From Down Under – Births, deaths, marriages and missing friends


TROVE online archives brings together content from Australia’s libraries, museums and research organisations. It is a powerful repository of digital resources maintained by Australia’s National Archives.


Researchers can search by various content types (as well as newspapers), and users can look at journal articles, reports, book chapters, artwork, maps and photographs. In most cases the TROVE results provide relevant meta data, information about the resource, but the newspapers are by far the most useful and interesting. Family notices, obituaries, crime reports and classifieds can provide additional family and local history information.

In Loughrea in May 1898, the W.A. Record (Perth, Western Australia) reported on a ‘Strange Find’ in the town:


The recent fine weather has been taken advantage of by the contractor of the new cathedral at Loughrea to forward the work with all possible dispatch. While the excavations were in progress, workmen discovered a human skeleton which must have been buried there for ages. A huge lantern of rather primitive design was also unearthed, which created considerable curiosity, inasmuch as the lantern was undoubtedly intended to be carried by hand, while at the same time, it was nearly three feet high, and of solid heavy workmanship, with a place for a candle in its capacious interior.


The same paper reported the great distress of the people of Ireland from Donegal in the north to Co. Kerry in the south. Fr. Mangan, PP of Sneem acknowledged assistance from a Cork Relief Committee:


The distress in this Parish is widespread. From morning til night I have applications for relief, and yesterday the relieving officers were besieged by applicants for outdoor relief. While those donations of the charitable may help to meet the most urgent cases, they cannot be depended upon to adequately cope with the general distress prevailing.


In July 1899 the same newspaper reported a death:


Mother Mary Bernard (in the world as Miss Clara Segrave, daughter of the late John Segrave, New Barn, Co. Dublin, Esq., J.P.,) who died recently at the convent of Mercy, Dundalk, Ireland, in the 41st year of her religious profession.


Those Irish who died in Australia were also regularly recorded. In April 1881, the W.A. Record again reported a death, in this instance of 'Elizabeth Hackett, otherwise Elizabeth Walsh, of Tullamore, King’s County, Ireland, who departed this life at her residence, Greencough, Western Australia on the 20th March 1891'.


The TROVE repository of newspapers is available online for free at www.trove.nla.gov.au

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