Thursday, 23 January 2014

Relaunch of the Claim A Convict website

I have been remiss in my blogging duties over the last month due to a more pressing assignment the relaunch of the Claim A Convict website.


Started by researcher Lesley Uebel, the Claim a Convict website originally went online on 19 August 1998. The site offered other researchers a free service that enabled those researching the same convicts ancestors to contact each other directly by email. Although the site did not include every convict that arrived, the researcher lists provided an invaluable resource to the research community. Unfortunately Lesley fell ill during the second half of 2013, passing away on 20 January 2014.

It was during the later part of 2013 when Lesley's website was no longer active, a small team of individuals set about to get the website back online. With the help of Lesley's husband, Colin Kennedy, and friend, Coralie Hird, the original website files were found and sent onto the new Claim A Convict team of Michelle Nichols and myself. At the beginning of 2014 the data contained on the original website files (created from Word) was converted into a more manageable format and a new SQL database driven interface was designed for the site.

New website URL

The URL for the site that will be launched on Australia Day at 1am is  At the moment the link only shows a countdown to the launch time.

How the website looked this afternoon with the countdown timer

How does this fit into Auld Genealogy?

I had to rack my head around this one as there are no Aulds currently listed, but alas I did find mention of a Robert Auld who was convicted in Edinburgh for 7 years transportation. He apparently arrived into Port Jackson (Sydney) onboard the Susan (1) during 1834.

One of my aims for the new Claim A Convict website is to have a feature so that contributors to the site can assist and help find Lost Convicts...Robert Auld being one of those lost convicts and hence I am nowing blogging as such.

Happy hunting for your convict relatives.

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Alston Auld and the Scottish pension list

Alston Auld receives a pension

The following article appeared in the Dundee Courier on 25 April 1907 which lists Alston Auld as being a successful candidate to receive a £13 pension.

Source: Pensions for Aged Scots. (1907, April 25). Dundee Courier, p. 7. Retrieved January 8, 2014, from

A transcript of the article follows:

At a special court of the Governors of the Royal Scottish Hospital, held for the purpose of electing candidates to fill vacancies in the pension-lists, the following were, at the close of the poll, declared to be the successful candidates:-
Catherine Forrester, spinster, aged 65, at Kincardine, 1041 votes.
Catherine Connan, widow (66), Aberdeen, 988.
Henrietta Laing, spinster (68), Leith, 962.
Wm. Mitchell, unmarried (87), New Monkland, 906.
J. F. Mackenzie, spinster (68), Redcastle, 904.
Janet Cowper, spinster (70), Whitburn, 898.
J. L. Sutherland, widow (77), Paisley, 875.
Jas. Meikle, married (72), West Calder, 790.
John Mackenzie, married (72), Ullapool, 649.
Elizabeth Jack, married (69), Rhynie, 643.
Isabella Conlan, widow (55), Darnaway, 624.
Alston Auld, married (65), West Calder, 609.
John Cullen, married (80), Douglas, 597.
L. P. Chisholm, unmarried (77), Jedburgh, 576.
Vacancies in the £18 pensions-lists were filled by the following promotions from the £13 lists:-
Jean Beardwell (78), or Orkney; Elizabeth Conolly (87), Stromness; Mary Gillies (76), Arbroath; Jas. Ewing (77), Glasgow; Annie Grant (74), Inverness; Jessie Tolmie (75), Black Isle; Elizabeth Sutherland (74), Edinburgh; Margaret Smith (67), Aberdeen.

Scottish key dates and background information

There is also a good breakdown of the English Poor Laws that also provides information on UK poor laws.

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Trove Tuesday: Follow the clues and paper trail...then recheck

Searching for something to blog about for today's Trove Tuesday, I came across the following death notice:

AULD.-At his mother's residence, Pound-street, on 21st December, 1883, JULIAN CHARLES FREDERICK AULD, eldest son of the late ROBERT T. AULD, surgeon, in the 29th year of his age ; esteemed and regretted by all who knew him.

Source: Family Notices. (1883, December 22). Clarence and Richmond Examiner and New England Advertiser (Grafton, NSW : 1859 - 1889), p. 4. Retrieved January 7, 2014, from

From the information contained in my Auld database, I knew Julian Charles Frederick Auld was the first of six children born to Dr. Robert Thomas Auld and Mary Webb Clarke. Using the information contained in the death notice we get several clues that Julain's father has previously passed. A previous search of Trove and blog post on Trove Tuesday: Dr Robert Thomas Auld reveals that both Julian and his father passed away at the family residence in Pound Street, Grafton, NSW ...within two weeks of each other - Dr. Auld having passed away on 8 December.

Although I had previously found a small obituary for Dr. Robert Thomas Auld, another search of the online newspapers came up with a rather extensive obituary that was printed in the local Grafton newspaper, the Clarence and Richmond Examiner and New England Advertiser. The obituary follows:

Source: Clarence & Richmond Examiner. (1883, December 18). Clarence and Richmond Examiner and New England Advertiser (Grafton, NSW : 1859 - 1889), p. 2. Retrieved January 7, 2014, from

Even if you think you have found everything there is to find, always remember to recheck and perform another search. New newspapers are being adding constantly to the vault of treasures that Trove offers the researcher. You never know what may turn up!