Archive for the ‘Microfiche’ Category

Infant Life Protection Act of 1890

| January 8th, 2014 | Comments Off on Infant Life Protection Act of 1890


Compiled by Helen D. Harris OAM

In 1898, Victoria Police took over the administration of the Infant Life Protection Act of 1890, which  had been passed in reaction to cases of infanticide and abuse by baby farmers (women who took in babies to nurse). This legislation tightened controls on both mothers and baby farmers. The police department managed the administration of the Act until 1908, and in so doing created a series of records of immense use to family and social historians. Unfortunately there is no surviving index to the records prior to 1901, making it a difficult task to access them.  Those cases found in files for the period 1898-1908  have now been placed on a separate web page Infant Life Protection Act Indexes.  Please note that they are not all the cases, merely the ones found to date.

From 1901, there exist indexes to the correspondence registers, and the registers themselves.  This series of microfiche has been compiled from both the indexes and the registers, and gives names, locations and relevant file numbers to enable access to the files themselves.  The indexes, registers and files are housed at the Public Record Office, but unfortunately the latter are not always easy to locate, with many not located where they should be.  The microfiche also offers a guide to where to look for the files.


Contains over 5,000 entries listing the name and location of women (and the occasional male) who applied to become ‘nurses’, who renewed their registration or who notified the department of their change of address.

Click onto Order Form for details of how to order a copy of the microfiche.


Lists those people who were charged with failing to register the birth of an illegitimate child within the required three days. The legal responsibility to register the child lay with the occupier of the house in which the child was born, rather than the mother, so friends or relatives could be and were charged.

Click onto Order Form for details of how to order a copy of the microfiche.


This list contains two indexes; the names of the children who were given to nurses registered under the Act, and the names of the nurses and which children they took into their care. A number of the children were the offspring of women from country areas and interstate or overseas (New Zealand), who came to Melbourne to give birth, leave the child with a nurse, then return home with their secret intact.

Click onto Order Form for details of how to order a copy of the microfiche.


Most of the children (although not all) were the illegitimate offspring of working-class mothers, unable to look after babies themselves, and amenable to other people adopting their child. This list shows both the child’s and the adoptive parents’ names. As legal adoption did not commence until 1928, the material in these files is the only way in which these adoptions can be traced.

Click onto Order Form for details of how to order a copy of the microfiche.


Lists those children who died while in the custody of a nurse registered under this Act, and includes those people who were investigated for failing to comply with the Act. These people were sometimes the nurse herself, sometimes relatives or adoptive parents.

Click onto Order Form for details of how to order a copy of the microfiche.


Lists women who were investigated by the police department for taking in children when they were not registered as nurses under this Act; women who applied for an exemption because of extenuating circumstances (such as being a relation of the child) and women whose registration as nurses were cancelled, sometimes at their own request and sometimes because of their treatment of the children under their care.

Click onto Order Form for details of how to order a copy of the microfiche.

Back to Harriland Press Microfiche.

Index to Deserters of Wives and Children 1880-1895

| January 8th, 2014 | Comments Off on Index to Deserters of Wives and Children 1880-1895

INDEX TO DESERTERS OF WIVES AND CHILDREN 1880-1885; 1886-1890; 1891-1895

Compiled by Helen Doxford Harris OAM

These microfiche indexes have been compiled from the weekly issues of the Victoria Police Gazette from 1880- 1885, 1886-1890 and 1891-1895. Each contains over 3,000 entries relating to men who deserted their wives and/or families, and women who deserted their children. While the indexes published in the Gazettes only list the name of the offender, these indexes include all names published in each entry.  The Gazettes have also been digitized, but the search facility is not always 100% accurate, and it is easy to miss a relevant name just using that option.

Details provided in the indexes include the offender’s name and, where known, their birthplace, age, occupation, the area in which they had been living, their possible future movements and known relatives. In a number of cases the victim also is named, and these entries have also been cross-referenced back to the offender.

An additional index of locations is included. Researchers may find this useful when seeking details of the paternity of an illegitimate child. If the birthplace of such a child is known, the locational index can be used to search for a possible matching entry, as the mother (usually unnamed in the Gazette entry) may have laid charges against the father, at a local court.

Click onto Order Form for details of how to order a copy of the microfiche.

Back to Harriland Press Microfiche.

Wife & Child Deserters – South Australian

| February 9th, 2010 | Comments Off on Wife & Child Deserters – South Australian

For further information about this Index, click here.

NOTE: Find what you are looking for faster by using the EDIT and FIND facilities on your computer to search this index.


Copied from the Victoria Police Gazette, 31 August 1855.

[Details given: Name, Age, Address, No. of children, Name of ship, Remarks]

ASHLEY, -. 32, Grenfell St., 4, Olivia, husband absent c10 mths.

BENNETT, -, 42, Franklin St., 4, Indian, absent c1 yr, never sent any money.

BENSON, Margaret, 39, Logan St., 4, Chatham, absent c16 mths.

BERTRAM, -, 23, Irish Town, 4, John Casar, left when he had been a few weeks in colony, left no money behind.

BLOCKWICK, -, 27, Dry Creek, 2, Canton, husband absent c2 yrs.

BONES, Martha, 32, Elizabeth St., -, Duke of Wellington, left soon after arrival.

BROADBENT, M.A., 21, Para, 1, Elgin, went to diggings with threat never to return to family.

BURGESS, Elizabeth, 21, Wright St., 2, Merope, absent c2 yrs, sent £20 about 12 mths since.

BUTTLE, -, 40, Kermode St., 6, Navarino, away 3 yrs, never heard of him since.

CAINS, – 27, Bent St, 3, Trafalgar, away c3 yrs.

CLARK, -, 27, Grey St., -, James Fernie, away c9 mths.

COLLEY, Mary, 37, Brompton, 8, Duchess Northumberland, away c12 mths, sent £13.

CONOLAN, – 27, Myrtle St., 2, Catherine, went away 12 mths ago, took all their money and left her destitute.

DARLING, Rosa, 30, Near Windmill, North Rd., 5, [not given] away a year, received £23m now destitute.

DAVIES, Ann, 20, Sturt St., 2, Elgin, away c12 mths

DAVIS, Catherine, [not given] Hindmarsh, 5, Emerald Isle, is a Welshman, left a few weeks after arrival, sent letter in June, but no money.

DAW, Susanna, 30, Bowden, 4, Winchester, away c2 yrs; sent £10 14 mths ago.

DOWLING, Rose, 30, Pulteney St., 5, Trafalgar, away, received 7 July 2nd.

EY, Henrietta, [not given] Norwood, 4, [not given], absent.

FORTUNE, Margaret, 22, Weymouth St, 1, Trafalgar, away c15 mths.

GAIL, M.A., 23, Robert St., 1, Clipper, left at Diggings, came to Adelaide seeking him, has since heard that he has returned there.

GODFREY, Ann, 35, John St., [not given] Mount Stuart, away c16 mths.

GOODMAN, -, 28, Nailsworth, 4, Mount Mitchell, away 2yrs, not heard for 10 mths.

HAMMOND, Mary, 25, Philip St., 2, Caroline, left 3 yrs since.

HANLEY, -,[not given] Brown St., 3, [not given], in Melbourne, supposed insane.

HARRIDON, -, 37, Field St., 4, Sir Edward Parry, away c6 mths

HESLOP, -, 50, Kermode St., 6, Epaminondas,away c2 yrs.

HONDRICKSON, -, 45, Ackland St [not given] D’Auvergne, away c3 yrs, sent nothing for 2 yrs.

HOWELL, -, 30, Blyth’s Buildings, Hindley St, 4, Lysander, away c20 mths.

HUTCHINS, -, 35, Field St., 8, Macedon, away c15 mths.


KEARNES, Julia, 27, North St., 1, Epaminondas, away c2 yrs.

LAMBLEY, -, 35, Thebarton, 5, Jos. Cripps, away c2 yrs.

McKENZIE, -, 31, Grey St., 1, James Fernie, away c2 yrs, sent £20 in all.

McKENZIE, -, 31, Bentham St., 5, Sea Queen, away over 2yrs, sent £20.

McNEILL, -, [not given] Destitute Asylum, 3, James Fernie, left them at Gilles’s Plains.

MAIR, Margaret, 53, Dover Castle, 3, Circassian, husband, 2 sons away 2 yrs, sent 5 ozs of gold.

MEALEY, Elizabeth, 58, Sturt St., 3, Lord Raglan, [not given]

MELANY, -, 27, Currie St., 3, Princess Royal, away c12 mths.

MILLER, -, 35, Elizabeth St., 2, Navarino, away c12 mths.

MURNAHAN, -, 40, Weymouth St., 4, Osceola, away over 12 mths.

NAUGHTON, -, 32, Maryattville, 2, Phoebe, away c14 mths.

NORMAN, -, 19 Hindmarsh, 3, Navarino, away 12 mths.

PAGE, Jane, 37, Jerningham St., 3, Ramilies, away c2 yrs.

PETTY, -, 28, Rundle St., 4, Princess Royal, away 2 yrs.

PHILLIPS, Mary, 38, Hindmarsh, 3, Marion, left on arrival in Colony.

PRICE, Margaret, 29, Hindmarsh, 3, Lady McDonald, away since landing.

RAYNER, Mary, 38, Logan St., 2, Chatham, away c12 mths.

ROBINS, -, 25, Rundle St., 4, Brightman, away c5 mths.

ROSENTHAL, -, 28, Stepney, 2, [not given], away c18 mths.

SAFFORD, -, 21, Rosina St., 2, Charlotte Jane, away c 3yrs. [out of alphabetical order in original list, name may be JAFFORD or KAFFORD]

SAUNDERS, Esther, 37, Thebarton, 2, Constance, away c14 mths

SEARLE, Margaret, 40, Cox’s Creek, 8, Prince George, eldest boy away with father.

STAPLE, Jane, 31, Thebarton, 2, Belle Alliance, away c18 mths

STOBB, -, 30, Freeman St., 2, [not given] away c20 mths.

STONE, Emily, 24, Solomon St., 1, Flora, left soon after arriving in Colony.

STRATFORD, Hannah, 30, North Adelaide, 5, Birman, absent since May 1852.

TANKIN [TONKIN?], -, 25, Destitute Asylum, – Standard, away 8 mths.

TRAINER, Esther, 35, Irish Town, 3, [not given] away about a year.

WEAR, Mary, 30, Morphett Vale, 5, Waterloo, away more than 2 yrs.

WEBBER, -, 32, Bowden, 3, Immigrant, away c18 mths.

WEBBER, M.A., 28, Sturt St., -, Telegraph, away c2 mths.

YOUNG, Margaret, [not given] Franklin St., 6, Lord Goderich, left c2 yrs since.

‘Extract from the Report of the Destitute Board of South Australia: The Board reluctantly grant relief in these cases; and in order to check the evil, the enclosed return is given in detail. They consider it desirable to publish it in the local papers of Victoria, with a statement that, if the husbands do not either return or make provision for their families by the 1st of October next, the Government will withdraw all future support.’

[Notice published at the request of the South Australian Government. The Victorian Colonial Secretary’s Office requested that the Notice be displayed at post offices, police stations, court houses and other public places.]