Genealogy & History News Genealogy and history news and product announcements for Australians Fri, 22 May 2015 03:37:23 +0000 en-US hourly 1 History of “Tea Tree Gully District Football Club” Book Launched Fri, 22 May 2015 02:23:35 +0000 TTG Football Club book #1The history of the Tea Tree Gully District Football Club, in the North East suburbs of Adelaide is one that has been 150 years in the making.

The club was formed in 1862, and (along with the neighbouring football club at Modbury) is the oldest surviving football club in South Australia, and one that has survived, and continues to this day.

Having been around for so long, means that thousands of people have been associated with the club over the years. And the newly launched “The Story of Tea Tree Gully District Football Club” reflects that in it’s size.

Launched last week, this hardcover book contains 536 pages of history relating to the club. It begins with facts about how football started in Australia, South Australia and in Tea Tree Gully, and then gives information and records of the Tea Tree Gully District Football Club from every decade since the 1860s.

The book also includes a brief history on other local football clubs at Hope Valley, Houghton, Modbury and  Golden Grove, as well as information on defunct local football clubs at Highbury and Glenroy.

For anyone with a connection to the club and an interest in its history, there is no book that comes close to this one. In 40 chapters, this book contains:
– details of every TTGDFC Life Member and many of the club VIPs
– stats and records of TTGDFC and the honour board
– team photo of every TTGDFC junior side in 2014
– 650 photos, 250 newspaper articles
– over 3,300 names in the index

Available for AU$80.00 plus AU$15.00 postage within Australia (if applicable). Payment can be made by EFT or cash or cheque.

Orders can be placed by phoining David Crisanti on 0408 864 123 or emailing:

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Help Save Waverley Cemetery Sat, 16 May 2015 08:18:27 +0000 Photograph from Wikipedia. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons. Attribution: Winston Yang

Photograph of Waverley Cemetery from Wikipedia, this work is licensed under the Creative Commons.
Attribution: Winston Yang

Waverley Cemetery in Sydney is one that has been acknowledged as “one of the most beautiful cemeteries in the world“, and it’s easy to see why. Sitting on the cliffs at Bronte, in Sydney’s eastern suburbs, overlooking the sea, the sight of the thousands of Victorian and Edwardian monuments is simply spectacular.

This cemetery opened in 1877, and has managed to be a self-sustaining not-for-profit operation for over 120 years, ploughing whatever surpluses it can achieve back into site maintenance and improvement.

However the cemetery’s financial future is now very uncertain, simply because the demand for traditional burials is dropping in Australia, so the Cemetery can no longer expect to be able to rely entirely on sales of grave plots. Meanwhile the demand for undercover funerals and different ash interment options is increasing.

So to survive, Waverley Cemetery needs to change the way it does business. It needs to diversify its services

The “Save Waverley Cemetery” campaigners are wanting to put a request to the local council, asking for a few things which will improve the cemetery, and its financial sustainability. So to help with this, they are asking for your help to sign a petition

Please Note: I acknowledge that this isn’t a ‘new’ campaign, but rather one that I have only just found out about. I do apologise for the ‘late’ news on this, and I’m not sure why I missed it earlier. However I hope mentioning it here will get the word out a little further, and help the cause.

You can sign the petition here
View the Save Waverley Cemetery website
And be sure to follow the Save Waverley Cemetery campaign on Facebook

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Expand Your Genealogy Knowledge with Ancestry Academy Thu, 14 May 2015 04:08:31 +0000 If you are wanting to expand your genealogy knowledge, and to do it from home – there’s another option available to you now, and that is Ancestry Academy.

Ancestry Academy is an educational website that offers exclusive, high-quality video courses taught by genealogy and family history experts. The courses that Ancestry Academy offer cover a wide range of relevant family history topics and offer something for genealogists of all levels – and you can learn at your own pace.

Having launched only a few weeks ago, they already have 14 courses up, with 4 of those being free, with another 8 listed as coming soon.

Ancestry Academy homepage

Learn at your own pace
Ancestry Academy’s in-depth courses are broken into a series of short lessons that let you learn when you want and how you want. Watch a course all the way through or pick and choose the lessons most interesting to you.

Test your know-how
Try out your skills and take optional tests to make sure you’re getting the most out of every course.

Learn on-the-go (coming soon!)
Learn at home or on-the-go with the free Ancestry Academy app, available for iOS and Android devices an a couple of months.

New courses added monthly
Continue strengthening your family history expertise with new courses added every month.

Free courses
Some courses are offered for free. Simply log in with your Ancestry account or create a new account to start learning.

The cost
You can get unlimited access to all Ancestry Academy courses for just US$11.99/month, or US$99.99/year, or as part of your Ancestry World Explorer Plus subscription.

And much more
Ancestry Academy courses are loaded with other helpful tools like closed captions, digital handouts, course placeholders, and more.

Here’s a list of the courses that are currently available:
Finding Your Military Veterans on Fold3 Free
DNA 101: An Insider’s Scoop on AncestryDNA Testing
Getting the Most Out of Family Tree Maker
Digging for Answers with Find A Grave

Who is That Tick Mark? Using Early Census Records
Exploring Pension Application Files
Brother vs. Brother: Exploring Civil War Ancestors
Finding Ethnic Origins and Passenger Arrival Records

Public Libraries: Mining Untapped Genealogy Resources
Street Smarts: Finding Your Ancestor in the Big City
Cousin Bait: Make Social Media Work for You
Your Family History Online: Laying the Foundation

The Buckeye State: Researching Your Ohio Ancestors
Native American Ancestry? Steps to Learn More

Start learning now …

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South Australian Land Records – Online AND Free! Wed, 13 May 2015 11:09:06 +0000 SAILIS SA Land Records #2Some big news for those researching South Australian ancestors and history is that the South Australian land records are now online … AND free (well, at least their historical records anyway).

The South Australian Integrated Land Information System (SAILIS) website, created by the Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure, allows users to search South Australian land records online from 1858.

The information available from SAILIS includes:

  • Integrated textual and spatial information for an individual property
  • Certificates of Title
  • Survey plans
  • Registered Dealings
  • Property Interest Reports
  • Valuation and Titling information
  • Historical Searches

These include original images that you can view online, download and save.

Rather than me telling you how to work your way around their website, I suggest taking 5 minutes to watch this tutorial video.

If you want to explore their website more, check out the other tutorial videos SAILIS have on their YouTube Channel.

Now I know you’re all excited about these South Australian land records, so off you go, and get searching!


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Inside History Magazine – Issue 28 (May-Jun 2015) is Out Now Wed, 13 May 2015 04:18:53 +0000 Inside History Magazine - 2015-05Issue 28 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 issue of cover-to-cover reading.

In this one Inside History Magazine chatted to Sir Tony Robinson while he was in Australia for his “Tour of Duty” discovering Australia’s hidden wartime stories around the country. We learn about what life was really like in an English workhouse – beyond the stereotype. Stephen Orr explores the iconic Tea and Sugar train of yesteryear and its cross-country rides across the Nullarbor which was a lifeline to settlers in the outback.

Carole Riley looks at why land title documents are such an invaluable resource for family historians, and Shauna Hicks not only helps readers decode asylum records, she explains how to use them and and access those closed to the public!

The reading continues with 5 must-do historical walks around Australia, and the “What’s New Online” section contains a whopping 95 new genealogy resources which will have you racing to your computer to check them all out!!

And if that isn’t enough, you’ll even find out about …
– The mammoth project to document our surviving World War II veterans
– Where to find the newly digitised collections of 14 leading museums from around Australia
– How you can help map the past with geo-referencing projects underway
– Why Victoria’s education system is historically significant

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 1 year subscription (6 issues)
AUD$85.00 / NZ$125.00 2 year subscription (12 issues)
AUD$125.00 / NZ$165.00 3 year subscription (18 issues)

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

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World War 1 Centenary Projects #4 Mon, 11 May 2015 04:07:57 +0000 anzac 180World War 1 Centenary Projects are well underway, with more being announced all the time. The aim with this (and my earlier) World War 1 Centenary Projects posts, is to list a few of them, so others know what is going on.

To see those I’ve mentioned earlier, please take a moment to check them out:
World War 1 Centenary Projects #1
World War 1 Centenary Projects #2
World War 1 Centenary Projects #3

And if you have any World War 1 project that you or any organisation are involved with, that you’d like mentioned here, please send an email to Alona at

For those with Australian WW1 Projects, I highly recommend that you should also consider listing your project on the World War One Link website.


Over the past two years, the 5000 Poppies project has worked towards the goal of “planting” a field of more than 5000 handmade crocheted, knitted, felted or sewn poppies in Federation Square Melbourne as a stunning visual tribute to Australian servicemen and women for more than a century of service in all wars, conflicts and peacekeeping operations during Anzac Day 2015. The project took off, and they had over 200,000 poppies

Federation Square, Melbourne, Anzac Day 2015

Federation Square, Melbourne, Anzac Day 2015


The Department of Veteran Affairs have created the comprehensive website: 100 Years of Anzac: The Spirit Lives 2014-2018, which is packed full of information as well as including details of grants available. As an addition to that, they have created a website app that allows you to upload your Anzac Centenary photos. So upload and tag your own Anzac Centenary photos, and you can browse through all those that have been submitted, seeing what how others have captured ‘moments’ relating to the Anzac centenary.


The Queensland Government wants to make sure the proud legacy of our Anzacs is preserved for future generations.There were 57,705 Queenslanders who served their country in the First World War from 1914 to 1918. One hundred years has passed providing us with an opportunity to encourage people of all ages to learn about Queensland’s role in the First World War and its impact on our nation. The Queensland Government is asking everyone to get involved in the Anzac Centenary by attending a commemorative event, visiting an exhibition, or simply sharing stories and photos with family, friends or local community.

They have committed almost $50 million to help preserve and share the stories of our servicemen and women and honour their memories through numerous projects, as well as offering grants for others in Queensland doing their own WW1 project.


The Greater Metropolitan Cemeteries Trues (GMCT) in Melbourne, Victoria is encouraging families to renew their links to their family members, particularly those who enlisted in the Great War, and to urge them to place a permanent record of their service on their gravesite. Many graves have been forgotten by families over the years and have become neglected. Younger family members may be unaware that their ancestors served at all unless their family memories and history are strong. The Centenary Poppy Tile is a decorative packed kit that contains two small, highly glazed Australian-made white porcelain tiles with a striking red Flanders Poppy printed onto the surface in a slightly raised finish.


A Facebook page has been created for the relatives of the 29 soldiers that appeared on the Mount Hicks Roll of Honor from 1918 It is also for the relatives of the two soldiers who were meant to be added to the roll at a later time. This page allows relatives to share photos and other information about these soldiers and establish new contacts.


On the 9th November 2014 (Remembrance Sunday), the Dublin History Group was involved with the planting of 22 trees in the Dublin Institute Grounds in memory of the local soldiers who did not return from serving their country during WW1. They had plaques made for each soldier and descendants of those named were contacted, with a number attendeding the ceremony. For further information about the commemoration trees you can contact the Secretary of the Dublin History Group on (08) 8529 2028.

Th Echo - December 2014

Th Echo – December 2014



Lenore Frost is the driving force behind the local project in the Essendon and Flemington region of Victoria. She has created a wiki to detail the WW1 volunteers from the region, together with a blog to provide further information. The wiki includes access to a publication of Melbourne Teachers College which details WW1 service and biographical details of graduates.



‘In Times of War’ was an exhibition that was being organised and held by the Cairns Historical Society during April 2015. Unfortunately I’m writing this too late to inform people that it’s on to go visit, however I still wanted to make mention of it, so they are aware that the Society is a place to visit for local information including military


A committee has been formed to re-enact the ‘snowball’ recruiting drive which started at Inverell on 12 January 1916.  Known as The Kurrajongs, 114 men departed Inverell by train for the Narrabri camp, gathering more recruits at Warialda and Moree. They were followed by another 50 men on 29 February 1916. More than 1200 men and women enlisted from the Inverell district and the march re-enactment, to be held on Sunday 10 January 2016, will be the catalyst to remember all those from the District who served during WW1.  The Re-enactment committee would particularly like to hear from relatives of the Kurrajong men and for them to participate in this exciting event.  Relatives of other servicemen and women are also welcome to join in or be present on the day to remember and honour our district’s contribution World War 1. For further details phone President, Kim Blomfield 0429 883 362 or Vice President, Ann Hodgens 0427 211 485 or email

Kurrajong banner


Listen to guest panelists Lieutenant-General Mark Evans (retired) AO, DSC, Chair of the Queensland Advisory Committee for theCommemoration of the ANZAC Centenary (2014-2018), and Kate Walton, PhD candidate at The University of Queensland specialising in Australian Prisoners of War in Turkey, in conversation with Dr Kate Evans as they discuss the impact of World War One on Queenslanders and its enduring legacy.This event was part of A Night in the JOL monthly talks series where we delve into Queensland’s rich and diverse history.


The State Library of Queensland blog features numerous posts about Queensland people, artifacts and memorabilia that relate to World War 1.


The Serving Our Country Project has been created to research and detail the thousands of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander soldiers who fought for Australia from the Boer War through until 2000. There were more than 1000 Aboriginal men who fought in WW1, defying laws preventing them from enlisting. Sadly the effort and impacts of the Indigenous solders has largely gone unrecognised. This website aims to remedy that by giving these remarkable men the recognition they deserve.

WW1 - Serving Our Country


Michelle Watson has created this blog which will “chronicle the work I’m doing on my book about the community of Stockton (in New South Wales) and World War One.” The book will be in two parts. The first part will look at the impact of the war on the close knit community of Stockton and how the community responded to the massive disruption the war brought. While the second part will be biographies of the nearly 300 men and women who served in a variety of military roles during the war. If you have any information on history and people of Stockton, you can contact Michelle at


Several years ago, the Stockton Historical Society Inc was presented with a large frame, containing the images of 18 World War One servicemen. Unfortunately, none of the men were identified. Over the last two years, the Society had the frame and photos cleaned and conserved. During this process, we were able to gain access to the back of the photos. However, only one man was kind enough to supply us with name, rank and serial number!! Can you assist us in giving names to the men who have sat behind the glass for 100 years? We believe the frame was put together by a Mrs Gwendoline Evans of Hunter Street, Stockton. Her name was found inside the frame during conservation. She was also named as the Executrix of one of the men we have identified, Private Alfred Penn (originally from Potter’s Bar, Middlesex, England). We would love to know more about Mrs Evans as well. The photos can be viewed at the link above. If you can help out, please email Michelle at

WW1 - Stockton Historical Society


Cheryl has started a project to record those from the Surf Coast Shire region in Victoria who were involved in WW1. Using both a blog and Facebook page she is sharing information about WW1 Honour Boards and Memorials on the Surf Coast and identifying the service men and women listed on them.

WW1 - Surf Coast Memorials


Created by Beth Page, this website contains details of over 2500 Australian soldiers and nurses who are buried in the UK. They are sorted alphabetically by parish, but this site does have a search box which might make it easier for you.


The Imperial War Museum (IWM) in London has arrived at the Melbourne Museum for a WW1 Exhibition. And after a spectacular opening in April 2015 this amazing display is open to visitors until August 2015. This is the most significant exhibition from the IWM to ever leave Great Britain.




Canada’s Great War Album website was launched late in 2014. It is based on the book of the same name. The book is a collection of Canadian photographs, memorabilia, and stories of the war, and the website follows suit with sections, About the Great War, Key Battles, Video, Submit Your Story, and, of course, Buy the Book. Readers will find many soldiers profiles throughout the website and the book.

ww1 - Canada's Great War Album 


THE GREAT WAR 1914-1918
Created by this is a big website, with a lot of information on it. The tabs have divided the website into easy categories: Faces of War, Home Front, Battlefront, After the War, Memory Project. Photos, videos, audio, memorabilia and more are what this site gives you. The Memory Project allows you to share your own Canadian military history history by sharing stories, artifacts or photos to help create a virtual museum of Canadian souvenirs from that conflict.


Online searchable database contains the digitised War Diaries of the Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF) units. Archived online from Library and Archives Canada / Bibliothque et Archives Canada.




Louise has an interest in the men mentioned on the WW1 memorial in her home town of Chesterfield in Derbyshire. So much so, that she is researching all 85 of them, and is progressively recording their history on her blog.


OPERATION WAR DIARY (A Crowdsourcing Project)
This massive project from the UKs National Archives has seen them digitise about 1.5 million pages of British war diaries. These tell the story of the British Army on the Western Front during the First World War in their own words. Now they are digitised they are asking for your help. As a crowdsourcing project they are asking for volunteers to transcribe the information by tagging details such as a person, place or activity mentioned in these pages.

ww1 proejcts - Operation War Diary

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Legacy Family Tree: I Didn’t Know It Could Do That! [VIDEO] Wed, 06 May 2015 07:47:11 +0000 Legacy Family Tree header


Are you a Legacy Family Tree user? If you are, you’re one of the thousands around the world who use the program. You may even have the lastest version (Legacy Family Tree version 8, either the Australian or the US versions). No doubt you’ve mastered in some form or another, the getting names, dates and places into your program, and you may even have got some photographs, and sources in as well. Excellent work! But still .. there is so much more that Legacy can do, that you probably haven’t yet discovered.

Through a series of QuickTips Videos that Legacy Family Tree have produced, you get exactly what it says – quick tips.They are short, to the point videos on how to do a particular function of the program.

I have chosen 6 videos from Legacy Family Tree’s YouTube channel to share with you here.

By watching these videos you’ll learn how to unlink a person (and haven’t we’ve all needed to do that at some stage), how to use the Origins Report, how to customise your Family View, what Legacy’s Calendar Tool is, how using the Legacy Timelines can help your research, and how to view more in the Index View.

They have plenty more videos on their channel, but I chosen these ones specifically, because they cover features of the program that many won’t have used, either because they didn’t know how, or didn’t even know they could.

Do yourself a favour, spend some time learning the program, and you will get more out of it!!

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Family Tree Maker User Groups in Australia Mon, 04 May 2015 03:49:19 +0000 FTM leavesFamily Tree Maker is one of the world’s most popular genealogy software programs, and does have a large following of users in Australia.

While for most Family Tree Maker is an easy program to get into, interacting with a User Group will enable you learn more about the program, including new ways of doing things from interaction with others. There are always lots of tips and tricks to pick up and you will learn creative ways of using Family Tree Maker. If you are new to Family Tree Maker (or new to a newer version), attending a User Group meeting will help you get started, both in finding out what you can do in Family Tree Maker, and how to how to use it efficiently.

Australian Capital Territory – Canberra
2nd Tuesday of each month
HAGSOC, Unit 7, 41 Templeton Street, Cook, ACT
Barbara Board
Organised by the Heraldry & Genealogy Society of Canberra

New South Wales – Botany Bay
Meetings: 3 times a year, on a Thursday night
Where: Port Hacking Community Centre, 184 Gannons Road (south), Caringbah
When: 7.00pm-8.30pm
Cost: $3.00 for members, $5.00 for non-members
Contact: Web Email:

New South Wales – Sydney
once a quarter
Where: 120 Kent Street, Sydney
When: need to check the SAG website for details
Cost: $8.00 for members, $12.00 for non-members
Organised by the Society of Australian Genealogists, they also have an online forum for FTM Users

Queensland – Brisbane
1st Friday of every month, and the last Sat of each even numbered month
Where: 58 Bellevue Avenue, Gaythorne
When: starts 10.00am
Cost: free (and non-members are welcome)
Contact: Kerri Kleidon or
Organised by the Queensland Family History Society

Queensland – East Brisbane
Meetings: 2nd Sunday of odd months of the year
Where:  38 Fisher Street, East Brisbane
When:  10:30am to 12:00pm
Contact:  The Genealogical Society of Queensland on (07) 3891 5085 or at

Queensland – Redland
Meetings: 3rd Wednesday each month
Where: 6 Ackworth Place, Alexandra Hills
Starts: 1.30pm
Cost: free (and non-members are welcome)
Organised by the Redland Genealogical Society to assist both new and experienced users.

South Australia – Salisbury
3rd Saturday of each month
Where: Salisbury TAFE Heritage Centre, 3 Ann Street, Salisbury
When: from 1.30pm-3.30pm
Organised by Adelaide Family Tree Maker User Group, in association with the Adelaide Northern Districts Family History Group

South Australia – South East
no meetings
The South East Family History Group don’t hold regular Family Tree Maker User Group meetings, but they do have an online forum where you can post queries. Their Membership Page has information about how to do so.

Victoria – Geelong
2 nd Monday of each month
Where: South Barwon Cummunity Centre, Mount Pleasant Road, Belmont
When: 5.30pm-7.00pm
Contact: Cathy Carman
held in association with VicGUM or on Facebook :

Victoria – Melbourne (night)
3rd Monday of each month (not December or January)
Where: Wadham House, 52 Wadham Parade, Mount Waverley
When: doors open 7.00pm for a 7.30pm start
Cost: $2.00
held in association with VicGUM or on Facebook :

Victoria – Melbourne (day)
1st Friday of each month
Where: Wadham House, 52 Wadham Parade, Mount Waverley
When: doors open 7.00pm for a 7.30pm start
Cost: $2.00
held in association with VicGUM or on Facebook :


Other useful FTM tools

Family Tree Maker User blog
Russ Worthington had lots of great tips here for users.

Ancestry’s YouTube Channel
Ancestry has lots of helpful videos on different aspects of FTM.

Ancestry’s Tech Support
If you need further help with your program, you can call Ancestry’s Tech Support number: 1800 251 838 (for those in Australia)


If you have details of further FTM User Groups in Australia, or changes to those already listed, please feel free to send me an email, and I shall get it updated. (

FTM2014 all as a set #2

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Wednesday 8th July 2015 is the Date!! Thu, 30 Apr 2015 04:45:21 +0000 July 2015  CalendarWednesday 8th July 2015

Wednesday the 8th of July 2015 is the date you need to write on your calendar – especially if you have Irish ancestry, as that is the date the National Library of Ireland are going to launch their Catholic Parish Registers online.

Actually for us in Australia, depending on what time they’re uploaded, it could quite well be the 9th of July.

I first mentioned this mega-digitisation project back in December 2014 (you can read that here), and it seems that the team behind it are working phenomenally to be able to provide users with access to almost 400,000 images of original Irish Catholic parish register records by the nominated date … 8th of July 2015!

A portion of the Press Release from the National Library of Ireland says the following …

Irish Catholic Parish Registers

The entire collection of Catholic parish register microfilms held by the National Library of Ireland (NLI) will be made available online – for free – from 8th July 2015 onwards. On that date, a dedicated website will go live, with over 390,000 digital images of the microfilm reels on which the parish registers are recorded.

The NLI has been working to digitise the microfilms for over three years under its most ambitious digitisation programme to date. The parish register 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 the island of Ireland, and consist primarily of baptismal and marriage records.

“This is the most significant ever genealogy project in the history of the NLI. The microfilms have been available to visitors to the NLI since the 1970s. However, their digitisation means that, for the first time, anyone who likes will be able to access these registers without having to travel to Dublin.”

Typically, the parish registers include information such as the dates of baptisms and marriages, and the names of the key people involved, including godparents or witnesses. The digital images of the registers will be searchable by parish location only, and will not be transcribed or indexed by the NLI.

“The images will be in black and white, and will be of the microfilms of the original registers,” explained Ms. Kerrigan.

“There will not be transcripts or indexes for the images. However, the nationwide network of local family history centres holds indexes and transcripts of parish registers for their local areas. So those who access our new online resource will be able to cross-reference the information they uncover, and identify wider links and connections to their ancestral community by also liaising with the relevant local family history centre.”

So for Irish researchers around the world … the wait is almost over! Are you ready??

logo - nli

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How Do I Start My Family History? Thu, 30 Apr 2015 01:33:34 +0000 mazeI’m sure we’ve all asked ourselves this question, way back when we started … and have heard many others ask the “How do I start my family history?” or “Where do I start?” questions along the way.

Having worked in the genealogy industry for many years, it is a question I have been asked many times. And I feel that anyone who gets asked this question should be honoured, as they are then potentially helping this person get started on the journey of discovering their family tree. One key thing I have found is to keep it simple, so as to not overwhelm and put them off.

So I wanted to share with you my suggestions for first-time-researchers.

1. a pedigree chart and family group sheet
2. a couple of key genealogy websites
3. and I suggest they buy a copy of “Where Do I Start?” by Shauna Hicks

So going each of these steps in a little more detail … firstly I introduce the potential-new-researcher to what a pedigree chart and family group chart are, and show them how to fill them in starting from themself  and working backwards, and explain how they need to fill in as much information as they know before asking other family members to see if they can fill in any gaps. For some great genealogy and family tree forms that you can download for free, checkout both Family Tree Magazine, and Misbach.

Together with this I tell them about looking for sources around the home, and explain to them the types of things to look for. To get an idea of the types of records you might find at home, here’s a checklist of 77 things to look for.

While everyone’s research varies from person-to-person, from country-to-country, two websites that I say to everyone that they should use and bookmark are Cyndi’s List, and FamilySearch, as both cover worldwide resources, and they are free. Because both of these websites are vast in content it is easy to be overwhelmed, and get lost on them. So I show the potential-new-researcher how to use them, the various ways of finding what you need, and navitating around.

UTP0010The third thing on my beginners’ list is Shauna Hicks’ book “Where Do I Start?“. It certainly can be overwhelming beginning your family history, but Shauna who is well-known throughout the genealogy community in Australia and New Zealand has broken down the beginning steps into 10 weeks, focussing on a different aspect each week. These steps allow the potential-new-researcher to work through things in a orderly fashion.

This beginner’s guide is written for those researching their Australian and New Zealand roots, but the concepts would apply to researchers worldwide.

To give you an idea of what is covered, here’s the chapter listing from the book:
Week 1 Look for home sources and stay tuned
Week 2 Build strong foundations – certificates, history and geography
Week 3 Has your family been researched by othrs?
Week 4 Flesh out the family using archives
Week 5 Flesh out the family using libraries
Week 6 Get help from genealogy and family history societies
Week 7 Discover more family stories
Week 8 Use social media to discover more relatives
Week 9 Write your family stories and learn more
Week 10 Overseas research

Sound good? It’s available in both printed book form, and as an ebook download.

While I’m sure many others have different ideas on what should be taught to a first-timer, this is simply my list that I wanted to share with you.

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Two Million Derbyshire Records Added Online Mon, 20 Apr 2015 10:51:09 +0000 map - DerbyshireFindmypast, one of the mega-players in online genealogy, continue with their Findmypast Fridays – the day they announce all the new records that they’ve added during the past week.

The topic today is Derbyshire. This county is in the East Midlands of England, and has a history that dates back thousands of years. Derbyshire is the latest county to get a huge update of records on Findmypast,

Last week Findmypast added on Derbyshire baptism, marriage and burial records – almost two million of them in fact. Covering the period from 1538-1910, if you have Derbyshire ancestry be sure to check these out. Note, they are transcriptions only, not images of the original records.

Derbyshire Baptism Index 1538-1910
The Derbyshire Baptism Index 1538-1910 contains over 692,000 records taken from Church of England Parish registers. Each record contains a transcript of original materials. The amount of information can vary but most records will list the individual’s name, date of baptism, parish and the names of their parents.

Derbyshire Marriage Index 1538-1910
The Derbyshire Marriage Index 1538-1910 contains over 775,000 records taken from Church of England Parish registers. Before Civil Registration began in 1837 key events in a person’s life were typically records by the Church rather than the State. Starting in the sixteenth century, parish records are some of the longest running records available. Among the records is the marriage of Erasmus Darwin to Elizabeth Pole in the parish of Radbourne on 6 March 1781. Both bride and groom are listed as widowed. Erasmus Darwin was the grandfather of Charles Darwin. Each record contains a transcript of original records. The amount of information can vary but records will usually list the couple’s names, the date of their wedding and the parish in which they were married.

Derbyshire Burials Index 1538-1910
The Derbyshire Burial Index 1538-1910 contains over 519,000 records. Derbyshire has been a site of human habitation since the Stone Age. During the Industrial Revolution, water mills made use of the fast flowing rivers and brought workers flooding to the county town of Derby. Derbyshire has been said to be the home of the Industrial Revolution and part of the Derwent Valley has been given World Heritage status in acknowledgement of this historic importance. The amount of information may vary but records will usually list the deceased’s name, birth year, burial year and burial place.

To view these records you will need a FIndmypast UK or World subscription.

logo - FMP new

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Historical Newspapers on Trove: What’s New and What’s Coming Soon Thu, 16 Apr 2015 01:28:46 +0000 newspaper_pileUsers of Trove, the National Library of Australia’s website, are spoilt by the historical newspapers they provide. You simply won’t find the quantity and the and quality of what they offer matched elsewhere in the world. And what’s more, is that it is totally FREE!

With over 15 million pages scanned, coming from almost 900 newspapers, there’s no slowing down for the team historical newspapers department at the National Library of Australia. They are pleased to announce that the following newspapers have now been digitised by the National Library of Australia through the Australian Newspaper Plan program.

Good Neighbour (ACT: 1950-1969)

Daily Commercial News and Shipping List (Sydney, NSW: 1891-1954)
Sydney Mail (NSW: 1912-1938)
The Ulladulla and Milton Times (NSW: 1891-1917)
Sydney Mail and NSW Advertiser (NSW: 1871-1912)
Man on the Land (Gosford, NSW: 1936-1938)
The Gosford Times and Wyong District Advocate (NSW: 1906-1954)
The Shipping Gazette and Sydney General Trade List (NSW: 1844-1860)
Sydney Mail (NSW: 1860-1871)
Sydney General Trade List, Mercantile Chronicle and Advertiser (NSW: 1830)
The Wingham Chronicle and Manning River Observer (NSW: 1898-1954)
Gosford Times and Gosford and Wollombi Express (NSW: 1892-1906)
Sydney General Trade List (NSW: 1828-1829)
Sydney General Trade List, and Mercantile Advertiser (NSW: 1829-1830)
Sydney General Trade List (NSW: 1834-1842)
Truth (Sydney, NSW: 1894-1954)
The Manning River Times and Advocate for the Northern Coast Districts of NSW (Taree, NSW: 1898-1954)
The Don Dorrigo Gazette and Guy Fawkes Advocate (NSW: 1910-1954)
The Macleay Chronicle (Kempsey, NSW: 1899-1952)
Guyra Argus (NSW: 1902-1954)
The Uralla Times and District Advocate (NSW: 1915-1923)
The Henty Observer (NSW: 1914-1950)
The Uralla Times (NSW: 1923-1954)
The Tingha Advocate and North-Western Advocate (NSW: 1916-1932)
The Moree Examiner and General Advertiser (NSW: 1899)
The Observer (Henty, NSW: 1950-1954)
Bundarra and Tingha Advocate (NSW: 1900-1906)
The Inverell Argus (NSW: 1899-1904)
North West Champion (Moree, NSW: 1915-1954)
Justice (Narrabri, NSW: 1891)
The Gwydir Examiner and Moree General Advertiser (NSW: 1898-1899)
Glen Innes Examiner (NSW: 1908-1954)
Glen Innes Examiner and General Advertiser (NSW: 1907-1908)


Now if you thought the list above was impressive, just check out the “coming soon” list below, which they say should be done by June 2015. That just looks like fun for everyone!!

These titles have been funded for digitisation by various contributors, each of which are indicated in square brackets after the title name. Those without brackets are by the “National Library of Australia and selected by Australian Newspaper Plan Libraries”.

Canberra Annual (1934, 1935,1940)
Canberra News (1939-1940)

The Armidale Chronicle (1872-1929 with gaps); [State Library of New South Wales]
Armidale Express and New England General Advertiser (1857; 1875-1876; 1878-1880; 1903; 1912-1929); [State Library of New South Wales]
The Armidale Express (NSW) (1929-1954); [State Library of New South Wales]
Australian Communist (1920-1921)
The Biz (Fairfield, NSW) (1955-1972); [Holroyd City Council]
The Blackheath Beacon (14 Nov 1930-27 Mar 1931); [Blue Mountains City Council]
The Blackheath Bulletin (8 Aug 1929; 13 Nov 1930-5 Feb 1931); [Blue Mountains City Council]
The Blue Mountains Advertiser (19 Jan 1940; 1 Mar 1940; 13 July 1941-31 Dec 1947; July 1948-Dec 1954); [Blue Mountains City Council]
Blue Mountains Gazette (9 Jan 1903-30 Dec 1904); [Blue Mountains City Council]
The Blue Mountains Star (5 Jan 1929-7 Feb 1931); [Blue Mountains City Council]
The Blue Mountains Times (16 Oct 1931-16 Feb 1934; 13 Mar 1936 – Nov 1937); [Blue Mountains City Council]
The Catholic Record of the Blue Mountain (Aug 1921-Jul 1923, Feb 1924); [Blue Mountains City Council]
The Chaser (1999-2005) [Chaser Publishing Pty Ltd]
The Chronicle (15 Aug 1929-10 Oct 1929); [Blue Mountains City Council]
Coffs Harbour Advocate (1907-1942, 1946-1954); [State Library of New South Wales]
Communist (1921-1923)
Daily Examiner (1915-1954); [State Library of New South Wales]
Dispatch (Dubbo) (1932-1933) [State Library of New South Wales Digital Excellence Program]
The Enterprise (Sept 1913); [Blue Mountains City Council]
The Hospital Saturday News (19 Apr 1930); [Blue Mountains City Council]
The Independent (14 May 1930-5 Mar 1931); [Blue Mountains City Council]
The Inverell Times (1899-1954); [State Library of New South Wales]
The Irish Citizen (Sydney) (1872)
The Katoomba Daily (1920-1931, 2 Feb 1932-9 May 1939); [Blue Mountains City Council]
Katoomba City News (24 May 1924); [Blue Mountains City Council]
The Katoomba Times (1889-1894); [Blue Mountains City Council]
Manilla Express (1899-1954); [State Library of New South Wales]
The Mountain Daily (26 July 1919, 7 Feb 1920); [Blue Mountains City Council]
The Mountaineer (1894-1908); [Blue Mountains City Council]
Record of the Blue Mountains (1924); [Blue Mountains City Council]
Society (29 Jan 1887)
The Sydney Mail (1932)
Tribune (1939-1954)
Tweed Daily (1914-1949); [State Library of New South Wales]
The Uralla News (1904-1907); [State Library of New South Wales]
The Walcha News (1932-1935); [Walcha Council]
The Walcha News and Southern New England Advocate (1904-1907); [Walcha Council]
The Walcha Witness (1895-1906); [Walcha Council]
The West Wyalong Advocate (1928-1954); [State Library of New South Wales]
Workers’ Weekly (1923-1939)

The Bowen Independent (1911-1954)
The Bundaberg Daily News & Mail (1925-1940)
Daily Record (Rockhampton) (Jan-Dec 1897, Apr-Dec 1898)
Daily Standard (Brisbane) (Dec 1912-Jul 1936)
Darling Downs Gazette and Toowoomba Telegraph (Oct 1894-Jan 1895)
The Evening News (Rockhampton) (1924-1941)
Herbert River Express (Ingham) (various issues from 1910-1954)
North Queensland Register (Townsville) (various issues from 1913-1954)
Pittsworth Sentinel (1919-1954)
The South Coast Bulletin (Southport, Qld) (1940-1949); [Gold Coast City Council]
Truth (Brisbane) (1900-1954)
Townsville Evening Star (various issues from 1889-1940)
Truth (Brisbane) (1900-1954)
Week (Brisbane) (1896-1934 with gaps)

Adelaide Chronicle and South Australian Advertiser (1839-1840)
Adelaide Chronicle and South Australian Literary Record (1840-1842)
Evening Journal (1869-1912)
The Gadfly (Adelaide, SA) (1906-1909)
Journal (1912-1923)
The Kangaroo Island Courier (Kingscote, SA) (1907-1951); [State Library of South Australia]
The Laura Standard (1889-1917); [State Library of South Australia]
Laura Standard and Crystal Brook Courier (1917-1927); [State Library of South Australia]
Laura Standard and Crystal Brook Courier (1927-1948)
The Millicent Times (1891-1905)
Pinnaroo and Border Times (1911-1954)
Pinnaroo and County News (Lameroo, SA) (1908-1922)
Pioneer (1898 – 1954)
Port Adelaide News (1878-1883)
Port Augusta Dispatch (1877-1880, 1884)
The Port Augusta Dispatch and Flinders’ Advertiser (1880-1884)
Port Augusta Dispatch, Newcastle and Flinders Chronicle (1885-1916)
The Port Pirie Standard and Barrier Advertiser (1889-1898)
Saturday Journal (1923-1929)
South Australian Gazette and Mining Journal (1847-1852)
South Eastern Times (1906-1954)
Wyalla News (1940-1954)

Advertiser (Hobart) (1862- 1865)
The Britannia and Trades’ Advocate (1846-1851)
The Colonist (1888-1891)
The Colonist and Van Diemen’s Land Commercial Agricultural Advertiser (1832-1834)
The North West Post (1887-1916)
The Tasmanian (1871-1879; 1881-1895)
The Tasmanian Daily News (1855-1858)
The Tasmanian Tribune (1872-1876)
Tribune (Hobart) (1876-1879)
The True Colonist Van Diemen’s Land Political Despatch, and Agricultural and Commercial Advertiser (1834-1844)
World (Hobart) (1918-1924)

Avoca Mail (1863-1868); [Avoca & District Historical Society]
The Avoca Mail (1869-1900)
Ballarat Star (1870-1913; 1919-1924)
Banner (19 Aug 1853-22 Sep 1854); [State Library of Victoria in collaboration with the Sidney Myer Fund]
Bell’s Life in Victoria and Sporting Chronicle (1857-1868)
The Church of England Messenger (1870-1876)
The Church of England Messenger and Ecclesiastical Gazette for the Diocese of Melbourne and Ballarat (1876-1889)
The Church of England Messenger for the Diocese of Melbourne (1869-1869)
The Church of England Messenger for Victoria and Ecclesiastical Gazette for the Diocese of Melbourne (1889-1905)
Countryman (1924-1929)
Dandenong Journal (1927-1954)
Farmers’ Advocate : Official Organ of the Victorian Farmers Union (1917-1924)
Farmers’ Journal and Gardeners’ Chronicle (11 Jan 1862-23 Sep 1864); [State Library of Victoria in collaboration with the Sidney Myer Fund]
Illustrated Australian Mail (1861-1862)
The Labor Call (1906)
The Leader: a weekly journal of news, politics, agriculture, literature, science and sport (1862-1913)
Maritime Worker (1938-1954)
The Melbourne Advertiser (1838)
The Melbourne Daily News (1848-1851)
The Melbourne Daily News and Port Phillip Patriot (1848)
The Melbourne Leader: a weekly journal of news, politics and literature (1861-1862)
Melbourne Punch (Dec 10 1925)
The Port Phillip Patriot and Morning Advertiser (Melbourne) (1845-1848)
The Port Phillip Patriot and Melbourne Advertiser (1839-1842)
Seamen’s Strike Bulletin (Aug 1919)
The Snow River Mail and Tambo and Croajingalong Gazette (1890-1911)
Sporting Globe (1922-1954)
Table Talk (1885-1939)
The Tocsin (1897-1906)
Victorian Farmers’ Journal and Gardeners’ Chronicle (7 Jul 1860-4 Jan 1862); [State Library of Victoria in collaboration with the Sidney Myer Fund]
Williamstown Trade Circular* (2 June 1855; 19 Jan 1856); [State Library of Victoria in collaboration with Public Libraries Victoria Network]

The All British (1916); [Friends of the Battye Library]
Beverly Times (1905-1977)
Black Range Courier and Sandstone Observer (1907-1915)
Collie Mail (1914-1918); [Friends of the Battye Library]
Eastern Recorder (1914-1918); [Friends of the Battye Library]
Evening Star (1898-1921)
Harvey Chronicle (1915-1916); [Friends of the Battye Library]
Labor Vanguard (1911; 1916); [Friends of the Battye Library]
Laverton Mercury (1899-1919)
Meekatharra Miner (1909-1918)
Moora Herald and Midlands District Advocate (1914-1930)
Nor-West Echo (1914-1918); [Friends of the Battye Library]
Southern Argus and Wagin-Arthur Express (1905-1924)
Southern Cross Times (1900-1940)
Sparks Fortnightly (1916-1919); [Friends of the Battye Library]
Swan Express (1900-1954)
The Truth (1903-1931)

*Both of these issues predate the earliest issue (6 Sept 1856) digitised on Trove. This is significant because the Williamstown Trade Circular, which later became the Williamstown Chronicle, was the first suburban newspaper in Melbourne.


If any individual or organisation, is interested in funding a newspaper for digitisation click here for more details.


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Congress 2015: Some New Faces Wed, 15 Apr 2015 08:37:48 +0000 logo - Congress 2015

It’s been almost three weeks since Congress 2015 in Canberra, and life at work is starting to return to some kind of normality after the chaos we had before, and after it.

But before letting it pass us by, I wanted to tell you about some of the new faces, or should I say, the “new-to-me faces (businesses)” that I met while at Congress.

As I largely hung out in the exhibition hall during Congress, some of the “quiet times” (ie. when the talks were on), was when I went and met some of the other exhibitors. So let me introduce you to some of them …

I will say that most of the little bio’s below are taken from the Congress booklet, as they are so nice and concise. A couple of them I’ve added my own words on the end.

Everyone has a story – we make books that tell your unique story. Compile all your family history, treasured memories and important pictures into a format that’s beautiful, easy to share and will be treasured by generations. At Anthologie we offer story consultation, professional editing and scanning of photos and documents, publishing and lots of helpful advice along the way. Tell your story today.

Endangered Heritage has a fully equipped laboratory to enable the conservation of artwork, artefacts and significant heritage items. We ensure the delivery of preservation services to the National Heritage institutions, private collectors and individuals. Endangered Heritage stocks a wide range of archival and conservation products that individuals can use at home to ensure the safety and life of valuable and sentimental items for the next generation.

Endangered Heritage

Endangered Heritage

Finders Cafe, creators of a new era in history discovery. Imagine a place where people, from around the globe, can discover long lost treasures. A place where out history comes alive with validated stories of the past. Introducing an exciting and innovative way to discover and preserve history. Finders Cafe is a place to upload photos of your treasured items and tag them, which then allows others out there to find them.

Finders Cafe

Finders Cafe

While you will all have heard of Gould Genealogy & History, you may not have heard of Genealogy Ebooks, which is the ebooks division of Gould Genealogy. And as they (meaning us) were an exhibitor at Congress for the first time, they deserve a mention. Listing over 50 Unlock the Past guide books, and 120 Archive Digital Books Australia titles as ebooks, the number of downloads available on their site keeps growing.

Preservation Australia is a specialised business that offers service in the conservation of archival material (documents, letters etc), artwork on paper, maps and plans, books, and photographs. We also run an extensive range of workshops in conservation practices. We offer a full range of archival products.

Preservation Australia

Preservation Australia

ReplayU, where genealogy comes alive. Capturing your story with you speaking directly to generations to come. This company records your hisory in your words. Using a series of pre-designed prompt questions (which you can choose to use if you wish), simply video yourself answering the question/s, then upload it to the ReplayU website.

ReplayU (with Cassie from Inside History Magazine)

ReplayU (with Cassie from Inside History Magazine)

All up there were 30 exhibitors at Congress 2015. So as you can see those listed above are only a few of them. I’m not ignoring the others, simply just highlighting the new ones for this post. If you wish to see all who were at Congress, you can find them listed here.

As you’ll see the links for each are above if you want to check them out further. But it’s nice to see some new faces in the Australian genealogy scene.

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“Dig the Archives” at the Victorian Archives Centre Open Day Tue, 14 Apr 2015 04:04:15 +0000 Dig the Archives PROV

The Victorian Archives Centre which houses both the National Archives of Australia and the Public Record Office Victoria are holding an open day and are opening their doors to you.

For those in Victoria, I suggest you diary date the 2nd of May, and come along to “Dig the Archives”. This not only gives you a tour of their massive collection of almost 100km of archives, but you also get to listen to historians amazing discoveries and start your own family or Victorian research journey.

Guest speakers include journalist and author Gideon Haigh,’s Ben Mercer, author and historian Liz Rushen, and more.

For more information on the talks, workshops, tour times, and to book your spot, head to for more details.

Event: Dig the Archives
When: 2 May 2015, 10.00am to 4.30pm
Where: Victorian Archives Centre, 99 Shiel Street, North Melbourne
Parking: Free public parking off Macaulay Road
Cost: FREE

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How to Download a GEDCOM File from Ancestry Mon, 13 Apr 2015 10:44:33 +0000 Download glossy buttonThere’s no doubt that many people when starting their family history, head to Ancestry. And in doing so, start creating their family tree online.

While many are happy to have their tree there, others seem to want to change and choose to have a physical genealogy program. One they can install on their own computer. One that isn’t necessarily connected to the internet.

This is where several questions arise …

Q1. What will happen to all my data on Ancestry? This stays online (unless you choose to delete it of course), but depending on what privacy settings and subscription you have, as to who (including yourself) can view and access it.

Q2. Do I have to start again from scratch? No. Not at all.

Q3. Then how do I get my data from online to another genealogy program? Putting it simply you need to export your Ancestry file. This will save as a GEDCOM file, which can then be read into any other genealogy program.

Q4. So how do I do this GEDCOM export? Well, read below …

The first thing before even attempting to export your tree, is that the tree has to be “yours”. You have to be the “owner” of the Ancestry tree to even be able to create a GEDCOM file. Others may have invited you to their trees, but as you are not the “owner” of them you can’t create a GEDCOM file from them.

So here’s the steps you need to do to create a GEDCOM …

  1. Firstly move your mouse over “Family Trees” in the “Navigation bar “at the top of the page and select the tree you would like to download, as you may have several.
  2. Click the “Tree Pages” link which is located directly below the navigation bar and to the right of the family tree name. Select “Tree Settings.” Note: You can also make other changes under Tree Settings, such as changing who you’ve shared your tree with and whether it’s a public or private tree. Click here for more information on how to manage your tree.
  3. Click the Green button on the right labeled Export tree.
  4. The tree will be generated as a GEDCOM file.
  5. When the GEDCOM file has finished generating, a green button labeled Download your GEDCOM file will appear. Click on this button to save the file to your computer.

Note: You may need to right click (Control + click on a Mac) on the Download your GEDCOM file button, and select Save target as… from the menu that appears.

Once your tree has been downloaded you can either save it directly to your computer’s hard drive, or make a copy of the file by saving it to an external disc or flash drive.

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The Trans-Tasman Anzac Day Blog Challenge is on Again! Thu, 09 Apr 2015 12:49:37 +0000 anzac poppies AWM 2

Anzac Day, April 25th, is the day that is a national day of remembrance for Australians and New Zealanders who served and died in all wars.

Over the past four years geneabloggers with Australian and Zealand military ancestors have embraced the Auckland Libraries’ Trans-Tasman Anzac Day Blog Challenge. Participants have recorded some amazing stories of those who fought, and often died for threir country, with others writing about their families back home. This is the fifth year that Auckland Libraries and the Kintalk blog have issued this Anzac Blog Challenge.

So do you have a story to share about an Anzac?

The stories that Auckland Libraries would to hear about could be about their service, or the way their sacrifice shaped or impacted on their family history. Or maybe you’d like to blog from the perspective of those that were left behind? Your story doesn’t have to involve a serviceperson who lost their lives – during times of war, families had all sorts of experiences.

Maybe you have written about your Anzac before, and have more research to add to the story?

To participate …
– See if your service person is included in the Our Boys website, and if they are, you can create a free account and add your story OR
– Write a blog post about an serviceman or woman and/or their family, and the impact war had on their family’s story OR
– Post a comment with the URL to your blog in the comments section of Auckland Libraries post here

anzac poppiesIf you don’t have a blog …
No problem, if you write up your story, you can email if to Auckland Libraries at and they will share it for you

Important date …
You need to publish your post by 26 April 2015. After Anzac Day, all submissions will be listed in a summary posting on Auckland Libraries’ Kintalk blog.

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5000 and Still Counting … Wed, 08 Apr 2015 07:35:04 +0000 logo-facebook-genealogy

Did you know that there are now over 5000 genealogy and history related groups or pages on Facebook? Yes, there is … truly! So if you are into genealogy and simply use Facebook just to keep up to date with who’s doing what, and the latest pictures your friends post, you’re using it all wrong!

Facebook really has become a major research tool in genealogy, with societies, archives, regional research groups, surname groups, and people who share local history knowledge are on Facebook.

It has become a haven (or should I say heaven) for genealogists … but the question I keep being asked is “How do I find what’s there” followed by “What’s relevant to me”?

Well here’s how you can find them …

One way to find Facebook groups or pages is to simply type keywords in the search bar up the top (names or places usually with the words “genealogy” or  “family history” as well) and see what comes up, however Katherine Willson has done the hard work for you, as she has been compiling a list of (English speaking) history and genealogy related pages and groups on Facebook.

Adding to this list every month, she has just done her update for April 2015, and this list now comprises of over 5000 entries (5056 to be exact), and has reached 144 pages. With new pages and groups found, and new ones starting up, this list just keeps growing.

Katherine not only does this for her own use, but she kindly offers this list everyone to download and use for free. You can find the link to download this list on her website:

If you know of genealogy or history groups or pages on Facebook that are yet not listed, please let me know, and I can pass them on to Katherine. Or you can write to her directly, her contact details are here.

Related Posts:
Keeping Up with Genealogy Happenings Using Social Media

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Major Update for the Biographical Database of Australia Tue, 07 Apr 2015 11:00:55 +0000 logo - Biographical Database of Australia

In October 2013 I introduced you to the Biographical Database of Australia (aka the BDA). This is a website that “is a new research tool for historians and genealogists comprising transcripts and indexes of many original records and published biographies of deceased individuals who arrived in or were born in Australia, starting from the earliest times.”

Now the big news from the BDA team, its that they have recently added on another 400,000 records to their website, taking the total to 900,000 online. While this is it not large in relation to the big-name-genealogy-data-companies, this website contains quality records, much of which you won’t find on those other sites.

For $30, you can subscribe to the Biographical Database of Australia for a year, and have access to nearly a million records. These include 160,000 NSW Colonial Secretary records 1788-1825, many early colonial Catholic and Protestant parish registers and Christian and Jewish memorial inscriptions for colonial Sydney, military lists, transcribed for the first time, all otherwise only accessible in scrawled manuscripts on microfilm.

This recent addition of twenty new datasets (as listed below) contain new records from all states, has been transcribed by a team of volunteers and BDA staff from manuscript and published sources, including 15,000+ full text mini-biographies published 1879-1905 of middle class professionals, farmers and small businessmen in town and rural communities in all states (nearly 10,000 of them in Victoria) as well as of well-known historical figures.

For this new release thousands of burial records have been linked to census, muster, shipping and convict records. BDA includes the full content of parish register entries, including names of marriage witnesses and many previously unindexed early Catholic and Protestant parish records.

Also included are a further 7,000 colonial biographies from all states contributed by descendants to the Australian Biographical and Genealogical Record (ABGR), all checked and edited, 2000+ brief biographies of Australian and NZ clergy in 1878 and biographical summaries for ,440+ people embarked on the First Fleet in 1787.

New transcripts of original sources include Commissariat ration records (1812-1822) for 1400 people in the Windsor/Hawkesbury district (NSW) listing the military as well as free people and convicts, lists of free passengers arriving and departing NSW 1788-1825, NSW inquests, convict pardons, convict wives, tickets of leave, indents and a remarkable collection of more than 5,000 transcribed epitaphs and licences to bury (Catholic, Protestant and Jewish) for the former Sydney Burial Ground in Devonshire Street, Sydney (1819-1888) as well as details of burials and family members who paid for removal of remains and memorials when the cemetery was dismantled in 1901.

– Convict ticket of Leave Index 1810-1848 (NSW)
– 73rd Regiment Pay Lists & Casualty Rolls 1810-1816 (NSW/TAS/NI)
– Colonial Secretary’s Papers Index 1788-1825 (NSW/TAS/NI)
– First Fleet Appendix 10 (full list of First Fleeters updated by Michael Flynn) (NSW/TAS/NI)
– ABGR Series 1 – Full text biogs + full index 1788-1841 (All states)
– ABGR Series 2 – Full text biogs + full index 1842-1899 (All states)
– ABGR – BDFs Index – 1788-1930s (All states)
– Australian Dictionary of Dates 1542-1879 (Heaton) (All states)
– Clergy List 1878 (Heaton) (All states + NZ, all religions)
– Cyclopedia of Victoria 1903 (Vic)
– Cyclopedia of Tasmania 1900 (Tas)
– Dictionary of Australasian Biography 1892 (Mennell) (All states)
– Victoria and its Metropolis (pub. 1888) (Vic)
– Coroners Inquests NSW 1796-1824 (NSW)
– Convicts’ wives applying to join husbands 1822 (NSW)
– Windsor NSW Ration Book 1812-1818 (Hawkesbury District NSW)
– Convict Pardons 1810-1819 (NSW)
– Convict Indents 1831 & 1833 (1829, 1832 coming soon) (NSW)
– Passengers Arriving & Departing Sydney 1788-1826 (NSW)
– Sydney Burial Ground 1819-1901 (Elizabeth & Devonshire Streets)
– Sydney Burial Ground, Monumental Inscriptions transcribed at Bunnerong in 1969
– Sydney Burial Ground, Licences to Bury issued 1866-1888
– Sydney Burial Ground, Re-interment Register compiled in 1901 (NSW)

If you are looking for a new resource to check (or re-check), be sure to visit


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Inspiring Genealogy Blogs – March 2015 Thu, 02 Apr 2015 02:48:14 +0000 Inspiring Blogs 300Welcome to April … I know, no-one can believe that it is actually APRIL already.

I had a wonderful March reading LOTS of fabulous blog posts, and so we have a super-duper bumper bunch for you this month.

In this March list of Inspiring Genealogy Blog posts we have several that cover the topic of copyright, several on organisation, manners, how to search, what you need to do other than simply digitising your collection, collections at archives, how history is boring to the young generation and how to change that, breaking the stereotype … and a whole heap more!

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.

There’s more than one way to skin a cat …
Jill Ball’s post on the Worldwide Genealogy blog made it into the list, because she writes about how there is “no one right way to do genealogy”. But as part of that, this also applies to the various stages of the research process, and the tools used to facilitate and record your research. Read the full article …

How to Organize Your Genealogical Digital Files
The We Are Cousins blog has been writing a series of posts to do with “Going Digital With Genealogy”, and this one about organisation, is the ninth in this series. Organising digital files is something that I believe almost everyone needs help with. On your computer you end up with text files, PDFs, scans, photos, you own camera photos, as well as those from your smartphone … so how do you find what you need … quickly? Read the full article …

Are Genealogists Wired Differently?
This is a post I discovered through social media, and doesn’t the title grab you? I know many wouldn’t hesitate in saying yes, I mean, afterall we do like searching for the dead. However Melody believes we are, but for a different reason. Read the full article …

Copyright and the Photo Negatives
Judy Russell, the Legal Genealogist get some wonderful questions from her readers, which she answers, and in the process informs others about things they’ve never thought of. Such as this one “Reader Phyllis McLaughlin is a collector of old photographs and is struggling to balance her desire to use the photos she buys with the mandates of copyright law.” Read the full article …

Asking for Help the Right Way
When we are young, we are taught that there is a right way, and a wrong way to ask for something. And the same goes for genealogy as well. With social media and mobile devices, it seems that some have lost their manners. Barb totally nails it with this post. Read the full article …

The Status of Genealogical Searching
Think about this, a race car drive by a race car goes the way it should because he knows how to drive it to its best ability. But a race driven by anyone else, just wouldn’t perform the same. The same goes for genealogy database websites. To get the most out of them, you have to understand how the work! Read the full article ..

Dare I Do It
Recently Jill Ball hosted a Hangout on Air on the topic of ogranisation and how we handle our “filing/piling” system. Pauleen has had a look over her filing (paper files and digital files) and sees what works and what doesn’t, and what works for her. Read the full article …

Every Last Scrap of Information
Once again Judy Russell’s blog makes it into my “inspiring” list. We know about extracting EVERYTHING off of a document (whether we do it is another question, but we know we should). But rather than write about that as you would expect from the title, Judy writes about local histories (or as she calls them “vanity books”). She reminds us not to dismiss these books, because they can contain the most amazing bits of information, as she found with her own research. Read the full article …

Are we Wrong About Preserving Old Photos?
We all know about the importance of scanning old photographs to ‘preserve them for the future’, but is that enough? Marian has some great points as to why scanning alone is not enough. Read the full article …

Protecting Your Donated Collections
Michael from Mocavo writes this post which covers the all-important question “how to ensure your materials are preserved, and protecting your donated collections”. Trust me, it’s well worth a read. Read the full article …

Digital Preservation, or Why I Worry About Evernote
There’s no doubt that there’s a lot of talk about digitizing your collection/s, as well as people talking about how good Evernote is in helping you file and organise everything. Yvette Hoitink writes a fabulous article on the Worldwide Genealogy blog. It’s interesting to hear her suggestions, particularly as she’s worked in archives. Read the full article ….  

The Case of the Missing Bible Collection
Items get donated to archives to make sure they are preserved … right? Linda from the Empty Branches on the Family Tree blog, writes about a collection of family bibles in an archives. Which incles ones relating to her family. But what happens when an archives closes? Where do the items go? Where has this fabulous collection of family bibles gone? Read the full article …

Has Ancestry Dot Com Made Us Lazy As Researchers?
Do you like to follow the shaky leaves, or the search hints? Obviously some do, but not everyone does. They’re like me and enjoy playing detective by yourself. But the way the big-name-companies are going about things, they don’t give users a choice. Christine voices what I have been thinking for some time now. Read the full article …

Genealogy: What’s the Point?
Have you had anyone (family or otherwise) say “Genealogy, what’s the point?” to you. I’m sure most of you have. Kris from the Key to Your Tree blog, nails it with the answer “EVERYTHING”. Read the full article …

Breaking the Stereotype
When most people think of genealogy, they tend to think of an older demographic or those who have ample time on their hands to conduct family history research. Crestleaf recently interviewed D. Joshua Taylor, host of Genealogy Roadshow who is most certainly changing traditional genealogy “stereotype”. Read the full article …

6 Genealogy Sources You May Have Overlooked
Judy Webster gives readers more fabulous tips with a bunch of sources that you may have overlooked. So if your ancestor has vanished, and you think you’ve looked “everywhere’’, these might give you new avenues to look. Read the full article …

Objectify Email to Get a Grip on It
This post is actually nothing to do with genealogy, but rather a good read for those who struggle with their inbox. If you find it a constant struggle to cope with the daily emails, this will give you tips on how to tame the inbox. Read the full article …

What’s Wrong With Genealogy
I’m a fan of The Ancestor Hunt’s posts. Kenneth Marks comes up with such interesting topics, and this is yet another one. It’s an interesting question (or two) that he asks – and answers. I totally agree with him, but you can make up your own mind. Read the full article …

Seven Reasons Historians are Failing to Inspire the Next Generation
Some would say that the interest in history (particularly military history) has never been greater, however well known in military historian, Scott Addington has come up with some very valid points as to why not everyone is getting into history. Read the full article …

Copyright and family history: A Personal Perspective
Mark writes a very thought-provoking article in which he talks about writing an article, and wanting to include a bunch of family items. But then he realized he didn’t know if he could use them, as they could well be under copyright law. He then mentions the Orphan Works Licence which you can apply for (at least those in the UK can anyway). Once again, good stuff to know. Read the full article …

Happy reading 😉

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Highlight: History of South Australia: Foundation to Jubilee Tue, 17 Mar 2015 11:24:34 +0000 AU5027-2 History of South AustraliaTitle: History of South Australia: From its Foundation to the Year of its Jubilee
Author: Edwin Hodder
Media: 1 CD (2 vols, 812 pages)
Year: (1893) 2007
ISBN: 9781920978556
Item Code:
Price: AUD$27.50
Link to website

It was a lifelong wish of George Fife Angas’ (one of the founders of South Australia), that a history be written about his adopted homeland, South Australia. Sadly having died in 1879 he never saw that dream fulfilled, as it wasn’t until 1893 when Edwin Hodder wrote his book “The History of South Australia From its Foundation to the Year of its Jubilee with A Chronological Summary of all the Principal Events of Interest up to Date”. This two volume set containing over 800 pages, is primarily based on the papers of George Fife Angas.

Divided into sixteen chapters, the topics covered by this book include: early explorations; attempts to found a colony; the pioneer settlers; administrations of  Captain Hindmarsh, Colonel Gawler, Captain George Grey, Major Robe, Sir Henry Edward Fox Young, Sir Richard Graves MacDonnell, Sir Dominick Daly, Lieutenant-Colonel Hamley, Sir James Fergusson, Sir Anthony Musgrave, General Sir William F.D. Jervois and Sir William C.F. Robinson.

A special feature of this book is the ‘Chronological Summary of Events’. Events included have been chosen as they appear to ‘mark progressive stages in the development of the colony’. Starting with 28 December 1836 with the arrival of Governor Hindmarsh, and concluding on 7 November 1892 with Sir John Morphett’s death. This section alone is over 220 pages, and covers a whole range of topics, which include many appointments and deaths. It is guaranteed you’ll learn new facts about South Australia after reading this!

A few sample entries are below [but have been condensed for this extract]:

  • Oct 1837, arrival of the first Congregational minister
  • May 1838, first execution, the gallows was a tree on the parklands
  • Sep 1844, arrival of 200 German emigrants
  • Jun 1845, discovery of the Burra Burra mine
  • Jul 1847, £160,000 assigned for immigration purposes from England, at the rate of one per month
  • Jul 1848, four of the five bushrangers who escaped from Van Diemen’s Land apprehended on Kangaroo Island
  • Jan 1850, ‘Register’ issued as a daily newspaper
  • Nov 1855, first electric telegraph operational between the City and the Port
  • Feb 1861, £500 collected and sent to the sufferers in the great Indian famine
  • Dec 1871, thermometer 180F in the shade and 153F in the sun
  • Jan 1871, great damage done to the southern portion of the overland telegraph from extraordinarily high floods

The three images below are pages from the chronology, right click on each for a larger view.

sample page 147
sample page 147
sample page 187
sample page 187
sample page 193

sample page 193






For anyone who wants to know the history of South Australia, together with details of the people who made it happen, as well as oodles of anecdotal history – this is one to add to your collection.

This set of books has been digitised by Archive Digital Books Australasia, and is now available on CD-ROM.

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21 Things To Do On “Genealogy Day” 2015 Fri, 13 Mar 2015 02:15:04 +0000 genealogy-day

Did you know that there was such a thing as an official “Genealogy Day“? No? Well I did introduce it to our readers last year after I happened to come across it. But to be honest I’d forgotten about it. But I was looking over my old blog posts today, and noticed it.

Anyway, talk about amazing timing … Genealogy Day is held on the second Saturday of March, which is tomorrow, 14th March 2015!

Don’t believe me? Well, here you go …

Established in 1997 as part of Celebrate Your Name Week, Genealogy Day was created to inspire an interest on one’s family history.

Activities you could partake in for Genealogy Day range from a simple family tree, which is a great activity for children, to starting your own research for a larger project. A great starting point for genealogy is interviewing family and family friends, and making notes, then going from there. You’ll be amazed how quickly things can start to fall into place. If you want to try an activity with children, draw a tree and have them write the names of their family onto the braches and leaves, along with pictures.

It is no secret that genealogy or family history, is one of the fastest growing hobbies around. Everyone knows someone who’s doing it, if they aren’t themselves. It has finally become an accepted hobby, so it is nice to see it recognised with a Genealogy Day.

But what should one do on Genealogy Day? Last year I gave you 13 suggestions which were good ones. I have now added to this list taking the list to 21 suggestions.

1. Enter more names into your family tree. Do you have lots that you’ve found, but just have got around to entering into your genealogy program? Ok, well maybe that’s just me then.

2. If searching is more your thing, why not instead of heading to the usual sites you visit try a different one. MyHeritage and The Genealogist are two that have very different records to the others.

3. If it’s a nice day, take a trip to a cemetery (or two or three), and do the grave walk.

4. Visit a relative, and ask them a few questions about their past, and be sure to take notes, or record it  by audio or video.

5. Start (or continue) scanning your photos and documents. The pile will eventually go down, I promise.

6. Filing. I know it’s not a fun job, but it’s even less fun when you can’t find that record that you know you have … somewhere. So spend an hour and do a little filing. You’ll be thankful for it later.

7. Create a timeline of one of your ancestors, and see where you have gaps. It’s quite fascinating to see.

8. Find a comfy chair and read a genealogy magazine or two – or a genealogy book.

9. Watch a Google Hangout on Air, or listen to a Podcast.

10. Visit your local genealogy or historical society.

11. Explore the FamilySearch site beyond just the searching (check out the Wiki, the Photos, the Indexing, the Famiily Tree as so on).

12. Help someone with a query – RAOGK.

13. Do some transcribing. You might head to the Trove newspapers for that, or the NAA Soda site, FamilySearch Indexing or a number of others.

14. Start a genealogy blog.

15. If crafting is more your thing, create a heritage scrapbook page or two, showcasing your family history.

16. Create a catalogue of all books, CDs, programs, maps, microfiche etc. that you have that are genealogy-related.

17. Start (or continue) writing your own life history. Remember that is just as important as the long-ago past.

18. Sadly your photo collection hasn’t sorted itself, so why not get a start on it.

19. While we’re on the topic of photos, why not create show off your ancestors with a “photo wall”

20. If you are into social media, check out all the genealogy-related Facebook groups/pages there are now (4500 at last count). And if you are a tweeter, type #genealogy in the search box, and see what you come up with. It’s a great way to find new people to follow.

21. Go ahead and order that DNA kit that you’ve been wondering about for a while.

That’s just a few suggestions, and there’s literally hundred more that I could write, and I’m sure each of you will find your own way to celebrate. So Happy Genealogy Day for tomorrow. 😉

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iFamily for Mac Fri, 13 Mar 2015 00:41:33 +0000  

logo - iFamily for Mac

Its no secret that the number of people swapping from PC to Mac is on the rise, and a number of those people are also into genealogy. iFamily for Mac is one of the growing number of programs that are available for genealogy Mac users.

iFamily for Mac is not a new program. In fact it is simply a renamed one, having periously been known as iFamily for Tiger and iFamily for Leopard. Obviously with the release of new operating systems, it made sense to change to name to a much better, and much more appropriate name, considering it now works with OSX systems beyond Leopard.

A portion of the description we have for iFamily for Mac says the following …

iFamily for Mac is a genealogy program for people who think differently. Whereas other genealogy software tends to emphasize the family unit, this software’s focus is on each individual person. This distinction is subtle and is a feature of iFamily for Mac. In iFamily you can see at a glance whether an individual has more than 2 parents or more than 1 spouse.

To visually give you an idea of what this program can do, have a look at this short video …

If you feel that you’d like to have a go at it youself, there is a free version that you can down download and try. The demo version of iFamily for Leopard lasts for 10 days and the only function that is unavailable is the export to Gedcom. The free version even lets you import a Gedcom file containing more than 100,000 people! Just head to to get started.

Visit the iFamily for Mac website

To place an order, click here

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The “Going In-Depth” Magazine Turns Two Mon, 09 Mar 2015 10:35:43 +0000 Going In-Depth Magazine collection 530

Recently the team behind The In-Depth Genealogist (Terri, Jen and Shannon) had reason to celebrate, and not just because they were at RootsTech, but rather their online genealogy mag “Going In-Depth” has just had its second birthday.

If you’re not familiar with Going-In Depth, do yourself a favour and check it out, it is a wonderful genealogy magazine.

With noted authors from the US, Europe, the UK, and Australia the articles are varied and are good quality. It’s easy to see why their readership keeps growing worldwide.

It is issued monthly, this is a subscription mag. But so you know the type of magazine it is before parting with your hard-earned money, you can check out the first two issues online for free.
– February 2013 Issue (73 pages) – click here
– March 2013 Issue (70 pages) – click here

You can go to the shop section of their website, and download single issues, or you can subscribe for the iincredibly reasonable cost of US$35.00/year. Seriously that’s just over $2.00/issue! You can’t beat that for value.

I had the pleasure of meeting these ladies in person at RootsTech last month, and because I find it is always nice to put faces to names, I thought I would share Jill Ball’s (aka GeniAus) recent interview at RootsTech 2015 with The In-Depth Genealogist girls …

For more details on subscription, click here

logo - In-Depth GenealogistThese girls are totally up with social media, so you’ll always know what’s going on at IDG if you subscribe to their blog, and/or follow them on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest and YouTube.

And before I finish please let me say a BIG, BIG congratulations to the girls, and everyone involved with the magazine, on a successful two years. Putting together a magazine is no easy feat. And to do it every month, with quality content … you are to be applauded. We wish you MANY more issues to come.

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BillionGraves has March Madness Fri, 06 Mar 2015 02:30:05 +0000 With the seasons changing to from Winter to Spring in the northern hemisphere, and Summer to Autumn in the south – it’s a good time to get out and visit some cemeteries. (That is of course unless you’re in the parts of the US that are still snowed in). And BillionGraves gives you even more reasons to.

(click for a larger image)

(click for a larger image)

Throughout March they are holding their March Madness promotion. You can participate in two ways.

If you like checking out cemeteries, and a ‘drive’ for you, usually results in you ending up at a cemetery, be sure to take your phone or camera, and take photos of the headstones while you’re there, and then upload them to BillionGraves.

Alternatively you can participate from home but transcribing the photos that people have uploaded.

Top Prize: $50 Amazon Gift Card
Top Two: Portable Device Charger (a $25 value)*
Top Four: BillionGraves T-Shirt (a $15 value)*
Top Eight: BillionGraves Original Collectors Pin
Top 100: BillionGraves 1 Month BG+ Subscription**

Every photograph you take and upload, and every entry you transcribe all counts towards putting you in the prize draw. The more you do, the higher up on the bracket you’ll be! You won’t want to miss out on these awesome prizes!

Be sure to check the BillionGraves blog or BillionGraves March Madness page regularly to see where you are on the leaderboard.

*For international winners, due to shipping restraints by shipping providers, a gift card worth the same USD monetary value to the prize you have won will be sent to your BillionGraves registered email within 4-6 weeks of the close the competition.

**The 1 Month BG+ Subscription is in addition to those volunteers who upload more than 2500 photos and/or transcribe more than 500 records.


Just remember that every photograph you take, every entry transcribed is one that someone will be looking for. And someone on the other side of the world may well be photographing your great great grandma’s grave, which you’ve never seen, and was never likely to – but thanks to the BIllionGraves users you can now see it. So every little bit helps.

So take advantage of the change in the weather, visit a cemetery or two, and put yourself in the draw for some fabulous prizes!

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Findmypast – Free This Weekend (6-9 March) Wed, 04 Mar 2015 11:10:09 +0000 FMP free weekend 2015


This coming weekend is a long weekend for a some Australian states (ACT, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria), and Findmypast are giving all of us FREE ACCESS all weekend (Friday to Monday) for ALL their historical records. All TWO BILLION of them!!

The press release states the following …

“Findmypast has announced that this weekend, they will be opening up their archives and giving unlimited free access to billions of records and newspaper pages from all over the world. That means that between midday on Friday, March 6th and midday on Monday, March 9th (GMT), absolutely everyone will have access to their comprehensive collections of historical records and innovative research tools, including:

  • Over 900 million census records from across the UK, USA and Ireland
  • Passenger lists for ships sailing to and from Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and the USA
  • Birth, marriage and death records dating back to the 18th century, and the largest online collection of UK parish records
  • The most comprehensive collection of UK military records anywhere online
  • The largest collection of Irish family history records available online
  • Historical newspapers from across the world, including more than 10 million British newspaper pages from as long ago as 1710
  • An easy to use online family tree builder which allows you to import and export your tree if you’ve built it elsewhere
  • Our automatic Hints feature, which automatically searches our records for you and suggests potential matches to the people you add to your family tree

As well as millions of other records that will give everyone the opportunity to explore their family history and bring their past to life.”

It’s not only new users who will be able to take their family history research further this weekend. Those with current Findmypast subscriptions (with an active Britain, Ireland, US & Canada or Australia & New Zealand subscription) will be able to access Findmypast’s historical World records during the free access weekend, and those with active World subscriptions will have an additional three days added on to their subscription.

Free access lasts from 12:00pm midday (GMT) on Friday 6th March 2015 until 11:59am (GMT) on Monday 9th March 2015. To access the records you will need to be signed in at Findmypast: you can register for free using your name, email address and country of residence.

Find out more at Findmypast’s dedicated Free Weekend page.


logo - FMP new

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