Thursday, August 27, 2015


Have you ever participated in a Genie Hangout on Air??  If not, check out Jill Ball's GeneaHangouts this Sunday, a final blast for National Family History Month.  Times for the hangouts are :

Sydney, Australia     30th August 09:00 - 12 :00
London, UK             30th August 12:01 - 03:00
New York                 29th August 19:00 - 22:00
Los Angeles             29th August 16:00 - 19:00
Sydney, Australia     30th August 12:00 - 15:00
London, UK              30th August 03:00 - 06:00
New York                 29th August 22:00 - 01:00
Los Angeles             29th August 19:00 - 22:00
Sydney, Australia     30th August 15:00 - 18:00
London, UK              30th August 03:00 - 06:0
New York                 30th August 01:00 - 04:00
Los Angeles             29th August 22:00 - 01:00
Sydney, Australia     30th August 18:00 - 21:00
London, UK             30th August 09:00 - 12:00 
New York                30th August 04:00 - 07:00
Los Angeles            30th August 01:00 - 04:00

As you can see, Jill will be a very busy lady and all talked out by the end of the day.  Many of Jill's GeneaFriends are participating and will discuss various topics.  I'm hoping to attend at least one session, depending on when I am home.  I hope to chat to you then.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Truth in family stories

I have, once again, been having some fun with my subscription to British Newspapers Online (the pay-to-use, and therefore nowhere near as good, British version of Trove), delving into the family stories and finding extra detail to add to them.  I recently discovered that one of my fathers ancestors was involved in a libel case, taking a newspaper editor to court for his suggestion his wife had been having an affair.  The report below is from the Chelmsford Chronicle on Friday 5th October 1888.

The trial was featured in several newspapers and included reports of testimony from several witnesses who had purchased the paper, read the article and drawn the same conclusion as to who it discussed and the misdeeds it inferred.  Eventually the jury retired and after deliberation of just 23 minutes, found Editor Ernest Brown guilty of all charges, and he was sentenced to three months in prison.  The final paragraph of a lengthy article from the Essex Newsman on Saturday 8th December 1888 is below.

There is a final piece to this puzzle reported later that month.  A short notice which says a great deal about the opinion of the public in this case was reported in the Essex Newsman on Saturday 29 December 1888, about a public subscription being started to repay Walter Green's costs in pursuing the libel case.  The case is referred to as a public service to the community - leaving no doubt as to exactly where sympathies lay!

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Family History Month

Once again August is Family History Month, and events, talks and activities are taking place across the country.  Campaspe Regional Library is again offering a number of Genealogy talks, so I will take this weekend to limber up my vocal chords before the first sessions start Monday at our Tongala Branch.  Bookings are available via the library homepage so please check out what is on offer and book yourself in - all the sessions are free and will be held in Echuca, Kyabram, Rochester and Tongala.  The updated notes from each session will be uploaded to the library homepage shortly.
Topics include :
  • Introduction to online records
  • Organising your Family History research
  • Using Ancestry Library Edition
  • Using FamilySearch
  • Online records at the Public Records Office of Victoria
  • Trove and the National Library of Australia
  • Researching your military ancestors
  • Irish Family History records online
  • History of the Workhouses

Friday, July 24, 2015


Have you checked out the new FreeREG website??  The new upgrade was launched in April - yes, its taken me a while to find out about it.  Better late than never.  The database contains some 35 million records and is constantly growing, as volunteers upload more records.
The website states "Our objective is to provide free Internet searches of baptism, marriage, and burial records, which have been extracted from parish registers and non-conformist church records in the UK. The recording of baptisms, marriages and burials in parish registers began in England in 1538 and is separate and distinct from the civil registration process that began in 1837. (The latter is covered by our companion project FreeBMD) Our aim is to make it easier for researchers, no matter where they are in the world, to locate a specific record relating to their ancestor within a parish register."
While the site does not publish transcriptions, it is a great resource for tracking down where your relevant records are located, and the new interface is clear, concise and easy to use. Well done!  A great resource - I have happily updated my bookmark.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Britain on Film

An array of early ‘home movies’ are among thousands of historic films available to watch through a new British Film Institute service. Launched earlier this month, Britain on Film provides access to a vast archive of films dating back 120 years, giving a vivid insight into family life at the time. Users can search the archive via a map of the British Isles, enabling them to zoom in and find videos relating to the places their ancestors came from. Highlights include the Passmore Family Collection, which includes footage of children playing on a beach in Bognor Regis in 1903 – thought to be the earliest surviving home movie in existence. 
Around 2,500 films including home movies, documentaries and news footage from Victorian times up to the 1980s is now available online.  The films have been digitised thanks to National Lottery money and the aim is to have 10,000 available within three years.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Irish WW1 Exhibit Online

Rare and previously unpublished WW1 material held in the Trinity College Dublin Library is now available to be viewed online thanks to a collaboration between Trinity and Google.
The Great War Revisited Exhibition features 80 exhibits of unique heritage material from Trinity’s rare books and manuscripts collections relating to the Great War, including recruiting posters, letters, diaries, photographs, videos, pamphlets and artworks.
Highlights of the exhibition include:
  • Trinity’s celebrated collection of Irish WWI recruiting posters (one of the largest collection in existence)
  • Previously unpublished photographs of the Allied campaign in Iraq and Turkey
  • Letters and diaries from Irish soldiers serving in France, Iraq and Palestine (previously unpublished)
  • A multitude of political pamphlets, songs and ballads and artworks
Helen Shenton, Librarian and College Archivist, said: “The Library of Trinity College Dublin is delighted to be partnering with Google Cultural Institute on the Great War Revisited online exhibition. Showcasing the richness of First World War material held in the Library, the online exhibition forms part of the Library's commitment to opening up its historic collections for global online access.”

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Catholic Parish Registers at the NLI

The National Library of Ireland (NLI) has uploaded 390,000 digital images of baptism and marriage registers to a new website, where they can be accessed free of charge.
Covering more than a thousand Catholic parishes, the scanned microfilm pages reveal details of people living across the entire island between the 1740s and 1880s.
While the material has not yet been transcribed, users can find individuals by selecting a county, parish and then browsing through the scans page-by-page.
Due to the destruction of crucial records during the Irish War of Independence, the registers are considered most important source for tracing ancestors in the country prior to the 1901 Census.
Although indexes to the registers have been created in the past, this is the first time the full records have been published on the web. As a result, researchers can consult the original handwritten entries and be more confident they are getting accurate information.
The NLI holds microfilm copies of over 3500 registers from 1086 parishes in Ireland and Northern Ireland. The start dates of the registers vary from the 1740/50s in some city parishes in Dublin, Cork, Galway, Waterford and Limerick, to the 1780/90s in counties such as Kildare, Wexford, Waterford and Kilkenny. Registers for parishes along the western seaboard do not generally begin until the 1850/60s.