Following on my posts about the changes in family history over the past 25 years I thought it would be good to look at family history resources beyond the internet and how we use them today. I’ve built up a list of 60 resources or activities that take our research beyond the digitised records (much as I do love them!). It will be interesting to see which resources people are using most, and perhaps tip off new researchers on just how much is hiding in archives. To draw up my list I’ve used my own experience and referred to Judy Webster’s Tips for Queensland research and the PROV’s book Private Lives, Public Records. New researchers might also be interested in the Unlock the Past book It’s not all online by Shauna Hicks.[i]
Overseas researchers may want to add to the list or replace items with ones relevant to their own research. Remember this is all about locating information from sources not on the internet (with a couple of small exceptions). Please add your responses to the comments and I’ll put up a consolidated list in due course.
As usual the process is as follows:
Beyond the Internet Geneameme[ii]
Things you have already done or found: bold face type
Things you would like to do or find: italicize (colour optional)
Things you haven’t done or found and don’t care to: plain type
You are encouraged to add extra comments in brackets after each item
- Looked at microfiche for BDM indexes which go beyond the online search dates.
- Talked to elderly relatives about your family history.
- Obtained old family photos from relatives.
- Have at least one certificate (birth/death/marr) for each great-grandparent.
- Have at least one certificate (birth/death/marr) for each great-great-grandparent.
- Seen/held a baptism or marriage document in a church, church archive or microfilm.
- Seen your ancestor’s name in some other form of church record eg kirk session, communion rolls.
- Used any microfilm from an LDS family history centre for your research.
- Researched using a microfilm other than a parish register (LDS family history centre/other).
- Used cemetery burial records to learn more about your relative’s burial.
- Used funeral director’s registers to learn more about your relative’s burial.
- Visited all your great-grandparents’ grave sites.
- Visited all your great-great-grandparents’ grave sites.
- Recorded the details on your ancestors’ gravestones and photographed them.
- Obtained a great-grandparent’s will/probate documents.
- Obtained a great-great grandparent’s will/probate documents.
- Found a death certificate among will documents.
- Followed up in the official records, something found on the internet.
- Obtained a copy of your immigrant ancestors’ original shipping records.
- Found an immigration nomination record for your immigrant ancestor[iii].
- Found old images of your ancestor’s place of origin (online or other).
- Read all/part of a local history for your ancestor’s place of residence.
- Read all/part of a local history for your ancestor’s place of origin.
- Read your ancestor’s school admission records.
- Researched the school history for your grandparents.
- Read a court case involving an ancestor (online newspapers don’t count for this).
- Read about an ancestor’s divorce case in the archives.
- Have seen an ancestor’s war medals.
- Have an ancestor’s military record (not a digitised copy eg WWII).
- Read a war diary or equivalent for an ancestor’s battle.
- Seen an ancestor’s/relative’s war grave.
- Read all/part of the history of an ancestor’s military unit (battalion/ship etc).
- Seen your ancestor’s name on an original land map.
- Found land selection documents for your immigrant ancestor/s.
- Found other land documents for your ancestor (home/abroad)
- Located land maps or equivalent for your ancestor’s place of origin.
- Used contemporaneous gazetteers or directories to learn about your ancestors’ places.
- Found your ancestor’s name in a Post Office directory of the time.
- Used local government sewerage maps (yes, seriously!) for an ancestor’s street.
- Read an inquest report for an ancestor/relative (online/archives).
- Read an ancestor’s/relative’s hospital admission.
- Researched a company file if your family owned a business.
- Looked up any of your ancestor’s local government rate books or valuation records.
- Researched occupation records for your ancestor/s (railway, police, teacher etc).
- Researched an ancestor’s adoption.
- Researched an ancestor’s insolvency.
- Found a convict ancestor’s passport or certificate of freedom.
- Found a convict ancestor’s shipping record.
- Found an ancestor’s gaol admission register.
- Found a licencing record for an ancestor (brands, publican, etc).
- Found an ancestor’s mining lease/licence.
- Found an ancestor’s name on a petition to government.
- Read your ancestor’s citizenship document.
- Read about your ancestor in an undigitised regional newspaper.
- Visited a local history library/museum relevant to your family.
- Looked up your ancestor’s name in the Old Age Pension records.
- Researched your ancestor or relative in Benevolent Asylum/Workhouse records.
- Researched an ancestor’s/relative’s mental health records.
- Looked for your family in a genealogical publication of any sort (but not online remember).
- Contributed family information to a genealogical publication.
[i] I do not receive any remuneration from any of these people or organisations. I’ve just found them to be helpful in my own research.
[iii] Pastkeys’ indexes to NSW Immigration Deposit Journals 1853-1900 might be helpful as a starter.
25 thoughts on “Beyond the Internet Geneameme”
Love this idea, Pauleen, and great to see the term ‘geneameme’ being used. Maybe we’ll get it into a dictionary one day.
Will be doing my entry when I can get to a computer.
Thanks for being involved Jill, I’ve responded on your blog. I think we should aim for the Macquarie! Pauleen
you know, I never think of myself as a genealogist — a writer of family history, yes, but—-
however, I was surprised at how much of your list I had actually ticked off. glad you posted the list, made me feel ever so much better.
Forgot to say I was hoping it wasn’t too Aussie-centric and could be used in some form overseas. Glad you had the satisfaction of ticking off items..always a good feeling!
you are probably confused with the “Mandy Janea” post — it was actually me, but my gr-daughter has a wordpress blog and was using my computer yesterday — so it appeared that you got a strange comment from Miranda (Mandy) — but not so, t’was me.
Ha, I thought that the “dinna” comment was a bit familiar! Good to see you again. I agree I prefer family historian to genealogist.
Pauleen, I *love* this Geneameme – my contribution is on http://genie-leftovers.blogspot.com/2011/10/beyond-internet-geneameme.html. And thanks for mentioning ‘Tips for Queensland Research’!
Thought the topic might appeal to you Judy;-) You’re most welcome for the promo -your book is full of superb, often unexpected, tips for those of us with Queensland ancestry. Highly recommended.
[blush] Thanks for the compliment, Pauleen.
Pauleen. Great Geneameme! My responses are at http://helenvsmithresearch.blogspot.com/2011/10/beyond-internet-geneameme.html
Surprising how many I had done but then again I have been an obsessed family historian for 25 years!
I suspect that I’ve got an inbuilt bias with this one. I’m waiting to see if any of the newer researchers have explored these options. Thanks for getting involved!
This was great for me because I have done most of my research via the Internet as I only started a few years ago. It is a great pointer for some great resources I need to investigate – when I get to a city!
Thanks Tanya. I was hoping it would be an open door into some new resources…but like you I live away from many of the resources I need so the internet is an absolute blessing. Plus you don’t feel so isolated 😉 Hope your research continues apace. Pauleen
Thanks for posting–it gives me lots of ideas of things I still need to do. I’ve probably done about a third of the things on the list.
I’m pleased it provided some food for thought. When you finish transcribing the diary you’ll have something else to do….:-)
Thanks Pauleen. It was good to reflect on all the sources I’ve used & it reminds me I should try those sources on my other branches! Here’s mine
Thanks Alison…we’re so swamped by the online sources that it’s sometimes hard to remember to re-look at the old off-line sources. Time…we need more of it. Did I put the wrong name on my comment on your post. My apologies if I did -two messages came in at once. Whoops.
My response is here. http://genealogymatters2me.blogspot.com/2011/10/geneameme-beyond-internet.html
Thanks for this challenge. It has reminded me to get my gg grandfather’s death certificate. Don’t really know why I haven’t purchased it.
Thanks Sharon for participating and for a great post. I know what you mean about realising you’ve omitted to follow something up…all too easy to do. Hope it’s productive.