Jun 24, 2010

Getting started with Family History

Starting out on your family history work backwards from the known (yourself) to the unknown (forebears). Fitting all the pieces together so that they fall into place, you need to work methodically and don't jump generations. Start by gathering together documentation of your own family, birth, death and marriage certificates, notices from newspapers, cemetery inscriptions, photos etc.

NEVER believe everything on a Birth, Death or Marriage certificate.

NEVER completely trust the spelling of surnames, places names etc. as transcriptions from original documents can be difficult to read and result in incorrect information being copied.

ALWAYS check surname variants when researching.

ALWAYS have at least two separate sources of proof for each event.

REMEMBER that everything is only speculation until vertified.

ALWAYS photocopy certificates and important documents and leave the originals in a safe place.

NEVER carry original documents around with you.

Information is not all on-line, there are lots of tantalising leads on the net, but you also need the assistance of visiting a Family History Group, Genealogical Society or Historical Society to look at original documents. Obtain a blank pedigree chart. Free downloadable and printable charts are available from Family Search and Ancestry Library Edition websites.

SHARE your information and documentation (copies only) with other researchers.

The National Library of Australia database TROVE - Treasures of the National Library is useful for searching family and local history. A search for Sam Merrifield as Keyword, selecting Australian content turned up 207 results in Australian newspapers (1803-1954), Books, journals, magazines, articles 10 results, Diaries, letters, archives 3 results and Archived websites (1996 - now) 60 sites.

Chinese Family History

The Chinese presence and influence in Australia has a history dating from the 1750's and probably earlier. With the discovery of gold in Victoria and the lure of wealth and prosperity; combined with the environmental, political and economic conditions in China which lead to an increase in the Chinese population from the 1850's reaching approximately 50,000. At the same time from the 1850's there was pressure on the Government to restrict the number of Chinese coming to Australia which resulted in the Immigration Restriction Act 1901. Despite the introduction of this Act the Chinese community participated in the celebrations held in Melbourne for the opening of the first Federal Parliament. The Argus gives a lively report on the Chinese procession at the opening of the first Federal Parliament. The Chinese continued travelling to and from Australia for business and family connections, however the Chinese population fell from about 35,000 in 1901 to under 10,000 in 1947. During the 1950's and 60's there was a gradual easing of the Immigration Restriction Act and by the 1990's there were approximately 450,000 people of Chinese background in Australia.

For more information about Chinese History and Culture visit these websites.

Chinese Heritage of Australian Federation
Chinese Museum
Chinese Genealogy
Finding Chinese family connections in the National Archives.

The Tiger's Mouth

Jun 15, 2010

Findmypast - Special World Cup offer

When England play, you don't pay: 30 minutes before each England game kicks off, all the records on findmypast.co.uk will be free to view for 3 hours. It's simple - just register and start viewing. You can view original images and transcriptions of all their records for free including birth, marriage and death records 1538-2006, census records including the 1911 census and the Chelsea Pensioners British Army Service Records 1760-1913, just a few of their records.

Jun 11, 2010

State Library of Victoria Family History Blog

The State Library of Victoria has a new website and a new blog Family Matters, subscribe and keep up to date with all the latest news about family history. The annual Family History Feast 2010 organised by the State Library of Victoria will be held on Monday the 2nd August from 10am to 4pm; among the organisations giving presentations on the day will be the Victorian Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages, the Public Records Office Victoria, the National Archives of Australia (Victorian Office) and the Victorian Association of Family History Organisations and the State Library of Victoria. The Don Grant Lecture will be given this year by Professor Geoffrey Blainey on Victoria in the 19th Century : everyday life and family history. Bookings open on Tuesday 15th June, 2010.

Jun 8, 2010

1901 Census of Ireland

The 1901 census of Ireland (index and images) from the National Archives Ireland has been made available for free.

Jun 4, 2010

New Blog

Lenore Frost, author of local history books has dipped her toes into the world of blogging. The Empire Called and I Answered is a commemorative database of the Great War Volunteers of Essendon and Flemington, this is a work in progress. Enjoy