3 July 2012

E is for Evidence, Engineers and Emigrant Siblings

I am now up to 'E' in the 'Family History Through the Alphabet' challenge.

E is for...
  • Evidence.  Evidence Explained: Citing History Sources from Artifacts to Cyberspace, by Elizabeth Shown Mills, is the definitive guide to the citation and analysis of historical sources, especially original and unusual items used by family historians. Elizabeth Shown Mills also has some very helpful articles on her Web site. They include 'Working with Historical Evidence', and various titles under the heading 'Cluster Research (FAN Principle)'.

  • Engineers.  Minutes of the Institution of Civil Engineers (Great Britain) include very detailed obituaries. Many of the engineers lived or died in the colonies or in South America. Antonia Jones of Hamilton, New Zealand, compiled an index to obituaries for 1880-1918. Specialist Indexes in Australia: a Genealogist's Guide, described on my Web site, has an address for Antonia, but it may be out of date. Can anyone tell me whether this index is available in a library? -- [UPDATE, 6 Jul 2012: I now know where the index is - and it includes deaths up to the 1930s!]

  • Emigrant Siblings.  Did your ancestor have a brother or sister who emigrated to Australia? Death certificates in our eastern States are extremely informative, and may give details that are not readily available in the UK or Ireland.

You will find more tips for family history in my other articles in this series. If the information and advice is useful, have a look at this page.


  1. Replies
    1. I was tempted to do 'E is for Electoral Rolls' in my Queensland Genealogy blog, because Queensland has three different series of rolls (or four if you count local government voters lists). The annotated State rolls are absolutely brilliant for tracing people's movements and finding out a married surname or year of death. But I have already written about electoral rolls on my main Web site, so I decided to do this post instead.

  2. Update re Obituaries of Civil Engineers: the index is online, and it includes deaths through to the 1930s. For more details please see the new post at http://uk-australia.blogspot.com/.

  3. Judy, thanks for he information regards "Minutes of the Institution of Civil Engineers". I've been looking for more information about my Engineer ancestor, George BALLARD, who moved form Bristol to Sydney around 1854 and then moved to Queensland and set up the first saw mill on the Down in Toowoomba.

    I got luck and have found the index you mention online at

    Unfortunately my George BALLARD (1828 - 1901) is not listed.

    1. That's frustrating, Darryn. I guess there is always a chance that the Minutes had an obituary that was somehow omitted from the index and/or the Web site.

  4. Nice blog. I had fun reading this. And it is easy to understand. Nice going. evertalk


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