Finding Family

One woman's obsession with family history.

Courtesy of the Bunbury Herald.


The front page (along with the stunning title above) featured the major news of the day with very limited advertising.

One such article briefly touched on the smallpox scare in Melbourne around this time. On 14 July 1913 a steam ship, the Karoola, arrived in Melbourne from Sydney with about 300 passengers on board. Included amongst these passengers was a lady by the name of Mrs Ekins. Though she and about 100 of her fellow passengers were deemed healthy upon their arrival and were allowed to leave, two days later she was diagnosed with smallpox. The diagnosis itself resulted in concern that other people may become infected and it became the job of the authorities to quickly locate the other passengers and place them in quarantine immediately.

The aftermath of the above caused panic amongst the general population in thinking that there may in fact be an epidemic on their hands and sparked a rush of people seeking both vaccination and medical assistance.


Such a scare also had an effect upon the Sydney Government who decided to introduce a Bill making vaccination compulsory.


Within the paper, Chadd & Whitty’s of Victoria Street in Bunbury advertised their business as being the place to go for light refreshment as well as ease, comfort and cleanliness. Patrons had the option to phone them on their number: 108.


Nestle also advertised in the Bunbury Herald stating that teachers recommended buying the Nestle brand of condensed milk. You’ll find no arguments here. Though I don’t buy it very often, Nestle is still the brand of choice for condensed milk (and it’s still equally delicious eaten straight out of the can!).


An obituary concerning the death of an old resident, Mr Frederick Roberts was printed on page seven of the paper. Frederick was born in Cornwall, England and was the son of William Jenkin Roberts and Isabella Jenkin Issacson. In 1842, at the age of seven, he and his family travelled from England to Western Australia on the ship ‘Diadem’. His fellow passengers included my own ancestors; the Crampton family and the Hurst family. When  Frederick died he was 84 years old and a highly respected member of the community.


A section within the newspaper (page three) was devoted to all things women might be interested in reading and was entitled ‘Woman’s World’. This issue included an article which provided housewives with useful tips and recipes for dealing with stale bread.

stale bread

One recipe in particular (bread and jam fritters) sounded quite tasty and reminds me of a kind of rectangular jam donut.

Jam Fritter

I have to admit, it’s very tempting to try make it! It also makes me wonder about the immense collection of recipes that might be found within historical newspapers. As someone who enjoys baking it would be truly wonderful to try out some of these tried and true recipes that were probably passed down through generations. Perhaps some more Trove searching is in order…


2 thoughts on “On this day 100 years ago…19 July 1913

  1. This is a great idea and an interesting blog post. I might borrow your idea for my blog.

    1. Jess says:

      Glad you liked it Kylie! Please feel free to borrow the idea. It’s fascinating reading about every day things from the past. 🙂

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