13 November 2015

No.34 (genealogy worldwide)

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  • Photos & Sketches:   I've added 1,132 names to the Web page 'Historical Photos and Sketches of People' (http://bit.ly/phqsa). The photos and sketches, which I found in various Archives records, are accompanied by biographical or background data that is superb for family history.

  • Qld BDM source documents:   When you buy a certificate, you see details that were copied into a register from information in source documents. Transcription errors are therefore likely! The Queensland Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages has begun imaging source documents for births, marriages and WW1 / WW2 deaths. Some records have as many as 5 pages (statements by different parties, letters from parents, baptismal certificates, etc). All existing source documents should be digitised, indexed and available for purchase during 2016.

  • GSQ has moved:   Genealogical Society of Qld's library has moved from East Brisbane and will re-open at 25 Stackpole St, corner of Mt Gravatt - Capalaba Road, Wishart, in Dec 2015.

  • Old age pensions:   Copies of original records of old age pension applicants 1908-1909 (including people whose application was rejected) are cheaper if you order before 31 Dec 2015. The pension records description (http://bit.ly/oapJW) leads to lists of applicants' names.

  • Victorian records:   FindMyPast has secured the rights to publish images and transcripts of two magnificent collections from Victoria that have never before been microfilmed or indexed: Victoria's Coastal Passenger Lists 1852-1924, and Victoria Petty Sessions records from 1851 to the 1970s. Details are on http://bit.ly/2cpsvic.

  • Electoral registers:   Electoral registers for England and Wales 1832-1932 are now searchable (http://bit.ly/2Eelec), but note the crucial information and warnings in 'Learn More' and 'Discover More' on that page.

  • Illegitimate children:   I've added more names to the page about illegitimate children whose father is identified in a document in Archives. Most of the mothers and children lived in NSW or Queensland, but a few were in other States, and one was in Scotland. This index is designed to help family historians and people seeking birth parents.

  • Interesting reading:   9 ways underwear changed forever in 1939.

(This post first appeared on http://updatesgenie.blogspot.com/2015/11/no34-genealogy-worldwide.html.)
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29 September 2015

Genealogy Discount Offers

I'm currently away from home for work and family reasons, so this is just a quick post to tell you about two genealogy discount offers that expire soon.

  1. A one-month World subscription to FindMyPast costs just $1 or £1 if you pay by midnight on 30 Sep 2015. This is a huge discount! I'm a big fan of FindMyPast and its billions of records for Australia, NZ, Ireland, the UK, USA and elsewhere. The indexes, transcriptions and images of original documents include millions of birth, marriage, death, parish and census records; the largest online collection of Irish family history records; millions of overseas newspaper pages; and many unusual sources. To join, use the button on the page explaining this offer (it opens in a new window).

  2. LostCousins is a site that uses a clever system to work out (with a high degree of accuracy) which of its 100,000 members are related to you, then puts you in contact to exchange information about your ancestors. To get a free LostCousins subscription, with no obligation to continue and no credit card or bank details required, go to LostCousins (it opens in a new window) and at the bottom of the registration page, in 'Referral or offer codes', enter 65TH. Log in before midnight on 30 Sep 2015 to get the free subscription. (See my article Using LostCousins for genealogy: UK, Ireland, USA and Canada.)

Other offers are also listed on Genealogy Discounts and Freebies.

(This post first appeared on http://updatesgenie.blogspot.com/2015/09/genealogy-discount-offers.html.)
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26 July 2015

No.33 (genealogy worldwide)

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(This post first appeared on http://updatesgenie.blogspot.com/2015/07/no33-genealogy-worldwide.html.)

6 June 2015

Genealogy Freebies and Discounts

Here are three great offers for family historians.
  1. Ancestry:   Up to and including 8 June 2015 there is free access to Ancestry's UK and Irish records. The search page, which lists all records included in this offer, is http://bit.ly/Ancuki. (Ancestry's first email said the deadline was June 7th, but they later changed that to June 8th.)

  2. FindMyPast for $1:   New customers can get a one-month World subscription to FindMyPast for just $1 or £1 or €1, depending on whether you join via their Australia/NZ, United Kingdom, Ireland or USA site.

    The subscription gives you access to over 2 billion records worldwide (indexes, transcriptions and images of original documents). They include millions of birth, marriage, death and census records; the largest online collection of Irish family history records; more than 10 million British newspaper pages from as long ago as 1710; lots of records for Queensland; and much more. You have until 23:59pm on Tuesday 30 June 2015 to take up this offer. Terms and conditions are on the Web pages. You can un-tick 'auto-renew' on your My Account page.

    Some of the reasons why I like FindMyPast are listed here.

  3. Genealogy seminar in Atherton, Qld:   There is free admission to my talks at Atherton Library on Friday 19 Jun 2015. The topics are 'Not Just the Patient: How Hospital and Asylum Records Tell the Story of a Family' and 'Ancestors who Moved or Vanished'. Get more details or make a booking.
(This post first appeared on http://updatesgenie.blogspot.com.au/2015/06/genealogy-freebies-and-discounts.html.)
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28 April 2015

No.32 (genealogy worldwide)

Links open in new windows so you won't lose your place on this page. If you share these tips, please say that you saw them on http://updatesgenie.blogspot.com.au.

This is at the top left of most pages
  • Website changes:   My main Web site, www.judywebster.com.au, is best viewed on a laptop or desktop computer, but this week's changes made it more mobile-friendly. I had to remove the top search box, but a link ('Search this site') at the top left of most pages leads to a search box plus tips on using the site.

  • FindMyPast discount:   Until 30 Apr 2015 you can get 50% discount off 12-month FindMyPast subscriptions. If you're in Australia or NZ, the best link is http://bit.ly/2aapr15. In the UK it's http://bit.ly/2apr15, and in the USA use http://bit.ly/2usapr15. Those links apply the discount automatically - then select the 'World' tab if you want access to absolutely everything on FindMyPast. Remember to un-tick the 'auto-renew' box in the My Account section of the site. I appreciate the fact that FindMyPast adds free days to World subscriptions whenever they give the general public 'free access' days.

  • QSA indexes:   Qld State Archives have begun putting indexes on FindMyPast. Check the list of records sets added recently (scroll down).

  • Will books:   Wills for thousands of people from interstate and overseas, including Queensland, are in New South Wales will books 1800-1952. My search tips for this magnificent source are in 6 Genealogy Sources You May Have Overlooked.

  • Cracking the code of the GRO Marriage Index:   Enter the General Register Office (England/Wales) index reference to find out the name of the church where the marriage took place. If you don't get a result, maybe the church is not yet included in the database (the project is on-going). Read the explanation before you use the UK marriage locator.

  • The 3 Rs of genealogy:   Revisit, Record, Revise has superb advice from Pauleen Cass, an experienced family historian.

  • Census records:   I confess that I haven't always done the five things listed on Analyzing Census Records: Context Matters, and I need to rectify that.

  • Printing on paper:   If you are printing family history books or document copies on paper and want them to survive for future generations, read All Papers are Not Created Equal.

  • Warning:   Important information about photos and handouts at genealogy lectures (read the comments there too).

  • Video:   Free video (from a webinar presented earlier this year) with tips on what to do when you hit a dead end in your research, and how to get the most out of online records.

  • Movement and migration:   The articles in Exodus: Movement of the People - migration to, from and within the British Isles have apparently been removed from the Website now. Luckily I'd printed the ones that interested me.

(This post first appeared on http://updatesgenie.blogspot.com/2015/04/no32-genealogy-worldwide.html.)
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8 March 2015

Free Access to FindMyPast and LostCousins

Image by Stuart Miles freedigitalphotos.net
Image by Stuart Miles freedigitalphotos.net

FindMyPast is completely FREE until 10pm AEST on Monday 9 March 2015. This gives you access to billions of historical records and newspapers from many parts of the world, plus the new Family Tree 'Hints' feature.

You may want to start by reading the latest tips on using FindMyPast's new search system, which has improved since it was first introduced.

Apart from the obvious sources like censuses and parish registers, I suggest that you search these four FindMyPast record sets, all of which include people from many countries (links open in a new window):
  • Trade union records (includes railway staff, carpenters, joiners, cabinetmakers, woodworkers, lithographic artists/printers, designers, engravers, boilermakers, iron shipbuilders, etc).
  • Great Western Railway shareholders (death dates, places, wills, relatives, executors etc).
  • British India Office collection (records of the East India Company, military personnel, civil servants, surgeons, planters, entrepreneurs, missionaries and others).
  • New South Wales will books (including wills for many people in other States and overseas, as explained below).

With the New South Wales will books, don't be put off by the 'NSW' heading. This source includes wills for many people in other States and other countries. Click 'Learn' above the search boxes to find out more about the collection. Searches are free, but if you find a relevant entry you need a subscription or pay-as-you-go credits to see an image of the original book. These are my personal search tips:
  1. Start by searching for a name in 'Who'. You can use asterisks as wildcards. 'Death year' is optional, and you can select 'give or take' (+/-) up to 40 years. For now, ignore the 'Residence' field.

  2. There is a separate field called Heirs' or executors' last name. Enter a surname here (you can use wildcards), leaving the Who fields empty.

  3. If you use the Residence field, use wildcards. You'll understand why if you search for *Brisbane*, with asterisks before and after, and note the residences shown in results! Data in the Residence field is not entered in any set format. It may be just a town, or just a State, or just a country, or town+State, or State+country, etc (with or without punctuation, which makes a difference to the results). Sometimes places are abbreviated (eg, Queensland / Qld).

  4. Experiment with other variations and combinations. Keep a list of the search criteria that you use, because you may later think of other ways to search.

  5. It is essential to view images of the original Will Books, because a 'transcription' does not include the will itself.


LostCousins is free until midnight (GMT) on Tuesday 10 March 2015 (which gives you extra time to enter the census data you've collected from FindMyPast during the free access period there).

(This post first appeared on http://updatesgenie.blogspot.com/2015/03/free-access-to-findmypast-and.html.)

11 September 2014

No.31 (genealogy worldwide)

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  • Rockhampton, Qld:  There is a family history beginner's course in Rockhampton on Sat. 13 Sep 2014 (9am to noon).

  • (Updated Nov 2014)  NSW wills:  New South Wales will books 1800-1952 are back online. This magnificent resource includes wills for thousands of people from interstate and overseas, including Queensland! Search the index, then view the images of the original records (not just the transcriptions). My search tips are in 6 Genealogy Sources You May Have Overlooked.

  • BDM index (NSW):  The new index on the NSW Registry of Births Deaths and Marriages site is rather challenging to use. Joy Murrin's tips make it easier.

  • Postems:  Postems on FreeBMD describes a strategy that has worked brilliantly for me. If anyone in your family tree was born, married or died in England or Wales from 1837 onwards, try it!

  • Congress 2015:  The Australasian Congress on Genealogy and Heraldry is in Canberra (ACT) next March. I'll be there! Register by 31 Oct 2014 to get the cheaper 'early bird' rate.

  • Online trees:  You can now attach records to your family trees at FindMyPast.

  • Discounts:  This week more offers were added to the Discounts and Freebies page. You can use ChangeDetection to monitor the page (look for the button 'Click here to receive email...'), but sometimes the email is delayed. To avoid missing last-minute offers that only apply for one weekend, check the page every Saturday.

  • Although I don't agree with all the suggestions in the free downloadable e-book Family Tree Tips: 23 Secrets to Organize Your Genealogy, some of the ideas are good.

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29 August 2014

Genealogy Discounts and Freebies

Image by Stuart Miles freedigitalphotos.net
Image by Stuart Miles freedigitalphotos.net
There have been some last-minute changes to the list of freebies and discounts available during (and after) National Family History Month. Here are the updated details. Links open in a new window.

  • Get a one month 'Britain subscription' at Findmypast UK for just £5 instead of the usual £9.95 if you pay by 11:59pm (BST) on 30 Sep 2014. This 50% discount applies to new and lapsed subscribers.    (Find out why I use and recommend FindMyPast.)

  • A one-month FindMyPast 'world' subscription (records from Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Ireland, USA and Canada) costs just $5 (usually $19.95) for new subscribers who pay before midnight on 1 Sep 2014.

  • A one-month subscription to FindMyPast's Australian & NZ records costs just $1 (usually $9.95) for new subscribers who pay before midnight on 31 Aug 2014.

  • 50% off the price of a 12-month FindMyPast 'world' subscription (records from Australia, New Zealand, United Kingdom, Ireland, USA & Canada) for new subscribers who pay before midnight 31 Aug 2014 (now just $99.75, usually $199.50).

  • Get 20% off at GenesReunited during August 2014. Select a subscription, then on the payment page enter discount code SUMMER20.

  • Get 10% discount on orders from Gould Genealogy during August 2014 if you quote NFHM14.

  • Free access to all Australian immigration records on Ancestry from 29 Aug to 11.59pm Monday 1 Sep 2014 AEST.

  • Download a free PDF document with links to Websites and online indexes mentioned in my new genealogy talk 'Look Beyond the Border'.

  • Many of my copying services for Queensland State Archives records are 10% - 20% cheaper during August and September 2014. Follow links on the list of indexes. On pages with names, in the 'Copying Service' section, prices shown are (where applicable) the discounted ones.

  • Get $40 discount when you book on any Unlock the Past genealogy conference/cruises if you quote code UTPC-WEB06. (This discount will apply long-term.)

In the future, special offers will be listed on the Discounts and Freebies page on my main Web site. On that page, the bar marked 'Click here to receive email... (private & spam-free, powered by ChangeDetection)' provides an easy way to find out about new offers.

16 August 2014

No.30 (genealogy worldwide)

Links open in new windows so you won't lose your place on this page. If a link won't work, try a different browser (I checked them with Chrome). If you share these tips, please say that you saw them on http://updatesgenie.blogspot.com.au.

  • Discounts & freebies:  Take advantage of the many genealogy discounts and freebies currently available. Some are only offered during August (National Family History Month).

  • Mental asylum patients:
    1. I have started indexing three new sources. One includes people who were mentally ill but not actually sent to an asylum. When I've indexed the new records, links will be added to the 'Insanity' page on my Website, so you may want to use the ChangeDetection bar there.
    2. I've added more names of escaped mental patients to my Police Gazettes index.

  • Illegitimate children:  Archival records often identify the father of an illegitimate child even if the birth certificate doesn't. I've added more names (some babies and some mothers) to the 'Illegitimate' page on my Web site.

  • Dropbox:  I use the free version of Dropbox for sharing documents and images, and as an additional off-site backup.

  • Banana Shire:  Records recently deposited at Qld State Archives include rate books and valuation registers from Banana Shire Council.  (My 'Genealogy Articles' page has a link to Local Government Records and Family History.)

  • State Library info-guides:  State Library of Queensland has free family history Info-Guides on many topics.

  • Moreton Bay history:  Peel Island - Paradise or Prison? (the history of the Quarantine Station and Lazaret/Leprosarium) and Moreton Bay People: the complete collection are now available as e-books.

  • CuriousFox:  Tips on using CuriousFox, a genealogy message system and gazetteer for the United Kingdom, Ireland and USA.

  • NSW prison records:  Many interstate folk were in NSW prisons. NSW gaol description and entrance books 1818-1930, which include descriptions of prisoners and some photographs, are now on Ancestry.

  • South Australia:  South Australian passenger lists 1847-1886 have been added to FindMyPast. Some of these immigrants moved on to other States.

  • Victoria:  55,000 images have been added to Ancestry's lists of assisted and unassisted passengers arriving in Victoria from the United Kingdom, New Zealand and other foreign ports.

  • West Yorkshire & Cleveland:  Over 28,000 new baptism records from West Yorkshire and 150,000 National Burial Index records from Cleveland are now online.

  • Prisoners of war:  Records for 1914-1918 & 1939-1945 prisoners of war are online.

  • Treble Almanac (Ireland):  The Treble Almanac 1818, with transcripts and images of 17,870 records from all 32 Irish counties, has recently gone online.

  • Church of Ireland parish registers:  Download a table showing what baptism, marriage and burial registers exist, where they are, and dates covered.

  • Recommended reading:

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15 August 2014

FindMyPast's World Records discount offer

FindMyPast's logo
A one-month 'world' subscription to FindMyPast is just $5 (usually $19.95) for new subscribers who pay before midnight on 1 Sep 2014.

The world subscription gives you access to more than 1.5 billion family history records for Australia, New Zealand, Britain, Ireland, the USA and Canada.

If you do not want your subscription to automatically renew at the normal price after your initial period, un-tick the 'auto-renew my subscription' box in the My Account section of the site.

You may want to read why I use and recommend FindMyPast.

(This post also appears in Genealogy Leftovers.)