Friday 30 April 2021

Zeroing in - AJCP

Zephyr and Zenith

Reference to the murder of the crew of the Zephyr  is found in the Colonial Office records.
Offices: Admiralty, 1875 (File 7. AJCP Reel No: 2207  
Subjects include: Blackbirding; kidnapping; labour traffic; measles; HMS Dido; Reservation of site for Naval service; attack on HMS Pearl; Plantations visited by and attacks on HMS Sandfly; theft by crew of Jessie Kelly (ship); murder of crews of Zephyr and Lalia; HMS Rosario; criminal acts of William Henry 'Bully' Hayes of the Leonora (brig).

Zenith appears in a report written to the Royal Astronomical Society.

Zeroing in on Rowland Childers

The papers of the Childers family leave me wondering if Rowland Childers was sent away as a son needing to make his own way in the world. He arrived in South Australia on the Garonne in September 1878 and his extensive letters home to his father start a day after his arrival.
However, after a trip to Melbourne there is a 1879 claim for a bill he had not paid sent to his father, even though in the letters he mentions the 200 pounds per year allowance his father has provided.
Dec 2nd 1879
For: Rt Hon H Childers
Agent Generals Office
I have taken the liberty of sending you the 
enclosed a/c and ask you to hand it to the gentleman who
obtained the goods from me if he is in London.
He was staying at the Melbourne Club and I was given
to understand that he was your son. He left Melbourne
shortly after getting the articles charged to him and I
have not been able to trace him since.
........D Carson
In 1878 his father writes to give his son one more chance and refers to some profligacy at Oxford presumably before his departure. His father threatens to warn his friends in the colonies about his son's irresponsible behaviour and says he will not honour his bills if the irresponsible behaviour continues.

One hopes Rowland reformed his ways, there are plenty of letters to read about his life in Australia. In this 1880 one below to his cousin Emily, he expresses regret.

"As I have told you in the multiplicity of my indebtedness
I overlooked some when I left home
which is much to be regretted. God 
knows I am trying to live cheaply now
and I shudder to think of
the money that was not mine which
I chucked in the gutter"

If you research family history I hope this series has helped you to zoom in or zero in to some of your families' ancestors. 
Why did your ancestors arrive in the lands downunder?

Wishing you research success within the AJCP. Thanks to all those who have visited and commented along the way. 

Download the document - includes all 26 posts  Discover the AJCP 2021 

This post first appeared on

Thursday 29 April 2021

Yesteryears felons in York - AJCP

York City Archives

Those who have been following this series will know that Calendars of Prisoners regularly appear in many of the English County Archives and York City Archives is no exception.

Calendar of prisoners in the House of Correction 1828 -1843 - 300 pages
Calendar of prisoners in the House of Correction 1843 -1853 - 272 pages
Details of felons, some sentences written in, details of transportees

If you had family names of Garbett or Thomson and an ancestor was an archbishop you may find interesting records in the York Minster Library.

Yes, a York search does reveal gems like this cover of Timetable of the tour of the Duke of Cornwall and York for their train trip in NSW in May1901

Then there's 
  • New York
  • Archbishop of York
  • York Products Pty. Ltd.
  • 35 York Place
  • Cape York Peninsula, Queensland
  • York Agricultural Society
  • Solicitors of York
  • York Castle Yorkshire
All these will be found with a simple York search from the AJCP portal page.  
Other Ys Young, youth, Yonge

Yes, your turn now. Y not try!

This post first appeared on

Wednesday 28 April 2021

Extra tips - AJCP

X -  ?

I thought there may be a ship's name starting with X but did not find one. Lots of files X and Series X  but I've chosen to go with some eXtra tips.

Add to a list

If you are finding resources that you wish to revisit at a later date, it is a good idea to add them to a Trove list. To do this you need to sign up for a free account from the Trove home page.

The help page provides instructions on how to create your own lists in Trove.

The method of adding AJCP records to Lists requires a different approach to adding a newspaper or article within Trove to a list.

First method 

What to do if you are already viewing a record  you want to add to a list

  • Copy the individual URL for the image from the Cite option 
  • In a second tab in your browser select Lists under your profile name
  • Choose the list where you want the item to appear
  • Choose Add a web page and paste in the URL for the image
  • It  is a good idea to write a reason for adding it to your list, one may not remember!

Adding the link to an image

The item now appears at the end of the list. The words that were added as the title in the previous step now become the direct link to the image.

Second method

1. Search for your required item.

Here I have selected the first result from my search "Frederick G. Mann" AND nuc:"ANL:AJCP"
Portion of selected item page

2. BEFORE you Get the item, scroll right down to the bottom of this page well past the Get and Cite this buttons
3. Once you are below the subject headings added by the librarians you will see these options

find these options at the bottom of the selected link page, 
before you Get the record

Once you have chosen +Add to list this screen appears

Lists can be public or private, and if made Public they can be searched. 

Have you kept a list of the links in the AJCP that you would like to explore further? Here's my fledgling Trove list of links to remind me where to look.

Here's an extra tip from Tim

Just a reminder that if you’re frustrated by the size of the images you can download from the AJCP in Trove (only 1000px wide), you can use Dezoomify to get high-res versions:

— Tim Sherratt (@wragge) April 3, 2021

I hope these tips will help you make best use of all the family finds you have made in the AJCP.

Tuesday 27 April 2021

Wandering through West Yorkshire - AJCP

1. Archaeological Society

Yorkshire Archaeological Society has a collection of deeds, wills and family trees.

From the Hebdens in Australia file one can view thirty pages of notes and diagrams of the various branches of the family tree from 1794 - 1971
Branch 1 of family

2. Bradford 

West Yorkshire Archive Service, Bradford 

In the series Woolcombers' Aid Society, July 1856 - October 1857 there is a list with the signatures of the woolcombers who were about to emigrate to Australia.
The three notebooks contain details of the purchases made to outfit the families for their journeys.  There are also the addresses in Australia of some of the emigrants.

Perhaps one of your forebears or a relation went on one of these Young Australia League tours to Bradford in the 1950s. These files include all the names, addresses and itineraries for both the male and female tours.

Partial list from girls tour 1958

Among the many other series there are also the papers of Harry Eaddie, 1942 - 1947 - imprisonment at Changi.

3. Wakefield

Family papers, deeds letters and more 

As with many of these county archives this one has Calendars of prisoners with more than 1500 images covering the years 1823 -1849. These are very detailed documents with an index of names at the front of each session. The trial records the name, age, event and sentence.

4 Calderdale

As I near the end of the alphabet I delight in small finds.

A woolly image -

5. Kirklees

Some family papers of Joseph Dyson, a Hampshire family and a John Tyson.
Business Records: Rowland Mitchell and Co. Ltd, 1918 - 1931 -  a woollen and worsted manufacturing firm, Lepton, their dealings with Australian and New Zealand firms.
Miscellaneous wills, family and estate papers.

6. Leeds District Archives

George Briggs married Louisa Spencer (d. 1883) at Bishops Stortford, Hertfordshire, in 1853. They migrated to New South Wales and lived in Armidale, before settling in the Allora district of Queensland in 1878. This record is in George's handwriting.

Collections held by Leeds District Archives relating to Australia and New Zealand (as filmed by the AJCP) [microform] : [M1898-M1900] 1821-1935./Fonds. Briggs Papers/File Acc. 2223/Photocopies of papers of George and Louisa Briggs of Allora, Queensland

W - Who, What, Where, When and Why?  Perhaps some of these files may have the answers. Explore more of the many W collections from the M series list.

This post first appeared on

Monday 26 April 2021

Vickers and Voyages - AJCP


If you had an ancestor who worked on Cockatoo Island, Sydney dockyards the Records of the Vickers PLC contain not only illustrated works like the one below but also details of some of the company's transactions  and payments to agents and employees 1915 - 1965.  

For those interested in military and aviation history much is to be gained from browsing the letters in this collection about the company's involvement in Australia.
Cover of 73pp. illustrated brochure covering the wartime achievements of Cockatoo Island dockyard, with photos of  the works and of ships built or repaired during that time


The voyage to the Colonies was variously recorded by passengers, ships surgeons, captains of ships, pursers and clergy accompanying emigrants. Crew lists often accompanied these accounts along with ephemera such as menus, tickets and posters.

One of the best collections of accounts of voyages is found in the Records of the SS Great Britain. While much of this material is accessible at the Brunel Institute in Bristol, UK, we can now access diaries from 1852 - 1896 through the AJCP digitised microfilms.

Many of these diaries contain details of illness on board, food, deaths, ceremonies of crossing the line, weather, the sighting of other ships, concerts, along with details of ship's company and the livestock carried.

If your emigrant ancestor travelled on the SS Great Britain, these comprehensive records can provide background for your family story. There is also a series containing the Crew lists, August 1852 - August 1875, from voyage 9 to voyage 44. Perhaps your mariner predecessor manned the ship.

This ticket  issued in 1862 details what appears to be two generations of the Tully family travelling together.
1862 ticket for the SS Great Britain

Searching for records of voyages 

Some suggested search terms
  • "voyage of (insert name of ship)"
  • "voyage to (insert destination, place or country)"
  • "diary of voyage"
  • "journal of voyage"
  • "account of voyage"
  • "emigrant voyage"
This voyage of HMS Herald from 1852 -1860 has provided  Paintings, drawings, maps and photographs.

V - view some voyages across the vast oceans

This post first appeared on

Saturday 24 April 2021

Upon reflection - AJCP

Family papers

In examining many collections of family papers throughout this series of posts I have been pleasantly surprised about the variety of materials within them. Some have family trees and many of the finding aids for the individual families provide potted biographical and historical information about that family. Land deeds, photographs, diaries and journals as well as letters to friends and family make up the rich resources.

Many filled the long days of their journey southwards to Australia or New Zealand by writing diaries. These often detailed embarkation and departure, reflections about all on board and descriptive passages of ports visited along the way and the final arrival.

It is well worth searching for those surnames on the far branches of your own family tree.

The Upton Family papers 1865 -1930

The Upton family papers which were filmed at the private residence of Mrs Francesca Upton. Shropshire, England are no exception. There is a shipboard diary and early letters back home. There is also an extensive letter collection dealing with family matters and the daily exploits of the children and their educational progress.

Images from this collection

1885 School report
Photographs of Corporal Robert H.B. Upton 
Corporal Robert Henry Bramley Upton (1874-1900) died of illness at Johannesburg,
South Africa on 13 June 1900 whilst serving in the Second Boer War (1899-1902)
with the 3rd Contingent, No. 5 Company, New Zealand Mounted Rifles.

University collections

Many of these collections hold family papers. Here in the Glasgow University Archives and Business Record Centre there are journals, photographs, diaries of voyages, appointments to positions, business papers, conferences, newspaper cuttings and more.

T.G.B. Osborn includes photographs of his boys in a November 1916 Christmas/ New Year letter

U - Unless one searches or browses these comprehensive collections one may never know the treasures within.

This post first appeared on

Friday 23 April 2021

Tracks and Turning pages - AJCP

Tracking and citing

Keeping track of your found documents ensure that you and other researchers may follow the path to view the original. Each Finding Aid in the AJCP contains this paragraph of advice.
Preferred Citation
Acknowledgement of use of this material should refer to the location of the original material and to the Australian Joint Copying Project.

Items from this collection should include references to the location of the original material and to the AJCP nla.obj number, which serves as the online identifier for the digital copy.

Example: M Series: Journal of Capt. James Cook, 18 February 1770, British Library Add. MS 27885 (AJCP ref:

Throughout this series I have added the direct link to all sources used within the AJCP. The Cite button on the left of every image has the direct link to that particular image.

Turning some pages in T

The Colonial Office records relating to Malay Straits Settlement are found listed in the M series under the letter T where they are listed as The National Archives (UK) Malay Straits Settlement. The collection contains a series of Government Gazettes. 
If you had an ancestor working in the settlement in this period they may well be found in these government gazettes. 

The General Index for each year provides an alphabetical list of appointments.

Here in 1892 the Government printer names and reports on the working habits of his staff.
extract from Selangor Government Gazette 1892

Towle Family

Diaries and journals of Edward Towle includes account of trip to Australia in 1852 aboard the Great Britain S.S., accounts of life in the goldfields of Creswick and Ballarat and death of his brother Ben.

Tyne and Wear Archives

Below are some pages from a pamphlet advocating for emigration from the Records of Guardians of the Poor, Newcastle upon Tyne Union 
cover of a pamphlet

Try some T's  - Tea party, Tea plantation, Trading company, and then some names Timothy, Thomas, Tait or Thornton to name but a few.

This post first appeared on

Thursday 22 April 2021

Searching for the females - AJCP

Many women were prolific letter writers and scattered throughout the AJCP collections are hundreds of letters written to those "back home." They can be found in County Record offices and archives, family papers and missionary files. 

In many of the named family files such as Hassall, Hayward or Hearnshaw to name a few from the M Series, collections of personal correspondence may include letters to and from related women and sometimes include named photos. 

British Women's Emigration Association

An excellent collection comes from The Female Middle Class Emigration Society which was established in London in 1862.

The aim of the Society was to help 'educated women of a respectable character' to find work as teachers or governesses in the colonies and help them in securing passages, purchasing cabin fittings and making loans, which were to be repaid within two years.

This guide from the British Women's Emigration Association contains two letter books in which we find correspondence from the governesses who had emigrated to the colonies through the auspices of the Society. Thanks to the authors of this guide all the names are listed so if you search for an Eliza Walpole, you would be directed to these letter books.

The meticulously kept Index provides an indication of where to find the letters within the microfilm. Under W we see that Eliza wrote 4 letters. These letters were obviously rewritten into the book as the script is the same throughout, so unfortunately no signatures of your ancestors.
page 4-5 of the index from Letter book 1862 - 1876

From the guide:
Among the subject matter of the letters were the voyage, conditions on the ships, relations with other emigrants, their first impressions on their arrival at their destination, relations with colonial clergy and other settlers, their employment as governesses and teachers, wages, the management of children, changes of employment, marriages, decisions to return to England, prospects for governesses in the colonies, wages of domestic workers, bush life, colonial society and the financial position of the colonies.

Each image is a double page spread. The title and the index are the first four images so to find Eliza's first letter on page 80, use Browse this collection to efficiently get to Set 41 - 60.

Women's work

The letters were written to the secretary, financial secretary and foreign secretary of the Women's Mission Association and are found in the records of the United Society for the Propagation of the Gospel. 

Search by first name

Another effective method to locate women within these collections is to search by first name. A search from the portal page for Annie reveals 120 records across a wide range of collections. I used a first name search to eliminate the need for deciding whether to use a birth or marriage surname.

This strategy is not so effective for Alice, although it does find many female Alices it will also find the place name, Alice Springs.

search for Emily finds 69 records includes records about the ship 'Emily'

The Biographical / Historical details in many guides are excellent background reading. This one Mathilde Deane has a condensed biography of her life and work.

Find a female, her role was important.

This post first appeared on

Wednesday 21 April 2021

Records of the Royal Societies - AJCP

There are ten organisations or societies with the word Royal in their name listed in the M Series of records. If you are interested in  meteorological observations, early Antarctic and other geographical expeditions, the Royal Society has a good collection of documents. The records of the Royal Botanic Gardens contain the papers of the early collectors of Australian and New Zealand plant species. The Royal Institute of Great Britain fostered scientific pursuits.

Royal Commonwealth Society

School tours

The Royal Commonwealth Society sponsored tours to South Africa, Canada and Newfoundland, India, West Indies and British Guiana, Australia, New Zealand for boys from the public schools between 1927 and 1939. The records contain not just the lists of names of those who participated, but also the ships on which they travelled and full itineraries of the visits. Public Schools Empire Tours Records
Names of participants on 1931 tour to Australia

Monumental Inscriptions

An interesting find in the Royal Commonwealth Society's records are these Monumental Inscriptions in Australia. While some may appear on local council sites and on Find a Grave or Billion Graves, when I checked through some of the entries for Narrandera there are some transcribed here that may have been lost since these lists were compiled between 1913 and 1922. These inscriptions were copied for the Society of Genealogists in London by George P Townend.

The volumes give the full inscriptions on gravestones and also church tablets and windows and a few inscriptions on public buildings. There is a name index for each section.

Vol. I: N.S.W
  • Ashfield (70p.) 
  • Enfield (142p.)
Vol. II: N.S.W
  • Newtown (15p.)
  • Vaucluse (75p.) 
  • Narrandera (54p.)
  • Toganmaine (4p.)
Vol. III: N.S.W
  • Randwick (135p.) 
  • La Perouse (1p.)
Vol. IV: Victoria 
  • West Melbourne (111p.) 
  • Burwood (22p.) 
  • Heidelberg (R.C.) (18p.) 
  • Heidelberg (44p.)
  • Warrigal (4p.)
  • Oakleigh (51p.)
A few of the many interesting collections in the Royal Commonwealth Society fonds are some early manuscript maps of South Australia, seven New Zealand paintings 1881 -1887, an album of 39 photographs taken when Commodore Erskine proclaimed British Protectorate in eastern New Guinea, November 1884 as well as many family collections that can be located with a surname search.

Tuesday 20 April 2021

Queensland - AJCP

The colony of Queensland was officially proclaimed in 1859, prior to this New South Wales administered this vast tract of land. 

In this post I will look at a range of material not previously referred to. It is in no way indicative of all the records available for Queensland but is intended to highlight some of the more unusual collections in the AJCP.

Land records

The New Zealand and Australian Land Company acquired and leased properties not just in New Zealand but also in the Australian colonies  If your ancestors worked on one of these holdings, the Maps and Plans of their extensive records provide detail of the properties.

This 1905 Plan of Maxwelton and surrounding sections, Hughenden district of Queensland comes from the Hereford and Worcester Record Office. Located in  the same fonds are the staff and wages returns detailing those who worked at Maxwelton from 1895 -1908.


clipping from Maxwelton: Staff and wages return July 1905


Guide to the Photographs of G.W. Wilson and Company The originals of these are held at Aberdeen University Library, King's College, Aberdeen, Scotland.
Among the towns and cities represented in the collection were Brisbane, Bundaberg, Cairns, Townsville, Herberton, Rockhampton, Maryborough, Gympie, Toowoomba, Sydney, Katoomba, Leura, Wentworth, Newcastle, Broken Hill, Melbourne, Ballarat, Williamstown, Healesville, Sorrento, Bendigo, Bright, Adelaide, Gawler and Mount Gambier.

2 Queensland photos from this collection 

Flinders Street and General Post Office, Townsville, Queensland

 Judicial matters

This guide contains material submitted as part of cases being heard by the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council including petitions, proceedings, correspondence, the cases for the applicants and respondents, judgements and orders.

A range of Queensland cases across the 1800s

Searching for Queensland records

Search by place e.g. "Moreton Bay" 153 results, Rockhampton  292 results (remember to choose online and freely available)

Search within a Finding Aid e.g. Records of the Colonial Office CTRL+F (find on page) finds 102 mentions of Queensland

Search a phrase "Queensland gold" Just one result that is online and freely available Goldfield Reports 1885 "Queensland flood" 2 results in 1893.

Search on within the AJCP.

This post first appeared on

Monday 19 April 2021

Photographs - AJCP

Plan a photograph search

P for plans of railway workshops, power of attorney documents, posters, personal postcards and photographs just some of the records that can be found in the AJCP collections.

It is unlikely that your ancestor's photograph album appears here but think of their friends, neighbours and associates and those far flung surnames on your family tree.

Sarah Venneck's 1933 60 page photo album has names under many of the photos. Some photos are in England but if you had a relative who travelled to Australia on the P&O S.S. Majola you may find them in this album.
Sample page from the album

Photographs can be found in family collections and archives. This one is from an earlier era dated 1890 -1899 from the family papers of a Commander J Hamilton of Rozelle. It shows Winnie and Emma Ranken on the veranda at Saltrams. Imagine playing tennis in those dresses!

This 1932 photo from the Cambridge University Library collection can be found by a Gosse surname search.

Some other interesting albums

See inside the Bryant and May match making factory, it includes photos with notes on production. Production line photographs were popular, perhaps the Corset Factory photos may be of interest. 

The Thomas Laing photograph album has one hundred and sixty six photographs, identified, of Australia, New Zealand and family and friends in Australia and Britain, c.1929-1933. It is in the Strathclyde Regional Archives as is this photograph of three children of Robert Henry taken by Mathewson, Brisbane.

Search from the AJCP portal
  • photograph  11 246 results some of these results are not photographs but the search has simply found the word where permission to photograph has been sought
  • "album of photographs" 35 results
  • "photograph album" 89 results
Enjoy exploring some photos.
James family in the Papers of the Hayward family
Sons of Capt. John Eedy:
John Eedy; William Eedy (c. 1866); Peter Eedy (April 1872); Arthur M. Eedy; George Eedy

This post first appeared on

Saturday 17 April 2021

Opportunities out there - AJCP

Oh! to emigrate there

Out there, over there, on the edge of civilisation however the colonies were viewed in the 19th century, the need for emigrants produced opportunities for those willing to travel and take their families to the other side of the world. 

Posters on talks about Australia, New Zealand and Canada, advertising promotions for ships and sailing dates, letters from emigrants to those "back home" all played their part in the promotion of emigration opportunities. Records such as these are scattered throughout the AJCP collections.

This poster advertises lectures about Australia. It is from the Oxfordshire County Record Office.

In 1838 Colonel Wyndham was keen to move his Irish tenants off his estate so he offered free passage to Canada. Those who were above 15 but under 30 could go to Australia if preferred, but assistance would only be provided once families were ready to embark.
from the Collections of the Petworth House archives

This 1839 printed poster advertising emigration to New South Wales to married men belonging to Battle Union comes from the East Sussex Record office. Free of Expence - presumably expense but why not interpret this as those with no pence!

This one held by the Ipswich branch of the Suffolk Record Office offers a free passage for single women to depart in April of 1836.
An 1873 poster for the steamship Great Britain
If you view the whole poster there are details about the cost of the voyage in each class of cabin.
The SALOON is provided with every requisite, including Berths, Beds, Bedding, Plate, Table Linen, Crockery, Glass, etc. It is supplied with the best articles of Food, and an abundant Dietary Scale, Live Stock, Poultry, etc. It contains a Ladies' Boudoir, Baths, etc, etc.
No Passenger booking for a berth in a Cabin is to be accommodated in a Cabin by himself, so long as he can placed in a Cabin of the same class or price with another Passenger not booked for a whole Cabin. Should any Passenger shift from the accommodation for which he was originally booked to a berth for which a higher charge is payable, or from a berth in a Cabin to a whole Cabin, he is to be charged the extra fare throughout.

Finally a ticket issued in 1857 for a return journey to Liverpool. Was this an emigrant returning home, or was he just going back to visit?
Passage ticket issued by the Black Ball Line (Melbourne) to Charles Wilson for a passage from Melbourne to Liverpool

Enjoyed this post? Want to see more?