Genealogy & History News Genealogy and history news and product announcements for Australians Fri, 30 Jan 2015 05:13:50 +0000 en-US hourly 1 New Books from Unlock the Past: Australian Nurses and Irish Research Online Fri, 30 Jan 2015 04:35:31 +0000 logo - Unlock the Past

Unlock the Past have a huge list of guide books that are scheduled for this year, and they’ve started it off by releasing two new titles. Well, actually one brand new title, and one new edition of an earlier title.


Noeline J. Kyle, R. Lynette Russell and Jennifer Blundell
ISBN: 9781921956096
Year: 2015
Item Code: UTP0323

Printed Book: paperback, 76 pages, $17.00 more information
Ebook: download, coming soon

Nursing and midwifery have been the occupations of women for centuries and almost every one of us will find an ancestor who engaged in these traditional feminine pursuits.

This book, written by experts in nursing history, women’s history and family history, provides practical advice on how to research the lives of nurses and midwives, the hospitals they trained and worked in, and is a guide to the many public and private repositories where sources are found in Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom.

Nurses and midwives worked in hospitals, refuges, asylums, prisons, charitable institutions and were pioneers of bush nursing, established maternity hospitals and were often important health providers in small communities in past decades.

The records of their lives are found in a wide range of places, and as well as online and digitised records, this book also points the researcher toward the myriad of documentary and private records which are useful for writing their live


Chris Paton
ISBN: 9781921956928
Year: 2015
Item Code: UTP0282

Printed Book: paperback, 64 pages, $19.50 more information
Ebook: download, coming soon

There is a popular belief that Irish family history research is virtually impossible because ‘all the records were burned in the civil war’. But as Northern Irish born family historian Chris Paton demonstrates, the glass is most definitely half full rather than half empty when it comes to research in the Emerald Isle.

Many records still exist which can help with your ancestral pursuits, and for those unable to make their way to Ireland to carry out research, the internet is finally coming to the rescue, as more and more material is increasingly finding its way online by the day.

This revised and fully updated Unlock the Past guide explores the key repositories and records now available online, and will prove to you that if you have been put off with Irish research in the past, now is absolutely the time to take another look.


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Thousands of Newly Released Records Available at PROV Wed, 28 Jan 2015 06:03:15 +0000

map - VictoriaThe Public Record Office Victoria (PROV), one of the major archives offices in Victoria, holds a vast array of records created by Victorian Government departments and authorities including the State’s courts, local councils, schools, public hospitals and other public offices.

The records they hold date from the establishment of the Port Phillip District in the mid 1830s and continue right through to today. These include information relating to the administration of justice, immigration, health and welfare, land, education, Indigenous communities, planning, transport, and resource management.

As you can imagine, not all of the records they hold are open to the public, and that is the case with Section 9 records that are held at the Public Records Office Victoria.

Section 9 of the Public Records Act 1973 allows for the closure of “personal or private” records, and has the following description …

… this prevents the violation of personal privacy and covers such material as personnel records, medical records, police and prison records and case records concerning students, welfare recipients, children in government care or compensation claimants.

Records closed on grounds of personal privacy are generally closed for a period approximating a person’s lifetime.

When the calender turned over from 2014 to 2015, 1 January saw a number of Section 9 files passed the timeframe, and they are now open to the public.

There is a long list of collections that are now available. These records cover everything from Accident compensations, to Admission warrants for mental hospitals. There are Photographs and criminal offences of convicted persons and other criminal records, minute papers from places list the Dental Board of Victoria, the Pharmaceutical Board and the Public Transport Corporation. There are large number of Children’s Court Registers now available to view, as well as numerous hospital records. Even teacher records.

To view the full list click here.

logo - PROV

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Give A Little Back Tue, 27 Jan 2015 23:43:28 +0000 Hands group

“No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted”.- Aesop

That might seem an odd way to start a post on a genealogy blog, but it is one that I truly believe, and one that we can all use in any facets of our lives – including genealogy.

Think of how much we take for granted these days as a researcher. We log on, and we can search newspapers, we can search indexes, we can see original documents, even old photos of people and areas. Then there’s headstone photos and transcriptions … I could go on, but you get the idea.

I’m sure you can all relate to losing entire days just sitting, getting lost looking at data and records online. It’s phenomenal what you can find these days.

Just remember every entry, every photo, every document takes the work of someone to put it there. And while there are literally BILLIONS of records already available to search, there are many, many more just waiting to be indexed or transcribed. And that’s where you can help.

Call it crowdsourcing, volunteering or just helping out – it all means the same thing. And there are many places around the world that are calling out for volunteers for indexing, transcribing and photographing. And as the quote says “no matter how small, it is never wasted”. Or as I say, “every little bit helps”.

“No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another.” – Charles Dickens

So I ask you, can you spare an hour or two a month? Or maybe a week? If so, why not give back to genealogy community by being a volunteer transcriber or indexer. Or even a volunteer at your local society (you know they’re always after volunteers).

Below are a list of a number of organisations that are publicly asking for volunteers. Most have digital projects, so can be done from anywhere. A few though are requesting volunteers for onsite projects or services.



Carnamah Museum/State Library of WA ‘Virtual Volunteering’ – various documents

Genealogy SA – various projects

Griffith University ‘The Prosecution Project’ – court records

National Archives of Australia ‘arcHIVE’ – various documents

National Archives of Australia ‘SODA’ – various documents

Public Record Office Victoria – various documents

StateRecords NSW – various documents

State Library NSW ‘Our/Your War Story’ – WW1 diaries & rediscovering indigenous languages

State Library Queensland Pitch In! – various documents

State Library of South Australia ‘SA Memory’ – documents

Trove – newspapers

WikiTree Project Australia – various


The National Archives ‘Operation War Diary’ – WW1 diaries



United States Holocaust Memorial Museum – World Memory Project




FamilySearch Indexing

World Archives Project

WorldGenWeb Project


“When we plant a tree, we don’t plant it for ourselves but for our children.” –  The Reverend Mae “Mother” Wyatt

I know that this isn’t an exhaustive list, and that there are likely to be many more big and small crowdsourcing projects out there. And if you know of, or are involved in one that I haven’t mentioned, please feel free to leave a comment below, so others can see it.

To finish off, I want to point you to two articles that are worth reading.

The first from Dick Eastman of “Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter” is titled Digital Collections of Historic Newspaper Available on Veridian lists many newspaper sites from around the world that use specific software that allow for text correcting. Rather than list each individually above, I thought I’d just direct you to his post.

And Rose writes about Crowdsourcing text correction and transcription of digitised historic newspapers: a list of sites or her Views and News on Digital Libraries and Archives blog. She lists numerous newspaper sites worldwide that rely on crowdsourcing for text correction.

So if you can possibly spare a little time, why not help out, even in a small way.

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Gould Genealogy’s Australia Day Sale Thu, 22 Jan 2015 04:57:32 +0000 AustraliaDaySale2015

Archive Digital Books Australasia has digitised over 2000 titles that relate to Australian history and genealogy. As Australia Day is almost here, we’ve  decided to celebrate with some specials on a few of their titles.

So from now until the end of the month you can save $10 off each of the following titles.


Australian Dictionary of Dates and Men of the Time
This is one of my all-time favourite books, it is simply phenomenal in what it contains. Published in 1879, this two part book consists of 570 pages packed full of fascinating details. The ‘Men of the Time’ part of this book is a listing of biographies of men of note with connections to Australia. Giving information such as their full name, date and place of birth, and a history of their occupation/s and as to why they are ‘noted’ now. The entries vary in length from a paragraph to a few pages. This is very valuable information. An example of part of an entry is:

a page from the Australian Dictionary of Dates and Men of the Time

a page from the Australian Dictionary of Dates and Men of the Time

BENNETT, William Christopher, was born in Ireland in 1823. He was employed as a pupil on railway surveys in Ireland from 1840 to 1845; and assistant engineer in charge of drainage works in Ireland until 1852. During the next two years he was in France and in South America, where he relieved Lieutenant Strain and his missing party at no small personal risk, for which he received thanks of the United States Government. At the end of 1854 he proceeded to New South Wales, and for ten months was assistant surveyor in the Survey department. In April 1856 he was made assistant engineer to the Commission for the Sewerage and Water Supply of Sydney. From beginning of 1857 until September he was engaged in the Railway Department ….[continues on for quite a bit more]

The second part of this book is the Dictionary of Dates. This has a listing of topics (such as Aborigines, Adelaide, Aquatic, Australian Agricultural Co., Caterpillar Plague, Charitable Institutions, Church of England, Coal etc), then under each topic there is a listing of events in date order, that have happened relating to that topic.

To view a sample of this title click here
For more details, or to order it click here
Item Code AU0004 – $24.50, now $14.50


History of Australasia
How well do you know the history of Australia and New Zealand? David Blair gives readers details that I’m, sure your didn’t know about. Written in 1879, this 780 page book takes the history of both Australia and New Zealand ‘from the first dawn of discovery … to the establishment of self-government in the various colonies’ and ‘covers the settlement and history of New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria, Western Australia and New Zealand, along with some information of Fiji and New Guinea’.

The intention of this large book was that it was the first one-volume history of Australasia. The history starts with the early navigators who found and mapped Australia, then moves on to the explorers of the inland. There are physical descriptions of both Australia and New Zealand, as well as details of climate, the natural production of the regions and animals and plant life. Aborigines, the discovery of gold (including the Ballarat rebellion), the governors of each colony, and the social history of each region are also covered, together with so much more.

Complimented with beautiful coloured maps included for each Australian colony, and New Zealand and numerous sketches included throughout, make this book a wonderful overall history of Australasia.
To view a sample of this title click here
For more details, or to order it click here
Item Code AU0035 – $24.50, now $14.50

map of Victoria in the History of Australasia

map of Victoria in the History of Australasia


Dictionary of Australian Biography
Percival Serle’s ‘Dictionary of Australian Biography’ which he wrote in 1949 includes over 1000 pages of biographies of Australians. These were men and women closely connected with Australia, and who died before the end of 1942.

The average length of each biography is about a page, and they can be roughly classified into the following

page from the Dictionary of Australian Biography

page from the Dictionary of Australian Biography

twelve groups:
– Army and Navy
– Artists, including architects, actors, and musicians
– Governors and administrators
– Lawyers
– Literary men and women
– Notorieties
– Pioneers, explorers, pastoralists, men of business
– Politicians
– Scholars, philosophers, clergymen
– Scientists, including physicians, surgeons, and engineers
– Social reformers, philanthropists, educationists
– Sporting men (cricketers and athletes)
For more details, or to order it click here
Item Code AU0052 – $29.50, now $19.50


Australian Handbook 1900
Part directory, part gazetteer and part almanac this ‘Australian Handbook’ covers the whole of Australia. The directory part is mainly concerned with giving an oversight of each Australian colony and is aimed more at the commercial sector.

It has very useful histories and maps of each colony as seen in the perspective of 1900. In its role as an almanac it contains extensive details of timetables and statistics such as:
– Calendar
– Police Courts

maps of Adelaide and South Australia that appear in the Australian Handbook 1900

maps of Adelaide and South Australia that appear in the Australian Handbook 1900

– Public Holidays in England
– Taxes
– Newspapers for Colonies as published in London
– Populations of Great Britain
– Railway Distances
– Comparative Statistics of the Australasia Colonies for 1897 and 1898

This Handbook is an immense reference book to the world of our ancestors over 100 years ago.
For more details, or to order it click here
Item Code AU0101-1900 – $27.50, now $17.50


Australasian Medical Directory Compendium 1
Australian Medical Directories contain useful information for social historians and those interested in medical history as well as those with ancestors within the medical profession.

There are several different publishers of medical directories throughout Australia’s history, including Bruck, Loxton and others.

They generally contain the following features:
– laws applicable to the medical profession
– a complete directory of medical associations and departments (giving names and addresses)
– a complete directory of registered doctors, surgeons etc listing their qualifications and past experience

page from Loxton's 1911 Medical Directory

page from Loxton’s 1911 Medical Directory

– obituaries
– relevant geographical information for the different states
– medical Acts
– statistics
– information and directories on several pacific islands and New Zealand
– lists of medical periodicals and
– much more

This set contains 8 medical directories including the 1883, 1886, 1892, 1896, 1900, 1911, 1915 Australasian directories and the 1903 New South Wales directory together on as single CD at a special discount price.

To view a sample of this title click here
For more details, or to order it click here
Item Code AU0121C-1, $49.50, now $39.50


Australia Day Sale CDs


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Learn Online From the Experts with Boot Camp! Tue, 20 Jan 2015 03:12:58 +0000 newspaper-research-sq-large

The world is a connected place these days. We are able to keep in touch with family and friends in far away places. But look beyond that, and think of the whole internet as your learning place for genealogy.

Through social media, webinars and hangouts, these are tools that allow you to learn and interact with the best genealogy speakers around the world. And you can do this all from your own home.

Thomas MacEntee of GeneaBloggers and Hack Genealogy fame, has created Boot Camp!

He, along with Liza Alzo have run numerous Boot Camps already in the US which have been very well received. Now he’s teaming up with Michelle Patient in New Zealand, and they’re running one that is not only at a time suitable for Australians and New Zealanders to participate, but also one that has content relevant for us in the south as well.

Scheduled for Saturday, 31 January 2015 (Australian time), this special Boot Camp will teach you:
– Which online newspaper resources are available for Australia, New Zealand and beyond including the United States, Canada and United Kingdom.
– How to get the most out of newspaper articles and use the extracted information for research breakthroughs.
– Which tools work best for capturing both newspaper images and text.
– How to find unusual sections of newspapers for clues in finding ancestors.

You’ll receive over 3 hours of educational content, handouts and freebies for the low price of $12.95 USD! You’ll also receive access to the recorded versions of each webinar for up to one year!

Register by Monday, 26 January 2015 and receive over 23% off the registration price for a low $9.95 USD!

Space is limited and if you register, but can’t attend, you’ll still receive the handouts, the freebies and access to the recordings!

For more information, and to register for Boot Camp click on this link.

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Top 100 Genealogy Websites for 2015 Mon, 19 Jan 2015 00:51:54 +0000 top-100-genealogy-website-2015GenealogyInTime Magazine’s Annual Top 100 Genealogy Websites list for 2015 has just been released, and what an amazing list it is.

With many changes among the Top 100, including those in the Top 10, there are a number of new players making it into the list for the first time.

This list is purely based on Alexa rankings, so you know that it is comprehensive and without bias.

The following is taken from the GenealogyInTime Press Resease …

This year represents our fourth annual survey on the state of genealogy. We look at the following:
– Information and links to the Top 100 most popular genealogy websites from around the world.
– A discussion on the largest ancestral websites and what they have to offer.
– Pointers toward the most popular free genealogy websites to help you find your ancestors.
– A list of rising genealogy stars that are worth checking out. These are websites that have seen the largest increase in popularity over the past year.
– A discussion on the big three firms in genealogy and what they do.
– Estimates as to how much genealogy has grown over the past year.

To be on this list is an honour, and back in 2014 we made the list for the first time, and I am proud to say that Gould Genealogy made it on this list again … actually TWICE. Yes really, twice.

Last year we ranked #87, and we held our ground, and occupy this spot again this year, which is what you’ll see on the list.

87 Gould Genealogy blog Australia free 87

But as our blog website was listed with our main website, I queried with the team at GenealogyInTime asking which one was actually  ranked … and it turns out that BOTH were meant to be. So they’ve added the following note to the end of their article:

Addendum: Somehow our database merged information from the two different Gould Genealogy websites. The Gould Genealogy that you see in the Top 100 List at #87 is their free blog ( They also have another website ( that provides services. It would have ranked #68 on the list.

So to all the readers of our blog, and to our customers who browse and buy on our website, thankyou for visiting our sites. It is all of you who helped get us into this prestigious list.

You can find the full list of the Top 100 Genealogy Websites here.

logo - Genealogy in Time

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21 January is #MuseumSelfie Day Fri, 09 Jan 2015 04:14:27 +0000 If you work in a museum, or have been meaning to go and visit a musum (local or otherwise), now is your chance. Diary date January the 21st, as that is Museum Selfie Day and head along to a museum. #MuseumSelfie Day is a day when museum staff and visitors photograph themself at the museum and upload it to Twitter.

“Museum Selfie Day is a day in which many of the major museums of the world are encouraging their patrons not to actually look at the art, but to pose in front of itthen to share their oh-so-artful self portraits on Twitter with the hashtag #MuseumSelfie.”

Organised by MarDixon (the people also behind #AskACurator Day), they aim to not only get more people into the museums, while at the same time helping promote the collection their museum has.

“Each collection, each mission, each town/city/county/state/country is unique. What the public love about museums is their individuality so this is why are we trying to put a mass-market approach to solutions.

To be clear their definition of museum says that “the term Museum also also includes art galleries, national trust, estates, etc.”

I know other Twitter “Days” attract participation from organisations from around the globe, including many here in Australia. So let’s hope Aussie museum visitors and staff get on board with this one too.

The date for the world trending Day is 21 January, 2015.
Tweets by , and @MuseumSelfieDay
Instagram: MuseumSelfieDay

MuseumSelfie #19

Image via Acaudel on Twitter


Image via Museum of Fine Arts on Twitter

Image via Amy Freeborn on Twitter

Image via Amy Freeborn on Twitter

For some pictures from the 2014 #MuseumSefie Day click here, and even more here.

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Who Owns What in the Genealogy World? Sat, 27 Dec 2014 11:39:48 +0000 question-mark-800

The genealogy-world has seen an enormous number of company buy outs and partnerships over the past few years. So who really owns what anymore?

I did some checking and here’s what I found.

Before I get to the list, let me start with a little disclaimer: I don’t guarantee that this is absolutely 100%, but I do believe it is certainly around the mark. But if anyone has more up-to-date information please feel free to leave a comment advising of the change. I’d really appreciate it.

Now on to who owns what …


ANCESTRY.COM – founded 1983 is the largest commercial genealogy company in the world. There are very few people who haven’t heard of it.

Having started small, the company has grown exponentially since 1997 and became a publicly traded company in November 2009. In October 2012 was acquired by Permira Advisers LLP, a private equity group..

Current list of the websites and products owned by
AncestryDNA – launched may 2012
Ancestry app (formerly Ancestry Trees To Go app) – launched January 2010 – launched in 2006 – launched in 2002 – launched in 1996 – launched in 2006 – launched in 2006 – launched in 2007 – launched in 2006 – launched in 2007 – cannot find a date
Ancestry Corporate – cannot find a date – acquired August 2012 – acquired 2006 – acquired September 2013
FindAGrave app – launched March 2014
Fold3 (formerly – acquired late 2010 – acquired June 2010 – launched November 2012
ProGenealogists – launched 1998
ProQuest – partnership 2004
RootsWeb – acquired June 2000
Shoebox app (1000Memories renamed) – launched July 2013

Former sites and products:
1000Memories – acquired late 2012, relaunched as Shoebox (see above)
Ancestry24 – acquired October 2013
Ancestry Magazine – discontinued 2010
Ancestry Publishing – discontinued 2010
Archive CD Books England – acquired 2008 – acquired 2003, discontinued September 2014
The Generations Network – changed name to in 2009 – launched 2008, no longer online – discontinued 2014 – discontinued September 2014 – discontinued September 2014
Y-DNA and mDNA tests on AncestryDNA – discontinued September 2014


DC THOMSON FAMILY HISTORY – first online in 2003
DC Thomson Family History which was formerly known as Scotland Online and later brightsolid, is a British-owned world leader in online genealogy, with an unrivalled record of online innovation in the field of family history and almost 20 million registered users across its family of online brands, which includes findmypast and Genes Reunited.

DC Thomson Family History currently owns or runs the following sites:
1901 Census – launched May 2008
1911 Census – partnership from 2008
1939 Register – partnership from March 2014
The British Newspaper Archive – partnership from May 2010 – launched February 2012 – launched July 2012 – launched May 2010 – acquired February 2008 – launched May 2011
Friends Reunited – acquired August 2009
Genes Reunited – acquired August 2009
IWM: Lives of the First World War – partnership from May 2014
Mocavo – acquired June 2014 – acquired June 2014
ScotlandsPeople – partnership from September 2002
Who Do You Think You Are? Story – launched July 2014

Former sites, now incorporated into Findmypast:
1837online (renamed to


MYHERITAGE – founded  2003 is a privately owned company based in Israel. Here is a quote about the company from their website: “… founded by a team of people with a passion for genealogy and a strong grasp of Internet technology. Our vision has been to make it easier for people around the world to use the power of the Internet to discover their heritage and strengthen their bonds with family and friends.”

Below is a list of the acquisitions. Some of these companies still are online, others have been absorbed into MyHeritage. Currently available in 40 different languages, MyHeritage has employees around the world.

Current sites and products:
23andMe – partnership from October 2014
BackupMyTree – acquired September 2011
BillionGraves – partnership from February 2014
EBSCO Information Services – partnership from October 2014 – acquired November 2011
Family Tree Builder – launched around 2010 – acquired November 2012 – started 2003 – acquired November 2011

Former sites and products:
Bliscy (Polish) – acquired June 2011
Family Tree Legends – acquired 2006
GenCircles – acquired 2006
Kindo – acquired 2008
The OSN Group (Verwandt/DynasTree) (German) – acquired 2010
Pearl Street Software – acquired 2006
Zooof (Dutch) – acquired 2010


FAMILYSEARCH – founded 1894
FamilySearch is owned by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and it is the largest non-commercial genealogy organisation in the world, and it is totally free.

FamilySearch can trace its own roots back to 1894 when it was founded as the Genealogical Society of Utah (GSU) and their members have been actively gathering, preserving, and sharing genealogical records worldwide for over 120 years.

Renamed to FamilySearch, the organisation launched their first website in 1999, which has now grown to include over a billion records from hundreds of countries around the world.

While FamilySearch themselves haven’t bought out other companies (well, not that I known of), being the world’s biggest genealogy website I felt they deserve a mention here.

Also in the last few year’s they have partnered with other genealogy organisations to make even more records available. So it is these I’ll list below.

Partnerships with FamilySearch: – partnership from September 2013
Findmypast – partnership from October 2013
Fold3 (previously named – partnership from May 2007
MyHeritage – partnership from October 2013
OCLC & WorldCat – partnership from January 2013

FamilySearch related sites and products:
FamilySearch Indexing – launched
FamilySearch Labs – launched October 2006
FamilySearch Wiki – launched 2008
FamilySearch Memories app – launched June 2014
FamilySearch Tree app – launched
RootsTech – FamilySearch are organisers of the world’s biggest genealogy conference

Former websites and products:
FamilySearch Indexing app
Personal Ancestral File (PAF)


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‘Start Your Family Tree Week’ Begins 26 December 2014 Wed, 24 Dec 2014 12:14:57 +0000 Logo - syftw

The Christmas/New year period is when a number of people get started on their family tree. Often it’s a combination of meeting up with family and questions being asked or old photos being shown, as well as having some time to do it.

But the big question is “How do I start my family tree?”

To get you started, for the fourth consecutive year Findmypast (one of the word’s leading online genealogy websites, and the primary one for British family history), are holding ‘Start Your Family Tree Week’. This will run from 26 December 2014 through until 1 January 2015.

Designed for beginners, this seven-day event will provide getting started guides, expert insights, useful print-outs and resources, and a wealth of family history prizes. And while it is titled “Start Your Family Tree Week” it will include something for everyone, including expert researchers.

Be sure to keep an eye on their website and Facebook page.

Here are some starting tips that Findmypast have put up previously: 10 Tips to start your family history journey

And if you are wondering WHY you should start researching your family history, have a look at this short video.

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Millions More Australian and New Zealand Records on Ancestry Mon, 22 Dec 2014 00:00:59 +0000 logo - AncestryAU

If you’ve not been on the Ancestry website recently, it might be worth another relook as Ancestry has been busy adding many new records that relate to Australia and New Zealand research over the past few months … just in time for the Christmas/New Year research-fest when many have holidays.

Amongst these millions of records, you’ll find more birth records, land records, morgue registers, crew lists, land grants and cemeteries to check out, all of which should make many happy over the holidays.

New South Wales, Australia, Colonial Secretary’s Papers, 1788-1856UPDATED
The collection Colonial Secretary’s Papers, 1788–1856 from New South Wales contains information about colonial administration. Within these records you can find significant information about your ancestors if they lived or immigrated to New South Wales during this time period. If they requested to marry, resettle in New South Wales, or acquire a land grant these requests would have been processed by the colonial secretary or other administrative personnel.

Letters and records of various events make up the majority of the collections: petitions by convicts for sentence mitigation, marriage permission requests, character memorials for potential settlers, land grant or lease applications, official visit reports, information about court cases, and lists of assigned servants.

Australia Birth Index, 1788-1922UPDATED
The Australia Birth Index has had more entries added to it, and it now contains over 5.1 million entries, though it is still far from complete. Civil Registration stated in the Australian states and territories (colonies) in the following years:
Tasmania, 1838
Western Australia, 1841
South Australia, 1842
Victoria, 1853
New South Wales, 1856
Queensland, 1856 (before 1856, see NSW)
Northern Territory, 1870 (1856–1863, see NSW; 1863–1870 see SA)

Sydney, Australia, Morgue Registers of Bodies, 1881-1908NEW
This collection contains registers from Sydney morgues listing autopsies done on bodies that relatives brought in or that were found. Typical information recorded includes name of deceased, death date, date the body was found, autopsy date, name of doctor, name of medical attendant, birthplace, age, occupation, and gender, as well as notes on the state of the body, cause of death, and other comments from the doctor.

New South Wales, Australia, Criminal Court Records, 1830-1945UPDATED
The Supreme Court in New South Wales heard the most serious criminal cases, whilst the General and Quarter Sessions dealt with all crimes and misdemeanours not punishable with death. This collection includes criminal case calendars, indexes of criminal cases and eligible jurors, criminal case registers and returns, registers of depositions, registers of fines and forfeitures, and other related records. This collection includes court records from Albury, Armidale, Bathurst, Berrima, Broken Hill, Campbelltown, Cook, Cootamundra, Deniliquin, Dubbo, Eden, Goulburn, Grafton, Hay, Lismore, Maitland, Moree, Narrabri, Narrandera, Newcastle, Parramatta, Sydney, Tamworth, Wagga Wagga, Windsor, and Wollongong.

One of the interesting subsets of this collection is the Registry of Flash Men, which is a journal documenting underworld life in 1840s Sydney, kept by William Augustus Miles, the Superintendent, then Commissioner, of the Sydney Police, 1840–1848. Each entry contains a little sketch of a criminal, with notations on the crime(s) committed, past incarceration, and sometimes names of associates and family.

New South Wales, Australia, Registers of Seamen, 1859-1936NEW
Ancestry partnered with State Records NSW to bring these records to you. This collection of over 270,000 entries contains registers of seamen engaged or discharged in New South Wales, Australia, between the years 1859 and 1936. You’ll also find registers of certificates of competency issued between 1905 and 1933. These certificates were issued to masters, engineers, first mates, pilots, and others.

Records vary depending on type and year, but you may find some of the following details:

  • name
  • age
  • birth date
  • birthplace
  • vessel
  • engagement or discharge date
  • capacity (i.e., occupation)
  • master or vessel owner
  • last ship
  • where sailor boarded or was discharged current ship
  • address
  • remarks
  • and you may also find some details about voyages.

New South Wales, Australia, Land Grants, 1788-1963NEW
This collection of almost 200,000 entries includes a variety of land grants for New South Wales, Australia. The format of these records varies, as does the degree of information recorded. Details can include the date and location of the grant, description, name of the grantee, amount paid, and names of witnesses.

Ancestry give a little bankground on the granting on land: Governor Phillip, in his Instructions dated 25 April 1787, was empowered to grant land to emancipists. Each male was entitled to 30 acres, an additional 20 acres if married, and 10 acres for each child with him in the settlement at the time of the grant. To encourage free settlers to the colony, Phillip received additional Instructions dated 20 August 1789 entitling non-commissioned Marine officers to 100 acres and privates to 50 acres, over and above the quantity allowed to convicts. Other settlers coming to the colony were also to be given grants.

New Zealand Cemetery RecordsNEW
Ancestry have just added over 1.6 million headstone transcriptions from New Zealand cemeteries. These cover the period 1800 to 2007, and are available to search now.

These transcriptions of headstones from cemeteries in New Zealand typically include details such as name, birth date, death date, and the cemetery name and plot location. But they may also provide family relationships with name and other details about a spouse, cause of death, military dates, an epitaph, or even a description of the headstone.

Happy researching! ;-)


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#genchat: It’s Back in 2015 Thu, 18 Dec 2014 12:02:11 +0000 genchat 2014The idea of twitter chats continues to grow. Not only are they a great social media activity as you get to interact with people from all over the world, but they are actually a great way to learn as well.

#Genchat started back in 2013 when Jen Baldwin from Ancestral Journeys put the idea out there, and now two years on, the idea of genealogy chats on Twitter (aka #genchat) keeps on getting bigger and better.

The genchat website invites genealogy tweeters to …

Join us for every other Friday! Great conversations, lots of learning, and good times! 9pm Central [US time].

Jen has just launched a brand new #genchat website, a new twitter handle (@_genchat), and the schedule of topics for 2015, but don’t forget that there is still one #genchat session left for this year, so why not join in.



Dec 26: Your genealogy holiday gifts

2 – Hey, what’s new with #genchat?
16 – Let’s Get Organized!
30 – Writing Your Family History

13 – #genchat in SLC for #FGS2015 : The 1-2-3’s of genealogy
27 – What did you learn?

13 – Geneablogging made easy
27 – My DNA Results Mean What?

10 – #OGS2015 and the Original American Northwest
24 – Society Focus: Volunteers!

1 – Global Family Reunion with A.J. Jacobs
8 – Black Sheep = Bragging Rights?
22 – Gravestone Photography

5 – Your Global Family
19 – Tricks for searching Google

3 – Putting ancestors into historical context
17 – Making the most of your local library
31 – Society Focus: creative programming

14 – Need research details? Get local!
28 – Ethnic Focus: Hispanic Heritage

11 – Society Focus: Technology
25 – Researching from a distance

9 – Google Earth & Google Maps
23 – Overland Trails

6 – Ethnic Resources: African American Resources
20 – Transcribing

4 – Using non-genealogy software in genealogy
18- Keeping Inspired


The format of #genchat is that you log on to Twitter at the nominated time (Friday 9pm CST in the US), which is 10.30am on Saturday morning EST. As Jen is the organiser/convenor, she asks a series of questions over the period of an hour, each related to that week’s topic. And those who are joining in, tweet back with their answers. Others may not join in, but simply follow the #genchat hashtag, and see the conversation.

If you wish to to find out more about #genchat, visit their website, and be sure to follow them on Twitter.

And if you need to find out what time #genchat is on in your timezone, I suggest using

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How Do I Contact Ancestry? Tue, 16 Dec 2014 02:26:28 +0000 Vintage-TelephoneThere is no disputing that Ancestry is the world’s largest commercial genealogy company. It’s a name that even non-genealogists know.

The multi-country company offers US, UK, Canada and Australian sites, not to mention a number of non-English language versions.

Ancestry is a subscription based one that offers access to billions of records. And aside from that, they are the owners of the world’s most popular genealogy software program, Family Tree Maker.

As you can imagine being the biggest also tends to attract its share of queries and complaints.

Ancestry do offer customer support for queries relating to your Ancestry subscription, including if you wish to cancel it, change to a different level, help activating your free subscription or even query a past subscription login details. They can help with all of that.

They can also help users of Family Tree Maker with technical queries. So if you are having problems installing the program, transferring files from an earlier version, or problems with a recent update, give their tech support team a call, and they can talk you through it step-by-step.

But how do I get in contact with Ancestry? Well here you go. They do have their contact details on their website, but to make it easier for you I have put these details below.

1800 251 838
Mon-Fri 9am-8pm AEST
Sat-Sun 9am-4pm AEST

0800 442 100
Mon-Fri 11am-10pm NZST
Sat-Sun 11am-6pm NZST

0800 404 9723
Mon-Fri 9am-10pm ET
Sat-Sun 9am-8pm ET

1800 303 664
Mon-Fri 9am-10pm ET
Sat-Sun 9am-8pm ET

1800 958 9073
Mon-Fri 9am-11pm ET
Sat-Sun 9am-11pm ET*
*(Ancestry do not offer French support on weekends)

1800 ANCESTRY (1800 262 3787)
Mon-Fri 9am-11pm ET
Sat-Sun 9am-11pm ET

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Trove: The Largest Free Newspaper Website in the World! Mon, 15 Dec 2014 11:09:42 +0000 Trove - St George Call newspaper

“The National Library of Australia now has the largest freely available collection of digitised newspapers in the world with the 15 millionth page going online today on the award-winning website Trove.”

That was the announcement that the National Library of Australia made just a few days ago.

Here in Australia we all know that Trove is simply A-W-E-S-O-M-E, or should I say the old newspapers section of Trove is. Actually all of it is, but today we’re just talking about the historical newspapers.

If you give us researchers a spare moment or two, you’ll find us on Trove … again … “Troving” … just seeing what else we can find.

Anyway the team behind digitising and making the old newspapers available online, have reached the reached the enormous number of …

in words it’s 15 MILLION!!

Either way it is a phenomenal achievement, and what’s even more surprising, and one that we should be immensely thankful for, is that world class resource is still free for everyone access. Anywhere. Anytime.

You can read the National Library of Australia’s own announcement of this here: 15M Newspaper Pages Now Digitised.

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Unlock the Past Cruises 2015/2016 Schedule Announced Mon, 15 Dec 2014 03:00:56 +0000 Celebrity Eclipse cruise ship

Genealogy cruises are more popular than ever. And why wouldn’t they? A holiday, a genealogy conference, a touch of luxury, and touristing – all in one! A genealogy cruise gives you a chance to learn genealogy from some of the world’s best, while on holiday! Not to mention meeting and mingling with a heap of other people whose eyes don’t glaze over when the word genealogy is mentioned. And in fact they encourage it.

Unlock the Past Cruises have recently announced their genealogy cruises for 2015 and 2016, and what a range they have on offer. Australian based, they are now offering cruises not only around Australia, but they are venturing to the other side of the world on many of them.

Covering everything from two night cruises, to 19 days … there’s something for everyone

The following is part of the Press Release from Unlock the Past Cruises recently released …

Adelaide, South Australia, 1 December 2014 – Unlock the Past Cruises announces its 2015-16 program of seven history and genealogy cruises – all now booking. Discover more about your family history in great company while visiting great destinations. All who book a cruise during the remainder of 2014 and 2015 are in a draw for $6000 worth of prizes. In addition there are more great prize opportunities on each cruise!

[7th cruise] From Fremantle, Western Australia on the Astor, 19-24 January 2015, a cruise commemorating the departure of the convoys carrying the Australian Imperial Force (AIF) and New Zealand Expeditionary Force (later to be known collectively as the ANZACs) in late 1914. Noted Irish and military historian, Richard Reid, will be the lead presenter.

[8th cruise] Baltic cruise on the Celebrity Eclipse, 11-25 July 2015, visiting northern Europe, St Petersburg and Scandinavia – departing Southampton and visiting Bruges (Belgium), Berlin (Germany), Tallinn (Estonia), St Petersburg (Russia), Helsinki (Finland), Stockholm (Sweden), and Copenhagen (Denmark). Apart from fantastic ports of call learn from a great team of presenters including Cyndi Ingle and Paul Milner (United States), Chris Paton and Janet Few (UK), Shauna Hicks and Carol Baxter (Australia) and many more.

[9th cruise] A Transatlantic cruise on the Celebrity Eclipse, 1-16 November 2015 – one way from Southampton to Miami visiting Boston, New York, Bermuda and Port Canaveral. Many of our ancestors made a similar trip when they migrated – here is your chance to do the same and learn from Dick Eastman (USA), Else Churchill, Alec Tritton and Kirsty Gray (UK), Shauna Hicks (Australia) and more.

[10th cruise] Our cheapest ever cruise! A short two night cruise from Brisbane 8-10 December 2015, on the Legend of the Seas. Lead presenter is Stephanie Ryan (State Library of Queensland).

[11th cruise] New Zealand to Australia on the Celebrity Solstice, 14 February-3 March 2016. The cruise commences in Auckland (New Zealand) and finishes in Fremantle (Perth, Western Australia), visiting many New Zealand and Australian ports. Among the stunning sights are the Dusky, Doubtful and Milford Sounds. The cruise will have an international team of presenters with Judy G Russell (USA), the Legal Genealogist, as the lead presenter.

[12th cruise] Coming a long way? Team the previous cruise up with a seven night cruise to the Great Barrier Reef, Queensland 6-13 March 2016 departing Brisbane on the Legend of the Seas. Carol Baxter (Australia) will present her highly acclaimed eight lecture series on researching and writing history and genealogy; other presenters include Helen Smith, Judy Webster, and Eric and Rosemary Kopittke.

[13th cruise] And the European river cruise – a romantic seven night cruise on the Rhine from Amsterdam to Basel 31 July-7 August 2016 on Tranquility II. Enjoy fantastic scenery  and a unique opportunity to network with other genealogists in the group.

Interested? Well here’s sone comments from those who’ve been on a past cruise (or two) …

A genealogy conference on the high seas? Not only do you get all the fun of a regular cruise, you have the opportunity to network with other family historians from all over the world. The best part: the lectures and educational presentations are offered by some of the leading speakers in the genealogy industry. And Unlock the Past Cruises has the best selection of destinations and speakers hands down! – Thomas MacEntee, United States, 4th cruise presenter

With over thirty years of genealogy conferences behind me, I had long ago decided that the best conferences were those that were ‘live-in’—with on-site accommodation—you can really feel you are in Genealogy Heaven!! Now I know better! Now I know real Genealogy Heaven is an UTP cruise! Cocooned in another world; with friends—new and old; eating, drinking, sleeping, learning, absorbing genealogy!! 24/7!! Sea days; shore days; EVERY day a gem!! – Jan Gow, New Zealand, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 11th cruise presenter

For more information on any of these cruises, please visit the Unlock the Past Cruises website And you can download the 16 page catalogue giving details of each of all 2015-16 cruises at

To register your interest or book for any of them, please contact Ciaran at Clean Cruising who deals with all the booking for Unlock the Past Cruises, you can phone on 1800 121 187, or email

So check them out, we’d love to see you one (or more) of them. They really are the prefect way to learn and make new friends.

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10 Handy Hints and Tips for Genealogists Fri, 05 Dec 2014 10:35:20 +0000 Hints-and-tipsHandy hints and tips are useful in all genres, and genealogy is no exception. Here is a list of 10 handy hints that I have compiled for you. Some of these I’ve learnt from others, while others are from my own experience.

I hope you find them useful.


1. Label and date your photographs, future generations will thank you forever!

2. Store your certificates and precious documents in acid-free pockets and folders.

3. Always use a pencil to fill in a chart first.

4. Make a note of EVERY source that you have checked in a research log. It will save you time and effort later.

5. Learn the geography of the region your ancestors came from. Boundaries did change, so it will help you work out where to look for records.

6. Search secondhand book stores for an old dictionary. The older it is, the more similar it is to have words and meaning your ancestors used.

7. The Internet does NOT have all records online, not by a long way. But we all know this anyway, don’t we!

8. Verify EVERYTHING (online data, family stories, diaries, your fourth cousin’s tree etc). As the saying goes, “genealogy without documentation is mythology”.

9. Backup your data regularly, and store a copy offsite.

10. Visit your local archives or society, and see how they can help you.

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Inspiring Genealogy Blogs – November 2014 Fri, 05 Dec 2014 04:51:17 +0000 Inspiring Blogs 300December is here, and the there’s no doubt that the shops are getting crazy. So take a moment to chill out, have a cuppa and have a read of some great genealogy blog posts I came across during the past month.

In this November edition we cover everything from a why you should blog, family photos, digital storage, DNA, Christmas gifts for genealogists, a family mystery solved by relooking at an heirloom and a bunch more.

I know that I’ve mentioned before (each time) that 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.

Digital Storage for Family Historians
Carole Riley recently gave a talk to the Society of Australian Genealogists on this topic, and as it is such a relevant topic for everyone these days, she has decided to share her presentation slides with everyone. Read the full article …

Six Reasons to Blog About Your Ancestors
You’ve heard about blogs and blogging. You read blogs. You may have even thought about starting one yourself, but just haven’t gone that extra step of starting one. In case you needed any more reason to actually start one, and benefits of blogging about your family history, Legacy Family Tree have come up with six very good reasons that are likely to convince you to get you blog up and running. Read the full article …

Family Discovers their Photo is on Advertisements Around the World
You take a family photo and put it online to share with your family and friends. Next you see YOUR family photo is being used on advertising brochures. How on earth can that happen? Well it’s exactly what did happen to one family. And the story doesn’t stop there. Read the full article …

What Will Your Legacy Be?
This was a question to was put to Kirsty at Family Wise recently, and it got her thinking, not just about her own legacy, but about what legacies her ancestors have left her. It certainly makes interesting reading. Read the full article ….

How Much DNA do Distant Cousins Actually Share?
It’s an interesting question isn’t it. And Henry Louis Gates Jr and Cece Moore answer the question. Those known as “first-degree relatives” such as parents, children and full siblings, will share about 50 percent of your autosomal DNA (atDNA). With each relationship removal, the expected amount of shared atDNA is cut in half. As you would expect for second-degree relatives (grandparents, grandchildren, uncles, aunts, nephews, nieces, half-siblings), and third-degree relatives (first cousins, great-grandparents, great-grandchildren) the percentage drops. But what about those beyond that. What about second, third or even fourth cousins? Read the full article …

50 Gifts for Genealogists 2014
What do you get a genealogist? Personally I don’t think it’s hard, but for those who are stuck for ideas Diane has come up with 50 of them for you. From tech toys, to useful bits and pieces to personal gifts, there’s something in this list for everyone Read the full article …

Gifts for the Girl Who Has Everything
And while we’re on the topic of gifts, Jill has come up with a fabulous list of 21 items, many of which don’t even cost a thing. Read the full article …

Don’t Rely on the Search Engine
Cheryl give good advice when she says that “search engines can be temperamental. You can put your information into the main engine and find very little that is relevant to the person you’re looking for, but if you perform the same search in a specific database, it can yield genealogical gold!” Read the full article …

Word Lists
Have you heard about the Word Lists on FamilySearch? No? Well, I’ll let Michele tell you all about them in this post. But let me just say that if you are researching in a foreign country, these lists can a HUGE help. So take a moment to read this one. Read the full article …

Building a Pedigree from Sources – The Ultimate Challenge
Genealogy begins with a pedigree chart and a search for names, right? James Tanner suggests that this ‘traditional’ method is no longer current in our modern society, and gives details on how to build a pedigree from sources online. Read the full article …

Giving Thanks in 2014
During November our friends in the US celebrated Thanksgiving, and Judy (aka The Legal Genealogist) sat down to write about all the things she’s thankful for. For a very thoughtful post, take a moment to read this one. It really puts things into perspective. Read the full article …

Message Left in a Family Painting Solves a Family Mystery
How many times have you relooked at something and picked up new clues from it? Well that’s exactly what happened to Vera. She’s been able to answer a long standing family mystery thanks to clues that were in a painting. Read the full article …

Happy Reading ;-)

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Biggest Digitisation of Irish Genealogy Records Begins Tue, 02 Dec 2014 11:20:49 +0000 If you have Irish ancestry, and are still having trouble tracking your ancestors don’t despair, as the National Library of Ireland is set to digitise more than 400,000 images of Catholic parish register and publish them online for free. Yes, FREE!

Irish Catholic Parish Registers

This project is already being described as “the most significant ever digitisation project for Irish genealogy” and the National Library of Ireland (NLI) are giving a date of summer of 2015 as to when these will be available. (Remember that’s Australia’s winter, so around June-August 2015).

The Press Release from the National Library of Ireland (NLI) says the following …

The records are considered the single most important source of information on Irish family history prior to the 1901 Census. Dating from the 1740s to the 1880s, they cover 1,091 parishes throughout Ireland, and consist primarily of baptismal and marriage records.

Commenting today, Colette O’Flaherty, Head of Special Collections at the NLI, said: “This is the most ambitious digitisation project in the history of the NLI, and our most significant ever genealogy project. We believe it will be of huge assistance to those who wish to research their family history. At this stage, we have converted the microfilm reels on which the registers are recorded into approximately 390,000 digital images. We will be making  all these images available, for free, on a dedicated website, which will be launched in summer 2015.

The 390,000 digital images due to be published by the NLI will be searchable by parish location only. They will not be transcribed or indexed by the NLI, and the images will be of the microfilms of the original registers, which – in some cases – were in poor condition when the microfilming took place. The images will be in black and white.

Anyone who has traced their family history knows it can sometimes be frustrating due to illegible handwriting on original records or poor-quality reproductions or transcriptions,” said Colette O’Flaherty. “Unfortunately, we do not have the resources to transcribe or index the images we are making available.

The information in the registers varies from parish to parish but, typically, includes the dates of the baptisms or marriages, and the names of the key people involved, including godparents or witnesses. Obviously, such information is extremely valuable for both amateur genealogists and professional researchers.  

Set to be created as a separate website, John Grenham’s report of this in The Irish Times, goes into possible opposition that this project might face, but he finishes off with the best quote …

“It is almost impossible to overstate the importance of what is about to happen. When the Irish public service gets things right, it can get them spectacularly, gloriously right.”

So researchers of Irish ancestry. If you’re currently stuck on your Irish lines, give yourself a little break. Work on a different branch, or do some of that scanning of documents and old photos (not to mention the slides) that you keep putting off. And in six to eights months or so, you’ll be ready and raring to get going on that Irish research again.

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Finding Your Farming Ancestors in Australia Fri, 28 Nov 2014 01:07:02 +0000 Rolls of gathered hay on the lands - High Contrast Black and White (browntone)
Call them farmers, or orchardists, agriculturalists, pastoralists, or even stockmen. There are numerous related words that describe our “ag lab” ancestors. These are men and women who worked on the land.

They are the ones who helped make our country what it is today. But they are also people who are often the hardest to find in records. Why? Because they aren’t criminals, and they aren’t nobility both of which created oodles records. In fact for the most part they are simply good mannered, hard working citizens, which doesn’t tend to leave much of a papertrail.

However I’m here to tell you about a heap of titles that you can use to help find your farming ancestors in Australia. Possibly even some that you didn’t know existed.


A Glance at Australia in 1880: Embracing a Squatters and Farmers Directory of the Whole of Australia
Written by H. Mortimer Franklyn, and published in 1881, this “shows the present condition and production of some of its leading industries, namely, wool, wine, grain, dressed meat, etc. The amount of each produced and exported. To which is appended the rise and progress of some of the leading mercantile houses in Melbourne, Sydney and Adelaide. Also included is a 100 page pastoral and agricultural directory of the whole of Australia which lists people in two columns, followed by heap of advertisements, many of them illustrated.
CD version
Ebook version

Australian Pastoral Directory Compendium 3
If you are researching ancestors who were stockowners in Australia, the Pastoral Directories are a great resource. This compendium contains facsimiles of the years 1913, 1923, 1925, 1931, 1939 and 1954. Published yearly each edition of the pastoral directories lists thousands of stockowners and agents for most states in Australia. The information listed contains the name of the station and the owner, however the larger states (New South Wales and Queensland) contain more detail including numbers of cattle and sheep.
CD version
Ebook version – to come



New South Wales Country Directory 1895 (Hall)
In 600 pages, this edition of ‘Halls Business, Professional and Pastoral Directory and Gazetteer of New South Wales for 1895′ is rather like a regular directory except that it also covers regional NSW, and has a whole sections dedicated to agricultural and graziers and related occupations, each giving name and address of the farmer.
CD version
Ebook version – to come

New South Wales Country Directory 1899-1900 (Hall)
The 1899-1900 of Hall’s Directory is divided into four sections; firstly country towns, then alphabetical list, pastoral directory and lastly a gazetteer. The Pastoral Directory gives a list of owners, name of run, number of stock and postal district.
CD version
Ebook version – to come

Yewen’s Directory of Landholders, New South Wales, 1900
This was the “first broad attempt at publishing a complete directory of landowners in New South Wales …” Divided into approximately 1900 postal localities grouped under 87 larger districts, there is an introduction and summary to each district. It indicates for each landholder whether they are dairy farmers, graziers or agriculturalists and what crops are under cultivation in the following categories – wheat, maize, barley, oats, potatoes, tobacco, sugar, other crops, grapes and orchard fruits. This a wonderful, extensive guide to over 70,000 landholders throughout NSW, by district and postal address.
CD version
Ebook version




Brisbane Directory and Squatters’ Guide 1876
Directories are a valuable resource for local, family and social historians as well as for researchers in other fields of Australian history. This Brisbane Directory and Squatters Guide contains a comprehensive Brisbane Street directory, Brisbane and suburbs alphabetical and trades and professional directories and much more. It also includes a Queensland Squatters directory which lists the names and address of many squatters (pastoralists) in Queensland in 1876.
CD version
Ebook version – to come

The Grazier’s Review Volume 10: April 1930-March 1931
A large publication of over 1200 pages, the Graziers’ Review was the official publication of the United Graziers’ Association of Queensland, and It included much information of particular relevance to graziers – on the weather, meat market, live stock market, stud stock, stock movements and much more. Importantly, it also mentioned the people involved – a “personal” section, obituaries, lists of shearing contractors, and reports from the various district meetings. As well, it has good information, in the advertisements, about many of the properties.
CD version
Ebook version – to come

The Grazier’s Review Volume 11: April 1931-March 1932
Like the previous year, this volume contains literally 1000s of entries relating to graziers, farmers, pastoralists in Queensland during the 1931/1932 period. The “personal” section is the really interesting part, as is lists obituaries, lists of estates for which probate has been granted, lists of shearing contractors, and reports from the various district meetings. As well, it has good information, in the advertisements, about many of the properties.
CD version
Ebook version – to come

The Grazier’s Review Volume 13: April 1933-March 1934
Slightly smaller than the previous two volumes, maybe that was an indication of less farmers around, or less registering? Anyway there’s still plenty of information to be found in the 900+ pages in this book. Containing not only information useful for those in the agricultural industry (weather, markets as so on), the personal section is particularly useful, detailing engagements, weddings, obituaries and estates.
CD version
Ebook version – to come

Queensland Brands Directory 1920-1921
Did your ancestors in Queensland own horses or cattle? If so, have you thought of looking in the Brands Directories for more information on them? These are a unique, but incredibly useful source for genealogical information, when looking for those who had stock. In case you’re not familiar with what brands are … those who had horses or cattle, branded them with a unique symbol and/or letters. This identified who the animal/s belonged to. This large volume contains many tens of thousands of such brands for those in Queensland from 1920 to 1921.
CD version
Ebook version – to come

Queensland Brands Directory 1945-1948
Those who had horses or cattle, branded them with unique symbol and/or letters. This identified who the animal/s belonged to. This large volume contains a listing of over 75,000 such brands for those in Queensland from 1945 to 1948. But what information can be found from brand directories? You can find an image of the brand registered, earmark registered, cheek brand, or symbol, name of owner, address of owner, and sometimes the certificate number.
CD version
Ebook version – to come

Queensland Brands Directory 1949-1952
Listing brands for horses and cattle, this directory contains over 1000 pages of names, addresses and the brands that each stockowner had.
CD version
Ebook version – to come



Brands Directory of South Australia 1901
Stockowners were required to register and get a “brand” for their stock which identified what stock belonged to who. This Brands Directory for South Australia from 1901 contains brands for sheep, horses and cattle. In it you’ll find all the registered brands along with, certificate number, former brands, name of proprietor, run where the brand is to be used (address), and nearest post town.
CD version
Ebook version – to come

Brands Directory of South Australia 1936: Sheep Brands
In this volume you’ll find 1000s of stockowners who owned sheep in South Australia in 1936.
This volume is divided into three sections: sheep brands; sheep earmarks and firebrands; and alphabetical list of names of owners.
CD version
Ebook version – to come

Brands Directory of South Australia 1938: Sheep Brands
Like the earlier Brands Directories, this volume contains names, addresses and details of the sheep brand for South Australian stockowners in 1938.
CD version
Ebook version – to come

Geelong, Western District and Squatters Directory 1866-1867 (Stevens)
This book is an extremely comprehensive directory of the western districts of Victoria, and Mount Gambier, Port McDonnell and Penola in South Australia. For the full description, look under Victoria.
CD version
Ebook version – to come

Pastoral Pioneers of South Australia
One of the most important publications available for those researching their South Australian farmers, this two volume set (now on CD) contains approximately 300 biographies of South Australia’s Pastoral Pioneers and Old Colonists. The Foreword claims that ‘… this is the most comprehensive collection of biographies ever produced in relation to the pastoral industry of any state’. A photograph accompanies each entry, as well as extensive biographical details. Those falling into the ‘Old Colonists’ category had arrived in the state prior December 28, 1846 (which was the 10th Anniversary of the Province). A large percentage of the entries in these volumes contain previously unpublished information (other that the Stock Journal), including information that has been supplied by descendants and old friends of those listed, which includes details and stories that would have otherwise gone unknown.
CD version
Ebook version – to come


hay bales


Geelong, Western District and Squatters Directory 1866-1867 (Stevens)
This book is an extremely comprehensive directory of the western districts of Victoria including several areas in the south eastern corner of South Australia. This title contains street directories, alphabetical directories and commercial directories covering places throughout western Victorian, and eastern South Australia (Mount Gambier, Port McDonnell and Penola). This directory is unique in that it contains a squatters directory as well. It you’re unfamiliar with the term squatter in relation to farmers, Wikipedia says the following “The term ‘squatter’ derives from its English usage as a term of contempt for a person who had taken up residence at a place without having legal claim. The use of ‘squatter’ in the early years of European settlement of Australia had a similar connotation, referring primarily to a person who had ‘squatted’ on unoccupied land for pastoral or other purposes.”
CD version
Ebook version – to come

Gippsland Directory 1884-1885 (Middleton and Maning)
Beginning with a heap of advertisements from local businesses of the time, this is followed by a short gazetteer of places around the region, as well as general information on the districts of Gippsland. The main part of the Directory consisting of about 100 pages, is the Alphabetical Directory. Listed alphabetically by surname under each region, this lists heads of household (mostly male but there are a few females mentioned), together with their occupation and address. Among this list you will find farmers, labourers, coach painters, dairywoman, teacher, saddler, brickmaker, merchant, laundress, hotel keeper, minister of religion, dressmaker, grocer, grazier, gasfitter, seedsman, coachbuilder, engineer, auctioneer, upholsterer, fowler, journalist, surveyor, musician, traveller, watchmaker, solicitor, restaurant keeper, blacksmith and miner … just to mention a few. So in other words it is not just “business owners” mentioned in this directory it is everyone.
CD version
Ebook version – to come

Victorian Directory (Sands and McDougall) 1900s to 1940s
The Sands and McDougall directories, or Sands and Mac as they tend to be known as, are one of the most comprehensive statewide directories available for Victoria. Covering Melbourne as well as regional areas, they list head-of-the-household street-by-street for bigger regions, and name, occupations and addresses for people in the state at the time (including farmers). We have 28 various years
available on CD. Each are full copies of the original volumes, and are fully searchable.



Centenary Catalogue of Farms and Stations for Sale in Western Australia
Consisting of 95 pages plus large foldout map, this publication begins with a list of properties sold by Joseph Charles between January 1921 and April 1929 with locality, acreage, name of the vendor and name of the purchaser – around 120 properties, 90 of which were rural properties ranging in size from under 100 acres up to 280,000 acres. Then follows details of approx 650 rural properties offered for sale with details of each such as: location, acreage, water (dams, wells), description of paddocks and fencing, description of hous/s on the property, description of sheds and other buildings, description of plant and equipment and stock included in the sale.
CD version
Ebook version – to come

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Free “Introduction to Family History” Course Wed, 26 Nov 2014 05:39:59 +0000 Introduction-to-family-history-course-UTAS
The University of Tasmania are offering a free (yes, I said FREE) family history course over summer, known as their “Spring School”.

The description of their course states that …

“Introduction to Family History is designed for people interested in their own family histories or genealogy in general. You will learn how to research family history accurately and efficiently using the growing range of online family history resources. You may be surprised at what you discover and what you can share with family and friends.”

It is a fully-online course, so anyone, anywhere was take part, and you even get free access to Library edition when you sign up for the course.

The course runs from December 2014 to February 2015, and does require approx. 4-5 hours of study a week. Spring School 2014, starts on December 8th, and applications need to be completed by December 16th, 2014.

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.

For more about this family history course, and to sign up you can find all the details here.

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Even More Australian Passenger Lists! Mon, 24 Nov 2014 01:41:27 +0000 Old merchant ship - 3D renderAsk anyone researching their family history what they wish to find, and they’ll tell you (amongst other things) passenger lists! They want to know when and how their ancestor arrived in the country. So to say that they are a key record for researchers is an understatement.

I’ve recently told you about the new South Australian passenger lists, as well as the Victorian ones that are on findmypast, and have also mentioned in the past about the Queensland passenger lists that are online at the Queensland State Archives.

However in amongst my recent genealogy-internetting I discovered that Ancestry has a stash of over 2.3 million records of Western Australian passenger lists. Well actually, it is crew AND passenger lists, so that’s very cool, and another useful source for researchers.

Ancestry - WA Passenger Lists

And for those with immigants to New South Wales, you’ll find about 10 million records of assisted and unsassited records on Ancestry.

You can see the listing of all Ancestry’s Australian “travel-related” data sets below, and get to the category click here.

– Western Australia, Australia, Crew and Passenger Lists, 1852-1930
– Fremantle, Western Australia, Passenger Lists, 1897-1963
– Australian Convict Transportation Registers – Other Fleets & Ships, 1791-1868
– Australian Convict Transportation Registers – Third Fleet, 1791
– Australian Convict Transportation Registers – Second Fleet, 1789-1790
– Australian Convict Transportation Registers – First Fleet, 1787-1788
– 19-Century Emigration of ‘Old Lutherans’ from Eastern Germany to Australia, Canada, and the United States
– New South Wales, Australia, Unassisted Immigrant Passenger Lists, 1826-1922
– New South Wales, Australia, Departing Crew and Passenger Lists, 1816-1825, 1898-1911
– New South Wales, Australia, Assisted Immigrant Passenger Lists, 1828-1896
– New South Wales, Australia, Passengers Arriving at Port Phillip, 1846
– New South Wales, Australia, Wives & Children of Irish Convicts, 1825-1840
– New South Wales, Australia, Certificates of Naturalization, 1849-1903
– New South Wales, Australia 1828 – 1842: Bounty Immigrants List
– New South Wales, Australia, Registers of Seamen, 1859-1936
– New South Wales, Australia, Immigration Deposit Journals, 1853-1900
– New South Wales, Australia, Convict Ship Muster Rolls and Related Records, 1790-1849
– Queensland, Australia, Passenger Lists, 1848-1912
– Maryborough, Queensland Australia Immigrants from the British Isles & Germany 1861-91
– Tasmania, Australia, Passenger Arrivals, 1829-1957
– Tasmania, Australia, Immigrant Lists, 1841-1884
– Tasmania, Australia, Immigrant Applications and Bounty Tickets, 1854-1887
– Victoria, Australia, Assisted and Unassisted Passenger Lists, 1839–1923

Here are the titles listed on findmypast’s Australian Travel & Migration category
– Aliens Registered In The Northern Territory 1916-1921
– Passengers To South Australia On Board Buffalo 1836
– Calais Lacemaker Immigrants To South Australia 1848
– Convict Transportation Registers 1787-1870
– South Australia Convicts
– Emigrants Seeking Free Passage To South Australia 1836-1841
– New South Wales and Tasmania: Settlers and Convicts 1787-1859
– Queensland Ship Deserters 1862-1911
– South Australia Naturalisations 1849-1903
– South Australia, Passenger Lists 1847-1886
– South Australian Ex-Convicts
– South Australia, Immigrant Agricultural Workers 1913-14
– Victoria Inward Passenger Lists 1839-1923
– Victoria Outward Passenger Lists 1852-1915
– Passenger Lists Leaving UK 1890-1960
– New South Wales Convict Arrivals
– Hamburg, Germany Emigrants
– Queensland Early Pioneers

And if you get a chance to obtain or view a copy of Inside History Magazine Issue 17 (Jul-Aug 2013) do so, as Judy Webster has a fascinating article on “the case of false identity that will have you looking at 19th-century passenger lists in a new light”.

Happy searching! ;-)

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I Didn’t Know I Could Do That With RootsMagic 6 [VIDEO] Sun, 23 Nov 2014 06:35:15 +0000 RootsMagic is one of the THE genealogy software programs out there for the PC. Now into it’s 12th year, it has certainly ‘proved’ itself as one of the “stayers” in the genealogy software world.

While I meet many people who have genealogy software, I find that quite a number of users don’t know their program deeply. They know enough to know how to enter details and print out what is required, often not utilising great features that the program has to offer.

RootsMagicTV is RootsMagic’s YouTube channel, and on it they have created a number of short videos on how to do this or that. in this post I just wanted to highlight a few of the features in RootsMagic that are not necessarily something that you’d use regularly. And some of you may not have even known that RootsMagic could do that.

Since I’ve previously mentioned about how to use RootsMagic on a Mac, and how to run it from a USB I’m skipping those this time … but here’s 6 more videos showing features that you can discover.

1. Customising RootsMagic to Feel More Like PAF
In June 2013 FamilySearch discontinued their genealogy software program Personal Ancestoral File otherwise known as PAF. While RootsMagic is a different program, it can be customised to feel a bit more like Personal Ancestral File (PAF), which helps those in the transition from PAF.

2.  Using Drag and Drop in RootsMagic
A short video showing how to use drag and drop to copy people from one RootsMagic file to another, whether to split off a family line, or add information from one database into another.

3. Colour Coding People in RootsMagic
If you want to highlight a person or a branch, colour coding is a way to do it. And this short video shows you how to do just that.

4. Importing an Ancestry Family Tree into RootsMagic 
Actually I’m sure you all knew that this could be done. but sometimes it is the ‘how-to-do-it” that gets people confused. So that’s why I chose to share this video with you. This video shows you how to import a family tree from Ancestry into RootsMagic, including people, relationships, data, and sources.

5. Creating a Shareable CD with RootsMagic 
A short video showing how to create a self running CD with your RootsMagic database, media, and intro page. The shareable CD does not require the person you share it with to have or install anything.

6. Mapping Your Family Tree with Family Atlas
Family Atlas is a mapping program, that is put out by RootsMagic. In this video they show you how to go about using this program to create your very own family map.

For links to RootsMagic software, click here
For visit the RootsMagic website, click here
To try our the free version of RootsMagic Essentials, download it here

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FamilySearch, 120 Years Old and Still Going Strong Sat, 22 Nov 2014 07:11:40 +0000 120th-AnniversaryThere’s not too many times in anyone’s lifetime when you get to say “Happy 120th Birthday” to someone, but now we can.

The world’s biggest genealogical organisation, FamilySearch has reached the mighty 120, and what an impressive milestone it is. Having started out as the Genealogical Society of Utah in 1894, to “assist members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints seek out their ancestors and preserve their family trees for future generations”,

So to begin with I’d like to share my version of Happy Birthday with them and yourselves:

Happy birthday to you
Happy birthday to you
Happy birthday to FamilySearrrccccchhhhhhhhh
You changed the world of genealogy
And for that we’d like to thank you!!

They really did change to world of genealogy which started as soon as they began collecting records way back in 1894, and they haven’t stopped. Their collection is beyond comprehension, and is stored in a multi-level mountain in Utah (granite Mountain). If you haven’t seen the mountain, be sure to check out this video …

They have records from over 100 countries, some which are now the only copy in existence. Their their vast collection grows daily, but the image below gives you some idea of the figures …

120 Year FamilySearch table

FamilySearch wrote a lengthy post about their 120th anniversary. I’m not going to reproduce it here, but if you’re interested to know more about the history of the company you can read it here.

And they have produced this cool timeline infographic which shows they key happenings in the life of FamilySearch, and you can see how quickly things have been happening since the 1990s. (You’ll need to right-click it to see it nice an big).

(click for a larger view)

(right click for a larger view)

Being 120 years old certainly hasn’t slowed FamilySearch down in anyway, in fact it they seem to have a who new lease on life, and are making things happen quicker than ever.

and while some organisations might run out of steam, it seems that FamilySearch are just getting started.

So from all of us here are Gould Genealogy & History, we’d like to wish FamilySearch a very 120th Birthday 120th, and we’re looking forward to what the next 120 years brings.

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Inside History Magazine – Issue 25 (Nov-Dec 2014) is Out Now Thu, 20 Nov 2014 06:39:12 +0000 Inside History Magazine - 2014-11Issue 25 of Australia’s premier genealogy and history magazine, Inside History Magazine has hit the newsagent shelves and the letterboxes of subscribers, and it is another bumper issue.

Readers will find out about the latest free online resources and tools. Jayne Shrimpton who is world-renowned for dating of vintage photo, enlightens readers on how to use hairstyles as clues to help date a photograph.

Remembrance Day in November is when we all think about our military heritage, and Inside History Magazine share with us two heartwarming stories of reuniting lost war objects with their rightful owners.

In this issue you’ll read about the new “Inside History Supports Trove” campaign. This is your opportunity to help get a newspaper digitised on Trove through a nationwide crowdfunding intitiative.

Also packed into the 74 pages you’ll find:

– What’s new online: countless new resources what will help your find your missing ancestors
– In search of greener pasters: The migration scheme that changed the lives of struggling British families
– Dead men tell tales: rediscover Ernest Shackleton’s audacious trans-Antarctic voyage and the Australian photographer who captured their struggle
– Christine Bramble, historian and author of ‘Sisters of the Valley’ shares the challenges and rewards of researching WW1 nurses
– Shauna Hicks’s helps solve the puzzle of a marriage certificate riddled with errorsPlus there’s much more, including opportunities to network with other genealogists, book reviews and app reviews. They have $1000s of dollars worth of books to giveaway and even a chance to win a trip to Norfolk Island!

You can buy the printed copies of the magazine from Inside History directly, and a number of societies and newsagents around Australia stock it as well (Click here to see a list of stockists).  For a sneak peek of this issue, and past issues check out Issuu.

So if you love Australian history and genealogy, and reading, you really can’t go past Inside History Magazine!



Copies of the current issue (and back issues) can be bought from the Inside History website. Or you can subscribe to the magazine
AUD$9.95 / NZ$10.95 per issue
AUD$25.00 / NZ $45.00 6 mth subscription (3 issues)
AUD$50.00 /NZ $90.00 12 mth subscription (6 issues)

iPad edition (available from the iTunes Store)
Android & Desktop edition (available from Zinio)


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WorldWarOne Link Website Launched Tue, 18 Nov 2014 09:52:47 +0000 logo - WW1 Link new2014 marks 100 years since the start of World War One, with the centenary of the Gallipoli landing coming up in 2015. These events have sparked an enormous number of commemorative projects worldwide which are being conducted by individuals, groups and even towns.

On Remembrance Day 2015 people around the world stopped to remember those who had served in war, and those who never came home.

Remembrance Day this year also saw the launch of a brand new Australian website – WorldWarOne Link. This website is dedicated to listing WW1 Commemorative Projects which are being conducted throughout Australia.

To answer question of “What is WorldWarOne Link?” their website says the following …

“WWI Link is a non-commercial online research database, funded by a Your Community Heritage Grant, that showcases the wide variety of commemorative projects underway throughout Australia during the centenary years of WWI. The site provides a central platform for researchers to collaborate and promote their work, as well as providing media, volunteers and the general public with the opportunity to easily discover and participate in these projects. The site was officially launched on Remembrance Day 2014 with the second stage of the website’s rollout expected to come a few months later, including new functionalities that will allow contributors, or ‘Project Owners’, to create and manage their own project profiles.”

Launched on last week, the site already lists 49 projects. These cover new books being written, digitisation projects, research projects, virtual museums, websites, exhibition and more.

So if you are involved with an Australian related WWI Project head on over to their website and get it registered. For more information on WorldWarOne Link, including how to submit your project, be sure read their FAQs.

To keep up with the latest projects and happenings follow WorldWarOne Link on:

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Introducing “The Surname Society” Fri, 14 Nov 2014 05:13:47 +0000 logo - Surname SocietyThe big genealogy-news this week is the launch of THE SURNAME SOCIETY.

A brand new not-for-profit group founded by a team of genealogists from around the world, brings you a dedicated website that allows you to register the surname that you are researching – be it in a small local area (ie. all Carter’s in Redruth in Cornwall), or worldwide (ie. all Carter’s around the world).

You can read more about The Surname Society in their press release:

The founding members are delighted to announce the launch of The Surname Society – the online society for individuals, groups and associations with an interest in surname studies, regardless of their location in the world, the surname they are studying, or their level of research expertise.

Focussing on single surname studies, the society meets the needs of researchers in the world of family history and genealogy as it evolves in the 21st century. The Surname Society’s vision is to connect like-minded people by providing facilities which enable members to share knowledge, data and good practice with others. The society allows members to register both worldwide and limited studies and is entirely online. Collaboration is facilitated and encouraged as it is the core ethos of The Surname Society.
Surname researchers collect data relating to all name bearers, either on a global or restricted basis. The society does not mandate study methods and members are encouraged to develop their own approach to the investigation of their surname to advance their knowledge and expertise in areas such as etymology, DNA, name collection and family reconstruction. The Surname Society will help and advise inexperienced members on ways to conduct their study and how to avoid the pitfalls which can occur!

A truly global organisation from the outset, the committee members are located around the world from Australia to England, Spain and Canada and in the first week since its announcement to those who completed the online questionnaire, the society has almost one hundred new and enthusiastic members.

The cost of membership to The Surname Society is just £5 per annum with no hidden extras. You can register as many names as you want on either a restricted or worldwide basis, collaborate with others, share in the educational opportunities offered and a plethora of resources in the Members’ area of the website including a fascinating quarterly e-newsletter and the School of Surnames, with many other developments in the pipeline in due course.

For more about the founding members, and the reasons for starting The Surname Society, you might light to watch this video.

So, what are you waiting for? Take a look at the website and if you are interested, join!

For more information:
follow their News blog
Twitter  @surnamesoc
Google+ The Surname Society

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