Society of Australian Genealogists


April 2016

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 

  • Virtual Lost in English and Scottish Research
  • Take a closer look at this photograph - was it an early selfie?
  • Do you have family buried in Rookwood, Waverley or Macquarie Park cemeteries?
  • Annual General Meeting and Free lecture
  • TROVE - 2 part webinar


  • What's on in May


  • Finding new genealogy sites online



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

  • NEW - The Family History Web Directory
  • NEW - Tracing Your Cork Ancestors
  • NEW - Tracing Your Seafaring Ancestors
  • NEW - Tracing Your Welsh Ancestors


  • Subscribe or alter your subscription to these newsletters

Virtual Lost in English and Scottish Research

Our next weekend webinar series takes place on Saturday 18 & Sunday 19 June, and will focus on advancing both English and Scottish research. We’re tailored the timing of sessions to allow two great overseas speakers to join us – Chris Paton from Scotland and Janet Few from England, along with Australian speakers including Kerry Farmer and Cora Num. There’s something for everyone – whether you are starting out your research or moving beyond the basic BDMs. And the good news is that if you’re an SAG member you’ll get the 8 webinar sessions for $80 – and if you aren’t a current member you can still attend for $115. You’ll be able to participate live, get all the recordings and also the handouts. What a great way to spend a June weekend! Read the full program and book here.

Take a closer look at this photograph - was it an early selfie?

In the March issue of our journal Descent, Ralph Hawkins took a close look at a photograph from our collection. He demonstrated how important it is to look beyond the subject – in this case a young woman leaning back in a chair . The mantelpiece behind her revealed a few clues about her life and since publication he’s received further feedback from members on the photograph which you can read about here. And if you only get the print version of the journal and missed out on a high resolution version of the image – which lets you see much more detail – you can look at that here too. Now the question has been posed – is this an early selfie?!

Do you have family buried in Rookwood, Waverley or Macquarie Park cemeteries?

Is there a great story in your family about someone buried in one of the above cemeteries, each of which have been transcribed by Society volunteers and published on CD-ROM and now online with third party providers. We’re currently gathering together some publicity material about our headstone transcriptions of these cemeteries and we’d love to hear from you if you have a famous or infamous ancestor buried in one of them. Did they die a mysterious or tragic death, is there more to their life than their headstone reveals? If you’d like to share your story with us please make contact at giving a summary of about 200-300 words, together with your contact details.

Annual General Meeting and Free lecture

A reminder that our AGM takes place on Saturday 14 May commencing at 1.30pm at 120 Kent Street Sydney (Richmond Villa). Following the AGM there’s a free lecture on Accessing the Treasures of the Mitchell Library, presented by Richard Neville, Mitchell Librarian and Director, Education & Scholarship (State Library NSW). You'll find the AGM notice here

TROVE - 2 part webinar

We’ve had a phenomenal response to our 2 part Webinar on TROVE which is scheduled to go to air on 12 and 19 May. While we’ve reached capacity for the number of members who can listen live, that doesn’t mean other members have to miss out on what should be really useful sessions on this much loved (and currently in the news) website. If you add your name to the waiting list we’ll make contact with you after the webinars have taken place and let you purchase the recordings, which you’ll be able to listen to as often as you like over the next two months. Just make sure you register here before 12 May.


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.

  • Tuesday 3 May (8.00pm - 9.00pm) - Webinar - 20 tips to research successfully
    Hear Heather’s expert tips for family history research. Presenter: Heather Garnsey. Bookings essential. $12 - SAG Members only.
  • Thursday 5 May (10.30am - 12.30pm) - What's not online at State Records NSW
    Emily Hanna from State Records will speak about State archives that are great for family history research but are not accessible online. Come along and hear about some of the more hidden genealogical gems they hold. [note this topic was revised after our print program was distributed - the original topic will be presented later in 2016] Presenter: NSW State Records. Bookings essential. $22 ($35 non-members).
  • Saturday 7 May (10.00am - 3.00pm) - Genealogy and Technology Day
    A day of immersion in technology with expert genealogist Michelle Patient. Topics to be covered include: Getting the most out of the FamilySearch website; backing up your family history; and tips and tricks for your computer. There will also be a Genie Tech Q and A session, so bring your “how to” questions along. Morning and afternoon tea provided. Bring your own lunch. Presenter: Michelle Patient. Bookings essential. $45 ($70 non-members).
  • Thursday 12 May (10.30am - 12.30pm) - Writing Discussion Group - Digitising family records
    In order to include photos, documents etc. in your family history you will need to scan them. For help on the decisions this involves, such as image resolution, colour management, formats, file compression and equipment, hear from someone who knows all about it. Presenter: Jeff Madsen. Bookings essential. $10 ($15 non-members).
  • Thursday 12 May (1.30pm - 3.30pm) - Writing for family history
    Get into the writing spirit for the Sydney Writer’s Festival with one of our very own talented writers. Author of Scholarly Scoundrel, Jan Worthington, will provide entertaining insights from her latest book and share her hints on the writing process. Presenter: Jan Worthington. Bookings essential. $22 ($35 non-members).
  • Thursday 12 May & Thursday 19 May (8.00pm - 9.00pm) - Webinar - TROVE - a 2 part special
    While we’ve reached capacity for the number of members who can listen live, if you add your name to the waiting list we’ll make contact with you after the webinars have taken place and let you purchase the recordings, which you’ll be able to listen to as often as you like over the next two months.
  • Saturday 14 May (9.00am - 10.00am) - Free Library Tour - Where Do I Start at the SAG Library?
    An overview of the services and resources at the Library. Explore highlights of the collections and take a guided tour. Why not stay on after the tour & do some research? Limit 10. Tour Leader: Lorraine Brothers, SAG Librarian. Bookings Essential. Free and restricted to SAG members.
  • Thursday 19 May (10.30am - 12.30pm) - Copyright issues in family history
    This session will cover Australian copyright law and ethical issues as they relate to preparing family histories. It will include information on copyright protection for your work, using sources and materials that other people have created and correct citing or acknowledgement. Presenter: Lilian Magill. Bookings essential. $22 ($35 non-members).
  • Saturday 21 May (10.30am - 12.30pm) - English Research Group - Lacemakers
    Lace making in England has been established for many centuries. Nottingham was the main centre and was closely connected with Calais and Australia. The industry extended beyond that of lace making. This and many aspects of this trade will be covered including pay, lives, work conditions and more. Presenter: Pauline Kettle. Bookings essential. $10 ($15 non-members).
  • Saturday 21 May (1.30pm - 3.30pm) - The Master Genealogist User Group (and Family Historian) - Plugins and DNA
    For those interested in the Family Historian program, there will be a demonstration of a Plugin that allows bulk entry of data, such as from a census record. After that there will be a demonstration of how to enter the results of DNA tests into both programs - TMG and Family Historian. Bookings essential. $10 ($15 non-members).
  • Thursday 26 May (10.30am - 12.30pm) - Hands On @120 - Mapping our ancestors
    Most events in our forebears’ lives occurred at places which were usually recorded, especially if they had any connection with officialdom. Maps help to locate the places and put them into a local context of street, town or countryside. The Society has a large and varied collection of maps, and this talk is designed to present representative examples and show how they can be used for understanding a family’s history. Limit 15. Presenter: Alan Day. Bookings Essential. $35 ($50 non-members).
  • Saturday 28 May (10.30am - 12.30pm) - New Zealand Research Group - New Zealand death records
    Join the group for a look at New Zealand research using death records – certificates, cemeteries, probate records, coroners’ inquests and much more. Also hear what’s new in New Zealand research and bring along your questions or ‘brick walls’. Group meets for lunch afterwards. All welcome. Presenter: Pauline Weeks. Bookings essential. $10 ($15 non-members).
  • Saturday 28 May (1.30pm - 3.30pm) - Visiting London's Big 3: The National Archives, SOG and the British Library
    Have you considered visiting the National Archives, Society of Genealogists or the British Library on your next trip to London? They hold much of relevance to your family history, but their very size can make them intimidating and difficult to use. Learn the tips about accessing their collections on site. Presenter: Sue Stenning. Bookings essential. $22 ($35 non-members).

Finding new genealogy sites online

This month's websites doesn't contain any records however it does provide researchers with a guide to new genealogy records on the Internet. GenealogyInTime Magazine's Newest Genealogy Records page maintains a list of the newest genealogy record sets from around the world. It primarily includes updates to well known sites such as FindMyPast, Ancestry, Deceased Online etc but also highlights smaller websites which have added new record sets. You can find other similar sites and blogs detailing new websites and online records just by searching for 'new genealogy records' or similar in your search engine.


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.

NEW - The Family History Web Directory - $39.00

The internet can be an overwhelming place for the genealogist. Jonathan Scott's book provides readers with online shortcuts, tips for getting the best from well-known websites, plus the details of all kinds of lesser-known and hard-to-find sources. Softcover, 23cm, 245 pages. Jonathan Scott, Pen & Sword 2015. [More detail]

NEW - Tracing Your Cork Ancestors - $32.00

This revised and expanded edition covers the availability of manuscript, published and electronic genealogical sources which will provide the background and data to piece together your Cork family history. Softcover book, 160 pages, 23cm. Tony McCarthy, Flyleaf Press, 3rd edition 2016. [More detail]

NEW - Tracing Your Seafaring Ancestors - $39.00

Maybe your ancestor was a seaman in the Royal Navy, a ship’s captain, a steward on an ocean liner, or an officer in the naval reserves? This book shows you how to spot photographic clues to an individual’s career. Whether your ancestor served in the merchant navy or the Royal Navy or in another seagoing role such as a fisherman, a lifeboatman, or even a ship’s passenger, Simon Wills’ book will be your guide. Softcover, 23cm, 172 pages, Second Edition. Simon Wills, Pen & Sword 2016. [More detail]

NEW - Tracing Your Welsh Ancestors - $39.00

Beryl Evans gives clear practical advice on how to start a research project, sketching in the outlines of Welsh history, Welsh surnames, Welsh place-names and the Welsh language. But the main body of her book is devoted to identifying the variety of sources researchers can consult - the archive repositories, including The National Library of Wales, civil records of all kinds, the census, parish registers, wills, the records of churches, chapels, schools, businesses, tax and court records, and the wide range of printed records. Beryl's handbook will be a basic text for researchers of Welsh descent and for anyone who is keen to learn about Welsh history. Softcover, A5, 175 pages. Beryl Evans, Pen & Sword 2015. [More detail]


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© Society of Australian Genealogists 2016 - all rights reserved
Any feedback or enquiries regarding this newsletter should be directed to the editor: Lisa Watson. Items for inclusion are also welcome.