Family History

Next Meeting: Monday 19th June 2017

The meeting will be held in the meeting room at the rear of the Mornington Community Information and Support Centre.  The Centre is located at the Main Street/Elizabeth Street intersection with car parking access from Elizabeth Street.

Colin A Ackehurst, Convener – MelbPC Club – Peninsula Family History Group 


Denis O’Riordan, from the Mormon Church (LDS), will give us a presentation on the activities of Family Search in family history research and what we can expect in the future.  Denis has presented to us on several occasions and is a very knowledgeable and interesting speaker.  He will give his presentation to our next meeting on Monday 19th June.

Please note that the meeting of the Family History Group will commence at 1:30 pm, allowing for the inclusion of a “DNA Discussion” agenda item as the first item on the agenda. 

Guests of members and visitors are welcome to attend for up to 3 Peninsula meetings before being required to become financial members of the Melb PC User Group.

Colin A Ackehurst, Convenor

This was the AGENDA 15th May 2017 1.30 pm to 4:30 pm

 DNA Discussion:  Coverage ofmembers’ experiences with DNA, how to get your DNA tested and how to use it in family history.  Those members who have already had tests carried out can compare their experiences with the different testing organisations and assist each other in how to interpret the test results.  New developments in DNA Testing will be listed.  We will concentrate on how to use the results from Y- DNA testing as follows:

  • Family Tree DNA - mtDNA Test:  Discussion and answering questions on the  analysis of test results.

Q & A Session:Input from members on any problems or items of interest from a member’s research.  All members are invited to participate in sharing their “Eureka Moments”.  Ian Thomson will discuss briefly his experience in tracing a “John Thomson” where there were identical names to work through with a minimum of information to assist his research.

Workshop Day for DNA:  Discussion on whether a full normal meeting afternoon could be listed for a DNA Workshop, using panels for each specific DNA test, to discuss and work through what information can be obtained by using the various DNA tests currently available.  The use of DNA in family history research (Genetic Genealogy) is rapidly being developed to assist us in compilation and testing of our family trees.

Family History Websites:  If any members have knowledge of a "new" or interesting website the Family History Group would appreciate comments on their experience in using the website.  Any suggested websites will be demonstrated "live" on the internet at the meeting.  Some websites of interest are set out below.  Generally most of these websites have been selected from the monthly Newsletters circulated from the Lost Cousins website.  These websites mainly cover UK research.  Thanks to Peter Calver who operates the LostCousins website at  You are encouraged to join LostCousins which includes the Newsletters. Basic membership is FREE. 

·         Forgotten censuses: the 1922 Irish Army Census: The Irish Army Census of 1922, which is online here, at the free website.  Other resources at the site include the Military Service Pensions Collection - it's well worth a look if you have relatives who took part in the fight for independence.

  • Catholic parish registers online at Findmypast:  Although there are now parish registers online for about half of English counties and most Welsh counties, many collections only include Church of England records.  Earlier this year Findmypast announced that they were collaborating with the Catholic Church to make available online around 100 million baptism, marriage, and burial records from the UK and the US.

In February 2017 they launched exclusive collections totalling 3 million records from the Archdioceses of Philadelphia in the US, Birmingham and Westminster in the UK. Bear in mind that an Archdiocese can cover a wide area - for example, Birmingham includes the counties of West Midlands, Oxfordshire, Staffordshire, Warwickshire and Worcestershire (see this map).  You can find out which parishes are included in the collections using the following links - but remember that there are millions more records for the US and UK to come over the next 12 months:

England - Roman Catholic baptisms

England - Roman Catholic marriages

England - Roman Catholic burials

Ireland - Roman Catholic baptisms

Ireland - Roman Catholic marriages

Ireland - Roman Catholic burials

Archdiocese of Philadelphia - sacramental registers parish list

  • Ancestry & FamilySearch updates:  Both websites list many new and updated databases (collections) from month to month and these websites will be accessed at the meeting and the new and recently updated databases will be reviewed.  These websites and others frequently add new data for searching and should be regularly reviewed by researchers.


Proven Methodology for Using Google for Genealogy:  A video will be shown of Lisa Louise Cooke’s presentation to Roots Tech 2016.  She covers this subject in an interesting and comprehensive manner, listing with clarity and enthusiasm details of the methodology.  This is an excellent approach to searching Google for genealogical references.  

Agenda Items for Future Meetings:

Next Meeting on Monday 19th June 2017 :

Family Search Activities:

Denis O’Riordan will give a presentation broadly based on the current activities of Family Search including its integration with other genealogical databases such as Ancestry, Findmypast and My Heritage.  Hehas been involved for many years in various important roles with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church), which provides the website.

Future Meetings:

    • DNA Workshop – Panel discussions.
    • Workshop on researching Family History Records worldwide prior to Civil Registration e.g. Church Records etc.
    • An updated Presentation on Immigration, Migration Records etc.
    • Guided tours of the Public Records Office and/or the State Library Genealogical Centre


 Updated: 16th May 2017