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Smiley Family History

Lorna Mabel Smiley 1897-1968

Family line:
Francis Smylie/Smiley 1689Hugh Smiley 1723William Smiley 1757Hugh Smiley 1785Shepherd Parkman Smiley 1828Thomas Alexander Ward Smiley 1867 → Lorna Mabel Smiley 1897-1968.

Lorna Mabel Smiley
1 July 1897, St Kilda, Vic
Died: 24 December 1968, Southport, Qld, aged 71
Occupation: Shop assistant, wife, mother
Married: James (Jim) Ernest Weir, 19 September 1926, St Kilda, Vic
Children: 6 (5 died at or soon after birth)

Lorna Mabel Smiley

Lorna Mabel Smiley was the third of the eleven children of Thomas Alexander Ward and Marion Harley (Bunn) Smiley.

As Lorna's father shifted the family often to cater for his work as a mining contractor, her childhood saw her living in a variety of locations. Her main primary school was Brighton Road State School at St Kilda, where the family live for much of their life.

Although she won a scholarship for further studies, she was required to help at her family's butchers ship in St Kilda and she spent her early working life there.

During World War One, Lorna became engaged to John (Jack) Edward Smeeton, son of Alfred and Emily (Hodgson) Smeeton of St Kilda. He was a driver who had enlisted in the Australian Army and posted into the 22nd Battalion. He was farewelled from Australia in November 1917 but almost at war's end he was killed by a sniper's bullet in France.

Years later, Lorna visited Jack’s sister Elinor who had married Jim Keith from an Elmhurst farming family. It was on that visit that Lorna met James (Jim) Ernest Weir who was share farming with Jack Keith's father.

Jim Weir, born on 14 April 1887 at Elmhurst, was the son of William and Mary Ann (Clark) Weir. He was one of eight children who grew up on the family farm at Elmhurst. The family had migrated to Australia in the 1800s from Scotland.
Wedding of Jim Weir and Lorna Smiley
Lorna and Jim married at St Kilda on 19 September 1926 [click on photo to see a larger image]. As well as the bride and groom, the official wedding group included Lorna's sister Jessie Smiley, Jim's brother Horace, Lorna's brother Phil Smiley and a cousin, Clarice Bunn.

In the years following the wedding, they worked at a number of ventures. During the Depression years of the 1930s, when work was scarce, Jim worked on farms or went rabbit trapping, in areas around Mt Buller, nearby Merrijig, Bendigo, Dunolly and the Mallee country around Tempy, south of Ouyen, before shifting to Melbourne. As a result, the family moved frequently.

It was while some of Jim's family lived in Mildura that the family was visited by Lorna's sister, Jessie Smiley, and they introduced her to a young grape grower, Henry Dadswell. This couple were to later marry and to live for many years at Red Cliffs.

Around 1945, the Weir family moved to a chicken farm at Eden Park, six kilometres west of Whittlesea. But while the family was there the flock contracted a disease and some 1400 birds had to be destroyed.

Eventually the family moved to Labrador, Queensland, to be close to their daughter Doris, her husband Ivan Gibbs and their children. Jim died in Brisbane on 6 September 1968, aged 81, and Lorna died at Southport on 24 December of the same year, aged 71.

Children of James and Lorna (Smiley) Weir

Further information


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