It all adds up!

Bowman family tree

The Local History area has a dedicated group of five volunteers who freely give up three days a week to assist patrons with family history help.
Family history volunteers have put in over 2,366 hours in the past year.  
That’s equivalent to over 1 year and 10 weeks of work, based on a 38 hour week.  They have helped over 650 people  from July 2009 to April 2010. 
We have completed our longest family history query, the Bowman family, resulting in 294 names and a printed family tree of 35, A4 pages, stretching over 11.2 metres!

Come and see us for help with your family history.

Bring out your dead!

The Library has just purchased the SA Death Index of Registrations, 1916 to 1972 in book form .
While we already have this on a CD-ROM, it will be much easier to grab the book if you’re doing a small number of searches. 

Look out for the 11 violet and purple volumes on the Local History shelf.

Hungry for Genealogy?

Next Wednesday we will hold our first session of Lunch Time Bites, aimed at the genealogist who would like to learn more and have time to discuss topics in an informal setting.

The first topic will be Genealogy and Web2.0 technology, looking at how genealogists can use these sites for family history.  We’ll look at Facebook, Flickr, blogs and wikis.

Bring your lunch and share a cup of coffee with us, next Wednesday 17 February,  from 1.00 – 2.00pm in the Community Learning Centre. 
No bookings required.

Any convicts in the family?

The family history database  Ancestry, has made available online the Convict Registers of Conditional and Absolute Pardons 1791-1846 , and the NSW Certificates of Freedom 1827-1867, which “completes” the journey from arrest to release of almost one third of all convicts transported to Australia.
It will allow family members to see whether a convict in their family tree was given an absolute pardon, giving them full citizen rights, or a conditional pardon, which entitled a convict to their freedom but not to return to the UK. Other information already on the website includes applications to marry and death registers.

Technology has also made it possible to view digital images of original documentation and to find out details of people’s occupation and religion and gather a physical description.

Ancestry estimates that more than four million Australians are descended from convicts who were shipped from Britain to Australia’s penal colonies, meaning there is a one in five chance the average Aussie will have an ancestor included in the records.
The Ancestry Library Edition database is available  free, via the Library website , on all the public PCs at the City of Tea Tree Gully Library.

Image courtesy of National Library of Australia – National Treasures

Strangers in a box

Strangers in a box

Come, look with me inside this drawer,
In this box I’ve often seen,
At the pictures, black and white,
Faces proud, still, serene.
I wish I knew the people,
These strangers in the box,
There names and all their memories
Are lost among my socks.
I wonder what their lives were like,
How did they spend their days?
What about their special times?
I’ll never know their ways.
If only someone had taken the time
To tell who, what, where or when,
These face of my heritage
Would come to life again.
Could this become the fate
Of the pictures we take today?
The faces and the memories
Someday to  be passed away?
Make time to save your stories,
Seize the opportunity when it knocks,
Or someday you and yours could be
The strangers in the box.

You can find out who your strangers in the box might be,  by attending our four-week family history course for beginners.  The course runs on Saturday 13th, 20th, 27th February and Saturday 6th March,  from 2:30 – 4:00pm. 
The free sessions will be held in the local history area, so if you’re interested, book now at the Library or by phone  on 8397 7333.

They’re back!

The Local History volunteers are back on board after a restful Christmas break. You can see them in the Local History area, every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 10:30 to 5:00pm.

They are keen to help you in your research and fulfill some of those family history New Year resolutions. 
No questions are too tricky for this wonderful team!

Family history volunteers take a break

The family history volunteers are taking a well earned break over the festive season. From Thursday 17th December, they will be having a few weeks off, back on board on Tuesday 19th January, 2010.

You can make bookings now for the 2010,  One on One sessions which are on Thursdays, by contacting the Library 0n 83977333.

This year the volunteers have assisted over 850 people resarching their family history! Not a bad effort.

New Year resolutions

As the year comes to a close, one often sets goals for the new year. For those who have an interest in family history, here are some you may wish to place on your 2010 list.

  1. Get organised. The Local History room can provide charts and forms for you to get started.
  2. Attend some, if not all the exciting family history courses, workshops and talks presented by the Library. Brochure out shortly.
  3. Share the information you have gathered with other members of your family (Web2.0 technology and genealogy will be a focus of the Library next year if you’re not sure how to start).
  4. Learn more about genealogy. The Library has one of the best family history book collections for loan, to suit the new and experienced genealogist.
  5. Be inspired. Borrow from the Library and watch sessions of Who Do You Think You Are. Guaranteed to inspire.
  6.  Meet like – minded individuals who share the genealogy bug. The Local History area on Tuesday to Thursday always has someone to have a yarn to or ask questions.

A goal not written down is only a wish.  Unknown

Who do you think you are?

SeptCoverSeen the show… now read the magazine! The Library subscribes to the WDYTYA magazine and September’s edition is now here. This edition looks at Devon ancestors, WWII ancestors and Kate Humble.
If you prefer to watch the TV program and enjoyed the first Australian series, you’ll be pleased to know that the second series of WDYTYA is due to start on Sunday, September 27th. It will feature Ron Barassi, Sigrid Thornton, Ben Mendelsohn, Maggie Beer, Christine Anu and John Butler.

The Library has the following DVDs of  Who do you think you are? available for loan:
UK Series 1
UK Series 2
UK Series 3
UK Series 4
Australian Series 1

We also subscribe to Australian Family Tree Connections magazine and Family History Monthly.
Your one stop shop to finding out who you are!

19th Century Photographs

19century_2Did you know photography was not made commercially available until 1841? It is commonly believed that the photography process has been around for much longer, but Graham Jaunay was at the library last Wednesday to tell us otherwise.

An experienced family historian and lecturer in genealogy, Graham conducted a workshop in the Learning Centre to explain some of the best ways to find out when the photos in 19th century albums were taken. Many people think that the best way to determine the date is to examine the subjects of the photograph, but it actually proves more accurate to look at what form the photo is in and how it has been presented. Using the correct methods,  it is possible to narrow the date down to a particular decade or even year.

As well as learning the difference between their daguerreotypes and calotypes, the group of budding genealogists who attended the workshop also left with an understanding of how to best protect old photos from damage. The four main types of damage that cause deterioration are environmental, chemical, physical and biological. If stored appropriately, photos will be protected from all damage and will last for many years to come.

Interested in finding out more? Try these titles available in our collection…

Preserving your family photographs by Maureen A. Taylor

Photography: An illustrated history by Martin W. Sandler

Dating nineteenth century photographs by Robert Pols