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RESEARCH & SOFTWARE GROUPS


Anyone can attend our research and software groups, but members enjoy a discounted price. You do not need to 'join' a group - you just book for their meetings when you want to attend. All our group meetings are currently virtual using the Zoom platform. Pre-registration is essential in order to receive the link to log into a meeting. If paying online via PayPal, registration is available up until the time the meeting commences.

To find out when the groups are meeting next, see the Events Calendar or scroll to the bottom of this page. 


The Aotearoa New Zealand Research Group meets twice a year to assist members who are tracing their New Zealand ancestry. The convenor is Pauline Weeks and she can be contacted here


The Caribbean Research Group is for people researching family history with a connection to the Caribbean. A list of places within the Caribbean is available on the FamilySearch wiki.

The research group meets about 3-4 times a year. You can become a member of the group just by attending our meetings. Once you do this, you are then welcome to submit stories, articles, photos, or resources to be added to the group’s website. If you are not sure whether your material is suitable, contact us through the Contact page of the website.

CHINESE AUSTRALIAN RESEARCH GROUP

Information about this group will be updated soon.
The Colonial Australia Research Group meets to discuss research on families arriving in any part of Australia between 1788 and 1901. All are welcome to attend our meetings.

This group meets 4 times per year.


The first SAG DNA Research Group was established in 2015 to assist Society members to increase their knowledge of DNA research. Since that time it has covered a variety of topics that set the foundation skills for group members. The Society has developed a range of activities aimed at the wide spectrum of needs, from those just wanting to know what DNA is all about, to the advanced user. We now have two DNA Research Groups – Tools in practice for the intermediate level researcher and Research Discussion Group for those using advanced genetic genealogy techniques.

Click here to read information to assist you in deciding which DNA Group is right for you.

The English Research Group is an opportunity to meet with others who have ancestors from any of England's many counties, or just have a research interest in England. Discuss research strategies and resources, and swap ideas and knowledge.

This group is suitable for beginners through to those with many years researching experience. The research group meets about 3-4 times a year. You can become a member of the group just by attending our meetings. Newcomers are always welcome!

The group is co-ordinated by Linda, Annesley and Diana. You can submit a question to the group in advance of a meeting by clicking here

The FTM User Group meets to support those who use Family Tree Maker software to organise their genealogical research. The program was owned by Ancestry.com until March 2016 when it was taken over by Software MacKiev. The group is facilitated by volunteers who are willing to share their knowledge and experiences. Everyone is welcome, whether you are a potential, new or long term user of FTM software.

Our focus group supports members with two main initiatives.

1.      Meetings
These occur four times a year. Currently, these meetings are scheduled in February, May, August and November. These interactive meetings consist of presentations on techniques, tips, hints and experiences in using the many and varied features of the program. These are discussion-led sessions and there is plenty of time dedicated to questions and answers (Q&A).  The focus is on the current version of the software. However, users of older versions are welcomed and encouraged. Every effort is made to answer questions within the context of the version to which the query relates.

2.      Online discussion board
Access by invitation only (for security and privacy), members can post questions, seek answers, make suggestions and obtain support.  Fellow members can offer answers and suggestions based on their own experiences, or a member can simply read posts of others. Previous Q&As on various topics can be searched.

You can join by emailing your full name, SAG membership number and expiry date.

If you already have DNA chromosome analysis skills and are using the GDAT database tool to manage your DNA information, you might wish to join our new user group.  SAG user groups are aimed at ‘members helping members’ so this is a collaborative working group aimed at sharing information and knowledge.  You must be a SAG member to join this group.

Sessions will include a short presentation on a specified topic identified by the group, followed by discussion between group members, then round table Q&A regarding the product.


The Irish Research Group is an opportunity to meet with others who have ancestors from either the Republic of Ireland or Northern Ireland (maybe you have both) or just have a research interest in an aspect of Irish records. Discuss research strategies and resources, swap ideas and knowledge.

This group is suitable for beginners through to those with many years researching experience. The research group meets about 3-4 times a year. You can become a member of the group by attending any of our meetings. Newcomers are always welcome!

The Legacy User Group is for people who use Legacy Family Tree software and wish to share their knowledge and experience with others. Everyone is welcome whether a new or long term user of this family history software program. Even if you are just considering using Legacy you are welcome to come along.

The focus of the group is to give support to members using Legacy to enter and store family research. At meetings there are presentations on techniques, tips, and hints. All members of the group are encouraged to contribute information which could help others. Time is dedicated to questions and discussion at  every meeting.

Regular meetings are scheduled and details can be found in the Events Calendar.

Reunion is a great genealogy program for Mac users that allows you to easily document and display information about your family. It features a navigable graphic Tree View in the form of an hourglass or ancestor chart, allowing you to navigate to everyone in your tree. It also has a variety of visually appealing, high quality charts and other useful reports, and an outstanding help manual.

The group coordinators Danny O’Neill and Dale Fogarty aim to work collaboratively with its members on how to best use all the features of Reunion and how to resolve any Reunion or Mac-related issues that you may have. We would love to receive any topic suggestions or questions in advance by clicking here  to send an email to the coordinators. Please include your SAG membership number and expiry date of your membership in the email subject line.

Coordinators

Danny O’Neill is with the Canberra family history group FHACT (aka HAGSOC) convening the Digital Asset Management group (DAMSIG) and Reunion and Macintosh Support User Group (RAMSUG). Main interests are in photography, scanning and book designing, and struggles to maintain a large garden. He is retired from careers as a photographer and film archivist, and enjoys helping people where he can. He looks forward to working with Dale and the team in restarting the Reunion group that includes Mac related support, but is not an expert.

Dale Fogarty is a long-time user of Mac and Reunion, who is open to exchanging information and ideas to support our mutual enthusiasm for quality family history research, combining traditional genealogy and DNA approaches, and using a range of tools to organise, analyse and report findings. Dale enjoys working collaboratively, helping and learning from others. Dale is also the convenor of the Irish Interest Group at the Qld Family History Society.

The Scottish Research Group is an opportunity to meet with others who have ancestors from any of Scotland's counties from the highlands and Islands all the way down to the border areas, or just have a research interest in Scotland. Discuss research strategies and resources, and swap ideas and knowledge.
This group is suitable for beginners through to those with many years researching experience. The research group meets about 3-4 times a year. You can become a member of the group just by attending our meetings. Newcomers are always welcome!
Cathie Sherwood and Diana Pecar re-established this group which deals with all things Scottish        research in 2022. This year Cathie has stepped back and Diana will be joined by three new group leads - Sally, Sue and Elizabeth.

TmG  Software Group

The Master Genealogist (or TMG) software allows family historians to fully customise data, reports and charts to suit their own     requirements. It is very flexible and powerful, and can be used by professional genealogists and beginners alike.

Unfortunately development and developer support ceased in 2014, but the software and licences are still available for purchase through an agent. There is a very active Australasian user group known as TMG DOWN UNDER, supported by a large world-wide email network, and associated software to produce GEDCOM, eBooks and websites from TMG data.

The aim of TMG DOWN UNDER is to allow members to exchange information, ideas, and techniques for using TMG and related programs in their family history, through monthly on-line workshops using ZOOM. Group members have different levels of experience with TMG, from many years through to complete novices.

The group operates an email List where questions can be asked and answered, and events publicised.  See the group website here for full information.

The Writing Group formed late in 2013 and meets on a regular basis via Zoom, usually on the second Thursday morning of each month. Meetings consists of a presentation, show & tell, and an open forum for questions and comments.

This is a support/self-help group, not one for expert writers (although we do have a few published authors in our ranks). Our aim is to encourage members to exchange information, ideas, and techniques for writing their family and local histories.

In 2023 The Writing Group is excited to welcome Elizabeth and Emily as the new group leads, following the retirement of the previous lead, Lilian.

This group is new in 2023 and will have it's inaugural meeting on 18 February. Led by Thistle, Larry, Melissa and Suzanne come along and find out how to research your ancestors from the USA & Canada.

Image: Group of men at a party, SAG Manuscript and Image Collection, Item 5/10059


HERE IS A LIST OF THE NEXT GROUP MEETINGS:

Upcoming events

    • 31 Jan 2023
    • 5 Dec 2023
    • 6 sessions
    • Via Zoom
    • 33
    Register

    Ongoing forum for SAG members who have attended the Analysing Your AncestryDNA Course.

    A series of meetings have been planned for participants of the Summer 2022 program (and previous programs) who are interested in continuing to work with each other on developing their skill in "starting to solve their DNA dilemmas".

    FOCUS OF SESSIONS: Changes to the AncestryDNA platform and participants sharing case studies with and without brick walls!

    DURATION: 1.5 hours on Zoom on the first Thursday of alternative months starting on 31 January 2023 from 7.30pm to 9pm -  April, June, August, October, December.

    COST: You need to be a current SAG member to be part of the group. The annual cost (on top of SAG membership) is $30 and this covers the 6 sessions.

    PARTICIPANTS: Open to anyone who have attended the “Analysing your AncestryDNA” program and is a current member of the SAG.

    Group Leader: Christine Woodlands

    • 9 Feb 2023
    • 8 Jun 2023
    • 5 sessions
    • Via Zoom
    • 179
    Register

    The Writing Group

    Why not make 2023 the year you finally start writing about your family history? 

    Come along to The Writing Group and work on your writing skills in a fun and supportive atmosphere. The group meets via Zoom on the second Thursday of each month and has a varied program of activities and speakers designed to help you progress your project/s - whatever style of writing you are interested in!

    The meeting dates covered by this ticket are: 9 February, 9 March, 13 April, 11 May and 8 June.

    Come and join us, new attendees are always welcome.

     If you book part way through the season you will receive a link to the recordings of any sessions you have missed.


    Skill Level: All    

    Group Leads: Elizabeth Capelin & Emily Purser


    Each session will be recorded so you can join live or watch the recording later.


    • 11 Feb 2023
    • 10:30 AM - 12:30 PM
    • Level 2/379 Kent Street Sydney or online via Zoom
    • 289
    Register

    Session Topics:  TBA

    This meeting will be held as a hybrid meeting - which means you can attend face to face or online via Zoom.

    Join other users of this popular family history software program for insights, ideas and opportunities to share tips and ask questions.

    Join Convenor Larry Czarnik and other group members as they lead you through the session.

    Each session includes time for questions and answers.

    For those attending the meeting face to face it will be held in the SAG's Library and Research Centre located at Level 2/379 Kent Street, Sydney.

    Please select whether you intend to attend in person or via Zoom when registering to assist us with our planning.

    Tea, coffee and biscuits will be provided for those attending in person at our library.

    This session will also be recorded for those who are unable to attend live.

    Skill level: All, beginners welcome     Convenor: Larry Czarnik

    • 11 Feb 2023
    • 1:30 PM - 3:30 PM
    • Level 2/379 Kent Street Sydney or online via Zoom
    • 290
    Register

    This meeting will be held as a hybrid meeting - which means you can attend face to face or online via Zoom.

    Join other users of this popular family history software program for insights, ideas and opportunities to share tips and ask questions.

    Join Convenor Larry Czarnik and other group members as they lead you through the session.

    Each session includes time for questions and answers.

    For those attending the meeting face to face it will be held in the SAG's Library and Research Centre located at Level 2/379 Kent Street, Sydney.

    Please select whether you intend to attend in person or via Zoom when registering to assist us with our planning.

    Tea, coffee and biscuits will be provided for those attending in person at our library.

    This session will also be recorded for those who are unable to attend live.

    Skill level: All, beginners welcome     Convenor: Larry Czarnik



    • 18 Feb 2023
    • 12:30 PM - 2:30 PM
    • via Zoom
    • 487
    Register
    Interested in Canadian or USA research? Have you any ancestors from this part of the world?

    Come along and join us as we research our USA and Canadian ancestors in a collaborative, friendly and engaging research group. Be prepared to introduce yourself and briefly talk about where your USA/Canadian ancestors are from and share with the group one burning question.

    We will discuss the recent presentation by Mary Kircher Roddy and Thistle Anderson will present a short case study on Canadian records.

    A link to a brief survey about your areas of interest will be included with your registration confirmation email. Results of the survey will form the basis of topics for future groups meetings.


    Skill level:  All, beginners welcome    

    Leads: Melissa Hulbert, Thistle Anderson, Larry Czarnik & Suzanne Hyde

    This session will be recorded for those who are unable to attend live.


    • 18 Feb 2023
    • 3:00 PM - 5:00 PM
    • via Zoom
    • 481
    Register

    Topic: To Be Confirmed

    Come along and join others with English ancestry or a special interest in  researching an area of England.

    SAG's research groups are welcoming, collaborative environments and are suitable for all levels of research experience. We encourage attendees to share information about their discoveries, research problems and resources they have used.


    This is an online session using the Zoom platform.

    Convenors: Diana Pecar, Linda Radulovitch and Annesley Watson

    Skill level: All 

    • 4 Mar 2023
    • 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
    • Via Zoom
    • 498
    Register

    Topics: Documenting DNA in Legacy


    Legacy Software Users Group meetings provide opportunities for you to extend your knowledge of Legacy features and to share your Legacy experiences. If you are undecided about which family history software program to purchase come along and see what Legacy can offer you. 

    Newcomers and beginners are welcome.

    This session will be held online via the Zoom platform.


    Skill level: All    

    Convenor:  Danielle Lautrec

     

    This session will be recorded so you can join live or watch the recording later. 

    • 18 Mar 2023
    • 10:30 AM - 12:30 PM
    • online via Zoom
    • 293
    Register

    Topic: To Be Confirmed

    The SAG is home to a vibrant community of researchers who are using DNA analysis to further their family history research. If you have test results to work with, understand the basics of genetic genealogy and now want to learn how to use various websites and tools to take things to the next level come along to the DNA Research Group - Tools in Practice to see what can be achieved.

    This meeting will include a presentation and plenty of time for Q&A and group discussion.

    Convenor: TBC

    Skill level: Intermediate  

    This is an online session. It will NOT be recorded due to privacy reasons, so you should only book if you can attend live. 

    • 18 Mar 2023
    • 1:30 PM - 3:30 PM
    • online via Zoom
    • 295
    Register

    Discussion Topic: To Be Confirmed

    Our discussion group provides an opportunity to share your experiences and learn from others.

    This session is a facilitated discussion, it requires pre-work by participants that will be distributed before the meeting. All participants are expected to contribute to the discussion.

    Skill level: Advanced

     Facilitator: TBC

    Please note: The topics and tools discussed at this group are pitched at an advanced level and the Research Discussion Group meetings are not recommended for those just beginning their DNA journey.


    This is an online session. It will NOT be recorded due to privacy reasons, so you should only book if you can attend live.

     

    • 15 Apr 2023
    • 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
    • Via Zoom
    • 497
    Register

    Genealogical DNA Analysis Tool (GDAT) User Group

    If you already have DNA chromosome analysis skills and are using the GDAT database tool to manage your DNA information, you might wish to join our new user group.  SAG user groups are aimed at ‘members helping members’ so this is a collaborative working group aimed at sharing information and knowledge.  You must be a SAG member to join this group.

    Sessions will include a short presentation on a specified topic identified by the group, followed by discussion between group members, then round table Q&A regarding the product.  We will meet on Saturdays at 10.00-12.00 using the Zoom platform.  We won’t be recording the sessions, so you must attend live.

    Important things to note:

    1. Discussion will be focussed on utilising the GDAT software for DNA analysis;
    2. Members must have an understanding of the principles of chromosome analysis before joining the group;
    3. Chromosome analysis questions WILL NOT be discussed, except in the context of using the GDAT product.

    Pre-requisite Knowledge for using GDAT:

    1. Be computer literate;
    2. Have the ability to work with spreadsheets and large data sets;
    3. Have been working with DNA results at GEDmatch, FamilyTree DNA, My Heritage, or 23andMe for over 12 months;
    4. Understand the concepts of chromosome analysis and can apply them in practice, in particular:
      1. Be able to differentiate between shared matches and shared segments;
      2. Be able to interpret when matches are ICW on a segment;
      3. Understand triangulation concepts and how to identify Triangulated Groups at each DNA site.

    Before joining our user group, it is best if you have already:

    * Watched the video and undertaken all the tasks in the Quick Start Guide (Setting up) - https://sites.google.com/view/genealogical-dna-analysis-tool/home/video-tutorials#h.t5ehfiqzxea3

    * Read how the developer (Becky) approaches her DNA analysis, recognising the tool allows for multiple variations - https://drive.google.com/file/d/1iO5BceetmtucroYUJeyWsMSjslV4IQYH/view

    * Set up at least one profile, added a pedigree for that profile and have uploaded segment data from at least one DNA company, such as GEDmatch, FTDNA, 23&Me or My Heritage.  GEDmatch is probably the easiest to start with, utilising Tier 1 tools is recommended for the triangulation report  (but not essential).

    Any issues arising consult the user guide

    https://sites.google.com/view/genealogical-dna-analysis-tool

    If it's not covered in the user guide submit the question for discussion at the next meeting by posting in the SAG GDAT User Group, or if the enquiry is more urgent utilise the Facebook GDAT User group https://www.facebook.com/groups/dnatool


    Skill level: Advanced DNA knowledge    

    Group Lead: Veronica Williams

     This session will not be recorded. Please only register if you are able to attend at the advertised time.

    • 1 Jul 2023
    • 12:30 PM - 2:30 PM
    • via Zoom
    • 500
    Register

    Interested in Canadian or USA research? Have you any ancestors from this part of the world?

    Topic: To be advised

    Come along and join us as we research our USA and Canadian ancestors in a collaborative, friendly and engaging research group. Be prepared to introduce yourself and briefly talk about where your USA/Canadian ancestors are from and share with the group one burning question.

    Skill level:  All, beginners welcome    

    Leads: Melissa Hulbert, Thistle Anderson, Larry Czarnik & Suzanne Hyde

    This session will be recorded for those who are unable to attend live.


    • 14 Oct 2023
    • 12:30 PM - 2:30 PM
    • via Zoom
    • 500
    Register

    Interested in Canadian or USA research? Have you any ancestors from this part of the world?

    Topic: To be advised

    Come along and join us as we research our USA and Canadian ancestors in a collaborative, friendly and engaging research group. Be prepared to introduce yourself and briefly talk about where your USA/Canadian ancestors are from and share with the group one burning question.

    Skill level:  All, beginners welcome    

    Leads: Melissa Hulbert, Thistle Anderson, Larry Czarnik & Suzanne Hyde

    This session will be recorded for those who are unable to attend live.


    • 9 Dec 2023
    • 12:30 PM - 2:30 PM
    • via Zoom
    • 500
    Register
    Interested in Canadian or USA research? Have you any ancestors from this part of the world?

    Topic: To be advised

    Come along and join us as we research our USA and Canadian ancestors in a collaborative, friendly and engaging research group. Be prepared to introduce yourself and briefly talk about where your USA/Canadian ancestors are from and share with the group one burning question.

    Skill level:  All, beginners welcome    

    Leads: Melissa Hulbert, Thistle Anderson, Larry Czarnik & Suzanne Hyde

    This session will be recorded for those who are unable to attend live.


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CONTACT US

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