Society of Australian Genealogists


June 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 

  • If you visit 379 Kent Street on a Saturday read this please!
  • End of FamilySearch Film Service
  • Congress 2018 Earlybird Registrations


  • What's on in July


  • JRNL



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

  • NEW - Legacy 9.0 software
  • NEW - Australians in Peril: Tracing your World War Two Australian Military Ancestors
  • NEW - Scotlands People: The place to launch your Scottish research
  • Researching in German Civil and Church Records
  • Google, the Genealogist's Friend


  • Subscribe or alter your subscription to these newsletters

If you visit 379 Kent Street on a Saturday read this please!

We have two further dates in July when the library at 379 Kent Street will be closed due to electrical upgrade work being done in the building. These dates are Saturday 8 July and Saturday 15 July. On those days there is NO access to the building. Activities at Richmond Villa (120 Kent Street) are not affected by this shutdown. Please keep monitoring the home page of the website in case there are any changes to these dates, but at this stage work is progressing well and the schedule should be maintained.

End of FamilySearch Film Service

From 1 September the FamilySearch Film Service will cease operation, which means that we will no longer be able to order in films from Salt Lake City for viewing in the library. FamilySearch is digitising as much of its microfilm and microfiche collection as possible and expects to complete this work by 2020 and the progress they are making on this work, together with the prohibitive cost of producing microfilms and posting them around the world has contributed to the decision to stop providing this service.

The online ordering service on the FamilySearch website will close on 31 August. For members who normally order their films through us, our cut-off date for last orders will be Wednesday 30 August.

So now is a really good time to have another look at the FamilySearch catalogue at and to check if there are records you might wish to consult that are not yet digitised, or which are unlikely to be digitised in the future. An example might be poor law, workhouses, taxation and manorial records - these are the type of parochial material not always covered by Ancestry, FindMyPast, The Genealogist and other commercial websites, but which have often been filmed through FamilySearch. If you find films (and microfiche) you'd like to consult, you need to get your order in quickly! Youíll find more details on our website here.

Congress 2018 Earlybird Registrations

Don't forget early bird registrations for Congress 2018 close when we reach 300, or at 30 September, whichever comes first. Since opening on 31 May they've been rolling in steadily, so now is a good time to book your spot so you don't miss out. COngress runs from 9-12 March 2018 in Sydney and you'll find all the details 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 1 July (10.30am - 12.30pm) - Local history, local places
    Learn ways to find out what was happening in the local area when your ancestors lived there, where to locate local histories and maps, and how to incorporate these histories and maps into your family history. Presenters: Angela Phippen and Jeff Madsen. Bookings essential. $22 ($35 non-members).
  • Thursday 6 July (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 whatís new and whatís hidden in the basement. Presenter: Danielle Lautrec. Bookings essential. $10 ($20 non-members).
  • Friday 7 July (10.30am - 12.30pm) - Hands On @ 379 - Getting the best from TROVE - BOOKED OUT!
  • Friday 7 July (1.30pm - 3.30pm) - Hands On @ 379 - Getting the best from TROVE
    The National Library of Australia has a vast database of online resources that could hold clues for your genealogy. Learn tips for searching newspapers; how to download copies; add tags and comments, and create lists. Limit 14. Presenter: Jenny Higgins. Bookings essential. $35 ($50 non-members).
  • Saturday 8 July (10.30am - 12.30pm) - GENUKI
    GENUKI is an important online reference library and web directory for UK and Ireland. Find out what it contains and get tips on how to use it. Presenter: Heather Garnsey. Bookings essential. $22 ($35 non-members).
  • Wednesday 10 July (8.00pm - 9.00pm) - Webinar - DNA: I've done my test, what's next?
    This session discusses how to start using DNA test results to make contact with others and start looking for living relatives. It is recommended that webinar attendees listen to DNA Key Concepts (Veronica Williams, 30 March) and Introduction to DNA Testing (Louise Coakley, 10 May) before listening to this webinar. Presenter: Kerry Farmer. Bookings essential. $12 members only.
  • Thursday 13 July (10.30am - 12.30pm) - Writing Discussion Group - Back to basics 3: Inserting photos
    Enhance your story with photos and scanned documents - see how to insert them into text, resize and caption them, move and keep them with related text. Presenter: Alison Meldrum. Bookings essential. $10 ($15 non-members).
  • Friday 14 July (10.00am - 4.00pm) - Brick wall clinic - Australia
    By appointment, between 10am and 4pm. Get one-on-one help with your Australian family history brick wall. Appointments will be for 1.5 hours and include a half-hour consultation to analyse your problem and create a draft research plan, followed by one hour of one-on-one guided research in the SAG library (online and/or in SAG collections). Book online and you will then be allocated an appointment time. Attendees will be provided a template to submit a description of their problem prior to the day. Bookings essential and close 4pm, 6th July. $25 members only.
  • Tuesday 18 July (8.00pm - 9.00pm) - Webinar - Guide to Australian BDMs
    Save yourself a lot of time and money with this overview of records of births, deaths and marriages around Australia, the types of information you can find and costs of obtaining copies. Presenter: Tiphanee Athans. Bookings essential. $12 members only.
  • Saturday 22 July (10.00am - 3.00pm) - The basics of English research
    If you are just starting out researching your English ancestors or need a refresher course about where and how to find the essential sources, this day is for you. Full program will be on the SAG website. Presenters: Pauline Kettle and Heather Garnsey. Bookings essential. $45 ($70 non-members).
  • Friday 28 July (10.30pm - 12.30pm) - Hands On @ 379 - Using Excel for family history
    Excel is a great tool for organising, analysing and presenting vast quantities of information, which makes it great for family history. Some prior knowledge of Excel is assumed, as the session will not cover the basics. Limit 14. Presenter: Danielle Lautrec. Bookings essential. $35 ($50 non-members).


JRNL is a US based website that allows you to capture your life story in a central location. It is based around the concept of a journal. Create a free account and record text entries with images, organise your thoughts with multiple journals and tags and allow friends and family to contribute.


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.

NEW - Legacy 9.0 software - $38.00
Legacy Family Tree continues its tradition as one of the leading players in the genealogy software market with the recent release of version 9. While keeping the same base format which current users of the program love, and improving on that with a number of new features. It is still an easy enough program to take home and get started straight away, while still having enough extra features for those who wish to explore it more. Millennia Inc, 2017. [More detail]

NEW - Australians in Peril: Tracing Your World War Two Australian Military Ancestors - $16.00
The interest in Australian military history continues to grow. Every year, more records are being released, and every year more people get the desire to discover the role their ancestors played in Australian military history. If you are wanting to start researching your Australian World War Two ancestors, this concise, yet comprehensive guide is one for you, as well as giving you a simple overview of Australia's military history. This book provides readers with a summary of Australia's military history in conflict, a glimpse of where to look and what to look for, as well as some guidance on how to understand military records, which translates to getting the most out of them. For those seeking to search out their World War Two Australian military ancestors, there is no better place to start. Softcover, A5, 64 pages, Neil C Smith, Unlock The Past Series 2017. [More detail]

NEW - 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, marriage, divorce, civil partnerships and dissolutions; church registers for the Church of Scotland, the Roman Catholic Church and other Presbyterian churches; census records; valuation rolls; and legal records covering wills and testaments, soldiers' and airmen's wills, military service tribunal appeals, 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. Softcover, A5, 41 pages, 3rd Edition, Rosemary Kopittke, Unlock The Past Series 2017. [More detail]

Researching in German Civil and Church Records - $14.00
This book answers the question 'How can I obtain a birth or marriage certificate from Germany for an immigrant ancestor?' What the new researcher may not realise is that in Germany the system of births, marriage and deaths by civil authorities, and the issue of associated certificates, has some significant differences to the system that the researcher may be used to. Prior to the introduction of civil registration, churches kept registers of baptisms, marriages and burials, and such church records may allow the researcher to follow the family back for several hundred years. This book is a practical guide that, with the aid of many illustrations, will allow the reader to become familiar with the types of information available on German civil certificates of birth, marriage and death and church records of baptism, marriage and burial. The book then explains how to access these records. Softcover, A5, 44 pages, Eric Kopittke, Unlock The Past Series 2015 . [More detail]

Google, the Genealogistís Friend - $15.00
Everyone knows Google as the most used search engine in the world, but for genealogists it can do so much more to further their family history research. Finding an image of the ship on which your ancestor went to war, using Street view to walk the streets of your ancestral area, translating that document, finding that distant cousin who has the photos of family bible, mapping their migration path - these are just some of the ways you can use Google in your family history. Softcover, A5, 50 pages, Helen V Smith, Unlock The Past Series 2016. [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.