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David Johnston’s Post
Johnston Research and Interests
Members of the Johnston family photographed at Ellenthorpe.
Very impressed with your new website – congratulations.
I am still compiling info about Norman Johnston – Ralph’s Johnston’s brother.
Found that Ralph and Victor entered the elocution sections of the Methodist Band of Hope concerts at Tenterfield (1904-6) in the years after moving from Brooklet with their parents.
Suspect that the boy in uniform in the Johnston family photo in front of Ellenthorpe is James Victor in his Hawkesbury Agricultural College uniform – ??? aged 15 – which would have been 1910. Others are David, Margaret, Maude I imagine and possibly Amy (Gertrude Florence ) and husband Samuel Staines ?…………
Thanks very much for your kind thoughts. Hopefully the new website will allow easier interactions between us. I look forward to hearing more about the results of your research into Norman, Ralph and Victor.
I’ve reviewed the Johnston family photo you refer to. The photo was taken in 1926 by Ethel Sophia Johnston, known as “Dolly”. The people in the photo from left: Maude Johnston, Margaret “Maggie” Johnston nee Black, David Johnston, Ethel Johnston nee Claydon, Alfred “Alf” Johnston and William “Will” Johnston. Alf and Ethel are the parents of Will and Dolly the photographer.
Well – so much for my sense of historical dress style and who is who – way off the mark !
Nice to have photos with names attached. Have found out more about Norman than I expected, and have expanded my writing into a bit of a history of Brooklet between 1885 and 1915 to put Norman and the family into context. Also am including basic info on all the other siblings as well. Still have records to check eg the records of Brooklet Public school in the State Archives and the pupil record cards of Hawkesbury Agricultural College at UWS.
David (and Margaret, but to a lesser extent) certainly lived thru lots of changes – Ireland, south coast, north coast then Tenterfield in his 91 years.
Still trying to sort out who actually moved to Tenterfield in early 1900 – reports say the family, but I think it may have just been David and Margaret, Amy (who married in Tenterfield in 1905), Maude, Norman, George and the two young ones Ralph and Victor.
I suspect Tom, Jack, Dick (David) stayed at Brooklet – probably in another house on one of the other parcels of land – there was a clearing out sale in 1900 of Furniture and household effects, as well as the cattle at Sunnyside in 1900, and media reports later locate these four at Brooklet – with Tom marrying at Brooklet in 1911.
Also “Ellenthorpe” – family lore says the Johnston’s owned it – supported by a report in the Tenterfield press of David buying it, but my search of the land titles indicates a very long lease that only expired after David’s death – so I may have to do with the purchase off lease, not freehold ?………
Also “Gungel” – still in the family – James Victor’s grandson Grant now there – when did the Johnston’s buy it – a media in the 30’s indicates purchase about 1905. I can’t see that Ellenthorpe was ever a productive property bringing in an income, but rather a place to retire to while Gungel became a very successful dairy/sorghum/pig property.
George bought his property at Tabulam before enlisting, leaving it empty with Samuel Staines in charge. Eventually James Victor, presumably after completing his studies at HAC was in charge at Gungel.
Anyway I will keep going piecing the puzzle together.
It’s good that you are expanding your family facts to include local history as well. By doing so the finished result is easy to understand and becomes more memorable to the reader. It may well lead to a published book in the future. Good luck with your ongoing research.
In recent times I’ve concentrated on the long-term preservation of photographs and other important documents. This work includes not only creating archival quality digital files for daily use but the restoration and storage of the originals using approved archival methods.
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