Getting Started

Here are some notes to get you started.....

There are plenty of free resources and research guides available on the web as well; visit the links page.

  • Study or purchase a beginners guide - When you join CDFHS we provide a guide for you
  • Begin with yourself and work backwards, decide on which family lines of research you wish to follow
  • Draw a basic family tree (staring with yourself) write down what you know and this will help you visualise what you don't know
  • Collect all the records documents that you have at home or locally. Collect your family bible, baby books, school records, letters, photographs, service records etc
  • Talk to your relatives - they are an excellent resource! Find out what they know and what memorabilia they might have
  • Devise a record keeping system
  • Check to see if other people are researching your surname
  • Obtain a map of the area you are interested in
  • Join a Genealogical Society or Family History Society
  • Remember to always go back to first principles - you must go to primary sources - that is you have to buy certificates and you need to get documentation, you cannot reply on a printout off the internet

Researchers' Results

Researchers have found the records, information and assistance provided by the staff at Cairns and District Family History Society to be invaluable. Here is an example of details that can be found:

Sarah Newman

  • She was only 19yrs old when tried for 'obtaining goods under false pretences'.
  • She resided in London, a single girl and was a Protestant.
  • She could read and was a kitchen maid.
  • Her complexion was fair and ruddy and a little freckled.
  • A short girl, only 4' 10 3/4" tall!
  • Her hair was brown, her eyes were chestnut and she had a scar on the right corner of her mouth.
  • Her trial was held at Central Criminal Court (The Old Bailey) on 25 November 1839
  • She had a former conviction of 20 days.
  • She was transported to New South Wales for 7yrs on the 'Surry' departing from Downs United Kingdom on 2 April 1840. The journey took 102 days and arrived at Port Jackson on 13 July 1840.
  • 213 females embarked at Downs United Kingdom and 212 arrived at Port Jackson.
  • She married William Jones at St. Phillip's Church of England, Sydney in April 1842 with consent of the Government. She was on Bond and signed with her mark - X

Researcher: Lisa Koch


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