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Expert Q&A :: Tasmanian Archives and Heritage Office [TAHO] experts answer your questions

For our Expert Q&A on Thursday, April 11 we had experts from the Tasmanian Archive and Heritage Office to answer questions about Tasmanian history and genealogy, specifically Tasmania’s convicts, archives, old newspapers, maps and history. Thanks again to Robyn, Caitlin, Ian and Ross for giving us all the benefit of their time and expertise.

What the experts specialise in ::
[*] Robyn Eastley, Manager Collections
[*] Caitlin Sutton, Allport Librarian
[*] Ian Morrison, Senior Librarian, Collections
[*] Ross Latham, State Archivist, Manager of the TAHO

Please find the transcript of the Q&A and links below.

Don’t forget our Expert Q&As happen every Thursday night on the Inside History Magazine facebook page

When: NSW – ACT – VIC – TAS: 8:30-9:30pm AEDT | QLD: 7:30-8:30pm | WA: 5:30-6:30pm | NT: 7:00-8:00pm | SA: 8:00-9:00pm | Weekly on Thursdays nights!

Robyn Eastley’s top tips for searching the Tasmanian Archive + Heritage Office Archives:

  1. Search Library catalogue for: family histories published in Tasmania; all publications on Tasmania or by Tasmanians acquired under legal deposit, purchase and donation; archived websites; all digitised images; artworks and objects held in the Crowther and Allport collections
  2. The best way to approach a search of the archives catalogue is to think about where your ancestor may have had contact with a Government Agency or an organisation or business and then browse for that agency. If for example your relative worked for the Police Force, search for Police records by putting the term ‘police’ in the agency description field
  3. Basic search is useful but will give a larger return listed by Agency series and item
  4. If you are only interested in, for example, plans or photographs of a particular district then a basic Boolean search is the way to go – e.g Plan and Beaconsfield or photo and Beaconsfield. Both searches will also pick up many items that have not yet  been digitised

Summary of links from the Q&A:



Transcript of Expert Q&A – Tasmanian history and genealogy 

Get your questions about Tasmanian history and genealogy answered by the experts at the Tasmanian Archives and Heritage Office at 8:30pm AEST tonight on this page.

Q. From Sue: Anyone else here ready for the chat?
A. IHM: We’re ready, thanks for joining Sue 🙂
A. Chez: Woo hoo I actually made it…for the moment anyways!
A. Leane: I can’t wait for any ideas
A. Judy: I found my convict ancestors online in Tasmania a few years ago and that’s what got me started.
A. Chez: Well me myself and I are descended from a Notorius Strumpet (Lucy Hodges)! and the prank playing Army guy (Edward Woodwood/Woodward) who was sent there by his commanding officer as a convict…then both came to NSW and he became in charge of the Royal Botanic Gardens for a short time!But I would like to know more of their time in Tassie!
A. Wendy: Chez, my only female convict , so far, was ‘on the Town for 8yrs’.

Comment: IHM: Welcome everyone,thanks for joining us! Please welcome Robyn, Caitlin, Ian and Ross from the Tasmanian Archives and Heritage Office to tonight’s Q&A!
A. Sue: G’day Robyn, Caitlin, Ian and Ross
A. Chez: Hello Robyn, Caitlin, Ian or Ross…thank you so much for giving up your time…

Comment: Bernadette: we are so lucky in Tasmania with the online resources that are available 🙂 
A. IHM: You are indeed Bernadette, and that means the rest of Australia is lucky as well because so much is online and available to all.

Q. From Raelene: I would love to know more about my 3x great grandfather Julius Buddee who formed the Hobart Philharmonic Society. He was a Professor of Music. He and his wife arrived in 1849 from Berlin. They lived in Hobart from 1854 for 8 years. He would have also been very involved with the Liedertafel. I am having trouble finding more information on his work in Hobart. He taught Dame Nellie Melba, she was known to him as Mrs Armstrong and is mentioned in I am Melba.
A. Ian: @Raelene – I just did a quick search of digitised newspapers on Trove for “julius buddee” – 249 hits. I can also check our holdings of early music programs, but that will have to wait until tomorrow.
A. Raelene: Many thanks Ian, I am slowly saving the items on trove as there are many including adverts for his lessons. But I can’t find anything on the Hobart Philharmonic Society. That would be great if you find something.
A. Ian: @Raelene – Ok, shall follow up.
Q (b): Raelene: Ian, I’m also hoping there would be a photo or photos of Julius Buddee while he was in Hobart, maybe in the archives to do with his profession. I don’t know where to look for those either. Would you know where? Thanks again.
A. Ian: @Raelene – quite early for photographs, so unlikely but I’ll check our indexes tomorrow.
A. Raelene: Many thanks Ian, that would be great if you could. I’m not sure how these chat forums work as this is my first time tonight. Many thanks again.
A. Raelene: Awesome Ian, that’s ok if you don’t find anything, I was just hoping, as we only have 2 copies of photos. I have information on his prominent profession in Melbourne before he retired to Sydney. He was born 1823 Berlin Prussia. That’s why I would love to find out more about Hobart. My husband and I would love to go to Hobart later this year to look at where he lived. Thank you so much to giving up your time on here.
A. Ian: Ok will email.

Q. From Lainie: Still haven’t found where my 4x great grandparents are buried (both convicts – Patrick McCusker/McCasker and Mary Ann Hobson nee Carr)… I just rang and asked Dad, we think Patrick was working at Bricknell when he died in 1845, and Mary Ann was perhaps the ‘Mrs. McCasker’ or ‘Mrs McCaskell’ ‘murdered by natives’ in 1831?? (Westbury). Or not…she may have died later, in 1847? Have a bit about them, but found something in Tas Archives about the whereabouts of their son/s at one stage (Mary Ann was in prison, so they were in the orphanage?), sent a query about it but never heard back…
A. Robyn: @ Lainie. Have you searched the Tas Pioneers Index and the published index to burials. When did you contact us because I would like to follow up your unanswered enquiry
A. Lainie: I’ve searched everywhere I can, Robyn, a while back – can’t remember exactly when my query was (maybe 18 months – 2 years ago?) Kid/s in the orphanage were Benjamin (Hobson or McCasker, can’t remember now) and John? Maybe around 1829/1830?
A. Caitlin: @Lainie Apologies that you have not received a response – did you submit your query through our online request system? Do you have your RT number? In the meantime, I have found this information: An account in the Launceston Advertiser [7/2/1831 p.45] that tells of a Mary McCuster murdered by Aborigines in January of that year. The murder was investigated by the police [CSO1/316/7578…etc held TAHO Hobart , may be worth following up. The matter is also referred to in the book ‘Friendly Mission’ p111, and in NJB Plomley’s book ‘The Aboriginal/Settler clash in VDL 1803-1831 (numerous references given.).
A. Caitlin: Also the Find and Connect website is a great resource for orphan records

Q. From Robyn: Hi, here’s the link to my gggrandfather’s (terrible) conduct record (WHF Shaw). It appears this is incomplete but I have not been able to find it elsewhere – can you help at all? Thank you.,200,73,L,46
A. Robyn: @Robyn. Hello everyone – Some of these are very worn pages – we will check this as soon as we can and will get back to you with a transcription and or explanation. Robyn
A. Caitlin: @Robyn I just had a look at WHF Shaw’s record and down the bottom it says ‘SV 4’. This means that it continues on in a supplementary volume, here is the link to that record:
A. Robyn: @Caitlin Thank you so much! Wow! Originally looked for that 3 years ago. Now to get it transcribed. I can decipher 7 days solitary confinement in Port Arthur 🙁

Q. From Lynn: I can’t find the death of my husband’s gggrandfather Andrew Vincent went to Tasmania in 1834 with family. Family bible says he died 186? The rest of his family left and went to Victoria grateful for any help. 
A. Caitlin: Hi Lynn, his Will did not go through probate which means there is no reference there unfortunately, have you searched the Pioneer’s Index for death registrations? Was he Church of England? Do you know where he was buried? There may be a burial notice. Also indexes to newspaper death notices, and possibly cemetery records depending on where. Have you searched Trove for a death notice?
A. Lynn: Yes his family all baptised at St Davids I will try Trove again I thought because he want to Tas in 1834 some records may exist on early pioneers thank you so much for answering my message
Q (b): Lynn: I tried Trove no luck he was enlisted as a policeman some reference to him on Trove where would I find police records?

Q. From Margaret: I would like to know about the Steinmetz family who arrived in Hobart in July 1854 from Germany via Liverpool on the “America”. Where did they live? What work did they do? What schools may they have attended? My great great grandfather, John, died in 1861 and is buried in Richmond. My great grandfather, Leonard, came to NSW in 1869. John’s wife, Agatha, took the rest of the family to New Zealand in 1874. I will be visiting Tasmania in September and would love to do some research then. Hope you can give me some help as to where I could get some of those answers.
A. Ian: @Margaret – have you seen Marita Hargraves book, Inducements and Agents ? detailed info on assisted German immigrants 1850s-1880s – good starting point
A. Margaret: Yes Ian I have read some of that book.
A. Sue: Looking in Trove, there was a Steinmetz family in Sydney in the 1840’s. A William died there age 78 in 1847. Maybe they are relatives??
A. IHM: Here’s the link to “Inducements and agents” by Marita Hargraves on Trove ::
A. Margaret: What I really want to know is Where did they live? What work did they do? What schools may they have attended?
Q (b): Margaret: Sue what is the link please?
A. Ian: @Margaret – assessment rolls and postal directories might help with where they lived, and their work, but these are far form comprehensive until about the 1890s ; school records basically non-existent … have you tried newspapers on Trove? be prepared for variant spellings! but you probably know that
A. Sue: Here is link to death in Trove:
A. Margaret: Can only find an Upper Homerton in England not Australia!
A. Sue: link to Leonard’s marriage notice
Q (c): Margaret: Yes I have tried Trove and Papers Past from NZ. Where can I access the postal directories and assessment rolls? In Hobart?
A. IHM: Hi Margaret, here’s the link to the Tasmanian Post Office Directories 1890-1948 ::
A. Ian: @Margaret – assessment rolls were published in the Government Gazette – not yet digitised – advice on what to do next depends on where you are based and whether you’re likely to get to Hobart
A. Margaret: I live in Newcastle but will be visiting Tasmania in September.
A. Leane: How do we access in Sydney area?
Q (d): Margaret: Are there any earlier records 1854 to 1874?
A. Margaret: Thanks everyone for your suggestions. I will visit the State library and State archives in September.

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