I'm trying to find out information on my grandmother Florence Annie Rance who went out to Australia in 1908 to 1911 coming home to England with a illegitimate baby named Harold Charles Rance.

I have found the out going and in coming passenger lists and Harold's birth statement.  Harold was born in the Glen Innes area, but so far cannot find out the address where Florence lived or who she lived with.

I have had Australian searches unertaken and no where does Florence seem to be listed.  Any ideas please.




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Hi Chris,

What is a birth statement?  Do you mean birth certificate?  Harold's birth was registered in 1910, and if that cert doesn't have any specific details about Florence's residence then it is probably unlikely that you will find any other record.  Did she have any family in Australia?


Hi Debra

Thank you for your reply.  I have Harold's Certificate of birth the heading is "Certificate of an entry in Register of births", not sure if there is another more "fuller" version as there is in England.

It has a ref number and the birth place given Glen Innes NSW.  I have e-mailed the archives in NSW but so far no reply.  It seems strange that granmother was in Australia for nearly three years and there is no record of her.

It is one theory she may have gone out to relations, how would I find this out.  Granmother was a servant cook when she left England so no doubt did the same kind of job. 

Also how do I find out if the passage to Australia in 1907 was assisted, as I cannot think grandmother had the money to travel being a servant.

Thanks again Debra



Hi Chris,

If it is a full birth certificate it should record the name and birth date and birth place of the child.  The names of the mother and father with their birthplace, age, occupation, address, and their date and place of marriage.  Also details of previous issue to the couple and the names of witnesses to the birth as well as the informant.

Obviously if this was an ex-nuptial birth then many of these questions would be left blank.  If you don't think you have a full certificate it is cheaper to have the details transcribed rather than purchase an official certificate.  You get all the same information but it can't be used for official purposes.  Details of transcription agents approved by the registry are here: http://www.bdm.nsw.gov.au/familyHistory/howToTraceYouFamTree.htm#Tr... 

You can purchase an official copy through the registry if that is what you want http://www.bdm.nsw.gov.au/cgi-bin/Index/IndexingOrder.cgi/search?ev...  Just do a search then click on "Buy Now".

Unless Florence did something to generate a public record (such as giving birth to a child, marrying or dying) then there would be no reason for there to be any record of her in Australia.  We were all British subjects so she could move freely between countries, national compulsory voting was not introduced until 1924 and she would have be 21 to enrol.  The only other reason that I can think of for there to be a record of her is if she committed a crime.

I am not sure about immigration schemes which were operating at that time, but perhaps Tonia from the NAA will be able to advise you about having a search done for any records.  Otherwise you can follow the suggestions here with links to contacting the NAA:  http://www.naa.gov.au/collection/explore/migration/index.aspx



Hi Chris

Apologies for the delay in responding to your posting.  Debra is correct, unless your grandmother had some dealings with the government (State or Federal) during her period in Australia, it is unlikely that there will be any other record than the passenger arrival and departure information that you have already located.

If your grandmother came to Australia under a government funded assistant migration program, one of the State archives may have a record as the States looked after assisted migration prior to the 1920s.  If she lived in Glen Innes, maybe State Records NSW may be able to help you further http://www.records.nsw.gov.au/

I'm sorry I wasn't able to be of any assistance on this occasion.



NAA staff

Hello again

I noticed in your posting above that you have contacted SRNSW but have not yt heard back from them. Their reading room has just recently been relocated from the city centre to Kingswood and this will have caused some disruption to their reference service.  State Records only holds the registers of births and if you are after a copy of the certificate, you will need to go to the NSW Registrar or Births, Deaths, and Marriages - see their historical BDM search and info about getting copies of certificates at http://www.bdm.nsw.gov.au/familyHistory/searchHistoricalRecords.htm




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