I'll check with my father, but I'm pretty sure that Gabby (sic?) was either his Aunt or his cousin, and thus (possibly) my great-aunt.She lived where we are both currently living, in Brisbane - the capital of the state of Queensland.She was famous in Queensland in the 1950s and 1960s for her daily radio show, where she monikored herself as "the housewives' friend" - not exactly a paragon of liberal (bearing in mind that Australia, like most of the rest of the world, but unlike the U.S., use the word "liberal" as the highest mark of civilisation rather than as an insult), progressive thought - but fiery and forthright in defence of her self-styled constituency.I remember her as quite a card at a party - and always the loudest, pushy, but most entertaining person in the room.She had learnt her domineering ways from her own father, who I believe had learnt hard ways from being a frontiersman.
There are quite a few Nurcombe's in Queensland, and most of the rest of the Australian Nurcombes derive from the Queensland branch.The founder of the branch was one Captain Nurcombe, who landed in Rockhampton, Central Queensland in the 1880s.The family traces its branch straight back to Devon, Cornwall and Somerset.My grandfather, Arthur Cyril Philip (an original, famed Anzac of WW1, wounded on the Somme) was an original outback worker - dingo shooter, wool sorter, jackaroo, stationhand.He married a teacher, and gave rise to one son - Barry, my father - a (perhaps unexpectedly?) brilliant Medical Academic, who spent 20-odd years in the United States as a Professor at Brown University and then Vanderbilt; he had done his postgraduate training at Harvard. He has recently returned home, where life is more comfortable, and the cricket more plentiful. My brother and sister still live in the U.S.
Arthur Cyril Phillip's story is more typically Australian - but his brother Cedric was far cannier in business, and made his pile as an importer and turf grower.He has a an interestingly mixed brood of children and grandchildren, most with business savvy.
Being a dutiful first born, I followed my father into Academia - after postgraduate training in Europe I returned to Australia where I am an associate professor in biomedical research.
I was interested to read that some of the Australian Nurcombes had founded a branch in South Africa - I'm yet to crack how that happened.One of my aunts is genealogically inclined - I'll try and entice her onto the search.