Canberra Congress – Emigration

The gate by the milking shed was left open. So just for a few days my horizons have changed from looking at land selection records in South Western Victoria – mostly within the triangle Portland, Hamilton and Warrnambool for that is where my ancestors settled.
The vista and the beckoning horizons were set there right in the opening address – by the story woven and told by Dr Mathew Trinca of the National Museum. From the keeper of Phar Lap’s heart no less. The tone and his example has been set for the rest of the Congress.
I have found a couple of themes to follow when possible.
It certainly is time to revisit the emigration stories of my ancestors who came to the colonies like Brown’s cows starting with Robert Ralston’s emigration scout, his niece and my first cousin four times removed, Agnes McClymont in 1823 and finishing with the emigration of my great grandfather Charles Salter fifty years later.
As I listened to Simon Fowler and Roger Kershaw and the voice at the back of the lecture room, I see that there is no avoiding it as I have been for the past decade or so. The circumstances of leaving is not common across them all. They are peculiar to each emigration journey and each deserves to have their story told.
That is, in the flavour of Thomas MacEntee’s Genealogy Do Over, I should set aside what I have done so far and start again. This time considering the factors that caused them to emigrate. Was it just for the sense of adventure? Were they driven out, as was William Lord of Kilmuckridge in County Wexford, by difficulties with their landlords? And I am sure that William Newman’s journey from Westminster is still out there to be found.
Kerry Farmer’s two presentations on DNA were absolutely first class. I have been looking for ways to describe simply the results of an mtDNA search I requested. The presentation of Day 1 was spot on. But then I got completely confused on yesterday. I think, Thomas MacEntee, that these two sessions in particular require to be itemised separately in my further education!
And it is fortunate that we have a four generations chart of Charles Baulch’s descendants. I can see it will be much consulted as more Baulch cousins undertake DNA testing The chart finishes at the end of autosomal DNA searches so will be a good confirming link into further Baulch connections. Well at least I hope so.
But the land selection records never go away. My first discussion yesterday wasn’t about my genealogy software tool, Legacy Family Tree but about land selection around Tarrington (just south of Hamilton). Sure, some of the answers lie in government land records. But one of the best ways to begin is with the local paper, the Hamilton Spectator. Won’t it be great when the Spectator will be finally up there on Trove?