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.

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Who Do You Think You Are Magazine

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

Inside this month's issue
  • DNA testing
    Our complete buyer's guide to testing kits cuts through the hype and jargon so you can make the right decision
  • Christmas photos
    Our ancestors have always loved getting the camera out at Christmas. Jayne Shrimpton reveals the history of festive photographs
  • Websites tested
    MyHeritage or TheGenealogist? Chris Paton weighs up the merits of two of the biggest family history websites
  • He's behind you!
    Are you heading to the pantomime this Christmas season? Caroline Roope lifts the curtain on this traditional form of great British entertainment
  • Reader story
    How Linda Hill discovered a family connection to a famous Battle of Trafalgar warship
  • Plus...
    The best websites for tracing East End ancestors; getting the most from trade directories; the lives of publicans, and much more...

Monday, November 19, 2018

Week 45 - Bearded - 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks

Week 45 focuses on beards, and among the photos I have of my ancestors there are several impressive beards to choose from.

One of the more interesting beards in my photo collection belonged to Henry Pike, a miller from Gedding and Coombs in Suffolk.  While he didn't sport a full beard in the photo below, the 'muttonchop' whiskers were certainly impressive.
Henry Pike (1826-1899)
Henry was born in November 1826 in the village of Rattlesden, Suffolk.  He was the fifth child, and fourth son of Morris Pike and Ann (nee Wordly).  Henry was the second child to bear that name - on February 2nd 1825 Morris and Ann had a child they named Henry who lived just over 16 months, dying on June 23rd 1826.  When Ann gave birth to another son only a few months later they called him Henry after his brother.

On July 20th 1855 Henry married Susannah Hines.  Susannah was born in East Bergholt, Suffolk and moved to Rattlesden to live with her grandparents after she was orphaned at the age of 17.  Together Henry and Susannah had 6 children, two sons and 4 daughters.  Henry's sons Henry Arthur and Charles Albert both followed him into his trade as millers and farmers.  Henry died in Coombes on February 18th, 1899 from diabetes, and is my 3x Great Grandfather.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

What's New on Trove

Trove is one of my favourite online genealogy sites, and one that I visit regularly in my research.  While they’re not scanning as quickly as they have in the past, mostly due to budget cuts, they are still finding more newspapers to digitize and the collection continues to grow.

Here’s the list the titles they’ve released over the past few months, as well as those that are coming soon.  These new additions take the current total of old newspapers records to a amazing 220,950,426!

Thanks to the wonderful people at Unlock the Past who highlighted these new additions in their blog.

New Additions

NEW SOUTH WALESThe Spectator (Sydney, NSW: 1846)
The Spectator (Sydney, NSW: 1892)

The Albany Despatch (WA: 1919-1927)
Chung Wah News (Perth, WA: 1981-1987)
Coolgardie Pioneer (WA: 1895-1901)
Day Dawn Chronicle (WA: 1902 – 1909)
Geraldton Guardian (WA: 1951-1954)
Harvey Murray Times (WA: 1931-1954)
Hellenic Echo (Perth, WA: 1967-1968)
Japanese Perth Times (Subiaco, WA: 1989-1996)
Kookynie Press (WA: 1903-1911)
Manjimup Mail and Jardee-Pemberton-Northcliffe Press (WA: 1927-1950)
Midlands Advocate (Perth, WA: 1930-1954)
Newcastle Herald and Toodyay District Chronicle (WA: 1902-1912)
North-Eastern Wheatbelt Tribune (Wyalkatchem, WA: 1926-1940)
Stampa Italiana = The Italian Press (Perth, WA: 1931-1932)
The Voice of Freedom = Elefthera Phoni (Perth, WA: 1956-1957)
The Western Australian Goldfields Courier (Coolgardie, WA: 1894-1898)
Wheatbelt Tribune and Koorda Record (Wyalkatchem, WA: 1940-1954)

Guinea Gold (Papua New Guinea: 1942-1945)
Papua New Guinea Post-Courier (Port Moresby : 1969 – 1981)
Papuan Courier (Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea: 1917-1942)
Papuan Times (Kwato, Papua New Guinea : 1951-1954)
Papuan Times (Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea: 1911-1916)

Coming soon

Albury Banner (1881-1896); [Albury & District Historical Society; NSW State Government Regional Cultural Fund]
Border Morning Mail (1938-1942); [Albury & District Historical Society; NSW State Government Regional Cultural Fund]
Daily Express (Wagga Wagga: 1919-1929); [Wagga Wagga & District Historical
Mosman, Neutral and Middle Harbour Resident (1904-1907); [Mosman Historical Society]

QUEENSLANDToowoomba Chronicle (Sept. 1917-Sept. 1922); [State Library of Queensland]
Toowoomba Chronicle and Darling Downs Gazette (Oct 1922-Dec 1933); [State Library of Queensland]

SOUTH AUSTRALIAMessenger (1951-1954) [State Library of South Australia]
Port Augusta & Stirling Illustrated News (Feb.-Aug. 1901) [State Library of South Australia]
Portonian (1871-1873) [State Library of South Australia]

VICTORIAElmore Standard (1882-1905);[Bendigo Regional Genealogical Society]
Great Southern Advocate (1907-1913; 1919-1926); [Korumburra & District Historical Society]
Richmond Guardian (1907-1909;1915-1916) [Rhett Bartlett]

The Fremantle Advocate (Aug 1926 – Jan 1942); [Fremantle Library]

Friday, November 9, 2018

Statistical Accounts of Scotland

The Statistical Accounts of Scotland Online provides access to digitised and fully searchable versions of both the Old Statistical Account (1791-99) and the New Statistical Account (1834-45). These detailed parish reports, written by Church of Scotland ministers, detail social conditions in Scotland and are an invaluable resource for anyone interested in Scottish history.   They note basic details about the parishes in question: the industries that were followed, the religious denominations present, the names of key landholders, the topography of the area, and even the nature of the inhabitants themselves.

You can search with a place name or a keyword, for example Glasgow or mills, then click on the map. A new map will open where you can click on any county, to see the parishes in that county. You can then select a parish and view the available reports.

The website allows basic searches for free and charges a subscription fee for access to additional features such as print and download, the ability to tag and annotate pages and many more. Otherwise the service is run on a not-for-profit basis and the subscription fees only cover the cost of hosting and maintaining the website.

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Week 44 - Frightening - 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks

Frightening is a rather apt prompt for the week considering it is Halloween (although Halloween itself has passed by the time I write this post) - a day much more prominent in America than it is here in Australia, although it is now growing in popularity.

When I think of the frightening things my ancestors would have endured, there are so many things to think about.  The enormous changes in society they would have witnessed, from the industrial revolution to the digital age.  The two World Wars, along with many other conflicts.  Social upheavals.  Natural disasters.  Illness, unemployment, the threat of the workhouse.  Accidents, with the resultant possible loss of income, with little or no social welfare to fall back on.  Life is indeed frightening.

Most of all, I think about those of my ancestors who emigrated from England, Ireland and Germany to Australia.  How frightening it must have been to make the decision to move halfway around the world.  To step on board the ship knowing there was little chance they would ever see the family and friends they were leaving behind again.  To face life in an unfamiliar country, an alien landscape.  To establish themselves in that unfamiliar place and build lives for their children and grandchildren.  While for many it was a way to escape poverty, hardship and persecution, a potential to built lives for themselves better than they could ever have hoped for in their country of birth, it must still have been a frightening leap into the unknown.

Exactly how my ancestors faced those fears I will never know in great detail, but face them they did.  The lives they built in Australia were, for the majority, well worth the risk.  And I can only thank them for having the courage to face their fears and build those new lives.

Saturday, November 3, 2018

Irish Records on FamilySearch

FamilySearch has increased their collection of Irish civil registration records by an additional one million records in the last few months. These are primarily birth (1864 to 1913), marriage (1845 to 1870) and death (1864 to 1870) records issued by the Irish government.

A typical birth record in this collection lists the name of the child, date and place of birth, full name and address of the father, profession of the father and full name (including maiden name) and address of the mother.

A typical marriage record in this collection includes the full names of the bride and groom, their ages, date and place of marriage, occupations of the both the bride and groom, their signatures and witnesses to the marriage (who were often close relatives).

A typical death record in this collection includes the full name of the deceased, date and place of death, sex, age, marital status, occupation and certified cause of death (if known).

These records can be searched by first name and last name. Sadly, most of the records in this collection do not show images of the original record, but it is still a fantastic addition to the FamilySearch collection for those of us with Irish ancestry.

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Week 43 - Cause of Death - 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks

Week 43 is 'Cause of Death', and some of the causes of death listed on death certificates, in coroners reports and even on headstones can make you stop and think.  Sometimes they are straightforward and I know what the terms mean, but others required some research to understand.

There  are a few great websites around that help us understand the causes of death we find given for our ancestors.  One I have used several times is Rudy's List of Archaic Medical Terms - giving explanations of various causes of death and for many their equivalent today and a handwritten example of the term.

In my own family there are a range of causes of death.  Several died in accidents - falling from a horse, cart turnover, farming accidents.  Several women died in childbirth.  Two died in lunatic asylums, both admitted in old age because of dementia.  Others died of pneumonia, influenza, cholera and other illnesses.  Cancer has also appeared fairly frequently.  Rarer causes of death include catarrh, atrpohy, occlusion and simple old age.