Tuesday, June 4, 2013

GSV Pick of the Month

This first Genealogical Society of Victoria Pick of the Month is not about an individual record or record series, but about a number of records that combined produced some wonderful results.  The subject is my ggg-grandfather Franz Wilhelm SCHUBART who was born in Germany in 1825.  If I was a “modern-day” genealogist I would probably start searching for Wilhelm’s immigration on Ancestry or Findmypast and stop there.

  • Ancestry [available free in the GSV Library] 
    Search results: Wilhelm SCHUBAR, born abt 1827, aged 27, arrived 3 May 1853 on the ship Triton, origin location St Slgen, Barrka.
    Fortunately the attached digital image of “persons on bounty ships” from State Records NSW showed that his surname was SCHUBART and he was from Epfenbach, Baden.  It also showed his parents names but more about the correct names later.
  • Findmypast [available free in the GSV Library]
    As the source of this information was a transcription of “Emigrants from Hamburg to Australasia 1850-1879” the information was more accurate: Wilh SCHUBART, weinbauer [vine dresser] from Epfenbach Baden, departed Hamburg 1852 on the Triton for Sydney NSW.
Of course I needed to know more about Epfenbach, the Triton, and anything else I could find to clear up multiple discrepancies gathered from Australian certificates and other sources.  And I was also keen to obtain copies of the original passenger list.
  • International Settlers Group [ISG - Special Interest Group at the GSV]  Throughout my research, members of the ISG were able to provide valuable advice and tips on further avenues of research.
  • GSV Library catalogue [full version available in the GSV Library or from home by GSV Members]  I got great leads to resources in the GSV library by doing multiple searches for Hamburg emigrants, Triton, Epfenbach, and Germany maps in the GSV catalogue.
  • Emigrants from Hamburg to Australia, Eric & Rosemary Kopittke [available in the GSV Library]  This was available on both CD as well as microfiche.  The microfiche version included more details on the Triton, arrival date [29 April 1853] and newspaper reports, as well as the ability to see that Wilhelm travelled with Frau [wife] and Saugling [child].  I also took note of the passenger numbers [67, 67, 72] which proved most useful when looking at the original records.
  • Hamburg passenger lists, LDS microfilm 470834 [ordered for viewing at the GSV Library]  Without the passenger numbers I would not have found young George [saugling] who was “hiding” on the next page – I expected to find the family grouped together!  The film and film order could obviously be done from home however the extra help ISG members was within the library.
  • Map Guide to German Parish Registers: Grandduchy of Baden, with full index of included towns, Kevan M Hansen [available in the GSV library]  This is one of a series of publications by Kevan M Hansen – donated to the GSV library by the International Settlers Group. They are a wonderful resource to help you find the relevant parishes for the town of interest and include the LDS film numbers.  These guides visually identify church parishes for Lutherans and Catholics within each district.
  • Kirchenbuch 1642-1963 [church records], LDS microfilm 1189285 [ordered for viewing at the GSV library]  This wasn’t easy but I eventually found Wilhelm SCHUBART’s baptism entry in the Epfenbach church register.  A full transcription of this entry gave the ultimate information – three generations with details of Wilhelm’s parents and grandparents as well as places of birth and/or residence.  It also showed that Wilhelm was born illegitimate as Wilhelm EHRHARD – a pattern that occurred in multiple generations.  As I later learnt, this was a normal occurrence for the poorer people in Germany at the time.
  • ‘German Immigrant Ships to Eastern Australia – Resources and Problems, Part 10: Triton 1853’ by Jenny Paterson in Ances-tree, vol.19 no.1 [available in the GSV library]  This article and its detailed notes and sources opened up so many avenues of further research.  I learnt that Wilhelm was married in Hamburg just 4 days before boarding the Triton for New South Wales.  Currently I’m waiting for the postman and emigration application documents from the Karlsruhe Archives in Germany.
The above is just a small part of the knowledge and references I now have for my ggg-grandfather Wilhelm SCHUBART.

There is ONE obvious common denominator – the GSV library – without access to the amazing amount of resources and people there is no way I would I have progressed this far from those initial immigration and emigration entries!

And the lesson? Don’t accept the basics – keep going and you might be amazed at how much more there is to find – especially in the GSV library.

About GSV Pick of the Month blogs

This is a new series of blogs – hopefully in a year there will be 12 blogs in this series!  Of course that depends on our GSV contributors – staff, volunteers or library users.  The idea is to highlight things from our GSV Library – a record or record series, a procedure resulting in success, or just something that we think our blog readers will find useful or interesting. ... SZ

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