My Canadian Cousins

How can one describe the amazement, euphoria and sheer exhilaration in not only finding that missing link in your “family story” but also making the personal connection and with the knowledge that your long lost relatives are as delighted as you are to have found each other ??? …

I’ve posted many stories about my dad, Harry Scarborough Crout, who came to Australia as part of the Dreadnought Scheme at the tender age of 16.  His intention was never to stay in Australia but simply to make lots of money to take back home to his beloved “mam”. Seems that the little boy that my dad was, at that time, really did buy into the myth/ propaganda that Australia’s roads were all but “paved with gold”.

Life’s events over took my father when his mum, Marie (Ogilvie) Crout died way before her time. Dad said that when his “mam” died he never had anything “to go home” for. He was 19 years old, alone and adrift in these strange country of Australia right in the midst of “The Great Depression”.

Harry Scarborough Crout, riding pillion, aged 17 – 1929 (c) C.Crout-Habel

Family “stories” come and go and I’ve found that some are complete fabrications but, more often than not, there is a grain of truth in every one which simply needs to be teased out… and so it was with my dad’s story of his father as a Clarionet Player in the British Army.

The most recent of my posts, re: dad’s father, was on the Gould “Family History Through the Alphabet Challenge“, titled “Mm is for – Mysterious Musicians and Mariners”.  Since then my email connections have almost gone into melt down and not just because of this blog post.

Long story to short, I now have a photo of my Grandfather, as a very young man, to compare with that of the 1899 photo of the “2nd Dragoon Guards.” Best of all is that the photos just keep flooding in, along with recently discovered “Canadian Cousins” equally excited as I am to share our family stories.  

This is the only photo I’ve had, to date, of my paternal grandfather – my mysterious musician, but which “likely lad” is he… and maybe he was “off sick” on that day?

Just perused a photo sent by one of my newly discovered “Canadian Cousins” to try help with the identification. Will put it on-line when June gives her approval 

Lots more stories and photos to come, as my newly discovered Canadian Cousins share their memories. How lucky am I, eh? Bursting out with happiness and just had to share.

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Copyright © 2012. C.A.Crout-Habel. “Seeking Susan ~ Meeting Marie ~ Finding Family

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Oo is for – Old Scottish Recipes

Here I am, a South Ozzie girl, with the Highlands of Scotland pulsating through my veins. It’s always a delight to learn anything, at all, about my Scottish Ancestors and this “Family History Through the Alphabet” post is focussing on Scottish recipes from the year 1828. I have no idea whether any of my Ancestors actually cooked and/ or ate these foods, but they fascinate me, non-the-less.

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ROOK PIE
Skin the birds; cut out the back bones season them with pepper and salt. Lay a beef-steak in the bottom of the dish, and put a good deal of thickened melted butter over the birds. Cover with a common crust. A quarter of an hour will bake them.

SCOTCH WHITE PUDDING
Mince good beef-suet, but not too finely, and mix it with about a third of its own weight of nicely toasted oatmeal. Season very highly with pepper salt and finely-shred onions. Have the skins thoroughly cleaned, and cut of equal lengths. Fill them with the ingredients, and fasten the ends with a wooden pin or small feather. Boil the puddings for an hour picking them up as they swell in the pot, to let out the air. They will keep for months in bran or oatmeal. When to be used, warm them on the gridiron, and serve very hot.

FIRE PUDDINGS IN SKINS
Mince apples and grate biscuit; take an equal weight to those of minced mutton suet. Sweeten this with sugar and season with cinnamon and grated nutmeg. Moisten the whole with wine, or any well flavoured liquor and fill the skins, but not too full as the bread swells. Boil and serve hot.
Observations – These will keep for a week or ten days, and re-warm. Another kind is made of rice boiled in milk, with suet, currants, sugar and seasonings. The suet in these puddings should not be shred too small, nor left yet in lumps.

CHINA CHILO
Mince a pound and a half of good mutton, and four ounces of mutton suet. Stew this in broth or with butter, and add greenpease, young onions and a little shred of lettuce. Season with salt, cayenhe, and white pepper. Heap rice round a shallow soup-dish, and serve stew in the middle.
Observations. – Veal or fowl may be dressed as above. A little currie-powder may be added to the seasoning.

WINTER HOTCH-POTCH
This dish may be made of either fresh beef, or of a neck or back-ribs of mutton. Cut four pounds of meat into handsome pieces. Boil and skim this well, and add carrots and turnips sliced small leeks and parsley cut down, and some German greens finely shred, and put in only before the soup is completed. Season with pepper and salt. The quantity of vegetables must be suited to the quantity of meat so that the soup may have consistency but not be disagreeably thick. Serve the meat and soup together.

FRUIT PIES, &c
Fruit pies require a light and rich crust. Fruits that have been preserved are generally baked in an open crust, and are ornamented with paste bars, basket-work, stars &c. The fruit must not be put in till the crust is baked, as the oven injures the colour of preserved things. 
Rhubarb Pie. – Peel off the skin from stalks of young rhubarb, and cut them into bits of about an inch and a half. Stew them slowly in sugar and water till soft, mash and make them into a covered pie or an open tart.
Observations. – Fresh good cream is a very great improvement to all fruit pies and tarts. The next best thing is plain custard. In England the cream is often sweetened, thickened with with beat yolks of eggs and poured over the fruit. In Scotland cream for tart is usually served by itself, either plain or whisked.

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RESOURCE:  The cook and housewife manual. SCOTLANDS PRIMARY COOKBOOK. Miscellaneous National Dishes. (1828) by Magaret Dodds. http://www.books.google.com.au

Copyright © 2012. C.A.Crout-Habel. “Seeking Susan ~ Meeting Marie ~ Finding Family.

Nn is for – No News on the “Nashwauk” anchor

Hopefully the old proverb “No news is good news” will prove to be correct regarding the whereabouts, and well-being, of the “Nashwauk” anchor. The plan has always been that this “Family History Through the Alphabet” post would be titled, “News on the Nashwauk anchor”, as a follow up to my initial post “Safe Return of the ‘Nashwauk’ anchor”, but I’ve been forced to change the plan because, try as I might, no news is forthcoming.

My Susan, one of the people for whom this Blog is named, arrived in South Australia in a “bride ship”, the “Nashwauk”. It ran aground/ was wrecked off our south coast on 13 May 1855. You can read about the wreck, the young Irish girls carried ashore on the backs of sailors and the recovery of the ship’s anchor, some 70 years later, by clicking HERE. You will also read about the sterling work of the Australian National Museum, under the direction of Dr Reid, in restoring and putting the anchor on display last year as part of the splendid Irish in Australia Exhibition titled, “Not Just Ned”.

With my 3 brothers, mum and the Nashwauk Anchor circa 1954. (c) 2012. C.Crout-Habel

After following up the concerns of a number of people I was delighted to report, in April 2012, that the anchor was safely back in South Australia, there would be a “consultation process” re: it’s eventual placement and all was well with the world. That was four months ago. The last news I had, from the person in charge of the Project, was two  months ago and his advice was:

“No news as yet just waiting on engagement strategy to be signed off from Senior Management. Will let you know when I have something to show you.”

With this blog post coming up I contacted him about three weeks ago and no reply. Then I wrote to the Lady Mayor of the City of Onkaparinga advising of the situation and that I had a Blog post waiting to be written. Ms Rosenberg’s reply was immediate in letting me know that this gentlemen had left the employ of the council and she would follow up on my request. Hearing nothing further, for almost 2 weeks, I emailed again and was informed:

“I am waiting for a staff response.”

So, yesterday I rang the Moana Caravan Park, whom I understood had the “Nashwauk” anchor in their safe-keeping, and was told they knew nothing other than that the Council was planning to consult with the public. grrr… My next “port of call” was the receptionist at the Council and, “bless her little cotton socks”, Crystal was the first person who talked any sense and actually got some action happening. Within half an hour the young woman, who had taken on the Senior Project Manager’s job, was on the phone to me. She had only started work the previous day but was meeting with her manager the next day (today) and that was high on her list of priorities for discussion. I was assured she would phone, or email, immediately after the meeting. The silence is deafening.

So, there you have it folks. It’s now been 2 years since our Anchor was taken to share with the rest of Australia and I’m losing patience. It may be said that “No news is good news” but, for me…

© Copyright 2012. C.A.Crout-Habel.  “Seeking Susan ~ Meeting Marie ~ Finding Family”

Mm is for – Mysterious Musicians and Mariners

Family History Through the Alphabet Challenge

Dad certainly had one fact about his mysterious father correct – Henry (Harry) Eden Crout was indeed a Musician, a Clarionet player, in the British Army. It seems unlikely, however, that he knew that many of his father’s Ancestors were Seamen, and Mariners of some note, for no doubt he would have regaled us endlessly with delightful tales of amazing adventures on “the High Seas”. I dedicate this Family History Through the Alphabet Challenge” to my dad, Harry Scarborough Crout and his paternal Ancestors, those “Mysterious Musicians and Mariners”.

Dad came to Australia, a sixteen year old lad, as part of the “Dreadnought Scheme”. He came for adventure, and to make his fortune “to take home to mam”, but events overtook him and he remained in Australia. Whilst he talked a lot about his mum, her family and growing up in Shipley, Yorkshire, he had litte information to share about his dad. He seemed reluctant to talk about his father saying he hardly knew him because he was away a lot with the Army. I also remember dad saying that the family’s, of both his mother and father, never “got along”.

My search for this “Mysterious Musician”, my Grandfather, began with a copy of the Marriage Certificate which both confirmed and confused. The best clue was the recording of his profession as “Private 2nd Dragoon Guards”. It didn’t take long to discover that the Regimental Band of the 2nd Dragoon Guards was stationed at Fulford, York, Yorkshire, England in 1899 which is the same year that he met and married my Grandmother, Marie Ogilvie a Yorkshire lass, in York. Henry (Harry) Eden Moody, whose name and his mother’s was changed to Crout on the 1891 Census, was born in Battersea, London, England on 21 March 1880.

How excited I was to see on-line, and to be able to purchase, a photo of the Band, taken that same year, despite knowing that none of the band members are named. However, I do have a description of Henry (Harry) Eden Crout taken from his “Attestation Papers” when he joined the “Canadian Expeditionary Force” on 20 July 1915. I keep trying to pick which of these strapping young blokes is my Grand-father, my “Mysterious Musician” but no luck. Maybe you can help?  He is 19 years old in the photo and described, 15 years later, as:

A Clarionet player, 5ft 7ins tall, dark complexion, brown eyes, black hair, girth when fully extended 36 ins (rate of expansion 2 1/2 inches). Three vaccination scars on left arm and 3 scars on right shoulder. A tattoo of a Heart and Arrow on left forearm and, on right forearm, a Cross and Anchor.”

 

Below is a picture of his son, Harry Scarborough Crout, at about same age.

Harry Scarborough Crout, riding pillion, aged 17 – 1929 (c) C.Crout-Habel

Harry Scarborough Crout aged 29years. (c) C.Crout-Habel

The Mysterious Mariners

Reading that my Grandfather had a Cross and Anchor tattoo, which I later discovered is a “Maritime Cross”, flipped me right back to that Marriage Certificate. Not only does he incorrectly name himself, and his father as Harry Edward Crout when both were Henry Eden Crout but also wrongly claimed his father to be a “Retired Seaman”. What is going on here?… thinks I. Many hours, days, weeks, months and now years of research are finally bringing the answers. He used his Grandfather’s name for himself and his dad, when marrying, and also his Grandfather’s profession. It is his Grandfather who is Henry Edward Crout (1814 – 1875) and he was indeed a Seaman, first going to sea at the age of 16.

The possible reasons my Grandfather gave mis-leading information is another story, for another day. Suffice to say their daughter, my dad’s sister Annie Ruby Crout, was born 22 Dec 1899 and just one month after they married. Soon after, he went off to the Boer War and I understand that the 2nd Dragoon Guards remained in South Africa for a further 8 years, as part of the occupying force. He was simply a Private. As I understand it, the Army would not accept responsibility for re-locating his wife, and child, because the Commanding Officer had not given permission for the marriage.

After answering a lot of questions, rattling round in my head, it was soon time to focus attention on the “Mysterious Mariners” … and what a revelation that’s been. The numbers keep growing almost daily but, to date, I’ve located the following Seamen/ Mariners to be amongst my dad’s Ancestors.

Henry Edward Crout (1814-1875) Seaman, Merchant Navy (Great Grandfather)
John Thomas Crout (1772-1841) Master, Navy (Great Great Grandfather)
John Thomas Crout (1810-1859) Master, Navy (Great Uncle)
Frederick Orlando Crout (1822-1902) Master Mariner (Great Uncle)
Henry Edward Crout (1842-1912) Seaman, Navy (2nd cousin?)
Frederick Orlando Crout (1847-1930) Seaman living/working Wales (2nd cousin?)

So there you have it. A few of the discoveries I’ve made, so far, about my “Mysterious Musicians and Mariners”. When telling my daughter about this aspect of her Ancestry, her comment was “No wonder Grandad was such an Adventurer, mum”. 

If you have any thoughts on which of those likely young lads may be my Grandfather, I’d be delighted to hear them.

Cheers, Catherine

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Copyright © 2012. C.A.Crout-Habel. “Seeking Susan ~ Meeting Marie ~ Finding Family”

Ll is for – Life on the Laura Blocks

Family History Through the Alphabet Challenge

“Be damned the rain… be damned my bad back… I have to know!” muttered mum as she tottered up the long steep driveway. It was the winter of 1986 and we’d driven 240 miles from Adelaide, the Capital of South Australia, to the small mid-north town of Laura in search of my Nana’s childhood home on the “Laura Blocks”. Mum last saw “the cottage” 40 years before, had a picture of it in her mind, knew it was being used to store hay but we couldn’t find it. This “Gould Family History Through the Alphabet” post is dedicated to the courage and perseverance of my Murrays, and the other 12 families of the “Laura Blocks”, who pushed on through the frontier, battling to eke a living from an inhospitable land, whilst facing the wrath of the original inhabitants, the Ngadjuri and Nukunu peoples, whose own lifestyle and livelihoods were being destroyed by the new settlers.

The land in the mid north of South Australia was settled by Europeans in the early 1840’s, some 4 years after the first landing at Glenelg in 1836. In 1843 the brothers Bristow Herbert Hughes and Herbert Bristow Hughes open up the county along the Rocky River. The town of Laura was founded on their “Booyoolie Station” land in 1872, as a staging post on the Main North Road from Adelaide, and named after Herbert Hughes’ wife, Laura White, who migrated with her family from Dorset, England, in 1843.

“Until 1894, the area that is now the Laura Blocks, was a property of 52 hectares (130 acres) situated 5 Kms (3miles) north of Laura. The Rocky River and a tributary creek ran through it and there was a three roomed stone house in the centre of the farm. The land was purchased by the Crown (Government) and surveyed into 13 Homestead Blocks with each block having access to the then permanent water supply of the Rocky River. Working Men’s leases were granted on the 1st April 1895 and thirteen ‘pioneer’ families began new chapters in their lives.”  (1)

Laura Block 22 marked with *

My Great Grandfather 18 year old Peter Murray, born in County Cork, Ireland, arrived in South Australia aboard the “Berar” in 1883. Three years later, on 3 Jan 1886, he married Eliza Jane Rowan at St Peters Church, Gladstone. 

Eliza Jane is the 5th child of “my Susan”, Susan (Kelleher) Nicholls from Country Clare, Ireland, and her second husband Timothy Rowen who also migrated from County Clare but not alone. Timothy came with his two brothers and a sister-in-law.  Eliza Jane was born in Armagh, just outside of Clare, South Australia, and moved to Laura with her mother and siblings after a family scandal and court case, in 1875.

The early years of Peter and Eliza Jane’s marriage were spent in Broken Hill, New South Wales, where the discovery of silver offered them a number of opportunities. Peter worked in the mines whilst Eliza Jane ran one of the first boarding establishments, under canvas, to cater for the huge influx of miners. Intitially Eliza Jane and Peter lived in a tent and provided accommodation, for two others, in another small tent. Shift worked enabled these sleeping quarters to be shared and, before long, Eliza Jane purchased a marquee from Flavels in Rundle Street, Adelaide, and expanded into a very successful business. A fire led to the move into a rented weather-board cottage and the business continued to flourish.

These successes were marred by great sadness with the death of their first two children, Peter Murray and Walter Murray, which you can read about here. On 19 Sep 1892, 20 months after the death of Walter my Nana, Mary Elizabeth Murray, was also born at Broken Hill. The high infant mortality rate there, at this time, may have led to their decision to leave “the Hill”. In 1888 there were 358 deaths per 1000 and over a quarter of these were under 1 year old.

The most prevalent causes of death were Typhoid or Enteric Fever (Barrier Fever) followed closely by pneumonia and other lung complaints. (2)

Eliza Jane and Peter returned to Stone Hut, South Australia, a small town north of Laura where their fourth child Daphne Murray was born on 30 Dec 1893. Sadly Daphne lived only 3 days and is buried in the Laura Cemetery, Catholic Section, Grave 0833.

Beatrice May Murray, their fifth child, was born at Stone Hut on 12 Mar 1895 and just a few weeks later, on 1 Apr 1895, Peter took up the lease on Section 22 of the Laura Blocks. 

As the first European occupiers Peter and Eliza Jane built their home using local materials and, in particular, rocks brought up from the Rocky River which ran nearby. Family members described it as a typical, and very small, Irish cottage with a thatched roof which was later found, by the Gill family, when the galvanised iron was removed. It had a window on each side of the door and a chimney, jutting out to one side, with the inside hearth flush with the wall. Initially Eliza Jane cooked on a grate with hobs on either side and a hook from which to hang the boiler. The luxury of a wood stove came much later.

Six more children were born to the family during difficult times:

Andrew Patrick Murray (1879 – 1972)
Walter Henry (Harry) Murray (1901 – 1968)
Hilda Jane Murray (1903 – 1972)
Margaret Helen Murray (1905 – 1973)
Victor Alic Murray (1907 – 1982)
Dorothy Grace Murray (1909 – ? )

My Grandmother (Elizabeth Mary Murray) passed onto her daughter, who passed onto me, her experiences from the age of 8 growing up on the Laura Blocks. She told of the harshness of life on a land which was rocky, barren and infertile. Without the benefits of the fertilizers and soil improvers, which came later, it was an ongoing battle to eke out even a modest living from the barren soil. Eliza Jane, and the children, worked the land whilst Peter worked away for extended periods of time.

Eliza Jane grew onions as a cash crop. The water was bucketed from the creek. She kept geese, ducks and chooks and sold the eggs at the hotel. During the day the geese, ducks and chooks had the run of the farmyard and it was the responsibility of the children to ensure they were locked away, from the foxes, at night.

My grandmother told how eventually her mum saved enough money to buy a cow to provide milk for the children, although she never drank milk or consumed dairy products herself. The story is that, having worked as a dairymaid before marriage, the though of milk repulsed her but she was determined to provide this nourishment for her children so they would have “strong bones”. Each morning, before school, it was the children’s responsibility to take the cow across the swing footbridge to the other side of the river to graze and to return it before nightfall. One night the cow was forgotten and it met with an unfortunate “accident” in the creek, breaking it’s neck. My nana talked about her fear and trepidation, as a small child, in bringing the cow back across that swinging bridge.

Peter’s wages, and the money earned from the block’s produce, was often not sufficient to live on and make the lease payments so Eliza Jane found other ways to earn money. For many years she further supplemented the family income by walking into Laura weekly, with a baby on her hip and a toddler “at the skirts”, to do the washing for the local hotel and to sell her eggs. The legacy she carried, for the remainder of her life, was a displacement of the hips. It was heavy work. In addition to the clothing of the hotelier’s family, Eliza Jane also washed heavy items such as the bed linen, tablecloths and towels used by the hotel patrons. This was done in a galvanised iron tub with a washing board. The “whites” were boiled in a copper and the heavy linen was put through a mangle before being hung to dry. Peter Murray visited the hotel regularly to collect his wife’s pay… he and the Hotelier had “an arrangement”. 

Fettlers, like Peter Murray, laboured on building and repairing the Railroad and coming home to supervise the family’s work on “the pumper”.  Vit Tobin, late of Laura, married a child of the “Laura Blocks” and remembered the Murray family well. It was a delight to spend time with her and hearing her confirm the family stories. She described the gang of Railroad workers, stationed at Stone Hut,  and the women working the blocks to pay the Government Lease with the hope of eventualy owning the land… and yes, the Railroad workers did travel the track on “the pumper” both to supervise work on the block and to collect their pay from the “Pay car” pulled into the Laura station for this purpose. I was told that “the pumper” was also used, by the children, to bring “the father” home when he was “too taken with the drink.”      

They had no electricity, in their little cottage, and Eliza Jane made candles by rendering down fat purchased from the butcher. They also had “slush lamps” which was a lump of fat, with a piece of cotton flux which would melt the fat and provide a little light. They were very smoky and smelly and candles were much preferred.  Family talk included the whitewashing of the cottage, inside and out, every Christmas so that it sparkled. This was the task of the two older boys, Andrew and Harry. It was remembered, with delight, how when Andrew was old enough to go working as a labourer, for a little cash, he would sometimes come home with the luxury of a bought candle for his beloved mother.

Andrew also planted a Mulberry bush, for his mother to hang her washing from, and a fig tree because she so loved fig and almond jam. Hanging washing to dry on hedges was an Irish tradition, for the working class, and a practice continued in rural areas, in Australia, right into the middle of the 20th Century. A strongly held to belief was that the washing must be brought in by nightfall. If, however, it was inadventently left out then it must remain until morning so as not to disturb “the faeries” who may be sheltering there.

Life on the Block was not an easy one for the Murray family. With their father working away, for extended periods of time, the children worked hard alongside their mother to meet the lease payments and ensure their family home could be kept. A closeness was forged, between the children and their mother, with a sense of protectivess growing as they shared the grim reality of a harsh life. The stories and memories have been passed onto following generations as a celebration of the courage and fortitude of these early settlers… our Ancestors.

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My mum displayed these same qualities all her life and were certainly apparent back in 1986 when, despite ill health and bad weather, she determinedly pushed on and finally her belief was confirmed. Yes, she had the correct property!!! The reason she couldn’t find her mum’s childhood home was because time, and the elements, had reduced it to a slab and a few scattered rocks in a barren field.

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PRINTED RESOURCES:
(1) Rhonda Pech, Box 89, Laura, South Australia, 5480. Original research.
(2) Kennedy, Brian, SILVER, SIN, AND SIXPENNY ALE: A Social History of Broken Hill, 1883-1921. Melbourne, University Press, 1978. ISBN 0 522 84141 4.

FURTHER INTERNET RESOURCES:
Northern Areas Council: http://www.nacouncil.sa.gov.au/page.aspx?u=191
Australia for Everyone: http://www.australiaforeveryone.com.au/places_laura.htm
Map: http://www.planbooktravel.com.au/australia/sa/laura
Laura Cemetery and photo, as shown above: http://austcemindex.com/cemetery.php?id=624

Rocky River Historic & Art Society Inc. PO Box 18, Laura, South Australia, 5480

Copyright © 2012. Catherine A Crout-Habel. “Seeking Susan ~ Meeting Marie ~ Finding Family”