As a young man, I guess like many of you, I never gave two thoughts about where the Curness name came from, but must admit that I did think that it sounded foreign. If only I had known then, what I have learnt since starting on this project, then maybe I would have a greater insight into the history of my part of the Curness Family, as I could have asked the questions that I would dearly like answered now.
All this started for me when, in 1982, I received a letter from a Ceridwen Robyn (Kerry) Curness, who wrote to me from Queensland, telling me about her husband Stanley and his family that came from Scotland and about her and Stanley's family in Queensland. At that time, being the father of five children, I never had the time to delve into a family tree. Until Kerry's letter, we had always thought that we were the only Curness family in Australia, as the only Curnesses I knew were the members of my own family. Unfortunately when I received the letter from Kerry, we were building an extension to our house to accommodate a growing family and her letter got lost in the upheaval.
Then about eight years later I received a telephone call from a Marion Nicholson who was visiting Sydney from New Zealand to see her daughter Deborah who had just returned from the UK. She like Kerry had got my name from a telephone book. We spoke for a while and she explained that she had been born a Curness and we exchanged addresses which again I mislaid.
Shortly after our son Mark acquired for me, some extracts from the electoral rolls for Australia and I found to my amazement that there was yet another family of Curnesses, headed by a Charles Albert Curness and his wife June living in Adelaide in South Australia. Yet again these were mislaid.
I did not find these documents until late 1994. Mark had just married and I was off work with a back injury. Sandra wanted to tidy his room up so that we could actually see the floor for the first time in years. This in turn, meant the rest of the house was also given a spring clean. We ended up finally in my little office (cum store room) where low and behold all the bits and pieces of information came to light. My injury took six weeks to right itself and I was getting bored, so early in 1995, as I had recently purchased a small basic computer, I decided to write to the three families and ask them if they knew any of their family history. As I have said elsewhere in this web site, my wife Sandra and I emigrated to Australia in 1964 and from then, up to 1994, not having a good hand for letter writing I would have hand written no more than a dozen times to my mother and brother in the UK. But the computer opened up a new field for me. Where mistakes were able to be rectified without using reams of paper. Charlie and Marion wrote back together with some sketchy details of their immediate family. Stan telephoned me telling me that sadly, Kerry had been killed in a car accident in 1991 but offered to send me photocopies of pages in the family bible started by his grandmother Alice Rosina Vizzard.
From this information I was able to compile little trees for each family.