Like the ripples created by a pebble in a pond, it is difficult to know the impact that a single life may have on future generations. Clarice May Taylor Cubbins (1916-2014), whose occupation was often listed in census records as “home duties” or being a “hand,” lived her life in New South Wales, Australia’s largest state. During her lifetime, Cubbins amassed an extensive card file index that is now helping genealogists and family historians find their ancestors. Largely because of her private collection, consisting primarily of cemetery records, FamilySearch now offers access to over 160,000 searchable Australian records.
In a project completed last May, FamilySearch digitized Cubbins’ record keeping efforts. Drawn in great measure from gravestones, her card index file also included information from death registers and military rolls, war memorials, passenger lists of military personnel, and some church records. Each completed card that Cubbins produced included information about the deceased’s vital dates, burial cemetery, parentage, and the age of the deceased at the time of death. During the 1980s, Cubbins collection was microfilmed. The present digitized collection was generated from the microfilmed records.
Most of the cemetery records come from New South Wales, but the collection includes a smattering of records from the Northern Territory, Queensland, South Australia, Western Australian, and “British New Guinea,” now Papua New Guinea (since 1975).
An African proverb says, “When an old man dies, a library burns.” Two things have combined to belay the fulfillment of the proverb. First, there was Clarice Cubbins’ meticulous and extensive work, combined with her forethought to literally extract information that was written in stone. Second, the records were properly handled and preserved so that the information Cubbins gathered could be migrated from the original index cards, to microfilm, to digital records.
More information about this project can be found on the FamilySearch wiki page titled, Australia, New South Wales, Cemetery, Military, and Church Record Transcripts (FamilySearch Historical Records).
View the collection of Australian New South Wales Cemetery, Military, and Church Record Transcripts, 1816-1982 at no cost in the Search tab on the FamilySearch.org home page.
Visit FamilySearch.org, and use the Search feature to explore indexed records. Use the Browse All Published Collections feature to search digital images of historical records for your ancestors. You can attach your discoveries to the corresponding ancestors in your free FamilySearch Family Tree online.