Society of Australian Genealogists


June 2016

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 

  • Call for Speakers for Congress 2018
  • Croker Prize for Biography 2016
  • Wanted: your 2016 election ephemera
  • Gloucestershire records on Ancestry


  • What's on in July


  • State Records NSW - new website



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

  • Til Death Us Do Part
  • NEW - Minding Her Own Business
  • NEW - The Family History Web Directory
  • NEW - Tracing Your Seafaring Ancestors
  • NEW - Tracing Your Servant Ancestors


  • Subscribe or alter your subscription to these newsletters

Call for Speakers for Congress 2018

We’ve now issued our Call for Speakers for the 15th Australasian Congress on Genealogy & Heraldry, which we are hosting in Sydney from 9-12 March 2018. You’ll find the details at and you’ve got until 31 October to put in your proposal to present a lecture or workshop at Congress, and to encourage others to do so. If you’ve heard a wonderful speaker and would like to see them on the program let us know ( and we’ll make sure we alert them to the Call for Speakers. Congress is a great vehicle to not only have presentations from ‘old favourites’, but it’s also the chance to showcase some new talent too.

Croker Prize for Biography 2016

We received some interesting entries for this year’s Croker Prize, and you can now read them all on our website at The judges are busy and the winner will be announced in the September issue of Descent.

Wanted: your 2016 election ephemera

The National Library of Australia needs your help to collect 2016 election ephemera for their collection. From posters to how-to-vote cards, stickers, buttons and all original material, the library is looking for contributions of material and are particularly interested in material from marginal electorates, communities with concerns about health services, industrial relations, education, the mining industry and climate change. The NLA is keen to collect material from regional or remote electorates as well as those in the metropolitan centres. If you are interested in contributing, find out more here.

Gloucestershire Records on Ancestry

Ancestry has added a range of new records for Gloucestershire to their databases. These include Prison Records 1728-1914 with over 12 million entries, Electoral Registers 1832-1974, Land Tax Records 1713-1833 and updates to their Church of England Baptisms, Marriages and Burials 1538-1813.


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 2 July (10.30am - 12.30pm) - So you want to be a professional genealogist?
    Can you turn your hobby into a paying concern? Learn what is involved and how to go about it. Presenter: Heather Garnsey. Bookings essential. $22 ($35 non-members).
  • Tuesday 5 July (8.00pm - 9.00pm) - Webinar - History and family history in Western Australia
    Get an overview of the history of Western Australia and hints for tracing your family history. Learn about the key resources and repositories, including online. Presenter: Lorraine Clarke, Swan Genealogy.Bookings essential & SAG members only: $12.
  • Thursday 7 July (9.00am - 10.00am) - Free Library Tour - Where Do I Start at the SAG Library?
    An overview of the services and resources at the Library. Explore highlights of the collections and take a guided tour. Why not stay on after the tour & do some research? Limit 10. Tour Leader: Lorraine Brothers, SAG Librarian. Bookings Essential. Free and restricted to SAG members.
  • Friday 8 July (10.00am - 1.00pm) - Hands on @379 - DNA - BOOKED OUT!
  • Thursday 14 July (10.30am - 12.30pm) - Writing Discussion Group - Ellen Thomson: Beyond a reasonable doubt?
    For a successful children's author, past President of The Society of Women Writers NSW and Deputy Chair of the NSW Writers' Centre, writing a book about the only woman ever to be executed in Queensland should have been a piece of cake. Maybe you can identify with the false starts, problems and delays Vashti encountered. Presenter: Vashti Farrer. Bookings essential. $10 ($15 non-members).
  • Saturday 16 July (10.00am - 3.00pm) - Breaking down brick walls
    Michelle Patient will be presenting a day of tips, tools and hints on turning your searching into re-searching, with the aim of helping you break through those dead ends in your tree. There will be plenty of opportunity for attendees to ask questions and for those attending to "crowd source" solutions, so do bring the details of your brick walls along with you. Presenter: Michelle Patient. Bookings Essential. $45 ($70 non-members).
  • Tuesday 19 July (8.00pm - 9.00pm) - Webinar - Tracing European ancestors
    A topic rarely covered…In this session Julie will examine the challenges that researchers face when undertaking research in Europe, highlight key sources and consider key events that impact on family history research. Presenter: Julie Goucher.Bookings essential & SAG members only: $12.
  • Wednesday 20 July (10.30am - 12.30pm) - Guided Tour of the Hyde Park Barracks and the Mint - BOOKED OUT!
  • Saturday 23 July (10.30am - 12.30pm) - Finding elusive ancestors
    Can’t find your ancestor? Are you looking for the right surname? Michelle Patient and Karen Rogers from the Guild of One Name studies will demonstrate some tools for locating that elusive ancestor. Presenters: Michelle Patient and Karen Rogers. Bookings essential. $22 ($35 non-members).
  • Thursday 28 July (10.30am - 12.30pm) - Tumut and Adelong - Exploring SAG's collections
    SAG has a great collection of photos, manuscripts, directories, maps and family histories that can help you build a picture of places where your families lived. Even if you do not have family from the area around Tumut and Adelong (southwestern NSW), this session will be a useful demonstration of the value of the SAG collections and techniques for finding materials to help you research places. Presenters: Ralph Hawkins & Danielle Lautrec. Bookings essential. $22 ($35 non-members).

State Records NSW - new website

State Records NSW has launched a new website which includes a new search engine for their collections. Researchers will now be able to do a single, simple search to discover photographic and documentary content from amongst the Collection. Note that the online indexes are still accessible via the new website but have not yet been migrated to the new system. This will be an ongoing process over time however they will ultimately all be accessible from the single search engine. For more information on using the new website, click here.


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.

Til Death Us Do Part - $10.00

This is the subject discussed in Janet Frew’s very successful webinar hosted just a couple of weeks ago by the SAG. This booklet examines a wide variety of possible causes of death for our ancestors, describing their symptoms and prognoses. It also suggests records that may be used to provide information about how an ancestor died. Softcover, A5, 28 pages. Janet Few, Unlock The Past Series 2015. [More detail]

NEW - Minding Her Own Business - $40.00

Colonial Businesswomen in Sydney. A history that populates the streets of colonial Sydney with entrepreneurial businesswomen earning their living in a variety of small, and sometimes surprising, enterprises. Softcover, 304 pages, 24cm, Catherine Bishop, 2015 . [More detail]

NEW - The Family History Web Directory - $39.00

The Genealogical Websites You Can't Do Without. Jonathan Scott's Family History Web Directory is an information-packed reference guide that distils the best of the internet into one easy-to-use format. Jonathan Scott's book provides readers with online shortcuts, tips for getting the best from well-known websites, plus the details of all kinds of lesser-known and hard-to-find sources. Softcover, 23cm, 245 pages, Jonathan Scott, Pen & Sword 2015 . [More detail]

NEW - Tracing Your Seafaring Ancestors - $39.00

A Guide to Maritime Photographs for Family Historians. Photographs of your seafaring ancestors may tell you more about their lives than you realize, and Simon Wills’ helpful and practical guide shows you how to identify and interpret the evidence caught on camera. Softcover, 23cm, 172 pages, Second Edition . Simon Wills, Pen & Sword 2016 . [More detail]

NEW - Tracing Your Servant Ancestors - $37.00

A comprehensive account of the available sources – the census, wills, directories, household accounts, tax and union records, diaries and online sources - provides readers with all the information they need to do their own research. This short, vivid overview will be invaluable to anyone keen to gain a practical understanding of the realities of servants’ lives. Softcover, 23cm, 178 pages. Michelle Higgs, Pen & Sword 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.