RESEARCHING FAMILY HISTORY
This page was developed for school students interested in studying family history as a research project for their South Australian Certificate of Education (SACE) but I have now added personal links too.

WATCH 'WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE?'
These shows will soon reveal how exciting and interesting unravelling your family history can be, though it's nowhere near as easy when you don't have a team of experts world-wide helping you.
Go to SBS, and choose an episode.

USEFUL EQUIPMENT
  • Digital voice recorder. Small but powerful. Your mobile phone probably also has a recorder. This allows you to concentrate and not have to take notes. Sound files can go straight online as MP3 files. Make sure to have the recorder on as soon as the interviewee arrives as useful information is often poured out before you even get started, due to nerves or excitement.
  • Notebook-keep all details in a notebook. Write down the date and a heading for each entry including phone calls and texts related to the topic, visits to the library etc. Use only one book at a time as everything is then automatically in sequential order when it comes to reflecting on what you have done. Number and date new books sequentially too.
  • Scanner-scan original photos and documents into a computer and then you have copies when you need them. Label each picture/document explicitly.
  • Camera or mobile phone-A photo of an existing picture or record often comes out surprisingly well, if you are unable to copy it.
  • USB stick-always handy for storing data.

    HOW TO GO ABOUT IT-ADVICE FROM THE EXPERTS
    Family History Resources explained in the National Archives of Australia
    Directories, almanacs and gazetteers are useful for tracing the addresses and movement of your ancestors though all the information may not be accurate. Sands and MacDougall Directories for SA are to be found at the State Library of SA and are now online.
    National Library genealogy websites
    State Library family history links
    Electoral Rolls wonderful for tracing family if you know where they lived.

    ONLINE RESOURCES
    SAGS (SA Genealogical Society) Database of births, marriages, deaths, newspaperbirth and death notices.
    The Advertiser Tributes-current SA death and funeral notices
    Savill Index of The Advertiser Funeral Notices
    Family History SA Databases on shipping, births, deaths and marriages, land purchases by selection and more, by Maureen and Barry Leadbeater
    SA Genealogy on Facebook with Michelle Scragg.
    Ryerson Index of death notices in Australian newspapers
    Almanacs at the State Library
    NAA the National Australian Archives records (Immigration, military and more)
    Australian War Memorial for those serving in various wars.
    RSL virtual war memorial.
    Births, Deaths, Marriages NSW
    Australian Death Index on Ancestry
    State Records of SA photos on Flickr.
    TROVE at the National Library of Australia (NLA). Search for family stories in those newspapers which have been digitised.
    Papers Past fabulous New Zealand digitised newspaper and more database
    SAILIS land records in SA via State Library
    Ancestor Hunt using newspapers US and world wide
    Tasmanian names index from Libraries Tasmania.
    Family Tree Oz historical records available including some motor registrations
    Military records, US and elsewhere.
    State Library old colonists records.
    Australasian Legal Information Institute: Type in a name and come up with a surprising number of cases!
    Births, deaths and marriages: State Library resources
    Hatched, Matched, Dispatched notices
    Family relationships.
    Centennial Park Cemetery, Adelaide, SA.
    Obituaries AustraliaYou can upload the obituary of a relative if it has been published in a newspaper.
    State archives-search for records on a town or person
    Dusty Docs Links to parish records in Britain
    Family Search: new records added recently.
    Ancestry Australia directory.
    British Pathé

    GETTING OUT OF THE HOUSE-THINGS TO DO
  • Go to the State Library in North Terrace, Adelaide and explore their text collection and online resources, some of which are only available in the library. You can get one hour of individual help with your family history research if you book in advance.
    You can check newspapers on microfilm for stories about the family and for family notices. Recent newspapers have not yet been digitised.
    Explore directories like Sands and MacDougall, gazetteers and electoral rolls for addresses, occupations and dates.
  • The State Archives have now been moved back to Gepps Cross. Check their catalogues online and order material.
  • Visit the Genealogical Society at 201 Unley Road, Unley, to search their excellent collection. You will have to pay a fee if you are not a member.

    READ FAMILY HISTORY TEXTS
    A family history text, if it exists, may be found at the genealogical society or state library or some family members may own a copy. If you know the name of a book, you may be able to track it down via the internet. Local history texts about a district where your family lived might also contain information about them.

    Here are some I consulted for my paternal family history.
    Among the Pioneers compiled by G.M.Patterson
    Bridging the Years, History of the Warrow-Coulta School 1880-1966 by Patricia M. Virgin pub. 1986
    Calca 1885-1991 compiled by Lisa Baker
    Chandada Run by Jim Cronin pub. 1986
    Cungena Country compiled and edited by Agnes Dickson pub. 1983
    Echoes from the Past, Wudinna and Surrounding Schools, 1919-1979 by Erna Franklin et al
    The Family Case compiled by Maurice Keain and Tom Case
    The Fitzgeralds, Irish Pioneers of South Australia by the Fitzgerald book committee under Matt Fitzgerald, Oct, 1986
    From Stumps to Stubble by Roslyn M. Paterson and Eyvonne L. Price, published by the District Council of Bute, 1984
    Getting By by Evelyn Nelson pub. 2000
    A History of St Canute's, Streaky Bay by Ellen Bascombe, Streaky Bay, pub Sept. 2012. Available from author.
    The House of Starrs, Case, Cunningham by A. Murray
    The McPharlin Family McPharlin Family Committee
    Plain of Contrast, A History of Willowie, Amyton, Booleroo Whim edited by L. Blieschke, 1975
    Pursuit Through the Years and The Pursuit Ended by Mollie Puckridge
    The Steaky Bay edited by Neil and Val Thompson pub. 1988
    Through the Eyes of a Child by Mary (Molly) H. Smart pub. 1982
    Two Wells Then and Now, A History of the Hundred of Port Gawler by Bet Williams, pub. 1991,
    A Wee Deoch and Doris The House of McEvoy, by Robert J. Munro compiled 2003 revised 2011, updated as information received.
    Where's Piednippie? A history of the district to commemorate the 50th Jubilee of the Piednippie hall. Compiled by Fred Gerschwitz, 1983.
    The Zilms at Nain and Beyond by the Zilm Family History Committee pub. 1982

    Remember, we all have 2 parents, 4 grandparents, 8 great grandparents, 16 GG grandparents, 32 GGG grandparents....
    Just because some don't have the same surname doesn't mean they are any less your ancestors.


    Page created 16-1-2011; Updated, 24-7-2021. Picture: Jonathan and Christopher McEvoy eating twopenny ha'penny icecreams, c. 1950. The story goes that one morning, very early, Chris and Jonny knocked on his door and woke up the nearby shopkeeper to buy 2 icecreams. The shopkeeper is reputed to have said, "Bugger the tu'penny ha'penny icecreams!"
    News article about my maternal grandfather from The NZ 'Evening Star' newspaper of 13-3-1902, found in New Zealand's Papers Past.