The Australian Census: 1828 and 2016 Comparing the Questions...

Tuesday the 9th of August 2016 was an important day in Australia’s history. It was Census Day. A day that many find a chore (and not just because of the census website crash). But to say it’s a day that all genealogists and historians look forward to is an understatement. Anyway while I was filling out my paper copy of Australia’s 2016 Census (all 60 questions worth), I was thinking about what questions were actually asked in Australia’s first ‘official’ census. But before we get on to that, let’s take a step back. It is a well known fact that Australia conducts a census, extracts the data and then destroys them … much to the horror of historians and researchers. Anyway as a result, very few Australian censuses even exist. But one that does is Australia’s very first one. It was held in New South Wales in November 1828 … ok, technically it was New South Wales not Australia, as Australia wasn’t a country until Federation in 1901, but I’m not going to debate that here. New South Wales 1828 Census As you would expect, the aim of the 1828 census was to “record all inhabitants of the colony” (both convict and free). We are not only fortunate that this incredible record has survived, but we also get to see images of it online on both the Ancestry and Findmypast websites. Listing people alphabetically by surname, the questions asked for this census were: 1. Name of inhabitant 2. Age 3. Free or bond 4. Ship name on which arrived 5. Year arrived 6. Sentence 7. Religion 8. Employment 9. Residence 10. District 11. Total number of acres 12. Number of acres cleared 13. Number of acres cultivated 14. Number...

What Got You Started?

What got you started? This is a question I have heard a lot, and it’s also one that I have asked many people. And I still find it interesting to hear the varying answers. It is also one that Amy Johnson Crow recently asked. [By the way, if you don’t follow her blog yet, take a few minutes to at least check it out … it’s really is one you should be reading!!] Anyway back to the question … for some it is to help out their parents or grandparents. For others their interest was sparked with the discovery of an old document, photos or letters. Other love the hunt – piecing the family jigsaw together. Or it might be simply proving (or disproving) a family story, while for some the interest in history has always there. For me … I would have to say while the hunt is a factor, I would also say that I’m in that latter category in that the ‘interest’ was there, but having grown up in the family history scene I knew how addictive this hobby disease could be – I’d seen it with my own eyes from a very young age, so I was forewarned. And because of that I procrastinated. Then one day I woke up and decided that enough was enough … what was I waiting for? Ok, in reality I was waiting for more time (aren’t we all) … but I still have family living, so I NEEDED to start. NOW! And so I did. Going back to when I was about 10 or so, I do have a very vivid recollection of my dad telling me that we were related to the Kelly’s  … which of course to...

DNA Testing and Bullying...

While genealogy DNA testing has been around for a few years now, DNA testing in Australia only became a big thing last year when AncestryDNA hit our shores. I, along with numerous family members, and many others I know have done the “spit test” to see “where we came from”. So far all good and easy. Right? For many this is enough. That’s all they wanted. Do the test, and see their ethnicity. But for the rest of the testers, they want more. They want to find the long lost cousins and branches of their family. They want to find matches, and this is where you can find issues arise. I have heard it so many times “they don’t have a tree online” or if they do, “they haven’t replied to my message about a match”. Personally I’m not a ‘tree online’ person. I am happy to work on my own tree, on my own computer, but due to public pressure, I did put a mini-tree online, and am now having people contact me saying that they match, and wanting more information. Can you see the issue here? Not everyone tests for the same reasons. So my suggestion to those who have tested, and have sent queries to those who are possible matchers, don’t be a bully about it. If you find that someone doesn’t have a tree online, don’t pressure them. And if they don’t respond to your request for more info, don’t hassle them. The more you do, the less likely they’ll want to share their info with you. Maybe in time they’ll look into the whole matching thing for themselves, but at present they’re happy with the ethnicity report, and seeing the match of a close...

Hit By Two Cars, Neither Drivers Stopped...

Tuesday … so it’s Trove Tuesday time. And again Trove has come up with an amazing tid-bit relating to my family. Ok, technically it’s Mr Lonetester’s family, but you get the point. And again it’s something I never would have thought of (of known about) if it wasn’t for the wonders of Trove. I will admit I haven’t done a whole lot of research on this side of the family, so am still learning a lot as I go, however I do know that Richard John Tester survived this accident and lived on for another 20 odd years, and is buried in the Warrnambool Cemetery in Victoria,...

Trewartha’s Candy Store, Dover, New Jersey...

My regular readers will know that my 4x great grandma Charlotte Phillips and her husband Samuel Trewartha are two of my fav ancestors, and I’ve written about them from time to time. Born in the 1820s, they grew up in Cornwall, England and in the English 1861 census Samuel Trewartha’s occupation was given as Copper Miner, while Charlotte’s was Confectioner. This is followed by an entry in the 1866 Directory for Redruth (England) where Samuel is listed as a Sugar Boiler, so obviously they were making candy to supplement his income from mining. It was in 1867 that they made the lifechanging decision to move from England to the United States, ending up in Rockaway and Dover, Morris County, New Jersey, and they opened a candy store there … which from what I can tell was a wonderful store, with an incredible reputation and ran for at least several generations, with her son John and his wife Minnie running it in her later year, and I believe some granddaughters did after that, with Black Rock Candy being their signature treat. While I know a fair bit about Charlotte’s life from records, one thing I didn’t have is any photos of Samuel,  Charlotte, the candy store. That is, at least until cousin bait worked, and some distant relatives saw my previous posts, and have sent me some photos, and have kindly allowed me to share them with you here. So I must say a HUGE, HUGE thank you to Glenn Rush who sent me the photos below, and has allowed me to share them with you. And also to Eric Bullfinch who has sent me a map showing the exact location of the store in Sussex Street, Dover.   So...

Happy 100th Birthday to my Grandma...

Evelyn Phebe Randell was born on 24 June 1916 in “Caringa Private Hospital”, the first hospital in the small town of Gumeracha in the Adelaide Hills. She was born in the town, grew up living in the town, went to the local school, and married at Salem Baptist Church in Gumeracha too, and is buried there too. Known as Ev to some, Lyn to others, Evelyn was my grandma. Although she is no longer with us, having died a few years ago, I am remembering her on this day that would have been her 100th birthday. When I was young, the apple orchards, and her place at Cudlee Creek were my second home. So I have a lot of memories from that era. The daily morning and afternoon teas with Sao biscuits, the picnics on the side of the road, rock buns and jelly cakes, roast dinners, the old oven, the pantry, the outdoor loo, the small knife that was permanently in her bag to cut up a burger from McDonalds in half, the birds, the washhouse, her aprons, how she used a cup and saucer (rather than a mug), and the garden … oh she so loved her garden!! She would elbow my grandpa to wake him up during church, she would comment on what people wore, and the way she and my grandpa would sit in the car in their driveway on a Sunday afternoon, if it was cold but sunny. I remember how she got hooked on watching both Home and Away, and Punky Brewster, and was quite upset when it was taken off, even writing to the TV station. When she wasn’t cooking, cleaning or in her garden, she was crafting – taking up knitting,...

I am NextGen … Are You?...

I hate to say it, but there is a stereotype genealogist. They are more often than not female, and are generally in their 60s. And no I didn’t make that up, it is based on actual stats. But (yes, there is a but) … what I find awesome is that it really is changing, as the age of researchers is coming down because younger people are getting interested. And as younger people get interested they are creating communities for themselves to mix with other young genealogists, which then encourages others. So I just wanted to let others know about the NextGen Genealogy Network. I’m excited to have just joined, and I’m hoping that others (not just in Australia, but around the world)  will join up too. It is a group for 18-50 year olds, to use the powers of social media and the internet to mix with other  young genies, so they don’t have to feel that they are going it alone. Their website says the following … NGGN was founded in 2013 following a Twitter conversation between Jen Baldwin, Kassie Nelson, and D. Joshua Taylor, who wanted to create a community for other young genealogists. Additional collaboration from Shannon Combs Bennett, Tara Cajacob, Wendy Callahan, Melanie Frick, Barry Kline, and other volunteers turned this vision into reality. As young genealogists ourselves, we know how hard it can be to meet peers who share our interests and to find our place within the genealogy community. We want everyone to experience the incredible benefits of enrichment and encouragement that being a part of and contributing to a vibrant and active community can offer. Awesome work on their part to take an idea and make it happen. And I hope that through the power of social media and...

Discovering Links: 21 FREE Links for Irish Genealogy and History...

In this “Discovering Links” post, we take a look at some links that relate to Ireland. You can see my previous Discovering Links posts here. These posts consist of a collection of links that I have discovered, or found useful, and want to share with others. But rather than simply giving you a whole batch of random links each time, I am grouping them by topic, country or Australian state. For this one I’ve decided to share my Irish links (together with a few covering specific counties). It is not intended to be an exhaustive collection of links (not by a long, long way), but they are simply some, that some may find useful, and may not have known about. And while many people think that genealogy costs a lot of money, let me tell you that all of the links below are free. Personally I find that it’s often a matter of knowing where to look beyond the big-name websites, and hopefully this will help with that. === IRELAND GENERAL === IRISH ALMANACS AND DIRECTORIES This site is the work of Peter Clarke, whose aim is to “build the biggest index of freely available ebooks on Irish history, biography and genealogy!” IRISH GRAVESTONE RECORDS This site currently features 70,000 free Irish gravestone records coming from hundreds of Irish graveyards, spanning all 32 counties, and compiled and transcribed by Dr. Jane Lyons and exclusive to From-Ireland.net. In addition, they have links to gravestone photographs, and complete transcriptions as well. IRELAND ON THE FAMILYSEARCH WIKI The FamilySearch Wiki is a powerful learning tool that everyone researching Ireland history and genealogy should use. IRISH MILITARY ARCHIVES The Military Archives has been the official place of deposit for records of the Irish...

One More Picture Added to the Wall...

Some of you may remember that about three years ago I decided to create my Family Tree Photo Wall. This started as a result of having a bunch of family photos, and deciding to put them in an order that made sense to anyone looking it. So I chose to do a butterfly (also known as bow-tie) style tree going direct line back five generations on both mine and Mr Lonetester’s sides of the family. Out of a possible 62 photos (31 on each side of the family), there were only 10 that I was missing photos for … so that wasn’t too bad. However I had an exciting day, as today I was able to add one more photo in – one of my great great grandma Hedvig/Hedvik Karolina Winblad/Vinblad. Born in Mäntsälä in Finland in 1856, she married my great great grandpa Otto Edvard Winter in 1875, and they had six children, my great grandpa (Otto Rafael Winter being their third). Hedvig Karolina Winter died in Helsinki, Finland in 1934, and I was fortunate enough to visit the Helsinki Cemetery in 2015, and saw her’s a few other family members graves. As for my Family Tree Photo Wall, I have no doubt that in time I’ll fill a few more of the nine photo gaps that I still don’t have. Maybe not all … but some. If you’d like to see the process I took to create my Photo Wall, have a look at my earlier posts: Family Tree Photo Wall Part 1: Getting Started Family Tree Photo Wall Part 2: Almost...

Heaven in a Bookshop

I admit it, I’m a bibliophile. Yes, I’m a book lover. And by that I mean I love the “paper-hold-in-your-hand-and-turn-pages” type book, not the ebooks … I’ve never really got into those. Anyway being a book lover, when I went on a holiday to the Gold Coast recently, I decided to suss out all the secondhand bookstores that were nearby, as you do, right? And boy did I find the best secondhand bookshop ever!! It was seriously jaw-dropping. “Antique and Collectors Books” is the name of the place, and it’s at Southport, just north of Surfers Paradise. The spiel about the store says … “Situated in Australia’s premier tourist area – the Gold Coast – our shop stocks over 100,000 books ranging from antiquarian to modern day literature. We specialise in “out of print” and antiquarian books and have 24 years experience in bookselling.” I don’t really need to say much about it as the photos below tell the story. [Click on each for a larger picture.] But I was than I was truly in heaven, and could have spent a whole day there. I think they must have every topic imaginable, including a section on genealogy (I was impressed). I should also mention that Antique and Collectors Books is a two storey place … I know, it just got better, eh? Anyway despite the size of the place, everything was very well labelled, so finding various categories/topics was quite easy, and that’s truly a credit to the store managing the vast number of books that they do. And for those that are wondering, yes Mr Lonetester and I did find a heap of books, and so as to not exceed our luggage allowance on the plane, we actually...