It is with great pleasure that I take up Helen Smith’s 2013 Australia Day Challenge. Helen writes:
“Australia Day, 26th January is a day we celebrate what makes us Australian.
Regardless of whether your ancestor came 40 000 years ago or yesterday and regardless of where they were from, together their descendants are Australian.
Your challenge (should you choose to accept it) is to tell the story of your first Australian ancestor.”
I began this blogging journey one year ago today, Australia Day 2012, as a means of sharing my genealogy research, and family stories, with my Ancestor’s descendants wherever they may be. In fact, the very title of this Blog, “Seeking Susan ~ Meeting Marie ~ Finding Family” reflects this focus which has been described in ABOUT THIS BLOG
There are LINKS provided below to the many stories I’ve written already about the first of my Ancestors to migrate to this wide, brown land and settle in South Australia. Some may be of interest to you.
On my maternal side, the first to arrive was my Great Great Grandmother, Susan Kelleher, who at the age of 18 travelled from County Clare, Ireland, to South Australia, on the ill-fated ship the “Nashwauk”.
* To read about the shipwreck, as Susan was finally close to land, just click HERE
* Cc – is for Cousin Lizzie, provides a great deal of information about Susan’s life
* It’s an ongoing battle to ensure that the anchor from Susan’s ship, the Nashwauk, is indeed put back on public display and does not just disappear… You can read about this HERE
* This LINK will take you through to my attempts, so far, to locate Susan’s family in Ireland
* Lately I’ve become most interested in discovering how Susan’s life, just 19 years after South Australia was colonised, compared with that of one of our greatest explorers, John McDouall Stuart. It’s a work in progress and, if interested, just click HERE
The first of my paternal ancestors to arrive in Oz is my dad, Harry Scarborough Crout. Like Susan, he too was an “assisted migrant” although 73 years later but for exactly the same reason i.e. as an Agricultural Labourer to enable those who’d come earlier to develop their land… always with the hope/ promise that ultimately they too would become “landholders”.
* Dad was only 16 years old when he arrived in Sydney Harbor, NSW, as part of “Dreadnought Scheme” in 1928, just as the iconic “Sydney Harbour Bridge” was reaching it’s final stages of construction. You can read about it HERE
* This LINK talks about dad’s birthplace in Leeds, Yorkshire, England… which turns out to be his maternal Grandmother’s home and has recently provided me with lots of family links
* HERE I’ve written about finally locating dah’s beloved home in Mossman Street, Windhill, Shipley,Yorkshire, England.
* Dad’s first wife, Connie Evans, who was my mum’s beloved older half sister, died 2 months after giving birth to their still born “Baby Crout”. So grateful was I to be able to ensure that there’s a memorial to him, and his parents, at the West Terrace Cemetery, Adelaide, SA.
* THIS is a fun post about one of my dad’s “antics” with his mother-in-law (x2) whilst recovering from the trauma described above.
* Just click HERE if you want to read about the marriage of my beautiful parents.
To finish off, I MUST share this favourite song of my dad. Relates back to his mam’s Scottish heritage. Harry Scarborough Crout, from Leeds, Yorkshire, England, loved to challenge his Ozzie children to repeat the following words as quickly as they could:
“If ye can say it’s a braugh bricht moonlicht nicht t’nicht then ye alricht ye ken…”
Whilst being very proud of my Ancestors who fled often horrific conditions in their home – land and gave me, and mine, a better chance at life I am conflicted knowing that this was, and still is, at the expense of the traditional owners of this beautiful land we claim as our own – Australia.
Our previous Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, gave the apology. May it now be followed up with meaningful action.
Copyright © 2013. Catherine Ann Crout-Habel.