Each month we look at a genealogy dataset in Australia or New Zealand. This month we look at NSW and The First Fleet.
The Australian National University have a list of First Fleet Ships and Passengers. The page lists the ships in alphabetical order and the passengers on each ship are also in alphabetical order. Next to each passenger it lists their status ie: crew, convict, marine, marines family etc. You can also see if the passenger was known by an alias. Some passengers are linked to other records so you can find out further information. There are many other websites that also provide lists of the passengers on the first fleet and if you have an ancestor that was on one of the ships, then it is worth checking out all lists as some websites provide links to further information about the passengers.
The Sydney Living Museum provides information about the voyage itself. If you are in Sydney you may wish to visit the display at the museum.
It’s Fathers Day today in Australia. Yes, different countries recognize Fathers Day at different times of the year. However, to all the dad’s in Australia, we say “Happy Fathers Day”.
We all celebrate our dads or remember our dads in different ways. For some, it’s getting together, for others, this may be an opportunity to learn more about our fathers family history. If this is of interest and your dad is still living then take the opportunity to ask questions and record the answers.
If dad isn’t living you may wish to ask other living relatives what they recall about dad and his family and write down or record the stories as they are given, along with the date and who is giving the information.
To follow your dad’s genealogy back, start with what is known such as parents or grandparents, buy certificates, look for newspaper articles and gather the information together, always noting your sources. If you don’t know anything about dad or his parents then you may like to consider a DNA test as the start of your journey.
If you feel you need assistance then contact a genealogist or record agent.
My own family history has always fascinated me. It is abundant with stories of Victoria’s Western District, raising sheep, extraordinary horsemanship, Aussie battlers and wonderful women. Growing up, as a family we would sit around the dinner table and Mum and Dad would regale us with stories of wonderful and quirky ancestors, family myths and legends. I loved (and still do) leafing through old photos and documents that told stories about my family and took me to a place I could only imagine.
When I finished school, I had no idea what I wanted to do. It was a number of years later, I was reading the newspaper when I had an epiphany! I was reading an article about a gentleman who had died alone in the bush leaving behind a small fortune, a legacy and no known next of kin. It mentioned the work of a genealogist to try and find out more about this man. It was then that I decided that historical research and genealogy was what I had to do.
I went on to study history and also volunteered at a number of historical societies. Shortly after finishing my first degree I started working at the Geelong Heritage Centre and then went on to work at the Public Record Office Victoria (PROV) – the state government archives. This really helped to whet my appetite when it came to perusing historical records of all shapes, sizes and depths.
It was when I was working at PROV that I decided I wanted to pursue history on my own time and in my own capacity and thus my professional historical research business ‘Born & Bred Historical Research’ was established.
The business encompasses my passion for genealogy, discovering a love of researching families, their origins and finding skeletons in the closest. I love being able to uncover family mysteries and find missing ancestors as well as research and write about historical events and relish in discovering treasures in the archives.
My main inspiration and drive to uncover historical mysteries has been because of my own family and my paternal grandfather in particular. He migrated to Australia in the 1950s during the post-World War II mass migration from Europe. He was Dutch and had spent his formative years living with his family in the Dutch East Indies, whereby they had all lived for several generations. He had lived a fascinating life and died when I was very young. No one thought to ask him many questions when he was alive, so I have been filling in the gaps for the last decade. Being able to tell his story, now that he no longer can has been a big driving force.
I hold my Advanced Diploma in Local, Family and Applied History and my Bachelor of Historical Inquiry and Research from the University of New England, Armidale, NSW.
I am an accredited Record Agent and Genealogist with AAGRA and a member of the Professional Historians Association (Victoria & Tasmania).