Author Archives: dgm

About dgm

Former IT professional, previously a digital archiving and repository person, ex research psychologist, blogger, twitterer, and amateur classical medieval and nineteenth century historian ...

Sealers, whalers, and Antarctic discovery

I’m about 80% through volume one of James Clark Ross’s Voyage to the southern seas, mostly speed reading it in idle moments on my newly acquired 7” tablet – the one I bought specifically for offline reading of pdf’s – … Continue reading

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Family history and red herrings …

J’s Australian ancestry is a mystery to me. Her lineal great^n grandfather is Henry Thomas Hill, who worked for Victorian Railways and who died in Castlemaine in May 1882. He had a wife, Anne Humfries or Humphries and they first … Continue reading

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Women in nineteenth century sealer’s camps

Well, I’ve become a bit intrigued by the Elizabeth Farr story, not that I’ve got very far tracing her. What I have found is that no one really knows much about sealer’s camps – there seems to be an assumption … Continue reading

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The Long S in the Sydney Gazette ..

The Sydney Gazette story of Captain Hasselborough’s demise is interesting typographically for its use of the long s. In the handwriting of the time the long s was only really used as the first s of double s in a … Continue reading

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The Lady of the Heather …

I was listening to a Radio New Zealand podcast about the archaeology of sealers’ camps on Campbell Island, way to the south of New Zealand, when I heard a story that I had never heard before. ‘The last grand daughter … Continue reading

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Venetian glass beads in Alaska

This morning I tweeted a link to a Gizmodo article reporting the discovery of fifteenth Venetian glass beads in Alaska. Obviously the article is written from a US viewpoint, and makes the point that the beads were probably deposited before … Continue reading

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The documentation cliff …

As I’ve said before, I’ve been messing about with family history to keep my skills sharp during this thing which is the pandemic, even to the extent that I bought myself a one year all-knobs-and-whistles subscription to MyHeritage as a … Continue reading

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The role of the Kirk Session in policing rural fornication in Scotland

When I was researching my great-great-great grandfather’s marriage the notice of his banns was simply an entry in the Airlie Kirk Session minute book for 1805. When I downloaded the record, actually what I got was a copy of page … Continue reading

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Madeleine Smith and marriage

I was going to leave Madeleine alone for a bit, but while I was researching the marriage of my great-great-great grandfather several things about Madeleine and Emile’s relationship clicked into place. In her letters to Emile, Madeleine signed herself as … Continue reading

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Banns and Proclamations

One of the things that I like about family history is that you learn things about how a society worked. For example I was researching the marriage of my great-great-great grandfather who I knew was named James Moncur. I also … Continue reading

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