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 

August 2015

SAG coat of arms

  • New Online Booking System for SAG events
  • Ordering manuscripts and images for viewing


  • What's on in September


  • New records from Deceased Online
  • Earl Grey Irish Famine orphans



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

  • NEW - Employment & Dispersals CD
  • NEW - Discover Irish Land Records
  • NEW - Treasures in Australian Government Gazettes
  • Down and Out in Scotland
  • Paperspast, New Zealand's yesteryear newspapers


  • Subscribe or alter your subscription to these newsletters

New Online Booking System for SAG events

Last month we mentioned changes to our new online booking system for SAG seminars, workshops, webinars and group meetings. These have now been fully implemented on the SAG website and we encourage you to have a look by visiting the site and choosing the EVENTS tab at

We’ve also produced a step-by-step guide to making online bookings which you can download as a short PDF here.

Please also note that hyperlinks to the old education booking system for events scheduled between August-October will lead to a page which asks you to login, rather than leading to the actual event. If that happens, simply go back to the SAG website and click on the EVENTS tab.

Ordering manuscripts and images for viewing on Thursdays and Saturdays at Richmond Villa

A reminder that if you’d like to view any files held in our Manuscript collection at Richmond Villa these need to be pre-ordered in advance of your visit.

It is best to pre-order at least 48 hours in advance, as this allows us time to get your files out and ready, and also to contact you if we need to do so. There is still a large amount of retrospective indexing work taking place in the Manuscript collection and we don’t want you to make a trip into town hoping to view files which are not currently available.

Richmond Villa is open for viewing records held in our Manuscript & Image collection on Thursdays and Saturdays from 10am until 4pm. If you arrive without having pre-ordered your records we will do our best to accommodate you, but you may have to wait until staff have dealt with seminar registrations and associated preparatory work (especially on a Saturday) and assisted those who have pre-ordered files. The online catalogue will be found on our website at under Collections – please use it so that we can help you to make better use of your time when you visit!

CALENDAR - September

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.

  • Friday 4 September (10.30am - 12.30pm) - Hands On Computers - Booth's poverty maps
    Booth's maps and diaries are an online searchable resource for those who have ancestors in London in the 1880s and 1890s. They can provide amazing detail about your ancestors' lives. Held at 2/379 Kent Street, Sydney. Presenter: Judy Keena. Bookings essential. $30 ($45 non-members).
  • Saturday 5 September (10.30am - 12.30pm) - Stories from the State Archives - Here come the cars
    Stories from the early history of automobiles in NSW told through the eyes of prominent and seedy characters of NSW history, this talk showcases the hidden automotive treasures of State Records NSW. Presenter: John Cann (SRNSW). Bookings essential. $20 ($30 non-members).
  • Thursday 10 September (10.30am - 12.30pm) - Writing Discussion Group - The Forgotten Tutor
    An unexpected gift of memorabilia originating from the daughters of the last Russian Tsar lead to the challenge of learning to write a story that induced others to want to read it and the 'art' of finding a publisher.. Presenter: Janet Epps. Bookings essential. $8 ($12 non-members).
  • Saturday 12 September (9.00am - 10.00am) - Free Library Tour
    Join us for a tour of the SAG library at 2/379 Kent Street. Learn about its layout and the services offered, what it contains and how best to access it. Why not stay on afterwards and do some research and put into practice what you've just been shown? Location: 2/379 Kent Street Sydney. Tour Leader: Lorraine Brothers, SAG Librarian Bookings essential: Free and restricted to SAG members.
  • Saturday 12 September (10.30am - 12.30pm) - Legacy User Group
    Discover ways to maximise the benefits of this family history software program. learn how to create a GEDCOM, transfer data between programs, merging and other skills. Bookings essential. $8 ($12 non-members).
  • Wednesday 16 September (8.00pm - 9.00pm) - Webinar - Biographical Database of Australia
    This online volunteer-run project is a treasure trove for early colonial Australian history. Learn about the BDA project and how it can help trace both convicts and free settlers. Bookings essential. $10. SAG Members only.
  • Thursday 17 September (10.30am - 12.30pm) - Oral History
    The art of interviewing your relatives to gain a record of their valuable history. Learn how to prepare questions and trigger memories using a wide variety of prompts. Presenter: Bob Mitchell. Bookings essential. $20 ($30 non-members).
  • Saturday 19 September (10.30am - 12.30pm) - Introduction to Family Search
    Learn what groups of records FamilySearch holds and how to use the search features to find what you want. Presenter: Danielle Lautrec & Judy Keena. Bookings essential. $20 ($30 non-members).
  • Friday 25 September (10.00am - 1.00pm) - Hands On Computers - County Dublin
    Join us for this Hands On session highlighting selected online sources and other material available for Dublin, and where it can be found in the SAG library. This session includes an hour to consult featured records Presenter: Philippa Garnsey & Joan Healy. Bookings essential. $30 ($45 non-members).
  • Saturday 26 September (10.30am - 12.30pm) - Focus on Newcastle - Session 1 - Early Beginnings & Convicts
    Members of the Newcastle Family History Society will present on the beginnings of Newcastle and their database of convicts who were sent to Newcastle. Presenters: Melodie Woodford & Jude Conway. Bookings essential. $20 ($30 non-members).
  • Saturday 26 September (1.30pm - 3.30pm) - Focus on Newcastle - Session 2 - Industrial Schools & Reformatories
    Hear about the first Industrial School & Reformatory, including the records available and how they were used to compile family histories. This session will also cover the Historical Database of Hunter Valley Women. Presenters: Jane Ison & Jude Conway. Bookings essential. $20 ($30 non-members).

New records from Deceased Online

Deceased Online has released a new series of records covering the Camberwell cemeteries in the London borough of Southwark. The council area covered by the records includes Bermondsey, Rotherhithe, Walworth, Peckham, Camberwell, Nunhead and Dulwich.

Earl Grey Irish Famine Orphans

Trevor McClaughlin has developed a blog on the Early Grey's Irish Famine Orphans which includes details of the Early Grey scheme and who the female orphans were that sailed on the ship. If you are interested in female irish orphans and/or the Earl Grey you may find this site of interest.


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 - Employment & Dispersals CD - $40.00

Assisted Passengers Arriving 1848-1854. This CD contains 23,262 transcriptions including an index of the records of the employment and dispersal lists of assisted passengers arriving at Moreton Bay, Port Phillip, Sydney and one to Twofold Bay for the period 1848 to 1854. Aileen J Trinder, Pastkeys, 2015. [More detail]

NEW - Discover Irish Land Records - $17.00

Whilst some of the basic vital records do not survive, however, there are plenty of others that will compensate. In this guide book, Northern Ireland born family historian Chris Paton takes a look at the potential to be found within Irish land records. Softcover, A5, 60 pages. Chris Paton, Unlock The Past Series 2015. [More detail]

NEW - Treasures in Australian Government Gazettes - $11.00

They cover the whole population - not just government employees, criminals and teachers. They are bound to include someone in your family! Many ordinary people are mentioned, often with details that you will find nowhere else. Digitisation of many years of Australian government, police and educations gazettes now means that such a search is no longer a tedious matter, but can return many treasures in just a matter of minutes. Softcover, A5, 28 pages. Rosemary Kopittke, Unlock The Past Series 2015. [More detail]

Down and Out in Scotland - $16.50

It is perhaps one of greatest truisms of family history research that we will often find that the lives of our ancestors were best documented when the chips were truly down. But through all of these episodes, there is an even greater story that emerges, of how our ancestors overcame such struggles. In this Unlock the Past guide, genealogist Chris Paton goes in search of the records of ancestral hardship in Scotland, to allow us to truly understand the situations that our ancestors had to endure and overcome across the generations, to help us become the very people who we are today. Softcover, A5, 56 pages. Chris Paton, Unlock The Past, 2015. [More detail]

Paperspast, New Zealand's yesteryear newspaper - $11.00

Coral has taken the first page of the website and worked her way around the page explaining how to get the most out of the site. She shows how to use each area to find more about your ancestors, or the economy of the country. More newspapers are coming on line all the time and it pays to check regularly to find more information. Softcover, A5, 28 pages. Coral Shearer, Unlock The Past 2014. [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.