Sunday, July 21, 2013

GSV Pick of the Month

Researching ancestors from Norfolk Island demands some knowledge of the history of the island and consequently some lateral thinking.

The Genealogical Society of Victoria library is the ideal place to extend your research.  The full version of the library catalogue is available in the GSV Library or from home by GSV Members.  A search of the catalogue for "Norfolk Island" results in 101 entries with Norfolk Island in the Title or the Subject.

Discovery

  • 1774, 10th October: the island was discovered by Captain COOK on the ship Resolution

1st Settlement 1788-1814

  • 1788, 6th March: Lt Philip Gidley KING arrived in the HMS Supply
  • 1788: The first settlement consisted of 22 people including 15 convicts
  • 1792, September: there were 1,115 inhabitants
  • 1803: part of the settlement moved to Van Diemen's Land
  • 1814, February: the settlement was abandoned 
  • BDMs: if recorded they will be found in the New South Wales BDMs
Featured resources
  • Norfolk Island and its first settlement 1788-1814 by Raymond Nobbs is an excellent starting place for research during this period.  The appendices are full of lists of residents, convicts and military as well as lists of shipping movements.  The bibliography is detailed and should be used by everyone! [GSV Library: 994.8 NOB]
  • The Fulton records of births, marriages, deaths 1801-1806.  These 223 records were transcribed back in 1914 from the registers and signed by the Deputy Registrar General.  Although the baptisms covered the period 1801-1806, the birth dates go back to 1788.   [GSV Library: shortly to appear in GIN / LINX AUS databases]
  • Musters and lists New South Wales and Norfolk Island 1800-1802  [GSV Library: 929.3694 MUS]
  • Musters of New South Wales and Norfolk Island 1805-1806  [GSV Library: 929.3694 MUS]
  • General musters of News South Wales, Norfolk Island and Van Diemen's Land 1811  [GSV Library: 929.3694 GEN]
  • Exiled! Three times over: profiles of Norfolk Islanders exiled in Van Diemens Land 1807-13 by Irene Schaffer and Thelma McKay.  [GSV Library: Computer 5]
  • Search for author Irene Schaffer in the GSV catalogue - numerous publications and articles relating to Norfolk Island.
  • The Forgotten generation of Norfolk Island and Van Diemens Land by Reg Wright.  [GSV library: 994.02 WRI
  • Traditional sources plus convict and post-convict records for New South Wales and Van Diemen's Land / Tasmania should be consulted

2nd Settlement 1825-1856

  • 1825, June: Captain R TURTON arrived as commandant
  • 1839: there were 1,200 prisoners and 180 soldiers on the island
  • 1825-1844: under the control of New South Wales
  • 1840-1844: Commandant Alexander MACONOCHIE authorised headstones on graves of convicts ... a privilege previously confined to the free
  • 1844: annexed to Van Diemen's Land - administered from Hobart 
  • 1858: decision was made to close the settlement
  • 1855: the settlement closed although a skeleton population remained until the June 1856 "handover"
  • BDMs: if recorded they will be found in the New South Wales BDMs until c.1848.  BDMs were then recorded in Van Diemen's Land / Tasmania with some still recorded in New South Wales - check both!
Featured resources
  • Norfolk Island and its second settlement 1825-1855 by Raymond Nobbs should be used for research during this period.  There are not the same lists in this volume however the bibliography should be used by everyone. [GSV Library: 994.8 NOB]
  • Colonial era cemetery of Norfolk Island by R Nixon Dalkin.  [GSV Library: 929.5948 DAL]
  • Traditional sources plus convict and post-convict records for New South Wales and Van Diemen's Land / Tasmania should be consulted

3rd Settlement 1856-

  • 1856, 8th June: handed over to the descendants of the Bounty mutineers
  • 1856: 194 Pitcairn islanders arrived to form the first free settlement
  • 1856: Island severed from Van Diemen's Land
  • 1856: the Governor of New South Wales became the Governor of Norfolk Island
  • Some islanders returned to Pitcairn Island
  • 1911: population was 985 
  • 1913: The Norfolk Island Act - the island became a Territory under the authority of the Commonwealth of Australia
  • 1960: Norfolk Island Council constituted
  • 1979: Legislative Assembly elected with Executive & Legislative powers
  • 1986: Norfolk Island Assembly submitted that Section 22 of the Australian Constitution be amended ... Norfolk Island to be a Dependency rather than an integral part of the Commonwealth of Australia
  • 1986: population 1,429 permanent residents; 439 itinerant residents; 390 tourists
  • BDMs: some will be found in the New South Wales BDMs.  The Norfolk Island Administration used the church registers and the Pitcairn's Island Clerical Register as the basis for the island's Register of BDMs
Featured resources
  • Norfolk Island and its third settlement: the first hundred years - The Pitcairn Era, 1856-1956 and The Melanesian Mission, 1866-1920 by Raymond Nobbs completes the trilogy of the history of Norfolk Island.  should be used for research during this period.  The notes and bibliography should be used by everyone. [GSV Library: 994.8 NOB]
  • The Pitcairn's Island clerical register of births, marriages, deaths commencing 15 May 1853 ... [this digitised copy includes BDMs to 1881]  [GSV Library: Computer 5]
That collection should keep you busy for a while - enjoy your Norfolk Island research!

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