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52 Ancestors in 2018


This year I am going to take part in a fun genealogy meme called 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks, promoted by Amy Johnson Crow. The idea is to get everyone getting the stories about our ancestors out there, and involves writing a blog, Facebook post, tweet, email – whatever gets the information out to our relatives.

I’m going to be putting my weekly ancestor on Twitter, as I figured that I should be able to manage 140 characters. Amy has weekly themes which my posts might or might not match. Generally, over the next year I’ll be posting about 16 of my 2x great grandparents, 16 of my husband’s 2x great grandparents, and the same for each of our 8 great granparents. The remaining 4 posts will be made up of our grandparent couples (grandfather and grandmother together).


Herbert Farr and Mary Ellen Barrett


Herbert Farr and Mary Ellen Barrett were married in Cairns, Queensland in 1905. On their marriage certificate, they both listed Mungana, a small mining town near Chillagoe, as their usual place of residence.

Herbert was working as a store assistant in Mungana and his brother worked as a plumber in Chillagoe. I’m uncertain why Mary would be there, she was only 18 and her parents lived in Cairns. Her brother John did work in a number of mining towns in the north of Queensland; perhaps he was there at the time. 

Herbert and Mary Farr And their children (insert of children born after original photo was taken)

Eric Charles Fairs and Violet Caporn


Violet Caporn was a third generation Australian. She met her husband-to-be, an immigrant from England, after he returned to Western Australia following the First World War. Eric Fairs had emigrated to Australia from Sussex with his family in 1911.

They met because Violet attended the Methodist Church when visiting her uncle and aunt in Leederville. Her cousin Edie sang in the choir, and Eric and Vic (Eric’s twin brother) went there as well. Edie’s brother Stan worked at Sandover’s, a store in Perth where Eric was a sheet metal worker.

Eric Fairs and Violet Caporn 1923

They were married in the Swanbourne Methodist Church on 10th November, 1923.

The Fairs family came to the wedding from Bayswater in a charabanc bus (motor coach) owned by a neighbour.

Perhaps the charabanc was similar to this one in Adelaide about 1926
Image from State Library of South Australia B3996
Violet and Eric Fairs approx 1969-1970

Thomas English Burden and Mary Watters


.Tom Burden and Mary Watters were married in Cairns in 1913. Tom had relocated to Cairns from Adelaide as an accountant with the Adelaide Steamship Company. Mary had lived in Cairns for a number of years when her family moved from the Palmer River Goldfields in about 1896.

Thomas Burden and Mary WattersThomas Burden and Mary Watters 1913

They both lived in Cairns for the rest of their lives.

Thomas English Burden and Mary Izetta Watters

Walter Henry Bennett and Olive Ann Willis


Both Walter Bennett and Olive Willis had been born in 1896 in mining areas of Australia’s eastern states, Walter in Ballarat and Olive in Broken Hill. And they met in the goldfields of Western Australia.

Olive Willis and Walter Bennett
Olive Willis and Walter Bennett

Walter and Olive were married at the St Matthew’s Church, Boulder, Western Australia in 1921. They lived there for several years before moving to Perth. 

Marriage of Olive Willis and Walter Bennett 1921
Marriage of Olive Willis and Walter Bennett 1921

Hannah Prangle Wansbrough (1861-1919)


Hannah was named after her paternal grandmother, Hannah Prangle. She was born in 1861 in York, Western Australia to John Wansbrough and Ruth Taylor.  Hannah’s father died in an accident before she was 4 years old and her youngest brother just  a few months old. 

Tragedy struck again for the family in 1874 when Hannah’s step-father and next youngest brother drowned in a boating accident on Monger’s Lake. This must have been a blow for Hannah as there were only 14 months separating the siblings and they would have been close. 

Death by Drowning - Herald and Wansbrough 1874
Death by Drowning – Herald and Wansbrough 1874
Hannah Prangle WansbroughHannah Prangle Wansbrough

Caroline Jones (1866-1942)


Caroline Jones was born in Mackay, Queensland. Her parents travelled to many remote places in the state as her father was a teamster/carrier and followed the gold rushes. The family settled near Laura, raising cattle to supply to the miners of the Palmer River Goldfields and the residents of Cooktown.

Caroline Jones 1866-1942

Caroline Jones 1866-1942

Caroline lived most of her life in far north Queensland, but after her husband died in 1922, she moved to Brisbane.

Caroline Watters nee Jones

Caroline Watters nee Jones

Emmeline Dulcinea Ann Grenfell (1874-1956)


Emmeline Dulcinea Ann Grenfell was one of my great grandmothers and the only one still alive when I was born. She was always referred to as Little Mumma or T-Mum by those descendants who knew her – my father and his generation, perhaps my older brothers as well.

Dulcinea, as she was called by others, was from a mining family. Her family travelled around the mining areas of South Australia, the remote Flinders Ranges, and goldfields in the Wadnaminga area along the current Barrier Highway towards Broken Hill.

Dulcinea married John Willis in 1892 at Broken Hill, and they moved to the Western Australian goldfields around Kalgoorlie several years later.

After John died in 1926, Dulcinea moved to Perth.

Death Notice for John Willis 1926

Death Notice for John Willis 1926

Dulcinea Willis recorded in Perth Rates Books 1929

Dulcinea Willis recorded at 43 RegentStreet, Leederville – in Perth Rates Books 1929