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My passion is genealogy and family history. I host a podcast about Australian family history, Genies Down Under. In my day job, I work as a lecturer and a researcher in higher education, teaching pre-service teachers.

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Friday, 1 January 2016

A lot of info in 11 lines of newspaper article about Patrick BUTLER's death: Thanks, TROVE

It's amazing what eleven lines of a newspaper article found on TROVE can reveal. This morning I did a search for Patrick BUTLER in Stockinbingal. I don't know a lot about the life Patrick BUTLER, my second great uncle but I know that he ended up in Stockinbingal in NSW and died there in 1943. So, I searched for "Patrick Butler" and "Stockinbingal" in TROVE newspapers, and came up with the following result:

Source: Cootamundra Herald, Friday 9 April 1943, page 2


Mr Patrick Butler
Mr. Patrick Butler, an old-aged pensioner of Stockingbingal, was found dead in his hut on Tuesday 6 April 1943.
Deceased had resided for a number of years on Mr. H Cohen's "Pine Hills" property. He was well known in the district and was 76.
The remains were laid to rest at Stockinbingal at 11 yesterday.

From this short newspaper article, I could extract the following information:

  • Patrick BUTLER died on Tuesday 6 April 1943.
  • In 1943 Patrick BUTLER was a pensioner.
  • He had  been living in Stockinbingal for a number of years and was well known in the area.
  • He had been living on Mr. H Cohen's "Pine Hills" property.
  • He was living in a hut.
  • He was 76 years of age. [Note: This age must be incorrect, as he was baptised on 11 March 1860 in Doolough, County Clare*, so he was probably born in 1859 or 1860. If he was born in March 1860, the same month as his baptism, he would have been at least 83 years of age in April 1943.]
  • He was buried in Stockinbingal on Thursday 8 April 1943.
This is a photo of Patrick BUTLER 8 years before, when he helped police with a case of a girl who had been found dead in a car (Truth newspaper in Sydney, Sunday 14 April 1935). In the article he was described as a man in his 70s. In April 1935 he would have been 75 years of age. This is a good example, I think, of noting that the information about a person recorded when they are alive (often provided by the person themselves) is more reliable that the information about a person recorded after they have died (obviously not provided by the person themselves).

Source: The Truth in Sydney, Sunday 14 April 1935, page 23

Although Patrick's age was recorded incorrectly in the Obituary in the newspaper article, the other information about where he was living and where he was found when he died are probably more correct. From other records in our family's history, it is clear that Patrick lived in Stockinbingal for many years. Stockinbingal is about 400km from Sydney. It is a small town in the Cootamundra Shire of NSW.

Location of Stockinbingal
[Source of map: Googlemaps]

* Patrick BUTLER's baptism is recorded on 11 March 1860 at Doolough. His baptism records were found in the Kilmurry Ibricken; County of Clare; Diocese of Killaloe Baptisms of March 1860 to April 1860 (Microfilm 02486 / 01, Page 221, no. 914).

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