Monthly Archives: September 2014

My Research Publications

The following is a list of publications arising from my Family History Research: Summary of the evidence for the origins of my Flack family (Click through) How often do family historian get asked by family members “Where did we come from originally?” Up until the development of scientific means using DNA technologies, most people were unlikely to be able to go further back than the end of the middle ages when surnames came into general use in Western Europe. For the few with English or French aristocratic families, the trails could extend back another 500 years or so. In this paper, I try to bring together the circumstantial evidence and my own Y-DNA evidence to propose that my Flack family probably has its origins in Ayrshire, Scotland. The one “wild card” that needs to be acknowledged is that there were several areas in Ireland that were settled by “servitors” – veterans who had served in the British Army and who were granted land as a pension. There are few records of such grants and little evidence of where these men and their families might have come from. It needs to be acknowledged that there are at least two other theories about the origin(s) of the surname “Flack”. There is strong evidence that people with that name have been living in Bury St Edmunds area in Suffolk, England since at least the 15th century. (see Flack Genealogy) It is also true that the surname “Flack” is known in modern Germany and in the Netherlands. It is therefore possible that my Flack forebear was a “servitor” from Suffolk in England or a former soldier from Germany or Netherland (both areas known to have supplied soldiers for the British Army at various times) and that therefore the Ayrshire connection may not hold. The 63rd Regiment of Foot (West Suffolk) In Australia 1829 – 1833 (click through) This history of the 63rd Regiment of Foot in Australia was written in order to fill what, at the time that the research was undertaken, was a dearth of information about the activities British Army Regiments in Australia in the early 19th century. One of the unexpected outcomes of the research was information about members of the Regiment who took their discharge in Australia and settled. Although the Regimental Headquarters was in Hobart, the Regiment’s No. 2 Company was deployed to help establish the Swan River Settlement in what is today the City of Perth, Western Australia. Brief resumes of the lives of some of the members of the Regiment and their contributions to Australian history are included in the annex. My great, great grandfather, Pte William Flack was not among those who settled and he left with the Regiment for India in 1833. 1903 Diary of a Ship’s Doctor – (click through) This publication is primarily a transcription of the Dr Frederick Henry Douglas (“Harry”) Flack’s 1903 diary of his journey in Blue Funnel Line cargo ship “SS Dardanus” to Japan via the Suez Canal. The diary is transcribed as accurately as possible although there are some handwritten words that are illegible in the original diary. There are also a few lines of Pitman Shorthand in the diary and these have been translated where possible. To give the reader an insight into some of the ships sighted and places visited, I have added illustrations to the original text. The value of the diary rests not just in the personal story, but also in the references to the Royal Navy in the Far East in the lead up to the Russo-Japanese War. The diary also provides insight into the prevailing attitudes towards the peoples and cultures encountered on the journey.