25 October 2011

No.10 ('Genealogists for Families' project)

Since it was highlighted in Geneabloggers, Geneapress and Dick Eastman's newsletter, the 'Genealogists for Families' project has grown very rapidly. Genealogists worldwide are working as a team to help families and small businesses in low income areas. This began as a way for me to honour my father's memory by continuing his tradition of 'good deeds'. Now others are joining in and thus establishing the tradition in their own families.

The project's motto is, 'We care about families (past, present and future).' For more information see the 'Genealogists for Families' blog and Web page.

Join the project to make a difference to families now and in the future!

3 October 2011

No.9 (genealogy worldwide)

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  • Keeping the Memory Alive:  Genealogists for Families is a story about family history, good deeds and continuing the work of our loved ones via Kiva. Be sure to read the comments.

  • Generous Genealogists:  Quoting from the article Generous Genealogists: 'It would be lovely if this team could grow to include genealogists from around the world and to become a family tradition for all of our families.' Again, be sure to read the comments.

  • Free Ancestry searches:  From 1st-15th Oct 2011, a different collection will become available for free each day, and remain free until 15th October. The collections are for Australia (electoral rolls), England and Wales (1901 census and 1916-2005 birth index), Ireland (Griffith’s Valuation), USA, Canada, Germany and Sweden. For full details see Ancestry's blog.

  • Multiple searches:  Audrey Collins explains why you must use all versions of what appears to be the same index or database.

  • Timelines:  To understand your family history in the context of local, national or world events, use timelines such as those at Timelines of History (recommended by Joan Miller).

  • Queensland news is in today's edition of Queensland Genealogy.

  • Interesting reading:  Britain's first Railwaywomen.

  • Other tips are on my Twitter page.

6 September 2011

No.8 (Certificates; genealogy worldwide)

This edition is all about certificates. Links open in new windows so you won't lose your place on this page.
  • Free certificates:  Before buying a certificate, read the advice in my article Free Certificates in Archives Files.

  • Europe:  The July 2010 edition of Proformat News has a table showing how to obtain civil registration certificates for births, deaths and marriages in European countries.

  • Queensland prices:  From July 2011, the price of certificates purchased from the Queensland Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages has risen to $37.

  • Queensland tips:  Problem-solving and money-saving tips re Queensland certificates are in my book Tips for Queensland Research.

  • Warning:  The registry has issued a warning about an online 'Certificate Express' service.

  • England / Wales prices:  UK residents - please consider signing this petition for cheaper birth, marriage and death certificates in England & Wales.

  • England / Wales tips:  You may be lucky enough to find details from a certificate, or contact someone who has a copy, via postems on FreeBMD.

  • Parish registers:  Even if you have bought a civil registration certificate, it is a good idea to look for a parish register entry, as it may give extra information. I have seen this in my own research in both New South Wales and England. A parish register entry may also be more accurate than the notoriously unreliable typed certificates issued in Queensland for events after 1889.

  • Transcription Agents:  I have personally used the services of two of the certificate transcription agents for NSW, and I can recommend them both: Marilyn Rowan and Joy Murrin. As yet there is no similar service available in Queensland.
You are welcome to share your tips about certificates by adding a comment below.

25 August 2011

No.7 (Queensland State Archives survey)

If you have used Queensland State Archives' Web site or Public Search Room, or if you have emailed, phoned or written to them, be sure to do the anonymous Client Satisfaction Survey. It closes tomorrow (Friday 26 Aug 2011).

17 August 2011

No.6 (genealogy seminars, Coffs Harbour)

Provided that I recover from jet-lag quickly, I will be at Helen Smith's genealogy talks at Coffs Harbour on Fri. 19th and Sat. 20th Aug 2011.

10 August 2011

No.5 (report from London)

If you are waiting for a research report or a reply to an enquiry, I apologise for the delay. I am having a very busy time in the UK, attending seminars and other genealogy events, doing some research, and visiting relatives and friends. Right now I am in London. We expected our suburb to be safe, but on Monday night we had a police helicopter overhead until about 2am, spotlighting rioters and looters at our local shopping centre (four blocks away). We could smell burning rubber and hear shouting in the main road that runs parallel to our street. Overall, though, it is much safer here than in many other areas. Last night there were no helicopters here, but police cars with sirens blaring were zooming past on the main road at about one minute intervals from 8pm until I fell asleep around 10:30pm.

29 May 2011

No.4 (genealogy worldwide)

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  • New index:  Index to Gregson and Weight Funeral Records 1972-2010. Burials and funeral services that took place all over the world (Australia, New Zealand, United Kingdom, Ireland, Fiji, Sweden, Greece, Hungary, Austria, Netherlands) are listed in these Queensland records.

  • Genealogy Expo at Coffs Harbour:  On Fri. 3rd and Sat. 4th June 2011 Unlock the Past (with the support of local organisations) is holding a genealogy Expo at C-ex Coffs, Vernon St, Coffs Harbour NSW, with 31 talks and over 50 exhibitors. Talks that I have heard previously and particularly recommend include DNA for Genealogists (Kerry FARMER), Social Media for Family Historians (Carole RILEY), Society of Australian Genealogists: how its treasures will help your family history (Heather GARNSEY), German Research (Eric KOPITTKE), and various talks by Shauna HICKS. Another talk that is likely to be very popular is Helen SMITH's Breaking Down Genealogy Brick Walls. This is quite different from the talk I sometimes give, as Helen focuses mainly on strategies rather than sources.

11 May 2011

No.3 (genealogy worldwide)

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  • Genealogy conferences:  Whether you are organising a conference or thinking about going to one, you will find useful tips in recent articles about attending genealogy conferences and speaking at genealogy events. You are welcome to add comments below each article.

  • WorldConnect family trees:  CeCe Moore (My Tangled Vine) refers to many ways in which Google is useful for genealogy. She also says that many researchers with well-documented family trees do not put them on Ancestry, but they do put them on Rootsweb. Names from Rootsweb's WorldConnect trees are included in Google search results. Those on pay-to-view sites are not.

  • Can you identify these photos?  They are mainly from Toowoomba and the Darling Downs.

  • New index to immigrants 1922-1940:  The latest addition to indexes on the Qld State Archives Web site is an index to immigrants 1922-1940. Note, though, that you will usually find extra information in a different series of records. To find those records, search for (1) the person's name in the CARD index to immigrants, and (2) the ship's name in the CARD index to ships. The card indexes are in the Public Search Room at the Archives.

  • Genealogy seminar at Townsville:  On Sat. 18th June I am giving two talks in Townsville: 'Who Else is Researching Your Family?' and 'My Favourite Archival Sources'. Admission is free. For more details, see my 'talks' Web page.

  • NSW probate records:  Another 30,000 probate packets have been listed in Archives Investigator.

  • London history:  Interesting articles in the London Historians blog may provide background and historical context for your ancestors' lives.

  • Indexes for Wales:  The National Library of Wales has put indexes to wills, gaol records and marriage licences on the Internet.

  • New Zealand:  New Zealand military records have been released on FindMyPast and Ancestry.

  • Wanted:  One of my clients wants to buy Queensland birth death and marriage indexes 1915-1919 on microfiche. If you can help, email me and quote a price including postage in Australia.

  • Recommended reading:  Profiling Your Ancestors.
Some of these tips are from other people, as shown on my Twitter page.

2 May 2011

No.2 (genealogy worldwide)

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  • Making Money from Genealogy:  You are welcome to add comments to my recent articles on Making Money from Genealogy and How to Become a Paid Researcher.

  • Google News:  Thanks to SAG-E (Oct 2010 email newsletter of the Society of Australian Genealogists) for pointing out that at Google News we can browse or search thousands of newspapers from all over the world, including Canada and the USA.

  • Six-word tributes:  If you want to write about your ancestors but don't have much time, try writing 'six-word tributes'.

  • Australian circuses:  A new book by Mark St Leon, Circus: The Australian Story, will be published by Melbourne Books in May 2011.

  • Central Qld Scrapbook Index:  Central Qld Family History Association's updated 'Scrapbook Index' is now online. Go to CQFHA's Web site, click on 'Articles and Indexes', then choose 'Scrapbook'. (I have found some wonderful information via this site.)

  • CQFHA's Member's Interests:  CQFHA's 'Member's Interests list' has also been updated. Go to CQFHA's Web site, click on 'Articles and Indexes', then choose 'Member's Interests'. Members are now able to add their research surnames online, so new entries will be added regularly.

  • Saving money with BDMs:  Have a look at Kerry Farmer's tips for saving money while searching for Australian births deaths and marriages.

30 April 2011

No.1 (genealogy worldwide)

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  • LostCousins: The LostCousins site is totally free to 2 May 2011. This is probably the only web site that has virtually 100% accuracy in matching people who share the same ancestors. You do not waste time corresponding with people who are not related to you. To use LostCousins you need to have found relatives in one of these censuses: USA 1880; Canada 1881; Scotland 1881; Ireland 1911; England and Wales 1841, 1881 or 1911. Be sure to enter data for brothers and sisters of your direct ancestors. It is their descendants who are most likely to have letters or photos from your line. Start by reading the LostCousins 'How-to' page. Remember to log in periodically, go to your 'My Ancestors' page and click 'Search'.
  • Central Queensland cemeteries:  Burial indexes and maps for many Rockhampton Regional Council cemeteries are now online (and frequently updated).
  • Orphanage records:  Some Queensland orphanage records have recently been opened to the public.
  • 'Inside History' magazine:  Inside History is a new magazine about Australian and New Zealand genealogy, history and heritage. Published bi-monthly, Inside History has genealogy articles and tips, expert advice, stories about history (old houses, country towns, biographies etc), and lots more. I received a complimentary copy and was so impressed by the quality of the magazine that I asked Brisbane City Council libraries to subscribe so that it will reach a wider audience. For more details (including a list of stockists) see the Inside History Web site.
  • Ryerson Index:  The Ryerson Index is an online index to death notices (and some obituaries, funeral and probate notices) in current Australian newspapers. Family history or local history societies who would like to index notices from their local paper should use the contact link on the Web site.
  • Irish research:  Have a look at this collection of Web sites for Irish Research.
  • Outback Story:  Outback Story is a personal account of what life was like on a grazing property in the Cunnamulla area (southwest Queensland) from about 1919 onwards.
  • Environmentally friendly genealogy:  How to make your genealogy research environmentally friendly.
  • Bookmarking State Archives Web pages:  Many indexes on the Qld State Archives Web site consist of an introduction (as a Web page) with links to different sections of an index (as PDF files). If the index is updated, a name that was in one PDF file may be moved to another. You should therefore bookmark or cite the introductory Web page, not the PDF file.