Thursday, 15 December 2016

The Dinner Service

My grandmother’s dinner service originally consisted of an eight place setting: large dinner plate (8 ½ inches), sandwich plate (5 ¾ inches), bowl (5 ¾ inches), tea cup and saucer (4 ¾ inches). It also had a milk jug, sugar bowl, two gravy/sauce pitchers, two oval platters (14 inches) and a soup tureen with lid (11 inches). They have an ivory background colour with a pink rose transfer pattern and gilt edging. (see Fig.1)

Figure 1 Cup and saucer in Luxor Vellum rose pattern
They were made by Swinnertons Staffordshire England as per underside markings (see Fig 2).  Swinnertons registered their design number 837606 and this design was registered in 1940. [i] British potteries had been registering their patterns since 1842 with the Board of Trade. They are kept in numerical order by date registered with the original registrations kept at The National Archives Kew England. [ii] (see Fig. 2)

Figure 2 Potter  mark underside of items
 Swinnertons were a company formed in 1906. They were based in Hanley, one of the six towns that are now Stoke-On-Trent, Staffordshire. They specialised in earthenware, rather than the much more expensive fine bone china, aiming their product at middle class households. Earthenware has more plasticity and is more easily able to be shaped but is more porous and needs to be glazed for use. The earthenware formulation is 25% kaolin, 25% ball clay, 35% quartz and 15% feldspar and are fired to 12500C. [iii] By the 1940s they had purchased five other factories, three of whom made teapots.[iv]

     Figure 3 Luxor Vellum)
I was unable to determine the price of the set from contemporary resources in England but an indication may be seen from a 1949 advertisement in the Broken Hill, New South Wales paper Barrier Miner which has a 40 piece Swinnertons Luxor Vellum set at £6/19/6. [v]  This 1949 advertisement from the Beaudesert Times showed you were also able to buy single replacement pieces. [vi] (see Fig 3)       

My grandmother Lilian Maud Philpott married Leslie Smith 10 September 1938 in St Stephens Tonbridge Kent England.[vii] Family story was that due to financial issues the traditional dinner service was not able to be given by the parents at the time of marriage.  The Second World War meant full employment and Lilian’s parents found the money and the dinner service was instead given on the occasion of their son, David’s birth 16 February 1940. Lilian and Leslie were living at 45 Burnham Crescent, Crayford at the time of the birth and Leslie was working at the Vickers Armstrong factory as a carpenter and munition worker. [viii]

The dinner service suffered its first casualties in November 1940 when a high explosive bomb exploded one street over and knocked two cups from the dresser.[ix]  Lilian packed the dinner service away for safe keeping and although more than 50 further bombs were dropped around their home in Crayford no further damage was done to the service during the war.

Sadly Leslie Smith was injured on military exercises in 1944, becoming a quadriplegic and dying of his injuries at Edenhall Hospital, Inveresk, Scotland, 14 December 1944. [x]

Lilian, as a single mother, then worked as a cook/housekeeper for a number of years and the dinner service remained packed away.

In May 1949, the dinner service accompanied Lilian and David aboard the Asturias as they emigrated to Sydney Australia arriving first in Fremantle, before their final destination of Sydney. [xi] At this time in Australia there was an acute housing shortage and Lilian was unable to establish a home on arrival, getting work at the Peoples’ Palace in Sydney while David entered the Salvation Army Orphanage in Goulburn. Finally in 1952 Lilian was able to rent a home in Goulburn and they were reunited and the dinner service was unpacked with another cup as a casualty, broken sometime over those years.

The service traveled with Lilian in a number of further moves over the years, being used only for special occasions, until her death in 1976 when it joined David in his home. Then it went from Brisbane to Melbourne in 1978 and then back to Brisbane in 1983, quite well packed as there were no further casualties. My parents and the dinner service moved in with me in 1986 and the service has followed us on some further moves until 2001. Since 2001, it has had pride of place in the china cabinet in Pallara, as a well loved, and well traveled family item.

[i] Pottery pattern registration number
[ii] National Archives Kew England
[iii] Wikipedia  Earthenware
[v] Advertising (1949, August 4). Barrier Miner (Broken Hill, NSW : 1888 - 1954), p. 9. Retrieved 20 August, 2016, from
[vi] Advertising (1949, November 25). The Beaudesert Times (Qld. : 1908 - 1954), p. 2. Retrieved 20 August, 2016, from
[vii] Marriage Certificate England and Wales 1938 Sep Q Tonbridge 2a 3720 (10 September 1938) PHILPOTT Lilian Maud and SMITH Leslie
[viii] Birth Certificate England and Wales 1940 Mar Q 2a 2143 (16 February 1940) SMITH David
[ix] Personal communication from my grandmother Lilian Maud Smith
[x] Death Certificate Scotland 14 December 1944 SMITH Leslie
[xi] National Archives of Australia; Queen Victoria Terrace, Parkes ACT 2600.; Inward passenger manifests for ships and aircraft arriving at Fremantle, Perth Airport and Western Australian outports from 1897-1963; Series Number: K 269; Reel Number: 103

Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Queensland Newspapers on Trove as of 30 November 2016

Queensland Newspapers digitised on Trove as of 30 November 2016

Remember that fuller runs of these and going past 1954 and other Queensland papers will be at the Queensland State Library and at least some at other libraries including University libraries around the country.
  • Balonne Beacon (St. George, Qld. : 1909 - 1954)

  • The Beaudesert Times (Qld. : 1908 - 1954)

  • The Border Star (Coolangatta, Qld. : 1929 - 1942)

  • Bowen Independent (Qld. : 1911 - 1954)

  • The Brisbane Courier (Qld. : 1864 - 1933)

  • Brisbane Telegraph (Qld. : 1948 - 1954)

  • Bundaberg Mail (Qld. : 1917 - 1925)

  • Bundaberg Mail and Burnett Advertiser (Qld. : 1892 - 1917)

  • Cairns Morning Post (Qld. : 1907 - 1909)

  • Cairns Post (Qld. : 1884 - 1893)

  • Cairns Post (Qld. : 1909 - 1954)

  • The Capricornian (Rockhampton, Qld. : 1875 - 1929)

  • The Central Queensland Herald (Rockhampton, Qld. : 1930 - 1956)

  • The Charleville Courier (Qld. : 1896 - 1898)

  • The Charleville Times (Brisbane, Qld. : 1896 - 1954)

  • Chronicle and North Coast Advertiser (Qld. : 1903 - 1922)

  • Cloncurry Advocate (Qld. : 1931 - 1953)

  • The Coolangatta Chronicle (Qld. : 1926)

  • The Courier (Brisbane, Qld. : 1861 - 1864)

  • The Courier-Mail (Brisbane, Qld. : 1933 - 1954)

  • The Daily Mail (Brisbane, Qld. : 1903 - 1926)

  • Daily Mercury (Mackay, Qld. : 1906 - 1954)

  • The Daily Northern Argus (Rockhampton, Qld. : 1875 - 1896)

  • Daily Standard (Brisbane, Qld. : 1912 - 1936)

  • The Dalby Herald (Qld. : 1910 - 1954)

  • Dalby Herald and Western Queensland Advertiser (Qld. : 1866 - 1879)

  • Darling Downs Gazette (Qld. : 1881 - 1922)

  • The Darling Downs Gazette and General Advertiser (Toowoomba, Qld. : 1858 - 1880)

  • Dayboro Times and Moreton Mail (Qld. : 1937 - 1940; 1945 - 1954)

  • The Evening Advocate (Innisfail, Qld. : 1941 - 1954)

  • The Evening News (Rockhampton, Qld. : 1924 - 1941)

  • The Evening Telegraph (Charters Towers, Qld. : 1901 - 1921)

  • Geraldton Advocate and Johnstone River Guardian (Qld. : 1895 - 1896)

  • Gympie Times and Mary River Mining Gazette (Qld. : 1868 - 1919)

  • Humpybong Weekly and Advertiser (Redcliffe, Qld. : 1927 - 1932)

  • Ipswich Herald and General Advertiser (Qld. : 1861)

  • Johnstone River Advocate (Geraldton, Qld. : 1906 - 1908)

  • Johnstone River Advocate and Innisfail News (Qld. : 1928 - 1941)

  • The Leader (Brisbane, Qld. : 1918 - 1919)

  • Logan Witness (Beenleigh, Qld. : 1878 - 1893)

  • Logan and Albert Advocate (Qld. : 1893 - 1900)

  • Logan and Albert Bulletin (Southport, Qld. : 1896 - 1901; 1909; 1921; 1922; 1928)

  • The Longreach Leader (Qld. : 1923 - 1954)

  • Mackay Mercury (Qld. : 1887 - 1905)

  • Mackay Mercury and South Kennedy Advertiser (Qld. : 1867 - 1887)

  • Maryborough Chronicle (Qld. : 1947 - 1954)

  • Maryborough Chronicle, Wide Bay and Burnett Advertiser (Qld. : 1860 - 1947)

  • The Moreton Bay Courier (Brisbane, Qld. : 1846 - 1861)

  • Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Qld. : 1878 - 1954)

  • Morning Post (Cairns, Qld. : 1897 - 1907)

  • Nambour Chronicle and North Coast Advertiser (Qld. : 1922 - 1954)

  • Nashville Times, Gympie and Mary River Mining Gazette (Qld. : 1868)

  • National Leader (Brisbane, Qld. : 1916 - 1918)

  • The North Australian (Brisbane, Qld. : 1863 - 1865)

  • North Australian and Queensland General Advertiser (Ipswich, Qld. : 1862 - 1863)

  • The North Australian, Ipswich and General Advertiser (Ipswich, Qld. : 1856 - 1862)

  • The North Queensland Register (Townsville, Qld. : 1892 - 1905)

  • Northern Argus (Rockhampton, Qld. : 1865 - 1874)

  • The Northern Herald (Cairns, Qld. : 1913 - 1939)

  • The Northern Miner (Charters Towers, Qld. : 1874 - 1954)

  • The Northern Mining Register (Charters Towers, Qld. : 1891 - 1892)

  • The Northern Sportsman (Innisfail, Qld. : 1928)

  • Pittsworth Sentinel (Qld. : 1919 - 1954)

  • The Proserpine Guardian (Qld. : 1935 - 1954)

  • Queensland Country Life (Qld. : 1900 - 1954)

  • Queensland Figaro (Brisbane, Qld. : 1883 - 1885)

  • Queensland Figaro (Brisbane, Qld. : 1901 - 1936)

  • Queensland Figaro and Punch (Brisbane, Qld. : 1885 - 1889)

  • Queensland Times (Ipswich) (Qld. : 1909 - 1954)

  • Queensland Times, Ipswich Herald and General Advertiser (Qld. : 1861 - 1908)

  • The Queenslander (Brisbane, Qld. : 1866 - 1939)

  • Rockhampton Bulletin (Qld. : 1871 - 1878)

  • Rockhampton Bulletin and Central Queensland Advertiser (Qld. : 1861 - 1871)

  • South Coast Bulletin (Southport, Qld. : 1929 - 1954)

  • The South Coast Express (Surfers Paradise, Qld. : 1949 - 1951)

  • South Coast News (Southport, Qld. : 1952 - 1954)

  • Southern Queensland Bulletin (Southport, Qld. : 1888 - 1891)

  • Southport and Nerang Bulletin (Qld. : 1893)

  • The St. George Standard and Balonne Advertiser (Qld. : 1878 - 1879; 1902 - 1904)

  • Sunday Mail (Brisbane) (Qld. : 1926 - 1954)

  • The Telegraph (Brisbane, Qld. : 1872 - 1947)

  • Toowoomba Chronicle and Darling Downs General Advertiser (Qld. : 1875 - 1902)

  • The Toowoomba Chronicle and Queensland Advertiser (Qld. : 1861 - 1875)

  • Townsville Daily Bulletin (Qld. : 1907 - 1954)

  • Truth (Brisbane, Qld. : 1900 - 1954)

  • Warwick Argus (Qld. : 1879 - 1901)

  • Warwick Argus and Tenterfield Chronicle (Qld. : 1866 - 1879)

  • Warwick Daily News (Qld. : 1919 -1954)

  • Warwick Examiner and Times (Qld. : 1867 - 1919)

  • The Week (Brisbane, Qld. : 1876 - 1934)

  • The Western Champion (Barcaldine, Qld. : 1922 - 1937)

  • The Western Champion (Blackall/Barcaldine, Qld. : 1879 - 1891)

  • The Western Champion and General Advertiser for the Central-Western Districts (Barcaldine, Qld. : 1892 - 1922)

  • Western Star (Roma) (Toowoomba, Qld. : 1948 - 1954)

  • Western Star and Roma Advertiser (Toowoomba, Qld. : 1875 - 1948)

  • Worker (Brisbane, Qld. : 1890 - 1955)

Monday, 28 November 2016

25 Christmas Gift Ideas for the Genealogist in Your Life

It is that time of year again when the non-genealogist in the family is wondering what to get the
genealogist in their life (assuming said genealogist has not been leaving hints all over the place!)

Here are some suggestions:

1. A subscription to Legacy Family Tree Webinars 
US$49.95 annual subscription   

As of November 2016 over 443 webinars are available on demand 24/7 - over 616 hours of  instruction with handouts (in fact more than 2000 pages of handouts!)

Classes for all skill levels as can be seen in the image showing the categories including the Board for Certification of Genealogists, skill building webinars now available.

Guaranteed to keep them out of mischief for quite a while especially as there are new webinars added at very regular intervals!

2. Subscription to a pay data site such as Ancestry, Findmypast, The Genealogist, GenealogyBank, Fold3, MyHeritage etc. If you haven't already had a hint as to which one they would prefer (or already have), you may need to give a promissory note as depending on their area of research, they will likely have a preference.

3. Subscription to a Family History Society: 
  • their local one where they could attend meetings  do research and generally these societies will also have subscription to the paysites,  
  • a national Family History Society 
  • one in their ancestral area of interest.

4. Agree to do a DNA test for them (would be even nicer if you also agreed to pay for it). 

There are different types of tests (at different costs). For the autosomal test Ancestry in Australia is A$149 plus postage (US $99 plus postage) Family Tree DNA is US$79 plus postage.

Both have sales at regular intervals. (check prices in your country). As of 28 November 2016, FTDNA has a sale at US$59 for the autosomal test. It is not known how long this sale will last.

Most important thing is that the test is done with a company that has a genealogical database. For the autosomal test Ancestry currently has a database with over 2.5 million tests and steadily increasing and Family Tree DNA also has a large database (they also do other types of tests: Y-DNA and mtDNA).

5. A copy of Blaine Bettinger's book The Family Tree Guide to DNA Testing and Genetic Genealogy. This is an excellent book for anyone who is interested in DNA testing for genealogical purposes as Blaine writes in a clear and easy to understand way. Able to be ordered from all good book stores. it is also available as an ebook on Kindle.

He and Debbie Parker Wayne have also written  Genetic Genealogy in Practice. A workbook in areas of Y-DNA, mtDNA, X-DNA, atDNA, the Genealogical Proof Standard, ethics, and more.

This workbook shows how DNA testing is used in real genealogical examples. It shows what can be done and what can't be done using the new tool for genealogists:DNA. 

I strongly recommend both books. The workbook takes the theory and by doing the exercises enhances the learning. 
Published by the National Genealogical Society it is available in hard copy and also as an ebook with Kindle. The ebook does not have the same page numbers as the hard copy but does have hyperlinks from the test to the figures and tables and also to external web sites (if you have an Internet connection)

Both books are recent publications (2016).


6. A subscription to a genealogical magazine/journal of their choice.

7. Road Trip! 

Go on holiday to an ancestral place of interest with the understanding that they may have x days to do research in the archives, museum cemetery etc. (or offer to look after things at home so they can do the trip on their own or with a genealogical friend)

8. If in Australia, get them a registration to the Footsteps in Time conference being held May 2017 on the lovely Gold Coast Queensland. Sure to be plenty you could do there as a tourist while they were at the conference. Early bird registration is now open. Or the Australasian Congress which will be held in Sydney in 2018.

If not in Australia, registration at a genealogy seminar or conference of interest to them such as Rootstech in February 2017 in Salt Lake City, National Genealogical Society conference, Federation of Genealogical Societies, in England Who Do You Think You Are? Live.

There are so many confernces, seminars and local meetings available.

9. Promissory note for x number of certificates (birth, marriage or death) of their choice.

10. Gift certificate from Gould Genealogy the company in Australia that has been supplying the needs of genealogists for 40 years!

11. A subscription to Genealogy Gems Premium with Lisa Louise Cooke US$29.95 gives you access to her Premium podcast and a number of classes including her Evernote series and Google series. (Lisa also does a monthly free podcast available on iTunes)

12. Technology always goes well. A good headset microphone combination is the Microsoft Lifechat LX-3000 (then they will be able to listed to those webinars without disturbing anyone else)

13. Every genealogist needs to back up their research so an external drive is always an appreciated gift. External storage is now very cheap I recently bought a Seagate 4TB portable drive for A$268.

14. Cloud back up services are also an appreciated gift as "many copies keep it safe" Sadly computer drive will fail. It is just a matter of when. Cloud back up services like BackBlaze or Carbonite  automate the backup for you (there is a yearly subscription).

15. Even more technology, most genealogists use a computer so maybe a new laptop or an iPad. 

16. A family history program that stores your family information on your own computer. There are many programs around and this is where the person should probably choose the one they like.Programs like Legacy, Rootsmagic, Family Historian, FamilyTree Maker are all family history programs. Some have free versions that do 90%+ of the full product while others have a trial version so you can "try before you buy".

There are also other programs of value to family historians such as Evidentia, Map My Family Tree, Clooz, Charting Companion, Genelines (all available from here), Custodian 4

17. Gift certificate for office supplies. I have never come across a genealogist yet that didn't like office supplies!

18. Archival supplies. Genealogist have treasured family papers and these should be stored in archival protective materials. Gould Genealogy in Australia have a range of archival supplies or overseas do a search for archival suppliers.

19. Scanner to scan all those photos and documents. Many people have the all in one printers now that can also scan photos and documents or you can get a stand alone scanner.

20. Slide/negative scanner Most genealogists have a collection (horde) of 35mm slides and negatives that need to be scanned. This site has a review of a number of slide/negative scanners.

21. It is not just photos, slides and negatives that genealogists have. They also have family heirlooms that they should be recording for the future. One way of doing this is using Shotbox which has it own lighting system which makes for much better images and you can use a smartphone. Also useful for photographing craft items or items for sale on eBay.

22. Not every gift for your genealogist needs to cost money. Perhaps you could write a blank cheque for a day a month where you will look after things at home and they can visit an archives or library. Or maybe a blank cheque for an evening at home where the genealogist has research time in their study.

23. If the genealogist in your life does not have a dedicated "genealogy area"  in the house are you able to create one for them?

24. Are you a computer whiz who is good at using Photoshop or a graphics program that could digitally restore a photograph for them? Every genealogist has photos that need restoring.

25. Maybe you could write that blank cheque for x hours talking about your childhood, school days, or the time before you were together. 

Perhaps find some of the photos of your life or family  and write the story of the photo. It is so much easier than it sounds.

You get the photo and then:

When was it taken and who took it?
Where was it taken?
Why was it taken?
Who is in it?
What was your memory of the occasion?

This will be valued by the genealogist in your life.