Each year in January Parkes celebrates the music and the legend of Elvis Presley.  In 2005 I went to the festival with my former partner Susan and as there was no accommodation to be had in Parkes we were forced to stay in Forbes some 32 kms away.

Whilst having dinner at one of the Chinese restaurants I happened to mention to the waitress that my father came from around this area. She asked my surname and I replied ‘Fraser’. She said ‘you should visit the cemetery and see if you have any relatives buried there.’

So the next day after we returned from our day in Parkes we headed to the cemetery a few kms out of town. It was a very hot summer day; the temperature was near 40 degrees. There was almost no shade so Susan suggested we park under a small tree and walk back through the grave sites.

As I walked towards a group of graves I noticed a headstone, the one in the picture above  It attracted my attention because my father’s name was Reuben Barbe Fraser and here is a headstone with Barbe as a surname. I continued walking and came across a second headstone. I mentioned to Susan that it was funny that Barbe was a surname and that one of my dad’s christian names was Barbe. We thought no more of it and continued searching for the name ‘Fraser’

I found a John and then a Peter Fraser but their details didn’t seem to match any one in my family. We searched a little more and finally left Forbes and returned to Sydney.



  1. How interesting Sean.

    I liked very much about Your search on the cemetery. That is due to that, because me and wife has been searched also her relatives’s gravestone far away from our home. Once nearly all the visitors helped us to find my wife’s relatives. It was just like an adventure.

    So I also found Your story here – an adventure.

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