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 2015

SAG coat of arms

  • Lost in 2015


  • What's on in October


  • Dublin Presbyterian Colporteur's Notebook 1875
  • UK National Archives - Imperial Prisoner of War records



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

  • Under the Colony's Eye
  • Guide to Convict Transportation Lists Part 1
  • Guide to Convict Transportation Lists Part 2
  • What was the Voyage Really Like?
  • Discover Your Sporting Ancestors
  • Irish Family History Resources Online


  • Subscribe or alter your subscription to these newsletters

Lost in 2015

This year our annual weekend ‘Lost In’ is coming to you. Lost In How to Do Your Family History in 2015 will provide a weekend of webinars, competitions, discussions and online activities. All of the webinars will be recorded, so if you are not able to watch them live, you can catch up later at a time that suits you. The fee also includes all handouts. This event is designed to help you get your family history research organised and on track for 2016, and will cover topics such as online searching, photographs, organising and preserving your family history, and much more!

So keep the weekend of Saturday 7 and Sunday 8 November as free as you can – and look out for more information here.

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 8 October (10.30am - 12.30pm) - Writing Discussion Group - Blogging for Genealogy - BOOKED OUT!
  • Friday 9 October (10.30am - 12.30pm) - Hands On Computers - Ancestry
    Put your knowledge into practice. Use the databases and search facilities of this popular online geneealogical site under the guidance of an experienced researcher. Location: 2/379 Kent Street Sydney. Session leader: Judy Keena. Bookings essential & limited to 14. $30 ($45 non-members).
  • Saturday 10 October (10.30am - 12.30pm) - Records of the English & Welsh Parish Chest
    Parish chest records reflect the lives of our ancestors up to the mid-19th century and can be an excellent supplement to parish registers. This session will include coverage of Overseer of the Poor accounts, settlement and removal certificates, bastardy documents, constables' accounts and local land and tax records. Presenter: Jeremy Palmer. Bookings essential. $20 ($30 non-members).
  • Wednesday 13 October (8.00pm - 9.00pm) - Webinar - Tracing Your Cornish Ancestors
    Join Cornish expert David Holman for an overview of online soures and other material to help you trace your Cornish ancestors. Bookings essential. $10. SAG Members only.
  • Thursday 15 October (10.00am) - Free Library Tour
    Join us for a tour of the SAG library at 2/379 Kent Street. Learn about its layout and the services offered, what it contains and how best to access it. Why not stay on afterwards and do some research and put into practice what you've just been shown? Location: 2/379 Kent Street Sydney. Tour Leader: Lorraine Brothers, SAG Librarian Bookings essential: Free and restricted to SAG members.
  • Friday 16 October (10.30am - 12.30pm) - Hands On Computers - Google and other search engines
    Become a power user of the internet! Learn advanced search techniques to refine your searches and get the results that you want. Use features such as phrase search, Boolean and reverse image search. Bookings essential. $30 ($45 non-members).
  • Saturday 17 October (10.30am - 12.30pm) - Making the most out of a visit to State Records
    Recommended for researchers attending the SAG visit to State Records NSW (Kingswood) on 30 October, or others preparing to visit State Records. Presenter: Gail Davis (SRNSW). Bookings essential. $20 ($30 non-members).
  • Thursday 22 October (10.30am - 12.30pm) - External Tour - Ralph's Walking Tour of Millers Point - BOOKED OUT!
  • Saturday 24 October (10.00am - 3.30pm) - Problem Solving Skills for family historians
    Got a brick wall or two in your family history? Learn how to organise and analyse your information to help solve those tricky research problems. Then apply the techniques to actual case studies. Presenters: Danielle Lautrec & Judy Keena. Bookings essential. $40 ($55 non-members).
  • Thursday 29 October (10.30am - 12.30pm) - Parramatta - Exploring SAG's Pictorial Collection
    Learn about the history of early Parramatta while also exploring how SAG's amazing pictorial collection can add value to your family history research. Presenter: Ralph Hawkins. Bookings essential. $20 ($30 non-members).
  • Friday 30 October (8.00am - 4.00pm) - Bus Trip to State Records NSW - Kingswood
    Take the opportunity to research your family history, take a 'Behind the Scenes' tour and view the exhibitions. Participants will need a reader's ticket and can pre-order up to four records one week ahead of the visit online. On 17 October we are running a lecture by State Records staff on Making the Most out of a Visit to State Records which tour participants will find helpful. The bus will pick up and drop off at Richmond Villa, 120 Kent Street Sydney and will also make a stop at Strathfield Station if required. Please confirm which of these locations you will use when booking. BYO lunch - there are no facilities for purchasing food at this repository but there is a small lunchroom equipped with microwave which you can utilise. . Bookings essential. $40 (SAG members only).

Dublin Presbyterian Colporteur's Notebook 1875

The Irish Genealogical Research Society, in collaboration with Clontarf & Scots Presbyterian congregation, has launched a new database of scanned images from the Dublin Presbyterian Colporteur's Notebook which dates from 1875.

The Notebook was compiled during 1875 by a missionary-colporteur, William Malone. He travelled through the streets of Dublin between the two canals jotting biographical notes on approximately 10,000 inner-city Dublin protestants. The Notebook contains details of ordinary families including their occupations, education, number of children and places of origin with asides about their openness to the reformed religion.

UK National Archives - Imperial Prisoner of War records

In 1945, 37,583 British and Commonwealth soldiers were released from Japanese captivity and Forces War Records has their details. The original source of these records is National Archive reference WO392/23-26 'British Prisoners of War Held in Japan or Japanese-Occupied Territory'.

The collection was compiled by the Directorate for Prisoners of War and lists the soldiers, along with the occasional civilian. Prisoners were only obliged to provide their name, rank and number so the amount of military information is limited, however the records do include the date of capture, the camp in which they were held and the date of liberation, be that through release, escape or death.

You can search the records at however please note that this is a subscription based site and you will need to subscribe to view any records.


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 on our new bookshop website will calculate the correct postage fees according to the weight of your order.

Under the Colony's Eye - $35.00

Gentlemen and Convicts on Cockatoo Island 1839-1869. Reviewed in the September issue of Descent. This beautifully written book tells the story of the penal settlement on Cockatoo Island, the struggle to build a dock and an autocratic superintendent who turned the island into a secret gentleman’s fight club with his bare-knuckle prize-fighting convicts. Softcover, indexed, 196 pages, 25cm. Sue Castrique, Anchor Books Australia, 2014. [More detail]

Guide to Convict Transportation Lists Part 1 - $14.00

Between 1787 and 1812, 88 ships sailed for Australia carrying convicts sentenced to transportation. Even though many different lists of transported convicts have survived, few actually identify all those who embarked, sailed, died, escaped, or disembarked in Australia. So how do researchers know who actually came to Australia? And if different lists contain different trial or personal details or even ship of arrival for a transportee, how do researchers know which is more likely to be accurate?

Carol Baxter's 'Guide to Convict Transportations Lists Part 1: 1787-1800 and Part 2 1801-1812 were prepared while she was editing the convict indents database 'Convicts to New South Wales 1787-1812' which was published on CD for the Society of Australian Genealogists. These guides, however have never previously been published. This Part 1 volume contains a ship-by-ship analysis of the surviving transportation lists as well as her conclusions regarding the preparation of the lists and the likely number of transportees on each vessel. It is an important resource for those interested in the early years of convict transportation to Australia. Softcover, A5, 60 pages. Carol Baxter, Unlock The Past Series 2015. [More detail]

Guide to Convict Transportation Lists Part 2 - $12.00

This Part 2 volume covering the time period 1801-1812 is a continuation of the earlier volume which covered ships up to 1800, and gives a ship-by-ship analysis of the surviving transportation lists as well as her conclusions regarding the preparation of the lists and the likely number of transportees on each vessel. It is an important resource for those interested in the early years of convict transportation to Australia. Softcover, A5, 60 pages. Carol Baxter, Unlock The Past Series 2015. [More detail]

What was the Voyage Really Like? - $13.00

Discovering when and how an ancestor arrived in Australia is the ambition of every family historian. In the majority of instances it is now relatively simple, as archives have been indexing passenger lists over the last few decades and many have put those indexes up on their websites and made them freely available.

Written as an expanded version of a talk that the author gives, this is an excellent up-to-date guide on the topic of researching "Convict and Immigrant Voyages to Australia and New Zealand". First released in 2010, this second edition has been revised and updated. Softcover, A5, 43 pages. Shauna Hicks, Unlock The Past Series 2015. [More detail]

Discover Your Sporting Ancestors - $14.00

Many communities had a local cricket, football or other sporting team and in some cases memorabilia and/or photographs have been handed down to alert us to an ancestor's involvement in a sporting activity. This guide shows you where to look for more information and how to make the most of searching websites, newspapers, original records and published sources. Softcover, A5, 54 pages. Shauna Hicks, Unlock The Past Series 2015. [More detail]

Irish Family History Resources Online - $19.50

There is a popular belief that Irish family history research is virtually impossible because 'all the records were burned in the civil war'. But as Northern Irish born family historian Chris Paton demonstrates, the glass is most definitely half full rather than half empty when it comes to research in the Emerald Isle. Many records still exist which can help with your ancestral pursuits, and for those unable to make their way to Ireland to carry out research, the internet is finally coming to the rescue, as more and more material is increasingly finding it's way online by the day. Second edition, softcover book, A5, 64 pages. Chris Paton, Unlock the Past, 2015. [More detail]


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© Society of Australian Genealogists 2015 - all rights reserved
Any feedback or enquiries regarding this newsletter should be directed to the editor: Lisa Watson. Items for inclusion are also welcome.