Boyles (My Mother's Side)

Grandfather John Boyle was born in Thurles, Ireland and sailed out to New York and then on to Australia in the 18th Century (she means '19th century' - he wasn't married until 1864 and fathered his last child in 1882 - see Boyle family history). He married Annie Slattery and they had 8 children, Bill, Johanna (Ethel's mother, 24 May 1866 - 15 February 1954), Margaret, Mary, Elizabeth, Kate, James and Jack.

Ireland and Thurles.

(Go here for a more comprehensive history of the Boyle family.)

Bill Boyle

Bill Boyle went to America in his teens with a cattle man from Kyneton Vic and then to the Argentine (Buenos Aires) and never came back again. He married a Spanish girl and, although Grandma Boyle used to hear from him and his family after his wife's death, he wrote very seldom, so we lost all trace of him (See letter from him - as Guillermo Boyle - dated 5 September, 1926. He would have been about 65 when he wrote it. [1.4mb PDF in his handwriting])

Johanna Boyle (Ramsdale)

Johanna married William Charles Ramsdale (Ethel's father, on 8 April 1891) and they had 5 daughters - Mary (Tot); Ethel (Et); Ellen (Nell); Ann (Nan) and Florence (Flo) and a son William Charles (Charlie). (Go here for a more comprehensive history of the Ramsdale family.)

My mother (Johanna) met with an accident when about 3 years old, her brother Bill was chopping a bit of wood which she wanted and he brought the axe down on her fingers. The result was that she had only 3 fingers and 2 stumps on one hand which didn't worry her as she did everything - sewed, knitted etc. etc.

She was brought up by her grandmother (Mrs Slattery) who used to operate the tollgates at Kyneton. She went to a private school run by a Mrs O'Reilly and Miss Phillips (sisters), had a very good education, and was quite a lady. She used to dress beautifully always getting her clothes made by a good dressmaker and her hats used to be so becoming too.

map of Victoria.

She went to the Kyneton Presbytery to work when she grew up and eventually married. Her sister Nell married Charlie Ramsdale's brother Jack. So, it was a double wedding - 2 sisters and 2 brothers. Mum (Johanna) had 3 girls and Aunt Nell had 3 boys and then she (Nell) died leaving a young family. Mum (Johanna) went up to keep house for Uncle Jack and care for the boys but it didn't work and she eventually went to a house of her own again (Bowers House we used to call it). She took Frank and Bill, the younger one, with her while an aunt took the elder boy Jim. Read more about this here.

It was a lovely old house with roses (Cloth of Gold) all over the front verandah and 13 cherry trees which were a lovely sight when ripe. People used to come with their baskets to pick the cherries when ripe (all free) as, in the country in those days, everyone exchanged their foods with each other.

The place had a lot of land with it, and a tributary from the Campaspe river flowed through it. Mr. Bowers used half the paddock, the other side, for his cows with a high [6 foot] fence to keep them from the railway line which ran through Kyneton and Bendigo.

We had the other half of the land and my mother used to have her ducks, geese and chickens. We used to sell the young geese at Christmas for about 3/6d each and we had to dress them for that. Mum and I usually killed and plucked them. We were a good way from Kyneton (Carlsruhe 4 miles) and as there were no shops at Carlsruhe we had to trap rabbits and kill the poultry for food. We used to get most of our groceries by walking into Kyneton. Tea etc. used to be delivered by Griffith Bros. in those days in large chests/cases.

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