My research has always focused on Georgiana Molloy and John Molloy but no-one lives in isolation; the wider circle of their family, friends and others who influenced their lives has turned out to be huge. After all, we’re looking at several generations and a time when it was usual for a couple to have many children, and marry perhaps several times if they were widowed.

It would be impossible to include details here about all the interesting individuals whose lives touched the world of the Molloys but there are several people that I often get asked about. If you’ve read the book and wondered, ‘”Whatever happened to…?” then I hope you’ll find some answers here as I add information over the coming months, perhaps with the help of readers who can fill some of the gaps and add to this archive of genealogical data. So, here’s a bit more about…

John Molloy and the emperor

This sketch, archived among the papers of John Molloy, Georgiana’s husband who was the Government resident in Augusta and Busselton, had always puzzled me. There’s not much doubt that it’s a representation of Napoleon Bonaparte. You can read about my first thoughts here. It took a long time but earlier this year I got much […]

Layers of history

“Often have I laid in bed on board and thought of you all with my eyes shut and could, for the moment, fancy myself at Rosneath.” Georgiana Molloy 1829   When I was at school I was taught that history was a fixed thing, an accumulation of dates and facts that could be learned and […]

From Regency to Victorian

I often talk about combining empathy and imagination with factual evidence when writing about history because that’s what works for me. The story of an individual becomes real when I can picture them clearly going about the everyday tasks in life. That’s just imagination but empathy adds something extra, the ingredient that allows a writer […]

Where Georgiana walked

Most of the buildings that still stand in the Carlisle Cathedral precinct would have been familiar to young Georgiana Kennedy in the early 1800s. Like her own family history, they represent many generations who went before. If you visit today, you can walk where she walked and see the same ruins of the original priory […]

One quarter of a penny

This is an 1829 George IV farthing. Prince George acted as Regent during the mental illness of his father, King George III, giving the name ‘Regency’ to a distinctive period of English design in clothing and architecture based on his lavish tastes. In 1821, Georgiana was at boarding school in London when the coronation of […]

A portrait of a lady

Georgiana Molloy’s face appears on many web pages and in many books and documents, the image usually taken from photographs of the only known surviving portrait of her as an adult. That 1829 painting feels almost familiar and yet most people I talk to are not aware that the original is a miniature. It can […]

Lodes and loads

Old documents fascinate for so many different reasons. Here’s an example of the way a writer’s own world is almost made real again in the words used. This builder was writing to Georgiana’s father requesting payment for materials and work on the family home, Crosby Lodge, in 1807. The amounts owing on this invoice were […]

Daily life for Georgiana in November 1839

In November 1839 Georgiana received the sudden and very surprising news that her sister Mary Kennedy had arrived in Perth. A passing soldier brought this information on the same day that her mother’s letter arrived saying Mary was on her way to live with the Molloys. The house at Vasse had no window shutters and […]

A botanical story

It’s late spring in Western Australia and that makes it difficult to post anything that isn’t botanical!  So many WA native plants are flowering profusely and I can’t look through the window without seeing new blooms appearing nearly every day: this morning, blue sun orchids. Among the most vivid colours are the boldly-coloured ‘red and […]