Moreover, my ancestors' souls are sustained by the atmosphere of the house, since I answer for them the questions that their lives once left behind. I carve out rough answers as best I can. I have even drawn them on the walls. It is as if a silent, greater family, stretching down the centuries, were peopling the house.

Carl Jung (1875 - 1961)

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

I carve out rough answers as best I can - the beginning

Welcome to my Family History Blog. I have been researching my family history for two years using internet databases, paid and free, and also the resources of Genealogical Societies. I've also connected with distant family or those whose family trees coincide and we have exchanged information and solved a few riddles together. I have found this research absorbing  - at times an intellectual puzzle; at other times an emotional journey.

I started with a few quests - What was Elizabeth Lodge's life like? and I have found some answers (she kicked over the traces and led an adventurous life). How did Joseph Clarkson really come to decide to immigrate to New Zealand? (the accepted family history did not mention the debtor's prison!). Why did Joseph Stokes change his name to Stennett? (its still a mystery, and his wife was concealing something too). Some secrets - we did not know Grandma's exploits made it into the 'Truth' - a notorious but entertaining newspaper specialising in scandal. What about the hard life of James Newton, a coal miner at the age of 10, and the Redcoat who was a poet?

I intend this bog to trace my research as it unfolds, but I will go back a little at first to tell the paths I have taken so far. I hope you will find this story interesting and useful. If you, the reader, would like to comment, feel free! Collaborative work is essential in unlocking the past.


  1. Welcome to the genealogy club!! I have a few ancestors who moved between Victoria and New Zealand, mostly following gold. I look forward to following your research.

  2. thank you for your reply, Laren - I have a g grandfather who mined platinum in NZ - I had no idea you could! and a couple of others, but mostly they stayed in NZ and were in business. I find the women in my family vastly more interesting than the men - often more adventurous! I am looking forward to writing about a gg aunt, Eugenie who lived in the east end - amazing lady! Cheers!