Jim's Genie Jottings

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

23/09/2020 - Where the coolabahs grow

My 2021 Croker Prize essay was Where the coolabahs grow, a short biography of my 3G-grandfather William Isaac Kemp (1826 - 1897)This year, the theme was my most unexpected research finding.

The judges' provided the following synopsis of the essay:

Where the coolabahs grow meticulously documents a wide range of sources as a basis for a well-researched story unearthing aboriginal heritage in a stockman’s parentage. It presents a very interesting story that puts a spotlight on aspects of aboriginal life in nineteenth-century Australia. Well structured, the biography traces William Kemp’s challenges through his life after his mother, a member of the Mowgee clan of the Wiradjuri nation, died when he was still a child.

You can read Where the coolabahs grow by clicking here.

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 eight years (all available on my Stories page - click here).

Finally, I offer my hearty congratulations to Michele Bomford of the NSW Southern Highlands for her winning essay, Conduct Unbecoming, about her GG-granduncle Matthew Burnside.