Ancestry.com.au Blog » New records http://blogs.ancestry.com/au Where family history comes alive Tue, 30 Jun 2015 05:44:36 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.5.2 Update to London Workhouse Records, 1659-1930. Over 3.7 million new records!http://blogs.ancestry.com/au/2015/04/09/update-to-london-workhouse-records/ http://blogs.ancestry.com/au/2015/04/09/update-to-london-workhouse-records/#comments Thu, 09 Apr 2015 05:14:06 +0000 Ancestry.com.au http://blogs.ancestry.com/au/?p=2513 Great news, we’re always trying to improve our collections and we’ve updated the London Workhouse Admission and Discharge Records, 1659-1930! We’ve added 303,179 new images [56%] and 3,771,083 [54%] new records, so this collection now has 542,642 images and 7,035,609 records! So, what’s in the update? We’ve added newly indexed workhouse admission and discharge records… Read more

The post Update to London Workhouse Records, 1659-1930. Over 3.7 million new records! appeared first on Ancestry.com.au Blog.

]]>
Great news, we’re always trying to improve our collections and we’ve updated the London Workhouse Admission and Discharge Records, 1659-1930! We’ve added 303,179 new images [56%] and 3,771,083 [54%] new records, so this collection now has 542,642 images and 7,035,609 records! So, what’s in the update?

We’ve added newly indexed workhouse admission and discharge records for poor law unions in the South of London as well as additional records from Central and West. Future updates are planned to include indexed records from the North and East areas of London, so stay tuned! Boroughs Added or Updated:

  • Greenwich
  • Lambeth
  • Lewisham
  • Southwark
  • Tower Hamlets
  • Wandsworth

For many centuries, the task of caring for the poor was left to the Church. Each parish was given an Overseer of the Poor to help with this cause in 1572. Then, in 1601, the Poor Law Act empowered these Overseers to collect a poor rate from wealthier members of the parish, and distribute the funds among the poor. The 1601 law remained in effect until 1834 when a new law, the Poor Law Amendment Act took over. This collected parishes into groups called Unions. Each Union elected a Board of Guardians, which was then responsible for the care of the poor across all the individual parishes. Many of our ancestors received help through these Poor Laws. These included the elderly, orphaned, unemployed, sick and afflicted. It wasn’t just money they were given – they also received other daily necessities such as food, clothing and work. Children from poor families were placed in apprenticeships, or sent to particular schools and other institutions.

Click on the image to start searching today!

Click on the image to start searching today!

What’s Included in This Database:
This collection includes selected admission and discharge records for workhouses created and administered under the Poor Law Acts in Central, West, and South London. Records from additional areas of London are planned to be added in the future. The exact information you can find about your ancestors varies according to the record. You may find:

  • The person’s name
  • Date of admission
  • Age
  • Date of discharge
  • Other details regarding the person’s condition and care
Dinnertime at St Pancras Workhouse, London, 1911

Dinnertime at St Pancras Workhouse, London, 1911

The post Update to London Workhouse Records, 1659-1930. Over 3.7 million new records! appeared first on Ancestry.com.au Blog.

]]>
http://blogs.ancestry.com/au/2015/04/09/update-to-london-workhouse-records/feed/ 0
Update to Australian Electoral Rolls collection. Over 30 million new records!http://blogs.ancestry.com/au/2015/04/02/update-to-australian-electoral-rolls-collection-search-today/ http://blogs.ancestry.com/au/2015/04/02/update-to-australian-electoral-rolls-collection-search-today/#comments Wed, 01 Apr 2015 22:27:22 +0000 Ancestry.com.au http://blogs.ancestry.com/au/?p=2476 Great news, we’re always trying to improve our collections and we’ve updated the Australian Electoral Rolls, 1903-1980! We’ve added 61,953 new images and 30,953,567 new records, so this collection now has 1,465,956 images and 100,540,723 records! So, what’s in the update? About 70% of the electoral rolls in this collection were previously transcribed. In this… Read more

The post Update to Australian Electoral Rolls collection. Over 30 million new records! appeared first on Ancestry.com.au Blog.

]]>
Great news, we’re always trying to improve our collections and we’ve updated the Australian Electoral Rolls, 1903-1980! We’ve added 61,953 new images and 30,953,567 new records, so this collection now has 1,465,956 images and 100,540,723 records!

So, what’s in the update?
About 70% of the electoral rolls in this collection were previously transcribed. In this update, we’ve extracted records from OCR data for the remaining 30% of rolls. In addition, we’ve added images and records for select rolls that were previously missing from the collection:

  • Tasmania (all districts for 1958-1980)
  • New South Wales (select districts for 1968, 1972, and 1977)

Electoral rolls began being compiled for some areas of Australia in the 1840s. At that time only property owners were eligible to vote. In most of the colonies all men were granted voting rights by the 1850s. Half a century later, women were granted voting rights as well.

Click on the image to read more. Source: Australian Electoral Commission

Click on the image to read more. Source: Australian Electoral Commission

Non-British subjects were not allowed to vote until the 1940s. In 1962 the right to vote in federal elections was granted to Australian Aboriginal women who, together with Australian Aboriginal men, had been specifically excluded from the franchise in Australia by the Commonwealth Franchise Act 1902. Individuals falling into these two categories are not presently included in this database before those years.

Arrangement of Records:
Within each state voters were organized into electoral districts and subdistricts according to where they lived. Electoral rolls were compiled according to these geographical divisions. The boundaries of districts and subdistricts could change throughout the years.

Click on the image to start searching today!

Click on the image to start searching today!

Why Use Electoral Rolls:
Electoral rolls are great to use as “census substitutes.” They’re useful when census records are either incomplete or non-existent, and are usually available in between census years. Because electoral rolls were published on a fairly consistent basis and are generally country-wide, they are useful for tracking individuals over time and place.

Click here to start searching today!

Information listed in electoral rolls usually includes:

  • Number
  • Name of voter
  • Gender
  • Address
  • Occupation
Click on the image to start searching today!

Click on the image to start searching today!

State and Years Presently Included:
This database currently includes electoral rolls for the following states and years. Those marked by asterisk have been transcribed. For all other years, the records were extracted using a new OCR indexing method. They were not transcribed. We encourage you to correct any errors you find in the data by going to the image and editing the name in the correction panel at the bottom of the page.

Australian Capital Territory: 1928*, 1929-31, 1935*, 1937*, 1943*, 1949*, 1954*, 1958*, 1963*, 1968*, 1972*, 1977*, 1980*
New South Wales: 1930*, 1931-32, 1933*, 1934-35, 1936-37*, 1943*, 1949*, 1953-54*, 1958*, 1963*, 1968*, 1972*, 1977*, 1980*
Northern Territory: 1922*, 1928, 1929*, 1930-31, 1934*, 1937*, 1943*, 1949*, 1954*, 1958*, 1963*, 1968*, 1972*, 1977*, 1980*
Queensland: 1903*, 1905*, 1906, 1908*, 1909-10, 1912, 1913*, 1914-17, 1919*, 1921*, 1922, 1925*, 1926, 1928-29, 1930*, 1931-32, 1934, 1936-37*, 1943*, 1949*, 1954*, 1958*, 1963*, 1968*, 1972*, 1977*, 1980*
Tasmania: 1914*, 1915-17, 1919*, 1921, 1922*, 1925, 1928*, 1929-31, 1934, 1936-37*, 1943-44*, 1949*, 1954*, 1958-1980
Victoria: 1856*, 1903*, 1905-06, 1908, 1909*, 1910, 1912-13, 1914*, 1915-18, 1919*, 1920-22, 1924*, 1925-28, 1931*, 1932-35, 1936-37*, 1942-43*, 1949*, 1954*, 1958*, 1963*, 1968*, 1972*, 1977*, 1980*
Western Australia: 1903*, 1905, 1906*, 1909, 1910-11*, 1912-15, 1916*, 1917-22, 1925*, 1926, 1928-30, 1931*, 1934, 1936-37*, 1943*, 1949*, 1954*, 1958*, 1963*, 1968*, 1972*, 1977*, 1980*

The post Update to Australian Electoral Rolls collection. Over 30 million new records! appeared first on Ancestry.com.au Blog.

]]>
http://blogs.ancestry.com/au/2015/04/02/update-to-australian-electoral-rolls-collection-search-today/feed/ 0
Australian Imperial Force – What the average Anzac took into service with him and what he brought homehttp://blogs.ancestry.com/au/2015/03/20/australian-imperial-force-what-the-average-anzac-took-into-service-with-him-and-what-he-brought-home/ http://blogs.ancestry.com/au/2015/03/20/australian-imperial-force-what-the-average-anzac-took-into-service-with-him-and-what-he-brought-home/#comments Fri, 20 Mar 2015 06:50:52 +0000 Ancestry.com.au http://blogs.ancestry.com/au/?p=2423 Guest post by Matt Smith, historian at Australian War Graves Photographic Archive For the majority of young Australian men who joined the Australian Imperial Force [AIF] during the First World War, it was their first time separated from family, a familiar world and most certainly, in battle. Many of these men would have experienced an… Read more

The post Australian Imperial Force – What the average Anzac took into service with him and what he brought home appeared first on Ancestry.com.au Blog.

]]>
Guest post by Matt Smith, historian at Australian War Graves Photographic Archive

For the majority of young Australian men who joined the Australian Imperial Force [AIF] during the First World War, it was their first time separated from family, a familiar world and most certainly, in battle. Many of these men would have experienced an element of compulsory military training in the Citizens Military Forces or Cadets, but almost never in wartime. Most were single men, lived with their families and knew little about the world around them, beyond a brief British-centric colonial education. This ANZAC Day, the 25th April 2015, in the Centenary year of the Gallipoli Campaign, we will pay closer attention and homage to their service and sacrifice.

The experience of service during the First World War gave young men the opportunity for adventure, escape from the boredom of everyday life, a chance to visit the ‘Mother’ country and a chance to possibly cement a future through reputations earned. Men departed in the tens of thousands, fearful of missing the ‘big show’ and eager to prove their worth. They ultimately accepted death, as long as it was quick and painless.

Men of the first A.I.F. departed their homes carrying small comforts of a life that they knew. In their minds, the reality was that the material structure of those lives would remain in situ for the period of their service. Hindsight has proved that for many of those men, who were often on active service for four or more years, the reality was far from the truth. Life continued on in their absence.

The question of what the average Australian Anzac took with them into service provides a most interesting social insight into the nature of Australian society into the second decade of the 20th Century. What those same men brought back to Australia is equally as unique.

Aside from the ‘official kit’ that was supplied to the members of the AIF, they also carried many personal artefacts. These items represented the average soldier’s societal calling, religious affiliation, employment, love of family, desire to return to civilian life following service, or were keepsakes from the aforementioned life that they knew, having been secreted away from a loved one.

For the first Australian Anzacs, the Gallipoli Landers, their assault possessions would have been purposely kept to a minimum. Instructed to carry emergency rations and water for twenty-four hours, additional personal items were stowed in kit bags onboard transport ships for delivery later. Rations would have consisted of Bully beef (tinned corned beef), rice, jam, cocoa, tea, some bread and hard tack, or “ANZAC Wafer”; a rock hard biscuit that was often ground to make alternative meals.

The Anzacs carried varying smaller items on their person, often in the breast pockets of their often over-sized uniforms. Smoking paraphernalia such as ‘Woodbines’ Cigarettes or a bakelite pipes were commonplace overtime, even for original non-smokers. The comfort of tobacco was a small consolation in the trenches and a ready source for barter and trade. Photos of loved ones for those ‘quieter’ moments of reflection were also often carried in breast pockets for easy access around uniform webbing. Either singularly stowed or within a keepsake notebook, bible or small hold-all, such photos were a direct connection to a distant life. Commonplace with Anzac mythology, the bible kept close to the heart could on occasion offer possible divine intervention by stopping a errant or stray bullet from shortening a Digger’s service. Letters, notes, poetry, postcards, and other memory artefacts such as pocket watches, compasses and lighters were also carried on the person.

In recent years, the discovery of the bodies of 250 Australian solders in mass graves outside the small village of Fromelles in northern France, has given us greater insight into what the average Australian had on their person. Some 6,200 artefacts were removed and catalogued during the archaeological dig and recovery of the bodies for identification. These included usual pieces of military uniform such as buttons, buckles, fabric and even the occasional boot, often with Australian maker’s marks. However, many objects recovered reflected a soldier’s daily life a fountain pen, a bible, a French phrase book, and a leather pouch with coins still inside. More personal and intimate things included rings and bracelets, rosary beads, a lock of hair in a leather heart and a commemorative medallion from the local district presented to one of the Diggers prior to his departure. Ironically, a return rail ticket from Fremantle to Perth in Western Australia was found. The purchaser, then to soon be a soldier, would have intended to use the return section of the fare upon his cessation of service. A number of smoking pipes were also recovered, often in the breast pocket area of the remains discovered. In military service of the era, smoking was commonplace and for many men it assisted with the monotony of military life and the aromas of No-Man’s Land.

Often, the curious larrikin nature of the Australian Digger would result in the collection of souvenirs from the battlefield or enemy. John “Barney” Hines, a British-born Australian soldier of World War I, was particularly known for his prowess at collecting souvenirs from German soldiers. The German Pickelhaube or spiked helmet was a prized find and one such example was found in the knapsack of Private Alan James Mather, No. 1983, when his body was recovered from the Messines battlefield in Belgium almost 95 years after he disappeared. He was identified and reinterred in Prowse Point Cemetery in Fanders. His record can be found at Ancestry. Pistols, particularly German Lugers and Mausers, were prized by the Anzacs, often being reused during trench raids and silent attacks. These souvenirs were brought home after the war.

After four long years of campaigning, the Australian Diggers had procured a vast array of souvenirs, personal effects and essential non-official kit. Compiling a full inventory of the quintessential items within a returning solder’s kit would not be feasible. However, the greatest insight into the personal effects of the Anzacs that may have been brought home to Australia after the war, is to examine the service records of fallen men. Captain Leslie Russell Blake MC, No. 7306, 5th Brigade, Australian Field Artillery, of Hawthorne, Victoria was killed in October 1918. His service file indicates that following his death, three storage items were returned to his family in probate; a tin trunk, a sealed suitcase and one parcel. The contents each package was as follows:

NAA WW1 Service Records Leslie Russell Blake Effects 2

NAA WW1 Service Records Leslie Russell Blake Effects 3

NAA WW1 Service Records Leslie Russell Blake Effects

In contrast, Lance Corporal Benjamin Lancaster, No. 3814, who enlisted at a similar time to Captain Blake, had his own personal effects returned to his family. The package consisted of one Wallet, 2 Badges and a purse.

Despite the hardships of war and throughout the service of the Australian Anzacs during WWI, there remained a willingness of the individual soldier to maintain personal effects. Whether fulfilling a link to home and past, out of necessity for survival, or through curious larrikinism, the personal nature of the Anzac’s possessions were as varied as the characters themselves.

Read more about Captain Leslie Russell Blake MC on Ancestry – click here to search the WW1 service records – and on Discovering Anzacs – click here to search.

The post Australian Imperial Force – What the average Anzac took into service with him and what he brought home appeared first on Ancestry.com.au Blog.

]]>
http://blogs.ancestry.com/au/2015/03/20/australian-imperial-force-what-the-average-anzac-took-into-service-with-him-and-what-he-brought-home/feed/ 0
Australian service records from World War Ihttp://blogs.ancestry.com/au/2015/03/16/australian-service-records-from-world-war-i/ http://blogs.ancestry.com/au/2015/03/16/australian-service-records-from-world-war-i/#comments Mon, 16 Mar 2015 01:31:09 +0000 Ancestry.com.au http://blogs.ancestry.com/au/?p=2334 Guest post from Anne-Marie Conde, National Archives of Australia WW1 Curator World War I service records (1914–1920) are a magnificent resource for family historians and anyone interested in war and its enduring impact on Australian society. These records are held by the National Archives of Australia and now on Ancestry – click here to start… Read more

The post Australian service records from World War I appeared first on Ancestry.com.au Blog.

]]>
Guest post from Anne-Marie Conde, National Archives of Australia WW1 Curator

World War I service records (1914–1920) are a magnificent resource for family historians and anyone interested in war and its enduring impact on Australian society.

These records are held by the National Archives of Australia and now on Ancestry – click here to start searching today. In the collection you will find the records of Australian men and women who served in the first Australian Imperial Force (AIF). A Base Records Office was established in Melbourne in October 1914 to coordinate the recordkeeping for all AIF service personnel. It had links to records offices in London and Cairo for the duration of the war.

Service records consist of a collection of documents created by the AIF about each person who enlisted. While they were not intended to be a day-by-day account of a serviceperson’s career, they do contain a fascinating wealth of detail. You can follow a person’s journey from their enlistment to their assigned unit, departure from Australia and the major places in which they served, through to their return to Australia or, perhaps, their death.

Family historians will find the ‘attestation paper’ particularly useful. Usually found at the beginning of the file, it was a form filled out by each person who enlisted in the AIF. By signing it, they ‘attested’ to the truth and accuracy of the information they gave.

For instance, James Holmes Fleming enlisted in July 1915. Here is the first page of his attestation paper:

[image of p. 1 of attestation paper], National Archives of Australia: B2455, Fleming JH

[image of p. 1 of attestation paper], National Archives of Australia: B2455, Fleming JH

James had to answer 15 questions about himself, including his name, age, place of birth, occupation (‘trade or calling’) and whether he had had any prior military service. James also had to name his next-of-kin.

NAA - Next of Kin close up of this part of p. 1

This was the person who would receive notification of his injury or death. James nominated his father, Mr George Fleming of Elphinstone, Victoria, as his next-of-kin. Researchers may find information such as this invaluable in linking different people from the same family. The enlistee’s address and the address of their next-of-kin are important clues for researchers seeking to follow the fortunes of a particular family.

The attestation paper established aspects of the person’s physical appearance – their height, weight, complexion, eye colour and so on – and whether they met the standards of physical fitness required for military service. The form may have been filled out by the enlistee or sometimes the recruiting officer would take down the answers, but the enlistee had to sign his or her name twice. Here you can be certain that you are seeing the handwriting of your relative.

Most soldiers were issued with a service number, also known as a regimental number. James Fleming’s was 3107.

NAA - Image of p. 1 of attestation paper with close-up of his service number and name

However, researchers need to be aware of some of the trips and traps with service numbers. Firstly, officers and nurses were not issued with service numbers on enlistment, so some people never had them. Secondly, service numbers are not unique to one person. Each unit in the AIF allocated numbers from 1 upwards, meaning that many people could have the same number over the five years of the war. And finally, for various reasons a person could be issued with more than one number. So, while service numbers are useful, they are not a definitive way of establishing a person’s identity.

After the attestation paper, the amount of information contained on a service record varies greatly but most contain a Casualty – Active Service form (‘Form B103’). This record can be difficult to read, as you can see from the first page of James Fleming’s B103:

NAA - image of page 1 JF’s B103

But with a bit of patience, you can learn about a person’s movements, promotions, demotions, illnesses and wounds, and periods of leave.

Sometimes – but not always – you will find letters from family members anxious about the whereabouts of their loved one, or enquiring about medal entitlements or the return of a soldier’s effects after he has died. Here again you can find names and addresses and, perhaps, gain a personal insight into their lives.

Finally, the last page of a service record will usually contain a record of the campaign medals to which a serviceman or woman was entitled. To make things easy for the staff keeping the records, a stamp was made in the shape of each of the major medals – the 1914/15 Star, the British War Medal and the Victory Medal. The person’s file would be stamped as each medal was issued. ‘NE’ indicated that a person was ‘not eligible’. For instance, although James Fleming enlisted in 1915, he did not leave Australia for active service until early 1916, so he was not eligible for the 1914/15 Star.

NAA - image of the stamps part of his service record

James had a distinguished military career. For bravery he awarded both the Distinguished Conduct Medal and the Military Medal. Here we see him wearing those medals: NAA - image of James wearing his medals

He was severely wounded late in 1918, but he made it home to his family in May 1919.

This is where his file ends – details of post-war life are generally not on a service record, although sometimes there may be correspondence even up to the 1960s, or later, concerning details of someone’s service. James’ wounds caused him ongoing health problems and he died in 1930, aged 47.

Read more about James on Ancestry – click here to search the WW1 service records – and on Discovering Anzacs – click here to search.

You can also search other collections that the National Archives of Australia have shared with the world via Ancestry. Search the Fremantle Passenger Lists, 1897-1963 – click here! This is a collection of passenger records of arrivals at Fremantle, Perth Airport, and other Western Australia ports. The lists, which are arranged chronologically, recorded passengers arriving from other Australian states and overseas and can include names of passengers passing through those ports en route to other ports within and ports outside Australia.

The post Australian service records from World War I appeared first on Ancestry.com.au Blog.

]]>
http://blogs.ancestry.com/au/2015/03/16/australian-service-records-from-world-war-i/feed/ 0
Australian Imperial Force – Official Kit WWIhttp://blogs.ancestry.com/au/2015/03/13/australian-imperial-force-official-kit-wwi/ http://blogs.ancestry.com/au/2015/03/13/australian-imperial-force-official-kit-wwi/#comments Fri, 13 Mar 2015 06:39:09 +0000 Ancestry.com.au http://blogs.ancestry.com/au/?p=2306 Guest post by Matt Smith, historian at Australian War Graves Photographic Archive Family and Military Historians and Genealogists alike, will continue to trawl archive websites such as Ancestry.com on the eve of the Centenary of ANZAC Day in April 2015; and beyond. They are hoping to make sense of the enormous service commitment delivered by… Read more

The post Australian Imperial Force – Official Kit WWI appeared first on Ancestry.com.au Blog.

]]>
Guest post by Matt Smith, historian at Australian War Graves Photographic Archive

Family and Military Historians and Genealogists alike, will continue to trawl archive websites such as Ancestry.com on the eve of the Centenary of ANZAC Day in April 2015; and beyond. They are hoping to make sense of the enormous service commitment delivered by Australian Anzac personnel, and the unimaginable sacrifices made by so many individuals and their families.

The Gallipoli Campaign in April 1915 saw the first major Australian commitment in warfare as a newly federated nation. The Australian Imperial Force, composed mainly of volunteers, were landed on the rugged coastline of the Gallipoli Peninsula in Turkey. The ten-month campaign saw an evolution in Australian ingenuity, endurance and fighting ability. Such traits would stand them in good stead during the three years campaigning in France and Belgium.

To assist with understanding of individual Australian service and sacrifice it is essential to better know the men and women who were there. The National Archives of Australia (NAA) Service Dossiers (B2455) are essential sources of information and insight into the movements of personnel. The dossiers are now available on Ancestry, click here to search. The Red Cross Wounded and Missing Files, housed within the collections of the Australian War Memorial, provide accounts of how a soldier died, was wounded, or was recorded missing.

One of the most significant insights into the WWI Anzac condition is the ability to now trawl vast collections of relevant digital images of Anzac personnel. These unique primary sources, until the development of digitized archives, lay accessible only to those researchers able to visit official institutions to view hardcopy material. Digitisation through on-line repositories such as Ancestry.com, has ensured that such images have been preserved and are readily available to the general public. In order to interpret digital images of A.I.F. personnel for greater understanding the following breakdown of Australian Anzac ‘Kit’ has been prepared.

The soldier in Figure 1 represents a typical Australian infantryman from the First World War. He is standing on-guard duty, most probably in London towards the end of the war. Although not in combat conditions, he is wearing the uniform of full fighting order. Figure 2 is an early studio portrait of an Australian 8th Light Horse Trooper. He is also wearing uniform and equipment of fighting order, although the webbing is leather. This is a Gallipoli era image due to the headware displayed. The usual Australian fur slouch hat is complemented by the more formal peaked cap, common at the initial Gallipoli landings. The soldier in figure one possesses a Brodie Helmet, which entered service in 1916. It is slung behind his left shoulder.

In order to interpret these particular images for understanding there are a number points for consideration that will inform the researcher.

Figure 1: A typical Australian Infantryman's Uniform, 1914-1918

Figure 1: A typical Australian Infantryman’s Uniform, 1914-1918

The soldiers in Figures 1 and 2 wear a British Pattern 1908 webbing arrangement in leather and/or heavy canvas. Although the exception, rather than the rule, it was common for the first Gallipoli landers to utilize the leather material versions. Developed for the British Army, this pattern was the most advance arrangement at the outbreak of the war and utilized by most Commonwealth armies. It was also probably one of the most comfortable and functional sets of any nationality, having the one main advantage that it could be taken off and on in one piece without the probability of losing any pieces.

The basic arrangement consisted of the following components:

  • 3 inch wide waist belt, with two angled 2 inch buckles at the rear
  • 2 inch wide shoulder straps, attached to the aforementioned buckles
  • left and right hand ammunition pouches, consisting of five individual pockets, three underneath and two above.
  • Haversack – this could be worn in a variety of positions and methods from middle of the back to below waist belt.
  • water bottle and carrier
  • entrenching tool and helve carrier – a two piece device and the handle of which is carried strapped to the bayonet scabbard, and attached to the bayonet frog
  • a large pack was also carried, almost always on the back. Valise straps attached the pack to the wearer.

The large pack was made to carry a soldier’s greatcoat, which was essential in colder regions. However, the amount of equipment that soldiers were required to carry usually meant that the greatcoat or blankets were often carried outside of the pack. Although a frontline soldier would try to keep his gear to a minimum, the pack contained the essentials for a soldier’s survival. According to Australian Imperial Force Orders, No. 2, 26 August 1914, a prescribed set of uniform, kit, and necessaries were officially issued to each infantry member of the AIF.

The individual AIF infantryman was issued with a universal kit or duffle bag. Into which he packed the following:

  • 2 Pairs of brown leather hob-nail-soled ankle boots, with one psare pair of laces.
  • 1 pair of braces
  • 2 pairs of woollen cord Commonwealth Pattern breeches.
  • Field Service Cap or Slouch Hat, with 2 spare chin straps
  • Greatcoat
  • Jacket – Service Dress
  • 1 pair of Puttees -. Fabric strapping for lower legs.
  • Dungaree jacket and trousers

Other pieces of kit included insignia and rank badges, and training garments including white canvas plimsolls and hat.

The Australian infantryman was not without some simple, essential comforts, despite the hardships of war.

He was assigned three brushes: hair, shaving and tooth. A comb, razor in a case and soap were his allotted toiletries. Underclothes were essential and each man was given two pairs of cotton drawers (underwear), 2 singlets, 2 flannel shirts and 3 pairs of socks. To keep out the chill he was allotted a jersey and khaki cap comforter. Essentially a woolen hat, this was often worn under helmets or during trench raids. All of the essential smaller items were contained in a ‘holdall’ and supplemented by a ‘housewife’, The Housewife was a holdall/pouch contained all that a soldier would require to carry out any repairs to his clothing when necessary. Inside it would contain a thimble, two balls of grey darning wool (for socks), 50 yards of linen thread wound around card, needles, brass dish buttons and plastic buttons for shirts.

The personal kit it would be finished off with the essentials of a knife, fork and spoon, that could be used with the D-shaped mess tin It consisted of two portions, a lid and a base and allowed for both a meal and hot drink to be served. Additionally a service knife was issued, which contained a marline splicing spike, a tin opener and lanyard.

As the Australian infantryman evolved as a fighting entity, especially into the main Western Front European theatre, the essential kit also contained a gas mask, personalized cold weather accessories and preferred trench fighting weaponry, such as knuckle-dusters, clubs and pistols. Unlike some other allied nationalities which supplied such equipment, the Australian infantryman sought out his own ingenuity for survival. Officers might privately purchase trench periscopes, binoculars and personal accessories that could more readily be stored in dug-outs.

Despite preconceived ideas, the Australian infantryman did not carry regular ‘K’ Rations as we known them today. He was often fed at the front by portable cooking stoves and rations were transported into the frontline trenches. However, he was assigned ‘emergency rations’, only to be used as a last resort and consisted of corned or ‘bully’ beef, hard tack biscuits, tea, salt and matches. In situations like that of the Gallipoli campaign, such rations were regularly called upon.

The Australian Infantryman of World War I was a resourceful individual who made the best of a situation and endured, often existing in horrendous battlefield conditions. Official kit was supplemented by personally acquired ‘unofficial’ kit, which, if withdrawn during official inspections, was tolerated. Souvenirs often found on prisoners, collected from the battlefield or bought from local merchants, regularly found their way into a soldiers pack. The life of an Australian infantryman during WWI was one of resourcefulness, acceptance and tolerance.

 Figure 2 - Studio portrait of 876 Trooper Stephen John Arbuthnot, 8th Light Horse, of Bonnie Doon, Victoria. Killed in action, Gallipoli Peninsula on 7 August 1915. Source: Australian War Memorial, H06442


Figure 2 – Studio portrait of 876 Trooper Stephen John Arbuthnot, 8th Light Horse, of Bonnie Doon, Victoria. Killed in action, Gallipoli Peninsula on 7 August 1915. Source: Australian War Memorial, H06442

The post Australian Imperial Force – Official Kit WWI appeared first on Ancestry.com.au Blog.

]]>
http://blogs.ancestry.com/au/2015/03/13/australian-imperial-force-official-kit-wwi/feed/ 2
Historical Ghost Storieshttp://blogs.ancestry.com/au/2013/10/31/historical-ghost-stories/ http://blogs.ancestry.com/au/2013/10/31/historical-ghost-stories/#comments Thu, 31 Oct 2013 00:09:02 +0000 Ancestry.com.au http://blogs.ancestry.com/au/?p=2019 Happy Halloween! We’ve been looking in our own backyard to see what ghost stories we could ‘confirm’ with the records on Ancestry.com.au. Rumour has it that the ghost of Sarah Simpson haunts the cemetery in Penrith, New South Wales, where her body rests.  Those bold enough to pay her a nocturnal visit are allegedly terrified by… Read more

The post Historical Ghost Stories appeared first on Ancestry.com.au Blog.

]]>
Happy Halloween! We’ve been looking in our own backyard to see what ghost stories we could ‘confirm’ with the records on Ancestry.com.au.

Rumour has it that the ghost of Sarah Simpson haunts the cemetery in Penrith, New South Wales, where her body rests.  Those bold enough to pay her a nocturnal visit are allegedly terrified by her restless spirit.

Controversy surrounds her death. Folklore suggests that she was set upon by ruthless thugs and beaten to death, but the coroner found otherwise.  His verdict on the cause of Sarah’s death in December 1838 was “Visitation of God” (the record from the Coroner’s Inquest is shown below).  This ominous (and somewhat scary) turn of phrase was used by physicians of the day when they were unable to explain the cause behind someone’s passing.

Sarah Simpson 1838

Northwest of Newcastle is the historic coal mine known as the Richmond Main.  In operation from 1913 to 1967, the mine saw its share of tragedy, with many miners meeting their death in the mine’s shaft.  However, what caused George Lewis to plunge to his death in early January of 1914 is unknown.

His body was found at the bottom of the shaft, and the coroner was uncertain if it came to be there intentionally or by accident. He goes so far as to suggest George was temporarily insane. The record below from the Coroner’s Inquest identifies the cause of death as “Effects of injuries received through jumping deliberately down a shaft at Richmond Main Colery whilst temporarily insane.”

George Lewis

Today those that visit the mine tell tales of strange noises coming form the empty shaft and voices crying out as if in pain. Perhaps discarded coal isn’t the only thing lurking at the bottom of Richmond Main…

Picton, southwest of Sydney, is a picturesque town with a long history. There was a time when the train ran through a nearby tunnel – the Redbank Range Railway Tunnel – on its journey to nearby Mittagong. On the lead up to Christmas in 1916, Emily Agnes Bollard decided that she’d pay her brother a visit.  He lived nearby and, rather than taking the longer route over the hill, Emily decided to take a shortcut through the tunnel. Unfortunately for Emily a train also decided to use the tunnel at the same time.

It did not end well for Emily.  The tunnel went out of use some years later and now lies empty… or does it?  Strange lights have been seen in the tunnel and some have said that they felt the push of a disembodied hand…

Got any ghost stories in your family tree? We’d love to hear them. Share them on our Facebook page.

The post Historical Ghost Stories appeared first on Ancestry.com.au Blog.

]]>
http://blogs.ancestry.com/au/2013/10/31/historical-ghost-stories/feed/ 0
Ancestry and FamilySearch to Make a Billion Global Records Available Onlinehttp://blogs.ancestry.com/au/2013/09/20/ancestry-and-familysearch-to-make-a-billion-global-records-available-online/ http://blogs.ancestry.com/au/2013/09/20/ancestry-and-familysearch-to-make-a-billion-global-records-available-online/#comments Fri, 20 Sep 2013 07:06:18 +0000 Ancestry.com.au http://blogs.ancestry.com/au/?p=2010 Ancestry.com and FamilySearch International (online at FamilySearch.org), the two largest providers of family history resources, recently announced an agreement that is expected to make approximately 1 billion global historical records available online and more easily accessible to the public for the first time. With this long-term strategic agreement, the two services will work together with the… Read more

The post Ancestry and FamilySearch to Make a Billion Global Records Available Online appeared first on Ancestry.com.au Blog.

]]>
Ancestry.com and FamilySearch International (online at FamilySearch.org), the two largest providers of family history resources, recently announced an agreement that is expected to make approximately 1 billion global historical records available online and more easily accessible to the public for the first time. With this long-term strategic agreement, the two services will work together with the archive community over the next five years to digitize, index and publish these records from the FamilySearch vault.

The access to the global collection of records marks a major investment in international content as Ancestry.com continues to invest in expanding family history interest in its current markets and worldwide. Ancestry.com expects to invest more than $60 million over the next five years in the project alongside thousands of hours of volunteer efforts facilitated by FamilySearch.

“This agreement sets a path for the future for Ancestry.com and FamilySearch to increasingly share international sets of records more collaboratively,” said Tim Sullivan, CEO of Ancestry.com. “A significant part of our vision for family history is helping provide a rich, engaging experience on a global scale. We are excited about the opportunities it will bring to help benefit the family history community and look forward to collaborating with FamilySearch to identify other opportunities to help people discover and share their family history.”

The organizations will also be looking at other ways to share content across the two organizations. Both organizations expect to add to the already digitized records shared across the two websites in addition to new record projects to be completed over the next five years.

“We are excited to work with Ancestry.com on a vision we both share,” said Dennis Brimhall, President of FamilySearch. “Expanding online access to historical records through this type of collaboration can help millions more people discover and share their family’s history.”

This marks a groundbreaking agreement between the two services. But the two organizations aren’t strangers to working with each other; hundreds of millions of records have already been shared and are available on Ancestry.com and FamilySearch.org. The companies also announced in early 2013 an additional project where they plan to publish 140 million U.S. Wills & Probate images and indexes over the next three years—creating a national database of wills and other probate documents spanning 1800-1930 online for the very first time.

 

The post Ancestry and FamilySearch to Make a Billion Global Records Available Online appeared first on Ancestry.com.au Blog.

]]>
http://blogs.ancestry.com/au/2013/09/20/ancestry-and-familysearch-to-make-a-billion-global-records-available-online/feed/ 1
New Dorset Records Now Onlinehttp://blogs.ancestry.com/au/2012/06/27/new-dorset-records-now-online/ http://blogs.ancestry.com/au/2012/06/27/new-dorset-records-now-online/#comments Wed, 27 Jun 2012 07:49:01 +0000 Ancestry.com.au http://blogs.ancestry.com/au/?p=1538 Originally authored by Kelly Godfrey, Ancestry.co.uk Piracy was rife off England’s south coast right up into the 18th century. Dorset’s coves, caves and sandy beaches were the perfect hiding place for buccaneers and brigands and their ill-gotten loot. That means you stand a good chance of spotting these seadogs in our three new criminal collections.… Read more

The post New Dorset Records Now Online appeared first on Ancestry.com.au Blog.

]]>
Originally authored by Kelly Godfrey, Ancestry.co.uk

Piracy was rife off England’s south coast right up into the 18th century. Dorset’s coves, caves and sandy beaches were the perfect hiding place for buccaneers and brigands and their ill-gotten loot. That means you stand a good chance of spotting these seadogs in our three new criminal collections.

Whether your family’s black sheep committed their crimes on land or sea, our Calendars of Prisoners, 1854-1945, take you back to their trials – and often include detailed accounts of their offences. Then our Transportation Records, 1730-1842, and Prison Admission and Discharge Registers, 1782–1901, let you uncover how they coped with their punishment.

But our new records aren’t all about burglars and bandits. There’s plenty of opportunity to learn about ordinary law-abiding folk as well – and gain a rare insight into their everyday lives.

Our Jury Lists, 1719–1922, reveal the very people who upheld the law, and our Militia Records, 1757–1860, remember those who defended the community

Also new are Vagrant Passes, 1739-1791 which contain documents related to people accused of vagrancy and the Alehouse Licence Records, 1754-1821 detailing publicans in the Dorset area.

If you make any new discoveries in these records, let us know on our Facebook Wall.

The post New Dorset Records Now Online appeared first on Ancestry.com.au Blog.

]]>
http://blogs.ancestry.com/au/2012/06/27/new-dorset-records-now-online/feed/ 0
300,000 new Warwickshire records now availablehttp://blogs.ancestry.com/au/2012/02/10/300000-new-warwickshire-records-now-available/ http://blogs.ancestry.com/au/2012/02/10/300000-new-warwickshire-records-now-available/#comments Fri, 10 Feb 2012 06:05:28 +0000 Ancestry Australia and New Zealand http://blogs.ancestry.com/au/?p=1430 If you have family from Warwickshire, England you may well find them in one of 300,000 new Warwickshire records we added this week. Some records in these collections pre date 1837, making them particularly useful in finding people before civil registration began. Some records actually date back to 1564 (shown in the image above). One… Read more

The post 300,000 new Warwickshire records now available appeared first on Ancestry.com.au Blog.

]]>

If you have family from Warwickshire, England you may well find them in one of 300,000 new Warwickshire records we added this week.

Some records in these collections pre date 1837, making them particularly useful in finding people before civil registration began. Some records actually date back to 1564 (shown in the image above).

One interesting new collection is the Warwickshire, England, Bastardy Orders, 1816-1839 which contain orders issued in bastardy cases by Quarter Session courts. In cases of an illegitimate birth, Poor Unions tried to identify the father and make him legally responsible for the child’s maintenance to keep the child off parish relief rolls. Mothers could also apply to require a father to support his child.

Bastardy orders were an official order of the Quarter Sessions court requiring the putative father of an illegitimate child to provide for the child. They contain the name of the mother and assumed father, but not the name of the child, though they specify the gender and birth date.

The Warwickshire, England, Parish Poor Law, 1546-1904 includes images of a variety of different records created in Warwickshire in connection with the Poor Laws. They can help you identify members of your family who were considered poor, find out what aid they received, and discover details of their everyday lives. It’s sometimes possible to piece together the story of a relative’s life, from their placement at a school as a child, through their time in a workhouse, up to their final fate—be it their eventual passing or an escape from poverty.

Or, you may find your ancestor on the other side of the coin, among the rate payers. Poor Law records can also be useful in tracing movements among family members—both poor and not. These records can be browsed by parish or other jurisdiction and record type.

We also added the following new collections -

Let us know on our Facebook wall or via Twitter if you make any new discoveries!

The post 300,000 new Warwickshire records now available appeared first on Ancestry.com.au Blog.

]]>
http://blogs.ancestry.com/au/2012/02/10/300000-new-warwickshire-records-now-available/feed/ 0
New Convict Collections – Just In Time for Australia Day!http://blogs.ancestry.com/au/2012/01/27/new-convict-collections-just-in-time-for-australia-day/ http://blogs.ancestry.com/au/2012/01/27/new-convict-collections-just-in-time-for-australia-day/#comments Fri, 27 Jan 2012 04:35:20 +0000 Ancestry Australia and New Zealand http://blogs.ancestry.com/au/?p=1420 We have just added two key collections to the world’s largest online collection of Australian convict records. For Australians exploring convict history, the NSW Convict Indents, 1788-1842 provides the ideal starting point, as all convicts on ships transported to Australia were listed in an indent. Details such as name, trial date/location, and sentence are available, with… Read more

The post New Convict Collections – Just In Time for Australia Day! appeared first on Ancestry.com.au Blog.

]]>
We have just added two key collections to the world’s largest online collection of Australian convict records.

For Australians exploring convict history, the NSW Convict Indents, 1788-1842 provides the ideal starting point, as all convicts on ships transported to Australia were listed in an indent. Details such as name, trial date/location, and sentence are available, with later records also including occupation, to whom a convict was assigned, nativity and detailed physical description.

As early Australian convicts and free settlers established themselves in their new country, almost all aspects of their lives and activities fell under the responsibility of the Governor and were recorded by the colonial secretaries. The NSW Colonial Secretary’s Papers, 1788-1856, are the most comprehensive collection of public records relating to the early years of Australia, following the arrival of the First Fleet.

These records paint a vivid picture of day-to-day life in early Australia as they contain all the letters and records associated with the daily activities of colonial administration in NSW. This includes letters and complaints received, marriage permission requests, character memorials for potential settlers, petitions by convicts for sentence mitigation, pardons, official visit reports, grant or lease applications, information about court cases, import and transportation permits, proclamations, office appointments, affidavits notifying loss of certificates of freedom and tickets of leave.

While most early Australians can be found in these collections, some of the most notable public figures and convict heroes include:

  • William Bligh, 4X great grandfather of Queensland Premier Anna Bligh, was the captain of the HMS Bounty, whose crew mutinied against him, and former governor of NSW, who was deposed from that role when the citizens of NSW rebelled against him.
  • William Bland, the original Australian larrikin who mocked authority and was convicted of murder and transported to Van Diemen’s Land, then Sydney. A classic case of convict “makes good”, Bland became a member of the Legislative Council but declared bankruptcy the year he resigned.
  • Mary Bryant (nee Broad) arrived in Australia as a prisoner with the First Fleet aboard the The Charlotte. During her journey, she gave birth to a baby girl whom she named after the ship. Upon arrival, she married William Bryant, a convicted smuggler who had arrived on the same ship. In a demonstration of the resolve and determination of early Australians, Mary, her husband and a seven-man crew stole one of the governor’s boats and escaped from Botany Bay but were eventually discovered and the boat was shot down on the coast of Timor.
  • James Ruse was a Cornish farmer who at the age of 23 was convicted of breaking and entering and was sentenced to seven years transportation to Australia.  He arrived on the First Fleet. When he had 18 months remaining in his sentence, he applied to Governor Philip for a land grant, stating his farming background. Governor Phillip, desperate to make the colony self-sufficient, allocated Ruse an allotment at Rose Hill.  After Ruses’ sentence expired, his land was deeded to him and Ruse became the first person in the colony to receive a land grant.

 Australia Day is an occasion to not only celebrate our great country, but a day to reflect on who we are, where we came from and how our early history shaped our country’s character, attitude and culture.

These new records are a significant addition to our collection, which now surpasses the one billion record mark on the site. They provide one of the most detailed snap shots of the day-to-day life of early Australia and those who founded our country.

These convict records are free to search from 26 January – 29 January 2012. Simply go to www.ancestry.com.au/convict2012 to begin searching.

[i] The Australian Constitution Referendum Study, 1999 

The post New Convict Collections – Just In Time for Australia Day! appeared first on Ancestry.com.au Blog.

]]>
http://blogs.ancestry.com/au/2012/01/27/new-convict-collections-just-in-time-for-australia-day/feed/ 0