We are so busy researching our ancestors that at times we forget about recording our own story or the ones of the people closest to us, as we often feel “there is plenty of time for that”. Unfortunately this is not always the case and so often family stories and details are lost because we did not take the time now, while these people are still with us.
Each of us are a chain back to our ancestors and down to our descendants and even if you do not have children of your own you are still a link in the chain of history and your story should be recorded too.
This includes your family’s memories of you as a child, how the news of your impending birth was given, any interesting events around that time etc. The other thing you should consider is records relating to your own life and work history.
Who has those records? Will they be considered archival material?
You might be surprised to know that retention policies are quite strict and many documents we, as family historians, would love to have retained forever, are not considered archival material and are disposed of at a set time frame. So while an index book of who was employed may be kept, the actual employment records for the individual are often not kept and this is in government departments. In private companies there is only the requirement to keep these records for a limited time and if the company goes out of business, often all the records end up in the trash, never to be available again.
We beam with delight when we find records relating to our families and this will also be true of your family about you. So when did you start your first job? How did you get it? Have you recorded this information?
Do you know this information about your parents? I realised recently that I had not queried to see if my father’s work records or any information on his work history might be available at the Brisbane City Council. He started at the Mount Crosby Water Supply in 1963 and then after a few years went to the Brisbane City Council as a tram conductor then driver. Now this in some ways seems very modern to us but really it is 53 years ago!
|David Smith Final Day of Trams April 1969|
I “knew” many of the details as after all I had lived at home through much of the time period and I had been told various things too. So I contacted the Brisbane City Council Archives and they were fantastic!
The Archive is located off Ipswich Road in the Skyline Business Centre, 15/107-123 Muriel Avenue, Moorooka.
They hold some very interesting records:
- Council and local studies publications
- Council minutes: from 1859 to 1925 for the original Brisbane City Council area, from 1925 onwards for the greater Brisbane area. Minutes are printed and indexed from 1908
- Council annual reports from 1940
- Photographs taken by Council photographers from 1940 through 2000
- Brisbane statistics from 1925 to 1989
- Council staff leave cards since the 1930s
- Councillor information – details of service for elected Aldermen and Councillors
- Information on the history of Council parks
- Aerial photographs of Brisbane taken in 1946, 1951 and 1960
And there is so much more available including photos! Remember that Brisbane City Council as we know it today is what was formed in 1925 with the amalgamation of the various town councils to become the Greater Brisbane City Council that we know today.
So the staff files were of particular interest to me. I contacted them by email with a query and they were fantastic! They sent me a copy of the staff card that day by email!
Note: I did a very directed query see here. In these times of staff cutbacks in all facilities or in many cases the people to whom we are writing are volunteers with limited time, it is extremely important to write directed queries.
|David Smith Staff Card Mt Crosby Pumping Station|
And this then gave a clearer picture with the exact date of starting, his address at time of starting, the change of address and then has further details on the card.
So who do you need to talk to? Who do you need to contact?