This blog is a companion to the Database of Volunteers of Essendon and Flemington

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Ancestor Approved

Aillin of the Australian Genealogy Journeys blog, and Ruth Blair of Blair Archival Research have nominated this blog for the Ancestor Approved Award.

The award was instituted by Leslie Ann Ballou of the Ancestors Live Here blog, who asks winners of the Award to   

  1. List ten things you have learned about any of your ancestors that has surprised, humbled, or enlightened you; and 
  2. Pass it along to ten other bloggers who you feel are doing their ancestors proud".
The Awards do cause one to pause and reflect on one's own work and interests, and also to think about those blogs that I get a lot from myself, and those where the content is diverse and interesting.  So I have made a rambling list of the things that have occurred to me since I began my research project on the Volunteers of Essendon and Flemington, and the blogs that I have enjoyed along the way - thank you for your efforts, and thank you again to Aillin and Ruth for your nominations.

  1. I am humbled to find how generous people are in sharing their photos, letters and stories about their relatives who served in the Great War.
  2. I am surprised and humbled to find how each volunteer’s story is so individual, despite many common experiences.
  3. I was surprised to discover how useful and interesting the records of volunteer Munitions workers are when I followed up a great-uncle of my own who went to England during the Great War.
  4. I was surprised in that record to discover that he had been a “Reject” for military service because of a “stiff finger”.  I can only conclude this was his trigger finger. 
  5. In examining many, many records of the local volunteers, I was surprised to find how small many of them were, including a great number under 5 feet 6 inches.
  6. I was surprised at the graphic detail in which friends and comrades would write to a deceased soldier’s family, including such things as having two legs blown off above the knee, or “he had a terrible hole in his head”.    If I was one of those boy’s mothers, I think I’d rather hear that it was a single bullet to the heart, something swift, painless, and not so body-shattering.    The people of the time of the Great War were far more direct than we are now.
  7. Through my work in examining the effect of the war on one community, I am enlightened as to the way in which no-one in the community was untouched.
  8. I was positively astonished to learn about one family in my database who had sent 11 brothers and cousins from Essendon and Flemington alone, not including their relatives from other Melbourne suburbs.
  9. I was enlightened to learn of the military and patriotic influences brought to bear on this small community, with so many young men and boys involved in compulsory military training, and also the voluntary militia.
  10. Although I’ve always considered my relatives to be very much not involved in Australia’s military adventures, I’ve now discovered three volunteers in the family, and wonder if there are others.  Of the three of whom I know, the one in the Royal Navy missed his boat in England and was given the option of gaol with hard labour or serving on a mine-sweeper for the duration (he chose the mine-sweeper);  the second whom I mentioned earlier was rejected for military service, but volunteered for Munitions work; and the third one volunteered in Melbourne, was found to have VD before he left for overseas, and after spending a few months languishing in the Langwarrin Camp, deserted. 
I have nominated the following blogs for their consistent effort and interesting content:

  1. Moonee Valley Family and Local History
  2. Old Gippstown Cataloguers
  3. Blackwood Soldiers Project
  4. My Family Hunt
  5. Wishful Linking
  6. Asiansdownunder comments currently disabled
  7. Irish Wattle
  8. Fanning Family History and Research
  9. Carol's Headstone Photographs
  10. removed, website gone


  1. Hi Lenore,
    Thank you so much - I am off to reflect - but we do most sincerely appreciate the nomination.

  2. Hi Linda,

    My pleasure.

    Best wishes,


  3. Hi Lenore,

    I have struggled, but here is my response.

    Thanks again for nominating us.

  4. Congrats on th award, Lenore. I always enjoy your local postings and this in particular. eep up the great work. Regards, Liz

  5. Thank you everyone. I'll do my best!