Stratford Historical Society and Museum

News from the Stratford Historical Society and Museum, in Stratford, Gippsland, Victoria. We are open Tuesdays from 10am to 3pm, and the fourth Sunday of the month from 2pm to 4pm. Our postal address is P.O. Box 145, Stratford, 3862.

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Location: Victoria, Australia

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Tracking Down a Waistcoat

One of the really good things about carrying out a Significance Assessment is that we learn so much about our own collection. Here is an example. This waistcoat took the eye of Jenny Coates, who is carrying out our survey, funded by Heritage Victoria. Jenny is an experienced Historian and Genealogist.

We thought we had something special in this waistcoat:


On the inside of the collar, at the back, is an inscription: E. Sproule, Philadelphia, Sept 29, 1856.


The problem is - we didn't know anything about E. Sproule. Jenny was off and looking. She found an Edward Sproule whose daughter Edith was born at Denison (between Heyfield and Rosedale) in 1863. So sure was Jenny she had something special (yes, she had guessed correctly), that she ordered the birth certificate. Sure enough, Edith's mother and father were married in Philadelphia in September 1856!

So - how did we come to have it? We have since found that Edith (their only surviving child) married a Bolton. Their son Rothwell Roy Bolton served in WWI (enlisting from Heyfield), and on his return, married Eileen Stothers from Stratford. They did not have any children, but we are on the hunt. If only we had all known to keep better records in the 1970s, when so much was handed in to us.

We knew we had something special, but it wasn't until Jenny really pointed us in the right direction, that we realised just how special.


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