Family History ACT

The Heraldry & Genealogy Society of Canberra Inc.


from Sue Mann and Jo Rush

It is always worth browsing the journals now on the Members’ Area of our website, even when you think you have no connection with the area apparently covered. All genealogical journals carry a world of information. You never know what you might find.

For example, a recent issue of Peninsula Past Times, which comes from the Mornington Peninsula society, includes a very detailed article on the ‘lost’ Irish records telling us how to circumvent this loss by giving ideas where to explore for similar information.  Who would think of reading a Victorian journal for Irish research?   Well obviously, everyone ought to!

Despite COVID19, or perhaps because of, many societies have enhanced their journals. There are tales of successful research, more new sources discovered, more local sites identified and now often having free access.

As you know, all electronic journals are on the computers in the library, so come & browse at your leisure - social distancing of course!

Don’t forget that we still get some paper copies of journals, it is amazing what one finds when browsing old issues on the Library shelves; Long lost family connections appear as Jo points out.

Newly Shelved Journals

There is a list of hard copy journals displayed in both the main library and the overseas room.  As a journal is placed on the relevant shelf, both lists are annotated.  Check them out to see if there is a recently shelved one from ‘your’ area of interest.

Everything’s on the internet. Why bother to look at Journals?

When I want/need a break from computer or microfiche searching, shelving or I’ve hit a brick wall, I check issues, including old ones, of Journals and newsletters from the areas of my ancestors very carefully and have had some successes.  Some have provided a few details about their lives; others a great deal more.

For example, in the Lachlan Valley Gold (Forbes Family History) Issue 88, 2014, I found a list of people born in Forbes NSW who were on the English Census returns from 1871 to 1901.  Marian H Elkington Allen was in the 1891 census with a birth date of ‘about 1875’ in Forbes as the granddaughter of the household head in the Civil parish of Aston in Warwickshire.  There was also a call for more information about those listed. I was very interested as I had a Marian Elkington Allen on my database married to Robert William Ingle Finch.  As Robert was a 1st cousin twice removed, I hadn’t done much on him.

Issue 92 had a lot more information, including; Marian/Moy’s parents; her paternal grandparents; when her father and paternal grandmother arrived in Australia; her father’s job, residence in 1903 and his death date; as well as her paternal grandmother’s birth year and place, marital status in 1891 and the date and place of her death.

What a gold mine of information!

But wait, there’s more!

As a child I often visited my Godmother Esme Finch and her mother Moy.  I knew I was also somehow related to Esme but had really only ever thought of Moy as her mother.  From the information in Issue 92, it became obvious that Marian and Moy were the same person!  What a wonderful warm surprise to find that I knew someone who previously had just been a name on my database!  

Copies of Journals available via website

We are continuing to make copies of some of our exchange journals available on the member area of the Society's website. We are only be able to do this with those journals that are exchanged in electronic form, but the number that we receive in this form is steadily increasing. Currently, the Society receives 47 overseas journals electronically and 15 in hard copy.
We have now placed in the member area one issue of the following Overseas Exchange Journals and would invite you to browse each at your leisure (they will remain on the member area for about six months):

•  New Zealand Family Tree ("Who wants this? Helping your family to decide what to do with your treasures after you have gone - Creating a Provenance folder”; "Unearthly Landscapes : New Zealand’s early cemeteries, churchyards and urupa”)

•  Nottinghamshire FHSJ July 2020 (various articles about the area)

•  Ryedale Roots July 2020 (“Am I related to a Luddite?”; "Techniques When Using Findmypast”; “Genuki - An Immensely Helpful Website”)

•  Tree Tappers (Malvern FHS) Autumn 2020 (“Before the census: pre-1837 records and where to find them on-line”; "Roll of honour at St Edward’s boys, with photos, including one of Gerard Dunning who adopted Australia as his home”; "Report on the Family History Show Online 20 June 2020")

If there are any other journals that you would like to read in the member area, please contact Peter Kennedy ( ).