Wednesday, 17 December 2014

The start of it all....

Introducing the Killion and Nott Family History blog

Well, it seems like you don't exist these days unless you're blogging. I've resisted to this point but have taken the plunge mostly because I want to share the family history with you. Afterall, after nearly 40 years of dealing with dead people, it's probably time I started talking to some live ones! 

I thought the best first entry would be to explain how my interest in the family history started. So, once upon a time.......

How did it all start?

It was the May school holidays in 1977. Mum (Shirley Killion nee Nott), Dad (Gordon Killion) and I travelled from Sydney to Lismore, as was tradition, to stay with Mum's mother, Lou Nott (Selina Louisa Nott born Brodbeck). 

It was one night during that stay with Nana. Mum and I were sitting in the loungeroom of '71' (71 Avondale Avenue). Mum opened up a tin of Quality Street chocolates - but it wasn't full of chocolates but old family photos. 

In amongst the collection were these two of Nana's parents:

Elizabeth Brodbeck nee Stieger (1864-1920)
Jacob Brodbeck (1859-1936)

I distinctly remember it was these two photos that Mum showed me and that caused some sort of curiosity on my part to want to learn more about these people - who they were, where they lived and what did they do. Mum told me that they owned a property called 'Millie Creek' near Barraba NSW and Nana spent her youth having a wonderful time playing tennis and having picnics etc. I needed to know more!

And then.....

From that moment in May, I became intrigued and so it was inevitable that in the August school holidays, Mum, Dad and I travelled to Barraba to see what we could find out! 

From Tamworth one evening, we rang the first Brodbecks at Barraba from the phone book. This turned out to be Ted and Eileen Brodbeck in Henry Street - Ted was one of Nana's first cousins. 

We visited them and they were so helpful referring to people with odd names like 'Gudlip' and 'Christy'. They took us on a 'tour' of the cemetery and to 'Millie Creek' (now called 'Calamondah') which was then owned by Mrs Muriel Crowley.

Here's a travel diary entry of mine from the time as well as some snaps of that memorable trip!

Mum leaving Ted and Eileen Brodbeck's house - Ted & Eileen in the background

'Millie Creek' now Calamondah

Grave of Jacob and Elizabeth Brodbeck

And the rest is history! I haven't stopped delving into the Brodbecks and all the German families of Barraba we are related to and, despite Mum's lack of enthusiasm, I also started research on Dad's side of the family in the late 1970s early 1980s.

It's been a passion and lifelong interest and one which I hope to share with you without ending up boring you!


  1. Welcome to the world of geneablogging! This first post makes fascinating reading - and I love the photos. In our many conversations since Congress 1991, you have taught me so much about the correct way to do research. I look forward to reading your posts here, and I've subscribed by email so that I won't miss anything!

  2. Hi Martin great to see you blogging the family history! Looking forward to reading future posts. Interestingly I started my family history research in 1977 but I was a bit older than you, married and bored watching TV in the evenings, except of course for Roots which I watched and changed the course of my life.

  3. Oops sorry for that bad typo Martyn!

  4. Hi Martyn, great to see you blogging! Looking forward to hearing more of your journey.

  5. Look forward to hearing more about your journey. I often wonder why some rellies happily share photos and stories while others don't/won't ...even when there are no skeletons.

  6. Congratulations Martyn on your momentous decision to start this blog. It is a commitment but as you have sooooo much time, this shouldn't be a problem. And your relatives will be so happy. I adore the diary entry - obsessed about the time and so honest about the food.

  7. With a surname such as Brodbeck why haven't you joined The Surname Society ( - great to see you blogging!