Friday, November 23, 2012

Mini genie podcast episode

This mini-genie episode of Genies Down Under focuses on the wonderful details that can be found within the NSW Police Gazettes between 1854–1930. In this Mini-genie, you'll find out some ideas about how to search through the NSW Police Gazettes (1854–1930) for information about "the lives of people on bothsides of the law", including information about:

  • missing persons/ missing friends
  • crimes committed
  • wanted criminals
  • criminals who had been apprehended
  • police officer promotions
  • vacant positions for police offers
  • police appointments

The Police Gazettes can be accessed and searched through If you don't have paid subscription access to Ancestry, you can access it through computers at some libraries, archives offices and family history centres. Or, you can buy them from Gould Genealogy for about AUD$40.

The Police Gazettes are described by as follows:
The NSW Police Gazettes, 1854–1930, offer a window into the lives of people on both sides of the law. It contains information on wanted criminals, crimes committed, criminals who had been apprehended, and missing persons. It also contains information on police officers such as promotions, vacant positions, and appointments.
So, I would recommend that this resource is a great place to look for info about your ancestors. Here is a little taste of what you may find. After searching through this resource, I found this very detailed reference to one of my ancestors:
Missing, since the 13th instant from her home, 7 Connemarra-street, Bexley, - LUCY NORTHCOTE, 50 years of age, 5 feet 7 or 8 inches high, medium complexion, black hair, turning grey, blue eyets; dressed in a striped Fuji de luxe dress, black hat and black shoes and stockings; has been depondent of late. Information to her husband at the above address.

Happy hunting through the NSW Police Gazettes.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

B is for Bringing Them Home

For genies researching anything to do with Australian genealogy, the Bringing Them Home report is an important publication from our past. Even if your family's ancestry doesn't include any relatives who are Aboriginal people, the happenings that have been recorded in this report would have affected all our live at some time and, more than likely, many of our ancestors' lives too.

If you like reading and listening to stories, then the best way to understand the contents of this report is to read some of the true life stories from those who were involved including Jennifer, Paul, John and Carol.

Whereas many reports and stories about Indigenous people in Australia have been written by by non-Indigenous folk, this report aimed to be different. I remember the first time I read some of these stories around the year 2001, a few years after it was published. I was absolutely heartbroken to read the details of some of the storytellers' lives.

A must read for all those involved and interested in Aussie history.

Friday, May 18, 2012

A is for Australian Archives

 I thought that the most obvious of the A-words, Australia, was a bit too obvious for the beginning of this A-Z series for genealogy tips for genies down under. So, instead, I decided to choose A for AUSTRALIAN ARCHIVES.

Being so fortunate in Australia to have a wonderful collection of available archives, it's almost a genealogical crime not to delve into them. Here are a few highlights to enjoy - one for each of our states and territories:
I hope you enjoy delving into these national treasures.

Family History Through the Alphabet - for Aussie Genies

Well, I thought I had missed the boat on this challenge ... the family history through the alphabet challenge initiated by Gould Genealogy.

However, I've decided to take Aillin's lead at Australian Genealogy Journeys and start posting now, part way through 2012. Thanks Aillin! So, I thought I'd create an Aussie A-Z theme of genealogy tips for family history researchers - the genies down under.

Well, now I'll go off and think about what I should include in my first post for A. A is for ??? Will be back soon with the first Aussie genealogy tip for genies down under (and wherever else they are in the world).

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Pics for context in family history

Photographs are a great way to add context to our family history research.

Thanks to our State Libraries for making so many historical photographs available for us to see. Here are a few beauties ...

La Hogue sailing ship (above pic is a link from the online pic). This is the ship some of my own ancestors travelled in to get to Australia in 1880.

From the State Library of Victoria's site, we can see a view of Circular Quay in 1880 ( above pic is a link from the online pic ) where the above shipped would have docked:

Although I don't have any personal accounts or diaries of my ancestors around this time, these photographs fill in some of the blanks. They show me roughly what Circular Quay would have looked like through 1880 eyes. Hope you can do something similar with your own family history by searching through these photographic archives.

NSW State Archives (Photographs)
Victoria State Archives (Photographs)

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Blogging stuff for genies: Getting online with your ancestors

For current or new listeners of the Genies Down Under podcast, there is a new episode out now for May 2012. It's called Blogging Stuff for Genies: Getting Online with your Ancestors.

Access it through iTunes or on the Genies Down Under site.

This episode answers these questions:

What is a blog?
How can I create a blog?
How can I use blogs to share my family history research?
How can I access other people’s blogs to build up my own family history research?

I hope you enjoy it and let me know if I've missed anything you think should be included:

Saturday, April 28, 2012

What did I learn today from Jeremy Palmer?

Today I made an effort to trek down to Sydney-town to attend a course run by Jeremy Palmer at the Society of Australian Genealogists. Apart from enjoying the experience of being in the Rocks (the older part of Sydney, just under the pylons of one end of the Harbour Bridge) and being in a lovely old sandstone building, the course was well worth the effort. Jeremy spoke about how to be a professional genealogist but his ideas are useful for all genies, I think.

Jeremy runs a professional family history and research business, Anzestry, and has plenty of tips for genies down under (wherever they are).

Here are the top five tips I learned from him today:

  1. Negative searches. These are the searches you make when you don't find what you're looking for. Jeremy explained that these types of searches are costly and take longer than positive searches. After all, if you find what you're looking for, your search usually ends. However, when does a negative search end when you haven't found what you're looking for? It could go on for a long time, especially if you aren't sure whether or not the record you are searching for even exists. Jeremy's tip: make a record of your searches so that you don't repeat them. This will prevent you from wasting more time searching a set of records that you have already searched through before without any success. Of course, if databases are regularly updated and add to, re-doing the search can be worthwhile.
  2. Sources are important. This is an old chestnut but a useful thing to remember. Even experienced genies sometimes forget to record sources. Keeping a records of the records (census, BDM, etc.) and the sources (books, websites, etc.) that you have searched is a great way to save time in future research and a great way to ensure that your future searches can build on what you've already done, rather than starting the whole process from scratch.
  3. Brickwall breakers. Professional genealogists can help you to dismantle the brickwalls in your research. A few hours work from a paid professional may save you hours and hours and hours of your own precious time. Also, an outsider's eye is often the key to breaking these brickwalls.
  4. Research records. Although the thrill of the chase and the excitement of the find is what motivates many genies, you can save yourself a lot of time and prevent the risk of double-searching if you keep a record of where you search. Jeremy suggested keeping a research log which includes what you have done in your searching - such as letter writing, information requests, etc.
  5. Learn more. Join a society, enrol in a course, attend a webinar, read books, ask for advice, practise your skills. When does a genie stop learning? Never:)

Thinking of becoming a member of SAG? I'd recommend it wholeheartedly - whether you live in Australia or overseas. There are loads of benefits for a small financial annual outlay. For less than $100, you can join and pay for your annual membership. The advice, publications, access to courses and records, not to mention the camaraderie, are some of my reasons for being a member. Plus, it's a great way to find out what's going on in the world of genealogy.

Check them out on Facebook

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Blogging beautiful!

While preparing for my next Genies Down Under episode, which is all about blogging, I just had to share these blogs with you.

The following blogs are all related to topics that would interest Aussie genies - so I thank all of these bloggers for their wonderful work and interesting blog posts.

Find out more about blogging in the Genies Down Under May podcast - available on iTunes on 1 May 2012.