Saturday 27 January 2018

Samuel Plimsoll (ship), new archive releases, free webinars & other news - Genealogy Notes 21-28 Jan 2018

Last week I said that I would randomly review one of my families and see if I could take it back further in Hampshire and Wiltshire. Well there were some deaths post 1837 that might be mine but the information on UK death certificates is not going to confirm that unless my ancestor was the informant. So I haven't paid out any money yet.

All Saints parish church, Winterslow, Wiltshire
image Trish Steel via Wikipedia
On the plus side I did find digitised images of parish church records in Ancestry.  My GGGGG grandmother Hester Parrick's baptism was in 1727 and she married in 1747. Her mother (that's 6 Gs) Martha Parrick was buried in 1742, all in Winterslow, Wiltshire. Amazing that I can sit here and view these images. Somehow it makes my ancestors seem more real.

I also like to read up on a place and find Wikipedia useful for a quick overview of a parish. Plus there is usually a map showing where in the county a parish is located and a photograph of the parish church. Check out the entry for Winterslow.
Rootsfinder asked for permission to reuse one of my Trove Tuesday blog posts from last year in their How I Solved It series. Which Trove Tuesday blog post did they choose? It was the one where I found my great grandfather's accidental death, not by name (Thomas Price) but by the place name because the journalist recorded the wrong name (William Price)! Read the Rootsfinder post here and why not check out some of the other blog posts in this series for other ideas.

And speaking of Trove Tuesday, I managed to do my first Trove Tuesday blog post for 2018. It was a wonderful find - Samuel Plimsoll (ship) 1878 illustrated sketches. Thomas Price, paragraph above, arrived on the Samuel Plimsoll with his new bride Elizabeth Judge in Sydney in 1878. I'd previously located reports of the voyage out but on rechecking, I discovered these fantastic sketches. It might pay to see what else is under the Illustrated filter!

The internet provides so many ways to learn more about genealogy and family history and how to improve our searching skills. FamilySearch conduct free webinars on a monthly basis and you can see what's coming up in February here. Handouts from past webinars can also be downloaded and some of the sessions on using various aspects of FamilySearch more effectively are quite useful.

Although it arrived a few weeks back, I have finally sat down to have a good read of Traces: uncovering the past. This is a new magazine and Volume 1 reminded me a lot of Inside History which I also loved reading.

This is what the cover is like if you are trying to locate it in a newsagent. I've taken up a subscription as there are not a lot of newsagents on the Island and the range of genealogy/history magazines is not great. One of the things I miss about not living in a big city.

Once upon a time in my archives work life, I used to get excited about the 1st of January as that was the day new access releases were made. So this completely slipped my mind this year but there are another year of BDMs to search, and more items opened up in our state archives.

Public Record Office Victoria usually does a very handy list or blog post and this year it is an extremely interesting read with some great photos. Check out New Archival Records to Explore at PROV. There is also a complete list of all new releases under their Section 9 openings. If nothing else, the list will give you a wonderful idea of what can be found in our state archives.

What's Coming Up
Apparently the summer holidays are over, and the Bribie U3A resumes this coming week. On the grapevine I heard that my advanced family history class on Wednesday afternoon is fully booked and there is a waiting list. There has even been the odd email asking can I sneak someone in.

I also go to the local history class on Friday mornings so my weeks will be busier for the next 10 weeks, then the Easter holidays. Reminds me of my school days.

This photo was my first day of school in my new uniform, taken in the back yard. Just to the left of me was the 'old dunny' and it looks like it was before we got the 'hills hoist clothes line' as there is no shadow from it.

Until next time, have a great genealogy week.

Friday 19 January 2018

Internet Archive, Occupations and Other News - Genealogy Notes 13-20 Jan 2018

One of those weeks where everything seems to happen at once, and none of it planned for. So catching up on a lot of household chores and other bits and pieces today including this blog.


The UK General Register Office is extending their pilot of supplying birth and death certificates in a digital format for a cheaper price. I picked that up in the WDYTYA magazine (read the notice here) and it motivated me to think about a lot of my UK research which was done decades ago. The cheaper price of 6 pounds (less than $10.50) means that I could look into some of the siblings or even kill off a few direct ancestors with a death certificate. They don't give much information but at least I would know cause of death and where.

East Dean is in the hundred
of Thorngate, image Internet
Archive Book Images on Flickr
Which family to review? I have a 4 drawer filing cabinet full of paper folders so I randomly selected drawer 2 and pulled out a file mid way along without looking. I've ended up with my Fox family from East Dean, Hampshire and it has been quite a while since I last opened this folder. Looking forward to some exciting discoveries with this family review.

This image is from the Internet Archive Book Images on Flickr - A history of Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, by Herbert Arthur and published in 1900. The Internet Archive is a wonderful place to look for digitised books and images.


My January blog for The In-Depth Genealogist was on The Australian Cemeteries Index  (not to be confused with Australian Cemeteries) and the blog post was picked up in Gail Dever's Creme de la Creme round up for 13 January.

One of the reasons I like the Australian Cemeteries Index is that it includes images of all the graves in the South Brisbane cemetery tombstones.

I mentioned earlier that the Waves in Time conference is being held at Caloundra in May 2019. The website is now up and also their social media accounts on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Check the website out and follow updates via social media. I'm going to a conference committee meeting next week so things are moving along quickly.

The Bridging the Past & Future conference in March in Sydney is fast approaching and speakers have received their Dropbox accounts for their presentations. Due date is 8 February so finishing my two presentations is high priority in the coming week. As usual I have too many slides and keeping to time is a must. Nothing worse than missing the end of someone's talk or seeing them speed through the last slides.

One of the things I like discovering about my ancestors is their occupation as that allows me to think about how they spend their days. One of my Wiltshire ancestors was Robert White and he was a beadle. I had no idea what that was and if you Google you can find various occupation sites but one of my favourites is the Hall Genealogy Website: Old Occupation Names. It's arranged A-Z and beadle is a town crier and parish officer who kept order. From other documents he was also described as a clerk of the church. Possibly what we might call a desk job today, certainly not out in the fields or sweating in the blacksmith's shop.
This week's episode of Who Do You Think You Are Series 13 was on Warwick Davis and I really enjoyed it. He was confronted with an ancestor who committed bigamy and another who was a minstrel who 'blacked up' as he put it. We have to be careful not to put 21st century values on 19th century actions because the world has changed a lot since then.

One of my great great grandmother's was a prostitute and in and out of gaol on numerous occasions. I had the opportunity to sit in a cell in the old women's prison at Boggo Road and it could have been one that she occupied at some point. Her marriage had failed and she was destitute and prostitution has always been one way for a woman to support herself since the beginning of time. My ancestor went on to die a respectable old lady but if she had not had an illegitimate child, I wouldn't be here today.

This was something that Warwick also expressed in the episode. If his ancestor hadn't had the bigamous marriage he wouldn't be here, nor his children. We can't change our ancestors, we just have to accept them, and the times in which they lived. Great episode and I'm looking forward to next week's show.

What's Coming Up?
This coming week I'm determined to do a Trove Tuesday blog, at least one a month for 2018. I've already found the article that I want to write about, a ship that two of my great grandparents arrived on in 1878. It's an illustrated newspaper article that I recently found and want to share with others.

My two presentations for Congress as mentioned above and I should start on my February article for Going In-Depth and another IDG blog post.

Have a great genealogy week and if you are in one of the areas suffering these ongoing heat waves this summer, try and stay cool. Until next week, have fun.

Thursday 11 January 2018

Worcestershire archives, historical children's books & other news - Genealogy Notes 6-12 Jan 2018

Thanks to everyone who commented on my new look - we are all agreed that headings are useful and they do help me to remember what I want to comment on.

It was good to see other bloggers getting back into Trove Tuesday challenges and quite a few are doing the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks challenge. If bloggers are using hash tags you should be able to Google and find some of these posts. Tuesday came and went before I even realised it and a weekly blog challenge has to wait until all the family dramas are behind me.

However I did manage to complete my review of the Worcester Archives and Archaeology Service's new e-publication - read Discovering Worcestershire Archives and see what you might be missing in English county archives. The types of records and access are similar so it has broad appeal. It is available to download for £6.

Whenever I am holidaying in Bargara (at least once a year) we pop into the local Vinnies to get some reading material. For $1 there was a copy of Bryce Courtenay's The Family Frying Pan. The title caught my eye and I am a fan of Courtenay but I hadn't seen this book before.

While fiction, it is based on the story of Mrs Moses who escapes from Russia pre WW1 and the stories of those who make the trip with her. Every night they gather around the camp fire and tell the story of their life over whatever they have managed to cook in the frying pan.

The book's dedication gives a clue as to why you should read this novel - to my two sons Brett and Adam who would not be who they are if their great great grandmother had not walked across Russia carrying a large cast iron frying pan. A great read and I couldn't put it down.

While we might not have Courtenay's writing skills, we should all be trying to capture our own family stories before they are lost in the mists of time.

This week saw the return of a new UK series of Who Do You Think You Are? A must watch series even though we know it is much harder than it looks and most of us don't have the money to just pop off and do a spot of research in another country. Hard to believe this is the 13th series, where do the years go.

This week it was Sir Ian McKellen and coming up are Sophie Raworth, Sunetra Sarker, Greg Davies, Liz Bonnin, Danny Dyer, Cheryl, Ricky Tomlinson, Warwick Davis and Amanda Holden. Some of these celebrities I haven't heard of but there is usually something you can learn from most episodes. On SBS and I won't give the time  as we are all on different time zones.

WDYTYA reminded me that I still haven't read the January 2018 issue of the WDYTYA magazine. I did a Q&A for them and was sent a complimentary copy of the issue. One of the main articles is 50 Websites to Watch in 2018 and while I was familiar with quite a lot of them, there were some that I had never heard of and some that were definitely of interest to my own research. Now all I need is a rainy day to do some research instead of spending hours hosing my gardens in this incredible heat. While it's nice to live on a quarter acre, you do have to keep the vegetation alive plus the birds and other wildlife appreciate our little oasis in suburbia.

Social Media
Open Culture highlighted the release in a blog post of 6,000 historical children's books all digitised and free to view online. I can vaguely remember my own children's books (Enid Blyton was a first love) and all the old fairy tales but by the time of my son it was definitely Thomas the Tank Engine and friends. At least that was more entertaining than Spot the Dog. But what books did my mother read as a child or her mother? I have no idea but we can explore these questions with this new resource. I also love just looking at all the old time illustrations.

If you have ever struggled to work out Land Grants in NSW 1788-1856 then this online guide by State Archives and Records NSW will certainly help. It's much more complex than I ever realised. But then most land records are not easy to identify or access.

What's Coming Up?
Caloundra talk, 2017
I've been invited to attend the next meeting of the Waves in Time conference which will be held in Caloundra on 24-26 May 2019. It is being hosted by Caloundra Family History Research. There will be a website coming soon and some of the people who organised the very successful conference at Southport last year are on the organising committee. So save the date and watch out for updates.

Caloundra are a fun group and their members all wear purple shirts. I give a talk there every year which means I too must wear purple. My next talk for them is in April - must start looking for a new purple shirt!

Unbelievably I am now preparing my classes for the advanced family history sessions at Bribie U3A - holidays and terms seem to go super quick. The class will be a mix of ongoing students plus some newbies and should be a lot of fun.

Until next time, happy searching.

Thursday 4 January 2018

New Year, New Look & Lots of News - Genealogy Notes 27 Dec 2017 - 5 Jan 2018

Christmas 2016 in Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia
Happy New Year everyone. Still wondering where 2017 went but looking forward to a big genealogy year in 2018.

My first blog challenge for the year was Jill Ball's annual Accentuate the Positive 2017 challenge - read my year in review here. When you stop and consider the questions, you really have done more genealogy than you first think. It is also good to read what others have been doing as there are lots of ideas out there and Jill will be collating responses in January. Stay tuned.

I'm back doing blog posts for The In-Depth Genealogist and my first post was on Discovering the Ryerson Index and there have been quite a few comments, adding to the history of the index. It was also picked up in three genealogy blog roll ups:

I am a fan of those who do these blog compilations as it is hard to keep up with everything published and these summaries often contain useful posts I'd miss.

I've been asked to review Worcester County Council's new digital Explore the Past publication which looks at how to trace your ancestors in Worcester. It's 70 pages and available for 6 pounds and looks very comprehensive. My review should be finished in the next week.

Over the holidays I read Winston Graham's The Angry Tide - I come from a long line of Cornish tin miners and first read Graham's Poldark series back in the late 70s (somehow that doesn't seem as long ago as the 20th century). Of course, I am also watching the new Poldark television series and The Angry Tide picks up where the last series ended so I won't give any spoiler alerts.

It's always exciting when a new history/genealogy magazine starts up and I have just received Issue 1 of Traces: Uncovering the Past which is published in Australia. I took advantage of the 50% introductory offer last year but I noticed (just now as I write this) that the offer is still on the website. So if you are interested, be quick.

Cassie Mercer who we all loved as editor of  the now defunct Inside History is a consultative editor and the first issue has some of my favourite authors including Jayne Shrimpton and Helen Smith.

Social Media
Alona has been busy updating her very useful lists of Australian Genealogy Facebook sites and there are now over 1100 links. Read about the update here and to download a copy - but don't hit the print button as it is 42 pages.

This is not a new resource but I sometimes forget how useful it can be. The University of Leicester's online Historical Directories Collection is free to access. It covers local and trade directories for England and Wales from 1766 to 1919. The website contains at least one directory for every English and Welsh county for each of the 1850s, 1890s and 1910s. A wonderful resource.

What's Coming Up?
Even though I said no more travelling, no more talks, I find that I've already agreed to give 10 talks in 2018 and that involves some travelling. At least it's less than previous years. To see where I will be presenting in 2018 check out the Services/Events page of my website.

The really megaevent this year is the Bridging the Past & Future conference in Sydney in March. There will be over 500 attendees with lots of great talks, exhibitors and time to catch up with old and new friends. I'm giving two presentations and currently putting the finishing touches to the papers which are due on Monday.

Until next time, happy searching.