Showing posts with label Charles Walker. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Charles Walker. Show all posts

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Poor-quality fuzzy drawing of a boat

This low-quality drawing is so amateurish that it looks like the fuzzy work of a child. So, I would understand you for thinking it's worthless.

Well, it is indeed an uninteresting work of art... but I was prepared to pardon its weaknesses when I learnt that this was an authentic sketch of the barque Caroline which had reached Rottnest Island near Perth (Australia) in 1829, conveying the Henty brothers James, Stephen and John, accompanied by a few Spanish merino sheep. Four years later, on 6 August 1833, my great-great-grandfather Charles Walker had been employed as a steward aboard that same ship when he arrived in Sydney.

As for Rottnest Island, that was a lovely playground for my son François and me when we used to go sailing on the Zigeuner in 1986. So, at a personal level, this fuzzy drawing is a precious document.

A few years ago, I was surprised to learn that an Australian lady whose maiden name was Sheridan Henty had purchased a house in the neighboring village of Pont-en-Royans. She was a descendant of the Henty pioneers who had reached Western Australia aboard the Caroline. Sheridan showed me a book on her Henty ancestors by Marney Bassett, and that's where I found the fuzzy drawing.

Friday, July 2, 2010


I've come to like the low-key atheist slogan that was featured on London buses:

It got many complaints, but nothing like those provoked by the defiant Christian counter-slogan, which sounds like an injunction:

Sadly, the gutless transport authorities in New Zealand have prohibited a similar atheist campaign. So, NZ atheists will have to resort to conventional billboards.

Once upon a time, a Sydney newspaper mastered the poetic art of slogans:

That issue of 8 August 1833 mentioned a vessel, Caroline, carrying 120 female convicts, which had reached Sydney two days earlier, on Tuesday, 6 August 1833.

That's the ship on which my great-great-grandfather Charles Walker [1807-1860] was working as a steward. It's amazing to realize that, not only did such a ship bring people, but it also brought the latest news from Ireland:

Talking about Ireland, I'm still not convinced that my ancestor was really an Irish Catholic. As I've explained elsewhere, at length, I'm still wondering whether he might not have been rather a Scottish Protestant. In this context, I'm awaiting a family tree from a woman in Scotland who's a descendant of Johnnie Walker [1805-1857], the whisky man. But we'll probably never know the whole truth concerning our mysterious Braidwood patriarch.