Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Sandra Roome

 John Mellor: This was one of 2 photos that survived a full box of photos that Dad inherited from his father Edmund Stewart Mellor. Unfortunately Dad never valued family history. I have the original but it needs a bit of work. My great grandmother Margaret Mellor(Stewart) is seated just under Eve Mellor, 2nd wife of my gg grandfather Edmund & also my gg aunt (Duncan), who was estimated to be the tallest woman in Queensland in those days & was 6'2" in bare feet.

Sam Latham is John's father.

January 2, 2017:
I had someone start to repair it John Mellor. Thanks for photo. This was her first attempt. Clockwise from left. John Stewart Jnr Of Bald Hills, Elizabeth Jones (his wife), Alfred Stewart (youngest son of John Snr) , Evaline Mellor ( dau of Capt Edmund and Louisa Mellor) , Mary Louise or Maud Stewart of Bald Hills and Murgon , Samuel Latham of Shropshire and Murgon , Jane or Jessie Latham of Bald Hills and Murgon, Louisa Mellor nee Duncan, Ann Stewart, Agnes Stewart, Margaret Mellor nee Stewart, Rosamund Tucker wife of Alfred David Stewart (above her). Insets are Alexander Caldwell Stewart who died about 30 on farm accident at Bald Hills. 

Alexander was to have married Rosamund's sister but Instead she married Arthur Carseldine's son after Alex's early and untimely death. Carseldine first came to repair John Stewart Snr fences and now has a whole suburb named after him. The other inset is Jane Stewart,nee Duncan (our gg grandmother). Her sister was Louisa Mellor nee Duncan, sitting in photo on right. Duncan brothers were also early settlers of Bald Hills and Caboolture. Louisa's husband Captain Edmund Mellor ran steam boat transport company on Brisbane River to Ipswich. Margaret Stewart married his son, also Edmund, from his first marriage to Mary Foran. I believe this photo was taken at Ambrose Tucker's (Rosamund Tucker's father) funeral at Kangaroo Point in 1910, hence why Rosamund is being comforted. 

The Bald Hills farm was the first settled in Bald Hills awaiting the Sandgate port which never eventuated. It was situated on St Paul's school site. I bet they chose this high site overlooking river as it was like the Stewart's Scotland home. Their old family home is a museum on school site. As well Woodlawn, another farm was situated at 15 Listowel Street Bald Hills. John Stewart has a Stewart school house at St. Paul's named after him and also a park. Duncan Street is named after his brothers in law, also first settlers. The Stewart family - John and sisters Janet Stewart and Margaret Connolly and the Duncan family who lost their eldest son James and youngest daughter Ann on voyage met on the barque - Ann Milne emigrating from Dundee arriving Sydney Jan 1842. Also on board was Thomas Gray (later husband of Janet Stewart) who started a shoe emporium on Cnr of Queen and George Streets in 1845ish. It was still there when I was a child. The Stewart's were from the Clochfoldich estate, Strathtay, Perthshire,Scotland overlooking the Tay River and Duncan's from Little Brechin Angus or Forfarshire, Scotland. Thomas Gray was from Rossshire in Scotland. Posted in honour of Stan who loved family history.


Sam Latham is John's father. Carol lived as a teenager (Betty's niece) with John and his third wife Betty after John was a widower for a second time. Betty died in 2001 whereas John died in 1964 so she survived him by 37 years. They were long term friends.

Sandra Roome I had someone start to repair it. This was her first attempt. Clockwise from left. John Stewart Jnr, Elizabeth Jones (his wife), Alfred Stewart, Evaline Mellor, Mary Louise or Maud Stewart of Bald Hills, Samuel Latham, Jane or Jessie Latham, Louisa Mellor, Ann Stewart, Agnes Stewart, Margaret Mellor nee Stewart, Rosamund Tucker wife of Alfred David Stewart. Insets are Alexander Caldwell Stewart who died about 30 on farm accident at Bald Hills, he was to have married Rosamund's sister. Instead she married Arthur Carseldine. The other inset is Jane Stewart,nee Duncan. Her sister was Louisa Mellor nee Duncan. Duncan's also were early settlers of a Bald Hills. Louisa's husband Captain Edmund Mellor ran steam boat transport company on Brisbane River to Ipswich. I believe this photo was taken to Ambrose Tucker's (Rosamund Tucker's father) funeral at Kangaroo Point in 1910. Hence why Rosamund is being comforted.
Another post:
John Stewart Latham was a land commissioner and always out west. He ran land courts where people had disputes about large rural properties. He was at Hughenden. He died when I was 7. He only had two weeks annual leave and was so far away it would take him several days driving to get to Brisbane. Sometimes he would get a plane to remote places with the flying doctor.

His Neighbour when he lived at Cloncurry John Flynn started the Royal Flying Doctors Service. I only saw John a few times. The only wedding he attended was Ellie as he could not get time off work. I have letters he wrote to his wife Marion. Sounds like he was quite isolated. I remember dad telling me that when he came back from war there was an outbreak worldwide of Soanish flu. He and a ww1 nurse friend went around to sufferers and plastered them with some paste from a New Guinea recipe that saved many lives. I think it had bicarbonate of soda in it. I found recipe once and then lost it. Flu sufferers often had only hours to live if they caught the flu. He married a nurse. Gladys Mackie but she died of septicaemia after childbirth. She is Joan's mother. Then my grandmother who was a schoolteacher met him on her posting to Cunnamulla and married soon after. She was recommended to look him up by some Stewart aunts living in Brisbane. Possibly Louisa Stewart Mellor as she owned a boarding house near to where Marion lived. Gladys went by surname Stewart Latham. Marion went by surname Latham. The person who knew my grandfather best is Carol Fickling a FB friend. He married a third time to Betty Chisholm and she was Betty's niece and lived with them until she was 15. She has given me his war record book and pocket watch issued after war ended. S

This was my mothers grandfather. Arthur Wiltshire. We used to have afternoon tea in war issued glass mugs of chicory essence in his caravan. He used to tell Chris and I all of his war and early stories in this caravan. For some reason we learned to count to ten in Welsh and French here.  

 Jessie or Jane or Janet’s  (b February 8, 1864.) ggranddaughter is Sandra R., Jane died September 23, 1900 Brisbane, Australia.

Jessie Stewart 1864 -1920 married Samuel Latham 1859 Shropshire UK on 12 December 1883 in Queensland. Samuel:  Shrewsbury is town where Sam Latham was from. He is Jessie Stewart's husband. Registration number 000204 page 14232

Annie 1884-1980.
John Stewart Latham 1885-1964. Sandra dgdaughter
William Alfred 1887-1963.
Arthur 1888
Pearl Faithful 1890.
Charles 1883-1893
George 1893-1893.
Harold Stewart 1894-1960.
Lillian D 1897.
Samuel 1898-1950.
Sydney G 1906-1980

My father's mother was a Briggs and had five sisters. She was always having family get togethers. My grandfather mostly worked in outback. In this shot is my parents as the only couple sitting. Stan slightly behind Betty. Above then standing is Arthur and Nell Copeman. Next along to right is Charles Copeman with white shirt and tie and his wife Alison next row down.

I have told you about him before as he also had an Order of Australia similar to OBE for There are other Copemans in back row. I can see my aunt Joan third from right in middle row. The guy in brown suit is Bob Sowden. He made a lot of money in war years selling chickens and eggs to Americans based in Brisbane. He had first industrial scale egg production called Egg and I. In those days you only had chicken once a year at Christmas and it was usually your own chicken killed for eating. He was married to my gaunt Bess Briggs. My guncle Bill Briggs is man on left. I think he was first Lilley medallist in Qld. This was a medal given to top student in scholarship year in Queensland before entering high school. Many left after scholarship to work

Below. This is Ellie and and Bill Latham another aunt and Arthur and Nell Briggs  Copeman top row. Bess Briggs Sowden, Betty Latham in white  (my mother)  Marion Briggs Latham and possibly Margaret Copeman and her children on grass. Bill was not married then. He is Stephens dad. My mother was possibly engaged then. She was about 21. 

Baby is Stan. Girl is Joan Stewart Latham. Boys are Bill and John Latham. Elie not born yet.
Bill Joan and John possibly at beginning of war. Bill looks like a schoolboy still.  John retired from Air Force as a group captain and then had a civil service job in Department of Defence and later Transport. He went in a world trip choosing first electric train for Queensland when in Tpt dept.  This was at time when Mark first started at Qld Rail. John  opened our first freeway in Brisbane.  John was also quite bright. He had a science degree but he also developed a mathematical rule of thumb navigation technique for getting to and from destinations much quicker in war years that was also used in civilian navigation. Bill was a mechanical engineer and head of the research labs for Australian Post office.  My father may have missed out as his education was interrupted by the war. He wrote up his memoirs about being left in Brisbane to look after mum and sister while brothers went to war.  He went to a private boarding school but it was taken over by army and only had temporary accommodation. He ended up doing electrician trade but also stood unsuccessfully for election and probably was one of the first to see real estate opportunities in 70s. He had twelve houses at one stage he has never had the pension and lives off his savings. He has only a few houses now and unfortunately I get to look after them all and also taxation returns etc. we spent part of holidays doing their tax return which is quite complex. I have Stan's memoirs if you want to read them. He is not as high flying as his brothers. He did get into an officers Corp but it was abandoned because of war. Must have been in school years.  I only have  Stan in this era in wedding photo. He was the first in family to marry.
Marriage photo on 31/7/48.  Betty's 21st birthday.   Mark and I also were married on my 21st birthday. The photos of parents grandparents  displayed at our daughter's wedding.  My parents at last daughters wedding in 2009.  They were about 82 then and both in early stages of dementia.  I am so lucky now as mum is still in her own home. I she gets a lot of different  organizations providing help but also has a private carer who lost her own mum and loves Betty to bits.


My grandfather was in the 2nd lighthorse battalion. Actually so was my grandmother's twin bro.  Stanley Briggs. They went to war with their horses. My grandfather was handpicked as a personal body guard to General  Bridges in Gallipolli where many lives lost. They also went to Egypt and Palestine. William also went to Gallipolli. I have a letter he wrote at  that time which was published in newspaper. Bl he was one of first to land and they were gunned down.   He was shot on a cliff and left for dead but managed to climb to the beach to get rescued. He never went back to Gallipolli but became a lieutenant after sent for training to Cambridge university.  I showed the article to his daughter Gwyneth who was is 94 now and still has good memory.   Another brother Harold Latham went to Gallipolli but was sent back as under age.   He later went back to another area. My other grandfather fought in France.

My best find was on Mark's side as I had to start from scratch as his father Norm knew nothing of his family history. All he told Mark was that he thought his g grandfather played organ at Winchester cathedral. In those days I actually went to London Records center and looked at handwritten registers. I eventually found his grandfather George who had married at 40 not 25 and was living in Manchester. It gave me his parents names Thomas Roome b 1821 and Matilda Hart. Thomas was a pipe organ maker as were his son George and brother Joseph. He lived in London and had 2 sons and 5 daughters. He then disappeared from records.

Much later I had a short term ancestry subscription and found a Thomas in Canada with 2 dau and 5 sons. 3 children died earlier. He had apparently left his wife and 7 children and I even found later the boat trip he took from Ireland to Canada with his new spouses sisters. He married bigamously as in census Matilda stated 'husband in Canada'. I managed to trace all the Canadian family on paper. Eventually I found a real descendant who gave me a photo of his new family. Also his bro Joseph emigrated with 5 children a few months later. He had a farm in Dundalk Ontario but mainly worked as pipe organ maker in Toronto, Buffalo and New York. Just lately through Rev Perigoe who was Joseph's wife Mary Perigoe's relative had a Roome at his church and passed on my FB details. I then linked up with the Roome family from one of Thomas' sons Ontario Roome. (Must have run out of names by 17 children). I have had a few skeptics at beginning but one of their uncles many years ago sent me a wax seal stating the same business address as I quoted to him for Thomas' business in London. Also he sent me handwritten notes linking the brothers Joseph and Thomas family. He has since died. We emailed each other for ages.

I have now reconnected with the very first Roome that saw my message on ancestry notice board Catherine Smith. They were skeptical because Thomas was such a respected figure and could not believe he had left a wife and 7 children in England. I don't know how Matilda coped. Mark g grandfather George was eldest and maybe supported them later. A few of older daughters were live in servants at 12 (similar to Duncans) Matilda seemed to work as a governess and may have had accommodation provided. The younger son Arthur's family I traced. The younger daughters became dressmakers snd milliners. She managed to keep her brood together. Amazing woman. George Frederick Roome was 40 when he married so maybe he supported them for a while.

On Joseph Roome's side I put together all of his family. My favourite was Merlin Roome. His grandfather was one of Josephs sons named Frederick. Merlin died a few years ago. He lived on Vancouver island. He was a great mason and was on board of a Masonic Children's hospital in his later years until he died. Actually Darren Solomon my sisters partner has been a grand master of Masonic Lodge quite a few times. I think it was teachings of Solomon so maybe Darren has connections. Merlin told me of his great family tragedy. His father died when he was a young boy. His father had been hunting and brought back a deer. His wife prepared the venison for a large dinner attended by the minister and others and the family. Quite a few had ptomaine poisoning including Merlin. His father died and maybe others. Worst to come was his grandfather Frederick Roome blamed his mother and withdrew support of her and sons. They had a big struggle growing up but Merlin became quite wealthy with his chain of fast photo developing stores. He and Betty regularly travelled until her death. I even found a member of their family is still on Frederick's original farm in Weyburn Sasks. They breed Clydesdales. I am beginning to think that there is a nasty streak in Roome men. Thomas deserting his family; Frederick casting out Merlin; Michelle's dad casting her out of family; and Mark's father disinheriting him. Anyway it has made the family history search more interesting.

By the way I finally after many many years found the Winchester cathedral connection. norm had twin great aunts Ida and Enid. Enid married but Ida didn't. There may have been a family dispute because Ida took off down south of Manchester with an older man Harding. They went to Winchester. She had a daughter named Enid and George Harding died the next year. I came into contact with Enid's grandson and helped him piece together George Harding's life. It helped that he was in the army. You can't go to records centre in London now but a huge coincidence happened when I took a day off my supply teaching to trace one of Joys relatives. I was at the marriage section which was huge and a guy standing beside me kept looking at my notes. I moved to another table and he followed me. He told me that we were both studying the same person Stacey. We double checked a few facts later and he sent me a huge family tree dating to 1600s as two bros had been researching it as a retirement project for over 10 yrs. I contacted one of the brother and helped him fill in our branch which had always puzzled him. He used to see a truck with Stacey potato merchants and wondered if related. They were. I didn't bother that much with Stewart side as I thought it all finished but with lessons learned over many years I started to notice discrepancies in the Scottish research. Every now and again I have a go at solving it and that is when I found you. I had discovered the other family beforehand but there is nothing like meeting the actual descendants. I think Jean Crichton was thought to be a full sister. Again on our side this cross continental connection. The Roome and Stacey and Latham side cost me dearly as I had to keep purchasing original BMD certificates. At least now a lot is online. On Latham side I found the family after many years. Two of Sam's brothers were game keepers. I never found his sister. The other brother settled near Manchester. Sam was the only one to come to Australia. Maybe he met Jessie doing fencing on the Bald Hills property? The latest census in England has him as a horse ostler. One of his brothers settled in Wales. We were so close to town where he died but took a wrong turn. Maybe next time I will hunt him down. In a way family oral knowledge can be a detriment as it is ofte wrong  in the end or partly right.  I always research siblings as family names were so overused back in the god old days.   Hence so many William Stewart's to choose. Also sometimes the youngest in family may have elderly parents living with them.

Another mystery I solved was a different Roome family. My daughter's friends mother asked me once if I knew the Roomes from Gayndah. I did not as we were only Roomes in Australia as norm was only child of an only son.  Ten years later a minister rang me to see if I was a Roome with connections to an airforce pilot shot in battle for Britain. I found out the Roome woman's married name in Gayndah and passed it on. She sent me her family tree and said there were three Generals in her family history.  It turned out that a woman in England had been tending her  brother's grave in France and wanted to meet up. They did meet each other 50'years after he was buried there.  She has since died but I still have contact with the son of yet another General Roome who lived on Isle of Wight in Uk.  Anyway I have often tried to find a link as the family was London based as well and Frederick is well used in their family as well as Marks family.  Merlin Roome met another Roome not long before he died on other did Of Vancouver Island. He was from this same family. Merlin tried to find a link and I renewed my effort to no avail    Anyway when I caught up with my latest lot of Canadian Roomes they had a newspaper clipping where an older member of their family stated  that these general Roomes were cousins as well as a Roome who was the signalman on nelson's ship in Battle of Trafalgar who signalled that famous every man is to do his duty for his country.  I still can't find connection myself though. I would not be surprised though as they were baptised at the same church. St Pancras in London. Their Frederick Roome was orphaned at a young age and brought up on a manor estate as his great uncle had links to the King. That is probably how they all became generals in India.

No red hair in 2009. Carly Amy and Ashleigh  on right.

Sandra's brother Robert aka Bob and Fiona: