I started tracing my family history approximately 16 years ago. At that time I did not even know the names of my 4 grandparents and was under the assumption that my Scholes grandparents were migrants from England. Since then I have stood in a church yard in England on the grave of my GGGG GPs John Scholes & Phoebe Haddock, and several metres away, the grave of my GGG GPs John Scholes & Esther Smith.
I did know I had a GG grandfather on my mothers side that was a convict, George Pickett. This was known through a relative, Judith Jennings (nee Clohesy) who had researched this years earlier and a copy had been given to my sister Donna Donchi who passed it on to us all. It was this information that sat idle for many years that made me decide to start doing my own research as I was 50 years old and knew nothing of my family's past. The first 6 months were extremely hard and I had little success as I tried to learn the skills of doing family research.
Without help from a lot of people along the way I would not be where I am today. I cannot name all that have helped in some way or another but 1 person I would like to thank in particular is Kate Winks.
Kate's GG grandparents, Samuel Barker & Bridget Burke, are also my G grand parents. Both Samuel & Bridget were convicts, met in Tasmania, and had several children. Somewhere along the way Samuel had changed his name from the original name, DUNFORD, to BARKER as we know it today. Kate had already discovered this in her research and after I had been looking for my Barker connection in Tasmania for several months, in all the wrong places due to the name change, I happened to come across a fellow researcher looking at the same family. Luckily for me it was Kate. Kate not only assisted me with most of my Barker info she was always willing to do look ups for me on Scholes relatives etc and helped me enormously before I had learnt the skills myself.
So far it has been an interesting journey that continues whenever I have time and I have found many interesting things along the way.
The most interesting of course is the fact I have 3 direct ancestors that were convicts. Another is the connection to the Kelly Gang through the marriage of my grandmothers' brother to the niece of Constable Alexander Fitzpatrick.
Another is the connection to Tom Wills inventor of Aussie rules football. My GG grandfather, Emanuel Wilde, worked at Lexington station in Ararat for Tom's father, Horatio Wills. At the time young Tom was about 15 years old.
Emanuel Wilde himself is acknowledged as one of Victoria's early pioneers and his photo and one of his bricks is on display at the Ararat museum.
I have been researching for about 16 years and started compiling this tree in 2009 and hope to eventually put all stories etc I have found onto the site but it is a slow process and will never be finished as I will keep finding new names and info to display along the way. I have been idle for a few years now and have just restarted the research process and hoping to continue building the tree again.
As well as the people mentioned above that have helped me, other people that have helped me a lot over the years are Merilyn McClean, Berenice Pollard, and Kerrie Fielding for the photo and story of Emanuel Wilde.
There have been numerous other people on here and Ancestry.com.au that have also assisted me greatly. Here are a few:
Andrea for the Scholes family info and pointing out my mistake in having the incorrect John Scholes listed as my GGG GF. That was a big task fixing that but worth it. Mary McGrath for her assistance with the Blackburn family.
Rose Hagan for her help with the Wildes/Pollard families. Rose has checked over my tree and pointed out a lot of mistakes which I am in the process of fixing.
Berenice Pollard in particular has been extremely helpful supplying many photos and family members to the Wilde side of my family.
I recently started again on the Wilde side concentrating on expanding the Pollards where Berenice had previously contributed.
Her attention to detail, placement of appropriate photos have been marvellous, she has been an enormous help.
There are many more too many to mention, but I appreciate all the help I have been given There have been many more.
There are some branches of my ancestors I have filled in from other sites and a lot of those I am yet to confirm the accuracy of them. It is a slow process but I will eventually get most completed as accurately as possible.
One branch in particular was the ancestors of my GGG GM Alice Langton. Most of the information I have entered on Alice's ancestors has come from the Langton tree on My Heritage site and I cannot confirm the accuracy of many of those ancestors once I go past Ralph Langton, the father of Alice.
I can confirm Ralph Langton as my GGGG GF because his grand daughter, Sarah Cottle, married my GG GF James Scholes in Collingwood in 1858. Sarah was actually the sister of James first wife, Caroline Cottle, my GG GM, who died in 1850 before James and his family, including Sarah, migrated to Australia.
I found a newspaper clip on the Trove site which was a wedding notice for James Scholes & Sarah Cottle. The notice said to advise the Manchester papers for Sarah's grand father, Ralph Langton Esquire. However there are many Ralph Langtons one being Sarah's GF, but there are several possibilities and there are none alive that I can find in 1858. The 2 most likely grandfathers for Sarah died in 1803 and another in 1840, well before 1858.
So anything after Ralph has not been researched as yet. The main problem with the Langton family is the many Ralph Langtons all from the one Langton ancestor it would seem, all from around Lancashire, Manchester in particular.
I will consider hiring an expert one day to hopefully unravel this Langton mystery.