The Challenge of Deciphering the Names.

Foreign countries

When searching ancestors in foreign countries the challenge of deciphering the names can take on a crazy journey. It could be the names of people or/and the names of towns.

For example, borders are moved and therefore the town is then listed under another country and so it’s in the language of the country it now belongs to.

This is particularly prevalent in Eastern European countries such as Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, the Balkans and some of the Baltic countries.

For example, an ancestor may have been born in a town that was East Prussia or Germany but in the 1870’s when Prussia was dissolved, the border was changed so that town could be now in Poland or even Lithuania.

Based on this, the searching can be a bit of a nightmare even with the technology and the internet.

Continue reading “The Challenge of Deciphering the Names.”

Dark Family Secrets are Revealed

Do I really have a half-sister?

After enjoying an informative program on TV where, the topic on this night was a discussion about the Pros and Cons of having your DNA done because for some people, dark family secrets are revealed. I then had to ask myself; Do I really have a half-sister?

It seems that not everyone has had a pleasant experience with finding out the results of their own DNA and as dark family secrets are revealed.

It seems that not everyone has had a pleasant experience with finding out the results of their own DNA. And if given the opportunity again, knowing what they now know, would they get it done again?

For some people who received information that was previously unknown to them, I’d completely understand if they said no. Not only is that particular person affected by the results, but at least 2 other people will have lasting affects as well.

This is usually the mother and father with possibly an unknown man. Plus, this list can sometimes extend further depending on the individual’s circumstances. So where do I fit in?

Continue reading “Dark Family Secrets are Revealed”

Hidden Treasure Short Stories

On the Lighter Side.

Being The Story Hunter I've come across a few hidden treasure short stories so decided to create this blog from a couple of them.

I was speaking to a elderly lady about her ancestors and life in her younger years when a quick smile came across her face.

She chuckled and her story began.

It was about a couple of young men who lived in a small mining town hidden away from the everchanging life and progress in the coastal rural towns and cities.

Gold silver and copper

The population was lucky to reach 5000 and that was when the gold, silver and copper mines were running at their peak so the little town was booming.

And as expected there was a group of people in the community that ‘had a bit of money compared to most of us’ she said. ‘These people seem to have a ‘stick up their nose’ and didn’t think they should have to do the same type and amount of chores as the rest of us.’

Being The Story Hunter I've come across a few hidden treasure short stories so decided to create this blog from a couple of them.

As it would have it, during this same period of time a couple of young keen business minded, entrepreneurs lived there and so took the opportunity to go into business.

Their reasoning was quite simple. The weather was constantly hot; the town store was small and it was owner operated so sometimes service was slow which just added to the uncomfortable heat and dust.

The alternative for the locals was to travel to the main town which was a couple of hours away so for the townsfolk who had the money, buying or having milk supplied to their door daily eliminated the bothersome task of going to get it.

Milk cans

As the young men found that there was a market albeit small, for milk to be delivered they approached the nearest dairy farmer, invested in some small size milk cans and began their deliveries to the ladies of the houses who were only too happy to receive it.

Part of their business was to collect the re-usable empty cans and wash them to be re-filled so every day there was a constant cycle. It was a prosperous little business for the 2 young men.

Being The Story Hunter I've come across a few hidden treasure short stories so decided to create this blog from a couple of them.

As the old lady continued with her story she began to chuckle again. I somehow got the feeling that these 2 were closely connected to her but she didn’t say.

Then harder times hit the mining industry so the mines slowed down and workers began to move away. The population lessened, the boys’ sales and customers dropped off to a point where they might even have to shut down the business.

Alternatively they opted for another idea that keep profits up instead of closing down.

Served a new product

Each day the customers were receiving cans of full cream milk but times were becoming tougher, so the customers were served a new product that was on the lighter side. It consisted of 3 parts full cream milk and 1 part water.

Needless to say, this all eventually came out, but the old lady couldn’t remember whether the boy’s departure from town was coincidentally around the same time or they were run out of town.

Sydney Land Priced at a Keg of Rum

Opportunity arose

Being The Story Hunter I've come across a few hidden treasure short stories so decided to create this blog from a couple of them.

It seems after my 5 x G. Grandfather Obediah Ikin arrived in Sydney in 1790 (Sydney was 2 years old) as part of the military therefore a free man, he didn’t waste time in purchasing land when the opportunity arose.

Wow. A property investor!

This land was bought from an officer who unfortuately came into some strife and was going to jail for quite some time so no doubt the land was purchased at a bargain price!!

I asked myself. Land in Sydney was a bargain price?

On the harbour?

With great views?

This is Sydney, Australia. Surely it’d be prime land so therefore attract a high price.

Hasty decision

It seems that this purchase was a bit of a hasty decision which was probably because of the circumstances. The land wasn’t very good.

In fact it was poorly and the very rocky ground was useless for farming which was extremely important and a priority at the time.

A lieutenant of the colony who also arrived in 1790 on the 2nd fleet was looking for land so for whatever reason, it was on-sold for a mere keg of rum which had a value of approximately £10.

A couple of years later, the owner John Macarthur named it Pyrmont.

Pyrmont? Did my 5x G. Grandfather Obediah Ikin make a mistake by selling it?

John Macarthur

John Macarthur, an astute business man in early Sydney (and the man on the $2 note) went on to become one of Australia’s founding fathers and was prominent with being the first successful farmer of sheep and the wool industry.

Their house (Elizabeth Farm) at Parramatta is now open as a museum for the public.

I ask the question: Did this useless block of land pave the way for John Macarthur?

And what a turn around from a keg of rum. Today land at Pyrmont or anywhere around the harbour would never be classified as worthless.


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!

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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?

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Where Do I Belong.

My Prussian ancestor's information was blocked by the Iron Curtain so it would be an uphill battle answering my internal question of where do I belong.

The Story Hunter.

I must have always had The Story Hunter in me. I always knew it would be an uphill battle finding out and answering my internal question. Where do I belong?

I learnt that having an eleven-letter surname that originated from Prussia/Poland/Germany was going to stop me initially. This was because of the ‘Iron Curtain’.

A Physical Iron Curtain Border

Anyone who wanted to do historical searches in this part of Europe was going to come to a dead end. So because of this, I’m sure others would feel the same as me and always felt that I didn’t belong.

Continue reading “Where Do I Belong.”

Similar Features. The Story Hunter.

Stories about hidden treasure are never found easily and just like the ancestors' there are similar features and The Story Hunter then comes in to extract.

Hidden treasure

Think back to a movie, a TV show, or a story about a discovery of hidden treasure. It was never found easily and if it was, how boring would that be? A pirate searching for treasure or us researching our family tree have similar features. The Story Hunter has the same journey as it will always take you through twists and turns and into dead ends before you get to the secret spot.

Then, when a specific location or clue has been discovered, the treasure hunter is then kept extremely busy deciphering the false leads from vital bits of information.

BTW: Have you noticed that the pirates in the movies always seem to look alike? They always seem to have similar features.

Continue reading “Similar Features. The Story Hunter.”

Enlisting for WW1 at 44 Years of age.

My expectation of this family tree were the opposite. G Granddad enlisting for WW1 at 44 years of age so he's gone from life in Australia to WW1 in France.

Life from Australia to WW1 in France.  Frederick Fiddes.

Within a short period of time I’ve noticed that my mother’s side of the family tree and history was the opposite to what I expected such as enlisting for WW1 at 44 years of age. He’s gone from life in Australia to WW1 in France.

My expectation of this family tree were the opposite. G Granddad enlisting for WW1 at 44 years of age so he's gone from life in Australia to WW1 in France.
Frederick Augustus Fiddes

There are some interesting characters which probably fit the Australian description of Larrikan and I can see that some character traits have to be genetic.

Based on this, I was looking forward to researching them with a light-hearted approach as in his case there were 2 main stories. It was like Frederick Fiddes was living 2 different lives.

Continue reading “Enlisting for WW1 at 44 Years of age.”