Genealogy & History News Genealogy and history news and product announcements for Australians Sat, 01 Aug 2015 02:54:57 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Victorian Passenger Lists 1852-1924 Going Online Sat, 01 Aug 2015 02:54:13 +0000 Victoria Passenger List PROV #1

Passenger lists are one of the key sources that every researcher aims to find. To discover the when and where you ancestors immigrated to, and from where they came from. It helps piece things together.

Now thanks for a agreement between Findmypast and the Public Record Office Victoria (PROV), millions of historical passenger lists from Victoria are being published online for the first time.

Leading family history website Findmypast has secured the rights to publish original petty session records and passenger lists from Victoria. In partnership with Public Record Office Victoria (PROV) and FamilySearch, the original images of these extensive collections will be scanned and transcribed for the first time.

Never before microfilmed or indexed, the collection of Victoria’s Coastal Passenger Lists 1852-1924 will be brought online to later this year. Comprising both original images and transcripts of an estimated 118,000 records, these passenger lists provide a vivid snapshot of immigrants and travellers alike arriving in Victoria’s coastal ports.

Family historians using these invaluable records will uncover details of their ancestors’ passage to Australia, as well as biographical information. Covering the 1850s onwards, these records capture the mass immigration into Victoria in the historic gold rush era, which fuelled one of the most dramatic population booms in Australian history.

“The colony’s population multiplied by sevenfold during the 1850s alone. These records uncover the voyages of many of those who flocked to Victoria to take a gamble on the goldfields – along with hundreds of thousands of immigrants right through to the 1920s.”

While there are millions of Victorian passenger records already indexed and on Findmypast, not all the images are there, and that’s what will be coming over the remainder of the year.

Searchable for free, to view the images you will need either a subscription to, or a World Subscription through any of the Findmypast sites.

Victoria Passenger List PROV

Search now:
Victoria Outward Passenger Lists 1852-1915
Learn more about your ancestors and their movements by tracing their journeys to ports across Australia and around the world.

Victoria Inward Passenger Lists 1839-1923
Discover when your ancestors arrived in Victoria on these passenger lists and uncover more about their journey to Australia.

]]> 1
Finland, the Old Photo Album, and the Scanner Wed, 29 Jul 2015 14:31:36 +0000 Be prepared. It’s what we’re taught in life, and fortunately that’s what I was.

A number of you would know that I was on Unlock the Past’s 8th history and genealogy cruise recently which headed to Scandinavia and the Baltic. One of the ports we stopped at was Helsinki in Finland.

Helsinki was the hometown of one of my great grandfathers, and it is home of a number of relatives that my family keeps in touch with. While other cruisers were off seeing the sights of Helsinki, my parents who were also on the cruise, and myself were headed for an amazing family reunion.

The day was full of highlights, but what I want to write about here is in relation to the Flip-Pal mobile scanner. as i was limited in space in what I could take with me I didn’t pack mine,  so I borrowed the demo one from Tony from My History, who was onboard the ship selling them. I wasn’t sure I’d need it, but I wanted to have it with me “just in case” because you just never know.

Being prepared was a good thing, as it turned out it certainly was needed. We were shown an old family photograph album (as thick as some old family bibles) that was filled with old cabinet card photographs, most from the later 1800s – and what’s more some were even named. This album has photos of my great great grandparents, photos of my great grandpa’s siblings, and photos of numerous other family members, most of which I’d never seen before. We struck genealogy gold and I was genealogy happy dancing for sure!!

here's the family photo album

here’s the family photo album

But rather than simply be content with ‘looking’ through the album, Alan whipped out the scanner and Flip-pal’d them. I know that you won’t find that word in the dictionary, but it is certainly one that I have heard used before, and it seemed appropriate here.

scanning the photos with the Flip-Pal

scanning the photos with the Flip-Pal

still scanning

still scanning

Anyone who owns a Flip-Pal Mobile Scanner knows it’s true value. It is made to be small, light and portable, and to work without the need of any other equipment. So that combined with the fact that you scan there, on the spot, made it ideal, and allowed us fabulous copies of family photos that we may not have otherwise been able to obtain.

So a visit to the cemetery. Meeting relatives for the first time. Discovering old family photos … this day just kept getting better and better.

So if you’ve been wondering about getting a Flip-Pal mobile scanner, but haven’t yet made up your mind. My suggestion is DO IT! You won’t regret it. You’ll have it ready for whenever you make that quick trip to see someone, or to your society or archives office. (Please note, some allow you to use it, though some don’ – so be sure to check first), It really is a wonder machine.

one of the scanned images from the album

one of the scanned images from the album

we made sure we scanned the names too

we made sure we scanned the names too

Again, a big, big thankyou to Tony from My History for loaning me the scanned for the day. It truly was appreciated, and gave us the ability to record these precious family images.

If you’re interested in buying a Flip-Pal mobile scanner, you can purchase them from numerous places around the world:
Australia – Gould Genealogy & History
England – My History
United States – Flip-Pal

]]> 0
550,000 Historical Videos Added to YouTube Sun, 26 Jul 2015 10:59:03 +0000 logo - YouTube 250

We are all aware (though sometimes we forget) just how good YouTube is for looking for historical movies. Those that relate to events, to people and places. It is a fabulous resource for getting details of social history – the look, the era, the happenings of the time, the fashion and so on.

Well now is a good time to remind you of this as Associated Press together with British Movietone are uploading 550,000 old movies to YouTube – that’s over a million minutes worth of historical footage.These clips document the most momentous and historic events of the last 120 years. Between the two channels there are clips that capture first hand the bombing of Pearl Harbor, the effects of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, the collapse of the Berlin Wall, and Tiananmen Square’s “Tank Man” – and another 500,000+ more.

AP has built up a staggering archive over its 120 year lifespan. Alwyn Lindsey, AP’s director of international archive, said that the channels would stand as a visual encyclopedia of perhaps the most turbulent century in human history. “At AP we are always astonished at the sheer breadth of footage that we have access to, and the upload to YouTube means that, for the first time, the public can enjoy some of the oldest and most remarkable moments in history.”

People who want to use the clips in their own videos will still need to license them through AP, but the agency says the trove of videos will stand and inspiration for filmmakers. While the archive is full of tragedies like the Hindenberg disaster, we can see that even before the internet, earlier generations shared our current affinity for cat videos with some cut cat videos dating back to 1946.

Below you’ll find three short videos from their vast collection. So go, have fun, and discover history in a visual way!

]]> 0
Join the FamilySearch Worldwide Indexing Week, 7-14 August 2015 Sun, 26 Jul 2015 04:01:28 +0000 FamilySearch Indexing Week 2015 - 4 550

Are you ready? It’s on again. That is, the FamilySearch Worldwide Indexing Week. So if you are a regular indexer, and occasional one, or have never even indexed FamilySearch records before, but are interested – all of you are needed to take part in their Worldwide indexing event that is being held between 7-14 August this year.

They are hoping for 100,000 indexers to take part from all parts of the world. And honestly I don’t think they’ll have any problem getting the numbers.

There’s no doubt that having an index adds value to a record. While a few die-hard researchers are likely to do it the hard way browsing through records, reading page-by-page, the majority of researchers don’t, and do rely on an index.

With over 100 indexing projects currently happening from different corners of the world, you can choose which project you’d like to be a part of.

For those who are interested, but have no idea what it’s all about, don’t worry as FamilySearch offer plenty of step-by-step help, including instructional videos, detailed tutorials and FAQs, and the FamilySearch Indexing Facebook page is one you can ask further questions if you have them.

I know it’s very cliche, but it is true “every little bit helps”. Be a part of history by contributing to the worlds largest free genealogy database. Just think, every name you index, makes it easier for someone find that person.

As FamilySearch themselves say … “It’s time to dust off your keyboard, mark your calendar, and brush up on your indexing skills. Get ready to #FuelTheFind by going to“.

FamilySearch Indexing Week 2015 - 3

FamilySearch Worldwide Indexing Week
7-14 August 2015
* be a part of it *

]]> 0
Important RootsMagic Update ( Released Wed, 22 Jul 2015 16:13:40 +0000 logo - RootsMagic tree 200The following is an announcement from RootsMagic who have just released an important update for RootsMagic 7 users, taking it to version

RootsMagic and FamilySearch Family Tree
If you use RootsMagic to work with FamilySearch Family Tree, you must install this update to continue working with it after July 30, 2015.  FamilySearch will be making breaking changes to their API on July 30, 2015, and this update adds code to deal with those changes.

If you are running RootsMagic 7
On July 30, 2015, versions of RootsMagic 7 earlier than will no longer be able to log into FamilySearch Family Tree.  If you haven’t already downloaded the update, look for the “Update Available” indicator in the lower right corner of your RootsMagic 7 program screen, and click on it.  You will then be able to continue working with FamilySearch Family Tree as if nothing has changed.

If you are running RootsMagic 6
On July 30, 2015, all versions of RootsMagic 6 will stop working with FamilySearch Family Tree. If you wish to continue working with FamilySearch through RootsMagic, you have 2 options:

  1. Order the upgrade to RootsMagic 7 which you can do here
  2. Download the free RootsMagic 7 Essentials and install it (leave your RM6 installed as well). RootsMagic 6 and 7 have the same file format, so you can switch back and forth between them with your same database.  You can use all the features in your paid RM6, and use RM7 Essentials when you need to work with FamilySearch Family Tree.

To see a list of what else is new and fixed, visit:

]]> 0
Victorian Community History Awards 2015 Wed, 22 Jul 2015 14:20:06 +0000 Victorian Community History Awards 2015The Victorian Community History Awards are on again, and there’s only a few weeks left to get your applications in.

The Victorian Community History Awards have been held since 1999, and is organised by Royal Historical Society of Victoria in cooperation with the Public Record Office Victoria. To find out about previous winners of the VCHA visit the Past VCHA Winners page.

These Awards are open to anyone (organisations and/or residents) from Australia as long as the subject matter is limited to history primarily relating to the state of Victoria – which being the “Victorian History Awards” is totally understandable and fair.

Covering a variety of formats, the Victorian Community History Awards are divided into the following categories:

  • Victoria’s Community History Award, $5000 – Awarded to the most outstanding community history project submitted in any category.
  • Collaborative Community History Award, $2000 – This award recognises the best community collaborative work which involves significant contribution from several individuals, groups or historical societies.
  • Local History Project Award, $2000 – This award recognises activities that enhance access to records of significance to local communities. The project should increase access, awareness and participation in history on a local or community level including, but not limited to, digitising, indexing and/or cataloguing of resources and original research.
  • History Publication Award, $2000History Publication Award – $2000 A non-fiction publication or e-book on Victorian history. This could include a biography or a story of social, urban, institutional, regional or cultural history.
  • Local History Small Publication Award, $1500 – For the best small, limited run publication or e-book which which features Victorian local, cultural or social history. The entry should deal with an area of community or city, or regional history, local identity, social or cultural history connected with the community.
  • Multimedia History Award, $2000 – For the best presentation of history which uses non-print media and has a broad community reach. This project can include, but is not limited to, multimedia exhibitions, radio, mobile applications, website, digital video/podcasts or online applications.
  • Historical Interpretation Award, $2000 – This award recognizes unique formats of historical representation. Applicants are encouraged to submit history related experiences told through physical exhibitions, artistic interpretation, history walks and tours.
  • Centenary of WW1 Award – $1500 This year the judges will award a special prize for the best work or project submitted in any category on the impact of World War One on Victoria or Victorians.
  • History Article (Peer Reviewed) – $500 This award recognises the best essay or article published in a recognised peer reviewed journal that illuminates the history of Victoria or Victorians. Articles must be written in a scholarly style using appropriate conventions of citation and evidence and be formally reviewed by referees with relevant expertise.

Entrants’ work must be completed between 1 July 2014 and 30 June 2015, and an official entry form must accompany each entry, and entries MUST be received by:

2pm Friday 7 August 2015

You can download an application form from here.

For further information please contact the Royal Historical Society of Victoria by email:
phone: (03) 9326 9288

]]> 0
Inspiring Genealogy Blogs – June & July 2015 Sat, 18 Jul 2015 08:30:21 +0000 Inspiring Blogs 300For my latest Inspiring Genealogy Blog post I am giving you another two month collection (actually 1 1/2 months since I’m posting it now), as I didn’t get the June edition completed before heading off on the Unlock the Past the Baltic cruise, so I’m combining it with my July finds.

In this edition of Inspiring Genealogy Blog posts we have posts that cover: traits of a genealogist, why I love the Ancestry website, elitism, reasons why you need to write your story, is your research accurate … and a whole heap more!

So grab yourself a cup of tea or coffee, get comfy and enjoy some great reads.

As I mention every time, I find that reading blog posts helps me keep up with the latest news, products as well as what’s happening in general in the world of genealogy. And if you happen to already follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and to some extent Google+, you already know that I like to share with you the interesting things I read.

Why You Should Download Your Files from Ancestry and Every Other Website
Amy Johnson Crow takes on the topic of possibly selling, and suggests what you should do about it … just in case. Read the full article …

Our Memories Fade
Think you can remember an event 100%? Try comparing your memories with someone else who was there. Sure each will have their own take on things, but the basis of the event memories should be the same. Try it, you might be surprised, just as Terri was when she compared her memories of the funeral of her great grandfather with her aunt. Read the full article …

Teaching Your Genealogical Dog a New Trick: Research Plans
I found this post by Debbie Mieszala a fascinating one. And she says “non-genealogical endeavors often hint at genealogy.” In her case dog training and training plans, which then led her to think about applying it to genealogy. As she saiys “my brain went from dogs to genealogy just like that.” Read the full article …

20 Reasons Why You Should Write Your Family History: #10 The need to hear from the non-affluent
This post comes from the Association of Personal Historians and they say it so will in the opening paragraph .. “Everybody’s heard of John D. Rockefeller and Nelson Mandela. But what about the miners who dug the coal that lit the homes and powered the businesses that spread across Rockefeller’s America at the turn of the twentieth century? Or the working poor who marched with Mandela against apartheid in South Africa? The vast majority of the world’s people never become rich or renowned, but their lives are also the story of our world—the working class, the immigrants, the failed entrepreneurs, those scarred by poverty and addiction. Stories that matter. Read the full article …

5 Ways To Tell If Your Genealogy Research Is Accurate
There is a lot of room for human error in genealogy research, and you are undoubtedly going to come across it, either in the work of others, or through mistakes you make in your own work. Even the best genealogists will once in a while discover they got an entire line wrong based on one incorrect assumption, misinterpretation of a record, or by obtaining a faulty record. With so much room for making mistakes, how do you know you’ve gotten it right? How do you know if your genealogy research is successful? Read the full article …

Genealogy and Elitism: It Isn’t What You Say, it’s How You Say It
Amy Johnson Crow uses a fabulous analogy of buying a paint set from your local craft store, taking a few painting classes you think you’re doing fine. Only the teacher rips your work apart. It’s deflating and would probably make you consider giving up. And she says that sadly this happens in genealogy too. Read the full article …

Why I Love the New Ancestry Website
Love them or hate them, there’s no doubt that the genealogy world wouldn’t be where it is without Ancestry. And as there is a tendancy with human nature to voice the bad but not the good in things, people tend to hear more about the bad. So when I came across this post from Niki Davis giving details of why she loves the Ancestry website I wanted to share it with you. Read the full article …

10 Important Characteristics of a Good Genealogist
Lorine from the Olive Tree Genealogy blog has come up with the 10 most important characteristics or traits that you need to be a good genealogist. We all want to be good genealogists, don’t we. We want to know that we did our best to find our ancestors and that what we found is accurate. We don’t want to spend time searching an individual’s ancestors and adding them to our family tree only to find out it was the wrong person! That means we need to be thorough and methodical and very very cautious about accepting documents and individuals without verifying and double-checking every fact we find. Read the full article …

Happy reading 😉

]]> 1
MyHeritage Launches “Global Name Translation” Fri, 10 Jul 2015 08:58:39 +0000 MyHeritage - Global Name TranslationThe following is a press release from MyHeritage, dated 8 July 2015 with some VERY, VERY BIG GENEALOGY NEWS!

TEL AVIV, Israel & LEHI, Utah–(BUSINESS WIRE)–MyHeritage, the leading destination for discovering, preserving and sharing family history, today announced the launch of Global Name Translation™, a new technology to help families break through language barriers in the quest to uncover their past. The technology automatically translates names found in historical records and family trees from one language into another, in very high accuracy, generating all the plausible translations, to facilitate matches between names in different languages. In addition, a manual search in one language will also provide results in other languages, translated back to the user’s language for convenience. This is a unique innovation not offered elsewhere, useful for anyone interested in discovering their global roots.

“Global Name Translation™ helps overcome the Tower of Babel syndrome”

There are many immediate benefits for users. For example, people living in the USA with Russian roots previously had to search for their ancestors in Russian to maximize their chances of finding pertinent information. The new technology will now accept searches in English, automatically increase their scope to cover Russian and Ukrainian as well, and conveniently translate all results back to English.

The new technology also enhances the acclaimed MyHeritage matching technologies to bridge across language gaps. For example, if a user from Greece with a family tree in Greek, is related to a user from Israel with a family tree entered in Hebrew, MyHeritage will be able to connect them, automatically matching between names in the ancient languages of Greek and Hebrew, and show the two users how their family trees overlap, leading to exciting family reunions like never before.

“Global Name Translation™ helps overcome the Tower of Babel syndrome”, said Gilad Japhet, Founder and CEO of MyHeritage. “The world is getting smaller and more connected, yet information from other countries is still mostly hidden from those who don’t speak the language. It’s our mission to develop the best technologies for facilitating family history discoveries for everyone, everywhere. Therefore we set an ambitious goal of taking down one of the most formidable walls that hampers research and discovery – the difficulty of translating names from one language to another. We’re proud to have pioneered this solution and thrilled with the value that it will provide to users around the world.”

MyHeritage has developed this technology using original research, advanced algorithms and based on its massive multilingual and international database of 6 billion family tree profiles and historical records. The technology covers first names and last names and is able to tackle not only names encountered in the past but also new names it has never encountered before. The technology is generic but also utilizes extensive dictionaries built by MyHeritage to cover synonyms and nicknames. Therefore a search for Alessandro (Alexander in Italian) will also find “Саша” which is the Russian form of Sasha, a popular nickname of Alexander in Russia.

The first version successfully translates names in between English, German, Dutch, French, Spanish, Catalan, Portuguese, Italian, Norwegian, Swedish, Danish, Greek, Hebrew, Polish, Czech, Russian and Ukrainian. The next version currently in development will add Chinese and Japanese, and additional languages will follow.

To take advantage of Global Name Translation™ technology, create a new family tree for free on MyHeritage and enjoy the automatic matches or use MyHeritage’s SuperSearch search engine for historical records.

About MyHeritage
MyHeritage is the leading destination for discovering, preserving and sharing family history. As technology thought leaders, MyHeritage is transforming family history into an activity that’s accessible and instantly rewarding. Its global user community enjoys access to a massive library of historical records, the most internationally diverse collection of family trees and ground-breaking search and matching technologies. Trusted by millions of families, MyHeritage provides an easy way to share family stories, past and present, and treasure them for generations to come. MyHeritage is available in 42 languages.


]]> 0
3, 2, 1, Let’s Cruise Mon, 06 Jul 2015 02:26:45 +0000 The countdown is well and truly on for the 8th Unlock the Past cruise. A number of our staff (myself included) are heading off to England on Wednesday this week for a genealogy cruise which leaves from Southampton. We’ll be arriving a couple of days before the cruise departs, to hopefully get into the right timezone, and may even get to see a little of city.

counting down!!

counting down!!

The cruise goes for 14 nights, but with travel there and back, we’ll be away for three weeks!

Our shop will still be open every day (9am-4pm M-F) and Steve and Lauren will be there to help you out, and Beth will be dealing with our mail order department. They will do their best to deal with everything, but as with all places that are short-staffed there is likely to be some delays. So please be patient.

Unlock the Past’s 8th cruise has an amazing range of guest presenters (as has every cruise I’ve been on to date), and I’m expecting lots of learning on this one as well. Afterall from the US we have Cyndi Ingle (the wonder woman behind Cyndi’s List), Paul Milner (professional researcher who knows everything about UK research), and Gordon Nutall (creator of the Flip-Pal Mobile Scanner). From the UK we have Dr Janet Few, Chris Braund, Caroline Gurney, Chris Paton. And Australians who are making the trip as presenters for this cruise are Carol Baxter, Rosemary Kopittke, Eric Kopittke, Helen Smith, Tricia Fairweather and Shauna Hicks. With over 70 presentations, there’s going to be oodles to learn.

Baltic Map

This cruise to the Baltic goes to places I’ve never been before and probably never will again, so I’ll be playing tourist when in port and checking the places out.

As I tend to manage all of our social media accounts (blog, Facebook, Twitter and Google+), things might be a little quiet there for a while.

There are a number of geneabloggers on the cruise and we shall post any that they do, on our cruise Facebook page, so you can keep up with the happenings.

I shall endeavour to do some posts along the way – but we’ll have to see how the ship’s internet connection is, and that’s apart from limited time, they may not get done till later. So can I suggest keeping an eye on the Unlock the Past Cruises Facebook page, as I’ll put pictures up there from time to time.

Celebrity Eclipse

our ship, the Celebrity Eclipse

In the meantime all the best with your continued research, and I look forward to reporting what I have learned when I return.

For those into social media, our cruise hashtag is: #utpcruise

]]> 0
Who Do You Think You Are? Australia Season 7 (2015) Sun, 05 Jul 2015 11:49:54 +0000 wdytya aus

The UK and the US both recently announced the celebrities for their latest seasons of Who Do You Think You Are?. Now it’s Australia’s turn.

Who Do You Think You Are? delves into the ancestry of prominent Australians. They become detectives as they search through their family tree to piece together their history, and ultimately find the answers to where they came from. The clues to their ancestry are found in all corners of Australia and the globe as these eight Australians trace their genealogy to unexpected places. Histories are revealed, and secrets uncovered.

The emotional and personal stories in Who Do You Think You Are? reveal a bigger picture of Australia’s diverse national identity. These stories demonstrate how Australians have come to be the people that we are today. Who Do You Think You Are? is a fascinating chronicle of the social, ethnic and cultural evolution of Australia.

In this 7th season we discover the family history of:
– Geoffrey Rush (actor)
– David Wenham (actor)
– Luke Nguyen (chef)
– Toni Collette (actress)
– Dawn Fraser (champion swimmer and former politician)
– Ray Martin (television journalist)
– Greig Pickhaver (HG Nelson) (comedian)
– Peter Rowsthorn (comedian)

For the very first time, an investigation leads to a DNA test and the surprising answer to a long held paternity question shrouded in mystery. Intriguing stories emerge – an Irish rebel, a South American freedom fighter and a German family mastering music for 150 years since the time of Bach. One celebrity finds family he didn’t know existed and another considers changing his surname after discovering the truth about his grandfather.

This all-new season premieres on
SBS, Tuesday 4 August, 7.30pm

WDYTYA Aus 7 - group

]]> 1
Need Help With Your Family Tree Maker? Sat, 04 Jul 2015 06:46:07 +0000 Do you need help with your Family Tree Maker? Do you want to know how to print a certain chart? Or why a field isn’t showing where it should? How to customise fields, or why the little green leaf is shaking … or any number of other queries.

This is not a post that will answer your specific queries*, but rather one that introduces you to all the wonderful resources that are available to users to help you learn and use the program to its full potential.

*** BOOKS ***

UTP0371So You Are Totally New to Family Tree Maker
printed book
Available as both a printed book and an ebook, this guide book covers the absolute basics that will help  users get up and running, even if you have little computer knowledge.

The book will takes users through installation, registration, activating your subscription, followed by an introduction to creating or importing files. It also introduces new users to the eight workspaces within the program with enough simple explanation to start using it.

So for everyone who is just starting out on Family Tree Maker with FTM 2012, FTM 2014 or FTM for Mac 2 or FTM for Mac 3, this is a book for you!.

UTP0372Opening the Doors to Family Tree Maker: or How to Enter Your Information Correctly
printed book
For everyone who is just starting out with Family Tree Maker with FTM 2012, FTM 2014 or FTM for Mac 3, this is a useful book for you!

It takes users through the various data entry ‘doors’ in Family Tree Maker encouraging them to focus on correct data entry so that the program can deliver the best outcome and output to the user.




*** BLOGS ***

About Family Tree Maker
“I am a long time user of Family Tree Maker software. It is the only genealogy software I know and use. This blog is here because FTM does a horrid job of communicating with their users and is far worse at allowing their users to communicate with them. Perhaps my posts here and your comments will convince them to vastly improve their interaction with users of their software. But I doubt it.”

Ancestry > Family Tree Maker
Ancestry’s own blog, as you would expect does maker mention of Family tree maker from time to time. So clicking on the FTM tag bring sup all those relevant posts.


FTM User blog

Family Tree Maker User
Russ Worthington (aka Cousin Russ) has been a user of FTM since version 3, and seems to know everything there is to know about the program. He shares his knowledge of the program with other via his blog, and his You Tube channel.

Geneamusings > Family Tree Maker
Randy Seaver uses and reviews a number of genealogy software programs, with FTM being one of them. His blog is not dedicated to FTM, but he does have a tag which allows you to find all relevant posts.



*** FAQ HELPS ***

Ancestry’s Learning Centre

Be sure to check out the Learning Centre on the Ancestry website. There is a lot of useful information relating to FTM here.

Ancestry Knowledge Base

Ancestry’s Knowledge Base
Ancestry Knowledge Base (or online help centre) is one to check out as well. Type in your program version or query, and see what comes up. Just putting in the phrase Family Tree Maker brings up over 700 entries

Family Tree Maker Learning Centre
In the learning center, you’ll find a variety of resources to help you learn how to use Family Tree Maker and connect with family historians who share your interests. Watch the webinars and tutorials, check out the quick start guide and more.



Family Tree Maker Message Board
The FTM Message Board seem to be the place to get answers quickest. It is incredibly active, and is monitored by people who know the program incredibly well. Forums > Family Tree Maker
A useful place to look for answers if you are having problems. There are currently over 10,000 entries in this “Useange and How To Use Family Tree Maker” forum.

GenealogyWise > Family Tree Maker Fans
The GenealogyWise forum is another place to put your query out there, if you’ve looked for an answer to your problem and can’t find any results.

RootsWeb FTM Mailing List
A mailing list primarily for the discussion and sharing of information regarding the Family Tree Maker genealogy software program.

RootsWeb FTM 2008 HELP Mailing List
A mailing list for the discussion and sharing of information regarding Family Tree Maker (FTM) 2008 and later editions of this genealogy software program including help in learning how to use the interface and discussion of problems encountered.

RootsWeb FTM HELP Mailing List
A mailing list for the discussion and sharing of information regarding the Family Tree Maker genealogy software program.

RootsWeb FTM MAC Mailing List
A mailing list for the discussion and sharing of information regarding the Family Tree Maker genealogy software program for Apple Mac.

RootsWeb FTM TECH Mailing List
For advanced discussions on FTM.



FTM Google+ Community

Cousin Russ Genealogy Community
Created in support of the DearMYRTLE’s Genealogy Community and a Community for Family Tree Maker Users.

Family Tree Maker Adelaide Users Group
The Adelaide FTM User Group in South Australia meets once a month at Salisbury.

Family Tree Maker
This group is set up to discuss thoughts, ideas and problems associated with genealogy.

Family Tree Maker 2014 Users
This is a group for users of Family Tree Maker 2014 to discussion issues with and how they use FTM 2014.

Family Tree Maker Tech Support
Do you have a problem with Family Tree Maker? As a former tech support person for Banner Blue, ask your questions and I’ll see if I can help! Thanks!

*** YOUTUBE ***

YouTube Ancestry
The obvious place to go to for FTM help on YouTube is to the YouTube Channel. They do have many short videos on FTM, as well as a heap relating to the Ancestry website. Browse through to see what they offer.

YouTube > Family Tree Maker 2014
While Ancestry videos on FTM are good, if you search for “Family Tree Maker 2014″ on YouTube you’ll find over 1200 videos there. So that is a good place to look if you want some help.



If you still need help, you can always contact Ancestry’s Tech Support team.

1-800-251-838 (toll free)
Monday – Friday: 9:00 am – 8:00 pm AEST
Saturday – Sunday: 9:00 am – 4:00 pm AEST
1-800-958-9073 (toll free)
*We do not offer French support on weekends.
Monday – Friday: 9:00 am – 11:00 pm ET
Saturday – Sunday: 9:00 am – 11:00 pm ET
1800-303-664 (toll free)
Monday – Friday: 9:00 am – 10:00 pm GMT
Saturday – Sunday: 9:00 am – 8:00 pm GMT
New Zealand
0-800-442-100 (toll free)
Monday – Friday: 11:00 am – 10:00 pm NZST
Saturday – Sunday: 11:00 am – 6:00 pm NZST
020-091 0203 (toll free)
Monday – Friday: 10:00 am – 17:00 CET
Saturday – Sunday: Closed
United Kingdom
0800-404-9723 (toll free)
Monday – Friday: 9:00 am – 10:00 pm GMT
Saturday – Sunday: 9:00 am – 8:00 pm GMT

United States (Contiguous 48 states, Alaska, Hawaii)
1-800-ANCESTRY (262-3787) (toll free)
Monday – Friday: 9:00 am – 11:00 pm ET
Saturday – Sunday: 9:00 am – 11:00 pm ET

Other Locations
Country code for the United States + 801-494-8595
Monday – Friday: 10:00 am – 6:00 pm ET
Saturday – Sunday: Closed


If you know of other Family Tree Maker specific resources available, please feel free to leave a comment below so other will know about it as well.

* Any query comments left on this post will be deleted.

]]> 0
Death Certificates and Archaic Medical Terms (2nd Edition) Wed, 01 Jul 2015 12:42:24 +0000 UTP0181aDEATH CERTIFICATES AND ARCHAIC MEDICAL TERMS (2nd Edition)
Helen V. Smith
Year: 2015
Item Code: UTP0181

Printed Book: paperback, 64 pages, AU$15.00 more information
Ebook: download, $9.95 more information

The book is also available from the following overseas resellers:
My History (England)
Maia’s Books (USA)
Global Genealogy (Canada)

Family historians ‘love’ certificates, including birth, marriage and death certificates. But sometimes they create more questions than answers.

Well-known Australian genealogy researcher, speaker and author, Helen V. Smith ‘knows’ certificates, and she knows how important the death certificates are for family historians both to ‘kill off’ our ancestors as well as helping to determine their cause of death. This is especially so for people who are interested in establishing their medical genealogy (or health history). But how many times you have had to wonder if the cause of death is in a foreign language, (and not because of the handwriting)?

‘Death Certificates and Archaic Medical Terms’ examines the history and evolution of death certificates. When did they start? What is on them? What were the legal requirements? What does it mean when a death is certified? Why aren’t all deaths certified?

This guide book, which is now in its 2nd edition, gives meanings to archaic terms found on death certificates such as cachexia, breakbone fever, byssinosis, coeliac passion, dipsomania, inanition and Potter’s Rot together with hundreds more.

For more of a “taster” of this book, be sure to check Helen’s post at her blog From Helen V Smith’s Keyboard where she lists 100 or so archaic medical terms. Why not test yourself, and see how many you’ve actually heard of.

1. Evolution of death certificates
– England
– Australia
– United States of America
2. Getting the most out of the death certificate or ‘buyer beware’
3. Access to death indexes and/or certificates
– Australia
– England and Wales
4. Occupational causes of death
5. Classifications of causes of death
6. Further avenues of research
– Newspapers
– Probate files
– Internet Archive
– Certificate Exchange
– Online websites
7. Glossary of Some Archaic Medical Terms

]]> 0
Applications for South Australian History Grants 2015 Are Now Open Wed, 01 Jul 2015 11:51:43 +0000 logo - SA Community HistoryHistory SA’s annual South Australian History Fund (SAHF) grant round has just opened.

If you or your group need some funds for your history-related project, why not apply for a grant?

History SA invites applications from:
– community groups for small project grants up to $2,000
– individuals and organisations for publication up to $3,000
– individuals and organisations for research grants up to $5,000
Applications close Monday 17 August 2015.

In addition, there are two special categories for this year:
– grants for training in historical skills or collections management, up to $200
– bursaries to attend the State History Conference in Robe 23-25 October 2015 (equivalent of a single registration fee)
For these, applications close Wednesday 29 July 2015.

Got queries?
If you have any questions regarding potential applications, or need to check your eligibility to apply or have the application forms sent to you either by post or electronically, you can call History SA on (08) 8203 9888 or email them at

To apply
– you can download the South Australian History Grant guidelines here
– and the applications for can be downloaded from here

]]> 0
Millions of Criminal, Convict and Black Sheep Records Go Online Mon, 29 Jun 2015 12:43:59 +0000 convict criminal line up

Call them criminals, convicts, black sheep or even “Australian Royalty” – having a criminal or convict in the family is exciting news for a researcher or genealogist. It adds a touch of excitement to the family, as well giving you some interesting stories.

Recently Findmypast uploaded almost 2 million criminal and convict records online for the first time. These records have been digitised in association with UKs National Archives, and this makes Findmypast’s collection is now the biggest online collection of criminal and crime records online, with a total of almost 3 million of them.

The records cover the period 1779-1936, with many revealing ordinary and extraordinary stories of criminals, victims and law enforcers from the criminal history books. The records include mugshots and coloured images of historical records, as well as detailed accounts of Victorian serial killers, notorious executioners, and the only assassination of a British Prime Minister.

Australian Convict Conditional and Absolute Pardons 1791-1867
Containing nearly 27,000 records, the Australia Convict Conditional and Absolute Pardons 1791-1867 list the details of convicts pardoned by the governor of New South Wales and date back to the earliest days of the colony. Pardons were generally handed out to convicts serving life sentences but in the earliest years of the colony the Governor had the power to grant both free and conditional pardons as rewards for good behaviour, for special skills or for carrying out special duties or tasks. Each record contains a transcript and an image of original documents. As well as listing the names of pardoned convicts, the records also include the name of the ship they arrived on, the term of the sentence they served, any additional notes, and details of their release.

New South Wales Registers of Convicts’ Applications to Marry 1825-1851
The collection of New South Wales Registers of Convicts’ Applications to Marry 1825-1851 contains over 26,000 records. Convicts in Australian penal colonies were actually encouraged to marry as Governors believed that marriage and family life were good for both morality and stability. Convicts who did obtain the Governor’s permission to marry could apply for tickets of leave or pardons as well as assistance in establishing a household. In the early years of the colonies, many convicts married even if they had wives or husbands back home. Each record contains a transcript as well as an image of the original document. Registers list the convict’s name, the name of their spouse, their profession and the length of their sentence as well as the sip they arrived on and when they were given their freedom.

FMP - Criminal Records #6

Australian Convict Ships 1786-1849
Containing over 188,000 records, Australia Convict ships 1786-1849 dates back the ships of First Fleet and include the details of some of the earliest convict settlers in New South Wales. The records are made up of five separate sets of musters and indents held by the State Records Authority of New South Wales. Indents records were used in the early settlements to keep track of the convict population while musters lists of who was on board a ship were taken at the port of embarkation. Each record contains a transcript and a black and white image of original documents. Indents can include a variety of information about individual convicts such as their native place, details of their offence and sentence, a physical description and details of their family members. Musters usually only give a name, date and place of trial and sentence. Musters were also taken after disembarkation.

Victorian Prison Registers 1855-1948
Over 7,000 records have been added to their collection of Victoria Prison Registers 1855-1948. The new additions are taken from the Central Register of Female Prisoners, held by the Public Record Office Victoria. The register kept a record of prisoners that passed through Pentridge prison in Coburg, Victoria. Pentridge was built in 1850 and was the central prison in the Melbourne region from about 1860. Each record includes a transcripts and scanned image of the original registers and many include mugshot photographs of individual’s prisoners. They list fascinating details about not only the prisoners’ offences, sentences and incarceration, but also biographical information such as their name, date of birth, country of origin and occupation. Remarks on the register may also include the name of the ship on which the prisoner arrived if they were not born in Australia.


The records include records from criminal lunatic asylums, Central Criminal Court, prison registers and the Newgate Prison calendar among many others. The release marks the beginning of Findmypast’s Crime and Punishment month: four weeks of records, guides and stories to help you discover your family’s criminal history. Full details of the records just released, and throughout the rest of the month can be found at

So if you want to find out more about your criminal and convict ancestors, or simply want to find one – head on over to Findmypast and check them out.

These records are viewable if you subscribe to, or have a world subscription through, or

logo - FMP new

]]> 0
Who Do You Think You Are? US Season 7 (2015) Mon, 29 Jun 2015 11:31:32 +0000 logo - WDYTYA US #2 600

After finding out who was on the latest season of UK’s Who Do You Think You Are? program a few days ago, the last thing I expected to hear was that there is that season 7 of Who Do You Think You Are? US is due to start airing (in the US) in July 2015. Afterall, their Season 6 was only on TLC a few months ago.

Anyway, this popular genealogy tv series returns to US screens on TLC with all new episodes on Sunday, 26 July 2015.

The celebrities featured in this 7th  season include:
– Bryan Cranston (actor, Breaking Bad)
– Ginnifer Goodwin (actress, Once Upon a Time)
– Tom Bergeron (host, Dancing With the Stars)
– Alfre Woodard (film, stage, and television actress, producer, and political activist)
– J.K. Rowling (author)

I’m not sure if this is all the celebrities for Season 7, as for the past 6 seasons there’s been between 6-12. But that’s all they’ve announced to date.

WDYTYA US Season 7 group

L-R: Bryan Cranston, Ginnifer Goodwin, Tom Bergeron, Alfre Woodard

And as an extra, TLC will air “Harry Potter” author J.K. Rowling’s “Who Do You Think You Are?” episode from the British version of the series as well.

J.K. Rowling

J.K. Rowling

As usual, I would expect we’ll see these episodes aired here in Australia in time. And in the meantime we can watch episodes from earlier UK seasons on SBS.
]]> 0
Ryerson Index Hits 5 Million Australian Death and Obituary Records Sat, 27 Jun 2015 02:00:36 +0000  

logo - Ryerson Index 2

Anyone who has been researching Australian records for a while will know about the Ryerson Index, and just how valuable it is. After all it is the most comprehensive index to death notices and obituaries in Australian newspapers.

The Ryerson Index is an index of death notices appearing in current Australian newspapers, it also includes some funeral notices, probate notices and obituaries. What started as one person’s passion for collecting the death notices out the newspaper, has now grown to encompass death notices from 281 Australian newspapers, and currently has over 5 million entries online (actually 5,017,457 entries to be exact).

5 million Ryerson Index

5 million is a phenomenal effort. And while sadly Joyce Ryerson, the person who started it all, passed away in 2012, aged 95, however her legacy and Index well and truly live on. Each and every volunteer should be proud of their contribution in making this happen.

To give you a little background …  it all started in May 1999 with Joyce offering to give “some” Sydney Morning Herald death notices to the Sydney Dead Persons Society,  which she had saved so that they could index them. The “some” turned out to be an almost complete run from 1986 to 1999.

Although the Ryerson Index traditionally focussed on newspapers from New South Wales, it now covers much of Australia. A typical search will provide the last name, given name(s), type of notice (death notice, probate notice), date of death, age of person at death, newspaper, publication date and a reference to the town/city where the person last lived.

Today with the help of volunteers around the country, the Ryerson Index continues to grow, and has become a truly Australia-wide collection of death notices. Access is free. This is a great resource for anyone with Australian ancestors.

Is your local paper currently included in Ryerson Index? Check the coverage list on the website. If not, then why not take on the task of indexing the notices for the Index? Do you have access to a library or other repository which has microfilm copies of newspapers available? They are always always in need of people who can copy notices for us to index. They do prefer indexers who have access to the printed paper, as indexing from most websites can be unreliable.

To keep up to date with the latest happenings and uploads from the Ryerson Index team, you can follow them on Facebook.

]]> 3
Old Letters Tell of Pioneering Life at Lake Macquarie Fri, 26 Jun 2015 07:25:27 +0000 Fennell LettersOld letters are a valuable resource for historical information. Afterall they were the way people communicated about life, love, and general happenings of the day – so there’s usually lots of details just waiting to be found the in them.

An exciting discovery has let to a valuable collection of historical letters that were written between various family members of the Fennell family who were early settlers in the Lake Macquarie region of New South Wales.

The following is an annoucement from the Lake Macquarie City Council Libraries about their new collection …

Earlier in June, Lake Macquarie City Council Libraries had the pleasure of making a valuable, and previously unpublished, historical resource available to the public – a series of 25 letters written between 1846 and 1874 by Richard Fennell, his wife Louisa, and his brother Nathaniel Thomas (Tom) Fennell.

The Fennell’s were early settlers of the western side of Lake Macquarie and gave their name to the suburb of Fennell Bay. The brothers, who pen the vast majority of the letters, were from Yorkshire, England and lived a relatively comfortable life, working in a family business, before making the journey to Australia for reasons unknown. Richard arrived in 1833 and his brother Tom followed 14 years later in 1847. They were both excellent writers and wrote many letters back home detailing life on the land.

From the early isolation of the lake, (“I am situated in a little nook of land jutting unto an inland lake connected with the main waters by a very narrow entrance, too shallow for any but flat bottomed boat to enter”), to the severe flooding which decimated NSW in 1867 (“You will see by the papers I have sent you that we have just experienced the most dreadful visitation of flood and hurricane ever known since the colony has been formed”), and the gold fever gripping the country in the late 1850s (“people of every grade … are leaving good situations and occupations in which they are doing well for an uncertainty, all leaving their wives and families to look for that gold [sic]”), the letters give voice to the struggles of early pioneers and were as essential to sustaining life in those formative years as food and water. As Richard so aptly puts it in one of his letters, “Like an Oasis in the Wilderness, Like the shadow of a great rock in a weary land was the sight of your much-loved handwriting to me [sic]”.

By great fortune, the letters were kept by the family back in Wakefield, Yorkshire for more than 125 years and only came to light in 1976 when Fos Strudwick, a descendent of Richard Fennell, made contact with one of his British relatives, Reggie Fennell. Much to Fos’ delight and amazement the letters were gifted to him. Fos and his wife Olive then worked on transcribing the letters, many of which were written in cross-hatched handwriting, a technique by which two separate sets of writing are included on the same page – one written over the other at right-angles. It is testament to the Strudwick’s tenacity that this was completed before the days of digitisation and computers, using only magnifying glasses to help decipher the written word.

A chance encounter with local resident and Fennell descendent Maree Bullock brought the letters to the attention of Lake Macquarie Libraries’ Community History staff, who were able to gain permission from the family to digitise and transcribe the correspondence and make it available to the public for the first time via the Lake Macquarie History Online website,

The language of the letters is very poetic and the sentiments expressed very heartfelt, making them an interesting read. We expect the resource to be of wide interest to researchers, as the Fennell’s lived in a number of Hunter Valley locations and the letters describe the landscape and conditions, giving an insight into the life of early settlers in Lake Macquarie and beyond.

Each letter has been scanned at high-res, so can be enlarged for viewing if required, and transcribed as well. Which wasn’t an easy task, when you look at the crosshatch writing. But by doing so they have not only ensured that this collection is preserved, but is also available to everyone by making it freely available for people to view on the Lake Macquarie Community History website for free.

You can VIEW THE LETTERS HERE (click on the tabs on the righthand side for the letters)

[many thanks to Angie from the Lake Macquarie City Council for details of this collection]

]]> 0
Who Do You Think You Are? UK Season 12 (2015) Tue, 23 Jun 2015 11:25:55 +0000 WDYTYA UK logo

The world’s most popular genealogy tv program, Who Do You Think You Are? (the UK version) is back for a 12th season in 2015, and stars from the world of film and TV, theatre, music, cookery, modelling, and news all feature in this new series.

Season 12 features:
– Paul Hollywood (Great British Bake off presenter)
– Jerry Hall (modelling legend)
– Sir Derek Jacobi and Anne Reid (Last Tango In Halifax stars)
– Jane Seymour (actress)
– Gareth Malone (choirmaster and broadcaster)
– Frances de la Tour (stage and television actress)
– Frank Gardner (news reporter)
– Mark Gatiss (actor and writer)
– Anita Rani (television presenter)

Spanning almost a thousand years of history and crossing four continents, the new series follows ten well-know celebrities as they investigate the secrets of their family trees. Travelling from the Tower of London to the Highlands of Scotland, from Tunisia to Tasmania, from the Punjab in India to the Wild West of America, each embark on a journey of discovery as they dig deep into their family ancestry, uncovering a host of hidden pasts and shocking revelations. Full of heartbreak, laughter, intrigue and surprise, each film captures every step of our celebrity’s mission to learn more about their ancestors’ lives.

From new-born babies spirited away under cover of darkness to convicts transported to the other side of the world; from sisters separated by the Holocaust to the battlefields of North Africa; from laudanum-addicted socialites to paying the ultimate price for treason in Tudor England; from music halls to tales of vampires, the latest series of Who Do You Think You Are? reveals the rich and extraordinary stories of our celebrities’ families and their history.

The series will see model and actress Jerry Hall trace her ancestry from the cotton mills of Oldham to the plains of Texas as she discovers her family’s pioneering past, blazing the trail west across America.

Derek Jacobi’s story is one of equal contrasts, from humble roots in Walthamstow to the court of Louis XIV of France. But the family tree hides a dangerous secret – his ancestor is leading a double life and flees to England where there’s another surprise in store – an unlikely connection to royalty on this side of the Channel.

Season 12 of Who Do You Think You Are? (UK) is scheduled to air in summertime in the UK.

]]> 1
56 Historical Australian Newspapers Added to Trove! Sun, 21 Jun 2015 08:59:28 +0000 Trove - Devon Herald, 1877Every three months the National Library of Australia updates readers with the latest additions to the the historical newspapers collection on Trove. Below is a list of 56 titles that have bee digitised in the past three months and have gone online, or are due to shortly. It’s great to see not only titles from most Australian states, but also that they include a number of regional titles as well.

Australian Capital Territory
– Good Neighbour (ACT: 1950-1969)

New South Wales
– The Armidale Chronicle (NSW: 1894-1929)
– The Armidale Express and New England General Advertiser (NSW: 1856-1861; 1863-1889; 1891-1954)
– Blackheath Beacon (Katoomba, NSW: 1930-1931)
– The Blackheath Bulletin (Katoomba, NSW: 1929-1931)
– The Blue Mountain Star (Katoomba, NSW: 1929-1931)
– The Blue Mountains Advertiser (Katoomba, NSW: 1940-1954)
– Blue Mountains Daily (Katoomba, NSW : 1939)
– Blue Mountains Gazette (Katoomba, NSW: 1903-1904)
– The Blue Mountains Times (Katoomba, NSW: 1931-1937)
– The Chronicle (Katoomba, NSW: 1929)
– Coffs Harbour Advocate (NSW: 1907-1942; 1946-1954)
– Daily Examiner (Grafton, NSW: 1915-1954)
– The Hospital Saturday News (Katoomba, NSW: 1930)
– The Independent (Katoomba, NSW: 1930-1931)
– The Inverell Times (NSW: 1899-1954)
– The Katoomba Daily (NSW: 1920-1939)
– Katoomba Times (NSW: 1889-1894)
– Manilla Express (NSW: 1899-1954)
– The Mountain Daily (Katoomba, NSW: 1919-1920)
– The Mountaineer (Katoomba, NSW: 1894-1908)
– Tweed Daily (Murwillumbah, NSW: 1914-1949)
– The Uralla News (NSW: 1904-1907)
– The Walcha News (NSW: 1932-1935)
– The Walcha News and Southern New England Advocate (NSW: 1904-1907; 1927)
– The Walcha Witness (NSW: 1895-1906)

– Cloncurry Advocate (Qld: 1931-1953)
– Daily Standard (Brisbane, Qld: 1912-1936)
– Darling Downs Gazette (Qld: 1881-1922)
– Warwick Daily News (Qld: 1919-1954)
– The Week (Brisbane, Qld: 1876-1934)

South Australia
– The Kangaroo Island Courier (Kingscote, SA: 1907-1951)
– The Laura Standard (SA: 1889-1917)
– Laura Standard and Crystal Brook Courier (SA: 1917-1948)
– Pinnaroo and Border Times (SA: 1911-1954)
– Pinnaroo Country News (Lameroo, SA: 1908-1922)

– Critic (Hobart, Tas: 1892-1893)
– Devon Herald (Latrobe, Tas: 1877-1889)
– Land (Hobart, Tas: 1924-1925)
– Trumpeter General (Hobart, Tas: 1833-1834)
– World (Hobart, Tas: 1918-1924)

– The Banner (Melbourne, Vic: 1853-1854)
– Champion (Melbourne, Vic: 1895-1897)
– The Farmer’s Journal and Gardener’s Chronicle (Melbourne, Vic: 1862-1864)
– Free Lance (Melbourne, Vic: 1896)
– Melbourne Punch (Vic: 1856-1900)
– Sporting Globe (Melbourne, Vic: 1922-1954)
– The Victorian Farmers Journal and Gardeners Chronicle (Melbourne, Vic: 1860-1862)
– Woman Voter (Melbourne, Vic: 1911-1919)

Western Australia
– The All British (Perth, WA: 1916)
– Collie Mail (Perth, WA: 1914-1918)
– The Eastern Recorder (Kellerberrin, WA: 1914-1918)
– Harvey Chronicle (Pinjarra, WA: 1915-1916)
– The Labor Vanguard (Perth, WA : 1911; 1916)
– Nor-West Echo (Broome, WA: 1914-1918)
– Sparks’ Fortnightly (Perth, WA: 1916-1919)

A HUGE thank you to the historical newspapers team at the National Library of Australia. We all really, really appreciate your efforts in making these old newspapers freely available to everyone.

]]> 0
National Archives of Australia to Digitise WW1 Veterans Affairs Records Fri, 19 Jun 2015 11:49:31 +0000 Claude Stanley Wilson - National Archives of Australia

Claude Stanley Wilson – National Archives of Australia

There’s no doubt that the centenary of the World War One, and the landing of Gallipoli has created immense interest in people wanting to know more about the lives and military history of their ancestors.

For so many who made it home, life after the war was never the same, as they needed ongoing care and treatment – both physical and mental. This was provided for by the Repatriation Department which is now known as the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA).

The National Archives of Australia (NAA) holds around 600,000 WW1 repat records which they have begun digitising in a new project. These will be available to view online for free on their website.

Director-General of the Archives, David Fricker said they documented the medical care, welfare services and pensions provided by the Repatriation Department, and very few of the files had been viewed since their official use.

The official press release says the following:

The National Archives of Australia (NAA) has begun a $3.4 million project to mark the centenary of World War I, describing and digitizing many of the Anzacs’ repatriation records, ensuring greater public access. Director-General of the Archives, David Fricker said the details were preserved in more than 600,000 World War I repatriation records, held by the NAA.

The government records contain information about Australians and New Zealanders in World War I and the Boer War. The personal stories provide information about service men and women through original archival records. Information in these records includes medical care, welfare services and pensions provided by the Repatriation Department, now known as the Department of Veterans’ Affairs. Very few of the files had been viewed since their official use.

You can read more in the Discovering Anzacs website.

]]> 2
“Introduction to Family History” Online with UTAS Tue, 16 Jun 2015 06:21:58 +0000 UTAS Study Family History Online

Back in November 2014, the University of Tasmania (UTAS) offered a free online “Introduction to Family History” course, which was over the (southern hemisphere) Summer. This was a huge success, and it seems they are doing it again, as they have sent me the following message:

Hello Gould Genealogy, I thought your followers might be interested in a unit on family history from the University of Tasmania: Full scholarships are available for all Australian students. If you would like to share this on your page that would be fantastic!

However, rather than just share on our Facebook page, I thought I’d write a short blog post instead.

Using the same format as the earlier course, this fully-online course, is available for anyone in Australia, and you also get one months free access to Library edition when you sign up for the course.

The course runs from 13 July 2015 to 16 October 2015, and does require approx. 4-5 hours of study a week. Applications need to be in by 6 July 2015.

The key to good research is getting a good foundation, and courses are a great way to learn about important records, skills, and methods early on in your research. So if you are a family history beginner and you can squeeze in a few hours of study into your week, what are you waiting for? You should do this course. And if you are an experienced researcher, it has been said numerous times that often going back and reviewing the basics is a good thing, so I have no doubt that you’d find this course useful too.

On successful completion of this unit you will be able to:

  • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of family history principles and planning
  • Locate and use major family history repositories and records
  • Critically evaluate sources for accuracy and reliability
  • Identify and discuss genealogical problems and develop plans for solving them
  • Present your genealogical work in a manner that is ethical, clearly written and referenced according to the unit guidelines

For more about this family history course, and to sign up you can find all the details here. And be sure to check the FAQ section, as that has answers to many questions you might have.

]]> 0
Join Crestleaf’s “12 Months of Fascinating Family Discoveries” Blog Challenge Thu, 11 Jun 2015 07:49:14 +0000 Calling all geneabloggers! Who’s up for a blog challenge? Trust me you’ll totally LOVE this one as it goes without saying that as genealogists we love researching, and discovering the facts and facsinating stories that make up our family! And as geneabloggers we love to write about the cool stories we find out about them!

So’s “12 Months of Fascinating Family Finds” blog challenge is simply made for geneabloggers.


The Challenge
They put it to you that each month for one year, you’ll take part in the’s 12 Months of Fascinating Family Finds where you share one blog post each month detailing exciting, interesting, fascinating, unique or strange discoveries from your research.

Participation and Submission Rules
– Publish a new blog post mentioning your fascinating family find once a month on any date of the month beginning in June 2015.
– Be sure your blog title states, “’s 12 Months of Fascinating Family Finds: [insert name of month].”
– In the body of each fascinating finds blog post, add our’s 12 Months of Fascinating Family Finds badge and link back to this blog post, so others can learn how to start their 12-month challenge.

Want your blog post featured in our monthly recap?
Simply email the link to your post to: “” with the subject line: “Fascinating Family Find Entry.”

Sharing your post on your social media profiles?
See what other geneabloggers fascinating finds are, by staying in touch with other participants and Crestleaf by using this hashtag #12FamilyFinds

More information
– for more details on the blog challenge click here
– for more information on Crestleaf, check out their website
– to keeup up with the latest news from Crestleaf you can find them on Facebook and Twitter

]]> 0
Australia Gets Ready for More Big Genealogy Events Sun, 07 Jun 2015 10:35:40 +0000 map - AustraliaIf you think that because Congress is over, there’s no other genie events to go to in Australia this year – think again. There’s still a number of fabulous genealogy events coming to various parts of the country over the next few months.

So mark your calendars, and clear your schedule, because you don’t want to miss these opportunities.

You’ll note I used the word ‘big’ in the title of this post. I have chosen to limit those listed here to statewide or national events. But if you go local, trust me there are hundreds of events that groups, societies, libraries and other organisations have on –  so be sure to check them too.

AUGUST (National)
1-31 August 2015 – National Family History Month
August is Australia and New Zealand’s National Family History Month. So there’s a whole heap of activities that people are organising for this. In 2014 there were a total of 349 events held during NFHM, and I wonder if we can top that this year? Hopefully! To see what’s scheduled for your state, just check the calendar on the NFHM website. New events are still be added regularly.

SEPTEMBER (New South Wales)
11-13 September 2015 – NSW & ACT Family History Conference and
The NSW & ACT Family History Association is an umbrella organisation for member societies from NSW & ACT (currently listing 53 of them). The location of the yearly Conference changes the each year, with the 2015 will being held at Port Macquarie (NSW). The program for their 2 1/2 day conference features 15 guest presenters, great exhibitors (including a heap of genealogy societies), and a door prizes galore. Take this opportunity to immerse yourself in genealogy! Early bird pricing for this event ends on 3rd July.

OCTOBER (Queensland)
3-4 October 2015 – In Time and Place: Local History, Family History, Social History
The In Time and Place event is being organised by History Queensland, Genealogical Society of Queensland, and Queensland Family History Society. These societies represent family and local historians and their societies across Queensland. The day and a half program features 17 guest presenters, with 3 keynote presentations. The range of topics on offer means that there is really something for everyone. And apart from the talks, you will get to take in the exhibition, as well as the Expert Table where you can bring your brickwall queries to. Early bird registration for this event closes July 31st.

OCTOBER (Victoria)
18-25 October 2015 – Victoria’s History Week
Victoria’s History Week is THE time to travel back in time, by exploring the State’s fascinating past. With hundreds of events planned around the state, this is one not to miss, so mark in your diary!

]]> 3
Free Research Guides from Ancestry Fri, 05 Jun 2015 10:51:24 +0000 3D man on couchSometimes all you need to get you on the right track, is a little guidance. And that’s what Ancestry gives you with their research guides.

These are short, useful research guides that cover a specific topic or country, and they are FREE to download.

While I see that a number of these are dated 2014, I will admit that I have only just found out about Ancestry’s Research Guides, so thankyou to Gail Denver of the Genealogy a la Carte blog for alerting me to them.

There are currently 32 different research guides that cover everything from DNA, and Black Sheep, to Creating TImelines, to Starting Your Tree on Ancestry, German research, Swedish research, Things You Needs to Know About Passenger Lists, and State Research Guides (US of course), and a heap of others.

Saved in PDF format, they are readable on anything. So go and check them out, and download them from the Ancestry website. Every little bit of learning helps.

]]> 1
Australia’s Aldine Histories: A Key Resource Mon, 01 Jun 2015 12:03:09 +0000 The “Aldine histories” AU1103-2 Australia Aldine Histories Setare an essential reference work if your are researching history or genealogy in Queensland, New South Wales or South Australia. Authoritative, not only in the narrative history, but containing many thousands of biographies of early personalities and noted identities for each region – including those in regional areas. They also include beautiful photographs and sketches of scenes and buildings illustrating life and places as they were in the past.

William Frederic Morrison, the man who wrote these volumes back in the 1880s, had an intention to produce volumes for each Australian state. Sadly that dream didn’t come to fruition, as subsequent legal issues left him bankrupt.

Still, W. Frederic Morrison left his legacy in the books that he did produce: New South Wales, Queensland and South Australia.

To give you an idea of what is in each volume, I have a small description of each, together with a few sample pages.


New South Wales – 2 volumes, 1365 pages
The first volume comprises the history of New South Wales, and includes topics such as the early explorers, geography, aborigines, flora and fauna, governors of New South Wales as well as the Constitution. Volume two has another four chapters which complete the history section. The fascinating part of this set of books (apart from the hundreds of superb illustrations throughout), is the large biographical section which consists of nearly half of the whole set. The biographies of noted identities cover not only those from Sydney city, but also from the suburbs and regional areas. Each are grouped by town and have at least a paragraph on each person, though some are quite extensive. Includes all known variant editions.

sample pages from the Aldine History of New South Wales Click for a larger image

sample pages from the Aldine History of New South Wales
Click for a larger image


Queensland – 2 volumes, 1083 pages (sample file)
Written as a ‘celebration of the centennial year of the settlement of Australia’ it includes chapters on Australian and Queensland history from the exploration of Australia through to the different districts of the colony of Queensland in 1888. It contains information on the different governors, the national constitution, interior exploration, resources, religious work, education, recreation, and a large biographical section. It also includes over 500 illustrations of people and places along with several maps. The really fascinating part of this set of books (apart from the gorgeous illustrations throughout), is the large Appendix section which consists of over 320 pages of biographies and photographs of Queensland’s noted people. The biographies have been grouped by towns. Includes two of the three known editions.

sample pages from the Aldine History of Queensland Click for a larger image

sample pages from the Aldine History of Queensland
Click for a larger image


South Australia – 2 volumes, 1089 pages
The first volume is divided into thirty-two chapters and covers topics including the early explorers, geography, aborigines, flora and fauna, education, religion, recreation, as well as primary and secondary resources, governors of South Australia and the Constitution. Volume two has one more chapter which concludes the history section. This is then followed by about 400 pages of biographies of early South Australians. These include biographies of many in Adelaide as well as 71 country regions around the state. There are 143 illustrations, many in colour of people and scenes around South Australia. The biographies often include information such as name, year born, place born, if and when they emigrated, and usually their working life, and other interesting tidbits.

sample pages from the Aldine History of South Australia  Click for a larger image

sample pages from the Aldine History of South Australia
Click for a larger image


Each of these Aldine histories are are now on fully-searchable CD-ROM, which means that accessing the valuable information contained in them has never been so easy. The history and illustrations are a wonderful record, and the biographies are an invaluable source of information.

Each state is available as a separate CD, or if you’re interested in all three, we have them together as a Aldine History set.

For further information, or to purchase any of these titles, here are the links:
Aldine Centennial History of New South Wales 1888
Aldine History of Queensland 1888
Aldine History of South Australia 1890

Australian Aldine Histories Set: New South Wales, Queensland and South Australia

]]> 0