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52 Ancestors - Military

This week's theme in #52ancestorsin52weeks is Military (because it's Memorial Day in the US). Pretty sure I have no ancestors who fought in the American Civil War, so this week I'm going to explore my Step-Grandfather Wilfred "Bill" Norman Saunders, who fought for Australia in World War II.

Bill was born in Bingara on 16 December 1911 to Walter George Saunders and Ivy Pearl Harris.


He had 3 sisters and 5 brothers and grew up in Bingara and lived there until at least 1936 (from the Electoral Rolls).

He enlisted in the Australian Army on 29 May 1940 age 28. He was listed as being single and was sent as part of the 2/1st Pioneer Battalion, which was comprised of men mostly from New South Wales.



In June 1940, the battalion went to the army camp at Greta, then Dubbo. At the end of September, it joined a convoy to the Middle East, reaching the Suez on 2 November. They travelled by train to Palestine.

In January 1941, they moved to Tobruk, where they helped restore the …
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52 Ancestors - Another Language

This week's theme in #52ancestorsin52weeks is Another Language.

My paternal great-grandmother Cecelia Morley was born in County Mayo, Ireland; my paternal great-grandfather Charles Parsons was born in Papanui, New Zealand, but his father was from Dorset England. Susannah Freeman (paternal), Fred Martin (maternal) and Elizabeth Jennings (maternal) were all born in the Tamworth area in Australia. Arthur Hardwick and Emma Morton were both born in Manly, Sydney. So all very Australian/Irish/English and certainly all English-speaking.

There is one exception to the English-speaking great-grandparents is my father's father's father - Gaspar Sedgwick.



Gaspar is variously recorded as "Gasper", "Jasper" and "Jaspar" - goes to show how they rarely wrote their own name and the person recording it just wrote down what they thought they heard.

Gaspar married in Australia twice. The first time was in 1882 to Catherine (Kate) Morley (or Marley, depending on the d…

52 Ancestors - Mothers

The theme this week for #52ancestors in 52 weeks is Mothers, so I am going to show you my maternal direct line as far back as I can. Maternal lines can be a bit difficult to research because they gave up their maiden when they got married and often that isn't recorded on things like birth certificates of children. Anyway, here is what have found so far.

This is me, Ingrid Elizabeth Sedgwick, born 7 July 1969 in Camperdown, NSW, Australia. I married Andrew McCarthy in 1995 and we have two children.



This is my mum, Heather Jeannine Hardwick, born 1 July 1939, in Manly, NSW. She married Terence (Terry) Sedgwick in Rabaul, Papua New Guinea, in 1963. They had three children.


This is her mum, my grandmother, Martha Pearl Martin (known as Pearl), born 7 June 1917, in Tingha, NSW. She married George Hardwick in 1938 when she was 21 and they divorced in 1943. She then married Bill Saunders in 1944, who I always knew as my "poppy". They had a little boy who died at birth. She died…

52 Ancestors - Close Up

This week's theme for #52ancestors in 52 Weeks is "Close Up." No-one lived close or lives close to Canberra. So I went with a portrait of an ancestor - mum and dad had a bunch of old photos and I'm slowly going through and scanning them and uploading to my family tree. I did this one this week.


John (Johnny) Patrick Callinan was my first cousin, once removed. 

(On a side note - do you get confused with all this first, second cousin, once, twice removed? Sounds like an auction! Well, so did/do I - so maybe this diagram will help you and me figure it out):



So Johnny was my Great Aunt's firstborn son. Aunty Hazel was the youngest sister of my paternal Grandmother. There is a whole other story to her, but I'm saving that up for later.

Johnny was born on 18 April 1927 to Hazel and John Michael Callinan, who of course, was known as "Jack". 

When he was 17, he was mobilised for service by proclamation to the Royal Australian Navy Reserve on 28 September 1944. H…

52 Ancestors - Anzac Day

I'm being a rebel again, in my own very tiny way. This week's theme is "cemetery" but the list is very American and is really just a prompt to get you writing about your ancestors, so instead I've gone with "Anzac Day".

First up, on my side, we have David Eric Morton who was my 1st cousin, twice removed (son of my maternal great-grandmother Emma Morton's brother).



According to the Australian War Memorial, he was a Private in the Army/Flying Corps. His WWI records show he signed up on 19 March 1917 in Sydney when he was 20 years old and he embarked on 9 May 1917 on the "Port Sydney", arriving in the Suez on the 8th September 1917 as part of the Camel Reserve Corps - 1st Camel Battalion as a Private.

The Imperial Camel Corps Brigade was formed in 1916 from British and Commonwealth troops and was attached to the Anzac Mounted Division. There were four regiments: the 1st and 3rd were Australian, the 2nd was British and the 4th was a mix of New…

52 Ancestors - Storm

Well, this week's theme on 52 Ancestors is "Storm". Last week was "taxes" and try as I might, there was nothing I could come up with, so I had a week off. I nearly did the same this week, but as I was doing a bit of research, sure enough, we have a thunderstorm going on, so I'm going to draw a very long, tenuous bow...

John Broome is my 7th great grandfather. He was born in 1710, in Kidderminster, Worcestershire, England. Now this place is interesting because a) Worcestershire sauce! and b) Kidderminster is considered the home of the first machine-made (as opposed to hand-made) carpets.

Kidderminster had been a textile producing town since medieval times. By the 17th century, Kidderminster cloth was the only textile industry to survive and flourish because of the town's ability to adapt to changing needs and tastes. Already famous for its broadcloths, the town rapidly became famous for producing what was known as "Kidderminster stuff" which was…

52 Ancestors - The Maiden Aunt

This week's theme for #52ancestors is The Maiden Aunt. And our star this week is Miss Delia Sedgwick, who was my Great Aunt. Delia Gertrude Sedgwick was born on 13 June, 1887, the fifth of eight children of Gasper Sedgwick and Catherine (Kate) Morley. After Kate died when Delia was 6 years old, Gasper married her sister, Cecilia and had a further five children, including my Grandfather, Joseph.

Delia never married - she worked as a maid for Miss Nan Garvan, herself an "old maid", who we believe is one of the six daughters of James Patrick Garvan (who also had six sons).


The Garvan Institute of Medical Research began as a small research department of St Vincent's Hospital in Darlinghurst, Sydney. The Sisters of Charity used funds raised from their Centenary Appeal to establish the Institute and one of the primary donors was Mrs Helen Mills, who contributed 100,000 pounds and requested that it be named after her late father, James Patrick Garvan, NSW parliamentarian an…