Joy and Jubilees

J2020Earlier in the series I mentioned I’d prepared a Vision Board for 2020. One of the clippings I’d used said “Be brave -do something you’ve never done before”. I must admit I had something rather more fun that the current pandemic restrictions. <smile>

Two of the other gratitude features I’d imaged were Joy and our 50th anniversary celebrations, so what better way to focus on the letter J today. To me joy is a step up from happiness – it expresses an exuberance at something out of the ordinary rather than the day-to-day contentment of happiness. It’s like a bubble of champagne in your life. Of course, demonstrating that in my ancestors’ lives was something a bit harder to envisage.

The bond that links your true family is not one of blood, but of respect and joy in each other’s life. Richard Bach, author.


The Joy of children and grandchildren


Among the events that have brought me great joy during my life has been the birth of my children and grandchildren. With your children you have joy mixed with the demanding practicalities of parenting. Grandchildren seem to bring all the joy with far fewer responsibilities. They are such a treasure. Those ancestors living in the home country missed out on a great deal by never meeting their grandchildren – did they miss the loss or were they reconciled to it? The grandchildren also missed out too, because they would never have the unqualified love and cuddles of grandparents. Perhaps they never even knew their names.

Grandma and me1
Grandma and me

Sadly, I have no family photos of babies with parents or grandparents among my more distant lines. I wonder if there were no photographers close by, or if they couldn’t afford the indulgence. I have little doubt, though, that the births of their grandchildren must have been a great thrill to them.

However, I’m going to share with you one of my own most treasured photos of my paternal grandmother reading to me in their back garden.

Grandma and me reading
Reading with the neighbours -my paternal grandparents.


Wedding anniversaries

Our own golden wedding anniversary occurs in 2020 and naturally that turned my thoughts to my ancestral couples. Four of the couples in my ancestral lines, were married for 50 or more years (though I suspect one couple were separated). A combination of longevity with early age at marriage. For most of them the event either went unremarked or was only celebrated within the family.

There was great jubilation and joy surrounding my maternal great grandparents’ 50th diamond (60th) wedding anniversary in 1941 with it being reported in several newspapers:  Townsville Daily Bulletin, Rockhampton Morning Bulletin, Central Queensland Herald and The Catholic Press. It’s always productive for family members to read each report as they can include more or varied information.

McSherry family
My McSherry great-grandparents and some of their children, kindly provided to me by a cousin.

I was fortunate enough to be given a family photo from the event by a cousin. Observant people noticed a few of their large family had been “photoshopped” into the photo.

I’ve seen quite a few news stories of these jubilees…have you searched for reports in your family.

Societies and Groups

Trawling Trove last night using “jubilee” as a search term + name, I found a story that I’d missed before. I learned that my 2xgreat grandmother, Hannah Partridge, was a foundation member of the Ipswich branch of the Women’s Christian Temperance Union (W.C.T.U.) This also explains why her signature was on the WCTU petition for women’s suffrage – the society regularly had speakers on this topic.

Hannah Patridge WCTU foundation member
Woman’s Christian Temperance Union. (1910, November 15). Queensland Times (Ipswich, Qld. : 1909 – 1954), p. 4 (DAILY). Retrieved April 11, 2020, from

It’s worth searching the associations you know your families were involved with, to see if a jubilee event, or a regular meting, mentions them.

Do you use tags and lists when you discover a news story, or photo etc, relating to your family? I find them invaluable.


9 thoughts on “Joy and Jubilees

  1. Congratulations on your 50th! 🥂, Yes found quite a few jubilees on my side of the family in Trove often with great details of families included. Lovely photos.


    1. They’re fantastic when you find them aren’t they?! Sadly I only found the one for an anniversary in my families. Thanks for the congrats Carmel.


  2. Lovely photos. I was surprised that my parent’s recent 50th wedding anniversary was reported in their local paper!

    On my 2020 Vision board, I have “Learn something new, Visit somewhere new (tick), Try something new (tick), meet new acquaintances (tick) and Be Brave and Challenge Myself”!


  3. Wonderful photographs. I wonder sometimes how few there are for some families, but little time & not enough money might often be the answer. I think the ‘photoshopping’ photograph is grand. Shows the family did want everyone to be part of the occasion even if far away. (I have one that’s like that, but for a different reason.)


    1. I think you’re right that money was often an issue Diane. I know one relative told me they burned some because people would laugh at the fashions…I could have wept.


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