Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Talk :: Rebels, Priests & Love Letters, Nov 17

Our editor, Cassie Mercer, is presenting at the Society of Australian Genealogists on Saturday, November 17.

Topic: Rebels, Priests & Love Letters

The Minerva arrived in Sydney on 11 January 1800, sailing up the harbour past the gibbeted body of another Irish convict, Francis Morgan, whose body was swinging from Fort Denison. The ship brought the first of the rebels who were involved in Ireland’s uprisings between 1797 and the Battle of Vinegar Hill in 1798.

Cassie Mercer will present brand new research into the lives of the rebels. Hear about their trials, which had captivated Ireland at the time. Some had chosen voluntary exile, others were tried by court martial. There were also rebel priests and urban criminals, both male and female on board. Hear from the convicts themselves, through letters they wrote to their family. Within months of arrival some were planning to take over the colony by converging at Parramatta in September 1800. Learn about their fate as they struggled with life in Sydney.

Where: 120 Kent Street Sydney, NSW 2000 Australia
Phone: 02 9247 3953
Book: http://www.sag.org.au/events/list-of-events.html

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Deniliquin Genealogy Muster :: 12-13 October

Irish Wattle is looking forward to attending the Inaugural Deniliquin “Genealogy Muster” tomorrow and Saturday, 12 - 13 October 2012.

Come and trace your family history. Get assistance to knock down those Irish family history brick walls at the Deniliquin Genealogy Muster.

When: Friday 12th & Saturday 13th October 2012.
Cost: $10 entry fee per day gives access to seminars & Main Hall.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

NSW & ACT Family History Conference :: Sep 14

Botany Bay Family History Society is proud to be hosting the 28th Annual Conference of the NSW & ACT Association of Family History Societies. There is an exciting lineup of speakers, exhibitors and events to entertain and inform you. We'll be there to help with your Irish ancestry questions and for our big book sale!

Where: Tradies, 57 Manchester Road Gymea - click here for map
Time: 10:00am - 3:00pm
When: 14 - 16th September

The theme for the event - Endeavour Resolution Adventure Discovery - takes its inspiration from the names of the ships associated with Captain James Cook's Pacific Voyages

We're looking forward to meeting everyone at the Expo. Don’t forget to check out our series of books on Irish convicts, and because stocks are running low and we are clearing the decks for the latest book on the Minerva convicts, all books will be reduced from $50 to $30 just for the conference! Hope to see you there!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Visiting the Irish Memorial in Waverley Cemetery

Recently we visited the Irish Memorial at Waverley cemetery in Sydney's eastern suburbs. The marble and mosaic structure was built in 1898 to commemorate the Irish Rebellion of 1798, and the part played by Michael Dwyer, 'the Wicklow Chief'.

Michael Dwyer, born in Wicklow, Ireland, in 1772, was 26 when the 1798 Rising against English rule began. He led the English on a merry dance until December 1803, when he surrendered on condition he and his colleagues be sent to America. The English reneged and sent them to Botany Bay aboard the Tellicherry in 1806.

Governor Lachlan Macquarie gave him a full pardon in 1814. Dwyer died 11 years later, aged 53, and was buried in Sydney's Devonshire St cemetery (where Central Station now stands).

In the lead up to the centenary of the uprising, the Irish community in Sydney campaigned to have a memorial erected for the Wicklow Chief and his colleagues. The £2000 needed was raised by the Irish in Sydney, country towns in NSW and in Queensland, Victoria and New Zealand.

On 22 May 1898, Dwyer's remains, and that of his wife's, were moved from Devonshire St to the memorial in Waverley. It was the largest funeral Sydney had seen with 400 horse-drawn carriages following the hearse in a procession of 10,000 people watched by 100,000 others.

More than 100 years, the memorial still stands in tribute in by the sea.

Grave of Michael Dwyer - Wicklow Chief Waverley cemetery Irish memorial, Sydney Source: Irish Wattle

Useful links for your own research:
[3] Waverley Cemetery, NSW transcriptions & index, Randwick Library
[4] Waverley & South Head Cemetery Transcriptions, Findmypast AU
[5] Waverley Council Local History Fact Sheets
[6] Waverley Cemetery Who's Who
[7] Society of Australian Genealogists :: Camperdown Cemetery guide

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Unlock the Past Queensland Expo :: June 25-27

I grew up on the Sunshine Coast and then lived in Brisbane while I studied at the University of Queensland. Those early years in Queensland, writing stories for my Mum and "publishing" them for the family set the scene for what I am and do today. That's one of reasons I love coming back to Queensland and what a happy coincidence it is, that I'm able to combine work and play in June, at the History and Genealogy Expo in Queensland, 25-27 June 2012.

Inside History Magazine will be exhibiting at the expo with Irish Wattle, along with over 50 other family history and genealogy specialists. There are 39 main talks by 18 presenters from 5 states and the UK, plus 28 free presentations including 2 from myself; "Who was the real Captain Starlight?" and "Writing local and family history for magazines".

The featured visiting presenter is Audrey Collins from the United Kingdom's National Archives and the expo kicks off her Australian speaking tour, which also takes in Canberra, Melbourne and Sydney. We're excited to meet her and look forward to her talks in Canberra and Sydney, hopefully we'll see you there - book your tickets now so you don't miss out!

Also, the good people at Unlock the Past are giving away exclusive Platinum, Gold and Silver passes to the expo and Audrey Collins tour. To enter, go to the Unlock the Past blog and answer the question, "tell us “specifically” what you are looking forward to at the events".

So, how do you get to enjoy all of the above? Join us at the expo. We've included some directions below:

Where: Centenary State High School, 1 Moolanda Street, Jindalee
When: The Expo is running over three days including Monday evening:

  • Monday, 25 June: 12 noon - 9:30pm
  • Tuesday, 26 June: 9am - 5pm
  • Wednesday, 27 June: 9am - 4pm

We'd also recommend the Expo Gold Tickets, which for $50 pre-booked allows you to attend as many presentations as you can, saving and learning lots along the way! Or you can just book your expo ticket and pay for the presentations you attend on the day. Click here to book your expo tickets and then invest in your Gold Ticket via Gould Genealogy.

We love questions, so drop by say hello and browse through our books - they will be 10% off for the expo. See you there!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Love letters from Ireland 1799

Joseph Davis (c1760-1823) was a convict found guilty of high treason on Dublin in 1798 and sentenced to transportation for seven years. He was one of a large number of men who had been apprehended for administering an unlawful oath (considered a rebel offence by the authorities) on 1 October 1797. The group were given time to put their affairs in order before leaving the country. While on board the Minerva in Cork harbour awaiting transportation to Sydney, Davis penned an emotional love letter to his wife. The letter survives to this day.

My dear Mary,
This day I received your letter and it gives me great satisfaction to find in the post circumstances that you, my mother and the four children are well. I hope little young John will get over the cough. I am myself tolerable well in health.… I often think of our mutual attachment to each other and my children but them times are over. I am very sure we will soon sail. Every preparation denotes it. However let me be in my part of the world, you, your mother and the children will be my chief concern. I wish I could in some measure think my health be better. I am exactly nine months on board this day and 18 months in confinement. …I hope you have fortitude to withstand this great trouble and distress for tho we may be separated in this life, we should get happiness. Pray keep up your spirits we may meet again. I am extremely sorry to hear a complaint of [my daughter] Sally, I thought she promised to have better times and I strictly desire for her to mind her schooling and every other thing you or her grandmother desire for her to do. She must know how such things put me in my present situation. Not being with her, therefore inform her if she has any respect for her father, that she will mind his direction or she will repent when it’s too late.I have not a sufficiency of words to acknowledge the kindness of your mother to you and the children, she has my prayers. I don’t know what might have been the consequences only for her, and I request she will continue her kindness and to pay a strict attention to the morals of the children.…The complaint of that lump in my belly is much the old way, no tenderness here will do any service. The reality I can’t say I got my health very bad but is entirely unable to bear hardship, sometimes weakness bordering on fainting attacks but wear off again.When you have an opportunity, give my best respects to Mr and Mrs Spencer, your sister Anne… Give my respects to the two Goodmans and Mr Donney with them, let them know Brady and Mulhall [also on board the Minerva] and the remainder of us seven are well. It gives me great pleasure to hear from you and often wonder at your neglect (I forgive you) and your mother has me affection with you the same as ever…Show this letter to my friend and cousin, [he] is next to your mother and the children… grant him peace in this life and happiness in the next. Give my duty to your mother, my love and blessings to the children and I hope Sally will be an ornament not a discredit to me. Many times I think of them, therefore I desire that they will take your advice on every particular and mind their education, particularly if in any way able to give it them and the blessing of God almighty be with you and mother is the wish of your ever loving husband. Jos. Davis.

N.B. If anything comes relative to my pardon or any attention in the family send me and if we go away too suddenly I am afraid you or your mother will not survive to see the children provided for but I pray God you both may… I would be contented if you write, don’t forget the directions, Capt Cox, Minerva, love from me.

This is an extract from the forthcoming book by Barbara Hall on the convicts of the Minerva, which arrived in Sydney in 1800. The book is scheduled to be published by Irish Wattle in 2012. Stay tuned for more soon!