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TOPIC: Northern Territory help needed

Northern Territory help needed 28 Dec 2011 01:56 #188

Firstly, seasons greetings to everyone blessed with SA ancestry.
I'm hoping someone may have some ideas on how I can access early NT records, preferably from here in Perth. I'm particularly interested to know the following:
  • Were NT letters of admin circa 1890 recorded in the SA Probate indexes?
  • If a person owned property or operated a business in the NT prior to 1890 would these sorts of matters potentially appear in the SA Government Gazettes?
When did the NT start to record BDMs ... ie were they originally included in SA BDMs or have they always been separate?

I'm chasing material for two periods in NT history - one for an oyster farmer/pearler in the 1880s and the other for the later 1860s/early 1870s for a seafarer known to have been on the earliest vessels involved in that period of settlement. If anyone else has had experience with tracking seamen on vessels such as the Gulnare, Bengal and Kohinoor in the 1869-1872 timeframe I would love to hear from them.

Hoping someone can help with the above, and many thanks,
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Northern Territory help needed 22 Feb 2012 11:56 #281

  • Ian Simon
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Hi Robyn

Your questioun has made me realise my total ignorance of the NT and its records.

I suggest you join the SA-GEN mailing list at Rootsweb where there are many knowledgable people, some of whom ay know about the NT.

Maybe the SA Interest Group could have a session on the topic.

Ian Simon
Convener SA Interest Group
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Northern Territory help needed 23 Feb 2012 05:44 #286

Hi Robyn
The SAG.org.au has the listings for Northern Territory BMDs. I thought you should start there. You may find microfiche copies in WA State Lib First Floor if they aren't at WAGS. Some series are now on CD.
As NT was 'incorporated' in South Australia 1863-1911 all their records will have been created by the South Aus government, so yes their Gazettes may be useful for a preliminary search.
It is usual practice for businesses to be registered under the Company Act (whatever they called it). Land transactions may be listed - but you would need to search widely under the different classifications of land ownership/leasehold etc. Prior to 1863 you would need to search in New South Wales Records.
Generally, when there is a change in responsibility within a government department, or change in 'ownership' the records created by one agency are given a cut off date, after which all records relating to that agency are transferred to the new one. You may therefore find some in NT and some in SA. (WA is a good example - some immigration stayed in WA State Records and some went to Aus Archives).
Have a look at the Guide to SA Archives (sic) in the WAGS Library. It ought to help - if you can't sort it out by Googling the relevant agencies.
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Northern Territory help needed 23 Feb 2012 05:56 #287

Many thanks Robin and Ian. As I was on duty in SLOWA today I took the opportunity of checking out the NT drawer. I was surprised to see quite a lot of useful material on fiche, including the BDMs and the Probate Records. Alas my Joe BRUN didn't feature... that would be too easy! I was particularly interested to see there was a set of fiche containing the NT census (including names) for 1881, 1891 and 1901. There were also names mentioned in local papers (he did feature there, and I found a few entries I haven't picked up via Trove), pastoral and pearling leases, and a few other indexes of various sorts, including and index to names in the NT Government Gazettes.

I've just finished reading "Digging, Squatting and Pioneering Life in the Northern Territory of South Australia" by Mrs Dominic Daly and "A Land Full of Possibilities" by P.F. Donovan. Both make fascinating reading and I think all of us with SA ancestry should consider whether any family members were affected by events in the NT. I had no idea the place first saw white settlement as a penal outpost for NSW in the 1820s or thereabouts. It wasn't a successful settlement and there were a couple of attempts to settle the place before it finally became permanent. NT history would actually make a great movie as there were gold rushes, crocodile attacks, and it sounded a bit like the wild west.

So yes Ian, it would make a great topic for a SA meeting!

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