Trove Tuesday: Juan and Julia Rocks…or Julian Rocks?

There is a bunch of iconic, to both locals and tourists, rocks off Byron Bay called Julian Rocks. A few years ago, on a study excursion to the Cape Byron Lighthouse, I heard the story about the rocks originally being called the Juan and Julia Rocks. It seems that the discussion over the origin of the naming of these rocks has been going on for a while. This article is only one in a series.

Screen Shot 2016-01-19 at 9.45.37 PM“NORTHEAST CORNER.” Northern Star (Lismore, NSW : 1876 – 1954) 17 Oct 1953: 4. Web. 19 Jan 2016 <;.


Trove Tuesday – Just what I have been looking for

A little while ago, it may have been around this time last year, Trove popped a digitised newspaper up that I had been waiting for, The Northern Star. It covers the area in which most of my father’s great grandparents established themselves, near Lismore in Northern NSW. Coincidentally I now live smack bang in the middle of where they all lived and drive past their old farms on my way to work. Almost as if I always lived here.

Anyway, where was I? Two days ago Trove loaded further articles from The Northern Star and I was very excited because I have been looking for a death or obituary notice for my 2xgreat grandfather George PEARSON. I have been very lucky to have access to the microfilm to the Northern Star where I work and have been successful in finding many notices and articles for my ancestors, but for some reason I have never found George as I scrolled through the microfilm – thank goodness for digitisation!! (I really don’t know how I missed it and am going to pull out the microfilm to see exactly where it is so I know what I did wrong – sometimes things just aren’t where you expect them to be).

Until 2 days ago I knew quite a lot about George as far as where he was born, married, died, how many children he had, where he lived, and that he was one of the first directors on the board of NORCO, however, I knew nothing of the type of man he is. His obituary has helped me gain a clearer picture of who he was.

OBITUARY. (1918, April 26). Northern Star (Lismore, NSW : 1876 – 1954), p. 3. Retrieved November 26, 2012, from

OBITUARY. (1918, April 26). Northern Star (Lismore, NSW : 1876 – 1954), p. 3. Retrieved November 26, 2012, from

Many thanks Trove.

Trove Tuesday – Purple Haze

I grew up in Grafton and have some wonderful memories of Jacarandas and the Jacaranda Festival from my childhood.

My sister and I were talking about it last week and she reminded me of how we used to watch the parade on Jacaranda Saturday that wound its way through the streets of Grafton with the Jacaranda Queen and Princess gliding past…and this huge bizarre green turtle that used to spray water out his nose at the people watching the parade. I can’t remember what it was doing there, but presumably it had nothing to do with saving water!

My other clear memories are those of numerous Jacaranda Thursdays when we used to have the day off school, it was an official holiday for us in Grafton, and once we were old enough, we used to run around having all sorts of fun with water pistols, coloured hair spray and shaving cream – sounds very civilised doesn’t it? We lived in a country town, we had to have something to amuse us.

As young children we used to spend countless hours rehearsing in the heat and dust for the school spectacular when we would perform in front of (many?) people, usually wearing crepe paper outfits and hoping it would rain and transform our clothes into multicoloured disasters.

Last weekend was the big weekend in Grafton for the Jacaranda Festival, and whilst it has been many years since I have been to one I still think fondly of them and thought it would be interesting to see what was in Trove regarding it.

This was an article about the first Jacaranda Festival held in Grafton in 1935.

JACARANDA FESTIVAL. (1935, October 30). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 – 1954), p. 17. Retrieved November 6, 2012, from

So, it would appear that from the very beginning school children were very involved in the festival. There is no mention, however, of crepe paper or shaving cream. That must have come much later.

Trove Tuesday is an initiative of Amy Houston of Branches, Leaves and Pollen.

Trove Tuesday – The sticking up of the Goulburn Mail and a bushranger shot

I’m a little late this week for my Trove Tuesday post, seeing as it is now Wednesday, but here goes anyway.

I came across a story in some information my mother gave me recently about her GOODHEW ancestors. The story goes that my 3xgreat grandfather Henry GOODHEW (1830-1916) was a passenger on the Goulburn mail coach on the night of Tuesday, 25 May 1869 when it was held up by two bushrangers. It was such an exciting story I had to do a search and quickly found an article about the holdup on Trove.

STICKING UP OF THE GOULBURN MAIL—A PASSENGER AND A BUSHRANGER SHOT. (1869, May 31). Empire (Sydney, NSW : 1850 – 1875), p. 3. Retrieved October 24, 2012, from

Unfortunately, although details in the article, such as date and where it was going, match with the personal account I have a copy of, the article does not mention Henry specifically, so I still do not know if he was actually on that mail coach or not. Seems I have a little more digging to do.

Trove Tuesday: Brooklet School Picnic

Trove Tuesday is an initiative of Amy Houston of Branches, Leaves and Pollen.

My post this Tuesday is about a very small item I found that mentions my Nan’s family in Brooklet in Northern NSW, just prior to Christmas in 1900.

Brooklet School Picnic. (1900, December 22). Northern Star (Lismore, NSW : 1876 – 1954), p. 4. Retrieved October 9, 2012, from

It is such a very small mention ‘Simmonds’ but has resulted in me being able to narrow down when the family moved from Milton on the South Coast, up to the North Coast of NSW. My great grandfather, Victor Rex SIMMONS was born in Milton in 1898 so I knew they were still living down South then. Until I came across this article, the earliest I could place them on the North Coast was from the 1901 electoral role.

Although it narrows down the time frame of when they arrived, I still do not know exactly when they came up this way, or why – although I suspect it had to do with selling the family farm and moving to where there was more land.

I should also point out that the name in the article is not spelt exactly the same way as my Nan’s maiden name of Simmons, however, due to the very small population in the area at the time and after not discovering any other Simmons or Simmonds family in the area at that time in my research, I am quite confident it is ‘my’ Simmons family.

I also like this article because of the spirit it represents in people building a new community and how important a school was in that process. Something we take somewhat for granted these days.

Trove Tuesday – one of my fav articles

I love Trove! I would be surprised to hear anyone say anything other than that.

I have found many wonderful articles and images on Trove that have helped add layers to my family history research. One of my favourite articles so far is one about my great grandfather George Thomas Smede who I have previously posted about in Wealth for Toil and The Butcher and the Policeman.

GT Smede takes a starring role as he, “dressed as a cricketer”, (one assumes that means he had just finished playing a game of cricket rather than being dressed up for a fancy dress party!), comes upon a group of people on a picnic. Must have looked like an ordinary group of people enjoying the sunshine and views at Broken Head until….the water exploded in front of them! They were dynamiting fish, as you do – not!

1929 ‘DYNAMITING FISH. PICNICKERS FINED.’, The Brisbane Courier (Qld. : 1864 – 1933), 25 February, p. 14, viewed 28 August, 2012,

This may explain why it is very hard to catch any fish down there these days.