Thursday, 20 October 2016

Victorian Inquests, Facebook & Other News - Genealogy Notes 15-21 Oct 2016

Another big week. Lots of exciting news including that one of my talk proposals for the Footsteps in Time  genealogy conference on the Gold Coast in May 2017 was accepted. That means I have to send off the photo and short biog to the Committee and the deadline is 30 October. Hopefully that means the conference program will be up on their website some time in November. Being so close to home I was always going to attend, but the program is also a big attraction. Can't wait to see who else is speaking.

Towards the end of my time with Public Record Office Victoria (PROV) we were digitising inquest files in collaboration with FamilySearch. It was exciting to read Suzie Zada's blog post Victoria, Inquest Deposition Files 1840-1925 online. The project was huge so nice to see that we can start to see some of the files. Suzie's post was also a reminder that PROV has a new Beta website. On first glance it looks more exciting and inviting but I haven't had a reason to look for anything yet.

I personally hate new websites because it can be a challenge to find information you could once find easily. A good example is State Records New South Wales new website which thankfully they are working towards getting things right although I still struggle to find things. For example, I had difficulty finding their guides on asylums, not under A, not under H, but under M for Mental Health Facilities. Some asylums are benevolent, destitute or children so it seems odd to now put them all under M and not A for the more generic asylums. Even an old fashioned see reference would help. I liked them on the old site.

Another blog post that I liked this week was Alona's  Update Australian Facebook + Genealogy. Alona has been compiling a list of all Australian Facebook sites that relate to genealogy and family history. It is quite amazing how many there are and how much traffic some of them get. Lots of people are asking for advice and making connections online.

But like anything online you do need to check that what you have been told is correct and follow through with original records. I remember one time someone told me that they had been advised that a particular series of records had been destroyed. Having worked in archives for most of my life that seemed strange as they were significant records, so I checked the catalogue and easily found the series which had been indexed and I was able to give the person a direct reference to ask for. A bonus for me was that I hadn't thought to look at that series myself, and I found a file for my mother in law.

A few years ago I had the pleasure of hearing Paul O'Keefe talking about his family connection to Ned Kelly. From memory the talk was called The Girl Who Loved Ned Kelly and it was the story of Ettie Hart, Paul's great great grandmother. It was fascinating and I'm pleased to see that the whole story is now a musical Ned Kelly My Love and showing in Brunswick, Melbourne in November. One of the few times I wish I was still living down south!

Some of my ancestors lived interesting lives but no one is going to write books or musicals about them. Therefore it is always exciting to see this happen to people I know.

Tomorrow I'm going on the Kookaburra River Queen, a paddle wheeler that goes up and down the Brisbane River while offering morning and afternoon teas, lunches and dinners. We are down for the buffet lunch for Chris' Blarney lunch. Chris writes a number of blogs (how does she keep them all up) but I particularly follow her That Moment in Time which is a weekly round of interesting blogs, Irish news, what's new on Findmypast and other places. If you are short of time it's a good place to look. I know a few of the people going but others will be new. It should be a good day and the weather is fantastic at the moment.

Lots of genealogy reports, articles and blog posts coming up again this week. Some weeks there is nothing but then it gets super busy with requests. Still I love challenges. Have another great week of genealogy searching. Until next time, good luck.


  1. Thanks for the info about Victorian inquests' Alona's Update Australian Facebook + Genealogy and the That Moment in Time blog - very handy. A fabulous, newsy post with some useful advice.

  2. What another busy week. Thanks for the point about being told something has been destroyed. I have been told a document I was looking for was destroyed. While this is probably true I searched on the link you included for inquests and saw a number of other records that might provide clues to the events leading up to the death.

  3. Looking forward to seeing you at lunch soon Shauna. Well done for having your proposal accepted. Yay! Another conference to look forward will be here before we know it.