Here you will find snippets from TROVE that refer to 
my family research or just caught my interest. 
 Where applicable, I will link to other articles about the same subject.

Who better to start with than one of my favourite ancestors, my 4th great grandmother, 

Bridget Eslin/Heslin... 

I have written other posts about her, which you can find by using the search bar at the bottom of the page.....

This made me wonder just what Bridget's life was like... so here is what this inspired....



Bridget Swadling nee Dillon

Bridget was my maternal grandmother, wife of Roy Leonard Swadling and mother to 4 children, the youngest was my mother, Margaret Joy, known as Peg or Peggy. Sadly, she passed when my mother was just 11 years old... and yet, I couldn't stop the tears when I read this notice...Bridget died of TB.


John (Jack) Patrick Dillon

oldest brother of Bridget Dillon (above). John came to Australia c 1914, aged 19. It must have seemed a great adventure to him then, yet just 4 years later, he was killed while felling a tree.

For many years, I've been trying to work out who Mrs. M. Casey was, as listed among the mourners as his Aunt. Yesterday, I received an email, via Ancestry, which appears to solve the puzzle. Mrs. Casey was Laura Annie (McGuane), married to Michael Casey. She just happens to be the sister of Ellen/Nellie  (McGuane), mother of John and Bridget (above) and 8 others. I knew Mrs. G. (Gerard) McDermott as Molly (Mary) Dillon, sister of John, Bridget and all. A wonderful discovery to be able to identify Mrs. Casey. 

However, I am now left with more work to do, as I have a different set of parents for Ellen/Nellie from that which my new friend has for Laura Annie, known as Annie...

One door opens and the other seems jammed...


Bridget Swadling nee Dillon

The Don Dorrigo Gazette and Guy Fawkes Advocate Friday May 13, 1948

Mrs. Roy Swadling was my grandmother. It is said that she was a tiny Irish woman, fiercely protective of her family. I hadn't heard this story till my cousin, Robyn McNamara nee Swadling, found this in Trove. My mother was the youngest of four and would have been 7 at this time.

The item mentions children, I wonder who had placed the lamp and if all four were there at the time. This could have had a whole different ending if it wasn't for a brave Mum looking to protect her children.


Roy Swadling

Roy was my grandfather, husband of the aforementioned Bridget Dillon. She had passed away three years earlier.

Expensive tyres indeed. The whole article tells volumes of the times, as the charges were made under the National Security Act. These fines would have been an absolute fortune in those times...

"If you want to compare the value of a £1 0s 0d  Commodity in 1945 there are two choices. In 2013 the relative: 
real price of that commodity is $64.24
income value of that commodity is $277.60"

from Measuring Worth site

I had to smile at the last sentence...

"Roy Leonard Swadling, of Dorrigo, was fined £20 8/- costs £3/3/- expenses and £1/11/6 witnesses' expense. This was for buying tyres without a permit priority 4, 5 or 6."


Pat Swadling, Molly (Mary) Swadling

Pat was my mother's oldest sibling, followed by Mary, known as Molly as a girl. All four of the Swadling siblings went to Mt. St. John Convent in Dorrigo. TROVE brings these wonderful snippets to our attention...I always knew Uncle Pat had a wonderful voice, he was also a good whistler. Poss, as his family later called him, was a laid back, family loving man... nothing seemed to bother him. 

I saw more of Mum's eldest sister, Mary, than Pat, as she always lived reasonably close.. Pat passed 13 years ago this month, aged 78. Mary will be 90 later in the year.. I had no idea that she participated  in plays/concerts, though she has often told me how well she did in bookkeeping, etc., always in competition with Betty, the next sibling in age... now 88.

It's lovely to learn a little more about their childhood as new things come to light. These items are from the Don Dorrigo Gazette and Guy Fawkes Advocate from 1937. Molly is mentioned on the third last line, first column of the seond page... the highlights are for Pat..



Muriel Iris Goopy, Patrick Goopy

Muriel Iris Goopy, was the granddaughter of Patrick Goopy, daughter of his and wife Johanna's daughter, Iris Muriel... father unknown. Iris was unable to care for her daughter, so Patrick and Johanna became the foster parents of Muriel.

As you will read in this article, which appeared in The Truth June 6, 1937, they had their hands full. This is the only photo I have of Muriel and only this, and one other, of Patrick. I can truly see the family resemblance to my in laws in Patrick. Muriel was born in 1922, died in 1946. Patrick was 68 at this stage and no doubt, considered that he was at the end of his tether. Muriel did marry and had one child, but a short life.

(as always, please click on the image to enlarge)


Mavis Goopy and Joseph Walter (Wally) Hackett

On June 9, St. Brigid's Church, Red Hill, was the scene of the wedding of Mr. Joseph Walter Hackett (youngest son of Mr. and Mrs. R.L. Hackett, Kelvin Grove) and Miss Josephine Mavis Goopy (third daughter of Mrs. J Goopy, Auchenflower), when the Rev. Father Frank Masterson officiated.

Miss Joan Hackett was organist and Miss Flora Hackett sang a solo. The bride, who was given away by her brother-in-law (Mr. Norman Grehan), was gowned in ivory satin, fashioned with a high cowl neckline. She wore a white felt halo hat and carried white alum lilies. Miss Claire Goopy (sister of the bride) as bridesmaid, wore pale blue mariette and a matching halo hat. She carried pink roses. Mr. William Keating acted as best man. A wedding breakfast, at which only members of both families were present, was held at the bride's parents' home, Auchenflower.


Miss Lyall Goopy

Lyall Goopy was the 4th child and and 3rd daughter of Mary Christina (nee Callanan) and Joseph McCauley Goopy, who had 8 children in all, 5 girls, 3 boys.

Lyall Gertrude Callanan Goopy was born in Brisbane on Oct 7, 1907. She married 'Tud' Tudor Davies in Wales in 1939. She died in Wales in Mar 1994.

Lyall appeared a number of times in TROVE. mostly for social outings as she loved to dance. Here, she was bridesmaid to her friend, Rita McCloy.


Mary Christina Goopy(nee Callanan)
Gertrude Margaret Callanan (sister)

Mary Goopy was living in Inglewood with her husband, Joseph, who was the postmaster there.  Gertie, as she was then known, was born in Brisbane in 1895, so as a 20 year old, she went to keep her older sister company. Mary Goopy, fondly known to many as Ma or Nana, was my husband's much loved grandmother. (see post below)

Gertie, who later reversed her names and called herself Margaret Gertrude, was to marry James Francis Hegarty in 1917. They had one son,  James William. 

 Gertie later married ? Lyons, though I have yet to find details of this marriage. 

Queensland Punch and Figaro was the 'social' paper of the time and has a wealth of information, often giving detailed descriptions of clothing, holidays, places visited, etc. You can access it by TROVE.


Mary Christina Goopy

(c) Crissouli 1973


William Francis Callanan

William Callanan was born about 1854, in Co Tipperary, Ireland. At about 27 years of age, he married 26 year old, Margaret Mary O'Connor in Maryborough, Queens County, ( now Co Laios ) on the 13 Feb. 1881. At one time, William was a draper in Dublin.

William Francis Callinan
(c) Crissouli

They were to have seven children, four in Ireland and three in Queensland, Australia.. one of which was Mary Christina Callanan as above. William died at his home in Cromwell Street, Wooloowin, Brisbane, Qld on the 27th July, 1927.

Clipping from  The Brisbane Telegraph 27 July 1927

Those named in the funeral notice are Mrs. M.M. Callanan (Margaret Mary nee O'Connor, wife), Mrs. M.C. Goopy (Mary Christina Goopy nee Callanan, daughter), Mr. and Mrs. N.J. Callanan (Nicholas Joseph Callanan, son),  Mr. and Mrs. W.F. Callanan (William Francis Callanan, son), Mr. and Mrs. J.F. Hegarty (James Francis, husband of Margaret Gertrude [ or Gertrude Margaret] Callanan, daughter)  and Mr. Christopher Callanan (son).


Colin McCauley Goopy

Colin McCauley Goopy was the youngest son, and child, of Joseph McCauley Goopy and Mary Christina (Callanan). He was born in Oakey, Qld, on the 19th December, 1917. His father, Joseph, was the Postmaster there. He was just 5 years old when his father, Joseph died. With four older sisters and two brothers to spoil him, he grew up well loved. Around the age of 17, he became apprenticed as a pattern maker. As part of his apprenticeship, he made this huge anchor, which was set in Moreton Bay to hold a navigation buoy. Col is on the right.

(c) Goopy

Col had many interests, including dancing and became well known at the Trocadero in Brisbane. He taught dancing, a great way to meet girls.. and the girl he was to marry, Joan Taylor, was also a dancing teacher.

This is but one of the many photos of Col and friends at the Trocadero. Col is in the middle.


Col and Joan became engaged in May, 1943...and were married in September 1943.

The Telegraph, Brisbane, 11 May, 1943 sourced from TROVE

(c) Goopy

Col had his own engineering business after leaving the merchant navy and during this time, he made a name for himself linked to his long time interest in cars.  He invented an all aluminium cylinder head as in the item below.

Courier Mail, Brisbane, Sat June 15, sourced from TROVE

Col passed away 5 June, 1980, at Mt. Olivet Hospital, Kangaroo Point, Brisbane after a ten year battle with muscular dystrophy. He left behind his wife, Joan and two sons. Col was my father in law.



Sarah was born on Feb 5, 1872, at Junction, Ipswich, according to her birth certificate, though Double Crossing, near Ipswich. has also been mentioned. I'm unable to find either place marked on the maps now. 


She was the youngest of 9 children, and the 5th daughter, of John Goopy and Catherine McCauley, though the second daughter, unnamed, was born and died in 1856. At the time of her birth, it is thought that her father was working on the railways, which he did as a cook and a labourer at different times.

Sarah is listed as a passenger on a steamer named the "Tyrian". As she then lived in Brisbane, it is most likely that she was heading to Rockhampton or Townsville, both places where her brother, John, was known to have sung as a chorister.  There is a Mr. Goopy on board as well, though not fully identified.

Sarah married James Maxwell Fisher on 4th February, 1897. They made their home in the Wynnum Hotel, which they ran in conjunction with Sarah's brothers, John and Joseph at one stage.

 James and Sarah had three children.. I won't go into details here, but will write more on the family at a later date.

Sarah passed away on Dec 19, 1949 in the Beerwah Private Hospital, Brisbane. She rests in the family grave in Toowong.




Claire was the youngest of 5 daughters born to Mary Christina Callanan and Joseph McCauley Goopy, born on 26th August, 1913 and died 7th March, 2005.

In 1942, she married Joe (Joseph) Schott.. they had two children. 

As was the way last century, the social pages were very popular and included all manner to things, in far more detail than is usual today. Claire must have been quite popular as she is noted to have been a bridesmaid a number of times and was often mentioned as being present at various social occasions.

Truth (Brisbane, Qld. : 1900 - 1954), Sunday 26 February 1939, page 36 

Truth (Brisbane, Qld. / 1900 - 1954), Sunday 12 January 1941, page 31

Pre Nuptial China Afternoon



Look for the Catsoulis family making an impression in 1928, just one year after arriving in Urunga, NSW... at the URUNGA Public School sports day...
L. Catsoulis (Sim 6 ), G. Catsoulis (George 12), N. Catsoulis(Nita 14)


 Theo Catsoulis

 Theo was my paternal grandfather ..  he had a cafe in Bellingen in NSW from 1911 till about 1916.. Even a dedicated cafe owner needed a short break at times...
They lived above the shop in those times, so I suspect that there were still some who came to collect Christmas goodies or just to enjoy the hospitality of my grandparents, something they, and all the family who followed, have been known for.
It's interesting to see the names of other shopkeepers at the time. Some of these names remain today in Bellingen.


Harry Catsoulis and Dave Catsoulis

1948  Shooting Competition.. Harry won the Ulrick Trophy and Dave was in the competition also, 
coming in 7th. Harry was the eldest son.

Michael Catsoulis 
( cousin of Theodore Catsoulis, father of Peter, Charles and David, husband of Stella nee Comino)
(click on image to enlarge) 1911


Mrs. Chrisanthe Catsoulis

wife of Theodore Catsoulis, he and she were my paternal grandparents.

An interesting find in an Australian Government Gazette of 1958, thanks to TROVE..

 Nona was an avid gardener and the family had farms...the reason for telling you this is apparent once you see the 2nd clipping. It refers to unclaimed money... I wonder if she ever received that money. She could neither read nor write, but she sure could count money.


Con Catsoulis

Con was the third eldest of my father's siblings, known for his artistic skills, his boxing and his sense of humour. He was born on 20 Jun, 1913, and was 22 when this event happened.

Con Catsoulis Coffs Harbour Advocate Tues 25 Apr 1933



 Daily  Examiner (Grafton, NSW:1915-1954) Saturday 31 July 1943, Page 2

Remembering that newspapers were, for many, the only means of communication, the older publications seem to cover everything. There were major publications in larger towns that would cover quite an extensive area.. as in the extract from TROVE below... They are a great resource to learn more about the areas in which our ancestors lived, as well as their lifestyle. If you were lucky, they would have made the papers.. hopefully for their community work, social activities or births and marriages. Sadly, the only time some made it to publication was for their deaths and funerals.

 Just some of the names listed...most from Bellingen..

Mrs. A.B. Woolford , Mesdames Hooker, Wilkinson, Bailey, Kay, Matherson.
Mr. K. Dark,  Messers Parker, T.H.Hamage.
Matron E. MacMillan.  Mr. V.C. Dyer, Matron Nelson, Constable T. Gates
Private O. Hedges, Private Lionel Sweeney, Driver Sid Sweeney (drowned on the Centaur)



Albury Banner and Wodonga Express Friday 23 September 1938

Dad, Vince Catsoulis, often talked about Colonel Lamb, his favourite teacher, who was also the headmaster, at Urunga Public School, the only school Dad attended. He spoke of him as being strict, but fair. He also liked him as he allowed Dad to look after the class at times...  not unusual in those times, nor was it when I attended the same school in the 1950's. The headmaster at that time was Ron Buck...whom I was very fond of.  

My Grade 1 teacher was Miss Patty Bruce, daughter of Mr. E.W. Bruce, also mentioned in this clipping. I kept in touch with her over the years with the occasional letter and an invite to my Dad'0th birthday, which was in 2003.  

Sadly, she wasn't well enough to attend, but she did send him a lovely letter and some school photos of my year and one of Dad in his early years that her father had given her.  Great memories, rekindled by an item in TROVE.


Urunga... 1927

 Courtesy of TROVE

 Nominations for the committee of the local School of Arts close on Saturday next, July 9. Ballot papers will then be forwarded to every financial member, and the result of the ballot will be announced at the annual meeting on July 20. Keen interest is expected in the election.

The new curtain of the School of Arts has arrived from Fuller's, Sydney, and the committee is putting it into place during the week.

A bar dredge is shortly expected to visit Urunga, and stop to clear the entrance, which, of late, has not been the best for shipping.

Captain Anderson, late skipper of the tug, Volunteer, is leaving Urunga, to reside in Tempe, Sydney.

Committees have been formed in Bellinger River towns, to support the candiature of Mr. Roy S. Vincent, M.L.A. for Raleigh electorate, at the forthcoming elections. 



The Australian Women's Weekly (1933 - 1982)  Sat 23 Dec 1944 


URUNGA wasn't always a quiet town... it had it's fair share of dramas and tragedies...

In 1916, according to the Daily Examiner, Fred Vaughan, was injured in 'an affray'. Vaughan was a name that was heard in Urunga for some time.

In about 1914, Urunga Cemetery was opened..

At least Mr. Ellington could be laid to rest near to home, rather than in Bellingen or one of the other nearby towns. Mr. Ellington was just one of the many who worked on the tugs or other vessels which frequented the busy port of Bellinger.

TROVE The Raleigh Sun Bellingen, NSW   Fri 8 May 1914   Urunga.

BENNETT is another name well known in Urunga. Sadly, William Bennett, was just one of many who drowned at Urunga over time. 

TROVE The Raleigh Sun, 6 Mar 1914 William Bennett

In 1917, it was a man from a nearby town of Dorrigo, Mr. H. Vidler, who was lost by drowning. It was fortunate that the other two, Messers Lind and Kirton, survived.

Raleigh Sun (Bellingen, NSW / 1898 - 1918), Friday 5 January 1917, page 2

In 1932, Herbert Arthur Lisle, drowned in the Urunga swimming pool. He was just 21 years of age.

Daily Examiner (Grafton, NSW / 1915 - 1954)  Thu 21 Jan 1932 




... and the Catholic Freeman's Journal

What does one have to do with the other you well may ask.  Well before emails, smartphones, Instagram, SnapChat and the like, children loved to have pen friends. It was such a thrill to have a letter delivered by the postman and dare I say it, even more exciting, to see your name in print.

One that combined both these was a column in the above mentioned Journal, hosted by "Gumblosson.."  It was called  'Little People'. 

Children often wrote to Gumblossom asking for pen friends... among other things. The children were called Pageites... this was back in the 1930's...

Here is a selection, some from Urunga...  courtesy of TROVE.. 

Catholic Freeman's Journal (Sydney, NSW : 1932 - 1942), Thursday 22 October 1936, page 43  
National Library of Australia      

Life seemed so simple then. There were various children's pages  in newspapers and magazines. 

Did you ever write to one, if so, was your letter published  and did you by chance keep a copy of it?

 Much later, I became a member of the Golden Argonauts.. on the radio, very exciting. I still have my badge... somewhere.  I couldn't wait for the Golden Fleece program with Jason and the Argonauts.

I also joined the ^Gould  League,  a Bird Watchers Club... another badge for my collection. It was around the same time, about 7-8 years old, that I became a proud member of the # Junior Red Cross, inspired by my Aunt Mary and my 'Nurse Nancy' Little Golden Book. * That had real bandaids, which my long suffering Mum replaced from time to time after I'd used them on my brother or our very patient cat, Ginger. At least I didn't have to chase the cat to 'fix him up'.  My Aunt would take me to the School of Arts Hall for first aid training, though I mainly watched or rolled bandages.

* Some of my Little Golden Books Favourites

My very first published poem was in The Australian Chuckler's Weekly... I received a whole 10/6d, which to me was an absolute fortune at 10 years old. Nothing has ever thrilled me more... The poem was called "These Things I Love". I had a copy of that magazine for quite some years, till Mum got into one of her drastic cleaning moods and threw out all my saved magazines...including the edition which was clearly marked with a bright red ribbon on which I had written 'First Published Poem'. 

She said she hadn't noticed, but it took me a very long time to forgive my much loved Mum, especially as the magazines all had glossy pictures of movie stars in them. My weekly magazines were my 'pay' for working in our shop. 

This is the link to the reprints of the covers of The Australian Chuckler's Weekly...  also

Notice the apostrophe isn't in the usual place 
There was even an Annual...

Great memories of simple times.



 and a simple tale...

For a small town, Urunga wasn't short of churches. It was interesting to find this in TROVE..

Don Dorrigo Gazette and Guy Fawkes Advocate , Friday 24 February 1950, page 5

 Note that this was a combined fundraising event for the building fund for both St. Barnabas's Church of England and the R.C. Church building. Many people in town would have been very happy to have things done this way, as so many were taught music by the nuns at the Catholic Church/convent, despite being members of other congregations. My father had piano lessons there for awhile, as I did when I was just 5-6. There was also a Presbyterian Church and a Methodist Church at one time.

 We belonged to the C of E though my grandparents and a number of us were Greek Orthodox. This was the closest to our religion.  I loved going to church, Sunday School and all. I would first go to Sunday School, then stay on to go to church with my Aunt and grandmother, in this lovely old wooden church. I loved the rituals and the friendships. It seemed everyone in town knew my Aunt and Nona. They both worked tirelessly for the church and the CWA. 

My mother was Catholic, so even though she wasn't always well enough to go to church, or, was working, when she did, I would go with her as well, to the Catholic Church in the evening. The service then was in Latin.. and they had more candles... and incense.. I just loved it.

For now, these are the only photos I can find of the old Catholic Church in Urunga... above, just a side view and this one to the right, the old convent..

Though the original C of E had served the town well for many years, the community chose to build a larger and more modern church. While I have attended this one a few times since I left the town, to me, my home church will always be the old wooden structure.


 This church has a lovely garden which can be seen behind the altar thanks to a full glass wall. At the time of my Uncle's funeral, the family had gathered and the Minister was part way though the service, when there was a single knock.. a sound that could be heard thoughout the church.  The Minister continued. Then there was a second knock... I was beside my newly widowed Aunt, with my mother on the other side of her. Next to me on my right side was my other Aunt, the widow's sister. By this time, I had the shakes, as did my widowed Aunt and my mother... then there was a third knock.. and we lost it completely, handkerchiefs hastily covering our faces...The Minister stopped the service, as he thought the poor widow was inconsolable... as well she was, in a way... The Aunt to my right was horrified, as she by now had worked out we weren't crying only from grief, but tears of laughter. For, you see, we three knew something she didn't. My Uncle had always had a fear of being buried alive, so he made us promise that if we heard three knocks, we were to let him out...

 We gathered our composure, assured the poor Minister that we would be ok and prayed that the bird that had flown into the glass was now far away. My Uncle would have loved it.

The next visit to the church was far less eventful, though we did make a family presentation of a chalice for the communion and a cross, to go with the eternal light (lantern) that we had already given to the church in memory of our extended families. No knocks that day.

1st November, 2016 (c) Crissouli



A step back in time

Telegraph (Brisbane, Qld. : 1872 - 1947), Friday 13 January 1893, page 3 (2)
National Library of Australia
Please click to enlarge



  1. Great idea for a blog page or just as a descriptor/category/keyword/hashtag for Trove articles. Do other bloggers have permission to use it?

    1. Thanks, all means, I'm happy for others to use it... It would be nice if they initially said where it came from, 😉 but, seriously, be my guest. We battle enough cooyright problems without worrying over a combination of words.

  2. Chris ! Have we had this conversation before??? Bridget Heslin is one of my ancestors too! Or at least I think so. It's a very familiar name. My father has done most of this research on this side of my family history. The descendancy is something like this....Bridget and R. Nobbs...then John and Mary Nobbs...then Edward Stores and Mary Ann Nobbs,...then George Henry Carrett and Sarah Stores...then George Henry Carrett and Daisy Taylor and then my grandmother Ethel Carrett...ring any bells? But the Hobbs/Nobbs thing is a bit complex and I am happy to be proved wrong or at least share notes.

    1. Alex, I think we mentioned it in passing, and said we would share the details later..My ancestor is definitely Robert Hobbs. Bridget was known as Eslin/Heslin/Haslin to name a few..none of those names you listed seem familiar, even if converted to Hobbs, but I'm not familiar with all lines. If you would like to send me some more details, I will check with others from our Hobbs Reunion Group. It would be great if we could find a connection.

  3. Genimate cousins - how exciting.

    1. I'm hoping, and getting a little bit closer... fingers crossed.

  4. Chris and Alex, any luck yet with a common connection to Bridget?

  5. Not as yet, but I keep hoping.

  6. Kerryn, we now know that we are both descended from Bridget Heslin/Eslin and Fobert Hobbs, sometimes taken and Nobbs. Bridget was my fourth great grandmother, and possibly Alex's fifth.
    Not even trying to work that out, just delighted we are cousins.

  7. I think so too... you never know who you will meet by blogging and genealogy!


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