Letter G challenge


Government Gazettes and publications
There are many ways to find information on your ancestors and their life. The government is great at keeping records other than a census in Australia.

As a true blue Tasmanian descended from both free settlers and those who had a journey overseas paid for by a government from a previous country, I can find a lot by checking government Gazettes and other publications like electoral rolls and almanacs.

The Tasmanian Archive and Heritage Office (TAHO) has been digitising a lot of their records that used to be microfilmed or in huge books. Here is a list of some online:

  • Government gazette papers – Trove
  • Electoral rolls
  • Convict records
  • Arrivals and departures
  • Census and musters
  • Divorces
  • Wills
  • Inquests
  • Tasmanian Post Office Directories – early form of white pages
  • Publicans licenses

It is very important to check out guides from your local archives to find out what they have either online or available if you visit them. National Archives Australia has a series of fact sheets about what is available there.

Cora Num has some great links to look through on her website including some references to England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales.

Readers: Please leave a comment about my post or something beginning with G that relates to your family history or your research.

letter G


Letter A challenge

National Film and Sound Archive


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.

letter A

County Donegal Archives at Lifford

Surely there were records telling me about the court trial ….

I asked the archivist what sort of trial records they might have here. She replied that Petty Session records were here and which would I want to see. Now I wasn’t sure if I wanted Quarter Session or Petty Session records so decided to try the Petty Session just in case there was mention of the Jackson family misdemeanours in them over the few years prior to 1847. But which town or areas records would I look at?  I remembered from the Outrage Papers that A McClintock was a magistrate from the Newtown Cunningham area so said I would try them.

Checked 1 January 1847 and there it was:

Cases in which Mr McClintock acted out of Petty Sessions:

Anne Jackson of Garsney??? and John Craig of Corneamble  a(gainst) William Jackson the Elder and Jane Steel both of Garsney

For that they did at Corneamble on 1 February? 1846 feloniously steal and take away 4 hens value 3/- the property of John Craig

Information taken returnable? to Quarter Sessions at Lifford January 1847

Another case reported:

Anne Jackson of Garsney and Anthony Gallagher of Ruskey? a(gainst) William Jackson the Elder, William Jackson the Younger, Rebecca Jackson, Jane Steele and Mary Jane Gallagher

For that they did at Ruskey on the 1st day of April 1846 feloniously steal and carry away 4 stones of potatoes value 8d the property of Anthony Gallagher

Information taken returnable? to Quarter Sessions at Lifford January 1847

A third case reported:

Anne Jackson, Caldwell Motherwell of Monglass, sub constable James Love?, Nelly Jackson of St Jo uston? and Joseph Wray of Curry free? County Derry a(gainst) William Jackson the Elder, William Jackson the Younger, Rebecca Jackson, Jane Steele and Mary Jane Gallagher

For that they did at Criche? on the 6th day of April 1847 into a certain dwelling House of one John Motherwell feloniously broke and enter and did then and there feloniously steal from one large cloak valued 2/5, on Mr Qutoste? cloak value 6d, 3 frock coats value 7/6, one body coat value 2/-, 3 pairs of trowsers value 6/-, 3 waistcoats value4/6, one sheet value 6d and one quilt value 6d the goods and chatels of Caldwell Morthewell? Motherwell?

Information taken returnable? to Quarter Sessions at Lifford January 1847

I think it might have been this latest case that really did it for the thieving Jacksons. But I notice the date is April 1847 – think that should have been April 1846 as they were tried in January 1847. I also see another Jackson being mentioned Nelly in County Derry. Wonder what relation she might be?

So where else could I find records for the court case? Let’s try the newspapers – checked back in Dublin at the National library where the newspapers are on microfilm.


Websites to check out

Wreaths in Hall of Valour

I thought I already knew lots of places to find records, diaries, photos for members of my family who had fought in war, so I quickly marked off those sections in the course. But I am glad I went back to check out the comments from the other students. They included lots of links to other sites around the world as well.

Australian War Memorial records for World War 1

Here is a link to the information sheet from the Australian War Memorial for family historians checking out Australian military history for World War 1. I would suggest this is your first step as it links you to so many other resources to use.

Service Records around the world

When transcribing Aussie records, here is a glossary of abbreviations used. There are many sites to gather bits and pieces to build up your relatives service record. Here are a few:

National Archives Australia – click on name search here, fill in name, use drop down arrow to find the conflict

Discovering ANZACs – Australia and New Zealand

War Diaries are now also digitized for some regiments or units.

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission can give details about burial places.

National Archives UK have a great website setup with all World War 1 resources available.

A couple of links for our New Zealand mates are here and here.

If searching for those in Canada, here are some links for them.

Looking for British Army in India who served, go to this wiki for help.


On the Australian War Memorial website, type in war photographers in the search area and up will come the list of 25 people. An interesting person to look at is Frank Hurley, but remember some of his photographs have been manipulated and are composed of a few photographs put together in one.

Kansas City in the USA has a National World War museum at this link.

The Imperial War Museum in the UK also has many photos to look at.

British Pathe has images and video clips to research.

Readers: Do you know of any other great sites I could include for this part of the course?

Jean Davidson mentioned First World War Centenary and while googling this I also found ANZAC Centenary and Great War which includes events around the world. These are more general websites about celebrating the centenary rather than researching your specific person.