I used to spend hours in the local archives in Tasmania before they started digitizing the records. I was part of RAOGK (Random Acts Of Genealogical Kindness) and would research convicts for anyone who asked me through my email or rootsweb mailing lists.
Much of the research for my great great grandfather Captain William Smith needs to be done at the Tasmanian archives – looking at lots of Marine Board records. While visiting Samoa a few years ago, I went to their archives to look for birth records of William Smith who is half Samoan. I was very concerned to see the original record books were just kept in storage in a room, not temperature regulated and that I didn’t need to use gloves when touching the original documents. Some of them were crumbling under my hand when I tried to turn the pages that were stuck together by heat and dampness.
When researching my great great grandmother Rebecca Jackson while I was travelling in Ireland, I visited the Donegal county archives in Lifford to have a look at local court records. I found lots of interesting information there about the offences that caused Rebecca to be sent to Van Diemen’s Land as a convict in 1847. Here is a link to all archives in Ireland.
Readers: Please leave a comment about something beginning with A that relates to your family history or your research.