Week 2 of 52 Ancestors – Family Legend.

Week 2 (11-17 Jan 21) prompt is ‘Family Legend’.

The only ‘family legend’ I remember growing up was that my great-grandfather, Stanley Gordon Snowdon, helped invent Milo.  This was definitely proven and I wrote one of my essays on that subject during my Family History Diploma course and is posted on this blog (17 Dec 2017).

Funnily enough while researching Stanley’s family around Christmas in 2010, I came across some information which was actually known by some of the Snowdon relatives but I had never heard of before.

So my prompt is more like ‘Family who had dealings with an Infamous Legend’

Knowing the family came from country Victoria you can probably guess who the infamous legend is. And you would be right! 

While researching Stanley’s maternal grand-father Henri Lydeker, a Google search yielded a most astonishing name connection – Ned Kelly!

I clicked on the result and below is what I found. That one line of text sent me into a frenzy of Google searches to find more information.

Then I found the below entry on the www.kellygang.asn.au website.  Henri Lydeker had an importance in Ned Kelly’s life! He was even mentioned in two of Ned’s letters!

The Cameron Letter (by Ned Kelly)

The Jerilderie Letter (by Ned Kelly)

All of a sudden I had so many facts to add to Henri’s otherwise short record on my Ancestry family tree.

In May 2016, I was lucky enough to get in touch with a Snowdon relative who sent me not only the memoir of another Snowdon relative but photos.  Included was this gorgeous photo of Henri and his wife Margaret (nee McAliece).  

Henri & Margaret Lydeker

The memoir also cemented the fact that Henri had dealings with Ned Kelly in the form of the memories of Henri & Margaret’s daughter, Margaret Jane, who went on to marry William Snowdon. 

He then astounded me further by saying there was a book that was the family chronicles of Margaret’s parents – Robert McAliece & Catherine Crawford. Most graciously he lent me his copy of the book called ‘Beyond the Crested Wave’ which had been compiled by Gloria Newton. 

Within its pages was further proof that Henri had indeed had dealings with Ned Kelly.

“Due to an encounter with the notorious bushranger Ned Kelly, our Henri confronted the Kelly’s and laid a charge of horse stealing against the gang. During 1875, Ned Kelly’s uncle John Quinn, was leasing part of Henri’s 49 acre selection near Hedi. In December 1976, John Quinn and Ned Kelly rounded up the stock on Henri’s property. Afterwards they went to this house where an argument developed over money owing for the lease.  The two men reach an agreement and Henri received a good horse as payment.  The horse was then locked in the orchard which was close to the house. The horse mysteriously disappeared.  Henri then went to Oxley, where he took out warrants for the arrest of Ned Kelly and his cousin Tom Lloyd, for stealing the horse.  On July 19th 1876, Ned gave himself up and after appearing in the Oxley court the following day , was remanded on bail.  On July 27th, Ned faced the Oxley bench where witnesses for the prosecution were examined.  Ned Kelly was granted a remand to gather up his witnesses.  On Thursday August 3rd, Ned Kelly, who represented himself, appeared before JPs R. Wood and W. Grey.  Ned Kelly called several witnesses for the defence, following which the case was dismissed.  Our poor Henri copped a severe reprimand from the bench for taking out the warrant.  The other warrant against Tom Lloyd was dismissed after Henri was given a horse and calf in lieu of the one stolen”

Excerpt from ‘Beyond the Crested Wave’ by Gloria Newton page 159-160

Below is the Police entry for Ned Kelly’s warrant mentioned in above excerpt.

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I have been researching my family history since 2009. I am interested it the family names Shingles, McEwan, Snowdon & Witt around Gippsland and Wodonga areas of Victoria, Australia

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