Worlds apart
William Skyvington
Gamone, 38680 Choranche, France

phone France 33-4 76641832


This website presents fragments of information related to my Australian background, such as family history and my birthplace (Grafton, NSW). My title, Worlds apart, alludes to the fact that I live now in a remote place on the other side of the planet. It's a rural setting, like Waterview (South Grafton) where I grew up, but the two places are very different.

The old gray-haired guy on the left, with glasses, is me. The other gray-haired guy, without glasses, is my donkey Moshé (Hebrew name of Moses). The young fellow with a bell around his neck is my midget goat Gavroche (adolescent personage in Hugo's Les Misérables). I'm offering a dish of wheat to my companions at Gamone. The photo was taken by Natacha Boudoul.

The story of my mother's people. Genealogical monograph. This site (in constant construction) lets you download a PDF (printable) version of my on-going research into my maternal ancestors (Walker, Kennedy, O'Keefe, Cranston, etc). I describe links between the family of Charles Walker at Reidsdale and the Clarke and Connell bushrangers. Later, most of the events are located in the Clarence River region.

During my childhood in South Grafton, I was proud to be a nephew of two former track cyclists: Johnny "Cyclone" Walker and Charlie Walker.

A remarkable hand-drawn map of South Grafton as it existed in the 1880s was first published in 1967, and recently reprinted by The Daily Examiner. This map is reproduced here, along with a few comments.

An old photo from my maternal grandmother, Mary Kennedy [1888-1966], shows unnamed people posing aboard a riverboat, the Atalanta, at Riverstone. I have enlarged pieces of the photo, in the hope of identifying some of the individuals.

Here are five of my school photos of the 1950s from South Grafton primary school and Grafton high school. In 2003, I spent a lot of time talking through the Internet with Lynn Pollack [who died in 2004] about the identity of the people in these photos. There are still many blanks that could and should be filled in.

From time to time, I am asked to supply a printer-quality photo of myself. There are ten such photos here, all of a casual nature (such as the photo at the top of this page), taken by my friend Natacha. They are big JPG files, which can be downloaded ideally through a high-speed Internet connection.