Monday, 15 September 2014

Year 5 blogiversary: 'Top 10'

Image by Mister GC (FreeDigitalPhotos.net)
To celebrate the fact that this blog turns five on 16 Sep 2014, I will highlight one post from each of the ten categories that I use.

BDMs (births, deaths & marriages):
Free Certificates in Archives Files

Hidden treasures:
SCHOLEFIELD and CHARLES: Birth Certificates in Land Files

Indexes:
Index to Funeral Records 1972-2010

My family:  nothing recent in this blog, but see...
Postems on FreeBMD

People:
Children in Mental Asylums

Places:
C is for Cooktown, Croydon and Cunnamulla

Sources:
Hospital Admission Registers as a Source for Family History

Tips:
Lifeline Bookfest (Thrifty Thursday)

Warnings:
Names Missing from Immigration Index

Websites:
My Web site has moved

If you are wondering why I don't post here very often... have a look at my other genealogy blogs (a total of nine!)

Saturday, 6 September 2014

Hospital Admission Registers as a Source for Family History

Brisbane Prison Hospital admission register
A typical hospital admission register
Hospital admission registers provide a solution to many genealogical dead ends and brick walls!

People born in the UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Europe, America, Canada and other parts of the world appear in Queensland hospital admission registers. Biographical details supplied by the patient are often more complete and more accurate than those on certificates. A hospital register is sometimes the only surviving source of information about the ship on which a person arrived.

Many people spent time in a hospital far from their home. This applies especially to Brisbane (a large hospital capable of handling difficult cases), Cooktown (with many miners and sailors from ships in port) and Croydon (people came here from everywhere during the local gold rush).

The registers for Brisbane General Hospital, Brisbane Prison Hospital, and hospitals at Burketown, Cooktown, Croydon, Ingham, Muttaburra and Roma, are printed volumes with space for these details:
  • name
  • date admitted
  • age
  • birthplace (town, State/county and country)
  • occupation
  • religion
  • ship of arrival
  • how long in the colony
  • last place of residence
  • marital status
  • place of marriage, at what age, and name of spouse
  • names and ages of children living; number and gender of children deceased
  • father's name and occupation
  • father's present residence if living (or 'father dead')
  • mother's maiden name
  • disease or reason for admission
  • date of discharge, or date and cause of death
  • remarks (which may include medical history, social circumstances etc.)

Some Brisbane registers also give details of employment, wages, other sources of income, other wage-earners in the family, property, membership of clubs or benefit societies, and names and addresses of relatives or friends.

Note the provision for ship of arrival, place of residence, marital status, and father's present residence - details not found on a Queensland death certificate.

A few hospital records exist for other towns such as Mackay and Toowoomba, but they are less informative.

Dates of surviving registers and where to find them, plus thousands of names from my indexes to hospital records, are on my main Web site. Even if you don't think your family were ever in Queensland, follow this link to check the lists of names from Queensland hospital admission registers. Many people have been surprised by what they've found!

Thursday, 5 June 2014

Lifeline Bookfest (Thrifty Thursday)

Brisbane Bookfest - part of one of the three halls
(photo by Judy Webster)
Books relevant to family history are lurking in secondhand shops, markets and book fairs. One of the best places to find them is at a Lifeline Bookfest.

Bookfests are held at various times throughout the year in Brisbane, Bundaberg, Caboolture, Gold Coast, Ipswich, Mackay, Maryborough and Rockhampton.

The Brisbane event is held in January and June each year. The next one starts this week (7 - 10 June 2014), in the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre at South Brisbane.

There are three separate halls: 'High Quality (prices as marked)', '$1 Section' and '$2.50 Section'.

Within each hall, books are arranged by category (Australiana; History; Biography; Reference; Paperback Fiction; Hardback Fiction; Children's; Humour and Oddities; Literature and Classics; Textbooks; Travel; Health; Science Fiction; Art and Music; Cooking; Computers; Hobbies; Sport; Gardening; Religion; Foreign Language; Vehicles and War Craft; Animals; Penguins and Pelicans; Economics; Sociology; Philosophy; Science). Each section also has magazines, stationery, videos, CDs, cassettes and records.

You may want to stock up on stationery items such as ring binders and lever arch files, which sometimes cost less than a dollar.

The real treasures for family historians are usually in the Australiana and History sections. Look for books about the history of regions, towns, schools, churches, businesses and organisations, and published family histories.

The Reference section has atlases, street directories, medical dictionaries, and sometimes unexpected items like a complete set of The Public Acts of Queensland 1828-1936.

With luck, you may find some of the titles listed on 'Suggested Reading (Genealogy and History)'.

Another money-saving tip? If you are on a very tight budget, wait until the last day when the (already affordable) prices are usually reduced.

I strongly advise you to bring a suitcase on wheels, as books soon get heavy when you are browsing. Local street parking is limited and fills very early. Undercover parking is available, but it costs about $16. You can travel by train to South Brisbane station or by bus to the Cultural Centre bus stop.

To find out more about Lifeline Bookfests in Queensland, use the links on the Brisbane Bookfest Web page.

('Thrifty Thursday' is a theme used by Geneabloggers.)

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Queensland Genealogy News (BDMs, seminar, records)

(1)  Queensland Registry of Births Deaths and Marriages can now supply more death certificates as images, with 1939-1953 being added to the list. The Registry has also extended 'available births' to 1914, 'available marriages' to 1939, and (after I contacted them to point out the mistake on their Web page) 'available deaths' to 1984. (See also 'Free Certificates in Archives Files'.)

(2)  Genealogy seminar, Brisbane, Sat. 1 Feb 2014 (Broncos Leagues Club, Fulcher Road, Red Hill). Four main presentations by renowned international speakers Chris Paton and Thomas MacEntee (both of whom I have heard and can recommend), plus short presentations by local and sponsoring partners, an exhibition, and special offers and hundreds of dollars worth of prizes. The four main talks are 'Irish land records', 'Scottish inheritance records', 'Building a genealogy research toolbox' and 'You use WHAT for genealogy? Wonderful uses for unusual tools'. You can book for the morning, afternoon or full day. Click here for more details of this seminar or here for other presentations by Chris and Thomas in Canberra, Melbourne, Adelaide, Hobart, Sydney and Perth.

(3)  New records available at Queensland State Archives include Caboolture Divisional Board / Caboolture Shire Council rate books and valuation registers.

(4)  My weekly posts in the '52 Weeks of Genealogical Records' series will include many tips relevant to Queensland research.

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Improved Searches for Births Deaths and Marriages (Queensland)

The Queensland Registry of Births Deaths and Marriages has today (16 October 2013) released an improved version of its search engine. Features include:
  • It is no longer necessary to enter information in the 'Last name' field. You can leave that blank and just enter the person's first name, the first name of their father or mother, or any combination of these. You can also use the wildcard feature on all of these search fields.
  • Mother's maiden surname is once again shown in results for death index searches. (This wasn't mentioned in the press release, but I was pleased to see it. We've been waiting a while for that to be fixed - see 'Maiden Names missing from Qld death indexes online'.)

In the field labelled 'Mother's first name', you can enter the first name plus surname to narrow down the results, but beware of spelling variants.

Now that you can omit the surname:
  1. Enter 'father's name + mother's name' to find deaths of daughters whose married surname you do not know.
  2. That technique may also find:
    • previously unknown siblings
    • events registered under weird spelling variants.
  3. Enter 'mother's name' only to find illegitimate births.

You will find that some illegitimate births are registered under multiple surnames. In this example the birth is registered under DREW, DENMAN and SOLWAY.

The birth of Cyril Richard, son of Eliza Ann Drew, is registered under three surnames - Drew, Denman and Solway.
Some illegitimate births are registered under multiple surnames
My main Web site has an index and advice for family historians who are trying to identify the father of an illegitimate child. I have also created a mini-guide, Researching Illegitimate Children.

Did you know that Victorian birth, death & marriage indexes are now on FindMyPast?

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

My Web site has moved

Find local, interstate and overseas folk using Queensland's historical records

Please spread the word...

Judy Webster's Web site has moved!

The site has advice and indexes that help genealogists to research local, interstate and overseas folk by using historical records. The emphasis is on unusual sources that are superb for problem solving.

Features of the new site include:

  • 135 pages, and more than 53,000 names (including tens of thousands of people from other States and countries, especially the UK, Ireland, Germany, Scandinavia and New Zealand) from Judy's indexes to original records in Queensland State Archives.

  • Additional names from certificates, headstones, church plaques, published local histories, etc.

  • Tips on how to research 'black sheep of the family' and people who 'vanished'.

  • Unusual sources that are superb for problem solving (including records of asylums, hospitals, Police, Justice Department and Courts).

The site is now easier to use, with a different font, a new 'main menu' navigation bar, and 'breadcrumb' navigation links. Many pages have a section called 'Other Suggestions'. Before using the customised search box, read the search/navigation tips.

The new Web address is www.judywebster.com.au.

Please update your bookmarks and ChangeDetection settings, and notify family history groups, genealogy mailing lists etc.

Can't find a death? Maybe he/she died overseas. Check indexes on FindMyPast.
~ ~ ~

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Maiden Names missing from Queensland death indexes online

I recently sent this question to the Queensland Registry of Births Deaths and Marriages:

'Since your recent changes to online historical indexes, the mother's maiden surname has disappeared from many death index entries. Why is that, and will the matter be rectified in the future?'

Their reply was (I quote):

'If the Mothers maiden name (or Parents names) had been included on a Death Certificate than it will also be included on the historical index. Any details and information included on a Death Certificate does vary and is dependent on the amount of information provided by the Informant at time of death. All details we have are included on the index.'

Umm... WRONG!

Example 1 (death of Frederick William STEVENS, 1882):

Queensland Registrar-General's Pioneers Index 1829-1889 (on CD-ROM) shows the mother's maiden surname (GIBSON), but the online index at www.bdm.qld.gov.au does not.



Example 2 (death of John PERRON, 1911):

Queensland Registrar-General's Federation Index 1890-1914 (on CD-ROM) shows the mother's maiden surname (BERBACCI), but the online index at www.bdm.qld.gov.au does not.



I sent this information to the Registry of Births Deaths and Marriages. Their response was:

'We are aware of this and it will be rectified in the new release which will be in October.'


My main Web site has more tips about Queensland BDM indexes and certificates.
~ ~ ~

Burials at Geraldton (now Innisfail), North Qld

Bluebird Cafe and Robertson Brothers, Innisfail
Innisfail, 2013 (photo by Judy Webster)
Cassowary Coast Libraries want to fill the gaps in their local burial registers. If you have a death certificate or other information for someone buried at Geraldton (now called Innisfail), either in the cemetery or elsewhere, contact:

Natasha Lavell
Cassowary Coast Libraries
PO Box 887
Innisfail QLD 4860

Email: natasha.lavell [at] ccrc.qld.gov.au

Phone: (07) 40302246

Please forward this request to family history societies, genealogists on social media, etc. The URL for this post is http://qld-genealogy.blogspot.com.au/2013/09/burials-at-geraldton-now-innisfail.html.

The photograph, which I took earlier this year, shows two of the Art Deco buildings for which Innisfail is renowned (the Bluebird Cafe and Robertson Brothers).

Friday, 7 June 2013

Some Queensland Certificates as Images

It is now possible to save money by downloading some Queensland birth, death and marriages certificates as images. Whether you receive an image or a certificate on paper depends on the date and type of event.

At the moment the Registry's Web site says:

* Births: 1825-1890 available as images or certificates; 1891-1913 available as certificates only.

* Deaths: 1825-1890 & 1965-1979 available as images or certificates; 1891-1964 & 1980-1983 as certificates only.

* Marriages: 1825-1889 as images or certificates; 1890-1938 as certificates only.

Before you buy certificates, see the advice in 'Free Certificates in Archives Files.'

For more tips about births, deaths and marriages in Queensland, see my Web site.

Thursday, 30 May 2013

My Web Site is Getting a Makeover

My genealogy Web site, which has been a bit neglected recently, is about to get a facelift.

Early feedback has shown that some of the changes I had in mind are indeed what people want. There has already been one excellent suggestion for a change that hadn't occurred to me, and I'm sure there will be more.
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