Family Anecdotes and Gossip

I often joke that I am related in someway to half the people in the town that I grew up in, and with my maternal grandmother’s family having been in the region since the 1840s it is pretty true. So it is no surprise that when Mum and Dad came to visit this weekend Dad had plenty of family anecdotes and gossip to share. He’d been to have his hair cut and the barber is his second cousin.

They talked a lot it seems about their mutual great-grandmother Julia Christiana Boss later Winter then Bird. I have a bit of a fascination with this part of the family due to the lashings of scandal that make life interesting. In any case I now have the following tidbits:
  • Julia was, according to our cousin, born in Australian waters and as such was an Australian Citizen. Now this is something I have been having trouble proving, she is not listed as one of the births on the Commodore Perry.
  • The family was questioned as enemy aliens during WWI. As such I really hope I can find the file!
  • Julia was a staunch Nazi supporter. This I already knew, Dad has a Nazi pin tucked away in his box of family bits that belonged to Julia. We can only be glad that she died in ’37 given the rest of the family’s stance on the matter. 
  • Julia owned a lot of property around town. It will be interesting I think to start looking at land records, Dad is keen to map out exactly who owned what so it looks like another father-daughter history project is in the works (we seem to do a lot of those)
  • Julia was not a very nice person. Ok so this is a cleaned up version of how she is generally described by the family. Let’s just say I am yet to hear anything complementary. Although the Nazi thing is kind of a clue there.

Dad also remembered hearing that someone in his mother’s line had been mixed up with a local bushranger. The reference to Captain Thunderbolt on the Michael Caton episode of Who Do You Think You Are? reminded him. Tantalising, but given the number of relatives we have and the plethora of ‘local’ bushrangers, not that easy to trace. Still, I like a challenge.


    1. Current Australian law says being born here doesn't grant automatic citizenship. It might have been the same back then, especially for non-British citizens. That might have some impact on where the birth records are.

    2. Hi from one of your many distant relatives Sharon! John Philip Gale & Christiana Rusch are my 4x Great Grandparents (via Eliza Ada linage). Thank you so much for your blog, you've got some wonderful information here, I'm loving reading all about our family…..oh & I bet I can guess where abouts you grew up too, probably close to where I did, lots & lots of family still here 😀

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