My passion is Family History, writing stories associated with my research and photography.

When the histoy and culture of the time is included with photography it certainly brings a story to life. After all, every person has a story.


Jindabyne in the high country

Years ago I went to Jindabyne in the high country of New South Wales. I still have very fond memories.

I spent a couple of weeks walking in this lovely area in the high country several years ago. This was a challenging trip.  I ventured to this area to help recover from a difficult work environment. I received a taste of bushwalking and stayed at a little cottage at lower heights and spend many days enjoying the clean fresh air of the Snowy Mountains.  Such a beautiful place to be.

I observed nature; went fishing for trout and thoroughly enjoyed the peace and clean air. I also spent time laying on the various rocks, watching the skinks sunnying themselves. It was warm weather during this trip.

Jindabyne, NSW High Country

Much to my surprise I also achieved some abseiling under the watchful eye of a professional climber.

Jindabyne Rock was okay for me. Not too tough. I must admit that I was exhausted by the end of the day. This climb was mid morning. I finished off the day with short swim in Lake Jindabyne.

The Journey Begins

Thanks for joining me!

Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

My name is Maggie. I would love to hear from you. My passions are family history research and photography. I do hope you will enjoy travelling alongside me through my webpage.

I have just returned from Ireland. My journey took me along the Wild Atlantic Way.

Walking with Camels – Flinders Ranges, South Australia

The first humans to inhabit the Flinders Ranges were the Adnyamathanha people (meaning “hill people” or “rock people”) whose descendants still reside in the area and the Ndajurri people who no longer exist.  Cave paintings, rock engravings and other artifacts indicate that the Adnyamathana and Ndajurri lived in the Flinders Ranges for tens of thousands of years. Occupation of the Warratyi rock shelter dates back approximately 49,000 years.  (courtesy Wikipedia / Flinders Ranges)

A personal experience – I gave myself a gift to clear my head after leaving my passion of working with the elders in aged care.    I walked the Flinders Ranges, South Australia.

If you have the opportunity to visit the Flinders Ranges you will find clean fresh air, magnificent rock formations, flowers in unexpected places.  You will also come across walking tracks and wildlife.

I camped in a swag and enjoyed the beautiful, crisp, icy mornings as well as stunning sunsets.  I took many photographs and here an edited version of one, a couple of the camels.

They are aloof animals.  They enjoy their space, can spit, and can ark up if another one of their kind gets too close.


Even today it is a remote place.  As I was mounting the saddle on my camel one of her friends tried to bite my ride.  Of course, my camel took offence and quickly started to stand up, knocking into my rib cage.  I came off the saddle too.  I was a bit sore that morning and wrapped by rib cage around several times with my long scarf.  That night I slept with quite a lot of pain.  Thank goodness for my travel scarf which I just happen to carry where ever I go.   It always comes in handy for something.

The people I was walking with called the hospital, using satellite technique.  The hospital was miles away.  They reported there was no doctor was on deck and wouldn’t be for days.

It was even difficult getting into the swag.  Days past, I continued to walk.

Continued on my journey, slept in pain, couldn’t lay flat in my swag, heard some gurgling sounds coming from my chest and decided it was best not to move around in the swag at night.

I was bruised and sore.  It set me back somewhat, however, I loved that walk and campfires in the evening.

When I arrived back home in Victoria, I sort medical advice.  Yes, I had several cracked ribs.  There wasn’t much that could be done for that though.  I had handled my injury in the best way really, by wrapping my scarf around my rib cage.  Cracked ribs heal themselves.  It took a while.


Blue Mountains Adventure

This is Kelly country. A place where the Kelly gang hid from the law. The Kelly gang are infamous in Australian history. Ned Kelly committed serious crimes and was hung.

Many caves in this area. Its a beautiful bush area. Many historic towns related to family research here. I took lots of photos during this trip.
I related to the Kelly story. Some of the Irish in my family trees were also involved in wrong doing. A certain John Martin O’Shan………( won’t give his full name here, family will know), salted a mine with a gold nugget, advertised his find, then bought shares in the enterprise. He was caught and prosecuted by the law. I found the evidence of his crimes during research, through court case listings, police gazettes and Trove.
Our John Martin O’Shannassy was named after John Martin (1), a member of the New Irelander movement.

In 1847 John Martin (1) was moved by the Famine to join Mitchel in the Repeal Association. He contributed to Mitchel’s journal The United Irishman, and then following Mitchel’s arrest on 27 May 1848. John Martin continued with his own anti-British journal, The Irish Felon, and established “The Felon Club”. This led to a warrant for his arrest, and he turned himself in on 8 July 1848.

John Martin (1) was sentenced on 18 August 1848 to 10 years transportation to Van Dieman’s Land, now known as Tasmania.

I also surprised myself by enrolling in an abseiling course with High and Wild Australian Adventures. I wanted to add some excitement to my life so decided to give abseiling a go. I must admit when I was shown the final drop, over a sheer cliff, I nearly froze. But hey, I was younger then and loved new challenges. I still do!

Self Portrait after abseil

So here I am taking my self portrait just before this adventure.

Maggie Abseil Blue Mountains

I only took a couple of photos of the abseil, however the following photo after the event will give you an idea about what I had experienced.

What a fantastic experience it was.

Crewing Endeavour

Some of my Endeavour crew pics (1)

The Endeavour was the first ship to reach the east coast of Australia.

In April 1770, the Endeavour became the first ship to reach the east coast of Australia.

Captain James Cook was a British explorer, navigator, cartographer, and captain in the Royal Navy. Cook made detailed maps of Newfoundland prior to making three voyages to the Pacific Ocean, during which he achieved the first recorded European contact with the eastern coastline of Australia and the Hawaiian Islands, and the first circumnavigation of New Zealand. The new world to which many of my families were our first arrivals.

I wanted to experience what it was like for the sailors of the time. As a crew member I had to prove my fitness by climbing aloft in good time. Thank goodness I achieved the climb. My journey was rough, with the ocean rolling huge waves and heavy storms. Volunteer crew members were sent below to the hammocks during one really rough patch which could only be handled by the professional crew members.

Would I do it again? Yes sir! Anytime the opportunity might come my way again.

Numerous ancestors in my families were mates, mariners and master mariners. Many sailed the North Sea fishing grounds. I have ancestors that took the dangerous journeys to the “new world” of Australia, New Zealand, Canada and America.

In particular my Bain and Pennant people were all associated with the oceans of the world. My Pennant families were from the Shetlands, they sailed the North Sea and my Bain families were mariners that travelled extensively on numerous trading ships from Scottish Ports around the world. Both Pennant and Bain families migrated to Australia in the early 1850s.


I have a proud seafaring heritage in my family.

©Maggie Bain 2018