10 February 2014

No.27 (exciting improvements online)

The introduction of a one month subscription is the first of several exciting changes at FindMyPast.

The cost of a World subscription has already been reduced, and we can also look forward to the addition of new records every month; a new family tree builder; a new way to search; and a forum where you can vote for features and give feedback to improve the site.

I am a big fan of FindMyPast for genealogy research. For records that are on both FindMyPast and other sites, FindMyPast's indexes and transcriptions are usually (in my experience) more accurate. This is particularly obvious with British census records.

Although a 12-month subscription is the best value, you may want to start with the new one month subscription. This is now available for each of FindMyPast's regional collections (Australia/NZ, UK, Ireland, USA) and also for the World collection.

If you have no Australian research but need access to United Kingdom records, get your one month or twelve month subscription via findmypast.co.uk.

Searches on FindMyPast are free. You only need pay-as-you-go credits or a subscription if you want to see transcriptions or images of original records. There is a 10% loyalty discount for renewing a 12-month subscription.

Follow the links below to see (for each region) a full list of categories and all the record sets currently available within them, with descriptions of what each record set contains and what detailed information you can expect to find... and watch for more to be added each month.


I have been using FindMyPast's census records and parish registers for many years. Recently other data sets (including passenger lists, Police Gazettes, Royal Household records and East India Company and civil service pensions) have provided some exciting discoveries. For example, I was surprised to find that two of my British families went overseas (one to South Africa, the other to Canada) for a short time - because they were back in the UK before the next census!

If you only get time to do research during your holidays, try the one month subscription. That link takes you to the Australian site - but as I said, if you need access to United Kingdom records and have no Australian research, sign up via findmypast.co.uk.

Postscript, 14 Feb 2014:  One of my clients signed up for the new one-month subscription and had huge success on day 1. She said (I quote), 'It has already paid for itself ten times over. I had no idea so many new records had been added since I looked a year ago! I found brilliant problem-solving stuff in Passengers leaving the UK, Convict records, and deserters and missing friends notices in Police Gazettes. Also lots of clues to follow up in electoral rolls, expats in New Guinea, wills, monumental inscriptions etc.'
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20 October 2013

No.26 (genealogy worldwide)

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Image of clickable bar saying Receive email when this page changes
This ChangeDetection option is on many pages of my Web site

6 October 2013

No.25 (genealogy worldwide)

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  • My Web site has moved!  To help you find Queensland, interstate and overseas folk, the site now has 135 pages with free advice and 53,000 names from my indexes to records in archives. The emphasis is on unusual sources that are superb for finding people who 'vanished'. The site is now easier to use, with a different font, a new 'main menu' bar, breadcrumb navigation links, etc. Before using the customised search box to search my entire site, read 'Site Navigation Tips'. Please update your bookmarks and ChangeDetection settings, and notify your family history group that the site is now at www.judywebster.com.au.

  • BDMs for VIC & ACT:  FindMyPast recently added birth, death and marriage records for Victoria and the ACT. Other States' records will follow soon.

  • 1911 census (England/Wales):  Although I think FindMyPast's census indexes are the most accurate, you may want to try Ancestry's version of the England and Wales 1911 census while it is free (until 23:59 GMT on 14 Oct 2013).

  • Dog Licences (Ireland):  Half a million records (1866 onwards) from Irish dog licence registers are now online, with millions more to be added later in the year.

  • Irish newspapers online:  More digitised Irish newspapers are now on the Internet.

  • Biographical Database of Australia:  Transcripts and indexes of many original records and published biographies of people who arrived in or were born in Australia, starting from the earliest times. Index searches are free.

  • Lost in Early NSW:  This is the theme of the Society of Australian Genealogists' weekend seminar at Port Macquarie (2-3 Nov 2013).

  • Why FindMyPast?  Read why I use and recommend FindMyPast for family history research in Australia, NZ, United Kingdom, Ireland, USA and Canada.

  • NSW Immigration Deposits Combined Index 1853-1900:  An updated edition of this CD index, with new data added to many records, is about to be released. It will be free to purchasers of the 2012 edition. To claim this, send the original CD (you can keep the case) to Aileen Trinder, 5 Garbala Road, Gymea NSW 2227, with a $5 admin fee to cover costs.

  • Family history talk:  On Fri. 25 Oct 2013 I am speaking at Mission Beach ('Family History Sources in Archives & Elsewhere').

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11 September 2013

No.24 (genealogy worldwide)

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Find My Past - UK, IE, AU

18 July 2013

No.23 (immigrants and electoral rolls)

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  • Queensland's Commonwealth electoral roll databases for 1903, 1913, 1922, 1934, 1949 and 1959, plus indexes to Queensland State electoral rolls 1860-1884, are now on FindMyPast.

  • Index to Emigrants from Hamburg to Australasia 1850-1879 (compiled by Eric and Rosemary Kopittke from Hamburg departure lists) is now on FindMyPast. Hamburg departure lists give information that is not in the passenger lists held in Australia and New Zealand.

  • My article 'The Case of the False Identity', published in Inside History magazine, will have you looking at 19th century passenger lists in a new light.

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Find My Past - UK, IE, AU

9 June 2013

No.22 (genealogy worldwide)

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  • Queensland certificates:  You can now save money by downloading some Queensland birth, death and marriage certificates as images.

  • Free family history talks (North Qld):  Details of my six free family history talks at Atherton, Innisfail, Tully and Wongaling Beach (20-24 June 2013) are on my Web site.

  • British newspapers:  More years and more newspapers have been added to the searchable collection of digitised British newspapers (now 1710-1965).

  • 'Queensland Genealogy' categories:  There are now quick links to articles in certain categories (BDMs, Hidden treasures, Indexes, People, Places, Sources, Tips, Warnings, Websites) in my 'Queensland Genealogy' blog. At the bottom of that page there is also a complete list of keywords.

  • Website makeover:  My main genealogy Web site is due for a makeover. To help me make it more user-friendly, please have a look at www.judywebster.com.au then do my quick (and anonymous) survey. Thanks!

  • Visiting historical societies & museums:  Tips on what to do before you visit a local historical society or museum.

  • Recommended reading:  A Hobbyist Genealogist's Manifesto. I like the bit about 'Pirates of the Caribbean philosophy of citation'.

30 May 2013

My Web Site is Getting a Makeover

I know that many people with Queensland research are following this blog by email, so I am posting an invitation here as well as in Queensland Genealogy.

My genealogy Web site, which has been a bit neglected recently, is about to get a facelift.

To help me decide how to make the 100+ pages more user-friendly, I'd be grateful if you would
  1. Explore www.judywebster.com.au (it opens in a new window), noting what you like or dislike - but remember that it is a Web site, NOT a blog. The revamped site will use a better font, but if you want to increase the font size now, your browser can do that. Most pages have a menu and search box at the top.

  2. Do my quick (and anonymous) survey at www.surveymonkey.com/s/3XRMQWX.
Early feedback has shown that some of the changes I had in mind are indeed what people want. There has already been one excellent suggestion for a change that hadn't occurred to me, and I'm sure there will be more.

If you know someone who might like to help shape the future of my Web site, please send them the links above. Thanks!

22 April 2013

No.21 (genealogy worldwide)

photo of James George Hudson WEBSTER
James George Hudson Webster
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26 March 2013

No.20 (warning re Queensland death indexes)

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Warning!  Before we all get too excited about the recently released Queensland death indexes to 1983... please note that the Registry has omitted parents' names from many index entries despite the fact that parents are named on the death certificate. For more details, see Queensland Genealogy.

21 March 2013

No.19 (Queensland births, deaths and marriages)

If you share this information, please acknowledge the source as http://updatesgenie.blogspot.com/.

Queensland Registrar-General's indexes to births to 1914, marriages to 1938 and deaths to 1983 are now online - but note that some indexes (births to 1919 and marriages to 1939) are available on microfiche but not online.

Once you know a year of death, it's much easier to search for a recent Supreme Court probate file - which, if it exists, will include the death certificate, thus saving you a lot of money.

There are other tips about Queensland birth, death and marriage records on my Web site and in the book Tips for Queensland Research. See also 'Free certificates in Archives files'.

(Postscript, 25 Mar 2013: See the WARNING about problems with the recently released death indexes.)