So you've heard of Government Gazettes ... but just what are they, and how can they help you with your research?
What is a Government Gazette?
This is an official publication of all government notices, including the operation dates of Acts of Parliament. Once the notice in the Gazette is published, the public is deemed to have notice of it. They were usually produced once a week, with occasional 'Extraordinary' issues.
What will I find in a New South Wales Government Gazette?
Tens of thousands of ordinary people and localities, small and large, are mentioned every year in Government Gazettes. You will find details on land transactions, court notices, notice of acts, tenders and contracts, police auctions of stolen property, statistics, unclaimed letters, impoundments of
cattle and horses, reward notices and much more ... There is a huge amount of information (which includes physical descriptions) relating to convicts - absconders, those who were granted tickets-of-leave, certificates-of-freedom, conditional pardons, deserters, apprehensions and more.
How can this information help me?
Totaling over 1600 pages, the 1846 Government Gazettes contain an enormous amount of
historical and genealogical information, with the entire text fully searchable which enables the user to search for names and places as well as keywords for any subject you wish to check out. It can help you reconstruct events and circumstances in the life of individuals and communities.
Example entry taken from the 2 January 1846 issue:
General Post Office,
Sydney, 27th December, 1845
NEW POST OFFICES
Notice is hereby given, that His Excellency the Governor having been pleased
to approve of the Establishment of Post Offices, at the following places,
Ipswich, situated 25 miles from Brisbane, and Darling Downs, situated 90
miles from the same Township.
Parties wishing to receive their communications through either of these Post
Offices, are advised to caution their correspondents to address their
letters and newspapers to the place distinctly, by its name, and so to
provide against the chance of their being forwarded to any adjacent Post
Office, of the same County of District.
Example entry taken from the 13 February 1846 issue:
Colonial Secretary's Office,
Sydney, 7th February, 1846
TWENTY POUNDS REWARD OR A CONDITIONAL PARDON
Whereas it has been represented to the Government, that on the morning of
the 2nd January last, a man named James Lane, who was employed as a shepherd
at a station of Messrs. Cheeke and Broadhurst, in the District of Liverpool
Plains, discharged a gun, loaded with shot, at his fellow servant, named
Samuel Gledhill, and wounded him in the face, from the effects of which the
said Samuel Gledhill subsequently died, and that the above mentioned James
Lane has absconded, His Excellency the Governor directs it to be notified,
that a Reward of Twenty Pounds will be paid to any free person or persons
who shall apprehend the said James Lane and lodge him any of Her Majesty's
Gaols, and if the person apprehending him be a Prisoner of the Crown,
application will be made to Her Majesty for the allowance of a Conditional
Pardon to such Prisoner of the Crown.
By His Excellency's Command,
E. Deas Thomson
Name - James Lane
Country - England
Condition - Free by Servitude
Height - About 5 feet 5 inches
Complexion - Dark
Hair - Black and straight
Eyes - Black and rather small
Age - About 33 years
Remarks - Very small head, very low forehead, dark heavy eyebrows, with a
down look or a scowl upon his countenance; at the time of his absconding he
wore thick black whiskers, very large, upper teeth project outwards and are
of a large size.
If you've got an interest in early New South Wales and it's people, you're bound to find something of interest in this amazing resource.
High quality scanned images of the whole of the years worth of issues. This CD has been bookmarked for easy navigation, and pages can be searched, browsed, enlarged and printed out if required.