Tasmanian Family History Society Inc. Hobart Branch

News - July 2021

Editor: Judith Crossin

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Tuesday 20 July – 7:30pm General Meeting

VENUE: Old Sunday School, St Johns Park Precinct, New Town

GUEST SPEAKER: Michael Holmes

TOPIC: “Vanishing Tasmanian Towns ... The best of the best.”

Where was the town of South Springfield? Where was the settlement of Lisle? What are the stories behind the Tasmanian towns and settlements that have disappeared or, in the case of ‘paper towns’, did not appear at all?

The speaker, Michael Holmes, is the author of the best-selling books Tasmania’s Ghost Town and Settlements (2014) and Tasmania’s Vanishing Towns – Not what they used to be (2017). These two volumes refer to more than 650 Tasmanian places. In this presentation Michael will focus on the stories of a subset of the towns ... the one’s that have some of the most interesting histories, not to mention some that disappeared into obscurity as quickly as they were established.

More for Your Diary

Thu 15 July – 10.00am Branch Committee Meeting

VENUE: Branch Library, Bellerive

Thu 15 July – 1.30pm DNA Group Meeting

VENUE: Church Hall at St Marks Anglican Church, Bellerive

Thu 22 July - 2pm Library Committee

VENUE: Branch Library, Bellerive

Tue 17 August -7:30pm General Meeting

VENUE: Old Sunday School, St Johns Park Precinct, New Town

SPEAKER: Dr Richard Tuffin and Sylvana Dzydzik

TOPIC: Current archaeological digs and findings at Port Arthur

Bring your own Cup or Mug

Cup  Mug

When attending the General Meeting can you bring your own cup or mug

Library Accessions June 2021

Library Logo

The following items were accessioned during the month of June 2021.



Historical Society of the Municipality of Sorell; PITT WATER CHRONICLES, VOL. 3, June 2021 [P994.62 PIT]

* Rae, Lou & Tony Coen; 150 YEARS OF RAILWAYS IN TASMANIA [Q385.36099946 RAE]


* Denotes complimentary or donated item

DNA – FamilyTreeDNA Update

Some of you will recall that earlier this year FamilyTreeDNA changed hands. It has fallen well behind Ancestry.com in the numbers of autosomal test sold and its tools were becoming a little dated. This has led to speculation that it might fail in the marketplace. That would be a disaster because it is effectively the only company that supports mtDNA and Y-DNA testing and comparison and because professional DNA researchers absolutely rely upon it.

And so, it was great news to receive their announcement this week:

We are in it for the long run

More than ever before, we are committed to you, our FamilyTreeDNA community, and to helping you further your journey of discovery — not just today but for many years to come.

Over the last several months, we have been working on new features and improvements that you have requested. We are excited to announce that many of these improvements - and some new features - will be released in the coming days and weeks!

It is just the beginning of the exciting improvements we are looking forward to making this year! Here is a quick sneak peek of what is coming in July!

Family Finder Updates

Y-DNA Updates

New Help Center

Important Notes

As a result of National Geographic's depreciation of the Genographic Project, the FamilyTreeDNA Genographic Project Transfers page will no longer be accessible after June 30th. If you have any remaining transfers to upload, please do so before this date.

Please note, at the time of the release of the Family Finder updates, your matches' original match dates might be temporarily unavailable, but they will be replaced with the correct date in the following weeks.

If you have not downloaded raw data from Ancestry.com and uploaded it to FTDNA then there has never been a better time to do it.

Coming Soon: 91 Stories Exhibition and Family History Month

Earlier this year, Libraries Tasmania did a call-out for the community’s favourite items in our cultural collections.

We wanted you to help us curate our major 91 Stories* exhibition.

We had countless fantastic responses from people all over Tasmania. The final 91 submissions have now been collated to form the exhibition, which opens in early August in the Allport Library and Museum of Fine Arts and online at a dedicated Flickr gallery (set to become a permanent feature in our collections).

This community led exhibition has been designed to showcase well-loved favourites and uncover some of the untold stories hiding in the collections housed in the Allport, the Tasmanian Archives and the State Library of Tasmania.

We cannot wait to show you what Tasmania loves!

August marks Family History Month. Keep an eye out on Eventbrite for our roster of popular expert talks.

August is also the month we unveil the 91 Stories exhibition – a significant, community curated exhibition of the 91 most-loved items in the Libraries Tasmania cultural collections. Read more

Tasmanian Ancestry Volume 42 Number 1 June 2021

The journal was posted on 24 May and we understand there may be a couple of members who did not receive their copy.

If you have not received your journal, please let us know by phone 6245 9351 or email and we will arrange a copy to be sent.

National Archives of Australia passes around the begging bowl 

The National Archives of Australia is passing around the begging bowl, asking the public for donations in an unprecedented move after the federal budget did not contain urgently needed funds. The keeper of Australia’s memories urgently needs at least $67.7 million to digitise records that are disintegrating or becoming obsolete. However, it received a minuscule boost to its operating budget of $700,000 and no funding for extra staff last Tuesday [the 2021 Federal budget]. This follows years of funding cuts to the institution that is struggling to protect 384 kilometres of records that are growing rapidly every year. At the same time, eight other national institutions received a collective $85.4 million extra.’ (Katina Curtis and Shane Wright in the 16 May edition of The Age.)

In the wake of its budget allocation the Archives has turned to crowdsourcing money ─ taking public donations for the first time via its website as well as launching a membership program ─ to help garner the necessary funds to preserve and digitise key Australian records before they are lost forever. These records most at risk include tapes of John Curtin’s wartime speeches; Pitcairn Islands’ births, deaths and marriages register of the Bounty mutineers and their descendants; and personnel files of RAAF non‑commissioned officers from World War II.

Christine Yeats (RAHS)

Library Volunteers Required

With the “retirement” of long serving Library Assistants Anne Hay, Inga Shelverton and Maureen O’Toole, the Librarian Jude Mudaliar is seeking members to manage the front desk and / or assist researchers visiting our Library. On-the-job training will be provided. The commitment can be as little as a single 3-hour visit per month. To put your name forward please email or phone the Library (6245 9351).

Contributors to Tasmanian Ancestry

Are you disappointed that there are no articles in Tasmanian Ancestry that relate to your family and your family research? There is a simple solution to this. Write something yourself!

The stock of articles for future editions of Tasmanian Ancestry is quite small so members are urged to make that contribution that you have been planning to write. A single page of Tasmanian Ancestry consists of no more than 500 words, or less with a photograph.

It is known that several of our members have undertaken UTAS units in the Diploma of Family History course so there must be some assignments waiting to be converted to articles for our Journal.

It was interesting to hear a comment made by Malcolm Ward in the March meeting that he believed a multi-generational brick wall was knocked down when he published a small booklet on an ancestor. The publication attracted a response from a relative who was able to provide the missing piece of the jigsaw!

Please contribute!