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Proformat News
No: 121
March 2016
March Seminars & Heritage Walks
6 Mar: North Adelaide heritage walk: The Cathedral precinct

April Seminars & Heritage Walks
3 Apr: Port Adelaide: Government precinct heritage walk
6 Apr: Understanding SA land records
17 Apr: Riverbank: Swans, bridges and a stadium heritage walk

All bookings must be made with the hosting organisation.

See the seminar program for more details and bookings.

Jews expelled from Spain
The late 2015 announcement of the government of Spain that it would award Spanish citizenship to anyone who could prove descent from one or more of the Jewish people expelled from that country in 1492, and who could demonstrate a knowledge of Spain's culture, heritage and geography has generated much interest in Europe. By the end of January 2016 this most difficult of genealogical endeavour had been achieved by one person, Ben Naim, who was assisted in his quest by the La Unión Sefaradí Mundial (World Sephardic Union).
Ben Naim, whose parents were born in Morocco, traced his lineage back to Spain via family documents. The La Unión Sefaradí Mundial helped Ben Naim create a detailed report of his genealogy. The documents that Ben Naim provided from his parents and grandparents helped the organization identify his ancestors from pre-existing research into Spanish Jewry.
The key to his success was the discovery that Ben Naim was related to Morocco's chief rabbi from the end of the 19th century. In fact very few people indeed can trace their ancestry back to pre-1500 unless they can attach themselves to a family important enough to have their genealogy recorded in government records. For the average person, the best they can hope to achieve is an unbroken link back to the very first entry in a parish register and for those with British ancestry that means mid-1550s if they are lucky!

10th anniversary
I get little feedback from these newsletters, however, the last proved an exception! Someone out there reads the material!
A note to say thank you for your help and support to me through your newsletter and the seminars that I have attended. All the best for your changed schedule and I am happy to read that you are continuing to support us family historians and especially the Proformat News. Bartholomew
Congratulations on this milestone. I’m proud to have been one of your relatively-early (I think) overseas clients. Take care and good luck. Tom
You are not OLD enough to retire. Your newsletter has been excellent and has given me many many leads over the years. For this, I thank you. Tony

Accessing State Records at Gepps Cross
Tony also raised the issue with State Archives: I have visual problems, so am not able to drive a car. From Hallett Cove to Gepps Cross on public transport is estimated to be 4-5 hours per day including the walk. I have had emails with Mr Simon Froude, A/Director of State Records. He has advised that they are investigating options for a free weekly taxi service from the City to Gepps Cross. This is only available to those who can’t reach State Records via car or public transport. Another option is a shuttle bus service from the City to Gepps Cross at dedicated times. I can’t see either option running for very long due to cost.
State Records currently offers a free Thursday bus service between the Convention Centre and the Gepps Cross Research Centre. Pickup: 10:00am Return: 3:00pm. Bookings are essential 8343 6800 by 11:00am Wednesdays. The service is operated by Des’s Mini Vans.

In this issue:
March Seminars
April Seminars
Jews expelled from Spain
10th anniversary
Accessing State Records

Feature article
1939 National Register


Graham Jaunay

Glandore SA 5037

Breaking news: fb

Drafting charts
Locating documents
Seminar presentations
SA lookup service

Graham Jaunay uses
The Genealogist - for UK census, BMD indexes and more online simply because it contains quality data checked by experts.

Proformat News acknowledges the support by awe AWE

1939 National Register

With FindMyPast making part of the 1939 National Register for the United Kingdom available to UK and World subscribers on 15 February, it is timely to have a look at what is on offer.

The released material is from the National Archives and comprises the registers for England and Wales, not Scotland, Northern Ireland, the Isle of Man or the Channel Islands.

The National Register was designed to provide the Government with resources as war seemed almost a certainty. It is not a census and should be termed a census substitute. It does not record everyone and significantly those already serving in the military were, for the most part, not included. The same applied to government workers too because a key task of the enumerators who collected the data was to issue identity cards and these people already held one.

It is not a census and so relationships to those within each household are not defined, however, unlike the census, precise dates of birth are provided.

It is rare to find other than the first given name which makes tracing people with common names difficult if a birth date or any other collaborating material is unknown. I tried tracing my grandmother's uncles with dreadfully common names—William HARRIS, Thomas HARRIS and John HARRIS! I would not be able trace her aunts, although I know of none, because I have no idea of their married names.

In fact for most Australians whose link in Australia predates 1880 there is only a slim chance you will find anyone still living in 1939. I have only discovered one great-great uncle, William KING and that was only because I knew his precise birth date.

Although it is the 1939 Register, it was not a static document and was updated especially as people's circumstances changed such that they needed an updated identity card. The Register was used in 1948 when the National Health Service was established to create the NHS Register. The most common reason to update the 1939 Register occurred when women married and you will find their married name added in and their maiden name crossed out. See following illustrations.

Like all records there are transcription errors. In the following example the name is JAUNCEY not JAUNAY. There will be enumerator errors too!

You are likely to come across closed records. This is because the person is recorded as having been born less than a hundred years ago, and their death has not been confirmed. It is possible to get such records open if you can prove the person has died by submitting a death certificate.

The top image is the transcription whilst the bottom image is the reproduced Register page showing the JAUNCEY / JAUNAY entry.

As I keep reminding readers. There are two primary avenues of family history research. The first and foremost of these is to locate your remote cousins. Even if your family left the UK in the mid-nineteenth century, you will still likely have cousins living there. Their ancestors did not migrate and it is likely they may know something about your ancestry that is not known by you. The 1939 Register along with 1858–1959 Probate Calendar (also at FindMyPast) used in concert may go a long way towards achieving that goal!

Note SAGHS members can access all this data at the Society Library free!
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