Dan returns to find George

March 1953 Dan on retirement visited Georges grave fulfilling an oath he probably made to George the day he died and again the day the guns fell silent. An epic adventure given his poor health and age.

Dan’s family has loaned us letters he wrote to the war commission seeking the information he so required to find George’s grave before leaving Whitemark.

Dan had his camera with him and took a photo of Georges headstone he gave to Horace when he returned home.

Dan died just over 12 months after returning from his trip to Belgium and the UK …..his grave is a stones throw from Georges mother Emily and eldest brother Tuck.

Little Dog this morning


This morning a magnificent rainbow on top of Little Dog made me smile as I was packing up to leave after a week of wind and rain. The tanks and dams are at last full, a welcome change from the terrible and prolonged dry spell over the past few seasons. The frogs happy chorus, sweet music to our ears, just like when were kids.

A few 2016 winter pics of Fotheringate

Taken Sun 24 July at 1100 Fotheringate has taken a beating from the ocean this winter. The beach littered with rubble from the ? NW Coast floods. Winter snow drops on the walkway down the to beach. Stunning winter moss Calm is the afternoon of the 24 July 16 Just before dark on the 24 July Just before dark on the 24 July IMG_7636


Robinson and Holt get together

Where: Launceston, overlooking the area where the Holt boys grew up.



When: Saturday, October 1

Time: 1pm – 5pm

Invitation: to descendants of James Robinson/Holt, William Holt/Robinson and John Holt.

Food: please bring along a plate to share for afternoon tea. Tea, coffee and milk supplied.

RSVP: by September 20 would be appreciated. Email: timetracker2@outlook.com

An informal gathering of the clan to meet, greet and catch up, share stories, bring along photo’s, a great way to connect or reconnect.

Information to locate landmarks around Launceston where Mary/Elizabeth Dwyer/Robinson/Holt/Prest aka Youl’s shops were located. Of course our Great Great Grandmother was an interesting woman of her day!!


Snapshot of confirmations to date. Not including partners.

A fabulous professional photographer will be on hand to document the afternoon.

A guest book to collect names and stories.

Identification colours for descendants on arrival to identify direct links.

Background music from old island identities taped by Walter Briant shows off the brilliant musicianship and friendships existing in the older Island community, stop and hear the many old voices and instruments doing they’re thing, the old song ‘I was born on old Cape Barren’ is, I think, a magnificent moment in time  …. Listen to Dulcie Parkinson, daughter of Elizabeth Holt describing being almost shipwrecked aboard the Opha around 1924….

Peter, Joy R, Deb R, Meagan & Chris DeB, Greg H (James and Emily) Horace

Kevin, Lois and Lee R (James and Emily) Cecil ‘Dick’

Gaye Doolan, Sue B, Julie W, Terry H, Peter H, Christine R, Christine V, May K  (William and Ellen Robinson/Holt) Tasman

Neil and David C  & Lisa (James and Emily) Walter Robinson/Holt

Jan H, Albert & Faye P, Suzie SC + family, Caroline W, Carol H, Johnny & L P (John and Maryanne Holt) Elizabeth

Maureen C, Lorraine S (William and Ellen) Harold John

Colin R (William and Ellen Robinson/Holt) William jnr

Graham R, Geraldine R + family Bruce R, Val F, Pat T, Dianne R, Luke R Michael R ? Tony R, Anna G, (William and Ellen) Fred

Brian R, Jean T, Glen R (James and Emily) Tuck

Audrey H (James and Emily) Dolly

Robert & Caroline P, Ron & Danny Sh, Polly B, (William and Ellen) Clara Jane

Alfred S (Alma), Charlie F (Gloria), Marlene S, Penny S, Helen G (William and Ellen) Jessie

Krishna M, Shirl E (William and Ellen) Viola

Kaye B, Brian B, Mark B(John and Maryanne) Elsie

(John and Maryanne) Arthur Lee

Warren & Gillian H (John and Maryanne) Roy

Carleen E and Sandra (William and Ellen) Charlie

(William and Ellen) Claud

(John and Maryanne) Henry Ernest

(John and Maryanne) Maud

(John and Maryanne) May

(John and Maryanne) Ruby


(John and Maryanne) Lillian


Ulysses 25 October 1916




November 2015: The date for this family historian to investigate the old trunks containing letters and photo’s from my great great and great grandparents Stephens and Briant’s respectively. The well aged trunks sitting patiently waiting to be explored by a sixth generation descendent.

A photo of this young man below in AIF uniform sent to his Aunt Maria Jane Stephens (known to all as ‘Grannie’), my great-great grandmother caught my eye. Thankfully Eric William Wiltshire Paynter of Gawler South Australia had ensured his name was beside his photograph helping this ancestor explore his AIF story. ‘To Dear Auntie with love from Pte EWW Paynter AAMC’ Paynter easy to sort out as the son of Maria Jane’s sister Etty.

Eric Paynter left Australia aboard the HMAT Ulysses in Melbourne on 25 October 1916 as part of the Army Medical Corp.Eric William Wiltshire Paynter 001

Oh my goodness!!

My great-uncle George Collis Robinson was also aboard the HMAT Ulysses with the 4th Machine Gun Company.


In our family there are 11 of us related to both Eric and George. I expect this number will grow in the years to come.

Even more incredibly……. George would be connected to Eric by another association! Georges next-door neighbour on Flinders Island would be Eric’s beloved Aunt, Grannie Stephens, how fascinating!!

Of all the places in Bass Strait Eric’s Auntie could have lived – it had to be between Badger Corner and Samphire River!!

Both boys were recipients of their mother’s maiden names, Collis and Wiltshire.

It would be a many years later when George’s brother married Grannies granddaughter and the birth of Dad these two lads aboard the Ulysses quite possibly not known to one another would end up with their DNA in our family tree.

I wonder if their paths crossed on the voyage……………this we shall never know.

Then again Dan may have mentioned in his letters home, letters this historian must look over on the next trip home.

Lest we forget

Another ‘wow’ photo

Clara Jane Holt with Alf Briant pic 001

This photo without names was found in November last year.

Again that sense of knowing I will be able to work out when the time is right at the back of my mind.

This is my interpretation!!

The women to the right of the man is most definitely Clara Jane Holt/Robinson. Clara is beside whom I believe is Alf Briant. Clara being my paternal grandfathers first cousin and Alf being my paternal grandmothers Uncle.

Is this a photo of their wedding day, or some other formal occasion. The hat is a little weird and there is either something going on with the hat or the tree. Does anyone have any  idea’s?

Alf and Clara married in August 1903, when Clara was 17, and Alf was 28. Clara’s elder sister Jessie was 24 and younger sister Viola only 9. It is highly probable Jessie is in this photo.

Below is the signature of Maria Jane Stephens in a letter to her daughter Adeline, Alf’s sister-in-law. The letter penned around 1907 when Maria Jane and Ed were residing in Launceston before they moved back to the Island to rejoin the community they so loved as seen by her post script.

Screen Shot 2016-03-29 at 9.06.11 PM

Mrs Holt being Emily at Badger Corner.


Tom Gunter

Tom Gunter store keeper at Lady Barron.

Gunter’s Bay is a little Bay named after Tom.

I think Tom was Warden 1908-9.

Tom married Linda Armitage.

Linda’s sister Elizabeth married Tuck Robinson, and they lived a short distance from Gunter’s Store along the Coast Road

A little further along from Tuck heading west up the Coast Road was Harry Briant, and his eldest brother William (aka James) married Linda’s youngest sister Ada.

To Lily Briant from Millie Gunter

Weekly Courier cuttings pasted onto Pcard 001

Screen Shot 2016-01-10 at 9.23.20 PM


It seems they are connected to our Holloway cousins as well.

Happy New Year 2016

Happy New Year to our family (the many new family connections made over the past three years)  and friends. Hopefully 2016 will bring to all health, happiness and peace.

Tonight with dinner I will raise my glass to our absent family and friends, I hope you will as well.

In May's things 001

Jimmy Holt October 1922

I have learnt on reading a letter penned by my great aunt Ettie Briant (Launceston) to her Grannie (Maria Jane Stephens: Una Cottage, on the Samphire) that Jimmy Holt had just had his second operation and considered in danger until ‘Monday’ and Ettie had intentions to visit him when allowed.

I wonder if this was the time he was incredibly sick after being scratched by his pet cat! Possibly.

Emily and James had a terrible 1922, Edith died in the August and James was at deaths door in November. I think James also signed for George’s victory medal that year as well, just checked, he signed for Georges memorial plaque or dead man’s penny on 19/10/1922, the victory medal arrived in 1923.

In another letter Ettie asks sister Elsie how Mr & Mrs Holt are – a letter to home asking about the next door neighbours is a good indicator of just how close the Holt’s, Briant and Stephens family were.