Thursday, 13 May 2010

No sign of the family monk

I don’t think I am going to find the family’s Greek  Orthodox monk, David Ross. I sent some emails out to various Greek Orthodox Monasteries and the response has been absolute silence.

So then I thought I would ring only to discover that most of those who answered the phone either spoke little English or spoke it so heavily accented I could make no sense of it and they could make no sense of me. I was going nowhere fast. Angel help is certainly needed.

And there has been no word on the Rossolimo contact who thought she might be able to check records while visiting Ithaca in April. To be fair, it is barely two weeks since April ended and there might still yet be things to ‘hear.’ Or not.

This has been such a busy time and I have been travelling so much that I have not had much of a chance .... try no chance .... for research. Plans to get to the Geneaology Society fell in a heap or rather, amounted to nothing. I will get there but I have no idea when.

Ancestry research seems to slither to a halt quite easily. How wonderful it would be to have something like the television researchers Who Do You Think You Are or Find My Family doing the hard word. That is of course not the least bit likely and a cop-out of major proportions. Ancestry research is always about priority and seems to progress in bumps and jumps interspersed with long periods of absolutely nothing.

I did receive an email from Cousin Wendy about her grandfather, Chrysantheous Christus, otherwise known as ‘Dan’ or  briefly, as when he got married, Charlie. It is certainly interesting and fleshes out Charlie Ross’s family but is something of a digression.

On his enlistment form Dan, Charlie and Mary's second youngest child, has put himself down as a farmer. During 1921-1927 he was a warder at Yatala Prison in South Australia and in 1927 he sailed to England, working as a ship’s steward, with Alice and their baby daughter, Shirley who was the only one of Alice and Dan’s four children to survive.

Letty Veronica was born in 1921 and died at four months; Lenora Chrissie in 1922 dying at seven weeks and Kenneth Geoffrey in 1923, who died at ten days. Alice, it is said, took her fourth child home to England because she thought she would be safer there. She blamed the climate in Australia for the deaths of her other babies. When Shirley was born, she said, the doctor said: ‘Here’s another one for the undertaker.’

It seems hard to believe that a doctor would say such a thing but no doubt Alice and Dan felt that might well be the case. As it was they stayed in the UK with Alice’s family for just a year, returning then to Adelaide and later moving to Orroroo and Gladstone where Dan worked on road construction. In 1940 the family moved to Adelaide where Dan worked as a press operator and Alice in a munitions factory. When the Second World War broke out Dan tried to re-enlist but was rejected with a medical certificate showing ‘unfitness’ dated August 1942.

He had heart problems and by May 1945 there was a doctor’s certificate showing he was unfit for work. Within  four years he was dead. Like so many of the Ross men he did not make ‘old bones’ but he got five years less than his father; ten years less than my grandfather and two years less than my father.

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