One of the troubles I have had in researching my family tree is the reticence of one side of the family in talking about the past. Whereas one side is happy to tell you anything and take great delight in all manner of scandals and anecdotes, the other is tight lipped and ‘the past is the past’ and best not brought up. So tracing the family tree without asking the family questions, challenging but as I am finding out, doable. If that is, you have some place to start.
In my case it was Trove. That sexy little knowledge tool, is quite a minx 😉
I started with a surname. On typing that into Trove and narrowing the results to South Australian Newspapers, I now had a list of lots of people in that locality with that surname. Browsing through I spotted a familiar one. A VERY familiar one. Brilliant! In the family notices section of the Adelaide Advertiser, the family had placed birthday announcements. This you see, gave me an address and a timeframe.
|Family Notices. (1951, December 18). The Advertiser(Adelaide, SA : 1931 – 1954), p. 16. Retrieved October 9, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article45770727*|
Over to findmypast I went, armed with this address and keen to look at the electoral roles. Type the address in the keywords and yes! there it is! Confirmation of my great-grandparents names, something I had not had before having only my mother’s recollection of ‘grandfather’ and a photograph with a death date on the mantelpiece.
The world of information that then opened up. Marriage certificates, Birth notices, Death notices, newspaper articles, missing persons – I followed great-grandmother’s family backward and backward through BDMs, Govt Gazettes and newspapers – I am going to have a blast confirming this all, and sharing what I find.
Great-grandfather is still stubbornly eluding me, siblings and parents, but no further. Still I now have his full NAME and BIRTHDATE and to a researcher, this is worth more than gold.
You can find all the #TroveTuesday posts over at Branches, Leaves & Pollen or search the hashtag on twitter 🙂
*yes I am aware that this is pretty unreadable. I must still respect the wishes of my living family members in regards to the past by mentioning no names.