HAFS Journal Vol 14 No 2 – Nov 2017 – Reading, seeing, visiting history


Australian poetess – Alys Hungerford [H.1a/E.6.8a=1], by Lesley Abrahams;

A Journey to Baerami, by Brett Harvey;

Sister Molly Hungerford FRC [E.1.1a.6b]: WWI Bluebird nurse in France, by Fred Ford;

Richard (‘Rick’) Warren Hungerford Sr, by Richard Hungerford;

The family of Lucinda Sarah Norcott, by Anthony William Ingarfield;

Visions of fairyland: Herbert Swire’s watercolours [Willys Keeble].


Working with old documents is a key part of historical research. They offer the bulk of what we know of the distant past. Yet the English language keeps changing, only some documents remain, and handwriting, the main mode of recording before the typewriter, is not always legible.

The written word is supplemented by community monuments (often linked with war and death). Paintings are another source, though the time and skill needed to produce them limits their provenance to the better off. Much ‘domestic’ history has been recorded over the past 150 years through photography, as costs have declined and taking them has got easier. (Smartphone recording is another story: the researcher’s problem now is that the world is swamped with information!)

Enough reflection on historiography! What this leads towards is to note that the articles in this issue of the Journal constitute exemplars of this variety of historical sources. Anthony William Ingarfield [B.3a.3b.6c.6d] goes back to near-indecipherable records to unravel the complex history of an Irish ancestor, Lucinda Sarah Norcott [B=]. Fred Ford brings together varied material on the unstinting nursing service of Mary (Molly) Catherine Hungerford [E.1.1a.6b] – official records, her own words, and a variety of photographs.

Paintings are perhaps the least-used resource in family history research, since (apart from portraits) they rarely speak to events connected with individual persons. The adventures of Herbert Swire are an example, however, skilfully drawn together with his writings by Willys Keeble [E.10.4a.1b.2c/E.6.15a.1b.2c]. For those of you reading this issue online, you can see them in full colour!

But simply going to a place to learn from what is still there ‘on the ground’ is another way of learning. Brett Harvey [E.1.1a.15b.1c.1d.1e=] has done this for several homes associated with the Hungerfords, and in this issue journeys to Baerami – linking its history with that of Herbert Swire.

Just telling a person’s life-story has its own power, as our USA HAFS Life Member Richard W Hungerford (great grandson of SH807) does for his remarkable father, Richard W Hungerford Sr And Lesley Abrahams [H.4a.1b.1c.1d /E.6.5a.1b.1c.1d] opens this issue by uncovering the life and work of a HAFS poetess, Alys Hungerford [H.1a/E.6.8a=1].

Thank you, authors, for your use of varied materials to give us another interesting issue.  The HAFS Journal continues to offer material that not only opens new dimensions of learning, but also is interesting.

Charles Sherlock


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