Beyond the Internet: Week 52 the Finale

Beyond the Internet
Beyond the Internet

This is the final post in the 52 weeks Beyond the Internet series. Despite the rapidity of digitisation, there is still so much lurking offline: in people’s heads, in libraries, in museums.

While it’s fantastic to be able to flash our fingers across the keyboard and find information or even digitised original documents from the other side of the world, there’s still so much discover by getting out and getting our boots dirty as the local historians say.

I want to touch very briefly on a couple of sources that haven’t yet been covered before leaving you with a summary of all the topics.


MP900315522The letters and documents of the Colonial Secretary (aka COL SEC) are invaluable but also tend to feel impenetrable at first, as well as time-consuming. As you pursue each document reference through its archival hierarchy, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by your search.

However if you think you have something very specific in your family that may have merited correspondence with the government’s senior bureaucracy it’s definitely worth your while to make the effort. Some have been indexed, but many have not, and try searching by topic or place as well as name. For example, Queensland State Archives has an index drawer with references to petitions regarding places. Give them a try and see if they prove useful to your own research.


Those with Irish ancestry might find it worthwhile to pursue the documents from the Devon Commission especially if their ancestors left some decades after the Famine. If you’re lucky enough to find your ancestor’s parish documented it will tell you a great deal about where they lived and their economic and physical condition. You can see an example of its value here (Donegal) or read it online via Google Books here.


I’m going to leave it there and thank you for following along with this series. I hope that at least some of the topics have triggered useful research strategies and may even have produced some successes!


Here are the topics that have been covered. I won’t hot-link them but you can readily find them by clicking on the Beyond the Internet Category in the right hand column. There’s mostly been a method in the sequence which I envisaged at the beginning of the year, with occasional deviations. I finally made it through to the end though those last weeks were a challenge!

29 bally st 7 frontTHE BUILT ENVIRONMENT

Week 1: Church Interiors

Week 2: Ancestral homes and their history

Week 3: Houses wrapped in red tape: land titles, council rates, sewerage maps, survey maps

Week 4: Donations and Subscriptions (a “ring-in” under this topic)


apple for the teacherWeek 5: Off to school

Week 6: School Administration Records

Week 7: Days of the old school yard: school histories, albums and newsletters

church weddingVITAL RECORDS

Week 8: Certificates

Week 9: Baptisms, Banns and Burials

Week 10: Church Records (not BDMs)


Week 11: Church Archives

Week 12: Church Histories


Week 13: Lest We Forget: War Memorials

Week 14: War diaries, shipping and photographs

Week 15: Battle, Battalion and Military Histories

Week 16: War Service Records


Week 17: Hospital Records

Week 18: Benevolent Asylums

Week 19: The poor are always with us: bankruptcy, workhouses, Board of Guardians, Kirk Sessions.

Week 20: Orphanages

Week 21: Pensions


judgeWeek 22: Wills and Intestacies

Week 23: Probate and Deceased Estate

Week 24: Court Records

Week 25: Gaol records

Week 26: Police and Other Gazettes


Week 27: Archives: The tough stuff

Library Dublin

Week 28: Place and Petitions

Week 29: Hallowed halls and reference libraries

Week 30: Books

Week 31: Maps & Gazetteers

Week 32: Journals

Week 33:  Local history adds value to family history

Week 34: Family History Society Libraries

Week 35: Published Family Histories

Week 36: Photographic Archives


Week 37: Monumental Inscriptions and gravestones

Week 38: Burial Registers

Week 39: Funeral Director’s Records


Bon voyageWeek 40: A long voyage of Immigration

Week 41: Emigration Records

Week 42: Naturalisation Records


house deedsWeek 43: Griffith’s Valuations

Week 44: Offline Newspapers (another “ring-in”)

Week 45: Tithe Records and Maps

Week 46: Valuations and Council Rates


sailor2Week 47: Police and Railway Staff Records

Week 48: Teachers

Week 49: Merchant Seamen

Week 50: Licences


Ta dah! It's done!
Ta dah! It’s done!

Week 51: Oral History (family and local)

Week 52: Colonial Secretary, Devon Commission and Finale

Thank you once again for supporting me along this rather long path!

7 thoughts on “Beyond the Internet: Week 52 the Finale

  1. Thank you for sharing your history. My family comes from Dorfprozelten, Germany. Thought maybe we had a connection, but it did not match up. Maybe with more digging!! Thanks again,and Happy New Year!! Leo 🙂 🙂


  2. Is that really trumpets I can hear, and bells ringing, drums beating???? What a great effort, no, achievement is the better word.. Congratulations … as one of your many followers, I have learnt so much, oohed and aahed and been reminded of resources I’ve forgotten, but overall, I am simply grateful that you have taken the time to teach us so much.

    Take a deep breath, for it is but a short time till the new year, where will you lead us then?



  3. I am eternally grateful for all the information you have set out so clearly – you have given me so many new areas to check and look into. Thank you!


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