PATFIELD: Alma… Appendix 5

The "Patfield" section of this site is in memory of my mother, Alma Maud STRONG (née PATFIELD). It is not intended to be a full account of the PATFIELDs, since this is covered by other publications. My narrow focus is on our part of this family. Please read in sequence by following the links at the bottom of each page or use the "Quick Nav" at top right. If you wish to select individual chapters, please click on the top left link to the "Sitemap" page. Note that it is intended that the chapters develop the story of our family and appendices will contain supporting data. The section is integrated with the Photo Gallery: “Alma PATFIELD… her father's & mother's lines.” This gallery illustrates Alma's early German heritage, her grandparents, parents & siblings, and her own life. Note the styles: links to individual images: …#2 ; citation of sources: …2)

Do you have information, opinion or a question relating to either this site’s contents or its copyright? Please use the e-mail link available at the bottom of each page. I look forward to corresponding with you.

The appendices contain supporting data for the preceding chapters.

Appendix 5 : Alma PATFIELD autograph book.

Image of Alma aged 17 Alma aged 17. See full image here.
Alma Maud PATFIELD 26 Mar 1901 - 30 Apr 1988.
Estimated date May 1918, just before the autograph book.

My mother's autograph book provided a snap shot of her friends and relatives in Paterson from 1919 to 1921 when she was aged 18 to 20. This book provided a fascinating way to understand social interactions and genealogy. It contained signatures and messages from friends and family, handwriting practice, drawings and what was considered risqué or daring at the time to young people. I have only included people I could identify and allocate some historical information. I tried to find photos of her autograph friends dated around 1919 to 1921… can you help? So far we only have two such photos: Alma's 1st cousin Emily TAYLOR and also Alma's future husband Robert STRONG.

There is a (joking?) assertion that in the earlier days of the Paterson area “everybody was related”. True? You would expect some genetic isolation in this rural area during the period studied (1919-1921) and the applicable demographic of young adults. There was a lack of cars, particularly for adolescents. At that time Paterson River steamers provided the essential transport and the Paterson Railway Station had opened only a few years earlier on 1911.
Young people found a way around these problems… my mother told me that she attended a dance in a nearby town in a horse and sulky. If an eligible “out of towner” visited the area he could be the centre of attention. Alma ended up marrying the exchange theological student visiting Paterson!
If we look closer at the autograph book’s contributors and their families, we start to think about their sociology and what happened to them later.

Comments from interested readers would be most welcome… see my e-mail link at the end of this chapter.

Due to the range of families I have not included comprehensive citation of sources, unlke the rest of the website. Some useful sources were:
(1)   Alison Pitkin. Portraits of Paterson NSW. Paterson historical society; 2020: 20.…1)
(2)   Dungog and round about. Dungog Chronicle : Durham and Gloucester Advertiser; 25 Oct 1910: 3. (see here)…2)
(3)   Gresford Parish Concert at Paterson. Freeman's Journal; 12 Jun 1924: 31 (see here)
(4)   Timely action. Possible railway smash averted. Maitland Weekly Mercury; 30 Nov 1929: 7 (see here)
(5)   Paterson. Mrs. H. Seumenicht old resident. Maitland Daily Mercury; 11 Jul 1934: 5. (See here)
(6)   No. 18 King Street "Royal Oak Inn". Gleanings from the museum news. Paterson Historical Society; Apr 2003: 1-2

1) FLORY from the Courthouse Hotel

Harriett Violet Matilda (HV) FLORY 1889-1954
Catherine Rheubena (Kitty) FLORY 1891-1932
… The FLORY family of father Johann Jacob FLORY with 4 sons and 3 daughters (includng HV & Kitty) came from their farming interests around Lostock to live in the Courthouse Hotel Paterson.
… Alma had a common background. She had also lived in Lostock and her g-grandfather Leonard ROOS had emigrated from Baden-Württemberg, Germany in 1855 on the ship 'Catteaux Wattell' in company with the FLORYs which included one year old Johann Jacob FLORY (eventually father of HV & Kitty).
… HV FLORY (Harriett Violet Matilda) married in 1921 Alma’s cousin Stanley Victor TAYLOR, son of Alma's aunt Zerada PATFIELD, and brother of Doris Myra Taylor & Emily TAYLOR (their entries in the autograph book shown below)

Image of Illustration in autograph book by Kittie R. FLORY Illustration in autograph book by Kittie R. FLORY (Catherine Rheubena FLORY).

Harriett Violet Matilda (HV) FLORY wrote:

Alma has a little dimple
Lurking near her chin.
Therefore Alma never misses
Any chance to grin.
HV Flory, Hotel Paterson, 12 Oct '20.


2) Nelly BUTLER

Ellen Anacletus (Nellie) BUTLER 1902-1961
… NELLIE lived at 'Farlane' Martin's Creek, daughter of Philip BUTLER and Catherine KEALY.

Nelly BUTLER wrote:

May you be happy and live at your ease
Get a kind husband and do as you please.
Nellie Butler, Paterson.
3) Cyril KEPPIE

Cyril Percival KEPPIE 1902-1973
… son of Percival KEPPIE and Caroline HOMEWOOD.

C. KEPPIE wrote:

Cats like mice
mice like cheese.
Lads like Lassies
Lassies like a squeeze.
C. Keppie.
4) Neva & Essie McGILL from McGill Butchery, Paterson

Neva McGILL 1896-1965,
Essie Margaret McGILL 1903-1954
…daughters of William McGILL & Evelyn Agnes MIDDLETON
… About 1910 William McGill purchased the old Royal Oak Inn building at 18 King Street, Paterson as his family home. At the same time he converted the detached kitchen at 16 King Street, now a pharmacy, into his butcher's shop.…1) Neva remained in the Royal Oak until she died in 1965.…6)
… Essie Margaret McGILL married Herbert Ira KEPPIE in 1935. Herbert was the brother of Cyril Percival KEPPIE (his entry in the autograph book shown above). This group of autograph book friends must have been important to each other.

Neva McGILL wrote:

One smile makes one flirtation
One flirtation makes two aquainted.
Two aquainted makes one kiss
One kiss makes several more
Several more kisses make one engagement
One engagement makes two fools
Two fools make one marriage
One marriage makes two mothers-in-law
And two mothers -in-law make a red hot time.
Neva McGill, 28th 8.1919

Essie McGILL wrote:

Alma had a little lamp
It was well trained no doubt
Because every time Jimmie came in
The little lamp went out.
Essie McGill, 29-8-19.

Lylie (Lillian) O’CONNOR 1895-
Ethel Rosanna (E.R.) O’CONNOR 1896-1982
Elizabeth Anne (Ettie) O’CONNOR 1899-1958
James Robert (J.R.) O’CONNOR 1902-1937
… Children of Francis Patrick O'CONNOR & Eliza PRESLAND.
…Eliza was sister-in-law of Alma's great-aunt Minnie ROSE.

Lylie O’CONNOR wrote:

The lightning flashed the thunder roared
The world scurried all a shaking.
A little pig curled up his tail
And ran to save his bacon.
Lylie O’CONNOR, 11th August 1919

Ettie O’CONNOR wrote:

Alma is your name
Single is your station.
Happy will be the boy
Who makes the alteration.
Ettie O’CONNOR, 10/8/19
6) PATFIELD (Alma's sister & brother)

Lydia Victoria (Lyd) PATFIELD 1902-1977
Sam Patfield 1904-1971
… Alma’s siblings.
… Sam probably lived with his father Monty in a cottage on 'Brisbane Grove and Lyd and Alma lived in the 'Brisbane Grove' homestead with their aunt Victoria Tucker.
… Lyd gave the autograph book to Alma.


Never make love in a cab
Horses carry tails.
LV Patfield, 8/8/19.

Sam PATFIELD wrote:

Think of me when you're lonely
Think of me when you're sad.
Think of the one who loves you only
And the thought will make you glad
Sam Patfield, Brisbane Grove, Paterson.

Rachel St Elmo (Ray) PHILLIPS 1903-1982
Ona (Una) PHILLIPS 1903-1992
Flora Ann (Sweetie) PHILLIPS 1904-1995
… daughters of William PHILLIPS & Annie Jane McNALLY, storekeepers in Paterson at least from 1913 to 1925.
… the daughters' alternate names were used in press reports of Paterson concerts as well in their autographs.

Ray Phillips wrote:

Forget bad writing
Forget the blots.
Forget all else,
But forget me not.
Ray Philips, Paterson, 3/9/20.

Ona Phillips wrote:

Whatever you are— be that,
Whatever you say— be true.
Staightforwardly act,
Be honest; in fact,
Be nobody else but you.
Ona Phillips, “Store” Paterson, 3/9/20.
8) Alf PRESLAND (Alma's 1st cousin)

Alfred John PRESLAND 1900-1979.
… Son of Alfred John PRESLAND & Minnie ROSE. Minnie was Alma's aunt and her mother's twin..
… Alfred was a significant person to my mother Alma Maud (née Patfield).  He was born on 24 Sep 1900 and she was born on 26 Mar 1901 in Paterson.  She told me that he was "sweet on her" when they lived at Paterson, and in fact he travelled to Sydney in the 1970's to visit her before he died in Taree Hospital on 4 Sep 1979.

Alfred John PRESLAND wrote:

 Good brothers love their sisters
  But I so good have grown
  And now I love other brothers' sisters
  Far better than my own
   Alf Presland, 10/8/19
9) Marie PURTELL

Marie PURTELL 1908-1980
… daughter of Patrick John PURTELL & Eleanor PRENDERGAST. Patrick was sergeant of police at Paterson who left there in 1924.
… Marie, a music student of the Dominican Nuns West Mailand, organized a concert at Paterson in 1924 to benefit the RC Church. The press reported that: "it is worth noting that in a town with only one or two Catholic families every home in it was represented and no non-Catholic in Paterson refused to buy a ticket."…3) A credit to all!

Marie PURTELL wrote:

Ashes to ashes
Dust to dust.
If God don't get you
The Devil must.
Marie Purtell, Paterson, Sept 1920.

Johanna D. Hermina SEUMENICHT (née BOKER) 1862-1935
… Hermina and her husband August Frederick Wilhelm (William) SEUMENICHT (1868-1915) came from Holzminden Niedersachsen Germany and immigrated about 1892.…5) In 1910 William was a well known farmer around Lostock and occupied a 600 acre farm near Bird's farm with a dairy herd for years and another 500 acres (near Lostock) which he cropped.…2)
…Since Alma's father worked on Bird's farm and their son Frederick was the same age as Alma, Frederick and Alma probably went to Lostock school together. The families would have known each other.
… Later William and Hermina had a farm on the northern side of the Paterson bridge in "Tucker's Paddock" next to "Brisbane Grove"…4) where Alma lived. Sands Directories and the 1925 Paterson electoral roll show a H. SEUMENICHT, occupation farmer Paterson! At the time of the autograph book Hermina was a next-door neighbour.


It is not just as we take it—
This mystical world of ours;
Life's field will yield as we make it,
A harvest of thorns or flowers.
H Seumenicht, 26 September 1919.

H. SEUMENICHT (H.S) wrote in same handwriting as above:

He loved her and she loved him.
Hearts are trumps.
He satisfied her every whim.
Diamonds are trumps.
Married a while, he stays out late.
Clubs are trumps.
They lived and died a natural fate.
Spades are trumps.
11) Robert STRONG

Robert George David STRONG 1896-1980.
… In 1921 Robert was in his second year at Moore Theological College Sydney training to be a C of E minister. He travelled to Paterson as part of an exchange scheme between Moore College and St John's Theological College Morpeth, and his individual placement was facilitated by Alma's "Aunty Vic" TUCKER. The rest was history, since he married Alma in 1925!

Robert STRONG wrote:

1. A lizard ran to a wall,
On a hot summers day.
He ran there once
He ran there twice 
And then he ran away
2. A bee lighted on a flower
On a hot summer’s day.
He sipped it once
He sipped it twice
And then he flew away.
3. A lover came to a maiden
On a hot summer’s day.
He kissed her once
He kissed her twice
And then he ran away.
Now: The wall wasn’t sunny;
The flower had no honey;
The maiden had no money; Isn’t it funny.
But it's true.
Robert Strong, Sydney 14 Sept 1921. 
Image of Robert Strong in 1919 aged 23 Robert Strong in 1919 aged 23.
12) TAYLOR (Alma's 1st cousins)

Doris Myra Taylor 1897-1948
Emily TAYLOR 1904-1983
… daughters of Albert TAYLOR & Zerada PATFIELD (Alma's aunt & uncle)
… the TAYLORs had fostered Alma's brother Harry Ernest (Joff) when Alma's mother died.

Emily Taylor wrote:

Alma had cream, Alma had jelly
Alma went home with a pain in her —.
Don't be mistaken and don't be misled
Alma went home with a pain in her head.
Emily Taylor, 8 August 1919.
Image of Emily TAYLOR about age 15 at Paterson Emily TAYLOR about age 15 at Paterson, about the same date as her autograph entry.
Photo: Kindness of David Smith.
13) Jack TUCKER (Alma's 1st cousin)

John Brisbane (Jack) TUCKER 1907-1979
… Son of William Cann TUCKER & Victoria PATFIELD (Alma's aunt)
… note that Alma lived at 'Brisbane Grove' at this time with "Aunty Vic"

Jack TUCKER wrote:

Dear Alma I know
That you are six foot two.
And your arm is full of muscle.
But I'll bet you ten to one.
That I can smack your Buscle.
Jack Tucker, 8/8/19. 

Augustus John Christian VÖGELE 1856-1940
… AJC was born in Hohenhachlach Baden-Württemberg, Germany (near Stuttgart), emigrated 1873, d. Martin's Creek.
… note that AJC still used the umlaut in his signature and that Alma's g-grandfather also came from Baden-Württemberg.

A.J.C. VÖGELE wrote:

Man wants but little love
And is not hard to please.
But woman bless her little heart
Wants everthing she sees.
A.J.C. Vögele. 

See his gravestone here in St Paul's Paterson Grave Photos, page 77. This is a 54 Mb download placed in the resource section of the Paterson Historical Society website. Interesting that his inscription "Erwart uns hier, wir folgen Dir” or "Expect us here, we will follow you" suggests a Luxembourgish or Swabian dialect rather than High German which would have said "Erwartet uns…".


The Story Continues