Geneameme - Beyond the Internet

Pauline at Family history across the seas has come up with another Geneameme – Beyond the Internet.

My responses are below.

Things you have already done or found: bold face type
Things you would like to do or find: italicize (colour optional)
Things you haven’t done or found and don’t care to: plain type
You are encouraged to add extra comments in brackets after each item

1.             Looked at microfiche for BDM indexes which go beyond the online search dates. (I can remember 27 years ago being in Brisbane visiting my mother and going to the State Library and sitting, standing and keeling at indexes for hours over a three week period  - very pregnant at the time and no access to indexes where I lived)
2.             Talked to elderly relatives about your family history.
3.             Obtained old family photos from relatives.
4.             Have at least one certificate (birth/death/marr) for each great-grandparent.
5.             Have at least one certificate (birth/death/marr) for each great-great-grandparent. (Missing Malcolm McColm – have the index number but haven’t purchased – will have to rectify.)
6.             Seen/held a baptism or marriage document in a church, church archive or microfilm.
7.             Seen your ancestor’s name in some other form of church record eg kirk session, communion rolls.
8.             Used any microfilm from an LDS family history centre for your research.
9.             Researched using a microfilm other than a parish register
10.         Used cemetery burial records to learn more about your relative’s burial.
11.         Used funeral director’s registers to learn more about your relative’s burial (My mother once read the details upside down while the clerk refused to give her an address.)
12.         Visited all your great-grandparents’ grave sites. (They are all over the place – 2 in Wallangarra (Qld), 2 in Tenterfield (NSW), 1 in Whittlesea (Vic), 1 Casino (NSW) and 2 in Cooma (NSW). Haven’t been to Whittlesea.
13.         Visited all your great-great-grandparents’ grave sites. Even further afield this time. 3 in Wallangarra (Qld - 1 unmarked)), 1 in Warwick (Qld), 1 in Drake (NSW), 1 in Tenterfield (NSW - unmarked), 2 in Sandgate (NSW – both unmarked), 1 in Franklin (Tas), 1 in St Kilda (Vic – unmarked), 2 in Cooma (NSW) 2 in Rookwood (NSW) and 2 in Karrakarra, Perth, (W.A.)                                                                  I haven’t been to Warwick which is not that far away. I have visited the spot at St Kilda and I have to confess that I have only driven past Sandgate Cemetery in Newcastle (my children would hold their breath – a long hold as we used to drive along two sides). I made sure I went to Karrakatta when in Perth a couple of years ago and I’ve made the trip to Cooma and Franklin.
14.         Recorded the details on your ancestors’ gravestones and photographed them.
15.         Obtained a great-grandparent’s will/probate documents.
16.         Obtained a great-great grandparent’s will/probate documents
17.         Found a death certificate among will documents. (At QLD State Archives)
18.         Followed up in the official records, something found on the internet.
19.         Obtained a copy of your immigrant ancestors’ original shipping records.
20.         Found an immigration nomination record for your immigrant ancestor
21.         Found old images of your ancestor’s place of origin (online or other). – Visited the ruins in Ireland.
22.         Read all/part of a local history for your ancestor’s place of residence.
23.         Read all/part of a local history for your ancestor’s place of origin.
24.         Read your ancestor’s school admission records.
25.         Researched the school history for your grandparents.
26.         Read a court case involving an ancestor (online newspapers don’t count for this). (Irish trial papers – at least 50 A3 sheets – simply brilliant!)
27.         Read about an ancestor’s divorce case in the archives. (There are some at QLD State Archives but I don’t really want to read them)
28.         Have seen an ancestor’s war medals. (Both my husband’s and my direct lines have missed all wars.)
29.         Have an ancestor’s military record (not a digitised copy eg WWII).
30.         Read a war diary or equivalent for an ancestor’s battle. (Great uncle)
31.         Seen an ancestor’s/relative’s war grave.
32.         Read all/part of the history of an ancestor’s military unit (battalion/ship etc). G-for-George told me exactly what happened the night relative Allan Seabrook Mitchell died.
33.         Seen your ancestor’s name on an original land map. (Grandfather near Old Bonalbo)
34.         Found land selection documents for your immigrant ancestor/s.
35.         Found other land documents for your ancestor (home/abroad) (Serendipitously, the preceding document also belonged to a family member.)
36.         Located land maps or equivalent for your ancestor’s place of origin.
37.         Used contemporaneous gazetteers or directories to learn about your ancestors’ places.
38.         Found your ancestor’s name in a Post Office directory of the time.
39.         Used local government sewerage maps (yes, seriously!) for an ancestor’s street. (No, but they would show where my great uncle died, as he drowned as a child playing a game jumping over the trenches at Callan Park as the sewerage was being put on.)
40.         Read an inquest report for an ancestor/relative (online/archives). (Several including a tree felling accident and a drowning – both in Victoria)
41.         Read an ancestor’s/relative’s hospital admission.
42.         Researched a company file if your family owned a business.
43.         Looked up any of your ancestor’s local government rate books or valuation records. (Tasmanian government gazettes.)
44.         Researched occupation records for your ancestor/s (railway, police, teacher etc).
45.         Researched an ancestor’s adoption.
46.         Researched an ancestor’s insolvency. Andrew Silas Waters - Armidale
47.         Found a convict ancestor’s passport or certificate of freedom.
48.         Found a convict ancestor’s shipping record.
49.         Found an ancestor’s gaol admission register.
50.         Found a licencing record for an ancestor (brands, publican, etc).
51.         Found an ancestor’s mining lease/licence.
52.         Found an ancestor’s name on a petition to government.
53.         Read your ancestor’s citizenship document. Husband’s side.
54.         Read about your ancestor in an undigitised regional newspaper. (Spent hours in Tenterfield trawling through these and then suggested to UNE that they should be digitized. I drove them from Tenterfield to Armidale in my boot)
55.         Visited a local history library/museum relevant to your family.
56.         Looked up your ancestor’s name in the Old Age Pension records.
57.          (Researched your ancestor or relative in Benevolent Asylum/Workhouse records. There are a couple in England to be investigated)
58.         Researched an ancestor’s/relative’s mental health records.
59.         Looked for your family in a genealogical publication of any sort (but not online remember).
60.         Contributed family information to a genealogical publication. (Not for many years)

          I have been rather devious in the past so have been able to tick off many of the above. I once organised a trip to Canberra and Cooma with my family so I could traipse the Cooma Cemetery. When we arrived in Canberra I gave my husband instructions to take the kids to Questacon while I would be almost next door at the National Library. My daughter once asked someone if they would like to see our holiday photos. Of course, they were of numerous headstones from the cemeteries we passed on our way.


  1. I love the bit about "My mother once read the details upside down while the clerk refused to give her an address." Bless her!

    Is the Qld divorce file you mentioned a relatively recent one for a close relative? If so, I can see why you might be apprehensive about reading it. Would you like me to look at it, copy any certificates it contains, and give you a summary of the file contents without mentioning potentially distressing details?

  2. Probably the early 1920s. Just wondering if some things are meant to be kept private.

  3. Whew what a great post Sharon with so many interesting observations. I'll bet Judy was pleased to see your answer to #17 ;-) Re the divorce docs, I can see your point about privacy. Despite that I wanted to know why my grandmother was divorced in the 1910s. Nothing too scandalous but did explain other things. I too loved the upside down reading story...been known to do that myself ;-) What else would you do on holidays but go to cemeteries and the Nat Lib?

  4. I enjoyed reading your contribution to this meme Sharon. How great to visit the ruins of your family's home in Ireland :)

  5. Sharon, Do take a look at the divorce papers. Like Probate packets they can contain all sorts of surprises.

    You have certainly done the rounds - enjoyed your post immensely

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