About me

Pauleen Cass_1Welcome to my blog! Thank you for visiting.I appreciate your interest and welcome your comments.

My personal interests are family history, emigration history, photography and travel.

Before I tell you a little more about my story, let me give you some tips about this blog:

  • You can leave comments in the bubble near the header of each story or post.
  • If you want to read previous posts scroll down the right hand column for “Recent Posts” or use the drop-down box on the right sidebar to search for the categories that interest you.
  • You can also subscribe if you want to receive new posts by email.
  • If you want to find something specific eg World War I, Kunkel, you can search in the box at the top right of the photo.

Who Am I?

I’m a dyed-in-the-wool Queenslander, and after 18 years in tropical Darwin, I’ve returned to the east coast and my roots. Much of 2015 has past in a blur with the move, so I apologise for neglecting the blog, and also for lengthy delays in responding. Unfortunately with the move I’ve also lost broadband so, while I hope to get back to blogging more reliably, there’s still likely to be gaps.

I started my family history in 1986, in the pre-computer, pre-digitisation era. The changes in the ways we can research family history have been enormous but those early skills can prove invaluable when brick walls come up, or to  build up a broader picture of the family and their lives. I am an avowed family historian with a determination to learn firstly who my ancestors were, then to learn more about their lives and the places they lived, and from that to tell their stories.

My Families

I have Irish, Scottish, German and English ancestry with one line sitting on the English-Welsh border so I think there’s probably a Welsh connection there. The religious affiliations are as diverse with Catholics, Anglicans, Presbyterians, Methodists and Baptists being represented.

In Australia my families are true Queenslanders and many lines go back to the mid-1850s when Moreton Bay was still a colony of New South Wales.  As such they played a role in the development of the new colony of Queensland after Separation from NSW in 1859. Railway lines run in the blood stream with many branches having generations of affiliation with Queensland Rail, or indeed even with Irish railways. Like most Australian immigrants, the immigrants were poor working classes but all showed a strong work ethic successfully establishing large families in the state.

I have published the family history of one set of my ancestors: George Kunkel and Mary O’Brien. It is called Grassroots Queenslanders: the Kunkel family and to my great pleasure it won a couple of prizes when it was published.

Other Research and Blogs

My broader research interests include emigrants from Dorfprozelten, Bavaria to  Australia especially those who came under the vinedresser schemes of the 1850s;emigrants from Broadford and east County Clare, Ireland to eastern Australia 1848-1872; and anything to do with Murphy’s Creek at the foot of the Toowoomba range, but especially its early history and people.

You can find a list of the blogs I write under the Blogroll tab on the sidebar and some tips for researching under Resources (a drop-down box). My blog is copyrighted to me. While I am happy for people to reference something in them, I would appreciate that the reference lists this website. Many thanks!

Details of how to contact me can be found under the Contact Me tab.

Once again, thanks for visiting and sharing your thoughts in the comments.


Cassmob (Pauleen Cass)

9 thoughts on “About me

  1. Hi Pauline
    re: Bolland and Lopdell
    I notice you made reference to a letter from John Lopdell stating that James Bolland had been a tenant on John’s property for several years. I have Lopdell ancestors and wonder if you are able to give me any more information about this John Lopdell, Galway, so I can identify him. James Bolland was certainly very successful once he served his time.

    • Hi Anne, Sorry I have nothing further than this reference. There might be more in the National Archives of Ireland, but of course that means a visit to Ireland, though you could search their catalogue. These families are not my own so I only have what I write up. All the best with your research. Pauleen

  2. Pauline!!!! My daughter Megan shared your info about my great great grandfather James Boland and I am over the moon! James and Bridget are buried in the cemetery at Lochinvar and we “visit them” often! Their legacy is enormous and fortunately their story is part of the dialogue in the three generations of my family (me, mine and their children) who are alive!
    In 1994 and 2001 I travelled to County Clare. There are no records left there – fire in the Church but I in the cemetery I found a grave, simple cross marked M Boland and I wondered if it was his brother Michael. Of course being a romantic I am sure it is! I saw all those documents in Dublin.
    I have been having a few health issues recently as well as being recently retired so I have been in a bit of a hole recently. My wonderful daughter has made my day by giving me this information. Thank you for being the source!

    • hi Louise, I’m delighted that this story made your day and lifted your spirits. I thought James’s story was fascinating which is why he was one of the emigrants I featured in my talk in Ennis last year…so now he’s been returned home. I know what you mean about cemeteries, fascinating but often frustrating too. It’s great that you’ve been able to visit Ireland. Pauleen

  3. Hi Pauleen,
    Can’t tell you how excited I was to stumble across your blog about James Boland while using Trove today. (I love Trove!!) James is also my great great grandfather and I have just started delving deeper to try to build a more complete picture of his life. I already have many of the sources that you have used but some are new so thank you for that.
    At the moment though I am particularly interested in his wife Bridget Savage. We have always assumed she was also a convict (not sure where or how this assumption came about), but you have her down as a free settler. Can you lead me to any sources that might shine more light on Bridget?
    Many thanks

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