The Treasures Found on Trove

School Children at Leadville, NSW,.. Taken about 1917/8.
Perhaps it was taken on Empire day. I believe the teacher, far left, was Mr. Matchett mentioned in the article below.
The little girl sitting sixth from the left in the second row from the front, is my maternal grandmother, Margaret Jane PARKER. 1907 – 1981.

While I was perusing the website of Trove I found some very descriptive articles in the Mudgee Guardian. I thought this one gave a beautiful illustrative view of the dedication of our forebears back in 1923.

I hope you enjoy this one as much as I did.


Empire Day at Leadville was celebrated on Saturday, 26th May, by a picnic, athletic sports for children and presentations of prize books, on the local recreation ground. The refreshments were given by the residents. Flat, long distance, three-legged, sack, and obstacle race, constituted the athletic part of the programme. During the day the machine gun, presented to Leadville by the Commonwealth Government, was unveiled, and then placed in the local public school.

The gun is a German one, and was captured by the 20th Battalion of Australian infantry at Warpsee, Aboncourt, on the Somme, on the morning of 18th August, 1918. Mr. H. M. R. Tomlinson, of ‘The Lighthorse,’ Leadville, loaned for the day a trench hat; also a German helmet and war trophies captured at Gallipoli and in France. A descriptive chart, which accompanied Mr. Tomlinson’s loan, proved very interesting. Among the souvenirs was a piece of a wrecked British aeroplane. 

Mr. W. R. Matchett, head-master of the local school, was secretary of the functions, and was assisted by a willing band of, workers. Messrs. John Scoble and Thomas Parker rendered great assistance in preparing for the day’s functions. Mr. J. G. Drummond made a suitable stand upon which the gun is mounted. He also printed the inscription describing the gun’s capture. Messrs. W. F. Dunn. M.L.A., John Scoble, P. Russell, J. Cam pie, P. Tonkin, Harold Horne, J. G. Drummond, and J. Healy were prominent in running off the various children’s events. Mesdames W. Matchett, P. Barrett, A, Rayner, Jas. Smith, C. Lonard, John Scoble and W. Corliss, assisted by a willing band of young girls, attended to the refreshments. 

At 2.30 p.m. the school children assembled and marched, four-deep, to the saluting base, where the addresses were delivered. Mr. W. R. Matchett introduced the speakers, Mr. W. F. Dunn, M.L.A., and- Mr. H. E. Horne, M.L.C., to the assembled people and children. Mr. Dunn said he was very pleased to have the opportunity of addressing the children and presenting the Empire Day prize books. He thanked the residents for their kind invitation to be present. He was a teacher once, and always appreciated the opportunity of addressing children because they would be the future men and women who would control the destinies of this grand Australia land. The day was, from a weather point of view, an ideal one for a picnic but he hoped a change to wet weather would follow quickly for the benefit of the district. This was Empire Day for Leadville; Australia was a part of the greatest Empire the world ever knew. The British Empire was great in area ‘and great’ in population. It was also renowned for its justice and freedom, and it humane treatment of conquered races. Other Empires had been great but, lacking the freedom and justice practised by the British- Empire, they had passed into insignificance. Australia was the grandest country in the world. She had more miles of railways, more sheep, more cattle, more production, and more commerce per head than any other country. Continuing, Mr. Dunn said: It is your duty to become true Australian men and women and, further improving your glorious country, pass it on to your  successors, a better place than you found it. Now let me take you to another aspect of the question wherein Australia proved her greatness. During the late Great War Australia transported across thousands of miles of ocean four hundred thousand soldiers without a single sea casualty. That in itself is a wonderful achievement. Napoleon and other great war horses that you read about never performed any deed to measure with that. To be a good citizen you must be prepared to make sacrifices. To my mind the women made the greatest sacrifices in the war because their part as mothers, wives, and sweethearts was to wait anxiously, although fearing that any mail might bring the worst tidings. 

The early Australian settlers were great men and women. They penetrated, years ago, the unknown bush, and willingly, took risks from blacks, fire, drought, floods, and lack of medical comforts, in order to found a new country for their children. Think well of the great land you have, capable of producing all manner of necessities: Mr. Dunn exhorted the children to be loyal to Australia because, if they were, it followed they must then be loyal to the British Empire, as Australia was the grandest -heritage within that Empire. Mr. Dunn then hoisted the Union Jack amid cheers from the children. The speaker then presented each school child with an Empire Day prize book. The children appreciated the complimentary remarks which accompanied each presentation. At the conclusion of the presentation the children gave three cheers for Mr. Dunn and were then dismissed. Every child under school age received a picture book. Mr. Dunn said it was one of the best school presentations he had ever witnessed.

Mr. Horne thanked the people for the honor of being allowed to unveil the presentation machine gun. He was very pleased to be present. He said that Captain Dunn had given a practical demonstration of his loyalty to the Empire, and as a result had spent nearly two years in the Randwick military hospital. He was sure Leadville would value the gun, not only as a trophy of victory, but as a constant reminder of the great part Australians had played in the war. He need not remind them how their boys had distinguished themselves, or what they had endured and suffered. ‘When that gun had rusted away and disappeared, their great achievements would  still be remembered with pride and gratitude by the people of Australia. Mr. Horne expressed the hope that the children attending Leadville school, when they looked at the gun, would sometimes think of the sixty thousand heroic young Australian soldiers whom graves lie over the sea. It was impossible to express what we owe to them. They had given up their lives and all their hopes of happiness for the sake of Australian freedom. They had died that we should remain free. We could not repay them for their logs and suffering, but we should endeavour in every way to make our land worthy of their great sacrifice. Mr. Horne then drew the Australian flag aside and showed the gun with Union Jack alongside. Mr. Reg, Brooks, a returned soldier settler on Pine Ridge, thanked Messrs. Dunn and Horne, on behalf of the residents, for their attendance and addresses. He called for cheers for them, and these were heartily given by the assembled people. Visitors were present from Merotherie, Moreton Bay, Coolah Bridge, Denison Town, Pine Ridge, Mudgee, and Inverell. It was the best Empire Day gathering held at Leadville for many years. 

Mid-day lunch was served at noon and afternoon tea at four. At night a juvenile plain and fancy-dress ball was held in Healy’s Hall. The fancy costumes were : Merleen Barrett (Maid of Mountains), Lorna Ballard -Queen of Diamonds), Thora Scoble (superstitious), Lily Martin (Poppy), Ena Hobbins (Night), Mary Dougherty (Christmas Cracker), Dulcie Dougherty (Daffodil), Mona Dougherty (Flower Girl), Dorothy Scoble (Egyptian Lady), Iro Lonard (Fairy), Laura Scoble (Fairy), Ma bel Lonard (a Rose), Olive Oldfield

(Bluebell), Bert. Smith (Sailor), Alick Barrett (Jack Frost), Hilton Scoble (Burlington Bertie), Norman Lonard (Golliwog), John Scoble (Golliwog), Dave Parker (Tramp),Floyd Green (Tramp), Ray Martin (Tramp), Irvine Hobbins (Tramp)..

The juveniles danced from 7 to 10, p.m., and the adults from 10 to 12 p.m. The music was supplied by Miss Scoble (piano), – extras being played by Misses V. Field, Grace Bratby, Mary Dougherty, Thora Scoble, Mrs. Brooking (piano), and Mr. L. Charlton (accordeon). The dance was a great success and was the best of its kind ever held here. 

Mr. Healy kindly gave the hall free. Mesdames Matchett, Barrett, A, Rayner, Lonard, J. Scoble, and W. Corliss had charge of the refresh, meats. Mr. W. Bratby also rendered assistance. Messrs, P. G. Tonkin and J. Donoghue acted as M.C. Mesdames C, Lonard and W Corliss collected the handsome amount which purchased the children’s presentation books. Councillor Ronald Bowman (McRotherie), of Wyaldra Shire, who attended, donated £1 towards the day’s entertainment.

Mudgee Guardian and North-Western Representative (NSW : 1890 – 1954), Thursday 31 May 1923.

Arthur “Toss” Parker. 1923-1942.


“Lost on the Montevideo Maru”


Researched by Margaret Hope 2012.

Arthur “Toss” Parker was eighteen years and one month old on 4th April 1941 when he enlisted in WWII.

He was too young to join the A.I.F., so he volunteered for the Anti Aircraft Anti MilitaryLanding Craft Defence Force, Rabaul. After his compulsory training and pre-embarkation leave, he embarked on HMAT Neptuna on 7 August 1941 and disembarked Rabaul on 16 September 1941along with two officers and fifty-two other comrades of his unit later known as A.A. Battery,

Rabaul. These boys had been too young to be sent beyond the bounds of Australia with the regular army but had been sent to the supposed safety of an Australian territory.

Once in Rabaul, they took their gun position, with two 3-inch guns and obsolete ring-sight telescope,

at Frisbee Ridge, silhouetted as it was against both north and southern skylines. For Rabaul lay in what was virtually a gigantic crater; only from this ridge could the guns command anything like the requisite 360 degrees angle of traverse. This position was also conspicuous from land, sea, and air.

After the outbreak of war in the Pacific began on 7th December 1941 when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbour, Malaya, and the Philippines with the Japanese already having bases in their Micronesian colonies, there was nothing between the Japanese and New Guinea. By January 1942, the Japanese had over 20,000 troops to the north of Australia – from Malaya and Singapore through Java, Ambon and Timor to New Guinea. With most trained units in the war against Germany, the Australians could do little to support the men in New Guinea facing the advancing Japanese.

On 4th January 1942, the Japanese dropped their first bombs on Rabaul and other raids followed.

On 22nd January 120 Japanese aircraft attacked Rabaul. Both the bravery and the ineffectiveness of the Australian pilots in their Wirraway’s (normally used as trainers), against modern fighters were obvious. Heavy pre-invasion bombing continued on 23rd January. That night at 11.40pm the Japanese landed barges of 5,000 forces. As dawn broke, the Australians could see the harbour and the channel dense with Japanese shipping. Any sign of Australian resistance or movement attracted low-flying Japanese aircraft and naval fire. The Australians were told there would be no retreat.

However, overwhelmed by numbers and firepower, the group’s cut-off and communications breaking down, the order changed to ‘every man for himself’.

The Japanese gathered over 1,000 prisoners of war and civilian internees in Rabaul. Apart from knowing that Rabaul had ‘fallen’, the Australian public knew almost nothing of what happened in Rabaul. Then in April, newspapers began publishing reports from the men who had escaped.

These were alarming as they made public the killing of over 150 Australian prisoners of war at Tol Plantation, south of Rabaul. Then the Australians were surprised when Japanese aircraft over Port Moresby dropped bundles of letters from prisoners in Rabaul. Most of the prisoners – including nurses and civilians – said ‘they were being treated reasonably’. The Australians now had contradictory information; some men were killed and because of a strange act of enemy chivalry, others were known to be alive. That was all most Australians were to know for another three years.

War reports state that on 22 June 1942, the civilian and military prisoners in Rabaul, except the officers and nurses, were loaded on the Montevideo Maru. Just before they left, they were able to tell the officers that they were on their way to Hainan Island. Off the Filipino coast near Luzon, early on the morning of 1 July, she encountered the torpedoes of the American submarine “SS Sturgeon”. Not one of the 845 prisoners of war or the 208 civilians survived. Most of the crew and guards reached the shore in the Philippines where Filipino guerrillas killed many. Only 3 Japanese guards and 17 crew had survived.

Japanese authorities received confirmation of the sinking of the Montevideo Maru early in 1943 but never advised Australian authorities. It was October 1945 when the translated nominal roll was received by the authorities in Canberra. Telegrams were sent to the families confirming the deaths of the men and boys from the 2/22nd Battalion, 1st Independent Company, the Fortress Artillery, Signals Units, Number 17 Anti-tank Battery, the Anti Aircraft Artillery, Number 19 Special Dental Unit, detachments from New Guinea Volunteer Rifles, 2/10 Field Ambulance, Ordnance Corps units, the 8th Division Supply Column, the Canteen Services Headquarters New Guinea Area, the Royal Australian Air Force, the Royal Australian Navy and Australian civilians.

By the end of October, 1945 families of those named on the Montevideo Maru nominal roll received correspondence stating; “It is with deep regret that I have to inform you that the transmission of the nominal roll of the Japanese vessel Montevideo Maru which was lost with all personnel after leaving Rabaul in June 1942 shows that [name] was aboard the vessel and I desire to convey to you the profound sympathy of the Commonwealth Government for External Territories.”

It is unknown how Toss lost his life, whether he was one of those massacred at Tol Plantation, perished in the jungle of New Britain whilst trying to escape, or drowned due to the sinking of the Montevideo Maru. The nominal roll retrieved from Japan cannot be confirmed, as there are many discrepancies. Some families of civilians were told that their loved one was on the nominal roll but after returning to Rabaul and talking to their native friends they were told of his execution.

The sinking of the Montevideo Maru is the greatest single disaster suffered by Australian’s in World War II. However, until recently, it was rarely referred to on Anzac Day or other days of national remembering.

In at least two ABC TV presentations, it was stated that the tragic loss of HMAS Sydney, with the deaths of 635 Australian, was ‘the greatest single loss’ of the war. Family members who lost someone among the 1035 Australians who died when the Montevideo Maru sank feel, when they hear this, that their sense that no one has heard of this event has been confirmed yet again.

There is a disappointment, frustration, and even anger that a situation that has had such a profound impact on their own families, and the families of more than one thousand other Australians should be unrecognised, forgotten, or ignored by most of their compatriots. They feel that they have not been included in Australian history and wonder why this should be so.

For those who have links with that community which was lost from the islands of New Guinea in 1942, there is a common desire to have the story made known to the wider public. In a speech in 1992, at a service of remembrance in New Britain to mark the 50th anniversary of the sinking of the Montevideo Maru, it was stated, ‘The history of those months deserves to be far better known.’

The majority of the ‘A A Battery, Rabual’ was young boys under the age of 20 years old. Their lives cut short! They never had the privilege of marrying and having a family of their own or to be reunited with their loved ones.

There was no confirmation of the names of those who lost their life.

After the events in Rabaul, it would more than 3 years before the family of those killed were to find out their fate. How tragic this must have been for all concerned. Not knowing whether their son, brother, father, uncle or grandchild was alive or dead!

During 2011 the “Rabaul and MVM Society” in Australia, were pro-active in seeking recognition for all those who lost their lives and constructed a Memorial in Canberra. Papua New Guinea’s Prime Minister Peter O’Neal contributed $100,000 towards a work, that will be constructed at the Memorial next year.

My role, as our family historian, is to preserve Toss’ existence in our family history.

Arthur “Toss” PARKER’S parents were Arthur John PARKER and Rhoda Prudence ‘Winifred’ GREEN.

To my knowledge, Arthur and Winifred never married although through the Electoral Rolls I have found them living together 1930 and 1933 at 44 Selwyn Street, Paddington. After this date, they separated. Arthur was then living at 30 Bellevue Street Arncliffe with Alice’ Eva’ PARKER and

Winifred is living at 32A Burton Street, Surry Hills. Although Winifred married Vladimir Faddeyeff in 1943, she continued to live at the same address until, according to the electoral roll, 1963. Toss had stated this address as his residence on his enlistment papers. Perhaps Winifred could not bear to leave her address in case Toss came home looking for her!

My mother, Joan Thomas, remembers the boys visiting their father and Eva at Arncliffe. She also recalls visiting Winifred. My grandmother, Margaret Thomas, Arthur’s sister, often visited Winifred who worked in a cake shop or cafeteria in Sydney.

Toss also had a brother Eric Parker who joined the forces on 5 January 1942, he was discharged 19 December 1945. Eric married Kathleen Little on 22 September 1945 at Auburn. I believe they had two daughters, Janette and Aileen. Eric and Kathleen divorced in October 1958.

Toss’ father died on 12th April 1946 aged 50 years, and I wonder if it was the stress and or the news of hearing that his son was never to return, caused his death!

Lest we forget!


Selby, David. Hell And High Fever. 1956 Currawong Publishing Co. P/L. Sydney.

Alpin, Douglas. Rabaul 1942. 1994 Pacific Press. ISBN 1 875150 02 01

Reeson, Margaret. Whereabouts Unknown. 1993 Albatross Books. Sutherland ISBN 0 7324 1033 7

Reeson, Margaret. A Very Long War. 2000 Melbourne University Press ISBN 0 522 84909 1

Remembering The War In New Guinea

Lost Lives-The Second World War and the islands of New Guinea

The Montevideo Maru. Lost at Sea, Lost from Australian History.


Statement by the Minister for Veterans’ Affairs and Minister for Defence Personnel, the Hon Alan

Griffin, MP. Statement on the loss of the Montevideo Maru 21 June 2010

Click to access maru.pdf


Arthur John PARKER. 1896-1946.

Arthur John PARKER. Regimental Number: 1687A- WW1.

UTAS Families at War Assignment HAA 007 April 2017. Marg Hope.



Arthur Parker Centre c1918

This photo was taken overseas about 1917. Arthur Parker centre.

 Arthur John Parker was born in March 1896 at Carcoar, New South Wales. He went to war as a young adventurous boy. He seized the opportunity to see the world and gain a lifetime experience he would never be able to afford. 

Just hours after Britain declared war on Germany on 4 August 1914 The Sydney Morning Herald told their readers that Australia would support the British. The headlines read; “Australia’s Offer. 20,000 Men. An Expeditionary Force.”i     Arthur knew where his future was to unfold. He was just eighteen years old, and his parents were prepared to sign his enlistment papers, but he was too short to enlist. He was a country boy born in Carcoar, New South Wales. Arthur craved adventure and yearned excitement of the unknown. He had a mission, but he did not meet the height regulations, yet. 

Finally, during June 1916 height restrictions came within his limits. Aged nineteen years and nine months he had reached five feet two inches. Arthur’s dream had come true; he lost no time with enlisting on December 16, 1915, at Lithgow, New South Wales. ii 

Arthur’s enlistment papers were signed by both parents, giving him permission to join the Army. He marched off to Bathurst, New South Wales for training and was later assigned to 45th Battalion, 2nd Reinforcement unit. 

After six weeks of training, the excitement was aroused in Arthur when news came of his embarkation for active service abroad. He was on board the HMAT A40 Ceramic when it sailed from Sydney on 14 April 1916 with 2,096 comrades iii. As per his records, Arthur disembarked at Alexandria, Egypt to join the British Expeditionary Forces on 6 June 1916. It is here he would have trained in preparation of active service. 

It appears that Arthur had a setback when he reported sick from the 12th Training Battalion to Codford Hospital, suffering from scabies. For the next eight months, Arthur was in and out of hospital fighting his infectious disease. iv. 

He celebrated Christmas 1917 in England and two days later Arthur proceeded overseas to France. The next day he marched into Havre, France. 

“Australian soldiers arriving in France, whether reinforcements or “casuals” (those returning from hospitals), went to Base Depots before deployment to the front. All drafts, although they had already passed in England as fully trained, were subjected to further tests, a strict medical check, and at least ten days of additional training.”v 

On New Year’s Eve Arthur was taken on strength with 56th Battalion and marched into camp at Panehem, Tigry, France. Here the troops were trained and lectured while entertaining themselves with games of football and other competitive sports until they received their move orders on 28 January 1918. They proceeded to Hollebeke Sector, Belgium where they relieved the 3rd Battalion on 31 January. Here, they stayed in the trenches until they were relieved on 20 February by the 53rd Battalion. Two days later Arthur was admitted to an Australian Dermatological Hospital Station with Trench Fever. 

He re-joined his battalion on 8th May at Villers-Bretonneux Sector. On 20 May, his Battalion relieved 54th Battalion in the trenches at the Hamel Sector. On 26 June 1918 Arthur was appointed to Water Point Duty. 

On 10 July Arthur’s Battalion was involved in the successful action against the enemy around the Somme as per the 56th Battalion war diaries. The next entry in his dossier states he re-joined the 56th Battalion on 17 July at Bray Sector where there was enemy action taking place. By the end of July, the Battalion was on the move again and on 1 August they were at Poulainville where the men were being allowed to rest as much as possible when; “During the evening warning order was received to the effect that the brigade would move forward on the 4/5 August. On 6 August, they arrived at their destination in dug-outs and shelters in a bank along the east of the river Somme near Daours at 1.30 a.m.” vi 

On the morning of September 1, they were at Peronne. The order came to attack. They gained ground on the Germans until 7 a.m. the next morning, September 2, when machine-gun fire barraged the advance. They suffered heavy casualties. Arthur was ‘WOUNDED IN ACTION’. vii. 

He suffered shrapnel wounds to his arms, legs, head and right foot. The following day he was transferred to the 6th General Hospital, Rouen in France. From here, he was transported to England via the hospital ship H.M. Grantully Castle. The next day he was admitted to the War Hospital, Exeter, England where he stayed for approximately three months recuperating. 

It is while he was in the hospital he sent a postcard, viii, to his youngest sister, my grandmother, showing a photo of ‘Knightshayes Court’, Tiverton, a stately home taken over by the Military to accommodate the wounded. In part, his correspondence read; 

“the photo on the front of this card is the house I am in the hospital and it is a lovely house too, I have been enjoying myself since I came here, the town is about a mile and a half away but I walk it nearly every day. I am getting quite well now, those bad Germans wounded me, but I will go back and give them some more.” 

Mid-December 1918, he was ready for discharge and transferred to the Third Auxiliary Hospital, Dartford. Here, he was granted furlough on 17 December 1918 and was to report to No. 1 Command Depot, Sutton Veny on 2 January 1919. 

It is apparent that he overstayed his leave and was listed AWL, in Bristol. 

He forfeited three days pay.

i. ‘Australia’s Offer’, The Sydney Morning Herald, 4 August 1914, p. 9. 

ii.  Service Record of Arthur John Parker, p. 1, B2455, National Archives of Australia. 

iii.  Australian War Memorial, ‘WW1 Embarkation Rolls’., Accessed 26 April 2017. 

iv.  Service Record of Arthur John Parker, p. 25. 

v.  Springfield College Digital Collections, ‘Australian General Base Depot in Havre, France’, Accessed 29 April 2017. 

vi. Australian War Memorial, Australian Imperial Force Unit War Diaries, 1914-18 War, 56th Infantry Battalion August 1918, Item number: 23/73/31, p. 2. 

vii. Service Record of Arthur Parker, p. 14. 

viii. Arthur J Parker to Margaret J Parker, postcard, October 1918, Margaret Hope, Private Collection, Tasmania. 

Arthur left England to return to Melbourne, Australia per H.M.T. Delta on 24 January 1919. On 9 May 1919 Arthur was discharged from the A.I.F., medically unfit. 

There is no paper trail, like his war records, that traces his life from then on, but it appears he becomes restless. He married Ruth Williams in October 1920. They later separated, but evidence has not been found indicating they divorced. He then lived with Rhoda Green, who was a local girl from his childhood town in Leadville, New South Wales. Arthur adopted two boys who lived in this relationship. One of these boys was also named Arthur. He enlisted in World War 2 aged 18 years old. He did his service in New Guinea, and when the Montevideo Maru sunk, he was listed on board and drowned. 

Arthur found out about his death in September 1945. The family believe he died of a broken heart on 12 April 1946. 

Lest We Forget!


AIF Project, ‘Australian ANZACS in the Great War 1914-18’, 

Australian War Memorial, Australian Imperial Force Unit War Diaries, 1914-18 War, Infantry, Item No: 23/73/25 Title: 56th Battalion. 

Fitzsimons, Peter, Fromelles & Pozieres, North Sydney, Random House Australia Pty. Ltd, 2015. 

Service Record, B2455, National Archives of Australia.

Springfield College Digital Collections, ‘Australian General Base Depot in Havre, France’, Accessed 29 April 2017. 

The Sydney Morning Herald. 

Times Books, Atlas of the World, London, Times Books, 2001.  


Research Plan

Assessment Task 4:  Research Plan.

Port Arthur
Rainbow over Port Arthur Mar 2018

Above Image: Port Arthur 2018


My great-great-great-uncle William PARKER (No. 1 on pedigree chart), was transported to Van Diemen’s Land in 1835. The same year his father John, and brothers, Ambrose and John arrived in New South Wales as convicts. His brother Thomas, was also sentenced and transported to Van Diemen’s Land in 1841.  I have evidence that Ambrose and Thomas worked together, and are both buried at a property called ‘Jerula‘, in Cowra, New South Wales. His other brother, John, my great-great-grandfather, lived and died at Cowra and married at Carcoar, New South Wales. (Refer family group sheet).


Main Research Question:

What happened to William PARKER after his release?

  1. Did he reunite with his father and three siblings?
  2. Did he marry and have children?
  3. Where did he die?


Records and Resources I Have Used to Date:

  • I have found William PARKER’s convict records, and this tells me about his prison term and that he became a free man via Conditional Pardon on 20 September 1845[1].
  • I have my great-great grandfather’s convict records stating that he and his brother, Ambrose, and father John (the elder), stole eight pieces of cotton from a warehouse in Lancashire. John was sentenced seven years and his father and brother were both sentenced fourteen years. These documents also told me that William PARKER had been previously sentenced and transported to Van Diemen’s Land. I have evidence that John (the elder) arrived in New South Wales on 14 July 1835 onboard Mary Ann andJohn (the younger) and Ambrose arrived New South Wales on board John Barry on 21 September 1835, and evidence of all three receiving their ticket of leave[2].
  • Thomas Parker, a younger sibling of William PARKER, was also transported to Van Diemen’s Land. Thomas’ sentence was seven years and he arrived on board the Egyptian on 5August 1839. Records show he received his Ticket of Leave October 1843 and Certificate of Freedom in 1845. Thomas eventually made his way to New South Wales and found his brother Ambrose in Cowra, New South Wales. They were both shepherds on the same property in Cowra. I have evidence for Thomas and Ambrose being admitted to Cowra hospital in 1882 and 1884, respectively[3]



Repositories and Records that I Plan to Use:

  • Tasmanian Archives and Heritage Office:

Explore the online Convict Portal to get a better understanding of records that may assist me further with William PARKER’s life after his release.

  • State Records New South Wales:

Read the following Archive in Brief sheets to assist my search for William PARKER and his brother Thomas, entering New South Wales. Peruse Electoral Rolls for the brothers living in the vicinity of one another. Refer the Colonial Secretary’s papers for any mention of either father or sons that may give me a lead.

AIB No. 1 – Shipping and Arrival Records.

AIB No. 24 – Shipping and arrival records – additional sources.

AIB No. 5 – Electoral Rolls

AIB No. 104 How to search the Colonial Secretary’s papers 1788-1900.

  • New South Wales Birth, Death, and Marriage online database.

Search for and purchase a death of William PARKER within the area of Cowra, New South Wales

  • National Library of Australia Trove Newspaper online portal

Search newspaper articles for William PARKER residing at Jerulai n the Cowra, New South Wales district.


Reflective Statement:

Whilst evaluating the records I have used to date I have found that I have been very untidy in recording repositories and sources. This has made my research unreliable. This research plan has made me realize I must be thorough whilst collecting information I must become more methodical whilst researching, by planning ahead and compiling family group sheets, pedigree charts, timelines and recording where to search prior to carrying out further investigations.

I must learn to concentrate on one person at a time to avoid surfing the repositories and resources and becoming waylaid with collateral relatives. Although, in stating this, there have been times when I have had to research collateral relatives to get the next piece of the puzzle to allow me to continue to the next generation.

My work has been verified by way of starting with myself and working backward and finding the original records to further confirm that the person is the correct piece that fits the puzzle. I have always used the principle of sourcing, at least, two primary records and various secondary records to verify the person in question is, in fact, the correct person.I have always confirmed family history research that has been passed on to me rather than accepting it as accurate work and I have always shared my research with others, to assist with their research and hoping that it will further preserve my family history.

Copying and pasting information into my family tree records have been a bad habit in the past. This is an important lesson that I have learned through doing this course. Although I have been aware of copyright, plagiarism was not part of my vocabulary. I was aware of repositories, referencing, footnotes, endnotes, but citing sources using the correct method has been a difficult learning curve. In saying that, I know it will become second nature with practice and will also be beneficial to my work.

All of these lessons I have learned over the past weeks will improve my research skills and prevent me wasting precious time going over the same information I have sourced in the past.

The most difficult question in this course was where to look for the answer to my problem when I feel I exhausted repositories. But, I have come to realize that I have lacked in reading directive information within the repositories. Instead, I have just jumped in and searched names.  I will now go back and explore the Tasmanian LINC online convict portal and the Archives in Brief sheets before I continue with my search of William PARKER’s life after release.

My intention is to now complete a timeline of all the brothers in the hope that I can establish gaps within my research which in turn will give me a favorable outcome.



  • Cowra Family History Group Library, Cowra District Hospital 1881-1884 Register LIN. HOSP. 2794.02 Thomas Parker May1882 and Ambrose Parker April 1884.

England Births and Christenings, 1538-1975, database, FamilySearch ( accessed 17 March 2016), John Parker, 19 July 1816, Burnley, Lancashire, England, reference; FHL microfilm 0093654, 0093664.

England Births and Christenings, 1538-1910, database, FamilySearch ( accessed 17 March 2016), William Parker, 20 January 1820, Christening, St Peter’s, Burnley, Lancashire, England, volume, Lancashire Record Office, Preston; FHL microfilm 1,517,690.

England Births and Christenings, 1538-1910, database, FamilySearch ( accessed 17 March 2016), Thomas Parker, 3 January 1825, Christening, St Peter’s, Burnley, Lancashire, England, volume, Lancashire Record Office, Preston; FHL microfilm 1,517,690.

  • Great Britain. Home Office, & State Library of Queensland. (1948). John Parker (the elder), one of 306 Convicts Transported on theMary Ann, 06 July 1835., Criminal: Convict transportation registers [HO 11].
  • Great Britain. Home Office, & State Library of Queensland. (1948). John Parker (the younger), one of 320 Convicts Transported on the John Barry, 07 September 1835., Criminal: Convict transportation registers [HO 11].
  • Great Britain. Home Office, & State Library of Queensland. (1948). Ambrose Parker, one of 320 Convicts Transported on the John Barry, 07 September 1835., Criminal: Convict transportation registers [HO11].
  • NLA Trove. Colonial Times (Hobart, Tas; 1828-1857), Tuesday 31 October 1843, p4. Ticket of Leave Thomas Parker,
  • NSW Death Certificate 1886/8039 District of Cowra Thomas Parker.
  • NSW Death Certificate 1890/4663 District of Cowra Ambrose Parker.
  • Society of Australian Genealogist. New South Wales Government Gazette 1832 – 1863 Transcriptions. Ticket of Leave, 16 December 1839, John Parker, Mary Ann (4)at Inverary.
  • Society of Australian Genealogist. New South Wales Government Gazette 1832 – 1863 Transcriptions. Ticket of Leave, 25 February 1840, John Parker (the younger), John Barry at Carcoar.
  • Society of Australian Genealogist. New South Wales Government Gazette 1832 – 1863 Transcriptions. Ticket of Leave, 14 August 1843, Ambrose Parker, John Barry at Muswellbrook.

SRNSW: Convict Records; Ref, NRS 12202, [4/4135] Reel 935, No. 39/2300 Principal Superintendent of Convicts, Ticket of Leave butts, 1839 – 1840 Mary Ann 4, John Parker.

SRNSW: Convict Records, Ref, NRS 12202, [4/4171] Reel 947, No. 43/71 Principal Superintendent of Convicts, Ticket of Leave butts, 1842- 1843 – John Barry, Ambrose Parker.

TAHO, CON14/1/51 Indent William Parker No. 1160 Aurora1835.

TAHO, CON18/1/7 p476 Thomas Parker No. 1520 Egyptian 1839.

TAHO, CON27/1/2 p15 Appropriation List William Parker No. 1160 Aurora1835.

TAHO, CON31/1/35 p 213 Convict Conduct Record William Parker Aurora1835.

TAHO, CON18/1/4 p115 Description List William Parker No. 1160 Aurora1835.

TAHO, CON31/1/36 p74 Conduct Record Thomas Parker No. 1520 Egyptian 1839.

TAHO, CON14/1/48 p23 Indent Record Thomas Parker No. 1520 Egyptian1839.




  1. a pedigree chart.
  2. a completed family group chart for the individual identified in the question.



NOTE: In March 2018 my sister and I visited Port Arthur.  We discovered that William was an inmate at the Children’s Prison, Point Puer.  I have submitted a request to have William’s records transcribed and am eagerly awaiting its arrival.

Stay Posted.


Time Flies!

Well, where has that time gone? We have achieved so much since my last post.

We sold our van, purchased a house in Tasmania,  I traveled to England and Scotland with a life-long friend. Sadly,  we lost my daughter-in-law to cancer, we sold the house in Tasmania and we are now living on the South Coast of NSW.

Do I have regrets?  Only one! I wish my daughter in law was still with us! Looking on the positive side, I am so grateful that she chose my son to be her husband and together they gave us two treasured little boys and many, many wonderful memories that I will take to my grave.  I could never have wished for a better daughter in law. Thanks, Shez.

So, after we reached Tasmania, we loved it so much we decided to sell the caravan and purchase a house. That house was just perfect! The only thing missing was my kids and grandkids. Eighteen months later a snap decision was made and here we are back in New South Wales.  Back with the most important possessions in the world…..our family.

While I was in Tasmania I began to study online with the University of Tasmania (UTAS). Diploma of Family History was my choice (of course).

I have been researching our family since 1981 and I thought I was well versed in research, after all those years. I was so wrong! I have learned so much.  I have one more unit to do and I will graduate.

Now, while I have been unpacking, I found my folders from Uni and I thought that I would like to preserve the stories I have written during my study. I was going to save them all in a file on my computer but I thought that they would eventually get lost. Then the lightbulb clicked and I recalled my WordPress Blog.  This is the place where I can save them and share with those who wish to read them………and I won’t lose them!

So my next few blogs will be my essays.  My last blog, being my niece’s wedding was part of my studies. I hope you enjoyed it. I enjoyed the wedding and the unit.

I hope you enjoy my stories.

A Family Wedding



Last Thursday our family traveled to the Gold Coast, Queensland to attend the wedding of my youngest niece.

It was exciting to catch up with family to celebrate this memorable occasion.  The bride and groom took their marriage vows at a tranquil garden party setting and celebrated their wedding breakfast with seventy guests at the rustic reception venue at  The Boomerang Farm, Mudgeeerabra.


“Miss Daisy,” a 1967 Daimler, safely chauffeured the bridal party to the grounds and parked proudly among the garden party guests.


Two rustic windows that had once hung from the wall of a home was the host for the guest’s seating arrangement.


Gracing the mantle of the reception venue was a memorial of treasured loved ones of the bride and groom.



Hanging from the bridal bouquet were two medallions bearing a photo of the bride’s late grandmother and father.



Two Ulysses Butterflies fluttered around in celebration of two beautiful people vowing their eternal love for one another.

It was a day to remember!


I am so pleased I began this blog. Even though I ditched it and went to my FaceBook page “Travelling with the Hopes”, I still have a wonderful recording of my travels.

One looks back on the last twelve months and feels that it has gone so quickly, but then again, so much has happened that it seems to have gone on forever!

They have been wonderful months, but heart-wrenching too. We have tragically lost family members and friends, I have lost Aunties and Uncles and I have seen another beautiful Aunty succumb to that wretched disease of Alzheimer’s and I have watched loved ones decline in health. This is what we call life!

If only I could go back in time by a couple of decades! Would I do anything different? Hmm! Maybe! I know I would spend more time visiting family and friends. I would have bought a caravan a decade ago, instead of waiting ‘for the right time’.

I don’t really have regrets, life is like a map. There are so many roads to take. If you take the wrong one you can always turn left or right. The irony is that you don’t know which is the right direction until you have gone down that path! I guess that is ‘fate’ and if we don’t take risks we will stagnate!

So, I have started a new beginning here in Tasmania. I feel as though I am meant to be here.

Every time I go into Launceston I ‘ooh & ah’ at all the beautiful buildings that grace the footpaths of the city, and the parks are just picturesque!  City Park has its own troop of monkies…..yes, right in the heart of the city! Gracing the street of City Park is the glorious building – Albert Hall.

I never tire of the view of Custom House as I drive over the bridge approaching Launceston CBD. Built in 1885 on the North Esk River it’s elegant protico and Corinthian colums  boast the beauty of the precision of architeture of the 19th century.


Custom House Launceston gracing the North Esk River.

The detail is esquisite, especially at the top of the colums.

More photographs to follow in the coming weeks of the preserved buildings of Tasmania.



I’m Back!


Our nomadic life was a great adventure that enriched our life so much. We met some wonderful people, although we may never see them again, they will be etched in our memories forever!

The beauty of Australia is never ending! The towns we visited were very welcoming, except for one, well life isn’t perfect, and we were not about to let that upset our experience.

We ventured on The Spirit of Tasmania to visit family and found that we felt very much at home on this little island.

So, almost twelve months later, here we are now Taswegian’s! The caravan has been sold, and we are once again homeowners and settled once again!

I have since signed up to the University of Tasmania (UTAS) studying for a Diploma of Family History and loving it! I have gained so much knowledge and can’t wait to unpack my mountains of family history paperwork and books, once again!.

So, from now I will be blogging about my daily/weekly happenings.

There will be a bit of family history, Tasmanian history, Town history and some ramblings of what is happening.

Longreach, Qld

June 9th.

We left Windorah this morning. Our destination was Longreach via the Thomson Development Road.  The roads out here are a bit scary when they suddenly go from two lanes to one. It’s ok if there is no oncoming traffic but when you see a road train heading for you it’s no time to play chicken. We give them all the road they want. Thankfully it wasn’t raining otherwise it would have been a boggy trip!

On our way to Longreach we stopped and had lunch at the Stonehenge pub. Some interesting facts about Stonehenge can be found by clicking Here.  (Have you ever heard of Jindalee Spy Station? )

We camped at the Apex free camp just out of town. Well it was $3 per night, almost free. Wow, there were about 100 vans here. We stayed her for 4 nights. We visited the Stockman’s Hall of Fame, which was very interesting. We went for a run to Ilfracombe where they have a fantastic display of old vehicles and machinery.

A couple Brolgas who decided to befriend us. I gave them a piece of stale bread one morning, so they kept their eye on us. As soon as they saw us at the van they would race over to us thinking they were going to get more bread. 

 John also befriended a fellow in Longreach.

Windorah. Qld.

3 – 9 June

We left Lake Houdraman, Quilpie and headed off to Coopers Creek for a free camp. When we arrived we found there was going to be a fishing competition at the creek. As we thought it may be a bit crowded we headed into Windorah Caravan Park. It cost $15 per night for power site with hot showers, washing machine and clean amenities. A bargain!  

Click here to find more on Windorah
It was very peaceful here. Many travellers left there van here and travelled to Birdsville. When they arrived back it took all day to get the dust out of their cars but they all enjoyed the adventure.

I was without internet here. There was internet at the information centre so ‘most mornings’ I went to check my emails. This was good therapy for me. I thought I would be lost without Internet but I coped very well and survived!

Oh! Most shops here also closed at noon Saturday, too.  
This was the sunset on 7th June taken from Windorah caravan park.

I love the outback.

And this was the resident goanna at Lake Houdraman, Quilpie.