You are receiving this because your address is subscribed at:
:No: 37
March 2009

March seminars
Finding SA families in newspapers West Torrens Library 1:30pm
: Researching the maternal line. Tea Tree Gully Library 2:00pm
27: Researching your English ancestors WEA Centre 6:30pm
April seminars
Coming to grips with FamilySearch WEA Centre 10:00am

See the seminar program for more details.

NZ BDM access
From 25 Jan 2009 sales of the NZ BDM indexes have ceased. The removal of the indexes from sale is a requirement the New Zealand Births, Death, Marriages and Relationships Registration Act 1(1995) which is now in force. The Act also provides that historical information may be made available by the New Zealand Registrar-General on the Internet. As far as NZ is concerned, historical Information is defined as:
• Births that occurred at least 100 years ago
• Marriages that occurred 80 years ago
• Deaths of people who died at least 50 years ago or who were born at least 80 years ago.

VIC Wills Index
Victorian Wills & Probate records from 1841 to 1925 are being progressively put online for free at the PROV. As with a number of other indexes avoid inputting given names. Unless the input is an exact match the search will fail. eg Morris L Marks who died 1893 will not be found on a search of Morris Marks. Often given names are abbreviated. Employ wildcard searching to overcome common name issues and thus to search for Alexander Smith use A* Smith. This update is reflected on our information page on Accessing Wills along with new access opportunities in Queensland.

Federation of FHS online material
On 2 March at noon (GMT), the FFHS online material at FamilyHistoryOnline will close. While material has been transferred to FindMyPast, a significant amount of data and particularly parish records will no longer be available online.

In this issue:
March seminars
April seminars
NZ BDM access
VIC Wills Index
Federation of FHS online material

Feature article
Orphans in South Australia


Adelaide Proformat
5 Windana Mews
Glandore SA 5037

Tel: +61 8 8371 4465
Fax: +61 8 8374 4479


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

Proformat News acknowledges the support by awe AWE

Orphans in South Australia
Effectively records relating to orphans are subjected to restricted access. Some cannot be accessed until they are 100 years old and some have a permanent embargo on them.

The material held by the government has a 100 year embargo and is located in the State Records of SA collection. There are two sets of records - those relating to the child and those relating to the carer.

When a child was orphaned and no family was prepared to take it in care, the child was placed by the Destitute Persons' Department (GRG 28) and later the State Children's Department (GRG 27) with foster parents. While waiting for a placement or between placements, the child would be placed in an Industrial School. If the child 'misbehaved' they would be placed in a probationary school or reformatory. The other department involved with such children was the Social Welfare Department (GRG 29).

The Industrial School was located at Magill until it was shifted in 1898 to the former girls' reformatory at Glandore and confusingly named the Edwardstown Industrial School (Adelaide Proformat's offices are on this site since subdivided into a community centre and housing estate.) The original girls' reformatory was part of the Destitute Asylum on Kintore Avenue in Adelaide. In 1886 it was relocated to the south wing of the boy's reformatory at Magill and thence to Glandore in 1890. When the Glandore site was rebadged as the Edwardstown Industrial School, the female inmates of the reformatory were sent to the former Redruth Gaol at Burra (pictured below: SLSA B8365) except for the Catholic girls who were already being placed with the Josephite nuns at St Johns Kapunda from 1897.

The boys were also interred at Magill until 1880 when the hulk Fitzjames (pictured above: off Largs Bay with HMCS Protector SLSA B94) was commissioned as a prison ship and moored off Largs Bay and later in the Port River at False Arm. The boys were returned to Magill in 1891 and shared the premises with the Industrial School until it was relocated to Glandore. The Catholic boys were relocated to Father Healy's Home at Brooklyn Park in 1898 following the passage of an Act allowing the establishment of private reformatories. From 1900 a private reformatory was operated in Mount Barker by the Salvation Army.

It is also appropriate to examine lying-in home records where available. These establishments catered for single pregnant women as maternity hospitals and the new born children were either placed into care by private arrangements or entered the state sponsored system. Those women entering the lying-in home conducted by the Destitute Asylum automatically gave up their babes to the state.

1. Records relating to the children concerned are filed as follows and subjected to a 100 year rule
      GRG 27/1: Correspondence (in) files State Children`s Department 1887-1927 with Special List (part open)
      GRG 27/2: Correspondence (out) files State Children`s Department 1887-1927 with Special List (part open)
      GRG 27/5: Ledgers of children boarded out 1862-1921 with Special List (part open)
      GRG 27/6: Index to ledgers of children boarded out 1862-1908 (largely superceded by GRG 27/5 Special List
      GRG 27/9: Register of admissions to the Industrial School 1886-1929 with gaps and with a Special List (part open)
      GRG 27/10: Register of admissions to the Industrial School 1884-1893 with Special List
      GRG 27/11: Rough register of admissions to the Industrial School 1884-1893
      GRG 27/12: Register of admissions to the Roman Catholic Boys Reformatory Brooklyn Park 1895-1908
      GRG 27/13: Register of admissions to the Salvation Army Probationary School for boys Mount Barker 1900-1928
      GRG 27/18: Register of children placed with licensed foster mothers—children 1902-1910 with Special List (part open)
      GRG 28/6: Ledger of children boarded out by the Destitute Persons' Department 1855-1867
      GRG 28/7: Register of children apprenticed, adopted or licenced to service 1862-1872
      GRG 28/8: Account book of money received and deposited on behalf of indentured children 1862-1872
      GRG 28/9: Register of admissions to the Industrial School, Boys Reformatory and Girls Reformatory 1862-1882 with Index at GRG 28/10
      GRG 28/12: Register of admissions to the Reformatory Hulk Fitzjames 1879-1893
      GRG 28/110: Register of admissions to the Boys Reformatory 1877-1943
      GRG 28/33: List of children forwarded from the Destitute Asylum to the Roman Catholic Orphanage 1867-1869
      GRG 29/121: Mandates committing children to the care of the State Children's Department 1880-1930 (part open)
      GRG 29/162: Alphabetical lists of children 1869-1969 (part open)
      GRG 29/171: Minutes of the Boarding-out Committee of the State Children's Council 1895-1900
      GRS 3822: Nominal list of orphans and deserted children taken out of the Destitute Asylum 1855-1861 with Special List
      GRS 4472: State ward index cards 1900-1992 (part open)

2. Records relating to the carers are subjected to a 100 year rule
      GRG 27/1: Correspondence files State Children`s Department 1887-1927 (part open)
      GRG 27/2: Correspondence (out) files State Children`s Department 1887-1927 with Special List (part open)
      GRG 27/6: Index to ledgers of children boarded out 1862-1908 (contains a list of guardians)
      GRG 27/14: Register of applications and licences issued to keep lying-in homes 1900-1910 (part open)
      GRG 27/15: Reports by Inspectresses of Lying-in Homes 1899-1910 (previously open and now closed under the Adoption Act)
      GRG 27/16: Foster mothers - record of licences granted 1900-1910 (part open)
      GRG 27/17: Register of children placed with licensed foster mothers—mothers 1886-1910 (part open)
      GRG 27/19: Reports by inspectress of licenced foster mothers and wetnurses1881-91; 1898-99; 1901-2; 1908-9 (part open)
      GRG 28/10: Destitute Board; Destitute Persons` Department & index to admissions to the Industrial School 1863-1885
      GRG 28/14: Reports on applicants for admission to the Lying-in Home 1900-1922 (these records may name a father - part open)
      GRG 28/15: Register of foster mothers and foster children 1883-85

In the case of part closed records the archivist will let you look at the pages up to the start of the embargoed period only. To look at closed records requires the permisison of the record owner.

If the child never got into the government system there will not be anything to find! It is very difficult to assess records regarding orphans in non-Government custody regardless of their age as the owners are disinclined to allow it. An attempt to access an unmarried man, the product of a well-known Catholic Orphanage who was killed in WWI in heroic circumstances and who had no family whatsoever failed when the request was refused.

In January 1904 according to Geoffrey H. Manning; A Colonial Experience there were 1,364 children under the control of the State Children's Department. In the various schools and reformatories there were 248 children, while 1,116 were what was officially known as placed out, that is they were in private homes under the supervision of the State Children's Council. The seven establishments under the auspices of the council and the number of the inmates at the time were: Industrial School, 58 boys and girls; Magill Reformatory (pictured: SLSA B9338), 50 boys; Brooklyn Park Reformatory, 33 girls; Probationary School, Woodville, 30 girls; Mount Barker Reformatory, 35 boys; Redruth Reformatory, 27 girls and Kapunda Reformatory, 15 girls.

Reading the material listed above gives a good idea of the terrible lives many of these children led often through no fault of their own other than they had already gone through the trauma of losing their parents.

Adoption was legalised in 1925 with the Adoption of Children Act and researchers will find a similar start up date across much of the Commonwealth with NZ being an early starter with legislation in place in 1895. Prior to the implementation of the Act, the appropriate term used should be fostering rather than adoption. Accessing adoption records is unavailable to all but the parties concerned and that access level is rather dependant on when the adoption took place and the wishes of the parties inv loved. As far as South Australia is concerned the records are held at State Records of SA:

      GRGS/711 Adoption files - Adelaide 1926–1979
      GRGS/712 Adoption files - Country 1926–1967
      GRGS/10635 Adoption files - Youth Court 1976–2004
To unsubscribe send a blank email via the following link using the same address you subscribed to: