24 September 2010

Sassy Jane Genealogy (Follow Friday)

'Follow Friday' is a theme used by Geneabloggers. This week my suggestion is Sassy Jane Genealogy.

Here you will find practical advice from a family historian who is also a librarian and archivist. Pay particular attention to posts with 'Wisdom Wednesday' in the title. Items that I liked include:

19 September 2010

Genealogy conference papers (Sources Sunday)

From time to time, using my theme 'Sources Sunday', I talk about a source that I have used for genealogy. It may be a specific source or series in a record office; a book; or a library, museum etc as a source in the broader sense. You won't see 'Sources Sunday' here every week because it is sometimes in one of my other blogs (which are listed in the sidebar).

This week I am recommending published papers of genealogy conferences to help you locate and understand a wide variety of sources. Well-known overseas speakers (and locals with expertise in overseas research) present papers at the Australasian Congress on Genealogy and Heraldry and some small conferences here - so wherever you are in the world, have a look at the Web page listing topics covered at six major conferences. Some of the papers on Irish and English research are outstanding.

16 September 2010

Newspapers, birthdays and Christmas gifts

What was happening in the world on the day your grandfather was born?

A good family history is one that includes historical context, and newspapers are an obvious resource. My 'list of things to do' includes 'Find a newspaper for the day each of my direct ancestors was born and died'.

I once researched a person who died in Sydney NSW at the age of 103. Normally I would have expected to find a short paragraph in the newspaper, but the death was completely overshadowed by reports of the dramatic opening of the Sydney Harbour Bridge!

A few years ago, as Christmas gifts for my father and sisters, I laminated A3 photocopies of the front page of a major local newspaper for the day each of them was born. My father was born in 1919, and his page was filled with stories about the aftermath of World War I. My youngest sister was born during a cyclone, and the newspaper reports prompted Dad to tell us some interesting tales about rushing to the hospital in cyclonic conditions.

I hasten to add that important documents should never be laminated, as explained in 'Step away from the laminator!' The A3 pages I laminated were not for long-term preservation. They were just inexpensive gifts (which are used as place mats for informal family meals!)

08 September 2010

Family History Library catalogue (52 Weeks to Better Genealogy, no.36)

Challenge no.36 was 'Check out the Family History Library catalog. Search by place, surname, keyword, title, film/fiche, author, subject, and call number. You do not have to be a member of the LDS Church to utilize this service.'

I had previously used this site to find English parish registers and Australian probate records. For a few dollars I was able to order microfilms for use at a Family History Centre near me. Nowadays members of some genealogical societies in Australia can also order films for use in their society's library.

This week I did searches using both the original site and the new 'beta' site. The beta version produces results that look nicer, with all details on one screen; but identifying a particular parish is sometimes more difficult. It depends how the 'place search' results are presented when there are several places with the same name. Presumably this issue will be resolved as the site develops.

('52 Weeks to Better Genealogy' is a series of tasks devised by Amy Coffin for Geneabloggers, whose Web site has a full description of this week's challenge.)

04 September 2010

Sources Sunday

The traditional blogging theme 'Sentimental Sunday' is not really relevant to me, so I am using a new theme: 'Sources Sunday'. I will feature a source that I have used for genealogy, such as a specific source or series in a record office; a book; a non-print publication (microfiche or CD-ROM); or a library, museum etc as a source in the broader sense.

If the source is at Queensland State Archives I will post to Queensland Genealogy - but even if your research is in another State or country, you may find my comments helpful because National, State and local record offices throughout the world often hold similar material. There are also many documents at Queensland State Archives for people from other States and countries. One example is the Supreme Court probate file for Ellis READ (Qld State Archives: SCT/P421 file 11083).

Statements in the file show that Ellis READ lived in Guadalajara 1882-1890. Between 1887 and 1890 he made business trips to London and lived there for a few months at a time. He died in Mexico in 1890. Ten years later his widow applied for administration of his estate. I don't know whether Ellis ever lived in Australia, but he owned land here. When that land was sold, a grant of probate was required so that a certificate of title could be issued. The probate file includes an affidavit regarding Ellis READ's death certificate, giving his age, native place, occupation, wife's maiden name, father's name, mother's maiden name, and his cause of death and burial place.

RIENECKER (Surname Saturday)

RIENECKER was my maternal grandmother's maiden name. Her father, Carl Ludwig RIENECKER, came to Queensland as a boy. I have seen the surname spelled many different ways, and indexed in even more ways. Sometimes it is under K, which in some handwriting looks like R.

The RIENECKER family has been researched to some extent by my distant relatives, but as their findings are largely unsupported by source references, I guess I will have to reinvent the wheel.

I found a Supreme Court naturalisation record for Carl Ludwig, which raised doubts about his alleged date of birth. Last week I had a look at FamilySearch's pilot site. (I was very impressed with the way it allows you to refine and further refine your searches. If only Ancestry searches were as easy!)

In the collection 'Germany Births and Baptisms 1558-1898' I found an entry for the baptism of Carl Ludwig RINECKER (that is the spelling in FamilySearch) at Bohlschau, Westpreussen, Prussia. I hope to have a copy of his original baptism record in a few weeks time!

('Surname Saturday' is a theme used by Geneabloggers.)

03 September 2010

Follow Friday: Geniaus

'Follow Friday' is a theme used by Geneabloggers. My recommendation this week is Geniaus, where I especially enjoyed these blog posts:

  • 10 things I can't live without to support my genealogy addiction. Jill illustrates how people (including volunteers and decision makers) play a vital role in our research. She also mentions Trove, which has material of interest to genealogists worldwide (journals, magazines, photos, maps, and searchable Australian newspapers). Note that Australian newspapers often print death notices etc that were originally published overseas.

02 September 2010