Tasmanian Family History Society Inc. Hobart Branch

News - May 2020

Editor: Judith Crossin

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Tues 19 May - 7.30pm General Meeting

VENUE: Zoom Meeting


TOPIC: A Double Brick Wall: solving a DNA mystery

Many of the regular members will know Ros Escott through her work with the DNA Special Interest group and previous presentations at our regular monthly meetings. Ros finds her DNA detective work both challenging and rewarding and surely the audience will be intrigued with the topic on this occasion.

Connection instructions will be provided by email to members the day before the meeting.


It cannot be said that we don't live in interesting and challenging times! The Coronavirus has stopped Branch activity in its tracks. However rest assured that it is still worthwhile being a member of the Society and that this regular newsletter will continue to be produced and the Society journal Tasmanian Ancestry will appear in your letter box every three months.

But of course some things have changed:

The Society AGM and Conference scheduled for Ross on 20 June 2020 has also been postponed.  At a Branch Committee meeting the following resolutions were agreed to:

Now for some positives:

We would like to use this Newsletter as a vehicle for sharing "Isolation Ideas" so we are asking members to share the titles of interesting family history and research ideas by contributing them to be published in the Newsletter. It might be something about what you are doing to clean up your messy records; or your discovery of a film/DVD with a strong family history or reunion theme; or a book discovery; or your discovery of a good website or YouTube clip; even requests for help with a 'brickwall'. You might think you don't have things to share that others don't know. But let others be the judge of that.

Send your contributions to our Newsletter Editor Judy Crossin or our secretary.


The Victorian Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages have on offer downloads of uncertified historical certificates for $20 each, a saving of $4.50, until the end of May.


As was reported in the April Newsletter, the 2019-2020 AGM to be held in April was postponed to a date to be determined when some form of normality returns to our lives. The Committee went ahead and prepared the Annual Report for 2019-2020 and it is now available on the Branch website here.  When isolation restrictions are lifted and we can set a date for the AGM, there will be time for members to nominate for the Committee for the remainder of 2020-2021.  Please consider putting your name forward for the Committee.

Library Accessions October 2019


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

Books / Computer Disks


*       Furze, Jack; THE FURZE FAMILY IN AUSTRALIA 1994 [Q929.2 FUR]


*       Schaffer, Irene; JAMES JORDAN'S LAST JOURNEY - Norfolk Island to Norfolk Plains - 1813, 3rd Edition [Q 929.2 JOR]

*       Schaffer, Irene; JAMES JORDAN'S TRIAL - Dublin 1789 [Q929.2 JOR]

Computer Disks

* Denotes complimentary or donated item


Due to the Library closure, you can now access Ancestry from home if you are a member of Libraries Tasmania.


The society membership year is 1 April 2020 to 31 March 2021.  If you have not already renewed please do so as soon as possible.  You can direct deposit through your financial institution, please use your CRN as the reference (bottom right hand side on front of form) or pay by credit card, complete details on back of form and send to PO Box 326 Rosny Park TAS 7018.  If you have misplaced your membership renewal (pink form) please contact us and we will arrange a replacement.

Visually Impaired Genealogists

If you know of someone who is struggling to do their family history research because of a visual impairment, or who are completely blind, please let them know that there is a group set up specifically for them.

In case you are wondering, most completely blind researchers use text to speech software on their computers or mobile devices, the partially sighted tend to use screen magnification software (sometimes alongside text to speech). They rely heavily on transcriptions, because text to speech software and electronic Braille displays can't handle text on images, let alone old handwriting. If any sighted and experienced transcribers are interested in helping out, please contact the co-owners.

Convicts in Publications

The Female Convicts Research Centre's website has a PDF resource with an alphabetical listing of female convicts in Van Diemen's Land who are mentioned in publications. The list includes female convicts who have been featured in Convict Women's Press publications, the FCRC Convict Stories website page, CWP's Edges of Empire Biographical Dictionary website, and other selected books. It is updated periodically.

Hobart Branch's Unique Collection of Funeral Registers 1885 - 1975

Since 2003 Hobart Branch has been photographing, indexing and publishing in book form the names recorded in Funeral Registers, as maintained by the various undertakers in the Hobart area over the past 135 years. These records are an invaluable asset to any family historian interested in families from the Hobart area, and especially so for:


The National Archives in the UK have recently announced 'free access to digital records' for as long as the Kew site is closed to visitors. You have to register with Discovery, which is free, and then you can order and download up to 10 items at a time, to a maximum of 50 items over 30 days.

To find records that are available to download for free, filter your search results in Discovery to include records that are 'available for download only'.

Bruny Island's German and Scandinavian Heritage

Families: Abraham; Dunckel; Glau; Hansson; Kaden; Ohlson; and Zschachner

Michael Watt

In July 2016, I presented a talk to members of the Bruny Island Historical Society (BIHS) in the Adventure Bay Hall about German and Scandinavian immigrants, who settled on South Bruny Island.  After the presentation, the BIHS convener provided a collection of family history documents on the German and Scandinavian families. 

Since then, I drafted a document titled Bruny Island's German and Scandinavian Heritage in a piecemeal way over several years.  Following its completion in February 2020, the draft was reviewed by three descendants of the following families: Abraham; Dunckel; Glau; Hansson; Kaden; Ohlson; and Zschachner.  BIHS has agreed to support publication of the document by providing maps and photographs of family members, houses and other relevant sites for inclusion in the document.  The publication process, which will be accomplished by a sequence of four main steps, is likely to extend throughout the remainder of 2020.  Revision of the draft will be based on feedback from the review, a further review of the final draft by BIHS members, inclusion of maps and photographs, and addition of an index. 

The author invites descendants of any of the listed families to provide information and photographs for inclusion in the document by contacting me.