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I previously written about the mystery I have (See A family mystery and A family mystery (part 2) for back story), and in my quest to find Linda I have discovered a few things that almost do not make sense.

Facts as I know them?

  • Name: Linda McDonald
  • Birth date: 21 May 1899
  • Birth location: Brisbane, Queensland.

How do I know these?

  • School record gives date of birth
  • Marriage & Death gives place of birth
  • Spelling of name is consistent across each

It is fortunate that with the recent changes to Queensland’s Family History search engine, that I can actually search by a specific date, and do not need to specify a surname, or even a given name. As long as I have information in one of four different name fields (surname, given name, father’s name, or mother’s name) and specify either a date or a date range, then I will get results (if there are results to get).


  • Queensland Registry has NO record for ANY Linda born in Queensland during the month of May 1899, not just on 21 May 1899
  • Only 13 girls with Linda in the name were registered in Queensland in 1899.
  • Of those 13 girls, 2 died as infants, 8 married, one never married but died in later life – all within Queensland
  • The remaining two, one was born in January, the other in July of 1899, but as yet been unable to be traced through Queensland marriage or death records

I did find that there were 33 children registered in Queensland as being born on 21 May 1899, and that 16 of these were female. Only 2 of these girls were recorded as being born within the boundary of the Brisbane Metropolitan area as it was defined at the time, however, the definition of the Brisbane Metropolitan area has changed quite a lot over the years.  [1]

I am yet to trace via marriage or death these 16 girls, and that will be my next step.

I have considered the possibility that Linda was born in New South Wales, and so I have searched their records, but unlike the Queensland search engine, although I can search by just surname or given name, I can not search by a specific date but by year only. Thus my search for births in 1899 for children named Linda, results in 81 children but gives no way to narrow down even which month any of these children were born in.I will also have to try and track these 81 Linda’s through marriage and death records as well, but if Linda had been born in Brisbane, why would her birth be registered in New South Wales?

I also have to consider a couple of other possibilities.

  1. That she was born in Brisbane on that day, but her birth wasn’t registered
  2. That her birth was registered, but that the registration has been lost or hidden
  3. That the date and place of birth have been “assigned” to an infant child left at an orphanage with no details. Her name of Linda could have been similarly given to her at that time.
  4. That Linda was born elsewhere in Australia or overseas, and that her location of birth, and possibly even her date of birth, is simply – Wrong.

Time will tell, but I hope that I find the answer one day.

If you believe that you are a descendant of Linda McEwan nee McDonald, please contact me. I aware aware that Linda and her husband Alexander had three children Flora, Phyllis & Alexander, and that at least Flora & Alexander had at least one child each. From Linda’s son Alexander’s funeral notice, I am aware that at that time, there were descendants of Linda still alive. I would very much like to make contact with you.

[1] Family history research codes  The suburb Windsor didn’t become part of the “Brisbane metropolitan area” until 1925, so would have recorded a country based event prior to that date.