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 

November 2015

SAG coat of arms

  • New Requirements for Mac users attending SAG webinars
  • Victorian BDMs - Indexes now free


  • What's on in December


  • New features on FamilySearch



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

  • Flip-Pal Mobile Scanner
  • NEW - A New Tapestry: Australian Huguenot Families
  • NEW - William Purcell, Carpenter H.M.S. Bounty
  • Digital Imaging Essentials
  • Opening Doors to Family Tree Maker


  • Subscribe or alter your subscription to these newsletters

New Requirements for Mac users attending SAG webinars

As of 15 November Mac users need to update their browsers in order to participate in SAG webinars, which are run using software provided by Citrix.

Mac OS X 10.8 (Mountain Lion) or higher is the minimum requirement needed in order to join sessions from a desktop. Citrix advises that updates from Mac OX 10.7 (Lion) to the latest operating system, Mac OS X 10.10 (Yosemite) should be available from Apple for free. They suggest visiting for more details.

In its press release Citrix advises that Mac OS X 10.7 (Lion) attendees can continue to join sessions using its browser-based Instant Join feature rather than having to download the GTW desktop app. Mac OS X 10.8 (Mountain Lion) or later should join a webinar using the desktop app. Mac users will find more information about this here –

There has been no change to the system requirements for Window users to join webinars.

Victorian BDMS - Indexes now free

The Victorian BDM indexes which previously cost 99 cents per page to view, are now free. The search facility has also been upgraded and you can search all events (birth, death and marriage) in the one search if you wish. Note that the search results do not show the registration district where the event took place however you can come to the SAG Library and access their resources if you require this information.

CALENDAR - December

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.

  • Wednesday 2 December (8.00pm - 9.00pm) - Webinar - Finding BDMs in Australia
    Explore the different ways in which you can track down birth, death and marriage records in Australia using consolidated indexes on commercial sites, as well as the government registry websites. Bookings essential. $10. SAG Members only.
  • Saturday 5 December (10.30am - 12.30pm) - New Zealand Research Group
    NZ On-line: Find out what's online at your fingertips to do New Zealand research. Tips and hints and what's new to make that search easier across the ditch. Group meets for lunch afterwards. All welcome. Convenor: Pauline Weeks. Bookings essential. $8 ($12 non-members).
  • Thursday 10 December (10.30am - 12.30pm) - Writing Discussion Group - Festive Flash - BOOKED OUT!
  • Thursday 10 December (1.30pm - 3.30pm) - Crime and Punishment Records in the NSW State Archives
    Many of our ancestors had contact with the criminal system and the records they left can add value to your family history. Discover what records are held by the NSW State Archives and how to find them. Some convict records will be mentioned, but the focus is primarily on later records. Presenter: John Cann, NSW State Archives officer. Bookings essential. $20 ($30 non-members).
  • Saturday 12 December (9.00am - 10.00am) - Free Library Tour - Where Do I Start at the SAG Library? - BOOKED OUT!
  • Saturday 12 December (10.30am - 12.30pm) - DNA Research Group - December meeting
    Our DNA Research Group is an ideal forum for both beginners and the more experienced to share practical ways to work with test results. Our December Research Group wil focus on y-dna (direct father’s-line ancestry). Convenor: Veronica Williams. Bookings essential. $8 ($12 non-members).

New features on FamilySearch

Each month FamilySearch publishes a list of new changes and updates to their website. In the November blog you can read about topics including personalised home pages for users who log in to the site, compatability issues with the new Microsoft Edge browser, how to delete a person in a family tree and more. If you want to get the most out of using the FamilySearch website, check out this blog for more information on how to use the site.


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.

Secondhand books

We have a large selection of secondhand books available, including out of print family histories. Follow the link to the Shop website, enter a keyword such as a surname or place name that you are interested in. Check every few months as we are always adding to this collection. [More detail]

Flip-Pal Mobile Scanner - $273.00 (limited stock at this price)

The Flip-Pal Mobile Scanner is tiny, light-weight and allows you to scan photos on the scanner, in the album or even in a frame. If you have large images, no problem, the stitching software joins multiple images together seamlessly. Photos, magazines, artworks, even newspaper articles have never been easier to scan. Size - 30.5cm x 23cm x 5cm (12" x 9" x 2"), weight 700g (1.5 pounds). [More detail]

NEW - A New Tapestry: Australian Huguenot Families - $40.00

This book provides stories of 30 Australian families of Huguenot (French Protestant) origin. Each story has been written or co-written by a family member. Apart from tracing the local evolution of families it outlines Huguenot origins, journeys of refuge, and arrivals in Australia. Each account magnifies the comparative and contrasting ways families managed, dealing with adversity and opportunity and overcoming personal and private difficulties.

Readers may conclude that the Huguenot spirit of industry, ingenuity and civic duty is apparent in these stories of Huguenot descendants. Each family account gives a picture of a family weaving together a life, shaping and being shaped by an Australia defining itself within its indigenous roots, layered with European settlement and renewed by waves of refugees and migrants. And in a way this accords with the broader history of the Huguenots and their descendants, whose lives, through the refugee and migration experience, became ultimately woven in new societies, including Australia. Softcover, 23cm, 409 pages. Edited by Robert Nash. Published by the Huguenot Society of Australia Inc. with the assistance of the Royal Australian Historical Society, 2015. [More detail]

NEW - William Purcell, Carpenter H.M.S. Bounty - $35.00

William Purcell was the carpenter on HMS Bounty at the time of the famous mutiny in 1789. Purcell chose to go in the Bounty launch with 18 other loyalists including Captain William Bligh. During the voyages of the Bounty and the Bounty launch, Purcell had had a difficult relationship with Bligh. On Purcell's return to England, he was the only loyalist to be court-martialled. In the charges Bligh laid against Purcell, Bligh wrote that he "had behaved with great impertinence, disrespectful, and in such a general reprehensible manner".

Bligh had become incensed during the voyage of the launch when, on Sunday Island on the north east coast of Australia, Purcell told him that he was as good a man as he. Purcell's family had been working in the Woolwich and Deptford dockyards, Kent from as early as 1695 as shipwrights. After his court martial in 1790 Purcell remained in the Royal Navy as a ship's carpenter and a shipwright. He had a family of nine children, six surviving to adulthood. Two of his children came to Australia in 1839 and 1841 and have numerous descendants.

This book provides an evaluation of Purcell using the primary sources available which recount the voyages of the Bounty and the Bounty launch. Softcover, 25cm, 166 pages, Philippa Garnsey, 2015. [More detail]

Digital Imaging Essentials - $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 of your digital imaging experience. AND this book is written specifically for genealogists! Note: this 'Australian edition' is the same as the original book, but has been printed locally in Australia, and the text has been adapted for Australians. Softcover, 152 pages, Geoff Rasmussen, Unlock the Past, 2012. [More detail]

Opening Doors to Family Tree Maker - $25.00

This book is designed to help you get your data entry right first time. It takes users through the various data entry 'doors' in Family Tree Maker encouraging them to focus on correct data entry so that the program can deliver the best outcome and output to the user. For everyone who is just starting out with Family Tree Maker with FTM 2012, FTM 2014 or FTM for Mac 3, this is a useful book for you! Softcover, A5, 76 pages, John Donaldson, Unlock The Past, 2015. [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.