Track your immigrant ancestors

Can you track your immigrant ancestors?

If not, come along to a free program at State Library of Queensland on Friday 7 August.

Drawing of migrants disembarking from a ship ca. 1885.State Library of Queensland Neg. 62474.

Drawing of migrants disembarking from a ship ca. 1885.
State Library of Queensland Neg. 62474.

In the days long before closed circuit television, and with our ancestors busy trying to establish their lives in a strange new country, immigrants could “disappear”. Many immigrants moved around, and it can be particularly difficult to track them if they travelled on a ship where the lists were lost or poorly kept. Find out about some of the local agents’ records from coastal centres such as Bowen, Rockhampton and Townsville, which showed where new arrivals initially went after they landed. Learn about some “lost lists”. Letters home and diaries are also great resources, capturing the flavour of new strange experiences, as well as all sorts of expectations.

Immigration barracks Kent Street Maryborough 1876.State Library of Queensland Neg. 1072012.

Immigration barracks Kent Street Maryborough 1876.
State Library of Queensland Neg. 1072012.

Directories and electoral rolls can help us find people. Find out what resources are available and how we can use them.
Government investigations into various businesses, such as hotels and factories, or journals from disease ridden ships provide an insight into the lives of ordinary people expressed in their own words. Sometimes this is one of the few records we have of them, how they got here and how they fared.

Layout of the Dorunda, prepared to assist in understanding the spread of cholera onboard 1885. Queensland Votes and Proceedings 1886, Vol 3.

Layout of the Dorunda, prepared to assist in understanding the spread of cholera onboard 1885.
Queensland Votes and Proceedings 1886, Vol 3.

Digitised historical newspapers are available on Trove and have opened up the past wondrously. Obituaries and anniversary celebrations found in them can tell us a great deal about someone’s life. In other cases, it might be full of error or gloss. How do you find out the truth?
How useful are the big databases such as Ancestry and Findmypast? What other tools can be used to search the extensive array of indexed records? Find out what State Library of Queensland has to offer.

If you have been able to track your ancestors, please come along and share your story. Many people would love to know how you did it.

August is National Family History Month, so this is an ideal time to come in to SLQ learn how to make some progress on researching your family's past.

Tracking immigrant ancestors is a free session at SLQ.
When: Friday 7 August 2015, 10:00am-11:30am
Where: SLQ Auditorium 2, level 2

For more information, and to make a reservation, go to our bookings page.

To find out more about National Family History Month, visit www.familyhistorymonth.org.au

Stephanie Ryan, Senior Librarian

Information Services

 

 

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do you have a picture of the immigrant ship 'rockhampton' please

Tim, I gather you are referring to the Rockhampton of the 1860s. I have looked for an image: plan or sketch of this vessel, which was originally James Brown, built 1849 by George Raynes. James Baines of the Liverpool firm, Blackball Line purchased it in 1863 for Queensland immigration. He had a contract with the Queensland Government. He renamed it the Rockhampton. It made 2 journeys to Qld in 1864 and 1866. I have searched books, Australian and American internet sites without result.Stephanie RyanState Library of Queensland