Tuesday, 24 September 2013

The Obituary of Dr Callaghan ~ Trove Tuesday

Most researchers are well aware of the benefits of a death notice and obituaries found in newspapers. A death notice is usually very brief providing minimal details such as the name of the deceased, date and location of funeral or burial. The following is an example of the death notice of Dr Joseph Callaghan who operated for many years in the Hawkesbury and who passed away in 1924.

Family Notices - Sydney Morning Herald 17 June 1924

On the other hand, an obituary provides a history of the deceased and listing all the good qualities of the person. It will include family details possibly parents, spouse and children. It can also include other relatives. It may provide information about deceased's occupation, place of work or business and associated hobbies and their involvement in the community. If you are lucky it may mention the period leading to the death and even the cause. The location of the cemetery, place of burial, and undertaker may also be mentioned. The length of the obituary will often depend on the popularity of the deceased. A selected few may include a portrait, like the following image of Dr Callaghan which appeared in his obituary in 1924. Photographs were more popular from in the 20th century.

Dr Callaghan as pictured in his 1924 obituary

Joseph Callaghan's lengthy obituary appeared in the Windsor & Richmond Gazette 20 June 1924 and provided over sixty unique pieces of information, that would be extremely valuable to both family and local historians. The main points were:

Born in Ireland 
Obtained his medical diploma in Ireland
Migrated to Australia as a ship's surgeon in 1868 
Settled at Rockhampton, Queensland and practiced there until 1875
Came to Richmond in 1877 and practiced there for about five years
Lived for about 12 months in Sydney, then returned to the Hawkesbury
Settled in Windsor about 1884 where he practiced as a surgeon and physician  
Sold his medical practice to Dr Arnold in 1920
When he left in 1920 he was presented with a very fine illuminated address and a purse of nearly £100 
Went to Sydney to spend the remainder of his days in 1920
Loved horses and dogs, and bred some good specimens of both 
Was a great horseman and frequently rode his own horses in races  
At the gathering in the School of Arts many identities attended the presentation 
He was a Justice of the Peace for 40 years and many years Licensing Magistrate
Was 36 years medical officer to the Manchester Unity IOOF 
Member of the Hawkesbury District Agricultural Association for 31 years and several times President 
Was a committeeman of the Windsor School of Arts for 24 years and President on several occasions
Foundation member and constant benefactor of the Hawkesbury Benevolent Society and Hospital
22 years on the Wilberforce Settlement Board 
Trustee of the Windsor Savings Bank
Deputy Sheriff; Government Medical Officer and visiting justice to the gaol
Member of Hawkesbury Race Club for almost 50 years and President on different occasions. 
His wife died in Windsor some years ago, and he never recovered from the blow
Family included Reginald, Clendon, Clive, Oscar, Madeline, and Mrs. Boydell 
Sons Reginald, Clive and Oscar served in WW1, Clendon served in the Boer War, tried to enlist again but was turned down. 
Dr Callaghan died in Lane Cove
Died aged of 78 years
The funeral took place on Tuesday afternoon 17 June 1924 and buried in the Church of England portion of the Rookwood cemetery, alongside his wife. John Cherry (formerly rector at Pitt Town) and Rev. J. H. Wilcoxsen, (Lane Cove) officiated at the grave, and both clergyman extolled the great benevolence and high-minded qualities of the deceased doctor.
The chief mourners were the four sons, his daughter Madeline Callaghan & nephew Mr. T. Dixon 
Many people attended the funeral including many of his friends from the Hawkesbury including Messrs C. S. Icely, Charles Roberts, Brigadier-General Lamrock, G. G. Kiss, J R Hardie (Hawkesbury Race Club), Messrs J. W. Ross and A. J. Berckelman (Windsor Hospital), R. A. Pye, James Gosper, G. D. Wood. Brinsley Hall, John Tebbutt, J Tebbutt jun, J. Byram, Sidney Gosper, Alex Gough. J. T. Town, P. J. Chandler 
Hawkesbury Race Club committee each sent a beautiful wreath. Flags at Windsor Fire Station and the Council Chambers were flown at half-mast

The above is an excellent example of why all references to deceased person should be followed up. Checking different issues of newspapers also can provide different variations of a story including that of Callaghan's obituary which appeared in the Hawkesbury Herald 19 June 1924.

Trove is an excellent source of digitised Australian newspapers. A considerable article, partially reproduced below, also records information about Dr Callaghan's death with a picture also appeared in the Sydney Morning Herald 17 June 1924.

Monday, 16 September 2013

Hawkesbury Newspapers - Trove Tuesday

Newspapers are a wonderful source of information for both local and family history. Information located from newspapers is often unique and often not found in other sources. Hawkesbury newspapers, dating from the 1840s, are included on Trove, the National Library of Australia's digitised newspapers and sponsored by Hawkesbury Library Service.

Hawkesbury Courier and Agricultural and General Advertiser 11 July 1844, p. 1. 

The Windsor Express, was apparently the first permanent newspaper in the Hawkesbury, and first appeared on the 17 May 1843. This was almost 50 years after the Hawkesbury district was settled by Europeans. Geoffrey Amos Eagar produced the publication in his Printing Office located in George Street in Windsor. The newspaper only operated for about twelve months, with the last issue appearing on 9 May 1844.

Shortly after the Windsor Express became defunct, Eagar established another newspaper called Hawkesbury Courier and Agricultural and General Advertiser. The first issue appeared on the 11 July 1844 and operated until 1846. When the Hawkesbury Courier ceased publication, the Hawkesbury community had to wait for over a quarter of a century before another local newspaper was introduced. The Australian, Windsor, Richmond & Hawkesbury Advertiser was launched in 1873.

From that time until the present, the Hawkesbury district, has had a newspaper operating. The Windsor & Richmond Gazette was established in July 1888 by J. C. L. Fitzpatrick. The newspaper recently celebrated 125 years of operating. The most current issue dates from 21 December 1955.

Windsor and Richmond Gazette 21 July 1888 published 125 years ago. 

Monday, 9 September 2013

‘Billy the Bellman’ ~ Trove Tuesday

William O’Rooke or O’Rourke (c. 1835-1897) was known about the town of Windsor as ‘Billy the Bellman’ in the late 19th century, quite an interesting chap. William Rooke was born in Cambridgeshire, England in about 1835, the son of Henry & Rebecca Rooke. His parents had married in 1831 in Ickleton. In 1851 Henry was a servant working in a College in Dry Drayton in Cambridgeshire. William was 16 years old and was working as a waiter with his older brother Alfred and younger sister Emma. 

In 1857, William and Sarah migrated to Sydney onboard the “Washington Irving” William was a butcher and Sarah a housemaid.  Two years after arriving, Sarah Ann, married William Joseph Perkins 1829-1873, a carpenter, in 1859.  They first lived in the Queanbeyan area and by 1865 the couple lived in the Windsor district. 

William Rooke lived in Windsor from his arrival. Rooke was a well-known identity in the township of Windsor, and was the bellman. This occupation was described as someone who rings a bell, and sometimes known as a town crier. In 1863 he was recorded as living in Baker Street in Windsor.  He apparently owned land near McGraths Hill as well. This was sold for not paying rates by Windsor Municipal Council in 1932. One block was situated at Lot 3/5, Section 8, situate Livingstone, Garfield and Bismark streets, Killarney. There were three allotments with a total area 5 acres 1 rood 27 perches. The registered owner was listed as William Rooke. William did not marry nor did he have any children. 

He passed away on 28 July 1897 and was buried the same day at St Matthews Church of England Cemetery in Windsor. His informative obituary (below) appeared in the Windsor & Richmond Gazette on 31 July 1897

The obituary continued:

 His father was head gardener at one of the English Universities, and till within & short while ago the subject of this notice was in receipt of an annuity from the father's estate. That, we believe, was recently transferred to deceased's married sister (a Mrs Perkins) who resides in the metropolis. William O'Rourke first came to Windsor on a steamer owned by the late John Mitchell, which plied between Sydney and the Hawkesbury; on this boat he was employed for some time. Coming ashore, he opened a butchery in the shop now occupied by Mr Stearn, near the Hawkesbury Hotel. O'Rourke did well in business, and by dint of hard work and frugality he put by a considerable sum of money.  A cousin came from England, and lived with him for a while.  Billy it would appear, was his own banker. In an evil hour he left the business in charge of the new arrival during a brief absence. When he returned his "little pile" was gone. It was never known who took the money, but Billy had his suspicions, and freely expressed them. He sold out and from that time forward he seemed to do no good, and gradually became the Billy O’Rourke of late years. In 1870 he was cook and wards man at the Hawkesbury Benevolent Asylum, during the time that Mr J. T. Rowthorn was superintendent, Billy O'Rourke was a character in his way and the incidents of his life were many and varied. For many years he was a public functionary and a town institution-that is, he was the local bell man; as such he earned the sobriquet Billy the Bellman, and was the butt of street urchins. Whilst plying his vocation in the street, he frequently came into conflict with troops of small boys, but they generally had sufficient discretion to know when they had gone far enough; for though Billy could put up with a good deal in the way of chaff and banter, he came down hard when his dander was up. Keen rivalry existed between the deceased and another worthy (one Hobbs, he of the wooden leg) now an inmate of the Asylum, who once started business as opposition bellman. "Billy" regarded him as an interloper and a usurper, and some lively scenes were enacted between them. The deceased never married, and his only relative known is the sister referred to.

(First appeared in the Hawkesbury Crier – September 2012 pp. 19-20

1851 Census UK. Class: HO107; Piece: 1760; Folio: 603; Page: 54; GSU roll: 193651-193652
State Records, Reel 2138, [4/4794]; Reel 2476, [4/4972]
Obituary. (1897, July 31). Windsor and Richmond Gazette (NSW: 1888 - 1954), p. 12. Retrieved August 26, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article72552539 
IN THE EARLY DAYS. (1926, December 24). Windsor and Richmond Gazette (NSW : 1888 - 1954), p. 8. Retrieved September 2, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article85953866 
Advertising. (1932, January 15). Windsor and Richmond Gazette (NSW : 1888 - 1954), p. 11. Retrieved September 2, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article86050908 
NSW Births, deaths & marriage index. Marriage 2811/1859

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

All England cricket team plays in Windsor - Trove Tuesday

As the cricket season prepares to launch, sports fanatics may be interested in the fact that an All-England cricket team played a game in Western Sydney in the 1880s. The newspapers of the day had a field day reporting on the Test series vs a Hawkesbury/Nepean team.

A tour to Australia by the All-England cricket team, was arranged in 1881 and the visiting team arrived in Sydney via America, late in the year. The tour, like many of the early tours, was renowned for its scandals, not unlike cricket today. The series drew tremendous crowds and the first Test Match, played over several days in Melbourne, notched up 46,500 spectators.  The overall series resulted in an Australian win 2-0. The Australian team was captained by William 'Billy' Murdoch 1854-1911 while the English team captain was Alfred Shaw.

The Second Test was played in Sydney on the 17th-18th & 20th-21st February and Australia won by 5 wickets. The following day after this Test, a one-day match was arranged between the All-England Eleven and 22 of the Hawkesbury and Nepean. On Wednesday 22 February 1882, “a special train conveyed the Eleven from Sydney, and the play took place on Mr. McQuade's ground at Fairfield." (Fairfield was the name of the property which also encompassed much of the Windsor Golf Course). “A wicket was made of concrete and carpeted, thus greatly adding to the comfort of the players. It was estimated that about 1000 persons were present to witness the play.” 

The local newspaper reported that the “arrangements were not well carried out, the public being allowed to parade inside the roped enclosure, to the annoyance of those who paid for admission to the reserved portion of the ground, and interfering vastly with the scorer. Mr. W. H. Hull captained the local team, Mr. Bodenham acted as umpire, and Mr. J. Coleman as scorer.”

The results were published as follows:

The Australian, Windsor, Richmond & Hawkesbury Advertiser 25 February 1882 p. 3. 
Retrieved September 3, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article66359169

The concluding comment in the newspaper stated “it will thus be seen that our men did very well indeed, and we are informed by the All England team that they have met many worse twenty-twos than the Hawkesbury 22” which could be seen as a disparaging compliment.

A souvenir illustration of the English team appeared in the Town & Country Journal

Historic Australian newspapers can be found on Trove and browsing the pages reveal many wonderful sporting events from the past.