I recently watched the latest British “Who do you think you are?” DVD.  Normally the show enthuses me to do some genealogy but this series didn’t for some reason.

What did enthuse me was joining a Facebook page on historic Sydney and seeing the old photos.  I contributed a couple from my mother’s photo album and it got me thinking how little I know about that period.  As I looked through old photos I realised I knew little about how (or why) my maternal grandfather’s brothers and parents got to Australia.  Searching online for passenger lists drew no result although I’d got the information on my grandparents from somewhere.  They sailed to Sydney on the Demosthenes in 1922.  Why?  Was one of my grandfather’s brothers there already?

My grandfather had five brothers and two sisters.  Three of the brothers stayed in England but the rest of the family ended up in NSW.  I realised I didn’t have the death dates for two of the brothers.  While searching I came across an Edward Benjamin Rose who was in a battalion sailing from Sydney in June 1915.  Did he go to Australia first?  There is no other information but he would’ve been 23 at the time.  Then I discovered an entry in the AIF project and it had his father’s name as next of kin living in Essex.  It was the right Edward Benjamin then.  Interesting.  He fought on the Aussie side while his brothers fought for England.

Not having any more luck on the Rose brothers I concentrated on my great-grandfather’s wife, Mary Reeve’s family.  I visited ancestry.com.  I hadn’t been there for a while and they’ve changed some things.  I’d read about the changes and some were not happy with them.  It took me a while to even figure out how to get to my mother’s part of the tree instead of my father’s!  Once there I discovered several duplicates in the siblings as well as a mother’s name listed as a sibling.  Fixed all that and focused on the generation back of Reeves and Reynolds.  I looked at the “hints”.  The hints are now useless unless you have a subscription.  They don’t actually tell you anything.  Now that ancestry is next to useless I returned, with very low expectations, to familysearch.org and did a few searches to try and fill in some gaps.

I was pleasantly surprised that the results were quite useful.  Although there appear to be many “Gabriel Reeve”s, I found my Gabriel Reeve’s marriage to Hannah Wright.  I got the details and ordered the marriage certificate from GRO.  Excellent.  I also found Gabriel’s death in 1873 but I’ll leave ordering that certificate until later.  I have the details in any case.

I made a list of all other Reeves with the name Gabriel living in Ipswich.  They might be relatives.  Some of them were christened in the same church so that looks promising.

Not bad progress overall.  I did, however, find that I was re-searching stuff that I’d done before.  I used to have a notebook noting down what I’d previously searched, but do you think I can find it?  I’ll probably find it months down the track.  For that reason I’ve detailed the day’s search here.  Unfortunately, my searching is rather sporadic.  Unable to find results on one side of the tree I head over to another and have no real follow-through.

Oh, I also filled out some biographical details on the Rose family in a word document and hope to continue filling these out for anyone I can.  It’ll be a long slog.  I’m only able to do any searching at the moment because I have some days off work.  The weekends are normally too short to be able to “get into it”.  It’s always so time-consuming.

Enough ramble.  Thanks for reading to anyone who may be!

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