Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The Excitment of Starting a New Family Tree

Jospeh Kaye,  http://photosau.com/Queanbeyan/scripts/home.asp
Last night it was my pleasure to introduce one of my friends to the delights of family research!!! 

She has been interested in her family background for a long time, but her busy life style had meant putting it on hold.  Having recently been to a short introductory course on starting a family tree she was keen to put what she had learnt into practice.  Knowing that I had been a family tree tragic for many years she sought my advice on some basic hints to get her on track.  

Where does one start??  I felt it was important to just provide enough information to get started, so that she could have the experience of putting all the pieces together herself.  Over a glass of red wine, we settled into starting the initial stages of her family story.   Firstly, using the birth dates of her parents and grandparents, I showed her how to set up an online tree in Ancestry.

Then, as most of her immediate family were born in New South Wales (Australia), we looked at how to look up the births, deaths and marriages of her family  on in the NSW Historical Indexes for Births Deaths and Marriages. Using the indexes we discovered details of quite a few of her fathers family, including great aunts, great and great, great grandfathers and grandmothers, some of whom she could remember.  I could see the excitement glinting in her eyes as we started to unravel her family story.  Oh yes,  another family tree digger is hooked!!!!

Then, my friend jumped up and said  "I have so show you something!!"  After a quick rustle in her cupboard she carefully brought out a beautiful old family bible that had belonged to her great great grandfather, Joseph Kaye who had settled in the Queanbeyan district in  the late 1830's.  The inside covers were filled with faded ink inscriptions of family birth, death and marriage details.  This was a treasure that all family historians dream of discovering! 

 As we poured over the inscriptions inside the diary, I decided that we had enough information to check out one of my favorite family research sites.  TROVE!    Trove is a free online resource provided by the National Library of Australia, which provides anyone with access to digital copies of newspapers, images, maps, books and many more items.  After showing her how to set up her own account, we typed into the search box "Joseph Kaye" Queanbeyan and then selected the "sort by earliest" button.  We were immediately rewarded with a number of articles about her great great grandfather.  One article from 1844, not only gave details of his marriage, but also details of where his wife's family came from and the name of his company and business partner.

At Queanbeyan, on Tuesday, the 5th November, by the Rev. E. Smith, by special  license, Joseph Kaye, Esq., of the firm of Hunt  and Kaye, to Eliza, fifth daughter of the late  Mr. John Hunt, of Fishlake, near Doncaster, England.  
Hours had ticked by and our bottle of wine was all but gone, and it was time to pack up for the night. However we both agreed it had been a very productive evening. As I wandered off to bed I grinned to myself,  "Another one has been hooked".

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