Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Cruckshank wedding photo

This photo has been in my family since it was taken in 1913, 1914 or 1915, and I now seem to be the lucky custodian. It does need some restoration, though, as it's looking a bit spotty in parts.

Does anyone recognise the people in it? I know the older woman on the far right is my paternal great-great-grandmother, Elizabeth Lorne CRUCKSHANK (nee BRACKENREG) - (also sometimes spelled Cruickshank). Her husband, John CRUCKSHANK, died in 1912 and Elizabeth is wearing mourning black, and John's not in the photo, so I presume it was taken since then.
Three of Elizabeth's four sons all married in 1914 or 1915, and a daughter in 1913.

So the contenders are these four of her eight children:

a) Ruby Clare CRUCKSHANK marrying Percy A JONES (1913 - West Maitland)
b) Sidney Herbert CRUICKSHANK marrying Maude Annie BENNETT (1914 - Hamilton)
c) Leslie George CRUCKSHANK marrying Louisa Elizabeth HALL (1915 - Narrabri)
d) Cyril Douglas CRUCKSHANK marrying Minnie Florence METCALF (1915 - Cessnock)

Does the placement of the mother-in-law mean anything? If she's standing next to a man does that indicate that he's her son? Or maybe just the best man, possibly unrelated? Her flower is the same as the buttonhole on the man she stands beside, but I don't think he's the groom. I think the groom would be the other seated man with roses in his buttonhole which seem to better match the bride's bouquet. Also, he's sitting in a much fancier chair - surely the groom would get a flashier chair than the best man! I presume the bride always stands in wedding photos so as to show off her dress at it's best.

Any/all ideas welcome :)

Update: well the verdict is in, and it is actually option (e)!!, Ida Ellen MAHER (nee CRUCKSHANK) marrying Wilmott Herbert BAILEY in 1915. My uncle, Kevin COLLINS, recognised Mott BAILEY as he always wore a moustache, which was rare for those times. Mystery solved. (Sigh of delight and relief.)

Friday, 7 September 2012

My biggest genealogical wish (apart from a time machine, of course)

This is my great-grandfather. He was born on 13th November 1885 at the Sydney Benevolent Asylum, which was like a hospital for the destitute, where Central Railway Station now stands. His birth was registered twice by his mother (which is fraud, sorry Ada!), once in Sydney, and once when he was six weeks old, in Jesmond, near Newcastle, NSW. His father was not Willam BARRETT who was Ada's husband (who was in Goulburn Gaol for the attempted murder of their infant son, Andrew's older half-brother Willam - a story of it's own!). 22-year-old Ada (nee MORRANT), with her husband in Gaol and a toddler in tow (ahem!) 'found comfort in the arms of' Newcastle miner Henry Burgess GIBB, and the Benevolent Asylum has his name as Andrew's father, a fact which we would never have known if it was not for another researching relative, Sandra. Collaboration is the key to overcoming brick walls, I believe. Andy's middle name in the second registration below is another clue to his paternity.

The NSW Births, Deaths, Marriages has him listed twice, and I have a copy of both certificates.

Registration/Last Name/Given Name(s)/Father's/Mother's Given/District
Number                                               Given Name(s)  Name(s)

3889/1885 BARRETT  ANDREW GIBB                             ADA    SYDNEY

Known as Andy, he was a coal miner, husband to Rosanna KING, and father to six sons. Born as a BARRETT, but fostered by the COLLINS family in Newcastle as a baby, he named his foster-parents as his parents on his wedding certificate. I have only found out about this skeleton in the COLLINS closet because my great-aunt by marriage, and Andy's daughter-in-law, told me about the COLLINS-BARRETT story in 1989. I'm sure she had no idea about the even bigger skeleton named Henry GIBB! If she hadn't let that cat out of the bag I would have been completely stumped and would never have found Andy's birth once, let alone twice!

So, onto my wish: I wish there was a website where everyone had a number as well as their name, like the registration number of their birth. So Andy might be #1885/3889 (with a link to #1885/3731), then when he married Rosanna KING (maybe #1890/4850) we can track who these people are in relation to their births - that we have the right Andy, not another man by the same name (all you Smiths out there can thank me later). Then when Andy dies, that event is linked to #1885/3889 as well, so we know it was him the death refers to. Births of their children could also be linked to these numbers as well. We could attach our own name and email address to these people as descendants &/or researchers, so that other people looking at Andy would be able to contact me or another family researcher if they wanted to.

Sound good? Hopefully people like the state BDM's won't mind? Do they own that registration number?? So if anyone has the ability/money/time/expertise/inclination to set this all up, feel free. Just remember me in the royalties when the big names in internet genealogy come knocking for inclusion into their searches. Thanks!
PS Andy was apparently a teetotaller, but it looks mighty like a schooner of beer in his hand. Busted!