Sunday, January 29, 2012

A Quick 4-Day Trip

Last weekend Mrs. Geni of Oz and I set off on what hopefully wasn’t a bucket list trip to Canberra and the Southern Highlands to look at a few craft shops, enjoy a few restaurants and clear up a few family history matters. It was overcast when we left and we were in and out of showers and sunshine on the drive but nightfall on the first day saw us ensconced in our motel room in Queanbeyan for the night.

The next morning we were off to Riverside Cemetery to look at a particular headstone to get more detail from it than could be seen in the previous photo but disappointment struck when we discovered that it was no longer there. The area had been flooded again and presumably, as had happened in the past, the headstone disappeared somewhere down the river. Let's hope there were no coffins this time. Undeterred I obtained a couple more photos of other headstones which, based on the family names, might have relevance in the future and then headed for the Canberra War Memorial.

My Great Uncle George Owen who served in both the Boer War (twice) and then the Great War at Gallipoli was on the Roll of Honour but I had never had a photo of it. We found his name and the image was satisfactorily obtained but unfortunately it doesn't display his distinctive Service Number of 1111. Lunch at the War Memorial at the outside restaurant, the name of which now eludes me and we headed for Goulburn.

My great Grandparent Gegg's headstones were in remarkably good condition and still very legible but the corsages in the flower boxes had completely faded. Thankfully we still had the photos of them when they were in a better condition. I didn't have my own photo of their house and property which are on a sideroad literally on the other side of the road to the cemetery. A small hill overlooks the property and I thought I could get a good photo of it from there but when we got there, the trees completely blocked the view and any chance of an image. Health no longer permits me to go walking through a forest to get a better vantage so I decided to go in and see the people.

As we got to the end of the driveway, a woman came
out. I got out of the car and was immediately descended upon by what seemed like a hundred puppies but which in reality were three as they tried to lick me to oblivion. Discussions with her led to revealing she had the Gegg surname in her background but she was not certain how. She didn't know the history of the property but she gave me permission to take some photos of the house. She did know that there was a possibility of the house being demolished as part of a proposed $17m development not unlike the one which is currently occurring on the land next door. So if I ever get to Goulburn again, the house may not be there! A visit to the Goulburn library (which others should note is open on Sunday afternoons) produced early maps of the area and rate notice records which I was able to copy and these verified to me that I did indeed have the right property.

The next day, we headed for the craft shops, the first stop being the Big Merino at Goulburn to get some fleeces for Mrs. Geni of Oz as she loves her spinning. The fleece was purchased along with one-third of a teapot, cup and plate set. We were minus the cup after it was dropped on the floor. Mrs Geni of Oz promised not to touch anything else but was this really her plot to get the teapot? Moss Vale and its district's shops were next and I ended up with a nice new cashmere jumper (teapot guilt?).

Moss Vale cemetery was visited and photos obtained of the graves and headstones of an uncle plus his sister, her husband and the husband's parents and some siblings. This was the only time I got wet even though the weather had continued to be the same as the first day. More shops (Berrima) and restaurants and we headed east across the range through Jamberoo Pass to the coast at Albion Park. My Grandparent Collins' graves are there. Over the years as changes have occurred we climbed through the post and rail fence and then over three different small fences but now the cemetery is surrounded by a 2.5 metre steel fence. Whereas I used to be able to park on the street right alongside the graves, now there is a long walk from the parking - really not appreciated but I suppose this is where vandalism has led things.

The aunty in Moss Vale cemetery had lived in Albion Park for at least thirty to forty years and amazingly I had never taken a photo of her house and so that was the next stop followed by lunch and then off to drive across SeaCliff Bridge, a truly remarkable engineering feat and one which now makes the drive safe from the falling rocks which used to continually pound the road. We then travelled to my sister-in-law's place to stay the night. She has taken up painting as a hobby and I quite liked them so I took some images to put on the net. The next day was the trip back home and the joy of sleeping in our own bed while now comes the job of adding the photos and information obtained to the site.


  1. A nice mix of family history, local history, sightseeing and shopping!

  2. Thanks for sharing this report of your geneajourney,John. It reminds us of how important to take decent photos when we have a chance and before headstones and houses disappear.