Saturday, 7 July 2012

Happy coincidences

I got a real buzz listening to the July episode of the Genies Down Under podcast yesterday.

Apart from all the usual excellent features, my excitement was caused by the fact that Maria included an item that I had submitted from our family history. The theme for the episode was "Coincidence stuff for genies: Tales of genealogy flukes" and I wrote a short piece about the multiple appearances in our history of the ship SS Demosthenes.

At Christmas 1916, Charles COLEY and Reginald NOYES sailed on HMAT A46 Demosthenes from Sydney as reinforcements for the 25th and 26 Battalions respectively. There is no evidence that they ever met, but a decade later, Charles' nephew Alexander Clarence COLEY married Henry's niece Doreen NOYES and they became our great grandparents.

After the end of War War I, the Demosthenes was returned to the Australian Commonwealth Line and resumed service on the England-Australia route. In 1928, grandfather Robert Joseph MCALLISTER (from the other side of the tree) migrated to Australia with his mother and younger brother aboard the very same SS Demosthenes.

However much a family historian may claim that he spends hours poring over old documents and on-line databases for the intellectual challenge of solving real-life puzzles, the boost to the ego of having your work out in public is very nice.

Thanks Maria, for the opportunity to show my children that this "ancestor" is still productive.

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