Sunday, 26 July 2015

So That's Why There Are 5 Johanns in One of my Families!

I've been catching up on my unread blogs on Feedly & came across an interesting article on German naming traditions.  The post was written by Diane Haddad for Ancestry Insider, Family Tree Magazine's blog.  This article explained why German families gave their children the same first names.

I know that some of my German ancestors named all of their sons Johann.  In one family there is a Johann Friedrich Erdmann, Johann Gottlob, Johann Carl Heinrich and Johann Carl Friedrich.  The feminine version, Johanne, was also very popular amongst my ancestors. In another family group there is Johanne Caroline, Johanne Salome & Johanne Auguste.  This is further confused by the fact that their brother is called Johann Christian, their mother Johanne Christiane & their father Johann Gottlieb!

Apparently German children were given two names.  Boys were commonly baptised as Johannes or Johann.  It is the second name, the Rufname, that they were known by.  So in my second family group example from above, the members of the family would be known as: Christiane (mum), Gottlieb (dad), Caroline, Salome & Auguste (sisters) & Christian (brother).  I wonder how that works with the other siblings though, as there are still some conflicts in this family group.  The other siblings are Caroline Christiane, Eleanore Ernestine, Marie Elisabeth, Ernest Gottlieb, Gottlieb Traugott, & Ernst Wilhelm - still results in more than one Christiane & Gottlieb.  I had just assumed that they were known by both names.  This naming tradition may help to explain why, generations later, family members where still known by their middle names, which I had thought was just a family 'quirk'.

Another tradition in German-speaking areas was to name children for one of their baptismal sponsors. The most common patterns used is similar to Scottish naming traditions.  Sons were named in the following order / pattern:

  • First born, named after paternal grandfather
  • Second born, named after maternal grandfather
  • Third born, named after father of the child
  • Fourth (& any further born), named after uncles of the child.
The same patterns applied to daughters - first born named after paternal grandmother, second born named after maternal grandmother, third born named after mother, fourth & successive named after aunts.  I will have to have a closer look at my ancestors to see if they followed this tradition, & then I might be able to have a guess at unknown parents & siblings!

Saturday, 11 July 2015

Some Webpages I've Found Useful for Reading the Irish Catholic Parish Registers

Two websites that I have found helpful so far in reading the registers are:

Irish Genealogy Tool Kit Website, Latin in Irish Catholic Parish Registers
This page has terms you are likely to come across when reading the birth, marriage & death registers. Begin tracing your Irish ancestry, Latin names in English
This website has a list of Irish names written in Latin, to help you decipher the names you will come across.  Beneath this list there is also an explanation of the rules of Latin, e.g. :James son of James should read: Jacobus filius Jacobi"; male names that end in o add 'nis, Hugonis.

In saying this though, I couldn't actually find a death entry for my parish, so I don't know how helpful those tips are yet.

Also, Irish Catholic Church Registers: Bog Latin & Other Demons by James R Reilly at had a Sampler of Latin terms, given names & abbreviations found in Sacramental Registers was helpful.

Thursday, 9 July 2015

National Library of Ireland's Roman Catholic Registers

Well, the Roman Catholic registers haven't been online for long but I've already made my first discovery!  Granted, I knew the parish, & the townland, & it was only a few pages into the microfilm, but I've managed to translate most of the entries.  Some of the other siblings will be just as easy to find, but some of the siblings were born before this register started in 1849.  Finding other Irish relatives won't be anywhere as easy because at best I have a county, & one I just have 'Ireland'.

Here is my first discovery:

5 Dec 1850 - Bap Hannam f Michaelis Curran + Anna Mulheron de Derryreel
Translated 5 Dec 1850 Baptism of Hannah, daughter of Michael Curran & Anna Mulheron of Derryreel.

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Postcards from Egypt, WW1

This is one of the postcards that I referred to in my earlier post.  An unknown soldier sent several of these to my great grandmother while he was in Egypt.

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

#AFFHO Congress 2015 - Part 5

Day Four of AFFHO Congress 2015
I forgot to mention Day 3’s lunchtime keynote address by Grace Karskens, Men, Women, Sex and Desire: Family History on Australia’s First Frontier.  In this talk, Grace presented some of the findings of her research on relationships, marriage & families in the early community of Castlereagh, on the Nepean River in NSW.  Wow!  The relationships & events that Grace shared reminded me of the plotlines on The Bold & the Beautiful – talk about complicated & scandalous!  It’s absolutely incredible that the details of some of the lives of the early settlers can be reconstructed to give us such an insight.

I began the final day of the conference by listening to Paul Milner’s talk, Digging for Gold - Locating British Miners and their Records.  I have some Cornish miners who migrated to South Australia & continued mining.  I learnt from Paul that Cornwall mines were hard rock mines – tin & copper (fingers crossed that I’ve remembered that right).  The conditions in hard rock & coal mines were quite different – the size of the mine that was being worked in, the dangers involved, etc.  Paul discussed the history of mining in Britain, the conditions that miners (soft rock & hard rock) miners worked in, the records that were created & where to locate them.  He pointed us towards a range of online & printed resources to learn more about mining & the definitions of technical & colloquial terms that we might come across.  My favourite quote from this session was: if there’s a hole in the ground, you’ll find a Cornish miner at the bottom of it.

Next up was A General and Indiscriminate Stigma - the Irish Famine Orphans, 1848–1850, presented by Cheryl Mongan.  The Irish Famine Orphans were young girls  (generally between the ages of 14 – 19) from the workhouses of Ireland who came to Australia as part of the Earl Grey scheme.  The Earl Grey scheme bought over 4000 young Irish females, who had been left orphaned by the Great Famine of Ireland, to Australia to work as indentured domestic servants.  Most were orphans in the true sense, but others were termed ‘orphans’ if their parent/s were alive but unable to look after them.  These girls were often met with criticism & prejudice; they were considered disobedient, untrained & unsuited for domestic service.  Cheryl spoke about the experiences of the Irish Famine Orphans and how many of them overcame the prejudice & hardships to establish successful families of their own.  Some of the descendants of these girls come together for the annual commemorative service at the Great Famine Memorial at Hyde Park Barracks in Sydney or Famine Rock at Williamstown in Victoria.  Irish researchers have been working to unite families with their distant Australian relatives – which reminds me, the last time I checked the Irish Famine Orphan Database, there was a contact name from Ireland Reaching Out listed with my ancestor that I need to email.

The final presentation I attended at the conference was by Michelle Nichols, Discovering the Hidden Riches in Public Libraries: Fostering Family History in Local Studies Collections.  I got two things from this session – that Hawkesbury Library serves as a model for other local libraries to provide access to & promote their local collections; & that I need to visit Hawkesbury library because my great grandmother’s family lived in the area, at & around St Albans, from about the 1830s to the 1980s.

The local library’s holdings can support family history & local community research.  Resources can include local government records, historical photos & maps of the area, & local & family histories – resources relating to that specific community & the families who lived there.  I have used Blacktown’s local history collection, at least what I have seen on the shelf, but perhaps there are many other records at the library that I’m not aware of.  I know that I haven’t seen any church & cemetery records, or historical maps & photos.  Local libraries should be promoting their local history collections, even if it’s just by a webpage that outlines the materials that are available & how to access them.  Being able to access some of these records online would also be a bonus.

I was pleasantly surprised to hear Michelle mention some of the family history resources that her library has, particularly the Jurd family history book, To Live on in the Hearts & Minds of Descendants is to Never Die by Peter Newman.  This book is about my 5th great grandfather, Daniel Jurd, who married Elizabeth Douglas, & their descendants.  I have that book & I can attest to just how large, & heavy, the book is!  I was also intrigued when Michelle showed an image of something that was written from a soldier, or to a soldier, in WW1 to an Olive who lived in the area – I could swear that was my great grandmother, but I didn’t know anything about her knowing a soldier in WW1.  I wish I had taken a quick picture of it because last week I got a pile of photos from Olive’s daughter, my grandmother, & inside was an envelope with postcards from an unnamed soldier in WW1 to my great grandmother.

I have been making a list of books that I wanted to look at since last year – these books could help me break my biggest brick wall – Helena Lindner - & the closest place to access them was at the National Library in Canberra.  I had limited time in Canberra, having to be back in Sydney & up bright & early to go back to work on Tuesday, so I decided to leave the conference a bit early so that I could go to the National Library.  This unfortunately meant that I had to miss the afternoon session I had planned to attend, Cora Num’s lunchtime keynote address on using online newspapers, & also the panel discussion L  However, I got to read through the information in the relevant books so I have a possible new lead.

I absolutely loved being at the conference – getting the opportunity to listen to speakers in person, the information that was presented – basically being immersed in genealogical learning for 4 days straight!  It was also great to be able to meet other geneabloggers, some of who I know, or know of, from the online community.  Jill Ball, you were especially welcoming & introduced me to quite a few other people J.  I bought a few resources & I have many new research areas to follow up.  The only downside was how incredibly exhausted I was after each day, & not feeling well enough to catch up with fellow HSP105 UTAS students at the dinner on Sunday night L.

I know that I will definitely be attending Congress in Sydney in 2018!  

Sunday, 12 April 2015

#AFFHO Congress 2015 - Part 4

Day Three of AFFHO Congress 2015
Sunday began with Kerry Farmer’s talk, Migration Schemes to Australia.  Migration schemes were schemes where financial incentives, often subsidised passage, were offered to encourage migrants from the British Isles to come to Australia, instead of the US & Canada which were cheaper alternatives.  Different migration schemes were in place at different times during the 19th & 20th centuries.  Different schemes had different selection criteria to attract desirable immigrants - those with certain skills, in particular age groups or in required occupations.  The number & type of immigrant could be controlled as needed by varying the assistance or incentive & the selection criteria.  Kerry outlined some of the different migration schemes that have been in place, both before & after federation – who the immigrants were, why they were desirable at the time, what incentives were offered, how the scheme was financed, and where to find further information.

A Different Kind of DNA Talk, presented by Colleen Fitzpatrick, presented some information that I was already familiar with, however Colleen used some analogies that really strengthened my understandings of DNA.  The analogy she made between our DNA & manuscripts that were hand-copied was probably the strongest – the more a manuscript was copied, the more likely there was to be a mistake, just like when DNA is copied from parent to child.  She also introduced me to cladograms, which are visual representations of Y-DNA results that show how individuals are related.

Perry McIntyre’s second presentation was ‘The infernal villain will be sent away’: Convict Case Studies from the National Archives of Ireland, Dublin.  Perry told us about the Chief Secretary’s Office Registered Papers in the National Archives of Ireland, which are the equivalent of Australia’s Colonial Secretary’s Correspondence.  This resource is currently being digitised but most of the documents have been transcribed, meaning they are searchable by keywords & names.  To illustrate how CSORP can help us in our research, Perry presented some case studies of people that came to the attention of the authorities for their criminal activities.

After lunch I attended Pauleen Cass’ talk, Harness the Power of Blogging for Your Research or Your One Place Study.  To illustrate how blogging gives genealogists unique opportunities to bring descendants from a particular group of emigrants together, Pauleen presented two case studies from her own research that focused on migration networks: one from Ireland & one from Germany.

The final talk for the day was Bring Your Ancestors to Life: Using Court of Petty Session Records, presented by Shauna Hicks.  Shauna uses the term ‘petty sessions’ as an umbrella term for a wide range of court administered records.  These records were usually for minor criminal offences but the Court could also sit as Small Debts Courts, Police Courts, Licensing Courts, Children’s Courts & Coroners Courts.  Different colonies / states used named their Courts differently & also had variations in the Court’s responsibilities over time.  Shauna used Queenland’s State Archives to show the wide range of a court’s responsibilities & what types of records can be found.  Most State Archives have an online guide to the court records they hold.