FFHS-NEWS Fwd: Rookwood burial records now online at findmypast.co.uk
News from the Federation of Family History Societies
ffhs-news at ffhs-lists.org.uk
Mon Nov 22 21:24:12 CET 2010
Sent by David Smetham
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From: debra.chatfield at findmypast.co.uk
Sent: 22/11/2010 09:22:44 GMT Standard Time
Subj: Rookwood burial records now online at findmypast.co.uk
For immediate release
Rookwood burial records now available at findmypast.co.uk
. Over 233,000 burial records available to search online
. It's now easier to research Australian ancestors
. Records include former NSW Premier John Lang, who opened Sydney
Harbour Bridge, and Peter Dodds McCormick, who wrote Advance Australia Fair
Family history website www.findmypast.co.uk has published online for the
first time burial records from Rookwood Cemetery, working in partnership
with the Society of Australian Genealogists.
Between 1981 and 1992 members of the Society of Australian Genealogists
painstakingly transcribed inscriptions from headstones in Rookwood Cemetery -
the final resting place for over 600,000 Australians, located in Sydney's
The transcriptions that resulted from that mammoth 11 year project,
containing 233,160 names, have now gone online for the first time at
findmypast.co.uk, so that anyone around the world can search for their Australian
ancestors from the comfort of their own home. It is possible to search the
records by surname, forename, inscription or year of death, and each entry shows
the complete transcription and grave location.
The oldest graves in Rookwood Cemetery date back to 1867, and today it is
one of the largest cemeteries in the whole of the Southern Hemisphere. It
is therefore likely that many Australians would have a relative whose
resting place is within Rookwood's gates and will be able to find their record in
the new online database. The online records cover dates of death over the
period 1798 to 1999.
Elaine Collins, Business Development Director at findmypast.co.uk, said:
"The Rookwood Burials are a unique and valuable resource for anyone
interested in researching their Australian family history. We're delighted to be
working with the Society of Australian Genealogists to put these records
online for the first time, enabling people worldwide to find their Australian
Heather Garnsey, Executive Officer of the Society of Australian
Genealogists, said: "The Society was delighted to work with findmypast to bring its
Rookwood Cemetery Transcriptions to a new audience online. SAG volunteers
transcribed Rookwood - the largest cemetery in the southern hemisphere - as
its contribution to the Australian Bicentenary in 1988 and the transcripts
were previously only available on microfiche and CD, both long
Since it was opened in 1867, Rookwood has remained Sydney's most important
cemetery with more than a million burials believed to have taken place
there. Headstones provide vital clues for genealogists, often revealing far
more than just name, age and date of death. Place of origin, religion,
occupation and family relationships can all be revealed through headstone
inscriptions. We'd expect many new research leads to be discovered through the
availability of this material online through findmypast."
Among the famous people that appear in the new online burial records are:
John T. Lang (1976-1975) - Labour Premier of N.S.W. during the Depression,
who introduced Child Endowment, Widows Pension and Workers Compensation
Act, and also restored the 44 hour week. He opened Sydney Harbour Bridge in
Peter Dodds McCormick (c.1833-1916) composed Advance Australia Fair, the
Australian National Anthem.
Mei Quong Tart - Popular leading 19th century Sydney
merchant-Philanthropist-with a network of tea rooms including "Elite Hall" in QVB.
Jacob Pitman - Brother of Sir Isaac Pitman, who introduced phonetic
shorthand to Australia.
Louisa Lawson - Pioneer of women's sufferage in Australia and Henry
Bee Miles - Notorious in 1950's and 1960's for her eccentric behaviour in
Sydney trams and taxis, well educated, a free spirit. She recited
Shakespeare from the steps of the State Library. She was cremated and her ashes
scattered. This is her family's grave site.
David Jones - The founder of the famous Sydney Stores.
John Fairfax - Founder of The Sydney Morning Herald.
The new records can be found within the Parish Record Collection at
www.findmypast.co.uk and are part of a much larger ongoing project with the
Federation of Family History Societies to put millions of parish records online.
These records are also available through findmypast.com.au, the
Australia-based sister site of findmypast.co.uk.
Leading UK family history website findmypast.co.uk (formerly
1837online.com) was the first company to make the complete birth, marriage and death
indexes for England & Wales available online in April 2003.
Following the transcription, scanning and indexing of over two million
images, the company launched the first website to allow the public easy and
fast access to the complete indexes, which until then had only been available
on microfiche film in specialist archives and libraries. The launch was
instrumental in creating the widespread and growing interest in genealogy
seen in the UK today.
Findmypast.co.uk has subsequently digitised many more family history
records and now offers access to over 750 million records dating as far back as
1538. This allows family historians and novice genealogists to search for
their ancestors among comprehensive collections of military records, census,
migration, occupation directories, and current electoral roll data, as
well as the original comprehensive birth, marriage and death records.
In November 2006 findmypast.co.uk launched the ancestorsonboard.com
microsite in association with The National Archives to publish outbound passenger
lists for long-distance voyages departing all British ports between 1890
As well as providing access to historical records, findmypast.co.uk is
also developing a range of online tools to help people discover and share
their family history more easily, beginning with the launch of Family Tree
Explorer in July 2007.
In April 2007, findmypast.co.uk's then parent company Title Research Group
received the prestigious Queen's Award for Enterprise: Innovation 2007 in
recognition of their achievement.
Findmypast.co.uk was acquired in December 2007 by brightsolid, the company
who were awarded The National Archives' contract to publish online the
1911 census, which it launched in January 2009.
The Society of Australian Genealogists (SAG) has been helping people trace
their family history for over 75 years. Located in the Sydney CBD, SAG
operates a world-class library and manuscript collection with many unique
records.SAG runs an active programme of lectures, workshops, seminars and tours
and a book shop, as well as providing advice and support to anyone
researching their family history in Australia.
Email:debra.chatfield at findmypast.co.uk
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