Google search joins dots in family link
THE Breimba - looking for you Lindt Research Project ended in a spectacular success after two Sydney women came forward as connections to Mary Ann Williams (nee Cowen) only a few days ago.
Jo-Anne and Wendy Clarke found out about the project after Jo-Anne typed her name into Google.
"We found out we had an aboriginal great-grandmother about 15 years ago," Jo-Anne said.
"Lately I've been looking for family history.
"I Googled Mary Ann Cowan and the Lindt project came up."
The sisters have their great-grandmother's marriage certificate to Leonard Williams, but could never find her birth certificate through the NSW Registry of Births Deaths and Marriages.
The sisters scanned and sent photos they had of Mary Ann and other relatives to lead researcher Annika Korsgaard, who confirmed the match.
"It's exciting," Annika said.
"To have such an amazing discovery at the end of seven months of research."
The Breimba project aimed to identify the people in the Lindt Collection, a series of photos of Aboriginal people taken by John William Lindt in the early 1870s.
Mary Ann came from the 'Almarra' people of the Gumbaynggirr nation and had five children.
She had Herbert Williams before her marriage to Leonard.
Jo-Ann and Wendy's grandmother is Elizabeth Bessie Williams.
"It's mind blowing to think this was only discovered a few days ago," Jo-Anne said.
The sisters came up especially for the presentation held in the Plunge pop-up shop on 6 River St, Maclean yesterday.
A concluding ceremony will happen at the Grafton Regional Art Gallery on May 26.
All information found during the project will be on display and available.