Week 11 of 52 (2022) Ancestors – Flowers

Week 11 (15-21 Mar) prompt is Flowers.

Firstly I have to acknowledge that this is the furthest along I have gotten since I started in 2018. Yeah me!!!

I could have written about the times I have gotten flowers from my husband but that would be a really short story.  I have only ever received flowers from him twice in our marriage so far.  Around 4 Aug 1997 and 15 Sep 1999 – the birth of our two children Jaidyn & Tahlia. LOL

So instead I just went to my family tree in Ancestry, clicked on the Tree Search button and typed in Rose. Because as we know, thanks to Shakespeare, that ‘A rose by any other name would smell as sweet’  Mind you in this case I did want there to be a Rose!

The very first name that popped up was my maternal-great aunt although technically she was not born with the name Rose but she did die with it.

Ellen Maud McEwan was born in 1900 in Maffra, Victoria to Peter McEwan and Ellen Catherine McCausland.  She was the seventh out of twelve children born and the third daughter after my maternal great grandmother, Ada Ellen McEwan.

As the McEwan’s were the first family I researched I had created an excel spreadsheet with all the births, deaths and marriages information from the Victoria BDM website. It was then that I found the name Rose.  She was married under Maud Rose McEwan and then died under the full name of Rose Ellen Maude Flynn.

I was a little surprised to find that she was 43 years old when she married New Zealander Charles John (Jack) Flynn who was about 48 years old but that is debatable and another story!

I did get both their death certificates and it didn’t show any other marriages for Charles which would have accounted for their ‘late in life’ marriage.  Both certificates only listed the marriage to each other with no children.

Now I had the basic information for Rose it was back to searching Ancestry for the Australia Electoral Rolls.  Imagine my surprise when I found the earliest appearance of Rose’s name in the list was 1924, well that wasn’t the surprise as you had to be over 18 to vote, it was the surname – Flynn.  Although they were not formally married until 1943, Rose was using the surname Flynn from at least 1924 for the rest of her life.  

Charles died on 11 Mar 1970 at their home in Fitzroy and Rose died in Moe on 30 Dec 1976 so I will never know the details of their ‘defacto relationship’ or their marriage many years later. 

I only started researching my family in 2009 many years after Rose had  passed.  As Rose’s sister, Ada (my great grandmother) died two years after my grandfather John Shingles was born and John died a year before I was born.  I never knew that side of the family at all. I didn’t even know the family name McEwan existed.  The only surnames I knew growing up were Shingles and Snowdon from my mothers parents.

I was most intrigued when my mother mentioned that her grandmother’s surname was McEwan.  It started me down the road of genealogy and at the time I seemed to be the only one on Ancestry tracing that line. Years down the track there are quite a few people now researching and some even have the McEwan surname but unfortunately none of us could solve the mystery of why Rose and Charles waited so long to marry.  Like so many other details in the McEwan family tree that will just have to remain a mystery. 

Like why Charles is buried in an unmarked grave in Melbourne General Cemetery but Rose is buried with her brother, Allan Arthur McEwan in Yallourn Cemetery.

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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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