Saturday, 23 August 2014

Research Help

I have been doing some research into my Great-Grandmother and her death in the Hospital of the Insane, Stockton. I commented on this on Facebook and several of you asked how to go about accessing any records and I have decided to write up how to go about it.

Once you have the death certificate or transcript of the persons death, you need to contact NSW State Archives. They are wonderful in pointing you in the direction you need to follow. As Mental Health and Asylum records have a 110yr access period you will most likely need permission from NSW Health, to see the records, Archives will point you in the right direction.

Looks at these two Archives in Brief for more details on what is held at the Archives,
Archives in Brief  - 85 - Mental health facilities - Patient records  and Archives in Brief - 86 Infirm and destitute asylum - Inmate records.  Both of these can be found at;  and look under Quick Links.

Having made contact with the relevant department, you will need to prove your relationship to the person. Start with yourself and work backwards, married ladies don't forget to show your name change. Below is a list of the documents I had to provide;
1) My marriage certificate
2) My birth certificate
3) My Mum's marriage certificate
4) My Mum's birth certificate
5) My Grandparents marriage certificate
6) My Granddad's birth certificate
7) My Great-Grandparent's marriage certificate
8) My Great-Grandma's birth certificate
9) My Great-Grandma's death certificate.

With NSW Health I was able to scan and email these to them and they emailed me the permission letter in return. The process to around two weeks.

Re-contact NSW State Archives and let then know you have permission, to see the records. They will then see what they hold and let you know, again about 10 working days is required.

With mine, because she died in Stockton, I have also had to get permission for those, separately, using the same documents. They will do the searching and let me know. I don't know if they will copy and send them to me or what?

A few words of caution, don't get your hopes up as to what you might find, this is my second person I have asked to view and I hope it will be more fruitful than the first. With the first one I received a one line entry in the admissions and discharge book, that was it. If you don't search, you wont know. I will keep you posted as to what I find.

Happy Searching,


Saturday, 16 August 2014

What are you going to do today?

For those of us in Sydney, it is  raining and has been all night, something we haven't had for awhile. Being wet it is a perfect day to stay inside and do family tree research.

I don't know if this will show up as a link, but if you had ancestors that lived in the Holroyd area, you might be able to help them out.

Call for submissions of Holroyd pioneers
If your ancestors lived in Holroyd prior to 1927, these ladies want to hear from...
This link is to the new Discovering ANZACs site and I'm going to spend some time searching through it.  is another good site to search. There are family tress on it but remember they are only as good as the information the person had. The indexes that you can search are great.
If you are trying to use the NSW BDM's and are having problems here are a couple of tips,
1) If you don't know all the details you can use the wildcard *
2) Go yes for the date range and you get better results.
Now if you don't feel like doing research, you can always find a good book, knit or quilt.
Stay dry,

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

What a fantastic meeting!

I'm to hyped up to go to bed, so thought I'd to my blog now.

Tonight we welcomed three new members, Paula, Frank and Peter. Paula had also become our minutes secretary, thank you. I hope that you all enjoy being part of the group and that you can also share your knowledge with the group.

We also welcomed Allan Murrin as our guest speaker. We could have gone for another hour, it was so good!  Allan gave a very enlighing talk on NSW birth, death and marriage records and the quirks that you can find. He also explained that transcription agents copy everything that is written in record, where those details might be left of a certificate. An example is if a marriage is dissolved, the transcription agent copies the details of that onto the marriage transcript as well. Useful to know. I know several members who are going to go back through their certificates, that have blank spaces and order transcripts to see if there is more information available.

Don't forget that August is National Family History Month. Check out your area to see what is going on or look at the National Family History Month web site for details.

Bye for now,

Friday, 1 August 2014

Meeting and NEW email address


The Committee had a meeting last night, to sort out how we would like this group to run and we have come up with some exciting changes.

1)      A new email address        This email can now be accessed by ALL Committee members and I will no longer have to forward emails to the different members. I don’t mind doing that but this step is a very logical one, now we are growing.

2)      How the meeting will run. We are going to try and keep the business side of the meetings to no more than half an hour. We don’t have a lot of business so this will give us time for two new things.

3)      Question and Answer.  Using the new email address, email us a query, help wanted etc, before each meeting and we will endeavour to have an answer for you at the  meeting. I know that some of you can’t get to meetings but still send us your queries and we will try to help out.

4)       Show and Tell. Each month we will ask you to show us  or tell us about what you are researching. This is your group and we want you to take an active role in the meetings.   We are working on these two things taking around 45 minutes and will be followed by

5)       Our Guest Speaker.  Each month we will try and have someone talk on  a topic relating to family history. If we don’t have a speaker that month we will have hands on workshop, with your own laptop, again looking at different aspects of family history.

6)      Outings. Something we are looking into but they will be on a  weekday and you will have to make your own way to the different  venues. This is due to how our insurance is setup. More about that  once we have looked into it more

7)      Membership Cards. These will happen, soon and all financial members will get a card.

8)      Newsletter. We will need your input here, stories etc  and we are working out what format to produce it in. It should happen early 2015

9)      For financial members our Christmas Party will be Friday 5 December 2014 at Panania Diggers. More details to come.


The meeting was very productive and ideas were discussed. We are still looking for a Minutes Secretary but have had a lady come forward to fill that position. This will be voted on  Tuesday. 

Tuesday, our guest speaker will be Allan Murrin, talking on NSW’s Birth, Death and Marriages.  Well worth the visit.

 Last Thursday I accepted a cheque from the Bankstown District Sports Club, in the form of a Seeding Grant. This money will help us meet the tasks we have set in motion. New flyers are going to be printed and distributed to other areas. I will contact Australian Family Tree Connection magazine, with a view of having a permanent listing in their Where to Go section. Any suggestions as to how we can ‘spread the word’ about this group will be very welcome. Other ideas we have looked at is local market stall at Panania and Revesby markets and trying to get local newspapers to do a story on us.


Bye for now and have a great weekend.
Lilian Magill