Talks on Genealogy and Family History
to be presented by Judy Webster
Feedback from previous seminars: "Your last seminar (Family History Tasks for the Time Poor) was fantastic. After hearing your talk, I am now inspired and moving on with the ancestors!" (Margaret M.); "I gained so much from the seminar and have already put your suggestions to good use and found information that had previously proved elusive" (Jenny C). "Found my 2nd great-grandfather's will on Findmypast after your workshop. Thank you." (Sue F).
Coffs Harbour, NSW
Sat. 26 May 2018, 10am - 4pm.
Beyond the Basics: Methods and records to solve dead ends in your family tree.
Venue: Cavanbah Hall, 191 Harbour Drive, Coffs Harbour.
- Court Records for family history. Court records are not just about criminals. Courts also dealt with many other matters (wills, intestacies, insolvencies, divorce, change of name by deed poll, naturalisations, applications for guardianship, licenses, oaths by Justices of the Peace, etc). This talk highlights the treasures that family historians can find in various series of records created by the Supreme Court, Court of Petty Sessions, Licensing Court, Small Debts Court, Coroner's Court, District Court, Circuit Court, Children's Court, etc. Many of the examples are from Queensland, but interstate records are similar. The talk also describes important online Court records for interstate and overseas.
- Not Just the Patient: How hospital and asylum records tell the story of a family. Hospital, mental asylum and benevolent asylum records have information not only about patients but also about their relatives. If a person 'vanished', or if children were raised by someone other than a parent, search asylum records! Some patients only stayed a few days. Reasons for admission include chronic alcoholism, head injury, senile dementia, epilepsy, depression, birth defects, schizophrenia etc. This talk describes selected series of hospital and asylum records, and shows what they can reveal and why hospital records are often better than certificates.
- Researching illegitimate children. An illegitimate birth is not necessarily a dead end in family history. This talk describes dozens of sources and strategies that may identify the child's biological father. (Although the emphasis is on Australian children, much of the advice applies worldwide.) If you can't find a birth registration, it may be because the child was illegitimate, and there are clues if you know where to look. There are also ways to find out what became of an illegitimate child who 'disappeared'.
- Look Beyond the Border! Archival records with data for interstate and overseas folk. Archives in a particular region contain a surprising amount of information about people who lived and died in other States and other countries. This talk describes various types of family history data that's in places where you may not think to look. It gives examples of unexpected discoveries in records that are held far from where the subject lived. Sources include probate records, Premier's Department undertaking files, police correspondence, records of railway shareholders, border crossings and quarantine camps, and many more.
Admission: Coffs Harbour FHS members $25; non-members $30 (includes morning tea and light lunch).
Enquiries: Email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone the Research Room during opening hours on(02) 6651 6126.
Bookings essential: Register by 23 May 2018 by email to email@example.com, or to PO Box 2057, Coffs Harbour 2450, or in person at Research Rooms at rear of 169 Rose Avenue, Coffs Harbour.
Tues. 25 Sep 2018, 10am - 11:30am (including question time).
Not Just the Patient: How hospital and asylum records tell the story of a family. Hospital, mental asylum and benevolent asylum records have information not only about patients but also about their relatives. If a person 'vanished', or if children were raised by someone other than a parent, search asylum records! Some patients only stayed a few days. Reasons for admission include chronic alcoholism, head injury, senile dementia, epilepsy, depression, birth defects, schizophrenia etc. This talk describes selected series of hospital and asylum records, and shows what they can reveal and why hospital records are often better than certificates.
Venue: Strathpine Library, 1 Station Street, Strathpine.
Other details: To be advised by Strathpine Library, (07) 3480 6698.
('Problems/Solutions' image by Stuart Miles, Freedigitalphotos.net)
- If your Society or local Council library is interested in hosting a talk, email me at to discuss dates, topics, my speaker's fee, and (if applicable) travel expenses.
- If you are interested in attending my family history talks, email me at and tell me your postcode so I can let you know if I will be in your area. I have previously given talks at Armidale, Atherton, Auckland (NZ), Ballina, Biloela, Brisbane, Cairns, Caloundra, Cardwell, Casino, Coffs Harbour, Cooroy, Esperance, Gladstone, Gold Coast, Hervey Bay, Innisfail, Inverell, Ipswich, Kallangur, Lake Macquarie, Mackay, Moura, Nambour, Noosaville, Pittsworth, Port Macquarie, Proserpine, Redcliffe, Rockhampton, Sydney, Taroom, Toowoomba, Townsville, Tully, Wongaling Beach (Mission Beach) and Yeppoon, plus Unlock The Past's genealogy conference on a cruise.