Utas diploma of family history 2020

Photo of University of Tasmania taken by “The Examiner”

Following my invigorating research trip to the Hawkesbury NSW in June/July 2019, I felt inspired to plan a P[r]endergast family reunion and coordinate a “go fund me” and heritage grant to raise funds to restore the family Vault at the old Catholic Cemetery Windsor during 2020.

The Whitsundays where I live is a very long way from the Hawkesbury so I knew that I would have the ideas but need a great team of experts on the ground to bring the plans to fruition.

I met with Michelle Nichols OAM, a local Hawkesbury expert, regarding coordinating a Prendergast family reunion in 2019. I emailed Katie Hicks of the National Trust in regard to restoring the P[r]endergast family vault at Windsor. I then emailed a contact that I have in Ireland, Dr. Ruan O’Donnell a senior lecturer in History at the University of Limerick. I invited him to come to Australia for a 220 year commemoration of the arrival of the first convict ship “Minerva” with an Easter service at the Martyrs wall, Waverley Cemetery. I felt confident that my dreams could become a reality.

But, as the expression goes “the best laid plans of mice and men …” So sadly, like many other people world wide, my plans were thwarted by the outbreak of Covid 19 and subsequent lockdown.

Undeterred and not knowing how long Covid would curb my plans, I decided that if I couldn’t coordinate a family reunion and Vault restoration, that I would further my studies in family history.

Several years ago I had been told of the brilliant Utas diploma of family history and after further investigation and comparison with similar University courses, I decided to enrol in the Utas diploma of family history.

I cannot speak highly enough of the course. I loved every minute of it. It was wonderful!

Although, due to the fact that like all Universities world wide, on campus study had to be converted to on-line study for all students, I felt the staff at Utas did an amazing job under very difficult circumstances.

Family photo of Nanny – Milda May Rawlings and grandchildren c.1957
Continue reading “Utas diploma of family history 2020”

Repository Visit to Sydney.

In January 2019, I travelled to Sydney to conduct genealogy research into property owned by the Prendergast family in the Hawkesbury district of NSW. The records were held at various Repositories in Sydney, Kingswood and Wollombi.

I wanted to locate records at the repositories and then visit the land of my forbears to get a sense of how my ancestor John Prendergast and his wife Catherine would have felt as first settlers on that land.

With Barry’s technical assistance, I plan to document these blocks of land on an interactive map, recording them for future generations.

View from Sydney University Village accommodation

I chose Sydney University Village as my base for the first visit in January because it was centrally located, there was plenty of public transport available and it was reasonably priced.

I visited the New South Wales land Registry Services to obtain maps of the Prendergast properties in Lower Portland, Kurrajong, Windsor, Pitt Town(formerly Mulgrave place) and Wollombi.

New South Wales Land Registry Services

By pre-booking the documents that I wished to view during my Mitchell Library visit, I was able to discover which properties were crown grants and which ones were purchased by the Prendergast family.

Mitchell Library safe
Continue reading “Repository Visit to Sydney.”

Fond memories and exciting new research

Saturday 19 August, 2017

I am back in the Whitsundays and constantly in awe of the amazing trip I enjoyed to Ireland in May/June this year.

 

London

Visiting the National Archives at Kew, I changed trains at Turnham Green Station. This is the very area where King William 111 would have been assassinated had it not been for my ancestor Sir Thomas Prendergast, 1st Baronet. I did not know this at the time but found out a few days later about the Jacobite plot with the intended ambush of his coach at Turnham Green on Saturday 15 February, 1696 and Sir Thomas Prendergast’s role in preventing the murder.

 

At the National Archives Kew I was delighted to read the details of Sir John Standish Surtees Prendergast Vereker, Baron Kilarton of Gort, sixth Viscount Gort, and the role he played as Commander in Chief of the British Expeditionary force at Dunkirk.

 

Lord Gort’s promotion to Governor of Malta and Gibralta in 1942 was exciting to read with the often hand written documents and mention of the Prime Minister of England Sir Winston Churchill, Louis Mountbatten and King George V1

 

Lord Gort is descended from Maurice de Prendergast, as am I. Continue reading “Fond memories and exciting new research”

A Princess in Enniscorthy Castle.

Tuesday 30 May, 2017

Every little girl dreams of being a Princess in a Castle. We grow up with stories of Snow White and Cinderella but no one really believes that they can live in a Castle – even for a short time.

Today I felt like a Princess. As I watched the tables being laid, the flowers being arranged, the food being plated up and people running to and fro to ensure that everything was ready for my High Tea to take place in Enniscorthy Castle, I felt like a Princess.

I had to keep pinching myself that this was really happening. I was so excited. Continue reading “A Princess in Enniscorthy Castle.”

Antiques, Grave stone Rubbings and Prendergast family Deeds.

Wednesday 24 May, 2017.

At 10am this morning, a warm welcome awaited me at the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland when Aaron Binchy, a relative of my favourite author Maeve Binchy, greeted me at the door of the Society.

 

 

 

 

Conor Lucey, the President took me on a personally escorted tour around the building and historical garden. The house has been kept in its original state and the garden has been planted in keeping with herbs and flowers of the original garden. Continue reading “Antiques, Grave stone Rubbings and Prendergast family Deeds.”

Interesting discovery in Dublin and at the National Archives of Ireland

Tuesday 23 May, 2017

John Prendergast, my 5x Grandfather died intestate in 1833. In Windsor, Australia, shortly before his death, he distributed all of his possessions to his children. Why did he die without leaving a Will? Was it to save his family the expense of paying death taxes? Was it so that he could distribute his property in the way that he was assured that each beneficiary would receive what he wanted them to inherit? Or, as a United Irishman who was transported to Australia for his involvement in the 1798 Rebellion, had he memorialized a Will in Ireland prior to being arrested in 1799.  Was he afraid the authorities would tie his Australian Will to his Irish Will had he left one in Australia? Continue reading “Interesting discovery in Dublin and at the National Archives of Ireland”

Conference papers and Certificate ceremony

Clans and Surnames Conference, Nenagh, Tipperary.

Friday 19 May, 2017

I awoke bright and early and very excited. Today is the day I deliver my Conference paper ‘The Quest to find Prendergast ancestry”

The day started with Dr. Michael C. Kean who has written a book from Laois (pronounced Leesh) to Kerry.

AAEAAQAAAAAAAAkVAAAAJDM0MzYwMWJmLTQyNGEtNGEzMi04NWE2LTc0YmFiM2IxMWI2ZgDr. Penny Walters delivered a very interesting and heartfelt paper “Is adoption the Primal Wound”

 

 

This was followed by Jane Halloran-Ryan- Tyredagh Clunes – What we can learn from one family’s journey – From Country Clare to Connecticut. Continue reading “Conference papers and Certificate ceremony”

The importance of taking care of your family history

Clans and Surnames Conference, Nenagh, Tipperary Ireland

rachelLast year with the help of the lovely Rachel Spano, Senior Archivist of the State Library of Queensland, Australia, I was able to pass on techniques for Preservation, Conservation and Restoration at a Workshop that I conducted where Rachel Spano participated in an outreach skype session.

When I held the Workshop at the Whitsundays Regional Council Library in Cannonvale little did I realize that just 4 months later, Cyclone Debbie would cause catastrophic damage to the Whitsundays and demolish the Cannonvale Library and the Whitsunday Family History Library in Proserpine. Continue reading “The importance of taking care of your family history”

Portumna Workhouse and Portumna Castle visit

Clans and Surnames Conference Nenagh, Tipperary.

Wednesday May 17, 2017

We started the day with a Round table discussion.

LHS_TonyBrowne

 

Tony Browne was very knowledgeable on the subject of Limerick Surnames. He had us all laughing with some of his stories about tracing family names.

 

Civil Parishes and Death Registration sources was discussed at length with John Nangle and Dr. Paul Mac Cotter. John had been the expert who accompanied me to the Registry of Deeds in Dublin in 2015 when I found a primary document of one of my ancestors. Continue reading “Portumna Workhouse and Portumna Castle visit”

Finding my ancestors

Tuesday 16 May, 2017

Clans and Surnames Conference, Nenagh, Tipperary, Ireland

Today four of my favourite experts will deliver Conference papers.

DonovanBrian Donovan of find my past will tell us how to find your Convicts and Criminals in family history Research.

Fiona-FitzsimonsFiona Fitzsimons will explain the Irish Registery of Deeds, one I found to be a very helpful repository in Dublin. Continue reading “Finding my ancestors”