Sunday, 2 December 2018

Tasmanian BDMs, WW1 resources & other news - Genealogy Notes 16-30 Nov 2018

Another busy fortnight ends and lots of things to keep me busy. With the heat I have been keeping the bird baths topped up as the lorikeets pay a visit every afternoon and enjoy a little splash. It has been so hot a few native noisy miners even had a splash in the pool the other afternoon which was a first. They were too quick for me to get out there with the camera.


I have always loved Tasmania BDMs because they made all the records to 1900 free, first on microfilm and then online. Plus lots of other convict records and wills and probates all online and free through Libraries Tasmania. Until now I have never had to buy a post 1930 certificate and all that ease of access and cheapness disappears. I was stunned to find that an online request for a death certificate in the open period required 3 pieces of ID all certified by a JP (according to the online form and the print form if you choose to mail the request).

An email to query this was quickly answered with don't worry about certifying but I still needed to provide 3 pieces of ID. When I queried further, I was told that this proved that I was the same person as on the credit card. Yet if I order BDMs from QLD, NSW or VIC online I don't have to provide any ID. It seems a bit excessive or perhaps I'm just worried now that Tasmania BDMs have a copy of my passport, driver's license and a utility bill! Has anyone else ever had to provide ID when ordering a genealogy record online in the open period?

After all that the certificate is still posted out so you are at the mercy of Australia Post - who kindly told me that I had registered post to collect, the day after I had already collected it!! Perhaps we are just spoilt with instant access to lots of other things.


On Friday I went to the launch of They Answered the Call, the latest publication from the Bribie Island Historical Society. There will be a few print copies for those that want one, but this publication has been published online through the Society's blog. The post They Answered the Call gives the list of all those in the local area who went to WW1 and WW2 - not just those that died but also those who came home.

My ancestors were at Toorbul, and there is an entry for my GG grandmother's nephew Alexander Thomas Davis who was severely wounded by schrapnel in the head. He made it home to Toorbul but died there from his wounds. The entry is largely based on my own ANZAC Day 2015 tribute to Alexander Thomas Davis.

After the launch I caught up with Moreton Region library staff and was introduced to the new Bribie Island librarian who got my vote when he said he was looking to do something about the local history collection. I could think of a 1000 things but will wait to see his improvements first. They also demonstrated Moreton Bay Region Libraries local history database. Those who have heard my talks know that I often use it as an example of why you need to look locally and in libraries.

It has been a while since I last looked at the World War 1 section and there is a lot of new material. Probably not surprising given all the centennial projects - so check out your own local collections or collections where your ancestors lived. All of those who served in the Moreton region are listed and you simply click on the name and a biography of the person pops up. The entry for Alexander has his mother's name as Clare not Clara but I'm hoping that typo will be fixed as I pointed it out on the day. Must be my old editing skills spotting a typo at 20 paces!

It also says that his father died in 1894 but I know that's not true. Correcting that will be a little more involved - I have given talks on the Davis family and what happened to Charles, but so far I have not written the story down. It is always tricky when family secrets stumble out of the cupboard.

It is always a treat going to Brisbane and meeting up with the other committee members for the Waves of Time conference on the Sunshine Coast in May 2019. The program is now up on the website and registration has opened. There are two streams of talks and as always there are times when I want to go to both!

I'm privileged to be giving one of the talks on the Friday which is a free Local & Family History Fair which includes free and paid talks. The conference itself is over the Saturday and Sunday and is only open to registered attendees. Check out the website and I hope to see you there.

What's Coming Up?

My last U3A advanced family history session is on Wednesday and then a break until next year. All of the group have re-enrolled so it will be another great year of interaction. It is amazing how much I have discovered about my own ancestors in the preparation of these sessions. Although I need to write up all my new discoveries - there is usually no time during class weeks.

There are a few talks already lined up for 2019 and over the coming weeks I will be making changes to my website, including updating the calendar and list of talks available.

At the U3A tutors Christmas drinks & nibbles the other day, someone said once you get involved in weekly classes then the year just flies. That's certainly true for 2018 and given that I started these sessions in 2017, I'm fast losing track of the years. On the plus side, lots of family history discoveries by helping others to research.

Until next time, try and fit a little research in amongst all the Christmas frenzy.

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