Introduction to family history

Blogs by group members can be found on sidebar of my blog

Hints for using

We have been able to save to a USB stick when using Ancestry/Find my Past at the Library and find it works for us. If you use Ancestry at your library and find any interesting census or other records I’m pretty sure you can email it to your self directly out of the program – there might be a limit of 5 per email address? Otherwise you can take a photo of the screen for later reference.

GEDCOM is an acronym standing for Genealogical Data Communication and has been used by every family history program for quite a while.  Every program (eg FTM, Legacy.Paf) will default to export your file as their own format (ie .FTM instead of .GED) and these files will only open again in that program – you need to make sure you download as as GEDCOM.  The only other thing is that some programs will only copy the data to the .GED file so, for example, you download from Legacy & upload to Ancestry but you might only get the names & dates of the people but no photos or notes.  The very last thing is that if you have any data incorrectly entered into your tree it might not transfer, ie. if you have the birth month as Sept instead of Sep it might not recognise September, but each program will prompt with an error log after importing. Thanks Naomi for this great description

Hints from Derek and other students

Anyway to access Ancestry FREE datasets...   On the Ancestry website, Select Search >Card Catalogue. Then type the word FREE in the KEYWORD box, depending on which site you are using will show you a list of what you can search for FREE.

Should you wish to look at international datasets just choose your country from the list at the bottom of the page on the right hand side – you may need to register on each site, they are in the language of that country

Now I have also found the Ancestry You Tube channel & regularly watch the new videos as they come up & they are very good at pointing out all sorts of things you can do on Ancestry. This has been particularly helpful as they update the site.

Genealogy estate planning video

Here is a link to a group of videos called ‘Successful searching on’

A way around it is if you use any search engine that uses the boolean system which is most of them you can tweak your searches by putting the search query within the double quote brackets ” which forces the search engine to find only those words that are together on a page/document/website etc. The other trick is to use either the boolean operator NOT (notice capitals) or the minus sign – immediatally before the word, ie.,

“charles october” capetown 1890 NOT month

“charles october capetown” 1890 -month

“mary cheese” london 1900 NOT cheddar, NOT stilton, NOT brie etc

“mary cheese london” 1900 -camenbert, -cottage, -kraft etc

Other sources mentioned in the course

Storing information

Digital folder,  sleuthing activity, Geneamusing files and folders, Family Historian user group, Gould archival storage, Family tree maker, Tutorial using hyperlinks, hyperlinks in excel, National Museums Australia, Digital print preservation

Software and online programs

Legacy,  Family Tree Maker, MyHeritageReunionBrother’s Keeper, iFamily for Leopard, Family Historian – user group, reviewGramps, Wiki Tree

Templates tools and repositories/sources

Research log from family search, charts from,  Films from family search, Chapman codes from AIGS,

Australian National University – centre of biography, Australian dictionary of biographySearch for a surname, Common NicknamesWhat’s In A Name?


Shipping and mariners records

Some Tasmanian arrivals – in Tasmanian Names Index

Victoria – passenger records and immigration

NSW  – immigration and shipping

NSW – crew record guides

Shipping/Passenger Lists on CoraWeb site

South Australia, NSW, QLD & Tasmania.

Anything shipping

Online Newspapers

Australia using Trove

New Zealand using Papers Past

Chat , google+, facebook and email groups

Rootsweb Mailing Lists

Genealogical Magazines/sites

Family History groups

Western Australian Genealogical Society – WA Surnames:

Cairns Family History Society

Geraldton Family History Society

Caloundra Family History Research Inc.

Webinars, podcasts etc

Websites with lots of links

Cyndis List

Google Books

Deciphering handwriting

Copyright and privacy


The Invisible History of the Human Race, How DNA and History Shape Our Identities and Our Futures, Christine Kenneally, Black Inc, Collingwood Vic 2014

The 3 main DNA testing companies are, FTDNA (Family Tree DNA) & 23&me  All of them are very reputable & give you lists of matches & how close they might be to you

Post about DNA testing, post about reviewing DNA test,

Interesting posts

Genealogy do-over

Buying old books


Books about early Tasmania

‘Land Musters, Stock Returns and Lists Van Diemen’s Land 1803-1822’ edited by Irene Schafer  St David’s Park Publishing Tasmania 1991- ISBN 0 7246 2177 6

‘EXILED Three Times Over, Profiles of Norfolk Isander exiled in Van Diemen’s Land 1807-13’by Irene Schafer and Thelma McKay  St David’s Park Publishing 1992 – ISBN 0 7246 2585 7 (set)

‘Pubs in Hobart from 1807’ by David J Bryce  Davadia Publishing Tas. 1997  ISBN0 646 30147 0

‘Taroona 1808-1986- Farmlands to a Garden Suburb’ produced by the Taroona Historical group pub 1988 1SBN-0-7316-3091-2

TASMANIA’S CONVICTS How Felons Built a Free Society by Alison Alexander  Published by Allen & Unwin ISBN 9781743318720


Australian Cemeteries

Australia in general


Missing persons

Renamed towns

Tasmanian searching

Aborigines Tasmania

Orphan school

Germans in Tasmania

Beatties Studio (Photographs of Tasmania)

Thomas J Nevin Tasmanian Photographer

Queensland searching

Ships passenger records

New South Wales (ACT) searching


Marilyn Rowan – Phone: 61(2) 4658 1206 | Fax: 61(2) 4658 1296

Email: – Web: 1841 and 1891

Victoria searching

Bendigo goldfields

Bendigo archives

Bendigo churches

GSV org

South Australia

Western Australia

Pioneer index online


6 thoughts on “Introduction to family history

  1. Hi Josephine,
    If any more interesting links are given in the course, feel free to add them here in the comments and i will add them to the page.

  2. Hi Sue,
    I’m enjoying the online studying with the Family Research with the University of Tas. I’m really excited to learn about my own Family History as this is my first time at studying online with talking with the other students and getting to know everyone.
    Kind Regards

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