At the library

I had planned to write this post last Friday while I was volunteering at my local library. But I got sidetracked when a person arrived wanting help with their family history. After an hour talking to them, getting them organized with some pedigree charts and family group sheets and giving them some homework (once a teacher, always a teacher), I sat down at the library computer and began doing some research for them. Time sped by and I didn’t get to write this post. Then this morning I received the next prompt and thought – wow I need to get myself together and get this post written.

So who in my family has had a relationship with the library?  Me, Sue Wyatt born in 1956 in Tasmania, Australia.

As a child I loved reading books and the rare times I got into trouble and was sent to my room, it wasn’t really a punishment. Instead lying on my bed, reading a book and my imagination took me to other places. We always had lots of books in the house as dad was also a keen reader, mainly history of Tasmania and biographies of others around the world.

Part of home library 2019

We moved house my second year of high school and being a child who didn’t make friends easily, I quickly gravitated to the library during lunch hours. The librarian made me a monitor there so I stacked shelves, took books out for students and helped with the card catalogue (pre computers). It was there and then I decided I wanted to be a librarian.

But by the time I got to years 11/12 in college, I found that part of librarianship was pulling apart books – not literally but themes, reasons for doing certain actions etc. I didn’t like this – reading for me was a pleasurable activity – it wasn’t dissecting the book and the reason the author wrote the way they did. So goodbye librarian – hello teacher.

In my 35 years as a teacher, I always had a class library in my classroom – many books I had purchased myself. They were there for students to read during silent reading – but I didn’t mind if they took them home to share with family. Very few were ever lost as the students appreciated having a variety of books in the classroom. I also made sure they visited the school library and used the encyclopedias for research.

It is only since I have retired that I have started going back to the library and just before Christmas 2018 I decided to volunteer one afternoon a week at the local library. My specialty will of course be family history. We are extremely lucky here in Tasmania, that most of our family history resources like BDMs pre 1930 are digitized and available online.

Libraries Tasmania (previously LINC) have great resources including BDMs, convicts, wills, arrivals and departures all available at the press of a button and part of my volunteer role will be making sure library visitors wanting help with family history know how to use these resources. They have also created a video about using the family history resources.

 

Tasmanian convict records

Old Timey Music

Creative Commons License Don Gunn via Compfight

You are researching a convict who was transported to Tasmania (VDL). You have heard of the Tasmanian Names Index via LINC website, but how do you use it?

Like all good repositories, there is a help page that takes you through how to search using the index. This page includes a video showing how to use the filters and records when searching. There is also a quick start guide to look at. I would recommend watching the video as it will help with your searching and make it more efficient. I just spent some time watching it and learned some things to help with refining my search and saving the records.

Let’s now get more specific about convict records.

Again there are two family history pages to look at to help with convict records.

The first one is a convict portal which is linked to a map of Tasmania. Links on the map take you to specific places related to convicts in Tasmania eg probation stations, female factories, depots etc. Beside the map are links to other useful convict websites (not necessarily Tasmanian):

The second page explains all the different convict related records available for Tasmanian records. Most of these are digitized but not necessarily found by using the Tasmanian Names Index.

My next post will be more details about Tasmanian convict records especially those in the archive section rather than the Tasmanian Names Index.

Readers: What have you found interesting so far about researching a convict whether in Tasmania or another Australia state?

 

Finding online resources in Tasmania

Here in Tasmania we are very lucky with the amount of resources we have online to use for researching family history.

I would suggest first step is head to the LINC site and check out their family history category. This first page has a hints and tips section including a video

but most importantly

A names index

I only found this the other day. It includes links to births, deaths, marriages, wills from 1803 through to 1899 and some even more recently especially the wills. Everything in one spot sure beats looking at each type of record separately and on different microfilms or discs.

Once you put a surname in the search area of the index, you can then refine the search on the left handside area to include only specific things or to exclude others.

To see what is in the book or will, just click on the cover and it will open a new window with more information – often a digitized copy of the original document.

STOP PRESS  UPDATE   STOP PRESS   UPDATE

It also includes links to convict records and arrivals.