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Advanced Family History

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  • 1. WELCOME TO THE READING ROOM  NO SMOKING 
  • 2. Advanced Family History
    • …or what to do when you finally make the journey here
    • (don’t panic)
    FIRST WORLD WAR 1914-1918 1917 90 TH ANNIVERSARY JEREMY RICHTER READING ROOM MANAGER
  • 3. Sergeant Dave Roberts MM 1285 WHAT YOU REALLY SHOULD HAVE: WHAT WE REALLY HOPE YOU HAVE:
    • service record
    • unit details
    • National Archives of Australia
    • www.naa.gov.au ‘Recordsearch’
    • name and service number
    IF YOU DON’T HAVE IT:
  • 4. The Service Record WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?
    • nothing saying where he served ‘I thought he served on Gallipoli’
    • Promotions, injuries, court martials and sick leave, but they don’t tell you much either…
    • This was supposed to tell me everything!!!
    • scribbles, scrawl and general mess
  • 5. IT REALLY HELPS US IF YOU CAN DO THIS FIRST:
    • Translate the service timeline:
      • write out where he is; e.g. ship, place
      • write out when he is wounded, sick, promoted or moved between units
    • 2. Use the glossary online:
      • www.awm.gov.au/glossary
    • 3. Contact us if you are stuck:
      • www.awm.gov.au/request
      • (02) 6243 4315
  • 6. Where did you fight in the war Dad?
    • THREE SIMPLE STEPS:
    • OFFICIAL HISTORY
      • Contains many of the units
      • Gives you perspective
      • Is available online, in libraries and here – of course
    • UNIT HISTORIES
      • Greater detail
      • More stories, often more interesting and relevant
      • Manuscripts (AWM224)
      • Troopship serials
      • Not one for every unit
      • Really, really, really expensive and rare
    • GET INTO THE RECORDS
      • Official & Private Records
      • Spend time researching and money on coffee
  • 7. Records, records and more records GET READY BEFORE YOU GET HERE
      • LOOK FOR OFFICIAL RECORDS:
        • Use the NAA’s database ‘Record Search’
        • www.naa.gov.au
      • LOOK FOR PRIVATE RECORDS:
        • Use our Collections Database
        • www.awm.gov.au/database/collection.asp
      • LOOK FOR BOOKS AND OTHER PUBLICATIONS
        • Use First
        • www.awm.gov.au/firstopac/
      • MAKE SURE YOU DON’T WASTE YOUR TIME:
        • Check to see that the war diary you are looking for is not digitised
        • www.awm.gov.au /diaries/
      • CONTACT US
  • 8. Official Versus Private Records OFFICIAL RECORDS
    • WHAT THEY ARE
      • Official Records are those created by government agencies or persons. The Memorial's Official Records collection includes records of the Australian armed forces during periods of war and peacekeeping.
      • www.awm.gov.au/research/guides/first.htm
    PRIVATE RECORDS
    • WHAT THEY ARE
      • Letters, diaries, postcards, memoirs, log books, scrap books, poems and personal accounts – just to name some of the things
    • WHAT THEY ARE GOOD FOR
      • Determining the ‘Official Account’ of what happened
      • Getting times and dates right
      • Creating the timeline and understanding what happened
    • WHAT THEY ARE GOOD FOR
      • Getting an idea of what it was like – colour history with a personal touch
      • Getting greater detail or conflicting accounts
      • Can be treated like or complement official records eg. Monash 3DRL/2316
  • 9. What Official Records Will You Use?
    • AWM4 - Australian Imperial Force unit war diaries, 1914-1918
      • The first primary source that should be consulted
      • Currently on microfilm (yuck!) but are currently being digitised
      • Can vary in quality e.g. 4 th Battalion is hopeless
    • ADVICE
    • IF THEY AREN’T MUCH CHOP SUPPLEMENT THEM
        • Records of other units
        • Higher units such as the Brigade, or even the Division
        • Private records
        • AWM25
        • Pick another unit and pretend he served in that one…
    • AWM25 - Written records, 1914-1918
      • Everything from general official correspondence to orders to Courts of Enquiry
      • Can be very useful but not always, not frequently used by family historians
      • Let us help you with them
    • AWM9 - Unit Roll Books, 1914-1918
      • Don’t really tell you much, however people like lists
    • AWM7 – Troopship Records, 1914-1918
      • Can be interesting and help fill in the gap between Australia and the Front
  • 10. What else is there? I HAVE TALKED ABOUT A SMALL SAMPLE OF THE THINGS WE HAVE HERE ALL OF OUR DATABASES CAN BE FOUND VIA THIS WEB PAGE… www.awm.gov.au/database/index.asp
    • YOU CAN FIND OTHER THINGS LIKE:
      • Troopship serials
      • Unit association periodicals
      • Newspapers, personal accounts, magazines
    MOST IMPORTANT… CONTACT US! www.awm.gov.au/request (02) 6243 4315
  • 11. THANK YOU AND GOODBYE! ANY LAST QUESTIONS? HAPPY RESEARCHING!!! www.awm.gov.au/request

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