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Australian: Occupational Records
Register (Fees/Dates)
Other Info
Genealogy and the study of family history are more than just collecting names, dates and places. This course focuses on occupations and how someone’s occupation could change over time, have a significant role in a community and even impact on a family’s lifestyle. Miners, for example, often moved around following the gold or other minerals and their families moved too. Tracing them can be difficult but occupation records may provide clues.

To determine someone’s occupation usually means that we need to use more than one kind of record to build a complete picture of their working life. As we gather the pieces of information we can then analyse what it is telling us about the person, their family and community life. There are lots of ways to discover someone’s occupation including BDM certificates, directories and almanacs, electoral rolls and newspapers.

Occupational records can provide additional information on our ancestors. By knowing an occupation, we can then look for supporting information in staff records of businesses and governments and if they work as farmers and graziers then land records may be useful.

Knowing where to look is the key issue and this course will help you to discover a person’s occupation and then to follow up where there might be additional information in government archives, libraries and other resources. Where applicable, guides and other finding aids are listed together with any indexes, databases and digitised records.

Course Content

Module 1
History & Background of Occupations
Note about Web Addresses
Meaning of Old Occupations
Occupational Causes of Death
History of Occupations as Surnames
Resources to identify ancestors’ occupations
• Published Resources
• Online Resources
Qualifications and training
Bibliographies & Dictionaries of occupations
Historical Societies and Museums

Module 2
Occupations on Land & Sea, and Hospitality
On the Land
• Farmers
• Horses, Sheep and Cattle
• Miners
• Labourers
• Building Projects
On the Sea
• Seamen
• Ship Deserters
• Shipwrights
• Whalers
• Oyster Farmers
• Pearl Divers
• Lighthouse Keepers
Hospitality Industry
• Hotel Licensees

Module 3
Business & Trade Unions
Resources Overview
Guide to Australian Business Records
• Business Occupations
• Banks and Banking Staff
• Accountants
• Manufacturers
• Undertakers
Companies & Firms
• Bankruptcies, insolvencies and liquidations
Trades & apprentices
Trade unions
• Australian Trade Union Archives

Module 4
Government Employees & Politicians
Where Are The Records?
• Federal Government
• Colonial/State Government
• Local Government
Overview of Resources
• Online indexes
• Government gazettes
• Blue Books
Government Employees
• Civil or public servants
• Railway Employees
• Teachers
• Police
• Prisons and Gaols
• Military Personnel
• Politicians
• Imperial Pensions

Module 5
Professions & Professional Associations
Where Are The Records?
• Libraries including University libraries
• Government Archives
• University Archives
• Doctors
• Nurses
• Dentists
• Chemists and Druggists
• Judges
• Barristers, Solicitors, Attorneys and Lawyers
• Justices of the Peace
• Architects
• Qualifications and training
Professional associations
• Subscription Databases

Module 6
Religious Occupations, The Arts, and Sports
Religious Occupations
Occupations in the Arts
• Patents, trademarks and designs
• Copyright
• Performing Arts
• Actors
• Circus Performers and Side Show People
• Dancers
• Writers and Journalists
• Artists
• Photographers
Sporting Occupations
• Jockeys
• Women in Sport
• International Sporting Events
Suggested Reading and Resources
• Online Exhibitions
• Microform
• Government Publications (State and Federal)
• Books
• Serials
• Articles

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