Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Helpful research assistant

There are some lovely and generous people who read Fun and VJs.

Karen from These Days of  a Busy Mum has been following our house history research and kindly offered to do a search of the Stables family through her existing Ancestry membership. What a gem!

"Yes, please!" I said.

Ancestry has online electoral roll information and Karen searched those records for me (she's an expert because she's been busily compiling her own family tree for the past few years).

Anyway, the information starts to paint more of a picture of the Stables family.

It tells me that in the mid 1920s the Stables family lived in Yeppoon in Central Queensland.

Zoila who lived in Farnborough was a student, Stanley was a farmer and Florence was at Hillside Farm, doing home duties. Their parents were listed as living in Palm Grove, Yeppoon. Father William was a fruit grower while mother Mary was listed under home duties.

In the 1937 and 1943 rolls, Zoila, Stanley and mother Mary were listed at the Sow's Ear address. Zoila was still listed as a student, Stanely was a civil engineer and mother Mary was home duties. In the 1949 and 1954 rolls, only Zoila and Stanley were listed at this address.

Last week the archivist from The University of Queensland sent me an email to say that she had more information about Zoila. The information included Zoila's matriculation student card with her date of birth as 26 August 1898 and it listed her as an external student. She was 29 years old when she was admitted to the degree of Bachelor of Arts in 1928.

The most fabulous thing I did discover were reviews of Zoila's book Tare Harvest (which was written under her pseudonym of Eleanor Peters) in the Observer and the Guardian newspapers in 1936.

She received good reviews for her first novel. One reviewer said she had genius. I've attached one complete review which you will have to click on to read, and an excerpt of another review.

Observer May 24, 1936

Guardian May 15, 1936

My next objective is to get a copy of Tare Harvest. I have a feeling it will help me understand more about the  ever-intriguing Stables family.

Thanks again to Karen for all your help and advice!!

If you are new to Fun and VJs and are interested in reading about the historical information on the house and about the Stables, just click here.


  1. Wow, what interesting finds! This Zoila was talented. I did some research on one of the old houses we used to live in once and found some amazing things. I also discovered imagining how others used to live in your space is kind of spooky and exciting all at the same time! Michelle

  2. I was just thinking last night how we could use Ansestry to find out more about our house. Wow, I imagine it would not have been common for a woman to be admitted to a degree. She was one cool lady!

  3. It is so interesting... I hope you manage to get hold of that book one day. ;-)

  4. I wonder what Zoila would make of all this? I think she would be chuffed that we are all so intrigued by her life and love that she has a new audience for her ideas, cheers Katherine

  5. I love this concept. My Dad is totally into researching our family tree. I might pose he do some research into our 100 year old home!

    Thanks for the book suggestions today too. Always good to have a plan :)

  6. She is an interesting lady and a fascinating family, as I said! I enjoyed researching them! And yes, I have been doing family history for many years and love it! It is like being a private detective only the people that you research are long gone. In some ways that makes it easier and in some ways harder. I have found out so much about my own family that it is incredible. Just don't get me started on my Irish ancestors! I hope you are able to find out more though....and I really think that the shipping index is also a huge clue! ;)


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