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logoProformat News                  ISSN 1833-9514
No 15
May 2007


May seminars
9 May: Tracing your Scottish ancestors WEA Centre Adelaide

12 May: Climbing the genealogy barriers Flinders University at the State Library 9:30am - all day

20 and 22 May: Walking tour of Houghton (History Week event) 2:30pm (meet at War Memorial—click for brochure)

23 May: Introduction to FH research (over 7 weeks with sessions of 1.5 hrs each) WEA Centre Adelaide 6:00pm

26 May: Pitfalls in Family History Fleurieu Peninsula Family History Group Seminar Day from 10:00am (session 3)

Research in NZ
A bill is before the NZ Parliament that reflects the embargoes placed on Australian BDM certificates. The proposed bill is the Births Deaths Marriages and Relationships Registration Amendment Bill.
Specifically, it is proposed that certificates be available to:
   • the subject of the certificate
   • other persons having written permission from the subject
      of the certificate, and
   • executors of deceased estates.
The proposed embargoed periods are:
   • births 100 years
   • marriages 80 years
   • deaths 50 years or 80 years since the birth of the deceased

In this issue:

• May seminars
• Research in NZ
Passengers ex-UK for 1890
• 1911 Census

Delving into old family photographs


Adelaide Proformat
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Drafting charts
Locating documents
Seminar presentations
Writing & publishing
SA lookup service
Ship paintings

Passengers ex-UK from 1890
Passenger lists have now been extended to 1919 on the AncestorsOnBoard web site.
For years I had been told that all passenger records had been pulped only to discover recently that the TNA in conjunction with FindMyPast had worked to release the material online for a fee. A check of the site using known arrivals into Australia via Fremantle has revealed that as far as passengers to Australia, the database is far from complete. I also tested the site using material from Ellis island and found the same applies to the USA. The message here is that regardless of the records you are using, the maxim is: a nil result may just mean the record has not been located rather than the event did not occur!

1911 Census
The National Archives has announced that ScotlandOnline will partner the UK government's official archive in the forthcoming project to put the 1911 census for England and Wales online.
The 1911 census (document references RG 14 and RG 78) is huge—it comprises over 8M householder schedules and a further 38,000 enumerators' summary books, it details information relating to approximately 35M people then living in England and Wales.
From 2009 there will be a phased release of the information that will include images and transcription data, but without sensitive data as determined by the Information Commissioner's recent ruling. From 3 January 2012 the public will have full access. The 1911 census holds more information than the 1901 census. It is also the first census where the householder's schedule has remained the master entry, rather than just the enumerator's notes.

Delving into old family photographs pt 2
To identify a photograph and thus date it requires the researcher to undertake the following detailed examinations. In the last issue we dealt with:
1. Determining the type of photograph.
In this issue we will look at the following decade by decade:
2. Analyse the mounting board itself.
3. Examine the back of the mount for printed information.

Step 2: Analyse the mounting board
The board used by photographers can often aid in determining the decade of the photograph. The researcher needs to be a little cautious as the studio may be using old stock but busy photographers in the larger centres would not have this problem not just because they would use up their stock quickly, but they could not afford to lose a competitive edge over their nearby colleagues!
    1860s: thin white card with square corners
    1870s: cream card with rounded corners
    1880s: thicker coloured card with rounded corners
    1890s: sturdy bevelled edged card with rounded corners

Step 3: Examine the back of the mount
The bulk of the material in the family album will be albumen prints and to determine their era the mount is an essential feature.

In the early 1860s the card was thin, with square corners, the image one step up from an ink stamp By 1865 designs such as the ribbon scrolls and crowns, but the main design keeps to the centre.
In the 1870s the cards were replaced by rounded corners - easier to slip into the slots albums. By the end of the 1870s the design shows further enhancement.
Initial letters with the name on a slope, and background scrolls & 3 main fonts are typical of the early 1880s. Square corners are also evident again. A feature of the late 1880s is the growing complexity of the designs. Patronage was also important. Black also becomes popular.
1890s feature cherubs, angels, grecian ladies, art equipment and flowers. Kodak cameras were now available and the studios had to claim that their product was better than that of amateurs. 1890s sees the appearance of the popular postcard but before 1893/4 the item had to be enveloped and therefore no provision for the address or stamp. The divided back does not appear until 1905/7.

We still need to follow two more steps:
4. Examine the composition of the image—the pose and background.
5. Review the costume of the subjects.

To be continued.

Note: All photographs displayed are from the family albums of Graham Jaunay. They are currently subject to copyright.

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