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 

June 2014

SAG coat of arms

  • Croker Prize
  • Duff Down Under - Ancestry & Family Tree Maker Seminar
  • Volunteers Wanted
  • Goulburn Mulwaree Library's Local Studies resources
  • RAHS Webinar Series


  • What's on in July


  • NSW BDM Indexes - new site
  • Queensland Resources



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

  • Finding Your German Ancestors
  • Family History: Digging Deeper
  • Migration to New Zealand
  • Tracing Your Scottish Ancestors
  • Family Tree Maker Instructional CD


  • Subscribe or alter your subscription to these newsletters

Croker Prize

Seventeen members entered the Croker Prize for Biography this year, and now all financial members have the chance to vote for their favourite entry! Don't forget the winner of the Members' Choice category receives $1000, and there's a further $1000 given by the Croker Prize Committee. We know you'll love reading what your fellow members have written about The Blackest Sheep in My Family's Flock was... So follow the link here, or from the front page of the website, and read all the entries. Then vote for your favourite by 31 July. Winners will be announced in the September issue of Descent.

Duff Down Under - Ancestry & Family Tree Maker Seminar

On Tuesday 22 July we’re welcoming to Sydney Robert ‘Duff Wilson, the Senior Product Manager for Family Tree Maker from in Provo, Utah. He’ll present a full-day seminar on using the website and also getting the most out of the Family Tree Maker software program. John Donaldson and Doug Elms, members of the team from VicGum (a Melbourne based association for family historians who use computers), will also be speaking.

We’re holding this session at the Wesley Centre at 220 Pitt Street Sydney, and the discounted cost for SAG and VicGum members, including morning and afternoon teas and a light sandwich lunch, will be $50.00. Members of the public can attend for $60.00.

This is a not-to-be missed opportunity to hear from experts about Family Tree Maker and to catch up with all the latest news and tips about the Ancestry website, its contents and its services. Not to mention a great chance to network with other FTM and Ancestry users during the day.

Bookings are now open and places are limited – you can find out more on our website at

Volunteers Wanted

We have recently begun a new project, the General Index Cards conversion project. To supplement our current team, we would like 3 or 4 people to work on Mondays in the Project Room at Richmond Villa.

We need people with reasonable typing skills - accuracy is more important than speed. Please contact Alison Wolf at or telephone SAG Office on 9247 3953.

Goulburn Mulwaree Library's Local Studies resources

Goulburn Mulwaree Library is currently undergoing refurbishment and as part of this project, the Local Studies and Family History resources have moved to a location at the front of the Library which it is anticipated will become their permanent home at the completion of the refurbishment. In the interim, some resources may require access assistance by Library staff including Goulburn Post and Goulburn Herald newspapers on microfilms. The film reels can be accessed by staff but copies are not currently available. The photo collection and the Betts & Baker Solicitors index and documents are only available as supervised access. Additionally, the archive collections have been moved to secure off-site storage which can be accessed by the Local Studies Librarian as needed.

RAHS Webinar Series

The Royal Australian Historical Society is now offering webinars on the last Wednesday of the month from 7-8pm. Upcoming sessions including promoting history through social media, 'Picnic at Hanging Rock' in your local area and the history of Norfolk Island. For information on upcoming webinars see the RAHS' Calendar of Events:


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 July (10.30pm - 1.30pm) - Hands On - Irish Counties - County Cork - BOOKED OUT!
  • Saturday 5 July (10.30am - 12.30pm) - Getting the Most from Your FlipPal Scanner
    Find out how to use this nifty tool to scan photos, books, maps and much more. Carole will show how the software stitches the scans together to create single, seamless, images. Ideal for those with a scanner who aren’t sure if they’re getting the most out of it, and for those wondering if they should buy one! Presenter - Carole Riley. Bookings essential. $20 ($30 non-members).
  • Thursday 10 July (10.30am - 12.30pm) - Writing Discussion Group - June - BOOKED OUT!
  • Saturday 12 July (9.00am - 10.00am) - Orientation Tour
    Held in the Library at 2/379 Kent Street from 9.00am-10.00am. Members only. Bookings essential. Join us for a tour of the SAG library - learn about its layout and the services offered. The Library opens at 10am so you can stay on and do research. Free.
  • Thursday 17 July (8.00pm - 9.00pm AEST) - Webinar - FindMyPast - What's Where?
    Join Elaine Collins from FindMyPast in the UK as she explores how this major website can help you overcome your research brick walls. She’ll discuss some of the records currently available and give news of records soon to be released with particular emphasis on FMP’s Australian and English sites. Bookings essential and limited to SAG members only. Price $10.00.
  • Thursday 22 July (10.00am - 4.00pm) - 'Duff Downunder' - Ancestry & Family Tree Maker Seminar
    Held at Wesley Centre, 220 Pitt Street Sydney. We’re welcoming to Sydney Robert ‘Duff Wilson, the Senior Product Manager for Family Tree Maker from in Provo, Utah. He’ll present a full-day seminar on using the website and also getting the most out of the Family Tree Maker software program. John Donaldson and Doug Elms, members of the team from VicGum (a Melbourne based association for family historians who use computers), will also be speaking. Full program available here. Bookings essential by 17 July. $50 SAG & VicGUM members ($60 non-members).
  • Saturday 26 July (10.30am - 12.30pm) - Serving in the Force - Tracing Your NSW Police Ancestors
    Janette will examine the history of the NSW Police Force and the colonial police forces. She will introduce records held by State Records, including those in the Archives Resources Kit, and discuss how to search these. Other organisations and police records they hold will also be covered. Presenter: Janette Pelosi, State Records NSW. Bookings essential. $20 ($30 non-members).
  • Thursday 31 July (8.00pm - 9.00pm AEST) - Webinar - Family History Sources at the London Metropolitan Archives
    Join staff from the London Metropolitan Archives as they present the wonderful family history sources at the LMA – a major repository for London research. Don’t miss this opportunity to hear from the experts! Bookings essential and limited to SAG members only. Price $10.00.

NSW BDM Indexes - new site

On 23 June, the NSW Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages ( went live with its new Family History online search system. As we prepare SAGe it isn't yet fully functional, but there are a number of changes all NSW researchers will find interesting. While not yet operational, the Registry is promising delivery of certificates ordered online via an emailed PDF - so no more waiting on the postie! Births, Deaths and Marriages are now searched as separate databases and index entries are released from the closed period on the day they become available under Privacy provisions - so you no longer have to wait until 1 January for new releases.

The much-loved and missed wildcard search looks like its back, although early users have been getting some mixed results using it (which could just be related to how busy the site is). Certainly to undertake a marriage search you must now enter a surname for both parties; however you can use the wildcard symbol of * for one of the parties if you don't know their details.

The district column while appearing on the search result screen currently isn't populated, but hopefully it will be shortly. And for pre 1856 records you no longer get the Volume number as part of the registration number; however we can help you locate the relevant microfilm copy of those Early Church Registers if you are visiting the SAG library.

Queensland Resources

Queensland's Past Online is a website containing searchable, digitised resources for Queensland. It includes books, theses, journals, Government Gazettes 1859-1900 and Queensland Hansard 1860-63, 1981 to present and more. As well as Queensland content there are books such as the Picturesque Atlas of Australia and the Aldine Centennial History of New South Wales so this site may be of broader interest than just those with links to Queensland.


Visit our bookshop at 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.

Finding Your German Ancestors - $18.00

A Beginner's Guide' provides a valuable introduction for researchers who have not previously worked with German records, highlighting excellent sources for researchers who may have 'cold feet' about researching in Germany or with German records. Anyone who has worked with foreign records knows that the language can be intimidating. In order to help overcome this obstacle, the author provides tools to enable researchers to master the skills necessary to work comfortably with German records. Sources that initially seemed so intimidating, will soon seem like old friends. Softcover, A5, indexed, 96 pages, Kervan M Hansen. [More detail]

Family History: Digging Deeper - $35.00

An exciting new addition to any family historian's library. Family History: digging deeper will take your research to the next level. Helping you push back the barriers, this book details how to utilise the internet in your research and suggests some unusual archives and records which might just transform your research. Soft Cover, 24cm, 189 pages, Simon Fowler, The History Press UK, 2012. [More detail]

Migration to New Zealand - $16.00

Author, Christine Clement has often been asked how to find when an ancestor came to New Zealand. This set her off on an exploratory path a number of years ago putting together the different schemes, periods and times to find out just who the people were coming at the different time periods and why. This booklet is designed to make readers think beyond the square to see what else was happening in the world that may have led people to New Zealand. Softcover, A5, indexed, 64 pages, Christine Clement, Unlock The Past Series 2014. [More detail]

Tracing Your Scottish Ancestors - $35.00

This fully revised second edition of Ian Maxwell's 'Tracing Your Scottish Ancestors' is a wonderful user-friendly introduction to this long, complex and fascinating story. It is aimed primarily at family historians who are eager to explore and understand the world in which their ancestors lived. Softcover, A5, 200 pages, Ian Maxwell, Pen & Sword, 2013. [More detail]

Family Tree Maker Instructional CD - $7.00

Includes a PDF file and a separate video file for topics such as importing an existing file, starting a new data file, backup a file, restore a backup file, merging place names, adding a spouse, adding a divorce, marking a relationship as ended and deleting a ‘ghost’ from the tree. Doug Elms, Victorian GUM Inc, November 2013. [More detail]


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© Society of Australian Genealogists 2014 - all rights reserved
Any feedback or enquiries regarding this newsletter should be directed to the editor: Lisa Watson. Items for inclusion are also welcome.