Sunday, August 25, 2013

Announcing Brick Wall Corner

We're starting a brand new feature in Ancestor, the journal of the Genealogical Society of Victoria.  It's called Brick Wall Corner and I promise the "logo" will be better than this one - but hey, I had to start somewhere!

Brick Wall Corner is about YOUR Brick Wall followed by input from YOU, our readers, who may have experienced similar research and sources.  This obviously won't be the option for a quick reply as a submission will appear in one issue, and reader replies or suggestions won't appear until the next issue - 3 months later.

As genealogists and researchers, we can't help ourselves.  How many of you are like me?  Read a question that might involve an area in which we've done some research - and straight away, you're trying to find the answer to that question!  It doesn't matter if you're a member, a GSV Library Research Assistant or a geneaholic.

Brick Wall Corner is your chance to satisfy your obsession with research and take up the challenge.  The format may need to be "tweaked" or changed as we progress however these are the initial guidelines:
  • Open to Members and Non-Members
  • Brick Walls and replies will only be published in Ancestor
  • Maximum of 250 words or image plus 50 words for Brick Wall questions
  • Email to Ancestor using contact form with attachments OR posted to Ancestor Editor, Level B1 257 Collins Street, Melbourne VIC 3000 - both clearly identified as Brick Wall Corner
  • Must arrive by closing dates published in Ancestor [1 October is the closing date for the next issue which is December]
  • All submissions must include name and contact details [preferably email]
  • By default, a submission to Ancestor is giving full permission for publication
  • You must confirm that you have copyright ownership or permission for any image to be used
  • Editorial team reserves the right to include, exclude or edit submissions for space or interest reasons.
In addition to the above, replies to submissions:
  • Must arrive by closing dates published in Ancestor to be eligible for inclusion in the next issue [1 January for March issue]
  • Proper sources and references must be provided for replies to be eligible for inclusion 
As with all new initiatives, they don't work if people don't respond or participate - here's your chance!

NOTE: The popular Q&A feature with Jenny Carter will continue in Ancestor as long as you [our Members] continue to submit questions for Jenny to answer.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

What's on this Week

Events this week at the Genealogical Society of Victoria
Tue 27 Aug @ 02.00PM- 03.00PM Using findmypast [TM] & other commercial databases online
Wed 28 Aug @ 12.30PM- 01.30PM Early English Genealogy Discussion Circle
Thu 29 Aug @ 12.30PM- 01.30PM Facebook and Genealogy - Meg Bate (free for National Family History Week/Month but booking essential)
Thu 29 Aug @ 02.00PM- 03.00PM Using ScotlandsPeople [TM]
Sat 31 Aug @ 10.00AM- 04.00PM GSV Seminar - Poverty & Poor Laws of England, Scotland & Ireland

Sunday, August 18, 2013

My ancestor was too poor ...

He didn't leave a will, he didn't pay taxes, he just didn't appear in "other records" ... but of course there is a good chance that he/she appeared in Poor Law records.  Alternatively, was he/she not poor enough to appear in Poor Law records?

These presumptions are so wrong and I have literally just proved it with my 3xgreat grandfather!

I think perhaps I have neglected Poor Law records in my own family history research ... and I may just have to register for the GSV Seminar "Poverty & Poor Laws of England, Scotland & Ireland" on Saturday 31st August.

Paraphrasing from David T Hawkings book Pauper ancestors: a guide to the records created by the Poor Laws in England and Wales [GSV Library location: 362.5 HAW] ... Almost every family will have someone recorded in the Poor Law records.  Possibly a pauper being moved from one place to another, receiving parish relief, being examined about the paternity of a bastard child, or an employee or inmate of a workhouse.  Or maybe they were a Guardian of the Poor, parish constable or an overseer, a medical officer or a rate collector?  Were they tradesmen, farmers or landowners who would have all contributed to the poor rate?  Whoever they are, they will be recorded somewhere amongst the under-utilized mass of documentation of the poor.

Another misguided presumption is to "localise" your ancestor when considering Poor Law records.  Many Irish did seasonal work in England & Scotland and relied on the Poor Laws to get them home - in other words, they could turn up anywhere!

And what about my 3xgreat grandfather James NIALL above?  Too poor or not poor enough?  Both?  BUT browsing the Board of Guardians records from the London Metropolitan Archives I chose to browse the Tower Hamlets, St Matthews Bethnal Green "Rough Examination Book 1853-1854" as my silk weaving Huguenot ancestors lived there for some generations.  Of course I wasn't expecting to find anything but thought I should at least look.  A quick check of the A-Z index in the opening pages - I didn't find my James NIALL but I did find a Charles NIALLS [sic].  Definitely worth a look!  And there is no question that Charles is my James's older brother and Charles's situation may just help to explain why my ancestor left England and migrated to New South Wales just a few years later.

I've paid little attention to Poor Law records in my family history research and now realise how wrong I have been!  I think I've just taken up another seat at the GSV Seminar - perhaps I'll see you there?

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Next week at the GSV

Events next week at the Genealogical Society of Victoria 
Tue 20 Aug @ 02.00PM- 03.00PM Using Ancestry online
Wed 21 Aug @ 10.00AM- 12.30PM Legacy Users Group
Wed 21 Aug @ 02.00PM- 03.00PM Using Public Record Office Victoria [PROV] online
Thu 22 Aug @ 12.30PM- 01.30PM Newspapers Online - Vicki Montgomery FGSV
Thu 22 Aug @ 02.00PM- 03.00PM Using FamilySearch TM online

New podcasts for GSV Members

Podcasts from our Thursday Talks are available for members to download:

  •  State Wards of Victoria 1864 – 1893 by Jenny  Carter
  •  Family Photographic Albums: history & meanings by Susan Long
 Many of our podcasts also have a .pdf of the handout that was available on the day too.
So GSV members log into our web site and have a listen! 

Monday, August 5, 2013

This week at the GSV

Events this week at the Genealogical Society of Victoria 
Tue 06 Aug @ 02.00PM- 03.00PM Using The National Archives (UK) online (free for National Family History Week but booking essential)
Wed 07 Aug @ 10.30AM- 12.00PM  Starting Family History (free for National Family History Week but booking essential)
Wed 07 Aug @ 12.30PM- 01.30PM Family History Writers Group
Wed 07 Aug @ 01.00PM- 04.00PM Free Open Afternoon NFHW 2013 (free for National Family History Week but booking essential)
Wed 07 Aug @ 02.00PM- 03.00PM Using National Archives for Scotland, Ireland & Wales online (free for National Family History Week but booking essential)
Thu 08 Aug @ 12.30PM- 01.30PM Coburg and Fawkner Cemeteries - David Down (free for National Family History Week but booking essential)
Thu 08 Aug @ 02.00PM- 03.00PM Using Digger TM for Australian BDMs, etc. (free for National Family History Week but booking essential)
Sat 10 Aug @ 01.00PM- 03.00PM Irish Ancestry Group.. Annual General Meeting