Helping a challenge

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As most of my readers know, I am adding my family onto Wikitree. This is a website trying to connect one big global tree. But you must include sources to prove connections on the tree.

I have 287 profiles that I have added to the tree that relate to my family ancestors and descendants. I am manager of each of these profiles but will willingly hand over managership to a person more closely related than I am. I actually have 549 people connected to me, so nearly 300 profiles have been added by other cousins.

Here is how many steps they are away from me:

24 Jan 2023 3 13 51 86 145 74 177 549

I am degree 0, my parents and brother are degree 1 so they are the 3 in the chart. Degree 2 I have 13 people – these are my grandparents and my aunts and uncles. So I have a total of 549 people who are 7 or less steps away from me on the global Wikitree.

During this last week the Society of Australian Genealogists have been running a challenge on Wikitree. We started with 7 Australians that needed their trees built out further.

I was asked if I would look at some documents related to Oliver “Otto” Peters Heggie, his siblings and parents.

Oliver was a famous actor who got his start in Angaston, South Australia where he was born and passed away in Los Angeles.

During the week, I added 58 new profiles from the information in the Heggie memoirs. I started in Scotland with birth of James Heggie, father of Oliver. There was a lot of detail in the memoirs but I needed to find a source to add to each new profile – so looking for births in Scotland, then arrival in Australia, marriage in Australia and then birth of all the children including “Otto” in South Australia. I also found articles on Trove proving some of the information in the memoirs that I could then add to the biography of the profile person.

The idea of the challenge was to create at least seven connections going forward (children), backward (parents) or sideways (spouse and siblings)

There were 65 participants in the challenge. These were wikitreers from all around the world but quite a few from Australia. By the end of the challenge I was 16th on the list – I had added 58 profiles and won 10 bounty points for being the first person to connect a new Heggie profile to a profile already on the wikitree. I edited 74 profiles altogether and made 253 total edits.

I thoroughly enjoyed taking part in the challenge and have put my name down to help on the next one which relates to One Place Studies. I am interested in this as I also have a blog about the Sorell Municipality which is counted as a One Place Study (OPS).

Readers: Have you collaborated with other people to improve your family history?

Researching in New South Wales

Clker-Free-Vector-Images / Pixabay

I am writing  a post for each state of Australia with a list of great resources for researching ancestors in that particular state.  Tasmanian records are held mainly at Libraries Tasmania where both archive and library resources are on the one website.

All headings link to the website.

NSW Archives and Records

They have a great Family History Guide to all the records they have on their site. Check this out first before starting your research. Some of their records are online while some indexes are online but you need to visit to see the actual records which might still be on microfilm or microfiche. They also include some websites to visit for further information.

Their main website page is similar to other states with separate portals linking to specific topics such as musters, convicts etc.

State Library of NSW

The library has a guide for family historians as well as events relating to family history. You can also search the catalogue or the website from the same link.

From their main website page you can also find links to blogs, podcasts and news from the library as well as exhibitions that are often found online. There are also many collections and e-resources not necessarily related to family history that you can search.

Registry of births, deaths and marriages

This website has a search portal for family historians where you can see indexes for BDMs in the state. These go back to 1788. You can also check church codes and how to research adoptions. Results can be sent to you as PDFs or you can check with a transcription agent which can be cheaper.

Society of Australian Genealogists

This society is based in NSW but covers more than just this state. They have many talks, events and resources available both online and in person if you are visiting Sydney. They also have a members area which includes many resources for those people who sign up to the society.

CoraWeb sites for NSW

Cora Num has a website which includes links to hundreds of records around the world. On the main page, if you click on local history it will take you to a sub category for each state of Australia, including New South Wales.

Cyndi’s list sites for NSW

Cyndi’s list is similar to Cora Num’s website. It has thousands of links from around the world but especially USA. From the main page, browse categories for A – Australia. Once on this page go to States and Territories and then New South Wales.

Ryerson Index

This is a very handy site for more than just New South Wales. It looks at death and more recently funeral notices from newspapers around Australia. They have some of the more recent ones that are not included on Trove or other state BDM websites.

Readers: What are other important websites you use to gather information when researching ancestors in New South Wales?

Please read the comments as other family historians have added more websites to use.