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logoProformat News                  ISSN 1833-9514
No 9
Nov 2006

December seminars
Graham Jaunay has no seminars or talks scheduled for December.

LDS web site
The LDS Church have announced a major upgrade to their site will come in effect in 2007. They have also announced that they plan to digitise their 2.4M reels of film and make them accessible online. This massive project is expected to take between five and twenty years.
Work started on digitising Church of Wales records in September with Monmouth diocese. These records will enventually be accessed via

Old handwriting
Following the article in the October issue of AFTC, the new booklet, How to read old handwriting has been selling well. If you want a copy, contact Gould Genealogy.

Star surname index
The Star series of newspapers In Lincolnshire started on 26 October 1889 as the North Lindsey Star. It underwent a series of name changes. The North Lincolnshire Reference Library has an online index of the surnames appearing in this publication for the period 1891–1945

In this issue:

• December seminars
• LDS web site
• Old handwriting
• Star surname index

Parish Registers in SA

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Parish Registers In SA

As suggested in a previous newsletter, if you cannot find an entry in the BDM Indexes or District Registrars' material you still have the opportunity to search parish registers for baptisms, marriages or burials. If you are searching an era before civil registration started in mid 1842 then parish registers are your main focus for such records.
Most denominations in the state (including those with their own archive) have appointed the State Library of SA as their official archive and this repository holds their registers for public inspection. The material, largely microforms, can be found in other repositories and particularly at the SA Genealogy & Heraldry Society.
Anglican Church
A Church of England priest, Charles Beaumont Howard, was appointed Colonial Chaplain in 1836 and it is his records, the registers of Holy Trinity, that dominate the records for the pre-civil registration period. Although Anglican, the Colonial Chaplain was responsible for all the citizens as the church in SA was never granted the status enjoyed by its English counterpart as the Established Church. Despite this many early settlers were accustomed to the Anglican Church being the Established Church and treated the organisation as such. Indeed the Hardwicke Marriage Act had only recently been repealed in England and many non-conformists will have still thought the only legal marriages could be performed by Anglican priests. Others, with no religious representation, sought the sacramental services of this church.
Lutheran Church
The Lutheran Church was established in November 1838 and its records are held exclusively in its own archive.
Other early denominations
A number of other churches ministered to the needs of the first colonists but very few of these early records survive. The Baptist Church held its first meeting in mid 1838 but the earliest surviving records date from 1850. Catholics were serviced from Sydney with visits by itinerant priests until the first resident priest, William Benson arrived in January 1842 but records date from 1839. Wesleyan Methodists (established January 1837) and Congregationalists (established December 1837) were in the colony from the beginning but very few records survive. The Presbyterian Church was established in October 1839 and reflected the schisms of Scotland in that the first congregation under Ralph Drummond followed the Secession Church teachings, the second congregation was established in August 1842 as Church of Scotland with minister, Robert Haining and the third in March 1850 represented the Free Church. Quakers and Jews were also early arrivals in the colony but no records survive the pre-civil registration era.
All other denominations arrived after the establishment of civil registration.
After mid 1842
The introduction of civil registration did not mean that churches stopped recording baptisms, marriages and burials and these records can still fill in gaps in the civil record. Do not expect these records to provide any more information than that found in the BDM Registry.
Other sources
There are other sources available that may reveal records that cannot be located in the BDM Registry due to a failure to register or falling within the embargoed period:
Birth/baptism—newspaper personal notices, institutional admission register, school records, published family histories.
Marriage—newspaper personal notices, land title, published family histories.
Death/burial—newspaper personal notices, land title, burial register, probate file, published family histories.
To understand and access the records
• Andrew Guy Peake, Sources for South Australian History 2nd ed, Adelaide 1998 has a comprehensive chapter on the topic of church records.
• Reg Butler and Alan Phillips, Register Personal Notices Vol 1 1836–1859; Vol 2 1860–1865; Vol 3 1866–1870, Adelaide 1989–1991 list newspaper personal notices from the Register only.
• the State Library of SA catalogue can be searched to determine deposited parish records: type into subject catalogue denomination and location as in uniting church croydon. The State Library as a legal deposit library also has an extensive collection of newspaper personal notices and published family histories.
• the SA Genealogy & Heraldry collection of parish registers can be determined via their in-house publication, Microform Guide, Adelaide 1998. They also maintain a collection of newspaper personal notices, cemetery records and published family histories. This library holds the Catholic parish records. They are available at the Catholic Archives but public access is discouraged by Catholic authorities.
• Graham Jaunay, Pre-civil Registration Births; Pre-civil Registration Marriages; Pre-civil Registration Deaths [3 CDs], is a compilation of all known pre-civil registration records. Index available online. The CD, Unregistered deaths may also assist to locate deaths reported in various media that seem to have no corresponding entry at the BDM Registry.
• The International Genealogical Index [IGI] maintained by the LDS Church has limited records relating to SA parishes. A slightly larger collection has been filmed and is located in the Family History Library [FHL] collection.

It should be noted that a number of churches have their own archives but apart from those mentioned in the text above, they largely deal with administration of the church rather than the records pertaining to this topic. Some of these archives collections are detailed on the Adelaide Proformat site. You can also search for deposited parish registers and registers filmed by the LDS, a new page launched in conjunction with this newsletter.

Remember while secondary sources are a good starting point—a wise researcher will always confirm the material by looking up the primary record!

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