Searching Ancestry

Sometimes I wonder if all this information, that is up on the web, is really what we want. I think we 'paint' a picture of an ancestor and then find it difficult to marry what we find to what we want. Am I right? 

Take my search today.  I decided to see what Arthur Galbraith, Grandpop, had been up to and if there were any new records. I entered all the details and thousands of records came up! Opps, better narrow it down to Australia, much more manageable.  I found his birth and marriage details, electoral roll entries, showing both  himself and Grandma and the eldest child. I followed this through until 1963 and at times he was living alone and others had family with him.

There was one entry that puzzled me, it was an entry in the New South Wales Gaol Description and Entrance Books, 1818 - 1930. Opening it I found that, yes, it was my Grandfather and he had been caught throwing stones, his sentence 10/- or [something] hours. He was 14 years old, his height was given as 4'2/4", with brown hair and grey eyes, living at 36 Walsh Street, Redfern.

This was several years after his father had died, so I can only guess that his mum was having trouble keeping him in line or that she was already suffering from depression.

Now to my puzzle, do I tell my remaining Aunts and Uncles, my cousins or do I keep it to myself and hope they find it themselves? Do his remaining children have good memories of their dad and would this tarnish them? I remember Grandpop as being a cranky old man, who smoked Craven A cigarettes. When I started this odyssey of family research I discovered that he was old, being 80 when he died.  He was probably entitled to be cranky having lost his dad, when he was young, his mother ending up in a mental hospital, his wife dying and leaving 10 children, the youngest 6 weeks old and then having a leg amputated.

But did I really want to know he had been caught throwing stones?  Something I will continue to ponder.

Bye for now,


  1. Interesting. At that time frame at 14 he was expected to be a responsible adult and probably out earning an income. A 14 year old today throwing stones is unlikely to be even spoken to let alone go to court, unless someone was hurt or property damaged.

  2. Thanks Helen, put like that I can understand it.


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