Thursday, December 20, 2012

Snitch the Rat let loose to tell the story of gaol’s past

From the Maitland Mercury report:
“Snitch the Rat” has been set loose in the cells helping educate kids inside one of Maitland’s ­historic monuments.
In a fun pitch to educate kids Maitland City Council and the state government launched a new audio tour of Maitland Gaol, featuring the rodent guide, yesterday.

Full article available at Maitland Mercury, Dec. 13, 2012.

On Their Own: Britain’s child migrants

From the 1860s to the 1960s, more than 100,000 British children travelled alone across the world to face new lives.

On Their Own: Britain’s child migrants – now on display at the National Archives in Canberra – tells the emotional story of their fate.

The exhibition explores the government-endorsed schemes and the motivations behind them. Individual stories enable visitors to meet a number of former child migrants and learn about their experiences.

Few of the children were orphans. Many came from poor families who could no longer look after them. Sending them overseas, it was thought, would improve their opportunities while increasing the population of ‘good British stock’ and labour in the colonies.

On Their Own: Britain’s child migrants is a travelling exhibition from the Australian National Maritime Museum, in association with National Museums Liverpool, UK.

Memorial wall idea for historic Morpeth wharf

From the Maitland Mercury article:
Former Maitland alderman Lance Murray wants support for a memorial wall at Morpeth’s historic wharf, using convict hewn stone, remembering early settlers and indigenous peoples.
The wall, if constructed, would stand where some of Maitland’s first migrants came ashore in 1832 aboard the steam ship Sophia Jane and compliment a plaque unveiled during the nation’s 1988 bicentenary celebrations.

Full article available at Maitland Mercury, Dec. 13, 2012.

Renewal over heritage as council approves units

From the Maitland Mercury report:
The renewal of central Maitland took priority over heritage concerns at Maitland City Council last night.

Stars line up to retell Maitland story

From the Maitland Mercury report:
British actor and former professional footballer Vinnie Jones and American actor and playwright Stephen Lang have joined the cast to help recreate the story of a group of World War I soldiers who departed Maitland in 1916 to risk their lives in France.
Written over two decades, 34th Battalion tells the story of the army battalion who trained in Maitland and left for war from Farley railway station on May 1, 1916.
The men were commonly known as Maitland’s own.

Full article available at Maitland Mercury, Dec. 11, 2012.

National Library of Australia receives glass negatives

From the Sydney Morning Herald:
More than 13,000 glass negatives forming the Fairfax Archives Glass Plate Collection were donated to the National Library of Australia on Monday.

The photographs, taken by Fairfax photographers between 1908 and the mid-1930s, will be restored and put into digital form in a partnership between Fairfax Media, the National Library and the government's National Cultural Heritage Foundation, which contributed $425,000.
The library's director-general, Anne-Marie Schwirtlich, said the collection was particularly significant for Australians' understanding of the early 20th century.

Full article available at Sydney Morning Herald, December 4, 2012.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Historic Houses Trust 2012-2013 summer events

Summer has finally arrived at the Historic Houses Trust and we’re excited to bring you a fresh program packed with things to do and see!
Enjoy a newly launched feast of delectable delights at the Hyde Park Barracks Café with our special high-tea offer. Or keep the kids busy with some school-holiday favourites such as Rouseabout and Kids in the Colony.
Celebrate Christmas by the Bay in the picturesque surrounds of Elizabeth Bay House while enjoying the Choir of St James', or visit one of our exciting exhibitions.

Australian War Memorial: treasures from a century of collecting

Published on Oct 22, 2012
The Memorial has launched a new book, Australian War Memorial: treasures from a century of collecting, written by Nola Anderson, the Memorial's Acting Director. The book brings to life the Memorial's collection -- one of the most significant military history collections in the world. This comprehensive, lavishly illustrated publication covers the entire history of the collection, from its humble beginnings in the trenches of the First World War to the war in Afghanistan today.

The book tells the stories behind the objects that make up the collection, from those that represent a moment in time that all Australians know and understand to very intimate personal items the reveal an individual's story. Australian War Memorial: treasures from a century of collecting presents hundreds of objects, some iconic and some never seen before.

Australian War Memorial: treasures from a century of collecting
Published by Murdoch books
Visit:  for more details

Sentenced beyond the Seas: Australia's early convict records

State Records New South Wales

A project to digitise and index Australia's earliest convict records. Convict Indents list the convicts transported to New South Wales. Search over 12,000 names listed in these early records and view colour images of the indents online.

Sentenced beyond the Seas features the Indents of the First Fleet, Second Fleet and ships to 1801 and contemporary indexes known as the Alphabetical Indents, 1788-1800.
Early indents provide name, date and place of trial and sentence while the later indents usually include physical description, native place, age and crime.
This digitisation project marks the 225th anniversary in 2013 of the arrival of the First Fleet at Sydney Cove on 26 January 1788.

A Titanic experience at Maitland's PCYC in 1955

From the Maitland Mercury report:
Extracts from The History of Maitland Police Citizens Youth Club aka The Police Boys Club, by Mick Fairleigh and Paul Doherty.

Full article available at Maitland Mercury, Dec. 8, 2012.

PCYC: 60 years and going strong in Maitland

From the Maitland Mercury report:
When Maitland Police Citizens Boys Club opened its doors on December 12, 1952, the-then mayor MJ Clyde said although it had been costly it would pay big dividends in character building and good citizenship in years to come.
The History of Maitland Police Citizens Youth Club aka The Police Boys Club, by Mick Fairleigh and Paul Doherty.
Their book, compiled after two years research and edited by Dave Sciffer, will be launched in time for the club’s 60th anniversary on December 9 at Maitland Park Bowling Club at 2pm.

Stories of Maitland's 1955 flood on YouTube

From the Maitland Mercury report:
The stories of Maitland’s 1955 flood have come to life on YouTube.
The stories are a valuable contribution to Maitland’s historical record and capture the reality of hardships endured and courage shown by people directly involved in the flood, the authority said.

Full article available at Maitland Mercury, Dec. 6, 2012.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Historic labour of love: Anambah House

From the Maitland Mercury report:
An 11-year search for the right house ended for Jann and Maurizio Zappacosta when they came across historic Anambah House but they had no idea that their quest to keep the restoration original would lead them to Wales.
“It was in its original state pretty much, but with that originality comes problems.”
Designed by renowned architect John Pender, building began in 1889 under his supervision and was completed in 1890.

Full article availabe at Maitland Mercury, Dec. 5, 2012.

Hunter of yesteryear

From the Maitland Mercury report:
In the early 1950s legendary photographer Max Dupain visited the heart of Australia’s wine world to capture the work of vignerons, grape harvesters and cellar hands.
Dupain took the photographs on commission as part of his commercial practice and his skill in recording the Arcadian beauty of their everyday work.
Now, for the first time,Vintage – The lost works of Max Dupain – is on display in a collection of forgotten images of wine grape vintages in the Hunter.
The McWilliam’s Mount Pleasant images are held in the National Library of Australia but are little known within Dupain’s wider opus.

Full article available at Maitland Mercury, Dec. 1, 2012.

Maitland’s convict history bound for classrooms

From the Maitland Mercury report:
An historical tome exploring the start of European history in central Maitland is set to be used as part of the school syllabus for students studying the area’s history.
The seventh in a series of books published by the Maitland City Heritage Group, Bound for Wallis Plains, Maitland’s Convict Settlers gives an illustrated, personal account of the lives and circumstances of the Wallis Plains settlers.
According to Maitland City Council heritage officer Clare James the book could be introduced into the school curriculum as early as next year.

Full report available at Maitland Mercury, Nov. 30, 2012.

Grandstand restoration: Work for Show in full swing

From the Maitland Mercury report:
Preparations for the Maitland Show are in full swing including works on the grandstand.
The works are to replace some of the rotted structural timbers, decking and seating.
Just an eighth of the project has cost $60,000 in commonwealth grants and loans.
Part of the delay in works has been finding the right lengths of structure hard wood that measure almost six metres.

Full article available at Maitland Mercury, Nov. 29, 2012.

NSW State Records new indexes

New Indexes at State Records

Governor's Court case papers, 1815-24
This index is for the Governor's Court case papers 1815-24. The papers mainly relate to the payment of debts on promissory notes, goods, services or for slander. There are 3789 entries in this index.

Returned Soldiers Settlement Loan files
This index will be of interest to local and family historians researching land ownership originally obtained under the Returned Soldiers Settlement Scheme. They are an invaluable insight into the conditions and difficulties faced by soldiers settlers after World War One.There are c.7000 entries to search!

Early Convict Index
Combined with a digitisation project this index is an exciting new addition to our website. Search over 12,000 names and view digital versions of the convict indents online.

NSW Registry of Births Deaths & Marriages Family History App

The Australian NSW Registry of Births Deaths & Marriages Family History App is the cornerstone of building your New South Wales family tree. Find out more about your ancestors. Where they were born, where they got married, where and when they died. Are there any secrets in your family for you to uncover? Don’t leave any relatives unfound.

The Registry is the official keeper of birth, death & marriage records registered in New South Wales, Australia. Search the historical indexes for free today! If there is a record that captures your interest or completes the missing puzzle of your family tree you can purchase a birth, death or marriage certificate through the Registry’s official Family History App.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Inside History Magazine

Remembrance and discovery: the November-December edition (issue 13) of Inside History.

  • In our special Q&A, Sunday Night journalist and author of The Lost Diggers, Ross Coulthart, reveals how he unearthed thousands of glass plate images of Aussie WWI soldiers in France, and the sources that helped him trace the Anzacs' identities.
  • Experts from the Australian War Memorial and the Museum of New Zealand talk us through the process of identifying WWI soldiers through photos
  • In an exclusive, we share the discovery of two Macquarie-era maps charting a lost city in inland NSW, believed to lie beneath present-day Bathurst
  • Make exciting discoveries of your own with our guide to findmypast and its new World Collection
  • We also introduce a new website from the National Archives of Australia displaying more than 20,000 unidentified photos of post-WWII migrants
  • We sift through Trove to glean snapshots of festive seasons past – discover the customs that may have featured in your ancestors' celebrations.
  • Maitland's brand new start

    From the Maitland Mercury report:
    Welcome to Maitland with a big ‘m’.
    It was adopted by Maitland City Council last night in an 11th hour presentation.
    The big fuss however is on The Levee – Maitland City Council’s branding of the redeveloped Heritage Mall.
    Council marketing manager Rachel MacLucas said council wanted a name that captured what the mall refurbishment was all about and that is connecting with the river.

    Full article available at Maitland Mercury, Nov. 28, 2012.

    Our city's history: People flocked to Cappers

    From the Maitland Mercury report:
    Sydney had Anthony Horderns and Maitland had Edward Capper – and just as Anthony Horderns became a household name in the capital, so did Edward Capper in the capital of the Hunter.
    He had some difficulty in establishing a business in Sydney and as early as 1834 Capper contemplated a move to Maitland.

    Full article available at Maitland Mercury, Nov. 24, 2012.

    Steam fans hot under the collar

    From the Maitland Mercury report:
    The future of steam and the preservation of rail heritage hinges on a report gathering dust.
    “We need this report,” Mr Ballhause said. “We haven’t seen it and believe the bureaucrats have got hold of it.”
    The inquiry promised a review of the state’s historic rolling stock assets and to map out how to best preserve that heritage.

    Full article available at Maitland Mercury, Nov. 23, 2012.

    Mai-Wel request draws an historic response

    From the Maitland Mercury report:
    The Mai-Wel Group has received an overwhelming response to its request for information from the community on the history of the organisation.
    The history project has revealed some fantastic photos of members of the Maitland and surrounding communities, many of whom are still associated with the organisation today.

    Full article available at Maitland Mercury, Nov. 19, 2012.

    Royal Australian Historical Society

    History - magazine of the Royal Australian Historical Society, September 2012, no. 113:

    The Macquarie issue:
    • Family threads
    • Government Cottage, Windsor
    • The Female Orphan School - iconic Macquarie building will be fully restored
    • Macquarie in the RAHS Library

    Wednesday, November 21, 2012

    City’s history is returned on canvas

    From the Maitland Mercury report:
    A valuable part of Maitland’s retail ­history has come home in the form of an oil painting on canvas.
    Tucked away in Sydney since the 1960s, the painting depicts a scene from Louis Morris’s factory as it was in Bulwer Street, Maitland around 1900.
    The aerated water and cordial works opened in 1877. The painting would have been framed and hung on the wall of the factory’s office.
    A friend of Maitland Historical Society found the painting and handed it over a month ago so it could be restored and preserved.

    Full article available at Maitland Mercury, Nov. 12, 2012.

    College ghost a part of history

    From the Maitland Mercury report:
    The ghost of Gloria Green haunts the hallways of the former Maitland Technical College building in High Street.

    Historic Houses Trust Summer Events

    Summer has finally arrived at the Historic Houses Trust and we’re excited to bring you a fresh program packed with things to do and see!
    Enjoy a newly launched feast of delectable delights at the Hyde Park Barracks Café with our special high-tea offer. Or keep the kids busy with some school-holiday favourites such as Rouseabout and Kids in the Colony.
    Celebrate Christmas by the Bay in the picturesque surrounds of Elizabeth Bay House while enjoying the Choir of St James', or visit one of our exciting exhibitions.

    National Trust Heritage Festival

    Community Milestones: April-May 2013.
    Join the National Trust in celebrating Australia's cultural heritage and register an event in the 2013 festival.
    Through talks, tours, exhibitions and events across Australia, the National Trust invites you to explore our heritage and find out how we shaped Australia.

    The 2013 Heritage Festival will coincide with the Bicentenary of the crossing of the Blue Mountains. Applications are now open to register your event for the 2013 Heritage Festival. Registrations close on 26 November 2012.

    Alexander The Great : 2000 years of treasures

    Alexander The Great: 2000 years of treasures celebrates the man, his journey and legacy of one of history’s most enigmatic and important figures through objects and works of art.
    Only in Sydney at The Australian Museum from 24 November 2012.
    “Massive resources are involved in bringing this exhibition from St Petersburg to Sydney,” says Frank Howarth, Director of the Australian Museum. “The artefacts will come in three shipments, each taking over three days to reach Sydney by air, with much of the road route overseen by police escort. There will be a total of 29 curators and conservators accompanying the exhibition to and from Australia – quite apart from our own team working on the project at the Australian Museum.”

    Friday, November 9, 2012

    Hunter Lifestyle Magazine

    Hunter Lifestyle Magazine : Edition 58, October-November 2012 now available.
    • Shared pleasure - Roseneath, circa 1837, East Maitland
    • Discover the muster point - an eerie, sacred space - a space that cannot help but echo thousands of voices from a century of making steel in Newcastle City
    • Ride the wild horses - three main mobs of brumbies roam the Hunter region. The Barrington Tops brumbies are said to be some of the best in the country originating from escaped Australian Agricultural Company stock more than 150-years-ago.
    • A man of vision - The life of the late Stephen Forgacs reads like a script well suited for the ABC documentary "Australia Story". He arrived in Australia in 1956 as a penniless Hungarian immigrant at the age of twenty, and became one of the region’s most successful industry figures and employers, creating an industry which has injected millions of dollars into the Hunter's economy.

    Heritage, preservation efforts recognised

    From the Maitland Mercury report:
    Maitland’s heritage and preservation efforts have been rewarded with two Tidy Towns awards in 2012 Office of Environment and Heritage Cultural Heritage Awards (population 25,000-plus).
    The first award was for Maitland City Council’s heritage kit – a guide that is helping people restore their homes.
    “It’s about people who are investing time and energy into these homes with heritage value and it all benefits us by making Maitland a place we want to live,” council heritage officer Clare James said.
    The kit was created by the Maitland City Heritage Group, which meets monthly and comprises council and community representation, including National Trust and Maitland Historical Society. The kit includes a trades directory putting renovators in touch with joiners and roofers with a specialty in slate, for example.

    Full article available at Maitland Mercury, Nov. 6, 2012.

    Business doing it for Maitland : Steamfest support

    From the Maitland Mercury report:
    When Steamfest needed ­financial help to keep it on track – literally – Maitland Toyota stepped in with a deal that has put the popular festival on a sound footing and Maitland on the state’s event calendar.
    Maitland Toyota’s Burton family has bought the naming rights to Steamfest in a deal worth $30,000 a year over four years.
    Founder and dealer principal Norm Burton Snr readily ­concedes he is not a steam buff, nor is the deal likely to bring him any extra business on the festival weekend.

    Full article available at Maitland Mercury, Nov. 6, 2012.

    Support grows for Maitland hall of fame idea

    From the Maitland Mercury report:
    Support is growing for a hall, rather than a wall, of fame in Maitland.
    “I’ve had letters of support and I’ve had preliminary discussions with a possible sponsor,” councillor Brian Burke said.
    The deputy mayor of Maitland refloated the idea at his first meeting of the four-year council term in September.
    This led to numerous suggestions for candidates including Evatt – which Cr Burke said would be a fitting tribute given recent events.

    Full article available at Maitland Mercury, Nov. 5, 2012.

    Piece of Tocal’s history returns

    From the Maitland Mercury report:
    A piece of Tocal Agricultural College’s history has returned and was unveiled as part of Foundation Day celebrations.
    It was the car owned by Marguerita and Myrtle Curtis – residents of Tocal Homestead from 1938 to 1985.

    Full article available at Maitland Mercury, Nov. 5, 2012.

    Australian Heritage Week 2013

    Australian Heritage Week is a an annual national celebration of Australia’s unique heritage. It is an opportunity for all Australians to join together to celebrate our shared and special heritage.

    In 2013, Australian Heritage Week will run from Saturday 13 April until Sunday 21 April.
    The department encourages all communities to get involved with planning and hosting a range of exciting activities during Australian Heritage Week that showcase your unique local heritage to the rest of the country.

    April 18th is the major celebration for International Day for Monuments and Sites and each year the state representatives of Australia ICOMOS organise a number of activities around Australia so that you can celebrate the diversity of the world’s cultural heritage with ICOMOS members the world over.

    Registration for an event is now open:

    Tuesday, November 6, 2012

    Fig trees a special feature for war memorial

    From the Maitland Mercury report:
    The two remaining founding members of Morpeth RSL Sub-branch say a grove of newly planted fig trees will be a special feature of the village’s war memorial for generations to come.
    Harold Wallis and Ted Cant were involved in the planting of 43 grevilleas in the 1960s as a memorial to the town’s men and women who served during World War II.
    More than 40 years on, a series of fig trees have been planted along Edward Close Boulevard by the Morpeth Anzac Day Committee, Maitland City Council and developer Lend Lease.

    Full article available at Maitland Mercury, Nov. 5, 2012.

    Petition to save Heritage Mall lamps

    From the Maitland Mercury report:
    A petition against the removal of ­replica gas lamps in the Maitland Heritage Mall will be presented to Maitland City Council in protest of a multi-million ­dollar plan to redesign the mall.
    More than 200 people have signed the petition calling for council to leave the 41 handmade lamps – estimated to have cost between $6000 and $8000 each at the time of installation in 1988 – and reconsider the proposed plan.

    Full article available at Maitland Mercury, Nov. 2, 2012.

    Commonwealth War Graves Commission

    The Commission’s 93rd Annual Report will be published on 11 November.
    The report outlines exactly how we are getting fit for the challenge of the 14 – 18 centenary and features a number of other highlights from the past year.
    The report is accompanied by an account of the Commission’s Finances; a list of the War Graves and Memorials in the Commission’s care; and a breakdown of the numbers of those who died in the two world wars.
    The publication will be available both in print and on our website.

    Society of Australian Genealogists

    S.A.G. November activities
  • Saturday 10 November (9.00am - 10.00am) - Orientation Tour
    Members only. A one hour orientation tour of our library at 379 Kent Street - find out how the library is set out and what services we offer there. Bookings Essential. Free - but a gold coin donation to our Building Appeal on the day would be appreciated.
  • Saturday 10 November (10.30am - 12.30pm) - Family Tree Maker User Group
    Join other users of this popular software for a Q&A session. Bookings essential. $8 ($12 non-members).
  • Saturday 10 November (1.30pm - 3.30pm) - The Master Genealogist User Group
    This meeting will allow 1-on-1 assistance and problem solving in small groups, so think in advance about any aspects of using TMG where you need help and be ready to ask questions on the day. Bring your laptop along if possible! Bookings Essential. $8 ($12 non-members).
  • Monday 12 November (8.00pm - 9.00pm AEST) - Webinar - Tracing Your NSW Gaol Birds
    Learn about the wonderful resources available to help trace ancestors who spent time behind locked doors in NSW. Presenter: Martyn Killion. Bookings essential and limited to SAG members only. Price $10.00.
  • Saturday 17 November (10.30am - 12.30pm) - Check out the Neighbours
    Looking at your ancestors in the context of where they lived can provide additional information about how they lived - a session on Australian local history sources. Bookings essential.$20 ($30 non-members).
  • Saturday 17 November (1.30pm - 3.30pm) - Rebels, Priests and Love Letters
    The ‘Minerva’ which arrived in Sydney in Jan 1800 brought the first of the rebels who had been involved in Ireland’s uprisings between 1797 and the Battle of Vinegar Hill in 1798. Rebel priests and male & female urban criminals also shared the journey aboard the ‘Minerva’. Cassie Mercer will present brand new research into those on board. Hear about their lives through letters they wrote to their families and newspaper accounts of their trials, and learn about their fate as they struggled with life in Sydney. Bookings essential.$20 ($30 non-members).
  • Museum Workshop now showing in Canberra

    Enter the Museum Workshop: The Art, Science and Craft of the Conservator exhibition and immerse yourself in the behind-the-scenes world of the conservation team, the people responsible for the physical care of objects in the National Museum of Australia's collection.

    The Museum Workshop exhibition brings to life the National Museum's large technology, objects and paintings, and paper and textiles laboratories.
    Various objects from the National Museum's collection will be on show in the Museum Workshop exhibition. The great diversity of objects in the collection means it is rare that any two conservation treatments are identical.

    Talk with conservators about their work and take advantage of this special access to the world of a museum conservator. See conservators preparing photo albums and period costumes for our upcoming exhibition, Glorious Days: Australia 1913, opening in March 2013.
    National Museum of Australia.

    Thursday, November 1, 2012

    Special concert to celebrate choir’s 25 years

    From the Maitland Mercury report:
    The voices of Maitland City Choir members have been entertaining the community for the past 25 years and will hold a special concert next month to celebrate the milestone.
    The choir formed in 1987 when the choir at Maitland Grossmann High and Maitland Boys High schools were amalgamated and membership was opened to the public to mark the city’s bicentennial.
    Founding member Heather Russell-McLaren said she approached the mayor of Maitland, Cr Peter Blackmore in the lead-up to the event and asked if the choir could be named Maitland City Choir.

    Full article available at Maitland Mercury, Nov. 1, 2012.

    Maitland PCYC 60th anniversary

    From the Maitland Mercury report:
    Maitland PCYC is celebrating its 60th anniversary and it needs your help.
    Manager John Mills said he hoped to be able to display photographs and items from the past 60 years as part of celebrations.
    “People might have an old photograph or a trophy from boxing, wrestling or gymnastics they have won that we could borrow to put on display,” he said. “Anything pertaining to an individual person’s time at the PCYC we would be grateful for.”

    Full article available at Maitland Mercury, Oct. 30, 2012.

    Mercury papers from mid-1800s

    From the Maitland Mercury report:
    Fragile and wafer thin, a collection of Maitland Mercury newspapers dating back to the mid-1800s are on their way back to the city having spent years wrapped in plastic bags atop a bullock wagon in the Singleton Historical Society building.

    There are 18 years’ worth of the 1840s, 1850s and 1860s editions of the Mercury that have been handed over to the Maitland Historical Society following a clean out by their Singleton counterparts.
    Maitland Historical Society’s publicity officer, Ruth Trappel, said the copies are the oldest originals she has ever seen.

    Full article available at Maitland Mercury, Oct. 30, 2012.

    Ryerson Index Now Has 3.5 Million Australian Death Notices Online

    The Ryerson Index is an index of death notices appearing in current Australian newspapers, it also includes some funeral notices, probate notices and obituaries. What started as one person’s passion for collecting the death notices out the newspaper, has now grown to encompass death notices from 216 Australian newspapers, and currently has over 3.5 million entries online (actually 3,672,088 to be exact).
    Sadly Joyce Ryerson, the person who started it all, passed away a couple of months ago, aged 95, however her legacy and Index most certainly live on.
    Today with the help of volunteers around the country. the Ryerson Index continues to grow, and has become a truly Australia-wide collection of death notices.
    This Index is used by family historians worldwide, and there is no doubt that the Ryerson Index has become an invaluable reference site for so many genealogists.

    Telling It How It Is: Oral History for Museums

    Collecting oral history; simple methods of recording, understanding and archiving narrated memories.

    When: Friday 23 November 2012, 1.00pm - 4.00pm
    Where: Museums & Galleries NSW, 43-51 Cowper Wharf Road, Woolloomoolloo
    Cost: $35 (one participant) and $80 (three participants)

    Thursday, October 25, 2012

    History funds for Maitland

    From the Maitland Mercury report:
    Three Maitland organisations have secured state government grants for historical projects.
    Maitland and District Historical Society will use its $1500 grant to research the written and oral histories of the Lower Hunter from settlement in the 1800s to today.

    Maitland City Library will use their $1000 grant to promote the history and heritage of the the city.

    And the Australian Museum of Clothing and Textiles will produce a history of the clothing and textile industry in the Hunter Valley with their $500 grant.

    Full article available at Maitland Mercury, Oct. 21, 2012.

    Forgotten gem of the Hunter

    From the Maitland Mercury report:
    One of Maitland’s most historic bridges will be re-opened today following a multimillion dollar upgrade. Dunmore Bridge, at Woodville, will be opened at 3pm ahead of the weekend’s bicentenary celebrations.

    Dunmore Bridge was built in 1899 and is one of only three remaining Allan Truss Road Bridges in NSW.
    “We’re going all out to celebrate our 200th anniversary because we’re proud of our unique place in the region’s heritage and think it deserves to be more widely shared and known,” Woodville School of Arts publicity officer Bob Beale said.
    “Woodville is largely a forgotten gem in the Hunter’s history. In fact, this year is also the bicentenary of free settlement and of farming for the whole Hunter region and beyond into the rest of mainland Australia, because Woodville is where it all started. Also of interest is that Les Darcy was born here.”

    Full article available at Maitland Mercury, Oct. 19, 2012.

    A Day at the Museum: An Event for Regional Curators

    A Day at the Museum: An Event for Regional Curators
    This event is specifically designed to showcase opportunities to regional gallery and museum curators, managers and directors on how to borrow from the Australian Museum collection.

    When: Friday 23 November 2012, 10.00am – 3.00pm
    Where: Night Parrot Room, Australian Museum (entry from William Street, East Sydney)
    Cost: $55
    Info.: Museums & Galleries NSW

    NSW History Council Max Kelly Medal

    Submissions are now open for the Max Kelly Medal

    The Max Kelly Medal plus a prize of $500 is awarded annually to a ‘beginning’ historian for a work of excellence in any aspect of Australian history. The Medal was established as a tribute to Associate Professor Maxwell John Kelly (1935-1996), the first elected President of the History Council, who died suddenly in 1996.
    Nominations for work undertaken in 2012 for the 2013 Award will close 15 December 2012.
    More information:


    Maitland Heritage Mall

    From the Maitland Mercury report:
    The grand plans for the new look Maitland Heritage Mall have been hung and are ready for your feedback.

    Morpeth school rings in 150 years of history

    From the Maitland Mercury report:
    One hundred and fifty years ago a blacksmith crafted a bell for Morpeth Public School to mark the beginning and end of each school day.
    The name of the blacksmith has been lost in history, but after an extensive restoration process, that same bell has been rejuvenated to its former glory just in time for the school’s sesquicentenary celebrations.
    Parents Rod Studdert and Barry McGaw took it upon themselves to make the restoration possible and called in favours from across the district, including the help of Ben Emmett and Hayden Sheeley who assisted in the installation on Saturday, and Mick Wisemantle who provided the post.

    Full article available at Maitland Mercury, Oct. 16, 2012.

    Sunday, October 21, 2012

    Sisters looking for memorabilia

    From the Maitland Mercury report:
    On January 13, 1883, a small group of nuns set off from their new home in Singleton to begin work in the village of Morpeth.

    Historic Mansfield back to new and reaping rewards

    From the Maitland Mercury report:
    A large scale project to transform the thoroughbred of Maitland’s architectural landscape to its former glory has begun.
    The front room of High Street’s Mansfield function centre – complete with its intricate marble floor – is almost complete with work now underway on the remaining 13 rooms of the three-tiered building.
    Built in the late 1800s by the commercial banking company of Sydney to the tune of 20,000 pounds, Mansfield has spent the past 14 years as a function centre.

    Full article available at Maitland Mercury, Oct. 15, 2012.

    Grandaughter's tears at first photograph of grandfather

    From the Maitland Mercury report:
    Aenone McRae-Clift had been searching for information about her grandfather on the internet...
    “I was actually looking up the cemetery in France where my grandfather (Dudley Joseph Clift) is buried and for some reason, I can’t explain, I just typed in his name and I couldn’t believe what I saw,” Aenone said.
    There on her screen was a story published in The Maitland Mercury, on September 26, 2012, and the photograph of her grandfather she had never seen.

    Full article available at Maitland Mercury, Oct. 12, 2012.

    Proud achievement: The Bloomfield Group celebrates 75th anniversary

    From the Maitland Mercury report:
    This weekend marks the 75th anniversary of The Bloomfield Group, an Australian-owned and operated group of private companies with interests in coal mining and engineering.
    From humble origins [East Maitland], steady growth over more than seven decades has seen it grow into a multi-million dollar business that employs about 500 people.

    Full article available at Maitland Mercury Oct. 12, 2012.

    Oral History and Photography master class

    There will be two parts to this full day master class. Part 1 explores approaches using photographs in oral history interviews. Part 2 discusses approaches with interpreting photographs and memories as historical evidence.

    When: Saturday 10 November 2012
    Where: Parramatta Heritage & Visitor Information Centre Seminar Room, Church Street, Parramatta
    Cost: $200, $150 (OHAA members) includes morning and afternoon tea

    Recollections of Liverpool’s Past

    City of Liverpool & District Historical Society Inc.
    Historical Society – 53 years of collectingThis is the first exhibition at Liverpool Regional Museum curated by The City of Liverpool & District Historical Society Inc. Local residents have asked to have an exhibition containing Liverpool items only. The Historical Society has responded with this lovely exhibition.

    Launch: Saturday 10 November 2012 (booking required)
    Where: Liverpool Regional Museum, Corner Hume Highway and Congressional Drive Liverpool
    Contact: Judy Pack, President
    Phone: 02 9605 1341

    Thursday, October 11, 2012

    Urban sprawl has Anambah House in its path

    From the Maitland Mercury report:
    Maitland’s urban sprawl is set to smash headlong into historic Anambah House.
    “It’s obviously a forgone conclusion,” Mrs Zappacosta said. “We just wanted to maintain some of the rural amenity of the place.”
    Maitland City Council planners rejected claims by the Zappacosta family that the development would adversely affect the heritage value of the 1889 home once the heart of a rich agricultural holding.
    In a report to council, town planner Cindy Dickson has recommended the additional houses – up from 50 – in a draft amendment to the development control plan.
    Full article available at Maitland Mercury, Oct. 8, 2012.

    Home is going home at Tocal

    From the Maitland Mercury report:
    For many years the small white cottage on the side of Tocal Road has been somewhat of a mystery residence. Vacant for many years, the humble weatherboard abode – known as Daly Kidd Cottage – has stood at its current location for more than 60 years.
    But now the building – once home to those who worked for Myrtle and Marguerita Curtis of Tocal Homestead – is about to be returned to its original site at the homestead.

    “The cottage was moved from the homestead to its current location in the 1950s, apparently to allow for more privacy for the Misses Curtis who were then living in Tocal Homestead,” principal of Tocal Agricultural College Dr Cameron Archer said.
    “And it is in remarkably good condition despite its looks but following relocation the cottage will be fully conserved.”
    The cottage was constructed in 1916 during the time of the marriage of Leslie Earle (Daly) Kidd to Alice Chambers. Daly Kidd worked on Tocal and had also driven coaches for the Fry family of Paterson.
    In 1911 Daly Kidd drove the last coach from Maitland to Paterson.

    Full article available at Maitland Mercury, Oct. 8, 2012.

    Capturing Memories: Oral History in the Digital Age

    Come and discuss best practice standards, ensuring oral histories are conducted ethically and utilise all digital resources available. You will also find out all you need to know to start recording oral history interviews, plus tips for editing, preparing an interview summary and transcription.

    When: Friday 19 October 2012
    Where: History House, 133 Macquarie Street, Sydney
    Cost: $105, $95 (OHAA and RAHS members)

    Schooner of Les Darcy, please

    From the Maitland Mercury report:
    Les Darcy is a Maitland icon. A street has been named after him, a statue of the boxing legend stands in East Maitland . . . and now a beer has been named in his honour.

    Full article available at Maitland Mercury, Oct. 10, 2012.

    U.K. National Archives

    U.K. Archives for family history:
    Looking for a person?

    The research guidance listed on the web site can help you uncover a person's history. Each guide tells you where you can find, access and understand the relevant records.
    The National Archives holds many records which can help you find out about people's lives, deaths and careers. The guides also point to useful records in other archives and organisations, and reveal which records are available online.
    U.K. Archives - looking for a person.

    Thursday, October 4, 2012

    Looking back on the early Hunter’s wild side

    From the Maitland Mercury report:
    In 1812 Governor Macquarie placed an order for 500 cedar logs to be sourced from Newcastle.
    As a reward for their excellent work, Macquarie allowed four convict timber cutters to settle on small areas of land at Paterson River. And so began the story of the first Europeans to settle outside the Sydney basin.

    “This was actually the earliest settlement outside the Sydney basin, which is quite incredible,” author of European Settlement at Paterson River 1812 to 1822 Brian Walsh said.
    In his book, the local historian focuses on those who settled in the area on both sides of the Paterson River from 1812.
    The book coincides with the 200th anniversary of Woodville – also the birthplace of the Maitland Wonder Les Darcy.

    Full article available at Maitland Mercury, Oct. 2, 2012.

    Australian War Memorial

    Main Content Inline SmallAustralian War Memorial: Treasures from a Century of Collecting
    This outstanding new book tells the story of the Memorial and its National Collection, one of the most significant collections of military history in the world. Lavishly illustrated with Collection images and specially commissioned photography, each copy of Australian War Memorial: Treasures from a Century of Collecting will be signed by author Nola Anderson, the Memorial's Acting Director.

    Pre-orders are now being accepted for shipping in late October.  Preorder now

    Hunter celebrates 150 years of policing

    From the Maitland Mercury report:
    Maitland police played a pivotal role in the Hunter’s celebrations of 150 years of NSW policing yesterday.
    Maitland-based Inspector Tim Seymour led his colleagues through the streets of Newcastle yesterday in a march to celebrate NSW Police Force’s 150th anniversary and to remember the police officers who died in the line of duty during that time.

    Full article availabe at
    Maitland Mercury, Oct. 4, 2012.

    St Luke's be praised ... little church is 100

    From the Maitland Mercury report:
    Holding memories of baptisms, confirmations, weddings and funerals, St Luke’s Anglican, Church, has been an integral part of the Rutherford/Telarah community for more than 100 years.
    This weekend parishioners will gather to commemorate the centenary.

    The church was dedicated for service on April 13, 1912, and consecrated soon after. During the early 1980s the church was refurbished.

    Full article available at Maitland Mercury, Sept. 28, 2012.

    Society of Australian Genealogists

    'Lost in England' weekend
    Be ‘Lost In England’ for a weekend with Michael Gandy!

    The Society is delighted to welcome back to Sydney UK genealogist Michael Gandy, who has accepted our invitation to be the main speaker at this year’s annual Lost in seminar. The 2012 theme is Lost in England, and Michael will be presenting four sessions over the weekend, together with a variety of excellent local speakers and a special ‘virtual visit’ from FindMyPast’s Elaine Collins.

    Lost in England is being held in the Dixson Room of the Mitchell Library on Saturday 3 and Sunday 4 November and further details will be found here. Numbers are strictly limited and if you book before 12 October you go in the draw for a special early-bird prize!

    Thursday, September 27, 2012

    Historians vow to bring Private Dudley Clift’s story to light

    From the Maitland Mercury report:
    The mystery surrounding a sepia-toned image of a Maitland soldier has partly been solved.
    Stored in a box for almost 100 years, the identify of the solider has been revealed as Pitnacree’s Dudley Joseph Clift.
    But the identification is leading researchers on a whole new trail to unveil Clift’s story before he enlisted and that of his family left behind.

    Maitland resident Heather Yates discovered Private Clift’s photo in a box of memorabilia belonging to fellow (Maitland) fallen war soldier Sam Robinson.
    Through their research, Maitland war historians John Gillam and Yvonne Fletcher have discovered the former stock and station agent’s name, age at the time of enlistment along with his height and weight. The strapping six footer was a month short of his 32nd birthday when he enlisted on March 30, 1915 a month before Australia’s baptism of fire at Gallipoli.
    They have also learned the details of Private Clift’s tragic death in France in March, 1917. “Dudley was hit carrying rations to the front line in France. It was a very quiet period and it was bad luck,” Mr Gillam said.

    Full article by Emma Swain available at Maitland Mercury, Sept. 26, 2012.

    A history lesson . . . through the wardrobe

    From the Maitland Mercury report:
    The Australian museum of Clothing and Textiles will hold Discover Local History Through the Wardrobe – a parade of fashion from the past – which will focus on men’s and women’s garments from the area’s history.
    Models will enter through a wardrobe.
    Compere Nell Pyle will wear a skirt and apron dated 1900, the oldest outfit to be worn on the day. “But the oldest garment at the parade will be a wedding gown dated 1840 – it’s just too fragile to be worn,” Mrs Pyle said.
    And she said the parade was as much about the history of the original owner of the garment as it was the fashion of the day.

    Full article by Margartet Dennis available at Maitland Mercury, Sept. 24, 2012.

    City Wall of Fame proposed to honour Maitland

    From the Maitland Mercury:
    POLL: City Wall of Fame proposed to honour Maitland greats

    Les Darcy, Doc Evatt, Edmund Barton and Garry Barton are just some of the names suggested for a Maitland wall of honour.

    Seeking Australian coal mining museums

    The National Coalmining Museum for England is producing a publication on the coal-mining museums and heritage sites around the world. Australian coal mining museums are encouraged to contribute to this publication, which will be published in both Chinese and English.

    Contact: Dr Margaret Faull

    Bound for Australia: new edition out now

    U.K. National Archives
    Completely revised and expanded to include new research, Bound for Australia is the essential guide to the records kept in Britain of those who were sent there as punishment or who went to start a new life.

    The book is an invaluable tool for any family historian who discovers an ancestor amongst their number and who wants to trace their antipodean relatives.

    Friday, September 21, 2012

    NSW Government Heritage Volunteer Awards

    2012 Heritage Volunteer Awards - Call For Nominations

    Do you know of an individual or organisation who has contributed to the conservation, management or promotion of heritage in your local community?
    Would you like to pay tribute to the men and women who have volunteered their time and personal commitment to ensuring that our State’s unique history and heritage is protected for future generations?
    The NSW Go
    vernment invites you to nominate your local ‘heritage hero’ as a recipient in the 2012 NSW Government Heritage Volunteer Awards.
    A Heritage Volunteer Award formally recognises the outstanding performance by individuals and community groups who have significantly improved the profile of heritage management in their local communities, successfully motivated and managed heritage projects and promoted the value of heritage by significant means and through exemplary work.
    The awards would be presented within 9 broad categories: Aboriginal Heritage, Archaeological Heritage, Built Heritage, Cultural Heritage, Engineering Heritage, Landscape and Garden Heritage, Maritime Heritage, Movable Heritage, and Multicultural Heritage.
    Nominations close Friday 12 October 2012        Information on website

    Morpeth courthouse lit up

    From the Maitland Mercury report:
    Morpeth resident and museum volunteer Janet Goodwin was chosen to switch on the restored floodlights outside Morpeth Courthouse Museum this week.
    Mrs Goodwin was curator at the museum for 10 years and is the longest serving volunteer with 14 years service.
    She is now the museum secretary and loves all things history, especially Morpeth’s long and rich heritage.

    Full article by Rebecca Berry available at Maitland Mercury, 

    Leading historian to pay tribute to Boyle

    From the Maitland Mercury report:
    A woman who has pioneered history outreach programs and spent hundreds of hours interviewing others about their lives will deliver the seventh annual Harry Boyle Memorial Lecture.
    Dr Julia Horne has been chosen to deliver the lecture, titled History, Heritage and Home, which celebrates the contribution and achievements of Mr Boyle – one of Maitland’s most loved and respected historians.
    The lecture will be held at Brough House, Church Street, Maitland on Friday, September 21, at 6.30pm.

    Full article available at Maitland Mercury, Sept. 19, 2012.

    Maitland Memoir

    Riverlights Multicultural Festival is Maitland’s first celebration of cultural diversity. It celebrates the vibrant interaction of diverse cultures, some well-established, others new and emerging.
    Maitland Regional Art Gallery is liasing with two young artists, Trine Deans and Kate Parker, to create an artwork that will be a vibrant part of Riverlights on Saturday 13 October when Kate and Trine will be working on Maitland Memoir in the Maitland Heritage Mall for all to see. Trine and Kate have created the idea of Maitland Memoir as a cabinet of curiosities and they need your input.
    Maitland Memoir is about recording and displaying the stories and history of Maitland in an artwork full of objects that have a connection to Maitland and to the cultures of the people who make up Maitland.
    If you want to contribute to our project we'd love your objects and your stories. Your object should be small and significant.
    Pop into Maitland Regional Art Gallery to collect your envelope for your contribution and bring it back to the gallery over the weeks leading up to Saturday 13 October, Riverlights Day.
    Saturday 13 October 2012
    Maitland Heritage Mall and riverbank

    Sunday, September 16, 2012

    Can you date this photograph? Maitland

    From Archives Outside - Can you data this photograph?

    The cars and streetscape might help in dating this image of Maitland Hospital.
    Can you help?

    Larger version on Flickr

    New books from Unlock the Past

    Finding Ancestors in Church Records: A Brief Guide to Resources
    This publication highlights the wealth of information that can be found in religious publications, church newspapers and magazines. Information and photographs on individuals, not usually found elsewhere, can be discovered and may include obituaries, details of weddings, school news, social events.

    Trove: Discover Genealogy Treasure in the National Library of Australia
    While people may be aware of Trove, they are not aware of how to effectively use the various filters to narrow down their searches to maximum advantage. Features such as comments, lists, tagging or correcting text are other areas that many have not yet explored and there are always a few who put up their hand to say they haven't got an eResources card.

    See the Unlock the Past web site.

    Inside History magazine

    Inside History September-October edition 2012 (issue 12):
    • We spotlight FamilySearch marriage records, and how to find "the one" you're after
    • Learn what our convict ancestors got up to, all in the name of love
    • Who is the beautiful bride on our cover, you ask? Discover why her veil is a treasured heirloom
    • Jill Dupleix shares her favourite family recipes and the stories behind them
    • Our digital history guide: test the free online tools that could transform your research
    • The Trove team answer your family history research questions
    • Read about the brave Anzacs who served in Papua New Guinea in WWII
    76 pages of terrific features, practical information on genealogy, chances to network with other family historians, and book and app reviews. On sale now.

    Morpeth Courthouse: let there be light

    From the Maitland Mercury report:
    Morpeth Courthouse Museum facade will light up in time for the building’s 150th anniversary this month. A set of floodlights that were broken for some time will be switched on again to highlight the restored courthouse exterior.
    To mark the sesquicentenary, a special exhibition of National Textiles memorabilia has been brought in thanks to collector and museum chairman Alan Todd.
    Mr Todd worked at National Textiles for 20 years between 1980 and 2000 and his memories will be shared in a slide show of factory pictures taken in the 1990s.

    Full article by Rebecca Berry available at Maitland Mercury, Sept. 13, 2012.

    Needle, thread and 10 years of patience

    From the Maitland Mercury report:
    Eunice Morris has spent the past decade embroidering the names of 400 people on a single piece of cloth for all posterity.
    And now Mrs Morris, aged 84 – a foundation member of the Morpeth Women’s Bowling Club – has bequeathed her work to the Morpeth Courthouse Museum.

    Full article by Emma Swain available at Maitland Mercury, Sept. 10, 2012

    Friday, September 7, 2012

    Journal of the Great North Road

    The Pick - Journal of the Great North Road - Volume 9, August 2012 - Evidence.
    Articles include:

    Experimental and deducted, E.A. Roberts
    I survived, Geoff Potter
    Blasting and quarrying, Grace Karskens
    Physical evidence of the method of building the Great North Road, E.A. Roberts
    Following Simpson's track, Gregory Powell
    More physical evidence Old Maitland Road, Elizabeth Roberts.
    Water for road gangs, Ian Webb.
    Cranes and oxen, 1818 to 1849, Ian Webb.

    See the Convict Trail website for details.

    Look Who's Talking Local History

    As part of Heritage Week, the Maitland City Library's  Look Who's Talking Local History event features Justine Malinowski from the Australian Museum of Clothing and Textiles:

    Long before the fashionistas of today decided 'the look', dress was an important element of human expression. Join Maitland City Library and Justine Malinowski to unpick the meaning behind some wardrobes of the past.

    Tuesday 11 September at Maitland Gaol, 6.00-8.00pm. $15 includes wine and canapes.

    Booking and payment prior to events is essential. Booking and payment may be made in person at any Maitland City Library branch, by phoning 4933 6952 or online.

    More information at Maitland City Library, Local Studies.

    What to put on the old gas site at East Maitland?

    From the Maitland Mercury report:

    Recreational and business uses have been floated for the old East Maitland gasworks site.While the findings of an environmental report are not expected until the new council term, debate has sparked numerous suggestions for the site.
    “We will be able to use it in the future but what we want to use it for will depend on how big a clean-up people are prepared for,” Maitland City Council development and environment manager David Simm said.
    “For residential use it would require more of a clean-up than for use as recreational area.”
    Mr Simm said he would have to analyse the preliminary report and liaise with the consultant before the final report is sent to the Office of Environment and Heritage.

    Full article by Sam Norris available at Maitland Mercury, Sept. 6, 2012.

    Day of rest for Ray Fairweather

    From the Maitland Mercury report:
    Friday marks the final day of Cr Ray Fairweather’s 35 years of service to Maitland City Council. His service has been recognised numerous times from his Australian National Medal for Public Service in 1987 to the Australian Centenary Medal for service to the community in 2003. But it’s the physical achievements for East Ward that give him the greatest sense of pride as Sam Norris reports.

    Full article available at Maitland Mercury, Sept. 7, 2012.

    Thursday, September 6, 2012

    Mercury’s history award

    From the Maitland Mercury report:
    The staff gathered around yesterday as representatives of the Maitland Historical Society Inc presented the Maitland Mercury with an award for the paper’s contribution to preserving the history of the city and its surrounds.
    This was the first such award the society had given and would be presented when an individual or organisation was found deserving of it, Mr Bogan said.
    The society wanted to recognise what the Mercury has done for Maitland over the years, and we thought it was particularly appropriate now with the newspaper’s 170th anniversary approaching.

    Full article by Margaret Dennis available at Maitland Mercury, Sept. 6, 2012.