our family stories

About Us

This is the tricky part for me – how to present this all in a logical, easy to follow way. I’ve decided to start by breaking the tree into two broad sides – Jim’s LOW-KELSO line of ancestors, and my LOUGH-HELSON collection. Under each I have listed the surnames on each side.

Jim and Valda
Valda and Jim on their very rainy wedding day!

Briefly, we married on January 15 1972 in the Sydney suburb of Eastwood on a very wet Saturday afternoon. We had met as young school teachers in the small New South Wales country town of Binnaway and the rest, as they say, is history (more on that later!)

We are not the end of the line any more. Our 2 wonderful daughters are now married and we are very lucky to have 3 delightful and very special grandchildren – the tree has grown! So now added to the family names are SHAW and DURRANT and their ancestors also appear below our LOW-LOUGH lines.

Fleshing all this out will be interesting!



Why Wattle Dell?

It isn’t easy thinking of a name for your site, is it? I wanted something that sounded cosy and had an Australian feel. I also wanted a name that gave the impression of nature and creativity. Couple all this with my interest in collecting and family history and – there you have it, Wattle Dell.

For me, it’s perfect. Wattle, obviously, because it is our most recognised Australian flower. It also grows in abundance here in the Blue Mountains where I live. I have always thought the word “dell” invokes images of ferns and fairies, things hidden under rocks and clusters of bluebells. It reminds me of cool shady places and treasures. Together, they are a special part of my family’s heritage.

A favourite couple in my past were my great uncle and aunt, Rita and Tom. Rita was my grandmother Amy’s cousin and Tom was my grandfather’s brother. We visited them often in my younger days. They handed down to me the precious gift of a family Bible which was given to Tom’s grandmother (my great-great grandmother) in 1860 as a wedding present from her uncle Robert Sime. It was a wonderful gift that sparked my long interest in family history.

The home they lived in was Rita’s family home, built by her father, George Hopping, the first mayor of Ingleburn. It was called Wattle Dell.