LDS Church FamilySearch Centres in SA

There is little doubt that the services offered at LDS Church FamilySearch Centres are one of the better ways to progress your ancestry beyond South Australia and especially Europe. There are a few issues that researchers should take into account when using these facilities or the online service.

Until recently the International Genealogy Index (IGI) was the main feature of the service and it had some issues:
1. It did not cover all parish records and you needed to ascertain the coverage.
2. Some material on the IGI is the result of private researchers whose veracity was not known and was unsourced.
3. There were problems with Welsh records due to misunderstandings about the English surname / patronymic name mix.
4. The IGI converted all dates to the Gregorian System that came into effect in 1752 in the British Empire.

Recently the problem outlined in point 2 above was addressed. The private records were purged and effectively the IGI became purely a listing of historical records. Consequently the name was changed to the Historical Records Collection [HRC] although the old name is still frequently used!

These are not problems unique to the LDS Church FamilySearch Centres and indeed all good researchers will always try to verify material they locate by accessing original material and at least two independent sources. The HRC is not a source—it is an index!

The centres in South Australia are located as follows. You should telephone before making a visit to confirm their opening hours and book any equipment you may need to use.

Berri: 1 Crawford Terrace (08) 8582 2448
Craigmore: 3 Uley Road (08) 8284 2713
Firle: 120 Gage Street (08) 8364 1488
Fulham Gardens: 413 Tapleys Hill Road (08) 8356 9977
Hackham West: 258 Beach Road (08) 8384 5787
Marion: 5 Cutting Road (08) 8276 7849
Modbury North: Von Braun Crescent (08) 8263 1995
Mount Barker: 32 Princess Road (08) 8388 2017
Mount Gambier: Brigalow Crescent (08) 8725 1613
Port Augusta: cnr Eyre Highway & Woodford Road (08) 8642 6492
Whyalla Norrie: 84 Jenkins Avenue (08) 8645 7354
LDS FamilySearch Centres are the gateways to much more than the HRC. A range of the material on offer can be ascertained by searching the online catalogue.

The following is a brief expansion on the problems listed above.
1. Historical Record Collection (HRC) coverage
Clearly we cannot expect the HRC to cover every known record. In some cases the LDS is denied access to records. In the case of parishes in the UK and Nth America, you can see a list of those allocated batch numbers and the date range of the records held at Hugh Wallis' site.
2. Contributions by private researchers
You can readily identify private contributions to the FamilySearch collection because they are listed apart from the HRC under the collective heading – Genealogies. Unfortunately these records have no formal sourcing and so you can never be sure of the accuracy of this material. The problem is exacerbated in that the LDS will not facilitate any contact with the contributor.
3. Historical Record Collection (HRC) and Welsh names
Unfortunately the HRC does not cope well with the transition of Welsh patronymic naming to the English form of hereditary surnames. The transition over many generations was inconsistent and followed no logical rules but the HRC tries to apply rules and the result is that many people are recorded with names they themselves would scarcely recognise!
4. Historical Record Collection (HRC) and dates
The transition from the Julian Calendar to the Gregorian Calendar in Britain and its dependencies in 1752 meant changing New Years Day from 25 March to 1 January. Thus all the dates in this period prior to 1752 were in the year previous to the current calendar. Thus 21 Feb 1741 in the old system (OS) would now be considered as 21 Feb 1742. To clarify the matter genealogists record this date as 21 Feb 1741/2. This is an important signal without which you can never be sure which system the date is expressed in. FamilySearch ignores this convention and all dates seem to have been converted and thus reading a date such as 4 Mar 1722 in the HRC suggests 4 Mar 1721/2. A wise researcher will call up the original and check!
Click to email Proformat Subscribe