2: Introduction to FH research (over 7 weeks
with sessions of 1.5 hrs each), WEA Centre Adelaide,
8:00 to 9:30pm
5: Family History on the Web, WEA Centre Adelaide,
10:00am to 1:00pm
11: Identifying and dating 19th century photos,
WEA Centre Adelaide, 7:00 to 10:00pm
27: Coming to grips with FamilySearch, WEA
Centre Adelaide, 10:00am to 1:00pm
None programmed at this time.
See the seminar program
for more details and bookings.
NAA Adelaide Office
The NAA Adelaide Office Reading Room at Angas Street will close on
9 March 2011 and reopen at the State Records Adelaide Reading Room
in Leigh Street on 1 April. Persons requiring access to NAA material
during this period will have to make arrangements with the NAA prior
to 9 March.
The new Adelaide office will be staffed by an Assistant Director supported
by three Archives officers. When full co-location is achieved, the
Archives Darwin Director, Phyllis Williams, will take responsibility
for the Adelaide Office.
The opening date for the Collinswood Reading Room is unknown at this
stage and until that happens records will have to be brought into
Leigh Street for users. Just how long this will take is also unknown
at this stage and it may be appropriate to call the new office when
planning a visit.
Australian Heritage Week
The Commonwealth Government has declared 14 to 20 April as Australian
Heritage Week. As part of the celebrations, Graham Jaunay will be
leading a heritage walk around Semaphore entitled. Esplanade and
shops, on behalf of The Friends of SA Archives. If you
are interested in joining in this walk, additional details will be
available by sending an email to Adelaide Proformat.
In past years HistorySA has sponsored a week on activities
at the end of May designated History Week. The week embraces all of
May this year as part of the 175 anniversary of European settlement.
Graham Jaunay on behalf of the WEA is operating a number
of seminars and walks. Details in the next newsletter or on the WEA
NAA Adelaide Office
Australian Heritage Week
Sanctity of the published word
Glandore SA 5037
Tel: +61 8 8371 4465
• Drafting charts
• Locating documents
• Seminar presentations
• Writing & publishing
• SA lookup service
• Ship paintings
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
of the published word
Many mistakenly think that, just because the material is presented
in a published form, it must always be correct. In the context of
this article published means any form of distribution, be it in books,
fiche, CDs or on the web.
It has been established that some have even knowingly published false
material. Such charlatans were rife in the mid to late nineteenth
century. The scam worked like this—a fraudster would locate
a wealthy individual and approach that person with information to
the effect that while doing some research they discovered their victim
was related to someone in recent history who was quite important socially—a
member of the lesser royals or any noble family or perhaps someone
quite famous like Wellington, Nelson, Darwin or such like. For just
a few pounds the crook could provide a chart or forged documents
the link. Now even up to the stage when the victim purchased the material,
no significant harm had been done to any, but the gullible purchaser.
The problem arises when that person decides to disseminate the new
information, that is they decide to publish! Now publishing can be
a simple as submitting the material to a publication like Debrett's
Peerage, a regular, highly esteemed directory of the upper crust
in society outlining their family history. Highly esteemed by the
upper crust but treated with great suspicion by any able family historian!
Some even went as far as to have a book produced. Compilers of family
histories who borrow from previously published genealogies without
verifying their documentation help to perpetuate false information.
You can visit page after page on the Internet seeing this wholesale
copying with little or no regard for correctness.
In a class of his own has to be Gustaf Ludvig Ljungberg who operated
under the alias of Gustave Anjou (1863–1942) who forged genealogical
records for his unsuspecting customers. His main targets were New
England families desirous of being more important than they were and
had too much spare money (up to USD9000). Many publications contain
this material tainting the lineages of over 2000 common American surnames.
It is thought that many books resided in prominent respectable family
history libraries including Salt Lake City waiting to ambush unwary
researchers! Over 300 such books are listed at Fraudulent
Anjou is not alone, fraud ranges from a simple tweaking of a family
chart prior to publication through to people like William Horn of
Kansas who managed to con newspapers in the 1930s to publishing his
false material about people including fake diaries, court records
and old maps.They were notable for their great level of detail, especially
concerning the lives of the common people. Because the material appeared
to supply information about famous historical figures and to fill
gaps in existing historical knowledge, they were received enthusiastically.
Have you ever received a letter in the mail from a company who claims
to have done extensive work around the world on the history of your
surname? Perhaps they have produced a wonderful book with a title
like, The World book of Jaunays, that purports to trace the
history of the surname back in time. These family surname history
books are little more than glorified telephone books, but the people
listed often have no relationship to one another. Companies such as
Halberts of Bath have been prosecuted and shut down for just
such fraud. More importantly, there is a chance that such material
may be taken up by unsuspecting readers and disseminated as their
family. Similar items to watch out for include family history and
surname origin scrolls and plaques. These provide only a generic history
or surname origin of some of the families that carry the surname in
question, but nothing on any specific family. Basically, any company
who suggests that a mass-produced item is part of a customer's individual
family history is misrepresenting genealogy.
A headstone could be considered a publication! Just east of Brachina
Gorge in South Australia’s north is the isolated grave of infant
Emma Smith who died early in the state’s colonial history. What
a strange place to bury an infant! Well away from any settlement or
road. Her parents were presumed to be carting copper to Port Augusta
by bullock wagon according to the National Parks monument placed on
her grave which still bears the original headstone. Unfortunately
the weathering has removed every scrap of text from it. Research reveals
that Emma is more likely to be the daughter of the storekeeper at
Youncoona, James Smith, whose store/eating house was located about
600m from the grave site. No trace of the store remains nor is there
much evidence left that grave was on the main road south to Port Augusta
from Blinman. Almost everyone that visits this remote site goes away
without the thought that the plaque may be wrong.
Others have published the material from their very early researching,
only to later find that it was not quite correct. A person once submitted
some material on the Jaunay family to the LDS website, FamilySearch.
He later discovered more information and resubmitted new material
and to his dismay discovered the old version was also retained giving
the impression of two people sharing the name with distinctly differing
origins! To this day, some forty years later the family have tried
to correct that mistake, but to no avail.
Jaunay entry in the LDS Ancestral file at familysearch.org
Researchers can make significant mistakes when they do not take the
time to search for original documents, but merely take a previous
researcher’s work as correct. Unfortunately the great bulk of
readily available material is compiled and therefore should only be
used as a guide to research. It must be confirmed by seeking out the
primary sources. This stance is not putting down the good work done
by many diligent people who tried their best given that they had to
abstract and transcribe from original documents while on a research
A thorough researcher will always attempt to verify material and any
researcher worth their salt always confirms findings in any secondary
source with reference to the primary source. To be absolutely certain,
a researcher really needs to locate two independent sources as, of
course, primary sources can also be at error. This becomes especially
important as your work goes back in time and you eventually find your
work centred on a small village populated by numerous people all sporting
the same names! Thus if you find a baptism date via the IGI you need
check the entry by referring to the film of the original baptism register
which can be processed for you at your local LDS centre. An independent
source that collaborates this entry may be a record in a family diary
or a baptism certificate issued by the parish priest. Of course often
you will count yourself lucky to find just one reference to the event!
Just as a published fact can be wrong, an omission in the record does
not mean that the event did not occur! An omission may merely be just
that, but on the other hand perhaps the record is held by another
jurisdiction. A search of the published civil registration indexes
that fails to find a person is not an indication that the event did
not occur, rather that the event was not registered. For example it
is well known that many South Australian children born to Catholics,
the Irish or the Scottish were not registered prior to 1875 but often
their baptism can be located. Many remote deaths were never registered,
but can be found in other records such as police journals, interstate
estate records and inquest files. Some events occurring near colonial
and state border get reported in the adjacent state/colony.
So if you have a tendency to copy anything out of a book or from the
Internet then beware. Even if the item cites primary source, it should
not be used as a reference. Rather you need to then progress to that
primary resource. In all cases the secondary material you locate should
be used as a stepping off point to find an ancestor. Even if the work
you use contains reference, it may not be correct. There are mistakes
in many published papers, books and websites.
How many times do you repeat what your grandparent told you as fact?
Can you prove it? Stories are wonderful and an essential part of any
family history, but remember they are only stories until backed up
with evidence. Repeat them by all means but make sure they are clearly
indicated to be stories or myths.
In early December 2010, the FamilySearch website pilot site
took over from the long standing old format. The change does not just
relate to a new format but also to a significant amount of newly digitised
data. This free site remains one of the most significant for Australian
researchers seeking their British and European ancestry.
At the time of writing this newsletter a significant number of features
have not been transferred over and so it is appropriate to continue
to visit the old site and that can be done by clicking on the button
at the bottom right of the page. Significant features yet to be transferred
include, the so-called 1881 British Census that is in fact the English
Census and the Pedigree Resource File
In the meantime it would be appropriate to download the 24 page document
outlining the new version. Just click on the image at top right of
the new home page. This document will outline how to navigate the
new site to find the old features that have been transferred. It also
details the changes and, sadly, outlines some of the previously useful
features that have been discontinued. The future of Hugh Wallis' excellent
is very much up in the air. His site is of course useful in determining
which parish records in Britain have been filmed and for what periods.
It is the appropriate gateway into the FamilySearch site when the
visitor knew the precise location of the ancestors.
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