52 weeks of hunting
Re Wildcards. I am in the process of writing a book on my gold seeking HAY family- ex Edinburgh, Victoria, and finally Otago NZ. William and Mary Ann had 8 surviving children and as I followed the family's history I found that the four sons and four daughters all went on to lead fascinating lives. One proved a major challenge however as Mollie Hay seemed to disappear off the planet after about 1902 in Picton NZ where she was a teacher. No marriage, no death certificate.
I joined the NZGS and up popped a name of one of the daughters, Margaret, born in Gabriel's Gully. The contact's name was given as Professor John Bullamore Mackie living over the hills from me in Nelson. The Society informed me that he was no longer a member but to try phone books or electoral rolls. I plucked up courage and rang the number and an elderly gentleman's voice answered --Bingo! It was the right person and this was confirmed when asked was Margaret the Hay girl born in the Gully his relative? To my astonishment he replied "yes , that was my mother"! His mother? I did a bit of quick calculating and realised that I was speaking to my GRANDMOTHER'S first cousin and I was 74 at the time! He knew all about the missing Mollie. She had been one of the 20 teachers selected out of 200 applying to go and teach the Boer children in the British concentration camps at the end of the Boer War. 750 went from the Commonwealth
Not only that but when the contract ended she married a Boer farmer - a toy boy of 28- she was now 40. Go Mollie!
She only ever came back to NZ for one visit and outlived Piet and the Professor visited her in a retirement home in Pretoria when she was 97. This marvelous discovery has led to the whole story of the dreaded camps, a book published here on the teachers with at least 15 photos of Mollie, their wills from SA, and marriage and death certificates.. In July this year Professor Mackie died just short of 102 yrs old a true treasure and my wildcard.
on 2012-09-30 18:44:21
I am researching THACKER, QUINLIVAN, FULFORD, HAY, BARNES, MORGAN, JAMES , ATWOOD, GILL. At present I am writing a book of my WILLIAM HAY family story through goldfields of Victoria and Otago.His wife was Mary Ann MERIGAN and I would greatly appreciate any info or photos someone may have out there!