Saturday, December 31, 2011


                               Farewell and Welcome
                            As we pipe in the New Year
                            And farewell the old
                            May your dreams be all silver 
                            May your coins be all gold...
                            May you linger awhile
                            At the side of a friend
                            May you always have time
                            To do what you intend...
                            May your health be exceptional
                            May your heart be inspired 
                            May your spirit be free
                            May your thoughts be enquired...
                            May the New Year ahead
                            Bring you laughter and love   
                            May you always be blessed
                            By our Saviour above....
                                              Crissouli (c) 2007


Saturday, December 24, 2011


... to all my fellow bloggers, whose writing I have enjoyed so much and who are my inspiration...

 While I may not always comment, I do appreciate reading your thoughts, your stories and ideas... also sharing all the information you happily pass on.

 I have been asked quite often " what is the right way to blog? "  I assure you there is no right way and for the most part, no wrong way... write what you feel, what makes you want to share, to pass on to others... though I do believe that we should not set out to offend. Discuss by all means, but we are all entitled to our beliefs and should respect those of others.

Above all, enjoy what you do and it will never be a drudge...

 Comments are appreciated, but not compulsory... :-)  If something triggers a thought or you would like to know more about a subject, please ask... if I don't know, I will endeavour to find out... maybe even another reader will answer for you...

 I would love to know where you are when reading this... no specifics, perhaps just a state or country, town if you like...

I am .... Crissouli from Brisbane, Australia... wishing you all the happiness of this beautiful season of goodwill...
Merry Christmas One and All..

P.S.  If you would like to read a very good article on blogs and bloggers, go to


Friday, December 23, 2011

AS I REMEMBER...........Christmas Eve

AS I REMEMBER...........Christmas Eve
A chorus of cicadas herald the warm summer nights,
in strange harmony with the buzzing of brightly coloured beetles....
The neighbourhood resonates with the thwack of ball hitting bat,
as energetic children challenge the fading light, to remain just a little longer.
Weary mothers, mentally making numerous lists,
for shopping, for cooking, for cleaning....all to be crammed into too few hours.
Perplexed dads, not  believing that yet another year has scurried past ,
wondering when their children were first able to outrun them.
It's a time of whispering of secrets, and sudden silences.....
followed by muffled giggles and a harmony of "shhhhhhh!"
Eucalyptus competes with the scent of jasmine ... and ripe mangoes!
Roasting turkeys and chickens work the senses overtime...
Bubbling puddings and cooling gingerbread, 
all send the promise of a feast to come.
There are melons to cool and drinks to chill,
 extra chairs to be set beside the long table on the verandah.
The tree is trimmed, presents piled teasingly beneath, tinsel quivers in the breeze.
Midnight mass, or perhaps extra prayers at bedtime...
Assurances that Santa would've received the much fretted over letters...
and hearing muffled yawns, as tiny eyes try in vain to stay open.
Christmas in'll do me!
Crissouli (c)



It's summer heat, and pesky flies,
that will not go away,
It's grey green leaves of eucalypts,
that make our Christmas Day...
Not for us the snow covered paths,
nor mistletoe to inspire
nor holly leaves,
nor chestnuts, roasting in the fire...
It's perfumed frangipanni
and poinsettia so bright.
It's miles of golden beaches
and cooler summer nights...
It's children riding skateboards
with squeals of great delight.
It's carols by the river
on a bright and starry night...
For some it is a bbq
upon the golden sand
for others, it's traditional,
turkey drumstick in each hand.
Cold drinks are most important
lots of Christmas cheer
Mother likes a shandy
and Dad, an ice cold beer...
But whether here in Aussie land
or anywhere at all
Good-on-yer-mate, it's Christmas
So have a bloody ball!
Crissouli (C)

Thursday, December 22, 2011


Dear Santa Letter sent 100 years ago found up chimney

The Irish Times - Wednesday, December 21, 2011
The 100-year-old letter to Santa found in the chimney of a Dublin house.Photograph: Eric Luke

IT MAY have been slightly scorched over the years but a letter to Santa written 100 years ago, which was later discovered in a Dublin fireplace, has the magic of Christmas written all over it.
On Christmas Eve 1911, a brother and sister, who signed their names, "A or H Howard", penned their personally designed letter to Santa with their requests for gifts and a good luck message at their home in Oaklands Terrace, Terenure (or Terurnure, as the children spelled it) in Dublin.
They placed it in the chimney of the fireplace in the front bedroom so that Santa would see it as he made his way into the Howard household in the early hours of the morning.
The letter was discovered by the house's current occupant, John Byrne, when he was installing central heating in 1992.
Since then, he has retained it as a souvenir of another time and place but with the stamp of childhood innocence which still exists today.
The message to Santa was warm but explicit.
"I want a baby doll and a waterproof with a hood and a pair of gloves and a toffee apple and a gold penny and a silver sixpence and a long toffee."
Ownership of the house changed over the decades, with the Byrne family moving there in 1961, but the letter survived.
"At that time, the fireplaces were made of brick with a shelf on either side," said John Byrne who works in the building industry.
"The letter was found on one of the shelves."
The letter remained remarkably intact given the passage of time and was only slightly burned from fires set in the house over the years.
As well as the requests for gifts from Santa the letter also contains drawings and a message of "Good Luck" to Santa from the children.
According to the 1911 census there were three children living at the address in the year in which the letter was written.
The youngest of them, Hannah, who was 10 at the time, and Fred (presumably short for Alfred) who was seven, fit in with the initials on the letter.
A third child, a 13-year-old called Lily, is also listed.
The Howard family were all born in England, including parents Fred Hamer Howard, an "under manager" in a plumber merchants, and his wife Mary Elizabeth. They listed their religion as Church of Ireland.

NB. more on this story... who was the author?

or Tiny URL


Wednesday, December 21, 2011


                            Genealogist's Lament

        May all your research be productive, all your links connected
        May every name you recognise, be a relative" anew"
        But if this doesn't happen, and you feel you are bogged down
        Remember life is so much easier, with a smile and not a frown...
        For just when all seems pointless, and the dates they never match,
        Remember just one step further, and you could find another batch
        Of names and dates and places, to help you on your way
        Of new found friends around the world, to whom you say 'gidday'!
        So sharpen up the pencils, have the notepads nice and new
        And kickstart the friendly emails, as I share my notes with you.

        (c) Crissouli


With thanks to Christina, and all who help in any way with IGP archives. This is yet another great organisation whose volunteers give so freely of their time to help others.
So, if you don't already volunteer with transcribing, etc, and would like to, but just don't know where to start, please contact me and I will happily guide you to what will suit you best.
Let me know your main interests and I will try to match you with what you would like to do.
You never know, you might be lucky enough to transcribe records that give you the breakthrough that you are seeking.
You can contact me via the comments at the bottom of each post, or via Clare Roots Society at
How about making this the year you give just an hour or two a week back to help others.
Thank you, Crissouli ( Chris)


DUBLIN Genealogy Archives - Headstones
Glasnevin - Part 9

FERMANAGH Genealogy Archives - Church
Derryvullan (CoI) Births 1878-1916 (Tirkennedy, Enniskillen)

LIMERICK Genealogy Archives - Obituaries
Assorted Obituaries

LIMERICK Genealogy Archives - Military & Constabulary
1842 Royal Irish Constabulary

LONDONDERRY/DERRY, Military & Constabulary
1842 Royal Irish Constabulary

LONGFORD Genealogy Archives - Military & Constabulary
1842 Royal Irish Constabulary

LOUTH Genealogy Archives
1842 Royal Irish Constabulary

MAYO Genealogy Archives - Land Records
Encumbered Estate property of CHARLES BLAKE, Esq.(Coolcon and Garrymore) 1852
Encumbered Estate property of CHARLES BLAKE, Esq.(Carraskeane) 1852
Encumbered Estate property of CHARLES BLAKE, Esq.1852.(Clonkeen,
Curramore, Ballyglass, Knockanroe, Ballinphuil & Gortnanning)

OFFALY (Kings) Genealogy Archives - Military & Constabulary
1842 Royal Irish Constabulary

All our wishes for a Merry Christmas!
Many thanks for all your support for the IGP Archives

Thursday, December 15, 2011


8 December 2011 Last updated at 03:10 GMT
Remains of a 17th Century cottage found in Pendle The building also contains a 19th Century kitchen range, still in its original position
Engineers have said they were "stunned" to unearth a 17th Century cottage, complete with a mummified cat, during a construction project in Lancashire.
The cottage was discovered near Lower Black Moss reservoir in the village of Barley, in the shadow of Pendle Hill.
Archaeologists brought in by United Utilities to survey the area found the building under a grass mound.
Historians are now speculating that the well-preserved cottage could have belonged to one of the Pendle witches.
The building contained a sealed room, with a mummified cat bricked into the wall.
It is believed the cat was buried alive to protect the cottage's inhabitants from evil spirits.
'Tutankhamen's tomb'
Carl Sanders, United Utilities' project manager, said: "It's not often you come across a fairytale cottage complete with witch's cat.
"The building is in remarkable condition. You can walk through it and get a real sense that you're peering into the past.
"Pendle Hill has a real aura about it, and it's hard not to be affected by the place.
"Even before we discovered the building, there were lots of jokes from the lads about broomsticks and black cats. The find has really stunned us all."
Simon Entwistle, an expert on the Pendle witches, said: "In terms of significance, it's like discovering Tutankhamen's tomb.
The remains of the building The engineering project has been put on hold while archaeologists investigate the site
"We are just a few months away from the 400th anniversary of the Pendle witch trials, and here we have an incredibly rare find, right in the heart of witching country. This could well be the famous Malkin Tower - which has been a source of speculation and rumour for centuries.
"Cats feature prominently in folklore about witches. Whoever consigned this cat to such a horrible fate was clearly seeking protection from evil spirits."
'Something special'
United Utilities routinely brings in experts before turning the topsoil in areas believed to have archaeological significance.
Frank Giecco, from NP Archaeology, who unearthed the building, said: "It's like discovering your own little Pompeii. We rarely get the opportunity to work with something so well preserved.
"As soon as we started digging, we found the tops of doors, and knew we were on to something special.
"The building is a microcosm for the rise and fall of this area, from the time of the Pendle witches to the industrial age. There are layers of local history right before your eyes."
The engineering project has been put on hold while the archaeologists complete their investigation of the site.
The building also contains a 19th Century kitchen range, still in its original position.
Many artefacts from the building's latter years, such as Victorian crockery, a tin bath and a bedstead, were discovered around the site.


Thursday, December 8, 2011


 Have you ever returned an item to it's owner after 'finding' it in a junk shop, garage sale, etc.? I've done it with children's books, bought at Lifeline... one took me two years to trace the family.. through the church that presented it to the child as a Sunday School reward.  It had been left at a grandparent's place on a visit, and never sent on. When the grandmother died, the person clearing the house donated all books, etc. to charity and I found it some 15 years later. A long story for another day... I have also been sent a postcard with a photo of my then very young grandfather as he went off to WW1. This was found in a junk sale in Western Australia, I live on the east coast. The person who saw it recognised the surname as one that was being researched by a cousin of mine... he knew who it was and the finder very kindly sent it on to me. A great treasure and one for which I am very grateful. You can see the photo here...

 I've also been able to reunite families with photo albums... I can't pass one by when I see them crying out for someone to give them a home :-)



Allan Brown
INCREDIBLE JOURNEY: Allan Brown, of Stoke, brother of Ernest Browne, who died in World War II, with the letter sent to the family in 1944. It finally turned up yesterday after an amateur historian spotted it on eBay and bought it.
A letter written 67 years ago about Kiwi soldier Ernest Browne, shot dead while escaping a prisoner of war camp in Germany, has finally found its way to family in Nelson.
The fragile and faded letter, written on June 5, 1944 and stamped with German postmarks, was addressed to Mr Browne's mother, Eleanor Cropper, in Wellington, but it never arrived.
The Australian chaplain who wrote it, the Rev Dakers, was imprisoned in the same POW camp, Stalag VIII-B near the former German town of Lamsdorf (now Lambinowice in Poland). He wrote to Mrs Cropper about the death of her son on May 30, 1944.
The Rev Dakers, a Methodist minister from Melbourne, told how he had officiated at the funeral, and how he knew her grief would be great.
But when he addressed the letter, he transposed the address numbers, sending it to 57 Brougham St, Wellington instead of 75. It arrived in Wellington in September 1944, and by October 30 it was marked "unclaimed".
The letter arrived yesterday at the Stoke home of Ernest's brother, 89-year-old Allan Brown who said it was closure for a brother with whom he shared a difficult life and a deep connection.
Ernest Browne was 26 when he died, and he is buried in the Prague War Cemetery in the Czech Republic. His brother read for the first time yesterday how his death had been sudden and sad, and how he had "passed through many dangers", but his funeral had been a "fine tribute to his death".
Despite a fractured family life where the brothers were sometimes apart, Mr Brown was "very sad" when his brother died.
"It was always my intention to visit his grave, and I'm sorry I never did that. I always felt sorry for Ernie and the way our lives were. It was unsettling to get this incredible letter – this sort of thing only happens in story books and in films."
He was still coming to terms with its discovery by Auckland "hobby historian" Allie Toledo, who saw the letter on Australian online trading site eBay a few weeks ago, understood its significance, bought it for $20 and set about tracing its rightful owner.
She started via, which led her to Blenheim woman Claire Falvey, a relative of the Browns. "I know some relatives on her family tree and she did some scrambling around, and we found Allan," Ms Toledo said.
For the full story, go to

Wednesday, December 7, 2011


A Point of View: A convert to family history

2 December 2011 Last updated at 16:48 GMT
Celie and Abram in London in 1906
The discovery of a tape recording shed light on a puzzling family photograph which was taken in 1906 - and changed historian Lisa Jardine's views about the genealogy boom.
The campaign to promote more history in the school curriculum has been doing rather well lately. Historians and politicians seem to be agreed that more history will connect us all more closely to our island's past.
Recently, Prof David Cannadine published the results of a two-year research project investigating the place of history teaching in secondary schools, entitled The Right Kind of History.
Cannadine makes a strong case for compulsory history in the curriculum to the age of 16 - long enough for students to absorb the broad range of knowledge of the past always intended when the current syllabus was introduced under Sir Keith Joseph in the 1980s.
Two days later, Secretary of State for Education Michael Gove, addressing a conference on history in education in London, pronounced himself "an unashamed and unapologetic advocate for the central role of history in our curriculum".
As an historian myself, I am all for good history teaching at all levels, as part of an essential understanding of where we have come from and who we are.
But I have recently become converted to a more humble part of the exploration of the past, which is largely conducted beyond the boundaries of the academy.
Family history is an activity that has always had its passionate advocates, and has been stimulated further by the television series Who Do You Think You Are?, in which celebrities are helped by trained historians and archivists to trace their roots.
In recent years The National Archives at Kew has been dealing with increasing numbers of ordinary people looking for records relating to their own lives. Many archives now devote special resources to these users
For several years, my sister Judith has been researching the family history of the Flattos - my father's mother's family - inspired by the boxes of faded family photographs discovered among my parents' possessions, dating from the beginning of the 20th Century, and inscribed with locations ranging from Lodz in Poland to Kyverdale Road in London.
Her attempts to identify and connect the sitters in the photographs has led her deep into genealogy, and obliged her to learn about European history in the early decades of the 20th Century. She has journeyed intrepidly to the ends of the District and Metropolitan Tube lines, to Jewish cemeteries at East Ham, Rainham and Bushey, to read genealogical data off the family gravestones.
I confess that, as a professional historian, I did not always take her efforts seriously - in genealogy, so much depends on guesswork and surmise, so many of the documents defy interpretation. The outcome, I have tended to feel, is bound to be part romance, part sentimentality, the tale of impecunious wanderers, driven from their homes by persecution, then working their way up to respectability in Britain.
In one of our family boxes, for example, is a formal wedding photograph of my grandmother, Celie Flatto, barely in her 20s, with her new husband Abram Bronowski. Taken in 1906, it is stamped with the address of the photographer's studio: 436 Whitechapel Road, London.
But her eldest son, my father, was born in Lodz, Poland, in 1908. He did not arrive in London with his parents and two siblings until 1920. Nothing in the records explains why the couple were in London earlier nor why they had returned to Poland.
Tea and tales
Judith had scoured the census data, and called up all the relevant documents in The National Archives. Although all the other members of the family - her parents and siblings, her husband and children - had been naturalised some time in the 1920s and 30s, there was no naturalisation document for Grandma Celie. The marriage certificate Judith unearthed listed Abram's occupation as "professional singer" - we knew nothing about any singing.
Then, last summer, Judith telephoned me. She had discovered that two nieces of Grandma Celie were still alive and happy to meet us.
So in early October we went to tea with Ruth and Dorothy, sharp-as-mustard octogenarian daughters of Celie's much-younger sisters, Ada and Mary. Over biscuits and cups of tea they studied Judith's cache of photographs, casually identifying people she would never have been able to match to her family tree. "Oh look, that's me with my mother and Auntie Rose," and "There are my aunts, all dressed up to go out dancing."

For the rest of the story, go to

Monday, December 5, 2011


December 2011

Only 3 weeks to Christmas

Order NSW transcriptions before 5:00pm Wednesday 7th December 2011 for guaranteed pre-Christmas delivery.


Office Closure over Christmas/New Year

Our office will be closed for enquiries and deliveries from 23rd December 2011 to 9th January 2012.
You can still place orders during this period via our websiteor by email/fax/post.

Good luck with your research!
Marilyn and the team.