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 2015

SAG coat of arms

  • Croker Prize for Biography - It's time for you to vote


  • What's on in July


  • Online Photo Archives



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

  • Genealogical Research Work Book
  • Fractured Families
  • Tracing Your Ancestors through Family Photographs
  • DNA for Genealogists
  • How to Write Your Family History
  • ScotlandsPeople: The place to launch your Scottish research
  • ScotlandsPeople 30 Credit Vouchers


  • Subscribe or alter your subscription to these newsletters

Croker Prize for Biography - It's time for you to vote

The 22 entries written by members for the 2015 Croker Prize for Biography are now online, ready for fellow members to vote for their favourite. You can either read each one separately on the website or download the consolidated file which contains all the entries. Then follow the link and tell us which one you’d like to see win the $1000 Members’ Choice Award this year.

Voting closes at midnight on 31 July so you’ve got four weeks to decide. The theme for 2015 is My Immigrant’s Story … and there’s an entertaining selection of short essays from which you get to choose the one you like the best. Start reading 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.

  • Saturday 4 July (10.30am - 12.30pm) - Fashion Forensics
    Are you having trouble dating family photos? In what will be a fun seminar, find out about how to draw clues in photography through clothing & accessories. We’ll be looking at the lovely ladies, fashionable fellas & charming children. Bring any photos with you that you are not sure about. Presenters - Julie Nugent & Judy Keena. Bookings essential. $20 ($30 non-members).
  • Tuesday 7 July (8.00pm - 9.00pm) - Webinar - DNA - Just the Basics
    Louise Coakley, genealogist from the Cairns & District Family History Society, will introduce you to using DNA testing as a tool in your research. Learn the basics: the types of tests, who to test, where to test, how to test, how much it costs, what you get, & its practical application. Bookings essential. $10. SAG Members only.
  • Thursday 9 July (10.30am - 12.30pm) - Writing Discussion Group - July 2015 - BOOKED OUT!
  • Friday 10 July (10.30am - 12.30pm) - Hands On - Researching Families in Colonial India - BOOKED OUT!
  • Saturday 11 July (10.00pm - 3.30pm) - Irish Day 2015
    A full day seminar of all things Irish. Speakers - Dr Richard Reid, Dr Perry McIntyre & Dr Jeff Kildea. Held at 99 on York (Bowlers Club), 99 York St, Sydney. Access to the Club will be from 9.30 - please be seated in time for a prompt 10am seminar start. Full program available here. Morning tea & light lunch will be provided. Bookings essential by 3 July. $65 ($85 non-members).
  • Thursday 16 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. Remember you can stay on and do research after the tour. Free - a gold coin donation on the day towards our Collections Fund is always appreciated.
  • Saturday 18 July (10.30am - 12.30pm) - DNA Research Group - Inaugural meeting - BOOKED OUT!
  • Saturday 18 July (1.30am - 3.30pm) - Digging for Ancestors' Surnames
    What is the background, history & social context surrounding our surname? How can this knowledge help us in our genealogical endeavours? How can surnames be used to help break down, or at least poke some holes, in our research brickwalls? Presented by SAG & Guild of One Name Studies (GOONS) members Michelle Patient & Karen Rogers. . Bookings essential. $20 ($30 non-members).
  • Tuesday 21 July (8.00pm - 9.00pm) - Webinar - NSW Parish Registers - Joint Copy Project
    Since 1974 the Society has been preserving church registers through the Joint Copy Project with the National Library in Canberra & the Mitchell Library in Sydney. Find out what the JCP covers, why these records are important & how you can best use them. Presenter - Heather Garnsey. Bookings essential. $10. SAG Members only.
  • Friday 24 July (10.00am - 1.00pm) - Hands On - County Fermanagh - BOOKED OUT!
  • Saturday 25 July (10.30am - 12.30pm) - Genealogy Archiving - Getting the Most Out of Your PC
    Rod Black became an SAG member due to a confronting experience of inheriting fragmented and dispersed family mementos in 2013. Feeling stranded and alone about honouring them, he’s applied a systematic knowledge management process to “KEEP” these mementos and reduce the risk of losing family knowledge. KEEP is an acronym and stands for, Know, Educate, Enrich, and Present. He will explain to you the benefits of using what he has termed the “Family Knowledge process” that keeps your family photos, documents, and possessions using a repeatable, recognisable, and consistent framework. By sharing the process with you, he will then demonstrate how to use standard features found on our PCs to store data, allowing you to enrich and present them, and knowing they are stored digitally and safe under the “KEEP” system. All this without incurring costs or buying and learning brand new software packages that come and go. The process is generic so the lecture is relevant for both PC and Apple users and is suitable for all levels of computer users. Bookings essential. $20 ($30 non-members).
  • Saturday 25 July (1.30pm - 3.30pm) - Legacy Software Group
    An informal meeting of current and potential Legacy users to exchange information, ideas and techniques. Bring your questions and laptop. Facilitator – Bev Hyssett. Bookings essential. $8 ($12 non-members).

Online Photo Archives

While photographs of your own family allow you to see your ancestors, other photographs can give us an insight into the times and places where your ancestors lived. There are many online photo archives which provide free access to historical photos and you may even be lucky enough to find one of your own ancestors. The following links are just a sample of the online archives available:

For more examples, search for 'online photo archives' in any search engine.


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.

NSW - Genealogical Research Work Book - $10.00

This book was designed as a tool to help genealogist's record details and information. The researcher can see at a glance the information which has been obtained and what still needs to be researched. It is easy to carry with you and keeps all your information contained in one book. A4, soft cover, 48 pages. Published by Anne Trubshaw-Dow & Lynn Dillon, 2012 . [More detail]

NEW - Fractured Families - $40.00

Many desperate people turned to The Benevolent Society, Australia’s first charity founded in 1813, for assistance and sustenance. In this rich and revealing book, Tanya Evans collaborates with family historians to present the everyday lives of these people. We see many families who have fallen on hard times because of drink, unwanted pregnancy, violence, unemployment or plain bad luck, seeking help and often shunted from asylums or institutions. In the careful tracing of families, we see the way in which disadvantage can be passed down from one generation to the next. Softcover, 24cm, 336 pages. Tanya Evans, UNSW Press 2015. [More detail]

Tracing Your Ancestors through Family Photographs - $37.00

Jayne Shrimpton's complete guide to dating, analysing and understanding family photographs is essential reading and reference for anyone undertaking genealogical and local history research. Using over 150 old photographs as examples, she shows how such images can give a direct insight into the past and into the lives of the individuals who are portrayed in them. Softcover, 23cm, 224 pages. Jayne Shrimpton, Pen & Sword 2014 . [More detail]

DNA for Genealogists - $14.00

Third edition. The amount of scientific jargon associated with genetics can be intimidating. This publication provides a contextual understanding of DNA suitable for genealogists and discusses the currently available tests that are likely to be of interest to family historians, especially those wanting to prove (or disprove) compiled family trees, to connect 'new' relatives by means of inherited genetic material and to draw conclusions about where we fit into the greater human family. Softcover book, third edition, A5, 52 pages. Kerry Farmer, Unlock the Past Series, 2015 . [More detail]

How to Write Your Family History - $12.00

At some time as you tread the seductive, wonderful pathway of completing more and more research, you might just want to lift your head from this pile of collected data and think about how, where and in what way your will write and publish the family history. Noeline outlines strategies to get you to the desk and writing. The book will show you how to identify and choose a format for writing family stories, to understand and apply strategies to plan and create your characters, to construct chapters and apply the basics of writing/rewriting, editing, planning and publishing to produce a professional, valuable and very readable family history. Softcover book, A5, 40 pages. Noeline Kyle. Unlock the Past Series, 2015 . [More detail]

ScotlandsPeople: The place to launch your Scottish research - $15.00

ScotlandsPeople provides an exceptional source of genealogical records for those with Scottish ancestry - Statutory registers of birth, death and marriage, old parish registers, Catholic parish registers, census records, valuation rolls, wills and testaments, and Coats of Arms. Access to such a wide range of basic records for a relatively cheap fee means we can all research from our home without the expense of hiring a search agent, ordering in many microfilms, or a trip to Scotland - as pleasant as that last option may be. With some knowledge and practice you will become adept at locating records of relevance to your family and you will be well on your way with your research. Of course, not all records are available online. You will still need to track down your non-conformists, investigate land records, maps, cemeteries, electoral rolls, directories, poor law, military and other records, BUT ScotlandsPeople is a great place to launch the study of your families. Softcover, A5, 33 pages. Rosemary Kopittke, Unlock The Past Series 2015 . [More detail]

ScotlandsPeople 30 Credit Vouchers - $18.00

An alternative to credit card when paying to view BDMs, wills, census and old parish records from the ScotlandsPeople site. [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.