Letters to the Editor
Tracing your family history is rewarding, exciting and sometimes challenging.
   Genealogy has many different aspects and there are probably just as many different viewpoints about most of them, so there should always be lots to write about.
   We want to know about your experiences, your reactions to new products, new legislation, new fads, whether recent or proposed changes are for the better or not … in fact, we want to know what you think about everything connected with genealogy!
   Everyone is welcome to write to us, or respond to letters, and the writer of the Letter of the Month wins a prize generously provided by Unlock the Past.

February 2017 Letters

Australian Sugar Producers Association
What another fantastic year your magazine has had! Back in June 2016 edition on page 63 there was photo of a group of ASPA fellows submitted by Mrs C Riding of Bathurst NSW. Several readers responded to say that ASPA was an association called Australian Sugar Producers Association.
   I can identify three of the people in the photo as: R B Adams, J F Roennfeldt (Mayor of Laura SA) and R Higgins, all from the township of Laura SA, seated in that order on the left of the second row.
   I cant explain what the sugar producers link is, but the Mayor (my husbands grandfather) was very active in agriculture. Maybe this photo is of a field day although they all looked nicely dressed. I have matched their faces to an event in Laura where a club swinging event took place in 1911.
                                                                                                                            Faye S Weston by email

Ernest Edward Harris
Having only sent my Can You Help? Ernest Edward Harris: which war did he serve in? article in early December to your magazine, I was very pleasantly surprised on Christmas Eve to receive an email from Susan in Canberra with a clipping from the Bowen Independent newspaper where my Ernest Edward Harris is mentioned.
   I have since received several more emails with suggestions that may help me to find records of my Ernest Edward Harris and I have really appreciated them. Such good people that I have no connection with who have taken the time to contact me.
   I also note in the September 2016 magazine the article Gilbert River Cemetery, Queensland written by a Mrs A Parisotto of Ayr, North Queensland which includes on page 24 a newspaper report about the death of George Arthur Wilcox from the Brisbane Courier in May 1933 that mentions a Constable Allan. I have a funny feeling he may be my grandfather William Allans brother John aka Jack Allan 1901–1955 as I believe he was stationed in the area. I dont have much information on his Police days, as he died tragically as well. I know of some Wilcox families living in the Bowen district so have made sure they know about this article.
   Once again thank you for publishing my article as I now have new leads in a very stubborn case.
                                                                                                                           Eileen Cameron by email

Family History booklets
Yes, I have finished and am ready to print the first of my Family History booklets.
   Did all the right things: checked all my sources where possible, had an independent person check the spelling and grammar and make sure the chronological order was correct. At the last minute I decided to ask my daughter to read through the document to see if she understood the contents.
   Oh, dear me, no she did not, it did not make sense to her. So on her advice I re–did the contents page and the direct descendants page until we got to the point where she did understand it.
   Just goes to show that although I have worked with my Family History genealogy data for a number of years, and everything made perfect sense to me, it is a good idea to have an outsider look at your work.
   I can now go ahead and print my long awaited Family History booklet.
                                                                                                                                  Liz Whelan by email

I was saddened to read Heather Hagens letter in the December magazine and the problems she has had with cemetery staff.
   My husband recently upgraded his grandmothers grave in Mt Gravatt Cemetery in Brisbane and the staff were extremely helpful. This was a surprise gift for his mother which was very well received. My mother–in–law could not afford a headstone for her mothers grave when she passed away in 1969 and it had always weighed heavily on her and she often mentioned it.
   The marble engraved headstone was purchased from eBay at a very reasonable price ($45 delivered).

                                                                                                                               Diane Mantei by email

New GRO indexes
Thank you so much for publishing my article on Eliza (Berryman) Boston in Octobers AFTC. Since I wrote that article I was excited to discover the new search site for the historic birth and death indexes of the General Register Office of England & Wales.
   The birth indexes from 1837 onwards now have the facility to either enter the maiden name of the mother, or just view the various maiden names associated with the childs name. There were no Chapman births with the maiden name of Berryman, or similar, so concluded a marriage to my great–grandfather Oliver Henry in November 1853 did not appear to be based on Eliza being pregnant.
   The death indexes now include the age from 1837, so I checked for the death of an Eliza Chapman and I could find no female deaths of an Eliza Chapman of a likely age in the London area, for which I did not already have a certificate. So I am now even more inclined to believe that Eliza Boston was indeed my great–grandfathers first wife.
   The new GRO indexes have been scanned from the certificates and a pilot program of 6 for a PDF copy sent by email was run during November. Hopefully this will be available permanently sometime during the year.
   One inaccuracy to note in the death index is in the case of babies under the age of 1. The certificate may state, for example, 6 days old, 6 weeks or 6 months old. The optical scanners interpret this as 6 which is listed as the age in the index and it is easy to assume this means 6 years old. Ages over 1 are less likely to be mis–transcribed, although I imagine 18, as in 18 months, may occasionally be used.
   Although no wild symbols are allowed in any of the search fields, you can select phonetically or similar sounding names but it is a good idea to try and visualise the possible variants of a handwritten name as they might be interpreted by the optical scanner. My Kusel family are frequently rendered as Rusel, and the maiden name of Cane has also become Care and Case.
   There is a limit of 250 results per search, so you may have to limit your searches to quarters in the year, or registration districts in order to see all the results for a common surname. Females and males must also be searched for separately but you can search by district, volume and page numbers if you have that information from freebmd or other websites.
   I am sure that there will be many people who might well break down a brick wall or two with these new indexes.
                                                                                                                          Gillian Kendrigan by email


James Templeton and Sarah Scott
Many thanks for publishing my article about Sarah Scott, my great–great grandmother (October 2016 page 14). It was such a thrill to see it in print.
   Error to note however – James Templeton was her man, not James Templeman as stated in the heading (no worries though)!
   Many thanks for your support, both with the article and the news item for the Parramatta Female Factory Friends!
                                                                                                                         Ronda Gaffey
by email

Our sincere apologies to you, and to all our readers,
for this much regretted error which somehow managed
to survive three levels of proofreading.



     published by Unlock the Past



Your views on these – or any other genealogy topic – are most welcome

Letters to the Editor
Australian Family Tree Connections

PO Box 322

Gosford NSW 2250


Fax (02) 4329 2444 [+61 2 4329 2444]
Email – editor at aftc dot com dot au

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