An excellent couple of hours on Ancestry today...went to Australia for a change and found Wicked Billy's son was also a bit of a dodgy character. He went to prison three times for demanding money with menaces...threat to commit arson...and bodily harm. But he must have eventually made good in some form because he became a cattle drover and took cattle thousands of miles across the outback to be sold...
Back to England for a bit where I found a man who'd fought at the Battle of Waterloo...he was in the Dragoons and he was only fifteen. But he survived and married and then emigrated to Australia...I'd always thought the Battle of Waterloo was in France actually...but it was in Belgium...
Then scurried back to America with a family who split up...half went to Australia and the other half to America...they were all Irish-born and had come from County Clare...the couple who went to America must have been as tough as old boots...they travelled right across from one side to another with a team of oxen and four small children. When they reached their destination there was no time to build a house...crops had to be planted first...so they lived under a makeshift tent made of tarpaulins and branches with the trunks they'd brought with them providing the anchors to stop the tent from blowing away...then she had twin babies...and she was bitten by a rattlesnake...she recovered though and the babies grew to adulthood.
I liked them...they weren't Bible thumpers and didn't scalp anyone or take Native land...they were just looking for a better life I suppose.
But Elizabeth...one of Wicked Billy's children...married an Irishman, who was a Catholic of course...she was cast out of her family and no-one ever spoke to her again...and I was seriously disgruntled about poor Elizabeth when her Father and brother were both nothing but thieves and ner'do'wells.
And there were several photographs people had put on...stern looking men with long whiskered chins and equally grumpy looking women all dressed up in their best frocks and tightly laced into corsets...
Another relative made a small fortune mining for gold...which seems to have been an exceptionally hard way to make some kind of a living...panning for gold in a river wouldn't have been pleasant...but grovelling about underground in the mud and sludge sounded foul. They deserved to find an excellent nugget if they were prepared to go through that first...
It was interesting today with all those stories about the people and the photographs are a real bonus...