Monday, January 12, 2015

Great-Granny in the Minutes

Liverpool Regional Museum Research Facility
Last week Mr GeniAus and I travelled out to Liverpool in search of information on his Great-Grandmother, Emily Ball (nee Royds). We had found many articles about her activities in Trove and expected that we might find some maps, photographs or mentions in the collections at The Liverpool Regional Museum or at Liverpool 's Heritage Library.

The people who assisted us were very helpful and showed a lot of interest but we found very little to add to our knowledge of Emily. While at The Museum we did discover from an index to the Rates Books that Emily owned several properties in the area but we were not able to access the Rates Books to seek further information. Apparently they are suffering from "Red Rot".

While there we also had a chat with Jennifer from The Liverpool Genealogy Society which shares the building with the Museum. I was impressed by their tidy, well organised and wekk resourced premises.

Mr GeniAus with Rate Book Index 
Our next stop was the library, a huge building in Liverpool's main street. I had visited the library when it first opened in the late 90s and remember saying that it reminded me of an RSL club on steroids, the gaudy decor has faded over the years but is still gross.

The staff we encountered were helpful but they had not been able to find any relevant photographs for us and, as the maps that might have been useful are uncatalogued and in map drawers somewhere, we were not able to access them. As we were preparing to leave a staff member who had been on the periphery of our conversation asked did we know that the old Council Meeting Minute Books had been digitised, were online and were searchable. She showed us how to access them and did a preliminary search for Ball.

When we hit home Mr GeniAus fired up his laptop and went through the minute books. He hit gold. Searches of each of the files showed that Emily, who lived in the area for over 30 years, had many dealings with Liverpool Council, each of these instances added a little more detail to her story.

The lesson here is to ask if the Minute Books from your ancestors' Local Government areas have been digitised. You never know what you might find.

1 comment:

KerrieAnne Christian said...

well you have Mr Geniaus hooked now !


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