Author Archives: rebelhand

About rebelhand

A Rebel Hand is: about Nicholas Delaney, Irish rebel of 1798, transported as a convict to New South Wales, roadbuilder, innkeeper and farmer. My great-great-great grandfather. Other ancestors transported to Australia, like Sarah Marshall, John Simpson and James Thomas Richards, pop up as well. This blog's also about the historical background to their lives, in England, Ireland, and Australia.

What did Mary do on Monday? Women’s work

Mary doing the washing at Moyne I love this picture of my great grandmother, Mary Maude Delaney (nee Wilson). In all the other family photos, she is posed, poised and very formal, a respectable Victorian matron. But in this one, … Continue reading

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Posted in Australia, Genealogy | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

The cook, the thieves, the prostitute and the postillion – convicts transported to Australia

My convict ancestors were an unusual lot – but three of them were also really common. That’s the conclusion I came to after looking at a clever take on transportation statistics on one Australian website. Three out of four of … Continue reading

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Posted in Convicts, Transportation | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Wealth for Toil – Australia Day challenge for 2012

I’ve been scratching my head over this blog post. Shelley from Twigs of Yore has challenged us to write about the work one of our ancestors did and I’ve decided to stick with Nicholas Delaney because I’ve got so much … Continue reading

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Posted in Convicts, Nicholas Delaney, Roadbuilder | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

Family myths, cover-ups – what did Nicholas Delaney really do?

I’m researching my blog post for Twigs of Yore‘s Australia Day challenge. This year it’s about work. Shelley says: Choose someone who lived in Australia (preferably one of your ancestors) and tell us how they toiled. Your post should include: … Continue reading

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What else was happening in Australia?

Reading other genealogy and family history blogs and posts is inspiring. One idea I’ve been impressed by is having a timeline of the historical background to someone’s life. So here is what was happening in Australia during the time Nicholas … Continue reading

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2011 – what a year it’s been!

What a year – and what a lot I’ve learned in this first full year of blogging. When I started this blog in November 2010 I knew I wanted to talk about topics related to the life of my great-great-great … Continue reading

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How’s your family tree?

Flourishing? Many-branched? Or lop-sided (mine is a bit, at the moment)? A seedling? Not yet started? If yours needs a bit of nourishment and care, now is a good time to start looking after it – It’s Start Your Family … Continue reading

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My first Christmas – a link with the past

I treasure this photograph. It’s of my grandfather, Laurence Thomas Delaney, holding me on his knee on my first Christmas Day. He’s my link to all the generations of Delaneys (and Marshalls, Simpsons, Wilsons and Henleys) in Australia over two … Continue reading

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Posted in Australia | Tagged , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Did Nicholas build the oldest bridge in Australia?

If you visit the Royal Botanic Garden in Sydney, take a few minutes to look for a small bridge over a stream near the Wollemi Pine, ‘Australia’s homegrown Christmas tree’, close to the information booth. This is Macquarie Culvert. The … Continue reading

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1798 – the television programme

Here at last! A link to the episode of BBC TV’s Story of Ireland which deals with the Rebellion of  1798 and the United Irishmen. Earlier this year, this four-part series presented by Fergal Keane took us at some speed … Continue reading

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Tombstone Tuesday: Sarah’s haunted grave

At last I’m posting a photograph of the grave of my great-great-great grandmother, Sarah Simpson, who arrived in New South Wales as a convict on the Friendship in 1818. Sarah Marshall, as she was then, was lucky to be sentenced … Continue reading

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Posted in Convicts, Nicholas Delaney | Tagged , , , , , , , | 17 Comments

I’m one!

It’s hard to believe, but… its one year since I began this blog. At first I was nervous, and posted, oh, once every two months or so. Big mistake. It’s like everything else; the more you do it, the easier … Continue reading

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Now that’s a plus!

The battle lines are drawn up. As of yesterday, Google+ has pages, much as Facebook does. Who will win the social media struggle? I’m quite happy to use them both, so I’ve jumped at getting a G+ page. If you’re … Continue reading

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The song that inspired ‘A Rebel Hand’

At Boolavogue as the sun was setting O’er the bright May meadows of Shelmalier, A rebel hand set the heather blazing and brought the neighbours from far and near. That’s the first verse of the song Boolavogue, which tells the … Continue reading

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More about Boolavogue

The lyrics to Boolavogue were written by Patrick Joseph (PJ) McCall and set to the Irish air Eochaill, or Youghal Harbour. There are many versions of this well-loved song on the net. Probably the best-known is the one I heard … Continue reading

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