For Family History month this year we asked staff from the Newspapers and Family History team to highlight useful resources that are not available online. In previous weeks, Shannon, Ralph and Leisa shared their picks for supporting family history research. This week, we have Alison, with:
Parish registers on microfilm
As family history librarians, we are presented with a wide range of queries from researchers with varying degrees of knowledge and experience in building their family history. At some point however all researchers need to verify the facts of a birth, death or marriage. This can be done via our invaluable collection of microform parish registers, held on open access in the Newspapers and Family History area of the Library.
Registers of St. Clement's Church, Yass, N.S.W., 1839-1922, nla.cat-vn295235
Parish records can be very useful for two reasons: one, if a birth, death or marriage record is absent from ‘official’ (civil) records; and two, sometimes extra information, additional to that found on civil registration records, may be found on parish records. You might even find information that conflicts with the information on a civil registry certificate.
Many of these microform copies were created as part of a joint project between the National Library of Australia, the Society of Australian Genealogists, and the State Library of NSW.
Wedding party for marriage of Nora Augusta Maud, daughter of Sir Hercules and Lady Nea Robinson, to A.K. Finlay, Sydney, August, 1878, nla.cat-vn900815
In addition to the formal parish register records, many members of the clergy kept diaries or journals throughout their working lives, and these can provide further insight into particular parishes and communities for family historians. The Library holds many such items in various formats (including books, manuscripts, and microform). The following entry comes from the journals of Reverend Alfred Glennie, Rector of Gosford and surrounding areas for the years 1850 – 1865:
July 3, 1859. Sunday – Started about 7 am for my morning service at Wyong Creek. A beautiful, clear, frosty morning, the ground quite white with hoar frost in Mr. Nunn’s paddocks. – Had but a small congregation at Wyong, & a still smaller one at Yarramalong. – Baptized Durrington’s child at Wyong, & Mr. Lette’s at Yarramalong.
These collections can be viewed in the National Library of Australia's main reading room, but if you can't visit us in person, they are often also held in State Library collections.
Stay tuned for part five next week, where we will share our final staff pick for Family History research.