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Lookupuk.com - Wales Genealogy Board
Message #31680

Board Name: Wales Genealogy
Robyn Gross Wodonga, vic Australia Oct 26, 2000
I am trying to solve the mystery of my grandmother's ancestors. Most of the information she gave to her daughters seems to be very misleading and/or untrue.

She said her name was VERRINDER DAVIES(davis) and that she was born in Barry Wales in February 1894. She said that she had the following siblings LILLIAN, GWILLYM, DOROTHEA(dolly), and possible also CHARLES AND WYNDHAM. Her father (William we think) was a ships chandler and that her mother was an alcoholic and she was raised by her grandmother.

She was known as Vera here in Australia and said that she had trained with her aunt, Clara Novello Davies, as an opera singer, but joined the land army during WW1. She was also supposed to have been active with the suffragette movement.
Other family connections she referred to were cousins FRED PA(e)RRY and IVOR NOVELLO.

Following the war she became disenchanted with opera and joined the crew of the Jervis Bay which was sailing to Australia. (A photo shows her dressed i furs and she had a good colection of jewelery). Here she said she jumped ship (it seems in Perth as this was its sole port of call in 1923) and made her way to Melbourne where she met and married my grandfather HENRY BERNARD ABBOTT in 1924 and moved into a remote and then isolated part of Victoria. They met when she was cooking at a school for the deaf and mute, my granfaher had lost his hearing in an accident when he was 18.

(It is inferred that she had some sort of relationship with the ships pursor possible surname LAWRENCE). We now wonder if she was hiding from something or someone.

She could not only sing extraordinarily, speak beautifully, cook superbly but she also painted well. She said that one of her paintings hung in her former girls school in Barry.My mother FAY DOROTHY nee ABBOTT remembers her as being gifted in all.

None of this tallies with what she told her daughters.


She had told her two daughters that she was an orphan and all of her family had died and that they had been extremely poor and she left to work on the land in Victoria as a land girl.

However when my aunt, PAMELA NOWAK nee ABBOTT, visited Wales in 1951 she discovered that not only were they all alive including her mother, they had thought that she was dead as she simply disappeared.How much of what she told her fammily was true??

My aunt made several visits to Cardiff, Barry and Swansea collecting information and documents particularly in the 1980's. Sadly the one piece of luggage that ever went missing in all her overseas trips was the one containing all her research. Since then she too has died with out recording any of it!!!!!!! One name we can recall her talking about is HOPE DAVIES.

Other members of the my grandmothers supposedly non existant family also emigrated to Australia. LILLIAN married DAI SEMMENS and with their own children and MARIE an adopted daughter arived in the late 1950s. All are now dead except MARIE who was to young to remember much. Another moved to Queensland but we don't know names.

DOLLY (Dorothy or Dorothea) arrived in 1962 and lived with my grandmother and grandfather at Sandringham in Melbourne. Dolly had been born with a club foot and was kept home and not educated. She had her foot operated on as an adult. She too is dead.

These details hopefully may mean something to another reader as all trails lead no where for me. I cannot from Australia find a family with any matching names and VERRINDER as a first name seems nonexistant. There are also no Vera, Averinah, Alvera, Verna, Veronica, Eva, etc or similar which come near to matching. The name Eileen may mean something as she used this as an alias during the depression to escape the bailiffs when they went bankrupt.

I can only keep exploring and posting notices on board like this.
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