Society of Australian Genealogists


May 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 

  • Early bird registrations
  • Lost in Virtual Weekend: Black Sheep - 3-4 June
  • Saturday visitors to 379 Kent Street Please Note!
  • Red Cross WW2 cards now online


  • What's on in June


  • The History Project



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

  • NEW - Unofficial Workbook
  • NEW - Our Family Tree
  • NEW - DNA for Genealogists - 4th edition
  • Historical Research Using British Newspapers


  • Subscribe or alter your subscription to these newsletters

Early bird registrations

Congress 2018 is being hosted by the SAG from 9-12 March next year, at the new International Convention Centre at Darling Harbour. Early bird registrations are open from 31 May so don’t miss out – find out more on our Congress website at

Lost in Virtual Weekend: Black Sheep - this weekend!

There's still time to join us for our virtual weekend exploring all those black sheep ancestors you might find - the bankrupt, criminals, those who ended up in asylums and institutions, or who just disappeared without trace. All webinars are recorded and you can listen live or enjoy the recordings at a later date. For more details and to register, click here.

Saturday Visitors to 379 Kent Street Please Note!

In the coming months a major electrical upgrade at 379 Kent Street requires us to be CLOSED for two weekends. The current dates we have been given which affect library access are Saturday 24 June and Saturday 15 July. Please keep your eye on our website if you use the library on Saturdays, as we’d hate you to make a special trip to town and find we aren’t there. See the Latest News section on the front of the website for any updates to these dates.

Red Cross WW2 cards now online

In 2016 Red Cross Australia donated their historical collection to the University of Melbourne Archives (UMA) as a ‘Gift to the Nation’. Part of this collection included the Missing, Wounded and Prisoner of War Enquiry Cards dating from World War Two to 1973. Since the transfer, UMA has been working to make all of the cards relating to World War Two available online. There are now over 58,000 cards available through UMA’s online catalogue. To find a card, just type the surname into the search box. For more information about the series, see the article, ‘A Humane and Intimate Administration’: The Red Cross’ World War Two Wounded, Missing and Prisoner of War Cards by Senior Archivist Fiona Ross.


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 3 June, 10am to Sunday 4 June, 4pm - Lost in Virtual Weekend: Black Sheep
    This virtual Lost In weekend is devoted to finding the intriguing and non-conforming family members. The bankrupts, the criminals, those who sought refuge in asylums and those affected by family breakdown. While the focus will be on NSW, the principles will apply across the country. So no matter where you live, this is your opportunity to join in one of our popular Lost In weekends! All registrants will be provided with links to the recordings, so you can watch the webinars live or at your convenience. Bookings essential. $80 ($115 non-members).
  • Wednesday 7 June (10.00am - 12.30pm) - Ralph's Millers Point Walking Tour
    Walk in the steps of the convict stonemasons, millers, sea captains and merchants of Millers Point. See the history and hear the stories of Sydney’s colourful past.Walk starts with a lecture at Richmond Villa. Limit 15. Presenter: Ralph Hawkins Bookings essential. $30 ($45 non-members).
  • Thursday 8 June (10.30am - 12.30pm) - Writing Discussion Group - Back to basics 2: Stop procrastinating
    More than a collection of names and dates, it is the stories behind them that make family history come alive - so stop procrastinating and start writing NOW. Pat, a published author, will show you how she does it. Presenter: Pat Rogerson. Bookings essential. $10 ($15 non-members).
  • Thursday 15 June (10.30am - 12.30pm) - Untying the knot: Divorce records in the NSW State Archives
    This session will cover the vast array of records concerning divorce held as NSW State Archives. It will not only highlight the divorce case papers, but will also look at related records such as Court Reporting Office transcripts and Judges’ notebooks. Presenter: NSW State Archives. Bookings essential. $22 ($35 non-members).
  • Saturday 17 June (9.00am - 10.00am) - Free Library Tour - Where do I start at the SAG library?
    Get 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. Bookings essential. Free to members.
  • Saturday 17 June (10.30am - 12.30pm) - What does that say? Tips for reading old handwriting (Australia)
    Marilyn Rowan has been deciphering old handwriting for over 30 years. She has been an Approved NSW BDM Transcription Agent for the last 22 years, transcribing nearly half a million records over that time. Along the way, she has decoded the many and varied quirks in 19th and 20th century certificates, along with other documents from earlier periods. Benefit from her knowledge as you gain some hands-on experience at interpreting what can sometimes feel like a foreign language! Presenter: Marilyn Rowan. Bookings essential. $22 ($35 non-members).
  • Saturday 17 June (8.00pm - 9.00pm) - Webinar - Aboriginal people in government records
    Governments were obsessive with keeping records about Aboriginal people and many of these records survive. They not only reveal the discrimination Aboriginal people have endured, but they are also a valuable resource for tracing Aboriginal family history. This session will cover the types of records created, where they are stored and how to access them. Presenter: Kim Katon. Bookings essential. $12 members only.
  • Wednesday 21 June (10.00am - 11.00am) - Webinar matinee - Finding and using German church records
    Many of us have German-speaking European ancestors but are afraid to tackle the next step. Your lecturer will show examples of German church records, how to decipher them and how to overcome the fear of German script. Presenter: Michael Lacopo. Bookings essential. $12 members only.
  • Thursday 22 June (10.30am - 12.30pm) - The people of Millers Point, 1880-1930
    Presented by SAG and the Royal Australian Historical Society. This presentation will explore the lives of those who made their homes in Millers Point in the fifty year period between 1880 and 1930. It will explore a range of sources from the NSW State Archives. Presenter: Gail Davis. Bookings essential. $22 ($35 non-members).
  • Friday 23 June (10.30am - 12.30pm) - Hands On @ 379 - Using the electronic resources in the SAG library
    Did you know that the SAG library has a lot of resources in electronic format? Find out how to access such things as parish registers, family histories, cemetery records, funeral directors’ records, AGCI, journals, government gazettes, police gazettes and many more. Limit 14. Presenter: Lorraine Brothers. Bookings essential. $22 members only (special price).
  • Saturday 24 June (10.30am - 12.30pm) - Legacy Software Group
    Discover ways to maximise the benefits of this family history software program. Learn from others, share tips and ask questions. Convenor: Beverly Hyssett. Bookings essential. $10 ($15 non-members).

The History Project

The History Project is a site allowing you to collect all the memories and documents of your life in a single place. Free for individuals to use, you can create an account and store photos, documents, social media and video. You can give other people access to your project and collaborate on its contents. You can view other public projects to see how the site is being used to store information about individuals and organisation.


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 - Unofficial Workbook - $39.00
A How-To Manual for Tracing Your Family Tree on the #1 Genealogy Website. Each section briefly discusses how to search for a particular type of record (including census records, vital records (BDMs), and historical publications), then shares detailed, illustrated tutorials that put those strategies into practice. And with the worksheets and genealogy forms in each section, you can easily plan your own searches and apply what you've learned. Softcover, 27 cm, 190 pages. Nancy Hendrickson, Family Tree Books 2017. [More detail]

NEW - Our Family Tree - $42.00
An invaluable keepsake for any family, this leather bound hardcover book engraved with a beautiful copper-coloured tree will become an invaluable keepsake for any family. A family record is more than names, dates, and places. It is about people and what they did, the "why" and the "how." Also, the "how to" section will help you trace your family's history, including how to obtain records, and what institutions are available for further assistance. This is a necessary book for families who are interested in their history and their future. " Hardcover, 28cm, 142 pages, Poplar Books, 2010. [More detail]

NEW - DNA for Genealogists - 4th edition - $15.00
There is no doubt that DNA and genealogy go hand in hand, but where do you start? What is the difference between the tests? What company is best to use? How do I interpret my results? My relatives won't test, what do I do? These are just some of the many questions that get asked by those new to DNA. DNA testing can provide evidence of relationship even when no documents exist, and it can help you find family that you never knew you had. This book shows you how you can use DNA to harness this exciting new range of genealogical tools. Now into its fourth edition, this book has been revised and updated to include the latest updates for genetic genealogists. Softcover book, fourth edition, A5, 60 pages. Kerry Farmer, Unlock the Past Series, 2017. [More detail]

Historical Research Using British Newspapers - $33.00
Thanks to digitisation, newspapers from the seventeenth to the twenty-first century have become an indispensable and accessible source for researchers. Through their pages, historians with a passion for a person or a place or a time or a topic can rediscover forgotten details and gain new insights into the society and values of bygone ages. In addition, nine case studies are included, showing how researchers have already made productive use of newspapers to gain insights that were not available from elsewhere. Softcover, 23cm, 192 pages. Denise Bates, Pen & Sword 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.