Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Trove Tuesday : The family of James Muir

This week I have been continuing the quest to identify photographs contained in the Georgina Auld nee Muir album. Several carte de visite photographs in the album were taken by photographers located in Brisbane and it is the Muir's from Queensland that today's post is concentrated around.

Marriage of James Muir and Kathrin Gray Coutts

Searching the archived newspapers on Trove for a Muir family related to Georgina Muir, resulted in a marriage notice printed in The Brisbane Courier in 1884. The clue was a reference to Georgina's father, [the late] John Muir, who was a Colliery Manager who lived in Gatehead, Ayrshire, Scotland. Gatehead being located within the Parish of Kilmaurs and is approximately 3.5 miles (or 5.6 kilometers) from Kilmarnock.

This particular marriage was between James Muir (youngest son of John Muir) and Kathrin Gray Coutts (daughter of Donald Coutts) and occurred on 15 September 1884. The marriage notice reads as follows:

Source: Family Notices. (1884, September 16). The Brisbane Courier (Qld. : 1864 - 1933), p. 1. Retrieved May 27, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article3434153

Confirming James Muir as a brother to Georgina

From previous research undertaken, I knew that Georgina Muir did have a brother named James and that their father was John Muir. Research also confirmed that James Muir was the youngest son of John Muir and Elizabeth Miller. A quick search of the online Queensland BDM registers for a death for James Muir (index number 1916/B23755) also confirmed both parents names in full.

Two Muir / Coutts marriages

An additional search for a marriage index number between MUIR and COUTTS came back with two results for our James Muir. The marriage previously identified with Kathrin Gray Coutts in 1884 was listed (index number 1884/B009137) as was another marriage in 1874 to Elizabeth Coutts (index number 1874/B004577).

Marriage of James Muir and Elizabeth Coutts

An additional search in Trove confirmed the details located in the registers. This first marriage occurred on 15 December 1874 between James Muir (youngest son of John Muir) and Kathrin Gray Coutts older sister, Elizabeth Coutts (eldest daughter of Donald Coutts). Again reference is made to James' father John Muir from Ayrshire Scotland. The notice appeared as follows:

Source: Family Notices. (1874, December 16). The Brisbane Courier (Qld. : 1864 - 1933), p. 2. Retrieved May 27, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article1392469

The family of James Muir

Looking for Muir births with a Coutts mother in the Queensland birth indexes, we find eleven children. Four children with Elizabeth (first wife of James), and seven children with Kathrin Gray (second wife of James). The children and their birth year/reference numbers are:

Children of James Muir and Elizabeth Coutts

  • 1876/B20863 - John Donald Coutts
  • 1877/B22664 - James
  • 1879/B24813 - Hugh Dalrymple Coutts
  • 1881/B28157 - William Thomas Miller

Children of James Muir and Kathrin Gray Coutts

  • 1885/B34298 - Donald Coutts
  • 1886/C8033 - Elizebeth Wilhelmina
  • 1888/C9124 - Oswald
  • 1888/C9125 - Walter Gray
  • 1889/C9760 - Kathrine Georgina
  • 1891/C4419 - Christina Janet
  • 1895/B55875 - Agnes

Interestingly, based on the consecutive numbers, it appears that in 1888 James and Kathrin had twin boys, Oswald and Walter. This detail is confirmed with a birth notice that appeared in The Queenslander:

Source: Family Notices. (1888, February 25). The Queenslander (Brisbane, Qld. : 1866 - 1939), p. 281. Retrieved May 28, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article19930654

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Trove Tuesday : John Hubert Newman [Photographer]

One of my pet projects of late has been to start digitally archiving a photo album that came into my possession late last year. This particular album contains some beautiful late nineteenth century carte de visite and cabinet card photographs relating to the Auld family, taken by photographers in Scotland, England and Australia. In due course I will be sharing the collection online for all to see.

Always look at the back of photograph

Readers of my blog may be familiar with some talks I have given in regards to identifying and preserving your family photographs and the importance of checking the back of a photograph. This is particularly true with the smaller carte de visite photos, were photographers used the back to imprint their details. A breakdown of some key general dates that may be useful when attempting to date a photograph using the back imprint are as follow:
  • Before 1861 - blank or small pasted label
  • 1860 to 1862 - single line
  • 1862 to 1870 - text includes the word negatives or duplicates
  • 1860 to 1868 - rubber stamp or simple typeset trade name in small print
  • 1880 to 1885 - more ornate with all over designs
  • 1885 onwards - highly elaborate full of publicity information
  • 1875 to 1900 - backs may include a picture

John Hubert Newman - photographer and crayon painter

On the back of one of the carte de visite photos I recently scanned was the name of a Sydney based photographer J. Hubert Newman. Newman operated from several locations throughout his career and I thought it would be an interesting exercise to try and use the digistised newspapers on Trove in an attempt to help narrow the date range for this photograph. 

[monogram] JHN
12 South Head Road
Hyde Park
Based on the medals displayed on the back, we can safely say that the photograph dates from 1872 onwards...but what time period was Newman operating from his studio in 12 South Head Road? According to the biography listing on the Design and Art Australia Online website, Newman was active in Sydney from 1862 -1900. Let's see what Trove has to say...

South Head Road studios

In 1867 Newman advertised in The Sydney Morning Herald that he had terminated his employment with the firm Oswald Allen (late Bradley and Allen). The same advertisement mentions his gallery which was located at 53 South Head Road.

Source: Advertising. (1867, February 23). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 1. Retrieved May 21, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article13137748

It is not until the beginning of 1870 that Newman moves closer to Hyde Park at 12 South Head Road.

Source: Advertising. (1870, February 14). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 1. Retrieved May 21, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article13200507
Source: Advertising. (1870, May 30). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 1. Retrieved May 21, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article13206017

In March 1875, Newman is mentioned in The Sydney Morning Herald, in the matter of the insolvency of Peak Downs Consols Copper Mining Company (Limited) in the Supreme Court of New South Wales, John Hubert Newman is listed as a shareholder of the company, with the address of 12 South Head Road

Source: Advertising. (1875, March 11). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 2. Retrieved May 21, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article13353157

South Head Road renamed Oxford Street

From my research, it appears that all subsequent newspaper mentions of Newman's studio during 1875, list his address as Oxford Street. In July he is advertising for a "Respectable boy", then in August Newman is mentioned in relation to his entries into the Melbourne Intercolonial Exhibition of 1875.

Source: Advertising. (1875, July 19). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 8. Retrieved May 21, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article13357333

Source: The Melbourne Exhibition. (1875, August 21). The Maitland Mercury & Hunter River General Advertiser (NSW : 1843 - 1893), p. 6. Retrieved May 21, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article18797801

Newman is again mentioned when the results for the photography section of the Melbourne Intercolonial Exhibition are announced in October 1875. Achieving a first placed medal for his photographic portraiture - interestingly Newman's address is given as 64 Oxford Street.  

Source: JURY AWARDS AT THE EXHIBITION. (1875, October 5). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957), p. 5. Retrieved May 21, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article7421396

Source: INTERCOLONIAL EXHIBITION. 1875. (1875, October 30). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957), p. 9. Retrieved May 21, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article7423608

During the Easter holidays in 1881, Newman notifies readers of The Sydney Morning Herald that he would be closed over the break. The address given in this instance is 12 Oxford Street.

Source: Advertising. (1881, April 15). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 1. Retrieved May 21, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article13480416

Although to date I have not found a specific date of when the address changed, Garry Wotherspoon in his The road east article listed on the Dictionary of Sydney website, states that "its lower section was renamed Oxford Street in 1875". References to the renaming of South Head Road to Oxford Street can certainly be found in the archived newspapers on Trove - the following is just one example that appeared in July 1874:

Source: Advertising. (1874, July 25). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 13. Retrieved May 21, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article13336477

Back to dating our carte de visite photograph

Taking the documentary evidence into consideration, it appears that the photographer John Hubert Newman carried out his business at his studio located at 12 South Head Road, between the years 1870 and 1874. In regards to dating the photograph in question, and based on the additional of the medals listed on the back of the photograph, the years could be narrowed down to 1872-1874, or 1873 ±1 year.

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Trove Tuesday : 'Auld'ercation with bushrangers

The period between April and May of 1865 was not a good time to be a bushranger. On the 9 April 1865 -  'Mad Dan' Morgan was shot and then a few weeks later on the 5 May, Ben Hall was ambushed by eight well-armed policemen and shot whilst attempting to flee. This was enough enticement to check if individuals with the surname Auld, had any run-ins with bushrangers.

A small scuffle with the local ruffians

A quick search in Trove to see if any Aulds had altercations with bushrangers and found the following intriguing extract from the Launceston Examiner in 1862:

"There has been a severe conflict with three armed bushrangers, at the Denison Hotel, Talbragar. The landlord, Mr Kerr, and his servant, Auld, although both unarmed, resisted, and were both wounded. Seeing that a black boy had escaped through the window, and might be expected to have gone in search of assistance, the ruffians made off."
Source:  NEW SOUTH WALES. (1862, January 9). Launceston Examiner (Tas. : 1842 - 1899), p. 2 Edition: MORNING.. Retrieved May 14, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article41450548

...leads to more information and to more questions

All relatively innocent enough on the surface, although both Mr Kerr and his servant, known by the name of Auld, do appear to have been wounded in the altercation. Being reported in the Launceston Examiner does raise a question though - the incident took place in Talbragar (on the outskirts of Dubbo, NSW) a long way away from Tasmania but obviously newsworthy enough to be printed in the Tasmanian paper. Back to Trove and we find the following more detailed report in The Sydney Morning Herald  in December 1861:

TALBRAGAR—DENISON TOWN. (1861, December 23). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 3. Retrieved May 14, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article13061490

This report gives a more graphic description of the incident and additional details about the wounds received..."Auld succeeded in turning the pistol of his antagonist, and the ball passed harmlessly between his legs; but the third ruffian, being at liberty, took aim, and fired at Auld's head, the ball entering his left cheek, passed through his mouth and right cheek". Unfortunately no additional details are given to help identify the servant Auld.

David Auld - Denison Hotel cook

Further investigations reveal several  reports written by the Herald's Correspondent and reproduced in several regional newspapers. The following report appeared in The Maitland Mercury & Hunter River General Advertiser on 21 December 1861.  Reproduced here as it is easier to read than the original from The Sydney Morning Herald on 17 December 1861 (see http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article13055171):

CASSILIS. (1861, December 21). The Maitland Mercury & Hunter River General Advertiser (NSW : 1843 - 1893), p. 8 Supplement: Supplement to the 'Maitland Mercury'. Retrieved May 14, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article18685690
This informative article not only tells us that his name is David Auld, but that he also is the cook at the Denison Hotel. Although the jubilation of finding the article is somewhat subdued when you take into consideration the grievous nature of his wounds.

Further research would need to be undertaken to see if the above David is the same David Auld mentioned in the Australian Aulds website.

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Trove Tuesday: Susannah Auld [Photo]

Every time you look at Trove, there is something new to discover from newspaper publications coming online through to new photographs being indexed. Photographs can be searched from the main Trove homepage, or via the Trove Pictures, photos, object homepage.

Pictures, pictures, pictures...

With it's roots formed from the National Library of Australia's discovery service Picture Australia back in 2000, the service has now been absorbed by and included as one of the treasures of Trove. A total of 7,208,209 items are indexed in this fabulous section of Trove.

Contemporary images are also indexed from the Flickr group Trove: Australia in Pictures which, at the time of writing this blog post, contained some 162,065 images.

Susannah Auld nee Mills (1855-1923)

A search of Trove revealed the following photograph of Susannah Auld and her daughter Agnes...

Susannah Auld and her eldest daughter Agnes, Ipswich, ca. 1900 [F. A. Whitehead Studio]
Source: FA Whitehead Collection, Picture Ipswich [1090]

The daughter of John Mills and Agnes Warburton, Susannah was born 3 January 1855 in Accrington LAN ENG. On 12 December 1880, Susannah married coal miner come engine keeper John Livingston Auld at the St James Church in Accrington. At the time of the 1881 English census on 3 April, Susannah Auld was listed with her new husband living at 9 Hope Street Accrington, having an occupation of cotton weaver.

John and Susannah had two children, Archibald and Agnes [pictured], before the young family left England and immigrated to Brisbane QLD AUS in November 1883 onboard the Zamora. Settling in Ipswich QLD, the couple went on to have another eight children:

  • Archibald Auld (b.1881)
  • Agnes Auld (b.1882)
  • John Mills Auld (b.1884)
  • Charles Frederick Auld (b.1886)
  • Robert Alexander Auld (b.1887)
  • Margaret Livingston Auld (b.1889)
  • Lillian Mills Auld (b.1891)
  • Florence Livingston Auld (b.1892)
  • Dora Evelyn Auld (b.1895)
  • Blanche McAllister Auld (b.1897)

F.A. Whitehead, Ipswich

Interestingly the studio that took the photograph of Susannah and Agnes Auld, F.A. Whitehead of Ipswich, is still operational and can be found online at Whitehead Studios. According to Alan Davies’ and Peter Stanbury’s book The mechanical eye in Australia: photography 1841-1900, Francis Arnold Whitehead started his photography business in Ellensborough Street Ipswich in 1883. He carried on at this address until 1889, at which point he moved to Brisbane Street in Ipswich.

Historic images from the Whitehead Studios are being digitised by Ipswich Library and will be made available through their Picture Ipswich collection.