Stratford Historical Society and Museum

News from the Stratford Historical Society and Museum, in Stratford, Gippsland, Victoria. We are open Tuesdays from 10am to 3pm, and the fourth Sunday of the month from 2pm to 4pm. Our postal address is P.O. Box 145, Stratford, 3862.

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Location: Victoria, Australia

Monday, December 31, 2012

2012 - the year that was

Jill Ball at Geniaus has asked us to look back at the year, and Accentuate the Positive. Which is easy for us, as it has been a really brilliant year.

Here is a list of just some of the highlights.

Top of the list - a brilliantly successful Farm Heritage Day that introduced many of the old processes and skills to a younger generation.

Then, helping a number of famillies connect with their ancestors - especially the Gilruth family (and winning Inside History's and Hairy Mancestor's Best Mo in the Show in the process).

Booking not one, but two exhibitions from the Public Record Office of Victoria for 2013, as well as being part of an Exhibition for 2014 (Training coming up early in 2013).

Publishing books on the Stratford Court House and (with Maffra Historical Society), a two-volume history of the dairy factories in the former Avon Shire.

We received  number of significant additions to our collection during the year - including Archie's Quilt, which memorialises a local man lost in World War I. 

We were the recipient of a Banner, from the Royal Historical Society of Victoria, and the Vera Moore Foundation.

The gravel apron around the building was completed, and the path to the shed is in. Can't find a blog post for that, so here is a photo now. (George points out that this is his tractor, not  museum exhibit).


At the start of the year we were go-betweens, organising the return of a WWI Honour Box to Valencia Creek Hall.

Linda's highlights for the year? Purchasing a Flip Pal scanner, so others can scan photos, and seeing the team get all those newspaper clipping under control, and indexed ready to just paste the info into the catalogue. Magic!

Roll on 2013!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Christmas closure

Stratford Museum will be closed over Christmas, reopening on Tuesday, 8 January.

Why don't you pop in when we reopen, and pick up some holiday reading from our new and secondhand books, in this excellent stand made by George during the year.

We hope everyone has a peaceful, joyous and safe 
Christmas break.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Cahill Collection Photos

We are moving fast on identifying photos in the Cahill Collection, now that we have our eye in. This is Jack Gilruth jr, and his father, Jack Gilruth snr, probably some time after Maud Gilruth nee Cahill died in 1928.

We will be loading future photographs into a set on Flickr, so check them out there.

P.S. We think Jack Gilruth snr's moustace has gone.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Found Another Bride

We have found another photograph in the Cahill photos of what appears to be a Dargo bride wearing the wreath of artificial orange blossom. The problem is - we have no idea who the people in this group are. And no idea of the date. We are taking a guess at 1920-1930. But that is just a guess. You can see more of the story HERE - be sure to read the comments.

If you can name anyone at all in this group, it would be very much appreciated!

The photograph was taken in the studio of C.H. Tuckey at Sale - so that does not help, as he operated there from about 1914 to 1948.

Sunday, December 09, 2012

Looking for Macreadies

The Society has received an enquiry from a descendant of Hugh Macreadie, who died at Stratford in 1874. Hugh was licensee (but did not appear to own) the Stratford Hotel, and had at least 361 acres near Briagolong.

You can see the land Hugh made freehold above, on Middle Creek and just below the red three. This is just on the Briagolong side of what locals know as Murrays Corner. According to his probate papers, he possibly also owned 9A and 9b, plus 11, shown here made freehold by William Forbes. But he wasn't running much stock on them.  All this is part of The Fringe property today. 

There are a number of problems. Macreadie married Hannah Rosina (known as Rosina) Plumb, nee Parsons in 1869, and they had a son Hugh Kennedy Macreadie in 1871. He is shown as deceased on Hugh's death certificate in 1874, but Rosina claims he is alive when she is applying for probate. Then both she and her son disappear.

Can anyone help with what may have happened to them?

Saturday, December 08, 2012

Cahill Family of Dargo

,,,Readers will be aware that we have been posting much on Jack Gilruth and his wife Maud (nee Cahill, of Dargo).

So we thought it time to have a closer look at the Cahills. We would very much welcome contact from any descendants, or anyone who has more knowledge of the family. In the 1990s we received a large quantity of photographs (about 170 of them), two autograph books and a bridal head-dress from the Estate of Ernie Cahill, Maud's brother. Most of the photographs are un-named, although a small number have been identified.

The head-dress is said to have been worn by seventeen brides - and possibly Maud was one of them. This is her sister Elsie, wearing it in 1920, although with a different veil to the one we now have.

 You can see the full photograph HERE.

Thomas Cahill, the father, was born in Melbourne, and his wife, Alice Mary Kenny, in Port Albert. They married in 1874, and lived first at Grant and then at Dargo. (Dargo, for those who do not know it, is an alpine goldfields town that survives today. There is nothing left at Grant). Thomas was active in community affairs, and  member of the mining board.

Alice Mary Kenny died at Dargo in 1935, and we have not yet found a death record for Thomas. There is no headstone for them in the Dargo cemetery, and we last know of him alive in 1909. He was apparently deceased by 1915.

Their children were:

Edith Ellen, b. 1875 Grant, [Edited: mar. 1902 to Frank Fugill, died 1905 (Dec?) at Waihi hosp in NZ, leaving husband and "a very young child".] [Surviving child was a daughter, Maud Frances Fugill, born 1904 NZ, mar 1926 to Eric Lawrence Roberts.]

William Walter, b. 1878 Grant, died 1879 Grant, after drinking acid for soldering.

Alice Maud, (known as Maud) b. 1879 Dargo, married 1911 to Jack/John Gilruth, died 1928 at Newtown in Sydney. [Had one son, Jack, b. Sydney May 1912]

Thomas John, b.1881 Dargo [apparently died 1934, possibly Sydney] [Was in Auckland in 1907, later in Philadelphia]

Georgina Grace, b. 1883 Dargo, died 1957 [Edited: possibly at Stratford], did not marry

Ernest Morris, b. 1885 Dargo. Worked in mills at Powelltown. [there in 1935] [Died in Bairnsdale in 1980 aged 94]

Sydney Percival, b.1883 Dargo. [Edited: enlisted in WWI in 1915, received gunshot wounds to the head in 1918, invalided home, received a full pension. In Brisbane by 1935, in 1952 family were attempting to find him, having not heard of him for many years. Last in Brisbane]

Rubina Kathleen, b.1890 Dargo, died 1969 Traralgon. Did not marry. [Edited - long-term postmistress at Dargo]

Leslie Leonard Bernard, b.1893 Dargo [Edited: died 1951 at Sale]

Amy Mary, b. 1895 Dargo, died 1977 Traralgon, did not marry

Elsie Elizabeth, b 1895 Dargo, mar. Thomas Garrett Donovan 1920, died 1974 Maffra.

[Amy and Elsie are possibly twins]

So if anyone can help with any further details, it would be much appreciated.

Thursday, December 06, 2012

More from the Gilruths

We are absolutely delighted, at Stratford Historical Society, to welcome Russell Gilruth and his family to the conversation about the Gilruth family. Russell and his father have been trying to find Jack Gilruth Gilruth, and last night put him into an internet search engine yet again - and this time all our recent posts came up. We look forward to lots of ongoing mutual research.

In the meantime, we have identified what we think is Maud's photograph, taken at the same time as Jack had his taken with that moustache, and sent to his future mother-in-law in Dargo.

This is Maud:

It is signed with what appears to be the same pen, in the same style as Jack's photograph. And we know Maude always had a liking for large hats. This photograph is 1911, scroll down further in the post linked above, to see what she is wearing later. We almost wonder if it is the same hat reworked.

So what took a beautiful young girl from the remote mountain goldfields town of Dargo, to Melbourne, where she met Jack? 

We do know that for a time, after they married, they were in Sydney before going to New Zealand. Here are two pages from the autograph book of Amy Cahill, Maud’s sister:

(Our apologies to anyone who read an earlier draft of this post, where we posted another page from the autograph book instead - we are now waiting for someone to read the shorthand to be totally sure of who that signature is from)

We have one little piece more to add to the puzzle, once we can get another photograph scanned (which my take a while, as Christmas approaches)

But we would most sincerely like to thank HairyMancestors, who started us off on this journey - we would not have done it without you.

What a wonderful result.


But there is more - Jack's moustache photo not only reunited him with his family - it has won Best Mo in the Show over at Hairy Mancestors. Thank You, Inside History Magazine.

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

And the winner is....

 And the winner is....

Jack Gilruth Gilruth, pipped Cr Carter by $1.30 in the Movember Stakes

We raised $35.30 in total with our little bit of fun, which only got started half way through Movember. 

Look out next year, here we come.

But you have not heard the last of the Gilruths. Stand by for more of this international Love Story, between a Man, a Woman and a Moustache.