The River


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John Wilson was running hard towards the screaming. As he crested the river bank he could see the reason why there was so much panic involved.

“Shit, it’s Helen. Damn, her kid better not be dead.”

Helen MacDonald was slumped on the sand, the bottom of her dress soaked. In one arm she was holding her 14 month old baby, in her other was her eldest child Elizabeth, awkwardly cradled, naked, wet, and apparently lifeless. John and Mrs Fallan, who had also just arrived, started rubbing Elizabeth’s body, desperately trying to coax the nine year old back to life.

As they rubbed Elizabeth’s body, John asked Helen what had happened.

Helen’s reply was breathless and her voice hoarse from screaming for help. “I don’t know. I had to go into town. Why would she come to the river, and with the baby? She couldn’t swim. Thank heavens the baby wasn’t injured. Oh Lizzie, why?” Helen started sobbing again, and the baby’s crying got louder as Helen held her tighter.

“Keep rubbing her, I’ll fetch the doctor” John urged.

John stumbled briefly on the sand as he again started to run, but he knew that no matter how hard he ran, the doctor would probably arrive too late to help. Elizabeth’s arms and legs were already cold, although her chest and stomach still had some warmth to them.  John knew that Elizabeth had been dead for some time and that he needed to call the police as well.

Inspiration provided by Inquest Papers into Elizabeth’s death by drowning.
Source: Queensland State Archives Item ID2730132, Inquest file



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Helen woke to the quiet stirrings of the child next to her and the growing movements of new life inside her. Outside, the sound of the waves slapping against the side of the ship once again greeted her ears. It was the same sound she’d heard every morning for the past 92 days. But today was different somehow. The slap of the water was softer, and there was also a new sound, one that she almost didn’t recognize at first. The cries of sea birds that only live near shore.

Quickly, but quietly, Helen rose and dressed herself and the child and went up on deck. Moving carefully to not slip on the slick wood, she breathed in the fresh sea air and felt the cool sting of the spray on her cheeks. As she rounded the side of the wheel-house the gulls wheeled and cried overhead.

Carefully making her way across the deck towards the rail, the sleepy child in her arms roused further when her father greeted them. Across the waves, the beach was so close that Helen could almost feel the sand between her toes, and with relief she sidled up close to her husband.

“Oh George, have we arrived at last?” she asked.

George replied softly, “Yes, my dear. The Captain tells me that we shall be on land by supper.”

Fast Fiction – What now?


What does she do now? What do I do now? She’s not married. She’s only 15. She’s pregnant. What will happen to the baby? She can’t raise him alone, the neighbours will talk. She says she doesn’t know the father’s name. I’m not sure I believe that, but I have to trust her for now, she’s always been a good kid as far as I know.

Am I too young to be a grandmother? No, Susannah next door has two grandchildren and she’s my age. Although her daughter is at least married. If she knew the father she might be able to marry him maybe? Maybe not though, you need to be 16 to get a special licence, and she won’t be 16 until after the baby is due.

What if I claimed the baby as my own? Am I too old to be a mother? I’m 43. Is that too old? I don’t think so, Mary across the road has a toddler.

Ok, that’s it. She can stay with her uncle until it’s almost time, then I’ll go for a holiday. When we come home, I have a new baby, and she has a new sibling. She’ll have to do most of the in home care though, but I’ll protect her social standing and claim the child as mine. No-one will ever know otherwise. Ever.

Import Summary Explanation: Gedmatch 1 to 1


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Every item of chromosomal data that you want in Genome Mate Pro needs to be imported from somewhere through the use of Import Templates. At the end of each import, a brief summary is shown that gives the user information about how well the import went.

Examples of the Import Summary window

First one from a successful GedMatch One to One import.
5 Import Summary example

This one, from an unsuccessful GedMatch One to One Import. 8 Below mins

But what does it all mean? I’ll explain the successful import first, and then look at the unsuccessful one and show you what to check for basic troubleshooting. Continue reading