Jim's Genie Jottings

A history of the Fleming, Jolliffe, Kessey and Murphy families of New South Wales - and their forebears

6/10/2020 - Showdown at the Blue Bell Inn

My 2020 Croker Prize essay was Showdown at the Blue Bell Inn, a short biography of my 3G-grandmother Elizabeth Clarkson (1834 - ).

The Croker Prize for Biography is an annual essay competition (1000 words) run by the Society of Australian Genealogists as a public recognition of their generous benefactors, Colin and Loas Croker. I have contributed an essay in each of its sevenyears (all available on my Stories page - click here). This year, the theme was my most elusive ancestor.

The judges' provided the following synopsis of the essay:

Showdown at the Blue Bell Inn is a fitting title for a tale that commences with an emotionally-charged recount about a runaway wife who is pursued by her husband and forced to return home before she can make good her planned escape aboard a steamer from Sydney to Melbourne. The balance of the biography examines her life up to that point before finishing with her eventual successful escape … followed by her complete disappearance.

You can read Showdown at the Blue Bell Inn by clicking here.

Finally, I offer my hearty congratulations to Bill Dudley of Shoalhaven Heads for his winning essay, The Sad Tale of Lieutenant Philip Connor.