Tasmanian Family History Society Inc. Hobart Branch

News - November 2021

Editor: Judith Crossin

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Tuesday 16 November – 7:30pm General Meeting

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

GUEST SPEAKER: Jeff Schneider

TOPIC: Hobart Synagogue Digital Archive – A look at a collection telling the story of Judaism in Hobart – 1828 to present

The Jewish history of Hobart is long and remarkable. It is a curious story of survival that is reflected in the Hobart Synagogue, Australia's oldest synagogue still in use (1845). How did the free settlers and convicts form this community? Who are the personalities that have kept it going? In the 180 years of the Hobart Hebrew Congregation, what triumphs (and lowlights) occurred? Most importantly how has this tiny group of Hobart Jews managed to keep an unbroken existence? Many of these answers can now be found on the internet with the Hobart Synagogue digital archive, an accessible collection of approximately 1800 documents dating back to 1828. This talk will explore the stories found in the collection and examine how an online collection functions as a history resource.

Jeff Schneider is a Collections Analyst who works with cultural institutions to build and share digital collections. He is president of the Hobart Hebrew Congregation.

This meeting is the final one for 2021. Please bring a small plate of food to share over a chat and a cuppa afterwards. Looking forward to seeing you all there.

More for Your Diary

Thu 18 November – 10.00am Branch Committee Meeting

VENUE: Branch Library, Bellerive

Thu 18 November – 1.30pm DNA Group Meeting

VENUE: Church Hall at St Marks Anglican Church, Bellerive

Thu 25 November - 2pm Library Committee

VENUE: Branch Library, Bellerive

Christmas tree

Wishing all peace and joy this Christmas, and much happiness and hope for the New Year to come.
Thank you for all your efforts this year,

Important - Closing Dates for the Library

Library will be closing for the summer break Saturday 18th December 2021 and re-opening on Tuesday 18th January 2022.

Thanks to our Librarian and all Library assistants who have given another wonderful year of assistance to our members and visitors.

Library Accessions October 2021


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


* Denotes complimentary or donated item

1921 Census Online Publication Date Announced

It has been announced that the 1921 Census for England and Wales will be published only by Findmypast on 6 January 2022.

Taken between two world wars, during a period of economic turmoil and at a time when women had just won the right to vote, the 1921 Census will provide some fascinating insights about society and how it has evolved over the past 100 years.

You can find out more about what to expect from the 1921 Census of England and Wales by visiting Findympast.

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 phone the Library (6245 9351) or email the Secretary.

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!

Crowther Reinterpreted, Something Missing by Jillian Mundy
Launching Thursday 18th November at 11:30 am

You are invited to meet the artist and experience Something Missing, 2021, by Jillian Mundy.

This is the fourth and final temporary public art commission to be installed in relation to the William Crowther statue in Franklin Square, in recognition of the complex history of this man and of Tasmanian Aboriginal man, William Lanne/Lanney, otherwise known as King Billy.

11.30 am, Thursday 18 November, Franklin Square, adjacent to the William Crowther statue.

Please email Jude Abel with a RSVP if you are interested in attending.

10 Ways to Boost your Tasmanian Names Index Searches

There have been some recent enhancements to how you can search the Tasmanian Names Index.

We have added more fields to the search filters on the drop-down menu to the left of the search bar. Some of these have always been there (while some are new additions). Many of you might not have been aware of the drop-down menu at all, but it can be a useful tool for refining your searches in our ever-expanding database of Tasmanian life.

Here is a short guide to what those options mean and when it might be useful to use them.


The main purpose of the Tasmanian Names index is to identify the names of people in our records. However, as we index in more detail, searches can get crowded with information from other fields.

Relevant to: All types of records. Exceptions are contained in the Colonial Secretary’s Correspondence, Hotels and Properties and Miscellaneous record types which have entries indexed by Subject rather than a personal name.

Useful for: Restricting your search terms so that you only return entries containing your search term in a Name field (including parents’ names).

Example: If you were looking for someone with the surname ‘Butcher’, you could use this filter to exclude records that have ‘butcher’ in the Occupation field.


Mother and Father names are included when we filter for Name, but there are times when it is useful to search these separately. When you select Mother Name and type a name in the search bar, all the results will have that name in the Mother field.

Relevant to: Births, Census, Deaths, Education, and Health & Welfare records.

Useful for: Finding all the children of a particular parent or identifying records that contain that person as a parent.

To keep in mind: In Births, mother’s names are indexed by their maiden name (including unmarried mothers), or name prior to marriage to the father of the child (such as a surname acquired in a previous marriage). In other records, the mother’s name is name that was current at the time of the record. The spelling of a name might also vary between records.

An example of a search using the Mother Name filter, which returns her children’s birth entries in the results.


Relevant to: Convict, Immigration, Arrivals, Departures, Health and Welfare records, and any other colonial records where the ship on which a person arrived has been recorded.

Useful for: Searching for the ship itself, or all passengers on board.

To keep in mind: There were different sailings of various passenger and convict ships. Sometimes these are identified with a number following the name. You can also filter for Ship using the facets down the left-hand side. Ship refers to all types of vessels.

The Mokoia
Photograph – Ship “Mokoia”, Tasmanian Archives: LPIC22/1/109


Knowing their port of departure links people to a geographic location, which can help with finding out more information such as court records or where they might have had family or friends.

Relevant to: All Convict entries and many Arrivals contain this field.

Useful for: Filtering for Departure Port may help if you are investigating possible connections between convicts prior to transportation.


Relevant to: All Convict entries and many Arrivals contain this field. Births, Deaths, Marriages, and Inquests all record Place Registered. This field can also be filtered using the facets on the left-hand side.

Useful for: Searching for events that happened in a particular region.


Relevant to: Census records

Useful for: Restricting your search to a particular district in Census records


Relevant to: Place of Origin (sometimes called Native Place in the records) is recorded in Convicts, Deaths, Employment, Health & Welfare, Immigration, Inquests, Land and Naturalisations. This may expand in future.

Useful for: Knowing a person’s place of origin is enormously helpful for tracing someone’s life course, and when looking for family connections. The filter can help to identify people who came from the same area. It may help identify those who have family or social connections, or those who share a language or an experience of place.

If you know that someone came from a place, this may help to limit your search results. Just remember that you could be excluding records that don’t contain Place of Origin data.

Example: If you want to know how many convicts from Glasgow went to Port Arthur, do a Place of Origin search for Glasgow, then select Port Arthur Penal Station from the Properties facet (there were 162).

Example: Henry Burgess is the earliest recorded Tasmanian-born convict, having been tried in 1823 and sentenced to life. I found this out by selecting Place of Origin and searching for ‘Tasmania’ and looking at the earliest convict record.

Keep in mind: Different records may be more, or less, specific about a person’s Place of Origin. If looking for someone from a particular town, also try the county, parish, or country. Convict records tend to be specific, whereas Immigration and Naturalisation records primarily contain the Country.


Property can mean an institution such as a hospital, school or gaol, a cemetery, hotel, or a place of work such as a mine, mill, or factory. This field is also in the facets on the left-hand side of the search screen, so you can browse through the Properties included in the list.

Relevant to: Health and Welfare, Inquests, Convicts, Education, Employment, Deaths, and Colonial Secretary Correspondence records all contain this field.

Useful for: Collating records associated with a particular public place, institution, or work site.

Example: If you do a Property search for ‘New Norfolk’ and then go to the Properties facet and select and include all the names used to describe the New Norfolk hospital for mental illnesses. This will return all entries in the index associated with that institution throughout its history.

Royal Derwent Hospital
Photograph – Royal Derwent Hospital, New Norfolk, Tasmanian Archives: AA193/1/253


Although a person’s occupation is subject to change, it can be a useful clue when attempting to identify whether a record belongs to the person you are researching.

Relevant to: We only recently started indexing occupation data. It is available for Education (parent occupation), Naturalisations, Employment, and some Health and Welfare entries. In future we will be adding parent occupation to newly indexed Birth records. We are also negotiating with researchers to incorporate Occupation data for convicts.

Useful for: Searching for people by their trade and looking for trends by trade. This field will become more useful the more we index it.


We have an enormous number of records relating to land, and we have begun the process of adding them to the Tasmanian Names Index. This currently encompasses deeds of land grants from 1832-1935.

Relevant to: Limited to the Land record type, Location (Land records) includes place names as specified in the deed documents. Often this involves county and parish names that are no longer in common usage, as well as more familiar town names.

Useful for: Many researchers interested in Land records will not be familiar with the name of the original deed-holder. Using this filter allows you to search for a property by its location.


You can stack filters and facets on top of each other to create a search refined by multiple parameters

When you are done with a search and want to start a new one, change the radio button on the right of the search bar to New Search

We can’t always imagine the problems that our clients are trying to solve when accessing our Names Index. These extra features are intended to provide options to make it a more versatile tool. Why not start experimenting and see what you uncover?

We love feedback. If there are features you would like added to the Names Index, or if you found this article useful and would like to see more blogs like this, let us know in the comments!

Author: Jess Walters

Jessica is an archivist for the State Library and Archive Service.