Monday, 21 December 2020

Something Completely Different

The Roman Service Record of Petronius Fortunatus early second century AD.

Kasserine, Tunisia (Cillium)

[…] militavit L annis, IV in leg(ione) I Ita[lica]
librar(ius), tesser(arius), optio, signif(er), [7 = (centurio)]
factus ex suffragio leg(ionis) eiu[sdem]
militavit 7 leg(ionis) I Ital(icae), 7 leg(ionis) VI F[erratae],
7 leg(ionis) I Min(erviae), 7 leg(ionis) X Gem(inae), 7 leg(ionis) II A[di(utricis)]
7 leg(ionis) III Aug(ustae), 7 leg(ionis) II[I] Gall(icae), 7 leg(ionis) XXX U[l]p(iae),
7 leg(ionis) VI Vic(tricis), 7 leg(ionis) III Cyr(enaicae), 7 leg(ionis) XV Apol(linaris),
7 leg(ionis) II Par(thicae), 7 leg(ionis) I Adiutricis,
consecutus ob virtutem in
expeditionem Parthicam
coronam muralem vallarem
torques et phaleras, agit in
diem operis perfecti annos LXXX,
sibi et
Claudiae Marciae Capitolinae
koniugi karissimae, quae agit
in diem operis perfecti
annos LXV; et
M(arco) Petronio Fortunato filio,
militavit ann(is) VI, 7 leg(ionis) X[X]II Primig(eniae),
7 leg(ionis) II Aug(ustae), vixit ann(is) XXXV
cui Fortunatus et Marcia parentes
karissimo memoriam fecerunt

‘… served 50 years, 4 in the First Legion Italica as librarius, tesserarius, optio, signifer, made centurion by vote of the said legion; served as centurion of the First Legion Italica, and of the Sixth Legion Ferrata, the First Legion Minervia, the Tenth Legion Gemina, the Second Legion Adiutrix, the Third Legion Augusta, the Third Legion Gallica, the Thirtieth Legion Ulpia, the Sixth Legion Victrix, the Third Legion Cyrenaica, the Fifteenth Legion Apollinaris, the Second Legion Parthica, the First Legion Adiutrix; awarded the Mural Crown, the Rampart Crown, Torques and Arm-bands, for his valour in the Parthian campaign; aged 80 the day this work was finished. For himself and his dearest wife, Claudia Marcia Capitolina, aged 65 the day this work was finished; and for his son Marcus Petronius Fortunatus, who served six years, centurion of the Twenty-Second Legion Primigenia, centurion of the Second Legion Augusta, aged 35; for whom his parents Fortunatus and Marcia erected this monument to their dearest son.’

Both father and son had been centurions in Britain, the father in the Sixth Legion at York, his son in the Second Legion at Caerleon, although he may actually have died on active service. Skilful analysis of the father’s career by Eric Birley, Val Maxfield and Tony Birley, has outlined its chronology.39 It was unusually long and geographically diverse, taking Fortunatus from the lower Danube (Legion I Italica) to Jerusalem (VI Ferrata), and then probably to the detachments of European legions which served in the Parthian campaign of Lucius Verus (AD 162–6). It is this campaign to which he refers, not that of Septimius Severus, to judge by the lavish scale of his decorations. From here he went to Africa (III Augusta), then back to Syria (III Gallica), followed by the lower Rhine (XXX Ulpia) and even Britain (VI Victrix), before returning to the eastern frontier, that is to Arabia (III Cyrenaica) and the upper Euphrates (XV Apollinaris). By now in his late 60s, he was transferred to Severus’ new Second Legion Parthica (embodied c. AD 197), where like Virilis he may have been responsible for training recruits. Finally he served on the middle Danube with the First Legion Adiutrix. According to this chronology, he joined the First Legion Italica in the mid-AD 150s in his mid-20s, and retired 50 years later in his mid-70s. He implies that his son had died quite recently, which would place his birth (and his father’s informal marriage) in the mid- AD 170s.

Extracted from Britannia Romana by R S O Tomlin and published by Oxbow Books in 2018.

Thesis ‘Always Crackne in Heaven’ by Grant Finlay

I came across an interesting thesis ‘Always Crackne in Heaven’ by Grant Finlay B.A. Theol. M. and submitted in fulfilment of the requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy at the University of Tasmania in 2015.

The abstract follows

"The interaction of Aboriginal people with expressions of Christian faith during the colonial history of Australia has been examined in various contexts but not to any great extent in Australia’s southernmost setting of Tasmania. This thesis traces the interactions of Tasmanian Aboriginal people with Christianity from the beginnings of the colony of Van Diemen’s Land to the early years of the twentieth century.

While surviving documentary sources are limited they show a vibrant precontact Aboriginal religious life. Its elements were multi-layered, complex and open to interacting with the different religious lives of other clans and subsequently with the colonists. Pre-existing religious beliefs and practices were the paradigm through which Aboriginal people interpreted the Christian faith. In the first generations of colonial contact there was not a mission among Aboriginal people by any church missionary society. Most religious oriented conversations occurred in the less formal settings of conversations between individuals or within families. Some conversations were with the Government appointed conciliator, catechist or clergy who were part of Government programs such as the Hobart Orphan School, the Settlement at Wybalenna, and Oyster Cove Station. These formal settings provide archival sources that indicate a variety of interactions and Aboriginal responses to Christian faith. The polyvalent rather than uniform responses demonstrate the ‘agency’ of Aboriginal people. Most chose to reject the Christian faith. Some, however, incorporated various elements including baptism, participation in church services, family Bible reading, Bible translation, writing addresses and the preaching of Christian sermons.

A substantial focus of this thesis examines the oral and literary responses to exposure to the Christian faith at a pivotal location during a crucial period of colonial history, namely the Wybalenna Settlement on Flinders Island from 1832 – 1847. Previously unpublished sources analysed include Bible translations, catechetical examinations, literacy tests, Christian addresses and newspaper articles. The interplay of oral and written responses is examined as well as ways Aboriginal people incorporated Christian faith as they adapted and mediated personal and clan roles and relationships in the dynamic context of Wybalenna. The formal settings of the Wybalenna Settlement and Orphan School contrast the largely independent practices of particular families on the Furneaux Islands throughout most of the nineteenth century and the Nicholls Rivulet Methodist Church in the early twentieth century. These more informal settings demonstrate ways in which Aboriginal people’s adoption of Christian faith was constrained by denominational structures and a general lack of interest in them by most church members. Nevertheless, Aboriginal Christian people formed long and lasting relationships with a few colonial Christians who supported their development of uniquely Tasmanian Aboriginal Christian lives."

Appendix A is a list of Church baptism records of Aboriginal children baptised in Van Diemen’s Land.

Appendix B is a list of Aboriginal children listed in Hobart Orphan School Register.

The full thesis is available here .

Wednesday, 26 August 2020

Clermont-Belyando Area Native Title Claim Meeting

Clermont-Belyando Area Native Title Claim (QUD25/2019) Meeting.

The Current Claim Group are the descendants of
Billy and Lucy (parents of Jimmy Tarpot, Mary Ann Alboro and Mary Ellen)
Dan Dunrobin (also known as Dunrobin, Christopher Dunrobin and Dan Robin)
Frank Fisher (Snr) of Clermont
Jimmy Flourbag
Charlie McAvoy of Logan Downs
Liz McEvoy of Alpha
The Mother of Jack (Girrabah) Malone and Jim (Conee) Malone
Mary of Clermont (also known as Mary Johnson).

The amended Claim Group are the descendents of
Billy and Lucy (parents of Jimmy Tarpot, Mary Ann Alboro and Mary Ellen)
Dan Dunrobin (also known as Dunrobin, Christopher Dunrobin and Dan Robin)
Frank Fisher (Snr) of Clermont
Jimmy Flourbag (husband of Annie Flourbag)
Charlie McAvoy of Logan Downs
Liz McEvoy of Alpha
The Mother of Jack (Girrabah) Malone and Jim (Conee) Malone
Mary of Clermont (also known as Mary Johnson)
Daisy Collins;
Maggie (Miller) of Clermont;
Nellie Digaby;
Momitja; and
Katy of Clermont.

Appeared in the Koori Mail dated August 26, 2020

Some notes

Dan Dunrobin is mentioned in the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody Report of the Inquiry into the Death of Gregory Michael Dunrobin available here
Dan Dunrobin died 23.10.1938 at Cherbourg aged c50 years
Dan Dunrobin born c1920 at Clermont parents Dunrobin and Lizzy Dunrobin 
Bob Dunrobin born c1924 at Clermont parents Dunrobin and Lizzy Dunrobin
Lizzie Dunrobin, Dan Dunrobin, child, Bob Dunrobin, child removed to Barambah in 1924

Lenny Malone, born 1907, married 6. 3.1928 Cherbourg, father is Jack Malone and mother is Eliza Quentin (born c1888, parents Albert Quentin (European) and Jenny (Full Blood))
Jessie McEvoy. born 1906 Clermont, died 4. 3.1940 Cherbourg, married 6. 3.1928 Cherbourg, father is unknown and mother is Polly McEvoy

Jack Malone , Native Name Girribah , male aged 31 yrs, Native of Jericho Class Woongoo       
Jim Malone , Native Name Conee , male aged 47 yrs, Native of Jericho, Class Woongoo  
at Durundur in 1903

Nellie Digaby was born around Avon Downs around 1863. Her two daughters Daisy(b.c.1891) and Grace (b.c.1893) were born at Frankfield while she worked there as a domestic. Nellie’s husband was Digarbie. (personal communication)

Annie Flourbag, aged 50 years, married, was at Barambah in 1928
Annie Flourbag died  on 22. 7.1937 at  Cherbourg
Jimmy Flourbag died on 22.10.1938 at Cherbourg  

Daisy Collins married Arthur Murdock in 1919 at Barambah

Wednesday, 12 August 2020

Multidisciplinary evidence for early banana cultivation on Mabuyag Island

An interesting article appears in Nature Ecology & Evolution as follows

Multidisciplinary evidence for early banana (Musa cvs.) cultivation on Mabuyag Island, Torres Strait Robert N Williams, Duncan Wright, Alison Crowther and Tim Denham
Nature Ecology & Evolution (2020).

The abstract follows

"Multiproxy archaeobotanical analyses (starch granule, phytolith and microcharcoal) of an abandoned agricultural terrace at Wagadagam on Mabuyag Island, Torres Strait, Australia, document extensive, low-intensity forms of plant management from at least 2,145–1,930 cal yr bp and intensive forms of cultivation at 1,376–1,293 cal yr bp. The agricultural activities at 1,376–1,293 cal yr bp are evidenced from terrace construction, banana (Musa cultivars) cultivation and dramatic transformations to the local palaeoenvironment. The robust evidence for the antiquity of horticulture in western Torres Strait provides an historical basis for understanding the diffusion of cultivation practices and cultivars, most likely from New Guinea. This study also provides a methodological template for the investigation of plant management, potentially including forms of cultivation that were practiced in northern Australia before European colonization."

Monday, 27 July 2020

Internet Archive Wayback site - Aboriginal Family History Research website

The precursor to the Centre for Indigenous Family History Studies website, namely the Aboriginal Family History Research website, has been saved 59 times between February 4, 2004 and July 2, 2014 in the Internet Archive Wayback Machine. Similarly the Centre for Indigenous Family History Studies website has been saved 66 times from May 23, 2012 to January 1, 2020 in the Internet Archive Wayback Machine

The URL for accessing the saved sites for Aboriginal Family History Research website is here  and for the Centre for Indigenous Family History Studies is  here .
(Does not appear to be compatible with IE11)

The original site was created using the My Connected Community (mc2) Webpage generator. My Connected Community (mc2) was funded by the Victorian Government and coordinated by VICNET.

It is interesting to follow the both sites through their life and noting additions and pages that were later removed for various reasons.

Sunday, 19 July 2020

AIATSIS MS 4165 - Aboriginal Families of the Moree Region

AIATSIS MS 4165 - Aboriginal Families of the Moree Region

Date range: 1788-1997

Noeline Briggs-Smith deposited the collection in the Library, in October 2001, on behalf of the Northern Regional Library and Information Service at Moree, New South Wales.

The collection consists largely of certified copies of birth, death and marriage certificates of Aboriginal people in the Moree andsurrounding areas. In addition, there are birth, death and funeral notices, for example from The Australian Evangel, and printouts from sources such as the 'Index to the Brian Williams Family History Genealogies’ held at the University of New England Regional State Archives. Included also are notes made from church records, such as baptismal records from the Salvation Army Church Records at Moree, family record sheets, such as those from the Griffith Genealogical & Historical Society and other papers.

There is also a photocopy of 'A Grose family history' and various documents such as birth and death certificates for the Grose family; some family trees and a printout of the descendants of Ada Parker.

The collection consists entirely of photocopies.



1  Families include Adams, Aldridge, Allen, Alli,Anderson, Andrews, Andy, Annie, Archibald, Armstrong, Arnold, Ash,Ashley, Ashmore, Atkinson, Bailey, Baker, Baldwin, Ballengarry, Bamblett,Banfield and Bangaree

2  Families include Barber, Barlow, Barndo, Barney, Barr, Bartman, Bartholemew, Barwick, Bateman, Bates, Bath, Beale, Beatle, Beaumont, Beears, Bellear, Bengalla, Bessie, Beveridge, Biggs, Billie, Bing, Bino, Birrie, and Black

3  Families include Blacklock, Blair, Blay, Bligh, Bollan, Bloomfield, Bond and Bone 

4  Families include Boney, Bonn, Borghmanna, Borland, Bourah, Bowden, Bowler, Boxer and Boyce

5  Families include Bradshaw, Brady, Brair, Brandy, and Brennan. Some of the photocopies for Brennan are very faint and therefore difficult to read

6  Families include Briggs, Bright, Brooks, Broomham,Broughton, Brown, Browning and Brummy

7  Families include Buars, Bubby, Buchana, Buckabone, Buckenbone, Bugg, Bull, Bullaman, Bullamin, Bullingar, Bundai, Bungaree, Bungle, Burke, Button and Byrnes

8  Families include Cain, Callaghar, Campbell, Carrie, Capp, Carbone, Carlyle, Carmody, Cart, Carroll, Carter, Cassidy, Catalana, Chambers, Charles, Charlie and Chatfield

9  Families include Clark, Clarke, Clarkson, Clifford, Clift, Cobar, Cobla, Cobra, Coe, Coffey, Cohen, Cohon, Coleman, Colger, Colless, Collins, Combadello, Combo, Comborugo

9a Families include Connor, Connors

10 Families include Conroy, Cook, Coombs/Coombes, Copeland, Corbett, Crotty, Crump, Draper, Duncan (Duncombe), Edwards, Egan, Graham

11 Grose Family

12 ‘A Grose family history, Part 1, From Britain to Botany Bay, the story of William Smith Grose & Elizabeth Reay’ and ‘A Grose family history, Part 2, Beyond the Blue Mountains, the story of William & Julia Grose’, both by Beverley Johnson. Photocopies

13 Families include Hart, Hulin, Jenkins, Kinchella, Mitchell, Murray, Narang, Nattey, Navey Bux, Payne, Poffit, Riggs, Suey, Swan, Tighe

14 Randall/Martin family tree from 1788 (two copies) and Walters/Saunders family tree

15 Printout from NSWGenWeb Lineage of records relating to union of Kitty Colaby and Budsworth (two copies)

16 Miscellaneous documents

Tuesday, 14 July 2020

Radiocarbon Dating program in the Riverland Region of South Australia

An interesting article appears in the journal Australian Archaeology as follows -

Initial results and observations on a radiocarbon dating program in the Riverland region of S.A.
Craig Westell , Amy Roberts , Mick Morrison , Geraldine Jacobsen & the River Murray and Mallee Aboriginal Corporation
Australian Archaeology 2020

The abstract follows

"This paper presents a preliminary occupation chronology for the Riverland region of South Australia, based on 31 radiocarbon age determinations. This region has represented a significant geographic gap in understanding occupation chronologies for the broader Murray-Darling Basin. The dating forms part of an ongoing research program exploring the longterm engagements of Aboriginal people with the habitat mosaics of the central River Murray corridor. Dating targets were selected on the basis of their landscape context. Results relate occupation evidence to an evolving riverine landscape through the period extending from approximately 29 ka to the late Holocene. These results include the first pre-Last Glacial Maximum ages returned on the River Murray in South Australia and extend the known Aboriginal occupation of the Riverland by approximately 22,000 years."