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logoProformat News                  ISSN 1833-9514
No 6
Aug 2006

September seminars
Book now for Graham Jaunay's September seminars:

Genealogy on the Web (Woodcroft Library – 8 September)

Introduction to family history research (State Library Adelaide – from 9 September (over three weeks)

Tracing your Scottish ancestors (State Library Adelaide – 19 September

Online genealogical research
Good housekeeping means being an organised researcher off-line with search strategies to improve the likelihood of a successful outcome, online strategies are also important, especially when you take into account the tangled nature of the Internet!

To create a successful research plan, you need to:

  • know what types of resources are available online and a resource checklist is a helpful guide to possible sites of interest.
  • know which sites you’ve visited, and what was the result by maintaining an online research summary and evaluation of new sites.
  • know which sites you need to revisit at a later date (remember that periodic checks for new information and site updates are important) by bookmarking in your favourites file

Using these three elements, you can organise your time online for maximum results.

In this issue:


• September seminars

Online genealogical research

Remember to tick YES to question 60 on Census night, 8 Aug
and save your record for posterity!


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

Online genealogical searches can be grouped into three categories:
  1. Researching compiled materials that are secondary sources.
  2. Researching original documents that are primary sources.
  3. Corresponding with like-minded researchers.

A most useful facility is related to your email facility and is usually known as news or newsgroups. These are forums whereby everyone can access and circulate messages amongst fellows with like interests. Mailing lists work the same way except they are restricted to their members. Probably the most positive feature of the Web is the keenness of participants to assist their fellow travellers.
You can access groups via the mailing lists button at:

The huge number of sites available means you will need help navigating the Web.
Use search engines like:
 Fast Search:
Always use more than one search engine for any comprehensive search and especially if the first search does not produce a result.
Look to the Internet for help sites and mail lists which allow links with other like-minded researchers. The very best link site has to be Cyndi's List of Genealogy Sites, but don’t overlook sites like Helm’s Genealogy Toolbox.
Whatever you find never take it at face value! People make terrible mistakes when they take a researcher's work as gospel truth. The great bulk of material on the Web is compiled and you have no idea how thorough the unknown researcher was and therefore the material should be only be used as a guide to research. It must be confirmed.
There are a growing number of pay-to-view sites holding original records. The following are examples of good practice because they clearly declare what they have to offer you before you part with your money…
British Origins: [English records held by SoG London]
GRO Scotland:
ENG/WLS documents:
<1901 Census: available at
Scottish Documents:
Avoid sites that deny access to an index before payment.

Some good sites have free data and the following sites demonstrate good practice in the way they are set out and the services they provide…
Australian War Memorial:
National Archives of Australia:
Explorer map search (UK):

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