NSW State Records
Lorraine makes regular visits to NSW State Records to access records on behalf of clients. Prices are very reasonable and an order form can be emailed upon request. Generally, original documents can be digitised and can be emailed. However, if requested hard copies can be posted.
The Services That Are Offered
Any record that is publically available at State Records can be accessed by our team, so it is too hard to list all records that can be accessed. Sometimes records are in the 'closed' period but in many cases these can be accessed for family history purposes. We can advise how to go about this. The most common records that we access include:
Probate records are created when someone dies. They detail the extent of the estate and how it is distributed. If there is a will, it is generally found amongst these papers. However, even where there is no will probate files can be interesting because decisions still need to be made as to how the estate is to be distributed & to whom.
Divorce packages contain the documents associated with settling a divorce. These vary widely but are always interesting for genealogical purposes. They contain a variety of court documents and supoenas connected with the divorce, as well as more personal papers. They have even been known to include co-correspondents, certificates, details of children, personal letters and photos.
There is a whole raft of documents associated with convicts. These include such things as convict indents, tickets of leave, certificates of freedom, permission to marry, colonial secretary's correspondence, assignment records, colonial sentences, land grants and much more. Remember, that once convicts completed their sentence there can be other records that might be associated with free settlers. These can be looked at as well.
Inquest papers are documents associated with official inquiries conducted to determine the cause and circumstances of a person's death. In family history research, these papers can provide valuable information about an ancestor's passing and the events surrounding their death. However, the papers are not available for all periods. Where this occurs, newspapers can be a substitute for the actual inquest papers.
Before Federation, naturalization was a state matter. These records can provide valuable information for family historians. Amongst other things, they can give the ship and year of arrival which may not be available anywhere else.
Work records provide information about an individual's employment history. These records can offer insights into the occupation, workplace, and employment-related activities of your ancestors. Records included here might be railway, nurse, teacher, police, electricity commission and many other fields of pubic employment.
Deceased Estate Records
Deceased estate records were documents used by the NSW Government to calculate death duties. These records provide valuable insights into the assets of a person and can offer genealogical information for researchers. They are complimentary to, but not the same as, probate records. They have only survived up until 1958.
Insolvency & Bankruptcy Packages
Insolvency and bankruptcy packages detail how and why a person (or business) became insolvent. They can often include a statement written by the insolvent person and, together with other information found in these packages, can be a valuable genealogical source.
There are two main types of immigration records, assisted and unassisted. Unassisted records often do not have a lot of detail. However, assisted immigration records can have a wealth of genealogical information in them. Sometimes they include information about other family members already in NSW, or information about family back 'home'.
Colonial Secretary Records
This is an under-utilized genealogical resource, but can be a source of great detail about your ancestors. If they had any dealings with government, they may have written a letter to state their case. The reasons for this correspondence are
endless. These records are complimented by an additional series of records known as Colonial Secretary Re Land. There is a free index for the early period available on the NSW State Records site. The Joan Reese index then fills in the gap up until about 1896 and is an easy to search index. If you don't have access to this index, we can do a search for you for a very small fee.
Crew agreements were signed by sailors upon joining the crew of a particular ship. These can be a source of information for your sea-faring folk. Once you manage to locate one record, you can often trace backwards from that agreement to previous ones and thus build up a picture of your ancestor's sailing career.
There are two main records associated with these: The admission register and the clinical notes. There are privacy restrictions on these, but they can be another genealogical source for the 'open' period.
We are happy to give you our current prices for these records, or you and get a quote on special requests. We can also do an index search first for a small fee to make sure that there is a record for the person you are researching.