Finding Family

One woman's obsession with family history.

Trove is an all-encompassing research tool. While I often search and lose myself in the stories and news articles from the past, I also often use Trove as a way to seek out images, photos and illustrations for use on my family tree, in blog posts or to share on my Facebook pages. Thus, today’s Trove Tuesday post is focused on the ‘Illustrated’ sections of Trove Newspapers and the various ways that I utilise it.

Please note: the following examples on how I utilise Illustrated Trove are written from my point of view and the search methods which have worked for me over the years. These methods may or may not work for you.

To access the illustrated section of Trove, enter a search field, click search and thenIllustrated scroll down and click ‘Illustrated’ (located under ‘Category’ on the left-hand side) which will drop down and give you two choices: Not Illustrated or Illustrated (see left). To search for images, click ‘Illustrated’.

The limits on your search results page should show the following.

Search Limited

You’re now good to go. Enter various search terms and further refine your search if need be. I tend to refine my search to my state (Western Australia) and (as an example) searching for ‘Collie Bridge’ yields the following image.

The Avenue

One of the ways I’ve used the illustrated search function is while researching family history. Sometimes I choose to search fairly basically (especially if the surname isn’t too common) by entering a surname (for example Harwood) and refining my results by selecting Western Australia as the state to focus on and then simply clicking ‘Illustrated’.

All illustrated articles (those with pictures) relating to the specific criteria are listed in the search results and (if there are too many options) you may want to further refine the search perhaps by selecting a date. Otherwise, scroll through the listings and see if any of the preview text has any relevance to your family.

It was by following this method that I came across an article relating to my Great Grandfather, Arthur Harwood, and his brothers and brother-in-law.

Harwood Sons

This method also enabled me to find a photo of my 2nd Great Grandmother’s brother, Hugh James Theakston.

As winners of the 1897 junior football premiership, the Central Football Club’s team photo was printed in the Western Mail along with the names of the players. In this instance however, the names were highlighted in a separate article and attached to a different image but both the article and team photo were printed on the same page. Always remember to look for the illustration the text relates to – it could even be on a different page! Being an unusual name, there was no doubt ‘H. Theakston’ was Hugh (seated in the front row, second from the left).

Central Football Club

While this method works best with the more unusual names, you may need to add additional words to refine the search if you have a more common name. Perhaps search for a surname and then add the suburb they lived in, or, more specific, the street name. Try adding an ancestor’s first or second name. Use inverted commas to hone in on exact words or phrases but always be mindful of spelling. How you spell something might not necessarily be how it’s spelt in the paper. For example, my surname (Barratt) is more commonly spelt ‘Barrett’ so I often search both ways.

Another tip to consider is that full names weren’t always printed in the paper. For example searching for Edward James Barratt may yield no results while searching specifically for “Mr E J Barratt” may yield results. Women also may have used initials but always consider the fact that the initials may be that of her husband. I.e. Priscilla Masters married Edward Barratt – her name may be printed as Mrs E Barratt rather than Mrs P Barratt.

It was in considering the above and searching for “Mr E J Barrett” that enabled me to find this image of my 2nd Great Grandfather, Edward James Barratt. With the spelling incorrect, he was not listed as ‘Mr E J Barratt’ but instead listed with Barratt having an ‘e’ instead of an ‘a’.

An Unusual Sunflower

It’s important to note however that when searching in the illustrated section and specifically for photos of people, results will always be variable. Unfortunately you may not find anything and this is simply because not everyone had their photo printed in the paper. Even though I’ve provided a number of examples where my relatives’ images were printed I can quite confidently say that the majority weren’t.

Overall, the best advice that I can give is to use a variety of different search terms and think outside the box. Don’t just search for ‘Edward Barratt’. Search for all sorts of varieties of the name, making sure not to forget about nicknames your ancestors may have had (I.e. Edwd Barratt; Mr E Barratt; Mr E J Barratt; Edward James Barratt; Ted Barratt). While finding images sometimes comes easily, a lot of the time it takes many different searches and a good deal of patience.

If you’re not having any luck locating images of people, utilise Trove in a different way and try searching for something else instead. Search for the area where your ancestors lived and see what photos were published over the years. Search for your own city or town. Hunt down photos relating to a particular subject. Look for illustrated historical ads for products that are of interest to you. Illustrated Trove is a world of fun and there’s no limit to what you might discover.

Happy searching!


With the inclement weather the day before affecting various social gatherings around Perth and Fremantle, perhaps the Masters sisters were apprehensive about what to expect on their wedding day. Maybe they instead took comfort in the fact that they were both going to be June brides (an auspicious month to be married) and that rain on your wedding day was also considered good luck.

As luck would have it however, they didn’t need to be too concerned. The weather on Wednesday, 6 June 1894 drastically improved during the night and while the Perth metropolitan area likely received some rain, the day turned out to be a cool, crisp 22°C.

Choosing to be married in a double wedding ceremony in the Church of England in Guildford, Elizabeth Masters (age 29) was to wed William Francis Dewar (age 29) and Priscilla Masters (age 25) was to wed Edward James Barratt (age 23). The two Masters girls were sisters and daughters of Charles Masters (a builder of Guildford) while William Dewar was the son of John Dewar from Gingin and Edward Barratt was the son of James Enoch Barratt (a nurseryman) of Perth.


Priscilla Masters in her younger years.


Though I’m unsure as to the financial background of the Dewar family I can quite confidently state that in 1894 both the Masters family and the Barratt family were fairly well off. This fact can further be seen in the details of the double wedding.

Both Elizabeth and Priscilla’s dresses were made of white liberty silk trimmed with lace and orange blossoms (said to represent purity) and they both wore veils and wreaths.

Orange Blossom

The orange blossom

Attending the two brides was an impressive eight bridesmaids. While it’s likely that the brides’ other two sisters (Emma and Augusta) were two of the party, I do not know who the other six were. The bridesmaids of course had their own impressive outfit to wear which was made from delaine (a lightweight woollen fabric) in the colour of heliotrope (a vivid purple inspired by the flower). According to the Encyclopedia Britannica, the fabric delaine was once considered a “high-quality women’s wear dress material“.


The heliotrope flower 

These dresses were further trimmed with white silk and astrakhan. While white silk is self explanatory, astrakhan, however, is a little more interesting (and slightly disturbing). The Dreamstress website states that astrakhan is the “tightly curled fleece of the fetal or newborn karakul lamb“. To obtain the fleece of the fetal lamb the mother was often killed just before she was due to give birth. An item only the wealthy could afford, during the 1890s it was considered fashionable to use it as trimming. It would seem the Masters sisters’ bridesmaid outfits were right en vogue. An example of an outfit using astrakhan trimming can be seen below.


The service was officiated by the Reverend Canon (George Hallett) Sweeting and was full  choral (noted as reflecting great credit on Mrs Barnes). The church itself was “prettily decorated” and was crowded with spectators, many of whom I’m sure were family and friends.

After the ceremony and with both couples officially wedded, 70 guests of the bridal party were invited back and entertained at the residence of the brides’ parents, Charles and Mary Masters. Charles Masters owned property on both Ethel Street and Meadow Street in Guildford but, according to the 1895 postal directory, around this point in time he and his family were living on River Street in Guildford.

The new Mr and Mrs Dewar and Mr and Mrs Barratt received a total of 120 “very handsome and useful” presents (I assume this was a combined figure) from family and friends. With the wedding over and the entertainment complete at the Masters family home, both couples left Guildford to begin their honeymoon and their new lives together.


An example of a wedding dress from 1894.

And what became of the Dewars and the Barratts? Each couple went their separate ways with the Dewars living in Guildford and then Gingin and the Barratts living mostly in the Perth area. They made it through many years and many anniversaries and on 6 June 1934, they celebrated their ruby (40 years) double wedding anniversary.


The Masters/Dewar/Barratt wedding has always been one which I considered interesting. The double wedding itself was unusual to me (and reminded me of Pride and Prejudice!) but it was reading the article in The Daily News which really captivated me. White silk, orange blossom trimming, heliotrope and lamb’s fleece trimming. Not to mention eight bridesmaids! The overall event would’ve looked quite elaborate and simply stunning. It also illustrated the wealth of these families during this time period.

There’s no doubt in my mind (especially knowing the Barratt family’s penchant for photography) that there would’ve been photos taken of the wedding party but unfortunately, to date, I haven’t seen such a photo. It’s likely not many copies existed and perhaps they eventually ended up in a different line of the family. With such an evocative article fuelling my imagination, I would dearly love to see an actual image of my 2nd Great Grandparents (the Barratts) on their wedding day. If you’re a relative and do have a copy of the photo, please feel free to contact me.


I’m not a prolific tweeter but every now and then I’ll log on and have a look around at what’s going on in the Twitter world (if you wish to follow me, search for @jessb3). Three days ago I noticed a number of tweets talking about Trove and using #fundTrove and I immediately thought the worst. What in the world was happening to my beloved Trove?

After a bit of searching and reading of other tweets I realised that #fundTrove was in response to the budget cuts announced by the National Library of Australia that have come as a result of the Government continuously cutting their funding.

For more detail on the funding cuts, please read the ABC’s report from 11 February:

What does this mean for Trove?

According to The Canberra Times’ article while Trove will continue to exist, the funding cuts to the National Library of Australia mean that they will have to stop collecting and adding content from museums and universities.

It’s important to note that Trove’s existence in the world has never been because of specific funding allocated to it. It exists because the National Library of Australia included it in their budget. It’s time Trove’s lack of funding changed.

At the time of discovering all of the above I put out my own tweet stating how I used Trove and how important it was to my research but it wasn’t until I was sent the link to Tim Sherratt’s blog post ( that I thought I’d also write a post which would (hopefully) help bring more awareness to the funding cuts.

My relationship with Trove began about seven years ago. It started with genealogy and while I voraciously added new names and ancestors to my family tree, I wondered if I could discover more out there than simply names and dates. It was after learning about the death of Herbert Henry Voss at age 29 that (on a whim) I decided to Google his name. Among the results were listings from the National Library of Australia’s Australian Newspapers website – what would eventually merge into Trove. I had found gold.

Back then, there weren’t as many Western Australian newspapers available on Trove as what there are now so initially I wasn’t that excited about it. Nevertheless, I continued checking it and once The West Australian was added, I began using Trove regularly. I spent a great deal of time searching for my Barratt ancestor (Enoch Pearson Barratt) and one of the first snippets I found relating to him was advertising for his nursery.


Once I realised the potential for my research, that was it. I was hooked. Birth notices, death notices, marriage notices, eulogies, funeral details, advertising and general articles, it didn’t matter what it was; I scoured the digitised newspapers for them all. Most all, I couldn’t believe it was actually free!

I delved deeper into my research and as I asked questions, I turned to Trove.

When I puzzled over why Thomas Lisle Crampton lacked a death certificate in WA’s BDM register, I searched on Trove. It was Trove that enabled me to first learn that the reason he had no death certificate was because he’d gone missing in the bush west of Collie and his body had never been found.


I eagerly used Trove to search for information about George Mather and was amazed to discover an article titled ‘The Oldest Publican in the State‘ which was overflowing with information about his life.

As the years went by, Trove changed and so did I. I still used it for my genealogical research but I’d also started to take an interest in history outside of my family. When I wanted to see how Australia celebrated Australia Day (or Anniversary Day) in the past, I used Trove. When I decided to do a blog post on Friday the 13th, I used Trove. When looking for an old Christmas Cake recipe (that I’ve now baked two years in a row), I used Trove. When researching history about a particular place, I opened Trove. Images relating to the past: Trove. Historical advertising: Trove. A question about the past: Trove.

Honestly, I couldn’t count how many times I’ve opened up Trove and eagerly began searching for information. Using it has become second nature to me and it is by far my favourite reference website.

As stated at the start of this post, Trove isn’t going anywhere. But what we have to think about is what’s going to happen in the future. If we want Trove to remain the amazing treasure that it is and continue to grow then we have to fight for it and we have to fight for it to receive funding. Tim Sherratt put it most eloquently in his blog post:

The current round of cuts have made it clear – it’s time for Trove to be appropriately funded. Not as an add-on, or a ‘nice to have’, but as key component in our cultural landscape.

It’s time we #fundTrove


When recording details about our immediate ancestors, we are never going to know everything. We’re not always going to know the where, what, when and how and it’s our job as genealogists to establish informed theories based on the facts at hand.

There will always be little things that slip through the cracks. Take holidays, for example. Perhaps you had no idea that your Great Grandmother went on a holiday to England until her name was found in the Fremantle Passenger Lists. Other holidays however, without some sort of documentary proof, will remain constrained to the unknown. A quick getaway down south by car (unless photos were taken) will leave no evidence if it’s not remembered or spoken of. It is a thought that is both saddening to the researcher but enlightening to one born into an age of constant documentation of people’s lives. It’s sobering to think that one day my descendants will know exactly when and where I went for coffee and who I was with.

One of the best ways to discover where our relatives travelled is through the photos they do leave behind. In this instance, I was lucky enough to find that my Grandma completed an album full of photos placed in chronological order and labelled accordingly. When Grandma and Grandpa went on a holiday to the north west in celebration of their 25th wedding anniversary, I knew approximately when they went, where they went and some of what they saw. And it all began with a present.


Their 25th wedding anniversary was celebrated on 5 May 1969 so it’s likely they left sometime after this date (which makes sense given the north is extremely hot in summer). They began their holiday as anyone does, by leaving home.

Barratt Ronald Victor & Flynn Audrey [Just leaving for our North West Safari - taken by John Barratt]

“Just leaving for our North West Safari.”

They left North Perth and travelled north up to the Tarcoola Caravan Park.

01 - Tarcoola Caravan Pk Geraldton

“Tarcoola Caravan Pk Geraldton.”

It would appear they made their base here for a short time while they explored some other areas nearby.

03 - Taken over the Greenough River Bar looking out to sea

“Taken over the Greenough River Bar looking out to sea.”

04 - Old Mill. Greenough Flats Wonga Park

“Old Mill. Greenough Flats Wonga Park.”

Grandma and Grandpa had a look at the mouth of the Greenough River, visited the museum at Greenough Flats, travelled to the town of Walkaway and then, back in Tarcoola, went a little further north to Geraldton.

08 - Geraldton


They left Geraldton and again travelled north. They went up to Nazereth House in Geraldton (Bluff Point) and continued up to Port Gregory.

11 - Nazareth House. A few miles north of Geraldton

“Nazereth House. A few miles north of Geraldton.”

On the way back from Port Gregory they passed Horrocks Beach and somewhere after Horrocks Beach, they had dinner by the side of the road.

13 - Dinner here. Coming back from Horrocks Beach

“Dinner here. Coming back from Horrocks Beach.”

After Port Gregory and Horrocks Beach they drove inland to Northampton. A few miles north of Northampton, they pulled over and decided to sleep in the car.

16 - Slept here. A few miles north of Northampton

“Slept here. A few miles north of Northampton.”

They continued further north and reached the 26th parallel (a circle of latitude which passes through Australia).

17 - Unlabelled

From here they stopped at the overlander Ampol Station (it’s now BP) where a turn off (perhaps Denham-Hamelin Road) would take you to Hamelin Bay and Shark Bay. This was not part of their plans so they continued onward to Carnarvon.

18 - The overlander Ampol S Station also turn off to Hamelin Pool & Sharks Bay

“The overlander Ampol S Station also turn off to Hamelin Pool & Sharks Bay.”

27 - The old Carnarvon Townsite

“The old Carnarvon Townsite.”

They made sure to travel further north of Carnarvon to check out the spectacular natural phenomenon, the blowholes.

25 - Blow holes 42 m north of Carnarvon

“Blow holes 42 m north of Carvarvon.”

After their time in Carnarvon they went far inland to Gascoyne Junction. They viewed the Kennedy Ranges from a distance and investigated the Gascoyne River which looked as if it was quite dry.

32 - Gascoyne River Bed at Gascoyne Junction. Ghost Gums

“Gascoyne River Bed at Gascoyne Junction. Ghost Gums.”

From Gascoyne Junction, they travelled south to Cue.

33 - Band Stand. Main St Cue

“Band Stand. Main St Cue.”

34 - Govt Buildings Cue

“Govt Buildings Cue”

On their way south, they had a look at the ghost town, Big Bell. From here, they continued south and stopped to take a photo as they drove in to New Norcia. Their “North West Safari” was drawing closer to an end and this image was the last photo in the album. It may have also been one of the last photos taken before they arrived back home in North Perth.

36 - Coming in to New Norcia from the North

“Coming in to New Norcia from the North.”

Note: there are more photos within the album that have not been shared on this blog post. If you’re interested, these may be shared at a later time on Finding Family’s Facebook page or our sister page, The Dusty Box.


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