A few years ago at Thame in Oxfordshire, David Evans spoke at a Guild of One-Name Studies Conference about records ‘down under’. Within his lecture, he managed to include references relating to the surname studies of Committee members at the time…. quite some doing when you bear in mind the rarity of many of those surnames.
Undertaking a one-name (surname) study on a worldwide basis is no simple task and one of the great benefits of Guild membership is that the members – as well as their studies – are global. Although some small pockets of my Sillifant study have decided, over the centuries, to relocate to Australia, I had (at the time) done little research into the records held in the Australian archives. David highlighted the National Archive of Australia site which holds records from ‘dramatic events that shaped the nation to decisions that touched the lives of individual Australians’ – from the ordinary to the famous – and their interactions with the Australian Government.
The Archives is responsible for caring for the most significant records of the Australian Government. The archive consists of tens of millions of items and includes records about immigration, military service, transport, Indigenous Australians, science and the environment and much more.
Searching for Sillifant – I do love websites which allow you to search for EVERYTHING on a particular name in the entire collection – there are a few migration documents and two service records, along with something to do with a Sillifant Hill and survey stations?
Most of the Sillifant records have been digitised – at my request – but if they haven’t, all you have to do is ask! And often you’ll be amazed at what you find, like a photograph of John Henry Sillifant looking back at you….