From my experience of researching my wonderful family's history, I often get the most exciting information from unexpected places. Recently, my Mum and I were searching random phrases and old addresses on the internet. "Type in 13 York St, Forest Lodge," said Mum, remembering the address her first home as a child in Sydney. Her first few years of life were spent in this small terrace house in inner Sydney with her parents and her paternal grandparents, the Walters family. Apparently, her grandmother, Margaret Walters (nee Fleming) was known to spend most of her pension money on my Mum, her only grand-daughter at the time. This old lady would spend hours and hours looking after her small grand-daughter on the tiny front verandah of this terrace house.
After typing in the old address where the Walters family lived from the late 1930s, we found a little snippet of information - it may not sound much to others but to us it was very touching. It was a notice on page 1 of the Sydney Morning Herald on Friday 30 December 1932. Obviously the family had been shopping at the David Jones store a few days before, probably in the city. They had found a purse in the store and took the trouble to put an advertisement in the paper in an attempt to reunite the purse with its owner.
Mum and I both smiled when we found this tiny treasure in the form of a newspaper clipping. "So, they were honest!" It's funny how a small discovery like this can extend your understanding of people who are long gone. Their deeds live on in many ways. Of course, we'll never know if the owners ever contacted the Walters family to claim their lost purse but what we do know is that the Walters family took the trouble to attempt to find the owners.
Margaret (nee Fleming) and John Walters lived at 13 Forest Lodge from about 1909 until the late 1930s. Margaret was known to walk to the tram station to meet her husband on his way home from work and they would walk back home, hand-in-hand, to 13 York St, Forest Lodge, like a couple of sweethearts. They were my mother's father's parents, my great-grandparents.