After summarizing the migration twitterchat, I thought it would be interesting to find out where each of my direct ancestors was born and to work out how Australian I really am. So I am going to use just my direct line and include flag to show where they were born.
(L) London (S) Surrey (M) Middlesex (D) Devon (W) Worcestershire (SU) Sussex (C) Cambridgeshire (Y) Yorkshire (B) Bedfordshire (CO) Cornwall
William Dawson (SC) – 3x great grandparent – convict
Catherine McKay (SC) – 3x great grandparent – convict
Matthew Sutton (L) – 3x great grandparent – convict
Mary McCrewney (NI) – 3x great grandparent – convict
William England (Y) – 3x great grandparent
Margaret Rylands (Y) – 3x great grandparent
Henry Bryant (M) – 3x great grandparent
Charlotte Bryant (SU) – 3x great grandparent
John Davey (D) – 3x great grandparent
MaryAnn Jennings (D) – 3x great grandparent
David Dixon (Y) – 3x great grandparent
Mary Pickering (Y) – 3x great grandparent
Francis Colgrave (B) – 3x great grandparent – convict
Isabella Watkins (Y) – 3x great grandparent – convict
John Holliday Boyd (CO) – 3x great grandparent – convict
Martha Hearn (M) – 3x great grandparent – convict
Rebecca Jackson (Donegal) – 2x great grandparent – convict
So going back as far as 3x great grandparents, out of a possible 63 direct line ancestors (including me), I have proven: 17 born in Tasmania, 31 born in the UK (2 of these in Scotland) and 1 born in Ireland. I still have 14 to find out who they are and where they live.
From these statistics: I am 17 out of 49 Tasmanian – this means roughly 34%.
Readers: Up to your 3x great grandparents, how many have you proven where they were born?
Welcome to the fifth ANZAncestryTime twitterchat summary. As you can see by the title, this week we looked at newspapers and how they can help and have helped in researching our family history. We had the normal 4 questions but I am writing the summary up in a slightly different format.
Which newspaper sites have you found helpful in your family history research and what do you like about these sites?
What tips and tricks do you find useful for newspaper searches?
What information have you found in newspapers that you would not have found in other records?
What online archives, libraries and other e-resources do you use to access newspapers?
As we are mainly an Australian and New Zealand group of genealogists, the answer to the first question was usually Trove and PapersPast.
Trove is run by the National Library of Australia
Trove contains the Australian digitized newspapers and gazettes but also many other resources such as music, diaries, magazines etc mentioned in the following categories. This video on the main Explore page shows how to use information in Trove to tell a story. Checking out the Help page gives clues to searching, navigating and the categories. It also includes links to a How To video about Trove as well as a video and notes about searching the newspapers. These are well worth the time watching to get the most out of your use of Trove.
PapersPast is the New Zealand equivalent, also run by their National Library.
Looking at the about page explains how things are divided on the website and includes a list of Maori newspapers and magazines. Looking at their Help page gives lots of tips and hints on how to get the best out of your searching on the website. Many of these hints will work for any newspaper or even Google search. On the lead newspaper page you will also find a list of the most recent papers uploaded to PapersPast website.
Tips and tricks for getting the most out of researching a newspaper
Jill: When searching for a married female do a search with maiden name and Nee. This may find marriage & engagement announcements and births of children.
Fran: I start a search with newspapers in my ancestors location and extend to cover all NZ newspapers as many places reported the same stories. Print might be better on others or additional news
Jennifer: When researching married female ancestors, search for Christian name and also ‘Mrs’
Jill: Read the info on how to search each database. They are not all the same
Maggie: Wild cards are your friends! Plus, search by place name, related surnames, events, not just by an ancestor’s name. Cast your net wide.
Sue: use Boolean logic with + and – signs when searching
Pauleen: It’s useful to search widely by place (unless it’s a big city) and topic (eg petty sessions) rather than name because sometimes the OCR just doesn’t work well.
Alona: use a surname but add in a place, or occupation as it can help narrow it down
Fiona: Remembering that not all newspapers are online and checking the library for other local newspapers
Sharn: When I search for a person with a common name I use the name and identifying information ie place or occupation i.e. John Morrison “Builder” or John Morrison “Strathfield” and then I search with initial J Morrison “Builder” etc
Jill: Throwing the word Pioneer in often helps a name plus place search
Hilary: I always narrow down my search if I can and get familiar with the local papers as others publish the same story but often shorter version
Carmel: have a list of variety of spelling for each name to be searched, substitute letters, sometimes just search the place and timeframe
Alona: don’t expect to find full names (well occasionally you might, but it is rare) – often Mr, or Mr with initials, or Mrs with husbands initials
Sue: If going to use the newspaper in a blog article, know how to use the snipping tool and to move the article under the paper name etc, Also know the direct link for the article
Angela: keep search terms simple. Simply a name or a place name. Put in my mother’s maiden name and got her music exam results for a number of years!
Fiona: Get to know your newspaper by reading a few editions to see the type of articles they were including in the paper and where different “columns” were in the newspaper to make it quicker to check for articles not OCR’d correctly
Alona: look in newspapers beyond your area of searching, as news was often reported interstate & sometimes in different countries
Sue: When searching for convicts include the name of the ship they came over on, as this is how they are referred to in government reports etc
Pauleen: Try splitting up a name or place name because sometimes they become hyphenated to fit the column. eg I use “Prozelten” instead of “Dorfprozelten” Of course guessing the column break is the trick! AND always use the spelling in the right language.
Jill: Keep a record of the long search strings you build so that you can reuse them in a few months time when more papers come online
Irish News Archives: create offline keyword list associated with person, event or topic of interest. Use Boolean search forms for combination searching. Narrow date range into manageable groups. Test and test again…
Pauleen: Have also used the universal Elephind to find any stray mentions in other papers from around the world
Carmel: Work out where the funeral notices are in relation to the death notices in various newspapers – often these do not appear in a Trove search
Jill: Start broad then filter
Michelle: don’t just search in the country where the event happened, eg: for those with British ancestry check out other British Empire newspapers, I found a list of attendees to an 1840s Royal celebration in Sydney in an Indian newspaper
Sharn: There is a tremendous amount of LOCAL HISTORY about places our ancestors lived in newspapers. Things that happened where they lived paint a detailed picture of their lives
Information found in newspapers other than birth, death, marriages
Too many things to list! Newspapers have proved facts that I thought were just myth information handed down through the generations – Jill
Information on departures of Bavarian emigrants from Dorfprozelten to Australia in mid19th century. – Pauleen
The good stuff! Gossip, memories, stories, obits. Details that flesh out the vital records to really show a life – Melissa
Newspapers have provided details of inquests and prosecutions – Hilary
I’ve found my ancestors being quoted, so “hearing” their voices is a gift not found in many other records – Maggie
Absolute tons of material. Too much to list. My GF’s lifetime involvement with sport, rugby, athletics, empire games, so many committees, debates, wedding gifts, functions attended, speeches and even some controversies – Fran
Wedding reports with names of guests, description of what they are wearing and a list of wedding gifts received – Jennifer
I have found amazing stories about ancestors in newspapers. I solved a family dispute about whether my g grandfather was accidentally killed by my grandfather’s punch or by a falling branch. The culprit, witnessed and reported, was the branch much to my relief – Sharn
Online newspapers provide so much information for posts to my personal and Family history group blogs. I post the family history group ones to a local Facebook page where they get lots of hits – Jill
So many spinetingling moments – being able to read a conversation my 3xGGrandfather had with Caroline Chisholm was one of the best. (I found it the hard way – on microfilm pre @troveaustralia – Jill
I discovered my ancestors body was exhumed. I hadn’t previously found any information alluding to that – Jennifer
an obit for a friend’s reli, which gave the full details of ship they arrived, when, where, how they travelled by bullock team from one state to another, what they farmed etc, etc. 100% gold!! – Alona
found my gt uncle had been born prematurely and not lived long – Hilary
Newspapers often announced the arrival of our immigrant ancestors in a place where they settled. I found an item that told me which house in Kaimkillenbun my Irish g grandparents first lived in – Sharn
birth info for a lost registration (1886) detailed descriptions of wedding guests and gifts and bride’s wedding gown going away outfit which, identified and dated a photograph (1902) – Michelle
Details of family events. They paint such a great picture – Sandra
found husband’s unknown grandmother when she claimed estate after gfather died having had no contact with family for more than 30 yrs! – Carmel
adverts for my 4x ggrandma’s candy store in the US – that was awesome to find – Alona
Details of inquests – who said what! Accident reports. Property disputes – Angela
found married names for women from wedding or funeral articles – Hilary
My mum told me a story about gold coins being stolen from the family house. Found a newspaper article that mentioned it. Was a lot earlier than I thought it was – Sandra
I check the old weather reports when writing up family events. Can add context to stories – Jill
Name Changes were often announced in Newspapers and often the only way to find people. I found my g uncle changed his name from Rex Morley Hoyes to Rex Morley – Morley to Viscompt Fessenden Charles Rex de Borenden – Sharn
I discovered my GGgmother remarried and had a triple wedding with the groom’s two daughters – Jennifer
What newspapers are online, where to find them and others you might need?
Always check your local library and national library. They often have others digitized but not on Trove. Usually only need your library card to use them for free.
Let’s not forget all the microfilmed newspapers available at our national and state libraries. It’s not all online. We need to do the hard yards
very keen on the collections in the eresources through the state and National library in particular the Irish collection
A plug for the Ryerson Index as well for helping to find the right newspaper for death notices.
My second top choices are the Irish and UK newspaper collections – the British library newspaper archive has great search tools, then I use the information to find the specific newspaper more easily at findmypast
Google Books for (some) German newspapers. They are difficult to search and Gothic font a challenge but rewards can pay off