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 

October 2014

SAG coat of arms

  • Have Your Say
  • Congress 2015
  • Renovation work at Mitchell Library
  • Australian Heraldry Society lecture
  • Update on British Library Newspapers
  • Lost In All Your Stuff


  • What's on in November


  • Newcastle Christ Church records



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

  • Family History for Beginners & Beyond
  • Convict Tools - Working at Camden Park and Tocal
  • Undaunted: Stories about the Irish in Australia
  • Tracing Your Air Force Ancestors
  • Golden Journeys - Visits to the Western Goldfield of NSW, 1852-1859


  • Subscribe or alter your subscription to these newsletters

Have Your Say

If you are an SAG member we encourage you to complete our short 2014 Member Survey - your chance to give your feedback and ideas on our services and resources. We'll be closing the survey link after 14 November so please do this as soon as possible - you can follow the link on our homepage or go straight to the survey here:

Congress 2015

Don't forget the 14th Australasian Congress on Genealogy and Heraldry is being held in Canberra from 27-31 March 2015. Every three years genealogists from around Australia gather to listen to a great range of local and international speakers, see exhibits and share their passion for family history. The early bird registration closes on 31 October so hurry and get your registration in now at the discount price! See

Renovation Work at Mitchell Library

The Mitchell Library Reading Room will be temporarily closed from Saturday 8 November – Wednesday 12 November while refurbishment work takes place, which includes replacing the floor covering, removing the glass barrier around the stairs, enhancing the Special Collections area at the rear of the room with additional seating and services and installing a new glass barrier to separate the research and general reading area.

During this period there will be limited access to items in the Special Collections which will be made available in the State Reference Library. Resources usually available on open access in the Special Collections area, such as microform, Mitchell collections (940-999) and collection guides will be temporarily unavailable. Contact 02 9273 1414 for more information or check the website at

Australian Heraldry Society lecture

The Australian Heraldry Society will be holding a lecture on 'British Heraldry of The Great War' on Friday 21 November 2014 at 6.00pm. Delivered by David Vines White, Somerset Herald, College of Arms, London, the lecture will discuss the representation of the War in the armorial bearings granted to various military and naval commanders, armament manufacturers and others. The arms will be set in the context of older English heraldic traditions and the heraldic consequences of George V's desire to sever his family's ties with Germany wll also be discussed.

The lecture will be held at the Sydney Mechanic School of Arts, Mitchell Theatre, Level 1, 280 Pitt Street, Sydney. Entry is by gold coin donation. For bookings and inquiries please contact the Hon. Secretary, Stephen Szabo on 0431 701 055 or by email at Bookings must be made by Wednesday 19 November.

Update on British Library Newspaper

Since the closure of the Newspaper Library at Colindale last November, print newspapers have been unavailable to researchers while the entire collection was transferred to a purpose-built storage centre at Boston Spa. Print copy papers for which no microfilm or digital copy exists are now gradually being made available again and will be available to order for delivery within 48 hours into either the Newspaper Reading Room at the British Library (at St Pancras in London) or at Boston Spa. An initial tranche of papers, including English and regional titles (excluding 1901-1908 and 1957-1960); Scottish titles (excluding 1900-1960), Irish titles (excluding 1838-1905), London and National titles, are already available for ordering. Further news and information will be found at This link also provides important information about organising your Reader Registration before your first visit to either searchroom.

Lost In All Your Stuff

This weekend marks our annual seminar, Lost In. This year’s theme looks at organising your research, engaging others in your family history and dealing with issues such as copyright and the digital environment. We’ve obviously ‘hit the mark’ with this year’s event as it has been sold out for a couple fo weeks now. We will report on the weekend in the future but, if you’ve missed out on this year’s event, make sure you look out for news of the 2015 seminar – always the first weekend in November!

CALENDAR - November

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 6 November (8.00pm - 9.00pm AEST) - Webinar - The Collections of the Royal Australian Historical Society
    The Royal Australian Historical Society Library contains more than 60,000 items. Suzanne Holohan, Executive Officer, will discuss hidden resource gems in the library. The talk will draw on materials highlighted in the recently produced Significance Assessment on the RAHS Collections. It will include samples of various types of research queries and will also explore how the library's local history resources can support your family history project. Bookings essential and limited to SAG members only. Price $10.00.
  • Saturday 8 November (10.30am - 12.30pm) - Family Tree Maker User Group - AM Session
    Media: Preparation, adding to Media Workspace, managing and linking media, usage in Family View & Pedigree View, usage in charts & reports, backing up media. Adding Sources in FTM 2014: Adding, updating, managing and replacing source citations (e.g. ‘Residence’ facts). Time for Q&A in all sessions. N.B. On 8 November there are two FTM meetings - one in the morning and one in the afternoon - both AM & PM sessions need to be booked separately. Bookings essential. $8 ($12 non-members).
  • Saturday 8 November (1.30pm - 3.30pm) - Family Tree Maker User Group - PM Session
    Reports and Charts: Which, when, how to use & how to vary both reports & charts. Syncing Trees: The value of online & FTM trees. Upload, linking & synchronisation of FTM trees. The ‘Change Log’. Using the Ancestry App N.B. On 8 November there are two FTM meetings - one in the morning and one in the afternoon - both AM & PM sessions need to be booked separately. Bookings essential. $8 ($12 non-members).
  • Wednesday 12 November (8.00pm - 9.00pm AEST) - Webinar - Tech Tool Tips - Using Google for Genealogy
    Geek & genealogist Michelle Patient will not only cover search tips and techniques in this webinar, she will also give an overview of other Google services useful to your family history practice i.e.: finding, sharing & storing, helping you to get more value out of your searches & your time online. Bookings essential and limited to SAG members only. Price $10.00.
  • Thursday 13 November (10.30am - 1.30pm) - Writing Discussion Group - November - BOOKED OUT!
  • Saturday 15 November (10.30am - 12.30pm) - NZ Research Group
    Embroidery is often the only mark a female ancestor leaves. This talk will focus on a recently released book by historian, genealogist and embroiderer Vivien Caughley, New Zealand's Historic Samplers - our stitched stories. Come and hear how samplers can reveal more than just names and dates, so you can better understand the genealogical values hidden in these family treasures. Bookings essential. $8 ($12 non-members).
  • Saturday 15 November (1.30pm - 3.30pm) - TMG Software User Group
    The Master Genealogist is a powerful and flexible genealogy program, with many different ways of achieving the same outcomes. You are encouraged to bring your laptop, ask questions and share ways of using the program, alongside experienced users in a workshop environment. Suitable for beginners through to advanced. Bookings essential. $8 ($12 non-members).
  • Thursday 20 November (8.00pm - 9.00pm AEST) - Webinar - Bringing to Life the Female Convict Experience
    Deborah Swiss, author of The Tin Ticket: The Heroic Journey Of Australia’s Convict Women discusses creative strategies for uncovering fascinating details about the female convict experience, including surprising twists and turns that led these remarkable survivors to be among the founding mothers of modern Australia. Bookings essential and limited to SAG members only. Price $10.00.
  • Saturday 22 November (10.30am - 12.30pm) - English Research Group - London Poor Law & Board of Guardian Records
    Are you using your (or SAG’s) subscriptions to and their full potential in your England research? Discover the London Metropolitan Archive’s Poor Law & Board of Guardian records & the Westminster Archives. Presenter - Pauline Kettle . Bookings essential. $8 ($12 non-members).
  • Monday 24 November (10.00am - 11.15pm) - Tour - St Patrick's Church Historical Site - BOOKED OUT!
  • Saturday 29 November (9.00am - 10.00am) - Orientation Tour
    Held in the Library at 2/379 Kent Street from 9.00am-10.00am. Members only. Bookings essential. Join us for a tour of the SAG library - learn about its layout and the services offered. Remember you can stay on and do research after the tour. Free - a gold coin donation on the day towards our Collections Fund is always appreciated.
  • Saturday 29 November (1.30pm - 3.30pm) - Reunion (for Mac) User Group - Reunion for iPads
    Joan Healy will demonstrate Reunion for iPads. Participants will be requested to share their knowledge, with other members of the group, regarding the various aspects of this program. Please remember to bring your iPad. Bookings essential. $8 ($12 non-members).
  • Thursday 27 November (10.30am - 12.30pm) - A Century of Missing Persons
    Dr Ruth Balint from the University of NSW provides a fascinating insight into her search for missing persons lost during and after wars, conflicts and natural disasters since 1915. Dr Balint is collaborating with the Australian Red Cross Tracing Service to research 100 years of locating missing persons, family reunions, and the research process that made them possible. She has also conducted extensive research into the archives of the International Tracing Service in Germany, where the records of 14 million victims of Nazism are kept and used for finding lost family members of World War Two worldwide. Bookings Essential. $20 ($30 non-members).

Newcastle NSW Christ Church Cathedral records

The University of Newcastle has placed many of its Cultural Collections online via Flickr. One of these collections is the Register Book of Christ Church Cathedral from the archives of the Anglican Diocese of Newcastle. You can browse the images for baptisms (1839-1861), marriages (1839-1855) and burials (1839-1854).


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.

Family History for Beginners & Beyond - $25.00

This book is designed to accompany you from the beginning - from your desire to trace your family lines, through to the necessary stages to complete a 'tree'. It will not solve all your problems, no one book could do that, but it will set you off in the right direction, offering hope and techniques to help you on your journey. Softcover book, A4, 178 pages, The Heraldry and Genealogy Society of Canberra Inc, 2009 [More detail]

Undaunted: Stories about the Irish in Australia - $33.00

From 1788 when the first convict ships landed to the mid-20th century, these true stories about settlers, convicts, and their descendants highlight the best and worst of human behaviour in the kinds of dilemma that faced newcomers. This book tells the story of the Irish contribution to this struggle. Softcover book, 23cm, 255 pages, John Wright, History Press Ireland 2012. [More detail]

Tracing Your Air Force Ancestors - $35.00

In this fully-revised second edition of his best-selling Tracing Your Air Force Ancestors, Phil Tomaselli explains which records survive, where they can be found and how they can help you in your research. Phil Tomaselli has written extensively on family history topics, in particular for Ancestors magazine. He has made a special study of the men and women who have served in the British armed forces and secret services, and he has written on the British army during the Great War. Softcover book, second edition, 23cm, 222 pages, Phil Tomaselli, Pen & Sword 2014. [More detail]

Golden Journeys - Visits to the Western Goldfield of NSW, 1852-1859 - $49.95

The work is liberally illustrated with contemporary images taken from publications produced during this period. To assist in tracing these journeys the book comes with 2 colour maps dating from the early 1850s, showing the location of these goldfields. These maps display many locations, leases, properties and settlers names which appear nowhere else in such an accessible format. Family historians will find this a fascinating depiction of those early years, knowing that they are reading the same reports that their ancestors may have read. Early arrivals on the goldfields are recorded within the text and the work is well indexed by names and locations. Softcover, A4, 280 pages, 2 large maps, indexed. Compiled and edited by Beatrice Brooks & Lorraine Purcell, 2012, Hill End & Tambaroora Gathering Group, produced with the assistance of grants from the Royal Australian Historical Society & Bathurst Regional Council. [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.