It was a dull Wednesday, three o’clock in the afternoon. It looked like rain. Round the corner of my street a Mr Whippy van came, heralded by a plaintive rendition of a music box “Greensleeves”, to my ear a little out of tune. Nobody came to buy an ice cream. Well, the supermarket was only … More Hawkers

Waters of Limerick

This is not about the river Shannon, but about a family called Waters who lived in Limerick Ireland, perhaps in the city, in the 19th century, a member of which was one of my great great grandfathers. His name was Robert Knowles Waters and he was born in the early 1800s in Limerick, migrated to … More Waters of Limerick

Irish ancestors

The Countess of Moira I’ve got Irish ancestors. Quite a few, begorra (by god). And I’m learning more about them. What this really means is I’m learning more about European and Australian history. These were subjects I dozed through at school, so there is quite a lot to find out about. Actually, many people, even … More Irish ancestors

Fighting back

I uncovered a family scandal recently. Looking through records to do with my grandmother, my mother’s mother, I found she had prosecuted her husband for violence and physical abuse, and obtained a separation from him. It was 1911, in Australia, and things like that were not done here then. She came up against a lot … More Fighting back

A Stab in the back

Most of us seem to lead unexceptionable lives, despite our fantasies. Anyone who has researched their family’s history will know this to be true, because all they often have to show for their efforts is the date each ancestor was born, married, and died, and the names of their children. Yet each of us has … More A Stab in the back