This post may contain affiliate links. See the Terms & Conditions
After doing some serious research, I’m finding myself a little confused – again. Am I a Cockroach or a Cane Toad?
Being born in Sydney and having 2 x convicts from 3-4x G. Grandfathers, plus a 4x G. grandfather being a NSW Corp officer involved in the Rum Rebellion, I was feeling a bit like a cockroach. This is my mother’s side. Deeply entrenched in Sydney and up to Coffs Harbour for a long time.
On the other hand, with an eleven letter surname that ended with ‘ski’ but knowing nothing else of that side of the family and my father having a similar look to those Germans and Prussian noblemen that I’ve seen in pictures online, I could only assume that our ancestors came from that area. But I knew nothing else.
When I asked my father what nationality the name was, he brushed it off only mentioning something about having ‘royal’ blood. ‘Yeah right!‘
Then trying to research anything 30 years ago, I came up against the ‘Iron Curtain’.
So, with nothing much to go on, that side of the family remained a mystery and my loyalties lied with NSW.
I was a cockroach?
That was until I came across my Grandfathers birth certificate.
It had that he was born in Kedron, Caboolture in 1888.
Back then, it didn’t make sense to me as those 2 areas are at least a 1-hour drive apart. It was all too hard, so I dropped it.
Moving forward 20 odd years, while researching for the family (father’s side) matriarch’s 85th birthday, I’ve come across more information to say Grand-dad and some of his siblings were born in Zillmere.
You could’ve blown me over with a feather!
At the time, I was living in the suburb right next door and once upon-a-time, this land was called Zillmere North.
Imagine that? This land could have been where my ancestors toiled and wondered where exactly they lived?
What does this mean? Am I a Cockroach or a Cane Toad?
Walking in the same places
I recall seeing Lisa Wilkinson on Who Do You Think You Are (WDYTYA), looking around and saying, ‘imagine her ancestor walking in the same places that she is now’ which is how I feel.
So, I do have ancestors in Queensland and the next part of the journey began.
This family arrived and settled along with the German missionaries in what’s now called Nundah. The first place of free settlers in Brisbane.
For 18 years prior to that, there was only a penal colony in Brisbane which closed a few years after the Germans settled so that left the group in ‘German Town’ aka Nundah to become resilient.
The Grandfather who was born in Zillmere, became a pioneer in the ‘Wide Bay’ region of Queensland at a tiny place called Byee, near Murgon where my father was born.
Hmm. Those cane toads are getting closer as I can feel my skin turning a tinge of Maroon. But that’s ok, it’s only a tinge. I still consider myself a cockroach.
A few years later, I was given an old (late 1800’s) photo album of my Paternal grandmother’s family. These people were Brits from Kensington and arrived in Brisbane in 1870.
Wow! I couldn’t get over how much the 2x G. Grandfather and my brother looked like each other. Extraordinary!
Anywho, they owned land in a couple of places in Petrie Terrace, Brisbane.
Yay! Finally, I feel like I have roots!
From this date forward, these people and the following generations wandered S.E. Queensland ending up in the Wondai (Wide Bay electorate) area as well.
I’m beginning to feel a blush in my face and it’s not a blue from the cold.
Then back to the Sydney side of the family, those convicts’ stories, Rum Rebellion connection came out of the scramble of notes of which I had to re-read and sort to understand.
Yep. It’s correct.
Also, there was a mention of a ‘Rose’ family who built a cottage that is still standing and now a heritage listed museum in Wilberforce NSW. I’ll add this to the bucket list. 😊
Oh. And by the way, the convicts and the ‘Roses’ are connected by marriage, so all are from just 1 branch of my Family Tree on my mother’s side.
Ha Ha! Both convicts and Pillars of Society in the family.
Back in ‘old Sydney Town’ I’ve discovered that the Rum Rebellion ancestor’s children/ grandchildren have their names on a couple of Sydney streets; William Henry Street & Mary Anne Street. Both were my 3x G. Grandparents.
I’m turning blue again.
It’s a real seesaw at this stage but so exciting!!
Tilting back to Queensland, I’ve found more ‘Pioneering’ ancestors and this time they’re listed on a ships register and a number of families settled on the South side of Brisbane at what was named ‘German Station’ and 100 odd years later, renamed to Bethania.
More German settlers who also were Pioneers 20 minutes down the road at what is now Beenleigh where the 2x G. Grandfather has a street named after him.
For years I’ve driven up and down the M1 passing Beenleigh and never knew.
Growing up myself, Sydney was home until 10 years of age when we headed North and settled.
For decades, I’ve wandered around the Northern side of Brisbane near Nundah (I wonder if my father knew the history our family had there?) and recently learning family history but I never knew anything about the Southside of Brisbane growing up let alone the family history there.
My children were born is Brisbane.
As an adult no matter where I roamed to, I always come back to Brissy, but I am so proud to be born in Sydney.
It seems like I’m a blend of both which goes back to the question: Am I a Cockroach or Cane Toad?
Do you enjoy researching your Family Tree?
Join us where we can help each other when we have blocks or share what hidden treasures you’ve discovered. Quite often the family are too busy or just not interested but we are so come and see us!
Join like minded people to caht about what you’ve discovered in the FB group is The Story Hunter Hub
Want to read another ancestry story? Click here.
Do you want to take the next step? If you larv travel, I can help you with connecting you to your ancestors’ hometown/village to continue unravelling hidden treasures.
I’ve worked in the Travel Industry for nearly 15 years find it extremely sad when people get caught up with online scammers and rip offs in the travel industry. So I’d like to ensure you avoid those nasties if possible.
If you’d like some assistance, send me a message.
Also, I’ve got plenty of travel stories with Travel Tips and Tidbits. Click here
If you have or would like a story put together of your Family Tree, please let me know as I’d larv to help.
It can be as a guest blogger/writer or just email me.
You know that awful feeling of ‘I think I’ve forgotten something?
Take the worry and stress out of forgetting something when you’re leaving home to travel. Use this FREE Travel Packing Checklist. Shortcode