Friday, March 17, 2017

Translating from another language

Australian genealogy can be difficult, after all we are only 217 years old!  This means that you will often discover a document in a foreign language.  There are some resources on the net that can help,  the translation will not always be perfect, but is should give you a new source of information.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

The RSL Virtual War Memorial

Thanks to a facebook group I am a member of I found this site recently.
Its purpose is : ''To commemorate all Australians who have served the nation in times of conflict commencing at the Boer War and Boxer Rebellion, the Great War, World War 2,  Korea, Vietnam, all.''

 Its a wonderful site, and I encourage you to complete the profiles and add personal stories about your family, update information for future researchers and for your family.  The site is easy to use, has lots of links under 'Research' and is well moderated as well. So register and get writing!

Friday, December 23, 2016

Happy Christmas

A safe and happy Christmas to all my readers.

This is where may of us Aussies will be on Christmas day.  Taken at Cronulla beach one morning.
But, 100 years ago young men were on the front line in France and those at home were on rations, here is the recommended recipe for Christmas at that time by way of Ministry of Food leaflet.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Update on funding for TROVE

Good news about TROVE - the mid year budget included $16 million to digitise more records.  No doubt the petition helped!

Friday, December 2, 2016

Fleshing out the story

I found a great site that provides information about England in the early historical times.  While researching one of my ancestors I found them in Alkham, Kent in the early 1700's.  There is not much information about him or his wife, only the BDM dates, which makes a pretty boring story.

If that sounds like you try this site :  British History Online  - what else would it be called?  Here is how it describes itself:

British History Online is a digital library of key printed primary and secondary sources for the history of Britain and Ireland, with a primary focus on the period between 1300 and 1800. We aim to support the learning, teaching and research of our users from around the world.

BHO was founded by the Institute of Historical Research and the History of Parliament Trust in 2003. Our collection currently contains over 1,270 volumes and is always growing.

You can search places right down to little villages (like Alkham), and includes information right back to the 11th century, and before that medieval times.   If you would like to see how I used it for the story of my ancestor click here for the Tunbridge Family.

So, if you are stuck with boring English ancestors, give this site a try and see if it helps them become a bit more real.

Monday, November 7, 2016

The Female Irish Orphans shippped off to Australia 1848 -1850

Ever heard of the Earl Grey Scheme or the Potatoe Orphans?

In England, the Secretary of State for the Colonies under John Russel's Whig government, Lord Earl Grey, proposed that young, marriageable women could serve as wives and provide female labour in the male-dominated and underdeveloped Australia.  As a result over 4000 adolescent female orphans emigrated from Irish workhouses to the Australian colonies, arriving at Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide.  This became known as the Earl Grey Scheme.

Earl Grey

Friday, October 7, 2016

Oh my - A bigamist in the family!

Why it pays to keep a copy of everything!

I was researching the convict John Donovan, and had found a permission to marry, but I was pretty sure he was already married.  I assumed it was just a mistake in the name of the ship as there were several John Donovan's transported.  Saved a copy anyway as I often do with the name "unlikely 1824 permission to marry John Donovan.

I had forgotten about it until I found a petition from his Irish wife which included some information about when she arrived.  THEN I LOOKED AT THE NEXT PAGE!

This is what I found

It's hard to decipher but this is what I have translated so far:
Was there any other woman came out in the Lady Rowena?
 This is the woman whose husband married another woman before her arrival.
Whatever may be done for the return of the poor woman, the husband certainly merits our indulgence.  When the wife arrived she found him married to another and having questioned him, I have no doubt that he married [ileg] having [ileg] that his Irish wife was dead although [ileg].
In punishing the husband it seems we would punish the wife - let him sleep and work for himself being off the stores for a time until we see how he behaves.
He must attend church and [ or that under? ..ileg]
Date July 28th, 1826
So not only was he a horse thief, and a convict, he was also a bigamist!

More investigation is required about John Donovan, but  I am very glad I saved a copy of that document that was 'wrong'!  I really want to find out what happened to the poor 2nd wife.

Interestingly, John and his 1st wife Elizabeth were buried in two different places, John in a private cemetery at Mangrove Creek, NSW, and Elizabeth at Spencer Cemetery.

Two lesssons learnt here-
  1. Always keep stuff that looks like it is correct but does not fit what you already know.
  2. Take a look at the previous and next pages of documents.

P.S. Many thanks to members of the 'Genealogy my ancestors came to Australia' facebook group for help in the transcription.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Get the most out of a free weekend

When Ancestry has a free weekend, I find I have a lot to research and very little time, so here are my hints for getting the most out of the limited time.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Genealogy Boomerangs is now on Pandora!

You may have noticed this logo appear on the left of the blog.  That is because my blog has been listed on Pandora.  What is Pandora?  It's the National Library of Australia's website archive.  Anything on Pandora is available through Trove.  - or as NLA put it:
 "The PANDORA Archive is a selective collection of web publications and websites relating to Australia and Australians. It includes materials that document the cultural, social, political life and activities of the Australian community and intellectual and expressive activities of Australians"

Pandora is used by over a million people a month, probably many through Trove, to access websites.  Well it's a great honour mine will be there too, and I am thrilled!

Monday, August 29, 2016

Surprising what you will find in an obituary.

Obituaries can tell you a lot, and require careful examination, and some organisation and time.  Recently I found an obituary for one of the people on my tree, Emma Elizabeth Charlotte Billet, who married Walter Batchelor.  From the Cumberland Argus and Fruitgrowers Advocate of 19th November, 1931.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

My top 10 Aussie research sites

Recently I gave a talk at a local club, and although I thought most people would know about a site like Trove, they did not.  So it prompted me to do this list, I hope it helps. 
Remember also, that my pinterest site has links to all sorts of online resources, categorised as much as possible. All you need to do is follow me there.  So these are the sites I use the most and find most useful, and all of them are free.


Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Finding places that no longer exist

Places change their names!  I know, its confusing, and downright inconvenient and sometimes even whole countries do it!  Street name changes are the worst, and very difficult to find.

I have several places or locations in my family history where a town or suburb has changed it's name.  So here are my top tips on finding locations that do not seem to exist anymore.

Sunday, July 3, 2016

A family story

I was on the SMH Archives site and saw this photo:

I'ts a photo of Australia's worst rail accident, Sydney's Granville train disaster.  83 people died, and 210 were injured.  It certainly brought back some memories for me.

On the day it happened in 1977 I was running late for work and caught a later bus from Lane Cove to the city that day.  At the same time, my sister was starting a new job in the city and had caught an early train (as it was her first day) that was going to be heading through Granville.

I knew nothing about the disaster, as I alighted from the bus at Wynyard station, but just caught a glimpse of my sister coming out of the train station heading to her new job.  I was too far away to catch her eye, despite waving, but I knew it was her.

The minute I got to my desk I heard about what had happened, and people were heading to the blood bank.  I knew my mother and father would be frantic, and unable to contact my sister as they would have no phone number for her yet.  This was the days before mobile phones, being 1977.  I phoned my mother immediately to let her know that I had seen my sister coming out of the train station - alive and well.  I could hear the relief in her voice.  Later we found out she had been on the train that went under the bridge before the one that hit, she had a lucky escape that day.

In all the years my sister and I worked in the city I never once saw her traveling to or from work again.  Spooky things do happen.  It was a shocking few days, with many people traumatised, I hope we never see anything like it again, but it will be part of Sydney's history forever.


Wednesday, June 15, 2016

1828 Census in NSW

There is an excellent guide about the census at the NSW ARCHIVES

Included is this table which is very useful when reading the abbreviations.

Common Abbreviations used in Convict Musters and Censuses

Abbreviation        Meaning
B.C. Born in the Colony
C.F. Came Free
F.S. Free by Servitude
A.P. Holding an Absolute Pardon
C.P. Holding a Conditional Pardon
T.L. Holding a Ticket of Leave
C. Convict
C.S. Colonial Sentence
G.S. Government (or Assigned) Servant