Society of Australian Genealogists


November 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 

  • Reminder about our Christmas hours
  • Land & Property Information (NSW) Changes


  • What's on in December


  • update



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

NOTE: For shipment prior to Christmas, last orders will be taken on Thursday 14th December.

  • The Family Tree Guide to DNA Testing
  • Family History for Beginners & Beyond
  • Evernote for Family Historians
  • Handy Guide: Births, marriages and deaths in Australia


  • Subscribe or alter your subscription to these newsletters

Reminder about our Christmas hours

A reminder that the Society’s offices will close from Friday 15 December for the Christmas break and reopen on Tuesday 2 January 2018. During this time both buildings will be closed and telephones and emails will not be monitored.

The last day for research at Richmond Villa is Thursday 14 December. 379 Kent Street will open for its last day of research on Saturday 16 December.

Land & Property Information (NSW) Changes

From 1 December 2017 the LPI will be rebranded as NSW Land Registry Services. A press release advises that new domain names will be announced shortly, and the website content will be updated to reflect the new branding in the next few weeks. As a result some interruptions will be necessary while this maintenance takes place. The current website address, through which you can access its historical records is

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.

  • Friday 1 December (10.30am - 12.30pm) - Hands On @379: PRONI
    The Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI) is the official archive for Northern Ireland. They date largely from c.1600 to the present day. Learn how to navigate this website and utilise its wonderful resources at this computer workshop. Limit 14. Presenter: Hilary Walker. Bookings essential. $35 ($50 non-members).
  • Saturday 2 December (10.30am - 12.30pm) - DNA Research Group: AncestryDNA
    Understand the advantages and limitations of testing at AncestryDNA. Learn about using DNA Circles, New Ancestor Discoveries and unique ways to use your tree to advance your research. Convenor: Veronica Williams. Bookings essential. $10 ($15 non-members).
  • Saturday 2 December (1.30pm - 3.30pm) - DNA Advanced Users Meeting: Chromosome mapping - BOOKED OUT!
  • Monday 4 December (8.00pm - 9.00pm) - Webinar - Breaking down brick walls (in a creative way)!
    How many brick walls are there in your family history? Have you ever tried breaking them down by looking more widely at the surname causing your problems.... Well, join Kirsty Gray, Chair of The Surname Society, who will share some tips and tricks for searching! Presenter: Kirsty Gray. Bookings essential. $12 members only.
  • Thursday 7 December (10.30am - 12.30pm) - Burials in Sydney 1788-1820
    Learn about the history of the Old Sydney Burial Ground (today the Sydney Town Hall) and the discovery of its graves and headstones. Who is buried there - from convicts to free settlers and members of the NSW Corps. Historian Cathy Dunn will take you back in time and review the records and sources of deaths and burials. Presenter: Cathy Dunn. Bookings essential. $22 ($35 non-members).
  • Friday 8 December (10.30am - 12.30pm) - External Tour - Australian National Maritime Museum and Library
    Gain a new perspective on the immigration experiences of your ancestors with a guided tour of the Permanent Galleries followed by a visit to the Vaughan Evans Library where Library staff will reveal resources which may assist your research. Price includes the Big Ticket, which means you can also visit the special exhibitions and explore the vessels. Limit 15. Bookings essential. $36 members, $26 concession holders.
  • Saturday 9 December (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: Beverley Hyssett. Bookings essential. $10 ($15 non-members).
  • Saturday 9 December (1.30pm - 3.30pm) - Connection to your European ancestors through DNA
    The majority of those who have tested their DNA are in the United States. Living DNA is the only European headquartered global DNA testing firm. The result is an increasing number of people being tested in Europe who are ready to connect to their cousins. Discover what is possible, the unique challenges with connection to European cousins and how Living DNA is helping address these. Presenter: David Nicholson, Living DNA. Bookings essential. $22 ($35 non-members).
  • Thursday 14 December (10.30am - 12.30pm) - Writing Discussion Group - Back to basics 5 - Abbreviations, apostrophes and more!
    Do you know when to use ‘its’ and when ‘it's’ is correct? Should numbers always be written as words? When are italics appropriate? Find out answers to these and other tricky grammar questions. Presenter: Helen Patterson. Bookings essential. $10 ($15 non-members).
WEB TIPS update

From 13 December 2017, visitors to will see a prompt to register for a free FamilySearch account or to sign in to their existing account. Whereas users of the site could access many of its functions without having to log in, this will no longer be the case and everyone will need to have a FamilySearch account.

The change has been prompted in order to accommodate the needs of the many FamilySearch partners who require assurances that the content is offered in a safe and secure online environment. The FamilySearch privacy policy has not changed and they do not share personal account information with any third party without a patron's consent. For more information see the FamilySearch blog article.


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.

The Family Tree Guide to DNA Testing - $48.00
Unlock the secrets in your DNA! Discover the answers to your family history mysteries using the most cutting edge tool available. This plain English guide is a one-stop resource for how to use DNA testing for genealogy. To give you a holistic view of genetic testing for ancestry, the book also discusses the ethics and future of genetic genealogy, as well as how adoptees and others who know little about their ancestry can especially benefit from DNA testing.

Whether you’ve just heard of DNA testing or you’ve tested at all three major companies, this guide will give you the tools you need to unpuzzle your DNA and discover what it can tell you about your family tree. Softcover, 240 pages, indexed, Blaine T Bettinger, Family Tree Books, 2016. [More detail]

Family History for Beginners & Beyond - $36.00
This is the completely revised and updated 15th edition, covering Australia, New Zealand, England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland and Continental Europe. The content is divided into chapters covering all the essentials including Australian sources such as births, deaths and marriages, passenger lists and immigration, convicts, free settlers and probate. There is also a section on indigenous family history and key topics such as Getting Organised and using Libraries & Archives. Softcover book, 25cm, 273 pages. Compiled by Danny O'Neill et al, The Heraldry and Genealogy Society of Canberra Inc, 15th Edition, 2017. [More detail]

Evernote for Family Historians - $15.00
Family historians have more need than most people to be organised. We have a lot of electronic and paper files in different places in different formats. Evernote can collect everything together, all in one place and can change the way we go about our research and reduce the need for printing and hardcopy storage. We can also use Evernote to organise other areas of our lives - writing, travelling, shopping, finances, technology - the possibilities are limitless. Evernote can change your life, and this book will show you how. Softcover book, A5, 44 pages, Carole Riley, Unlock the Past, 2015. [More detail]

Handy Guide: Births, marriages and deaths in Australia - $5.00
This Handy Guide on Australian births, marriages and deaths covers more than just detailing when civil registration started state-by-state. It also gives information you'll find on the certificates and details of early church records and what information you'll discover in Australian baptism, marriage and burial records. As well, you'll find information on births and deaths at sea, details of each of the Australian state registrars, and a list of websites to visit when looking for Australian birth, marriage and death records. 4 page A4 booklet, b&w and colour photos, Kerry Farmer, Unlock the Past handy guide, 2017. [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.