Since I have just started my genealogy do-over, I’ve decided to go back to the beginning with my 52 ancestors in 52 weeks series. The first person I am therefore looking at is my mum, Edith Jean Marr.
In preparation for my do-over, I had pulled out the documents it would be difficult or expensive to replace, and put aside the rest of the research. I also put aside the “family” documents (letters, emails etc). I have a “quick index” of these documents in Excel, which I have sorted by person. I entered the information I have for mum into my database, and then added the basic information (birth, death, marriage) to my new Legacy Family Tree file. I have a form in my database that lets me see which documents I already have.
For mum, I have her birth certificate, her death and funeral notices, her death certificate, and her will.
From these documents, I have the following information:
Mum was born 11 June 1922 at Eramosa Road, Somerville, Victoria, Australia. She was the daughter of Wilfred Palmer Marr and Edith Meriden Docwra. Wilfred was a greengrocer, 29 years old, and had been born at Myrtleford. Edith was 18 years old, and had been born at Malvern. Wilfred and Edith were married 8 May 1922 at Baxter. Their usual residence was Baxter.
Mum died 9 April 1990 at the Wonthaggi Hospital, Wonthaggi, Victoria, Australia, from cerebral embolus. She had suffered from diabetes type 1 for 10 years before her death. At the time of her death, she was living at 131 McKenzie Street Wonthaggi, and her occupation was home duties. She had been married around 1953 at North Melbourne to Ivon Walter Whimpey. Ivon was the informant at her death, and his residence was 131 McKenzie Street Wonthaggi.
A service of thanksgiving was held at the Uniting Church in Wonthaggi on 11 April 1990, and her funeral service was held at the Le Pine Funeral Chapel in Box Hill on 12 April 1990. She was buried 12 April 1990 at the Box Hill Cemetery.
The documents also included information about living people, which I have not included in this summary.
The next step was to use my checklist to determine which documents I am missing.
Mum was born and died in Victoria, Australia, so my checklist is:
- Birth certificate (or index entry)
- Baptism record
- Birth notice
- Engagement notice
- Marriage certificate (or index entry)
- Marriage notice
- Death certificate (or index entry)
- Cemetery record/gravestone
- Death & funeral notices
- Probate & will file (or index entry)
- Probate notice
I haven’t been able to find a baptism record or birth notice.
My birth certificate shows mum and dad were married 20 December 1952 at North Melbourne. I don’t have a copy of their marriage certificate yet, as I am waiting for my sister to send me a copy.
I used Trove to search for an engagement and or marriage notice, and any other articles that there might be for mum. I didn’t find anything searching for her full name “Edith Jean Marr”, so I tried using just “Edith Marr”. Since mum lived all her life in Victoria, I limited my search to Victoria. I still couldn’t to find any articles for her, so I tried searching for any articles for “Ivon Whmpey”. I found the marriage notice for his first marriage, and his first wife’s death notice, but nothing for mum.
I then tried searching for Whimpey Marr (without the quotation marks), and found their engagement notice.
I was unable to find a marriage notice for them.
Mum’s death certificate shows she was buried at the Box Hill Cemetery, so I googled for the cemetery and found that the Box Hill cemetery has a website with a Find A Grave or Memorial search. I typed the surname Whimpey into the search box, and found entries for my sister Lynda, mum, and dad. They were all buried at M-199A-0022. Lynda Carol Whimpey’s service date was 03/06/1957, Edith Jean Whimpey’s was 12/04/1990, and Ivon Walter Whimpey’s was 21/12/2009. Dad’s entry also gave his date of birth, 21/01/1923 and his death of death, 16/12/2009.
I then clicked on the View Map link next to the entry for Lynda, and downloaded the PDF file which had a map of where they are buried, as well as another table of information for them, which included their ages at death: Lynda was 4 months old when she died and mum was 67. Mum and Lynda’s birth and death dates were Unrecorded.
The other two sites to check for cemetery records/gravestones are BillionGraves, and FindaGrave. On BillionGraves, I typed just the surname Whimpey, and chose the country Australia, and the state Victoria. There were 9 results for the surname Whimpey, but none of these were for my parents or my sister.
I then searched for Edith Whimpey on FindaGrave. There was an entry for mum (Find A Grave Memorial# 123944953) but there was no photo of the gravestone, and there were even less details than on the Box Hill Cemetery website.
I had mum’s death notices from The Sun, one of the major newspapers in Melbourne, but I wanted to check the other major newspaper, The Age. I have a subscription for Newspapers.com, which has The Age in its collections, so I did a search for the surname Whimpey in April 1990 in Australia, and there were two entries for mum, one from April 12, 1990 – page 25, and the other from April 11, 1990 – page 21. These are Publisher Extra articles, and I only have the basic subscription, but this newspaper is one of the newspapers in the Australia, Newspaper Vital Notices, 1841-2001 collection on Ancestry. Although there is a search option, most of the articles are browse only. I had a hard time finding the articles from the 11 April, because Newspapers.com had the wrong page number. The notices are on page 22, not 21. The other article was easier to find. I haven’t included these, as they include details about living individuals, and they didn’t provide any more information than I already had from the notices from The Sun.
I expanded my search on Newspapers.com for all of 1990, but was unable to find a Probate notice for mum.
I have a copy of mum’s will, because I was one of the executrixes of mum’s estate. However, I wanted to see if she appears on the index on the Public Record Office Victoria website. There were no results when I searched for Edith Whimpey, and only one result for a Jean Whimpey, which was for a different person. I’m not sure why mum doesn’t appear in this index.
After working my way through my checklist, I now wanted to see what other records I could find for mum.
I have found that Ancestry has the most record collections for Australia, and I have a full subscription, so I decided to check there for any other records for mum, and found an entry for Edith Jean Marr in the Australia, Electoral Rolls, 1903-1980 collection, in 1949 at North Melbourne, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Mum was living at 58 Lothian Street, North Melbourne. Also at this address were Amelia Marr (her aunt), Aubrey Ronald Marr (her brother), Margaret Amelia Marr (her sister), Mary Marr (her grandmother), and William Palmer Marr (her father – the name should be Wilfred Palmer Marr).
I also found a photo of mum and dad’s headstone in a Public Member Tree.
I then searched for her under her married name, Edith Jean Whimpey, and found a few entries in the Australian Electoral rolls.
In 1954, mum and dad were at 5 Power Street Deepdene. From 1963 to 1980 mum and dad were living at 9 Beaufort Street Mitcham.
There was also an entry in the Australia and New Zealand, Find A Grave Index, 1800s-Current collection. Since I had already found the entry on Find A Grave, I disregarded this entry.
For the Electoral rolls, I have a separate checklist, so that I can browse for entries that don’t come up in a search.
Mum was born in June 1922, so the first Electoral roll she would have appeared in was in 1944. The years that Ancestry has in their collection from 1944 are: 1949, 1954, 1958, 1963, 1967, 1968, 1972, 1977, 1980
I found entries for mum in 1949, 1954, 1963, 1968, 1972, 1977 and 1980, so I needed to check why I hadn’t found an entry for 1958 and 1967. The 1963 Electoral roll showed that mum and dad were listed in the La Trobe division and Mitcham subdivions, so I checked this subdivision in 1958, and found there were only supplemental rolls. In 1954, they had been in the Kooyong division, Deepdene subdivision. Since I wasn’t sure of the exact year mum and dad moved to Mitcham, I checked this as well, and I found that there were only supplemental rolls for this subdivision as well.
In 1963, they had been in the La Trobe division. There was no La Trobe division in 1967. I therefore checked the 1968 entry and they had been in the Casey division. There was no Casey division in 1967 either. It therefore appears that Ancestry don’t have the images for the division that they were in, in 1967.
The next site I checked was FindMyPast, and I found one entry for mum under the name Edith Jean Marr, in the Victoria Electoral rolls for 1946. I don’t currently have a subscription, but because I had accessed this record before, I was able to access it again. There were no entries on the site for Edith Jean Whimpey.
I found nothing for Edith Jean Marr or Edith Jean Whimpey on FamilySearch, apart from an entry in the Find A Grave Index, which I disregarded, since I’ve already found the entry on the Find a Grave website. I also checked the FamilySearch catalogue to see if there were any collections that might have an entry for mum, but I didn’t find any.
My next steps are:
- Transcribe the records I have found
- Add the details from these records to my database
- Decide which, if any, of these records to add to my Legacy Family Tree, and add them to my tree