Friday, February 20, 2015

Big and Little

May 1930 - Almond Dale, Winiam - Taken by Eva Pilgrim on her Kodak Box Brownie

"These melons were grown on white sand.  The two trombones each weigh 50lb and the piemelon 53lb.
The little girl (Lorna Pilgrim) weighs 33 lb".

Geyer sisters eating watermelon - Almond Dale, Winiam
Lil Presser, Soph Maybery, Mabel Pilgrim

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Sunday, February 8, 2015

Thank you Gran!

I regularly send a silent "Thank you" to my grandmother, Eva Scott (nee Pilgrim), who died in 2006.

I have many reasons to thank my grandmother,but this weekend she received a lot of praise and thanks for her foresight and thoroughness.  

As an example, the photo below is a cute photo of my uncle, taken by my grandmother;
Rob Scott
December 1942
But when you turn it over, she has told me so much more! 

Gran labelled all of her photos, but not just with the names, dates and places; she often told a story too!

My Grandmother had spent hours labelling photos, putting them in albums and making little notes.  I feel great pride and gratitude at my grandmother's efforts but also some sadness.  I would have loved to go through these albums and enjoy the history with my grandmother, but I had no idea of their existence until after she died.

Many of the albums and tags were starting to fall out as the adhesive was no longer sticking.  Therefore I suggested to my Aunt (the caretaker of the albums) that the photos should be transferred to acid free archival folders for long term storage (and so the text on the back can be easily read).

The adhesive backing was no longer sticking and photos and tags were beginning to fall out of the albums so all the photos have been  transferred into acid free archival albums.

The older albums will remain unchanged.

I have previously scanned many of the photos. However as my research and knowledge of family history has improved, I realise that I have missed important clues, so it is time to go back through the albums to ensure that I have copied all the photos (both front and back) and to gain additional insights.

The photos from the adhesive backed, plastic coated albums are  now in archival acid free pockets
so it is easy to read both the front and back.  I have also transferred Gran's labels.

One of Gran's informative scripts on the back of a photo!

I have found many "gems" in the albums and have inspiration for many many months of research, investigation and blogging! 

THANK YOU Gran for everything!

THANK YOU also Aunty Jean for letting me borrow the albums!

Saturday, February 7, 2015

President of the Laurel Club

Most of the photos in my grandmother's photo albums relate to family members or close friends but every now and then there is a photo that seems incidental, such as the one below;

Laurel Club - Nov 1974
Mrs Hustler (Secretary), Ethel Dadswell (President) Ararat, Mrs Tyrer (Leader) Bendigo
I could not locate any record of a "Laurel Club" in the Bendigo area, where my grandmother lived. Further investigation revealed that the Laurel Club is a social club for widows, whose husbands served in the Defense Force.   Therefore it is likely that my Grandmother, Eva Scott (nee Pilgrim) was a member of the Laurel Club.

The name Ethel Dadswell resonated with me and I soon found that she was a paternal first cousin to my grandmother.

Ethel Evelyn Mary Pilgrim
Born: 11 March 1907 at Nhill, Victoria 
Parents: William Thomas Pilgrim and Mary Ann McPherson
Married Stanley Alfred Dadswell on 16th June 1928 at Ararat, Victoria
Died: 6 December 1978 at Warrak, Victoria

Stanley Dadswell married  Ethel Pilgrim
at Ararat on 16th  June 1928

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Saturday, January 24, 2015

A Miracle Cure All?

The Evening News, Friday February 26, 1897 - Page 3
Source: Trove
1898 (2)
" 5250 Incurable Discharged from Hospitals and Given Up by Doctors have been CURED by DR. WILLIAMS'S PINK PILLS"

Recently my Aunty Jean was telling me that she was a small, thin and pale young girl, until she started taking Dr Williams' Pink Pills for Pale People, which made her grow.  
This intrigued me, so I decided to find out more!

The wonder drug was sold from the 1890s to the 1950s(1) in over 80 countries around the world. 

"The Pills, to begin with, give strength purity and richness to the blood, and thus root out a whole host of diseases which depend on poor or viated blood" (2) 

There are pages and pages of reported cures! In 1986, a 40 page book was dedicated to the stories of cures. It makes very interesting reading.

Aunty Jean was about 10 years old, when her mother sent a family photo to Grandma Pilgrim.  When Grandma Pilgrim wrote back, she commented that Jean was too little and thin!

Don, Jean, Joy and Rob
Was this the photo that my grandmother sent to her mother?

Gran promptly took Aunty Jean to the chemist (who was also a trained doctor) and he prescribed Dr Williams' Pink Pills for Pale People.

A year later, Aunty Jean does look to have grown
 considerably in comparison to her elder brother.
Could the Pink Pills be the reason?
Source: Science Museum London

The range of reports is quite impressive; from the soldier who was discharged with "incurable paralysis" who was "made perfectly well by our pills" to the young girl who was "gulping up large quantities of blood" but through "the use of the pills, gradually rose from a bed of suffering and sickness until she once again attained robust young womenhood". (3)

The list of ailments purportedly cured is extraordinary;
Anaemia, Asthma, Chlorosis or Green Sickness, Dizziness, Heart Palpitation, Nervousness, Headache, Loss of Appetite, Indigestion and Dyspepsia, La Grippe, Eruptions and Pimples, Sick Headache, Pale or Sallow Complexion, Swelling, General Debility, Rheumatism, Depression, Insomnia, Paralysis, Muscular Weakness, Shortness of Breathe, Locomotor Ataxia, Neuralgia, Chronic Erysipeias, Kidney Troubles, Catarrh of the Stomach, Nervous Fits, St Vitus' Dance, Consumption of the Bowels and Lungs, Swelled Glands, Scrofula, Fever Sores, Irritability of Temper, Rickets, Fevers, Acute Diseases, All Female Weakness, Tardy or Irregular Periods, Leucorrhoea, Suppression of the Menses, Loss of Vital Forces, Loss of Memory, Ringing in the Ears and Hysteria.

Aunty Jean believes that she took the pink pills for a couple of years.  Did they work?  She believes that she grew substantially after taking them.
Jean and Joy in 1953
Do you think the pink pills made a difference?

1895 Canadian Advertisement

So what was in Dr Williams' Pink Pills for Pale People?
The recipe was a secret but according to the Kansas Historical society, it seems they were iron oxide, epsom salts and magnesium sulfate based.

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(1) According to advertisements in Australian newspapers as researched on
(2) As stated by the Manager of  Dr Williams' Medicine Company and reported in the London Newspapers and repeated in the Healesville Guardian and Yarra Glen Guardian, Saturday 20th August 1898, page 3 - Trove
(3) Book: Dr Williams pink pills for pale people - published 1986

Saturday, January 17, 2015

3 Alcohol Related Deaths in the Scott Family

The Advertiser (Adelaide, SA; 1931 - 1954)
Monday 20 September 1943, page 3

Burnside Fatality Inquest Finding
The adjourned inquest into the death of William Adam Bissett Scott, 62 laborer, of Waterfall Gully road, Burnside, who died in Royal Adelaide Hospital after having been found on September 2 with severe body injuries, with his bicycle beside him near his home, was concluded by the Acting City Coroner, Mr Ziesing, on Saturday.
The Coroner found that deceased came by his death from extensive injuries sustained when he was struck by a vehicle being driven my a person or persons unknown.  "On the evidence before me," he added "I do not make any positive finding as to the type of vehicle which caused the death of the deceased, or the circumstances in which the impact occurred."
Mr  D Waterhouse for Scott's relatives: Messrs H G Alderman KCand RH Lake for insurance interests.

William Adam Bisset Scott(2)
Circa 1890
My Great Grandfather, William Adam Bisset Scott was born in the small country community of Kiata, Victoria, Australia, on Remembrance Day, 11th November 1880.  He is named after both his grandfathers.

After his father died in 1892, Bill (as he was known) finished school at the age of 12 , to help his mother on the farm. (1)

He married my grandmother, Agnes Foy, at Dimboola in 1906.

He continued farming for many years, at various properties across the Wimmera.  In 1925 he is listed as owning farmland at Lot 33 Manya North, near the South Australian Border. According to Electoral Rolls, he remained on the property until 1936, when he was 56 years old.

Source: State Library of Victoria Maps
Manya, County of Weeah 1925
Prior to his untimely death in 1943, he worked for the Burnside Council as a ranger (3).  

From family photos, we know that he also worked as an "Overseer of Road Works"

Bill Scott (far left) - "Overseer of Road Works"

News (Adelaide, SA; 1923 - 1954)
 Monday 6th September 1943, page 6

There are many Newspaper articles on Trove about Bill Scott's accidental death and the subsequent inquest.

My Great Grandfather was returning home from the Waterfall Gully Hotel when he was "struck by a vehicle", which resulted in his untimely death on 5th September 1943.

He is not the first person in his family to die after having a few drinks!  

His Grandfather, Adam Bisset Scott, collapsed and died in a pub in South Leith, Scotland, on 15th November 1872 (congestion of the lungs). (4)

His Grandmother, Catherine Glass, was also returning from the hotel, when she died from "suffocation through intoxication".

Source:  Death Record - Scotlands People

Better Times
William and Agnes Scott & Family  - Circa 1916
Allan, William, Donald (back) Wally (front) Agnes and Agnes

(1) Certificate Number 29016 issued by the Education Department Victoria on 12th August
(2) Spelling as per Birth Certificate
(3) News (Adelaide, SA; 1923 - 1954) Saturday 18th September 1943, page 3
(4) Death Recrod - Scotlands People

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