Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Remembering Roy

Take a few moments to have a good look at the photo below.  

What are your thoughts?  How do you feel?  What do you see?

Source:  www.awm.gov.au
Taken by Unknown Australian Official Photographer 28th September 1917.  Belgium: Flanders, West-Vlannderen, Ypres
Stretcher bearers of the 57th Battalion, at Polygon Wood in the Ypres Sector.  This area was subject to almost continual shellfire, the front line, then about 300 yards away, having been established only the morning before, following the attack on this vicinity by 4th and 5th Division
This is likely the final resting place of my first cousin (twice removed), who died at Polygon Wood three days before this photo was taken.  He was only 20 years of age.   The photo above shows other members of his Battalion, scouring the battlefields, searching for survivors.

Source: www.awm.gov.au
Private Roy Weir was never located and his memory is now preserved on panel 164 at the Australian War Memorial and also on Panel 29 at Menin Gate, being the memorial for soldiers whose graves are unknown.

Roy Weir in 1906
A book was also amongst his
 final possessions
Richard Royal James Weir
1897 - 1917
Richard Royal James Weir (aka Roy) was born at the small farming community of Kinimakatka, in Western Victoria, Australia on the 21st August 1897.  He was the third of the four children of James Weir and Catherine "Amy" Page Pilgrim.

Roy would have been the "man of the house" from a young age as he was only six years old when his father died.  He became a plumber prior to his enlistment.
Although he listed his age as 18 years and 11 months when he enlisted for duty in 1915, he was actually a year younger but he had the written approval of his mother to join up.1

Roy was a small man, standing at 164cm (5ft 4in) and weighing about 56.4 kg (8st 12lb) with blue eyes like his mother, brown hair and a ruddy complexion.1

Nhill Free Press (Vic. : 1914 - 1918),
Friday 4 October 1918, page 2
The same page also included memorials
 to two cousins

After his death the local paper reported "He was very popular amongst the young folk of Nhill, who deeply regret the passing of a sterling young comrade.........The flags in Nhill were flying at half mast on Tuesday as a tribute of respect for the gallant young soldier, who made the supreme sacrifice while fighting for his king, country, and those who stayed at home" 2

I cannot begin to imagine how his mother felt, when nearly 12 months later, she received a package containing her late son's belongings; 2 torches, a razor, brush, 2 maps, a book and a belt.1

Amy Weir remembering her son, Roy.
The brooch is his image.

Today, on this ANZAC Day3, nearly 100 years since the death of Roy Weir,  I remember my cousin, who would have seen unimaginable horrors at such a young age and who did not get the opportunity to have children or to live a full life.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

1 www.recordsearch.naa.gov.au - Series Number B2455 and Item Barcode Number 8380249
 www.trove.nla.gov.au - Nhill Free Press (Vic. : 1914 - 1918), Friday 26 October 1917, page 2 
3 ANZAC stands for Australian and New Zealand Army Corps.  Australian and New Zealand soldiers became know as ANZACs during the war.  ANZAC day is the 25th April every year.  It marks the anniversary of the first major military action fought by the ANZACs in World War 1.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Regina Zelicz?

Back: Katharina Fritz, sister Maria
and Alois Fritz
Front: Josef (son of Maria) Adolf, Victor Fritz  
and Friedrich Fritz

I deliberated before completing this post as nothing in it has been verified and I have been told conflicting stories, so do not know what to believe!

I am hoping that someone who is related will read it and correct me or assist me!

My husband's family could not tell me much about their family.  I find it very difficult to understand that you would not know the names of your grandparents!  When we visited Germany in 2006, we were provided with conflicting information, which I been unable to verify.

I was told that Alois Fritz was married to Regina Zelicz. However Regina is not named as being in the photo?  Had she already died and therefore is it  Alois' mother is pictured?  There are more children than kids named?

Back in 2006, when I received the information,  I was early in my genealogy journey and didn't notice the anomalies or ask the right questions!  I look forward to getting back to Germany (and visiting Romania and Poland) and potentially finding out more!

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Saturday, April 30, 2016


I wonder where this house is?
"This is the back off our
house and that is Dad at
the harth [hearth?] room windo
and a nother yound man
and Allan Wright in the
door way and the sumer [summer]
house with the creeper
getting up to the top

My grandmother wrote this so it seems that the man in the centre of this photo is her father, Robert William Jones, who died in 1920, which makes this, the only known photo of Robert William Jones.

In 1909, Robert William Jones is recorded as living at Clunes Road, North Creswick,
on the 28th December 1911 the house was destroyed by fire.  In 1914, the family is  listed as living at Vincent Street, in nearby Daylesford.

My grandmother would have been seven years old when the fire destroyed the house so perhaps this is Daylesford house?

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Friday, April 29, 2016

X Chromosone

I am very new to using DNA in Genealogy and don't yet understand it.  However, from my naive perspective, my mother's DNA revealed some potentially interesting things.  Providing me me with questions than answers.

The ethnicity results (as per pictures below) show a diverse mixture of backgrounds.

Source:  Ancestry DNA

The thing that stood out to me initially was the 4% African and 2 % Asian as none of my research shows African or Asian descent.

One of the brick-walls in my mothers family is Samuel Drayton, who is listed on many certificates as being born in Philadelphia, United States.  Therefore I wonder if he was of African origin?
If Samuel Drayton was 50% African then
his daughter would be 25% African
his granddaughter would be 12.5% African
his great granddaughter would be 6.25% African
his great great granddaughter (my mother) would be 3.12% African.
The African portion in the DNA results is 4% so this works!
Now I need to prove it!  I hope that I can link to another family member in America from the same family!

Another brick-wall is the Foy family, which is the only Irish family in my mothers ancestry.  Richard Foy was born in Galway according to his marriage certificate.  The name "Foy" does sound Asian so maybe the Asian showing in the DNA is from  Richard's grandparents?

And then recently, I completed a chart showing places of birth, which has totally confused me and made me wonder if there was some hanky panky at some stage?

In the chart, the dark green (at the top of the chart) represents the Irish ancestry.  It is very likely that the parents are also of Irish origin but this has not been positively verified.  The Irish percentage of my ancestry is a very low percentage according to the chart.  However the ethnicity chart above indicates that my mother is 34% Irish!

I don't know enough about the DNA testing to know exactly how the percentages are calculated.  My Christmas present to myself will likely be a more comprehensive DNA test, which tells me additional details.

DNA testing has not yielded any additional details to date, but has instead given me more questions than answers!

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Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Walter Scott Dart

Cousins at Little Desert
Allan Scott and Walter Scott Dart

Walter Scott Dart is my first cousin twice removed (ie the cousin of my grandfather).

He is the fourth child of John Dart and Eliza May Scott.  He was born at Nhill, Victoria, Australia on the 27th May 1914. He was only 45 years old when he died from a "coronary occlusion", leaving a wife and four children (aged between ages 7 and 12).

His brother, Don, is pictured here.

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