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 ...

A little progress on the family history front

Off and on I’ve been puzzling over Henry Thomas Hill, who was J’s great^n grand parent who appeared with his wife Anne in Castlemaine in 1848. His history prior to then has been a puzzle to me and is hopelessly … Continue reading

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How cemeteries end

Back at the end of June I tweeted a link to a story from South Africa about the looting of the Avalon cemetery in Soweto, and that’s certainly one view of how cemeteries end. But there’s another one. Australia, and … Continue reading

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Pennyroyal

I’ve written before about the nineteenth century use of abortifacients – in an age without reliable contraception unwanted pregnancy was a risk for women, especially unmarried women. One of the most common remedies was pennyroyal, often sold in pill form … Continue reading

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Gallowhill (or spaces matter)

Before the pandemic I’d played about with family history  on hot days in January, but it was only with the pandemic that I started to play with it seriously, and it’s brought a number of puzzles, one of which was … Continue reading

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Finding Franz Josef (or is it Joseph)

I have long been fascinated by the events of the Russian revolutions of 1917 in February and October of that year, but over the years I’ve come to realise that that the collapse of the Austro Hungrian Empire at the … Continue reading

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Paper Diaries in 2022 …

I recently replied to a tweet from @wmarybeard about diaries and the demise of the Cambridge University diary. And that got me thinking about paper diaries and why we use them. All my professional life I’ve used a diary to … Continue reading

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So how expensive did train travel use to be?

Following on from my post yesterday on how trains services in country Victoria are actually better than they were in 1880 and 1905, I thought I’d look at the comparative costs. Both the 1905 Bradshaw and 1880 Victorian Railways helpfully … Continue reading

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Train services in country Victoria

There’s an unspoken assumption that country trains have become less frequent and fewer over the years. In one sense they have with the closure of branch lines, but actually, they seem to be no less frequent than they once were. … Continue reading

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John Kirk, photographer

John Kirk is famous for many reasons. For being Livingstone’s deputy, for being instrumental in ending the slave trade in Zanzibar. But in 1854, he was none of these things. He was a newly qualified doctor who volunteered for the … Continue reading

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Retro photography

I’ve always been interested in photography – ever since I was given a box brownie when I was round about eight. The ultimate point and shoot – 127 format film, and 8 shots a roll. You rapidly learned to compose … Continue reading

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