Archives for August 2012

New Zealand Emigration & Gold Fields

Gold miner with cart emerging from a New Zealand gold mine.

I came across this interesting book on the Find My Past Australasian website, “New Zealand Emigration & Gold Fields” by George Butler Earp, published in 1853 by George Routledge & co. I can just image some of our ancestors being seduced by the lure of gold and snapping up this book when newly printed !

The book covers such subjects as children being an asset in the new colony, over coming a reluctance to emigrate, reports from the various gold diggings and the use of capital in NZ  which would be too small to be of any use in England. When tracing our family trees it is easy to concentrate on adding more and more ancestors and forgetting to get to know the ones that we already have. This book is a good example of background material that adds understanding and colour to our ancestors lives.


image – Wikimedia – Gold miner with cart emerging from a NZ gold mine – Auckland Libraries

USA Census Free for limited time

Free USA Census Ancestry genealogy

Ancestry is offering free access to USA Census records 1790 – 1940 until 3rd September, so set aside some time this weekend to see if any of your ancestors left their homeland to seek their fortunes elsewhere. Bet they did !!!!

Unlock the Past Cruise price reduction

Unlock the past genealogy cruise

If you needed a further reason to join me on the 3rd Unlock The Past genealogy Cruise then here it is!!! The price of the cruise has been reduced by $114 – $399 Australian per person. Some grades of cabin have already been sold out so get in quick and take advance of the new pricing.

The cruise leaves Sydney, Australia 10 February and returns 19 February 2013 and has two ports of call. The days at sea will be packed with lectures from a wide variety of speakers including me!! I am talking on “English Parish Registers”, “What to do with the body; A Victorian Solution” and “Researching New Zealand ancestors at a distance”.

Hope to see you there Smile

Are you related to the aristocracy?

Royalty Genealogy

I wish I had a pound for each time I have been told by a beginner in genealogy that they are related to the aristocracy ! Anyone who has undertaken a reasonable amount of research knows that many a family legend turns out to be a myth although they should never be dismissed as often there is a grain of truth in them. Also those more experienced in family history will know that given enough time and access to records we are all related to landed gentry, aristocracy and royalty. It’s just that those links might be rather distant.

A friend of mine has been corresponding with a fellow researcher on her father’s side of the family and when she saw that this person had put a member of the aristocracy onto her online tree she did a relationship search and found that her correspondent was related to this eminent person via the husband of 1st cousin 4x removed of husband of aunt of husband of grand aunt of husband of aunt of wife of 1st cousin of wife of 1st cousin 1x removed !! Think the genetic links are running a bit thin by then !


The Peerage

If you think there may be an aristocracy connection there is a good website called The Peerage which lists thousands of entries concerning English & European Peerage and titled families. The information is well researched and is presented in family format. There is also a free iPad app as well as the main website. has a number of databases that would be helpful. Amongst those on offer are …..

The General Armory of England, Scotland, Ireland & Wales 1884Burkes Peerage

Peerage of the British Empire 1848

The Complete Peerage of England Scotland Ireland Great Britain & the United Kingdom 1910-1916

A Genealogical and Heraldic Dictionary of the Peerage & Baronetage of the British Empire 1865 Vol. 2 only

Commoners of Great Britain & Ireland enjoying territorial possessions or high official rank: but uninvested with heritable honours 1837-1838

Burke’s Family Records 1897

Burke’s Extinct and Dormant Baronetcies of England, Ireland & Scotland 1841

Find My Past doesn’t seem to have anything to offer in the way of databases especially for the aristocracy.


Google Books

Google Books is a favourite amongst family historians, it is always worthwhile running your family names through the search engine to see what turns up. Also if you know a title of a book that you wish to look at then also try the title search. It is surprising what Google Books holds and the holdings will only get better as books and pamphlets houses at The British Library come online.

A quick search using the word Burke’s showed quite a number of hits for books on the Peerage etc.


So if you think you might have blue blood running in your veins take a look at these websites.

Coroners’ Inquests

Coroners' InquestsA recent addition to the wonderful National Archives podcast series is a talk on Coroners’ Inquests by Dr Kathy Chater. Coroners’ Inquests are a real treasure for genealogists if you find one for your ancestors met an untimely end. Of course your ancestor may not have been the subject of the inquest they may have been the coroner, a member of the jury or a witness so if you are searching an index of coroners’ inquests then it is worth while searching under place as well as name. Anything that happened in the village or town where your ancestors lived will be of interest.

You can expect to find the name and address of the deceased, the what, where and when of the death, names of witnesses and details of their evidence, names of the jury and the coroner.

Kathy Chater is well known for her books on genealogy as well as her informative talks on family history.