GUIDE TO RESOURCES FOR TASMANIAN GENEALOGY

by Malcolm Ward

© Malcolm Ward 2005-2011. All rights reserved


 6.  CENSUSES, MUSTERS, ELECTORAL ROLLS, DIRECTORIES & NEWSPAPERS

 

6.1  

START HERE! HISTORIC CENSUS, ELECTORAL ROLLS & DIRECTORIES

Historic census records are held at AOT for 1842/43, 1848, 1851/52 and 1857 (often incomplete) and usually recorded the name of the head of the household only, but other useful information appears on the census forms, microfilms of which are at the microfilm area of the Tasmanian Archive and Heritage Office, State Library, Hobart. Some of the old census returns recorded more detail, such as the names & details of other household members and any assigned convict. For their holdings see: http://www.archives.tas.gov.au/guides/genealogy

For a searchable on-line index of names see http://portal.archives.tas.gov.au/menu.aspx?search=10. Some results (CEN1 series) have been digitised - follow the links in the search results. The digitised records can also be accessed via district - http://search.archives.tas.gov.au/default.aspx?detail=1&type=S&id=CEN1.

The 'Whitfield Index' is a selective index of personal names found in Tasmanian colonial newspapers, 1816-1900, and can be viewed and searched here: http://catalogue.statelibrary.tas.gov.au/item/?id=676413.

The Tasmanian Archive and Heritage Office ,State Library, Hobart holds electoral rolls from periods in the 1800s to the late 1900s as well as old Trade and Post Office Directories in a mix of microfilm and hardcopy. The Post Office Directory (Wise) from 1890 to 1940 has been digitised and can be searched and viewed here: http://catalogue.statelibrary.tas.gov.au/item/?id=981598. Note to change the year, select the drop-down box in the blue shaded area.

The Tasmanian Archive and Heritage Office at the State Library, Hobart (and probably other major libraries) hold directories for Hobart in a discontinuous series, beginning in the 1820s. Other areas were added in later years.

A short history of the census in Tasmania can be found here: www.abs.gov.au Site.


 

6.2

MORE RECENT ELECTORAL ROLLS & DIRECTORIES

The State Library of Tasmania and other major libraries, plus the Australian Electoral Commission hold Tasmanian electoral rolls to and including the most recent election.


 

6.3

MUSTERS

Irene Schaffer has published some early musters etc in her book "Land musters, stock returns and lists, Van Diemen's Land 1803-1822" (1991) and this is held in many libraries around Australia and has been commercially digitised.


 

6.4

NEWSPAPER HISTORY, COVERAGE AND TITLES

In general today, Tasmania is divided into three regions in respect of newspaper coverage. The Mercury covers southern Tasmania, The Examiner the north and the area around Launceston in particular and The Advocate covers the north-west coast. Links to these newspapers on-line (and many more newspaper resources) can be found on the State Library web site here: http://www.statelibrary.tas.gov.au/researchstudy/news.

There were numerous newspapers which have closed of course. A timeline of newspapers was compiled by the State Library a number of years ago and a digital version can be found here (opens a 2.5MB PDF): http://www.statelibrary.tas.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0003/257052/newspaper-timeline.pdf. The following is a selection from the Archives Office list of their holdings; a comprehensive list, plus other information relating to newspapers can be found here: http://www.statelibrary.tas.gov.au/familyhistory/fillinggaps/newspapers.

Hobart

Derwent Star

1810 - 1812

Hobart Town Gazette

1816 - 1853 (then Tas Govt Gazette)

Colonial Times

1825 - 1856

Hobart Town Courier

1827 - 1859

True Colonist

1832 - 1844

Advertiser / Hobart Town Advertiser

1837 - 1865

Tasmanian

1871 - 1894

Tasmanian Mail

1877 - 1935

People's Friend

1869 - 1912


Launceston

Tasmanian and Port Dalrymple Advertiser

1825

Launceston Advertiser

1829 - 1847

Cornwall Chronicle

1835 - 1880

Illustrated Tasmanian News

1873 - 1877

Other Areas

Devon Herald

1877 - 1888

Zeehan and Dundas Herald

1890 - 1922

Mt Lyell Standard

1896 - 1902


 

6.5

NEWSPAPER INDEXES

This section does not cover things such as obituaries and other notices, which are detailed at: http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~austashs/resource/mal_bdm.htm#bdm_6.

From 1966 to 1994 the Mercury, Examiner and Advocate had most of their content indexed on cards (along with some other Tasmanian journals and publications). These cards have been scanned and put on-line and can be found here: http://www.statelibrary.tas.gov.au/researchstudy/news/tasindex-1966-1994.

From 1994 the index has been searchable on-line and a link to this facility is on the above web page. Note that this also contains the digitised version of the 'Stilwell Index', which covers several decades of newspapers in the 19th century.

More State Library of Tasmania digitised newspaper content can be found here: http://www.statelibrary.tas.gov.au/tasmemory/digitisedall/digitisedformat#newsp.

Photographs in The Tasmanian Mail (1894 - 1916) and the Weekly Courier (1901 - 1907) have been indexed by the Launceston Branch of the TFHS and the indexes can be purchased, see: http://www.launceston.tasfhs.org/publications.html. These can be accessed via libraries as well.

A number of old newspapers and publications have been indexed by the various branches of the TFHS - go to http://www.tasfhs.org/publicat.htm and follow the links to the various branch publication and sales lists. Most of these publications will be in libraries.


 

6.6

DIGITISED AND SEARCHABLE COLONIAL NEWSPAPERS

The National Library of Australia is undertaking a program of digitally imaging old Australian newspapers and the home page for this project is here: http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/home. The scanned text is searchable, but being old type, the reproduction of words can get mangled. Try variations and the first part of names for a comprehensive search.

The Tasmanian Mail from 1877 to 1910 has been scanned and is searchable here: http://catalogue.statelibrary.tas.gov.au/item/?id=962241; the Weekly Courier 1900-1910 (Launceston) is here: http://catalogue.statelibrary.tas.gov.au/item/?id=963564. For additional digitised newspaper content, see here: http://www.statelibrary.tas.gov.au/tasmemory/digitisedall/digitisedformat#newsp.

The National Library has a separate project imaging old Australian periodicals. The list of titles includes several from Tasmania and can be found here: http://www.nla.gov.au/ferg/browselist.html.


 

6.7

OTHER DIGITISED VOLUMES

A number of important historical volumes on Tasmania have been scanned by the State Library and are searchable on their web site. Included in these are 'The Cyclopedia of Tasmania' Vols 1 and 2, Tasmania's Post Office Directories 1877-1910, Bailliere's Tasmanian Gazetteer and Road Guide 1877 and registers and reports of the Launceston Benevolent Society. These can be found here: http://www.statelibrary.tas.gov.au/tasmemory/digitisedall/digitisedformat#reference.

The catalogue for the International exhibition of industry, science and art, Queen's Domain, Hobart, Tasmania, 1894-5 is here: http://catalogue.statelibrary.tas.gov.au/item/?id=545839.

Still more are available commercially - see : http://www.gould.com.au/Tasmania-s/7.htm. Many of the latter may be available at libraries.



© Malcolm Ward 2005-2009. All rights reserved
Submitted by Malcolm Ward 28-Jul-2005
Updated 30-Nov-2011