Ancestry.com.au Blog » New Zealand http://blogs.ancestry.com/au Where family history comes alive Mon, 06 Jul 2015 02:53:06 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.5.2 National Family History Month 2015http://blogs.ancestry.com/au/2015/06/17/national-family-history-month-2015/ http://blogs.ancestry.com/au/2015/06/17/national-family-history-month-2015/#comments Wed, 17 Jun 2015 02:54:00 +0000 Ancestry.com.au http://blogs.ancestry.com/au/?p=2594 National Family History Month (NFHM) is an initiative of the Australasian Federation of Family History Organisations (AFFHO). NFHM has been an annual event since August 2006 when it was celebrated during the first week of August. Due to its ever increasing popularity, NFHM was increased to the whole month of August from 2013. For individuals… Read more

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National Family History Month (NFHM) is an initiative of the Australasian Federation of Family History Organisations (AFFHO). NFHM has been an annual event since August 2006 when it was celebrated during the first week of August. Due to its ever increasing popularity, NFHM was increased to the whole month of August from 2013.

National Family History Month

For individuals researching their family history, it is a great opportunity to participate in events that may be happening near where they live and in recent years, there has also been a variety of online events too.

For genealogy and family history societies it is a time to promote your society to the hundreds of thousands of people across Australia who are researching their genealogy and family history and to help them understand the social context within which their ancestors lived. Reports from previous years indicate that many societies gain new members during August while participating in NFHM activities.

Why not join in the fun of National Family History Month?

Societies do not need to be a member of AFFHO to participate. Participation can be as simple as calling your August monthly meeting a NFHM meeting, or one of your library open days a NFHM open day and entering the event/s onto the NFHM web calendar. Or you can organise a special event such as a book launch, seminar, beginners session or anything else associated with genealogy and family history. Archives and libraries are also welcome to participate in NFHM and by adding your events to the NFHM web calendar many more people will see your events and help to make your events even more successful. Many archives and libraries are regular hosts of NFHM events in August but it would be wonderful if there were even more.

Individuals can see what is happening near them by visiting the events page for their state and then checking for their postcode, but also check surrounding postcodes because some events may be worth the travel time. Remember too that there are online events that you can do in the comfort of your own homes.

NFHM has some great sponsors and in 2015 our major sponsors are AFFHO and Ancestry and the National Archives of Australia is again the launch sponsor. In addition there are numerous prize sponsors who have donated prizes for both societies and individuals. Ancestry is also a prize sponsor with 10 twelve month subscriptions to World Heritage for individuals to win. Click here to read more about Ancestry subscriptions on offer!

This year there is a special bonus prize for societies who enter their event/s before 30 June 2015. Please see the NFHM Home page for terms and conditions and the Sponsors page for details of all the prizes and sponsors.

Genealogy and family history societies with events in the NFHM web calendar are automatically entered into the prize draw and individuals can enter from 1 August 2015 up until midnight on 27 August 2015. The prize draw will be on 29 August.

Why not Like the NFHM Facebook page and see all the latest news. Let us all join together to make NFHM 2015 the biggest and best NFHM yet!

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Help! Why can’t I find my ancestor’s surname?http://blogs.ancestry.com/au/2015/05/05/help-why-cant-i-find-my-ancestors-surname/ http://blogs.ancestry.com/au/2015/05/05/help-why-cant-i-find-my-ancestors-surname/#comments Tue, 05 May 2015 06:31:19 +0000 Ancestry.com.au http://blogs.ancestry.com/au/?p=2569 Guest blog by historian Carol Baxter; www.carolbaxter.com If you were researching the surname Staff, would it occur to you to look for Huff? At the Australasian Genealogical Congress in March 2015, an attendee mentioned the surname Staff. The expectation seemed to be that there weren’t too many ways in which this surname could be spelt… Read more

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Guest blog by historian Carol Baxter; www.carolbaxter.com

If you were researching the surname Staff, would it occur to you to look for Huff?

At the Australasian Genealogical Congress in March 2015, an attendee mentioned the surname Staff. The expectation seemed to be that there weren’t too many ways in which this surname could be spelt thereby ensuring that it would be easy to find. Nothing could be further from the truth. Let’s begin with some background information about surnames.

We live in a literate, bureaucratic world so we tend to think about surnames as groups of written letters. However, prior to the universal literacy of the late 1800s, a large portion of the population was illiterate. And, to state the obvious, the portion of illiterate people increases the further back we travel in time. That being the case, the ordinary person did not perceive surnames as groups of written letters. In fact, the illiterate in the community had no sense of surnames as letters. This is what writing must have looked like to the average person:

Carol Baxter what writing looked like

To the community in general, surnames were groups of spoken sounds. So, it is critical that family historians rid themselves of the notion that their ancestors’ surnames had fixed spellings (indeed, Shakespeare – who must be considered the epitome of literacy – apparently spelt his own surname in six different ways). By thinking that surnames have a single consistent spelling, we limit our ability to find our ancestors’ entries under different spellings.

Back to Staff. The first point to observe is that it reflects a meaningful word. When a scribe heard a person pronouncing a surname, he attempted to find meaningfulness* in the groups of sounds he heard. He searched his mental lexicon for a word or surname that matched this group of sounds and, in this instance, pulled out the meaningful word staff.

However, the spelling staff is not the most likely phonetic* spelling for this group of sounds. And phonetics is what the scribe drew upon when he didn’t instantly find a word in his mental lexicon. As the most common spelling for the vowel sound in staff is ‘ar’*, the most obvious phonetic spelling for this group of sounds is:

Starf

Would we find this variant if we were searching for Staff? There are four ways in which we locate surnames when we conduct genealogical research. Let’s simplify them to four terms so we can readily assess them in our analysis of this surname’s variants. We:

  1. Eyeball a source: that is, we scan a historical source by eyesight alone;
  2. Use an Index: that is, we search a strict alphabetical index or one that  groups surnames by their first letter;
  3. Use a Wildcard search: that is, we use a search function that allows us to replace letters with a question-mark or asterisk so as to readily find spelling variants; and/or
  4. Use a Soundex search: that is, we use a surname grouping algorithm like Soundex*, which is employed by some online databases to assist in finding surname variants. Soundex is only one of the algorithms used by online databases; however, the purpose here is to communicate the likelihood of a variant coming up in such an online surname search so Soundex provides a simple example.

So, would these strategies find the variant Starf?

  1. Eyeball: Yes, if we had an open mind to the possibility of spelling variations.
  2. Index: Probably not because there are dozens of surnames that fall between Staf.. and Star.. (unless the index is small).
  3. Wildcard: Yes, if we searched for ‘St?f’.
  4. Soundex: No, because Soundex generates a code for the internal letter ‘r’ as do other surname grouping algorithms. Staff is coded S310 while Starf is coded S361. This means that these different spellings are not brought up in the same search.

Back to the phonetic spelling Starf. Surnames that end in consonants often replace a single consonant with a double consonant, a pattern regularly found in single syllable surnames like Staff. Sometimes, they even include a silent ‘e’ at the end of the surname*. This gives us:

Starff and Starffe

Would we find these variants?

  1. Eyeball: Yes, if we are open-minded.
  2. Index: No, for the reasons listed above.
  3. Wildcard: Not if there is an ‘e’ on the end.
  4. Soundex: No, for the reasons listed above.

An important piece of linguistic information that surname hunters need to keep in mind is that most consonants have a sound pair*. This is critical information for surname searchers because the letters in sound pairs are often exchanged. The sound pair of ‘f’ is ‘v’ and an example of such a letter exchange is shown in the spellings Oliver and Oliffa; these are listed for the same person in the Biographical Database of Australia. (By the way, in terms of the surname examples used here and in Help! Why can’t I find my ancestor’s surname?, these were drawn from what could be renamed the Biographical Database of British and Irish Criminals. As criminals reflect a random sample of surnames, such variants—and everything else discussed in the Help! book—are of relevance to anyone tracing surnames from England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales.*)

If we replace ‘f’ with ‘v’, this gives us Stavv or Starv or Starvv or Starvve. These endings are not found in the English language for two reasons: we don’t use a double ‘v’ in English words and, at the end of words and surnames, we follow a single ‘v’ with an ‘e’.* So, if a scribe misheard ‘f’ as ‘v’, or if the speaker had a respiratory infection or an adenoidal condition leading them to articulate ‘f’ as ‘v’, the scribe could have drawn a meaningful word from his mental lexicon as follows:

Starve

Would we find this variant in our search for Staff?

  1. Eyeball: Unlikely, unless we had a linguistics degree or understood sound pairs;
  2. Index: No.
  3. Wildcard: No.
  4. Soundex: No. While Soundex does recognise that ‘f’ and ‘v’ are sound pairs and, accordingly, would bring up Staff and Stave in the same search, the coded ‘r’ means that Staff and Starve generate different Soundex codes.

Not all surname variants reflect meaningful words, of course. But, in the same way that jurors likes to have a motive if they are to convict a criminal, a scribe is more likely to have produced an odd variant if it made sense to him in one way or another. However, it is also important to remember that the type of meaningful error depends on the nature of the historical source we are using.

In Help! Why can’t I find my ancestor’s surname?, I discuss the importance of understanding the difference between an original source and a derivative source from the perspective of the general errors that are produced. In our surname searches, it is essential that we understand the difference between these types of sources from the perspective of the surname ‘errors’ we encounter. If we are dealing with an original source, the surname ‘errors’ mainly centre upon the mis-hearing of sounds. When we are dealing with a derivative source (an index or transcription, etc.), we are also dealing with the mis-reading of letters.

After we have broken down our surnames into letters and sounds (a strategy discussed in Help! Why can’t I find my ancestor’s surname?), we turn to Part 2 of the Help! book to find information about the individual letters in our surname of interest or to Part 3 to find information about the vowel sounds in our surname of interest. Most of us will have already worked out that the vowels in surnames are the most likely letters to experience changes. Sometimes, this involves a vowel sound change* while on other occasions it involves a mis-reading of the letter itself*.

Having separated Staff into its component parts, we go to Part 2 and look at the letter ‘A’. We find that lower-case ‘a’ can be misread as ‘u’. The table below lists some of the  letter substitutions for lower case ‘a’ along with an example of surname variants for the same person that show such a substitution; it also provides the reason for such a substitution. Tables for upper case and lower case letter substitutions are provided for each letter of the alphabet in the Help! book.

When ‘a’ is misinterpreted as ‘u’ (a common mistranscription), it gives us the meaningful word:

Stuff

Would we find a surname written this way?

  1. Eyeball: Almost certainly.
  2. Index: No, because Sta.. and Stu.. are too far apart.
  3. Wildcard: Yes.
  4. Soundex: Yes.

At this point we have moved from looking at changes at the end of a surname to changes in the middle. Importantly, though, letter changes at the start of a surname create the greatest problems for surname searchers. Why?

  1. Eyeball: Because we focus a lot of our attention on the first letter of a surname when we are searching for our surnames of interest, so a surname that has a different first letter will be hard to spot.
  2. Index: Because we will not find a surname listed under a different first letter.
  3. Wildcard: Because we try to use the first letter of a surname as a bookend or, otherwise, the search produces too many surname choices.
  4. Soundex: Because most surname grouping algorithms begin their code with the first letter of the surname.

For the surname Staff, when we look at the table documenting possible capital ‘S’ substitutions (page 201 in Help! Why can’t I find my ancestor’s surname), we notice that ‘St’ is sometimes mis-transcribed as ‘H’. The variants Startup and Hartup are offered as examples (remember, these are real examples found for the same person). If a transcriber misreads ‘St’ as ‘H’ (which can happen when the ‘S’ lacks much of a curve), and if a transcriber also misreads ‘a’ as ‘u’ (because the original clerk did not ‘close’ the top of the ‘a’), the result can be:

Huff

This type of multiple letter mistranscription is often found in the database (I’ll discuss other examples in future newsletters). In this instance, it could easily happen because the result again represents a meaningful word. Would we find this variant in any of the four searches we have been discussing? Probably not.

To take this surname further into the realms of the almost unimaginable: think about the word calf or the surname Metcalf. The word calf rhymes with staff but contains a silent ‘l’*. So, if ‘St’ was mistranscribed as ‘H’, and if the first ‘f’ (because of scrappy writing) was mis-interpreted as silent ‘l’, the surname Staff could also be mis-written as the meaningful word:

Half

Let’s now talk about boundary glides*. Imagine that our friend with the surname Staff had the given name James. When we are asked for our name, we don’t tend to say ‘James ………….. Staff’. We say, ‘JamesStaff’. Accordingly, the transcriber could conclude that the person was saying:

James Tarf

Taaffe is, in fact, a Welsh surname.

There are more suggestions I could offer about potential distortions to this particular surname; however, you are probably feeling daunted at the variety of possibilities. Don’t despair. The purpose of Help! Why can’t I find my ancestor’s surname? is to document the type of distortions that surnames can suffer and to show you how to find them. There is, in fact, a method to the seeming madness of most odd surname variants. Think about dart players attempting to hit a dart-board. If they miss, they usually hit a nearby ring. Surnames are similar. When a scribe ‘mis-heard’ a surname, he usually heard a ‘nearby’ sound*. When a transcriber ‘mis-writes’ a letter, he or she usually opts for something that looks similar*. Most surnames variants are therefore predictable when we have an understanding of the sounds and letters of surnames.

Hopefully, this information will have opened your eyes to the potential of finding odd variants for your ancestors’ surnames.

Interestingly, an attendee at the same genealogical conference mentioned that her ancestor’s surname Fonseca had been listed in one source as Fronseca. I asked if he was a convict who had arrived in New South Wales prior to the year 1828. When she replied that he was, I said that I had mentioned the Fonseca/Fransica example in my Help! book (with an explanation as to why the intrusive ‘r’ can be found and what other intrusive letters can be found). I also told her that I had found the man’s surname listed as Vauzaker. The latter variant was news to her!

Having reading this article, you can probably start working out why this odd variant occurred. It involves two sound pair exchanges (f/v and s/z), two letters that have the same sound (c/k), a mistranscription (n/u), and multiple vowel sounds that have different spellings. Most importantly, it is predictable when the surname analysis strategies in Help! are used.

So, go forth and surname hunt. Using these briefly discussed strategies alone, you will probably be amazed at what you will now be able to find.

More detailed information is included in Carol Baxter’s 310-page publication Help! Why can’t I find my ancestor’s surname? (2015).

You many also find Carol’s Surnames cheat sheet useful – click here to find out more.

Carol Baxter, the History Detective, is a Fellow of the Society of Australian Genealogists, an adjunct lecturer at the University of New England (NSW), and a professional writer and speaker. She has written three genealogical ‘how to’ books: Writing INTERESTING Family Histories (2010), Help! Historical and Genealogical Truth: How do I separate fact from fiction? (2015) and Help! Why can’t I find my ancestor’s surname? (2015). She also writes historical ‘true-crime’ thrillers. Her fifth such publication, Black Widow: the true story of Australia’s first female serial killer, will be published by Allen & Unwin in June 2015.

Carol Baxter Help Why Cant I Find my Ancestors Surname

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Top Tips for Searching Marriage Recordshttp://blogs.ancestry.com/au/2014/02/04/top-tips-for-searching-marriage-records/ http://blogs.ancestry.com/au/2014/02/04/top-tips-for-searching-marriage-records/#comments Mon, 03 Feb 2014 23:50:17 +0000 Ancestry.com.au http://blogs.ancestry.com/au/?p=2118 Vital records—records of births, marriage, and death—are the basic building blocks of family history research as they contain lots of information for your family tree. Marriage records can reveal religion and other details like age and place of birth, occupation, residences, and parents’ names. We’ve put together our top search tips to help you make… Read more

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Arge's Wedding

Vital records—records of births, marriage, and death—are the basic building blocks of family history research as they contain lots of information for your family tree.

Marriage records can reveal religion and other details like age and place of birth, occupation, residences, and parents’ names.

We’ve put together our top search tips to help you make the most of our Marriage records.

  • Narrow your search for marriage records by looking at the age and birthplace of the first child. This information can also be found in census records. Start your search a year prior to the child’s birth and gradually widen your search back (and forward) in time until you locate the record. Tracing your ancestor through directories can be helpful as well.
  • Seek out the marriage records for all family members. Information found on the records of siblings may include helpful details that aren’t found on your ancestor’s record.
  • When you find a record in a marriage index, always follow up and request the original record. Click on the database title and the source information and description on the collection page will tell you where the records are held.
  • Keep in mind that when civil registration first began, not everyone complied immediately. When you can’t locate a civil marriage record, look for census records and directories that can place your ancestor in a particular place around the time of the marriage. Then investigate churches in the area where the couple might have been married.
  • Once you find a matching record, save it to your family tree – that way you can provide evidence to back up the info in your family tree, easily share your discover with your family, and quickly find the historical record again later.

What’s your top tip on searching marriage records? Let us know on our Facebook page.

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The tragic first Lions tour 1888http://blogs.ancestry.com/au/2013/06/28/the-tragic-first-lions-tour-1888/ http://blogs.ancestry.com/au/2013/06/28/the-tragic-first-lions-tour-1888/#comments Fri, 28 Jun 2013 02:04:17 +0000 Ancestry.com.au http://blogs.ancestry.com/au/?p=1934 In the spring of 1888, the first Lions tour made its way to Australia, fronted by Robert Lionel Seddon. Born in Salford, Manchester in 1860 to Robert and Ann Seddon (nee Lever), he grew up with four brothers – James, Edwin, Herbert and Arthur, and two sisters – Sarah and Annie. They are shown here… Read more

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In the spring of 1888, the first Lions tour made its way to Australia, fronted by Robert Lionel Seddon. Born in Salford, Manchester in 1860 to Robert and Ann Seddon (nee Lever), he grew up with four brothers – James, Edwin, Herbert and Arthur, and two sisters – Sarah and Annie. They are shown here on the 1881 England Census.

Like many in the Manchester area, Robert and his family worked in the cotton industry, and by the age of 20 Robert had become a Salesman in a warehouse.

An experienced rugby player prior to his voyage to Australia – hence the decision to appoint him as captain – Seddon arrived in Sydney with his teammates on-board the Zealandia at the end of May. Below is a copy of the NSW Passenger List that has the team travelling from New Zealand to Australia.

Standing at over 181 cm tall and weighing in at over 80kg, Robert was somewhat svelte by today’s standards but, on the basis of average heights and weights of the day, he would have been an imposing figure on the field. It’s somewhat difficult to imagine then how a manly man from the north of England could drown boating with friends on the Hunter River at Maitland NSW.

Apparently, Seddon was out on the river with teammates Anderton and Stoddart. Anderton and Stoddart had drifted down the river in an old punt and Seddon had taken off upstream in a row boat.  After a short while his teammates went looking for Seddon and found him dead. The image below is from the NSW, Registers of Coroners’ Inquests, 1796-1942 which shows the Seddon entry. He was just 28 years old.

Seddon was buried at Campbell’s Hill Cemetery in West Maitland, some 10,500 miles from home.

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UK Engineer Records Addedhttp://blogs.ancestry.com/au/2013/06/06/uk-engineer-records-added/ http://blogs.ancestry.com/au/2013/06/06/uk-engineer-records-added/#comments Thu, 06 Jun 2013 00:21:46 +0000 Ancestry.com.au http://blogs.ancestry.com/au/?p=1911 New on the site this week are over 96,000 occupation records from the UK. The UK, Mechanical Engineer Records, 1870-1931 contain documents relating to membership in the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, 1870–1930. They include details such as age, birth date, birth place, education, apprentice details and work experience details. Similarly, the UK, Civil Engineer Records, 1820-1930 detail records of… Read more

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New on the site this week are over 96,000 occupation records from the UK.

The UK, Mechanical Engineer Records, 1870-1931 contain documents relating to membership in the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, 1870–1930. They include details such as age, birth date, birth place, education, apprentice details and work experience details.

Similarly, the UK, Civil Engineer Records, 1820-1930 detail records of members of the Institution of Civil Engineers, 1820-1930. You can find information such as name, birth date, residence, nationality and summary of education in these records.

The UK, Civil Engineer Photographs, 1829-1923 collection showcases over 1600 photographs of members of the Institution of Civil Engineers, so you may even get to see a photograph of your ancestor. The photo shown above even notes that it was taken on this engineer’s 80th birthday!

Have a look and let us know on Facebook if you find your ancestor!

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Bookmarking Ancestry.com.auhttp://blogs.ancestry.com/au/2013/03/01/bookmarking-ancestry-com-au/ http://blogs.ancestry.com/au/2013/03/01/bookmarking-ancestry-com-au/#comments Fri, 01 Mar 2013 01:56:02 +0000 Ancestry.com.au http://blogs.ancestry.com/au/?p=1867 We know many of you visit Ancestry.com.au frequently. To make it even quicker to get to our site, you can add Ancestry to your browser “favourites” so you can access the site in just one click. Adding websites to your Favourites list in your browser is easy. Simply follow the steps below for the browser… Read more

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We know many of you visit Ancestry.com.au frequently. To make it even quicker to get to our site, you can add Ancestry to your browser “favourites” so you can access the site in just one click. Adding websites to your Favourites list in your browser is easy. Simply follow the steps below for the browser you use.

If you use Internet Explorer

Go to www.ancestry.com.au and click on the star icon in the top right corner of your Internet Explorer browser, click Add to Favourites and then click Add.

The next time you want to visit Ancestry, simply open your Internet Explorer Browser, click on the star icon and you will see a link to the Ancestry site. Simply click on the link and begin your family history research.

 

If you use Google Chrome

Go to the Ancestry website using Google Chrome, click on the star icon and give your bookmark a name, like Ancestry.com.au for example. Choose the folder as “Bookmarks Bar” and click done. Next time you open Google Chrome, there will be a link to Ancestry in your bookmark bar. The name will be whatever you chose to call your bookmark. Simply click on it to visit the site and get started on your research.

If you use Firefox

Go to www.ancestry.com.au, click on the star icon and name your bookmark e.g. Ancestry.com.au. Choose the folder “Bookmarks Menu” and click Done. Next time you open Firefox, click on the Bookmarks Menu and there will be a link to Ancestry saved there. The name will be whatever you chose to call your bookmark. Simply click on the link and go to Ancestry.com.au to begin your research.

If you use Safari

Find out more about adding Favourites using Safari here.

 

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Ask Ancestryhttp://blogs.ancestry.com/au/2013/01/30/ask-ancestry/ http://blogs.ancestry.com/au/2013/01/30/ask-ancestry/#comments Wed, 30 Jan 2013 01:03:23 +0000 Ancestry.com.au http://blogs.ancestry.com/au/?p=1844 Do you have a burning question for Ancestry.com.au? Perhaps you’ve hit a brick wall with your research and are not sure what to do next? Ancestry’s Brad Argent will be answering your questions in a new family history Podcast. Simply submit your questions on our Facebook Wall, through our Sticky Notes blog or by emailing… Read more

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Do you have a burning question for Ancestry.com.au? Perhaps you’ve hit a brick wall with your research and are not sure what to do next? Ancestry’s Brad Argent will be answering your questions in a new family history Podcast.

Simply submit your questions on our Facebook Wall, through our Sticky Notes blog or by emailing editor@ancestry.com.au. We’ll do our best to answer as many as possible.

If you are on Twitter, simply post your question on Twitter and use the hashtag #AskAncestryAU. You can also follow Ancestry on Twitter.

We look forward to helping you with your research!

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New UK Civil Divorce Records, 1858-1911http://blogs.ancestry.com/au/2013/01/18/new-uk-civil-divorce-records-1858-1911/ http://blogs.ancestry.com/au/2013/01/18/new-uk-civil-divorce-records-1858-1911/#comments Fri, 18 Jan 2013 01:16:21 +0000 Ancestry.com.au http://blogs.ancestry.com/au/?p=1830 ORIGINALLY AUTHORED BY ANCESTRY.CO.UK It’s a family history conundrum. You don’t like to imagine your ancestors having difficult lives. But every time they hit tricky times they seem to be really well documented, and provide some of your most fascinating discoveries. This is true of Poor Law records. It’s definitely the case with criminal records.… Read more

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ORIGINALLY AUTHORED BY ANCESTRY.CO.UK

It’s a family history conundrum. You don’t like to imagine your ancestors having difficult lives. But every time they hit tricky times they seem to be really well documented, and provide some of your most fascinating discoveries.

This is true of Poor Law records. It’s definitely the case with criminal records. And it crops up again with our new divorce records.

UK, Civil Divorce Records, 1858-1911  are legal records that were made as part of each divorce case. They provide a blow-by-blow account of all the claims and counter-claims that led up to the split. For example, you could find out exactly where and when your great-grand-uncle started an affair – and even who with!

On top of that, the records include an entire history of the marriage before it all went wrong. This could include the date and place of the wedding, details of any children, and even the couple’s different addresses.

That means that not only can you read about your family’s scandals, but you can use all that extra detail to find more of their birth, marriage and death records, and build up your timeline of their lives.

It almost leaves you wishing more of your ancestors had marriage problems!

Search our new divorce records

See all our birth, marriage & death records

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Ancestry app for Android is among Google’s Best of the Best of 2012http://blogs.ancestry.com/au/2013/01/07/ancestry-app-for-android-is-among-googles-best-of-the-best-of-2012/ http://blogs.ancestry.com/au/2013/01/07/ancestry-app-for-android-is-among-googles-best-of-the-best-of-2012/#comments Mon, 07 Jan 2013 00:42:23 +0000 Ancestry.com.au http://blogs.ancestry.com/au/?p=1817 ORIGINALLY AUTHORED BY AARON ORR, ANCESTRY.COM Every year Google reviews thousands of apps and selects their top picks—we’re pleased to share that our Ancestry app for Android is one of Google’s top picks of 2012! A recent update to the Ancestry app for Android introduced hints so members can make new family discoveries from the… Read more

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ORIGINALLY AUTHORED BY AARON ORR, ANCESTRY.COM

Every year Google reviews thousands of apps and selects their top picks—we’re pleased to share that our Ancestry app for Android is one of Google’s top picks of 2012!

A recent update to the Ancestry app for Android introduced hints so members can make new family discoveries from the convenience of their phone or tablet. The app automatically syncs with members’ trees on Ancestry.com.au so they can view or update their tree anywhere.

It’s an honor to be one of Google’s top picks, but we’re not finished yet. We still have a lot of plans to improve the mobile experience and a list of feature requests from our members to work through.

A big thanks to the product and development teams who played a part in the apps making.

Download our FREE app today.

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Member Trees: Merge Duplicate Peoplehttp://blogs.ancestry.com/au/2012/12/11/member-trees-merge-duplicate-people/ http://blogs.ancestry.com/au/2012/12/11/member-trees-merge-duplicate-people/#comments Mon, 10 Dec 2012 22:52:20 +0000 Ancestry.com.au http://blogs.ancestry.com/au/?p=1800 Originally posted by Ancestry.com A lot of people have asked over the years how to clean up duplicates in their Ancestry Member Tree.  If you are one of the people who discovered that your mysterious distant cousin Mary was really the same person as Uncle George’s wife Mary, then you’ll be happy to learn that we… Read more

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Originally posted by Ancestry.com

A lot of people have asked over the years how to clean up duplicates in their Ancestry Member Tree.  If you are one of the people who discovered that your mysterious distant cousin Mary was really the same person as Uncle George’s wife Mary, then you’ll be happy to learn that we have a solution that makes it simple to merge two duplicate people without losing any of the relationships, facts, photos, or stories you’ve entered.

How does it work?

Select one of the duplicate people in your tree

Go to the person’s overview or profile page and from the “More options” menu, select “Merge with duplicate.”

Select the other duplicate person

On the left side of the page, you’ll see the person you’ve already selected. On the right side of the page, you can select the person’s duplicate in a few ways.

  • Select a possible duplicate. We’ll suggest people who might be duplicates (for example if they have the same first and last names and their birth years and birthplaces are similar).
  • Type the person’s name.  If you know the duplicate’s name, simply type it in the field and select the person from a list of individuals who match the name you’ve typed.
  • Select from a list of people. You can browse a list of everyone in your tree and select the correct individual.

Select the facts you want to display

After you’ve chosen the duplicate individuals, they’ll be displayed side-by-side so you can compare the two and choose which facts you want to display for the merged individual.

  • If facts are identical. A same label shows which facts are the same; they’ll be merged into one fact.
  • If facts are different. Both facts will be included in the merge, but you can choose which fact is preferred (the default fact that displays). The other fact will be added as an alternate.
  • If you’re not sure what to do. You can click the Compare button to see more details about the two individuals.

Already, I’ve been able to clean up some of the messiness that existed in my own tree by using this new feature and hope it helps those of you who have been looking for a solution for merging duplicate people in your own tree.

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