Tuesday, May 30, 2017

New to local studies - three family histories

It's always interesting to see the variety within family histories, and here are three to look at - not new per se but new to the local studies collection at the Wagga Wagga City Library.

The History and family tree of Richard and Ann Whiticker of Jellingroo and their descendants

The Whitickers were on Jellingroo run circa 1855, Jellingroo being the property adjacent to the Yabtree and Mundarlo runs, just to give you an idea of where the property was located. Richard Whiticker was quite a character according to this history, being described as "...bluff , straight and always hearty" (Obituary, The Gundagai Independent, 1912) but he came to an untimely end. Richard Whiticker accidentally shot himself at age 78, his unfortunate habit of shooting sparrows in his back garden, from the porch, literally backfiring on him as he sat down on his favourite wicker chair to take potshots at the birds. Whiticker was also described as a "hard working and prosperous grazier", (Obituary, The Gundagai Independent, 1912), mainly running Merino sheep.

Details,left and right, from a Parish map circa 1898.

Right:shows some of Richard Whiticker's property holdings

The Pratt Story

The Pratt generations in Australia started with Charles and Sarah Ann Pratt, coming to  Australia on the Fairlie about 1838. Their son, George Pratt, with his wife Esther, came to Junee about 1863 or 1864. George was employed as a shepherd on the station Wyoming (or Junee Station) owned by Hammond and Gwynne. Another son, James Pratt, owned inns in Junee and Wallace Town, that were stopovers for the Cobb & Co Coach Company.

Detail, left:  Map (no date visible) of the Parish of  Gwynne.

Detail, right: from the Parish Map, showing some of the Hammond run.

Descendants of John Crane

The original John Crane came to Australia as a convict, on the Clyde, 1832. John Crane ended up in the Gundagai and Yass area, assigned to property owner Henry O'Brian. John Crane married Mary Fuller and apparently had twenty children. The names of all the children are listed in this history, which is a collection of mostly factual information, family trees, some photographs. Not a lot of anecdotal information but still a colorful story, if you read between the lines. 
I did search for a corresponding map for the above mentioned Henry O'Brian, and found a small holding to an O'Brian in the Yass area, but spelt O'Brien, so without proper evidence that this was the same O'Brian, decided not to show that map. 
If you would like to do your own searches of Parish Maps, The Land & Property Information website has a treasure trove of historical records including surviving Parish Maps. You can start your search here : 


The Wagga Wagga City Library has a small collection of Parish Maps you can look at within the library. Just ask at the information desk if you have any queries about  maps and  family history resources. Happy searching ! 

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