Saturday, April 30, 2016

Genealogy Blog Party Theme for April 2016: Time Travel to an Ancestor!


Elizabeth O'Neal has put forward this brilliant idea - it's a Genealogy Blog Party - here is her post - Join the April 2016 Genealogy Blog Party! (posted on 13th April 2016) on the Little Bytes of Life 

I've never viewed "Doctor Who"...but how could I knock back the invitation...I'm excited to join this party.

  • Who is the ancestor you will meet?
I would love to catch up with George TELLESSON an illiterate Norwegian Merchant Mariner who was born in Norway in 1837.  He is the 2xGGrandfather of my partner.

  • What question(s) do you need him/her to answer?
What are the names of your parents? Do you have a brother by the name of Thomas?

  • Is there a problem you can help your ancestor solve?
Where were you in the 1851 & 1861 UK Census?

  • Will you reveal your true identity to your ancestor? If so, how will your visit impact the future?
No...I don't want to change history...

  • Will you bring your ancestor to the future to meet his/her descendants? What will be the outcome, if you do?
No...I wouldn't bring George to the future...I would take my phone and take some pictures...


Now...for the curious...why have I asked those questions???
I'm not 100% certain of who George's parents are. The names given in his marriage certificate on his second marriage have given me some clues, but it is not the definitive answer.

On the first marriage certificate, there is further information given re George's father's details. (Note: it was many, many years until I confirmed that this was my George Tellesson...) the name given was obviously written down by the priest who married George and Elizabeth.

In regards to the question of whether or not he had a brother called Thomas - George's first son named George Robert Australia TELLESSON.  Thomas TELLESSON is believed to have come to Australia prior to the birth of George Robert Australia TELLESSON.  Note: the 'Australia' part of his name has never been noted in any further documents.

I have found a Thomas TELLESON who appears in the records of marriages, births and deaths.  His children have similar names to that of George's too and had followed similar careers to that of George's children and grand children.

Looking forward to seeing if there are any of Thomas's descendants out there.  
Thank you to Elizabeth O'Neal, for hosting this awesome party.

Fiona Tellesson
Sharing the passion of Genealogy & Family History.
Chief Genealogist
Experts In Genealogy

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Major Hugh Quinn - The Man Behind Quinn's Post Gallipoli Turkey WW1

Major Hugh Quinn - The Man Behind Quinn's Post Gallipoli Turkey WW1

I first became aware of Quinn's Post whilst doing research on Samuel William HARRY whose life was detailed last year. You may read Samuel's story here. Samuel William Harry and Hugh Quinn were boyhood friends...pals in Charters Towers, Queensland. They had many common interests too. This is the story of Major Hugh Quinn - the man behind Quinn's Post Gallipoli.

Major Hugh Quinn, eldest son of John Quinn and Mary Jane Irwin

Early Life of Hugh Quinn

He started out in his working life by taking up a position in Messrs. Cummins and Campbell's office and  worked  himself up to head clerk. He became a prominent athlete and proved himself one of  the best amateur  boxers in North Queensland. He was full of energy, perseverance and initiative, a manly man, and had a host of admirers among the Charters Towers youth. 

He followed up his profession of accountancy by qualifying for a membership in the North  Queensland Institute of Accountants, and shortly afterwards opened up a business of his own  in Townsville as accountant, auditor, and commission agent, and was on the high road to  commercial success. He had become the head clerk at Messrs. Cummins and  Campbell’s  when he resigned, to start his own business as a commission agent in Townsville, where he  was prospering when the war broke out. Holding a lieutenancy in the  Kennedy Regiment, he  closed his  business  promptly, and when the regiment was mobilised and sent to Thursday  Island, he  accompanied  them.  When volunteers were called for  service in the Pacific, he  was amongst  them, and on the return of  the  Kanowna to Townsville, he, with others of North  Queensland's best, offered for services abroad and was eagerly accepted. Anyone who knew  Hughie personally would expect him to answer the call of the country and Empire, as soon as  he was relieved from the garrison duty on Thursday Inland he was off. 
As he had held a captain's commission in the Kennedy Regiment he received the command of the 2nd Section of the  Australian Expeditionary  Force  which left Townsville for the training  camp at Enoggera in 1914. That he displayed the ability to lead men and had the courage of  the true soldier is evidenced by his rapid promotion on the field to the rank of major.

 He was 27 years of age he was a capable, cool, and fearless  officer, careful of the comfort  of his men, a soldier to  the  finger-tips, full of the Irish fighting  spirit. He was a worthy son of  a fighting race, the traditions of  which, as his letters to his mother show, he was proud of the  opportunity to uphold. Irlsh-Australians in reading these letters, so full of total devotion, will  rejoice in his deeds, and cherish his memory. As he was  promoted  to the rank of major on  the battlefield had he lived would have won much higher distinctions. 
Major Hugh Quinn was also one of Queensland’s leading athletes and was a champion amateur boxer.



 General regret was felt throughout the city last Friday when it became known that that young, popular  officer, Major Hughie Quinn was killed in action in the Gallipoli Peninsula. The sympathy of all went out to  his relatives, particularly to his mother, who at the present time is visiting another son in Southern  Queensland. Staff-Sergeant Major Blake had the trying duty of conveying the sad news to the uncle and  aunt, Mr and Mrs. Archie Irwin, Reefer's Arms Hotel. Flags were half-mast throughout the city out of  respect for the memory of one of the native born arid who had he lived,
would have given greater proof of the undoubted ability he possessed as a leader of men. He certainly  gave great promise of attaining to high place in military life. He was a popular as well as a capable officer  and the loss of such men as Hughie Quinn becomes a distinct loss to the Empire, All who came in contact  with Hughie as a boy and a man fully appreciated his worth.

Source: "UNION OF QUINN’ S POST" Daily Post (Hobart, Tas. : 1908 - 1918) 15 November 1915: 7. Web. 24 Apr 2016 .

Shrapnel Valley Cemetery


Visting the Spirit of Anzac in February 2016 I was shocked when I came upon an artifact retreived from Quinn's Post.  It was a Corrugated Iron Trench Cover (Quinn's Post). The description was as follows: Although this corrugated iron cover was overlaid with a layer of earth and sandbags, it was peppered with shrapnel and gunshot holes after the position was subjected to intense fire.

Corrugated Iron Trench Cover - Quinn's Post


Quinn's Post today is one of the 25 Northern War Cemeteries and one of the 14 battlefield sites that can be visited today.

Here is what it looks like today...

Shutterstock Images

"My spot will be long remembered by Australians." ~ Major Hugh Quinn 1915

I'm honoured to be able to commemerate Major Hugh Quinn.  He left behind his widowed mother Mary Jane Quinn nee Irvine and his brother Frank (Francis Arthur Quinn).  Frank married in 1916 and in 1918 his son was born and yes he was named Hugh Francis Quinn.

Fiona Tellesson
25th April 2016

Friday, April 22, 2016



Samuel William HARRY

Every ANZAC Day there would be a ceremony held at the State School I attended. I would hear about Simpson and his Donkey and his gallant efforts to rescue the wounded soldiers fighting on the narrow peninsula, then known as the Dardanelles. (From, Wikipedia…The Dardanelles, formerly known as Hellespont, is a narrow strait in northwestern Turkey connecting the Aegean Sea to the Sea of Marmara. It is one of the Turkish Straits, along with its counterpart, the Bosporus.) I always felt I had a connection…but to my knowledge, as a 7/8 yr old, I didn’t know of any family member, nor extended family member who had fought at Gallipoli.
Then in my early 20’s a cousin printed up a family history of the HARRY family. In that, there was mention of a Samuel William Harry who had died in Gallipoli…I was hooked. I had to find out EVERYTHING about Samuel William HARRY, who was my first cousin 4Xremoved. This is what Peter Reid wrote in the Harry Family History: “Samuel is known to have come to Australia from Cornwall, England and settled in Queensland, where his descendants still reside. A son of Samuel’s, Captain Samuel William HARRY, was killed in action in the First World War.” It was not a lot to go on, but it was all I had at the time and it was going to be many years until I unraveled the whole story, this is what I discovered.
Samuel William HARRY was the youngest child of eight from Samuel William HARRY & Sarah Hannah PORRITT. He was born in Pennsylvania, USA on Thursday 09 Feb 1882. Samuel William HARRY Snr, was a miner, as a skilled miner he traveled the world along with his family seeking work during the 19th Century, hence the children were born in England, Ireland and the USA. The family appears in the UK Census of 1851, 1861, 1871 and the US Census of 1880, before Samuel William HARRY jnr was born.

1880 US Census – Family of Samuel William Harry Snr
Samuel William HARRY, along with his parents & some siblings, moved to Charters Towers when he was aged 7yrs in 1889. He was educated at the Boys’ Central State School. He was already a member of the command in the local Senior Cadets at the outbreak of war, he had served for four years as a Commissioned Officer in 2nd Infantry.

Samuel William Harry jnr was mobilised for service in the war in August 1914. He embarked in Cairns, Queensland on the 8th August 1914, for Thursday Island, (War Station) Garrison Duty. Samuel then went on to enlist for service outside Australia on the 14th August 1914. He re-embarked on the “Kanonwa” to take part in the capture of German New Guinea. Taken on the strength of Australian Naval and Military Expeditionary Force (AN&MEF) vide routine order number 1 dated 9th September 1914. He returned to Townsville on the 18th September 1914 on account of the trouble caused by the firemen on the troop ship.
According to Wikipedia – During August and September 1914, Kanowna was requisitioned by the Australian military to transport 1,000 soldiers to German New Guinea as part of the Australian Naval and Military Expeditionary Force. Sailing late from Townsville on 8 August, however, the ship was forced to anchor off Thursday Island until 16 August, and did not arrive off Port Moresby until 6 September. The expeditionary force sailed the next day for Rabaul, but Kanowna fell behind the rest of the convoy, with the ship’s master signalling to HMAS Sydney that his crew had mutinied: the boiler stokers and firemen had stopped work. In Arthur Jose’s Royal Australian Navy-focused volume of the Official History of Australia in the War of 1914–1918, he claims that the mutiny was because these men refused to leave Australian waters, but Tom Frame and Kevin Baker state in ‘Mutiny!’ that this is incorrect; the troopship was on short rations of food and water because of the delays sailing north and only minimal resupply in Port Moresby, but the stokers and firemen were requesting more water to remain hydrated in the hot boiler rooms and to wash off coal grime and refused to work until this demand was met. The workers were taken into the custody of a party of soldiers, and the force’s commander ordered Kanowna to return to Townsville, with soldiers volunteering to keep the ship running. The Australian Commonwealth Naval Board conducted an inquiry into the mutiny, even though as a civilian vessel, Kanowna technically wasn’t under their jurisdiction. The state of the supplies was seen as a major contributing factor to the sailors’ actions. Kanowna was returned to her owners on 21 September 1915. More about this campaign can be found at
Samuel William HARRY did not participate in the capture of German New Guinea. He was discharged on the 18th September 1914 and classified as being eligible for the British War Medal vide BRM 52/572, his rank at this time was that of a 2nd Lieutenant.

History of Service
Further history of the Kennedy Regiment that Samuel William Harry served in can be found at
HARRY, Samuel William Town Hall, Charters Towers, North Queensland Embarkations:
From Melbourne, Victoria on board Transport A40 Ceramic on 22 December 1914

Troops waiting to board HMAT Ceramic –
Samuel William HARRY
Date of birth 9 February 1882
Religion Church of England
Occupation Town clerk
Address Town Hall, Charters Towers, North Queensland
Marital status Single
Age at embarkation 32
Next of kin Mother, Mrs S H Harry, Windsor Terrace, Red Hill, Red Hill, Brisbane, Queensland
Previous military service 4 years commissioned rank in 2nd Infantry (Kennedy Regt).
Enlistment Date 28 September 1914
Rank on enlistment 2nd Lieutenant
Unit name 15th Battalion, D Company
AWM Embarkation Roll number 23/32/1
Embarkation details Unit embarked from Melbourne, Victoria, on board Transport A40 Ceramic on 22 December 1914
Rank from Nominal Roll Captain
Unit from Nominal Roll 15th Battalion
Promotions Lieutenant
Unit: 15th Battalion
Promotion date: 16 December 1914
Unit: 15th Battalion
Promotion date: 25 April 1915
Other details from Roll of Honour Circular ‘Sent to Thursday Island at outbreak of war, and then volunteered for service with AN&MEF on 16th August, 1914. Returned to Townsville on “Kenowna” owing to trouble with fireman, 18th September, 1914. Joined AIF on 28th September, 1914. Embarked with 15th Battalion on 22nd December, 1914.’ Details from Brother.
Not a lot is known upon the arrival at ANZAC Cove, but a description of the last sighting of Samuel William Harry is here…Three parties of the 15th Battalion had pushed forward from Quinn’s Post (beginning at about 10:45pm, 9th May) and seized disconnected sections of the Turkish trench 30 yards in front. They attempted to reverse the parapet of this trench, but discovered that it was composed mainly of rotting bodies covered with soil. Meanwhile Turks poured into the gaps between each of the parties, and it became difficult for the Commander, Colonel J.H. Cannan, in Quinn’s Post, to keep touch with the progress of the attack:
‘Although gallant men continually risked their lives to ensure that headquarters should be kept fully informed, the intelligence which reached Cannan was disconnected and fragmentary. Eventually, Captain Harry, acting adjutant of the 15th, volunteered to bring news of each party. After reporting that all was well with the left and right, he again went forward to find Frank Armstrong of the centre party. He reached the trench, but was never seen again.’ (Bean V2 106) (Chataway p.42).

Opinion of the death of Samuel William Harry at Quins Post
A letter from Lt. Harry appeared in the North Queensland Register 5 July 1915 p29.
‘Word has been received by Alderman J.T. Harry (of Charters Towers) from Major R.H. Carter (at Captain Harry’s request in case of anything happening to him) stating that Captain Harry had died at his post, having gone over with a party when they charged the enemy’s trenches.’ (North Queensland Register 26 July 1915 p69).
There had been a delay of the details of the death of Samuel William Harry, with the Mayor of Charters Towers sending an urgent telegram to assist Sarah Hannah Harry (Samuel’s mother)

Urgent Telegram sent from Mayor of Charters Towers, Queensland

His left his widowed mother ‘of mature years.’ Four sisters, two brothers; all married. (Source: Rockhampton Daily Record 29 Jul 1915 p7)., His father had died in 1897, in Charters Towers, Queensland, Australia. Prior to the outbreak of the first world war, 
Samuel William Harry jnr was 5’5″ tall and in good physical health.

CHARTERS TOWERS, September 21 (1915):
‘At the Town Hall today, at the request of the mayor, Councillor J. Millican and Mr Pritchard performed the ceremony of unveiling the photos of Captain S.W. Harry and Major Quinn, who were killed at the Dardanelles. Captain Harry was town clerk, while Major Quinn was a native of Charters Towers. A touching speech was made by the mayor regarding the good qualities of both officers. Captain Harry’s sword was hung under his portrait.’ 

(Brisbane Courier 22 Sept 1915 p7).

Ceremony for Men lost in Gallipoli from Charters Towers

Probate of the will of Samuel William Harry, formerly of Charters Towers, accountant, but lately an officer in the Australian Expeditionary Forces, deceased, was granted by the Registrar (Mr. Chas.S.Norris), at the Supreme Court, Townsville, to Sarah Hannah Harry of Brisbane, widow, mother of deceased. (Messrs Hobbs, Wilson, and Ryan) as town agents for Messrs. Marsland and Marsland, solicitor for executrix) Personalty sworn under £785.

Probate Granted
Eventually, the effects of Samuel William Harry were returned to his mother, the receipt of these goods was signed for by her Daughter in law.

Personal effects of Samuel William Harry.
Housewife = Housewife, a small canvas roll containing needle, thread, buttons etc, used for the personal maintenance of a soldier's kit.

Samuel William Harry, received the standard medals that were awarded to the participants in the fighting at Gallipoli, these were not received by his family until 1920

War Medal

Honours bestowed on Samuel William Harry
Source: Record of Samuel William HARRY – NAA: B2455, HARRY S W

I’m very proud to tell the story of Samuel William Harry, my Gallipoli Hero.
Fiona Tellesson – First Cousin 4XRemoved.
25th April 2015