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 

January 2016

SAG coat of arms

  • New Electronic Resources Directory live in the library
  • Webinar Recordings now available
  • MIDAS, online catalogue of the SAG Manuscript and Image Collection
  • SAG Research trip to Canberra - Register your interest now
  • Family Tree Maker Software


  • What's on in February


  • New records on FindMyPast



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

  • Flip-Pal Mobile Scanner
  • NEW: A New Tapestry: Australian Huguenot Families
  • NEW: William Purcell, Carpenter H.M.S. Bounty
  • Digital Imaging Essentials


  • Subscribe or alter your subscription to these newsletters

New Electronic Resources Directory live in the library

After many months of testing, we’re delighted to announce that our new Electronic Resources Directory went live in the library at 379 Kent Street in time for our January re-opening. This will make it much easier for members and visitors to search and use our extensive collection of CDs and electronic records. It has also improved access to websites, especially the ‘Pay to view’ services we provide in the library for members – Ancestry, FindMyPast, British Newspaper Archive, The, Irish Newspapers and the National Archives UK document service. Make sure you check it out soon.

Webinar Recordings now available

Our webinars continue to attract lots of interest, and are an excellent way for members to participate in our education program regardless of where you live. However, to date you have always had to listen in live at 8pm to participate. From the beginning of February, webinar recordings will be available to anyone who has registered for a specific webinar – and you’ll have access to this recording, regardless of whether you tuned in live at the time.

So when you see a webinar of interest in the Education program, book and pay for your place on our website as normal. You’ll need to confirm your seat by clicking on the link which you’ll receive before the webinar takes place. Obviously it’s best if you can do the webinar live, as that gives you the chance to participate in the Q&A session at the end, but if other commitments prevent you from doing so you’ll still have a chance to catch up with the recording. Within 24 hours of the webinar taking place you’ll receive an automated ‘thank you’ message and that will include a link to the recording and any handout associated with that session. You’ll get that automated link regardless of whether you listened live at the time or not.

You’ll see in the current Education program that we are introducing some daytime webinars (Webinar matinees) so if you have other daytime commitments this new service will be one to explore.

MIDAS, the online catalogue of the SAG Manuscript and Image Collection

MIDAS, the online catalogue of our Manuscript and Image collection, is up and running. We're kicking off our contribution to SAG's focus on Buried Treasures with one of our Memorial Cards. Access the MIDAS HOME screen at and click on the Angel Icon in the right hand box.

SAG Research trip to Canberra - Register your interest now

The Society is organising a research trip to Canberra, from Wednesday 18th to Saturday 21st May. Details are still being finalised, but it will assist our planning to know approximate numbers. The group will travel down together on a coach, and spend a day each at the National Library of Australia and the National Archives of Australia. Other activities are also planned, including a visit to the War Memorial and a meeting with HAGSOC. If you are interested in attending, please email Please note that this Expression of Interest does not constitute an event booking. That will be a separate process.

Family Tree Maker Software

Just a reminder that the Society’s bookshop continues to offer the range of FamilyTree Maker software, and will do so as long as supplies are available - click here to see what's in the store. In the last edition of SAGe we drew attention to the announcement by that they will not support this product from 1 January 2017 and that there will be no further updates. The most recent 2014 Patch was released on 3 December 2015 and you should make sure you have downloaded this if you have FTM 2014 – if you have, your Version will be shown as 22.00.1410 (64 bit) or 22.00.410 (32.bit). If you need to download this patch you can do so by opening your FTM software and going to Help – Check for Updates – and then download this 13mb file.

CALENDAR - February

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 2 February (8.00pm - 9.00pm) - Webinar - Getting the Most Out of the The National Archives UK
    The National Archives UK is a treasure trove of genealogical information, but its website offers much more than catalogues and digitised records. See how you can use its many features to improve your research skills and knowledge base. Presenter: Heather Garnsey. Bookings essential. $12. SAG Members only.
  • Thursday 4 February (10.30am - 12.30pm) - Excel-lent Users for Excel in Family History
    Excel is not just for calculations. It can store, sort and filter data. Learn how to use Excel to organise your family history data, keep your research on track and solve research problems. Presenter: Danielle Lautrec. Bookings essential. $22 ($35 non-members).
  • Saturday 6 February (10.30am - 12.30pm) - DNA Research Group - BOOKED OUT!
  • Saturday 6 February (1.30pm - 3.30pm) - Legacy Software User Group
    Discover ways to maximise the benefits of this family history software program. Learn from others, share tips and ask questions. Presenter: Bev Hyssett Bookings essential. $10 ($15 non-members).
  • Thursday 11 February (10.30am - 12.30pm) - Writing Discussion Group - Using Photobooks to Produce a Family History - BOOKED OUT!
  • Saturday 13 February (9.00am - 10.00am) - Free Library Tour - Where Do I Start at the SAG Library? - BOOKED OUT!
  • Saturday 13 February (10.30am - 12.30pm) - Family Tree Maker User Group - AM Session
    Join other users of this popular family history software program for insights, ideas and opportunities to share tips & ask questions. Presenter: Larry Czarnik Bookings essential. $10 ($15 non-members).
  • Saturday 6 February (1.30pm - 3.30pm) - Family Tree Maker User Group - PM Session
    Join other users of this popular family history software program for insights, ideas and opportunities to share tips & ask questions. Presenter: Larry Czarnik. Bookings essential. $10 ($15 non-members).
  • Friday 19 February (10.00am - 1.00pm) - Hands On @379 - County of Cambridgeshire
    Join us for this Hands On computers session highlighting selected online sources & other material available for Cambridgeshire, & where it can be found in the SAG Library. Includes an hour to consult featured records. Limit 14. Session Leaders: Philippa Garnsey, Joan Healy. Bookings essential & limited to 14. $35 ($50 non-members).
  • Saturday 20 February (10.30am - 12.30pm) - Reunion for Mac Group
    Reunion for Mac is a popular program used by people who have Apple computers. It operates on desktops, laptops, smart phones and iPads. Participants are encouraged to bring their own devices. Group Convenor: Philippa Garnsey. Bookings essential. $10 ($15 non-members).
  • Saturday 20 February (1.30pm - 3.30pm) - The Master Genealogist User Group
    Users of TMG software show how they use the program to record their family history and preserve that information for the future. Bookings essential. $10 ($15 non-members).
  • Wednesday 24 February (8.00pm - 9.00pm) - Webinar - Cemetery Collections of the Society of Australian Genealogists
    The Society’s current Annual Appeal focuses on its cemetery holdings and aims to raise funds to digitise and index this wonderful collection. Ranging from its earliest Sydney cemetery transcriptions done in the 1890s, through to its holdings of maps and plans, photographs and registers, in this webinar SAG staff and volunteers will showcase why this collection is so important for all researchers and will highlight some of its gems. Presenter: Heather Garnsey. Bookings essential. $12. SAG Members only.
  • Thursday 25 February (10.00am - 3.00pm) - Getting Started with Family History
    This session will suit both absolute beginners and anyone who needs a refresher or guidance. Learn how to get started and the basics of research. Get hints on strategies, tools and record collections that will get you moving in the right direction. Presenter: Judy Keena. Bookings essential. $45 ($70 non-members).
  • Saturday 27 February (10.30am - 12.30pm) - English Research Group - 'Ag labs' or farm workers
    ‘Ag Labs’ or farm workers, whatever the description, was an occupation that features in many family histories. The discussion will cover their tasks, wages, conditions of work and family life and sources to help illustrate the lives of these ancestors. Presenter: Pauline Kettles. Bookings essential. $10 ($15 non-members).
  • Saturday 27 February (1.30pm - 3.30pm) - Convict Transportation and Research
    Whether you are taking the Hyde Park Barracks tour on 9 March or just need help with convict research, you should find this lecture useful. How did places like the Hyde Park Barracks or Port Arthur fit into the story of convict transportation to Australia? Kerry will demonstrate the records available to build a more complete story of convict ancestors, from the time of their arrest and transportation through to them leaving the convict system. Presenter: Kerry Farmer. Bookings essential. $22 ($35 non-members).

New records on FindMyPast

FindMyPast has a variety of additions to their record collections available for genealogy researchers with interests all around the globe. Some of the recently added collections include:

  • Greater London Burial Index - Over 279,000 new additions covering 48 different locations across Middlesex
  • Isle of Man BDMs - Births & Baptisms, Marriages and Deaths & Burials are available for ancestors who lived on the Isle of Man from 1598 to 2011.
  • Queensland Funeral Records - Over 39,000 new additions have been added to this collection

Don't forget that you can access FindMyPast for free in the SAG library.


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.

Flip-Pal Mobile Scanner - $282.00

The Flip-Pal Mobile Scanner is tiny, light-weight and allows you to scan photos on the scanner, in the album or even in a frame. If you have large images, no problem, the stitching software joins multiple images together seamlessly. Photos, magazines, artworks, even newspaper articles have never been easier to scan. Size - 30.5cm x 23cm x 5cm (12" x 9" x 2"), weight 700g (1.5 pounds). [More detail]

NEW: A New Tapestry: Australian Huguenot Families - $40.00

This book provides stories of 30 Australian families of Huguenot (French Protestant) origin. Each story has been written or co-written by a family member. Apart from tracing the local evolution of families it outlines Huguenot origins, journeys of refuge, and arrivals in Australia. Each account magnifies the comparative and contrasting ways families managed, dealing with adversity and opportunity and overcoming personal and private difficulties.

Readers may conclude that the Huguenot spirit of industry, ingenuity and civic duty is apparent in these stories of Huguenot descendants. Each family account gives a picture of a family weaving together a life, shaping and being shaped by an Australia defining itself within its indigenous roots, layered with European settlement and renewed by waves of refugees and migrants. And in a way this accords with the broader history of the Huguenots and their descendants, whose lives, through the refugee and migration experience, became ultimately woven in new societies, including Australia. Softcover, 23cm, 409 pages. Edited by Robert Nash. Published by the Huguenot Society of Australia Inc. with the assistance of the Royal Australian Historical Society, 2015. [More detail]

NEW: William Purcell, Carpenter H.M.S. Bounty - $35.00

William Purcell was the carpenter on HMS Bounty at the time of the famous mutiny in 1789. Purcell chose to go in the Bounty launch with 18 other loyalists including Captain William Bligh. During the voyages of the Bounty and the Bounty launch, Purcell had had a difficult relationship with Bligh.

On Purcell's return to England, he was the only loyalist to be court-martialled. In the charges Bligh laid against Purcell, Bligh wrote that he "had behaved with great impertinence, disrespectful, and in such a general reprehensible manner". Bligh had become incensed during the voyage of the launch when, on Sunday Island on the north east coast of Australia, Purcell told him that he was as good a man as he. Purcell's family had been working in the Woolwich and Deptford dockyards, Kent from as early as 1695 as shipwrights. After his court martial in 1790 Purcell remained in the Royal Navy as a ship's carpenter and a shipwright. He had a family of nine children, six surviving to adulthood. Two of his children came to Australia in 1839 and 1841 and have numerous descendants.

This book provides an evaluation of Purcell using the primary sources available which recount the voyages of the Bounty and the Bounty launch. Softcover, 25cm, 166 pages Philippa Garnsey, 2015. [More detail]

Digital Imaging Essentials - $35.00

From the very first page you will notice that this book is much more than a boring instructional manual - it is full of real-life examples that not only teach you the right buttons to push, but it thoroughly explains how to get the most of your digital imaging experience. AND this book is written specifically for genealogists! Note: this 'Australian edition' is the same as the original book, but has been printed locally in Australia, and the text has been adapted for Australians. Softcover, 152 pages, Geoff Rasmussen, Unlock the Past, 2012. [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.