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 

September 2014

SAG coat of arms

  • Lost In... Seminar
  • Update to NSW BDM site
  • NSW Probate Notices now online


  • What's on in October


  • Scottish Valuation Rolls for 1875
  • Indexes to UK Probate Records



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

  • NEW - Colonial Duchesses
  • NEW - The Kerry Girls
  • SALE - Up to 50% off ABGR and AGCI


  • Subscribe or alter your subscription to these newsletters

Lost In... Seminar

The Society's Annual Lost In... seminar will be held at the State Library of NSW on Saturday 1 and Sunday 2 November. This year's theme is 'Lost in' All Your 'Stuff' and a variety of experts will take you through what to do with all the family history material you've collected over the years, and the best ways to "pass it on".

For more information see the full program here. Bookings essential by 27 October - $110 Members, $125 Non-members (includes teas, BYO lunch). Book online or phone (02) 9247 3953.

Update to NSW BDM site

On 17 September, the NSW Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages made a range of system improvements to their Family History search facility in response to feedback they had received about the facility since its launch.

Changes made to the search form include defaulting the 'Date of Event Range' field to 'Yes' (whereas previously the default was to search by an exact date), making spouse name non-mandatory in a marriage search and a new field has been added, 'search by number only' which allows a search by registration number.

A number of behind the scenes improvements have also been made to the search engine to resolve a number of known issues. Further improvements to the site are expected shortly including the inclusion of the volume number in search results.

NSW Probate Notices now online

We all recognise that newspapers are not what they once were, and from January of last year the requirement that Probate Notices were published in the newspaper ceased. While some may still choose to publish a notice in the paper, it is now a requirement of the Supreme Court of NSW that they appear on its website. While the site is quite new, this is going to be an extremely useful tool for family historians to check for recent deaths in NSW. The easiest address to use for the site is:

You can enter quite a broad search (for example a surname) and the results screen will show you the full name of the deceased, their location, date of death and date that the application for probate was lodged. Clicking on their name (which is hyperlinked) opens a new screen which shows who applied for Probate, Letters of Administration etc.

Although you don’t get additional information such as the occupation of the deceased, at least you get an indication of where they lived and the exact date of death. You can also search by a place or postcode rather than name. In time it is likely to become a useful free site for checking deaths in NSW, so it’s one to add to your favourites list! Remember too it records applications for probate which occurred after 21 January 2013 and the death may have occurred much earlier; in one example we found the death actually occurred in 1979.

CALENDAR - October

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 9 October (10.30am - 12.30pm) - Writing Discussion Group - October - BOOKED OUT!
  • Saturday 11 October (10.30am - 12.30pm) - Researching & Understanding Convicts in NSW
    Get past your convict ‘wall’. This session will help researchers to understand the convict system in NSW. Topics will include convict assignment to settlers; employment in government work gangs; secondary punishment in iron gangs; an overview of emancipation; records such as tickets-of-leave and ticket-of-leave passports. Presenter: Brian Walsh. Bookings Essential. $20 ($30 non-members).
  • Saturday 11 October (1.30pm - 3.30pm) - Luck of the Irish
    The ‘luck of the Irish’ was chronic bad luck, as their sad history attests. Babette Smith will discuss her research into the lives of Irish convicts. Most of these convicts were assigned to work on farms or in businesses, building a better life than they could have experienced in Ireland Presenter: Babette Smith. Bookings Essential. $20 ($30 non-members).
  • Thursday 16 October (10.30am - 4.00pm) - Tour - Historic Millers Point Walking Tour - BOOKED OUT!
  • Thursday 16 October (8.00pm - 9.00pm AEST) - Webinar - Tracing Tasmanian Convicts
    Join Dr Dianne Snowden, an expert on Tasmanian research, as she explains the records and resources available for tracing your Tasmanian convict ancestor. Bookings essential and limited to SAG members only. Price $10.00.
  • Saturday 18 October (10.30am - 12.30pm) - Stepping Ashore: Researching Passenger Arrivals
    Discovering exactly when our ancestors arrived can challenge even the most determined researcher. This presentation will look at the range of shipping and immigration indexes and records and offer suggestions on how find an answer to the question – when did they get here? Presenter: Christine Yeats. Bookings Essential. $20 ($30 non-members).
  • Wednesday 22 October (8.00pm - 9.00pm AEST) - Webinar - Australian War Memorial
    Join Robyn Van Dyk, Head of the War Memorial's Research Centre, as she explains how the Memorial's extensive archives and manuscripts collections can help with your research. Don't miss it! Bookings essential and limited to SAG members only. Price $10.00.
  • Saturday 25 October (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 25 October (10.30am - 12.30pm) - Using Legacy Software
    An informal meeting of current and potential Legacy users to exchange information, ideas and techniques. Bring your questions and laptop. This is the inaugural meeting for Legacy users or those considering this software. Come along and share ideas and learn more about how Legacy can help in recording and presenting your research. Facilitator – Bev Hyssett. Bookings essential. $8 ($12 non-members).
  • Thursday 30 October (10.30am - 12.00pm) - Tour - National Art School - old Darlinghurst Gaol - BOOKED OUT!
  • Friday 31 October (10.00am - 1.00pm) - Hands On - Irish Counties - Tipperaray - BOOKED OUT!
  • Friday 31 October (1.15pm - 4.15pm) - Hands On - Irish Counties - Tipperaray - pm repeat
    Join us at 379 Kent St for this session highlighting selected online sources and other material available for Tipperary, and where it can be found in the SAG Library. The session includes an hour of research time at the Library to consult the country records that have been featured. Presenters - Joan Healy & Philippa Garnsey. Bookings Essential. $30 ($45 non-members).

Scottish Valuation Rolls for 1875

The Valuation Rolls (VRs) for 1875 are now available on the ScotlandsPeople website. For the first time, the index is free to search and can be browsed free of charge until the 31st December 2014. The Valuation Rolls allow searches for property owners, tenants and occupiers across the whole of Scotland and often reveal valuable information about the inter-census years. All of the Rolls are fully searchable by name and address.

Indexes to UK Probate Records

The Recent Indexes to English, Welsh, Scottish and Irish Probate Records provides details of probate indexes available by country and county published over the last 12 years. Where these indexes are available online, links are provided to the relevant websites.


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.

NEW - Colonial Duchesses - $34.95

The Migration of Irish women to New South Wales before the Great Famine. In just two years, 750 young Irish women sailed from Cork to Sydney on the Duchess of Northumberland in 1834 and again in 1836 the James Pattison in 1835. For the women who took the courageous decision to emigrate, the pain of leaving Ireland was mixed with the excitement of forging a new life in the colony of New South Wales. Softcover, A5, 192 pages. Elizabeth Rushen, Anchor Books 2014. [More detail]

NEW - The Kerry Girls - $32.00

Emigration and the Earl Grey Scheme. The true story of the Kerry girls who were shipped to Australia from the four Kerry Workhouses of Dingle/Kenmare/Killarney and Listowel in 1849/1850. Softcover book, 23cm, indexed, 192 pages. Kay Moloney Caball, The History Press Ireland, 2014. [More detail]

SALE - up to 50% off

Australian Biographical & Genealogical Records (ABGRs)
The ABGR was established by SAG in 1982 to coordinate and compile biographical and genealogical details about early Australians. These include:
ABGR Volume 1 of Series 2 - $15
ABGR Volume 2 of Series 2 - $15
1800-1802 Musters & Lists – NSW & Norfolk Island - $15
1805-1806 Musters of NSW & Norfolk Island - $15
1822 General Muster & Land and Stock Muster of NSW - $25
1823, 1824, 1825 General Muster List of NSW - $25

Australasian Genealogical Computer Index CDs (AGCI) $20 each
Fully searchable - the databases show name, date, place, event and source of the information.
Volume 2: A comprehensive name index to the New South Wales Government Gazettes, 1832-1863 - over 830,000 entries.
Volumes 3 and 4: Names indexed from the collections of the SAG as well as other Australian family history societies and libraries.

[More detail]


Have you got friends or relatives who've expressed an interest in family history? Why not give them a nudge to join SAG? Go on, forward this email to them!

If you've been forwarded this email by a friend or relative and have at last been inspired to explore your family's history and want to subscribe, just complete this form and we'll be glad to subscribe you to future newsletters.

Your privacy is assured - we will not pass your email address to any other organisation.

You can also get more detail about becoming a member of the SAG.

You'll also find links to unsubscribe or change your details if you click here. You can also unsubscribe by clicking on the link at the very bottom of this newsletter.

© 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.