The oldest documents in Georgiana’s story

Research can be an exciting experience especially when working with primary sources. You sometimes feel as if you’re touching fingertips with the original writers of the documents in your hands. But it can also be a long, frustrating process. These are some of the precious documents in Georgiana’s family archive, dating back to 1567. Many are written on vellum (calf skin) and in Latin, with heavy wax seals. They hold the stories of a family’s past but they are so very difficult to read.

It’s interesting that, so far, this photograph has been viewed by more readers than any other on the ‘Georgiana Molloy 1805-1843’ Facebook page.

Coast Australia, Series 2, 2015

Filming in Augusta with the wonderful Brendan Moar for the second series of Coast Australia, May 2014.

Georgiana Molloy Bernice Barry Coast Australia 1

The documentary included a section on Georgiana Molloy in Episode 4.

‘Tis the mind that shines

When Georgiana packed in 1829 for the sea voyage to her new home in Australia, she included some reading choices that wouldn’t usually be on the list of a person described as strictly pious, including this copy of the songs of Robert Burns. This beautiful little book was given to ‘GM’ as a wedding gift and includes Burns’ reworking of old verses that leave no doubt at all about the bawdy subject matter – even when written in Scots dialect! It told me right away that there was much more to the story of Georgiana Molloy than had been told before. It was also the place where I found the subtitle I’d been looking for, in a poem called ‘On Cessnock Banks’ in this edition of the collection.