27 April 2019

No.56 (genealogy news)

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  • Newsletter:   I'm now sending my email newsletter via Mailchimp. When you subscribe via the online form, you'll receive an email asking you to confirm your request. If it doesn't arrive promptly, check your Spam folder. The form is at www.judywebster.com.au/subscribe.html. If you'd like a 'sneak peak', the March edition of the newsletter is online for a limited time.

  • DNA tests:   Several DNA testing companies are offering reduced prices, but most of them end on April 28th. Links are on Genealogy Discounts and Freebies.

  • Learning about DNA:   You have until 30 April 2019 to take advantage of Early Bird discounts on bookings for DNA Down Under, a world class DNA themed conference and road show featuring Blaine Bettinger. The August 2019 events in Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide, Melbourne, Canberra and Sydney (Australia) will include topics suitable for all levels (beginner to expert), plus an exhibition of product and service suppliers, DNA interest groups, etc. If you have not done a DNA test and want to know how it can help with your family history, or if you have tested but are unsure what to do with your results, this event is for you! (Disclosure: As an appointed ambassador for the event, I'll receive free admission to the one-day event in Brisbane.)

(This post first appeared on https://updatesgenie.blogspot.com/2019/04/no56-genealogy-news.html.)
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12 November 2018

No.55 (genealogy news / discounts worldwide)

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  • Free access:   In case you didn't see this on Genealogy Discounts and Freebies... Until your local time zone's equivalent of midday (GMT) Monday 12 Nov 2018 (ie, until Monday evening in Australia), everyone has FREE access to Findmypast. You must to be registered (free), but no credit card is needed. This offer includes these record categories: Birth, marriage, death and parish records (and images of many original registers that are not online anywhere else); Military, armed forces and conflict; Education and work; Census, land and surveys; Institutions and organisations; Historical newspapers (including the British Newspaper Archive); Immigration and travel; 1939 Register. The offer is available on all of Findmypast's sites.

  • 50% discount:   After free access ends, Findmypast will offer 50% discount on short-term subscriptions. That offer will run from 12 November (GMT) to 19 November at 11:59pm (GMT). Later today these pages will soon be updated to show offer details and terms and conditions, so set a bookmark now: Australia (50% off 1-month); United Kingdom (50% off 3-month); Ireland (50% off 1-month); United States (50% off 1-month).

  • Special collections:   I've had a World subscription to Findmypast continuously since 2011, and I can't imagine life without it. Note their Special Collections for the British India Office, Canterbury, Cheshire, Devon, Hertfordshire, Lincolnshire, Manchester, Royal Archives, Shropshire, Staffordshire and Diocese of Lichfield, Wales, Westminster and (my personal favourite) Yorkshire.

  • England/Wales certificates:   At the moment it is still possible to buy England and Wales certificates for births 1837­-1916 and deaths 1837­-1957 as digital images (PDF format) for just £6.

  • 17th century:   From 'Who Do You Think You Are' magazine: 5 Best Websites for Tracing 17th Century Ancestors. They lead to many more sites.

  • London (England):   Alona has listed 17 Links to Free Sites for London Research.

  • Neglected children:   Names are online from the first stage of my 'Neglected Children' Index (which includes orphans for whom I've found information in sources other than orphanage records). Many children were sent to an orphanage when at least one parent was still alive.

  • Toowoomba area (Qld):   Garden of Remembrance Toowoomba: burials and cremations 1966-2008 is an updated database that goes right up to 2008. It has name, age, date of death (where recorded) and date of burial/cremation, and type.

  • Tip:   Always look at the inquest file even if you already have the death certificate. Example: For Marie Sophia SCAFFE, a typed copy of the death certificate gives the cause of death as 'bowel complaint', but the inquest file says it was 'ill treatment'. That's a rather significant difference!

  • Unsound mind:   Coming soon - a combined list of over 17,000 names from my corrected and expanded 'Insanity and Unsound Mind' index. When it goes online it will be announced first on my genealogy page on Facebook and my Website's WhatsNew page.

  • Qld State Archives:   It's hopeless trying to keep you updated about changes at Queensland State Archives, because there are so many (and most are, in my opinion, a backward step as far as serious researchers are concerned). One big change is that reference archivists are now only available to provide research support in the Public Search Room between 10am and 3:30pm. The Archives are open 9am to 4:30pm, but unless you are self-sufficient, don't arrive at 9am! The moral of the story is 'use it or lose it'. For years there have been unofficial warnings that with reduced numbers of people using the search room, opening hours might be reduced. That's already happened at the National Archives Brisbane Office.

  • Warning:   Like it or not, this is something that everyone needs to know. Please read it carefully and think about it calmly: Oh no, it's the L word.

(This post first appeared on https://updatesgenie.blogspot.com/2018/11/no55-genealogy-news-discounts-worldwide.html.)
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16 October 2018

No.54 (genealogy news / discounts worldwide)

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  • 15% discount:   I was delighted to hear that until 11:59pm (London time) 16 Oct 2018 (which, in Australia, is early on Oct 17th), both new customers *AND* returning subscribers can get 15% discount on a 12 month Findmypast subscription by using the links below. Each of these subscriptions gives you access to all of Findmypast's billions of records worldwide, including images of many original documents that are not online anywhere else. More records are added every week (see Findmypast Fridays), and there is a full list of records already on Findmypast (arranged by country). I've had a subscription continuously since 2011, and I can't image life without it. Choose the link for the region where you live:

  • Each person must subscribe using their own individual device and their own individual email address. If you don't want your subscription to renew automatically after 12 months, untick that box in 'My Account'. I've had a World subscription continuously since 2011, and I can't image life without it!

  • Marriage certificates:   I'm very concerned about the proposed changes to Australian marriage certificates - namely, the removal of 'usual occupation', 'usual place of residence', 'father's name' and 'mother's maiden name'. Those details (especially parents' names) are vital not only for family trees, but also for compiling a medical family history, tracing beneficiaries of deceased estates, etc. Read about the proposed changes and email your feedback to marriagecelebrantssection@ag.gov.au by Sunday 28 Oct 2018.

  • Qld BDM indexes:   If you can't find an entry via the Queensland Registry of Births Deaths and Marriages *new* search page, try the old version (the new page has a link to 'Previous Family History Search service'). WARNING! You must use the 'Clear' button between searches; and if your Internet connection drops out before that takes effect, you may be using 'hidden' search criteria that remain from a previous search. My understanding is that the Registry intends to shut down the Old Search - so if you still want it, please tell them so (email bdm.webteam@justice.qld.gov.au).

  • Doctors:   The Australian Medical Pioneers Index is a database of colonial doctors to 1875, with biographical data for over 4,500 doctors who lived in Australia or visited Australian shores. And if you're a descendant of Dr. Donald Rankin MACDONALD and his wife Ann CAMPBELL (sister of my great-great-grandmother) from Mudgee (NSW), please contact me!

  • Deaths/Funerals:   I recently went to the State Library and copied about a hundred death and funeral notices from newspapers that are not on Trove. Before my visit I'd found some title/date details in the Ryerson Index. If I drew a blank there, I looked for approximate death dates in cemetery and funeral directors' records etc. See 40 of My Favourite Genealogy Indexes / Sources.

  • My talks:   If you came to my recent family history talks at Strathpine or Tweed Heads, I sent you two emails regarding the handout. If they are not in your Inbox, check Spam/Trash/Junk. I will be repeating the talk 'Not Just the Patient: How Hospital and Asylum Records Tell the Story of a Family') on 14 March 2019. Admission is free but bookings are essential. Details are on www.judywebster.com.au/talks.html.

(This post first appeared on https://updatesgenie.blogspot.com/2018/10/no54-genealogy-news-discounts-worldwide.html.)
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20 July 2017

No.53 (British Isles and European Ancestors)

Between 8th and 26th August 2017, family historians in Australia and New Zealand will have a unique opportunity to hear leading international genealogists Chris Paton and Dirk Weissleder explain how to research our British Isles and European ancestors.

I mentioned this briefly in a previous edition of UpdatesGenie and on my Facebook and Twitter pages, but here are a few more details.

Chris and Dirk will give a series of presentations in Brisbane, Auckland, Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra, Adelaide and Perth during Unlock the Past's genealogy roadshow entitled Researching Abroad: Finding British Isles and European Ancestors.

Every time I've heard Chris Paton speak about Scottish and Irish genealogy, I've learned a lot (and the learning process has been fun). Dirk Weissleder (from Germany) is new to me, but he comes highly recommended by colleagues whose opinion I trust, and I'm sure he will inspire me to resume work on my STEINKE and RIENECKER family trees. While Chris and Dirk catch their breath between talks, local speakers will briefly describe British and European resources held by libraries and societies here. In each Australian city there will also be an introductory talk about using DNA as a tool for genealogy.

In some cities it may be possible to simply arrive and pay on the day, but if you pre-book you will save money, and you will also go in the prize draw. The prize pool is expected to total at least $10,000 over all six Australian cities.

On the roadshow's main page, click on your preferred city to see full programme details and a booking form for that venue. There are also links to pages about the speakers, prizes, special offers, sponsors and exhibitors.

The roadshow starts in Brisbane, and I'm looking forward to catching up with friends and colleagues there. We don't often see such renowned international speakers here, so make the most of this opportunity!

(This post first appeared on https://updatesgenie.blogspot.com/2017/07/no53-british-isles-and-european.html.)

23 June 2017

No.52 (genealogy news and tips worldwide)

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  • Asylum casebook:   I've indexed another Goodna mental asylum case book, and the names are on my Web site.

  • Council records:   Local Government Records for Family History has been updated and expanded.

  • Cooroy/Noosa:   Cooroy-Noosa Genealogy Group has a new purpose-built building (the Heritage Centre) at 17 Emerald Street, Cooroy.

  • E-book:   Using Macs and iPads for Genealogy, by Nancy Loe, is available as an e-book (59-page PDF download).

  • Free access to British and Irish records
  • Parish registers:   Many original parish register images for Cheshire, Devon, Hertfordshire, East Kent, Leicestershire, Rutland, Shropshire, South Yorkshire, Staffordshire, Wales, Westminster, Yorkshire North Riding and Yorkshire East Riding (with more coming soon) are online only at Findmypast and nowhere else; and for the next few days you can view them without a subscription, as explained below.

  • Free British/Irish records:   Until 11:59pm BST Monday 26 June 2017 (which is 8:59am AEST Tues 27 June), there's free access to over 1.1 billion British and Irish records on Findmypast.

  • Recommended reading:

    Common Latin Words for Genealogical Research. If your ancestors were Catholic, many of their church records will be in Latin.

    Widen the Search: a Genealogy Success Story includes links to the online sources I used.

  • Document copies:   If you want copies of the original records that I've indexed, or if you just want source references so you can do the work yourself, send a request soon, because I've temporarily reduced many of my fees. Follow links from the list of sources.

  • Roadshow:   If you have British Isles or German research, come to Unlock the Past's 'Researching Abroad' genealogy roadshow during August. Two top international speakers (Chris Paton and Dirk Weissleder) will be in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra, Adelaide, Perth and Auckland. Pre-book if you want to save money and go in the prize draw (total value about $1500).

  • Talks:   I am giving free family history talks/workshops at Tully and Wongaling Beach on 11 July 2017 and at the Sunshine Coast on 24 Aug 2017.

(This post first appeared on http://updatesgenie.blogspot.com/2017/06/no52-genealogy-news-and-tips-worldwide.html.)
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6 May 2017

No.51 (genealogy news and tips worldwide)

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  • 10% discount:   Until 11:59pm (BST) Sunday 7 May 2017 (which is early on Monday 8th Australian time) Findmypast is giving new and lapsed subscribers 10% off the cost of a 12 month World subscription if you use Findmypast.co.uk or Findmypast.ie or Findmypast.com. You can subscribe there even if you live in Australia/NZ. If two or more people share a computer and/or an email address, only one of you can take up this offer. If you need a separate email address, I recommend a free Gmail account.

  • Queensland:  Over 4,000 new records have been added to the Queensland School Pupils Index, which now has over 1.6 million names from 1,022 schools.

  • UK parish records:   Findmypast, through their exclusive partnership with the Federation of Family History Societies, has the largest online collection of UK parish records. Recent additions include records for Devon, Kent and Wiltshire. Find out how best to search them.

  • 1861 source:   Researching someone aged 14 or older in 1861? Try searching the British Army Worldwide Index 1861, which covers units serving in Britain and the British Empire.

  • Missing records:   Find out what records are missing from UK censuses (links are on the left side of the page).

  • Catholic records:   Scottish records have been added to the Catholic Heritage Collection. Most of the collection has never before been available to the public.

  • Scotland:   Viewing images on Scotland's People.

  • Ireland:   The Irish Genealogy website and workbook will guide you through the free online resources that exist.

  • Evernote:   Lisa Louise Cooke explains an innovative way to use Evernote for genealogy - create your own genealogy library for easy on-the-go reference.

  • Giveaways:   Prizes up for grabs here last week were a 12 month subscription to Findmypast (value: about $114) and a choice of five genealogy-related items (value: about $30). Winners' names are on the Prize Draws and Competitions page.

(This post first appeared on http://updatesgenie.blogspot.com/2017/05/no51-genealogy-news-and-tips-worldwide.html.)
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24 April 2017

No.50 (genealogy news worldwide)

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  • Prize draw:   If you'd like to win a 12 month Findmypast subscription, this is your chance! Submit your entry by 8am (AEST) Wednesday 26 Apr 2017 in two easy steps on my Prize Draws and Competitions page. I'm grateful to Findmypast for allowing me to give away such a wonderful prize (RRP $114.50). I've had a Findmypast subscription for many years, and I love it!

  • Free access:   All Australian and New Zealand records on Findmypast are completely free until 25 Apr 2017 (AEST). Another 'free access' offer will be announced on Genealogy Discounts & Freebies later this week.

  • Discounts:   Genealogy Discounts & Freebies currently has more offers listed than ever before, but most of them end soon. One offer is NSW certificate transcriptions for just $18.

  • New records online:   Interesting records that went online last week include stage 1 of 'crew and passengers on ships arriving in New South Wales' (check this for anyone you can't find in the British 1881 census); parish registers for Christ Church Cathedral in Newcastle NSW; more Boer War records; and more NSW closer settlement and returned soldiers transfer files.

  • UK records:   Findmypast's United Kingdom parish records collection (already the largest of its kind online) is about to get a whole lot bigger. Records from six more counties (the list is on that Web site) will go online over the next 6 months.

  • Books:   During April, Gould Genealogy has the entire Unlock the Past guide books range on sale (25% off), and the Australian History and Genealogy Handbook is just $1.

  • Finding death dates:   My family history project for Easter started with a list of Australian relatives for whom I had no death date. I searched 13 million Aus/NZ deaths, burials, wills and probate records. If I didn't find the name, I searched individual Findmypast record sets and Ancestry databases. I also used the magnificent Ryerson Index to find recent death/funeral notices. There are many other resources available, but these are my usual 'first steps'.

  • Updated index:   Check out CQFHA's new Master Name Index (over 767,590 entries for people from many areas). I had unexpected success with this.

  • My talk at Noosa:   If you're interested in hearing my talk (11 May 2017) on Ancestors who Moved or Vanished, book now (free). When I checked today there were only 7 seats left.

(This post first appeared on http://updatesgenie.blogspot.com/2017/04/no50-genealogy-news-worldwide.html. The 'win' image is by Stuart Miles, freedigitalphotos.net.)


20 March 2017

No.49 (genealogy news and tips worldwide)

Old Age Pension register
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  • Pension records:   For a limited time you can order copies of Old Age Pension records (1908-1909) at a discount price. See Genealogy Discounts and Freebies.

  • FindMyPast discount:   New subscribers can get 10% off a 12 month World subscription, giving you access to 8 billion global records including many that are not available anywhere else (see what records are available). The discount ends at 11.59pm (GMT) Wed. 22 Mar 2017 (which is Thursday morning in Australia).

  • England/Wales BDMs:   More England and Wales birth, death and marriage certificates (births 1935-2006, deaths 1958-2006, marriages 1837-2010) are available as PDFs until 40,000 PDFs have been ordered, or 4pm 12 Apr 2017, whichever is sooner. Earlier births and deaths were offered as PDFs last November, in stage 1 of the pilot scheme.

  • Before you buy:   From July 1837 onwards, for marriages in England and Wales, a parish register usually has the same details as a certificate from the Register Office. I've saved money, and researched many obscure or 'possible' relatives, by downloading online images of original parish registers instead of buying certificates. See, for example, the collections for Yorkshire, Somerset and the Greater London area.

  • Electoral rolls:   The recent re-launch of the Australian electoral rolls collection was part of a multi-phase project. In the coming months about 100 million more records will be added, with date coverage up to 1989.

  • Free webinars:   Free webinars by State Archives New South Wales will be recorded so that you can watch them a time that suits you.

  • Qld State Archives:   There have been big changes at Queensland State Archives. They no longer accept cash (only EFTPOS or credit cards); coin-operated microfilm reader/printers have been removed (you can save copies onto a USB drive); you can't use wildcards in index searches; indexes on their Web site can no longer be downloaded as PDFs; the Web site is completely different and much less user friendly; etc! The Archives' customer satisfaction survey (open until 3 Apr 2017) gives you a chance to say what you like or dislike.

  • Commonwealth Gazettes:   Commonwealth of Australia Government Gazettes (1901-1957) are now online, free and fully text searchable. They give details of many interactions that ordinary people had with the government.

  • DNA for genealogy:   DNA testing is now an important tool for family historians, especially if you have 'brick walls' in your research. For a short time there is a discount on the AncestryDNA test. See also Changing your AncestryDNA settings.

  • Recommended reading:

(This post first appeared on http://updatesgenie.blogspot.com/2017/03/no49-genealogy-news-and-tips-worldwide.html.)
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16 March 2017

No.48 (genealogy news and tips worldwide)

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  • Irish records FREE:   The largest online collection of Irish records (more than 116 million records, including images) will be FREE until 11.59pm (GMT) Friday 17 Mar 2017.

  • AncestryDNA:   Until 19 Mar 2017, save up to 30% on Ancestry's DNA test for genealogy (the one you've seen advertised on TV).

  • More discounts:   New discount offers (relevant worldwide) are coming soon, so check Genealogy Discounts and Freebies this weekend. If you use ChangeDetection to monitor that page, log in at www.changedetection.com and edit your alert for http://www.judywebster.com.au/specials.html to 'daily'. If new offers are added twice in one week, you will then be alerted twice instead of missing one.

  • Conference & Fair:   The 'Footsteps in Time' Family and Local History Conference and free Fair is at Southport (Gold Coast, Queensland), 19th to 21st May 2017. I'm looking forward to it. Conference registration closes 14th April.

  • Catholic records:   The Catholic Heritage Collection (available only on FindMyPast) is a growing online digitised and indexed collection of Roman Catholic records for Ireland, Britain and the USA. Most of the records have never before been accessible by the public, either offline or online.

  • Electoral rolls:   You can do either a name search or an address search in the Australian electoral rolls collection at FindMyPast. The new search page explains which State and Commonwealth rolls are included. There are some for Queensland, New South Wales, South Australia, Tasmania, the Northern Territory and Western Australia, and more rolls will be added in the future. Ignore the 'birth year' search field (it doesn't help).

  • Gen-Ebooks:   Genealogy Ebooks (known as Gen-Ebooks) is one of Australia's largest Ebook stores for genealogy. They currently have over 550 titles, with more being added every month, all instantly downloadable. They offer four 50% discount specials each month.

  • Web pages from GEDCOM:   GedSite by John Cardinal is a new program that creates 'family tree Web pages from GEDCOM files. It generates narrative or grid style person pages, a master index, a surname index, source pages and any other pages you want to add. You can review the pages on your own computer before you share them via DVD or flash drive or publish them on the Web. I expect GedSite to be even more popular than John's other program (SecondSite for The Master Genealogist, which I use to create the family tree on my Website).

  • Digitised records:   Many records from around the world have been digitised but not indexed. You just have to know how to find them! See Image-Only Collections.

  • 53,000 names:   You'll find information about an amazing number of interstate and overseas folk, as well as locals, in records at Queensland State Archives. My Web site has over 53,000 names from original documents there. See the list of record types, with links to alphabetical lists of names.

(This post first appeared on http://updatesgenie.blogspot.com/2017/03/no48-genealogy-news-and-tips-worldwide.html.)
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30 January 2017

No.47 (genealogy news and tips worldwide)

CD case (Qld Customs House Shipping Index)
If you share these tips/links, the Creative Commons license requires that you acknowledge the source as http://updatesgenie.blogspot.com. Links open in new windows.

(This post first appeared on http://updatesgenie.blogspot.com/2017/01/no47-genealogy-news-and-tips-worldwide.html.)
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