Friday, February 15, 2019

WDYTYA Magazine

The latest issue of Who Do You Think You Are magazine is now available free online for Campaspe Library members via our subscription to RB Digital eMagazines.

Inside this month's issue
  • Grow your research
    WDYTYA? genealogist Laura Berry reveals the TV show's brick wall busting family history strategies
  • Are you descended from royalty?
    Anthony Adolph sorts the myths from the facts in researching royal ancestry
  • We will remember them
    How to find your forebear's name on a war memorial
  • Park life
    Looking forward to a springtime stroll in a public park? Sue Wilkes explains how they revolutionised our ancestors' leisure time
  • Reader story
    How Lynda Giller discovered her great grandmother's scandalous affair
  • Plus...
    How to find your ancestor's apprentice records; using reverse image search; the lives of laundresses; and much more...

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Families in British India

Did your family spend time in India during the time of British rule?   The Families In British India Society (FIBIS) is a self-help organisation devoted to members researching their British India family history and the background against which their ancestors led their lives in India under British rule.

Their database has a number of resources available to search, and recently 15,376 names from the Times of India arrival and departure notices for 1896 have now been uploaded to the FIBIS database website. This batch comprises of 8,023 arrivals and 7,353 departures and brings the total number of arrival and departure notices transcribed by this project to 501,298.

The FIBIS database contains a number of other resources, including bonds, cemeteries and monuments, censuses, civil service records, directories, maritime records, military records, railways, schools and orphanages, and wills and probate.  All are fee to search.

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

WW1 Monumenta

Retired artist Howard Wood has created WW1 Monumenta, a new website of 360-degree photo panoramas of Commonwealth First World War cemeteries in France and Belgium. It features approximately 500 cemeteries so far, with plans to add up to 450 more.

Cemeteries are listed in alphabetical order, so you simply find the mane of the cemetery you are looking for and see if there is a link to that name yet.  If there is, you can enter the cemetery and conduct a full 360 degree sweep.  Individual headstones are not photographed, but you can get the feeling of standing in the cemetery (generally a central point) and turning around for a seamless view.

While the website is clearly still in development, a huge amount of work has already been done, and the result gives you a feeling of actually standing in the cemetery taking in the views.

Saturday, January 26, 2019

1828 Census of New South Wales

Great news for those researching their early Australian family history.  The New South Wales State Archives have just announced they are in the process of digitising the 1828 Census of New South Wales, which will also be included in the UNESCO Australian Memory of the World Register.  Below is the statement put out by the Archives.

"We are thrilled that records of the 1828 Census of NSW which we hold as part of the State Archives Collection are to be inscribed on the UNESCO Australian Memory of the World Register. This is wonderful national and international recognition of the State Archives Collection and our work in preserving and making accessible the State’s archives.
The 1828 Census was the first official census undertaken by NSW after it was found the Governor had no authority to compel free men to come to a muster – the previous means of counting the colony’s population.

The Census covers some 36,500 inhabitants, both convict and free, and captures a social and economic picture of the Colony of NSW in November 1828, 40 years after the Colony’s establishment. It covers all settlements within the jurisdiction of the then colony of NSW including Moreton Bay and Norfolk Island.

It records such detailed information for each person (including children) as name, age, if free or convict, if born in the colony or ship and year of arrival, sentence if arrived as a convict, religion, employment, residence, district, total number of acres, acres cleared, acres cultivated, horses, horned cattle, sheep, and remarks.

The records to be inscribed on the UNESCO Australian Memory of the World Register include:
We are in the process of digitising this material which will be made available on our website in the coming weeks.

We will also be announcing some exciting plans for the 1828 Census that will allow more people than ever before to view the documents – stay tuned!"

Like many others, I'll be keeping an eye on the Archives website and looking forward to delving into the records as they become available.

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Who Do You Think You Are Magazine

The latest issue of Who Do You Think You Are magazine is now available free online for Campaspe Library members via our subscription to RB Digital eMagazines.

Inside this month's issue

  • Census tips
    We reveal how you can track down your family in every census
  • Transcription Tuesday
    WDYTYA? Magazine needs you! Find out how you can support our annual family history volunteer event
  • Understanding your DNA results
    DNA ethnicity tests are transforming family history - but can you trust their findings?
  • Sent with love
    The surprising origins of Valentine's Day cards
  • Reader story
    The mystery behind a photograph of a Second World War airman
  • Plus...
    How to find criminal ancestors; technical tips on scanning family photographs; tithe maps explained; and much more...

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

London Lives

London Lives is a website which makes available, in a fully digitised and searchable form, a wide range of primary sources about eighteenth-century London, with a particular focus on plebeian Londoners. This resource includes over 240,000 manuscript and printed pages from eight London archives and is supplemented by fifteen datasets created by other projects and provides access to historical records containing over 3.35 million name instances.

The lives of plebeian Londoners most often intersected with institutional records when they were caught up in the criminal justice system, or sought poor relief or medical treatment. The choice of sources was designed to capture this pattern of interaction, but the website also seeks to include comprehensive archival collections.

For criminal justice, the site includes the already digitised Old Bailey Proceedings, the largest printed source detailing the lives of non-elite people ever produced. This is supplemented with the most descriptive related records about serious crime available, including all surviving examples of the:
  • Ordinary's Accounts (OA): biographies of executed criminals written by the chaplain of Newgate Prison.
  • Sessions Papers (PS): manuscript documents which provide additional evidence about the crimes tried at the Old Bailey and other courts, as well as documents concerning poor relief.
  • Criminal Registers (CR): lists of prisoners held in Newgate Prison.
  • Coroners's Inquests (IC): documents relating to deaths thought to be suspicious, but which did not result in a formal prosecution.
Official responsibility for poor relief lay with London's parishes, of which there were more than one hundred, many of which have left very rich archives. The records of three parishes have been comprehensively digitised for this project:
These parishes were chosen for the quality of their records, and the extent to which they exemplify different parts of London. Each of the selected parishes had a distinctive social and occupational composition. These are supplemented with the records of three parishes with externally created datasets of settlement and workhouse records from two further parishes:
Charity for the poor also came from the guilds and associational charities. Included are the records of one London guild, the Carpenters' Company. This was one of the less prestigious companies and included a number of plebeian members. It also distributed considerable charitable funds to its members. Also included are partial transcriptions of the registers of the Marine Society, a charity which provided training at sea for poor boys.

Medical care for the poor was provided in parochial workhouses, reflected in the parish records, and hospitals. The database contains the records of one of the royal hospitals, St Thomas's Hospital, including its detailed admissions and discharge registers.

So take a look through London Lives and see what it can tell you about the lives of your ancestors.  Even if there are few (or no) specific records for your family, they provide an invaluable insight into the social conditions and attitudes of the time.

Friday, January 18, 2019

The Old Bailey Online

The Old Bailey, also known as Justice Hall, the Sessions House, and the Central Criminal Court, was named after the street in which it was located, just off Newgate Street and next to Newgate Prison, in the western part of the City of London. Over the centuries the building has been periodically remodelled and rebuilt in ways which both reflected and influenced the changing ways trials were carried out and reported.

As the central criminal court for the City of London and the County of Middlesex, the Old Bailey was where all trials took place for serious crimes occurring in the London area north of the Thames. This includes all trials for felony (crimes which were, or had been at one time, punishable by death), and some of the most serious misdemeanours.

The general categories of crime type used in this project are modern ones, and were created in order to facilitate statistical analysis. Nonetheless, the specific categories follow, as much as possible, the precise descriptions of offences used in the original Proceedings, which in turn tend to repeat the language of the actual indictment on which the defendant was tried.

The Proceedings of the Old Bailey Online cover the period 1674-1913 and is a fully searchable edition of the largest body of texts detailing the lives of non-elite people ever published, containing 197,745 criminal trials held at London's central criminal court.