Christine G Wild & Denise McMahon

Old New Today is full of articles taken randomly between the years 1876 & 1900 from The Ovens & Murray Advertiser  and the Corryong Courier. The authors allow the reader to step back in time and read news, gossip, business, and family history from the Upper Murray region of Victoria. 

Some of the towns covered include Mitta, Tallangatta, Eskdale, Khancoban, Tumbarumba, Baranduda, Benambra, Berringama, Bethanga, Cudgewa, Corryong, Colac, Walwa, Zulu, Eskdale, Granya, Jingellic, Koetong, Tallandoon, Thougla, Tintaldra, Towong, Wabba, Wagra, Kergunyah, Nariel, Talgarno, Tangambalanga, and also Beechworth, Yackandandah, and Wodonga.

The reader will find marriages, funerals, inquests, land deals, various license approvals including publicans, mining, court cases, social events and day to day life.  Families  such as Jarvis, Hill, Hagan, Haeffner, Hanson, Jephcott, Brown, Carkeek, Barber, Whitehead, Klippel, Mildren, and Wheeler, are among the 950 surnames mentioned. Written with genealogical and local history researchers in mind, the book was released in July 2006.

The authors, Denise McMahon and Christine Wild, spent 7 years researching the lives of their ancestors and found there was a dearth of information available to them on the Upper Murray region of Victoria. With this in mind, they spent two years collecting snippets from the newspapers before producing the book. It has been reviewed by various groups, and the authors have received encouragement for future work from readers.  One review is shown below -

"Have just received my copy of the book, so for those who haven't got a copy yet I have to say it is brilliant. The design and layout is fabulous so it is extremely easy to read. The cover is very effective and the look is very professional indeed. It has a great mix of humour and tragedy, as you'd expect, and just enough over-the-fence gossip to be fun.
The most amazing part is the index...you just couldn't have done it any better, and I just wish all future writers of similar books would take note of this work. It sets a new bench-mark as far as I'm concerned. We'll be using it for years...it's a good read and a good buy."

Old News Today costs $A20.00 (including postage to an Australian address) from the authors on the email addresses below. It is also available through historical groups - Mitta Valley Heritage Society; Wangaratta Family Historical Group; Tumut Family History Group; Granya Historical Society; The Man from Snowy River Folk Museum, Corryong.

Also available from the authors of Old News Today --

American Fever Australian Gold

American and Canadian involvement in Australia's Gold Rush

American Fever Australian Gold exposes through more than 130 narratives, the lives of over 170 men and women who ventured across the seas from North America during the first two decades (1850-1870) of the Australian gold rush. Each narrative tells of their ups and downs as they sought their fortune from the ground, or from various businesses – all of which contributed to the development of the Ovens region of the colony of Victoria. The majority of the men and women within this work have not been included in the history books of northeast Victoria, and it was the authors’ intention to rectify this omission by creating American Fever Australian Gold. History never seen before has been unearthed by the authors in their quest; history of the region and of the lives of these people. American Fever Australian Gold has found men missing from family histories – these men were born but simply vanished, historians can now finally close that chapter.

     Surprises abound within this work as the authors tell the tales of miners, business men, and family life. Among them are criminals, adventurers, bigamists, farmers, shopkeepers, coach proprietors, hoteliers, miners, entrepreneurs, public minded citizens and those who merely struggled to keep their families fed.

     With almost 1700 names mentioned in American Fever Australian Gold, the reader will come to understand that these men were bound together by mateship, friendship, relationship, or business. The majority of these intrepid travellers stayed in Australia to live, acknowledging the land of opportunity.

     With a combined 18 years devoted to research the authors have received accolades from many directions, including “your dedication and hard work have earned you both a reputation for being wonderful people and diligent in your detective work to produce brilliant results”. Jackie Fuller, Queensland.

     “Thanks to the internet, Australians Denise McMahon, Chris Wild and I have become collaborators and friends. Because of their meticulous primary research and willingness to share, we have incredible, and heretofore unknown, information about one of Miami’s oldest families. Their “William Barnwell Brickell in Australia” was the lead story in the 2007 Tequesta, Journal of 0the Historical Museum of Southern Florida. I highly recommend their work.” Arva Moore Parks, Historian/Author, Miami, Florida.

TO CONTACT the authors for information on Old News Today or American Fever Australian Gold --