Greg’s grandfather Cecil Young (1898-1975) had a small collection of postcards that he had collected when young. He passed it on to Greg’s father, Peter.
When I first started our family history research I looked at those postcards and tried to work out who was writing to whom and why the cards had been collected. They contained important clues. I’ve spent many years working on the family tree they make a lot more sense now, but they are still worth revisiting for new insights.
Two of the cards were sent from Western Australia, I think from Cecil’s cousin George Wilkins (1884-1909). Cecil and his brother Jack lived at Homebush near Avoca, with George’s parents, George Wilkins senior (1857-1944) and their aunt Charlotte Wilkins née Young (1861-1925). These two postcards were addressed to Charlotte Wilkins.
An article in the Avoca Free Press of 10 March 1909 mentioned a memorial service for George Wilkins who had died 30 January 1909 in Meekatharra.
Cemetery records show that George was buried at Nannine Cemetery. Nannine is 35 kilometres south-west of Meekatharra, 735 kilometres north-north-east of Perth. It is now a ghost town but in the early 1900s it was a gold-mining centre.
When I was thinking about researching this post I decided to look up the Victorian probate index. Although George did not die in Victoria there was a chance his affairs had been administered there. George died intestate but he had a block of land and there is a file containing letters of administration.
- George E Wilkins occupation School Teacher residence Maryborough date of death 30 Jan 1909 file number 115/855 VPRS 28/P3, unit 130 VPRS 7591/P2, unit 447
The file contains an affidavit by George’s father concerning the search for the will. It mentions a William Baker of Meekatharra, who had been an intimate friend of George’s. Baker stated there was no will and there was no will found in the effects forwarded to his parents by the police. Nurse Cameron of the Meekathatta hospital attended George in his last illness and stated he had made no will despite being urged to by his attendants. George Wilkins senior also stated that Nurse Cameron had said George had been asked
if he had any message to leave. He replied that he had told Willy Baker all that he had to say except what he would tell his mother. His mother did not see him as he died before news of his fatal illness arrived. For all of which reasons I am fully satisfied that deceased left no will. (VPRS 7591/P2, unit 447, pages 15-16)
The letters of administration dealt with 20 acres of land at Homebush Lower and associated fencing.
I don’t know how long George Wilkins had been in Western Australia. The postmarks are not clear and I can’t read the dates.