Month: November 2009

My family tree

Fernside IMG_2003_300x200Carole’s Family Tree

I have been researching my family tree for a few years now, and there is always more information to find, more names to research, more relatives to talk to. My Australian family surnames are Eason, Irwin, Ewin, and Bell from Northern Ireland; Goode, Miles, Oates and Pascoe from England; and Stewart, Thomson and Simpson from Scotland. My Fijian surnames are Riley, Andrews, Whippy, O’Connor, Brown and Simpson.

My family tree is not complete – it may never be complete. It’s here so that you can contact me if you see anything that looks relevant to you or you if would like to add something to it.

Click here to enter my family tree.

A visit to Fiji in 1832

nautical_diary 300x200On the 15th May 1831 the barque Peru from Salem, Massachussetts arrived in the Fiji Islands to look for beche-de-mer, turtle shell, and other trade goods. The Captain, John H. Eagleston, wrote a log which is now in the Essex Institute Library in Salem.

Much of the log contains details of little interest to a historian. The entries for most days begin with a description of the weather and the strength and direction of the breeze. The process and results of the collection, preparation and loading of cargo are also described in detail.

Occasionally, though, Captain Eagleston described local events. Here’s one:

November 1832, Friday 2nd Lowered boat & went on shore, found people all well but nothing to do, no fish coming in. The officer informed me that when the natives returned from the fight they brought up one man & one old woman which they had taken & killed. The next day after they returned the woman was cut up & cooked alongside of the trade house. The man was cooked at the kings house. They kept them 3 days probably to make them tender for eating they cut them up with bamboo sticks. I saw some of their bones scattered round the Beche de mer house.

The log has been microfilmed as part of the collection of the Pacific Manuscripts Bureau in the Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies of the Australian National University in Canberra. The microfilms are available at the Mitchell Library in Sydney, which is where I have been investigating them.

I have been slowly transcribing this log over the last few weeks, and when it’s done I’ll start on another one.

Birthday Do’s and Don’ts

These are the things you CAN do on your birthday (if you work from home, like me):

  • wear your favourite Tshirt and old jeans
  • sleep in
  • drink loose-leaf tea (instead of time-saving teabags)
  • go shopping for technological toys
  • play with new technological toys

Things you should NEVER have to do on your birthday:

  • housework (although I am prepared to unpack the dishwasher)
  • cook
  • book the restaurant for dinner
  • fix other people’s computer problems
  • Understand international time zone differences