Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Australian Federal Electoral Rolls – revisited

iStock_000013655340XSmallBack in February 2010 I was making heavy use of the Australian Electoral Rolls on Ancestry. Until you have slogged through polling place after polling place on microfiche, I don’t think you can appreciate how wonderful it is to be able to type in a name and see the person you’re looking for pop up in not only an unexpected polling place, but a different electorate.

You kids today have it so easy…

Expanded coverage

My use of the electoral rolls is likely to pick up again (not that I have finished entering all the data I downloaded last time!) now that Ancestry have expanded their coverage of Australian Electoral Rolls all the way up to 1980.

There’s something a little eerie about having the electoral rolls go so far. It’s in my lifetime! Although I was still a long way off voting, I have found my parents on the roll and it’s funny knowing that I was part of that household.

How old to vote?

The expansion of Ancestry’s holdings to 1980 raised a question for me. In what year was the voting age in Australia lowered from 21 to 18?

Unfortunately, the metadata on Ancestry is very poor. Changes to voting requirements and eligibility over time are skimmed over with the years that changes occurred mentioned in only vague terms. They don’t mention the voting age at all!

Fortunately, this lack of information had bothered me enough in 2010 that I sought out the answers myself and wrote about it in this blog:

Australian Federal Electoral Rolls - part 1
Australian Federal Electoral Rolls - part 2

Part one provides a summary of the information and a link to the Australian Electoral Commission's Australian Electoral History page. Part two describes how I was using the electoral roll at the time.

Referring back to my earlier posts, I see that the voting age was lowered from 21 to 18 in 1973. This means that I could use the electoral rolls to narrow down the birth year of people who born up to about 1962, who would first appear on the roll as 18 year olds in 1980.

Monday, October 17, 2011

The Ancestors' Geneameme

Geniaus is on a geneameme (her term) creating roll! I’m a bit late in joining this one as I only arrived home from a holiday on Saturday night.

She says:

“I invite anyone with an interest in genealogy to participate. If you don't have a blog and wish to participate you can send your responses to me in an email and I will pop them into a blog post on the GeniMates blog. Please let me know when you participate by a comment on this post or by email and I'll collate a list of responses on this blog.

“It would be appreciated if genealogists would let the meme run its course before copying and republishing it with alterations and amendments.”

Here’s my response:

The Ancestors' Geneameme

The list should be annotated in the following manner:
Things you have already done or found: bold face type
Things you would like to do or find: italicize (colour optional)
Things you haven’t done or found and don’t care to: plain type

You are encouraged to add extra comments in brackets after each item.

Which of these apply to you?

  1. Can name my 16 great-great-grandparents
  2. Can name over 50 direct ancestors
    (About 100 for whom I have both a first and last name, with varying degrees of certainty)
  3. Have photographs or portraits of my 8 great-grandparents
    (I would like to. I have photos for seven out of eight. If anyone has a photo that is or even might be James Henry French 1849-1915 who lived in the Avoca, Victoria region, please please please get in touch!)
  4. Have an ancestor who was married more than three times
  5. Have an ancestor who was a bigamist
  6. Met all four of my grandparents
    (This is not possible as all of my grandparents are deceased. I met three of them. My paternal grandfather died before I was born)
  7. Met one or more of my great-grandparents
    (Again, not possible, but I would have liked to!)
  8. Named a child after an ancestor
  9. Bear an ancestor's given name/s
    (I do bear an ancestral surname)
  10. Have an ancestor from Great Britain or Ireland
  11. Have an ancestor from Asia
  12. Have an ancestor from Continental Europe
  13. Have an ancestor from Africa
  14. Have an ancestor who was an agricultural labourer
    (Probably – my neglected Irish ancestors are described as farmers)
  15. Have an ancestor who had large land holdings
    (I think some of them did – I haven’t looked into those records yet) 
  16. Have an ancestor who was a holy man - minister, priest, rabbi
  17. Have an ancestor who was a midwife
  18. Have an ancestor who was an author
  19. Have an ancestor with the surname Smith, Murphy or Jones
  20. Have an ancestor with the surname Wong, Kim, Suzuki or Ng
  21. Have an ancestor with a surname beginning with X
  22. Have an ancestor with a forename beginning with Z
  23. Have an ancestor born on 25th December
    (my great-great grandfather William Tregonning was baptised on 25 December 1825)
  24. Have an ancestor born on New Year's Day
  25. Have blue blood in your family lines
    (Not that I know of. Someone once told me that my Carey ancestors descend from Anne Boleyn's sister. I’ve never bothered looking into it until about ten seconds ago when I Googled and found this. So there we have it – I descend from Henry VIII Smile with tongue out)
  26. Have a parent who was born in a country different from my country of birth
  27. Have a grandparent who was born in a country different from my country of birth
  28. Can trace a direct family line back to the eighteenth century
  29. Can trace a direct family line back to the seventeenth century or earlier
  30. Have seen copies of the signatures of some of my great-grandparents
    (I have original marriage certificates of some of my great-grandparents so I’ve seen their actual signatures)
  31. Have ancestors who signed their marriage certificate with an X
  32. Have a grandparent or earlier ancestor who went to university
    (No – I was the first generation to attend university)
  33. Have an ancestor who was convicted of a criminal offence
    (Not that I know of – but if I do I would like to know about it)
  34. Have an ancestor who was a victim of crime
  35. Have shared an ancestor's story online or in a magazine (Tell us where) (Bits and pieces on this blog)
  36. Have published a family history online or in print (Details please)
  37. Have visited an ancestor's home from the 19th or earlier centuries
  38. Still have an ancestor's home from the 19th or earlier centuries in the family
  39. Have a  family bible from the 19th Century
  40. Have a pre-19th century family bible

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Wordless Wednesday–A life in pictures–Marjorie Lloyd Stannus

Marjorie Lloyd Stannus

Marjorie Lloyd Stannus (1911-1984)

Perhaps just a few words...

Marjorie Lloyd Stannus was my Nanna. She was warm and fun – Nanna and Pa were the grandparents who could be counted on to spoil us!

I think it fascinating to see a person represented across their life span. I have often thought about putting together a collage like the one above for some of my ancestors – but it seemed like too much work. Then I revisited Picasa and was impressed with how well the facial recognition did. All but the youngest baby photo were correctly identified by Picasa as belonging to the same person. I created the collage above using Picasa’s collage function – it took about a minute. I would like to do more “Life in Pictures” posts, but there will only be a few. In most cases I’m glad if I even have one photo of my relatives and ancestors.