Friday, August 24, 2012


Farming is the most popular occupation for my ancestors, followed by mining.

Of all of the above occupations, only five were completed by females.  Can you guess which ones?

It is interesting to note that very few of my ancestors have been white collar workers.  

I would certainly like to have some tailors, shoemakers or cordwainers in the family would save me a fortune.

A reference for my Grandfather
Notice the Phone Number: 34

My Grandfather, Allan Scott, at work as a farm labourer
My grandmother wrote "During the Depression Allan worked with 2 bachelor brothers, Jeff and Ralph Creek for his keep and when things came good they paid him 10/- ($1) for each week, which was good pay for those times.  They didn’t have to, but that was the sort of men they were".

How wages change!  In 1974, my father was paid $7,591pa for his first appointment as a bank manager, which was considered a very good wage for the time.

My Great Grandfather, William Scott (on the far left) at work as the Supervisor of Road Works

My Great Grandmother, Nurse Edith Geyer

My Grand Uncle Lloyd and Great Grandfather James Pilgrim at work on the farm drenching sheep.

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Monday, August 20, 2012

N is for NO TIME

For the letter "N", I really wanted to take the time to write a tribute to a wonderful lady, my Nanna.  However sometimes work and life get in the way of blogging and family tree research :(

So N is for NO TIME at the moment.

At some point before we get to "Z", I will replace this with a story about my Nanna. I want to do it justice so wont rush it.  But to give you a glimpse.............

"The shortest road is the long road
When sorrow marks the miles
But the longest road is the shortest road
When laughter beguiles"
My grandmother wrote this in autograph books.  Since I have been doing research, I have come to the conclusion that Nanna lived by this saying and probably recited it during some tough times in her younger years.  I now know that she had a pretty tough life until she was "rescued" by my grandfather.  

My Grandparents when they were courting
I'll tell you more another time...............

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Saturday, August 4, 2012

Over 130 years of racing

Sepia Saturday 137: 4th August 2012

On Easter Monday, 9th April 1928, my grandmother attended the Stawell Gift as a spectator.  The pictures below show my grandmother on this day.  She was 17 years old.

The Stawell Gift is Australia's oldest running race.  The race started in 1878 and except for four years during World War II, it has been contested every Easter Monday in Stawell, Victoria.

Easter Monday, 9th April 1928 - Stawell Gardens
Ready for the races - Stella Biggin & my grandmother, Eva Pilgrim

Easter Monday 1928 - Stawell Gift
My grandmother, Eva Pilgrim, is seated in the second row with the plaits and box brownie.

I will concentrate on 1928, when my grandmother attended the Stawell Gift.  The first prize in 1928 was £250 compared with $40,000 in 2012.  In 1928, there was a record attendance with gate takings considered a great success at £209/3/3.

The Daily News paper in 1928 reported the race as the "World's Greatest Event".  It was won by Lynch Cooper, who ran the 120 metres in 11.9375 seconds.  In 2012 the winning time was 12.228 seconds.

The Daily News
Wednesday 18th April 1928

The Mercury
Friday 13th April 1928

It was interesting to read in the article below that Lynch Cooper had "insured his legs against injury for £1000" which was considered "unique in the history of running."

The Daily News
Wednesday 18th April 1928

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M is for Madeline Mottram

23 March 1909
Madeline & Bill Batty

Madeline Mottram did not have any children or therefore descendants to remember her.

I always admired the wedding photo that hung on my Aunt's hallway wall.  I think Madeline's dress was so beautiful & she looks like a porcelain doll.

I don't know much about Madeline, except that my Aunty said "she was lovely".

My Great Grand Aunt, Madeline Mottram was born on the 15th September 1884 in the mining community of Havelock, near Maryborough, Victoria, Australia.

At age 24, she was working as a 'domestic' when she married William Charles Batty on the 23rd March 1909 at Havelock.  Bill was a miner, who was also born at Havelock.

After the death of Bill's father in 1913, the Batty family moved to Collingwood and Bill and Madeline were living with Bill's mother and siblings.

They lived in various Melbourne suburbs until Bill died in 1952 and Madeline moved from North Fitzroy to Whittlesea, then Humevale.

She died of pneumonia and and chronic renal failure when she was age 88, on 1st January 1972.

Sisters Mary, Madeline & Eve
Mary is my Great Grandmother

Mottram Family
Back: Henry, David, Eve, Samuel, Madeline, Frederick
Front: Mary, Samuel, Elizabeth & Jack

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