Friday, 19 December 2014

Friday Funny - Family Search: A Gateway Drug to Genealogy?

Found on Family History board by Ginea Merrill on Pinterest

Happy Friday :)

Friday Funny - Genealogy

Found on Genealogist Journal blog - Friday Funny - ADGD

At times, this is true!

Sunday, 14 December 2014

Sunday, 7 December 2014

Surname Studies - Australian Style

I am beginning a Surname Study.  This idea has been prompted by a few things: the new Surname Society, an intense few days researching one-name studies and wanting to reconstruct family groups within Australia.  

I considered a one-name study through The Guild of One-Name Studies (GOONS) earlier this year but I found the scope of the aims very overwhelming, particularly in regards to it's size, the commitment I would need to give and the amount of my time it would consume in order to do the job properly. The Guild describes a one-name, or surname, study as:

one-name (or surname) study is a project researching all occurrences of a surname, as opposed to a particular pedigree (ancestors of one person) or descendancy (descendants of one person or couple). Some ‘one-namers’ restrict their research geographically, perhaps to one country, but true one-namers collect all occurrences worldwide.
In contrast, The Surname Society allows more flexibility in the surname research carried out by its members:

Surname researchers collect data relating to all name bearers, either on a global or restricted basis. Study methods are not mandated by the Society and members are encouraged to develop their own approach to the investigation of their surname to advance their knowledge and expertise in areas such as etymology, DNA, name collection and family reconstruction.
At this moment I am interested in researching my surname throughout Australia's history, beginning with NSW.  I have begun by collecting births, deaths & marriage details from the NSW BDM Indexes from 1788.  I plan to research the surname in Australian censuses & electoral rolls and I'm brainstorming some other sources, such as convict records & immigration records.

So far everything I've viewed is very UK slanted, even the American / Canadian, probably because these researchers are trying to trace their chosen surname back as far as they can go.  I want to limit mine to Australia, and perhaps later to Ireland / UK.  Does anyone have some hints / tips / guidance for Australian resources for surname studies?

Is anyone else in the Australian genealogical community doing or thinking of doing a (limited) surname study, either with The Surname Society or on their own?  I know that there are resources & help available to members of both the Surname Society and the Guild Of One-Name Studies, but maybe we need to form a network for people who are doing (or interested in doing) a study limited to Australia?

What do you think?

Sunday, 9 November 2014

A Way Overdue Blog Binge is Ahead!

I have had a few busy weeks, somewhat stressful and sad nursing my beloved dog who was sick,and then then dealing with the pain and grief and heartbreak.of having her euthanased on Halloween. After dealing with that I needed to turn to my school reports. I have just finished writing my reports which means that I can look forward to a blog binge tomorrow.

At this exact point in time I have approximately 477 unread blogs. So, tomorrow I'll be reading 477 blogs or (maybe deleting the blogs that don't interest me) in order to get it my Feedly under some sort of control again.

I also signed up for Congress & can't wait to meet the other genies and learn from their presentations.

More about this at a later date. Perhaps it should be the topic of the next GeniAus Hangout on Air. 

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Tasmanian Name Index

I have spent a lot of this weekend exploring the Tasmanian Archives & Heritage Office’s (TAHO – LINC Tasmania) new Tasmanian Name Index.  It has been a hot topic on the AUS-Tasmania Rootsweb mailing list during the last week.

I have a few Tasmanian ancestors &, as I live in Sydney, I haven't been able to do much research on them yet.  So having access to digital records is fantastic.  A month ago I contacted the AUS-Tasmania Rootsweb mailing list with a request for a lookup of the children of Margaret Sweeney.  The information I got back allowed me to identify 3 children from her 2nd marriage & 2 children from her 3rd marriage.  It also provided me with the registration number & year so that I could order copies of the children's birth certificates, however as Tasmanian certificates cost about $45 I haven't ordered copies of these (collateral line) certificates yet.

Using the Tasmanian Name Index, I was able to find Margaret Sweeney's children from her 1st marriage.  If found not only their births, but 2 of her daughters, Icey & Ruby, died when they were young.  I found Icey's death register entry, a report on the inquest into her death (cause of death - phosphorus poisoning) which was published in the Tasmanian Police Gazette on 10 December 1897, plus the official inquest findings.  Ruby's death register entry was also available.

Thanks to the Tasmanian Name Index, I now have images of birth & death register entries (plus an inquest) on my computer & it didn't cost me a thing.  It would have cost about $180 to order a copy of the certificates.

I haven't been able to locate any of Margaret's children (to her 2nd & 3rd marriage), who were born after 1900, on the Index yet, probably because births include 'some baptisms collected by the Registrar General (1900-1933 baptisms only)'.  So for births after 1900, there are only some which were collected by the Registrar General.

Some Examples:

To demonstrate what you can expect from the records on the Index, I've included some images relevant to my own research.  

Here's the birth entry for Icey Fowler (courtesy of TAHO LINC Tasmania - Tasmanian Names Index):
Birth register entry for Icey Fowler

For the sake of comparison, I have scanned the certified copy of Margaret Sweeney's birth & 1st marriage records that I purchased & the birth & marriage register entries I obtained from the Tasmanian Name Index below.

Here's the birth register entry for Margaret (courtesy of TAHO LINC Tasmania - Tasmanian Names Index):

Birth register entry for Margaret Sweeney

and the certified copy of Margaret's birth:

The only difference between the two is in the spelling of the Sweeney surname.

The following image is the marriage register entry for Margaret and her first husband Alexander Fowler (courtesy of TAHO LINC Tasmania - Tasmanian Names Index):.   

and here's the certified copy of Margaret's first marriage: 

Again, the only real difference is in the spelling of the Sweeney surname, although there is a different date under 'when registered' on the register entry.

When you find a record in the Tasmanian Names Index, you have a few options to view & / or copy the image.  You can view the image online & then download it, print it, have it emailed to you or use a permalink to send someone the image/s.  If you are a LINC Tasmania member you can also create a list for specific ancestor and add relevant records to the list (guests can also create temporary list. but the list will be lost when you finish your session). 
LINC Tasmania has a video that explains how to use the Tasmanian Name Index.  It is available on the LINC Tasmania website & on Youtube via their LINC Tasmania channel. This explanation includes search strategies such as how to include or exclude search terms such as dates, places & record types.

In conclusion, although there are some limitations to what is available, there are a lot of free resources which you can immediately download & save to your computer or print a copy out.  Free & instant - what's not to love!

Sunday, 12 October 2014

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun (SNGF) - What Date Was Your Grandfather Born?

This week Randy Seaver from Genea-Musings has posted the following SNGF challenge - What Date Was Your Grandfather Born?:

Your mission this week, should you decide to accept it, is to:
1)  What day of the week was your Grandfather born (either one)? Tell us how you found out.
2) What has happened in recorded history on your Grandfather's birth date (day and month)? Tell us how you found out, and list five events.
3)  What famous people have been born on your Grandfather's birth date?  Tell us how you found out, and list five of them.
4)  Put your responses in your own blog post, in a comment on this blog post, or in a status or comment on Facebook.
I couldn't decide which of my grandfathers to choose, so I've chosen both.

Harold John Barnes – 20 October

John was born on a Friday according to

Important events that occurred in history on 20 October include:

1911 –   Amundsen sets out on race to South Pole
1963 –   South Africa begins trail of Nelson Mandela & 8 others on conspiracy
1973 –   USA Watergate: The Saturday Night Massacre
1973 –   Sydney Opera House was officially opened by Queen Elizabeth II
1979 –   The number 1 hit on UK music charts was the Buggles – Video Killed the Radio Star

I found these events on 2 websites: &

Some famous people born on 20 October are:

Snoop Dogg – Rapper
Bela Lugosi – Movie Actor
Mickey Mantle – Baseball Player
John Krasinski – TV actor (The Office)
Michelle Bridges – Fitness trainer guru (The Biggest Loser Australia)
Tom Petty – Singer

I found these birthdays on

John Raymond Curran – 6 July

John was born on a Sunday according to

Important events that occurred in history on 6 July include:

1863 –   Australia - Northern Territory passes from New South Wales to South Australia
1885 –   The first inoculation of a human being for rabies.  Louis Pasteur inoculated a boy, Joseph Meister, who was bitten by a rabid dog.
1905 –   Alfred Deacon becomes Prime Minister of Australia for the 2nd time
1928 –   The 1st all-talking motion picture was shown in New York
1939 –   Holocaust – the last remaining Jewish enterprises in Germany are closed
1942 –   Anne Frank and her family went into hiding in the ""Secret Annexe"" above her father's office in an Amsterdam warehouse to escape being sent to Nazi concentration camps
1955 –   USA – Air Pollution Control Act  was implemented for research into causal analysis & control of car-emission pollution after the killer fog in London left 4 000 dead & created worldwide concern over the effects of emissions pollution

I found these events on 2 websites: &

Some famous people born on 6 July are:

Dalai Lama – Religious Leader
Sylvester Stallone - Actor
Kevin Hart – Actor / Comedian
50 Cent – Rapper
Frida Kahlo – Mexican artist
Geoffrey Rush – Australian actor
Peter Singer – Australian philosopher

I found these birthdays on