Say yes to Question 60 in the Australian census

It’s census time again, and again we are being asked if we want to save our answers for 99 years and then make them public.

I am saying YES.

We rely so much on the information from censuses in the United Kingdom and other countries to discover the basic structure of our ancestors’ families and we are disappointed to find that the same information is not available here.

Our descendants and other researchers will thanks us, and we won’t be around to be embarrassed.

Question 60

Everyone included in the Census form has the option for their name–identified information to be retained and kept confidential for 99 years, and then released in 2110 for research purposes. For more information on this question see http://www.abs.gov.au/websitedbs/censushome.nsf/home/2011%20Census%20-%20Census%20Help%20-%20Time%20Capsule

How to search for probate files at State Records NSW

SRNSW Western Sydney Records CentreProbate is the process of proving that a will left by a deceased person is genuine. Probate files are created by the NSW Supreme Court (or equivalent in other States) and transferred gradually to State Records NSW. They are more commonly called ‘probate packets’, since all the documents are folded in three into an envelope.

Probate packets can contain all sorts of goodies, including a copy of the will, an inventory of assets, affidavits from family members, and sometimes a copy of the death certificate and newspaper notices.

State Records NSW holds probate packets up to the 1960s, but to find them involves searching the index on microfiche created by the NSW Supreme Court.  State Records NSW has been gradually adding each packet to it online catalogue, Archives Investigator, so that we can search from home.

The latest Now and Then, the State Records NSW newsletter, describes the packets that have been listed so far and how to find them, and I can do no better than to quote the article here.

More probate packets listed in Archives Investigator Over 300 000 individual (NRS 13660) Probate Packets are available in Archives Investigator! Listed so far are:

•             Series 1: April 1817 to c. May 1873

•             Series 2: 1873 to 1876

•             Series 3: 1876 to c.1890

•             The years 1928-54 from Series 4 – Series 4-152152 (probate granted June 1928) to Series 4-419994 (probate granted July 1954).

To check if the details of your ancestor’s Probate Packet is now available online just go to Archives Investigator – Simple Search, key in the name of your ancestor followed by the word ‘death’ and click on the ‘Search’ button. If you locate a relevant result you then have the option to order a photocopy of the probate or preorder the probate packet to view in person at the Western Sydney Records Centre (WSRC).

Search for your elusive ancestor today http://investigator.records.nsw.gov.au/

Do a search for all your New South Wales ancestors, male and female, and plan a trip out to the Western Sydney Records Centre (WSRC) at Kingswood. Take your digital camera, or be prepared to pay for photocopies if you can’t deal with the folded up pages. You won’t regret it!

Retrieval orders for probate packets are only sent at certain times of the day, so you can save time by preordering up to four packets a day or two before your visit, to be waiting for you when you arrive.

Answer truthfully in the census or the consequences could be dire!

Trove SG 1816Nov16 p1 convictsBack in the day, when the government wanted to count the population they didn’t stand for any nonsense. You had to be what you said you were, and your answers would be checked. If you couldn’t prove that you were free or entitled to work for yourself you would be hauled back to government work.

Here is a transcript of a piece I found in the Sydney Gazette of Saturday 16 November 1816 on page 1 which searching Trove for news of a particular convict. You can find the original here, but I have included the full transcript, for which I’d like to thank those wonderful people who correct the text on Trove, particularly cjbrill, who corrected this one. I have changed nothing except the spacing.

WHEREAS, during the late General Muster of the Inhabitants of this Colony, several Persons who had originally come into it as Convicts reported themselves at the said Muster as free, either by Servitude or by Pardon, or as being allowed to  employ themselves for their own Benefit by the special Permission of His EXCELLENCY the GOVERNOR; and whereas several of the Persons  who thus reported themselves did not produce any Certificate, Free Pardon, Emancipation, or Ticket of Leave, without which the Truth of their said Statements could not be satisfactorily ascertained; and there being much  Reason to believe that Imposition is frequently practised in this Respect, the Names of those Persons who at the late Muster did not produce any Certificate, Free Pardon, Emancipation, or Ticket of Leave, but who represented themselves absolutely free, or conditionally so, by Virtue of one or other of the above named Documents, is now published, in Order that each of these Persons may be apprised that unless he or she do, in the Course of Six Months from the present Day, obtain at the Secretary’s Office, either a certified Copy of such Certificate, Free Pardon, Emancipation, or Ticket of Leave, as they represented  themselves to have been once possessed of in the Event of his or her having actually lost the Original, they will be considered as Impostors, and immediately recalled to Government Work as Convicts still under the Sentence of the Law.

Trove SG 1816Nov16 p1No. Name. Ship came in. Residence. Occupation.

1. Richard Hawke Alexander Sydney –

2.  Anthony Rope ditto Castle. Landh.

3.  John Cross ditto Port H. ditto

4. Mary Clark diito 2d. Sydney –

5.  John Glade  Atlantic ditto –

6. James Hague  ditto Windsor Landh.

7. Richard Ridge ditto Hawksb. –

8. Christ. Dodding ditto ditto –

9. Richard Verrier Active Sydney –

10. Timothy Doyle Nepean Smith

11. James Higgins ditto Hawksb. –

12. John M’Ewen ditto Liverp. –

13. John Taylor Albemarle Windsor –

14. Jas. Sutherland ditto Hawksb. –

15. John Brown ditto Hawksb. –

16. Owen Hobson Ann ditto –

17. John Campbell ditto 1st. Liverp. –

18. Wm. Aldridge A. Barringt. Richm. Landh.

19. Benjamin Elton ditto Wilberf. –

20. Wm. Reynolds.  ditto Hawksb. –

21. Joseph Hunt Barwell Sydney –

22. Thomas North ditto Richmd. –

23. John Caton Boddington  Hawksb. –

24. James Kenny ditto Liverp. –

25. Mary A. Parker Canada Sydney –

26. Thos. Douglass ditto 1st. Hawksb. –

27. James Kibby ditto 1st.  Liverp. –

28. John Dugan Coromand. Nepean Landh.

29. Wm. Stevens ditto Pitt Town –

30. Timothy Webb ditto Windsor –

31. William Webb ditto Hawksb. –

32. Jonas Mordecai ditto ditto  –

33. Joseph Smith ditto ditto –

34. Rich. Holland D. of Portl. ditto Landh.

35. John Williams ditto Wilberf. laborer

36. John McKenzie ditto Hawksb. –

37. Thos. Getham ditto ditto –

38. Thomas Knight E. Cornwal. Richm. laborer

39. Thomas Rudd ditto Liverp. –

40. Patrick Mason Friendship Hawksb. Landh.

41. James Timmens ditto Richm. ditto

42. Roger Twyfield ditto Hawksb. –

43. Hugh M’Avoy Glatton Sydney –

44. Joseph Oners ditto Windsor Landh.

45. Mark Doolan Gambier 1st. Sydney

46. Peter Patallo Ganges ditto –

47. Samuel Stevens ditto Richmd. –

48. John Fitsgerald Hillsboro’ Sydney –

49. Robert Ritchie Hercules Castler. Landh.

50. Stephen Dunn ditto Pitt Town –

51. Martha Eaton Lad. Penryn Sydney –

52. Thos. Woolton Minorca ditto –

53. John Hewitt Minerva Windsor laborer

54. John Everett ditto Hawksb. –

55. Joseph Burrows ditto ditto –

56. Nicholas Crosbie M. Cornwa. Windsor Landh.

5 7. Robert Allen ditto Richm.  –

58. John Riley ditto Hawksb. –

59. Michael Balf ditto ditto –

60. Wm. Horsford Matilda ditto –

61. John Booth ditto Port H. –

62.  Henry Hyam ditto Hawksb. –

63.   Steph. Richardson ditto Richm. Landh.

64. Daniel Phillips ditto Hawksb. –

65. Adam Bell ditto ditto –

66. Isaac Farmer Neptune Wilberf. –

67. Thos. Eager or Heather ditto Hawksb. –

68. Wm. Mackey ditto Richmd. –

69. Dan. Anshutz ditto Hawksb. –

70. James O’Neille Pitt Sydney –

71. Rd. Hammett ditto ditto –

72. James Higgins ditto ditto –

73. Alex. Cumberbech ditto ditto –

74. Joseph Pearce ditto Richm. Landh.

75. John May ditto ditto ditto

76. Thomas Brown ditto Hawksb. –

77. Matthew Elkins Perseus Windsor shoemaker

78. Joseph Butler ditto Wilberf. –

79.  J. Mainwright ditto Hawksb. –

80. Wm. M’Donald Queen Pitt Town Landh.

81.  F. M’Lawrence Queen Richmd. sawyer

82. Catherine Evans Royal adm. Sydney –

83.  Thos. Pateman ditto 1st ditto –

84. William Green ditto Brokenb. Limeb.

85. Donald Kennedy ditto Castler. Landh.

86. Richard Willis ditto Pitt Town ditto

87.  William Ezzey ditto Windsor ditto

88. Henry Rochester ditto Richmd. –

89. John Norman ditto Windsor –

90. Henry Tredaway ditto Hawksb. –

91.  James Dunn  Royal Adm. ditto –

92. Thomas Tailby ditto Liverp. –

93. John Summers ditto 2d. Windsor ferrym.

94. Patrick Byrne Rolla Wilberf. –

95. Cornelius Lyons ditto sydney –

96.  James Bradley Scarboro’ Sydney –

97.  Robt. Forrester ditto Windsor Landh.

98. Richard Hagley ditto Hawksb. –

99. William Smith ditto ditto –

100. Thomas Glaves ditto ditto –

101.  Wm. Hubbard ditto ditto –

102.  Jas. Ruse ditto ditto –

103. Jas. Spooner Salamander Sydney –

104. Jos. Welstead ditto Hawksb. –

105. William Pimblett surprise Sydney –

106.  William Knight ditto Port H. Landh.

107. Simon Freebody ditto Windsor ditto

108. Edw. Woodham ditto Richm. –

109.  John Sullivan Sugar cane ditto Hawksb. –

110.    James Knowland ditto Hawksb. –

111. Charles Barwick Wm & Ann Sydney –

112. L. Wetherhead ditto Hawksb. Landh.

113.  Thomas Noble – Liverpool –

114.  John Hopkins – ditto –

115.  Roger Fletcher – ditto –

116.  John Masterson – ditto –

And the foregoing Persons are hereby Apprised,that the proper Time to apply at the Secretary’s Office for the obtaining of the above Documents, is the first Monday in each Month.

By Command of His Excellency, J. T. CAMPBELL, Secretary.