21 April 2012

The issue of the court case over Thomas Macindoe's will

It has long been assumed by living members of the Macindoe family that the court case over Thomas Macindoe's (1841-1901) will - being about the appointment of the executors - frittered away most of the money in the estate, and this was why the mysterious death bed message, that Thomas set aside £100 for the publication of, was apparently never published. Although the court case made the papers, it did not appear to be a long and protracted affair which might have sucked up all the money. Was it only the absence of the publication of the death bed message that made us all think that?

The other day I was looking through the probate records for Thomas' daughter Margaret Kirkwood (Maggie) Macindoe (1883-1929), and now I'm really wondering if all the money did disappear into legal coffers. Because when Maggie died she owned one of the properties that her father Thomas had in his estate i.e. it was most likely part of her share of the inheritance. So now I wonder, did any of Maggie's siblings own properties listed in their father's estate as well? I haven't seen the probate records for any of Maggie's siblings, but State Records holds a number of them: Thomas Macindoe jnr (1870-1947), Walter Walker Macindoe (1866-1955), Andrew Paterson Macindoe (1868-1956), and Norman Macindoe (1874-1956). As well as that, though Stewart Macindoe's (1872-1944) probate records are not held, his wife Mattie Carr Macindoe's (1875-1962) are, and considering she died after him, any property in his name may have been willed to her.

So that's another trip to State Records required. It will be interesting to see if any of the other children owned properties listed in their father's estate as well. Perhaps it was just that none of his children wanted his death bed message published, even if there was enough money there for it. I wonder what it said!!

20 April 2012

Latin help?

I don't know Latin and the vast majority of the German parish records I am looking at currently for the Beringers are in Latin. Most of the time I can get the gist of it from Google Translator, but this one is long, the writing gets quite small in places, and I am generally struggling with the latter section of the record. If I knew Latin it might be easier to guess what the words were - can anyone help?

The following is my guess so far:
1769 Junii 18
Baptizabatur Laurentius Josephus, Honesti Civis et molitoris Caspari Josephi Beringer ac Maria Josepha conjugum filius legitimus; Patrinus fuit Plusimium Reverend us ac Eximius Duis Laurentius Hochheimer Parochus in Lorch in Rhino gava; vicarias egit vices Per honoratus Duis Adamus Josephus Hochheimer Sub prator in Florsheim ........ ......... ........ genitor ux licentia Parochi Baptizavit him zafaulen Adus Pater Josephus Hochheimer Franciscan Guardians .........

I'm quite sure there are mistakes there, so feel free to help me out. And if anyone wants to translate it as well I won't knock that back!

12 April 2012

A new book on Gaspard Weiss

Yesterday in the mail I received a new edition to my family history library: the autobiography of Gaspard Weiss. I was terribly excited to have in my hands the autobiography of my great great great great grandfather! Pity it is in German and French and I can't read either! However, Tobias Bonz, one of the editors, has acknowledged my small assistance to his research in a couple of footnotes to the text and I could certainly find my name!

Should you be interested in obtaining a copy it is published by Ortus Musikverlag and the ISBN is 978-3-937788-23-4, retailing for about €25.

09 April 2012

The Great White Train

I have been going through my Uncle Les' photo album which I've borrowed from my dad. Uncle Les (Leslie Alfred Davis) was married to my grandfather's sister. He is said to have entertained the troops during the war, which I think he did through working with the YMCA, and he also worked for Bebarfalds, a now-gone department store which sold home furnishings and furniture, located where Woolworths is now, across the road from the Sydney Town Hall. I have an old sewing machine from Bebarfalds which was originally my great aunt's.

Uncle Les' album is huge and has hundreds of photos. Looking through it, I started to wonder if Uncle Les had worked on the railways as well as for Bebarfalds, because there were lots of photos of "train representatives" in various places around country New South Wales (NSW). Then I noticed the photos of the train, and on it was written "Great White Train". Googling revealed that the Great White Train was an endeavour by Sydney-based industrialists through the Australian Made Preference League to encourage people to buy Australian-made products. The train was a travelling exhibition of 15 carriages in which about 30 companies (including Bebarfalds) displayed their wares, hoping to entice rural customers to buy from them. There were two journeys through NSW, the first from 11 November 1925 until 20 May 1926, covering roughly the western half of NSW, and the second from 25 August to 22 November 1926, focusing on the eastern half of NSW.

Uncle Les, as a representative of Bebarfalds, travelled on both journeys. They obviously went to so many places on the trips that he lost track of which place was on which journey because the photos are all mixed in together.

Former Western Australian Labor politician and journalist Wallace Nelson was an official lecturer on the tours.
The then Australian Governor General, Lord Stonehaven, toured the Great White Train during a visit to Albury on 14 April 1926.
In this photo Uncle Les is standing, near the centre of the photo, wearing a "grey" tweed jacket.

03 April 2012

The Beringer Brothers - of the winery fame

I will say at the very outset here that I currently have NO EVIDENCE that Jacob and Frederick Beringer, of the Beringer Brothers Winery from the Napa Valley in California are related to me. However, I am interested to see if I can find a link, as they are the most well-known Beringers I have come across, and were reputed to have been born in Mainz, Germany, which is not really very far from where my Beringers came from.

I came across this excellent article the other day, so I contacted the author, on the off chance he would be interested in the research I had done on other Beringers from the Rhine Valley region. In corresponding with him, I decided it was time to do some research on why my relatives Valtin and Dorothea Beringer were christened at the Saint Quintin Catholic Cathedral in Mainz, when the family later lived in Rauenthal, and at least one of Valtin and Dorothea's siblings was born in Rauenthal. I still haven't worked out what Lorenz and Eva Maria, their parents, were doing in Mainz. And I wondered if there might be a link between my Beringers and the Napa Valley Beringers because of the born-in-Mainz "coincidence".

FamilySearch seems to have much of the parish records for St Quintin's already transcribed, so I've been trawling through them today. It turns out that there were oodles and oodles of Beringers christened at St Quintin's. Would I find the births of the Napa Valley Beringers?

Of the Napa Valley Beringers this is what was known: Their parents were Louis and Marie Beringer née Gruber. Jacob had a middle name beginning with L, and his date of birth was 4 May 1845. Frederick was apparently born in January 1840. Not a lot to go on. "Louis" didn't sound like a terribly German name to me so I looked up the German equivalents of the French sounding Louis: Alois, Aloysius, Lutz and Ludwig. However, the parish records for St Quintin at this time were written in Latin, so a Latinised variation is Ludovici or Ludovicus. I have nothing to confirm that the wife of Louis Beringer was actually named Marie Gruber - she is rarely mentioned in information about the Beringer Brothers. And I also had nothing to suggest that they were christened at St Quintin's, as there were other Catholic churches in Mainz, but it was a place to start.

And I think I've found them!
Jacobus Fridericus Beringer was born 4 May 1845, and christened at St Quintin's on 10 May 1845. His parents were Conradi Ludovici Beringer and Catharinae Schuckardt.
Fridericus Ludovicus Beringer was born 28 January 1840, and christened at St Quintin's on 6 February 1840. His parents were Conradi Ludovici Beringer and Annae Catharinae Schuckard.
There were also siblings: Wernerus Beringer (c 31 Oct 1830), Jacobus Henricus Beringer (c 24 Jun 1834), Carolus Gottfriedus Beringer (c 30 Dec 1836) and Conradus Ludovicus Beringer (b 4 Oct 1841, c 13 Oct 1841, d 16 Jan 1842), and there may even be more.

So, its interesting that history records Jacob's middle name as being "L." when it was really Frederick's. And their mother wasn't Marie Gruber at all, but Anna Catharina Schuckardt.

I've ordered the microfilm for St Quintin's from FamilySearch to see what else I can find. It should have an occupation for their father at the very least. Plus it may give me a reason for why Valtin and Dorothea Beringer's family was in Mainz at the time of their births as well. Stay tuned!