Tasmanian Family History Society Inc. Hobart Branch

News - July 2020

Editor: Judith Crossin

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Tues 21 July - 7.30pm 2020 Branch Annual General Meeting

VENUE: Zoom Meeting

GUEST SPEAKER: Alison Alexander

TOPIC: The Ups and Downs of the Pillinger Family in Tasmania

Alison has previously spoken to our members at our monthly meetings and this is the story of her own ancestors who had their humble beginnings on the streets of Bristol, transportation via Port Jackson and Norfolk Island and a fresh start in Van Diemens Land.

This year the Branch will hold its delayed Annual General Meeting on Tuesday 21 July at 7.30 pm and it will be as an on-line Zoom meeting. Connection details will be forwarded, along with any last minute updates, a day or so before the meeting.

The Committee is aware that participation in a Zoom meeting is not always possible for some members. For those members without Zoom facilities the Committee has made arrangements for participation in the meeting at the Branch Library from 7.15 pm. Please register your intention to attend the Library by email  to the Secretary by mid-day Monday 20 July.

Alternatively, Zoom-ready members are asked to invite other members into their home to join the meeting.

The Committee has prepared the Annual Report for 2019-2020 and it is available here to download from the Branch website.

More for Your Diary

Tue 18 August - 7:30pm - General Meeting

More details to follow

Our Branch and the Coronavirus

Branch Library

The Committee is working towards the re-opening of the Branch Library and has approved a COVID-19 plan (in line with the government requirements) which will be reviewed monthly. The target date is 1 August 2020 but this will depend on government restrictions and requirements in place at the time and the availability of library assistants to resume their volunteering. Initially, use of the Library will be restricted to four visitors at any one time  and bookings will be required.

Library Accessions June 2020


The following items were accessioned during the month of April 2020.

Books / Computer Disks

* Ibbotson, John; LIGHTHOUSES OF AUSTRALIA - Images from the End of an Era [387.1550994 IBB]

* Shearer, Les; CRIES FROM THE PAST - The Chronicles of Kate Finnerty and George Evans, their ancestors and their descendants . [Q929.2 EVA]

* Denotes complimentary or donated item

UTAS and ISLAND Project

Introducing ISLAND Campus - https://www.utas.edu.au/island-campus

Help us measure the impact University education has on dementia risk

The Island Study Linking Ageing and Neurodegenerative Disease (ISLAND) Project will involve a range of studies that relate to understanding who is at most risk of dementia and how we can self-manage risk behaviours to build resilience to dementia. Previous studies at the Wicking Dementia Centre have shown that engagement of older adults in University study provides benefits to cognitive function that may increase resilience to dementia.

As part of our study to determine the value of an educational intervention at the population level, we are inviting ISLAND Members to apply to study a broad range of courses offered by the University, free of tuition fees.

To be part of the ISLAND Project you must live in Tasmania and be aged 50 or above. To study as part of ISLAND Campus you just need to become an ISLAND Member, read the Participant Information Sheet and, if acceptable, consent to complete the ISLAND Project online baseline surveys. Please visit the ISLAND Homepage to find out more.


There are now 15,406 inquest records in the Names Index covering the years from 1830 to 1930.

FAMILY SEARCH - Over 24 Million New Records!

FamilySearch expanded its free online archives in May 2020, with 24.1 million new indexed family history records and almost 32,000 digital images from all over the world. FamilySearch is continuously adding new records every month that you can access for free. Make new discoveries about your tree in our most recent collections.

Tracing Your Poor Ancestors

Tracing your Ancestors book

Many people in the past - perhaps a majority - were poor. Tracing our ancestors amongst them involves consulting a wide range of sources. Stuart Raymond's handbook is the ideal guide to them. He examines the history of the poor and how they survived. Some were supported by charity. A few were lucky enough to live in an almshouse. Many had to depend on whatever the poor law overseers gave them. Others were forced into the Union workhouse. Some turned to a life of crime. Vagrants were whipped and poor children were apprenticed by the overseers or by a charity. Paupers living in the wrong place were forcibly removed to their parish of settlement. Many parishes and charities offered them the chance to emigrate to North America or Australia. As a result there are many places where information can be found about the poor. Stuart Raymond describes them all: the records of charities, of the poor law overseers, of poor law unions, of Quarter Sessions, of bankruptcy, and of friendly societies. He suggests many other potential sources of information in record offices, libraries, and on the internet.

Ahead of her Time

The occupation of 15 year-old Catharine Cudney of Wisconsin is recorded in the US 1880 Census as "does as she pleases", a description that could no doubt be applied to many modern teenagers. But were teenagers from earlier centuries really that different? I suspect not……