Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Researching your Multicultural Ancestors at the SLV

The State Library of Victoria has released a new Family History research guide called Researching your multicultural ancestors.
This guide specifically focuses on researching ancestors that emigrated to Australia from countries other than the United Kingdom and lists the key resources and records available for researchers.
The SLV states that "the Researching your multicultural ancestor guide is not a definitive guide that lists specific resources for individual countries, rather it demonstrates how to start your research using resources available at the State Library of Victoria. It also provides advice on how to locate and access overseas collections and repositories."  The guide is divided into the following sections -

Thursday, November 20, 2014

War Records on FamilySearch

FamilySearch has created two important new UK image collections.  The United Kingdom World War I military service records span the years from 1914 to 1920 and consist of some 43.5 million images. The United Kingdom World War I Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps records that span the years from 1917 to 1920. This collection consists of about 265,000 records. These images come from the National Archives.
FamilySearch has also created a new collection called United States World War I Draft Registration Cards 1917-1918. It consists of 24 million draft records of adult males, which according to FamilySearch “representing almost half of the male population of the United States at the time”. Given that this collection represents such a large proportion of the male population, it can be used as a proxy for census records. A typical draft card listed the full name of the person, home address, date of birth, place of birth, occupation, employer, dependants, marital status, height, build, eye color and hair color.
Records in these collections are organized by last name.  Access is free.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014


The genealogy website GenTeam has added some 400 new collections. Some highlights include citizen rolls from Bratislava, a marriage index for Vienna (starting in 1542), an index of Catholic baptisms in Vienna and Jewish indices of Prague for the years 1784 to 1804. The website currently has over 11 million records from Austria and surrounding countries. It covers most of the former Austro-Hungarian Empire, as shown in the map below. The website is in English, although not all records are. Access is free upon registration. It is definitely worth checking out if you have ancestors from the region.  Thanks to Genealogy In Time for highlighting this new resource.

The website profile states that GenTeam is a non-commercial organization of genealogists and historians who produce databases on their own or as a part of a group, and who offer these databases to all researchers without any fee.  Only a simple registration is required.  The geographical centre of the databases is the present-day Austria and its neighboring lands.
Databases offered by GenTeam are not meant to replace research in original records - this must be done in the archives.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Deniliquin Genealogy Muster

Did anyone out there manage to get to the Deniliquin Genealogy Muster last week??  For those who didn't, you missed out on a great opportunity for those of us in a country area without easy access to all the city repositories and resources to meet, chat about genealogy and learn more about the resources available to us.  For only $10 entry each day (it ran on Friday 24th and Saturday 25th October) you had access to a number of exhibitor tables including several regional genealogy groups and representatives from places like PROV, State Records NSW, Charles Sturt University Regional Archives, the First Fleet Fellowship and many more.  Each table was staffed by people ready and willing to tell you about their services and resources, and I spent a great deal of both days learning about several resources I had either been completely ignorant of, or had not used to their full potential.
On each day there was also several speakers scheduled, so besides chatting to stallholders I also spent my time listening to speakers on regional repositories, Government records, military history and Irish research, to name a few.
This is the first Muster I have made it to, but I'm definitely planning on it not being the last.  Well done to the Deniliquin Genealogical Society for all their work in planning the Muster - I'll look forward to the next one.

Friday, October 31, 2014

New German records at Ancestry

 Ancestry has added some 1.7 million birth records, some 2 million marriage records and some 1.8 million death records from Berlin. These records cover the years from 1874 to 1920 (1874 to 1899 for the birth records). The collections can be searched by first name, last name and location. Since the records are in German, Ancestry suggests you make sure you use the correct German spellings.
In the city of Berlin, 13 registry offices began work when the Prussian law from March 9, 1874, the "Gesetz ├╝ber die Beurkundung des Personenstandes und die Form der Eheschlie├čung," concerning the registration of civil status and marriage went into effect on October 1, 1874.
The collection also contain the civil registers of births, marriages and deaths from cities and communities in the Teltow, Niederbarnim and Osthavelland rural districts in Brandenburg, which were later incorporated into greater Berlin starting October 1, 1920.
Ancestry can be searched free of charge in all branches of Campaspe Regional Library.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Canadian Expeditionary Force Records

Library and Archives Canada (LAC) has begun the process of digitizing the personnel service files of some 640,000 Canadians who served in the army during the First World War. Known officially as the Canadian Expeditionary Force [CEF] since it was under the control of the British, a total of 424,589 Canadian soldiers served in Europe during the war.
The service files in this collection contain up to three dozen different kinds of forms. It includes such things as enlistment records (attestation papers are already online), training records, medical and dental history, hospitalizations, disciplines (if any), pay records, medal entitlements and discharge papers or notifications of death. It also lists what regiment the soldier was located in, but not necessarily where the regiment fought (for that, it is necessary to consult the unit war diaries). In total, there are some 32 million pages of records to be digitized from 640,000 personnel files. This means the average file per soldier is some 50 pages of records, making this a considerable resource. The first 76,000 files have already been digitized and put online. Regular uploads of about 5,000 new files are expected every two weeks. At the current run rate, this means it will take about 4.3 years for all the files to go online (or unfortunately about as long as it actually took to fight the First World War). The digitized records are searchable by name, regiment and rank. Access is free.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

52 Weeks of Genealogy - Week 24 - Post Office Directories

Shauna has chosen Post Office Directories for her topic in Week 24.  Shauna tells us that "
Post office directories are similar to Almanacs which we looked at in Week 18. There are a number of different types of directories depending on the publisher but Sands and Wise’s are probably the two most well known. Directories are another great way to trace people but you do need to remember that not everyone is included, usually only the head of the house so women are only included if they are single or widowed. Sometimes people can be listed even after their death or they have moved elsewhere."
Like the Almanacs, I have found several useful Directories which tell me more about my family, both in Australia and overseas.  The following is the listing for Fordham, in Essex, from a 1874 Post Office Directory listing my ancestor Joseph Green of Fordham Hall.  The directory also gives me information about the village and the land around.

Read Shauna's full blog entry on Post Office Directories here.