Sunday, 3 May 2015

Capital Capers

This short post comes to you from Canberra, Australia's capital.

When I was here for Congress last month I was sorry that I didn't have enough time to do some research in our National Library and National Archives. A wedding invitation for this weekend gave me such an opportunity.

We arrived a day early on Friday and went straight to The National Library of Australia where a pile of books I had pre-ordered from the stacks was waiting for me. Michelle Nichols, one of my genimates, asked me on Facebook "Did you find interesting things?"  I certainly did but I didn't break down any brick walls.

Inside the National Library of Australia

I had ordered in a variety of resources. I got a few old books on Father Therry, a pioneer priest in Australia and some histories of the Catholic Church. I have an interesting priestly relative, Michael Harrington Ryan, who is my great (x2) great-uncle. I was hoping to find some references to Father Ryan in those books but I drew a blank. On my last visit to the library I did find a few snippets and I will continue to seek out more books to fill out his stories.

Hitting the books at the NLA
A few printed cemetery registers were also on my list. These were for towns in Australia (mainly NSW) where ancestors had lived. I was able to confirm several dates and places of death for second and third cousins from these so that was a successful exercise.As I go through these resources I take a copy of pages that mention the Curry surname for my CurryAus surname study.  I will continue this exercise when next I have a chance to visit the library.

There have been many Pioneer Registers produced for towns in rural and regional Australia. For this visit I ordered in a few I hadn't consulted. While I didn't find anything new on my family I found a few new Curry references.

Waiting for me when the library opens this afternoon are three files of biographical clippings that will hopefully give me some new info on one of Mr GeniAus' living cousins, an ancestral town and an in-laws ancestor.  Also waiting is a CD of cemetery inscriptions that has a few of my Pusells listed.

All of the items I consult at the library are given little red hearts and relevant notes in my library account.

Tomorrow I'll be at The National Archives of Australia when it opens. Hopefully waiting there for me will be some immigrations files and some World War Two service records. Having consulted these I will go back to the library to chase up a few references in microfilmed newspapers.

Reading Room at The National Archives of Australia

The National Archives of Australia


  1. Lovely facility - thanks for sharing it with us Jill. Have you contacted the order that your priest belonged to? Sometimes they have put together information about their priests (family, assignments, etc.) I know this is also the case for other religious (we have priests, nuns and brothers in our family tree). Just a thought.

  2. Good thought from Tessa. I have no religious but have got lots from various Catholic Archdiocesan archives. I've also had mixed responses in terms of a "welcome" from them: be charming, appreciative and make donations :)


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