Society of Australian Genealogists


September 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 

  • Congress 2018 - Call for Speakers closing soon
  • Can you help put a name to the unidentified Australian soldiers buried in Fromelles?


  • What's on in October


  • England's Immigrants



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

  • NEW - Pubs and Publicans in NSW 1860-1900 CD or USB
  • NEW - Caroline's Diary, A woman's world in colonial Australia
  • NEW - Writing Interesting Family Histories
  • NEW - Writing and Publishing Gripping Family Histories
  • NEW - A Beginner's Guide to British and Irish Genealogy


  • Subscribe or alter your subscription to these newsletters

Congress 2018 - Call for Speakers closing soon

Don’t forget you have until 31 October to put in your proposals to speak at the 2018 Congress which the SAG is hosting in Sydney. We’re looking for fresh faces, new presentations and great ideas. You can find out more here in our Speaker Pack here.

Can you help put a name to the unidentified Australian soldiers buried in Fromelles?

The Fromelles Association of Australia helps the Australian Army identify soldiers lying in unmarked graves in the Pheasant Wood Military Cemetery in Fromelles. Volunteers do this by creating a family tree of each soldier and identifying a living family member willing to donate the requisite DNA so that these can be matched with DNA from remains found in Pheasant Wood. The work is time consuming and frequently difficult, given that many of the young WWI soldiers gave false information on their enlistment papers or left few records behind.

The Association would be delighted to hear from any researcher who would be willing to volunteer to assist with its work – to find out more see their facebook page or via the Australian Army website.

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.

  • Tuesday 4 October (10.00am - 3.15pm) - The New Family Tree Maker - HURRY - Bookings about to close!
    Confused about what’s happening with FTM? Not sure how the move from Ancestry to Software MacKiev affects your FTM files? Should you upgrade your software? Will the new FTM still sync with your Ancestry tree? How do the changes affect trees linked to Ancestry DNA? These and many more FTM topics will be covered in this one day seminar. Presented jointly by the Society of Australian Genealogists and VicGUM. Bookings essential. $60 for SAG/VicGUM members ($75 non-members). Includes morning tea and a light sandwich lunch.
  • Thursday 6 October (9.00am - 10.00am) - Free Library Tour - Where Do I Start at the SAG Library?
    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? Limit 10. Tour Leader: Lorraine Brothers, SAG Librarian. Bookings Essential. Free and restricted to SAG members.
  • Saturday 8 October (10.30am - 12.30pm) - Obscure place names and parish maps (NSW)
    This session will discuss how to locate that obscure place name that you have been searching for and then search for and download Parish maps. It will cover using the HLRV (Historic Land Records Viewer) where you can view Parish Maps and how to Print or Download the selected Parish map to your computer. Presenter: Jeff Madsen. Bookings essential. $22 ($35 non-members).
  • Tuesday 11 October (8.00pm - 9.30pm) - Webinar - Researching your Tasmanian family history
    Learn about the key resources and repositories (including those online) for Tasmanian family history research. Presenter: Dr Dianne Snowden. Bookings essential. $12 members only.
  • Wednesday 12 October (8.00am - 4.00pm) - Tour of State Records NSW, Kingswood - BOOKED OUT!
  • Thursday 13 October (10.30am - 12.30pm) - Writing Discussion Group - Writing local history
    Linda Emery is an award-winning Southern Highlands historian who's written pictorial histories of the Southern Highlands and Hunters Hill as well as other books on Exeter, Oxley College Bowral and Sutton Forest cemetery. Bookings essential. $10 ($15 non-members).
  • Friday 14 October (10.00am - 1.00pm) - Hands On @379 - London and Middlesex - BOOKED OUT!
  • Saturday 15 October (10.30am - 12.30pm) - Legacy Software User Group
    Discover ways to maximise the benefits of this family history software program. Learn from others, share tips and ask questions. Convenor: Bev Hyssett. Bookings essential. $10 ($15 non-members).
  • Thursday 20 October (10.00am - 3.00pm) - Introduction to Family History
    If the August webinar was not enough for you, this full day session will give you much more detail! This session will suit both absolute beginners and anyone who needs a refresher or guidance. Learn how to get started and the basics of research. Get hints on strategies, tools and record collections. Presenter: Judy Keena. Bookings essential. $45 ($70 non-members). MOrning and afternoon tea provided. BYO lunch.
  • Saturday 22 October (10.30am - 12.30pm) - Victorian way of death
    Studying how cultures deal with death reveals a lot about family life, social life and the records that people may have left behind that will help your family history. The Victorians developed a unique approach to celebrating death through elaborate funerals and the garden cemetery movement of the 19thC. Learn about stylistic development, imagery, symbolism and more! Convenor: Stephen Palmer. Bookings essential. $22 ($35 non-members).
  • Wednesday 26 October (10.30am - 12.30pm) - Ralph's walking tour of Miller's Point
    Walk in the steps of the convict stonemasons, millers, sea captains and merchants of Millers Point. See the history and hear the stories of Sydney’s colourful past. Limit 15. Tour leader: Ralph Hawkins. Bookings essential. $30 ($45 non-members).
  • Saturday 29 October (9.00am - 1.00pm) - Exploring the Hawkesbury region
    Explore the history and families of the Hawkesbury region. Share your stories and discover the wonderful collections of the Hawkesbury local studies library. Limit 20. Location: Hawkesbury local studies library, Windsor. You will need to organise your own transport. Tour leader: Danielle Lautrec. Bookings essential. $45 ($70 non-members).

England's Immigrants

The England's Immigrants 1330-1550 website is a fully searchable database containing over 64,000 names of people known to have migrated to England between 1330 and 1550. The site contains a search facility as well as the ability to browse the names and refine by date, nationality, origin and more. Database entries include details of the original document from where the information was taken. Additional information on the site aimed at teachers but which may also be of interest to genealogists include podcasts on the period covered by the database and links to further reading.


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.

NEW - Pubs and Publicans in NSW 1860-1900 CD or USB - $30.00

Searchable database of more than 112,000 entries, giving details of over 26,000 publicans and 8,500 hotels across NSW. Includes mini biographies of over 3,000 publicans. Searchable by given name and surname of the publican, hotel name, location and the year of the licence. [More detail - CD version, More detail - USB version]

NEW - Caroline's Diary, A woman's world in colonial Australia - $35.00

The Society has a number of Caroline Husband’s diaries in its manuscript collection, and Heather Garnsey spoke about these papers at the recent NSW State Conference in Camden. Caroline and her family arrived on the General Hewitt in 1852 and had associations with Saumarez Homestead at Armidale and historic Wivenhoe at Camden. Caroline’s Diary gives a fascinating insight into what life was like for a young woman emigrating from London to Sydney in the 1850s. Softcover, 21cm, 269 pages. Anne Philp, Anchor Books, September 2015. [More detail]

NEW - Writing Interesting Family Histories - $22.00

Keen to write an engaging family history? Stuck with little more than names and dates? Uncertain how to begin? Writing Interesting Family Histories is a must-read. With advice ranging from how you can structure a simple family history and begin writing, through to how you can use simple words and sentences to evoke drama and tension, this book will help turn your dusty piles of notes and photocopies into a riveting family history. Index, A5, 130 pages, perfect binding. Carol Baxter, St Ives NSW, third edition, 2016. [More detail]

NEW - Writing and Publishing Gripping Family Histories - $22.00

Carol Baxter has proven with her internationally-acclaimed, award-winning popular histories that history can be ‘as lively and readable as a crime novel’ (The Times, London). She began the journey of showing genealogists how to transform dry facts into interesting narrative in Writing Interesting Family Histories. She goes one step further in the long-awaited companion volume, Writing and Publishing Gripping Family Histories. Softcover, A5, 140 pages, perfect binding. Carol Baxter, St Ives NSW, Third Edition, 2016. [More detail]

NEW - A Beginner's Guide to British and Irish Genealogy - $16.00

In this Unlock the Past guide, genealogist Chris Paton takes you through the key record sets that will help you get underway with your family history research. He will introduce you to the family history societies and archives that can assist your efforts, and provide a little context to the ancestral landscape within which your ancestors once lived, and into which you will soon be immersed. Along the way he will point out some of the major differences in record types to be found in England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland, and the Crown Dependencies of the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man. Softcover, A5, 72 pages. Chris Paton, Unlock The Past Series, 2016 [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.