Ross Beattie's HENDERSON Lineage
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This Page was Last Updated on 4th October 2011
Locality / Provenance
Early Generations

Locality / Provenance

This family has been traced back to the Kilskeery - Lowtherstown region of Ulster. The vast majority of Hendersons near Enniskillen were Protestant Scots-Irish reivers from the Western Scottish border march region, planted in Ireland in the 1600s; a substantial number also seem to have come from the north of Scotland. In Scotland they are generally regarded to have been a sub-clan or possibly a sept of the Clan Elliot, one of the larger more war-like clans dominant in the 1500s and early in the 1600s. In Ireland the clan structure was replaced by close family structure.

Early Generations

1 John Robert Henderson (1835…1913) m. Dorothy Betty (1836…1912)

Dorothy Betty (or Dorathey), daughter born c1836 near Enniskillen, Ireland, of farmer JOHN McGREGOR BETTY and his wife DOROTHEA, married John Robert Henderson, son of farmer JAMES HENDERSON, in the Lowtherstown (Irvinestown) Presbyterian Church, Derryvullan parish, County Fermanagh on 9 March 1858. The Irish civil Quarterly Returns for marriages note that both were aged 22 years and previously unmarried, and that John was a farmer resident at "Loughterush" Tyrone, about one mile NW of Kilskeery Tyrone and eight miles NNE of Enniskillen Fermanagh. Dorathey resided at "Kinine" Tyrone, about 2.5 km N of "Loughterush". The marriage was performed by Revd William James Guy and witnessed by Nathaniel/Matthew ?Mosgean and George Henderson, with all parties able to sign their names. The couple were to continue in Ireland until their deaths.

John and his brother Jack Henderson had property, possibly on a 99 year lease, side by side near Enniskillen. The Hendersons seemed to have been well off during their child-rearing days, with a very profitable farm. Within two miles of "Loughterush" were the properties of "Gargadis" (Brien's), "Kinine" (?Beattie's), "Magheracross" (Armstrong's) and Killymittan (?Beattie's).

Dorothy and John had several children, all of whom grew to be tall and physically fine people:

John Henderson lived in an environment where matters were often settled with fists. He himself apparently gave one fellow a terrible bashing, which saw him jailed since his actions were premeditated. Guy emigrated after beating a man after a row. Most of the children however disliked violence.

Prompted by the bitter sectarian atmosphere, all their children emigrated, beginning with James John who came to Australia; all the other children went to America. Maggie and Alex were still living with their parents when James revisited Ireland in 1905. Dorothy and John were tended in their later years by Evelyn Moria Smith, a schoolgirl aged about 11 or 12 years old when she first went to them, a joy to Dorothy and John. There may have been a loose family connection. As Evelyn was treated as a daughter for so many years she may have become known as Evelyn Henderson.

Dorothy died on the property during the second quarter of 1912; Evelyn moved out shortly afterwards; her brother Mervyn was in New South Wales and in touch with James Henderson. (Both had joined the NSWGR and Mervyn later attended James Henderson's funeral in 1943).

John died during the second quarter of 1913.

The civil registration for the deaths of John and Dorothy Henderson, lodged in the Irvinestown registry district, gave his age as 81 years and hers as 80 years. This gives birthdates at slight variance with those calculated from their wedding registration, but is in agreement with their being born about the same year.

1.1 James John Henderson (1860…1943) m. Mary White (1865…1939)

James John Henderson, born January 1860 of DOROTHY BETTY and JOHN HENDERSON, was the first of his family to leave Ireland, emigrating because of the sectarian strife to NSW with his uncle Andrew McGregor Beattie aboard the Peterborough ex Plymouth and arriving Sydney on 26 August 1880. James' emigration had been encouraged by John G Phair, already resident in the colony of NSW, who paid a deposit of £3 on 3 December 1879 for the passage.

His age entered on the Ship's Log and Immigration Logs was 19 years old. He brought with him several personal items from Ireland, including a fur and a beautifully embroidered smoking cap, indicating some family prosperity. James probably never developed close ties with his siblings, since he was the second oldest child in his family and departed for Australia while still young, whereas his siblings all emigrated to America.

After arriving in the colony, he presumably stayed in Sydney until his uncle was admitted to hospital on 9 September, after which he travelled to Jenolan Caves to visit his aunt Lucinda Wilson nee Beattie. While he was at the Caves, a party of people with some say in railway matters (possibly including Commissioners) visited the Caves and was fêted, probably at the expense of a local interest with the intention of having a railway constructed to the Caves. No such railway eventuated, but James was impressed with the lavish occasion and decided to start a railway career, which he secured quickly as he was a big, hefty man with leadership traits.

James, railway official, married Mary White, spinster of Lidsdale (residing with parents), at S John's CoE Wallerawang, on 15 April 1885, by the Presbyterian Minister from Bowenfels. His residence was given as "Eskbank", Lidsdale ? a reference perhaps to a Scots-Irish provenance of the Beatties (?or Hendersons). James was known in the Lidsdale and Wallerawang districts as "The Irish King", "of magnificent physique", "6'4" in height and big in proportions" [Lithgow Mercury]. James Henderson remained a devout Presbyterian throughout his life, becoming an Elder in his church at Bexley in Sydney. James and Mary had three daughters:

James was very disappointed not to have a son. The family name was very important to him and he felt there was no-one to continue his section of the family name. As far as is known his brother Alex was the only male to have a son (Leslie) who in turn had only one child, a daughter named Lorna.

James was not a man of noticeable or eccentric character. He smoked a pipe, and believed that "a man is not a man if he can not keep his womenfolk". Neither his wife nor daughters worked save in the home. Sylvia, determining to earn money like her friends so she could buy a blouse she fancied, once secured a job with the gas company. Her father telephoned the gas company from his office the next morning to say she would not be available. In all her life she never earned a cent, though she worked very hard. He never helped around the house or garden: that was his wife's domain and he never interfered or questioned her decisions. Mary was a very efficient housekeeper exercising thrift and sound management, never a dragon-figure. He respected and supported what happened in the home (but never became directly involved), nor was outside help ever employed.

The family had many holidays, frequently to Andrew Beattie at "Bloomfield" or to Dorothy and Jack Fawcett's place nearby. [Dorothy Fawcett, 62, was buried at Oberon on 9 July 1935; John Fawcett (Jack) shares the same grave]. James loved going to visit his Uncle Andrew and often went by himself. He enjoyed wandering around the paddocks and helping out, having yarns and poking about. The family also visited Andrew's sister Eliza Jane nee Beattie at Cowra, once while Sylvia was young, and frequently visited the White family at Lidsdale near Lithgow.

Mary Henderson nee White died on Sunday evening, the 24 September 1939, just at the beginning of the war. She was noted to have been "reserved, not to say shy, in disposition, deeply sensitive, but gentle and ladylike, ever enshrining in her life all that is sweet and wholesome" [Rockdale News, 5 October 1939]. She was loyal, reverent and loving. In her, Jim "drew the prize of his life. She was such a dear woman. Loved by all who knew her". [The Retired Rail and Tramwayman, June 1943].

James Henderson, 83, died on 29 April 1943 at Rockdale. His residence at the time of his death was 8 Kembla Street, Arncliffe.

  The White Family

John White was born in Birmingham in March 1829; Elizabeth, his wife, was born in Derbyshire in June 1832. They married in 1850, and three years later decided to try their fortune in a distant land, sailing for New South Wales aboard the William Fortune. The Fortune's 28 April 1853 Assisted Immigrant Passenger List and Immigration Board List shew:




Native of




Rel. in Colony



John White



Loscow, Derbyshire

Joseph & Elizabeth
Father living at Derby






Elizabeth White



Readings, Derbyshire

Sarah and George Jackson
Living at Readings






Harriet White

2 [1y 9m]


Readings, Derbyshire

On Board






After living at Camperdown for two years, they moved westwards to Emu Plains and continued business there for twelve years. They decided to advance further inland with the extending railway network and travelled in the first train to convey passengers to Mt. Victoria. They resumed business for Cobb & Co at Hartley, and after a further two years decided to move west again. Reaching "delectable" Lidsdale, however, with its "enchanting surroundings and rose-tinted prospects for the future", they decided to remain. In those days, with mail coaches, teamsters and drovers passing through, Lidsdale was a flourishing little centre.

The Whites, loyal adherents of the Methodist Church and consistent and cheerful contributors to charitable appeals, were very respected citizens. They had nine children:

Their home was known for its open happy atmosphere, and it was this which so impressed James John Henderson that he never desired to return to his beloved Ireland.

John White died at Lidsdale on 9? May 1889 and was buried in the Methodist portion of Wallerawang General Cemetery. Elizabeth White died on 21 June 1922 in her 90th year and was buried at Pipers Flat [Wallerawang General] cemetery. Her husband John predeceased her by 33 years. She was survived by six daughters (Mrs W Hoy [Harriet] and Mrs S Nolan [Sarah] (Lidsdale), Mrs M G Thompson (Penrith), Mrs C Boughton (Blacktown), Mrs G Payne [Maria] and Mrs J J Henderson [Mary] (Sydney)) and two sons (Mr Joseph White (Lidsdale) and Mr John White (Lithgow).

Patricia Hughes of Noosa, Queensland, eMailed [, 24 July 2011]:

… In 1873 my Great Grandmother's brother Richard Fritchley fathered a daughter born to a Sarah White, age 19 years, from Wallerawang. The child, named Maud, was born at the Benevolent Asylum. I have been trying to locate some information on Sarah, and possibly Maud.
… I believe that John and Elizabeth White's daughter Sarah is the one I am looking for, and if so, she probably named her daughter after her youngest sister Maria Maud. It possibly also confirms my thought that Sarah married a James Nolan at Hartley in 1876. I wonder what happened to the child Maud? …
I recently … found the headstones of my 3 x Great Grandfather (and his 3 wives) and my 4 x G Grandparents in a little churchyard near Nottingham. I also found an effigy of one of my Bulmer ancestors in the little church at Bulmer, Yorkshire

Patricia added [23 August 2011]: Patricia added [23 August 2011]:

… I know it was a long time ago, but I still wondered what had happened to Baby Maud. My Great Uncle Richard Newton Fritchley seemed to have been very good at making babies, but not too good at taking responsibility - three daughters to different mothers!
Maud White (1873-1964)
Maud was born at the Benevolent Asylum, Sydney on 5 September 1873 to Sarah White. The Asylum records note Sarah was comitted (sic) on 26 August 1873. She was "Native C.E. Single Pregnant by Richard Pritchley (sic) Blacksmith at Woolarawong".) Sarah and Maud were discharged on 9 October 1873. In 1876 Maud’s mother Sarah White married James Nolan [NSW BDM 2832/1876, Hartley] with whom she had two sons, William Henry, born in 1876 [12949/1876, Hartley] and George A[rthur], born in 1878 [14279/1878, Hartley]. It seems that Maud lived with her mother and step-father in the Wallerawang area. When she married William Brown in the Yass area in 1902 she did so under the name Maud Nolan [5464/1902, Yass]. William, born in 1851, was about 22 years older than Maud. He was the son of assisted immigrants John and Amelia Brown from Devon, England who arrived in Sydney on the Tartar on 27 July 1857 and settled in the Yass district. William and Maud lived at Emu Flat near Binalong, not far from Yass and had at least seven children.
William died in 1932. Maud died in Yass Hospital on 14 November 1964 [36688/1964, Yass. Father James; Mother Sarah], and was buried at Binalong Cemetery, with the simple epitaph Maud Brown 1873-1964
Now Horace throws a bit of a spanner in the works - as Ross said, "the birth of a Horace A White, son of Sarah (father not noted) was registered at Hartley in 1882 [NSW BDM #17874/1882]. There seem to be no other registrations of a Horace to a Sarah in the general region between 1881 & 1886 inclusive." If I have the right Sarah as Maud's mother, she married James Nolan in 1876. A Horace Nolan, mother Sarah died at Paddington R.P.A. Hosp - in 1924 [11024/1924, Newtown]. We must be talking about two different Sarah White, or there is a real mystery!
Any ideas?

Adrian Woodbury of Windsor area, NSW, [eMail, 18 August 2011i] noted:

… [my] grandfather (deceased) [was …] Arthur Bernard Nolan, born in Sydney, 1923. His mother [was] Elizabeth Ann Nolan (nee Kirwin) and father [was] Horace Nolan. Horace was married previously in 1910 to Mabel somebody and they had 2 children – Horace Edwin/Edward and Delia. He re-married (to Elizabeth Ann Kirwin) in 1922 and only had the 1 child (Arthur), before Horace died in 1924 (brain tumour) age 40. His death certificate tells me he was born in Wallerawang (not far from Lidsdale) to Sarah White and ? Nolan. The occupation of the father is down as a teamster.

The death of Mabel R Nolan, daughter of THOMAS, was registered at Redfern in 1919. The marriage of Horace Nolan and Elizabeth A Kirwin was registered at Woollahra in 1922; Elizabeth's birth had been registered to TIMOTHY and JANE at Mudgee in 1877. The death on 25* June 1924 at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in Paddington nsw, of Horace Nolan, labourer, son of teamster — NOLAN and SARAH WHITE, was registered at Newtown. Horace, aged 40 years, was noted as 'late of 62* Sutherland Street, Paddington, by informant sister*-in-law L* Kirwin of Campbell's Creek Mudgee who also stated that Horace was born at Wallerawang, had first married — in New Zealand when aged about 21 years with two issue (Delia, age 15* and Horace E, age 13*) and subsequently when aged 28* years had married Elizabeth Ann Kirwin with one issue (Bernard A, age 1*) [all issue living, none deceased]. Horace was buried in the CoE Cemetery at Rookwood Nercopolis [* indicates best effort to decipher]. Elizabeth's death (parents TIMOTHY and JANE) was registered in Sydney in 1948.

The birth of Horace E Nolan, son of Horace and Mabel R, was registered at Paddington in 1910. The 1933, 1936 and 1937 Electoral Rolls shew Horace Edward Nolan [newsvendor] and Elizabeth Ann Nolan [home duties] at 78 Sutherland street, Paddington.

Horace (junior) was central to a serious domestic dispute in in 1941, as reported below:

Barrier Miner (Broken Hill), Friday 3 October 1941 (p4):
Three Injured In Quarrel
SYDNEY, Thursday.-Two women were stabbed and a man fell 60 feet down a quarry following a dispute in a Paddington house today. The women were :
Miss Mary Kirwin (60), of Paddington, stab wound in the back.
Mrs. Elizabeth Nolan. (52), contusions to the head and arms.
The man was Horace Nolan (31), stepson of Mrs. Nolan, fractured ankle and probable internal injuries.
Police were called to the house by neighbors and shortly after they arrived saw Nolan disappear over the edge of the quarry.
All three were admitted to hospital.
The Canberra Times, Friday 3 October 1941 (p2):
Man Injured in Fall Down Quarry
SYDNEY, Thursday.
One woman was stabbed in the back and another injured about the head and arms while a man disappeared 60 feet down a quarry from a house in Paddington to-day.
The women were Miss Mary Kirwin, 60, of Paddington, stab wounds in back; and Mrs. Elizabeth Nolan, 52, of the same address, contusions to head and arms.
The man was Horace Nolan, 31, step-son of Mrs. Nolan.
The police rushed to the house following a phone call. They arrived in time to see Nolan disappear over the quarry. All three were admitted to hospital.

The death of Horace Edwin Nolan, son of Horace Edwin and Mabel May, was registered at Balmain in 1952.
The marriage of a Delia E Nolan and Thomas H Felton was registered at Tamworth in 1930.
The NSW Electoral Rolls shew William Henry Nolan [baker] at Lidsdale, Wallerawang, in 1930, 1936 and 1937. The 1943 and 1949 Rolls have William Henry Nolan [baker] on Portland road, Wallerawang. The death of William Nolan, son of JAMES and SARAH, was registered at Lithgow in 1955.

The marriage of George A Nolan and Rose G Tomlinson was registered at Wallerawang in 1904; issue included Albert Ernest Nolan (birth registered at Wallerawang in 1905; death registered at Portland in 1969; marriage to Hazel Jean Nicol Wilson registered at Portland in 1929; listed [miner] at 19 Church street, Portland, in 1949 Electoral Rolls), Vera Nolan (birth registered at Wallerawang in 1909; marriage to James F Ryan registered at Lithgow in 1928), George Nolan (death registered at Wallerawang in 1911), and Percy William Nolan (death registered in NSW in 1975). The 1936 Electoral Rolls shew George Arthur Nolan [miner] at Lidsdale, Wallerawang, joned on the Rolls in 1937, 1943, 1949 and 1954 by Rose Grace Nolan [home duties]. The death of George Arthur Nolan, son of JAMES and SARAH, was registered at Orange in 1955; the death of Rose Grace Nolan, daughter of FRANCIS HORATIO and SHARLOTTE (sic) was registered at Portland in 1957.

Wendy Fitzpatrick [per eMail, 11 July 2013], daughter of Winsome McHugh née Nolan, is also researching the Sarah White – James Nolan lineagei. Winsome [“Von”] was the daughter of Albert Ernest [“Toby”] Nolan and his wife Hazel Jean Nicol Wilson (Toby was a son of George Arthur Nolan and Rose Grace Tomlinson). The marriage of Winsome Yvonne Nolan and James Lawrence MacHugh had been registered at Portland in 1952. The death on 19 August 1957 of Rose Grace Nolan, 74, 'at Portland Hospital, late of Lidsdale', was noted in The Sydney Morning Herald next day. The death on 9 October 1969 of Albert Ernest Nolan, 64, 'late of Portland', was noted in The Sydney Morning Herald next day. The death on 24 December 1995 of James Lawrence (Laurie) McHugh, 67, 'late of Wallerawang, formerly of Portland', was noted in the Lithgow Mercury on 28 December 1995. The death on 25 May 2010 of Winsome Yvonne (Von) McHugh, 79, 'at Bathurst Nursing Home, late of Wallerawang', was noted in the Lithgow Mercury on 29 May 2010.


1.1.1 Bertha Beattie Henderson (1887…1970) m. Edgar Nixon (1884…1947)

Bertha Beattie Henderson, first child of JAMES JOHN HENDERSON and his wife MARY WHITE, was born on March 1887. She married Edgar Nixon at Rockdale NSW in 1915, and together lived on a large property near Manilla NSW. Bertha and Edgar had two sons, Their middle names were given in respect of the fact that their grandfather James had had no sons and feared the "end of the line".

Edgar was the son of GEORGE NIXON and SARAH (?or MARY?) ELLIS, who had married near Maitland in 1877. George and Sarah’s children seem to have included: Like the Hendersons and Beatties, the Nixons were of Irish descent, from the Newtown Butler - Clones area of Co Fermanagh and Co Monaghan. Edgar's paternal grandfather ADAM NIXON and his wife ELIZABETH KIRK were both listed as natives of Clones, although the grandfather's Episcopalian baptismal certificate was certified by the Revd Grayson of Galloon. Adam was apparently one of ten or more children in his family, most of whom emigrated from Ireland to America.

[The death of a George Nixon, aged 78 years, son of Adam Nixon (and possibly the father of Edgar above), was registered at Mosman in 1932. Also, the death of an Eliza J Nixon, daughter of Adam and Elizabeth Nixon, was registered at Balmain South in 1902; perhaps she was a sister of this George.]

The death of Edgar Nixon, son of GEORGE and SARAH, was registered at North Sydney in 1947. A notice regarding the death of Bertha Beattie Nixon née Henderson, daughter of JAMES JOHN and MARY, on 22 June 1970, aged 84 Years, 'formerly of Arncliffe and Upper Manilla', was published in the Sydney Morning Herald on 25 June 1970; the death was registered at Kogarah in 1970.. George Henderson Nixon (1917…1995) m. Dorothy Irene White (…1995)

George Henderson Nixon, born in Sydney in 1917, was the son of EDGAR NIXON and his wife BERTHA BEATTIE HENDERSON. In 1941 at White Cliffs in the far west of New South Wales, George married Dorothy Irene White, who had emigrated from England with her parents and settled at Scone NSW in the upper reaches of the Hunter River valley on NSW’s mid north coast. George and Dorothy raised two children: George raised his family at Upper Manilla in the mid-north of New South Wales, on a property called “The Pines” adjoining the now-disused Manilla-Barraba railway. When visited by this author in 1994, George though weary was genial and very hospitable, and a very active family and local historian. George died on 19 January 1995, a week to the day after being told of the death of his Aunt Win (Sylvia Winifred Evans nee Henderson). George’s wife Dorothy died two months after George, on 21 March 1995. They were survived by their children, resident at “The Pines”.

1.1.2 Mildred May Henderson (1888…1955)

Mildred May Henderson, who never married, was born in November 1888 and lived with her father JAMES JOHN HENDERSON until his death in 1943. Mildred died on 16 August 1955, aged about 60 years.

1.1.3 Sylvia Winifred Henderson (1902…1995) m. Alan Spearman Evans (1902…1963)

Sylvia Winifred Henderson ("Win" or "Winnie", later "Sylvia") was born in February 1902 at Wallerawang. Engaged on Christmas Day, 1924, Sylvia, 24, occupied in home duties at Kembla Street, Arncliffe, married Alan Spearman Evans, accountant of Francis Street, Kogarah, at the Presbyterian Church, Forest Road, Bexley, on Saturday 4 June 1927. Alan had been born in 1902 at Lismore NSW, the son of ERNEST GEORGE EVANS (deceased by June 1927) and MARY SPEARMAN. Sylvia still had, in 1988, the most beautiful "Irish" eyes, and a kind generous heart to match.

The death of Alan Spearman Evans, son of ERNEST GEORGE and MARY ELIZABETH, was registered at Newtown NSW in 1963. Sylvia died aged 92 at Mosman NSW on 12 January 1995, aged 92. A notice regarding her death was published in the Sydney Morning Herald on 14 January 1995.

Alan Spearman Evans' brother, Ernest Thomas Evans, was the maternal grandfather of Jennifer Grant [eMail September 2011] who has some information on this family and noted that the NSW the Historical Houses Trust has papers and photographs pertaining to Sylvia and Alan..

1.2 Alexander Henderson (1867…1943+) m. Lillie

Alexander Henderson, in letters to George R. B. Beattie in 1931, said he was a Superintendent with Prudential Insurance Company of America in New York City. He had been married 36 years, had a wife and one son 32 years old, a university graduate. In 1943 he wrote referring to his wife Lillie, his son Leslie, Leslie's wife Helen and 12 year old daughter Lorna Jean. ??Leslie later remarried Maryjane, a Catholic; in 1987 they resided in Seminole, Florida 33542. John Roland Betty, born April 1843, emigrated to New York and kept in contact with Alexander Henderson. Alex, writing to George R.B. Beattie in 1931, said that John Roland had four sons "some living in New York and some a short distance out". Alex Henderson said he had never communicated with Guy (presume Beatty; alternatively may have been Henderson).

1.3 Margaret Henderson (1877……1950) m. William Reid Lewis (1884…1949)

Cheryl Ann Lewis Beckham of Charlotte, North Carolina [, 8 March 2010] provided the information regarding Margaret Henderson and her descendants.
Margaret Henderson was born in Ireland on 21/25 April 1877 and emigrated to New Jersey, USA, where she married William Reid Lewis on 11 November 1907. William, born 4 December 1884, was a son of ROBERT W LEWIS (1860…1944) and JO ANNA ERICKSON (1867…1929). Margaret & William had 3 children: William Reid Lewis died in January 1949. Margaret Lewis née Henderson died in June 1950.

1.3.1 Edwin Henderson Lewis (1909…1943) m. Jean Kern Williams (1919…)

Edwin Henderson Lewis, son of WILLIAM REID LEWIS and MARGARET née HENDERSON, was born 6 September 1909. Edwin married Jean Kern Williams (born June 1919) on  April 1943; they had two issue: Edwin Henderson Lewis (the elder) died in 1943.

1.3.2 William Russell Lewis (1911…1959) m. Gladys Elizabeth Conover  (1914…)

William Russell Lewis, son of WILLIAM REID LEWIS and MARGARET née HENDERSON, was born in 1911. William married Gladys Elizabeth Conover (born 1914) in September 1936; they had three issue: William Russell Lewis (born 1911) died in 1959 of a heart attack while swimming at a local swimming pool.

Lillian Lucinda Lewis (1919…1997) m. Clifford W Cusworth (1917…1989)

Lillian Lucinda Lewis, daughter of WILLIAM REID LEWIS and MARGARET née HENDERSON, was born 30 December 1919. Lillian married Clifford W Cusworth (born 1917) in  September 1941; they had two issue: Clifford W Cusworth died in 1989; Lillian Lucinda Cusworth née Lewis died in 1997.
Anything to add?
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Ross Beattie ( (genealogy, from 2013) (work))
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