An electronic newsletter for family historians from the
Society of Australian Genealogists

120 Kent St, Sydney NSW 2000, Australia
Website -
Tel: (02) 9247 3953 Fax: (02) 9241 4872 

April 2015

SAG coat of arms

  • AGM
  • NSW Government Gazette Index 1832-1863 now on FindMyPast
  • Signature Quilt Mystery


  • What's on in May


  • Deceased Online - new collection



Browse SAGs online bookshop for a great collection of family history books, CDs and software.

  • Arrivals in Australia from 1788
  • Buried Treasure: What's in the English parish chest
  • Evernote for Family Historians
  • Where Do I Start?
  • Victorian Schools - A Study in Colonial Government Architecture 1837-1900


  • Subscribe or alter your subscription to these newsletters


Reminder that the Society’s 82nd AGM is being held at Richmond Villa, 120 Kent Street at 1.30pm. Following the presentation of Diplomas in Family Historical Studies to the successful 2014 candidates, we’re delighted that Geoff Hinchcliffe, the new Director of State Records NSW will speak to members about ‘State Records in the 21st Century’. You’ll find the full AGM notice here.

NSW Government Gazette Index 1832-1863 now on FindMyPast

The Society has recently licensed the NSW Government Gazette Index 1832-1863 (which we published as AGCI Volume 2) to its stable of SAG products on the FindMyPast website. This joins our cemetery data (Rookwood, Macquarie Park, Waverley & South Head cemeteries) which is already available online through the FMP site.

The online data is slightly different to what will be found on the AGCI 2 CD – it shows name, date, type of event and place, but doesn’t give the page number of the relevant NSW Government Gazette. This is because the images of the NSW Government Gazettes which have been licensed to their site have been split into smaller files so the original page numbers don’t correspond to the online images. The AGCI 2 CD is still available for sale through the SAG bookshop here.

Signature Quilt Mystery

The National Museum is seeking public assistance in identifying the people behind the names embroidered onto a rare "autograph quilt". There are 650 squares on the quilt containing a signature, name, monogram or initial but only 50 names have been identified to date. The quilt was produced as a fundraiser for St Mary's Church of England in Sunbury includes names of Melbourne's 19th century celebrities and include the former Victorian Governor John Hopetoun.

To assist in identifying the names, the National Musuem has uploaded a picture of the quilt as well as a transcription of the names, initials and motifs. For more information, read the full article published in The Guardian.


A chronological list of all activities is now available for online viewing and bookings here. You can also phone Monday to Saturday during office hours on 9247 3953 or book over the desk during library hours Tuesday to Thursday and Saturday.

All activities are held at Richmond Villa, 120 Kent Street unless otherwise specified.

  • Wednesday 6 May (8.00pm - 9.00pm) - Webinar - Digging for Treasure - Using Online Newspapers
    Presenter: Michelle Patient. Online newspapers have revolutionised genealogy and broken down long held brickwalls for many researchers. Learn effective research strategies to apply when delving into online newspapers, along with an array of tips & tricks for online papers covering Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and Ireland. Bookings essential. $10. SAG Members only.
  • Thursday 7 May (10.30am - 12.30pm) - All Aboard with Railway Employment Records
    Bill Phippen, of the Australian Railway Historical Society, has digitised all NSW Railway employee records including some not otherwise recorded at State Records. Learn about researching NSW railway ancestors at this session. Bookings essential. $20 ($30 non-members).
  • Saturday 9 May (10.30am - 12.30pm) - Family Tree Maker User Group - AM session
    Sessions: 1. I've got a source, how do I add it to FTM? - presenter - Lyn Hudson Williamson. 2. Detaching, attaching and deleting people in FTM?- presenter - Cheyne Wright. 3. Q&A session - those questions posted on the FTM hub (see will be given priority. Bookings essential. Note that the AM and PM sessions must be booked separately. $8 ($12 non-members).
  • Saturday 9 May (1.30pm - 3.30pm) - Family Tree Maker User Group - PM session
    Sessions: 1. Deleting, replacing and updating sources in FTM - presenter - Lyn Hudson Williamson. 2. FTM and mobile devices - see them in action - and how to link to FTM on PC / Mac - presenter - Larry Czarnik. 3. Q&A session - those questions posted on the FTM hub (see will be given priority. Bookings essential. Note that the AM and PM sessions must be booked separately. $8 ($12 non-members).
  • Thursday 14 May (10.30am - 12.30pm) - Writing Discussion Group - BOOKED OUT!
  • Saturday 16 May (9.00am - 10.00am) - Orientation Tour
    Held in the Library at 2/379 Kent Street from 9.00am-10.00am. Members only. Bookings essential. Join us for a tour of the SAG library - learn about its layout and the services offered. Remember you can stay on and do research after the tour. Free - a gold coin donation on the day towards our Collections Fund is always appreciated.
  • Saturday 16 May (10.30am - 12.30pm) - What was the parish really like?
    This session will demonstrate ways to find out more about the English parish in which your ancestors’ births, deaths & marriages were recorded and where they lived. Presenter - Heather Garnsey. Bookings essential. $20 ($30 non-members).
  • Tuesday 19 May (8.00pm - 9.00pm) - Webinar - Tracing Your Queensland Ancestors
    Join well known genealogist, Shauna Hicks as she explains the sources, repositories & research techniques for tracing ancestors in Queensland. Bookings essential. $10. SAG Members only.
  • Thursday 21 May (10.00am - 12.30pm) - Tour - Great North Road Historical Walk
    Meet at Wiseman's Ferry (details provided on registration). Learn about the convict work gangs who carved out this road which was commenced in 1828 as a vital passage between Sydney & its breadbasket of the Hunter & Hawkesbury. The experiences & challenges of the convicts & their masters will be unveiled as we walk the road. Morning tea (food only) included. Limit 15. Bookings essential. $30 ($40 non-members).
  • Saturday 23 May (10.30am - 12.30pm) - Legacy Software Group
    An informal meeting of current and potential Legacy users to exchange information, ideas and techniques. Bring your questions and your laptop! Facilitator – Bev Hyssett. Bookings essential. $8 ($12 non-members).
  • Saturday 23 May (10.30am - 12.30pm) - English Research Group - A Guide to Huguenot Research at the SAG
    Many (particularly those with London ancestors) have some Huguenots in their family tree & don't know it. This talk will focus on using the resources at the SAG for Huguenot research, a type of research which is often daunting for non-experts. It will include a look at new resources which are making the quest for Huguenot ancestors much easier to find. Presenter - Robert Nash. Bookings essential. $8 ($12 non-members).
  • Saturday 30 May (10.30am - 12.30pm) - Reunion (for Mac) Software User Group
    Reunion for Mac is a popular program used by people who have Apple computers. It operates on desktops, laptops, smart phones and iPads. Alison Wolf will demonstrate how to make the most of Preferences in various aspects of the program. Participants are encouraged to bring their own devices. Presenter - Alison Wolf. Bookings essential. $8 ($12 non-members).

DeceasedOnline - New Collections Added

DeceasedOnline is adding records for all cemeteries and crematoria managed by Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council to its database. Sandwell is a large council area in the Black Country of England's West Midlands, adjacent to the city of Birmingham. The area includes towns such as Oldbury, Smethwick, Tipton and West Bromwich.

The collection dates back to 1858 and will comprise over 1 million records for over 300,000 burials and 130,000 cremations including digital scans of original burial registers, details of all grave occupants in each cemetery and maps. Currently available are records for Smethwick, Tipton, Wednesbury and Oldbury with more to follow.


Visit our bookshop at 2/379 Kent Street, where we're open 10am to 4pm on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday. Our great collection of family history book titles is also available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week online, where you'll find local histories, CD-ROMs, charts and genealogical software - all at competitive prices!

When you place your order online, the Australia Post Calculator on our new bookshop website will calculate the correct postage fees according to the weight of your order.

Arrivals in Australia from 1788 - $32.00

This book introduces the history and records of migration to Australia from 1788. Migrating to a new country was one of the most dramatic life changes anyone undertook and it certainly affected the lives of their descendants. Investigating their journey is a key part of your family history research. However immigration records in Australia are not all held in one place - when, where and how they arrived affect where (and whether) records of their arrival can be found. Understanding categories of arrivals and the immigration schemes in place as well as the general principles of where documents are held, will give you confidence that you have looked in all the right places. Softcover, A5, 140 pages. Kerry Farmer, Unlock The Past Series 2015. [More detail]

Buried Treasure: What's in the English parish chest - $15.00

Records surviving in the parish chest will often solve your brick wall problems, including: 'Where did my ancestor come from before here?' or "Who is the father of that illegitimate child?" Here is a practical guide that will help family researchers solve their problems, and put them into historical context. This small volume is full of material for both the beginner and the experienced researcher. It is a well-illustrated guide to the contents of the English parish chest that allows any researcher to go way beyond the baptism, marriage and burial registers commonly used for parish research. Softcover, A5, 60 pages. Paul Milner, Unlock The Past Series 2015. [More detail]

Evernote for Family Historians - $15.00

Family historians have more need than most people to be organised. We have a lot of electronic and paper files in different places in different formats. Evernote can change the way we go about our research and can reduce the need for printing and hardcopy storage. Evernote can change your life, and this book will show you how. Softcover book, A5, 44 pages. Carole Riley, Unlock the Past, 2015. [More detail]

Where Do I Start? - $19.00

A brief guide to researching your family in Australia and New Zealand. As a beginner's guide it has been hard to keep it simple as there are just so many resources that can be used for genealogy and family history. This book is the first step to discovering your family history. Softcover, A5, 71 pages. Shauna Hicks, Unlock The Past Series 2015. [More detail]

Victorian Schools - A Study in Colonial Government Architecture 1837-1900 - $38.00

SECONDHAND. Hardcover, good condition, 204 pages, 29x22cm. Lawrence Burchell, Melbourne University Press, 1980 in association with the Victorian Education Department. [More detail]


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© Society of Australian Genealogists 2015 - all rights reserved
Any feedback or enquiries regarding this newsletter should be directed to the editor: Lisa Watson. Items for inclusion are also welcome.