My research plan

Mapping with Hyde
Creative Commons License Photo Credit: Brian Moore via Compfight

So we are now over halfway through the family history course and we have had to put together a research plan. This is interesting because I usually just go to the archives, search through things I want to and go off on tangents if needed. But having listened to Dianne, it is important to have a plan that you can follow. So here it is:

My Research Aim:

To create historical timeline of Captain William SMITH’s life as a whaler. To do this

  • find out the names of the ships he was on and the dates (PS 1,2 and 4)
  • where the ships voyages were (PS1)
  • his role on each ship (PS1)
  • life on board the ships (PS3) (SS1 and 2)

Hopefully  find out his Samoan name by finding out when he was given the name William SMITH.

Primary Sources:

  1. Marine board records of ship’s voyages – government record
  2. Application for master of foreign vessel certificate – government record
  3. Newspapers of the times – shipping news and articles about voyages – newspaper record
  4. Images of ships he served on

Secondary sources (if any):

  1. Susan Chamberlain thesis about early whaling in Hobart Town – public record
  2. Books about whaling around Tasmania from the 1850′s to the 1890′s – public record
  3. My relatives including Glenn (who I will be interviewing) and Kim – great grandsons of William
  4. I am wondering if there might be records at the Australian Maritime Museum?

Repositories and Records that I plan to use:

LINC Family History

Marine board – Application for Master Mariner’s certificate

Trove newspapers of the time

Maritime Museum – Susan Chamberlain thesis

Readers: How could I have improved this research plan?

My William SMITH research plan

Davo the Tassie Devil tours Albany whaling station

As part of this family history course we have to come up with a research plan. Here is what I have added to our discussion area.

As I have already completed a lot of my family history over the last 40 years, I want to try to find out more about my great great grandfather who was given the name William SMITH. I would love to find out his actual Samoan name.

So the following is my research aim:

To create historical timeline of Captain William SMITH’s life as a whaler. To do this:

  • find out the names of the ships he was on and the dates (PS2) (PS1) (PS4)
  • where the ships voyages were (PS1)
  • his role on each ship (PS1)
  • life on board the ship (PS3) (SS1) (SS2)

Hopefully find his Samoan name by finding out when he was given the name William SMITH.

Primary Sources:

  1. Marine Board records of ship’s voyages – government record
  2. Application for master of foreign vessel certificate – government record
  3. Newspapers of the time – shipping news and articles about voyages – newspaper record
  4. Images of ships he served on

Secondary sources

  1. Susan Chamberlain thesis about early whaling in Hobart Town – public record
  2. Books about whaling around Tasmania from the 1850’s to the 1890’s – public record
  3. My relatives including Glenn (who I will be interviewing) and Kim – great grandsons of William
  4. I am wondering if there might be records at the Australian Maritime Museum?

Once I find his Samoan name, then Missionary records held at the Mitchell Library – might need to visit Sydney at some time in the future.

I have lots of records once he became a master mariner in the 1870’s but don’t have much prior to this.

 Readers: Can you think of any other primary or secondary sources I could use? Which repository would I find them in?

 

What is a repository?

Research
Photo Credit: Anders Sandberg via Compfight

We are now into week 3 of the family history course and we are about to start planning our major research. As I listened to Dianne Snowden’s lecture about repositories and records, I made some notes and here they are.

What is a repository?

Library, archives, museums, family history society

Cora Num’s website has lots of links to different repositories and record sites globally and locally

Some examples of Australian repositories

National Library of Australia –includes online catalogue to search,  eResources and link to Trove – digitized newspapers

National Archives of Australia – Commonwealth government records from 1901, defence records, photo search, name search

State archives – state Government departments

Repositories including other countries

Australian Joint Copying Project – material from Australia, NZ and Pacific from 1560 to 1984

Family Search – put together by members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints

List of family history societies in Australia from Cora Num website

Federation of Family history societies in UK

Ancestry – where we will get a one month access soon

 Other record sources

  • To make the most of your research time, you need to know what is kept where.  Always do your homework – what are you looking for and where will you find it
  • Reminder that an index is only a guide – find copy of original record
  • Information only as accurate as the informant gives eg relative better than funeral director

BDM records and indexes – start with yourself and work backwards

FreeBMD – UK site

Graham Jaunay has a guide to what you will find on BDM certificates in each state of Australia

Cora Num – lots of links for Australia BDM records

Electoral Rolls and census records in Australia

Photographs – Jane Shrimpton blog on dating photos

To my readers:

What other record sources have you used especially if it is for countries other than Australia?