Saturday, 16 July 2016

Where is that place?

Map data from GPS has become an everyday tool many consult without a second’s thought, but what if the place you want to find is not listed on the maps you are using? Fortunately for all, Google maps enables the addition of places of interest and better still encourages contributions so that useful data is saved for all users.

In planning for an upcoming trip I was searching Google maps for some locations I plan to visit. These are not remote locations but small country communities in South Australia. Being a family historian it is part of my plan to visit some cemeteries where ancestors are buried but I could not locate these cemeteries on Google maps. A web search for South Australian cemeteries leads to quite a variety of sites: some local council sites, some with headstone photos, some with online data and one with exact geolocation data.

The excellent guide provided by the State Library of South Australia provides leads to a wide range of cemetery databases and indexes. A quick search on Google maps revealed that many of these cemeteries were not labelled. This was the case for both cemeteries in current use and older resting paces no longer used.

The most useful site for my purpose was Family History South Australia by Barry Leadbeater. From this database I could find the exact coordinates of the cemeteries I had in mind to visit. Now it was a simple matter of copying the map coordinates into Google maps search bar and letting Google do the work. maps2

By switching to satellite view and then zooming in, one can then see the exact location of the cemetery sought. One needs to be logged in to Google to save locations.


Zoom in to check for headstones.


Enhance Google maps for all users by adding clear labels to previously unnamed cemeteries. Save adds the place to a list found under Your Places..


Google sends an email notification when a contribution is published to maps. Anyone logged in to Google can now make suggestions to Google for edits to the places added. Places published are visible to all users without logging in.


To view the places added, edited or saved, use the hamburger menu in the top left hand corner. maps1

Now with places added, I am able to get directions on my phone to these cemeteries. Have you added places to Google maps? Find out more from Google maps help. Thanks are due to Barry Leadbeater and other volunteers who contributed to the database that provided me with the leads to the location of these cemeteries in the mid north regions of South Australia.

Tuesday, 12 July 2016

Find of the day – Trove Tuesday

Trove turns up treasure again. How could I have previously missed this tome published on the occasion of the South Australian Centenary in 1936? Trove has links to the libraries which hold the book but also has the whole book digitised and available for searching.

This work records the history of local areas, towns and the formation of the councils and corporations in South Australia that governed them. It is extensively illustrated with mayors, former mayors and the current councillors of 1935-36. Biographies of the mayors and councillors cover birth location and year, education, memberships of organisations and  sometimes family circumstances and residence are mentioned.

Former councillors are also listed under each local government area often with the exact years each person served. The search function led me directly to three mentions of relatives who had served on local councils in the first 100 years of South Australia’s white settlement and expansion. Now I'm off to search for those other surnames in my ancestral families.

Hosking, P & Universal Publicity Company. 1936, The Official civic record of South Australia : centenary year, 1936 Universal Publicity Company, Adelaide viewed 12 July 2016

Tuesday, 7 June 2016

Fun with OCR–Trove Tuesday

Hatch, match and dispatch

Time for a little light entertainment - Correction time! The Trove digitised newspaper zone provides wonderful detail about past lives and times for family historians. It also provides plenty of entertainment through the OCR (optical character recognition) rendition of those pages. The image above is the best one I’ve come across this week, no comments about the substitute of bums for births! It has now been corrected to Births.

Common OCR renditions for son of that I have seen include: sod of, sob of, eon of, soil of – all of which could be applicable at some stage of life no doubt.
Then there was the son-in-law listed as the scam-in-law.

Weddings too provide fertile ground for much mirth.
  • wedding breakfast and deception
  • the bride's trowelling dress
  • the bridegroom's bother
  • wedding hell
Death and In Memoriam notices
the borrowing widow for sorrowing widow
the sodden death in this case not referring to an intoxicated person
Miscellaneous mischievousness
on arrival at Sort Adelaide – well I guess they did get ‘sorted’ before leaving the Port.
Where else could you find advertisements for Rustless Corsets?
What have you seen while searching Trove to cause a smile?

Serious stuff – Some search hints

Funeral notices – There are times when names are not indexed from Funeral notices. This may be for several reasons but I have often found the Funeral Notices buried within an Advertisements page. Sometimes there may be no separate heading and they do not appear in the Family Notices section of some newspapers.

It is often possible to find a funeral notice by scanning the rest of the pages in the paper where the death notice was located. If the death notice was published several days or a week after the death it is worth looking for the funeral notices in the papers just a day or two after the death.

Wages – this one came from a tweet this week by David Coombe

I wondered what a "thorough servant" could be.
Here's one definition found in The cottagers of Glenburnie: a tale for the farmer's ingle-nook By Elizabeth Hamilton, chapter entitled  Receipt for making a thorough servant. Thoughts on Methodism
 "to do everything in its proper time; to keep everything to its proper use; and to put everything in its proper place"
I think my family history endeavours could benefit from the application of those principles.

Thanks to the visionaries at the NLA who developed and continue to enhance Trove. OCR is amazing technology but all users can help improve Trove. Search on, text correct and many will benefit.