1885 Queensland, Australia - 1967 N.S.W. Australia

Violet Maude Geertz
Violet Young nee Geertz is the only one of my four grandparents that I remember. I have very fond memories of her, having lived in her home as a baby and visited her often throughout my growing years.

Violet was the second child of Theo and Emma (nee Gallagher) Geertz. She was born 26 July 1885 at her grandmother's home in Thomas Street, Kangaroo Point, Brisbane, Qld. Her parents lived just around the corner in Rawlins Street. Violet's siblings were Albert, Theodor (both died as infants), Herbert, Arthur and Lily. A baby, Rose, has been spoken of, but no evidence of her birth has ever been obtained.

vm geertz as a child
Violet as a child

After living in Kangaroo Point until approx. 1888, (where Violet's father Theo worked as a tailor) the family moved to Ipswich. Emma was fond of company and often out and about, leaving much of the housework to her first daughter. Violet was quiet and seemed to regard the smaller children as rather in the way.

Violet may have attended a girls' school at Southport - I have a small china commemorative dish but sadly the picture is too worn to recognise the school.

One photo of Violet's younger days shows her with very long hair, in the garden with brothers Herb and Arthur. (see photos below).

geertz childrengeertz children

Another is a “fancy dress” picture with brothers Herb and Arthur and younger sister Lily. In 1898 she was an attendant for her cousin Johannah Geertz when she married Joseph Woolley.

Family intelligence has it (thank heavens for mothers, and aunts...) that Violet had been expected by her family to marry a gentleman (Mc????) (who later went on to become an MP), but this wasn't what she wanted, so the relationship was ended.

To cheer her up Violet's parents gave her the gift of a trip to Adelaide for her 21st birthday. She was to stay with her Aunty Lena (Malena) and Uncle Friedrich Wenzel at Parkside. Violet's 21st birthday was in 1906, so possibly she went to Adelaide 1906/1907. These details we'll probably never know for sure!

While staying with the Wenzel's she went on an outing to the German Club, where she met an Englishman, Fred Young, who was working in SA as a stonemason.

It is believed Violet stayed in Adelaide for quite some time while she and Fred were courting; (from Vi Wenzel..?) This is another "blank" time when no one knows or can remember what may have been happening. Was Violet working in some occupation, or was she a lady of leisure? One snippet of information tells of her working in a tea factory, packaging tea!

Did her parents travel to South Australia to make the acquaintance of their daughter's young man, or did Fred meet them only when he came to Queensland prior to the marriage?

At some stage Violet had been given a nugget of Queensland gold by an old prospector and when she and Fred became engaged her ring was fashioned from this nugget and set with Queensland blue sapphires.

Violet was quite religious and is said to have driven the Minister back and forth to his various Sunday services in a pony trap. The pony trap belonged to the baker, and was obviously accustomed to a bit of a wait - for whatever reason (?) - at all the hotels. Quite a funny sight when the Minister was on board to see the pony trap stopping at the pub!

As reward for her unstinting help in transporting him to and from Church services the Minister had promised Violet the honour of being the first bride to be married in the new church in Ipswich.

However, according once again to family information, another young lady found herself in an “unfortunate situation” and hers was the first marriage to be celebrated in the new church.

Violet Maud was understandably upset by this, and decided instead to have her wedding ceremony at her parents' home. (see wedding invitation and Congratulatory postcard below).

wedding invitation wedding invitation

wedding postcard wedding postcard

Fred and Violet were married at “VALETTA” in Newtown, Ipswich, Queensland on 4 February 1911 - these details taken from a very informative newspaper clipping, possibly from the Ipswich paper.

There is a lovely photo of the happy couple in their wedding finery - all the more special as it's the one and only picture of my grandfather Fred.

Fred and Violet's wedding day

Violet's wedding ring was also made in gold from the Queensland nugget, and was proudly worn by youngest daughter Dorothy. A little ‘gem’ about Violet's engagement ring - apparently it had been missing for some years and while her son-in-law Jack was restoring a little cupboard for her, he had the good luck to find the ring. Violet was so pleased to see it again she gave the ring to her daughter to wear, where it had pride of place until arthritis caused her fingers to swell, and it was then handed on to her daughter-in-law.

The Minister who performed the marriage service for Fred and Violet was Samuel Isaac Alden who had also officiated at the wedding of Violet's parents Theo and Emma almost thirty years ago.

Click here to continue on with Fred and Violet's story.


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