Sunday, August 24, 2014

GSV Pick of the Month

South Australian research - tips and resources at the GSV [Genealogical Society of Victoria].

Map of South AustraliaIf you search the GSV Catalogue for South Australian entries [enter "AUS SA" in the ANY WORDS search box of the full Members catalogue] you'll find 1,166 entries.

This number will change regularly as new resources are added, existing resources are updated or replaced, and others are consolidated.

GSV Member and Volunteer, Raelene Lane, has provided most of the details on South Australian research.  Raelene has not only provided information on different resources in the GSV Library but highlighted major events in South Australia's history which will often have an impact on your South Australian research.
The Colony of South Australia began officially on 28 December 1836, with John Hindmarsh as the first Governor.  Indigenous Australians had, of course, long inhabited this land prior to the establishment of the colony's European settlement, and still live there.  The influence of the London-based South Australian Company's idea of "colonization to be based on land sales and free settlers" was strong as the state developed.
Over time people from many nations have lived there, some for generations, while others, often just a single family, have left for other states in search of better opportunities, leaving behind many of their close relatives.
Key References:
  • South Australian history sources by Andrew Peake. [GSV Library: R 994.23 PEA]
    This has clearly set out Contents (p.3), an excellent Index (p.211) as well as a helpful State Chronology (p.7).
  • Biographical index of South Australians 1836-1885 (BISA) first published by the South Australian Genealogy and Heraldry Society [GSV Library: Computer 5 or 994.23092 BIO]
  • South Australian registration districts of births, deaths and marriages by Beryl Schahinger [GSV Library: 929.349423 SCH]
    Very useful for locating places when used in conjunction with Digger.
  • The South Australian Genealogist: quarterly journal of the South Australian Genealogy and Heraldry Society, 1973-2010  [GSV Library: Computer 5]
    See 'Searching old journals' near the end of this blog for an example article.
  • Ancestors in archives: a guide for family historians to South Australia’s government archives  [GSV Library: R 994.230016 ANC]
    Contents (viii), with each Chapter having an interesting explanatory section, and a detailed Index (p. 221)
  • Family history research in South Australia by Graham Jaunay [available from the GSV Bookshop]
  • Register personal notices v.3 1866-1870  [GSV Library: 929.33942 REG (3 volumes 1836-1870) - vol.3 available from the GSV Bookshop]
  • Search the GSV catalogue for FORMAT Map and ANY WORDS "AUS SA"  [GSV Library: 912.9429] to place your family in a local context.
  • Search the GSV catalogue for relevant Family history books [GSV Library: 929.2] and books on Local history [GSV Library: 994.23] that generally have indexes and often maps, as well as helpful background material.

Major events in South Australia's history:
Researchers tracing their family may be helped by noting these major events in South Australia's history.  These would likely influence decisions made by families affecting where they lived and employment opportunities.
1836-1840 - Early Settlement  Earliest settlers were mainly from Great Britain and Germany, seeking greater opportunity and freedom to make better lives for themselves and their families.

  • A Free Passage to Paradise? Passenger lists of United Kingdom emigrants who applied for free passage to South Australia, 1836-1840 by Pat Button [GSV Library: 387.5 SA BUT]

  • Kavel’s people: their story of migration from Prussia to South Australia for the sake of their faith, and their initial settlement, told mainly from journals, letters and other documents of the time by David Schubert [GSV Library: 994.230943 SCH]

  • Genealogical source 1529: index to register of emigrant labourers applying for a free passage to South Australia 1836-1841  commonly referred to as the Pike Index [GSV Library: Microfiche A SA PAS 7-9]

  • South Australia: pre-civil registration Births, Deaths, Marriages by Graham Jaunay [GSV Library: Computer 5 - various CDs]

  • Microfilm copies of registers of baptisms, burials and marriages 1787-1856  New South Wales Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages [GSV Library: Microfilm series A 18]
    Includes Adelaide, South Australia, Roman Catholic records 1833-1843
1840-1860 - Copper discovered at Kapunda and Burra  This caused the first influxes of miners from Cornwall, Wales and Germany, as well as essential supporting agricultural and domestic migrants.

  • [Various passenger lists]  [GSV Library: Microfiche A SA PAS 1-6, and 11-14, 15, 16 and 18]

  • Census of South Australia 1841 and index; Naturalization records: return of aliens who have made applications to be naturalised 1858-1864; Naturalizations South Australia pre 1904  [GSV Library: Microfiche A SA GEN 1]

  • The South Australian Genealogist: quarterly journal of the South Australian Genealogy and Heraldry Society, 1973-2010  [GSV Library: Computer 5] Various articles (e.g. Vol.20, No 2, April 1993 gives background  & list of names in “From Harz Mountains (Hanover) to Adelaide & Beyond: Government-sponsored emigration 1848-1854.”)
1851 - Gold discovered in Victoria  A major exodus of men from South Australia causing problems keeping businesses going, families becoming destitute and other far-reaching impact.  A majority of men returned and were able to buy land - South Australia became an important producer of food for Victoria.

1860-1923 - Copper mines at Moonta, Kadina and Wallaroo  There was a second influx of miners - from Cornwall in particular.  Railways expanded state-wide and technical skills were developed.  Gawler was an important town during this time.

  • History of Gawler 1837-1908  by E H Coombe [GSV Library: Computer 5]

  • Picturesque atlas of Australasia: railway, postal and telegraph map of South Australia (1888)  [GSV Library: MAP DRAWER 912.9423 PIC]
1863 - South Australia annexed Northern Territory  This lasted until 1911 when the Commonwealth assumed responsibility.

1876 - Broken Hill silver, lead & zinc mines and Port Pirie smelters  Broken Hill was linked by railway from early times to Adelaide and Port Pirie.  Broken Hill residents came to rely on Adelaide and South Australia for health care, education, employment etc.  Port Pirie developed as a major port for the Broken Hill Mines from 1888 and in 1898 established smelters for the Broken Hill mines.

  • See Almanacs and Directories  [GSV Library: Computer 5]
    From 1888.  These are worth searching, by name and place, at any relevant time.
1880s - discovery of gold in Western Australia  Many people moved from South Australia including engineers, railway workers, labourers to work on the pipeline to Kalgoorlie, and farmers.

1880, 1890-1900 - Major Droughts  This affected people on the land, especially those with farms outside Goyder's Line (10" rainfall boundary) and many families were forced to move - some interstate.
1890-1900, 1930s - Major Depressions  Again effects were similar to the droughts however even in cities new occupations had to be found for families to survive.

  • Family history notebook: how to find occupational records in Australia  by Cora Num [GSV Library: 331.7 NUM]
1914-1918, 1935-1945 - WWI and WWII  New migrants arrived from Europe especially after WWII.

From 1950s - Industrial growth  Many workers transferred from interstate to capitalise on the job opportunities.

  • Family history notebook: how to find occupational records in Australia  by Cora Num [GSV Library: 331.7 NUM]

Searching old journals:

What about this little gem found in ...

  • The South Australian Genealogist: quarterly journal of the South Australian Genealogy and Heraldry Society, 1973-2010  [GSV Library: Computer 5]
This four-page article [vol.1 no.1 p.9] includes an alphabetic list of people whose wills were found amongst land records called Deposits and Enrolments.  "Prior to the 1st Feb 1892 the Probate Office only had jurisdiction over personal estate, and if a person died leaving mainly real estate, the Will would be deposited in the General Registry Office. "

 This is just a small selection of the wonderful resources available in the GSV Library for South Australian research.  Thank you Raelene.

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