Tuesday, 30 April 2013

From Glasgow to Toowoomba

So, its been a wee while since I posted anything but I figured this is the week. 

On my Mum's side of the family there is a little bunch of detectives finding all sorts at the moment. We are all 3 x great grandchildren of our common ancestors Thomas Kelsey b1808c and Sarah Hulett b 14 Nov 1807. We've all been searching on our own for 20 years or so, but have slowly been making connections over that time until we have joined forces - and we're still recruiting ! The interesting part has been discovering how intertwined the families were a couple of generations ago, when they were closer to those common ancestors.

Thomas and Sarah were country folk; ag labs. They had five children. One son stayed in the same area working on the land to support his family, the other two sons joined the booming railroad industry, one daughter married a railroad worker and the other a local roading contractor. Their descendants are spread across the United Kingdom in England, Scotland and Wales and across the globe in the United States, Australia and New Zealand.

The Scots connection has only been recently uncovered and has also lead to discovering other emigrants to Australia and the United States. Yesterday I was comparing my information to that of another descendant on GenesReunited and noted that a 2nd cousin of my grandmother had a death recorded in Queensland Australia. This was something new, so after looking up passenger lists on Ancestry I discovered that Thomas Laing Kelsey had emigrated on his own from Scotland aged 16 on the Oronsay. Off to Trove I went to see what else I could find out.

I didnt find anything which mentioned Thomas by name. There were a number of articles about a charity ball which had been held on board after the ship arrived in Brisbane while moored on the river. There were two articles though, concerning one of Thomas's fellow passengers. One in the Sydney Morning Herald on 2 August 1929, and the other in The Courier Mail on 6 August 1929 which was more detailed. These two articles also gave some background to the Boy Migrant Scheme under which Thomas had emigrated to Australia.

The Brisbane Courier (Qld. : 1864 - 1933), Friday 2 August 1929, page 6

Thomas began his new life in Toowoomba. He later married there and had a couple of children before moving in the 1950's to the Gold Coast. I wonder why he applied to be part of the scheme, how did he qualify ? Both of his parents were still alive at the time he left Scotland. His father had been in the Army so must have had a pension, but perhaps they had fallen on hard times.

Some more detective work is required I think, to find out more and see if there are more  descendants to find and connect with.

This post forms part of Trove Tuesday as suggested by Amy, from Branches, Leaves & Pollen.