Society of Australian Genealogists


February 2017

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 

  • Last Minute Reminder! Certificate applications close 28 February
  • Would you like to expand your Autosomal DNA test matches?
  • SAG welcomes GSV members to its Webinar program
  • Support heritage listing for South Head Cemetery


  • What's on in March


  • Online language and translation resources



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

  • Evidence!
  • A Dream Called Cangai
  • Story of My Life
  • Tracing Your Ancestors in County Records
  • Where Do I Start?


  • Subscribe or alter your subscription to these newsletters

Last Minute Reminder! Certificate applications close 28 February

2017 Applications for the Society's popular Certificate in Genealogical Research course close at midnight on 28 February - see the details here.

And if you've already passed the Certificate course and want to proceed to the Diploma in Family Historical Studies you also need to have your application in by the 28th of February.

Would you like to expand your Autosomal DNA test matches?

Family Tree DNA have recently announced you can now upload autosomal DNA test results taken through 23andMe (Versions 3 & 4) or AncestryDNA (Versions 1 & 2) to their site free of charge, overcoming the issue of earlier autosomal tests not being compatible with their FamilyFinder service. This allows you to find matches with their database of customers who have tested with other companies. Once you've done this free transfer you can also unlock more options (such as the chromosone browser and MyOrigins) for US $19 - a decrease from the previous charge of US $39. See here for details.

SAG welcomes GSV members to its Webinar program

While the Genealogical Society of Victoria is undergoing a major reorganisation of its collections and services, including relocating to new premises, we've offered places in our 'member only' webinar series to GSV members. This offer applies to all webinars held between March and the end of June and we hope will help our 'Victorian cousins' continue their research while their own society undergoes this change. Go to the events page on our website, select the webinar you'd like to attend, and make sure you enter your GSV number and telephone contact details. You can pay online or phone through the $12 payment. We look forward to your virtual company!

Support heritage listing for South Head Cemetery

The Heritage Council of NSW is currently considering a proposal for heritage listing of South Head General Cemetery located at 763 Old South Head Road, Vaucluse. The cemetery is rich in historical significance as the first general public cemetery in the eastern suburbs. It also has an historical association with a number of notable people such as Sir Edmund Barton, Australia's first Prime Minister.

Feedback on the proposed listing is now open until 14 March 2017. If you are interested in providing a submission it can be posted or emailed to the Heritage Council of NSW at Locked Bag 5020 Parramatta NSW 2124 or Further information in regard to the nomination for listing can be viewed here.


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 8 March (11.00am - 12.00pm) - Webinar - What's online and how to locate records on State Archives' new website
    Following on the success of the highly popular lecture on this topic, we now have a webinar to help you find your way around the NSW State Archives website. Presenter: State Archives NSW. Bookings essential. $12 members only.
  • Thursday 9 March (10.30am - 12.30pm) - Writing Discussion Group - The "I"s of March
    Irish, illiterate, insolvent, inebriated, illegitimate, incompetent, invisible - do any (or all) of these describe an ancestor of yours? Choose one of these adjectives, or another that starts with “I”, which “I”dentifies a person in your family history and will be of “I”nterest to the group. Write it up, edit it down to 3 minutes, and then share it with us this morning. Convenor: Sue Stenning. Bookings essential. $10 ($15 non-members).
  • Thursday 9 March (1.30pm) - Tips and skills for would-be presenters - 3 part course
    Have you got a great story to tell or knowledge to share but dread the thought of standing up in front of others to share it? You will learn the tricks that accomplished presenters use and practice presenting to gain confidence. The course will cover how to prepare for a presentation, using Powerpoint, presentation style, interacting with an audience and preparing handouts. It will also include time for each participant to practice their skills in a friendly and comfortable atmosphere. This is a 3 part course - 9 March (1.30pm), 23 March (10.30am) and 6 April (10.30am). One fee of $30 covers all 3 parts. Limit 10 people. Presenter: Danielle Lautrec & guests. Bookings essential. $30 members only.
  • Saturday 11 March (10.30am - 12.30pm) - Legacy Software Group
    Discover ways to maximise the benefits of this family history software program. Learn from others, share tips and ask questions. Convenor: Beverley Hyssett. Bookings essential. $10 ($15 non-members).
  • Thursday 16 March (10.00am - 3.00pm) - Convicts Day
    A full day exploring the history of the convict system, the records it created and research methods you can use to find out about your convict ancestors. Presenters: Gail Davis (State Archives NSW), Kerry Farmer, Ralph Hawkins. Bookings essential. $45 ($70 non-members).
  • Friday 17 March (10.00am - 1.00pm) - Hands On @379 Kilkenny, Waterford and Wexford
    A Hands On Computers session highlighting selected online sources and other material available for Kilkenny, Waterford and Wexford, and where it can be found in the SAG Library. Includes an hour to consult featured records. Limit 14. Presenters: Philippa Garnsey & Joan Healy. Bookings essential. $35 ($50 non-members).
  • Saturday 18 March (10.30am - 12.30pm) - DNA Research Group
    The DNA Research Group is an ideal forum for both beginners and the more experienced to share practical ways to work with test results. Convenor: Veronica Williams. Bookings essential. $10 ($15 non-members).
  • Tuesday 21 March (8.00pm - 9.00pm) - Webinar - Jersey Archives (UK)
    During the 19th century thousands of Jersey residents left the Island to start a new life in Australia. The Jersey Archive Online Catalogue is a great resource for research as it includes Occupation Registration Cards, Alien’s Immigration Cards, Hospital Registers, the Superintendent Registrar’s indexes for Births, Marriages and Deaths, Wills and Testaments and Undertakers’ records. Presenter: Jersey Archives. Bookings essential. $12 members only.
  • Thursday 23 March (1.30pm - 3.30pm) - Resources for researching Australian and NZ Jewish ancestry
    Robyn Dryen, President of the Australian Jewish Genealogical Society Inc. will provide hints and tips on resources for researching Jewish ancestry. Presenter: Robyn Dryen. Bookings essential. $22 ($35 non-members).
  • Saturday 25 March (10.30am - 12.30pm) - Geneagoogling
    Learn from the GeniAus, former librarian and IT specialist, how to track down ancestors using Google search. Find out the tricks for effective searches. Convenor: Jill Ball. Bookings essential. $22 ($35 non-members).
  • Thursday 30 March (10.00am - 11.00am) - Webinar - DNA Research, Key Concepts
    The SAG DNA Research Group aims to focus on the analysis of DNA results with a practical approach. Since its inception in July 2015 a number of key concepts have been covered in Research Group Meetings. This webinar aims to summarise some of the underlying key concepts that DNA researchers need to understand to be effective. It makes a good refresher for Research Group attendees and whilst not essential, new members will benefit from having undertaken this session prior to attending Research Group meetings. Presenter: Veronica Williams. Bookings essential. $12 members only.
  • Thursday 30 March (1.30pm - 3.30pm) - Oral history for family historians
    Historian Janis Wilton is an expert in oral history and local history, and she will be discussing why you should incorporate oral history in your family history and how to get started. Presenter: Janis Wilton. Bookings essential. $22 ($35 non-members).

Online language and translation resources

One difficulty that many researchers encounter is the discovery of information in a foreign language. If you don't speak the language and you don't want to miss out on a possible source of family information, there are websites that will try to translate a web page, text or document for you. While the translations are not always perfect, they should give you an idea of what has been written.

  • Bing Translator - enter a URL for a web page or copy & paste text to translate
  • Google Translate - copy & paste text, translate a web page or upload a document to be translated
  • GramTrans - specialises in Scandinavian languages - Danish, Swedish and Norwegian. Translate text or a web page.
  • There are plenty of other similar sites as well as numerous online dictionaries available just by searching the Internet for the language you are interested in.


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.

Evidence! - $42.00
Evidence! provides a common ground upon which all can meet, speak the same language, and share their results - reliably. Our ancestors lived by the maxim when you drink from the water, remember the source. Following that principle, Evidence! reminds us that the information our forebears left can confuse or deceive us, rather than help us, if we do not know and understand its origins. Clearly and simply, this books explains genealogical standards for citation and analysis - then provides over 300 models for citing conventional and online materials common to family history. Hardcover book, 24cm, 124 pages, Elizabeth Shown Mills, Genealogical Publishing Company, Baltimore, Maryland 1997. [More detail]

A Dream Called Cangai - $20.00
This book is the detailed history of Cangai. Many families who now live in the Clarence Valley can trace their roots back to Cangai pioneers. If today you look at the Gwydir Highway on a map, running from South Grafton to Glen Innes, just past Jackadgery, you will see a dot that says Cangai. If you turn off to investigate, you will see a beautiful valley but no town. This book is the detailed history of Cangai, the town that once existed in that beautiful valley. Soft cover, 24cm, indexed, 70 pages, Margaret Neyle, 2013. [More detail]

Story of My Life - $37.00
Record the stories of your life - or a loved one's - for posterity. The 'Story of My Life' workbook makes it easy: simply follow the prompts to preserve memories from your entire life. The book includes sections on parents, siblings, childhood, high school, career, and adulthood. There's also space to note vital statistics (BDMs) about yourself and immediate family members as genealogical record. This is a great gift for your children to learn about their parents' lives, or starting point of writing a memoir. The 'Story of My Life' Workbook will help you preserve your memories for generations to come. Softcover, 26cm x 20cm, 191 pages, Sunny Jane Morton, Family Tree Books. [More detail]

Tracing Your Ancestors in County Records - $39.00
For over 500 years, between the fourteenth and nineteenth centuries, the Justices of the Peace were the embodiment of government for most of our ancestors. The records they and other county officials kept are invaluable sources for local and family historians, and Stuart Raymond's handbook is the first in-depth guide to them. He shows how and why they were created, what information they contain, and how they can be accessed and used. The wide range of surviving county records deserve to be better known and more widely used, and Stuart Raymond's book is a fascinating introduction to them. Softcover, 23cm, 216 pages, Stuart A Raymond, Pen & Sword 2016 [More detail]

Where Do I Start? - $19.00
A brief guide to researching your family in Australia and New Zealand Where do I start? is perhaps one of the most frequently asked questions from people interested in learning more about their family history. The author, Shauna Hicks, decided to write this research guide to present together in one place methodology and resources that she mentioned in her presentations to societies and libraries. It is definitely not all online and this guide highlights some of the archives and libraries that you will become familiar with as you research your family history.It is a learning process and you will acquire new skills and knowledge as you progress. This book is the first step to discovering your family history. Softcover, A5, 71 pages, Shauna Hicks, Unlock The Past Series 2015. [More detail]


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© Society of Australian Genealogists 2017 - all rights reserved
Any feedback or enquiries regarding this newsletter should be directed to the editor: Lisa Watson. Items for inclusion are also welcome.