6. Past Belongings : a digital collection of historical belongings to share

Back of a Castlemaine Photograph in WBC's Album

Back of a Castlemaine Photograph in WBC’s Album

One of the rewarding and magical parts of connecting with far flung descendants of William Bellingham Cairnes and Elizabeth Matthews is the unearthing , so to speak, of personal objects,belonging to past relatives, that are being held within the extended family. Sadly I don’t possess any myself, but creating this virtual collection to share is rewarding.

I thought it would be a good place to create a digital museum of these objects, in the hope that more will come to light and also be shared here. Anyone who may have items of interest are made welcome to share. Leave a comment or contact me.

To date

Terry ( WBC was his Great Grandfather and his father was Jack Cairnes, middle son of WBC’s youngest son Thomas) and his wife Linda , of Melbourne have kindly  allowed me to photograph some of their family mementoes  and share them  here.

They have an old cash box and a plaque from WBC, and an original copy of the 1906  H C Lawlors “History of the Cairnes”( which you can find digitised online), and an invaluable  photograph album of WBC’s. Also an original letter from WBC’s brother to their father also named Montgomery.

Nita Burgess  of Melbourne ( WBC was her Great Grandfather) has also sent photos of a plate with the family emblem, and the Writing Chest of Theresa , Mrs Montgomery Cairnes.  Theresa was brought out to Australia, by WBC, when her husband died. Nita has shared letters and photos too.

Kay Bowman, Nita’s sister  and also of Melbourne, has contributed some wonderful photographs  and letters held in her care. Their father was Alan Edward Cairnes, 3rd son of WBC’s youngest son, Thomas William Cairnes

Richard Rawson , also from Victoria ( his great grandmother was Annie Irwin Cairnes) ( WBC was his Great Great Grandfather) has devoted part of his family history website to WBC and you can see a copy of  WBC’s  1918 will and testament there. On reading this Will, made when WBC was 86, it seems he does not discriminate between his sons and daughters and shares everything in a fair manner. It also demonstrates a man with a tender heart and great care of his children and grandchildren.

Justine Dorval, from Western Australia, has also shared photos and invaluable information. WBC was her great great grandfather, and her great grandfather was Montgomery Cairnes , WBC’s second son. On his death his wife Alice took her 3 sons and settled in Perth, thus starting a Cairnes enclave in W.A.

Jacye Hargreaves, my 3rd cousin  on my maternal grandmother’s side, was discovered quite accidentally, volunteering at the Mulwala Yarrawonga Museum the very day I arrived. She has kindly shared an enormous amount of information. There is  photographic evidence of WBC, his wife and their lives at the museum.

Dr Marjorie Theobald, an historian, and a former secretary of Castlemaine’s History Society has also been helpful and generous with her information. It was she who flagged up that Mary Matthews, Elizabeth’s mother, was the 1st matron of the 1st Castlemaine Hospital. ( this was how I found their signatures on the 1891 Suffrage Petition).  She also knew that WBC had been living in a tent near Robert and Mary Matthews mining cottage in 1854/55, thus falling in love with their only daughter and marrying her when she was only 15. Thankfully her 1st child William was not born until 3 years later! Looking at the photo of Elizabeth Matthews aged 19, she was obviously one of Castlemaine’s young beauties.

Jocelyn Brigden, whose mother was WBC’s grandchild, has shared a postcard sent to her family by WBC with a  photo of Montgomery Cairnes and a message on the back.

Another thank you must go to Sue Welsman ( WBC was her Great Great Grandfather and her great grandmother was Emily Bellingham Cairnes. Emily’s daughter Helen had her 100th birthday this month -2013 !)

I hope that more descendants recall more stories or photographs to share with us.

A click on each photo will bring up a larger file to view.

Cover,1906 H C Lawlor History of Cairns /Cairnes

Cover,1906 H C Lawlor History of Cairns /Cairnes

1906 H C Lawlor History Family Crests

1906 H C Lawlor History Family Crests

1906 H C Lawlor History Portraits

1906 H C Lawlor History
Portraits

Theresa, Mrs Montgomery Cairnes Writing Chest

Theresa, Mrs Montgomery Cairnes Writing Chest

Theresa, Mrs Montgomery Cairnes Box plaque

Theresa, Mrs Montgomery Cairnes Box plaque

WBC Cash Box Front

WBC Cash Box Front

WBC Cash Box

WBC Cash Box

WBC Postcard 1901

WBC Postcard 1901

WBC 1901 Postcard found sold on Ebay

WBC 1901 Postcard found sold on Ebay

1922  Plate with family Motto found in a shop in Camberwell. Which Cairnes it once belonged to is unknown.

1922 Plate with family Motto found in a shop in Camberwell, Vic. Which Cairnes it once belonged to is unknown.

WBC Rifle Club Plaque

WBC Rifle Club Plaque

an oil painting of Capt Montgomery Cairnes died-1877-dublin which was possessed by my fathers brother Alan Bellingham Cairnes

an oil painting of Capt Montgomery Cairnes died-1877-dublin which was possessed by my fathers brother Alan Bellingham Cairnes

An oil painting of Theresa Holmes Cairnes which was in the possession of my fathers brother Alan Bellingham Cairnes

An oil painting of Theresa Holmes Cairnes which was in the possession of my fathers brother Alan Bellingham Cairnes

A Bible inscription - a gift from WBC to his youngest son Thomas

A Bible inscription – a gift from WBC to his youngest son Thomas

Capt Montgomery  Cairnes age 29 postcard photo of what looks like a copy of the original oil of MC.

Capt Montgomery Cairnes age 29 postcard photo of what looks like a copy of the original oil of MC.

Rear Capt Montgomery Cairnes written by WBC

Rear of postcard Capt Montgomery Cairnes written by WBC. No date.

Below is the list of all pages / chapters – click on their links to open