Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Trove Tuesday: This seemed appropriate...

... given the state of my house as I emerged blinking from the assignment fog.

[No heading]. (1933, September 2). The Australian Women's Weekly (1933 - 1982), p. 28. Retrieved October 30, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-page4602358
Hope the rest of you Trovites have had more fun with your research than I have the past week :)

You can find all the #TroveTuesday posts over at Branches, Leaves & Pollen or search the hashtag on twitter.

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Trove Tuesday: El Alamien

If you have been paying any attention to the media this week or last you would have noted that it is the 70th anniversary of the Second Battle of El Alamein.

The Sydney Morning Herald. (1942, October 26). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 4. Retrieved October 23, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article17814451
The final line of the article comments that the battle is "likely to develop into one of the decisive struggles of the war" and in hindsight we know this to be true. The coverage in the press of the desert campaign is extensive and makes for interesting reading.

You can find all the #TroveTuesday posts over at Branches, Leaves & Pollen or search the hashtag on twitter :) 

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Trove Tuesday: Cowra Experimental Farm

One of the things I have been using Trove for is to find out more about places that are mentioned to me by various family members or that come up in the course of research. One such place is Cowra Experimental Farm.

According to Nana (dad's mum) her husband, Walter Thomas Muffett (9/4/1916-13/3/1958), had spent three years at Cowra Experimental Farm before they married. The photograph below was taken there.

Cowra Experimental Farm sometime between 1934 &1937 - My grandfather, W. T. Muffett on far right.
I knew vaguely, that an experimental farm is a sort of cross between an agricultural college, a working property and a science lab, from Trove I was able to find newspaper articles (such as the one below) on it's opening in 1905, and on its continued successes over the next 50 odd years at agricultural shows, irrigation improvements and in developing new hybrids of wheat. Experimental farms have played an important role in the development of Australian agriculture.

MR. MOORE AT COWRA. (1905, April 3). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 3. Retrieved October 16, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article14667885

Trove also directed me towards the State Library of New South Wales collections, which provided a wealth of images which gave a wonderful feel for the place and the types of activity undertaken there. Overall it provided a rather nice insight into three years in the life of my grandfather.

You can find all the #TroveTuesday posts over at Branches, Leaves & Pollen or search the hashtag on twitter :) 

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Trove Tuesday: From what you know...

One of the troubles I have had in researching my family tree is the reticence of one side of the family in talking about the past. Whereas one side is happy to tell you anything and take great delight in all manner of scandals and anecdotes, the other is tight lipped and 'the past is the past' and best not brought up. So tracing the family tree without asking the family questions, challenging but as I am finding out, doable. If that is, you have some place to start.

In my case it was Trove. That sexy little knowledge tool, is quite a minx ;)

I started with a surname. On typing that into Trove and narrowing the results to South Australian Newspapers, I now had a list of lots of people in that locality with that surname. Browsing through I spotted a familiar one. A VERY familiar one. Brilliant! In the family notices section of the Adelaide Advertiser, the family had placed birthday announcements. This you see, gave me an address and a timeframe.

Family Notices. (1951, December 18). The Advertiser(Adelaide, SA : 1931 - 1954), p. 16. Retrieved October 9, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article45770727*

Over to findmypast I went, armed with this address and keen to look at the electoral roles. Type the address in the keywords and yes! there it is! Confirmation of my great-grandparents names, something I had not had before having only my mother's recollection of 'grandfather' and a photograph with a death date on the mantelpiece.

The world of information that then opened up. Marriage certificates, Birth notices, Death notices, newspaper articles, missing persons - I followed great-grandmother's family backward and backward through BDMs, Govt Gazettes and newspapers - I am going to have a blast confirming this all, and sharing what I find.

Great-grandfather is still stubbornly eluding me, siblings and parents, but no further. Still I now have his full NAME and BIRTHDATE and to a researcher, this is worth more than gold.

You can find all the #TroveTuesday posts over at Branches, Leaves & Pollen or search the hashtag on twitter :) 

*yes I am aware that this is pretty unreadable. I must still respect the wishes of my living  family members in regards to the past by mentioning no names.

A little push...

I used to be a somewhat active researcher, in genealogy and in the history of education, but burnt out from academia I put aside my PhD and all other historical stuff and started on a Master of Information Services (Archives and Records) which I do love and am enjoying immensely. But I did miss the historical stuff. The interesting tidbits about life as well as the historiography. I do so adore historical theory. Yet still, there wasn't really an impetus to take it up again. Until I was given a little push.

See, in the last two weeks of September I was on practicum placement in a Library Service. It was wonderful from an Information Services point of view but also as a researcher. You see, the library service I was with has two very passionate research librarians and as part of my program I spent time with them,  attended (and helped with) two of their organised talks. One of these was a presentation with the lovely Emma Kelly of findmypast.com.au and the other was on Social Media and the Family Historian by someone I had been twitter friends for a significant amount of time, the delightful Jill Ball aka Geniaus.

Both of these talks reminded me how much I enjoyed researching (South Australian indexes now available on findmypast you say? Sign me up!) and missed sharing with history-minded people. It didn't take much to send me back into the arms of BDM indexes and Trove. And within moments I found something new. Something I didn't know. And I got that happy 'new thing excitement' that only people who love researching know. A very heady experience.

So really it didn't take much of a push to make me leap head first into the abyss. I'm rather happy here :)

P.S. the something 'new' will of course be the subject of a blog post, but right now I'd better go finish an Information Services Management assignment