9: Coming to grips with FamilySearch WEA Centre
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6: Coming to grips with FamilySearch WEA Centre
Adelaide 10:00 to 1:00pm
See the seminar program
for more details.
S&N and The Genealogist
You Think You Are? Magazine published by the BBC ran an independent
review of all the genealogy subscription services in their October
issue. TheGenealogist.co.uk was the top rated web site and
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Genealogist then please consider doing so via this newsletter.
New material on the site includes:
• PCC Wills & Probate Records additional records bringing
the total number of records to 460,000+ searchable by name, year of
will, year of probate, area and profession.
• Dorset and Devon Parish Record transcripts added for Dorset
(now 60,000+ individuals from 1658–1839. Devon (now nearly 40,000
individuals) from 1538–1837.
• Overseas Marine/Maritime Deaths aboard British registered
have 25,000+ additional records, with images bringing the total number
to over 210,000.
New on ScotlandsPeople
Catholic Parish Registers – baptisms
Marriage Index 1934–2006
an ancestor’s occupation can often reveal much about the life
style of their family and explain many of the major decisions, such
as migration, taken during their lifetime. Determining an occupation
is not always as easy as it may seem and although we think an occupation
may cover a working life, in fact many men and women changed occupations
during their life. The majority may have been closely related but
this is not necessarily so. There are examples of emigrants stating
a false occupation to gain assisted passage to South Australia. In
my own family background, a farm labourer was in a position to purchase
land to the value of £1000 within months of arrival in the colony
as an assisted passenger. Possibly the easiest way to determine a
male person’s occupation during their earlier years of marriage
is to locate their marriage certificate and then follow though looking
at each child’s birth certificate. We have to accept that very
few women took on paid occupation and the overwhelming majority of
those who did gave it up at marriage to raise a family or because
their employer did not employ married women. In the UK we can pursue
occupations throughout a person’s life via the census records.
S&N and The Genealogist
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Tel: +61 8 8371 4465
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Adelaide Proformat uses
Genealogist - for UK census, BMD indexes and more online simply because it contains quality data checked by experts.
Proformat News acknowledges the support by
South Australia there are a number of repositories holding occupational
records. For government employees, the researcher needs to attend
the Reading Room at State Records of SA, while the State
Library may hold records of people employed by private businesses.
Both institutions have online catalogues that can assist this process,
however, these catalogues are unlikely to name the employees and the
best you can expect is the name of the employer. The researcher will
have to trawl through the records themselves.
This is a case where the researcher has to have some previous idea
of the trade or profession of the target person. For example if you
already know that a person was a teacher in SA before 1961 then the
index of teachers maintained by the University of South
Australia [Ed: since closed] would be the starting point although apart from naming
the school, the index has no value in that it provides no more information
about the individual.
The records held by State
Records vary in the level of disclosure from department to
department. Use the search engine to see whether a department ‘s
employee records are available. One cannot expect to locate recent
records as many are embargoed. For example a search using the terms
as pictured: railway AND employee. brought up the SAR employee
files 1941 to 1986, Series GRS/8161. Clicking on the ID on the results
page reveals that the public cannot access this material. However,
GRS/115: Chronological lists of agreements concerning apprenticeships,
retirements, leases, leases of railway cottages, memoranda of transfer,
etc is available for public perusal, and that strengthens the
need to undertake comprehensive searches. On the other hand GRG42/131:
Staff Register South Australian Railways 1853–1913
is open for public inspection.
Look for employee records from the Post and Telegraph Department,
the Government Printer, Port Augusta Hospital, Engineering and Water
Supply Department, the former District Council of Blanchetown, later
Swan Reach, Department of Mines, Railway employees’ record of
war service, etc.
For government employees in the earliest days of the colony, the records
of the Chief Secretary’s Office may hold the record as with
GRG24/80: Pay list for labourers employed on survey of SA 1839–1840.
Government records also contain personal information about the citizenry.
Consider the circumstances of your target family and what contacts
they may have had with the bureaucracy that required them to give
personal information—for example, were they admitted to an institution,
did their children attend a state school? Look for personal information
in hospital, asylum and gaol records, seek out school admission registers.
The private sector employee records are held by the State
Library, but unlike the government collection where departments
are required by law to deposit records it relies on businesses voluntarily
depositing their records and that makes finding records rather hit
and miss. Larger businesses are more likely to deposit records whereas
Mr Jones, the corner butcher is very unlikely to deposit any records
anywhere! In the catalogue search the Archival & manuscript collections.
Using the term employee will reveal SA Gas Company employee
records 1909–1984. Perry Engineering, Penfolds Wines, Balfours,
GMH, and Coldstream are among the companies depositing their records
with the State Library. If the business concerned is known then a
name search is the more effective way to produce a result.
The State Library also holds a collection of Parliamentary Papers
and there are many entries relating to public servants. The material,
on open shelves, is not indexed and the researcher needs to trawl
through the books. Start by looking at Parliamentary Paper No
2 each year as this issue normally listed the public servants
of the day. Shelved nearby are the SA Government Gazettes
and many appointments of public servants are listed. For teachers
and police, locate those departments’ gazettes but do not overlook
the records held in the State records collection. The library also
holds a good collection of commercial directories and some listings
include the business or occupation. Directories are increasingly becoming
more accessible as ArchiveCD
Books produce searchable CD scans of these (and other) publications.
Whilst in the State Library one should check for published employee
records, businesses and biographies such as JL Hoad, Hotels and
publicans of South Australia 1836–1984, South Australian
land owners 1835–1841 [CD]: official returns of the
ownership of country sections within Adelaide and the immediate region
compiled by Graham Jaunay, GJ Drew, Burra miners 1860–1865,
Pictured: Government Gazette 1849, Police Gazettes
of the 1860s and Boorthby's 1870 Directory.
The National Archives of Australia hold records pertaining to employees
of the Commonwealth. The collection also includes good records relating
to crews of shipping into Australian ports
The Commonwealth of Australia Gazette contains appointments
in all departments including the armed forces. For employees in the
first half of the 20th century, the annual publication, List of
permanent officers of the Commonwealth Public Service is a useful
Do not ignore specialist and regional archives, museums and libraries.
Many are listed on Adelaide Proformat's web
For a comprehensive listing of some specific employment records held
in major collections, the reader is referred to AG Peake, Sources
for South Australian History [2nd Ed].
While this newsletter concentrates on South Australian records, it
would be remiss not to look at sourcing occupational records in the
UK as many of us eventually turn our research to this part of the
world. A good place to start is with the link list supplied by GENUKI
and of course the Census returns are a useful resource. Gareth
Hicks also provides a comprehensive occupations list to assist
research, and some links to other useful sites. [Ed: Hicks site no longer available.]
Many different occupations and trades have made provision for archiving
employment records, some of which can be viewed online, like the British
Telecom archives and the Mills archive for Millers
and Milling.The Guildhall library manuscripts section has
published information leaflets as a guide to records held including
those for many occupations, and this can be viewed online.
The National Archives also provides online
leaflets regarding some occupations, for example Nursing
Services and Armed Forces.
For a wider perspective look at Cyndi’s
List. It is well worth browsing through the list for the
individual occupation of interest.
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