Thursday, 22 November 2007

New Australian and US online records

I am a relative newcomer to family history, having started in 2005. Even during the short time from then to now, an amazing amount of new data has become available online, including the entire UK census details from 1841 to 1901. Before this, researchers often had to travel to local libraries and archives and spend hours looking at microfiche or other copies. I realise how fortunate I am - and how dedicated those who have been researching their family trees for years and "doing it properly" have been!

With the main sources now available, the companies which provide this online data are challenged with what new material they can provide to keep people subscribing to their services.

This week Ancestry made available two new sets of data - one from Australia and the other from the US.

Australia Electoral Rolls 1901 to 1936 are useful because under Australia's privacy laws no census records are available to researchers. Nearly 42 million names appear on the rolls, although coverage for some states is currently patchy. Details shows include names, addresses and occupations.
There are many Daglish families listed - below is a sample from 1936 in Yarra, Richmond County, Victoria:

The rolls can be found on Unfortunately you must be a subscriber of or of's "World Deluxe Membership" to access the Australian Electoral Rolls.

It is interesting to note that women have had the right to vote in Australia since the beginning of the 20th century. Compulsory voting was introduced in 1924 after the voter turnout of those registered to vote in Australia was as low as 47%. Since voting was made compulsory by the Federal Government, voter turnout has remained around 94-96%.

The other new set of records is US Passport Applications from 1795 (when the US began issuing passports) to 1925. These details had previously been available through the Family History Library in Salt Lake City.

Unfortunately there are only three Daglish applications in this collection - these are for William John Daglish (1883-1945), his wife Mabel and his widowed mother Agnes.

The applications show that John worked for the US Shipping Board and spent much time overseas. The family lived in the Panama Canal Zone from 1916 to 1921, where his daughters Elizabeth and Marion were born. In 1921 William is applying for a passport for a 2 year stay in Europe, including England, France, Spain and Belgium and during 1922 his wife and mother are applying to join him in Copenhagen, Denmark.

The Passport Applications can be found on Again you must be a subscriber of or of's "World Deluxe Membership" to access these details.

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