Upcoming Seminars

The Family History Subject Specialists will be out and about over the next two weeks. We will be giving talks at Warnbro and Fremantle Public Libraries.

Taking the census. From a sketch by Thomas Worth, Harpers Weekly 19 Nov 1870

Taking the census. From a sketch by Thomas Worth, Harpers Weekly 19 Nov 1870

Warnbro – Black and White and Read all Over
One of the most exciting developments for family history researchers is the rapidly expanding collection of digitised newspapers available. For family historians who think that they have reached the limits of what they can reasonably expect to discover about their forebears, think again!
The State Library subscribes to digitised historic newspaper archives from Australia, the United Kingdom, Ireland and the United States. These are all available to search from home to members of the State Library.
Warnbro Community Library, Swallowtail Parade, Warnbro
Wednesday 6th May 10.30am – 12pm
ookings essential: 9528 8577

State Library family history bookmarks

State Library family history bookmarks

Fremantle – Catalogue conundrums and website whimsies
Have you ever struggled to find what you are looking for in our catalogue or website? This talk introduces some of the family history resources we have at the State Library and how to find them. Whether it is our blog, Facebook page, subject guides, bookmarks, eresources, catalogued items or private archives – you are sure to discover resources you were not aware of. See some of the wonderful items we have digitised and learn a few tricks along the way.
Fremantle  City Library, 8 William Street, Fremantle
Tuesday 12 May 2.30pm – 4pm
Bookings essential: 9432 9739


The longest name in Western Australia?

Wanerenooka track, north of Northampton, 1948, 067385PD

Wanerenooka track, north of Northampton, 1948, 067385PD

Anyone researching their family history will have come across interesting or unusual names in the course of their research. I recently found just such an entry in the Historical indexes to Western Australian births, marriages and deaths on the Department of the Attorney General website.

The entry was the birth registration for a baby girl who was given eleven forenames! She was named:

Charlotte Elizabeth Mary Eliza Octavie Therese Margaret Edith Blanche Olympiad Jane Du Boulay.

Her parents were Julius and Elizabeth Du Boulay and the birth was registered in Greenough in 1864. Sadly she only lived for a few months. Interestingly, the Dictionary of Western Australians lists this child as being eleven separate children, all baptised at the same time. This led me to do some research on the family to find out whether or not this was the case.

Using the London Parish Records on Ancestry, which is available here at the State Library, I found that Julius Houssemayne Du Boulay married Elizabeth Solly at Jesus Chapel in the parish of Enfield, Middlesex in England on 20 June 1860. They had their first child, Flora H (probably Houssemayne) in Capetown, South Africa in about 1862. By the following year their second child, Emma Mary Houssemayne was born at Wanerenooka near Northampton in Western Australia. Charlotte Mary Eliza Octavie Therese Margaret Edith Blanche Olympiad Jane Du Boulay was born in 1864 before the family returned to England.

The 1911 census for England and Wales is available on both Find My Past and Ancestry within the Library. This census is often referred to as ‘the fertility census’ because, for the first time, questions were asked about the length of a couple’s marriage, how many children had been born and how many had died. The Du Boulay family’s entry in the 1911 census confirms that Julius and Elizabeth had a total of eight children of whom four had died and four were still alive in 1911. Using the free website FreeBMD, I traced the births and deaths of the couple’s English-born children. All were registered in the district of Elham, Kent and the family is known to have lived in Sandgate which is within this district so it is likely that all the births and deaths occurred there.

Flora H – born Capetown, South Africa c1862 – survived
Emma Mary Houssemayne – born Wanerenooka, WA 1863 – died aged one month
Charlotte Elizabeth Mary Eliza Octavie Therese Margaret Edith Blanche Olympiad Jane – born Greenough, WA 1864 – died aged 3 months
Minna H – born Elham registration district, Kent, England 1866 – survived
Francis Houssemayne – born Elham 1868 – died aged a few months
Lola Houssemayne – born Elham 1870 – survived
Isabel Violet H – born Elham 1871 – died aged 12
Thomas William H – born Elham 1875 – survived

Almost certainly, those children with the initial ‘H’ were given the name Houssemayne. It’s interesting that Charlotte appears to be the only child who wasn’t given this name – perhaps the eleven forenames were to make up for that! Julius and Elizabeth Du Boulay only lived in Western Australia for a few years although other members of the Du Boulay family settled here.

Is this the longest name registered in Western Australia or do you know of someone with more names?

Family trees now on Ancestry


Marcella Dillon nee Kavanagh (1849-1919) and extended family

Ancestry Library Edition has recently been updated and one of the big changes is that family trees and photographs submitted by the public are now available to view. This is a vast resource but please bear in mind that all sources need to be checked.

  • Nearly 40 million trees have been contributed by more than two million Ancestry.com members. These members have indicated that their tree(s) can be viewed by all Ancestry members
  • The trees can change over time as users edit, remove, or otherwise modify the data in their trees
  • The trees in the Library Edition are read-only. Library patrons cannot edit the existing trees or add new trees
  • Information about living people is not shown. There are more than two billion nodes in the Public Member Trees database. A large percentage of the nodes are not for living people
  • Each Public Member Tree is owned by the individual who put it on Ancestry.com
  • Ancestry.com does not verify that any tree or fact is correct, nor will they correct or edit a tree
  • Library patrons will not have the ability to contact the owner of the tree
  • Library patrons can submit anonymous comments about any tree
  • There is no login for individual users of the Library Edition


2011 WA Premier’s Book Awards

Visit our new site: Premier’s Book Awards – http://pba.slwa.wa.gov.au/.

Justice: A History of the Aboriginal Legal Service of Western AustraliaLast night Premier Colin Barnett announced Fiona Skyring’s Justice: A History of the Aboriginal Legal Service of Western Australia as winner of the 2011 Premier’s Prize worth $25,000.

Highly acclaimed Western Australian author Tim Winton was inducted into our Hall of Fame.

2011 Western Australia’s Premier’s Book Awards Category Winners

  • Non-Fiction:  Alice Pung, Her Father’s Daughter
    Published by Black Inc.
  • Fiction:  Anna Funder, All That I Am
    Published by Penguin Group (Australia)
  • Scripts:  Tim Winton and Ellen Fontana, Cloudstreet: The Screenplay
    Published by Penguin Group (Australia)
  • Children’s Books:   Michelle Gillespie and Sonia Martinez, Sam, Grace and the Shipwreck;
    Published by Fremantle Press.
  • Poetry:  Tracy Ryan, The Argument
    Published by Fremantle Press
  • Young Adults:  Penni Russon, Only Ever Always
    Published by Allen & Unwin
  • State Library of Western Australia WA History:  Fiona Skyring, Justice: A History of the Aboriginal Legal Service of Western Australia
    Published by UWA Publishing
  • Digital Narrative Award:  Max Barry, Machine Man
    Published by Scribe Publications
  • People’s Choice Award:  Anna Funder, All That I Am
    Published by Penguin Group (Australia)
  • Premier’s Prize:  Fiona Skyring, Justice: A History of the Aboriginal Legal Service of Western Australia;
    Published by UWA Publishing

Congratulations to all of the winners & publishers.

The Western Australian Genealogical Society and the State Library present…

A medal for long service and good conduct which was conferred on certain policemen on the occasion of Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee in 1897. Officers received gold medals and men silver medals.

Two seminars for your delectation…
Australian Joint Copying Project: what is it and where do I start?
Have you always wished you could get your hands on documents hidden away in archives in the UK? You may be surprised to learn that many of them are available on microfilm right here at the State Library. Records include documents relating to convicts, soldiers, early settlers and more.

Black and white and read all over
Newspaper stories and notices – even advertising can reveal a lot about our ancestors. We offer an introduction to digitised historic newspapers including Trove, the Times Digital Archive, British and Irish Newspapers, and more.

Australian Joint Copying Project: what is it and where do I start?  10.30am – 12.00
Black and white and read all over     1.00pm – 2.30pm
When: Thursday 6 September
Where: Great Southern Room, State Library of WA, Northbridge

The talks are free but you MUST register.
Register in person at WAGS library, Unit 5, 48 May st, Bayswater or call (08) 9271 4311 during library hours.

UK Documents Online trial at SLWA

Opening lines from the will of Charles Good, Gentleman, of Broad Chalke, Wiltshire, 15 Nov 1736 (PROB 11/680)

Material which is available through Documents Online on the UK National Archives website is currently available to download free of charge within the State Library of WA building.

This includes pre-1858 wills, Victorian prisoners’ photograph albums, poor law union correspondence, seamen’s wills, WWI prisoner of war interviews, WWI nursing service records and much more.

You never know what you might find within this collection. Try it out before the trial ends on 31 March and please let us know what you think by completing our survey.

South Australian birth, marriage and death indexes online

Anyone with South Australian ancestors will be excited to learn that the birth, marriage and death indexes for South Australia are now online at the Genealogy SA website.


The following indexes are available:
Birth Registration Certificates Index 1842-1928
Marriage Registration Certificates Index 1842-1916
Death Registration Certificates Index 1842-1972
Newspaper Birth Notices Index from 1960 onwards
Newspaper Death Notices Index from 1972 onwards

You can search by surname, first name or initial, and year + or – 7 years. Once you find the entry you’re looking for, you can click on the More Info button and request a transcription from the South Australian Genealogy & Heraldry Society.

Family history talks on Thursday 9 February

We will be offering two free family history talks at the State Library on Thursday 9 February as part of our Learning program.

Black and White and Read All Over looks at some of the wonderful digitised historic newspapers available through Trove and the Library’s e-resources. Many of these are also available for you to use from home as members of the State Library.

Fantastic Websites is exactly that – a look at some of our favourite family history websites from around the world. Many of them will be familiar to you but you may discover some gems!

For bookings please phone 9427 3111 and visit our Family History Learning page for further details of these and other courses.

Popular Choral Music for your choir

Have a look at a new web page for Choral Music on the SLWA site. Here you will also find a list of  choral music including popular, rock, jazz, film, show and television music. It is difficult to isolate these works via a traditional catalogue search, so we’ve done the hard work for you. Also check out some of the internet resources for choirs and choral music in WA and make sure your choir is listed. If you have produced a recording, we’d love to have it in our collection.

Family history websites bookmarked

If you’re looking for useful and interesting family history websites, try our SLWA Family History Bookmarks page.

Simply click on any heading (or tag) to see which sites have been bookmarked for that topic. The larger the heading, the more websites are available. Tags range from geographic locations to topics such as convicts or world war.

Most of the sites are free so why not explore – who knows what you might find?