family station in Green Hills, and why are they moving to Mudgee, again miles from family support right as they are about to have their first baby? (This was what I was alluding to earlier about more information coming up.)
I wonder if it might be that Kathleen and Joe found themselves in the family way before the wedding. The baby they are expecting is my grand uncle, Joseph Ashton Raymond. I know his birthdate was the 2nd of March 1915. The wedding day was the 2nd of September 1914. That is…oh, I might have just worked out the answer to all of those questions I raised above. Uncle Joe was born 6 months to the day after his mum and dad’s wedding.
I can only imagine the shame at the time for a very prominent family must have been paralysing. It must have been terrible for my great-grandmother to be separated from her family. Her parents are very much alive at the time. I do hope they didn’t force her out, I hope it was Kathleen making the decision to spare her family the shame. I mean I could be way off the mark with my thinking but it looks like it might be what I’m suggesting.
The wonderful piece of information in the middle of all of this drama is, that when we take a look back at Kathleen and Joe’s wedding registration one of their witnesses is Ethel Ashton, Kathleen’s sister. Yay! I’m so glad that Aunty Ethel was still able to be there for her.
Two things I can’t lock down at this time, are, where exactly Kathleen and Joe eventually set up house in Mudgee and a photo of T H Marks store in Mudgee.
Most of the ads at the time for the store are like this first example below, with no address given, I can only assume that there was no need to state the location as everyone would have known where all the shops were. Luckily for us example two in Figure 62, from 1930 confirms exactly where it was.
Here is the actual site of the store, the corner of Church and Market Streets Mudgee.
I wonder if the two-story building there facing Church Street, might have been part of the original store that Joe worked in? Hold this thought because I have discovered some more information on the T H Marks site in Mudgee and it is coming up very shortly.
In my search for information on the firm, I came across this mention from 1885 which certainly confirms its status as an old established firm.
Now, if you turn around and look at the opposite corner to this one in Figure 63, the view below is what you would see in Joe’s time and I’m sure it would be one that he would be very familiar with.
And he didn’t have far to go for his next business opportunity, 500 meters up on the left obscured by the tree in this photo above is Loneragan’s Mudgee. Unfortunately, I can’t find anything yet that tells me why or when Joe made the move to Loneragan’s.
This is a pretty special photograph below. It is from the Mudgee Guardian’s online site and it might possibly show the interior of the store with an employee named, William Blood standing alongside the owner of the store and Joe’s boss, Joseph Loneragan.
This gem still stands today, although it has been broken up into a collection of smaller shops. You will also note the section on the very left in the photo below is a later addition to Joe’s time.
This photo below is just another wonderful look at the area at the time from a different angle.
And right opposite the bank building above and T H Marks on the other corner was St Mary’s Catholic Church, the church that Kathleen and Joe would have worshipped at. This is the same side of Church St that Loneragans is on.
I love this example following, an advert for the store from 1917. It shows that they really were an emporium for all your needs.
Now I was about to move on to the next chapter of Kathleen and Joe’s story which I’m pretty sure is in Dunedoo 80kms to the north of Mudgee but as luck would have it a new piece of the story has just revealed itself.
As I just mentioned, I have been working on this post for a couple of months, and in that time a birth certificate I had on order has come in. It is for Joseph Ashton Raymond, the other pressing issue that was on the horizon for Kathleen and Joe at the end of 1914. A copy of it follows.
I mean it is great information to see but I was so hoping that this birth certificate would confirm exactly where they were living at the time of the birth. It does, to an extent, “Market Square”, but there is no street name or number listed, which is always frustrating.
I found it interesting that in all my searching so far on Mudgee I hadn’t seen a reference to Market Square. so I started digging and I found these few mentions of the square.
I finally worked out that Market Square was the site for the first Agricultural show in Mudgee, held in 1846.
The problem with all these articles was that they didn’t mention where the actual square was, I then stumbled onto this article below that gave me a few more clues on that location for the square that I could search.
In my search, I had seen quite a bit on the Mudgee Guardian itself and even a couple of historic photos of the actual building.
It was built in 1859 for the bank, mentioned above and then the Guardian took over the premises in 1890 and remained there for 129 years, only closing its doors in 2019. Its exact location? 9 Perry Street, Mudgee. https://www.thepropertyshop.com.au/sale/nsw/dubbo-orana/mudgee/commercial/offices/5659775
I jumped onto Google Maps once again, to have a look and the building sits right opposite Robertson Park. I marked the Guardian office in the photo below in highlighter.
So presumably Market Square must have been on this site before Robertson Park as the article above mentions that this is where the town pump was erected in the Market Square opposite the Guardian building.
Guess what? we don’t need to presume for too long. This wonderful description of the park on the Monument Australia site just revealed itself and look at what it confirms.
How fantastic to get that clarification on the site of the square but you might be thinking, how does that help us with placing where Kathleen and Joe were living? They could have been anywhere there on the perimeter of the park. Well, I went back to Google Maps and just look at what is on the other side of Robertson Park.
Parkview Hotel Mudgee, the original Park View Boarding House, where Joseph was staying when he had his first seizure and now, we know with a fair bit of confidence, it is where he and Kathleen were living together and where their son Joseph Asthon Raymond was born. So my earlier assumptions about Kathleen not being with him in 1914 you can throw out the window. I so love it when you can do that.
Researching the family history is like working on a jigsaw, with pieces falling into place and confirming the details and this is a classic example of how this jigsaw comes together. I knew none of this information before I found that article on Joseph falling in front of the boarding house. That one article and Joseph’s birth certificate have given us a picture of their lives in Mudgee. Nan would have been thrilled to learn about this part of her mum and dad’s story and I’m certain she knew next to nothing about it.
I now want to know why Market Square was marked down as their place of residence rather than Parkview Boarding House. Was there a prejudice about living in a boarding house at the time that Kathleen and Joe didn’t want to be saddled against themselves and their newborn baby son? Or was it just a matter of, that it was just easier for the registration process?
There are no photos of Joseph Ashton Raymond as a baby or a young child but Nan did have this wonderful photo of Joe in his AIF uniform after enlisting for World War 2.
I then found she had this small battered photo from his actual enlistment day.
I met Uncle Joe and Aunty Dorothy once when I was a kid. They came to my Nan’s unit in Earlwood for a family get-together. I am fairly sure it was for Christmas, I was about 12 or 13 years old and I remember Joe as being a bit gruff and not really interested in me or my brother at all. He sat on the balcony smoking most of the time. I remember he had yellow-stained fingers from the cigarettes he smoked.
I can’t believe it, I even found the photo of the day they visited. That is Uncle Joe on the right.
I don’t really remember Aunty Dorothy but Alex and I have a very special link to her and Uncle Joe, thanks to Nan.
She was very close to her brother Joe and her sister-in-law Dorothy. Nan looked after most of their affairs after they passed away. They had no children and Aunty Dorothy left all of her jewellery to Nan.
When I told Nan that I had proposed to Alex and she had said yes, she asked if I had an engagement ring to give Alex. I told her that I didn’t and that I wanted Alex to be able to choose one. Nan disappeared into her room and came out with Aunty Dorothy’s engagement ring and asked if I would like to give her that.
It was the most beautiful row of sapphires in an antique raised bridge setting with diamonds inlaid in between. What a gift and what an amazing link to the family history and to Aunty Dorothy and Uncle Joe. I of course said yes I would love it and Nan was over the moon. And more importantly, Alex said yes too.
A final fabulous piece of info to share with you before we leave Mudgee. I’m fairly sure that I just found a photo of the T H Marks store in Mudgee.
It comes from the Nepean Historical Society, in Sorrento, Victoria. It features in a blog of theirs in relation to a local resident, William Croome who was a Trooper fighting in the Boer War in 1901. Sadly William passes away as a result of his injuries received in the war on his journey home from South Africa. His body eventually makes it back to Mudgee where a funeral is held for him.
I know, this photo above is from 12 years before Joe’s time and any number of changes might have happened to the store in the intervening years. But I’m fairly sure this is the store on the corner of Church and Market Street right opposite the Anglican Church site and St Mary’s, the Catholic Church on the other side of the intersection.
Below is another angle of the most recent Google Maps photo of the site from 2018.
I have sent a message to the Historical Society asking if they could confirm the details of the photo. No answer as yet but the blog post states that it is a photo of William’s funeral procession in Mudgee, so I think we have come pretty close.
With the magic of time again, I have received an answer from the Historical Society. They are pretty sure the photo is from the Mudgee Historical Society. I was thinking I would have to send off another email to try and confirm with them the details of the photo but then I found these two fantastic photos on the State Library of NSW site.
It is the corner of Market and Church Street in Mudgee on the occasion of the centenary celebrations of the town held in March 1921.
Even though it is a little out of focus you can clearly see that the hall there with the T H Marks floating above the roof line, is the exact same one as shown in Figure 86 from William Croomes’ funeral. The roof line matches, the three vent holes are clearly visible in both as well as the small window below them.
The map below shows that this building was the “Drill Hall”
This second photo clearly shows the T H Marks banner. This is only four years after Joe and Kathleen’s time in Mudgee, 1921, so this would be a very recognisable sight to them.
Now I’m just showing off I know but you wouldn’t believe it after not having a photo of the store, after finding these two above and the map, I then found another photo. It comes from the Mudgee Centenary Souvenir Booklet that was created for this very event pictured above.
This photo is taken from the front of the store and you can see it takes up the whole block not just the corner.
And the same booklet had a photo looking up Market Street past Robertson Park, aka Mudgee Square looking straight at the Parkview Boarding Home where Kathleen, Joe, and baby Joseph were living.
If you follow that line of white picket fence, on the boundary of the park and the road, that white door at the end is the corner doorway into Parkview Boarding House. This is the same doorway as depicted in Figure 43, way above, the entrance into Mr. Lester’s Chemist.
This is a phenomenal view straight into Kathleen and Joe’s world. My Nan would have gotten such a huge thrill out of this.
As we have hit Figure number 95 in this post and then some, I think this is a good spot to take a break. There is so much more that I have to share about Kathleen and Joe’s story. In part three we will pick up the rest of their journey in, you guessed it, Dunedoo.