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 

March 2014

SAG coat of arms

  • Easter Opening Hours
  • Sands Sydney & Country Commercial Directory 1858-1932
  • Temporary closure of Devon Heritage Centre Exeter


  • What's on in April


  • County Clare Roman Catholic baptisms
  • First World War unit war diaries



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

  • Magazines available from the SAG Shop
  • Legacy Family Tree 8.0 software
  • Legacy Family Tree 8.0 User's Guide
  • Digital Imaging
  • Tracing Your Second World War Ancestors
  • Tracing Your Service Women Ancestors
  • That Elusive Digger
  • Family Tree Maker 3 for Mac


  • Subscribe or alter your subscription to these newsletters

Easter Opening Hours

The Society is CLOSED for the Easter break from 4pm on Thursday 17 April and reopens on Tuesday 22 April. The offices are also closed on Friday 25 April for Anzac Day - the libraries will be open on Saturday 26 April as usual.

Sands Sydney & Country Commercial Directory 1858-1932 - now fully available online

The City of Sydney Archives has made the complete set of Sands available and searchable online. Access is free.

The firm of John Sands Ltd (Printers and Stationers) published their directory each year from 1858-59 to 1932-33 (except for 1872, 1874, 1878 and 1881). The household and business information it contains has become a fundamental source for research into Sydney history, especially family history. The City of Sydney has now obtained a complete digital edition of the directory from WF Pascoe Ltd, scanned from the microfiche, and is making it available for public access. This is the first time a complete set has been made available online.

Temporary Closure of Devon Heritage Centre, Exeter

For researchers who may be heading to England during May, please note that the Devon Heritage Centre in Exeter will be closed for the fortnight beginning 12 May 2014 so that the county local studies collection from the former Westcountry Studies Library in central Exeter can be transferred to the Heritage Centre. The Centre apologises for any inconvenience caused but the end result will be the availability of all county collections of archives and local studies material outside north Devon under one roof for the first time.


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.

  • Thursday 3 April (10.30am - 12.30pm) - Getting Started on Your Family History - Members Only
    For new members with no family history research experience. Learn the basics of how to start researching, what to do, and where to find and ask for help. Members Only. Bookings Essential and limited to 10. Cost $10.00.
  • Friday 4 April (10.30am - 12.30pm) - Hands On - SAG Library Electronic Resources & catalogue tips
    THIS SESSION HAS BEEN RESCHEDULED FROM 21 MARCH. Held at 2/379 Kent Street Sydney. Our librarian will show you how to locate & use the many databases contained within the Electronic Resources section of the SAG library computers and give tips on effective searching of the library catalogue. You never know what you might discover! Limited to 14. Presenter - Lorraine Brothers. Bookings essential. $30 ($45 non-members).
  • Saturday 5 April (10.30am - 12.30pm) - Hill End & Tambaroora Gathering Group and its resources
    Established in the 1930s this family history group has researched and compiled a considerable amount of detail from various sources about your goldfield ancestors. It has culminated in printed publications and the formation of a website which will help you understand the living conditions of this unique district.Established in the 1930s this family history group has researched and compiled a considerable amount of detail from various sources about your goldfield ancestors. It has culminated in printed publications and the formation of a website which will help you understand the living conditions of this unique district. Presenter: Lorraine Purcell. Bookings essential. $20 ($30 non-members).
  • Saturday 5 April (1.30pm - 3.30pm) - Finding Margaret - a Hill End Case Study
    Margaret King was a servant in Hill End who died in 1872 and was buried in Tambaroora Cemetery in an unmarked grave. Using the clues contained in two letters written by Margaret and produced at her coronial inquest and reproduced in an article in the Sydney Morning Herald, Lorraine Purcell will demonstrate the amazing amount of information that can be found about Margaret’s poignant life within the sources covered in her lecture held in the morning on the Hill End and Tambaroora goldfields. Presenter - Lorraine Purcell. Bookings essential. $20 ($30 non-members).
  • Tuesday 8 April (8.00pm - 9.00pm AEST) - Webinar - Getting the Most Out of FamilySearch
    When Claire Brisson-Banks was in Sydney in 2013 she shared some great tips with our members for using this website. Returning via a webinar from Salt Lake City, she will share more ideas on using Presenter - Claire Brisson-Banks. Bookings essential and limited to SAG members only. Price $10.00.
  • Thursday 10 April (10.30am - 12.30pm) - Writing Discussion Group - Appendices
    Other than the index, what else goes in the back of the book? Find out what you can put in as an appendix and why. Bookings Essential. $8 ($12 non-members).
  • Friday 11 April (10.30am - 12.30pm) - Hands On - Staffordshire, Derbyshire & Nottinghamshire
    Join us at 379 Kent Street for this session which will highlight selected online sources and other types of material available for these three counties and where they can be found in the SAG library. The session includes an hour of research time at the library to consult the county records which have been featured. Presenters - Joan Healy & Philippa Garnsey. Bookings essential and limited to 14. $30 ($45 non-members).
  • Saturday 12 April (10.30am - 12.30pm) - Charting Your Family Tree
    This practical session will introduce methods and guidelines used in the construction of family history charts, or pedigrees. Many family history software packages are very poor at producing standard drop line pedigree charts and knowing how to arrange information and set out a clear and concise chart is a useful skill for all researchers. Presenter: Jeremy Palmer. Bookings essential. $20 ($30 non-members).
  • Wednesday 30 April (8.00pm - 9.00pm AEST) - Webinar - Sydney's Cemeteries
    Join Martyn Killion as he looks at Sydney’s major cemeteries and their records, with particular emphasis on what you can find from home. Bookings essential and limited to SAG members only. Price $10.00.

County Clare Roman Catholic baptisms

The Clare Heritage & Genealogy Centre have made their first batch of Roman Catholic baptisms for seven parishes available online through Rootsireland. The parishes included are Cratloe, Crusheen, Ennis, Feakle, Mountshannon and Whitegate, Parteen and Scariff. The records cover varying periods, mostly from the mid-1800's until 1900. Further records, including marriages and deaths as well as other baptisms, will be made available online on a phased basis.

First World War unit war diaries

The National Archives (UK) has released a selection of unit war diaries (record series WO 95) online. Written by officers in the front line, these diaries give unprecedented access to daily movements and action in the trenches and beyond. The project to conserve and digitise these records means that for the first time they can be accessed without visiting the reading rooms in Kent.

To date the diaries published include cavalry divisions and the first 33 infantry divisions, covering the entire period of the units' involvement in the war, from their arrival on the front to their departure at the end of the war. The records are free to search but a modest fee is payable to download the documents.


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.

Magazines available at the SAG Shop

Free postage when you buy 2 or more of these magazines (see Shop website for back issues):

  • Discover Your History (UK) - $11.00
  • Inside History (Aust & NZ) - $9.95
  • Irish Roots - $9.25

Legacy Family Tree 8.0 software - $29.00

One of the leading family history programs available today. [More detail]

Legacy Family Tree 8.0 - User's Guide - $25.00

Become an expert Legacy user with this authoritative, printed User's Guide to the most comprehensive and easy-to-use family history software you can buy. [More detail]

Digital Imaging - $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 out of your digital imaging experience. AND this book is written specifically for genealogists! Softcover book, 152 pages. Geoff Rasmussen, Unlock the Past, 2012. [More detail]

Tracing Your Second World War Ancestors - $35.00

This book is the perfect guide on how to locate and understand these sources. Softcover, 23cm, 166 pages. Phil Tomaselli, Pen & Sword Books UK 2011. [More detail]

Tracing Your Service Women Ancestors - $35.00

Mary Ingham explains which records survive, where they can be found and how they can help you in your research. Softcover, 23cm, 204 pages. Mary Ingham, Pen & Sword Books, 2012. [More detail]

That Elusive Digger - $15.00

Tracing your Australian Military Ancestors. Herein are provided handy summaries of Australia's military history both in peace and war; a glimpse of where to look and what to look for. Softcover, A5, 56 pages. Neil C Smith, Unlock the Past 2013. [More detail]

Family Tree Maker for Mac 3 - $99.00

Now in stock. This is the full Family Tree Maker for Mac v3 Platinum UK Edition, with electronic Companion Guide as a PDF file and a six-month Ancestry subscription. [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.