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).
James Watters Left his home in County Tyrone, Ireland when he was a young man.
He tried gold mining in New South Wales before going to Queensland to the gold mines at Gympie and then to the Palmer River in tropical North Queensland near Cooktown. The Palmer River goldfields were one of the most notorious in Australia. It was in an isolated area, cut off from civilisation (Cooktown with a population of 4,000) by flooded rivers in the wet season, and parched in the dry.
After the Watters family left Maytown to live in Cairns, James set himself up in business as a publican, at times with his mother-in-law.
He became known as the ‘beer king’ of Cairns.
Jim Watters – The Beer King Cairns 1901
Advertisement for Federal Hotel and the Beer King 1901
Philip Henry Burden was born in London before his parents, Philip and Mary, emigrated to South Australia.
When Philip was about 17 years old and a cadet draftsman, he accompanied the state’s Surveyor-General, George Goyder, on an expedition to the Northern Territory (at that time, part of South Australia). The team were to do a land survey and select a site for the capital. Goyder is most well known for mapping a line of demarcation in South Australia of arable land. North of the line, the land was considered suitable only for light grazing.
Burden Place in Darwin is named after Philip Burden.
What courage George Fairs had to pack up the life of his family in England. It was 1911. George, a coachman, perhaps had the foresight to see that employment in his occupation was becoming less likely.
He left with his wife Ellen and eight of their nine children to emigrate to Australia.
Their eldest son, George Frederick (Fred) was already married with two young children, so stayed in England. It was another 50 years before Fred saw some of his siblings again.
When Martin Barrett was baptised in 1858, his father, John, had enough resources to pay £1 2s 6d to the Catholic Church in Balla, Mayo for the service. This was an extra pound to that paid by all other parishioners on that page of the baptism records. The next highest payment for that whole year was 12 shillings and sixpence. The listed sponsors are possibly John’s siblings, the Reverend Father Matthew Barrett and Maria Barrett. I’m not convinced that the Maria is John’s sister Maria because she would have been married by this date, and I’m unsure if maiden names of sponsors are recorded like they are for the mother.