Saturday, July 16, 2016


Levuka, Fiji's original capital as the McGowan's knew it.
When Geraldine Sweeny married William McGowan she brought with her an amazing family history.  For a start she was just one of sixteen children born to their Sussex parents Anna and Alfred Sweeny. 

Anna’s Mother and Father were Francis and Mary  Keates;  Francis was a business man who not only ran a china ware shop and owned a fishing trawler but was also a councillor on the Worthing Town Council. A very generous father, when the young couple married he set them up in a business of their own.

Alfred’s Mother was a widow and made a living as a seamstress.
Life should have been a very happy one for Anna and Alfred, and it was… for a short while….

Anna Sweeny’s story is told in three parts….
(Remember though, unless you use each link below as indicated by tapping them open, you can also copy and paste these links into the Address Search section at the top of your computer's search page.)

PT 1:
PT 2:
PT 3:
By now you’ve read about Anna Sweeny’s long and ultimately sad life…
Anna has seen her family dispersed to the far corners of the world; has been humiliated by a selfish husband and has ended her days in a London poor house.
Now it is time to read the life story of her daughter, your ancestor, Geraldine McGowan, told here in five parts.

Geraldine in her 70's.

PT 1  :
PT 3.  :
PT 4.  :
PT 5.  :

And finally, because this little ship had a great deal to do with its sometime skipper, Alfred McGowan and with his eventual wife, Geraldine Sweeny… a side story about the Marie Louise.

A sea going vessel built in Tasmania, later wrecked and resurrected in Levuka…   told in three parts.

I hope you enjoy reading these true tales… they are of course just one side of your McGowan story.  Now you must seek, and detail your Tongan and Fijian family history… and  I can barely wait to read it!


Robyn Mortimer 16 Jul. 2016