Online & print magazine of the Society of Australian Genealogists

We’ve been publishing a magazine or journal for members since the Society was founded, and it’s full of wonderful articles on Australian and overseas families, resources and local history. 

All new members are automatically set up to receive the electronic version; if you'd like to change to a print copy just let us know.

Members can search and download all past issues of Descent and The Australian Genealogist  here. (Requires member login)

Subscribe to Descent by becoming a member of the Society.

See details below on contributing to Descent and here are a few of our favourite articles as well as some Descent Extra articles where we will provide some exclusive content to this website .


Descent Extra

As part of our Descent Extra online only content, we will be showcasing SAG activities and updates from the family history sector. In our first feature, Christine Woodlands provides an overview of one of the highlights of our 2021 events calendar, our Meet the Author night with Nathan Dylan Goodwin. 

You can read Christine's article here: Meet the Author - Nathan Dylan Goodwin.

We would like to encourage more of our members to contribute features such as these - thanks Christine, for starting off this new venture! Image of The Mermaid Inn in Rye, East Sussex, England, is via Creative Commons and frequented by characters in the Morton Farrier novel series, not far from the The House with Two Front Doors!

Contributions to descent

The Society welcomes articles for publication in Descent. Preference is given to articles which demonstrate methods, sources and tactics which will help others with their research. Family is about sharing - so we encourage you to share your stories with your fellow Family Historians.

Deadlines - Articles can be submitted at any time to the Editorial Committee by emailing Time sensitive items need to be received by 18th January, 18th April, 18th July, and 18th October for the Autumn (March), Winter (June), Spring (September) and Summer (December) issues respectively


2-3 page articles - 1,000 – 2,000 words although longer articles will be considered. 

1 page articles  700-900 words

Short, filler articles - 100-400 words.

Text - Please submit text as Microsoft Word or RTF file and keep formatting to a minimum. Submit both text and images in digital format, either by email or through the mail on a memory stick. Our designer(s) will lay out your article, but feel free to send a document with embedded images for use as a guide to image placement if you wish, or simply mark with <<>> in the text.

  • Use a simple, active voice to engage the reader. For uncommon or technical words, explain them.
  • Use single not double spaces between words and spaces.
  • Italicise ship’s names, book titles, periodical titles, works of art and technical terms in a foreign language. Italics may also be used for emphasis.
  • Use the long form for dates eg. 28 August 1932.
  • Either Twentieth century or 20th century may be used, but please be consistent within the article.
  • Set Spellcheck to English (Australian), NOT the US default, eg. ise not ize.
  • Write numbers up to ten in full and use Arabic numbering for higher numbers, eg. the list went from one to 56.
  • Use a comma to separate 1,000s.
  • Measurement units are singular and lower case, eg. cm, kg
  • If a footnote is at the end of a sentence, please place the number after the full stop.
  • Please provide a concise biography, a contact email address and a portrait photograph. Please note your biography may be edited.
  • Please ensure you have spell-checked your document before submission.

Photographs and Illustrations These are encouraged and should be sent as separate (not embedded) 300 dpi resolution JPEG files. If you cannot supply an image electronically, good quality copies are accepted for scanning. Original documents and photographs should not be sent as we cannot guarantee their safe return.  Sources and captions should be given. 

Citations Source citations as footnotes or endnotes must be included and set by your word processor program where possible. We encourage the use of citing sources as this will assist other researchers to follow your research leads.  Footnotes will be converted to endnotes to conform to our house style. Please refer to our Referencing Guidelines for more detailed information.

Copyright Clearance Copyright clearance is your responsibility and you must ensure that written and illustrative material does not breach copyright and all sources are correctly acknowledged. 

Copyright The submission for Descent grants the Society the right to publish and the Society holds the copyright in all articles published. A release form will be sent to you if your article is selected for publication. 

Advertising The current rates for advertising in Descent can be found here. Limited assistance in designing your advertisement can be provided for an additional fee. Please direct any enquiries to  


Convicts – with submissions due by 18 Jan for Descent (Conference 13 April) 

Artificial Intelligence – with submissions due 18 April 2024 for Descent (Conference 22 June) 

Gold Rushes (Australia, NZ, USA +) – with submissions due 18 July 2024 for Descent (Conference 17 August) 

Wills and Probate/end of life records – with submissions due 15 October 2024 for Descent (Conference 30 November - date subject to change)

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