Our guest speaker will be Zooming in to tell us all about the Biographical Database of Australia (BDA). Michael Flynn is a Sydney historian and genealogist and the author of The Second Fleet: Britain’s Grim Convict Armada of 1790 (1993) and Settlers and Seditionists: the People of the convict ship Surprize 1794 (1994).
Since 2006 he has been a board member, honorary research officer website text editor for the Biographical Database of Australia (BDA: www.bda-online.org.au), and assistant editor of BDA since 2022. He is working on revised First and Second Fleet biographical dictionaries and transcripts of NSW magistrates court proceedings 1788-1800.
BDA was initiated in 2006 as a biographical database built from bits of data on named individuals (whether immigrant convicts or locally born of all ethnicities, including Aboriginal people) transcribed from archives, parish registers and other sources that can be knitted together to create a profile. At the core of the database are transcripts of birth, marriage, death and legal records and records of immigration and the convict system and military garrisons, built around the electronic records of the census and muster transcripts published 30–40 years ago. This presentation explores ways to use the database to discover details of people’s lives in the colonial period and to understand how the system of colonisation functioned, what the people were like, where they lived and worked, where they came from and what became of them. The database is expanding from the earliest colonies in NSW, Tasmania and Norfolk Island to the colonies in what is now Queensland, Victoria, WA & SA, covering locally born people, convicts, free settlers and members of UK military garrisons.
This will be a hybrid meeting, members and friends are welcome to come in person or email our Secretary Eileen, (email@example.com) for a Zoom link.