Family Names

Tuesday, 27 February 2018

My Valentine

I met Wayne at my best friend Karen’s 21st party. Karen & I had been best friends all through high school, and we spent most of our free time together.

Karen came from a family of 4 children and what seemed like hundred’s of Aunts, Uncles, and cousins. I would often attend Karen’s family informal family events and met all of her aunts and uncles with the exception of one family. I was always known as Karen’s little friend.
In 1980 we moved away I began living in another suburb, attending a new high school, and making new friends. Karen and I were no longer living within walking distance from each other and we drifted apart.

A few years later I was working at the Austin Hospital as a student nurse when Karen called to say her Uncle had been admitted to the Austin and could I visit him and check that he was ok. We had drifted apart but I was pleased to make the connection again and went to visit her Uncle Geoff in the cancer ward. He was the one uncle that I had never met, but he was still pleased to see me and with a broad smile on his face he said: “so you are Karen’s little friend”.

Photographer unknown, The Benton family taken just before Geoff died, 1981, Cheltenham Park, Cheltenham, Victoria, Australia [ben017]

Geoff passed away soon after that meeting on the 9th November 1981 in hospital, leaving a wife and 3 grown children behind.  On 26 May 1982, Karen celebrated her 21st birthday in a local hall, all her cousins and relatives include a dashing (or so I thought) young man named Wayne.  I don’t remember much about the night in general but I do remember the details of my first encounter with Wayne.
I remember seeing him across the room in his very tight light green jeans and tight jumper talking and laughing with others. 

During a quiet moment, I approached and asked him to dance, which he politely declined saying he had a gummy leg. Not deterred I asked another two times until he eventually agreed to dance with me. My heart fluttered. I had expected for him to return to the crowds straight after our dance but like in the fairy tales we filled space between dancing with talking, never really leaving the dance floor until the end of the evening.

Phtoographer unknown, Sandra  & Wayne(Sandra Wearing the dress that she met Wayne in), circa 1981, Location not known –[ben056]

We talked about a lot of things including my visit to his father before he died and how happy he had been when I saw him in hospital. I was determined not to be fooled by his charm and began to run through my elimination questions which I used to help me determine whether I should proceed in engaging in conversation with a potential partner. I can’t quite remember what all the questions were but I do remember looking for his reaction when I told him that I owned and rode a motorbike rather than a car. His demeanor did not change to disapproval nor did he seem to be “shocked” by the revelation.

As the evening came to close he asked me if he could drive me home. It seemed a bit ridiculous after all I was staying at Karen’s for the evening.  But everyone encouraged me to let Wayne drive me the short distance to Karen’s home.  We pulled up in the front of her home and sat talking in his car for some time. Eventually, we saw the venations blinds being separated and we knew that everyone was peeking through the blinds watching to see what was happening.  I could feel the colour rise in my cheeks. It was only then that Karen’s younger brother Craig came running out of the front door with a ridiculous grin on his face and asked what was wrong. At which point Wayne asked him if he could get him a pen as he wanted to write my number down, and neither of us had a pen. Craig ran inside with a great sense of urgency and return with pen in hand.  The Venetians now had several eyes peeking through them watching our every move.

I gave Wayne my number and got out of the car and went into the house. I don’t remember much after that other than everyone kept telling me what a nice fellow Wayne was. Most likely Karen and I would have spent the remainder of the night talking about the evening sharing stories until we fell asleep.

Photographer Mark Williamson, Wayne & Sandra on their wedding day 21 June 1986, Mt Waverley, Victoria Australia [Ben056]

It felt as though we had been destined to meet we had been moving in similar circles but somehow in those years our paths had never crossed. 

Photographer Lisa Lionnet-Swaan, Wayne Benton & Sandra Williamson, March 2017, Sandringham
Over the years we have attended quite a few events with Wayne’s extended family, where I ironically know more about his extended family than he does having grown up visiting them all (except Wayne’s family) as Karen’s little friend.

I still see my friend Karen but now only at funerals or weddings. Wayne & I have now been together for almost 36 years. Since then we have only danced a few times together as he always laughs and says he has a war wound and can’t dance.

Monday, 26 February 2018



Brucknell, Victoria, Australia

Living in the country (or anywhere) presented special challenges in the 1930/40s for families cars were a luxury or in the case of a farm an alternative to a horse.

"The school fronted the main Timboon-Nullawarre road, between Taylor's road and Hayne's road."[i] It was on the same road as Uncle Norm’s farmhouse. Before the Todman's arrived in the area the local school had 12 boys enrolled (1936). The year that Judy (1838/9) joined the school two other girls (sisters) also enrolled.

For the first few days Myrtle, their mother,  walked with them each morning when they set off on the half hour journey from the house to school.  Soon, however, the children learned to walk all the way to school it was just the two of them, brother and sister. It was a long walk on the dirt roads, and some mornings it would be so cold that the puddles on the road would be frosted over.  They learned to take off their shoes and socks before jumping in the puddles to break the ice so that they wouldn’t get in trouble for damaging their shoes with the water.[ii]  Eventually, as they got older they were able to ride their bicycles to school.

Photographer unknown, Warwick & Judy Todman leaving for school, 1939. Brucknell Victoria Australia. Myrtle Sharp's Private Photo  Collection currently held by  Sandra Williamson[B068]

Everyone is up early on a dairy farm for milking, there are no spare hands to mollycoddle anyone, so getting yourself to school by bike was a way of life. 

Photographer, Brucknell State School whole School Photo, Brucknell, Victoria, Australia  circa 1941-42. Annotated image [B164annotated]

Terang, Victoria, Australia

When Judy’s mother remarried and they all moved to Terang, both Warwick and Judy attended the local school.  The ride was not as easy, the road was rutted and uncomfortable to ride along.
Terang was a much larger school, instead of 12 students for the entire school, there were 20 or 30 children per class.

Back to Terang Committee (Vic.).  1950,  Back to Terang and district, Easter 1950  Back to Terang Committee Terang, Vic  <>  p.24(cropped image)

The family lived in Terang for a year, after which they relocated to Camperdown, Victoria.

Camperdown, Victoria, Australia

According to Judy Camperdown was much prettier than Terang, but the ride to school was also  much harder due to the hilly landscape,
Photographer unknown, Going to school in Camperdown, Warwick and Judy Todmand with Mt Leura in the background, circa 1940s, Camperdown Victoria Australia  [b075]

Both Judy and Warwick rode to High School each day.  Judy loved the high school there were lots of people to make friends with and plenty of things to do.

Photographer unknown, Camperdown High School, 1954, Camperdown, Victoria Australia  courtesy  Camperdown and District Historical Society

Getting around as a young woman.

Bicycles seemed childish when compared to motorized bikes. 
Photographer unknown, Myrtle Taylor watching Judy & Warwick Todman with their cousin Ken Sleight on his motorbike, circa 1953,  Camperdown, Victoria Australia. (image cropped) [b084]
Real liberation came later when everyone could ride motorbikes, it was much easier to travel over larger distances.

Leaving home and Travelling

In 1954 Judy moved to the city after working three years in the local bank to study nursing.  It was an exciting time for Judy and she enjoyed the excitement and comradeship that nursing offered.

Photographer unknown, Nursing Group 12 of the Royal Melbourne Hospital & Association Hospital School of Nursing” circa 1954/1956, location unidentified [T321]

After graduating she bought a Vesper motorbike like many of her nursing friends

Photographer unknown, Judy Todman with her vesper, circa 1957, Camperdown Victoria Australia Myrtle Sharp's Private Photo  Collection currently held by  Sandra Williamson [b209]
In 1957 she rode her bike from Melbourne to Sydney and caught a ship to New Zealand taking her bike with her.  In between earning money as a lab technician Judy and her friends toured around New Zealand for almost a year before returning to Australia and a more conventional life.

[i] VPRS 14519/P/0001 unit 26 Primary Schools 2771, 2773
[ii] Judith Williamson, in personal discussion with author, 30 July 2016

Wednesday, 21 February 2018

John Palmer Williamson

Uniforms, Buttons, Badges & Medals of 

John Aaron Palmer Williamson

 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks: Week 8 (February 19-25): Heirloom

The frame below was given to Mark Palmer Williamson by his father John Palmer Williamson before he died.  It commemorates the Military and Naval service of John Aaron Palmer Williamson, father to John and grandfather to Mark.

Photographer Sandra Williamson, Frame of John Aaron Palmer Williamson’s Military & Naval Memorabilia digital image, 2017, Mark Williamson’s Personal Collection[w138]

As children, we did not really know our grandfather.  I can only remember meeting him a few times.  So when my father casually passed the memorabilia frame to my brother we were all surprised. Although the frame belongs to my brother, at the moment it sits proudly on the wall in my own home as I temporarily safeguard from the humidity and extreme weather conditions of the Darwin climes where my brother lives.

In 2006 I was visited by a distant cousin Warren Jacka (2nd cousin once removed) who was visiting from Western Australia.  He stood looking at the frame and said “Do you know it looks like he was a member of Navy and the air force.  You can tell by the buttons”.
It wasn’t until almost 11 years later I began to conduct my own research into the artifacts in the frame.

Taking a closer look

Examining the photograph

I have four other photographs of John in various uniforms showing John as a member of various forces which I hope to write up soon with what I have found, but for this post I will focus on the contents of the frame alone and what it reveals.
Photographer unknown, JP Williamson wearing a Merchant Navy uniform, post WW1, Author’s Private Photo Collection [W027]

The only photograph in the frame 
“appears to be a Merchant Navy uniform, not Royal Australian Navy.  He is wearing his medal ribbons so it is post First World War.  The rank worn on his cuff is Second Officer.”[i] 
John was born in 1892 so the approximate date of this photo must be sometime after or at the end of 1919 when returned to the sea as an engineer.[ii]

A Closer Look at the buttons & badges

Uniform Buttons

Photographer Sandra Williamson, Merchant Navy Button originally owned by John Palmer Williamson, digital image, 2017, Mark Williamson’s Personal Collection[w139][iii] 

Photographer Sandra Williamson, Rising Sun badge originally owned by John Palmer Williamson [SERN 10030], digital image, 2017, Mark Williamson’s Personal Collection.[ w145]
Figure 10 Photographer Sandra Williamson, Australian Military Forces button 1914-1945 originally owned by John Palmer Williamson [SERN 10030], digital image, 2017, Mark Williamson’s Personal Collection[w144]

Photographer Sandra Williamson, Eastern Telegraph Company button Uniform Button originally owned by John Palmer Williamson, digital image, 2017, Mark Williamson’s Personal Collection[w140] This button was“worn on the Australian Uniform during the First and Second World Wars” [iv]


The medals from the left are:- The 1914-15 Star, The British War Medal, 1914-18, Mercantile Marine War Medal. The Allied Victory Medal[141] 

Australian personnel were awarded Imperial campaign medals. 
  1. The 1914-15 Star
  2. The British War Medal, 1914-18 – (“automatically awarded to all recipients of the Mercantile Marine Medal.”) 
  3. The Allied Victory Medal - "A number of nations issued their own version of the Victory Medal but Australians received the Victory Medal issued to British personnel.” 
  4. Mercantile Marine War Medal -  – awarded to those who served at sea for at least six months, and on at least one voyage through a danger zone

Commemorative Medals

The  Somme Medal was a nonoffical medal issued by the 'Ceux de la Somme' veterans' association and is available to any veteran (or family of a veteran) of the battlefields of the Somme in either the First or Second World Wars.  

King Albert I Veteran's Cross 1909-1934, is another unofficial medal which was made available by purchase in the late 1960s and 1970s to all Allied veterans of the First World War who had served in Belgium during the First World War, or their next of kin. 

John Palmer Williamson

John Aaron Palmer Williamson was born 28 April 1892 in York, Western Australia to Moses Williamson and Caroline Williamson formerly Munro.[viii] John was one of six children; four were boys of which three enlisted in the AIF.[ix]

John married Margaret Edith Jacka on 2 September 1922 in the Methodist Church, Hamilton, New South Wales, Australia.[x]

He died 30 Jun 1982 Boonah, Queensland, and buried on 2 July 1982 Kalbar, Queensland, Australia[xi]

A quick summary of his War Service

He supported both Australia and its allies in both the First World War (WW1) and Second World War (WW2).  He did serve in the Royal Navy but left to serve in Singapore for one year prior to WW1. His service in WW1 began in the Merchant Navy and then he enlisted soldier in the Australian Imperial Force (AIF). His service during WW2 was in a civilian capacity within Australia and as a mariner for the American Coast Guard.  Despite challenges to his health during WW1 he never wavered in his support of the nation’s war effort.

[i] Garth O'Connell (Curator Military Heraldry and Technology Australian War Memorial) to Sandra Williamson, email, 29 September 2017, Original in author’s possession.
[ii] Certificate of Discharge MALAITA 4 September 1920 Melbourne for John Palmer Williamson, Personal papers of John Williamson held by son John Williamson, photocopy held by author. [Engaged date 9 June 1920, Newcastle]; Alexander Weir (Chief Eng), Letter of reference for J.A. Williamson, 14 September 1920. Personal papers of John Williamson held by son John Williamson, photocopy held by author. [Period of service on the MALAITA 4 September 1920 to 14 September 1920.]; [Unable to read name] Director of Huddart Parker Limited, S.S.RIVERIA [Period of service 28 December 1920 to 9 March 1921] & S.S.CORIO [Period of service 3 March to 10 September 1921], Personal papers of John Williamson held by son John Williamson, photocopy held by author.
[iii] (2018). Uniform button from the Merchant Navy. [online] Available at: [Accessed 21 Feb. 2018].
[iv] (2018). History of the Atlantic Cable & Submarine Telegraphy - Eastern Telegraph Company Buttons. [online] Available at: [Accessed 21 Feb. 2018].
[v] Memorial, T. (2018). Australian Military Forces button 1914-1945. [online] Available at: [Accessed 21 Feb. 2018].
[vi] Merchant seamen's campaign medal records 1914-1918 - The National Archives. (2017). The National Archives. Retrieved 3 October 2017, from
[vii] Home: World War One: Department of Defence. (2017). Retrieved 3 October 2017, from
[viii] Birth Certificate John Aaron Palmer Williamson, born 28 April 1892, Registrar of Birth, Death and Marriages Western Australia. 630 /1892
[ix] Death Certificate of Moses Williamson, died 25 June 1933, Registrar of Birth, Death and Marriages, New South Wales, 10306/1933; Service Record for John Palmer Williamson, p.1, B2455, National Archives of Australia; Service Record of Cuthbert Morton Williamson, p.1, B2455, National Archives of Australia; Service Record of Henry Andrew Williamson, p.1, B2455 National Archives of Australia.
[x] Marriage Certificate of John Palmer Williamson & Margaret Rita Jacka, married 2 Sep 1922, Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages, Queensland Australia. 11616/1922
[xi] Death Certificate of John Aaron Palmer Williamson, died 30 Jun 1982, Registrar of Birth, Death and Marriages, Queensland, 55286/1982

Saturday, 17 February 2018



Growing up living near the river on a farm, there is lots of space and plenty to do:-

A child could make cubbies and get dirty and nobody minded so long as you stayed outside and out from under feet. Together with the cousins, you could build huge cubby houses out of the debris left behind after the land clearing.

Photographer unknown, building a cubby hut on Uncle Norm’s farm, circa 1939, Brucknell Victoria Australia Myrtle Sharp's Private Photo  Collection currently held by  Sandra Williamson [b067] From the left – Warwick Todman, Jeff Carter & Judith Todman.

Or destroy cubbies ... never a dull moment.

Photographer unknown, Destroyed a cubby hut on Uncle Norm’s farm, circa 1939, Brucknell Victoria Australia Myrtle Sharp's Private Photo  Collection currently held by  Sandra Williamson [b074] From the left – Warwick Todman, Jeff Carter, Judith Todman and possibly Graeme Sleight.
On hot days there was nothing better than spending the afternoon at the nearest water hole, for Judy and Warwick that involved swimming in the nearby river.

Photographer unknown, sitting on the banks of Curdies river; From the Left: - Judy Todman (2nd from the left), Warwick Todman (fourth from the left), with Norm Crump standing behind the children, circa 1939, near Brucknell Victoria Australia [b086]

To keep the children safe a big thick rope was tied around each child’s waist in turn while they ventured into the deeper water.  Judy remembers the rope being large, heavy and prickly.
Whether it was bridge building or swimming there was always much to do.

Friday, 16 February 2018

Stuart Taylor

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks: Week 7: February 12-18: 

A Second Valentine for Myrtle

Stuart Taylor was a bachelor living in the country when he first met Myrtle. She had moved from Melbourne to Brucknell in country Victoria in 1939 after her first husband’s death.[i] Left with two small children (a son Warrick aged 5, and a daughter Judith aged 4) to support, she had sought refuge at the property of her uncle, Norm Crump, not far from Stuart’s family property.[ii]

Single women were rare in the country, so there were many suitors who courted her. Judith remembers her mother seeking the counsel of her and her brother about two suitors in particular – Stuart Taylor and another asking them which one of the two she should choose.[iii]

Judith, then 11 years old and having a passion for horses recommended that her mother marry Stuart Taylor, her son, however, felt the gentleman with the car was the much better choice. Stuart must have been aware of the competition as he soon bought a car. Myrtle’s grandson, Simon was later to tell the story of Stuart’s proposal to Myrtle. Which went as follows: -
“One day during WWII, a local farmer, Stuart Taylor, rode to Uncle Norm’s farm on a white horse, dismounted and dropped to one knee and proposed to Myrtle.” [iv]
She accepted.
Myrtle received a saddle for her engagement present from Stuart, after much discussion about which was the best type and most suitable for her.

Photographer unknown, Myrtle & Stuart Taylor possibly on their wedding day, 1943, Terang, Victoria, Australia. Sandra Williamson’s Private photo Collection[b175]

Myrtle married Stuart Rockford Taylor on 26 June 1943 in Terang in the Methodist Church.[v]
After the wedding, the family moved to Stuart's farm in Framlingham Road, Terang. They lived in Terang for twelve months before their daughter (Diana) was born in 1944.

While Myrtle was in the hospital having her baby her parents traveled from Melbourne to assist with the care of her the two eldest children and possibly also assist Stuart with the move the new family farm at Camperdown.

On the morning of the 13th July in 1952, Stuart asked his stepdaughter if she would go down and milk the cows as he wasn’t feeling well.  Usually, Judy would have protested at such an imposition however on this day she complied without protest. While she was down at the cowshed he died of a massive heart attack.[vi]

1952 'MR. S. R. TAYLOR', Camperdown Chronicle (Vic. : 1877 - 1954), 25 July, p. 3. , viewed 08 Feb 2018,

Originally Stuart was buried in an unmarked grave in Camperdown Cemetery,[Lawn 2 Row G Grave 20].

Newspaper clipping originally owned by Myrtle Sharp clipped from the Advertising section of the Camperdown Chronicle, 3 February 1950, p. 9 & small “Thankyou” card given out at the funeral(6cm x 7cm), blank inside and of back, Personal Collection Sandra Williamson

 Years later his stepson Warrick returned and placed a grave marker to identify where he was buried, saying at the time “Pop” was the only father that they really ever knew.

Photographer Sandra Williamson, Grave marker for Stuart Rockford Taylor, 2007, Camperdown Cemetery, Camperdown, Victoria, Australia [T287]
Stuart hold’s a special place in his family’s heart.

WikiTree Link for Stuart Rochford Taylor 


Stuart's name is spelled in different ways in various documents, I have yet to write up a summary of what I have discovered but below are a few examples of those spellings:-

Stuart Rochford Taylor - birth record and various voter rolls
Stewart Rochford Taylor - voter rolls
Stuart Rockford Taylor - newspaper article & headstone marker on grave site.

[i] Marriage Certificate of Lincoln Todman & Myrtle May Crump Bassett, married 21 September 1929, Registry of Birth, Death and Marriages, Victoria, Australia. 9531/1929; Death Certificate Lincoln James Todman, died 11 June 1938; Registry of Birth, Death and Marriages, Victoria, Australia. 15005/1938
[ii] Personal conversation and interview(s) by Sandra Williamson with Judith Williamson, 2017 & Myrtle Sharp 1980s.
[iii] Personal conversation and interview(s) by Sandra Williamson with Judith Williamson, 2017
[iv] Personal conversation with Simon Todman 2008 by Sandra Williamson while preparing Myrtle’s Eulogy.
[v] Original Certificate of Marriage for Stuart Rockford Taylor & Myrtle May Todman married 26 June 1943, Terang, Victoria, Australia
[vi] Personal conversation and interview(s) by Sandra Williamson with Judith Williamson, 2017; Death certificate of Stuart Rockford Taylor, died 13 July 1952, Registry of Birth, Death and Marriages, Victoria, Australia. 20502/1952

Saturday, 10 February 2018

Sepia Saturday 405


Tea anyone?  In Australia tea is the evening meal, dinner; it is also a beverage.

1888 'Advertising', Bendigo Advertiser (Vic. : 1855 - 1918), 21 November, p. 1. , viewed 10 Feb 2018, (note W.Ebbott is the son of John Ebbott)

Members of the Independent Order of Rechabites(I.O.R.) signed a pledge not to drink alcohol, so tea (of the liquid variety) becomes an important beverage option at functions.

John Ebbott married Margaret Thomas 12 Nov 1868 in the Forest St Wesleyan Church, Sandhurst, Victoria, Australia.[i]

Photographer unknown, The Family of John & Margaret Ebbott, circa 1892 possibly in Chewton, Victoria Australia; Ebbott family. From the left : Back Row Alfred “Alf” Ebbott 1875; Elizabeth Ebbott 1872,  John  Ebbott 1868; William Ebbott 1870,  Percy Frederick EbbottMiddle Row Gertrude Emma Ebbott, Margaret Ebbott nee Thomas, Beatrice Alma Ebbott, ; John Ebbott 1840,  Eveline Mary EbbottFront Row; Gilbert Henry Ebbott  1890, .Edgar Stanley Ebbott 1888-1968; Ada Helena Ebbott 1884 [Ebb019]

John was an active member of the Independent Order of Rechabites(I.O.R.). His children all followed in his footsteps and the entire family were staunch members of Methodist church and the temperance movement.

 Edited excerpts from Mount Alexander Mail in 1916  from 'CHEWTON RECHABITE TENT', 13 July, p. 2. , viewed 10 Feb 2018,

Events hosted by Rechabites were often described as interesting, “code” for alcohol-free. So when John remarries in 1908 we know from the newspapers that the reception was alcohol-free:-

1908 'ITEMS OF NEWS.', Mount Alexander Mail (Vic. : 1854 - 1917), 28 April, p. 2. , viewed 10 Feb 2018,

Afternoon tea with scones jam & tea (or coffee) is known as a Devonshire tea in modern day Australia. Delicious! 

Photo by Alysa Tarrant on Unsplash (cropped)
This post is part of SEPIA SATURDAY 405 : Saturday 10 February 2018

[i] Marriage certificate of John Ebbott and Margaret Thomas married 12 November 1868, Registrary of Births, Deaths & Marriages. 3927/ 1868

Tuesday, 6 February 2018

Myrtle May Crump Bassett

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks: Week 6: Favorite Name

My grandmother Myrtle had multiple surnames to choose from, much to her embarrassment. Growing up, we understood her birth surname to be Bassett. William Bassett who she identified as her father, was listed as such when she was enrolled in Eaglehawk Primary School in 1913 at the age of six.[i]

When she married the love of her life, Lincoln, she gave her name as “Myrtle May Crump Bassett, a Spinster”; Crump was her mother’s maiden name.[ii]  This was the first clue that maybe her birth name was not Bassett as we had all been led to believe,

On Myrtle’s birth certificate the mother’s name was listed as “Lilian Manderson formerly Crump” but no father was given.[iii] A search of the Victorian Birth Deaths & marriages (BDM) reveals that Lilian Crump had a baby named Myrtle May, who is registered under both the Crump & Manderson surnames (note the year and registration number are identical for both names indicating that this is the same person).

Result of birth search using the criteria child’s first name “Myrtle May” & mother “Lilian Crump” or children born Myrtle with the Marriages, Family history search - Births, Deaths & Marriages Victoria. [online] Available at: [Accessed 4 Feb. 2018]
When Myrtle became a widow and remarried she listed her father as William Bassett as she had for her first marriage, and her third marriage to Ivan Rupert Lance Sharp. [iv]

It wasn’t until 1967 that things came to a head when she needed to apply for a passport to travel overseas. The process required that she apply for her full birth certificate. She traveled to the Registrar of Birth, Death & Marriages Building in Melbourne with her youngest daughter.  On arrival she asked that her daughter wait outside, after telling her in whispered tones about her dark secret that Bassett had not been her maiden name; she would need to go in alone to apply.[v]

Sandra Williamson, Myrtle May Sharp passport pages 2 & 3, Australian British Passport, digital image, Personal Collection Sandra Williamson [B464]

All went well and Myrtle was issued with her passport and with her two sisters she traveled overseas for a holiday, all three left their husbands at home.

 Photographer unknown, The three “Bassett” sisters traveling overseas on their Australian passports, circa November 1967 China. Sandra Williamson's private photo collection [B177]

Later Myrtle would say that she had no doubt that William Bassett was her father as the family resemblance was strong.[vi]

Although there was some ambiguity around Myrtle’s surname, her middle name was clear it was “May” the same as her mothers.  This middle name has now been passed down from Myrtle’s mother Lilian May Crump to Myrtle, to Judith May Todman, to myself, my daughter and then onto my granddaughters, six generations in all, so obviously a family favourite.


I have written previously about Lilian’s first husband Thomas Manderson and why this gentleman is probably not Myrtle’s father. 

William Bassett & Lillian Crump became a couple, possibly around 1905 however they never married.  When Myrtle their second eldest was two years of age (in 1907) the family left Eaglehawk and relocated to Tasmania. William found employment in the mines and their only son, William, was born.[vii] They returned to Eaglehawk by 1912 for the birth of their fourth child Gladys Irene.[viii] When they moved back to Eaglehawk it was thought the couple had married in Tasmania.[ix]

DNA evidence – a DNA sample has been taken from the eldest living descendant of Myrtle and it is hoped that this will help corroborate beyond doubt that William Bassett was her father rather than Thomas Manderson.

WikiTree Links on WikiTree (@WikiTreeOfficial)
WikiTree Link for Myrtle May Bassett 
WikiTree Link for Stuart Rochford Taylor 
WikiTree Link for Ivan Rupert Lance Sharp

[i] Eaglehawk No. 210  150 Years of education 1854-2004 (Eaglehawk Primary School 2004.  Compiled by :Ruth Claridge.). 
[ii] Marriage Certificate of Lincoln Todman & Myrtle May Crump Bassett, married 21 September 1929, Registry of Birth, Death and Marriages, Victoria, Australia. 9531/1929
[iii] Birth certificate of Myrtle May Crump born 2 June 1907 Registry of Birth, Death and Marriages, Victoria, Australia. 10223/1907.
[iv] Original Certificate of Marriage for Stuart Rochford Taylor & Myrtle May Todman married 26 June 1943, Terang, Victoria, Australia; Original Certificate of Marriage for Ivan Rupert Lance Sharp & Myrtle May Taylor married 2 April 1960, Balaclava, Victoria, Australia
[v] Diana Culley, in personal discussion with author, November 2017
[vi] Myrtle Sharp, in personal discussion with author, c.2000
[vii] NAA: B883, VX21203 Service Record for William BASSETT
[viii] Birth Certificate of Gladys Irene Basset born 15 September 1912, Registry of Birth, Death and Marriages, Victoria, Australia. 19781/1912
[ix] Myrtle Sharp, in personal discussion with author, c.2000