Sunday, July 22, 2012

Images of World War I Australian servicemen

The National Archives is now able to share 500 digital images of Australian World War I servicemen which were received from the Department of Veterans' Affairs (DVA).
These images were identified by DVA staff member Courtney Page-Allen, a recipient of the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust Fellowship. To find them, she spent 18 months searching through the 16,000 World War I images held in the Bonds of Sacrifice collection of the Imperial War Museum, London.
The digital images provided to the National Archives include photographs taken in London studios while servicemen were on leave and occasional newspaper clippings.
these portraits are currently being added to the Mapping Our Anzacs website, where you can search for an image and related service record. You can also browse the names of servicemen (word, 40kb) whose portraits have been received. Portraits for personal use may be downloaded and printed.

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Waymarking for genealogists

Genealogists may want to check out, which provides tools for you to catalog, mark and visit interesting and useful locations around the world. It is a great tool to record places of interest, previous family homes or sites special to your ancestors.
Waymarking is a game/project/obsession which uses GPS coordinates to mark locations of interest and share them with others. You can even post online digital pictures of the location for others to see
A waymark is a physical location on the planet marked by coordinates (latitude and longitude) and contains unique information defined within its waymark category. Pictures may optionally be recorded as well. Through the use of your waymarking efforts, you can share and discover unique and interesting locations on the planet.
There are numerous genealogy applications. E.g. you can waymark the locations of ancestors' graves, homesteads, places of birth or work, a battlefield where an ancestor fought, schools attended, and much more. Other descendants can use the waymark to travel to the same locations or if you provide pictures, people can visit the location “virtually,” even if they are not able to travel there physically.
For more information, Dick Eastman has a comprehensive article about in his blog at

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Sunday, July 8, 2012

Scottish Post Office Directories online

Over 700 digitised directories covering most of Scotland and dating from 1773 to 1911 are now available on line for you to use. The Scottish Post Office directories provide a great tool for researching Scotland's family, trade, and town history. The directories contain an alphabetical list of a location's inhabitants and information on their profession and address, showing where people lived at a certain time and how they earned their living. You can search by place, year and resident's name or view a PDF of a complete book.
The oldest volumes were published in the lated 1700s, when the demand for information about the increasing number of traders, businessess and industries grew rapidly. Most of the directoried were published annually making them a  valuable resource, especially for the years not vcovered by the census which, starting in 1841, was carried out every 10 years.
Some warnings: The directories' coverage of people varies strongly between the different publishers and lcoal areas. Most of the directories up until the mid 19th century would only include the principal inhabitants of a location, leaving the poor in particular not menitoned at all. Women rarely featured in the lists, as usually only the head of a household would be recorded. In addition, people usually had to pay a small fee to be recorded in the directories. While the gentry, clergy, majoy tradesmen, manufacturers, shop owners and other professionals are likely listed, their employees or small traders and craftsmen are often omitted. Laborers and servants are hardly recorded at all.
When searching the directories, bear in mind that, some information may be drawn from previous years. This increased the risk of not always giving the most accurate or up-to-date picture. As well, information was gathered over several months, and residents might well have moved, changed their business or died by the time the directory was printed.


Sunday, July 1, 2012

Old London Tax Records on line

Millions of historic London tax records have been published online by covering land tax records from 1692 to 1932. The records include many famous names such as King George III, Naval hero Horatio Nelson and Sherlock Holmes author, Arthur Conan Doyle. The land tax was introduced in England in 1692 as a means of raising government revenue and was not done away with until 1963. The land tax records usually list both property owners and tenants, placing them in a parish, county and time frame. Such records can help to flesh out information for family history researchers and will complement many census records.

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Divorce in NSW

Tim Barliss, in yesterday’s Sun-Herald, puts a romantic twist on the news that more divorce papers have been released and are available through NSW State Records . Barliss quotes love letters and reveals that the Blue Mountains was a popular venue for secret trysts.
NSW State Records is a little more circumspect in their announcement, stating that ‘the Supreme Court of NSW is transferring NRS 13495 Divorce and matrimonial cause papers.’ This covers the period from 1931 to 1949, and includes the divorce papers of razor gang leader Tilly Devine from husband, James, which was undefended The Supreme Court is transferring files on a regular basis.
The divorce papers can be viewed at the NSW State Records Western Sydney Reading Room at Kingswood. Instructions for searching and accessing the divorce packets are available on-line at

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