Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Police Gazette of Western Australia

The State Library of Western Australia has digitized and put online the Police Gazette of Western Australia. This collection spans the years from 1876 onwards. This gazette basically lists all the police activity by year. Typical information would include a list of people arrested and their sentences, police appointments and promotions, conditional pardons issued to convicts, physical descriptions of convicts, etc. This gazette contains a wealth of information for anyone looking for criminal or police records in Western Australia. Access this collection is free.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Queensland Shipping Records

The Queensland State Archives has released a new index of original shipping registers for vessels that arrived in Queensland from 1848 to 1912. A typical record lists the name of the ship, European port of departure, date of departure, place and date of arrival in Queensland, list of passenger and type of passage (free, assisted, remittance, bounty, steerage, etc.).

This index is for ships from the United Kingdom and Europe. It does not include ships from New Zealand, the Americas, Asia, Africa or other Australian ports. As well, some of the records from the 1860s are missing due to damage incurred in the Queensland 1893 floods. These indexes can be searched alphabetically by last name. Access is free.

Friday, November 30, 2012


What's new at the FamilySearch website?
FamilySearch has created a new collection of Kent electoral rolls. This collection spans a broad range from 1570 to 1907 and consists of some 132,000 images. Included in the collection are a few militia muster rolls (for Faversham). The collection contains other types of related records, such as jury service lists (which were often drawn from electoral rolls). This collection can only be browsed at the moment.
FamilySearch has also added some 1.2 million parish records for Plymouth and West Devon. These are baptism, marriage and burial records that date from 1538 to 1912 and can be searched by name.
Access is free to both sets of records.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

National Archives of Ireland

The National Archives of Ireland has created a special website specifically devoted to genealogy. Included are the 1901 and 1911 census records, tithe applotment books from 1823 to 1837 and soldier’s wills from 1914 to 1917. Eventually, the website is expected to contain all the genealogy records in the custody of the Irish National Archives, including Calendars of Wills and Administrations, 1858 – 1922; Nineteenth century census survivals, 1821-51; Valuation Office House and Field Books, 1848 – 60; Census Search Forms for the 1841 and 1851 censuses.  Please note the website states there are many incorrect entries, locations, names and spellings in the tithe entries. These are being corrected over time. Access is free.

Monday, November 19, 2012

British National Archives

The British National Archives has made good progress in digitizing their collection of World War I war unit diaries. A war unit diary is essentially a collection of field reports by various military units. A typical war unit diary contains daily operational reports from the front lines as well as local intelligence summaries. These war diaries were written between 1914 and 1923 by various British and colonial units that served in various theatres of war. Most of the unit diaries cover activity in France, Germany and Belgium. War unit diaries can contain a wealth of information for people looking for their ancestors and they are one of the most requested items in the British Archives reading rooms. In order to search these diaries, you need to know the regiment and battalion of your ancestor.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Chronicling America

On 22 October 2012, the website Chronicling America posted its 5 millionth historic newspaper page onto its website. The Chronicling America project now covers more than 800 newspapers from 25 different states spanning the period from 1836 to 1922.  This website was originally launched by the Library of Congress in 2007.  Access is free.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

UK National Archives Documents Online

Digital microfilm allows you to search and download some of The National Archives' most popular records, which were previously available on microfilm. The Archives owns a large collection of microfilmed records, which they have now made more accessible by making them available online. Many of the records are indexes, which will be helpful in locating other relevant records.
These documents are free of charge to download and are delivered as large pdf files. Be aware that each download contains a whole piece, which could be up to 800 pages long. NA have not indexed the detail within the records and so you cannot search them in the same way as you can search for a medal card, for example. Instead you will need to scroll through the pdfs, much as you would when using a microfilm.  With most of the items only part of the series is available online, not the whole series.  Still, this collection is well worth a look at Documents Online.

Friday, November 2, 2012


Mundia is the new family history site from Ancestry.com, a global platform offering access to more than 13 million family trees from all parts of the world with more than 1.4 billion profiles, and is available in multiple languages.  Basic membership to Mundia is free.
With Mundia, you can:
  • Build your family tree. Then grow it by sharing and collaborating with others.
  • Receive hints about matching ancestors and relatives in other members' trees.
  • Contact other members and find unknown living relatives.
  • Keep up to date with your family through comments, stories, and photos posted within your family circle.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Church of Ireland Records

The Church of Ireland has put online parish registers of baptisms, marriages and burials for the parish of Delgany (Glendalough) and vicinity in North Wicklow. The records (together with an index of names) span the years 1666 to 1900. Access is free. The complete Delgany parish registers can also be conveniently downloaded as a pdf.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Genealogy In Time

GenealogyInTime Magazine has added 400 million new records to their two free search engines. The Genealogy Search Engine (which covers ancestral records) now searches an additional 100 million more records, while the Family Tree Search Engine (which covers genealogy forums and online family trees) searches approximately 300 million more records.
In total, the two search engines now cover 5.7 billion records across more than 1,000 different websites. The records are split between the Genealogy Search Engine (covering 1.9 billion records) and the Family Tree Search Engine (covering 3.8 billion records). There is no overlap of records between the two search engines.
GenealogyInTime Magazine now gets over 40,000 queries per month for the two search engines. This makes them one of the most popular alternatives to the FamilySearch website for people wanting to look for free ancestral records. Significant holdings exist for the United States, Canada, England/Wales, Scotland, Ireland, Europe, Australia and New Zealand with minor holdings for the Caribbean, South America and South Africa.
Some of the highlights of the latest addition to the Genealogy Search Engine include:
55 million new records for the United States and 6 million new records for Canada. These are primarily ancestral records held in digital archives of public libraries and universities across North America. Many of these new records are historic photographs.
23 million new records for England, Ireland and Scotland. These are primarily twentieth century obituaries.
14 million new records for Europe. These are primarily birth/marriage/death records from Central and Eastern Europe.
2 million more ship passenger records.
The underlying technology has also been improved:
• The search routines for both search engines have also been strengthened to provide better results.
• The number of returned records for a search query has been increased from 8 pages to 10 pages.
• Results are delivered even faster than before.
Access to both search engines is free and the underlying records are also free.

Monday, July 16, 2012


Ever wondered what indexing projects FamilySearch.org is working on? In other words, is there a master list of all their projects? The answer is yes! Just follow the link to see if FamilySearch is working on anything that might be relevant to your family research.

Monday, July 9, 2012


Newspapers that tell Australia’s multicultural stories in their own language are now available online through the National Library of Australia’s Trove service.

Under the National Library’s Australian Newspaper Digitisation Program, selected German, Italian and Estonian community newspapers have now been digitised. These are:
Adelaider Deutsche Zeitung (1851 and 1860-62)
Suedaustralische Zeitung/ Südaustralische Zeitung (1850-1851)
Süd-Australische Zeitung (1860-1874)
Il Giornale Italiano (1932-1940)
Meie Kodu (1949-1954) – title funded by Estonian Archives in Australia

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

From Ireland

From Ireland has posted an amazing collection of about 14,500 photographs of Irish gravestones, making it one of the largest Irish gravestone photograph collections. The collection is arranged in albums by county. The main counties covered are Kilkenny (4,600 images) and Laois (6,800 images), with additional images from Clare, Cork, Kerry, Kildare, Limerick and Offaly. The images have been transcribed and are searchable. Access is free.

Monday, June 25, 2012

The Proceedings of the Old Bailey 1674 to 1913

The Old Bailey was the central criminal court for England and Wales, located in central London. This court heard the most serious criminal cases for London and much of the rest of the country. The Proceedings of the Old Bailey website contains a great collection of detailed records from some 200,000 criminal cases spanning roughly 240 years. This collection has been slowly increasing over time. It is a great website to check if you want to know if you had any really interesting characters in your family tree - only the most hardened criminals ended up at the Old Bailey. Access is free.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Books We Own

Books We Own is a list of resources owned/accessed by individuals who are willing to look up genealogical information and e-mail or snail mail it to others who request it. This is a free service - volunteers may ask for reimbursement of copies and postage if information is provided via snail-mail. The project began in 1996 as a way for members of the ROOTS-L mailing list to share their resources with one another. Today, there are nearly 2000 volunteers. The BWO Library tab directs you to an index of resources, organized by subject and locality.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Family History UK

Family History UK is the latest FREE UK family tree, genealogy and ancestry community portal website, connecting ancestors and living relatives all over the UK. You can search for your ancestors, Post your "Wanted Names" and Brickwalls.  The main site is completely FREE, to search, view or add any family history or genealogical details! On other parts of the site they will offer special things for the genealogy enthusiast.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Ancestry Library Edition

Did you know that Campaspe Regional Library subscribes to Ancestry Library Edition, a version of the Ancestry.com subscription website which gives a huge range of Australian and international resources for family historians. Along with other e-resources 'Ancestry' can be accessed for free in on any PC in every branch library via our website.  Highlights include :
· Searchable English census records 1841 - 1911 with images of the actual census
• Birth, marriage and death records, including the England and Wales birth, marriage and death indexes 1837 -2004
• Records of immigration into the US and of emigration from the UK
• Military records, for example 'Great Britain Army War List January 1893
• Directories and membership lists, including British telephone directories 1880 - 1984, being added in batches
• Australian Electoral Rolls 1903-1980
• Australian birth, death and marriage indexes
• Convict and passengers lists
• Reference and finding aides and more

Monday, May 28, 2012

WorldGenWeb Project

The WorldGenWeb Project is a non-profit, volunteer based organization dedicated to providing genealogical and historical records and resources for world-wide access.  The Project provides researchers with a safe place where they can focus on valuable and useful resources to conduct their research. Click on the country of your choice and eventually you can drill down to the specific community, and related free genealogy websites where you can hunt for more ancestral information.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Was your ancestor an Inventor?

Do you have an inventor in your family tree? If so, they may have registered a Victorian or Australian patent for their ‘bright idea’. There are two major online sources, both freely available, for searching the names of patent applicants in Australia from the mid 1800s to the present day.
Victorian patents 1854-1904

Prior to 1904 in Australia, inventors were able to register a patent application in each Colonial State. In Victoria, there were over 21,000 patents registered between 1854 and 1904, both by Australian residents and by overseas applicants. You can search for the names of these inventors in the Victoria Government Gazette .
Australian patents 1904 +

After1904, the administration of the State’s patents acts was transferred to the Commonwealth, and the Australian Patent Office was created.  Now named IP Australia, you can search for Australian inventors, from 1904 to the present, using IP Australia’s ‘AusPat‘ online database.

Monday, May 14, 2012


Who Do You Think You Are Magazine has published on their website a series of 'take it further' articles providing links to more specialist advice.  Currently subject tabs include Jobs, Overseas, Military, Religious, and Miscellaneous. Articles can be printed and helpful websites for more information are listed.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Cora Num - Web sites for Genealogists

Web Sites for Genealogists is an Australian gateway site for tracing your family history by Cora Num.  The site has over 2,000 links in 50+ categories and contains links to resources both in Australia and overseas, although the emphasis is on Australian material.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Shauna Hicks History Enterprises

Shauna Hicks History Enterprises is a small personal part time business specialising in local and family history research. Established in August 2009, it seeks to assist people in researching their own family and community histories.  I recently attended a seminar at which Shauna Hicks was a speaker, and thoroughly enjoyed her talk.  Shauna's website holds a wealth of information, links, notes from her various talks, and more. 

Friday, April 27, 2012

National Archives of Australia

Defence was one of the first functions to be passed to the new Australian Government in 1901. Until then, responsibility for defence had rested with the six colonies.

The National Archives’ holdings on defence date largely from 1901 but include some colonial records, such as those on the Boer War.
Records include :
  • service records – personnel dossiers and case files
  • administration – how the Commonwealth has managed the defence of Australia
  • the forces – Army, Navy, Air Force
  • conflicts – Boer War to Vietnam War
  • films - Films by and about Australia's defence
  • other defence matters – war crimes, weapons trials, disasters

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Free BMD

FreeBMD is an ongoing project, the aim of which is to transcribe the Civil Registration index of births, marriages and deaths for England and Wales, and to provide free Internet access to the transcribed records.  The FreeBMD Database currently contains 214,279,072 distinct records.  While not complete the site, and its sister sites FreeCEN (Census data) and FreeREG (Parish Registers) are well worth checking.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Dead Pubs

Was your ancestor a Pubican?  Dead Pubs is a historical street & pub history directory of London, Essex, Kent, Hertfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Middlesex, Suffolk, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Sussex, Oxfordshire, Gloucestershire, Hampshire, Devon, Somerset & Dorset.  Many listings even have photos of the pub.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Who Do You Think You Are Live 2012

WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE? LIVE 2012 has finished.

Many of the presenters gave handouts for their talks and workshops for 2012 to the Society of Genealogists, and these are now being made available FREE on the SOG website.  More notes and slides will become available in the coming weeks, so visit the SOG Family History Show page and take a look at what is available.

Friday, March 16, 2012

British Newspaper Archive

The British Newspaper Archive has come out of beta and is now live. This is a collection of some 65 million articles appearing in various British newspapers going back over 300 years.  It is free to search, although access to the actual newspaper article requires a subscription, and you can buy a two-day subscription if that is all you require.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Jewish Genealogical Society

The Jewish Genealogical Society of Great Britain has integrated their databases onto the JewishGen system to form one integrated database with JewishGen. The combined database lists more than 220,000 records of individuals from the United Kingdom as well as the Republic of Ireland. Included are various types of records such as birth, marriage, burials, census, trader lists, etc. Access is free.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Old Occupations

Family historians often locate records that list ancestors with unusual and intriguing occupations. Many of these occupations may have originated as far back as the Middle Ages and by the 14th century it was common for people to take their occupation as a surname. i.e. Skinner - Flayer of animal hides for leather or Fletcher – maker of arrows.

For a detailed list of old occupations have a look at the following websites, compiled from historical census returns, registers and voters lists.

The 1891 London Census Transcription – Victorian Occupations
Dictionary of Ancient Occupations and Trades
Old Occupations in Scotland

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Genealogy SA

Genealogy SA in conjunction with the South Australian Registrar of Births Deaths and Marriages has just announced that public domain South Australian Births, Deaths and Marriages Indexes are now available online via the new Genealogy SA website. Up until now these indexes have only been available in book form, on cd-rom and microfiche so great news for those of us doing SA research!

The indexes cover :
  • Newspaper Birth Notices Index from 1960 onwards
  • Newspaper Death Notices Index from 1972 onwards
  • South Australia Cemeteries Index
  • Birth Registration Certificates Index 1842 – 1928
  • Death Registration Certificates Index 1842 – 1972
  • Marriage Registration Certificates Index 1842 – 1916

Monday, March 5, 2012

Who do you think you are - new Australian series

Great news for fans of hit TV drama Who Do You Think You Are? The show returns for a fourth series in March as six more Australian celebrities trace their family tree, uncovering secrets and stories from the past.

Shaun Micallef, Kerry O’Brien, Melissa George, Vince Colosimo, John Wood and Michael O’Loughlin travel to all corners of Australia and the globe to find the definitive answer to where they came from.  The series starts 7.30pm Tuesday 27 March.

Popular Websites list

The Genealogy In Time Magazine website has released a Top 100 popular websites list. This is a worldwide collection but with a USA bias.

This list can also be downloaded as a handy PDF file.

Remember also that Cyndis List is a good port of call for that next step in your research or just for a good browse to see what is new.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Irish Military Archives

Ireland’s military archives have gone online for the first time on a new website called Military Archives. The website was launched in conjunction with the National Archives of Ireland. It will be the “place of deposit” for the records of the Irish Department of Defence, the Defence Forces and the Army Pensions Board. The website is planning a phased release of military records. Already online is a collection of maps, plans and drawings of military installations throughout the island of Ireland. Next up will be the Bureau of Military History Collection, which covers the period 1913 to 1921. This collection is expected to be online by March. It is composed of 36,000 pages of witness statements, photographs, letters, legal documents, etc. from the period. Access is free.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

National Archives UK

The National Archives is launching a new online catalogue at the end of January. Called Discovery, it will make it easier for people to search the online collections. Discovery will run in parallel with the old search catalogue until 31 March, at which time the old search methodology will be permanently disabled. There is a fee to access most of the extensive collections of the National Archives, which currently number over 11 million records.  Go to http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/SearchUI/

National Archives of Ireland

The website for the National Archives of Ireland has been redesigned to make it easier to navigate and more intuitive to understand. The new website also comes with expanded guides for people wanting to trace their Irish ancestors. Most of the records on the Irish National Archives website cover records from various Irish government departments from the twentieth century. Access is free.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Ancestral Atlas

Major plans for the UK-based genealogical mapping site include adding the ability for users to attach image, audio and video files to their events/locations ; adding new datasets to complement the user-contributed data ; and making the interface cleaner and more intuitive.  Explore the Ancestral Atlas at http://www.ancestralatlas.com/

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

National Archives UK

The National Archives Podcast Series
Listen to talks, lectures and other events presented by The National Archives of the United Kingdom.  The list is updated frequently as new podcasts are released.  Go to http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/rss/podcasts.xml


FamilySearch Ushers in the New Year with 119 Million New, Free Records from 33 Countries FamilySearch was extra busy during the holidays. It added 119 million new, free records online (about 64 million indexed names and 55 million browsable images). This latest round of record updates makes 1008 historic record collections online boasting 2.58 billion searchable names and 466 million digital images of historic documents.