When photography, genealogy and Facebook collide!

I’ve been going to my Camera Club for about 14 months now. I know a few people by name, but am still mostly trying to put names and faces together. On Tuesday night we had a gathering after the print competition to discuss camera club stuff etc. One of the things we decided to do was create a Facebook group so we could share stuff between meetings. I volunteered with another lady to set it up so a number of us decided to friend each other on Facebook so we could include in the group.

The next morning I was looking at the profiles of my new friends interested to see if we had friends in common etc and in one woman’s (lets call her S) I noticed something interesting. When I opened her friends list up right at the top under A is a surname that jumps out at me because I know it. On further investigation I discovered this is her mother. Interesting because her mother is my dad’s first cousin, which makes us second cousins!

So I send S a message to confirm – with some details and she replies OMG yes how are we related?

Since then we’ve exchanged messages, emails, shared family photos, introduced each other’s family on and off Facebook, and had a long chat on the phone catching up. We have to arrange a suitable time to catch up between our busy lives but will also see each other at Camera Club and are planning some photo shoots too.

We probably wouldn’t have found this all out in a normal conversation so well done Facebook.

And by the way our Facebook Groups for our Camera Club is going gang busters.

Below is the family. S’s grandfather is the little boy centre Albert and my grandmother Emma is girl right. Photo taken Liverpool England about 1919-1920. The family except for the eldest daughter emigrated to Australia in 1926.



I love old photos

Sorry I’ve been a bit distracted of late and I’m behind with my blog.

I have a thing for old photos. I love what they tell us of times gone by.


This is a photo of my maternal grandmother and my mum. I hardly recognize my grandma as she was always an older woman to me (she was 60 when I was born). I look at this photo and it speaks to me of what their life was like. It is a snap shot in time.


This is a classic image of my mum with her younger siblings. Another moment in time that our family cherishes.


Another precious image in our family – two little girl cousins – meeting for the first time, with their mothers looking on lovingly.

We take so many photos today – it’s very easy with our digital cameras and mobile phones etc, but do we take the time to capture these images that will transcend time in years to come?

I really want to be a photographer that tells the story, and I hope to share some of those images with you in due course 🙂

Pink Grandma

My paternal grandma Emma was an amazing woman. Born in 1908 in Liverpool England, the youngest of four children. At the age of 13 she was allowed an exemption to leave school early and enter domestic service. Five years later she left her home country to immigrate to Australia on the “Vedic” arriving in Sydney in July 1926. The family settled in North Sydney and probably had one of the best views from their house of the Harbour Bridge as it was being built.

Young Emma

By the end of 1929 she had met and married my Grandad Jack. They eventually had 4 children but there were some tough times including the great depression and a period when my Grandad was out of work for a long time, and they lost one child at 18 months of age. In time, she became a grandma – a role which she excelled at. Emma was such a fun and energetic woman, feisty with a wicked sense of humour.  She would take all 6 grand daughters out for the day – on her own! We would return to their street and she would say she was too tired to walk up the hill to the house and we would need to push her. It must have been quite something to see this 60 something woman with 6 young girls pushing her up the street – at break neck speed.

Emma Cruise

Sadly, she died after a terrible illness, at the way too young age of 66. Even though its many years ago now, we have such lovely memories of our Grandma.

PS she was our Pink Grandma and our other Grandma was our Blue Grandma.



Grateful for Ancestors

So another of my interests is genealogy/history and I’ve been really fortunate to have some lovely distant relatives share what they have gathered over the years – this is priceless. One lady in particular shared an enormous amount about my mum’s side of my family …. and I’m proud to say I’m mostly 4th generation Australian on that side. Well this just made my dad’s side of the family look neglected. I basically had his parents and grandparents (all English) but not much further. I started researching that side and am really pleased to say its looking a lot more healthy these days, and I’ve been able to go back an additional 3-4 generations, and found out lots of interesting things, about where and how they lived. Of course genealogy becomes addictive and it can be so frustrating when you hit a road block.

I’m trying to incorporate my love of photography with my family history. One image shows the signature page of my grandmother’s “Daily Light” book given to her by her Sunday School Superintendent at Liverpool on June 10th 1926, before her family left for Sydney; with a photo I was given of the Liverpool church St Cleopas. Wouldn’t it be great if she was in that photo? When the family departed Liverpool they left one of their daughters who was already married, and never saw her again, which would have been heartbreaking. 2nd photo is my wonderful grandmother – Emma in the middle with her mother Rosina on the right. I love this photo of her – she was feisty and this really shows it.

On my mother’s side I have a number of pioneers who came to Australia around the 1850’s and earlier. Yes I even have a couple of convicts! This was a really difficult trip to make – leaving family and country for a tough new life in a far away country. I’m so grateful for the sacrifice they made and that I am here now because of them – I honour them, and encourage you to look into your history. Its fascinating.

St Cleopas photoSimon Family