Cairns & District Family History Society Inc

My Great Uncle Walter Holliday

Walter Holliday was born on 23 December 1891, at home, in Schwanfelder Place, Beeston, Leeds in Yorkshire, England; the eighth of nine children born to William and Mary Ann (nee Ward) Holliday.  He was my paternal grandmother’s younger brother.

At the age of 21, he decided to leave England and come and live with my grandparents in Rockhampton, Queensland. Continue reading

Cairns Inlet Tragedy

A tragedy occurred in the Cairns Inlet on 13th April 1945, when the Adelaide Steamship Company’s tug “Uta” overturned and sank while assisting a U.S. ship away from No. 10 wharf and two men lost their lives.

The tug had towed the vessel into the channel and, when about to let go the rope, the tug floundered and two of the crew were drowned.

Continue reading

From Beeston to Park Avenue and the opportunity for a better life

My Paternal grandparents, Eli and Elizabeth Ann “Lizzie” Wood

Eli, my paternal grandfather, was the 9th of 10 children born to William & Mary (nee Marwood) Wood, born on 1 May 1868.

Eli’s father died on 4 April 1872, when he was not quite 4 years old.  The cause of death, shown on his death certificate is “Phthisis”, a 19th Century term for Tuberculosis. Continue reading

Ancestry in British Ceylon – Vital Records Research

Over the last 12 months, researchers and visitors at the Cairns and District Family History Centre would have seen a sprightly, bespectacled, grey haired gentleman, peering intently into the microfilm reader screen.

He is busily transcribing films that have nothing to do with his own Anglo-Scandinavian Heritage. Continue reading

The pioneer who put her experiences into verse

You just never know what treasures you might find hidden in the bookshelves of historical collections.

Whilst browsing in the Queensland section of the Cairns & District Family History Society’s library, I came across this article and poem written by my husband’s paternal great grandmother, in a Queensland Pioneer Book. Continue reading

Munro Martin Parklands Transformation

After 134 years, the Cairns park known as Munro Martin Park has had a welcome ‘greening’.

The new parklands were officially opened by the Cairns Regional Council and guests during August, and included the unveiling of a specially-commissioned sculpture, and guided walks for the public through all the features of the new park. Continue reading

Shadows of the Past 2016

Not sure what the neighbours who live near the McLeod Street Pioneer Cemetery think, when suddenly one night there are eerie lights wandering through there, band music sounding from within and the Curlews objecting loudly to the intrusion on their space.

Two people were walking by when one was heard to say, ‘are there ghosts in there?’ with the other replying ‘there’s no such thing as ghosts, just keep walking!!

But luckily it was just our Shadows of the Past dramatised walks. Continue reading

Cairns DNA genies help FNQ man achieve lifelong wish

Visitors to Cairns & District Family History society usually know a little about their recent family history, and are keen to use CDFHS resources to learn more about earlier generations and start building a family tree.

Not Bob Taylor.  When he joined CDFHS in late 2015, the only facts that he knew were his name, his date of birth, and from his birth certificate that his mother was named Sheila Taylor.  Continue reading