Society of Australian Genealogists


December 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 

  • Christmas/New Year hours
  • Certificate course 2017
  • Webinar Season Ticket
  • Sydney Cemetery Adventures lecture
  • City of Sydney's Archives Program


  • What's on in January


  • Biographical Database of Australia



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

  • Family Historian 6
  • Getting Started with Family Historian 6
  • Ancestor Family Tree Work Book
  • Family Tree Maker 2014.1 and Mac 3.1


  • Subscribe or alter your subscription to these newsletters

Christmas/New Year Hours

Don't forget our library at 379 Kent Street is closed from Thursday 22 December at 4pm until Tuesday 3 January at 10am. Any phone calls during that time should be directed to the main office on (02) 9247 3953 which will have a skeleton staff working some days. Richmond Villa reopens for research on Thursday 5 January at 10am.

Certificate course 2017

Applications for our Certificate in Genealogical Research course will be open from 1-28 February next year. You'll find details of the 2017 intake and the course regulations here.

Webinar Season Ticket

Don't forget we now have a season ticket available for our very popular webinar series - and if you sign up you are rewarded with one free webinar each quarter. It's already proving very popular with our regulars so why not register too? You can read all about it here.

Sydney Cemetery Adventures lecture - 25 February 2017

The advertised lecture by Dr Lisa Murray has been amended to include a second presenter. Lisa will be joined by Dr Peter Hobbins, who will talk about the inscriptions at Sydney’s former Quarantine Station and their value for genealogy. Peter is a historian of science, technology and medicine at the University of Sydney. His latest book is Stories from the Sandstone: Quarantine Inscriptions from Australia's Immigrant Past (2016). For more information or to make a booking click here.

City of Sydney's Archives Program

The City of Sydney's Archives Program turned 40 this past July and in recognition of this milestone they have launched two new digital products with the help of their volunteers. The Letters Received 1843-1899 (CRS 26) has over 59,000 letters received from both outside bodies as well as Council officers. The complementary Letters Sent are digitised and in the process of being transcribed.

The City of Sydney Employees List 1842-1899 was compiled from numerous archival sources over 10 years and thousands of hours of work, with an exciting end result of over 5,000 names of persons who worked for Council.

For more information, read the full story from the City Archivist, Michael D Smith.

CALENDAR - January

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.

  • Available from Thursday 1 December - Webinar Season Ticket - February-April 2017
    New in 2017! Only available until 9 February 2017. By booking a Webinar Season Ticket you will be able to view every standard webinar we hold between February-April, either live or by watching the recording later. You book and pay once. We'll set you up in each webinar and send you the confirmation link. And in addition you'll get one webinar free - so this quarter you get 5 for the price of 4. The webinars covered by the Season Ticket this quarter are: Genealogy research treasures inside the "Internet Archive", 9 February; Aboriginal people in BDMs, 18 February; Find out what's online and how to locate records on the NSW State Records website, 8 March (matinee); Jersey Archives (UK), 21 March; and London history and resources, 3 April.
  • Monday 9 January 2017 (8.00pm - 9.00pm) - Webinar - Backing up your research
    Let's kick off 2017 as we mean to go on and make sure our genealogy files are backed up and recoverable. Join us in the first webinar for the year, as geek and genealogist Michelle Patient shows us some ways to do this. Presenter: Michelle Patient. Bookings essential. $12 members only.
  • Thursday 12 January (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. Bookings Essential. Free and restricted to SAG members.
  • Saturday 14 January (10.30am - 12.30pm) - Getting the most out of your SAG membership
    Discover the benefits you receive as a SAG member, with tips for accessing special deals and services. Find out what’s new and what’s hidden in the basement. Presenter: Danielle Lautrec. Bookings essential. $10 ($20 non-members).
  • Saturday 14 January (1.30pm - 3.30pm) - Manning River Region, NSW - Exploring the SAG's collections
    The latest of our popular series examining places and topics through the Society’s wonderful collections. Join us, whether you have family from the Manning River region or just want to find out more about how the collections can assist you with your family history. Presenter: Ralph Hawkins. Bookings essential. $22 ($35 non-members).
  • Tuesday 17 January 2017 (8.00pm - 9.00pm) - Webinar - The Society of Genealogists (UK) at a distance
    Founded in 1911, the Society of Genealogists (SoG) is Britain’s premier family history society. The Society maintains a splendid genealogical library and education centre in Clerkenwell in London. This webinar will focus on accessing the unique and special collections in the Library. Presenter: Else Churchill. Bookings essential. $12 members only.
  • Wednesday 18 January (5.00pm - 7.00pm) - Ralph's Millers Point walking tour in the twilight
    Walk in the steps of the convict stonemasons, millers, sea captains and merchants of Millers Point. See the history and hear the stories of Sydney’s colourful past. Walk starts with a lecture at Richmond Villa and refreshments. Limit 15. Tour commences at Richmond Villa. Tour Leader: Ralph Hawkins. Bookings essential. $30 ($45 non-members).
  • Thursday 19 January (10.30am - 12.30pm) - Getting organised
    Simple tips and ways to get yourself organised. How to cut your paper storage. What to do with your documents and photos. A quick look at online storage and organising your bookmarks. Looking at what you can do with your family tree program for photos and notes. Presenter: Lilian Magill. Bookings essential. $22 ($35 non-members).
  • Friday 20 January (10.30am - 12.30pm) - Hands On @ 379 - Blogging for family history
    Geneablogging is an excellent platform for sharing family stories and documenting your research journey. In this workshop Jill Ball will guide each participant in using free Blogger software from Google to set up a family history blog. Note: This is a hands on computer session and computer skills are assumed. Limit 14 Presenter: Jill Ball. Bookings essential. $35 ($50 non-members).
  • Saturday 21 January (10.30am - 12.30pm) - Digitising your family history - Part 1
    Learn how to create digital images of your family records. The session will cover reasons and uses for digitising, image resolution, colour management, file types, compression, metadata, storage options and equipment. Presenter: Jeff Madsen. Bookings essential. $22 ($35 non-members).
  • Saturday 21 January (1.30pm - 3.30pm) - Digitising your family history - Part 2 (workshop)
    This workshop will put into practice some of the tips from Part 1, with demonstrations and assistance. Participants should bring records with them to be digitised. This session is open only to people who attend Part 1 in the morning and is limited to 10 people. Further details will be provided to registrants closer to the date. Presenter: Jeff Madsen. Bookings essential. $10 ($15 non-members).

Biographical Database of Australia

The Biographical Database of Australia (BDA) is a research tool for historians and genealogists comprising transcripts and indexes of many original records and published biographies. The BDA is a non-profit organisation and while the indexes can be searched for free, an annual individual subscription of $30 is required to view biographical reports. You can also view the full BDAL site at 2/379 Kent Street as it is one of the 'pay to view' sites we offer free to members in the library.

Sources available on the site include early Sydney Hospital births and deaths, Sydney Burial Ground licences and reinterment register, Camperdown monumental inscriptions and interment register, convict indents, arrival and departure records, coroner inquests index 1796-1824 and many more.


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 will calculate the correct postage fees according to the weight of your order.

Family Historian 6 - $80.00
Allows direct import of The Master Genealogist (TMG). Family Historian 6 is the latest version of the powerful, award-winning genealogy program with comprehensive features designed to meet the needs of the beginner and expert alike. It is designed and written by Calico Pie, a UK software house based in London, founded by Simon Orde in 1995. It has features ideally suited to those researching in the UK. The program has been given a complete refresh, with a great new look and numerous usability improvements. [More detail]

Getting Started with Family Historian 6 - $13.00
Family Historian 6 is a comprehensive, award winning genealogy software program. In their July 2016 edition, "Who Do You Think You Are?" magazine says 'it remains our favourite program for Windows users. It is designed and written by Calico Pie, a UK software house based in London, founded by Simon Orde in 1995. It has features ideally suited to those researching in the UK. This guide introduces new users to the main features of the program and shows them how to get started, records and charting their family history - names, dates, places, images and all the other details they have gathered. Softcover book, A5, 40 pages. Rosemary Kopittke, Unlock the Past Series, 2016. [More detail]

Ancestor Family Tree Work Book - $16.00
There are 2 ancestor charts in the front of the book. One chart is used for one person and the other chart for their partner with their ancestors' details being added. Each couple have a group sheet in the book allotted to that couple as referenced by the page number where a more comprehensive and detailed record of their details can be recorded and can be used as a handy reference for further research. We designed this book as a tool for beginners as many people say "I don't know where to start" and this gives them a clear goal for their research. We have also found many long term family tree researchers have also used the Ancestor books to record their work as it is easy to transport and one does not always have a computer at hand. The book contains: Ancestor Charts for both husband and wife; Family Group Sheets and Notes Sheets for each couple through to GG Grandparents. Softcover, A4, 68 pages. Published by Anne Trubshaw-Dow & Lynn Dillon, 2012. [More detail]

Family Tree Maker 2014.1 and Mac 3.1 - $115.00
The CD contains both the OS X Mac and Windows PC version. Finding your roots can be a simple and fun activity with Family Tree Maker. Bring your family history to life with photos, historical records and interactive maps and share your discoveries. Family Tree Maker makes it easier than ever to discover your family story, preserve your legacy and share your unique heritage. If you're new to family history, you'll appreciate how this intuitive program lets you easily grow your family tree with simple navigation, tree-building tools, and integrated Web searching. If you're already an expert, you can dive into the more advanced features, options for managing data, and a wide variety of charts and reports. The end result is a family history that you and your family will treasure for years to come! Includes free 14-day trial subscription to [More detail]


Have you got friends or relatives who've expressed an interest in family history? Why not give them a nudge to join SAG? Go on, forward this email to them!

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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.