Chance meeting leads to family tree exploration

It was a pop-up art show at Tenterfield Library when Peter Jeffery, flanked by Dorothy and Ray Barraclough, compared their Tom Roberts-inspired art treasures.
It was a pop-up art show at Tenterfield Library when Peter Jeffery, flanked by Dorothy and Ray Barraclough, compared their Tom Roberts-inspired art treasures.

A chance meeting on a Sunshine Coast beach led to a get-together of Dorothy and Ray Barraclough, Peter Reid, Peter and Margaret Jeffrey and Jan Friar at the Tenterfield Library recently, as Mrs Barraclough explored her family connections to the area.

In her possession were some marvellous cedar panels painted by her ancestors under the instruction of famous Australian artist Tom Roberts. It is believed they are similar to the ones burnt in the home of Alexander and Mary Ann Stewart (nee Pratt) at the property "Millera" or "Malara" at the Rocky River.

Dorothy's ancestor is also Mary Ann Pratt known as "Dolly" whose father was John Markham Pratt. She was not the same Mary Ann Pratt, hence the visit to delve into possible connections.

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The Barracloughs also visited Helen and Bob Burke whose photos show the original house of the Stewarts, who are Peter Jeffrey's great grandparents. Peter bought along his treasured paintings also.

Mr and Mrs Barraclough stayed at Stannum House and loved the warm welcome from all they met.

If anyone can provide any further information that might connect Charles Pratt and his wife (who are buried at the Rocky River property) and John Markham Pratt (Dorothy's ancestor), please contact Jan Friar or one of the above people.

The visit also raised the topic of the number of talented artists in the Tenterfield area over the years, referencing unpublished manuscripts by Chris Humphreys.

It would be great to see a record of those artists and their works placed in the Visitor Information Centre or with the Tenterfield Showground Society.

Dorothy also had photos of her mother's stay at the quarantine station at Wallangarra, which were shared with Helen Petrie for the new Isolation Ward museum.