Researching in Queensland

So far I have no ancestors in Queensland so I kept up with the chat easily today.

Illustrated front cover from The Queenslander, August 16, 1934

Resources to use for Queensland research

Here’s an unusual #Queensland archive, the Thoroughbred Racing Museum & Archive. I came across it when researching ggGF Ernie Trew, horse trainer in Brisbane abt 1897-1914

There is a ton of info on Judy Webster’s site, indexed from Qld State Archives.

I can’t join #ANZAncestryTime live, but on the topic ‘Queensland’ see for advice + 70,000 names from my indexes to historical records here. The names include many interstate/overseas folk with links to Qld.

Full disclosure as a member of the Qld Family History Society I am naturally biased but if you’d like to check out our website tonight you can do so here you can do a global keyword search here…

More QFHS can see how many databases we have here – the ones with the green asterixis anyone can drill right down.…

They have a good deal of info esp Council records. Maps also available at Qld State Archives (QSA)

QFHS created a little presentation to show you what resources we have on our website

Ipswich Libraries have great talks and may provide some assistance…

Very friendly folk at the Toowoomba and Darling Downs FHS  and the society website here

Many research trips I have made to Toowoomba Alex. The local studies section of the library (was independent a few years ago) is excellent too

State Library of Qld (SLQ) has lots of great resources including material on mining accidents in Qld 1882-1945…

Yes folks – don’t forget the fabulous library services in Queensland. The mothership is SLQ of course but there are lots of other lovelies e.g Moreton Bay and the Gold Coast to name just two…

Hint – google “local studies” as well as “local history” or “family history” when looking for libraries to help.

QLd has some great record sets. School records, electoral rolls, ship immigrant lists, Gaol & court records, naturalisation, inquests, land selection, maps, insolvency. All held at Qld State Archives

Qld State Archives, SLQ, Local Libraries Family and Local History Societies, Church Archives, Trove, Local Museums

I have made some great discoveries in Church Archives. Baptisms and marriages may include additional info. Also more general information about places where relatives lived.

Queensland State Archives is a must visit place with so many records for family history. I also found the State Library of Queensland useful. These days one would have to say Trove.

Teachers Records were most useful to me at the Qld State Archives – lots of rich detail about where they came from and lived before they came to Australia. Electoral rolls, cemeteries and good old Trove too. And wonderful cousins who I found along the way !!

We are really fortunate in Queensland to have access to so many great record sets, one of my favourites being Qld B,D,M index. which you can access here

Council records: Cemetery burial registers (many inline now); Council sewerage and other maps; Council rate books may reveal unknown properties.

Brisbane City Council Archives was hard to find but very much worthwhile visiting

Queensland BDM’s Trove Australian War Memorial & NAA service records McCosker Tribal Pages website – receiving comments from relatives at my Adams Family blog where I’ve been documenting Dad’s various ancestral lines

Family history/genealogy societies cemetery transcripts are really useful. They often have other area specific resources not always online so a visit is a good idea if you can.

QSA – just about my favourite place. Don’t forget to book though if you want to visit.

For an overview of what QSA has go here…

University, state and National reference libraries for books and journals to provide context for your research. Also their genealogy support, ask a librarian and guides.

SLQ’s research guides are here…

it would be remiss of me not to give you GSQ’s site too – a fabulous blog and great workshops 🙂

Newspapers offline and online. Search for pioneer stories as well as obits, weddings, BDM notices etc. also overseas news for an ancestor’s name and/or place.

Locality publications

Just feel the need to share these 3 for QLD research I’m sure all the QLD experts know these, but perhaps an outsider may find them useful Historical Data Sets… QLD Historical Atlas Text QLD

Where did your Qld ancestors come from and on which ships did they arrive? Where did they settle and did they stay in one place or move around?

all my immigrant families came to Qld and I have 11 pre-Separation (pre 1859) pioneers. They range from 3xgreat grandparents to great grandparents

Surnames for my immigrants: Kunkel (Bavaria); Kent (HRT Eng), Partridge (GLS, Eng); Gavin/Murphy (Dublin, Wicklow, Kildare); O’Brien (Clare, IRL) all pre 1859

Post Separation immigrants: McSherry families 1883 and 1884 (Wexford IRL); Melvin (Leith, MDL, SCT) 1877; McCorkindale (Glasgow, Lnk, SCT) 1910

Ships: Florentia 1853; General Hewitt 1854; Fortune 1855; Woodlark 1877; Melpomene 1883; Almora 1884; Perthshire 1910.

Ipswich was first point of settlement for many of my immigrants: Kunkel, Kent, Partridge, Melvin. McCorkindales came to Brisbane and stayed there. Gavin family was on the Darling Downs. McSherry families to Rockhampton.

My Qld ancestors came from Scotland, Ireland, England, Switzerland and Germany. German settled on the Darling Down, Swiss and English in Maryborough, Scottish and Irish and Northern Irish in Brisbane

My GGG grandparents John and Helen Carnegie arrived in Brisbane in 1865 on the Sunda. They were from Montrose, Scotland and came out with their children. They moved to Grafton before returning to Queensland to live at Toorbul. Just across from Bribie Island!

I just love that you’ve ended up so close to where they were originally. This happens so often in Family History.

Hi everyone 🙂 My ancestors sailed from London in 1885 on the Duke of Buckingham arriving first in Rockhampton. They were teachers, so moved around a bit: Cometville near Emerald, Bustard Head, Readville near Beaudesert, then Monkland.

Great grandfather Herbert William White was from Wiltshire and he arrived on the Chyebassa. He married Dorcas Trevaskis whose parents married in Moonta, South Australia before moving to Charters Towers where she met Herbert.

I have only one known family in Queensland – they migrated there from Victoria, so have done no research. None of my ancestors were in Queensland. One part of the family moved from Victoria to Queensland last century. I have a cousin by marriage living there, and my husband has a child and family living there.

BUT I have quite a number of people who are in Queensland in my Legacy tree. Some of them are from DNA matches that I haven’t managed to link to me yet.

G-GF William Andrew arrived in Brisbane from Scotland on RMS Roma in 1888. He worked in Bundaberg before marrying & moving to Broken Hill 1894. His wife Minnie O’Shaughnessy immigrated from Ireland around the same time but her records are elusive

John and Sarah Finn married in Rathdrum, Wicklow and came out to Brisbane on the Mairi Bhan with their first child. They had land at Nambour, spent time in northern NSW but ended up back in Brisbane. South Brisbane cemetery to be exact.

They went to Grafton after he did some gaol time. They changed their surname for about 10 years before moving back to Queensland and claiming their land orders in their Carnegie name. Skeletons everywhere in my family.

Thomas and Elizabeth Price married in Staffordshire and then came out to Sydney on the Samuel Plimsoll. They wandered all over until they ended up in Charters Towers with 10 children

Wow! That’s so great. My husband’s family were mostly Queenslanders and some pre-sep but I have only the Conners who came out after 1854.

Haberling Switzerland 1871, Nerger Germany 1852, Siegler Germany 1862, Morrison England and Scotland 1868, Weston Maryborough 1870, White Kaimkillenbun to 17 Mile Rocks 1912, McDade Scotland 1923

Robert’s ancestors settled around Walloon and I really want to spend a bit of time at Ipswich Library service looking at maps and getting a sense of the area

My g g grandparents (Morrison) settled first in Victoria then NSW then Ipswich Qld and later ended up in Cooroy

My Adams Brown Weatherstone Dougherty Waters McDonald Robinson Barden Easton McCosker Power Byrne family moved to Goondiwindi after they had lived elsewhere in NSW – with their ancestors having arrived from England Scotland Ireland and America

I just checked – there are Sinnamon’s in the McCosker Tribal Pages site – the late John McCosker who set up the site did an amazing amount of sleuthing to track down McCosker’s

I have not found any Queensland ancestors on my sides. One of MrTG’s uncles came from QLD however I restrict my tree branches to ones closer so I have not investigated him beyond the basics.

My Goondiwindi – Warwick Queensland ancestors were on Dad’s side – and in the last few years I found some Newlands relatives on Mum’s side who were up there too – I found in #Trove that back in 1870’s they all played on the same cricket team

Many people know me as a Queenslander, but most of my ancestors lived in NSW, or VIC (and eventually settled in NSW). One ancestor did arrive in Moreton Bay first, then found Ipswich too hot and moved south to Newcastle (where I was born).

MyKent and Partridge families didn’t move from Ipswich. The McSherry families were the most peripatetic being railwaymen. Kunkels moved from Ipswich to Murphys Creek below Toowoomba. Melvins: Ipswich to Charters Towers for 20+ years then Sydney.

Quangpraha / Pixabay

What reasons might your ancestors have had for settling in Qld? ie assisted migration, family connections?

Was the Qld government actively looking for emigrants in Germany? I know it was in Scotland.

The Australian Govt was actively recruiting emigrants from Germany Brooke. They had German agents in Qld to find people

Yes it was though some was during the pre-Sep phase with vinedressers scheme from NSW. Also don’t believe they were all Lutherans! There were many Catholics among them.

Theoretically anyone with experience working in vineyards – many were casual seasonal labour in Germany. Sadly some were then employed as shepherds in isolated places – very different from village life.

selection criteria for German vinedressers had rules Re size of family to get assisted passage, ages and marital status.

i think there were better employment opportunities for my ancestors out here. Although I also think they were trying to escape their past lives and difficult family situations.

None of my families had any other family here. They were mostly miners which is why Copperfield and Charters Towers are where they moved to.

William Andrew was an assisted migrant. I’ve looked at the passenger records (although I always forget where they are, is it Qld Archives or Library?)

Reasons for migration are often unknown. Assisted passages were a big incentive. Some followed earlier family (Melvin, McCorkindale). Railway construction for the McSherry families. Bankruptcy in England possibly for the Kent’s who came with adult family

I know my great grandparents left Scotland after a scandal and settled in Brisbane because relatives were there. My other g grandparents left Northern Ireland because of health problems but also had family on the Darling Downs

oral history for George Kunkel says he left to avoid military service. Possibly also because he wasn’t the eldest son to inherit the family inn or attracted by gold rushes. As a swimmer who’s eluded my searches for 35 years it’s hard to be sure.

My ancestors in Goondiwindi had been shearers drovers and graziers – so they lived there because of employment & agricultural opportunities – they had moved from Hunter Valley, Grafton, Collanebri

why did the ancestors of my Goondiwindi ancestors come to Australia ? assisted immigration from poor agricultural and urban areas and convicts – ps A1 – I forgot about the Tulloch Anderson ancestors of my Barden’s who were in Goondiwindi

Assisted immigrants (Germany) definitely came for employment opportunities. Shepherds were needed on the Darling Downs and everyone on the ship claimed to be a shepherd.

My g grandfather left NZ for Qld to desert a wife and become an opera singer

He sounds like a colourful character Sharn

He was Annie. he deserted the second wife in Qld and ‘drowned’ in his best suit then was arrested travelling to Sydney first class by train with no ticket

One Qld ancestor (Frayne) came unwillingly as a convict. He remained in Qld after being sent to Moreton Bay

I think the Irish, esp soon after the Famine, came for employment & hoping for land. Others had same employment here as “at home”. Others had more opportunities to build businesses. Adult family groups came for the younger ones to have opportunitie

Some Bavarians came to have the chance to own land and be independent. Also complex rules Re marriage made it possible for them to marry en route and have families here.

Apparently my ancestor worked at a brick works company in or near Ipswich, however, I don’t know much at all about this period of this life. It’s one of the gaps in my research! He was a coal miner by trade, and later owned an orchard in Newcastle.

hangela / Pixabay

Did your Qld ancestors have the same occupations before and after migration? Do you think employment was a reason for settling in Qld?

John Finn was an agricultural labourer in Wicklow Ireland and the idea of having his own land was the attraction. Sadly they lost the Nambour farm after John had a bad accident,

My Scottish g grandfather was a coal miner and in Brisbane worked as a labourer for the council. My g grandfather from England was a builder there and here he became a well known rail carriage builder and built churches

Thomas Price was from a family of coal miners in Staffordshire and spent time gold mining in Charters Towers. He died at the Wee McGregor mine (out near Cloncurry) in 1918.

My Northern Ireland Whites were flax farmers in Co Tyrone and Dairy farmer at Seventeen Mile Rocks.

My Swiss g g grandfather was a boot maker in Zurich and a bootmaker in Maryborough.

John Carnegie was a sailor back in Scotland and his love of boats probably led him to settle on the Clarence River and then the final move to Pumicestone Passage where he was an oyster farmer.

My German ancestors came for employment and went on to own land on the Darling Downs

land availability out Goondiwindi way & across the border at Boggabilla. The families would have come for agricultural related opportunities – droving shearing graziers – back in the UK and Ireland their ancestors would have been in agriculture and gardening

I think he did work in the same occupation eventually (coal miner), but I think his first job in Queensland was something to do with bricks. I’m keen to learn more about him, because some say his mother was a professional actress.

My g g grandmother from Zurich was a housewife before migrating but a court translator in Maryborough as she spoke many languages

My Cornish ancestor James Henry Trevaskis was a tin miner which is why he went to Moonta copper mines and then Copperfield in Queensland.

I’ve looked for newspaper reports on the death of my gt gdmother Matilda Adams nee Waters without luck – she was thrown out of a sulky when the horse bolted and died in Goondiwindi hospital a week later in 1924 – any help would be appreciated

Blog Posts about Queensland families and research

Alex: Wealth for toil, Calendar cemetery and October challenge,

KerrieAnne: Queensland family,

Pauleen: Queenslander, Australia Day, Text Queenslander,

Sharn: Tower in the garden, What killed great grandad?, Telling an immigrants story,

Readers: have you done any research on ancestors based in Queensland? What resources did you find useful?


Church, parish and other religious records

This week in late July, members of the #ANZAncestryTime chat were looking at churches and parishes. What records can you find there?

HOerwin56 / Pixabay

Why are Church or parish records an important resource for family history? What information can we find in them and how can they fill the gaps in our family history?

And then there’s the release of the Irish Catholic parish registers which have made it possible to analyse and collate families in a village.

Who has used Church Archives for their in-person research? They tend to be sadly overlooked.

They are not always accessible in Ireland but I have used the @rcblibrary many times for Church of Ireland records.

I find in Oz that some archivist will happily cite privacy legislation for something from the mid 19th century. It frustrates me that this is #pioneerhistory missing.

What a pain! I have had some diocesan archives give me a line about people maybe still being alive. The people in question had married in 1920, so I thought it was unlikely.

well I have written to a few parish priests over the years asking them to look at marriage records because I can’t find any in civil registration in Australia.

I visited ancestral churches when last in England and found ancestors named as Church wardens etc on a plaque on the wall of St Mary’s Polstead, Suffolk going back to the 1600’s. Quite moving

They fill in some gaps for people pre civil registration! They can bring you back that extra generation and give you names of the infants/bride/groom/deceased and parents names and witnesses, sponsors and much more!

When they are available, they give information on baptisms and marriages. Unfortunately, most of the records I want don’t exist.

parish records have become very useful in conjunction with the earlier census in UK. Helps with maiden names and parents.

“Let me count the ways…” Richest incl. Parish census, parents’ names (incl maiden names), address, witnesses’ names addresses. At min, consanguinity, clues to ancestors’ wealth, FAN and residence

They give the details of the parents, e.g. names, jobs, locations, the names/signatures of the witnesses and the signatures of the bride and groom.

I’ve been having great success tracking family through Catholic registers – the baptisms will list sponsors (godparents) who are often relatives, and mother’s maiden name often appears too – goldmine of information!

Just recently, English – @findmypast have a whole heap of Southwark diocese records. In the past, some brickwalls busted with Scottish RC registers.

You never know, Pauleen! Some parents might have liked to hedge their bets – I found a significant number of Protestant parents (one P, or both) getting their children baptised Catholic in Glasgow mid-19th cent.

Back in the day I trawled all the microfilms for “my” overseas parishes. Amazing what’s hidden in there well beyond one’s own family.

Lots of info on parish records in counties and countries here

List of Online Parish Clerks…

Removal orders can be quite confronting Alex. Thinking of your family as relying on parish welfare is hard

They can also provide a big clue to where someone may have originated

They get removed to the father’s parish of settlement which was usually where he was born

German Church books often contain information beyond baptisms, marriages and burials and record confirmations and communions and family names

Church &parish records are important in my #familyhistory research as they are about significant events in the lives of my ancestors. The main places I find these records are at the genealogy giants.

They are local to where the event took place so might include FANs and extra info in the margins

Church records often pre-date civil records so can take our family history further back in time. Some Parish records contain personal details about people, things we might not otherwise find out.

PilotBrent / Pixabay

What interesting or surprising information have you found in Church, Parish or other Religious records?

Saddest find was on the Cornwall OPS I found that Grace Seccomb was buried on 28 Sept 1835, the same day as her youngest baby was baptised. She had taken her own life being Felo de Se “Out of her mind.”

Communion rolls can be found even in Australia eg the Presbyterian ones for Murphys Creek Qld are in a Toowoomba library.

always worth checking your library catalogue. You never know what you’ll find.

Nothing that I can remember. I just wish the parishes I need to get records had them.

What looked like an infant baptism on transcription was revealed as an adult conversion from Presbyterian to RC. It helped link a branch of the family in & gave me a ‘new’ direct female ancestor’s name.

oh yes – I had one of those – so helpful! Was able to confirm the research I’d done and advise descendants that their ancestor was not in fact a Yorkshire man but a farmer from Stillorgan, Co. Dublin 🙂  I’ll be honest, this was an in-law to an ancillary line of my own but the names intrigued me and really helped to identify the family. I think his descendants were a little disappointed their origins weren’t more “illustrious” 🙂

John Wesley wrote a medical book! Surprising, he has tried many of them himself, and adds background to how his followers amongst others might have treated various conditions.…

1840 parish census – that my 20C grandmother’s birth place was once known as Dooleytown (her maiden name) and that my GGM’s family (other line) were CofI andnot RC #ANZAncestryTime They’ve also confirmed suspected familial ties between families (consanguinity)

I also discovered(realised?) via English CofE that a genealogy of one of my family branches was incorrect – and identified the correct marriage of my 5/6 GGPs in Bucks and not Glos

One of my second great grandmothers used a different version of her first name for almost every certificate. After a while I realised this may have been intentional.

I suspected I had a great-aunt who was a nun in a particular order. I wrote to the order’s archives and they sent me some fascinating material about her

There’s an idea. I believe Dad had a cousin who was a nun. Where would I even start?

There is an archive for the School Sisters of Notre Dame or SSND. Most orders have an archive. First task is to identify the order.

Task 1 completed. In a family funeral notice The Nun (as Dad calls her) is named as Sister Mary Peter Claver. So she is of the order of St Peter Claver. Now to track down their archives in Australia.

One thing that we might not think of is the more broad items in a church – donated “in memoriam” gifts, signs, kneeling cassocks etc.

My gg grandmother donated a stained glass window for the local church, so has her name below it. Women donors on one side of church, men donors on the other!

Actually, Dad heard from visiting Irish priest that men and women used to sit on opposite sides of the church during Mass. Will have to consult some experts!

Also have never heard that. Afaik, people sat in family groups, but it’s possible that earlier periods, it was more segregated

Probably back in ancient times! Was a Dublin priest from memory, so maybe different practices in rural areas

I believe even here in the 1910s-1920s the women were sometimes on different sides of the (RC) church. I’m told my grandfather would give other’s kids a clip under the ear to behave. Gasp!

Grenfell C of E stained glass window -Let Brotherly Love Continue” erected by my gg grandfather & his brother for another brother – always told as a kid “family is everything “

Sometimes Churches keep old weekly news letters or magazines that mention ancestors. It pays to visit and ask if you can

That’s a very good point Sharn and reminds me that I got a very good insight into one of my cousins, a minister in Kentucky who seems to have been quite progressive through such a magazine. He had a jazz quartet playing in the chapel in the 1960s!

How fabulous Tara. My grandfather played the piano in Church (when my grandmother could get him there. ) My mother played the church organ ( I just sang in the choir)

good reminder about the vital roles our families play in church life.

It doesn’t happen very often but some vicars kindly put the birth dates in the margins next to the date of baptism. So helpful.

I discovered to my surprise a church census for NBL- North Leith (I think) which included all sorts of warts and all comments on the local residents

From a settlement examination I discovered a bigamous marriage, military service and remarriage also birthplace and parentage of mother

I have had some success using church archives to find more general info about my grandfather’s involvement in the Hibernian Society. More to do post-covid.

Plenty of goss to be found in Kirk session records – hoping to get some time to look through them for my Fife relatives

Using christenings can help when 2 couples with similar names in the same parish or area great if you are a one namer

Sometime children are christened but no birth is registered I thought this was true for my ancestor but she was registered with a different first name and used her christened name

I found 8 children in one family who were baptised on same day in Scotland. In Australian church records, I found a family of 4 children from same family baptised on same day.

Fifteen years ago I saw a family march seven children up to the altar and all were baptized including the Dad, too. Eight total. Catholic mass, Londonderry, New Hampshire, total immersion.

Yes – I’ve found a Sydney family baptised in batches of two at a time – I deduced that this branch was not overly religious! In the 1840’s – Dad was a massive fan of vaccination – science over religion me thinks

A surprising benefit to me came from my church archive networks when this framed house blessing was offered to me.

I found out quite a bit about the health of my great-grandfather from the Portsmouth History Centre which identified an entry for him in the Portsea Island Workhouse register

vbernhard / Pixabay

Which Church, Parish or other Religious records have you used and in which countries? What religions were they and did you find them easy to interpret?

OPR, Kirk Sessions on ScotlandsPeople. Church of Scotland. A few were not

I have only ever needed to find the English Parish records so no issues with interpreting them However about to do some local research which may need Welsh translating

Found most of this on Anglican Church records in Australia have been useful. I know some were Salvation Army, but haven’t had much luck getting details there. Some of the Irish side were Catholics though not practising, I think.

do the Salvos have Archives? I suppose they must. I just haven’t seen it written down anywhere.

US, Canada, England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland, S. Africa (none in ANZ so far). Yes, easy to interpret although I had to rely on my school French for some and a good map of Wales and a grounding in non-conformity/Methodism/Bible Christians for others!

@findmypast, @rootsireland, @NLIreland – those are the ones I know!

Yorkshire parish & bishops transcripts revealed lots for my Cordeaux/ Cordukes ancestors – pre 1800 in Crambe & a sibling record even had a 3 generation family tree – genealogy gold

I’ve used church baptisms and marriages in Ireland. They were Roman Catholic and they were easy to interpret as long as they didn’t have the most abysmal handwriting… 😒  (loved the ones that were in tables)

Some do have terrible handwriting don’t they Daniel. Luckily My Irish Catholic family’s Dublin baptisms were easy to read and a wonderful find

It made a nice change to use Jersey parish records- often copperplate and gorgeous 😁

one rather unusual source for me were early Wesleyan administrative records in Hobart. I knew my printer ancestor had done work for them. Found payment vouchers and some more examples of his printing. Gold!

Don’t forget Church events and ancestors were often advertised in newspapers so a place to start looking

These have been tremendously helpful. We had a DNA connection to some people we didn’t know at all or didn’t realise were family, and have found lots of family notices about who they knew in our family. Still haven’t found the exact link, but getting closer.

I seem to have inherited a lot of family bibles with notes written in them which tell me which churches my ancestors attended.

I’ve used mostly Catholic registers in NZ, Ireland, England and Scotland, and CoE and CoS. Looked through a lot of parish chest documents for my Suffolk families. Would love to find some Quakers – their recordkeeping is amazing, docs usually easy to read!

I acquired all my grandfather’s Hibernian sashes by writing to the society in Brisbane. What a coup! Matched up with news stories incl photos and family photos, and my memory of him at Corpus Christ processions

I am going to start working on the people on the headstones in the local graveyard many are in Welsh the parish records may also be in Welsh

I found Lutheran Church records in Toowoomba at the Local History Society that showed how much my g g g grandfather donated towards the building of the first Lutheran Church there. Shows economic circumstances

I’ve done Salvation Army research at the archives in Melbourne. Really useful

Have checked out St Georges church records in Battery Point Hobart. Found info on communion etc for mum, her sister and cousins

Australia (various states), England, Scotland, Ireland, Bavaria, Wales (ltd). TIP: Look beyond your own ancestor’s events to witnesses etc.

US, Canada, England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland, S. Africa (none in ANZ so far). Yes, easy to interpret although I had to rely on my school French for some and a good map of Wales and a grounding in non-conformity/Methodism/Bible Christians for others!

I guess I have used the most predictable ones e.g. baptisms, burials and marriage records but I have also been interested to learn about other sources like tithe records e.g. in Wales which can give quite detailed information about family and FANS.

Free-Photos / Pixabay

Where can we find Church, Parish or other Religious records? Suggest tips for understanding and using Church/Parish records.

A google book search showed me that I had an ancestor who was a Sexton and who wrote hymns. Also another who was a parson. I didn’t find this anywhere else

Don’t forget the Kirk session records now available at @ScotlandsPeople for more than the christening, marriages and burials.

Thanks Fran. I got amazing detail from the Kirk sessions during one day’s intense research in SCT. It enabled me to narrow down my ancestor’s approx year of death and the parish support they were receiving

It is worth joining the county family history society if you are stuck, eg Devon has lots of records available to members. Often have facebook group where you can ask questions too. And occasionally offer to investigate ‘brick walls’.

a good place to find out about UK records for an area is Genuki. Put this and the Parish or place name into your. search engine and it usually comes up trumps! There are also ‘online parish clerks’ for some areas who are a great contact point.

Many Irish church records have been digitised and indexed but not all. @NLIreland holds digital images of many of the RC parish registers up to about 1880s. have indexed RC/CofI parish record for Dublin and some other areas

FMP/Ancestry have indexed these parish records (caution transcription errors) Rootsireland have transcriptions of many later records and also have transcribed e.g. parish census. CofI/other faiths usually held in archives of those churches but some local.

Also use (€) for better transcriptions and different but overlapping coverage.

Yes! And also good for CofI records in some parishes. And one of the features I like is that you can search by e.g. marriages by Father’s name and in some counties events by name of witness/sponsor

Only record of one GGGPs marriage found on Rootsireland (no civil record found for some reason!)

Check FamilySearch and their wiki for details on your parish/area of interest – wonderful information about what records there are and where you might find them. Many registers digitised and online too.

The Genealogist is good for non conformists and not just transcriptions

FamilySearch has lots. Scotlands People, Irish Genealogy. Not many baptisms found for my family.

All the big genealogy sites have information about using Church Records. Well worth reading.

Many records are being digitised by FMP & Ancestry but some are still only accessible in the Archives Family Search have some only accessible at FHL

Amazing background and clues can be found in surprising books eg a history of Bishop P Dunne. Told of his influence in his parish (my ancestors’), attitudes to working life etc

For the first time in my research I am using English parish baptism records. I am used to the mother’s maiden names being used in Ireland, Scotland, Channel Islands and Ticino! So I feel deprived if England.

information on church records are “everywhere”. Books especially can be very informative for early pioneer days. Archives, LDS, online, on site in a church

yes good point Pauleen. Societies have often published books/indexes to local parish records but of course you always want to see the original.

StockSnap / Pixabay

General comments

As I got into family history I was astounded to find my father’s “non-Catholic” family had even Presbyterian-RC (maternal & Paternal) and my mother’s dyed-in-the wool RC was Methodist-Anglican-RC

My Scottish grandfather was Catholic Pauleen but my Irish grandmother Protestant so she pretended his family were not catholic even popping an A in the Mc to make it Mac and less catholic looking. Sometimes our ancestors did strange things

Growing up in the sixties when it was very much WASP / Catholic divide – delighted to discover Irish Catholic convict ancestors & amused by gg grandfather buried in c of e section & both wives (who were sisters) in the RC section at Rookwood

Blog posts relating to church and religion

Pauleen – Irish in Surry Hills, Catholic branches, Corpus Christi march, Church records and archives, Church archives,

Hilary – Settlement examination,

Alex – Workhouse register,

Readers: Which church or parish records have you found useful? What interesting information did you find?