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.

Monday, October 13, 2014

New Australian records on has added some new Australian records to their databases.

The State Records Authority of New South Wales includes 273,000 records of seamen and spans the years from 1859 to 1936. The information in each record varies. Typical information includes such things as name, age, date of birth, place of birth, vessel, vessel owner, engagement and discharge date. The collection can be searched by name, year of birth, place of birth and keyword.

The Land Grants from New South Wales collection consists of some 190,000 records spanning the years from 1788 to 1963 from various land record offices in the state. The format of each record varies by time and place but usually include the date, location of the grant, description of the land, name of the person the land was granted to, the amount paid for the grant and names of witnesses to the document. The granting of free land in New South Wales ceased in 1831. After that time, land grants were sold by public auction. This collection can be searched by name, location and keyword. can be accessed free at many public libraries, including Campaspe.  Ask at your local library for more information.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Inside Hsitory Magazine

Inside History Magazine’s issue 24 is out now, and features the following articles :
  • DNA testing, covering the ABC basics of how to get tested and what you’ll learn from the results, as well as reporting on readers’ experiences.
  • Find out which 50 best genealogy and history blogs made their 3rd Annual Blog Awards.
  • Michelle Patient takes you through what you should consider when it comes to choosing a genealogy software program for yourself.
  • Expert photographic analyser, Jayne Shrimpton tells us how hats, bonnets and berets can all give telling clues about your ancestors.
  • When does genealogy meet archaeology? Go behind the scenes in Sydney’s latest archaeology digs on two colonial-era buildings.
  • And how would you like to see your ancestor on the front cover of Inside History.  If you’re interested simply enter IHM competition now.
Inside History magazine is available through most newsagents, or can be downloaded FREE by members of Campaspe Regional Library through Zinio, our e-Magazines platform.  Ask our staff for more information.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Church of Ireland Gazette

The Church of Ireland has put online the 1914 editions of the Church of Ireland Gazette, adding to the 1913 editions already available. This weekly publication published details on funerals, obituaries, school activities and community activities in addition to church activities.
Overall the contents of the 1914 Church of Ireland Gazette provide an invaluable insight to the opinions and attitudes of members of the Church of Ireland through changing times. Written and read by lay and clerical members of the Church north and south, access via the online search engine brings to life at the touch of a button how unfolding political events in Ireland and abroad were communicated to and received by members of this significant minority community on the island one hundred years ago.
The Gazette can be searched by keyword and access is free.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Bankruptcy Records Online

Researchers can now find out whether their ancestors were put behind bars for bankruptcy following the launch of a new record set at Digitised from documents held at The National Archives, the Debtors’ Prison Registers detail over 700,000 criminals detained in Marshalsea, King’s Bench and Fleet Prisons between 1734-1862. Fully searchable by name and date, most of those held were charged with insolvency, but a number of records also relate to vagrancy and sedition.  Remember you can search these records and many more on Ancestry Library Edition free at Camapspe Regional Library.

Friday, October 3, 2014

52 Weeks of Genealogy - Week 23 - Electoral Rolls

Shauna has chosen Electoral Rolls for her topic for Week 23, and in my family research I have gained a great deal of information from researching electoral rolls, so I love having access to them.  In her blog Shauna notes that "Electoral rolls can show changes of address, change of name for women after marriage, the death of a spouse or adult children leaving home. Sometimes an elderly parent moves back in with an adult child.  In Australia we have both state and commonwealth rolls and both should be checked as sometimes people only update one and not the other or they are updated at different times.  Information gained is mostly the person’s name, occupation and address but the information at different times can indicate deaths or separations or movement interstate and so on."
I have used the Electoral Rolls to track the movements of several family members as some individuals changed address frequently.  For my father's family they have been especially useful in tracking where his parents lived, as they covered most of the state of Victoria from the time they arrived in Australia until they died.  Tracking them through the electoral rolls help me pin down exactly where each of Dad's siblings were born and to make a timelone of where Dad lived in his youth.
My only regret with the Rolls is that they just don't date back far enough - most of my mother's family arrived in Australia in the 1840's and 1850's and, of course, we don't have the wealth of Census information here in Australia that they enjoy in Britain - having older Electoral Rolls would really be helpful!
Read Shauna's full article on Electoral Rolls here.  Thanks again Shauna - I look forward to reading what subject you choose to explore next.