Family Names

Thursday, 3 November 2016

The information that an archive holds may not always be correct

Kelly, Vincent, Untitled Photograph of Myrtle Bassett with her older sister Doris Bassett, circa 1922
In 1993 I took my grandmother up to visit her sister in Kiama.  While I was there my 2nd cousin Jeff Carter did an interview with them and took their portrait which he  lodged in the National Library of Australia.

He gave me a copy of this interview and the picture.  Today I was curious and went on a hunt to see if I could find the oral history in the National Library of Australia catalogue.  I was thrilled when I found the entry, the description of the reads as follows:-

"Portrait taken in conjunction with oral history interview with these sisters. Daughters of a gold miner, born in Ballarat, they lived in Tasmania as children and later in Melbourne and rural western Victoria."[1]

I was surprised when I read this description as they only lived in Tasmania for a couple of years. They were both born in Eaglehawk, Eaglehawk, Victoria, Australia[2].  Myrtle in 1907 after which they moved to Tasmania where their brother was born in 1908 but by 1912 the family had returned to Eaglehawk for the birth of their youngest sister Gladys in 1912.[3]

Moral of the story - always check your sources, and never trust any single source.

The photograph at the beginning of this post is of the two sisters when they were young girls/women, the photo that Jeff Carter gave me and that I would have liked to use is, according to TROVE  under copyright until 2080, 70 Years after Jeff's death (he died in 2010).[4]

[1] Carter, Doris L. & Carter, Jeff. & Sharp, Myrtle M.  1993,  Doris Carter and Myrtle Sharp interviewed by Jeff Carter in the Jeff Carter collection [sound recording] [Audio recording of my great aunt and my grandmother]

[2] Victorian Birth Certificates 1906/2600 Eaglehawk for Doris Lillian BASSETT/MANDERSON and 1907/10233 Eaglehawk for Myrtle May BASSETT/MANDERSON

[3] NAA: B883, VX21203 William BASSETT; Victorian Birth Certificate 1912/19781 Eaglehawk Gladys Irene BASSETT

[4] Carter, Jeff. (1993). Portrait of Mrs. Doris Carter and Mrs. Myrtle Sharp Retrieved November 3, 2016, from

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