Family history tips using Trove
Having officially reached the one million mark on 4 December 2011, I thought I would add some pertinent comments regarding Family Notices, which may assist other researchers.
I unofficially reached the one million mark some ten weeks previously, when I add the tally for my other login 'afm1' which I generally use when only doing partial corrections to Family Notices in the Sydney Morning Herald (SMH).
So, if you find my login, ‘annmanley’, on Family Notices in the SMH, I have corrected/checked them from start to finish, to the best of my ability. Where there are unclear images or spelling, I try my best to corroborate with other sources.
The categorisation of articles is not always correct. So what you might expect to find under the category of ‘Family Notices’ might appear under ‘Advertising’. The categorisation of articles in the Adelaide newspapers appears to be the worst in this respect.
Further, many newspapers, including the SMH, required that Funeral Notices be submitted as Advertisements (up to various points in time), so that for smaller papers (e.g. country papers) you will often find Funeral Notices literally buried in Advertisements.
Highlighting the SMH, up to say around 1940, an average of up to 50% of deceased persons only had a Funeral Notice, but no Death Notice. So don’t forget to check the Funeral Notices. Funeral Notices in the SMH also often have far more information than is contained in any Death Notice, or indeed, in any Death Certificate that you might have.
I also recommended the use of the Ryerson Index http://www.ryersonindex.org/ (SMH in particular), and the growing number of burial indexes to assist you in locating death and/or funeral notices particularly in the capital cities of the various states. Cemetery links can be found at: http://www.coraweb.com.au/cemetaus.htm
Also, don’t forget In Memoriam and Roll of Honour Notices. The first notice you might find may be a year or so after the decease of a person of interest.
Most of these comments I will have mentioned in one of my talks on “Trove and Historic Australian Newspapers”, for various organisations over the last 18 months. The Draft Text Correction Guidelines are based, in the most part, on my initial talk for SAG on this topic in May 2010.
Apart from my systematic corrections to Family Notices, I also do random ones, and also others, as I voluntarily assist many people with their family history research. Death and Funeral Notices, in particular, can assist in identifying whether persons with common surnames, belong in your family or not, particularly when they are difficult to identify using the various BDM indexes.
Many thanks to John Warren who has also made significant corrections to the Family Notices in the SMH. As a result a well over 98 per cent of notices to the end of 1877 have been corrected to date.
And it seems that O' names such as O'Brien, O'Sullivan, O'Connell, etc., have at last recently become searchable in Trove.
Hi Ann, what a wonderful record. Thanks from a searcher for family stuff, your suggestions are heeded.
Thank you Ann for your fine example and the wisdom you've shared here.
I'm more of a user than a corrector, and this might seem obvious, but I've found that when searching for someone with a longish or hyphenated name, it can be helpful to search for only part of that name in inverted commas, to include the possible responses when the name goes over more than one line.
May I ask if anyone knows of a ready reference for nick-names or name substitutes? I've had trouble mostly with women's names such as Fanny and Tilly, but the name Joseph is also tricky. A Joseph can be written Jos. or referred to equally as John, Jack or James, but curiously less so as Joe. Then there's Isabella...
Many thanks Ann.