Society of Australian Genealogists


October 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 

  • We're looking for a new Membership Officer
  • GRO UK PDF Certificates Trial
  • Casting Now - Family Food History Series
  • Webinar Season Ticket - purchase by 10am on 6 November


  • What's on in November


  • Historic Maps of England and Wales



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

  • Handy guide: DNA Genealogy
  • Handy guide: GEDmatch
  • Discover Scottish Land Records - 2nd edition
  • Introduction to German Family History Research
  • Digital Imaging Essentials
  • Flip-Pal Mobile Scanner


  • Subscribe or alter your subscription to these newsletters

We're looking for a new Membership Officer

Sadly our very efficient Membership Officer/Receptionist Michelle Bailey is leaving us shortly for new pastures, so we’re on the lookout for her replacement. This will be a part-time salaried role (Tuesday-Thursday, 9-5) which may also require some Saturdays and is based at Richmond Villa. You’ll need to be an organised person with strong administration and people skills. Please contact Heather Garnsey at if you’d like more details.

GRO UK PDF Certificates Trial

The General Register Office (GRO) has commenced another trial whereby PDF certificates will be available online. The trail began in mid-October and will run for at least three months to enable GRO to assess the demand for this service over a prolonged period.

During the trial the records available for order are births from 1837 to 1916 and deaths from 1837 to 1957. To place an order you must provide the index references. If you don't already have these you can use the GRO's online indexes. Applications for each PDF cost 6 pounds and must be made online. For further information go to their ordering service page.

Casting Now - Family Food History Series

ABC and Warner Bros are looking for an inquisitive diverse family for a historical and culinary adventure. The show will transport the family and home back in time, giving them the chance to experience the last 60 years of Australian history, living each decade first hand, to see what life was like during these different time periods.

Families are sought who have at least two children between the ages of 9 and 15. If you fit this profile, or know someone who does, and would like to apply to be a part of the show, go to or phone 02 9157 1216, or email

Webinar Season Ticket - purchase by 10am on 6 November

The next Webinar Season Ticket is only available until 10am on Monday 6 November. This ticket will give you access to every standard webinar held between November 2017 and January 2018, either live or by watching the recording later. You book and pay once and SAG will set you up in each webinar and send you the confirmation link. In addition you'll get one webinar free - so this quarter you get 5 for the price of 4. The webinars covered this quarter are:

  • Breaking through Scottish brick walls, 8 November
  • Beyond the British Census, 27 November
  • Breaking down brick walls in a creative way, 4 December
  • Irish records, beyond the obvious, 9 January
  • Rookwood stories from beyond the grave, 22 January

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.

  • Friday 3 November (10.30am - 12.30pm) - Hands On @379: Internet Archive - BOOKED OUT!
  • Saturday 4 Nobember & Sunday 5 November (10.30am - 3.00pm) - Lost In - Photographs
    Join us for two days of lectures to help you find, identify and preserve photographs for your family history. Hear about the history of photography, learn how to track down photos in the SAG’s collections and elsewhere, how to edit and restore photographs, and how to identify and date them. Note this event was originally advertised as being held at the NSW State Library but will now be held at Richmond Villa. Bookings essential. $98 ($120 non-members).
  • Wednesday 8 November (10.00am - 11.00am) - Webinar - Breaking through Scottish brick walls
    When you come to what you think is a dead end or a ‘brick wall’ in your Scottish research, step back and take a better look at the documents and what they are telling you about your ancestors. This webinar is primarily for Scottish research after 1855. Christine is a Canadian genealogist who specialises in Scottish research. Presenter: Christine Woodcock. Bookings essential. $12 members only.
  • Thursday 9 November (10.30am - 12.30pm) - Writing Discussion Group - Remembrance Day
    Do you have an interesting war story to share? Write it up and bring it to our meeting, where you’ll have three minutes to read it to us. We promise we won’t judge. Presenter: Sue Stenning. Bookings essential. $10 ($15 non-members).
  • Saturday 11 November (10.30am - 12.30pm) - Family Tree Maker Group
    Join other users of this popular family history software program for insights, ideas and opportunities to share tips and ask questions. Presenter: Larry Czarnik. Bookings essential. $10 ($15 non-members).
  • Saturday 11 November (1.30pm - 3.30pm) - TMG Group
    This meeting is a ‘hands on’ and problem solving time. TMG users (The Master Genealogist) are asked to bring their queries and problems for discussion, and hopefully a solution, by the group. If it is possible, bring your laptop so ideas can be shared during our time together. Presenter: Bruce Fairhall. Bookings essential. $10 ($15 non-members).
  • Wednesday 15 November (10.30am - 12.30pm) - Waverley Cemetery Tour - BOOKED OUT!
  • Thursday 16 November (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? Bookings essential. Free - members only.
  • Thursday 16 November (10.30am - 12.30pm) - On the hunt for gold
    Did your ancestors seek their fortunes on the goldfields of Australia and New Zealand? In this session, you will learn about the migration patterns of your fortune-seeking ancestors and discover resources to help track them down. Presenter: Tiphanee Athans. Bookings essential. $22 ($35 non-members).
  • Saturday 8 November (10.30am - 12.30pm) - New Zealand Research Group: Finding your Irish ancestors in NZ and more
    Why and when did the Irish come to New Zealand and where did they settle? What resources are available to find out about their lives? Also what's new in NZ research? Bring along your NZ ‘brick walls’ to discuss. Join us after the session for lunch nearby. Presenter: Pauline Weeks. Bookings essential. $10 ($15 non-members).
  • Thursday 23 November (10.30am - 12.30pm) - Understanding and evaluating sources
    How do you know that the sources you are using for your family history are trustworthy and accurate? How can you extract the maximum information from a source and use it as evidence for your conclusions? How do you record information about the sources for analysis and citation purposes? This lecture will examine a variety of source types including books, manuscripts, maps, pictures and websites. Presenter: Danielle Lautrec. Bookings essential. $22 ($35 non-members).
  • Saturday 25 November (1.30pm - 3.30pm) - English Research Group: 19thC publicans, victuallers, innkeepers & pub workers
    The English pub was a great watering hole to gain local gossip country wide. The talk will cover those who were licensees and workers, and where to locate records that may enhance the background of the life of an ancestor connected with this trade. A good topic to bring you Christmas cheer! Presenter: Pauline Kettle. Bookings essential. $10 ($15 non-members).
  • Monday 27 November (8.00pm - 9.00pm) - Webinar - Beyond the British Census
    Join Findmypast's British family historian Myko Clelland as we explore how we can go beyond core census records to go further back in time or replace missing records that keep telling our family story. Learn about the many other census surrogates created by our ancestors such as muster rolls, protestation returns, tax records, rate books, electoral and identity registers, trade directories and more - all the way back to the 1600s! Presenter: Myko Clelland. Bookings essential. $12 members only.

Historic Maps of England and Wales

The National Library of Scotland has recently completed a three year project to digitise ordnance survey maps of England and Wales, 1841 - 1952. The maps are free to browse and are detailed with 25 inches to the mile. You can browse the maps as individual sheets using a zoomable map of England and Wales, as a seamless zoomable overlay layer (1890s-1920s) on modern satellite images or as a seamless zoomable layer (1890s-1920s) side by side with modern satellite images. Further information including a guide to abbreviations and conventional signs and writing are included on the page.


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.

Handy guide: DNA Genealogy - $5.00
Inside every cell in our bodies lies a copy of all the genetic material (or DNA) that made and maintain us. We inherited this DNA from our parents, who inherited their DNA from their parents - including the random changes or mutations that distinguish one individual from another. In this handy guide (4 page booklet), genetic genealogist Kerry Farmer covers the types of genealogical DNA tests available, she answers the questions as to why have your DNA tested, lists the DNA testing companies, and has a glossary listing a number of DNA related terms with an easy-to-understand meaning. 4 page A4 booklet, b&w and colour photos, Kerry Farmer, Unlock the Past handy guide, 2017. [More detail]

Handy guide: GEDmatch - $5.00 is a volunteer-run free website providing additional tools for people who have already tested their autosomal DNA at one of the main genetic genealogy testing companies: 23andMe, AncestryDNA, Family Tree DNA (their Family Finder test), Living DNA and MyHeritage. Users create a free account at GEDmatch, then download their DNA raw data from their own account at the testing company and upload that raw data to GEDmatch. This handy guide (4 page booklet), covers the basics from file uploads, to "your DNA resources" (where all the kits you manage are), to analysing your data, and includes a glossary with a bunch of DNA related terminology. There also a learn more section, and further reading suggestions. 4 page A4 booklet, b&w and colour photos, Kerry Farmer, Unlock the Past handy guide, 2017. [More detail]

Discover Scottish Land Records: 2nd edition - $15.00
This updated guide from family historian Chris Paton takes a look at the complicated records concerning land and property based research in Scotland. For centuries property transactions within the country were governed by feudal tenure, a system which was abandoned in England and Wales in the Middle Ages, but which continued in Scotland until 2004. But feudalism was not the only method by which land was held, with Udal Law, duthchas, leasehold and more competing as forms of tenure across the country at different times. Connected with the rules surrounding property transactions were those associated with the inheritance of land and heritable estate, all of which are explained in great detail. From sasines to skat, from retours to precepts of clare constant, and from apparent heirs to heirs apparent, this concise guide will help you get to grips with one of the most exciting and useful topics within Scottish family history. Softcover, A5, 63 pages, 2nd edition, Chris Paton, Unlock The Past Series, 2017. [More detail]

Introduction to German Family History Research - $15.00
Perhaps the biggest hurdle for Australians in researching their family history from Germany, or a German speaking area, is knowing where and how to start. But once you've started you often find that the amount of detail that is available in German records exceeds that of comparable English records. But it’s not all online by any stretch of the imagination, and the reader is reminded of the value of being part of a family history, genealogy or local history organisation, both locally and overseas. Of course the German records are written in German, usually in old German script, but a range of tools exist that will help you to make sense of these. As well there will be more experienced researchers in local societies who would be happy to help as well. Softcover, A5, 66 pages, Erick Kopittke, UnlockThePast Series, 2017. [More detail]

Digital Imaging Essentials - $35.00
Genealogists use digital imaging technology every day with cameras, scanners, saving files, sharing records and so on. But what you do not know about it, can harm your digital treasures. This book fills the need for a comprehensive, easy-to-read guide, with step-by-step instructions and illustrations to learn how to digitize, organise, preserve, share, and backup your digital collections. 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! So if you are ready to take your digital pictures to the next level, go ahead, open the book, and have fun! Softcover, 152 pages, Geoff Rasmussen, Unlock the Past, 2012. [More detail]

Flip-Pal Mobile Scanner - $282.00
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. Store the scans digitally, and then share them with your family or friends. Unlike alternative solutions that don't have the combination of mobility, accuracy, versatility, and keeping the original safe, the Flip-Pal mobile scanner is compact, simple to operate, has high resolution, quick scan time, battery power, cordless - no computer required, and onboard memory, and only weighs less than 1kg, and is the size of a tiny netbook computer. Size - 30.5cm x 23cm x 5cm (12" x 9" x 2"), weight 700g (1.5 pounds). [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.