I was watching another episode of the Australian “Who do you think you are?”.  In it Georgie Parker was looking at newspaper articles online and I saw the website had Australian Newspapers written on it with a map of the states, etc.  Inspired, I headed to the computer and searched for Australian Newspapers and ended up at the Trove website of the National Library of Australia.  I spent the rest of the evening until 11.30pm trawling through articles in the Sydney Morning Herald which mentioned my family name.  I found several of interest including the announcement of my aunt’s marriage and the death of my great-great-grandfather.  There was also a photo of what looked like my grandfather but the initial was wrong.  I’ll have to ask cousins and aunt about it.

This morning I thought I’d have another go looking for census returns which I don’t have yet – this time on Ancestry.  I had the devil of a time trying to get the correct results to show up as the browser kept going to ancestry.com.au and showing Australian census returns.  The browser just would not go to ancestry.co.uk to show British results (as these are what I’ve subscribed to).  A plea of help on the forum got an answer which helped and I was off.

For some reason, I didn’t search initially for the missing census returns I’d noted down to look for.  I went off on a tangent from seeing the date of death of a great-grandmother on another branch of the family (from a fellow researcher’s tree) and went searching for her.  I found her on an 1871 census and adjusted my dates accordingly.

I was interrupted by a phone call by the old lady in England.  Unfortunately my cordless phone battery cuts off after about 3/4 of an hour and the other phone is rather crackly.  She’s not easy to understand because of the way she speaks so mostly I let her ramble.  I had no idea what she was saying when she rang back after the battery died and I answered on the crackly phone.  Thankfully she didn’t speak much more and rang off.

Back to the computer and I had been on the hunt for some Scottish relatives.  Ancestry has transcriptions of census returns but are unable to display the actual returns, which is a shame because the transcriptions are inaccurate.  I searched from 1851 to 1901 but found nothing for 1841.  I gained no new knowledge and am still stuck on Archibald Sutherland of Glasgow.  I can get no further back than 1851.  His father’s name is John but I haven’t even tried to search for a John Sutherland (and little other information) yet.

From Sutherland to Allison.  My grandmother always believed that through the Allisons we are related to Sir James Young Simpson but I haven’t been able to find any connection.  I searched the census returns for Allison for 1841-1871 but none of the names of my Allisons match the supposed brother-in-law? (I’m not even sure of the connection) of James Young Simpson.  Certainly one of the Allisons is named Jessie Simpson Allison so either there is a connection or my grandmother and her family believed there was because of the “Simpson” in the name.

I searched again briefly for my mother’s primary school in Sydney (of which I have a prospectus).  Previously I found no reference to it at all but through the Trove site I found a couple of articles mentioning the school.  In one there was a list of recipients of awards or prizes and there (I believe) was listed my uncle.  Another great find.  I sent this article off to my uncle’s daughter in Sydney who has contacted me recently about the family.

I finally went back to my initial purpose of looking for Powell in 1841 with no luck.  I had a look at a copy of my grandmother’s handwritten family tree which has many gaps in it.  She had Powell married to Bright (no first names).  I’d tried searching for the supposed brother William without luck so tried this unlikely search.  I found Thomas Bright married to Martha Powell in the 1871 census.  I know it’s the right result because she was born in “The Poles” in Shropshire.  My grandmother had written “The Poles” at the top of the Powell family tree.  My brother and I had never figured out what it meant.  I had presumed it was how Powell was pronounced and my brother wondered if they were Polish.  Neither of us had even thought that “The Poles” was a placename!  I searched on Google maps and it appears to be the name of a house (the little A is on a house) but apparently it’s an area in Bromfield, Shropshire.  I can’t find anything that actually says what “The Poles” is!  I wrote to my brother about the find.

A huge thunderstorm passed overhead and my daughter returned home from being away overnight so my searches ended.  I had come to a stop anyway and need a break.  Here comes the break…

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