Crowdsourcing and NFHM2021

Fantastic topic for #ANZAncestryTime chat especially with National Family History Month in August.

Free-Photos / Pixabay

What do you think is crowd sourcing in relation to Family History?

Genealogists or family history type groups helping each other and working together for a common cause

Excellent definition Sue – succinct and yet comprehensive 🙂

For me it’s about asking for support for a collaborative project

I put a callout on the blog for guest bloggers to write about our shared family members. Maybe that’s crowdsourching? Btw I didn’t get anyone take up the offer

Some societies use guest bloggers to write posts weekly eg @gsq Yet another type of crowd sourcing. gsq-blog.gsq.org.au

Curious fox website curiousfox.com

I’m a member of a number of FB groups, occasionally I will ask for help when I’m stuck but I usually ask for help on How I can find the info I’m looking for so I can find it rather than ask someone else to find the info for me

There’s nothing like making the discovery yourself, that to me is what #genealogy is about plus you learn on how or where to find what your looking for

help from Ireland Reaching Out is a type of crowdsourcing where locals who know the place help researchers from afar.

Morning! Not sure that I can contribute a lot to the topic today but you’ve just quoted the one example I could think of. #ANZAncestryTime Although @duchas_ie also uses crowdsourcing and this can also be a great assistance to 20thC #FamilyHistory research – just ask

Also digitisation has overtaken some earlier indexing. Of course correcting Trove texts and adding to lists fits this category as well.

In NZ there’s the 1893 suffrage petition database nzhistory.govt.nz/politics/women… you are able to contribute a short bio

this event (Twitterchat) is an example of crowd-sourcing n’est-ce-pas?

I would argue that the 2 ancestryhours we participate in are a type of crowdsourcing as well.

There is CSI: Crowd Sourced Indexing available to genealogy societies and special interest groups for indexing their records. It is a free, web-based program I saw at #RootsTech a number of years ago. csindexing.com

The new versions of Rootschat email groups that I m a member of are definitely crowdsourcing with lots helping find info for someone with a question – mainly Tasmanian groups

not used crowd sourcing that much. I have a few FB groups for each of my family groups, in asking questions but hit and miss. Used wikitree but find mistakes.

Perhaps something like hawkesbury.net.au/claimaconvict/… where you can not only claim a convict but also contribute information about them

A great result of crowdsourcing is FreeUK Genealogy @FreeUKGen with lots of volunteers

asking and receiving help on social media, platforms that provide input e.g text correction on Trove, transcription sites so many examples. i’ve had folks improve photos just by asking

I suppose that putting cousin bait out there on my blog could be crowdsourcing

I guess @BillionGraves would be another example of crowdsourcing yes?

using social media & message boards to assist both on and offline. Years ago a helpful person on Rootschat looked at some Welsh records for me, long before they were online.

Left a message on Rootschat 4 years after original post. Got a response and person was able to give me information about my Turnbulls Borders area of #Scotland going back to 1700s 😲 ❤️message boards / #Facebook groups / #Twitter threads opportunity to ask questions & #giveback

Another great example of crowdsourcing is @WikiTreers. From the growing well sourced trees to special challenges, the make use of the crowd to advance trees and familyhistory knowledge.

I had to google the definition “enlisting the services of a large number of people, either paid or unpaid, typically via the internet”…. So basically getting a group of genealogists together and seeing what unfolds! Hehehe.

Crowdsourcing is when a community helps to research such as on @WikiTreers

Indexing for @FamilySearch is one of the big uses for crowdsourcing in #familyhistory. At the other end of the spectrum is individuals asking for help on social media such as Facebook Groups.

I think it can be a number of things like when I go “Hive mind – what’s a good TV show to watch?” – it can be asking your peeps for help or advice or it can be transcribing a graveyard together.

Devanath / Pixabay

Discuss your crowd sourcing experiences from helping an individual’s research through to large indexing projects. (Or do you avoid crowdsourcing?)

Asking the crowd for help with getting material from paid for genealogical sites or free I think is wrong. There are copyright restrictions and these should be followed.

Yeah that irks me. Like, I’m paying this large sum money because I’m using their website for the research I am doing. And copyright copyright copyright. So many of them have free trials or a month payment if you don’t want to fork out more $$$

Or join a society, go to a library or @FamilySearch centre, etc. There are so many places you can source stuff than elect to break copyright.

I’m a contributor to both @IrelandXO and @duchas_ie The former involves helping individuals with their research and the latter involves transcribing the Irish schools’ folklore project from 1930s. I’ve also assisted individuals on other sites

I was very excited to be able to help with this using my knowledge of the excellent resources of bda-online.org.au

I’m about to start a crowdsourcing project during the Christchurch Heritage Festival in October, which I can’t tell you the details of yet… But stay tuned…

so far, only recently starting using social media for crowd sourcing, which have pointed me in the direction of new resources, especially with overseas research. Only started blogging which might help others in the future

there are lots of ANZAC sites that crowd source data on specific soldiers and war memorials.

The Online Cenotaph – Auckland War Memorial Museum is an example of that

Years ago I went to the research room. Probably my first exploration into checking out archives. A bit more specialist than the local library. With so much online I am wondering if the research room still exists. Could not see about it with a quick online check.

Kia ora, Pou Maumahara Memorial Discovery Centre replaced the old Armoury on Level 2 in 2016. The public are welcome to use the published resources and contribute to #OnlineCenotaph aucklandmuseum.com/war-memorial/o… We are happy to answer any questions

Another crowdsourcing opportunity is Scottish Indexes which is getting support from indexers .

I have just this week begun to transcribe records for @scottishindexes This is my first time transcribing

I was transcribing Naval records for the TNA there for a second too last year.

Just started my first page @scottishindexes They’ve given me so much in past 18 months – 11 free 8 hour conferences. I felt the need to payback a little

Another site I’ve been able to contribute to collection.nelsonmuseum.co.nz/explore collection of digitised glass plate negatives. Identified photos of gg-gparents

a bazillion years ago when I started I helped @GSQPresident with indexing deaths during JAn-June 1916. You can imagine given WWI. I suspect no one has ever looked at them

never underestimate how much you’ve helped dear Pauleen. I think that’s the tragedy is that much of the work is unseen/unrecognized and yet used all the time.

Like some software recognises the developers it would be nice to recognise the workers by adding to digital documents people that helped.

I suspect many people using #ancestry or #findmypast don’t realise the indexes have been created by societies as they don’t read the source info

I have made connections and found people who emigrated using @WikiTreers

I get family info requests on my Irish and Dorfprozelten blogs which helps others

I use FreeUKGen sites @FreeUKGen and have donated to them did start transcribing years ago but did not carry on

and I imagine to a degree that’s what @LostCousins might be all about too, yes?

I suppose a recent/continuing experience is being part of a Facebook group for my Gill ancestors and helping write up a document of all the descendants on my line from my 4x G Gparents down & assisting others with writing their line.

good result from crowdsourcing here 3 different versions of one photo enhanced by Rootschat folks after I asked for advice on FBook – see post below

Not a big crowdsourcing person. Really a lack of time as I work full time. I think it is a great idea although some of the questions I see on social media asking for help could be solve with a google search. Not sure they are lazy or what.

yes someone complained about that on my facebook knitting group today but I think it is just people want to hear from a human not a machine where they can find stuff or what they should be using.

I love transcribing Tassie convict records but usually get the person to type out what they can first, then I help with the unknown bits.

I reckon some of the best crowd sourcing that has happened has been during the UTAS course – by sharing assignments for everyone to read, I got some excellent advice/feedback from other students. (Only shared after assignment had been marked – Ed)

I am very busy on @WikiTreers but have previously transcribed for Family Search

Just today I have a comment on my latest post suggesting I have the age and time period out by a decade – love that input!

I agree I get all sorts of unexpected info and requests from my blog

I love it when people make contact through the blog when if they recognise their ancestor in my post

geralt / Pixabay

Have you any plans or suggestions for celebrating National Family History Month in Australia & NZ?

I attended the opening talk by Zoom with @HicksShauna and plan to attend the closing one with @fiona_memories. Our group is running a talk with Shauna via zoom also.

Where do you find out about all these talks, etc?

good point Brooke. I think we should have some kind of national calendar like the NFHM calendar AFFHO did but for all the time. There is conferencekeeper.org/event-submissi… but I suspect a US focus.

Great idea – another thing we need a volunteer to upkeep? NZSG has an events calendar. Perhaps AFFHO could have n annual calendar. genealogy.org.nz/Events-Calenda…

Sharn’s talk was so amazing. I really do wonder at the value of having bricks and mortar if we are safer using zoom. It was always so hard to get people to use the library anyway – I think our efforts now need to go into digitizing as much as we can.

Hoping to get to a family history day next Saturday. Wellington Region #FamilyHistory event (combined Wgtn branches of NZSG)

Might see you there, Jane. I’m selling raffle tickets in afternoon.

ah raffle tickets. The funding lynchpin of many a society 😉

Auckland and Christchurch Family History Expos. Launching a new Plan to Publish online course plus some new guides to help with publishing and sharing your research.

When I can get back on the computer, re start my blog!!! Dormant since 2018.


I have joined in with @luvviealex #NFHM2021 Blogging Challenge to blog every week or more often in August


Am doing two talks at Rosny Library – will probably be half hour talk then hour and a half to do practical stuff from the talk

I’m going to a talk at my local Family History Society. This will be my first visit

The opening talk to Family History month in AUS & NZ discussed the future of #familyhistory societies. What role do you see societies playing in the future?

you can now have a speaker in London give a talk to a society in Cheshire watched by someone in America that’s the one good thing to come out of the last two years, but like archives, if we don’t use family history societies they will disappear

I really like locality chats eg run by #DevonFHS for a gp of Parishes, sharing real local knowledge, alongside FB for questions between chats. #RyedaleFHG have informal Zoom chat (how to peel a banana to detailed FH questions/sharing finds informally – is great too.

I have used #familyhistory societies in the past, and can be useful as they have inside knowledge of counties and towns, particular maps. They do need be more involved with social media.

#future very much depends on members/committees keeping up to date w/ #technology, making their resources available #Online / in #Digital format, changing mindset from pull to push ie as much if not more online teaching content & resources as #f2f engagement

Check out Part 1 of podcast from last week between Andy of @AFHpodcast & Margaret from @FHSofCheshire – who discuss the benefits of #FamilyHistory societies. Well worth a listen Link – amateurfamilyhistory.com/2021/07/28/epi…

Personally I think local Societies need to be more interactive with all members do combined meetings about local topics

Even still, a lot of online sessions are held during work hours. I usually sign up If it has a watch later option, but I always forget to watch it later.

And more flexible timing. I know I could only go at weekends or evenings when I worked and had a family at home.

very true. And if we got younger presenters that might suit them better anyway.

I (Alex) think more user-generated content is essential and I think that has been part of SAG’s success with Friday afternoon chats. I have been so impressed with members’ contributions.

The issue though is how many societies we can afford to be members of. How do you weigh up which to keep, which to join, which to leave?

I expect value for money especially when your already a subscriber to several other websites, plus other costs involved in buying Certs etc, #genealogy is not a cheap hobby and some people should not expect it to be freely given either

I’ve never been able to get myself into the society thing. Maybe because I’m younger? I’m not sure. Joining a society just hasn’t spoken to me. I love the online fam history groups – Maybe they could have a fb group if they don’t already.

My English ancestors come from 20 English counties but I’ve never really considered joining a Society mostly due to cost of joining so many, I would follow them on Twitter/Facebook so I could keep up to date with news from the Society’s

excellent point which I hadn’t considered before. You just can’t afford to join every society can you ? But Facebook is free 🙂

And don’t forget ancestorian.com That is free too

At least with following Society’s on FB/Twitter if I see a post made by the relevant society I can comment or send a message and make enquiries

I would join societies for areas my ancestors are from if I knew joining would be useful. If it’s not going to be helpful, why bother?

Which means that #FamilyHistory societies need to MARKET themselves. What is the value proposition for joining a society? (My idea of becoming a marketing guru for FH societies keeps growing 🙂

Agree, I think the majority of members are retired or have a lot of time. Often only open few hours during the day while others working. They can be useful but again hit and miss

The successful societies will weigh up the costs of going online with the number of members they may attract subs will reflect this

Local Societies know the peculiarities of their area and history useful for researchers from afar they need to promote this

completely agree Hilary. The most successful posts for QFHS Facebook page are about the local projects we have indexed or digitized.

Societies need to adapt to changing social & economic conditions. Change takes time to implement and requires planning. Might be too hard for many organisations when they might not have the skills to succeed at adapting.

In order to survive Societies need to encourage younger people and involve themselves more with social media

Societies need to upgrade websites and start getting younger people into their ranks

Blog posts

Carmel – Using photo enhancement as crowd sourcing,

Alex –  Genealife in lockdown challenge intro, Sum up after the challenge,

 

Discussing births, marriages and deaths

This #ANZAncestryTime chat from June gave lots of tips about birth, death and marriage certificates as well as other sources to help prove the information found on these certificates.

suju-foto / Pixabay

Have you an interesting story to tell about searching for births, deaths or marriages (BDM)?

I couldn’t find my GGGPs c. 1880 marriage anywhere in the Irish civil records. Eventually found it through local archive and broke chunk through a brick wall on that line. Names and addresses of 3 GGFs and from there to 3 GGMs. Also a birth around the same time – every other family birth registered – this one found registered FIFTEEN years after actual birth. I’m not sure what the delay was. I knew it was unlikely the birth hadn’t been registered since they were business owner/upwardly mobile. Baptismal record contained parents’ names so I just searched all civil until I found it.

Have one Irish family who seemed to be allergic to both baptisms and registrations. A big range between about 1860 to late 1870s. Strange thing is the younger ones were “done” and I could accept the lack of rego near 1864 but the lack of baptisms bothers me. Illiterate and a fisherman.

Tara, I’ve also searched for them in England/Wales as being at sea, that might be possible. No marriage, no births…sigh!!! And David is not a common Irish name as far as I’ve seen. Think I may have a mental block/rut now.

DM me later Pauleen (bed time here) and maybe two heads will solve your conundrum. It might be due to the region they were from. E.G. Some Donegal parishes I’ve searched only have parish records from 1860s – after civil reg. And in marginal areas civil records not always solid

Also got 2 birth certificates within the 100 year time frame via a probate claim where a separated wife suddenly reappeared to claim ex husband’s estate, had to include her girls birth certificates

I have an ancestor whose mother’s name was different on all three certificates – birth, marriage, and death. I *think* I’ve worked out who his mother was, but really need DNA to confirm it. On the #ToDoList

#research for my uncle whose #ancestors were married x2 4 yrs apart. Same #church #priest #bride #groom Different addresses #marital status for groom 😲Parish #archivist chqd orig Church records-nothing helpful. Using #Facebook to chq local knowledge

One of my GGGrandfather’s was summoned before the Balranald bench almost 10 years after the birth of his last child ‘for making wilfully false statements respecting his marriage to… for the purpose of insertion in a Register of Births (two charges)’!

He was a bigamist to boot. I never found any birth certificates for his children except the two he was summoned for. When his first wife divorced him their was WONDERFUL information in the newspaper reports!

Sometimes makes for an more interesting story when they do not register BDM events.

I discovered my mothers first christian name was not what she thought it was. She probably never even knew she had the spelling wrong. Shows you that you do need to see the original records when possible to discover more of the story.

I have new questions courtesy of a cousin on Ancestry chat today. She asked why/how our GGGF remarried my GGGM when there is no evidence of his 1st wife’s death (her ancestor). Realised I’d never looked closely at the 1st marriage

2 children from 1st marriage, 1850 & 1853 8 children from 2nd marriage 1870-1889 All born around Yass NSW. There are a number of possible deaths for the 1st wife, 1866 registered Yass a particularly interesting one.

I have a suspicious one like that. My GGF remarried my GGM about 6 months after the previous wife registered their child. I’ve not found a death anywhere in England where they were living. Maybe Ireland. Where are the children?

I’m searching for great aunt’s husband, Robert Hargreaves. Had 2 bigamous marriages in Victoria – see Trove. Disappeared after his jail time in 1871. Where did he die? One of the colonies, New Zealand, England? Did he change his name? 2 of us are hunting him!

I knew nothing about my father’s family. His parents died within a few weeks of each other when my father was 6yo. I wrote about bursting into tears at Vic Births Deaths and Marriages

it really hits you doesn’t it when you are in those record offices – life is a precious fleeting things sometimes.

I have found several births and deaths between the census records now we have MMN on the indexes in England and Wales – Mothers Maiden Name

I was told by an aunt that there was a child who had died young not sure which generation. New indexes with MMN led me to discover my grandfather’s older brother

Witness on my great great grandmothers marriage certificate ended up being her brother in law – proving who her sister married then allowed me to find them arriving in Tasmania in 1860’s

Great reminder @tasteach to spend the time looking into the witnesses. They were often family

A friend at QFHS had always banged on about the value of searching the microfiche index to BDM that we have in the library. A friend’s mother was trying to find her grandmother’s birth but could not find it on the Registry Office website.  She knew she had the right date. Off we went to look at the microfiche at the QFHS library.There it was. No spelling mistakes. Just not in the online index. Human error I guess in the process of transferring. She was just missed. Check everything!

one marriage in 1866 bride registered under her mother’s maiden name as she was marrying a cousin with same surname, she had arrived in Australia under her father’s surname

I am probably the odd one out however I cannot think of any interesting stories related to my research of births, deaths and marriages. Perhaps it’s been too long since I had time to research to the memories have faded.

Searching for German names is always fun and games. The surname Zöller becomes Zeller, Zoller and, the best one, Tiller. Similarly McCorkindale has infinite spelling variations so I search for M*or*dale which gets most.

I spent 40 years looking for dad’s fathers birth. 20 years collaborating with half siblings of dad. Then finally DNA solved it. We were looking for wrong surname – he was a bigamist.

A story of not being able to find someone for a long time & then finding him under a different name entirely.

JESHOOTS-com / Pixabay

Primary sources for BDM can vary in the information they contain. Tell us about the great and not so great ones and what they contain, accessibility, cost, etc.

Irish historical records with data protection parameters are freely available on irishgenealogy.ie but they only start in 1864 (except non-RC marriages from 1845).

But always worth checking for pre-1864 marriage registered even if couple were Catholic – you can sometimes strike it lucky.

Yes, one of them might have been Catholic & they got married in the COI to give themselves legal status. In practice, it’s a very limited number of marriages in this early civil registration period.

And not make assumptions about “everyone” being Catholic…a trap I nearly fell into with Mr Cassmob’s ancestors.

Even if they had converted prior to marriage, if one of the couple was ever Protestant, a RC marriage was illegal then, unless carried out in COI/RO

Yes, very good point, Pauleen! I had assumed, then found a CoI possibility, now back to Catholic again. Wishing for a Quaker!

It pays to look in other states for births. I unexpectedly found the birth of one child in Victoria to my NSW g g grandparents. They lived there for a year apparently

I have only researched in England and our BMD records are not the best. They start earlier than many but don’t have as much useful information

The baptism of an ancestor in Cornwall which showed he was baptised at his mother’s funeral. She had committed suicide. Thanks to the clerk who made those notes. I often wonder if she had post natal depression. It wouldn’t have been understood in the 1800’s.  Her death certificate states “ took her own life” verifying the note on the baptism. I’d probably not have looked at the cause but for the baptism.

Yeah, I can understand that. I’d probably have assumed it was death in childbirth if the death record wasn’t readily available.

It’s an evocative phrase. At first I didn’t get the new push to favour the phrase ‘died by suicide’, but it makes a lot of sense re understanding the mental pathology of suicide

Love Graham Jaunay webpage with what is on BDMs in each Aussie state jaunay.com/bdm.html

Irish RC parish records vary re info quality/detail. Freely available images via @NLIreland & indexed search for some Dublin/Cork/Kerry www.irishgenealogy. Dublin parish template unusually detailed wrt country: parents’ (& marriage witnesses) names addresses

In England I search with FreeBMD as bigger range, then check on GRO. NZ BDM has lots of errors in names, so you have to guess what it might be and narrow down the date

I use very many sources as I seem to research in a lot of places. FamilySearch has lots of them. England both GRO and FreeBMD, NZ BDM, Aussie States, ScotlandsPeople, Irish, Canadian, American sources. I go everywhere!

I love the NZ certificates as they hold a pile of useful information. I love their website bdmhistoricalrecords.dia.govt.nz/search. You can figure out the actual date if you keep reducing the search date fields. Great for the distant branches when delaying cert. purchases.

Yes I use this trick on NSW BDM too, narrowing down date when I don’t want to buy the certificate for far distant spouses etc., works for births deaths and marriages

one of my husband’s ancestors appeared in latest Lost Cousins newsletter about to marry for the 5th time

I love the Tasmanian BDM from 1803 to 1900 – all digitized, online and cost nothing. Can also get many BDM till 1930 from CDROM for free as well

Click on Tasmanian names index then put name in search area, use the filters and then you can download copies etc or use that snipping tool libraries.tas.gov.au/family-history…

I have been redoing my tree in FH7 and looking at certificates there are so many errors some are intentional to hide illegitimacy but others may be not

Love Queensland BDMs with so much information. Scottish records also have a lot of content but I do wish death records included burial information. English Records so mediocre it’s frustrating. I like being able to order online @ minimal cost.

oh yes I hear you re the English death certificates. I wonder why they bothered really. It just about says – they died – and that’s it. Next to useless.

Especially when they were born a long time ago as clearly they will have died. While there is little family details compared to other places the place & cause of death can be interesting.

Even using Scotlands People without buying the records can give so much information. I found a family 3 days ago for a distant cousin – followed my nose and there they were in Cadder

I love that the indexes in Qld & Vic have maiden surnames unlike NSW where it’s the most expensive to order a certificate & the index has only Christian names for parents

Scottish BDM’s have so much information on them. Norwegian records are fabulous too as long as you understand the naming systems (plural)

Remember the bad old days in Queensland when you used to have to request the marriage date of the parent’s when ordering a birth certificate. So pleased the UK registry office now seems to have seen the light regarding including mother’s maiden name.

I find the easiest BDMs to access are Victorian, but most of my Australian research has been in Vic, so I’m more familiar with Vic records. Vic BDMs do contain lot of info and are easily accessed online with immediate download

I have only researched in England and our BMD records are not the best. They start earlier than many but don’t have as much useful information

strichpunkt / Pixabay

What secondary sources have helped you with BDM records? How do you resolve any data conflicts?

@PRO_Vic metadata for probate/will files include date of death, so just searching their catalogue is very helpful (thanks PROV volunteers!). Early ones are digitised too. They can be very interesting (or boring) and fill in family blanks. I’ve also viewed more recent probate files @PRO_Vic in person and often a copy of the official death certificate is included.

my mother’s birthday books across the years she had added many births and deaths

Great tip! Another tip: don’t throw out those books or address books.

Using christening/baptism records you need to be careful sometimes several children were baptised on the same day.

accessing Vic teacher records through Ancestry often reveals full birth date; this helped me with my GGrandmother’s birth year, for which I’ve not been able to locate birth certificate

yes excellent advice Helen. I have teachers in my family and much of the biographical information was originally obtained via Inspectors Reports in Archives and then confirmed through certificates.

Ryerson Index, Newspaper BDMs, Free BDM and genealogy sites

Ryerson index excellent but also Savill index for South Aust. Secondary Sources for BDM – Savill Index of The Advertiser Funeral Notices.  See story here slsa.sa.gov.au/news/story/202…

We have the Wilson Collection  wilsoncollection.co.nz

I use Trove & Papers Past to find those more recent than BDM sources. I love Papers Past. Wish there were more of them available

Newspapers of course, many Catholics in SA in early years did not register births, but they nearly always added death notices to newspapers. Today I’ve just found 2 more children of one family without birth registration

Some great tips from Judy – also see links to website pages at end of this post

Tip1: Before buying certificates, check whether they’re available (FREE) in files at the Archives. Record series where I’ve found certificates are listed at bit.ly/3cJUdLj.

Tip2: Biographical data in Hospital Admission Registers is often more complete and/or more accurate than data in death certificates

Tip3: If you can’t find a death certificate, look for an inquest. There are inquest files for many deaths that weren’t registered. This definitely happened in QLD & Victoria, & probably elsewhere. I’ve also seen (in Queensland) inquests for some stillbirths, which at that time weren’t registered as either a birth or a death

Tip4: On the FreeBMD Website (civil registration indexes for England/Wales BDMs), add Postems to entries for people you’re researching.

Tip5: Check the names on the Web page for the Miscellaneous Australian Certificates Index: bit.ly/3cI1YBk. For certificates mentioned there, a copy only costs $5.

This is a terrific tip! Didn’t know it. What I like about FreeBMD is the ability to search marriages easily, & when I’m being specific to a family, to return more that 5 years of results at a time (as with GRO)

I check on Cemetery records in NZ & Find A Grave – look at the photo if there is one. Often correct information from other sources. Did 2 today, 1 yesterday. I state in my @WikiTreers profiles any conflicts – had 1 today, gravestone versus someone’s memory!

great #records to help put peeps in time&space generally & find children’s birthdates are #school admission registers. #blessed in #Queensland many for #Government #schools #digitised avail #Online @QSArchives

Re transcriptions – search all available! Example: Rootsireland which has helped me with so much research (generally more accurate and more complete transcriptions than e.g. FS, FMP, Ancestry) doesn’t contain the transcripts of two baptisms for GGUs.

Newspapers, Calendar of Wills, Burials (1) A marriage notice confirmed father’s residence and death bef. 1877. (2) A Calendar of Wills entry gave DoD (not found in civil) (3) Auctioneer’s ad verified relationship between two men (4) burial = clues ->breakthrough

Military records were fantastic for me. I had an Irish soldier marry a Welsh woman but we didn’t know from where. His service record gave marriage date in UK & I was able to go back 4 generations from her on the Welsh line thereafter.

employment records will often provide a date of birth and probably a place of birth. School enrolment registers will also give a child’s approximate age so if you can’t find them anywhere else this is helpful.

remember those local histories or family histories written by your relatives might also be secondary sources

other places to find BDM information include military service records which provide a place of birth & parent’s name. A death certificate might be included with a will & sometimes a marriage certificate or an inquest provide provide additional information.

PapersPast, Trove & British Newspaper Archive are regular haunts for me. Then a time on Google searching for odd indexes. Hints from online trees – though these need to be verified.

Using christening/baptism records you need to be careful sometimes several children were baptised on the same day

… sometimes at the same time #parents were #married

Yes – I’ve found 3 batches x 2 kids each time in 1840’s in Windsor & Sydney – concluded that the family weren’t regular church goers

That’s true. I found the first five siblings born in Australia were baptised on one day

I’m guessing baptismal records and anything like birth dates on tombstones et al. I would resolve by trusting the record closest in time to the event, if that makes sense.

Agree. Looking at marriage and death certs re. age I lean towards the marriage date, but there are always exceptions!

where there’s a conflict-of-interest between a civil registration and a parish baptism event, I generally opt for the baptism, but will note the difference. This is because if the parents were late registering they may have had to pay a fine.

my favourite alternative to civil certificates Is parish registers which can give you some of the same information. This applies even in Australia and has helped me solve missing information from early Queensland records.

Wills, and newspapers! Both full of detail, and especially helpful with women’s married names.

I have not encountered any major conflict in the newspapers using indexes you need to be aware of possible delay in registering births and even deaths

the best secondary source has to be the newspapers the person I just mentioned was in the newspaper and led to searching for further marriages than those known

Family reunions can help with living or just passed relatives, but still need proving eventually. Trove has also helped up to the 1950s.

MichaelGaida / Pixabay

What are some of the factors that might create a challenge finding the correct person? Any suggestions on how to overcome finding a difficult BDM record?

A GGM & GGF put a notice in the WGTN newspaper about their marriage. No registration or church records found. One child’s birth cert has marriage in MELB. No MELB records. No passenger. No records either divorcing their first partners or deaths yet found

Could this be a good one for another pair of eyes?

Or actually getting serious and working through it with a plan and timelines, etc rather than just random checking.

Checked at Archives in Wellington years ago when I just started however never recorded what I checked as I did not know about recording negative results. Or even if I got the right records to check. That’s why I need to do it properly this time around.

With Irish ancestors: unofficial name changes, dodgy ages. Best advice I can give is keep an open mind, think outside the box, check the period covered by records, and use FAN!

Oh yes on the Irish dodgy ages, husbands 3x gt grandparents emigrated claiming to be 10 years younger than they were! Could not have been married in 1832 at age 8 and 12😂 Found their ages on deaths, both in Adelaide hospital register.

And even those ages may not have been correct unless someone went back to the original parish records to confirm year of birth.

Yes, I agree but probably as close as I’ll get with the births likely to have been 1808-1812 pre the Galway birth registers currently available

For me, the biggest challenge is common names. Byrne was the most common surname in Dublin, at 1 in 10. AND, the Irish used the same given names in every family. AND two grandparents were Byrne. Solution = Time + line-by-line searches. Maybe!

if I knew the answer to this question I’d have all my brick walls knocked down! I think some of my ancestors just weren’t registered.

Bought a NZ printout of a birth for an Aussie cousin (too hard to buy from overseas). Solved the mystery of her DNA matches. Brief marriage that produced one child. Built her tree in a few minutes


Surname changes are the thing I find most challenging. My g grandmother was registered with the German family name but for younger siblings the name was different.

I recommend buying certificates rather than a transcription agent if you have non-English ancestors. As a family member you are more likely to recognise names and places.

Photographs in this collection from the New Zealand Tung Jung Association, a Chinese county association of people from or descended from people from the counties of Jung Seng & Tung Goon (Zheng Sheng, Dong Guan), east of provincial capital Guangzhou. tungjung.nz/portraits/

a frequently mis-spelt name (even with fuzzy matching). I think I have about a dozen spellings for Farish, various cousins have different surnames now

My Jones’ and Taylors’ are hugely challenging along with their ever repeating christian names

Common names, i.e. NINE William Browns died in Victoria in 1921, several close in age; death notice placed by his sister, sourced via Trove, helped me find him, then an inquest record (alas) too

 I highly recommend enlisting the help of other genie friends. Fresh eyes are always amazing 🙂

I agree with this tip Alex. Two sets of eyes can often solve a long standing brick wall. I’ve had experience of this a couple of times

if you know the exact date of birth and the first name sometimes it pays to not include the surname in your search

I have a James Smith who died in 1901 there are 2 of them died that year same age and district so burial record helps to confirm which is correct along with census

Bigamy, name changes – ways to solve now include DNA

Spelling variations always cause a challenge when you’re trying to find someone with an unusual name. The information on the certificate may include big gaps which happens with the earlier Qld records.

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Blog posts relating to topic

Judy – Postems on FreeBMD, Webpage tips searching in Queensland, Webpage hospital admission records, Genealogy advice and indexes, Miscellaneous Australian certificates index, Queensland genealogy blog

Pauleen – certificates,

Jennifer – at the record office,

Claire – results in unexpected places

Sue – using certificates and censuses