About the author: Joy Olney

Early 1999 I inherited my Grandpa's diaries written from 1895 - 1948.  In August 1999 there was an Olney family reunion in Geelong to celebrate 150 years since Charles and Martha Olney emigrated to Australia.  A month later there was a Petfield family reunion in Brisbane (that was my maiden name).

At each of these reunions there was a book launch with family trees, photos and information going back to the mid 1500s - that is about 16 generations without a gap. It is interesting to note that all our ancestors came from small English villages, leaving behind their parents and siblings, never to return or see them again.

At that time neither Peter nor I knew more than the names of our grand parents. I soon started researching which sparked a passion for discovering who our ancestors were and where they lived. Over the years I have gathered a lot of information - a whole filing cabinet full!  What better way of sharing family stories, as a legacy to future generations, than writing blogs. Family stories can be lost in 3 generations if they are not written down.  It has and continues to be a journey of self discovery. I hope you enjoy reading these blogs as much as I have in researching and sharing with you.

If you think you are related or you have a question, comment or correction, please bring it to my attention by email (below).

Joy Olney,
Melbourne, Australia.
email: joybelle@iinet.net.au

Family History:

Rev. Leslie S Macdougall Diaries
Leslie Stuart Macdougall was born 4 March 1877 in Hobart and grew up in Launceston, Tasmania. His parents were William & Sarah Macdougall and he was the eldest of 6 children.

Leslie trained for the Methodist ministry at Queen's College, Melbourne and had a number of appointments in Victoria from 1901.  He was ordained in 1910 and appointed to Tasmanian Churches from 1910 - 1921 before returning to Victoria until his death on 8 February 1949.

My Grandpa wrote very extensive diaries from the age of 17 until 71 years. They are eloquently written and with much detail about his life while serving in the Methodist ministry.  Leslie Macdougall was an articulate and well educated man which included a Master's Degree with Honours in English Language and Literature.

There is a wealth of valuable information contained in the diaries.  I knew I had to be responsible and preserve them for future generations.  I have now read and scanned every page (15,600 pages) and put together a 10GB presentation which includes his Register of Baptisms, his ledger of every Preaching Appointment over 50 years, love letters, collages of family photos and family trees. The question then was "How can I share this precious information with others?"  By writing blogs of course!  Unfortunately even the smallest diary is far too big for a blog, but I have been able to share with you some of the highlights of Leslie's life as recorded in his diaries. The 10GB presentation is available to anyone should you wish to read all the diaries.
Please email Joy Olney - joybelle@iinet.net.au for your copy.

Tasmanian appointments included: Oatlands, Stanley, Mathinna, Queenstown & Strahan, New Norfolk & Glenora, Westbury, Penguin.  Victorian appointments included: Nagambie, Dumbalk & Meeniyan, Neerim, Berringa & Kaleno, South Preston, Euroa, Ballarat, East Malvern, Coburg, Williamstown, Brighton.

Beatrice Macdougall Diaries
Beatrice Helen Louise Wells was born 9 September 1888 in Formby, Tasmania to Harry & Elizabeth Wells.  Beatrice's siblings were Winifred and Gladstone.

Beatrice married Rev.Leslie S.Macdougall on 9 September 1912 in Hobart.  Beatrice faithfully supported her husband in the Methodist ministry, even though there were some difficult times. They had three daughters - Winsome, Dorothy and Margaret. Winsome married Allan Petfield and had two daughters. Dorothy took up nursing and married Bill Hitchings late in life.  Margaret married Walter Fraser and had a son and daughter.

After Leslie died Beatrice started writing her own diaries.  I have also read and scanned Grandma's diaries written from 1953 to 1978. On 6 September 1968, Beatrice records 56 years later, that she was loathed to destroy their love letters. I am very glad she did not destroy them.  You can read the Love Letters yourself in Leslie S Macdougall Diaries Blog.

I have enjoyed reading Grandma's diaries as they were written in "my time" and have been a great reminder of many family events. Unfortunately even the smallest diary is too big for a blog, but I have included Beatrice's diaries in the 10GB Presentation mentioned above should you wish to read them. Beatrice survived her husband by 34 years, she died on 8 November 1983 in Melbourne.

Macdougall Family Archives
My Great Great Great Grandfather, John Macdougall was a Convict, having been transported to Van Diemen's Land in 1821.  John Macdougall and his 2 sons were involved in the Printing business in those early days of the Colony, having established "The Colonial Times" which ran from 1825 to 1855. Reading their editorials has given me great insights into their views on many areas, particularly their political views.

My Great Great Grandfather Archibald Macdougall was invited to establish Adelaide's second newspaper, the "South Australian" as their Publisher in 1838. He also published "The Life and Adventures of William Buckley" in 1852.

My Great Grandparents, William and Sarah Macdougall were pioneer farmers on King Island, Tasmania from 1901. William spent the last 19 years of his life in a wheel chair due to an accident on the "Lorne" property on King Island. In 2007 Peter and I went to King Island and found the 2 properties I had read about in my Grandpa's diaries.

Wells Family Archives
Before visiting Great Oxendon, Northamptonshire in 2007 I had contacted a lady there because my Great Grandfather Harry Wells had come from this village before settling in Tasmania in 1887.

The lady pointed out various homes that the Wells family had lived in, took us to the 13th century Church and showed us some Wells family graves. I had inherited a wooden candle stick carved from an old pew from this Church at Great Oxendon.

A 90 year old neighbour who knew the Wells family had two photos of the Wells family enlarged and laminated for easy travelling ready as a gift for me.  A cousin from a neighbouring village came to visit, armed with a huge Wells Family Tree book.  He was interested to learn how the   Australian Wells family had multiplied in 125 years since Harry had emigrated.

Because Harry had experience with the British Rail system he was welcomed into the Emu Bay Rail Co. who were opening up the north coast of Tasmania. He was stationed at Formby, Leith, St Marys, Ulverstone, Zeehan and retired in 1924 as Station Master at Hobart, Tasmania.
Harry and Elizabeth Wells (nee Saunders) married 8 November 1887 in Launceston. They had 3 children - Beatrice, Winifred and Gladstone Wells. Harry died 1935 and Elizabeth 1950.  Both are buried at Cornelian Bay Cemetery, Hobart, Australia.

Davidson Family Archives
William Davidson was appointed the first Superintendent to the Hobart Botanical Gardens in 1828 at the age of 23 years.  I have visited the Administration Office at the Gardens to see William Davidson's signature dated February 18th 1833 etched into a window pane in the cottage built for him in 1828.  For safety reasons that window pane has now been removed, framed and is hanging in the Director's Office.  An ink sketch of William is also on display in the Director's Office.

William commissioned convict stonemason Daniel Herbert to carve a sundial as a gift to his wife Elizabeth (nee Naisbett) in about 1831.  Daniel Herbert also carved the gargoyles on the famous Richmond Bridge in Tasmania. The sundial has been passed down the female line through 5 generations and was donated back to the Botanical Gardens 1999.

William built a stone cottage at 3 Elboden Street, South Hobart about 1833. Today it is heritage listed and beautifully renovated. My blog gives much detail about the restoration of this beautiful home.

William Davidson passed away on 9 July 1837. His tombstone can be found in St David's Park, Hobart. He left a wife and 4 children.  Elizabeth married Edward Allason in 1843 and together they had another 6 children - Edward, Susannah, Robert, Sarah, Eliza, Edwin.

Olney Family Archives
In 2007 Peter and I visited England and went to the village of Pulloxhill where Charles and Martha Olney came from before emigrating to Australia in 1849.

We spoke to someone at the Church who directed us to "that house down there on the left. The man was 87 years old and had lived there all his life and would probably be able to answer any questions".  Well, Hubert knew that his parents had bought the 2 story thatched roof home from Olneys in 1849.  How exciting!  Hubert gave us some old photos of the house and Pulloxhill village. We also visited nearby villages of Clophill and Codicote where many Olney families had lived.

The town of Olney is nearby. John Newton, while a slave trader, had an experience with God. He later became the Curate of Olney from 1764 to 1780. In 1779 Rev.John Newton published
the "Olney Hymns" including the famous "Amazing Grace" and "How sweet the Name of Jesus sounds".  William Cowper wrote "God moves in mysterious ways" and "O for a closer walk with God".  Sir William Cowper was a frequent visitor to the vicarage and lived in Olney from 1767 to 1786. There is a Memorial to Cowper in the 1325 Parish Church. Newton and his wife are buried in the Church graveyard.

Olney is also famous for the "Shrove Tuesday Pancake Race". The ladies, all Olney residents, must wear skirts and aprons with scarves as they ran down the 400 yard course to the porch, tossing their sizzling pancakes as they go. The pancakes that survived the race were given to the bellringer, who pays with a kiss.  The race was first run in 1445.

Very little was known about Doris Moss until I made further research. There has been an interesting connection with Napoleon while he was in exile in St.Helena, and the Moss family. The Glasson family bought Doris up.
On Doris' mothers side, the Morrisby family have a history back to Norfolk Island as "First Fleeters" and later Tasmania.

Solomon/Moss Family Archives

Since writing the Olney Family Archives I took up the challenge of finding out what happened to Doris Moss after her mother Matilda died when she was two in 1898 and when she married Arthur Olney in 1915. I now know Doris was brought up by the Glasson family (her mother's first husband's family). Doris' father Clement Moss went to the Boer War and ended up marrying again in 1913 in England.  They had 4 children born between 1914 and 1922. I have found the families of all four children. Interestingly they did not know their father had a previous marriage and family in Australia.  Likewise, we did not know what had happened to Clement Moss after he was widowed.  I have been to England and met some of the family, including the two half sisters of Doris. 

Clement Moss was born on island of St. Helena. The Moss and Solomon families were related by marriage and well known on the Island at the time of Napoleon's exile there. The two families were in business together. Saul Solomon was known as "The Merchant King of St Helena".  Isaac Moss lived in Longwood House where Napoleon lived while in exile, and many of the Moss children were born there. Several of the Solomons went on to be Politicians in South Africa. Interesting story.

Edward and Mary Petfield emigrated to Australia in 1888 with their 7 children and a son born soon after arriving. I am a descendent of George Petfield.

A book "The Australian Petfield Family 1888-1999" was compiled and presented at our reunion in 1999. Most Petfields still live in and around Brisbane today.

Our visit to England in 2007 took us to Brantingham, Kirk Ella and South Cove in Yorkshire. My Petfield Family Reunion book came alive as we visited the Churches and graveyards of our ancestors dating back to 1540. A family Bible belonging to Mathew (1773-1855) and Ruth Petfield is now in safe keeping in Australia. Edward was a Grandson of Mathew Petfield.
My Grandparents George and Emily Petfield were married at Kennedy Terrace, Paddington on 17 May 1911.  They had 3 children - Allan, Gladys and Joan.  George was a Builder and lived at 115 Rockbourne Terrace, Paddington most of their married life.


Brighouse/Mott Family Archives

Edward and Mary Brighouse arrived in Brisbane from Nottingham, England on 20 January 1883 with two young sons - Henry and Ernest.  Emily, Ruby and Cecil Brighouse were born in Queensland.  Mary was born into the Cripwell family and I have on my family tree 15 generations of Cripwells to 1559.

Emily Brighouse married George Petfield in 1911. Henry (Harry) Brighouse married Lydia Mott. Lydia's sister Florence Mott married Arthur Petfield, George Petfield's brother. The families were very close. George and Arthur were builders and built their holiday houses next door to each other.

The Mott family have an interesting connection with Napoleon. On 15 July 1815 L'Epervier, the French brig of war was discovered under sail with a flag of truce up. First Lieutenant Andrew Mott relieved Napoleon of his pistols on his surrender, however he was allowed to keep his sword for the official surrender to Captain Maitland on HMS Bellerophon. The pistols had been in the Mott family until into the 1980s.

Joy's Memoirs

I began researching my family history in the early 2000s.  It was slow going at first as I had to purchase and learn how to use the computer.  It has been quite a journey.  I have gathered together many documents, filed them in their own unique colour binders according to the family.  I have scanned my Grand parent's diaries (15,600 pages) and tidied up photo albums. Peter and I have visited many of the areas where our ancestors lived.  The last 2 years I have started writing blogs to enable me to share what I have on file.
I have had some interesting situations from people "googling" around and come across my blogs.

A Sydney researcher of famous Musicians asked for more information on William Macdougall who was a famous Musician in California in 1860. A lady in England found my Wells Blog - her uncle was my Grandma's first boyfriend in 1910. Another lady in England came across my Petfield Blog. My ancestor came to Australia in 1850 while her ancestor stayed in England. She was interested to learn about the Australian Petfield family. Recently a cousin came across my Olney Blog. She had never seen a photo of her Grandmother and didn't even know her name until she read my Blog. My Olney Blog has enabled more discoveries and opened doors to a whole new family going back to Napoleon days, convicts and 1st Fleeters. My Blog solved a 15 year problem of another who was "googling" around. story and most fascinating. I have recently researched to see if I can "join the dots" between myself and Queen Victoria, also Napoleon Bonaparte.
Family history is a never ending story and most fascinating.  It keeps the mind active.

When Peter and I visited Simpson, Buckinghamshire in 2007 we met up with a Historian who gave us a walking tour of the village where my ancestors, the Saunders family had lived from the mid 1700s.  He introduced us to an 87 year old cousin.  We went to the Church where many family members were christened, married or buried.

In 2007 we spent a few days with a cousin - my Great Grandma  and her Grandma were sisters. She had a large trunk of memorabillia left from when her parents were alive. There were many photos sent from Tasmania without names. I was able to identify many of the people and places. A very special time for both of us.

Elizabeth Saunders emigrated to Tasmania in 1887 and married Harry Wells on 8 November 1887 in Launceston, Tasmania. Harry came on ahead of Elizabeth to get work in the Railways.  He retired as the Station Master at Hobart in 1924. Harry and Elizabeth Wells had 3 children - Beatrice, Winifred and Gladstone.

James Benjamin Riches was born at Pulham Market, Norfolk in 1854.  He married Hannah Batchelder in 1874 and they had 3 children but Hannah died at age 30 in 1882.  John married Rhoda Crouch in 1884 and they had 2 daughters - Lily died at 5 years of age and Jessie was Peter's Nana.

Jessie Riches married Frederick Wallis on 19 December 1912 in England. In 1914 Fred emigrated to Australia and Jessie followed once Fred had work. Fred was a butcher as were most of the Wallis men.

There has been a family interest in the murders at "Stanfield Hall" at Wymondham, Norfolk. On 28 November 1848 James Bloomfield Rush murdered Isaac Jermy, the owner of "Stanfield Hall" and his son Issac Jermy Jermy. Rush owned "Potash Farm" next door and owed Isaac Jermy 3,750 Pounds which was to be repaid by 30 November 1848. Rush was hung for the 2 murders. Family folk-lore says that James Riches' father was a strapper at "Stanfield Hall" at the time of the murders. In early 1960's Keith Olney named Stanfield Court, Glen Waverley and we built our first home there in 1969.

Wallis Family Archives

The Wallis family were largely Butchers, living in Farnborough, Kent area in England.
Henry Wallis (1857 - 1926) and Delilah Duddy (1862 - 1935) married in 1882. They had 6 children - Henry, William, Edward, Elizabeth, Frederick and Gertrude. The 4 boys were Butchers like their father.
Frederick Wallis and Jessie Riches married 19 December 1912.  Frederick came to Australia in 1914 ahead of Jessie to find work. He and his older  brother Henry had Butcher's shops in Melbourne.  Frederick and Jessie had two daughters - Marjorie and Joan.

Cousins, Audrey Munday and Marjorie Wallis each divorced their first husbands and married each others husbands within a month of each other in 1969.

Allason Family Archives
Rev.John Allason was the Minister of the United Reformed Church in Low Row, North Yorkshire from 1807 until his death in 1835. While serving at Low Row he lost his wife Susannah and 5 children. A surviving daughter Rebecca married Adam Barker.

Edward and Aaron Allason emigrated to Australia in 1842. Edward Allason married Elizabeth, the widow of William Davidson in 1843 and together they had 6 children - Edward, Susannah, Robert, Sarah, Eliza and Robert Allason.  I am a descendant of Sarah Allason (my Great Grandmother) who married William Macdougall and their son was Leslie Macdougall.

Peter and I visited Low Row in 2007. It was a Sunday morning and we slipped into the back row of the Church during the service. The Minister look up and noticed there were two visitors, bringing the congregation to 15. He immediately welcomed us and I was able to respond by saying "My Great Great Great Grandfather Rev. John Allason was the Minister here 200 years ago. We have come all the way from Australia to see that Monument on the wall which honours Rev. Allason and his family".

Scandinavia and Eastern Europe
In 2012 Peter and Joy travelled to Scandinavia, using Eurail and an overnight ferry between Finland, Sweden and Denmark. We had a very pleasant surprise with snow in Helsinki and it was actually falling in Stockholm. We enjoyed a week long river cruise between Budapest and Nuremberg on "Imagery" with Avalon. A visit to Prague for several days, train to Dresden, Bayreuth and Bamburg, and a flight home from Frankfurt ended a most enjoyable holiday.

Cape York Peninsula
A camping safari tour from Cairns to the Tip of Australia and return was most enjoyable, even though we had our dramas which can be typical of outback travelling. Peter was happy to sit back this time and let someone else do the driving.