Sunday, 26 September 2010

Gympie Police Charge Bench Books

Queensland State Archives item ID 324223 (previous system B/3056) is an index to Court of Petty Sessions (Gympie) police charge bench books, 14 Jan 1890 - 27 Jul 1931. It is alphabetical only by first letter of surname. Entries usually give date, name, offence and how disposed of.

Two letters inside the front cover are about James Edward MADDEN and J. HOLT (probably Joseph James HOLT). HOLT committed suicide on 21 Oct 1893. He had asked that two people in NSW be notified, and the document gives their addresses.

This departmental index for 1890-1931 makes it easier to find entries in the actual bench books, which are much more informative. I myself have indexed persons arrested and victims of crime from Gympie bench books for an earlier period (1884-1886).

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Discontinuing Web pages

(Updated 26 Sep 2010) After seeing the votes and private feedback, I have made a decision about what alternatives to provide when I discontinue Queensland Newsflash and Updates Newsletter in their current format. I think you will like the new arrangement. More details will be released soon.

Friday, 17 September 2010

Qld State Archives web address change

Queensland State Archives have changed Web addresses. The main search page is now and opens an image search screen.

Thursday, 16 September 2010

Free Certificates in Archives Files (Thrifty Thursday)

Before buying certificates, check whether there is a free alternative!

The sources mentioned below are in Queensland, but similar records exist in many interstate and overseas repositories.

Before buying a certificate from the Queensland Registry of Births Deaths and Marriages, check whether that certificate is included in a file at Queensland State Archives. If it is, you can usually either take a digital photograph or save an image to a USB memory stick free of charge. A photocopy on paper currently costs about one dollar.

At the Archives you can often see certificates that you cannot buy from the Registry (because of differences in access restrictions). Certificates in archival files are often more accurate than typed copies issued by the Registry now.

From about the mid-1890s onwards, most Queensland Supreme Court 'will' files, and some 'intestacy' files, contain the death certificate. There are also probate files in Queensland for many people who died in other States and countries.

I sometimes find that the information on the death certificate in a probate file and the information on the certificate you bought from the Registry are significantly different! In one case the certificate in the probate file listed children who were not mentioned on the copy my client had bought from the Registry. In another case the probate file's copy showed that a person had lived in both the Northern Territory and Queensland (and how long in each place), but a more recent typed certificate from the Registry did not mention that.

I have seen birth, death and marriage certificates (including some from overseas) in many series of records. They include (but are not limited to):

More information about those sources is in the book Tips for Queensland Research. For wills and probate records see also Queensland Genealogy and Archives Research Tips.

Postscript 1:  For the rest of Australia, see Kerry Farmer's suggestions re certificates.

Postscript 2:  A friend and I are creating an index for certificates that we find in odd places in Archives files. In the future, names from that index will be added to my main Web site.

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Sunday, 12 September 2010

Supreme Court equity files

I chose this week's topic, Queensland Supreme Court equity files, in honour of Marianne Eastgate, who passed away on 5th September. Marianne was the driving force behind the Pre-Separation project that indexed virtually all records of the Moreton Bay District of New South Wales before it became Queensland in 1859.

Marianne's many other contributions to family history include an index to Queensland's Supreme Court equity cases 1857-1895. The cases include gold miners' disputes; rights of minors, incapacitated persons, lunatics and inmates of asylums; disputes over wills; liquidation of companies; and people with money in a bank. The files contain many birth, death and marriage certificates (including some from overseas), land records, powers of attorney etc. The index, which includes names of most plaintiffs, defendants and witnesses mentioned in the files, is in the Public Search Room at Queensland State Archives.

Thursday, 2 September 2010

GSQ Southern Suburbs

(This is an updated notice, with details received on 7 Sep 2010.) The new Facebook page for the Southern Suburbs Branch of the Genealogical Society of Queensland has details of their library, meetings, guest speakers etc. The page is open to everyone (not just GSQ members). Click 'Like' near the page title if you are interested in the branch's activities.
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