24 April 2017

No.50 (genealogy news worldwide)

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  • Prize draw:   If you'd like to win a 12 month Findmypast subscription, this is your chance! Submit your entry by 8am (AEST) Wednesday 26 Apr 2017 in two easy steps on my Prize Draws and Competitions page. I'm grateful to Findmypast for allowing me to give away such a wonderful prize (RRP $114.50). I've had a Findmypast subscription for many years, and I love it!

  • Free access:   All Australian and New Zealand records on Findmypast are completely free until 25 Apr 2017 (AEST). Another 'free access' offer will be announced on Genealogy Discounts & Freebies later this week.

  • Discounts:   Genealogy Discounts & Freebies currently has more offers listed than ever before, but most of them end soon. One offer is NSW certificate transcriptions for just $18.

  • New records online:   Interesting records that went online last week include stage 1 of 'crew and passengers on ships arriving in New South Wales' (check this for anyone you can't find in the British 1881 census); parish registers for Christ Church Cathedral in Newcastle NSW; more Boer War records; and more NSW closer settlement and returned soldiers transfer files.

  • UK records:   Findmypast's United Kingdom parish records collection (already the largest of its kind online) is about to get a whole lot bigger. Records from six more counties (the list is on that Web site) will go online over the next 6 months.

  • Books:   During April, Gould Genealogy has the entire Unlock the Past guide books range on sale (25% off), and the Australian History and Genealogy Handbook is just $1.

  • Finding death dates:   My family history project for Easter started with a list of Australian relatives for whom I had no death date. I searched 13 million Aus/NZ deaths, burials, wills and probate records. If I didn't find the name, I searched individual Findmypast record sets and Ancestry databases. I also used the magnificent Ryerson Index to find recent death/funeral notices. There are many other resources available, but these are my usual 'first steps'.

  • Updated index:   Check out CQFHA's new Master Name Index (over 767,590 entries for people from many areas). I had unexpected success with this.

  • My talk at Noosa:   If you're interested in hearing my talk (11 May 2017) on Ancestors who Moved or Vanished, book now (free). When I checked today there were only 7 seats left.

(This post first appeared on http://updatesgenie.blogspot.com/2017/04/no50-genealogy-news-worldwide.html. The 'win' image is by Stuart Miles, freedigitalphotos.net.)


20 March 2017

No.49 (genealogy news and tips worldwide)

Old Age Pension register
Links open in new windows. If you share the tips below, the Creative Commons license requires that you acknowledge the source as http://updatesgenie.blogspot.com.

  • Pension records:   For a limited time you can order copies of Old Age Pension records (1908-1909) at a discount price. See Genealogy Discounts and Freebies.

  • FindMyPast discount:   New subscribers can get 10% off a 12 month World subscription, giving you access to 8 billion global records including many that are not available anywhere else (see what records are available). The discount ends at 11.59pm (GMT) Wed. 22 Mar 2017 (which is Thursday morning in Australia).

  • England/Wales BDMs:   More England and Wales birth, death and marriage certificates (births 1935-2006, deaths 1958-2006, marriages 1837-2010) are available as PDFs until 40,000 PDFs have been ordered, or 4pm 12 Apr 2017, whichever is sooner. Earlier births and deaths were offered as PDFs last November, in stage 1 of the pilot scheme.

  • Before you buy:   From July 1837 onwards, for marriages in England and Wales, a parish register usually has the same details as a certificate from the Register Office. I've saved money, and researched many obscure or 'possible' relatives, by downloading online images of original parish registers instead of buying certificates. See, for example, the collections for Yorkshire, Somerset and the Greater London area.

  • Electoral rolls:   The recent re-launch of the Australian electoral rolls collection was part of a multi-phase project. In the coming months about 100 million more records will be added, with date coverage up to 1989.

  • Free webinars:   Free webinars by State Archives New South Wales will be recorded so that you can watch them a time that suits you.

  • Qld State Archives:   There have been big changes at Queensland State Archives. They no longer accept cash (only EFTPOS or credit cards); coin-operated microfilm reader/printers have been removed (you can save copies onto a USB drive); you can't use wildcards in index searches; indexes on their Web site can no longer be downloaded as PDFs; the Web site is completely different and much less user friendly; etc! The Archives' customer satisfaction survey (open until 3 Apr 2017) gives you a chance to say what you like or dislike.

  • Commonwealth Gazettes:   Commonwealth of Australia Government Gazettes (1901-1957) are now online, free and fully text searchable. They give details of many interactions that ordinary people had with the government.

  • DNA for genealogy:   DNA testing is now an important tool for family historians, especially if you have 'brick walls' in your research. For a short time there is a discount on the AncestryDNA test. See also Changing your AncestryDNA settings.

  • Recommended reading:

(This post first appeared on http://updatesgenie.blogspot.com/2017/03/no49-genealogy-news-and-tips-worldwide.html.)
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16 March 2017

No.48 (genealogy news and tips worldwide)

Links open in new windows. If you share the tips below, the Creative Commons license requires that you acknowledge the source as http://updatesgenie.blogspot.com.

  • Irish records FREE:   The largest online collection of Irish records (more than 116 million records, including images) will be FREE until 11.59pm (GMT) Friday 17 Mar 2017, which is Saturday morning in Australia. Register (free) or log in here. Then choose 'Search' on the blue menu and select 'Search all records' from the drop-down list. On the general search page, in the drop down menu, set the country to 'Ireland'.

  • AncestryDNA:   Until 19 Mar 2017, save up to 30% on Ancestry's DNA test for genealogy (the one you've seen advertised on TV).

  • More discounts:   New discount offers (relevant worldwide) are coming soon, so check Genealogy Discounts and Freebies this weekend. If you use ChangeDetection to monitor that page, log in at www.changedetection.com and edit your alert for http://www.judywebster.com.au/specials.html to 'daily'. If new offers are added twice in one week, you will then be alerted twice instead of missing one.

  • Conference & Fair:   The 'Footsteps in Time' Family and Local History Conference and free Fair is at Southport (Gold Coast, Queensland), 19th to 21st May 2017. I'm looking forward to it. Conference registration closes 14th April.

  • Catholic records:   The Catholic Heritage Collection (available only on FindMyPast) is a growing online digitised and indexed collection of Roman Catholic records for Ireland, Britain and the USA. Most of the records have never before been accessible by the public, either offline or online.

  • Electoral rolls:   You can do either a name search or an address search in the Australian electoral rolls collection at FindMyPast. The new search page explains which State and Commonwealth rolls are included. There are some for Queensland, New South Wales, South Australia, Tasmania, the Northern Territory and Western Australia, and more rolls will be added in the future. Ignore the 'birth year' search field (it doesn't help).

  • Gen-Ebooks:   Genealogy Ebooks (known as Gen-Ebooks) is one of Australia's largest Ebook stores for genealogy. They currently have over 550 titles, with more being added every month, all instantly downloadable. They offer four 50% discount specials each month.

  • Web pages from GEDCOM:   GedSite by John Cardinal is a new program that creates 'family tree Web pages from GEDCOM files. It generates narrative or grid style person pages, a master index, a surname index, source pages and any other pages you want to add. You can review the pages on your own computer before you share them via DVD or flash drive or publish them on the Web. I expect GedSite to be even more popular than John's other program (SecondSite for The Master Genealogist, which I use to create the family tree on my Website).

  • Digitised records:   Many records from around the world have been digitised but not indexed. You just have to know how to find them! See Image-Only Collections.

  • 53,000 names:   You'll find information about an amazing number of interstate and overseas folk, as well as locals, in records at Queensland State Archives. My Web site has over 53,000 names from original documents there. See the list of record types, with links to alphabetical lists of names.

(This post first appeared on http://updatesgenie.blogspot.com/2017/03/no48-genealogy-news-and-tips-worldwide.html.)
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30 January 2017

No.47 (genealogy news and tips worldwide)

CD case (Qld Customs House Shipping Index)
If you share these tips/links, the Creative Commons license requires that you acknowledge the source as http://updatesgenie.blogspot.com. Links open in new windows.

(This post first appeared on http://updatesgenie.blogspot.com/2017/01/no47-genealogy-news-and-tips-worldwide.html.)
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12 January 2017

No.46 (genealogy news and freebies worldwide)

Click to go to FindMyPast
Happy New Year! I hope these tips will get you off to a great start in 2017. Links open in new windows.

  • Free access at FindMyPast:   For 4 days, from 10am 12 Jan to 11:59pm 15 Jan 2017 (GMT) FindMyPast (my favourite genealogy subscription site) is giving everyone FREE access to billions of birth, marriage, death & census records. You don't need to give credit card details - just register (free). You will be able to see images of many original parish registers! I've had huge success with this for my Yorkshire families in particular.

  • Mackay (Qld):   FindMyPast now has indexes to Mackay records (funeral directors' records, and funeral notices from Melrose and Fenwick 1955-1984 and from Mackay's Daily Mercury 1984-2012).

  • Passport records:   FindMyPast also recently added an index to passport registers 1915-1925. Applicants were in Australia, Canada, Papua, Ceylon, Fiji, China, England etc but the records are held in Queensland.

  • Victoria:   This is a very exciting resource! Images of original Court of Petty Sessions records at the Public Record Office Victoria are now online, with defendants and complainants indexed. There are over 3 million records from 74 courts dealing with minor cases such as drunkenness and theft. Dates range from 1854 to 1985.

  • Indexes & Sources:   40 of my favourite genealogy indexes and sources. Which is your favourite, and why?

  • Trove Helper:   This nifty tool provides a series of clickable links to Trove newspaper search results based on the details you enter in Trove Helper. The results obtained by clicking each of the links is intended to quickly provide a reasonable starting point which can then be further refined on Trove.

  • Saturday series:   My new 'Saturday series' of family history tips (quite different from last year's series) is now underway at Judy Webster - Queensland Genealogy.

  • Boonah (Qld):   If you have family history in this area, see Boonah Branches.

  • NSW Archives:   The State Archives and Records Authority of New South Wales is now called State Archives and Records NSW or State Archives NSW.

  • Publishing family trees:   If you want to publish a family tree, read The Opt In Default.

  • Recommended reading:   The Truth About Ancestry's Hints.

(This post first appeared on http://updatesgenie.blogspot.com/2017/01/no46-genealogy-news-and-freebies.html.)
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18 November 2016

No.45 (genealogy news / discounts worldwide)

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  • Discount:   Until 21 Nov 2016 (11.59pm BST) one of my favourite Websites, FindMyPast, is offering new customers 30 days of access to 8 billion records worldwide (a monthly 'World' package) for just $1, £1 or €1. This is a huge saving compared to the usual $19.95, £12.95 or €14.95. (The 1939 Register is only included in a 12-month World or Britain package.) You can untick 'auto-renew' in the My Account section of the site.

  • Qld BDMs:   From 5 Dec 2016, the Brisbane Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages will move to Level 32, 180 Ann Street, Brisbane. Their other contact details won't change.

  • Crematorium records:   Search names on 95,000 memorials in Mount Thompson Crematorium memorial gardens (Brisbane).

  • England/Wales births/deaths:   The General Register Office has released online indexes for England/Wales births 1837-1915 and deaths 1837-1957. They show mother's maiden name for births even before 1911, and age at death even before 1865. These new indexes are different from (and maybe more accurate than) the existing ones. Warning! If the death index says 'age 11yrs', it may really be 11 days, 11 weeks or 11 months. It's best to search without specifying the age. Index searches are free after you register and confirm your email address. For a short trial period the certificates cost just £6. (NOTE! I wrote this in November, and the trial period only lasted for a few weeks.)

  • Wills:   The National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations) is an essential source for English and Welsh family history. Indexed images of the books for 1858-1966 and 1973-1995 are now on Ancestry. They often show the testator's exact death date, address, occupation, and details of relatives.

  • Photos:   See 5 Must-Have Photo Identification Tools by Maureen Taylor.

(This post first appeared on http://updatesgenie.blogspot.com/2016/11/no45-genealogy-news-discounts-worldwide.html.)
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4 September 2016

No.44 (genealogy news and discounts worldwide)

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I use and recommend:

(This post first appeared on http://updatesgenie.blogspot.com.au/2016/09/no44-genealogy-news-and-discounts.html.)
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12 July 2016

No.43 (genealogy news and discounts worldwide)

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(This post first appeared on http://updatesgenie.blogspot.com/2016/07/no43-genealogy-news-and-discounts.html.)
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26 May 2016

No.42 (genealogy news and discounts worldwide)

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Examples of letter S (image:Wikipedia)

(This post first appeared on http://updatesgenie.blogspot.com/2016/05/no42-genealogy-news-and-discounts.html.)
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1 May 2016

No.41 (genealogy news and discounts worldwide)

Sketch found in Archives
I've just realised that yesterday was this blog's fifth anniversary. How time flies!

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  • Photos/Sketches:   Check the lists of names from my on-going index to historical photos or sketches of people. These are images that I've found in various sources in Archives. Most are accompanied by superb information for family history.

  • Ancestry discount:   Ancestry's annual UK Heritage Plus membership (with access to all their Australian, NZ, Irish and UK records) is cheaper until 11:59pm AEST Sunday 1 May 2016. The offer is not valid for members with current subscriptions, or with other offers or promotions including free trials. If you don't want your membership to automatically renew at a higher rate, cancel at least two days before your renewal date by visiting the MyAccount section (see their Terms and Conditions).

  • QLD births to 1919:   Indexes to Queensland births registered up to and including 1919 are now on FindMyPast! This is exciting, because on the Registry of BDMs Web site, which has a 100-year access restriction, you can currently only search up to early 1916. On FindMyPast the transcription shows the exact birth date, not just the registration year.

  • QLD marriages:   The quickest way to find the exact date of Queensland marriages 1829-1939 is to use the new indexes and transcriptions on FindMyPast.

  • QLD deaths:   The FindMyPast record set that's misleadingly called 'Queensland Deaths' only has names from a few cemetery records, not official death registrations. Click 'Learn more' and 'Discover more' on this page (but the explanations are not as clear as we might wish).

  • LostCousins:   The LostCousins site is completely free until Monday 2nd May.

  • Photos/Images:   Read Judy G. Russell's superb article showing how to save source information so that it appears on an image.

  • Will Books:   Family historians may not realise that local Archives often hold wills for people in other States and even other countries. Regardless of where your ancestors lived, you should search indexes to NSW Will Books 1800-1952. Although only a few of my families were in NSW, I've already found fifteen wills in these books.

  • Victoria:   Law Making and Breaking in Colonial Victoria shows tools and resources for finding out about lives of crime and justice in Victoria and Port Phillip.

  • Maps:   Almost 3,000 titles have been issued in a major series of reprints of Old Ordnance Survey Maps of towns throughout Britain and Ireland.

  • WDYTYA handouts:   Speakers' handouts from this year's Who Do You Think You Are (Live) can be downloaded (free).

  • Epidemics:   This timeline for disease epidemics may explain some deaths in your family tree.

(This post first appeared on http://updatesgenie.blogspot.com/2016/05/no41-genealogy-news-and-discounts.html.)
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