A Kiwi in search of her Irish, English & Scottish tribes

Month: May 2011

Another Gaffaney Plot ~ Tombstone Tuesday

Peter Dominic & Margaret Gaffaney, gravestone, Bromley Cemetery, Christchurch, NZ1

Peter Dominic & Margaret Gaffaney, gravestone, Bromley Cemetery, Christchurch, NZ

In Loving Memory of
Beloved Wife of
Peter Gaffaney
Died 16th Nov 1931
Also her Loved Husband
Peter Gaffaney
Died 4th July 1954


Michael Dominic & Agnes Gaffaney, gravestone, Bromley Cemetery, Christchurch, NZ1

Michael Dominic & Agnes Gaffaney, gravestone, Bromley Cemetery, Christchurch, NZ

Also Their Loved Son
Michael Dominic
Died 5th Sept 1990 Aged 80
Dearly Loved Husband of
Died 25th Sept 1995 Aged 81

My great grandmother Margaret (O’Rourke) Gaffaney is buried in Bromley Cemetery, Christchurch, New Zealand, along with her husband Peter Dominic Gaffaney, their son Michael Dominic and his wife Agnes (Burke).

The monumental masons managed to bodge both gravestones – getting the date of death wrong for my great grandfather, and again for his son.

Many thanks to the kind Trade Me genealogy forum member who located and photographed the gravestone for me.

  1. Bromley Cemetery (Linwood Avenue, Bromley, Christchurch, New Zealand), Peter Gaffaney & family gravestones, Block 24, Plot 64; photograph supplied by [NAME FOR PRIVATE USE], April 2011.

Tombstone Tuesday is an ongoing series at GeneaBloggers.

Percy Luxton, Merchant Seaman ~ Maritime Monday

Poor Percy, I have seriously neglected finishing his tale. Though to be honest, I know only a little of his life.

Last time we met Percy, he had worked his passage over to Bermuda and was living there with his parents and two sisters. From captions on some photos, I’ve deduced he was a merchant seaman. Since he’s the only one I’ve found in my family tree so far, I’m kind of excited! I need to get myself off to the National Archives and check out their Fourth Register of Merchant Seaman’s Service, which covers the years 1913 -1940.

So that’s my tenuous maritime link. What happened to Percy after Bermuda? Well, he must have turned up back in England, because he married Daphne Wills in 1934 and the marriage was registered at Dartford. I found a photograph of them, and I wonder if it is a wedding photo?

Percy and Daphne Luxton

Percy and Daphne Luxton

His mother Lavinia (bless her green pen!) wrote on the back of the photo, and obviously sent the photo to her brother Alex (my great grandfather) in New Zealand.

She also sent this photo of Daphne and her son “Terry John”

Daphne Luxton and son Terry John

Daphne Luxton and son Terry John

According to my cousin Lally, Percy and Daphne had three sons: Terry, Paddy and Sean, and Percy worked “on the railway”.

Percy and his wife Daphne came out to New Zealand for a visit, probably in the 1960s – it was after my mother had left home, and she was living in Auckland, as she didn’t meet them. My great grandfather Alex, Percy’s uncle, had died in 1956, but they visited family in Gisborne, and also stayed for a couple of weeks with Percy’s cousin George and his wife Jean in Taranaki, my grandparents. Apparently, they drove my grandmother a little “round the bend”, says Mum, as they didn’t want to go anywhere, just happy to sit around, chat and drink cups of tea!

Jean Wright and Daphne Luxton

Jean Wright and Daphne Luxton

Daphne looks like she’s enjoying herself nonetheless!

I don’t know what happened to Percy and Daphne – hopefully I can find out one day.

Kent Family History Fair, Maidstone

Popped in to the Kent Family History Fair today as it was just down the road.  Had a browse through some postcards, having been inspired by John Gasson at The Wandering Genealogist, and his postcard collecting.   I lasted about 15 minutes, and didn’t find anything I really wanted to purchase.  I think I’d like to have a little shopping list next time. 

What I did buy was a CD I’d been eyeing up online – the Kent Family History Society‘s Poor-law Records for Mid-Kent, which contains indexes of settlement certificates, bastardy bonds, removal and settlement examinations, etc, chiefly from the Poor Law Union areas of Gravesend & Milton, Hoo, Strood (or North Aylesford), Milton, Hollingbourne, Maidstone, Malling, Tonbridge, Cranbrook and Dartford (for parishes where records are held at Maidstone or Medway).

Happily I found a mention of the ancestor I was looking for! Now that I know the records are there, I can go take a look at the original documents, and also check the parish vestry minutes for the time period, see if there are any other mentions.

The other item I bought was a CD from the bargain box – Pigot’s 1840 Directory for Kent. From a quick look, the villages I’m particularly interested in aren’t mentioned, but hopefully I’ll find some use for it.

In other news, I have a newly-discovered relative visiting me on Friday morning, and I’m meeting up with a fellow IHGS student in Dublin on Saturday. I also hope to get my current batch of assignments as close to completion as possible this week. Just as long as I don’t find anything to distract me…

Back on track? ~ Sorting Saturday

So much to do!  So little time!  Too much disorganisation!

I need a plan.  Actually, I need several. At the moment I’m running around trying to chase up a heap of leads on both dead ancestors and living cousins, plus do some assignment work.  Maybe I should have monthly goals?  I’ve read them on other blogs, and I’m guessing they’d work quite well for me, make me a bit more focussed and less overwhelmed and distractable.

There are four areas I need to focus on:

  • Course work
  • Family history research
  • Research organisation and record keeping
  • Blog postings

I’m off to Dublin next weekend, primarily to visit a very ill friend, but as it’s a long weekend here in the UK, I will have a little time on the Monday to spend doing some research.  So, need to work on a plan for that.

I’m also in the middle of planning our family summer holiday, part of which will entail me traipsing round the Yorkshire countryside hunting ancestors with three kids in tow.  May even add in a little side trip to Suffolk.  Need a plan for that also.

So yeah, need to get planning!

Sorting Saturday is an ongoing series at GeneaBloggers.

Percy Luxton yet again ~ Wordless Wednesday

Percy Luxton, Bermuda

Percy Luxton, Bermuda

Percy Luxton, Bermuda (reverse)

Percy Luxton, Bermuda (reverse)

Wordless Wednesday is an ongoing series at GeneaBloggers.

SOG Centenary Conference, London

I spent the day up in London, attending the Society of Genealogists Centenary Conference, and had an illuminating day!

There were two streams of presentations, so you never know if you’ve picked the right one, but mostly I was very happy with the talks I heard.  First up was Dr Nick Barratt (of WDYTYA? fame) – fantastic speaker and a thought provoking topic – From Memory to Digital Record: Personal Heritage, Family History and Archives in the 21st Century.   Some of the issues he covered were the importance of local archives and how cutbacks are affecting opening hours and the threat of closure in some cases, the work being done in schools to make history personal and getting the kids excited about it, how WDYTYA really got people interested in genealogy (and the unrealistic expectations generated by the programme!), and preserving your own family archive for future generations.  There was a lot more he talked about, but these stood out for me.  One of the questions asked afterwards was:  where can you put family history information online, without having to build your own website?  According to Barratt, there are a couple of companies that are offering a service like this (and I didn’t catch the names).  But it’s still early days on that front – an interesting space to watch, I think.

The next presentation I saw was Dr Bruce Durie on The Future of Geneaology Education. He runs the postgrad Genealogical Studies programme at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow.  Awesome speaker!  Fascinating talk  about genealogy both as an academic discipline and a profession.

At this point we had lunch – which was a rather underwhelming and disappointing affair consisting of sandwiches, a few crisps, and sliced fruit.

After lunch were presentations on parish registers, records pre 1700s, and census substitutes 1688-1837.  This last talk was given by Else Churchill, who I’ve heard speak before, and who is so easy to listen to.  I skipped the presentation on blogging and social networking, but hope to read the lecture notes on the SOG website when they’re made available.  (As I seemed to be one of the few attendees under 60, I was a bit concerned about the level the talk would be pitched at, though perhaps I shall be proven wrong!)

The final session was Juliet Nicolson discussing The Perfect Summer: Dancing into the Shadow in 1911, her book of the same name.  The talk was so good I just had to buy a (signed) copy of the book afterwards.

All in all it was an enjoyable day, though it would have been nice to have had some kind of open forum/discussion session, and other opportunities that would encourage discussion amongst fellow attendees.  And slightly better lunch options to keep us going till 6.30pm.

Catching Up

Well, I had meant to write a bit about Percy Luxton, my first cousin twice removed, who has featured now in not one, but two Wordless Wednesday posts.  Alas alack, I have been distracted this week by ITV’s Long Lost Family and BBC’s If Walls Could Talk: The History of the Home, catching up on episodes I had missed.

And tomorrow I am off to the Society of Genealogists’ Centenary Conference in London, and looking forward to some interesting presentations.   Will report back on my experiences there as soon as I can!

Percy again ~ Wordless Wednesday

Percy Luxton, Bermuda, 1923 (photograph by Eileen Luxton, sent by Lavinia Luxton to Alexander Wright, NZ)

Percy Luxton, Bermuda, 1923 (photograph by Eileen Luxton, sent by Lavinia Luxton to Alexander Wright, NZ)

Percy Luxton, Bermuda, 1923 (photograph by Eileen Luxton, sent by Lavinia Luxton to Alexander Wright, NZ) - reverse

Percy Luxton, Bermuda, 1923 (photograph by Eileen Luxton, sent by Lavinia Luxton to Alexander Wright, NZ) - reverse

Wordless Wednesday is an ongoing series at GeneaBloggers.

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