Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Historical Societies

Historical Societies are a great source of information for family history researchers and often have additional information, which is not available over the internet.

Over the years, I have written to several Historical Societies to obtain information (as many do not have internet).  Every one of them has been most helpful and obliging.

The smaller historical societies are usually staffed by volunteers and require a donation to complete research.  I am always happy to provide a donation as I really appreciate their assistance and the work that they do. It is also a good idea to provide them with a copy of your research and contact details, to assist any other family members researching the same family.  One day I hope that a distant cousin will make contact with me and we can share research.

In particular, the Maryborough Historical Society has provided me with the most interesting and useful information, including details from local newspapers that have not yet been digitised.  This led to me to discover that a lamp that I had admired since I was a child, was a wedding present to my great grandparents from my great great grandfather! You can read more about this here.

The Maryborough Hospital Admission records also provided me some useful information and leads on many family members, who lived in the area.  It is the only record I have found which shows my Great Great Great Grandfather's arrival in Australia from America.

The record below told me Samuel's age (year of birth), occupation, residence, importantly the Port of Embarkation, the ship he arrived on (a whaling boat), how long he had been in the colony (when he arrived in Australia) and religion.  Fantastic information for a researcher who has hit a brick wall!

Sophia, Nantucket
Maryborough Hospital Admission Record
There are many Australian Historical Societies listed at Coraweb.  Ballarat Genealogy also lists more Historical Societies in Northern and Western Victoria.

My tip:  Write a letter to the historical societies in the districts where your family lived.  You never know what information that you shall find.

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10 comments:

  1. We have the beginings of one in our Village where we are starting to get together a digital achive of photo's and documents. Still a lot of work to do yet though.

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    1. I admire you for doing it. It is amazing how much information and photos that people have and it is great when they are available to share with others. It is alot of work to index and scan things.

      I aim to come involved with an historical society and volunteer and assist with scanning and indexing when I retire.

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  2. fascinating! i never thought of using my local historical society, which i visit often!

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    1. You have me wondering now if the term Historical Society means different things in different countries?

      In Australia, there are historical societies in many towns. They contain historical items, local displays and local records (Newspapers, gazettes, school records, hospital records, cemetery records, mining records etc). All the historical societies I have been to or contacted have also had researchers who will look up information, usually for a donation.

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  3. Genealogy is so fascinating and I've found some information about my great, great, great grandparents in Salt Lake City and in Washington, D.C. I was so neat reading documents and feeling closer to family.

    www.solotravelgirl.com

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    1. I have been told that Salt Lake City is amazing. One day I would like to get there :)

      Yes many documents bring our ancestors names to life!

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  4. I've often thought I should write the historical society in my grandfather's hometown, Athens TN. for information. They have a museum too. I could even go there and look around. It's not that far. Thank you for the reminder.

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    1. Do it! Sounds like a good day out. I look forward to hearing about your visit :)

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  5. Historical societies are a great source of information.

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