About me…

My name is Rachel Armstrong and I am a Librarian and Archivist living in Canberra. I began this blog while completing my university studies and although it is quite neglected these days, I hope to continue to update the blog semi-regularly with family history information that will hopefully be useful to others.

I have a real passion for genealogy and have been researching my own family since 2006. There have been many interesting discoveries and also many dead-ends and setbacks but the journey has always been fascinating. My family in Australia can be traced back to the arrival of the First Fleet in 1788 and includes many convicts. Many of my ancestors who arrived here of their own free will settled in Australia from the 1850s both in Sydney and the Newcastle / Hunter Valley areas. Before this, we were British through and through, with my ancestors arriving from England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland. My research interests include the Goddard, Timmins, Sneddon, Bulfin, Mobbs, Woodhouse, Gray, Bradley and Davies families among many others.

As my interests have grown, I have begun researching my husband’s family which includes the Armstrong, McDonald, Dorman, Power and Lindwall families who primarily settled in Sydney and the NSW South Coast from England, Ireland and Sweden.

I hope you enjoy the blog!


55 responses to “About me…

  1. Louise Armstrong

    Hello Sister-in-law,
    I found this quite accidently!!! A lady called Helena might be in touch re Alice Lilian Dora Power…she has something intesting to say.. Hope all is well and I shall visit soon.

    • Hi Louise,

      Glad you stumbled across the blog. It is part of a uni project for this semester in which I have to create an online presence for myself based around an interest of mine. No surprises that I chose family history.

      There’s more info about the family on the wiki I have been working on to compliment the blog – http://familyhistoryblog.wikia.com/wiki/Goddard_/_Armstrong_Family_History_Wiki?cb=8265

      I also have scanned a lot of family photos that your Mum brought with her when she was here a few weeks ago. Some are up on the Flickr page I have created – http://www.flickr.com/photos/60074200@N02/. The ultimate aim is to put all the Armstrong / Dorman / Lindwall / Power photos I have up on the Flickr site and make it private so that only the family can access the photos with living people in them. At this stage I need to leave the Flickr page public so that my tutor can grade it at the end of semester. So sometime next month I will get around to adding everything and will send you a link to the new page.

      Feel free to give Helena my email if she wants information about Alice Power.

      Take care,


      • carlene

        Hi Rachel, thanks for your reply. I also replied with some info re- Frances Randalls mother. Think i may have accidently replied to wrong person,sorry. If you scroll down you will see it. I can provide more detailed info on Frances mother if you need. I also noticed that Louise refers to the AITKINS family is that a spelling mistake or has she perhaps got the two families (AITKEN) & (AIKEN) mixed up ??? Most of the information i have on the Aiken family comes from my Nana who was born and raised on the aiken farm at West Pennant Hills.

      • Hi Carlene,

        Thanks very much for the extra information. I will be sure to add it to my family tree. Once I get a chance to do some work on it, I will contact you if you don’t mind, if I need any further information that you might be able to give me.
        I think Louise must mean Aiken by the way.

        Many Thanks


  2. Louise Armstrong

    Well, I think it’s an excellent to share/corroborate information. I have some comments re Mervyn’s burial and will send you copies of some material I have from the War Memorial. Also – what’s your connection to the Aitken family? Only I have a book on the Darug community and the Aitkens of West Pennant Hills are connected – one of their ancestors from from Jamaica. Off to Wollongong today and I will be in touch again.

    • Hi Louise,
      Please let me know if you have any further information about Mervyn. We were just asking your Mum the other day if she knew whether Mervyn’s body is actually buried at the Sydney War Cemetery or whether he was buried in Japan and she wasn’t sure. Do you have a copy of his service record? Your mum says she doesn’t but I thought someone in the family might have it, which would shed more light on his career and death.

      My connection to the Aikens is quite complicated but is basically through marriage into the Mobbs family (William Mobbs being my GGGGG Grandfather and one of the first settlers in the Carlingford area).
      Frances Randall (1792-1870) married John Aiken (1770-1845). Frances was the daughter of John Randall who was an African-American sent to Australia as a convict, arriving with the First Fleet.
      My more direct line is through John’s daughter Mary (1793-1857) who interestingly married a man named John Martin who was a black man from Barbados who also arrived on the First Fleet. I suspect this might be who you are referring to in your comment.
      I know that throughout the family there was quite a lot of marriage with local Aboriginal people in that Carlingford area. I have a great group photo that shows Frances’ daughter Esther Aiken with her second husband Roger Hurst and some of their family and it is interesting to see the range of skin colours throughout the family as they are marrying into caucasian families and the childrens’ skin colours are becoming paler.

      It would be great to track down a copy of the book that you mentioned. Do you have any more details about it? I’ll see if I can grab a copy through the library.


      • carlene

        Hi, the photo you have (Esther and Roger ???) The black woman almost in centre is i believe Elizabeth Fonceca a GGrandchild of John Randall through John Aiken Snr & t
        he young blackman to the left is believed to be a Randall/ Martin descendant. Also regarding your comment about a lot of marriages with local aboriginals.. Quiet often the african/americans or anyone with dark skin were refered to as aboriginals. John Randall was African/American & John Aiken was Jamaican. That is where my family (THE AIKEN FAMILY) get there dark skin from not from aboriginals. My GGGGrandfather is John Randall. my GGGrandfather is John Aiken Snr, my GGrandfather is his son William and my Grandfather is Williams son Charles. I have all the family photos,documents,birth,death and marriage certificates handed down through the generations and there are no aboriginals.

      • Hi Carlene,
        Thanks for contacting me. I was actually contacted earlier in the year by another relative who informed me that the lady in the centre of the photo is Esther’s daughter Elizabeth Fonseca. I was given the wrong information from the lady who originally gave me the photo. I had corrected this on the Ancestry website, where I keep my family tree, but had forgotten to correct on my Flickr page. This blog was part of a uni project last semester and I have badly neglected it since the middle of the year.
        When I have some time I need to get a copy of Jim Kohen’s book Daruganora and do some reading. Apparently this book details the relationship between the local Aboriginal population of the area and some of the settlers of African American and Caribbean descent.
        Thanks for the information!

    • Elizabeth Clarke (nee Aiken)

      I have stumbled onto this website and I am a descendant of the West Pennant Hill Aikens. John Aiken came to Australia in 1796 and he apparently was from Jamaica born about 1770. He married Frances Randall, the daughter of John Randall who came over on the first fleet in 1788. He was from New Haven Conneticut and his parents were slaves. Frances’s mother is in dispute as there are indications that she may have been aboriginal. I am trying to investigate that theory. There is much information on John Randall and the book Black Founders by Cassandra Cybus tells a lot about him. My line is down the line of John and Frances’s son William and I am in contact with a lady that is a descendant of William’s brother John.

      • Hi Elizabeth,
        Thanks for your comments. John Aiken and John Randall were both very interesting men.
        It would be great to see where your research leads regarding Frances’ mother. I have her mother listed as Irish convict Mary Butler (1750-1802). However I have not been able to verify this through the NSW BDM Index, only that Mary is listed as the mother of Frances’ sisters Lydia (1791-1793) and Mary (1793-1857). Please keep me informed if you happen to find any information to verify the identity of Frances’ mother.
        Best Wishes,

      • Louise Armstrong

        Hi Elizabeth,
        yes – a book has been written which mentions John Aitken and his relations, the local Darug community. I’d suggest you contact http://www.darug.org.au/Contacts.html – I have a copy and will pass it to Rachel (when I find it) so she can update her information. Colin Locke was the author I think. I grew up not far from Aitken Road and dad used to visit the Timber Mill all the time. We are also related to a John Power and his wife Mary (nee Donovan) who lived in the area around 1836 – 1839 or so. Best wishes, Louise

      • carlene

        Hello Elizabeth, i am also a descendant of the West Pennant Hills Aiken family. I only just stumbled onto this website yesterday. I have just left some info on this site regarding Frances’s mother .
        John and Frances’s son William is my Great-Great Grandfather.
        I’m curious to know what your connection to William is ??
        Hope to hear from you. Carlene

  3. Jennifer Andersen

    Hello Rachel …..I have been “lurking: on Ancestry for quite a while, have a private family tree, but have read your tree and think that if I ever really get organised (ha ha says my husband!) might well be able to expand your family information along this line. I found this site quite by accident this evening.
    My name is Jennifer Andersen, live in Perth (retired from Edith Cowan University Library, my husband retired from Curtin!)… anyway, I, along with my 2 sisters, am on a direct line from Mary Duker Dorman, daughter Mary Dorman who married Frederick James Williams, their son was my pop, William Henry Blennerhasset (one person, not 2 as in your family tree), his daughter was our mother. I have snippets of family stuff, some photos so quite happy to share.

    • Hi Jennifer,
      Thanks very much for your message. I’m glad that you stumbled across my blog and would be very happy to share any information with you. I would also certainly love any further information you have to offer.

      As you’ve probably seen, I started this blog as a project for one of my uni subjects this semester. I have been researching my family history since my mum passed away in 2005 and I also started looking at my husband’s family tree shortly after that. Most of my information is online on the Ancestry website. If you are a member, I would be happy to send you a link to my Ancestry tree.

      Mary Duker was my husband’s GGG Grandmother, his GG Grandfather being your Mary Dorman’s younger brother Walter William Dorman (1860-1925).

      Thanks very much for the correction on your pop William Henry Blennerhasset Williams. I have fixed that in my tree. Blennerhasset is a very unusual name! Do you know the origin?

      I would be very grateful for any further information you have. I have some of the Williams family information but plenty of missing dates and names.

      I am in contact with a couple of other Dorman descendants through the Ancestry website and we have managed to build up quite a lot of information. One thing we have been a bit stuck on is how Mary Duker and John Shadrack Dorman came to Australia. I haven’t had any luck tracing their arrivals. I don’t suppose you have any further information about this?

      My email address is rachelgoddard@yahoo.com.au. Any information or photos would be much appreciated. Please let me know if there is any information that I might have they may be useful to you.

      Look forward to hearing from you.


    • Louise Armstrong

      Hello Jennifer,
      I (as Rachel’s sister-in-law) too am descended from Mary Duker Dorman and John Shadrach Dorman, through their son Walter. I have often wondered what became of John – did he drown in the Peel River as we suspect? I wonder if anyone knows. I thought there was only one daughter (Annie) and married and moved to Newcastle. I also noted a connection with Walter Dorman and WA – which intrigued me – how did the family end up over there? Walter’s line ended up in Sydney. Would love to hear more stories if you have any.

  4. carlene

    John Randall married Esther Howard 21st febuary 1788 at Port Jackson. Esther was a convict and arrived here aboard the ship The Lady Penthyn. She died during childbirth (daughter Frances) 11th October1789. John remarried= Mary Butler 5th September 1790 at Parramatta. Esther WAS NOT Aboriginal. About 1904 a child who is believed to be a daughter or grandaughter of John Randalls was placed in an orphange/home for aboriginal children (the child was not aboriginal but clearly negro decent) at Blacks Town (now known as Blacktown) so that is probably our only connection to the darug people. John Randall is my GGGG Grandfather & John Aiken Snr, is my GGG Grandfather

    • carlene

      Sorry i have mistakenly said the child was placed in the Blacks Town institution about 1904…. it was actually 1823. The child, Ann Randall died in 1904.

    • Karen Stapelton

      HI Carlene, I am also a decendant of John Randall & Esther Howard, thru Frances born 11 october 1789, she married John Aiken of Jamacain Decent and they had Esther Hannah who married Moses Fonseca. I would appreciate any info that you have and I am also looking for photographs, I am very interested in the skin colour changes as I am very pale skinned (ie who married who colour wise, which resulted in the dilution of skin colour, this is not something that you can get from wth web) John Randall is my 8 generation grandfather.

      • My Great Grandfather was Moses Fonseca son of Esther & Moses Fonseca by the picture of Elizabeth Fonseca they were dark, however my Mum & 2 brothers have dark skin & at least one child of my siblings are dark with curly black hair.I didn’t know Esther’s middle name was Hannah
        where did the information come from please ?

      • Hi Susan,
        Nice to hear from someone with such a direct connection. I actually don’t have a middle name recorded for Esther at all and looking at her death certificate, there is no middle name recorded. Although, her death certificate also records her first name as “Hester”.
        I see that there are several Ancestry members who list Hannah as her middle name on their trees. It may be worth contacting them to see if they are able to shed any light on this. If you do confirm her middle name please let me know.

  5. carlene

    Oops sorry, i meant to say the child was placed in the orphanage/home in 1823 not 1904. ( i think the orphanage/home ) was actually called The Native Institution) 1904 was the year that the child (Ann Randall) died.

  6. Maria Toshack-

    Hi all,
    I am decended from John & Frances Randall. I want to track down John Aiken Snr Birth and Death details and more information on his son John and his son also John and then his daughter Elizabeth. Any photos would be great.

    • Hi Maria,
      Are you a member of Ancestry.com.au? If so, my tree, along with the trees of many other relatives of John & Frances, are on the Ancestry website.
      I certainly haven’t researched their lives as extensively as some others have, but from what I understand, John Aiken Snr was born in Jamaica circa 1770, arriving in Sydney in 1796. He died in West Pennant Hills in 1845. There are a number of stories of John’s life and family on the Ancestry website.
      I believe that John’s son, John Edward Aiken, was born on 20 Nov 1813 and died in West Pennant Hills on 26 Aug 1883. John married Mary Holland Cronin in 1842 and had 7 children that I know of including the John that you mention. The information I have is that John was born on 15 May 1848 in West Pennant Hills and died in Lyndhurst on 6 Jan 1930. His daughter Elizabeth was born in Carcoar on 25 May 1874 and died in Carcoar on 22 Oct 1921.
      Of course there is a lot more information to be found online, particularly through Ancestry. Although I’m afraid I haven’t yet found any photos of any of the people you are researching.
      Good luck with your research. Please let me know if you think I may have any further information that may be useful.

  7. Leah

    Hi Rachel,
    I am researching my family history on my mothers side. My grandmothers name was Doreen May Timmins and she grew up in Wallsend, NSW, Australia and would have been born around 1925-1926. She had a younger sister called Norma Timmins. If you have any knowledge or information on this family I would appreciate it.

    • Hi Leah,
      My maternal grandfather was Frederick Henry Timmins and he was born in West Wallsend in 1902. Fred was one of five children born to Samuel Joseph Timmins and Susannah Woodhouse. Fred’s siblings were John known as Jack 1904-1971, Ben 1907-1975, Mary known as Mollie 1913-2003 and Florence known as Dodge 1916-2002.
      I’ve traced my Timmins family back to William Timmins who was born in 1816 in Staffordshire. It was his son Ben who came out to Australia with his wife Sarah and children John, Samuel and George in 1885.
      I’ve had a look through my family tree and the only Doreen I have that might fit with your grandmother is Doreen Richardson, who I have as being the daughter of George Richardson and Josephine Bradley. I have Doreen as being born in 1924 in Wallsend. Is this your grandmother?
      As for Norma, the only one I have in my tree that might fit is Norma Gray. She is also on this side of my family but I know she was the daughter of Harold Gray and Elsie Pryor and married to John Nelson. Although she was born in 1928 and lived in the area.
      Please let me know if any of this sounds familiar.


        Hi Rachel,

        Thank you so much for the quick reply. Since researching I have found the daughters and son of Doreen Timmins (maiden name). They are currently doing some family history research as well and if you don’t mind I will pass this information on to them as they will be able to tell if there is a link. I will let you know if there is.

        With kind regards,


      • Thanks Leah. Hopefully we will find out if there is a connection. You would think that if they were all in the Wallsend area and had the same surname, which isn’t terribly common, then they must be related somehow.


  8. Thanks Rachel, many people are researching Randall, Martin, Aiken, Hurst & Brown Families and as far as I know no one has found any documentation who Frances’s Mother was. If Ester Howard Randall was the Mother it was not documented by Gov. Phillip on his daily diaries, & who would care for Frances when he was out & about shooting ?

  9. Jaclyn geerin

    Hi there,

    I’m new to researching family trees and have just stumbled across your blog. I’m currently focusing on my husbands grandfather “Anthony Ross Aiken” who was born in approximately 1930 to “Vera Margaret toshack” born 1910 and “Henry Picken” whom I know nothing of.

    I know Vera’s mother was Elizabeth and died in carcoar in 1921 and Her father was Joseph. So I’m wondering if Vera’s mother Elizabeth is john’s daughter Elizabeth? What do you think?

    • Hi Jaclyn,

      I’ve spent some time looking at your family and found the following…

      Vera Margaret (or I have found other records that state her middle name as Maud) Toshack born 1910 in Carcoar – parents Joseph Toshack and Elizabeth Aiken (1874-1921). Elizabeth was married three times – to Thomas Hanley, Amos Field and Joseph Toshack.

      Vera had three brothers:
      John Robert Joseph Toshack – 1911-1913
      Ernest Raymond Herbert Toshack – 1914-2003
      Joseph Owen Toshack – 1914-1985

      She also had two half-sisters:
      Hilda Elizabeth Hanley – 1898-1985
      Amy Field – 1903-1972

      Elizabeth Toshack died in Carcoar on Oct 22 1921. Her parents were John Walter Aiken (1848-1930) and Elizabeth Hoad (1851-1932).

      Joseph’s parents John Toshack and Mary Bunting were married in Carcoar in 1878. John and Mary had the following children, all born in Carcoar:
      Robert – 1879
      James – 1881
      William Victor – 1882
      Ann M – 1884
      Joseph – 1886 (Vera’s father)
      Agnes – 1887
      Margaret – 1888
      Mary Elizabeth – 1890

      I have not had much luck with finding out more about Anthony’s parents Vera and Henry. I haven’t been able to find a marriage for Vera in NSW but do you know if they were married elsewhere? As for Henry, the only Henry Aiken I’ve found so far was Vera’s uncle who was born in 1877 in Carcoar and died in Kiama in 1969.

      But in answer to your question, Vera’s mother Elizabeth Aiken was certainly the daughter of John Walter Aiken. John and his wife Elizabeth (Snr) were certainly busy, with 14 children. Elizabeth’s siblings were:

      The Australian Royalty website is a fantastic resource and you will find research about your family there – http://www.easystreetretreat.com.au/australianroyalty/index.php?ctype=gedcom&ged=purnellmccord.ged

      Also, obviously the NSW BDM Index is very useful and I found some information about your family there.

      Good luck with your research!


  10. Peter Lindwall

    Hello Rachel,
    My name is Peter Frederick Lindwall and my Great Grandfather was Nils Peter Lindwall. I have been searching for a family history on the web and have found conflicting origins. One source claims he was born in Alem Sweden in 1825, out of wedlock. The other claims he was born in Oland Sweden in 1826. I wonder if you have any information that would help me or direct me to anyone who has complied a Nils Peter Lindwall family tree?
    Kindest Regards
    Peter Lindwall

    • Hi Peter,

      Lovely to hear from you. Nils was my husband’s Great Great Grandfather. His line is through Nils & Julia’s daughter Esther.

      As you suggest, there has been quite a lot of confusion surrounding Nils. Last year we had a researcher in Sweden named Mats Ahlgren conduct some research to try and shed a little more light on Nils’ early life in Sweden. Mats believes that Nils was born on 7 Nov 1825 in Oland, Jonkoping, Sweden. This is in contrast to what some of us had previously thought i.e. that he was born in Alem. Mats found information suggesting that Nils was born out of wedlock to Marie Erlandsson and Nils Lindwall. Marie worked on the farm that Nils managed. Nils and Marie did not marry.

      Mats believes that Marie and Nils Peter lived in the area of Bredsatra when Nils was young but he hasn’t been able to give us much information about Nils’ life as a young man.

      There is also some confusion about Nils’ arrival in Australia. I know that some have had Nils arriving in Sydney on the “Henrietta” in 1857 but I’m not sure where this idea first came from. Shipping records suggest that Nils actually arrived as a Boatswain on the “Capella” on 8 Nov 1858.

      Unfortunately we don’t know more about Nils’ parents and we continue to wonder where Nils was buried. Our best guess is that he was buried on his property but there’s no evidence of this and no one I’ve been in contact with can confirm where Nils was buried. I know a few sources suggested he was buried at Bega Cemetery but he is not listed in the cemetery index or the index of any other cemeteries in that south coast area where the family lived. I think this assumption came from the fact that it was reported as such in the local newspaper but there doesn’t seem to be a grave for him at Bega. I’ve personally had a wander through some of the smaller cemeteries to double check including Eden, Pambula and Wyndham.

      If you are a member of Ancestry then you are welcome to look at my tree and use any information that might be useful. Also feel free to let me know if you know anything is incorrect or can add anything. My tree is called “Goddard / Timmins / Armstrong / Dorman Family Tree”. There are also quite a few other Ancestry members who have Lindwalls in their tree including “Christopher / Dewbery and Beyond” and “DAY Family Tree”.


      • peter4551@gmail.com

        Hello Rachel,

        Thank you for your reply, I was recently in Canberra and visited the National Library where I discovered through Trove.com that Nils did in fact arrive on the Capella in 1858, he was listed as a Boatswain on the crew. I didn’t know about his parents and so will have to amend my tree. The other mystery surrounding Nils arrival in Australia was he was alleged to have been involved in an altercation on the ship and he had to attend court in Sydney. I briefly searched the Sydney Morning Herald for November 1858 via Trove but could not find any mention in the court items. I am unable to confirm this but it is said to be the reason he decided to settle in Australia.

        This is interesting because apparently there were few Swedes who migrated to Australia at the time. To my knowledge there is only one Lindwall family in Australia compared to hundreds in the United States for instance.

        In relation to his burial site this is the first time I have heard he was not buried in Bega. If as you mention he may have been buried on his farm, I have visited the farm at Nethercote just outside of Eden but I don’t know the address. None of my Father’s family ever mentioned a family cemetery on the farm but you never know. I know none of my father’s brothers and sisters stayed on the farm and my Grandmother moved to Eden after her husband, Frederick died in 1929. I got the impression they hated the farm, my father, Leo for instance, never took milk in his tea or ever drank it.

        I hope I am not boring you with the tit bits of my knowledge of the family history but you never know what may lead you to more research. Some years ago I was walking through the Inverell cemetery with my wife, Gail, who was looking for her Grandmother’s grave. I came across a small grave with the name Errol Lindwall on it and thought I never knew any Lindwall ever lived in Inverell. The babe’s father was listed as Frederick Lindwall and I was not aware of any other Lindwall named Fred other than my Grandfather. The matter remained a mystery until a few years later when a blog was asking of any knowledge of a Frederick Lindwall. I responded and to my shock discovered this Frederick Lindwall was indeed the son of my Grandfather and was born before he married my Grandmother. The baby was raised by Nils and Julia. None of my father’s brothers or sisters ever mentioned they had a half brother and this Frederick served in WW1 and was wounded, when he came home he was given a job on the Railway and that is how he came to live in Inverell.

        It seems the more we research the past the more skeletons fall out of the cupboard but I suppose as hard as we try some things will remain mysteries. Thank you for your indulgence.

        Kindest regards


        Sent from Windows Mail

      • Hi Peter,

        Thanks for all that information.

        I had also heard the story about Nils being involved in an altercation on his ship. From memory I think I was told that he had punched an officer or senior crew member. Like you, I’ve never found anything in print about the incident or the subsequent court case.

        I don’t think we will ever know where Nils is buried unfortunately. If only someone had thought to write it down or ask someone who would have known while they were still alive.

        It’s interesting to hear how some members of the family felt about the farm. That’s the sort of information I love coming across when I get in contact with other family members as it’s the sort of information that you don’t often find while doing the usual research.

        I’ll have to check with you that I have my information correct about Frederick… I had been told that Frederick Jr was the son of Frederick Lindwall and Amy Fisher and was raised by Nils & Julia because Frederick and Amy weren’t married. Then Frederick Snr married Johanna Alexander in 1901 and had 9 children together. I have in my tree that Frederick Jr married Elsie Byrnes in 1918 and they had 6 children together – Edna (1919-1988), Frederick (1920-1970), Errol (1921-1923), Ella (1923-?), Veronica (1925-?) and Eric (1927-1980). Does this sound correct to you?

        Also, in reference to your other message… I’m sure the lady you are speaking of is my husband’s Aunt Marea Dorman. I’m happy to pass on your email address to her if you would like. She lives just near us in Sydney and we see her regularly. We are often comparing notes about the family history and I’m sure she would be happy to pass on any information she has.

        Best Wishes


      • Marianne Ross

        Hi Rachel
        Neils Peter Lindwall’s death certificate has him dying at Nethercote 3/September 1914 and buried Roman Catholic Cemetery Bega 5/September 1914 maybe Nils should be Neils.
        he was my great grandfather through his son Charles
        Marianne Ross

      • Hi Marianne,
        I have for many years been trying to find someone who can confirm the location of Nils’ / Neils’ grave, specifically with a photo of the grave. I know that his death certificate and the newspaper state that he was buried in Bega Cemetery, however I have never found any family member that has actually found his grave there (including myself) and / or has been able to provide a photo of his grave.
        When I last visited the south coast I spent quite some time visiting cemeteries in the areas of Bega, Eden, Pambula, Wyndham etc. and was unable to find Nils / Neils in any of these cemeteries, although I could find plenty of other Lindwalls. I also borrowed the series of books “Monumental inscriptions and other burials in the Bega Valley Shire” from the local historical society (also available through Merimbula Library when I was last there) and Nils / Neils is not listed in any of the cemeteries in any of the volumes (and they are very extensive).
        I would love to hear if you have any further confirmation that Nils / Neils is buried in Bega Cemetery as it has become quite the mystery as to where his final resting place is amongst our family. Do you happen to have a photo of his grave?

  11. Peter Lindwall

    Hello Rachel,
    Further to my last email, I noticed your family tree mentions the Dorman Family Tree. I am not sure but some 15 or 20 years ago I attended a Lindwall/Power reunion at Stanwell Park and I think there was a lady, I think her name was Marie Dorman and she had on display the Lindwall family tree, it was the first time I ever saw one. Over the years I have tried to locate her so that I could obtain a copy of the tree.
    I wonder by chance do you know of Marie or where she may be contacted,

  12. peter lindwall

    Hello Rachel,
    I am pleased to hear from you again because although we may be distant relatives we share the same heritage. I find it hard to believe that someone lived and died and yet there is no record of their burial. Of course you can pass my email to Marea Dorman as I would love to stay in contact with her. To the best of my knowledge she had the most extensive family tree of Nils Lindwall. Like you I regret that our forebears were not as interested in discovering our heritage, may be they were too consumed with surviing in such difficult and primitive surroundings. We really do take for granted our existance in this century but in the mid 19th century Australia was an alien environment to our ancestors. Once again I thank you for staying in contact with me.
    Kindest Regards
    PS I believe the information about Frederick Lindwall (jnr) is genuine as the information I received was from his immediate family. I can’t remember the surname but the man I communicated with was married to Frederick’s Grand daughter.

    • Gail Newman

      Ella was born in Moree, sadly she passed away in 2013 as did her last surviving sibling Veronica Jean. There is a burial record for Neils 1856-1918 EDEN COURTHOUSE BURIAL INDEX
      Neils Peter LINDWALL died 3 September 1914 at Nethercote aged 88 years, occupation Farmer. Born Sweden and buried in the R.C. section Bega Cemetery on 5 September 1914 – I would presume there is no headstone and that is why the grave cannot be found, not everyone has or desired to have a headstone. On a side issue there is no record for my gr grandfather on my fathers side grave because the records were destroyed in a fire, but I found the funeral notice giving the place of his burial. Sometimes we have to trust the records, have the burial index saying he was buried in ther RC section of Bega cemetery and also the story in the Pambula Voice which gives more details of his burial, just not a grave number “The remains were buried in the R.C. cemetery, Eden, on Saturday, 5th inst. The Rev. Father Kenny conducted the service at the graveside, while Mr. Job Koerber had charge of the funeral arrangements”

  13. peter lindwall

    Hello Rachel,
    Further to my last comment, I am sure Errol Lindwall (1921-23) was the babies grave that I saw in Inverell and I believe Ella (1923-?) was born in Inverell while Frederick was working for the NSW Railway.

  14. Carol Howard

    Hello Rachel
    I am a descendent of John Aiken and Elizabeth Hoad through my grandfather William Arthur Aiken and I have found your research fascinating. My grandfather had dark skin and to a lesser degree myself. I have recently retired from teaching and now have time to start looking at my family tree and would appreciate any information you are willing to share.

    • Hi Carol,

      Apologies for taking so long to reply to your comment – I have been on a bit of a break from my blog.

      I was just taking a look trough my tree and I do have quite a few of your family members listed including your grandfather William Aiken.

      I would be happy to share any information you might find useful. Most of my research to date is included in my family tree on Ancestry, so if you are a member of Ancestry you can find my tree under Goddard / Timmins / Armstrong / Dorman Family Tree. Otherwise please feel free to contact me through the blog or email rachelgoddard@yahoo.com.au.

      Best Wishes


  15. Pamela Strong

    Hello, May name is Pamela Strong and it appears that John Randal was my 3rd or 4th great grandfather, My daughter has been doing our family tree and has all the information on our family. Until she found this information my late grandmother was born in 1901 in Wodonga Victoria she never told us about her back ground, the only thing I remember her saying was that our history goes back to the Moore’s who were black. She must have known about our ancestors but for some reason kept it to herself. I was quite surprised to learn that I had not only a black African but also Aboriginal ancestors as I am blond, blue eyed. Grandma had olive skin and very very curly black hair.

    • Hi Pamela,

      Lovely to hear from you. Apologies for taking so long to reply to your comment – I have been on a bit of a break from my blog.

      Like you, I was fascinated to hear of my connection to the Randalls and I’ve really enjoyed researching this part of my family history. Although I am not as directly connected to John Randall as you.

      Good luck with your research!


  16. Kelly

    Hi, Rachel, my name is Kelly and I am a direct descendent of John Aiken. My great grandmother was Olive Beatrice Aiken. Iv just started tracing my family tree and was so happy to come across your blog. I would like to contact you direct to discuss the family information with you if possible. It seems we are in some way related.

    • Hi Kelly,

      Apologies for not replying to your comment sooner – I’ve been on a bit of a break from the blog and I’m just getting back into it.

      I would love to know more about your Great Grandmother Olive. I don’t have her in my tree so would really appreciate any information – I have plenty of gaps to fill in in the Aiken Family.

      You can contact me at rachelgoddard@yahoo.com.au if that’s easier.



  17. Gail Newman

    I am a grandaughter of Frederick Joseph Lindwall son of Frederick Joseph Lindwall snr and Amy Fisher, there is a police gazette record where a warrant was out for the arrest of Fred snr Taken from NSW Police Gazettes 22 May 1895….

    “ A warrant has been issued by the Eden Bench for the arrest of Frederick Lindwall, charged with child desertion. He is 22 years of age, 6 feet high, medium build, dark hair, very small dark moustache otherwise clean shaved, fresh complexion; dressed in brown check suit and black soft felt hat or straw hat with black band; a bullock drover. Supposed riding a grey horse and gone to Goulburn or Mallacoota (Vic.).
    he was arrested in 1903 but not charged perhaps because by that time Fred jnr was living with Niels and Julia, and Amy Fisher was married. Fred jnr did live with his mother for the first few years of his life, she never accepted him and I am always curious about the circumstances of Fred jnrs conception.
    Niels burial details “The remains were buried in the R.C. cemetery, Eden, on Saturday, 5th inst. The Rev. Father Kenny conducted the service at the graveside, while Mr. Job Koerber had charge of the funeral arrangements.”
    Pambula Voice – 18 September, 1914
    regards Gail

  18. Gail Newman

    according to Neils naturalisation cert he arrived on the Henrietta in 1857, perhaps he made a subsequent voyage and returned on the Capella in 1858

    • Gail Newman

      also according to his naturalisation cert he was born on ‘Ollan Sweden, I would presume that the information on this cert would be accurate as Neils himself would have given the information. Perhaps when he first arrived here he still was working on ships.
      Frederick Joseph Lindwall jnr had his birth registered as Fisher, but used the Lindwall name, and had his name changed to Lindwall legally in later life.
      Pambula Voice – 13 November, 1914
      Bravo little Burragate! Though our numbers are very few we can boast of sending two young men to the front to fight for the upholding and integrity of the mighty British Empire, to which we are so proud to belong. The brave young men who have volunteered for active service are Clif Sawers and Fred LINDWALL, who took their departures this week. There was no flourish of the trumpets, or beating of drums to mark their leaving. They felt the call of duty and obeyed their patriotic instincts, of this, we who know them, are assured, there will be no turning back. They will enter the ranks with the full determination to do their duty, and on their return from the front, I think I may bespeak for them a hearty reception in this quarter.

      Fred was at the Gallipolli landing and was not wounded but returned to Australia medically unfit suffering from nephritis, after a period of convalesence he reenlisted in the army but during training the condition returned and he was discharged as being medically unfit. 2013 was a sad year for this family with the deaths of Ella and Veronica and also one of Fred’s half sisters (Fisher family) when I started researching the tree I discovered that neither the Lindwall or Fisher families remaining were aware of Fred’s existence. A bit strange when you consider that he lived with his Lindwall grandparents and siblings for quite a few years, he did have a relationship with at least one his Fisher siblings. Fred jnrs children never met their grandparents on either the Lindwall or Fisher side and I find it extremely sad that the generations to come were denied any relationship with their ancestors. I have been able to meet with lady who is also a gr grandaughter of Amy Fisher and through that connection I have finally been able to see a photo of my gr grandmother.

      Baptised 3 April 1914 by Father P. Kenny – accprding to records held by
      BAPTISMS 1894 – 1920

      Pambula Voice – 18 September, 1914 -The Late Mr. P. LINDWALL
      By the death of Mr. Niels Peter LINDWALL, which took place at his home at Nethercote on September 3, the district loses one of the oldest identities. Deceased was 89 years of age, and was born in Sweden. He arrived in Australia 57 years ago. He was seven years before the mast, and on the voyage to Australia most of the crew became ill, and a heavy gale blew the masts away. Mr. LINDWALL, as boatswain, set to work to repair, and after 48 hours hard labor, managed to rig the vessel and get her to port. The deceased then decided to leave the sea and settle on terra firma. For seven years he followed gold diggings on the Gulf and Kiandra fields not having too much luck he tried farming pursuits, and was engaged by the late T.S. Mort, on Bodalla, where deceased made the first cheddar cheese on the estate, from a receipe held by Mr. Mort. Subsequently he occupied Mr. Salway’s farm at Cobargo and later on Mr. D. Tarlinton’s for five years. From there he came to Nethercote purchasing his present homestead from Mr. Herbert Clarke about 25 years ago. He, together with Mr. W. Falkner, of Sth. Pambula, pegged out the “Falkner” claim on the Pambula goldfield in its infancy, and Mr. LINDWALL was the first person to discover payable gold on the property. He subsequently sold his interest to the late S. Solomon, of Eden, for a fair figure, and returned to farming pursuits, which he carried on ever since. He was a law abiding peaceful citizen, always looked after his own interest, and never muddled in other peoples business. He leaves a wife and family of seven sons and six daughters to mourn their loss viz. William, Fred, Arthur, John, Charley, Albert and James, Mesdames Jas Haugh, Travers, L. Parker, C. Power, C. Heron and Miss Isabell. The remains were buried in the R.C. cemetery, Eden, on Saturday, 5th inst. The Rev. Father Kenny conducted the service at the graveside, while Mr. Job Koerber had charge of the funeral arrangements

      Neils Peter LINDWALL died 3 September 1914 at Nethercote aged 88 years, occupation Farmer. Born Sweden and buried in the R.C. section Bega Cemetery on 5 September 1914

  19. Hi Rachel,
    I’m just wondering if we could possibly be related. My Sneddon’s came to Newcastle for coal mining from Polmont, Scotland. My earliest male ancestor (if my research is right anyway) is Alexander Snaddon (1740-1800).
    I love your blog,
    Natasha 🙂

    • I should add that my ancestor who migrated to Australia was Richard Grant Sneddon (1862-1896) since that would more likely be where our connection is if we have one 🙂

    • Hi Natasha,
      Thanks for your lovely message.
      I would be surprised if we didn’t share some ancestors. Our Sneddon ancestors seem to have very similar stories. My great great grandfather Robert Sneddon (1841-1912) emigrated to Australia from West Calder in Scotland in 1879. He was one of the many Scotsman recruited to work for the Australian Kerosene Oil and Mineral Company at Joadja. I know that Robert and his family were joined by other family members there including his brothers in law Andrew and David McEwan and their families. When the project at Joadja wound up I believe that most of the Sneddons and other family relocated to the Hunter Valley to continue mining.
      I do have a Richard Sneddon in my tree but I don’t believe it’s the same Richard Sneddon from your tree. The Richard Sneddon in my tree was my great great uncle. Born in 1863 in Lanarkshire, emigrated with his family to live at Joadja when he was 16. He married Christina Allan in 1885 in Miami and died in Cessnock in 1934.
      I have a lot more work to do on my Sneddon ancestors. It would be great to see where the connection is between our Sneddon ancestors. I’m happy to share any information. You can see my tree on Ancestry – Goddard / Timmins / Armstrong / Dorman Family Tree.
      Have you visited Joadja before? It’s a great day trip if you are in the area. The tour is fantastic. I have a blog post that I must write about my trip there last year.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s