Sunday, May 8, 2011

Peter Stewart

I am extremely grateful when I approach people out of the blue to submit a profile to GeniMates and they respond enthusiastically. I am not known to Peter and was so pleased that he must have checked out this blog and decided that it was safe to respond to me.

Peter, the President of the Campbelltown District Family History Society, is typical of the sort of person I love to profile on GeniMates. He is one of a band of unsung heroes who works in a voluntary capacity to progress the pursuit of genealogy in his local area.

Thank you, Peter, for telling us your story.

Date  May 6,  2011
Name  Peter Stewart
Hometown  Campbelltown, NSW

Are you a Hobbyist or Professional Genealogist? Enthusiastic hobbyist

What is your day job?  Caring for Aged and infirm Religious at St Gregory's College Campbelltown, NSW. I am a Marist Brother and for 30 years taught in Catholic Primary Schools in Australia & New Zealand. My last 11 years in education I was a Primary Principal.

How long have you been chasing ancestors? Twenty years

How did you get hooked on genealogy? I had an interest in where my maternal grandfather was born and raised in Yockleton, Shropshire, England and had decided I would visit there if and when I got the chance to travel. I met grandfather's neice who was 96 at the time and wrote to a cousin living in Sydney. Joan suggested that I try and find out about the Simon and Tomlins families before they came to Australia. And as they say, "the rest is history".

When I returned home in 1993 and was telling my sister what I'd discovered she asked what I'd done on Dad's side. I had to admit - nothing. Pat suggested that I contact a 2nd cousin of Dad's in Moree, which I duly did - only to find out that Dorrie had died 3 months before Dad in 1990. Her son contacted me and sent me a copy of all his mother's info. And I went from there with the Jurd Family, my paternal grandmother's maiden name. With some 500 names recorded I mused on what I would do with them. Having seen a couple of family historys that had been produced around the time of Australia's Bicentennary and realising that 2002 was the 200th Anniversary of the arrival of Daniel Judd/Jurd, a convict, in August of that year, I sussed out a few opinions on trying to put the info I had into a booklet. Like topsy, it just grew. The book, "To Live On In The Hearts And Minds Of Descendants Is To Never Die" was launched at the reunion on the 200th Anniversary with some 8,600 descendant names recorded, and where possible stories told.

I was asked at the Reunion, "Well what now?" 'The Descendants of Daniel and Elizabeth Jurd nee Douglas  Association' was formed at the reunion. I've continued researching and writing and we've planned a 200th Wedding Anniversary Reunion for the weekend of 28-30 September 2012 at Windsor. Elizabeth was the daughter of First Fleeters, William Douglas and Mary Groves.

There are currently in excess of 13,600 descendants on my database, along with many more stories, facts etc. There will be a 2nd edition of the book launched at that reunion.

I get really excited when I hear from those connected with the family or who have an interest in this particular family. 

What, if any, formal or informal studies have you undertaken that are relevant to genealogical research? I have no formal training in genealogy. I regulary attend meetings of the Windsor Family History Group and the Campbelltown District Family History Society. I have had an immense amount of assistant from fellow researchers.

What are your areas of Expertise in Genealogy? Enthusiasm for genealogy. Love to ferret out info where possible as time permits.

Please outline your involvement in Genealogy Societies and Groups. January 2003 joined the Windsor Family History Group and attend monthly meetings as often as possible - usually each month.

June 2003 - joined Campbelltown District Family History Society Inc. July 2003 was elected as Treasurer, August 2008 was elected as President. I conclude my time as President in August this year.

What are the lands of your ancestors? England, Scotland, Ireland, Wales and Australia.

What Family Names are you Researching? Began researching the Tomlins & Simon Families, then the Stewart line.

Currently working on Jurd, Stewart, Walters, Walker, Fernance, Thompson, Bailey and associated families.

Who is your favourite ancestor? Why? Elizabeth Jurd, the Currency Lass. Elizabeth was only 16 when she married in 1812 and Daniel was 32. She was one amazing woman. Daniel died in August 1833 leaving her with 9 children, the youngest was 7 months old. She not only raised her family but also cared for several orphans. I see her as a woman of great strength, practical, compassionate, a woman of love and generosity. She suffered the death of 3 children in 1856 within a few months.

What ancestral city or town would you like to visit? Why? Colsterworth - where Mary Groves grew up, Lincolnshire where William Douglas came from and track down where Daniel Jurd hailed from. I don't know much about their lives before they were transported as convicts.

What is your favourite resource for genealogy? BDM's, Ancestry and Ryerson Index

Do you keep your genealogy files on paper? Yes
Do you keep your genealogy files on a computer? Yes

What genealogy software do you use to record your family tree?  Family Tree Maker for Windows

Do you have your tree posted on the internet? Yes
If Yes What is the URL?  Genes Reunited - a basic tree

What Social Networking Sites do  you use for genealogy? Ancestry, Genes Reunited

Do you have a blog?  No

What are your Other Hobbies, Activities, Interests?  Long car drives, cooking, cake decorating; spending quality time with friends and family

What is your favourite lesiure time activity apart from genealogy? Driving

What is your favourite (non genealogy) book?  Not a good reader so don't have a favourite book.

What is your personal philosophy in a few  words ? To live a happy fulfilling life, being caring and helpful to people. Trying to keep healthy

If you have anything else to share please add it below. Would love to hear from ANYONE who is related to the JURD Dynasty or who knows any of the Jurd and associated families. Feel free to put them in contact with me please.


  1. Hi Peter, my name is Allison Larfield née Jurd. I am daughter to David Jurd, granddaughter to Brian Jurd (deceased) of Warialda. Would you mind sending me any information for the Jurd reunion 2012. My contact details are email: Thanks Alli..

  2. Hi, Peter, Jacqueline Marchant here. I have finally ordered both the book and the CD for my mother whose own mother was Mary (Jurd) Willacy, (George A. and Emily Jurd's daughter). I did correspond with you for a time and have now come back into the geneology search as I head towards retirement. My mother has expressed a wish to read some of the material I found so I thought the book was the best way to put her in touch with her inspiring ancestry.