Saturday, August 17, 2013


Sepia Saturday this week shows a group of ladies sitting on the grass enjoying a picnic. Love the hats!!

Unfortunately I could only find one picnic shot in my collection, so decided instead to show you some group photos of the very English 'other' half of my family. My mother's family were German and emigrated to Australia in the late 1840s, early 1850s and I have used many of their photos in earlier posts.

My father on the other hand was English - very English. He was sent to Australia a few years after WW1 to make something of himself - a "ticket of leave" man. I think he had a hard time settling down to work after the war and liked the playboy life. His father was a very Victorian figure and believed that my father should work in the family business. It's all fairly vague and my father was a great story teller (read twister of the truth) so we never really found out what he did to upset his parents - his father refused to speak to or of him, although his sisters wrote and sent a few photos and various old aunts left him small bequests in their wills.

My mother kept up a correspondence with the sisters for some years, but after my father died in 1963, she lost touch. Thanks to the magic of the internet, I was able to track down my remaining cousins a few years ago and now keep in touch. Interestingly none of them could tell me what my father had done to be cast off from the family and the next generation of English cousins were totally unaware that they had cousins in Australia.

So, I will share a few of my precious photos with you. As a child I loved them because they looked so English and grand.

My paternal grandfather and some of my cousins. Some day I hope to meet them.

Room for a pony.
Anyone for tennis?
This set look as if they were all taken about the same time.  Probably taken especially to send to an  uncle they had never met. My grandfather does not look all that pleased about it.

And here we have a picnic - in the snow

There was certainly plenty of room for a picnic

And even a park in which to have a picnic.
Does anyone else have long lost, never seen relatives?  I've always felt like a one sided person because half my family was missing. Now I need to get to England before they all pass on.

Liz Needle  -  linking with Sepia Saturday


  1. I always think that is so sad when a family member is cast out or chooses not to be in contact with their family. I find it hard to understand. I do hope you get the chance to visit your cousins. You are lucky to have these photos considering the family were not in touch.

  2. I wonder which part of England the house was located in. Looks like the South East to me. Picnics in the snow - now that is very English.

    1. I think the snow pictures were taken on holiday in Europe. Not sure where the house was - will try to find out. I know they had a house on the Isle of man, but think that was a holiday place.

  3. Ticket of leave...never heard that expression before. Kind of a nice way of saying "Scram", I guess. Hope you get to London to see the cousins. I've reconnected with some of mine on Facebook which is at least some contact which I've very much enjoyed.

  4. Most of my relatives are long lost or never seen.

  5. I only knew 'ticket of leave' man to mean a convict - like those transported here in the late 1700s and early 1800s. I didn't know it was also used so late.
    I have a great great grandfather who mysteriously came here (not as a convict) when 19 and an only son. We are trying to find out why - we have found a number of indiscretions once he got here, so maybe he was cast out too.
    Good luck with your search.

  6. Some lovely happy family photographs - even when picnicking in snow! I am pleased you were able to make contact with some of your mother's family.

  7. Good luck Liz. I really hope that you can get to meet your cousins and English relatives soon.

  8. And yet the aunties sent letters and photos -- sometimes the blessings are small. Thanks for sharing the photos.

  9. The series of photos certainly paint a picture of a traditional English lifestyle, or at least what we Aussies have learnt to expect from books. The children look so happy. Even just a difference in temperament can cause a division. I hope it eventually gets sorted out.

  10. The family rift -- what to do?? My dad's side of the family is full of question marks, whispers, refusals to talk. DARN IT! I'm glad you were able to track down some of the relatives though. From the face of it, it sounds like whatever caused the break was a big deal then but would be met with a simple shrug and OH WELL today.

  11. I too have a somewhat similar tale and yes, it leaves an emptiness. My paternal grandfather had two brothers. He died when I was very young so I only have a few slivers of memories. But it wasn't until I was out of college that I found out that his brother, who he stopped speaking to a very long time ago, lived in a building next to my high school. I never met the man. By the time I found out about it he had died. None of us know what broke up the brothers, but for some reason their kids carried it on. I thought it all pointless.

    Love the tennis shot!

  12. Keeping track of family members ought to be easy these days but often it still isn't do to untalked about rifts. We have so few family records we can merely trace the existence of just our grandparents. You have a treasure trove of photos here.