Family Names

Saturday, 17 February 2018



Growing up living near the river on a farm, there is lots of space and plenty to do:-

A child could make cubbies and get dirty and nobody minded so long as you stayed outside and out from under feet. Together with the cousins, you could build huge cubby houses out of the debris left behind after the land clearing.

Photographer unknown, building a cubby hut on Uncle Norm’s farm, circa 1939, Brucknell Victoria Australia Myrtle Sharp's Private Photo  Collection currently held by  Sandra Williamson [b067] From the left – Warwick Todman, Jeff Carter & Judith Todman.

Or destroy cubbies ... never a dull moment.

Photographer unknown, Destroyed a cubby hut on Uncle Norm’s farm, circa 1939, Brucknell Victoria Australia Myrtle Sharp's Private Photo  Collection currently held by  Sandra Williamson [b074] From the left – Warwick Todman, Jeff Carter, Judith Todman and possibly Graeme Sleight.
On hot days there was nothing better than spending the afternoon at the nearest water hole, for Judy and Warwick that involved swimming in the nearby river.

Photographer unknown, sitting on the banks of Curdies river; From the Left: - Judy Todman (2nd from the left), Warwick Todman (fourth from the left), with Norm Crump standing behind the children, circa 1939, near Brucknell Victoria Australia [b086]

To keep the children safe a big thick rope was tied around each child’s waist in turn while they ventured into the deeper water.  Judy remembers the rope being large, heavy and prickly.
Whether it was bridge building or swimming there was always much to do.

Friday, 16 February 2018

Stuart Taylor

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks: Week 7: February 12-18: 

A Second Valentine for Myrtle

Stuart Taylor was a bachelor living in the country when he first met Myrtle. She had moved from Melbourne to Brucknell in country Victoria in 1939 after her first husband’s death.[i] Left with two small children (a son Warrick aged 5, and a daughter Judith aged 4) to support, she had sought refuge at the property of her uncle, Norm Crump, not far from Stuart’s family property.[ii]

Single women were rare in the country, so there were many suitors who courted her. Judith remembers her mother seeking the counsel of her and her brother about two suitors in particular – Stuart Taylor and another asking them which one of the two she should choose.[iii]

Judith, then 11 years old and having a passion for horses recommended that her mother marry Stuart Taylor, her son, however, felt the gentleman with the car was the much better choice. Stuart must have been aware of the competition as he soon bought a car. Myrtle’s grandson, Simon was later to tell the story of Stuart’s proposal to Myrtle. Which went as follows: -
“One day during WWII, a local farmer, Stuart Taylor, rode to Uncle Norm’s farm on a white horse, dismounted and dropped to one knee and proposed to Myrtle.” [iv]
She accepted.
Myrtle received a saddle for her engagement present from Stuart, after much discussion about which was the best type and most suitable for her.

Photographer unknown, Myrtle & Stuart Taylor possibly on their wedding day, 1943, Terang, Victoria, Australia. Sandra Williamson’s Private photo Collection[b175]

Myrtle married Stuart Rockford Taylor on 26 June 1943 in Terang in the Methodist Church.[v]
After the wedding, the family moved to Stuart's farm in Framlingham Road, Terang. They lived in Terang for twelve months before their daughter (Diana) was born in 1944.

While Myrtle was in the hospital having her baby her parents traveled from Melbourne to assist with the care of her the two eldest children and possibly also assist Stuart with the move the new family farm at Camperdown.

On the morning of the 13th July in 1952, Stuart asked his stepdaughter if she would go down and milk the cows as he wasn’t feeling well.  Usually, Judy would have protested at such an imposition however on this day she complied without protest. While she was down at the cowshed he died of a massive heart attack.[vi]

1952 'MR. S. R. TAYLOR', Camperdown Chronicle (Vic. : 1877 - 1954), 25 July, p. 3. , viewed 08 Feb 2018,

Originally Stuart was buried in an unmarked grave in Camperdown Cemetery,[Lawn 2 Row G Grave 20].

Newspaper clipping originally owned by Myrtle Sharp clipped from the Advertising section of the Camperdown Chronicle, 3 February 1950, p. 9 & small “Thankyou” card given out at the funeral(6cm x 7cm), blank inside and of back, Personal Collection Sandra Williamson

 Years later his stepson Warrick returned and placed a grave marker to identify where he was buried, saying at the time “Pop” was the only father that they really ever knew.

Photographer Sandra Williamson, Grave marker for Stuart Rockford Taylor, 2007, Camperdown Cemetery, Camperdown, Victoria, Australia [T287]
Stuart hold’s a special place in his family’s heart.

WikiTree Link for Stuart Rochford Taylor 


Stuart's name is spelled in different ways in various documents, I have yet to write up a summary of what I have discovered but below are a few examples of those spellings:-

Stuart Rochford Taylor - birth record and various voter rolls
Stewart Rochford Taylor - voter rolls
Stuart Rockford Taylor - newspaper article & headstone marker on grave site.

[i] Marriage Certificate of Lincoln Todman & Myrtle May Crump Bassett, married 21 September 1929, Registry of Birth, Death and Marriages, Victoria, Australia. 9531/1929; Death Certificate Lincoln James Todman, died 11 June 1938; Registry of Birth, Death and Marriages, Victoria, Australia. 15005/1938
[ii] Personal conversation and interview(s) by Sandra Williamson with Judith Williamson, 2017 & Myrtle Sharp 1980s.
[iii] Personal conversation and interview(s) by Sandra Williamson with Judith Williamson, 2017
[iv] Personal conversation with Simon Todman 2008 by Sandra Williamson while preparing Myrtle’s Eulogy.
[v] Original Certificate of Marriage for Stuart Rockford Taylor & Myrtle May Todman married 26 June 1943, Terang, Victoria, Australia
[vi] Personal conversation and interview(s) by Sandra Williamson with Judith Williamson, 2017; Death certificate of Stuart Rockford Taylor, died 13 July 1952, Registry of Birth, Death and Marriages, Victoria, Australia. 20502/1952

Saturday, 10 February 2018

Sepia Saturday 405


Tea anyone?  In Australia tea is the evening meal, dinner; it is also a beverage.

1888 'Advertising', Bendigo Advertiser (Vic. : 1855 - 1918), 21 November, p. 1. , viewed 10 Feb 2018, (note W.Ebbott is the son of John Ebbott)

Members of the Independent Order of Rechabites(I.O.R.) signed a pledge not to drink alcohol, so tea (of the liquid variety) becomes an important beverage option at functions.

John Ebbott married Margaret Thomas 12 Nov 1868 in the Forest St Wesleyan Church, Sandhurst, Victoria, Australia.[i]

Photographer unknown, The Family of John & Margaret Ebbott, circa 1892 possibly in Chewton, Victoria Australia; Ebbott family. From the left : Back Row Alfred “Alf” Ebbott 1875; Elizabeth Ebbott 1872,  John  Ebbott 1868; William Ebbott 1870,  Percy Frederick EbbottMiddle Row Gertrude Emma Ebbott, Margaret Ebbott nee Thomas, Beatrice Alma Ebbott, ; John Ebbott 1840,  Eveline Mary EbbottFront Row; Gilbert Henry Ebbott  1890, .Edgar Stanley Ebbott 1888-1968; Ada Helena Ebbott 1884 [Ebb019]

John was an active member of the Independent Order of Rechabites(I.O.R.). His children all followed in his footsteps and the entire family were staunch members of Methodist church and the temperance movement.

 Edited excerpts from Mount Alexander Mail in 1916  from 'CHEWTON RECHABITE TENT', 13 July, p. 2. , viewed 10 Feb 2018,

Events hosted by Rechabites were often described as interesting, “code” for alcohol-free. So when John remarries in 1908 we know from the newspapers that the reception was alcohol-free:-

1908 'ITEMS OF NEWS.', Mount Alexander Mail (Vic. : 1854 - 1917), 28 April, p. 2. , viewed 10 Feb 2018,

Afternoon tea with scones jam & tea (or coffee) is known as a Devonshire tea in modern day Australia. Delicious! 

Photo by Alysa Tarrant on Unsplash (cropped)
This post is part of SEPIA SATURDAY 405 : Saturday 10 February 2018

[i] Marriage certificate of John Ebbott and Margaret Thomas married 12 November 1868, Registrary of Births, Deaths & Marriages. 3927/ 1868

Tuesday, 6 February 2018

Myrtle May Crump Bassett

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks: Week 6: Favorite Name

My grandmother Myrtle had multiple surnames to choose from, much to her embarrassment. Growing up, we understood her birth surname to be Bassett. William Bassett who she identified as her father, was listed as such when she was enrolled in Eaglehawk Primary School in 1913 at the age of six.[i]

When she married the love of her life, Lincoln, she gave her name as “Myrtle May Crump Bassett, a Spinster”; Crump was her mother’s maiden name.[ii]  This was the first clue that maybe her birth name was not Bassett as we had all been led to believe,

On Myrtle’s birth certificate the mother’s name was listed as “Lilian Manderson formerly Crump” but no father was given.[iii] A search of the Victorian Birth Deaths & marriages (BDM) reveals that Lilian Crump had a baby named Myrtle May, who is registered under both the Crump & Manderson surnames (note the year and registration number are identical for both names indicating that this is the same person).

Result of birth search using the criteria child’s first name “Myrtle May” & mother “Lilian Crump” or children born Myrtle with the Marriages, Family history search - Births, Deaths & Marriages Victoria. [online] Available at: [Accessed 4 Feb. 2018]
When Myrtle became a widow and remarried she listed her father as William Bassett as she had for her first marriage, and her third marriage to Ivan Rupert Lance Sharp. [iv]

It wasn’t until 1967 that things came to a head when she needed to apply for a passport to travel overseas. The process required that she apply for her full birth certificate. She traveled to the Registrar of Birth, Death & Marriages Building in Melbourne with her youngest daughter.  On arrival she asked that her daughter wait outside, after telling her in whispered tones about her dark secret that Bassett had not been her maiden name; she would need to go in alone to apply.[v]

Sandra Williamson, Myrtle May Sharp passport pages 2 & 3, Australian British Passport, digital image, Personal Collection Sandra Williamson [B464]

All went well and Myrtle was issued with her passport and with her two sisters she traveled overseas for a holiday, all three left their husbands at home.

 Photographer unknown, The three “Bassett” sisters traveling overseas on their Australian passports, circa November 1967 China. Sandra Williamson's private photo collection [B177]

Later Myrtle would say that she had no doubt that William Bassett was her father as the family resemblance was strong.[vi]

Although there was some ambiguity around Myrtle’s surname, her middle name was clear it was “May” the same as her mothers.  This middle name has now been passed down from Myrtle’s mother Lilian May Crump to Myrtle, to Judith May Todman, to myself, my daughter and then onto my granddaughters, six generations in all, so obviously a family favourite.


I have written previously about Lilian’s first husband Thomas Manderson and why this gentleman is probably not Myrtle’s father. 

William Bassett & Lillian Crump became a couple, possibly around 1905 however they never married.  When Myrtle their second eldest was two years of age (in 1907) the family left Eaglehawk and relocated to Tasmania. William found employment in the mines and their only son, William, was born.[vii] They returned to Eaglehawk by 1912 for the birth of their fourth child Gladys Irene.[viii] When they moved back to Eaglehawk it was thought the couple had married in Tasmania.[ix]

DNA evidence – a DNA sample has been taken from the eldest living descendant of Myrtle and it is hoped that this will help corroborate beyond doubt that William Bassett was her father rather than Thomas Manderson.

WikiTree Links on WikiTree (@WikiTreeOfficial)
WikiTree Link for Myrtle May Bassett 
WikiTree Link for Stuart Rochford Taylor 
WikiTree Link for Ivan Rupert Lance Sharp

[i] Eaglehawk No. 210  150 Years of education 1854-2004 (Eaglehawk Primary School 2004.  Compiled by :Ruth Claridge.). 
[ii] Marriage Certificate of Lincoln Todman & Myrtle May Crump Bassett, married 21 September 1929, Registry of Birth, Death and Marriages, Victoria, Australia. 9531/1929
[iii] Birth certificate of Myrtle May Crump born 2 June 1907 Registry of Birth, Death and Marriages, Victoria, Australia. 10223/1907.
[iv] Original Certificate of Marriage for Stuart Rochford Taylor & Myrtle May Todman married 26 June 1943, Terang, Victoria, Australia; Original Certificate of Marriage for Ivan Rupert Lance Sharp & Myrtle May Taylor married 2 April 1960, Balaclava, Victoria, Australia
[v] Diana Culley, in personal discussion with author, November 2017
[vi] Myrtle Sharp, in personal discussion with author, c.2000
[vii] NAA: B883, VX21203 Service Record for William BASSETT
[viii] Birth Certificate of Gladys Irene Basset born 15 September 1912, Registry of Birth, Death and Marriages, Victoria, Australia. 19781/1912
[ix] Myrtle Sharp, in personal discussion with author, c.2000

Saturday, 3 February 2018

Sepia Saturday 404 - Dance

They met at Leggatt’s Ballroom somewhere around 1923/4 when Myrtle was only 17 years old and Lincoln a year older.

1924 'SOCIAL', Table Talk (Melbourne, Vic. : 1885 - 1939), 16 October, p. 37. , viewed 03 Feb 2018,

Were they there for dancing lessons or there to meet others, we will probably never know.
At the time they met, Myrtle was living with her parents in rented premises behind her sister’s (Doris) shop in Greville Street, Prahran, near the train station. They lived a few doors down from Leggatt’s Ballroom.[i]

1924 'Advertising', The Age (Melbourne, Vic. : 1854 - 1954), 28 May, p. 20. , viewed 03 Feb 2018, 

The family moved when Doris got married in 1925 to Percival Carter.  They then operated a mixed business (milk bar) to make ends meet.

Lincoln was a member of the Australian Citizen Forces (SERN 205018).[ii] The picture below was in my grandmother’s collection of photos. The couple on the far right are my maternal grandparents Myrtle Bassett & Lincoln Todman.

Photographer Unknown, Myrtle Bassett & Lincoln Todman dancing at the ANA picnic, circa 1924, Seymour [B062]
The back of photo reads “Seymour, ANA day Jan 30th 19?4 Dancing”[?=undecipherable, thought to be 1924] ANA in the acronym for the Australian Natives Association, the event could have possibly been a fundraiser picnic. The event may have been a celebration of Australia Day.
As a member of the Australian Citizen Forces Lincoln may have been in Seymour for training purposes and perhaps Myrtle was visiting for the day ...  – if only the photo could talk.

This post is part of  Sepia Saturday 404 : 3 February 2018

“When the ANA was formed, it had two aims to act as a friendly society offering financial support to its members in need, and to promote the moral, social and intellectual improvement of its members. It shunned traditional friendly society practices of ritual and regalia and set its sights on influencing public thinking and government policy on a range of issues related to Australian nationalism.”[iii]

[i] Myrtle Sharp, in conversation with Sandra Williamson, 2008 [authors personal recollection]
[ii] NAA A9301, 205018  TODMAN LINCOLN JAMES : Service Number - 205018 :
[iii] Research Data Australia. (2018). Correspondence [Australian Natives' Association / Australasian Women's Association]. [online] Available at: [Accessed 3 Feb. 2018].