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 […]

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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 […]

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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.

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One of the perks of CDFHS membership

I first caught the bug for Family History way back in 1986 during a trip to Glasgow.  The bug went away for a while but has come back big time during the last 3 years I have been living in Cairns. As a member of CDFHS, it never ceases to amaze me the knowledge our […]

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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.

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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.

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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 […]

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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, […]

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Martyn Street Cemetery 100 Years

Martyn Street Cemetery, or as it was originally known, Cairns General Cemetery, was gazetted and opened 100 years ago in 1916. It was the third cemetery in the town of Cairns just 40 years after its settlement.  It is the resting place of many of the early pioneers, battlers and gentry of the Cairns region.

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Thirkill Family Brickwall

I have been researching my partner Neil’s paternal grandmother’s family – the Thirkills – for a couple of years now, and would really love some fresh eyes to look at it and see if they can find any new clues to help me break down my research brick walls. Neil’s 3 x great grandmother, Mary […]

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Mystery plaque found in Cairns

CDFHS has been informed of the existence of a marble plaque – broken in two – that was found in a building in Cairns which is set for demolition. There is evidence on the back of the plaque that it was previously attached to something, possibly a headstone. How did it come to be in […]

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Unidentified photos from Pugh family of Queensland

The three photos below were part of a collection from the Pugh family of Ravenswood in North Queensland. Several of the Pugh daughters worked as nurses at different places throughout Queensland. Pam Cooper has shared these lovely photographs in the hope that someone may recognise the people involved.

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My great grandmother, “Nurse Wilson”

Twins, Anna Petronella Gronlund and her brother, Wilhelm Fredrik Gronlund, were born on 29 April 1864 in Rebbelberga, Skane, Sweden; the eldest children of Sven Jonasson Gronlund and his second wife, Sara Kristina Grip. Another set of twin boys was to follow on 21 December 1867, then another boy, and two girls.       […]

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A remarkable life portrayed in MacLennan’s legacy

In February 2015, Cairns & District Family History Society (CDFHS) received a visit from a very distinguished elderly gentleman.  He was 94 year-old Dr Stafford MacLennan.  Dr MacLennan asked if CDFHS would accept his extensive photographic collection as he had no relatives1 and wanted it be kept in a safe place.

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DNA test raffle encourages new testers

Far North Queensland must be one of the DNA testing hotspots of Australia, but here at Cairns & District Family History Society we still work hard at encouraging even more of our members (and their families and friends) and visitors to try DNA testing as a part of their family history research.

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Cairns-born adoptee finds his birth mother

Email from David (Nov, 2015) I was born in Cairns in 1947 and my mother kept me for a short time and then decided to adopt me out.  I had always known my birth mother’s name but had never been successful in tracking down any information.

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Found in the attic – Part 2

“Now my boy, since Nellie went what you need to help you look after that little granddaughter of mine is a house-keeper.  And I’ve got just the person for you.  My Lois has a niece, just back from London to be with her widowed mother and older sister.  She’s not in work at the moment.  […]

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Found in the Attic – Part 1

After my mother-in-law was admitted into residential care, my husband, Chris, and I had the less than pleasant task of going through her belongings.  We had not been in the house, especially the attic, for many years because she lived in England and we in Australia.  After all, you don’t tend to rummage about in […]

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Flashback to… 28 Hartley Street

Those who frequent the current Cairns & District Family History Society building at 20-30 Hartley Street may be interested to see what the address looked like when I grew up on the same site during the mid-1950s and early 1960s.

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