Sunday, March 17, 2013


Today is the day when we are surrounded by all with Irish connections no matter how tenuous.
The world dons the mantle of a green cloak, it is imperative that we wear a touch of the green, as do our buildings, our food and even our beer...

I could relate the story of St. Patrick, but that will be everywhere and you can read it at your leisure. I could show you green buildings, people with their hair coloured green.. ask if you are wearing green, but you will get that as well. I can't promise not to share a joke or two.. after all isn't that compulsory today?

However, I've chosen to honour some of my Irish ancestors instead. The majority of mine came from Co Clare. One notable exception has featured before, was my 4th great grandmother, Bridget Eslin/Heslin who came from Dublin via a free passage on the "Sugar Cane" in 1793... you can read some of Bridget's story here...

We then skip several generations though the first of the Irish ancestors in this line have no connection to the first Bridget's line until the marriage of my grandparents, Roy Leonard Swadling and Bridget Therese Dillon in 1924, in Australia. Pa (Roy) is the link to Bridget Eslin who married Robert Hobbs.

Working back from Bridget, we find her parents, who were Patrick Dillon and Eleanor (Nellie) McGuane...

All I now know of my great grandfather (September, 2004) is that he was a farmer. The 1901 Census lists the family as living in the Townland of Cloonbooley,  DED No. 38/2    District Electoral Division of Kinturk

His age at that time is listed as 40, making his birth year c 1861. There were 5 children listed, one  name missing, that of James,  he was baptised in 1898. They were John (Jack) aged 5, Michael 4, Daniel 3, Mary (Molly) 2 and Bridget (my grandmother to be ) 2 months. 5 more children were born in later years.

Patrick could read and write.

In the 1911 Census, you can see the changes... click on the image to enlarge as needed. Susan is missing here, but I found her with a maternal Aunt and Uncle.

If we go back a generation, Patrick's parents were Michael Dillon and Bridget Keane (Kean)...
Thanks to transcriber, Beryl Meehan and her contribution to IGP, I have the following...

Church: CLARE: Baptisms in Kilmaley Parish. Co. Clare. 1828-1882.
Ireland Genealogy Project Archives
Contributed by beryl meehan
BAPTISMS in Kilmaley Parish, Co Clare from LDS film 926094
A partial list of BAPTISMS in Kilmaley Parish, Co Clare from LDS film 926094, September 1828-March 1882
See also
Residence placenames have been spelled phonetically by the PP in many cases.  I've use the Kilmaley Parish Townlands map
to give the present day spelling whenever the entry indicated the same place. Names shown are as in the entry.
Parish Priests: 1827 Rev Pa Corbett, date? Rev Daniel Lynist was Adm? and then PP in 1834, "11 March 1862 -abt 1902 Rev Michael Burke
With J Halpin assisting Rev Burke.
NAME                      BAPTISM DATE           PARENTS                                             RESIDENCE            SPONSORS
DILLON, Pat               2 March 1853           Michael Dillon & Bridget Kean (image 207)            Clounaboula         Margaret Kelly & Thomas Doohan
DILLON, Margaret          2 March 1853           Michael Dillon & Bridget Kean (image 207)            Clounaboula         Kate Kean & John ---

There were the  possible twins as above, though the babies could have been just baptised together, followed by 'my' Patrick born somewhere around 1859-1862... two different census lead to two estimated dates... As this was the second Patrick, I can only surmise that the first had died. Ellen was next born in 1862, maybe she was a twin of the second Patrick... haven't proved any of that as yet.
Last born was Michael Dillon, born 1866.

 Still lots of loose ends to tie up, but with lots of Patrick and Ellen's grandchildren around, maybe one day.

Now for the expected...

Paddy had long heard the stories of an amazing family tradition.  

It seems that his father, grandfather and great-grandfather had all
been able to walk on water on their 18th birthday.                

On that special day, they'd each walked across the lake to the pub on
the far side for their first legal drink.                         

So when Paddy's, 18th birthday came around,                       
he and his pal Mick, took a boat out to the middle of the lake,   
Paddy, stepped out of the boat ...and nearly drowned!             

Mick just barely managed to pull him to safety.                   

Furious and confused, Paddy, went to see his grandmother.         

'Grandma,' he asked, "Tis me 18th birthday, so why can't I walk 'cross
the lake like me father, his father, and his father before him?"  

Granny looked deeply into Paddy's, troubled brown eyes and said,  

"Because ye father, ye grandfather and ye great-grandfather were all
born in January, when the lake is frozen, 
and ye were born in August, 
ya  idiot!"

Three Irish guys go into a pub, have a few pints and are ready to leave and pay their tab. The bar back brings them a bill for exactly £30.00. Each guy gives him a tenner, and they leave.
When the bar back hands the £30.00 to the bartender, he is told a mistake was made. The bill was only £25.00, not £30.00. The bartender gives the bar back five £1.00 notes and tells him to take it back to the 3 Irish guys.
On their way out of the pub, the bar back has a thought... these guys did not give him a tip. (Editor's note: yes, I know they do not generally tip in Ireland, please just play along?) He figures that since there is no way to split £5.00 evenly three ways anyhow, he will keep two pounds for himself and give them back three pounds.
OK! So far so good!
He taps one of the guys on the shoulder and explains about a mix up in the bill, and hands the guy the three pounds, then departs with his two-pound tip in his pocket.
Now the fun begins!
Remember £30-£25=£5 Right? £5-£3=£2 Right?
So what's the problem?
All is well, right?
Not quite? Answer this:
Each of the three guys originally gave £10.00 each.
They each got back £1.00 in change.
That means they paid £9.00 each, which times three is £27.00.
The delivery boy kept £2.00 for a tip.
£27.00 plus £2.00 equals £29.00.
Where the heck is the other pound??????????

St. Patrick's Day above courtesy of Clip art © by Dixie Allan,

Some lovely old postcards from Co Clare...enjoy...


Wednesday, March 13, 2013


History at touch of button

Topics:  archives, maryborough city council

HISTORY: George Seymour (right) shows Kay Gassan (seated), Karla Chisholm, Jan Downman and Ian Scougall more than a century's worth of files from hard drives presented to the local historians.
HISTORY: George Seymour (right) shows Kay Gassan (seated), Karla Chisholm, Jan Downman and Ian Scougall more than a century's worth of files from hard drives presented to the local historians. Robyne Cuerel

DUSTY records from Maryborough City Council dating back to 1862 have been turned into digital copies and donated to the city's biggest historical groups.

Microfiche film versions of the records, which include rates ledgers, water and gas books, and even details of Maryborough's brush with the black plague, have been stored in a vault near Salt Lake City in the United States for more than two decades.

The Genealogical Society of Utah, which chronicles family history across the world, created the copies in 1989 and for the past two years has worked with Fraser Coast Regional Council to turn them in to PDF files.

Until yesterday, the only copy Fraser Coast history buffs had been able to access was a film set given to the council.

Fraser Coast community, culture and family services portfolio councillor George Seymour said the new digital copies meant each society no longer had to share the deteriorating film copies.

Cr Seymour joined Fraser Coast Mayor Gerard O'Connell yesterday to hand over three external computer hard drives each containing a full set of the records.

The Maryborough Family Heritage Institute, Maryborough Historical Society and the Maryborough and District Family History Society each received a hard drive.

Two more copies of the records will go to the council libraries in Hervey Bay and Maryborough.

"It is Maryborough's history basically, in a box," Kay Gassan from the Maryborough Family Heritage Institute said.

Jan Downman from the Maryborough and District Family History Society said the first thing she would look for among the digital files was previously missing records from 1881, 1882 and 1884.

"It is basically everything that happened in town the council was involved in," she said.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013


Till just recently, I had never heard of the LIEBSTER AWARD....

In German, it means "beloved" or "dearest" I'm told, so it seems I've just been nominated for a Beloved Award.

Nominees are required to state eleven facts about themselves, answer the questions provided below, nominate up to eleven people and provide them with eleven questions to answer. 

Not quite as easy as it sounds...

Eleven random facts about me....

1. My biggest excitement in primary school was being allowed to choose some books for our first ever real school library. I had exhausted all the books that my headmaster could lend me from his library, also those from the School of Arts, so this was a dream come true.

2. I had my first poetry published when I was 10, in the long defunct Chuckler's Weekly, and I earned 10/6!

3. I loved to climb trees.

4. My favourite tune is "In the Mood" by Glenn Miller.

5. I learnt to cook very young and still love it. All my family could cook and my grandmother would say that the only people who should learn to cook are those who like to eat.

6. My childhood hero was my paternal grandfather, who died when I was five. I miss him deeply still.

7. I still have some of my childhood toys, a well worn pink rabbit, a 'walking' doll, and a china tea set, as well as a number of books.

8. I have had a number of varied careers, from shop assistant to fashion compere, from book publisher representative to radio, twice,  from cosmetician to party plan, spare parts clerk to working with a dress pattern company, from marketing/PR to sales promotions... to name just a few... not necessarily in that order. ;-)

9. Love people, and love spending time with family and friends.

10. I'm a collector of sewing and kitchen paraphernalia, family mementos and books... plus.

11. My passions are writing, reading, photography, cooking, craft, embroidery ... too many to list here.

Questions: to pass on to your nominees...
What are your top three favorite books? I would hate to pick three... I would rather pick just three of my favourite authors, that's hard enough: 
Lisa See ( The Flower Net is one) ; Bryce Courtney ( The Power of One, April Fool The Potato Factory, Tandia, etc....) ; Ruth Park (Harp in the South, Poor Man's Orange, etc. ... )
If you could live in any other era, when would you choose? I think I live in the best of eras, but if I had to choose, possibly the '40s, even if just for the music...
What is your favorite Disney film? Mary Poppins
Do you prefer sweet things, or savory?  either...
What fictional character do you feel that you relate most with? Mary Poppins .. what fun that would be.
Who would you say has been the most influential or inspirational person in your life so far? My mother, who had such a difficult childhood, losing her own mother when she was just eleven and always battling health problems, but without complaint. She made the most of whatever the situation and gave me a love of people, imagination and the ability to always find the silver lining.
What is the one thing that you like most about yourself? I like to help others.
If your life was being made into a film, who would you choose to play yourself?  I wouldn't... can't imagine that ever happening.
And what three songs would you include in the soundtrack? Think I'll have to pass on that one... maybe Louis Armstrong's What a Wonderful World
What are your thoughts on life after death? I certainly hope there is, for I can't see me ever achieving all I would like to in just this life.
If you were a superhero, what would your power be? To be able to ensure that all have everything they need, not necessarily everything they want.
I nominate the following bloggers: 
This is where I should select some fellow bloggers, but as I have just nominated quite a number for various awards a little while back, I think I will leave that for a little while. Watch this space...

What I would like to do is to thank Michelle from heritagescrapbook who nominated me. Michelle is a relatively new blogger, but has been creating her beautiful scrapbook papers for some time. They are a perfect addition to family history books as well as many other uses, for a special gift, as backgrounds to your own  scrapbooking, whatever you wish. To keep the costs down, you can order digital copies which you can then take to any of the large stationery/printing chains and have them printed at a very reasonable cost.

For just a little extra, you can have them designed by Michelle to include the details, photos, etc. of your loved ones with appropriate themes. That makes it all so easy... 

If you love beautiful heritage prints, be sure to wander through 
heritagescrapbook  and see just what can be done.


 Every now and then, you come across a story that is simply far too good not to share, so with thanks to, here is Tim's story... 

Tim is a shining example of what love can do... he comes from an amazing family who see his heart, not just the differences.

Hugs on the menu: The world's best restaurateur

Tim Harris media

Tim Harris's story has attracted a huge amount of media interest. Picture: Tim's Place

TIM Harris owns the "world's friendliest restaurant", and is probably the world's happiest person.

His restaurant specialises in good food, good service, and hugs.
"I am a lean, mean, hugging machine," he boasts with a broad smile across his face.
"The hugs are way more important than the food. I mean food is just food."

Tim dancing

Tim dancing in the carpark before work. Because he's that kind of guy. Picture: AOL

Tim really is a special person.
He starts every day by doing a "dance of magic" because he's so excited about coming to work. He personally greets every customer who walks through the door.
It's impossible to watch him talk about his life, and watch him go to work, and not find yourself smiling.

Tim Harris

Tim, the world's friendliest restaurant owner, always with a smile on his face. Picture: AOL

He told his parents when he was 14 that his dream was to open a restaurant and to make people feel better.
He's a shining example of what anyone can achieve, and a reminder that you need only the simple things in life in order to be a happy.

Tim hugging

Tim has given out more than 30,000 hugs. It's on the menu. Picture: AOL

"We are the world's friendliest restaurant," he said.
"I do not let my disability crush my dreams.
"People with disabilities can do anything they set their minds to. They're special. We are a gift to the world."
The "hug counter" in Tim's Place is around 32,475. That's some gift.
Read more about Tim's story here.


Feel free to share this inspiring post by The Silver Voice. To all my lady friends, those I know and those I would like to know, if you do nothing else for March 8th, why not display the logo below, on emails, your blogs, your posts here.. whatever suits you. We've come a very long way since 1911, but the road well travelled has many more places to take us yet!

 These are just a few of the events happening around the country... Google will help you find many more...