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. My respectable Welsh ancestors sometimes get a look in.

Finding my past in Ireland free: Julia Harrington

I’m spending today using the free access to Irish records offered by FindMyPast Ireland this weekend (until 1200 on Monday 25 January, in case you haven’t seen the special offer – UK records are free, too, but I’ve already got … Continue reading

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Posted in Genealogy, Ireland | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

A sad Christmas story

Merry Christmas, and I hope it’s a happy season for you and those you love. That’s a much older (and slightly sinister) version of Father Christmas from 1855, before he turned into jolly red-faced, red-hooded Santa. Old Father Christmas His … Continue reading

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Posted in History | Tagged , , , , , | 5 Comments

New South Wales 1891 census online

The Shoestring Genealogist here, just popping in to make sure you know that the New South Wales census for 1891 is now online at Family Search – with images! And free to everyone! I had to have a look. There’s … Continue reading

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Posted in A Rebel Hand, Australia, Genealogy | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

How to get the FMP half-price offer (ends 30 November 2015)

This offer’s now ended – but do read what Judy Webster says about using the ChangeDetection button on her web pages – see comments at the bottom. Hi, it’s the Shoestring Genealogist popping in to let you know a trick … Continue reading

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Posted in Genealogy | Tagged , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Celestina arrives at Millbank Prison: a Christmas tale pt 21

Celestina Sommer’s death sentence was commuted to transportation for life on 22 April 1856. Because she was still waiting for her sentence to be carried out, she was taken back to Newgate Prison (which was a ‘detentional’ prison, only used … Continue reading

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Posted in Celestina | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Five years of genealogy blogging

It’s my fifth blogiversary this week. I can hardly believe I’ve been geneablogging for five years! So much has changed since then. I started out posting so that I could add new information which wasn’t available when my mother and … Continue reading

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Posted in Blogging, Genealogy | Tagged , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Will Celestina hang? A Christmas tale pt 20

Celestina Sommer had been sentenced to death for the murder of her daughter, Celestina Christmas. On Thursday, 10 April, 1856, she was taken back to Newgate Prison, which was used only for prisoners awaiting trial, execution or transportation. At the … Continue reading

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Posted in Celestina | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Broadside ballads about Celestina: a Christmas tale pt 19

As Celestina Sommer and two other equally notorious women waited for death in Newgate Prison‘s condemned cell in April 1856, two sets of people got busy. Some were gathering evidence and support to petition for her to be reprieved. I’ll … Continue reading

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Posted in Nicholas Delaney | 5 Comments

Celestina’s trial – verdict and sentence: a Christmas tale pt 18

It was on Thursday, 10 April, 1856 that Celestina Sommer’s fate was to be decided: death by hanging or incarceration in an asylum. The evidence against her, and her own confession, made her guilt plain. But what would the verdict … Continue reading

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Posted in Celestina | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Celestina Sommer’s trial for murder: a Christmas tale pt 17

Celestina Sommer was eventually tried for the murder of her daughter, Celestina Christmas, at the Old Bailey on Thursday, 10 April, 1856, over a month after her first appearance in the Central Criminal Court. The newspapers reported the trial with … Continue reading

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Posted in Celestina | Tagged , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Celestina at the Old Bailey: a Christmas tale pt 16

In the last episode of this true story, Celestina Sommer was in Newgate Prison awaiting her trial at another iconic bastion of London’s penal system – the Old Bailey. The Central Criminal Court, as it was, and is, more formally … Continue reading

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Posted in Celestina | Tagged , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Celestina in Newgate Prison: a Christmas tale pt 15

In the last episode of the Celestina Sommer story, we left Celestina in the police van being carried off to Newgate Prison to await trial for wilful murder. Today I’m going to look more closely at what that notorious place … Continue reading

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Posted in Celestina | Tagged , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

New evidence against Celestina: a Christmas tale pt 14

On Tuesday, 26 February, 1856, ‘the avenues of Clerkenwell police court were [once again] crowded to excess by persons anxious to obtain a sight of the murderess’, Celestina Sommer. She was there to be re-examined for killing her daughter, Celestina … Continue reading

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Posted in Celestina | Tagged , , , , , , | 8 Comments

The mob chases the witnesses: a Christmas tale pt 13

In the last post in this series, we looked at the inquest into the murder of Celestina Christmas by her mother, held at the North Pole tavern on New North Rd. This time I’ll focus on what happened immediately afterwards: … Continue reading

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Posted in London | Tagged , , , , , , | 13 Comments

The inquest in the pub: a Christmas tale pt 12

Where’s the obvious place for a Victorian coroner to hold an inquest into the cause of death of a murdered child? The pub, of course. No, really. It’s not as daft as it may seem. Some inquests into ‘suspicious’ deaths … Continue reading

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Posted in London | Tagged , , , , , , , | 7 Comments