29 November 2015

A house in my heart

Home is where the heart is, or so the saying goes. When a house is truly a home, memories of that house are embedded in our lives. This week horrific fires ravaged the mid-north region of South Australia and dozens of houses were lost.

In the midst of the fire region a house precious to my family was saved through bravery, fortune, blessings and the heroic dedication and fire-fighting knowledge and skills of my brother and his son. They lost property as paddocks burned and they endured a terrifying experience as smoke and flames swirled around them, so we are thankful they are safe. Thank you Maurice and Tom.

The house is the one our parents built in the 1950s, the family having outgrown the small original homestead abutting the creek. Many happy years have been spent beneath its roof, many tales could that house tell if its walls could speak. As my siblings and I matured and moved away to jobs, marriages and places near and far, my brother and his wife worked the farm and raised their large family in this house. Thousands of hours, lifetimes of hard farming work by my brother, father and our ancestors are continued by a nephew who lives in the house and farms the land.

One of my nieces, Rachel, has offered comforting words via Facebook. Her words sum up what many of us are thinking.

For all of the farming families who are close to my heart that have lost so much in these fires there are no words for me to offer you, I am devastated for you. Once you have gone through the grief, find that optimism that you are so good at and think of your families before you who built the farm up from nothing ......
She concludes:

My love, thoughts and prayers are with you all. If there is any way I can help just ask.
This is the property our ancestors have been farming since 1859 with purchase of the land in 1863. Houses, places, people - the heart of our family stories.


3 November 2015

Galvin wedding in the news

My interest in family history has led me to my search for my husband's ancestors.I knew my husband's grandfather was John Michael Galvin and that he had died in Victoria about the time we had met. An easy place to start was Trove. I built a list of Galvin related announcements then proceeded to verify details with other sources of information relating to this family. Several months into my research I discovered my beloved father-in-law John Dominic Galvin 1918-2003, had compiled a hand drawn tree on paper which was in our filing cabinet. I was delighted to discover that what I had reconstructed from sources matched his findings even though his sources were undocumented.

 Here is a notice for the wedding of his parents John Michael Galvin and Grace Walmsley Payne.
A full description of the wedding was also included in the same paper.

A pretty wedding was celebrated before a Choral Mass in St. Patrick's Church, Adelaide, on November 21, the contracting parties being Mr. Jack M. Galvin, eldest son of Mr. and Mrs. J. P. Galvin, of Adelaide, and Miss Grace Walmsley Payne, youngest daughter of Mrs. E. Payne, of Adelaide. Rev. Father O'Sullivan officiated. 
The bride, who was conducted to the altar by her brother, Mr. E. Payne, looked charming in a dress of ivory silk poplin (tunic effect), and carried a shower bouquet. The first bridesmaid, Miss Annie Walmsley (cousin of the bride), wore a dainty Assam, silk costume and black hat with pink trimmings. The second bridesmaid, Miss Kathleen Dineen (cousin of the bridegroom), was charmingly dressed in a Japanese silk frock costume with black hat relieved with pink. 
The duties of best man were performed by Mr. James Dineen, of Mile-End. Mr. Arthur Watts led the choir, Mrs. V. Brown being organist. During the Mass the bride and bridegroom approached Communion together. 
At the breakfast, held at the residence of the parents of the bridegroom. Rev. Father O'Sullivan proposed the toast of the bride and bridegroom, and spoke in eulogistic praise of the newly married couple and wished them every success. The bridegroom suitably responded. The toast of the bridesmaids was proposed by Mr. E. Payne and Mr. J. Dineen responded, and that of the parents of the bride and bridegroom was proposed by Mr. F. P. Keogh and responded to by Mr. J. P. Galvin. The happy couple were the recipients of costly and numerous presents. A very pleasant time was spent on the evening of the wedding, when many of their numerous friends were present.
1918 'Family Notices.', Southern Cross (Adelaide, SA : 1889 - 1954), 18 January, p. 16, viewed 3 November, 2015, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article166985060

 On the same day, Jan 18th, 1918 further down the Family Notices this Silver Wedding notice caught my attention. It alerted me to the names of the grandparents of John Michael Galvin and also provided some details about his mother Catherine Josephine O'Neill. Thanks to Trove my Galvin research was off to a good start.