Friday, June 17, 2011


See that patch of green grass to the left of the big gum tree on the right?  Well ...yesterday was another successful day digging into the Daw family history.  Accompanied by Miss Pat aka SIL (sister-in-law), we climbed all over Balmoral Cemetery looking for Cuthbert John Daw's grave.  And we found it in that patch of green grass!

Grave hunting is never easy.  We had done our research.  We knew it was in Section 4 Grave No. 215 but we suspected there would be no headstone and we were right.  But we found it with the very patient aid of the lovely sexton at Hemmant Cemetery over the phone and here's a BIG TIP - always charge your mobile phone when you go grave hunting - so you can call the sexton when you give up and so they can call you back!!
Brisbane City Council has a fantastic searchable database for graves here.

Here's Miss Pat pointing it out for you.....

Here's another view.  

Isn't Cuthbert a lovely name?  It's old English and is actually two words - cuth and beorht meaning famous and bright (according to the Collins Gem First Names book what Jackie McKimmie gave me 500 years ago before Bel was born).  Apparently it fell out of use as a name just after the Reformation until the 19th century when it was brought back into use by the Oxford Movement.  What is the Oxford Movement you ask?  So did I ...go and find out for yourself or we'll get distracted from Cuthbert.  
We don't know if this particular Cuthbert was bright and he certainly wasn't famous.  Cuthbert was Miss Pat's great-uncle.  He was the older brother of her grandfather, Robert William.  He was born 10 June 1896 at Bulimba.  Cuthbert was most likely named in remembrance of his grandmother on his maternal side - Ellen Cuthbert.  

Cuthbert and Robert had an older brother Thomas George.  Unfortunately when the three boys were quite little (Cuthbert was 4) their mother Jane (nee Silcok) died of pulmonary phthisis in 1901 and they were placed into care.  They lived with several families - their aunt for a while, and then a Mrs Morrison of Paddington.  

Eventually (we're not sure when exactly), Cuthbert and Robert (he was known then as William but later became known as Bob) went to live with the Rex family of Bulimba.  

Cuthbert died 22 January 1905 after suffering from pulmonary phthisis (aka consumption or TB) for a considerable time (according to a letter from the Department of Family Services sent to me in 1989). Four years later, at the age of ten,  Robert was fostered to Mrs Sutherland of Coopers Plains.

There's a lot more research to do in this area.  I have been able to dig up a little bit about the Rex family.  In the 1903 electoral roll there are three Rexs living in Bulimba.  Margaretta Rex in Riding Road and Eleanor and Ernest Samuel Francis Rex living in Parry Street.  I suspect the boys were placed with Ernest and Eleanor.  In 1908 there are four Rexs living in Bulimba - Ernest and Eleanor and Margaretta has been joined by Florence Annie. Having said that, Ernest and Eleanor are also listed in the electoral rolls as living in Lower Bowen Terrace Merthyr so I think they moved there during that time. 

I found a birth for Ernest Samuel F Rex in Truro Cornwall in 1881.  I found another birth for Forence Annie Rex in Truro in 1883.  So I deduce that they are brother and sister and emigrated here.  I found an Ernest Rex aged 5 emigrating to Brisbane from Cornwall on the Roma in 1887.  

Ernest and Eleanor married 26 February 1902.  So they were just a young couple (in their early 20s) when they took the boys in.  Did they know them I wonder?  Ernest Rex was a leadburner.  I don't know much about leadburning, do you?


Grand Purl Baa said...

Lead burning. Hmmm I could think of some RUDE meanings. You know like to do with lead in your pencil and burning desire etc etc.

Go back to your book Loani. Tsk Tsk

Alecia @ Tchotchkes etc. said...

family histories are so fascinating.. you should have popped over the hill to visit us - we're just behind the cemetary!

Luvvie said...

Loani - what can I say? You leave me speechless....

Alecia - We would have loved to have inspected the deck...not to mention the chooks...especially the chooks :)

GardenofDaisies (Gayle) said...

Researching family trees can be so interesting. My mom had done a lot of work on ours.