16 November 2011

Still in Australia .....

Last time out, I wrote about Maria Flavell (nee Phillips) and now I'm going to continue with the same family.  Yep, I'm mildly obsessed with Australian records at the moment - their BMDs, on ancestry.com, are subject to the same bizarre transcriptions as some of ours, but their indexes generally give more detail.

So, having told you of "43 grandchildren, 68 great grandchildren and 36 great great grandchildren", my mission now is to find them.  Not all at once, obviously, but I am slowly working my way through them.  I'd like to give the impression that I'm being very organised in this task but ...... I do tend to jump about a bit.  Part of this I can blame on ancestry, who now try to be helpful and put "these records may be relevant" to the right of the page, thereby enticing the easily distracted (me).

Still'n'all, I've found a few Flavells and Frees, some of them with wonderful names: there's Mary Madeline Emelia, Gertrude Henrietta Isabella and, my favourite, Thomas Merlin Olave Elnathan.  That's one set of siblings with something to thank their parents for!

Inevitably, though, I have also found a couple of lads who volunteered for the Australian Imperial Force in the Great War; brothers Samuel John and Albert Ernest Free, born 1893 & 1894 respectively, joined up on the same day in 1916.  Both were drafted to the 3rd Machine Gun Corps.  Albert died on 12th October 1917 and has no known grave, being commemorated on the Menin Gate.  Samuel died of wounds to the abdomen on 26th May 1918 and is buried in Crouy.  The National Archives of Australia has digitised their soldiers' records and I was able to read a lot of detail about these two.

More soon.