Society of Australian Genealogists


October 2016

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 

  • Open Day at Waverley Cemetery
  • National Archives of Australia - Canberra office
  • Family History Study - University of Melbourne - Volunteers Wanted


  • What's on in November


  • State Records South Australia



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

  • Buried Treasure
  • Evidence!
  • NEW - Historical Research using British Newspapers
  • NEW - Tracing Your Ancestors through Local History Records
  • NEW - Tracing Your Ancestors in County Records
  • NEW - Tracing Your Trade & Craftsman Ancestors


  • Subscribe or alter your subscription to these newsletters

Open Day at Waverley Cemetery

Waverley Cemetery will be holding an Open Day on Sunday 5 November from 9am to 12pm. There will be free tours, talks and look ups. Bookings are essential. For further information go to the website.

National Archives of Australia - Canberra office

If you are planning a trip over the next few months to Canberra to do family history research, bear in mind that there will be some disruption to the services available at the National Archives while they rehouse their collection into the new National Archives Preservation Facility. This work begins on 30 October and continues until 1 July 2017. High use records will continue to be available in the search room, but if you are making a special trip the NAA you'd be wise to check that the material you hope to use will be available – more details on their website at

Family History Study - University of Melbourne - Volunteers Wanted

Have you discovered secrets kept by past generations in your family history research? A researcher from the University of Melbourne is seeking volunteers for an online survey. The project, “Family Secrets, National Silences: A Sociological Study of Intergenerational Storytelling”, aims to better understand the social role of family secrets and the impact of social policies on families over time.

The survey contains 7 questions and will take approximately 30 minutes to complete. To participate please fill out the survey at: For more information please contact the researcher Dr Ashley Barnwell at

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 3 November (10.00am - 3.15pm) - Research techniques and records for Norfolk Island 1788-1814 - Historian Cathy Dunn takes you on a journey back to the first settlement of Norfolk Island 1788 - 1814 describing the archives and records that are available, where copies are kept and what can be found online. Also discover the history of the Island’s first settlement and its role in the early colony of NSW. Bookings essential. $22 ($35 non-members).
  • Tuesday 8 November (8.00pm - 9.30pm) - Webinar - Gruelling experiences - Three centuries of the British workhouse
    The remarkable story of the British workhouse from 1601 to 1948. Presenter: Peter Higginbotham. Bookings essential. $12 members only.
  • Thursday 10 November (10.30am - 12.30pm) - Writing Discussion Group - Making interactive presentations - BOOKED OUT!
  • Friday 11 November (10.00am - 1.00pm) - Hands On @379 - London & Middlesex - BOOKED OUT!
  • Saturday 12 November (10.30am - 12.30pm) - Family Tree Maker User Group
    Join other users of this popular family history software program for insights, ideas and opportunities to share tips and ask questions. Convenor: Larry Czarnik. Bookings essential. $10 ($15 non-members).
  • Saturday 12 November (1.30pm - 3.30pm) - New Zealand Research Group - Finding Your Family's Footprints in New Zealand
    We've just received notification that well-known NZ Genealogist Jan Gow will be in Sydney in November, and she's offered to speak to the group during her stay. So the November topic will be 'Finding Your Family's Footprints in New Zealand' when Jan will cover all the main resources you can use to trace your New Zealand ancestry. Convenor: Pauline Weeks. Bookings essential. $10 ($15 non-members).
  • Wednesday 16 November (11.00am - 12.00pm) - Webinar - More buried treasures
    Hear about some wonderful cemetery material "buried" in our Archives, in particular several recent accessions of photographs and transcriptions of gravesites around Australia, the re-issue of our Cemetery Card index, and more, including some detailed in the September issue of Descent. Presenter: Alison Wolf. Bookings essential. $12 members only.
  • Thursday 17 November (10.30am - 12.30pm) - The State Archives new website - BOOKED OUT!
  • Thursday 17 November (1.30pm - 3.30pm) - Navigating the State Library's new website and catalogues
    Librarians Glenda Veitch and Kathi Spinks will be providing hints on finding your way around the State Library's new website and catalogues with a focus on family history Presenters: Glenda Veitch and Kathi Spinks. Bookings essential. $22 ($35 non-members).
  • Saturday 19 November (10.30am - 12.30pm) - English Research Group - Sugar refineries and sugar bakers
    The sugar industry employed many thousands, an industry that was sweet for the owners and bittersweet for workers. The talk will cover many aspects of the industry including employers, workers, conditions that affected the industry and a lot more. The emphasis will be around 1800-1900 when the industry was booming. Convenor: Pauline Kettle. Bookings essential. $10 ($15 non-members).
  • Tuesday 22 November (8.00pm - 9.00pm) - Webinar - Irish records in Findmypast
    Irish research has traditionally been known as quite a difficult area. This is largely due to scarcity of some key records, many of which were destroyed during the Irish Civil War. Findmypast has the largest collection of Irish records online and Myko will lead you through some of the most useful records. Presenter: Myko Clelland. Bookings essential. $12 members only.
  • Saturday 26 November (10.30am - 12.30pm) - Reunion for Mac Software Group
    Reunion for Mac is a popular program used by people who have Apple computers. It operates on desktops, laptops, smart phones and iPads. Participants are encouraged to bring their own devices. Convenor: Philippa Garnsey. Bookings essential. $10 ($15 non-members).
  • Saturday 26 November (1.30pm - 3.30pm) - The Master Genealogist Software Group
    This will be a practical session for users of The Master Genealogist software package, and will also provide an opportunity to look at the Family Historian genealogy software package. Bring along your laptops, your questions, and your tips to share with other users for both TMG, Family Historian, and converting from one to the other. Convenor: Sue Dobson. Bookings essential. $10 ($15 non-members).

State Records South Australia

The State Records South Australia website has added some new records including digitised passenger lists from 1847 to parts of 1855 (more to be added). The images are the official passenger lists of the ships and typically give passengers' names, ages, occupation and marital status while some give country of origin.

The site also contains many indexes which may assist researchers in locating and discovering more about the lives of their early South Australian ancestors. These indexes include Colonial Secretary's correspondence from 1836 onwards, registers of prisoners in gaol from 1838, admission registers for Adelaide Hospital dating from 1840 and indexes of assisted passengers in the late 1800s and early 1900s as well as many more. A wide range of fact sheets to assist you in identifying records available at the State Records are also available on 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 will calculate the correct postage fees according to the weight of your order.

Buried Treasure - $15.00
What’s in the English parish chest. This book examines all the records created by parish officials for the civil and religious administrations of the English parish. Here is a practical guide that will help family researchers solve their problems, and put them into historical context. This small volume is full of material for both the beginner and the experienced researcher. It is a well-illustrated guide to the contents of the English parish chest that allows any researcher to go way beyond the baptism, marriage and burial registers commonly used for parish research. Softcover, A5, 60 pages. Paul Milner, Unlock The Past Series 2015. [More detail]

Evidence! - $42.00
Citation & Analysis for the Family Historian. This book provides a common ground upon which all can meet, speak the same language, and share their results - reliably. Clearly and simply, this books explains genealogical standards for citation and analysis - then provides over 300 models for citing conventional and online materials common to family history. Hardcover book, 24cm, 124 pages. Elizabeth Shown Mills, Genealogical Publishing Company, Baltimore, Maryland 1997. [More detail]

NEW - 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. Historical Research Using British Newspapers provides plenty of practical advice. Softcover, 23cm, 192 pages. Denise Bates, Pen & Sword 2016. [More detail]

NEW - Tracing Your Ancestors through Local History Records - $36.00
In a series of concise and informative chapters, Jonathan Oates looks at the origins and importance of local history from the sixteenth century onwards and at the principal archives – national and local, those kept by government, councils, boroughs, museums, parishes, schools and clubs. He also explains how books, photographs and other illustrations, newspapers, maps, directories, and a range of other resources can be accessed and interpreted and how they can help to fill a gap in your knowledge. Softcover, 23cm, 168 pages. Jonathan Oates, Pen & Sword 2016. [More detail]

NEW - Tracing Your Ancestors in County Records - $39.00
The wide range of surviving county records deserve to be better known and more widely used, and Stuart Raymond's book is a fascinating introduction to them. Softcover, 23cm, 216 pages. Stuart A Raymond, Pen & Sword 2016. [More detail]

NEW - Tracing Your Trade & Craftsman Ancestors - $39.00
Almost all of us have a tradesman or craftsman – a butcher, baker or candlestick maker – somewhere in our ancestry, and Adèle Emm's handbook is the perfect guide to finding out about them – about their lives, their work and the world they lived in. She introduces the many trades and crafts, looks at their practices and long traditions, and identifies and explains the many sources you can go to in order to discover more about them and their families. Softcover, 23cm, 224 pages. Adele Emm, Pen & Sword 2013. [More detail]


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© Society of Australian Genealogists 2016 - all rights reserved
Any feedback or enquiries regarding this newsletter should be directed to the editor: Lisa Watson. Items for inclusion are also welcome.