Sunday, 3 July 2016

Connecting Dots. Connecting Branches.

Last Wednesday was a fantastic day for me. I went to Melbourne to meet someone special - Christine Wilton. We connected through Facebook genealogy groups - I checked her profile because my Mum's maiden name is Wilton, and I quickly realised she's married to one of the very many second cousins I've never met. We just clicked, and we've had a great time researching together over chat. I confess, I have ordered takeaway for my kids on at least one occasion because I was too carried away with hunting ancestors with Christine and lost track of time.

So what do two crazy girls do in the big city with a whole empty day to do as they please and no kids or spouses around to worry about?

They hit the State Library, of course. Hard.
Christine (left) and Carol party hearty, genealogist-style.

Such a fun and fruitful way to spend the day. I want to share one of my little discoveries.

I checked the Electoral Rolls for some of my Ancestors and I found my pet obsession, my great grandmother Harlettee Louisa Groombridge. She and her final husband, William Henry Rothery, were registered at an address in Hobart East: 49 Hampden Road. The record says it's from 1903. That same year she and her husband are also both registered at an address in Victoria: 11 Hopetoun Road, Northcote. I'm familiar with this address already as I've seen it on other records. Have I identified the year she moved back to Tasmania? Or was she maintaining two addresses at this time? Something to look into.

Anyway, I always love to Google Street View the addresses I find, and try to estimate if the houses that are there now are the same ones that were there when my relatives lived there. For instance, one of the addresses Harlettee lived at in the 1890s was 20 Barry Street Carlton. This is what that street looks like today:

Yeah, I'm pretty sure that's not how it looked in 1890.

In contrast, time may have largely stood still in Hampden Road, Hobart East

I would not be at all surprised if at least some of these buildings were already here when Harlettee was a resident in 1903.

Finally, I took the address and ran it through Trove, and to my big surprise (given that Harlettee was a Rothery at this point) a Groombridge record popped up:
Family Notices (1903, November 10). The Mercury (Hobart, Tas. : 1860 - 1954), , p. 1. Retrieved July 3, 2016, from

Wow! I already had this record in my tree - this is Harlettee's nephew's son. I knew he had died as a nine month old, and I knew he had died at an aunt's house, but I did not know it was his great aunt Harlettee's house. Why there? No idea. Maybe the family were staying in the house while Harlettee and her husband were at their residence in Victoria? Maybe they came to Harlettee for help when their baby took ill? Whatever the case, this tragic little record shows that Harlettee remained in contact with her extended family, even after living in Victoria for more than 20 years.

I'm glad I was able to take those little nuggets of information and connect the dots to make a larger picture. And I'm even more glad to have finally met this lovely lady in person and spent the day with her. Connecting the dots, connecting the branches.


Post a Comment