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Roses from the Heart

Did your female convict ancestor live in Orange?

From Thursday 21st September Orange Regional Museum will host the Roses from the Heart art installation as a part of the ACT and NSW Family History Societies Conference.

Roses from the Heart is a unique memorial to the 25,566 convict women transported to Australia from Britain and Ireland from 1788 to 1853. The installation will include hundreds of bonnets each with the name of a female convict and the ship which brought them the Australia.

The installation is the creation of artist Christina Henri who has worked with groups from all over the world to produce the bonnets in memory of convict women.

As a part of the display in Orange two bonnets have been created to represent two female convicts who ended up in Orange. They are Cato Caroline Clemens or Clements who married Joseph Moulder, and Constance Couronne or Constance de la Sabloniere.

The bonnet for Cato Clemens has been made by the Mrs Ruth Kingham and the bonnet for Constance Couronne has been made by Orange Family History Group member Julie Milne.

Julie commented that “The research was given to me and I was very surprised when I saw a photo of her – this tiny little lady from Mauritius. She is my great great grandmother and I discovered her 20 years ago,”

“I’m more interested and excited about her now. I need to start the research again. A young cousin went further into it and discovered her father was an American Indian – I don’t know if that’s true.

I’d like to do a DNA test and see if that American Indian part comes out.”

“I will do more research eventually and also do the other side of my family – the Urens – a goldmining family at Ophir,”

Central West Libraries Manager Jan Richards said people can contribute their own bonnets representing their female convict ancestors to the project using bonnet patterns from the website

As a part of the ACT and NSW Family History Societies Conference, hosted by Orange City Library, artist Christina Henri will give a presentation on Roses from the Heart and the development of the installation. The display will open for the duration of the conference (Friday 22 September – Sunday 24 September) and remain on display until February 2018.

“Our Conference keynote address on the Saturday morning will be given by Christina Henri who will recount the stories of our female convict ancestors as relayed through her Roses of the Heart project,” Ms Richards said.

“Christina will be followed by talks on gaolbird ancestors; telling the family story through food; dating family photos through dress and Irish famine orphans,” she said.

by Jessica Dowdell In News & Events, Recent News, Upcoming Events on