Friday, June 29, 2012

WORDS FROM THE PAST.. to Teach Those in the Present

My Great Uncle. Martin Dillon, wrote this quite some years ago.. he passed away in 1999, aged 93 years and 8 months. I wonder what he would write today? I didn't get to meet him, nor Bridget, his sister and my grandmother... she died when my Mum was just 11. However, I came to know Uncle Martin a little through our years of letter writing... how I loved getting his newsy letters..


Saturday, June 23, 2012


Family ties - how to unlock the secrets of your ancestry

To see the photo and the rest of this story, please go to the link above...

Caitlin Gow, 21 years, who is an ancestry research fan. Picture: Campbell Scott Source: The Courier-Mail

Time-rich Baby Boomers aren't alone in turning sleuth to unravel family mysteries and uncover amazing tales about where and who they are. With a revival of interest in ancestry, Michael Lund tells how to discover yours - but be careful what you find.

CAITLIN Gow achieved a unique century when researching her family history.


The day she discovered long-lost great-great-aunt Jeannie was exactly 100 years to the date that the relative had died in 1912.

"I was just amazed because no one knew what had happened to her," Gow says.

"Everyone else was so amazed because I had solved this 100-year mystery."

The discovery was made when Gow was searching through documents that were only released this year.

They showed Jeannie died in a poorhouse in Scotland.

The family already knew Jeannie had one daughter, but the records also showed she had two, possibly three, illegitimate children.

That is all Gow knows about Jeannie at the moment, but the discovery is helping her write the latest chapter in her family history.

It's a passion that started when she was 18 and she's spent the past three years trying to piece together what she can.

Gow's mother's side of the family goes back to Texas and through other US states and to Scotland.

Her father's family got as far as NSW and, in one of those unique twists of history, his family also has its roots in Scotland.

Gow lives in the Brisbane suburb of St Lucia and is in her first year of a criminology and criminal justice degree at Griffith University, which allows her to practise her investigative skills in study and for her hobby.

"For me it's not just about the result. I also love the searching and the detective work," she says.

"A lot of it's online which, for me because I'm Gen Y is a big help, but I would love to be able to go to Scotland one day, and to Texas and the other US states, and to go to the births, deaths and marriages record places to trawl through those records and microfiche."

Much of her investigation has been done through the subscription website but her greatest resource was a couple of grandparents.

Nancy, who died 10 years before Gow was born, was adopted and had done as much as she could to research her family history.

Her other grandmother, Eunice, died only a few weeks ago, aged 96, but Gow spent years quizzing her for as much information as she could remember.

"When I started she was 93 and her memory was still reasonably good and no one had done the family history on her side, so that was one of the things I wanted to do straight away," Gow says.

"She was just a wealth of information to me and I was just so glad that I was able to ask her things."

So far, Gow's searching has found no dark family secrets, unlike Diane McAllister who uncovered her dad's double life.

McAllister, 63, had always wondered why she knew nothing of her relatives on her dad Edward's side. No grandparents, aunts, uncles or cousins.

When she quizzed him he told her he was born in New Zealand but orphaned at an early age and that his sisters, Dorothy and Winifred, were adopted in the US.

"Any time I brought this up he would become very angry and tell me to go away and mind my own business," she says.

"As you grow up you don't answer your father back. You obey and you learn not to ask."

McAllister travelled to New Zealand as a teenager, but before leaving, her mother asked that she find her father's birth certificate.

She could find no record of him. She met and married husband Jock and questions over her dad's past were put to one side.

Many years later, after her dad had died and the couple were living near Samford, in Brisbane's outer north, the issue of Edward's mysterious past was raised with neighbours over morning tea.

One neighbour encouraged McAllister to give a go. She did and was amazed by what she discovered.

After searching variations of names she found her dad's missing sister Dorothy living in Tasmania.

"And on her Ancestry page there's a whole load of photographs and up scrolled a photograph of my father and that made me realise we were on the right track," McAllister says.

She discovered her dad had led a double life he had been married before and had a son, Barry, in 1936.

"When you look at the dates, she was only 17 and he was 24. I think by the look of it she had to get married, so that marriage was probably a disaster," McAllister says.

In 1940, Edward joined the army, never to return to his first wife and family.

In 1943 he married again and the couple had Diane, her brother John and sister Jeanette.

McAllister says her mother now dead knew nothing of her husband's double life, despite suspicions.

The newly extended family recently held a reunion on the Gold Coast and Barry came along to meet a family and a half-sister he never knew existed.

The search for family history is now big business, with many groups, organisations and businesses set up to help.

Some of the information is free and easily accessed. Some of it is not so easy and needs an expert hand to help, such as Shauna Hicks, who'll be in Brisbane next week to speak at the Unlock the Past expo (more details below).

"I started 35 years ago before computers and any of these modern resources," Hicks says.

"It was difficult because you had to write letters and research archives and libraries, so many people didn't have time to do that. Today it's so much easier."

The tips and tricks of researching will be the focus of many talks and presentations during the three-day expo.

Hicks says it's great to be able to tap into any expert knowledge.

"It can be quite addictive once you get started, but it's a great way to learn about your history," she says.



read more at 

Saturday, June 16, 2012


For those who are of Dillon ancestry as I am, perhaps this will lead you to learn more about your Dillons. Mine are from West Clare... I would love to hear from others who may be connected.

To read more about the Dillon regiment, go to Wikipedia at

More interesting information about the Dillon regiment is to be found at

Dillon regimental flag, 1745

The Irish Times - Saturday, June 9, 2012


A history of Ireland in 100 objects Under the treaties of Limerick and Galway that ended Jacobite resistance in Ireland, members of the defeated army were allowed to enter the service of Catholic powers on the Continent.

About 20,000 went to France, and over the first half of the 18th century the so-called Wild Geese continued to seek their fortunes in the armies of France, Spain and Austria. The numbers were seldom huge – perhaps 1,500 recruits a year in the 1720s and 1730s – but, especially for the sons of dispossessed Catholic landowners, foreign military service acted as a way of clinging on to a lost status.

Dillon's Regiment was unique in that it was continuously under the command of members of the same family for more than a century. It was first raised to fight for James II in 1688 by Theobald Dillon, who was killed at Aughrim. In 1691 it was part of the Irish brigade that joined the French army. It served in Piedmont and Savoy in 1691, at the capture of Barcelona in 1697 and in the defence of Cremona in 1702.

But the most famous battle in which the regiment and the larger Irish Brigade took part was at Fontenoy, near Tournai in Belgium in May 1745, at which this flag was flown. It was one of the crucial episodes in the war of 1740-48, when France and Prussia clashed with Britain and the Netherlands over who would succeed Charles VI of Austria.

The French, under the Marechal de Saxe, were losing to the Anglo-Dutch force under the duke of Cumberland when 4,000 men of the Irish Brigade counterattacked with the cry of "Remember Limerick". The butchery at Fontenoy achieved little in the long-term: the war eventually ended with roughly the same balance of power as at its beginning. But Fontenoy was idealised, especially on its centenary, as a glorious Irish victory over England.

The male descendants of former Jacobite landowners proved to be remarkably adept adventurers. Some joined the British imperial service: Peter Warren, from a Jacobite crypto-Catholic family in Co Meath, joined the British navy and made his fortune from captured Spanish ships and astute American trading, founding Greenwich Village in New York. His nephew William Johnson left Meath for the wilds of upstate New York in the 1730s and ended up as both a Mohawk chief and a British baronet. On the other side of the fence, Sir Charles Wogan acted as the most dashing fixer for the Stuart pretenders, ending up as a senator of Rome and governor of La Mancha, in Spain.

The figure of the swaggering officer returned from continental wars epitomised a strain of Catholic male pride. In her great 'Lament for Art O'Leary', Eibhlín Dubh ní Chonaill recalls her husband, a captain in the Austrian army, with his "silver-hilted" sword, fine horse and elegant clothes: the very image of the uppity Catholic. But in truth the Wild Geese were more of a safety valve than a threat to the established order.

The Irish Brigade was disbanded in 1783 as part of the peace between France and Britain after the American war. Ironically, in 1792, after the French Revolution, the remnants of the Dillon regiment joined the British army.

Thanks to Lar Joye

Where to see it National Museum of Ireland – Decorative Arts History, Collins Barracks, Benburb Street, Dublin 7, 01-6777444,

Saturday, June 9, 2012


This really is That Moment in Time... I couldn't have kept a straight face...

Holy Cats!

Two young choir boys pulled this off without cracking up, but they DO crack up
the audience. Vocalists will especially appreciate the control these young men
had to have while the audience was laughing.

This is absolutely too cool not to check-out.

Sunday, June 3, 2012


Recently on the  Merry Month of May Music Theme,

 Linda Ottery mentioned an Irish song in her comments re my post. It was  "FROM CLARE TO HERE"  , a song I didn't know. these are the lyrics....


Four who shared this room and we caught up in the CRAIC
Sleeping late on Sundays and we never got to Mass

It's a long way from Clare to here
It's a long way from Clare to here
It's a long, long way
It gets further by the day
It's a long, long way from Clare to here

When Friday comes around we're only into fighting
My Ma would like a letter home but I'm too tired for writing


It almost breaks my heart when I think of my family
I told them I'd be coming home with my pockets full of green


The only time I feel alright is when I'm into drinking
It can sort of ease the pain of it and it levels out my thinking


I sometimes hear the fiddles play, maybe it's just a notion
I dream I see white horses dance upon that other ocean


There are a number of versions on You by Ralph McTell...

 and just one of the versions by The Fureys

including this one, which actually has photos of Co Donegal.... :-)

Enjoy!  Then tell me what your favourite Irish tune is.....



Keukenhof – know as the Garden of Europe – is the one of the
best places to view the abundance of spring flowers in the South Holland
region of the Netherlands
Amsterdam's flower market – the Bloemenmarkt – reflects the
country's passion for cut flowers and plants
Around seven million bulbs are planted each year in the park at
Keukenhof, in an area of 32 hectares
The Bloemenmarkt - set on the capital's Singel canal and said to
be the world's only floating flower market - has a score of stalls where
you can buy all sorts of plants, flowers, bulbs and seeds
The mild climate of Holland , with its wet springs makes it an
ideal place for bulb cultivation
Tulips originated in the east and were brought to Holland from the
Ottoman Empire in the mid 1500s
In springtime, the lowland area by the North Sea is carpeted with
fields of gladioli, hyacinths, lilies, daffodils, crocuses.... And, of
course, tulips
Keukenhof - literally 'kitchen garden' - is part of the hunting
grounds of the ancient Teylingen estate
This year, the theme for the Keukenhof exhibition is Germany: Land
of Poets
and Philosophers
The patchwork quilt of colours in the Keukenhof park, just outside
Lisse in South Holland , is a veritable feast for the eyes
The bulbs of Keukenhof are re-planted each year according to the
current trends and in collaboration with a number of gardening magazines
Spring in Keukenhof is one of the main tourist attractions of the
The best way to appreciate the full glory of the Dutch spring is
to hire a bike and cycle one of the tourist routes among the bulb fields

Friday, June 1, 2012


Courtesy of Irish Culture & Customs May 2012 Newsletter


When I die, bury me on the golf course so my husband will visit. Author Unknown

I don't say my golf game is bad, but if I grew tomatoes they'd come up sliced. Author Unknown

They call it golf because all the other four-letter words were taken. Raymond Floyd
It took me seventeen years to get three thousand hits in baseball. I did it in one afternoon on the golf course. Hank Aaron

Golf is a game in which you yell "fore," shoot six, and write down five. Paul Harvey

Give me golf clubs, fresh air & a beautiful partner, and you can keep the clubs and the fresh air. Jack Benny

Have you ever noticed what golf spells backwards?
Al Boliska

The only time my prayers are never answered is on the golf course. Billy Graham

Reverse every natural instinct and do the opposite of what you are inclined to do, and you will probably come very close to having a perfect golf swing.
Ben Hogan

Go play golf. Go to the golf course. Hit the ball. Find the ball. Repeat until the ball is in the hole. Have fun. The end. Chuck Hogan

If you think it's hard to meet new people, try picking up the wrong golf ball. Jack Lemmon

It's good sportsmanship to not pick up lost golf balls while they are still rolling. Mark Twain
Golf is a game in which one endeavors to control a ball with implements ill adapted for the purpose. Woodrow Wilson

A golfer's diet: live on greens as much as possible . Author Unknown

Gone golfin' ... be back about dark thirty. Author Unknown

Born to golf. Forced to work. Author Unknown

Golf and sex are the only things you can enjoy without being good at them. Jimmy DeMaret

May thy ball lie in green pastures .... and not in still waters. Author Unknown

If I hit it right, it's a slice. If I hit it left, it's a hook. If I hit it straight, it's a miracle. Author Unknown

The difference in golf and government is that in golf you can't improve your lie. George Deukmejian

Golf is a game invented by the same people who think music comes out of bagpipes.