Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Week 49 - Winter - 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks

Winter, just as we are entering the Australian summer, seems a little out of place, but winter still holds a number of special memories.

The scent of woodsmoke reminds me of childhood winters with a blazing wood fire in our living room.  The rest of the house was unheated, and I can remember many winter nights quickly diving under multiple blankets and shivering until the bed warmed up.  Getting up to run to the bathroom in the middle of the night was cruel, as our toilet was out on the back verandah and freezing cold during the winter months.  Thinking back it makes me appreciate my central heating and ensuite bathroom I enjoy today.

While snow was unheard of in the area where we lived, heavy frosts in midwinter turned the landscape white.  My grandmother taught me to knit as a child and for many winters I enjoyed gloves, scarves and hats I had made myself.  They also made excellent presents for family and friends and as my knitting became better the patterns grew steadily more complex.

My first visit to the snowfields as a child is another special winter memory - a rare holiday spent building snowmen, trying to ski and playing in the snow.  I quickly found that my knitted gloves were useless in a snowy environment, quickly becoming sodden and cold.  Snow deeper than my boots was also an unwelcome discovery.

Friday, December 14, 2018

New Records Online at NSW State Archives

The New South Wales State Archives have uploaded another trache of records searchable free online.  The Index to Convicts Applications to Marry has added 2,686 additional names covering May 1833 to Dec 1837. This is the 4th volume in the series.

These registers record key details about the parties applying for permission to marry including: their names; their ages; the date of permission or refusal; ship of arrival; sentence (for the party who was the convict); whether free or bond and the name of the clergyman.

There are seven registers in the series, some of which have overlapping dates.  Four registers have been indexed, covering December 1825 to March 1841.  A further three registers, covering January 1831 to 26 February 1851, are still in the process of being indexed.

While the basic information listed above is free to view, a full copy of the record can also be ordered at a small cost.

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

New German records on FamilySearch

In a massive boost for anyone with German ancestors, FamilySearch has added a massive new collection of Lutheran baptism, marriage and burial records, comprising almost 80 million new records. The collection spans the years from 1500 to 1971 and was done in partnership with Ancestry.

A typical baptism record in this collection lists the name of the child, gender, name of the parents, birth date and place, parish, town and state.

A typical marriage record lists the names of the bride and groom, their year of birth, the names of the parents, the wedding date, parish, town and state.

A typical burial record in this collection lists the name of the deceased, gender, date and place of death, spouse’s name, names of the parents, parish, town and state. Some records also list the date the obituary was published, which often can provide further clues as to the names of other family members.

The collection can be searched by first name and last name.

Sunday, December 2, 2018

Week 48 - Next to Last - 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks

Next to last brings to mind both my parents, who were each the second youngest child in their respective families.

For both my parents, the span of ages amongst their siblings is large, with the age difference between oldest and youngest sibling stretching over at least 20 years.  As a result, the difference is ages between oldest and youngest cousins is even greater.  Several of my older cousins, on both sides of my family, were parents themselves well before my sister and I were born.  It makes for interesting family gatherings.

On my father's side of the family, eldest brother Frank was born in 1908.  My father Peter was born in 1926, and youngest sister Marjory in 1928, making a 20 year span between the 10 siblings.  Add to this the fact that Dad was in his 40's when he had children, and the gap between oldest and youngest cousin in the Green family is almost 38 years.

Although there are only 5 siblings in my mother's family, significant gaps between some of the children creates even bigger age gaps.  Eldest sister Mavis was born in 1924, my mother was born in 1942, and youngest brother Noel appeared in 1947, making a 23 year span between oldest and youngest.  The first of the Pummeroy cousins was born in 1948, and the youngest didn't appear until 1988, making a whopping 40 year difference between oldest and youngest cousin!

Generation game indeed!

Thursday, November 29, 2018

First World War Shipwreck Database

Forgotten Wrecks of the First World War was developed by the Maritime Archaeology Trust with money from the Heritage Lottery Fund to record these forgotten traces of the First World War before they are lost forever. It covers wrecks off the south coast, but there are many more in other parts of the sea around Britain.

During the 2014–2018 centenary of the First World War, 322 volunteers spent 1,821 days working on the project, including diving on wrecks, conducting fieldwork and surveys, and recording more than 700 new artefacts.  The project also carried out outreach sessions to schools and the general public, and organised 44 different exhibitions, which were attended by over half-a-million people.

Now, members of the public can search the map or click on the colour-coded dots to find out more information about the wrecks. The website lists details of each location, such as the type of vessel; her launch year; the flag she sailed under; the departure port and destination; the cargo; the name of the master; the number of crew; the date of loss; and the number of fatalities.  Information about the vessel and how she was wrecked is available too, along with an archaeological site report ; where available there are photos of the wreck and of artefacts recovered, videos and 3D site reports.

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Week 47 - Thankful - 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks

The prompt for Week 47 is Thankful, not surprising as it coincides with Thanksgiving in the United States.  Indeed, there is much to be thankful for.

I am thankful to all the ancestors who lived their lives, contributed to society, raised their children, and left behind records and details of their lives for me to find.  Without their efforts, clearly I would not be here today.

I'm thankful to all the fellow researchers I've met, personally and online, through my genealogical research.  The genealogy community I have found is friendly, helpful and willing to chat, share ideas and knowledge and generally provide assistance and encouragement to others on their genealogical journey.  It makes researching easier, helps with brick walls, celebrates breakthroughs and provides company on the journey.

I'm thankful for all the distant relatives I've made contact with over the past several years.  There are so many people with whom I have established common ancestors, then swapped information, stories, photos and little details.  Again, they make the genealogy journey so much more entertaining and rewarding.

Finally, I'm thankful for the many online databases and web sites which make researching so much faster and easier, especially when I am researching ancestors on the other side of the world.  Without the internet and all the resources it places at my fingertips I would not have found a fraction of the information I have about my family.

Indeed, there is a lot to be thankful for.

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Week 46 - Random Fact- 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks

Week 46 focuses on a random fact - what to choose?  Again, this prompt has sent me back into my research, looking for something a little bit different to choose to highlight for this prompt.  It is one of the things I love about this challenge.

One ancestor of mine, Christopher Prentice, was a water bailiff.  This occupation was, apparently, an elected position, something I only discovered while searching old newspapers for articles relating to my family.  I discovered two items inserted in the Ipswich Journal by Christopher, relating to his election as district Water Bailiff.

The first article above, inserted by Christopher in the Ipswich Journal 10 September 1778 thanks the Freemen of the Borough of Ipswich for electing him to the position of Water Bailiff.  Clearly he performed to job to at least a satisfactory level, because in 1784 he applies to remain in the position which he has held for the past 6 years.

These two newspaper articles give a fascinating insight into the position Christopher held and the effort he had to go to in first obtaining the job and subsequently keeping it.  Facing re-election every few years would have kept him on his toes, with the threat of someone else being elected to he position if he did not fulfil his duties to the satisfaction of the community.