Sunday, November 1, 2009

Scanning the Newspapers

I have discovered a new and interesting pastime which is occupying my spare time, and a bit more, at the moment. The National Library is electronically scanning archived newspapers from all around the country and putting them online. The scans are not all that they could be since the newspapers are, some of them, over 100 years old so the public can log in and proofread and correct them. The original scan is in a separate window for comparison. It is a bit like reading and correcting typoese, which I am very good at so I have decided to try to complete one article per day.

I have been searching for my forebears (and correcting their details) and so far have found a divorce which I never knew about - and even not the marriage for that matter - of my great uncle Clarence and have finally found the mysterious wife of my great uncle Dudley. I have been searching for her for years.

I first heard about her - as did the rest of the family - when Uncle Dudley (my grandfather's twin brother) died and his will became known. It transpired that he was a very wealthy man. This fact was not fully realised by the rest of the family because he had lived a very reclusive life, avoiding his family in an extremely executive way. Maybe the vagaries of Uncle Dudley could be explored more deeply in another entry sometime.

Anyway, when the will was read he had left £20,000 to his 'other sister-in-law' by which I mean, not my grandmother. Anyway, Auntie Jeanette was to get the income for life and then the principle was to go to the Salvation Army, which infuriated her. The rest of his estate was left to his divorced wife if she was still alive and if not the money was to go to the Salvation Army. *grin* this infuriated the rest of the family, not because they had missed out on the money but because he had married and divorced without bothering to mention it to his relatives and this was the first that they had heard about it.

Anyway, thanks to the newspapers I discovered the report of the divorce and from there, with some help from the community board of we traced her and her very short-lived marriage which lasted a bit over two years.

Both my uncles did the divorcing, accusing their wives of adultery, and since both of them must have been rather strange men the women were probably happy to be freed to pursue their own happiness.

However, I still can't find any trace of my great great grandfather Edward Davies. He seems to have managed to transport his family to Australia from Wales, set up a successful business and vanish without a trace along with all his works. I have found one mention of a daughter - sister to my great grandfather, also Edward Davies - a Mrs Baldwin, but can't find any mention of a marriage and I still have no names. It is very frustrating!!!!!

And your cyberflirt hint for today ...

Develop carpal tunnel syndrome

I really must read the book to find out why that is such a good idea - it is really rather a painful affliction.