Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Society of Australian Genealogists

Society of Australian Genealogists activities in June:
  • Saturday 9 June (10.30am - 12.30pm) - Searching for the NSW State Archives in Ancestry
    This session will look at ways of making the best use of extensive resources such as arrival, convict, ticket of leave or land grants held in the NSW State archives collection, that are currently available on Ancestry. Presenter: Christine Yeats. Bookings Essential. $20 ($30 non-members).
  • Saturday 16 June (10.30am - 12.30pm) - Self Publishing Your Family History
    Share the knowledge & expertise that the two presenters have gained from working in self-publishing companies. Margaret Szalay will provide practical information on formatting your family history manuscript for publication, while David Longfield will discuss issues relating to copyright, why you should obtain an ISBN and preparing documents & photos for inclusion in your manuscript. Bookings Essential. $20 ($30 non-members).
  • Saturday 16 June (1.30pm - 3.30pm) - Lancashire County
    Learn about the history of the Duchy of Lancashire and how it can explain some of the stumbling blocks for researchers. Peter Trebilco will show examples of the impressive journals produced by the local societies, online resources, the large number of CDs available to search, as well as the many books on the shelves at the SAG library for this county. Bookings Essential. $20 ($30 non-members).
  • Monday 18 June (10.00am - 11.00am) - 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.
  • Friday 22 June (10.30am - 1.30pm) - Ancestry Website - Hands-on Workshop
    A repeat of the popular hands-on session using the SAG library computers. Find how to access the vast amount of genealogical information held on this subscription based website, which is free to use at the SAG library. Session leader - Kerry Farmer. Bookings essential - limited to 14 places. Bookings Essential. $30 ($40 non-members).
  • Saturday 23 June (1.30pm - 3.30pm) - Writing Your Memoirs and Taking Oral History
    Memoirs: Your life story is unique and it is also a part of history. Jenny Rudd O’Neill will show how to create a lively, interesting historical record for family and for future generations. Oral History: The people in our families and communities are rich sources of information about the past, but this is often unrecorded and therefore lost to the next generation. Jenny Joyce will demonstrate how to conduct an interview and collect a meaningful oral history Bookings Essential. $20 ($30 non-members).
  • Memorial service to honour war heroes

    From the Maitland Mercury report:
    Before Anzac troops landed at Gallipoli and earned the Digger title was a war in South Africa – the Boer War – the first conflict Australia saw as a nation.
    Etched in stone at Maitland Park is the name Osborne Alexander Chilcott, great uncle to Rae Williams, one of a strong Lower Hunter contingent. This year marks the 110 years since the war finished with the treaty of Vereeniging.

    Full article by Sam Norris available at Maitland Mercury, 25 May, 2012.

    A ringing endorsement for history

    From the Maitland Mercury report:
    The bell at Morpeth Public School has been an iconic feature for many years and now it will be given a facelift.
    The school wants to restore the old bell to its prime in the lead up to the 150th anniversary celebrations in October.
    It is believed the bell has stood in the same location for most of its life and over time its impact has been lessened by a growing school.

    Full article by Belinda-Jane Davis available at Maitland Mercury, 25 May, 2012.

    Thursday, May 24, 2012

    Maitland & District Historical Society Inc.

    The Maitland Historical Society Bulletin for May 2012 is now available on the Society's updated web site - articles include
    • incoming President Kevin Parsons
    • Rourke's building
    • 'Ghost' signs
    • lecture meetings
    • photo searching
    • Queen's Theatre

    170 years of history recognised

    From the Maitland Mercury report:
    One-hundred-and-seventy years of religious and social history at East Maitland is about to listed on the State Heritage Register.
    The Anglican Diocese of Newcastle applied to Department of Environment and Heritage to consider St Peter’s Anglican Church for heritage listing, and the department in turn recommended the Glebe Gully Burial Ground be included. The application, to be endorsed by Maitland City Council tomorrow night, includes the Williams Street avenue between Brisbane Street and the New England Highway.
    MCC heritage officer and report author Clare James said these assets were collectively a major slab of Maitland’s heritage and a cornerstone of history.

    Full article by Sam Norris available at Maitland Mercury, 21 May, 2012.

    National Trust Sydney Hospital and Parliament House Tour

    Tuesday 5 June, 10am-3.30pm
    National Trust Way Day Tour
    Sydney Hospital and NSW Parliament House Tour
    Meet at 10am in the courtyard of Sydney Hospital
    Tour the Lucy Osborne/Nightingale Museum in Sydney Hospital, a very fine museum depicting the nursing history of the hospital, pathology records and specimens. This will be followed by a tour of the Hospital including the Boardroom, Chapel, Old Theatre, Library, magnificent stainedglass windows and staircase. After lunch in the Courtyard Café, a guided tour of Parliament House will include both the Legislative Assembly and Legislative Council. Cost: (includes private guided tours and lunch) $50
    NT members, $55 non-members. Bookings: essential. Enquiries:
    Margaret Durham 9326 2963.

    34th Battalion – Maitland’s Own

    From the Maitland Mercury report:
    A slew of Australia’s best actors are lined up to recreate the story of a group of World War I soldiers who left Maitland in 1916, to risk their lives on the battlefields of war-torn France.
    Actors including Nick Farnell (Balibo) and Underbelly stars Vince Colosimo, Khan Chittenden and Henry Nixon are in negotiations to represent and personify the men of the 34th Battalion – commonly known as Maitland’s Own.
    Full article by Emma Swain available at Maitland Mercury, 16 May, 2012

    Wednesday, May 16, 2012

    Hooray heritage: residents call for respect

    From the Maitland Mercury report:
    Where Hunter Street meets the river, at Horseshoe Bend, stood an 1890s cottage beneath the shade of a huge camphor laurel tree.
    The gears of progress however were too hard to stop and now, for David Butler, there is nothing left of the 1890s cottage but dust and the memory of what once was.
    Based on a 2010 council determination that the brick, weatherboard and tin cottage had “low to moderate” heritage value it was torn down by All Saints College to make way for an industrial arts facility at the back of its St Peter’s Campus.

    Full article by Sam Norris available at Maitland Mercury, 11 May, 2012.

    Inside History

    May-June 2012 issue of Inside History magazine:
  • We're looking at cemeteries, preservation success stories, and new resources.
  • Did your ancestor travel to the Klondike to strike it rich in the 1890s? Read our exclusive new research.
  • Meet the volunteers who've traced the descendants of those who died on HMAS Kuttabul in 1942.
  • Explore The Australian Women's Weekly, now digitised for Trove.
  • Find out how Phryne Fisher creator, Kerry Greenwood, researches her murder mysteries.
  • Archaeology of Darling Harbour

    Explore the archaeology of Darling Harbour on this walking tour led by Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority archaeologist Dr Wayne Johnson. Discover the area's past from the early remains of colonial Fort Phillip at Sydney Observatory to the industrial heritage of Darling Harbour. The walk includes Museum entrance and a coffee or tea en route.

    When: Wednesday 23 May 2012, 9.30am - 12.00pm
    Where: Starts from Sydney Observatory and ends at the Powerhouse Museum, Ultimo
    Cost: $35 (members $30) Booking essential.
    Further information:

    Maitland, from Old Molly Morgan's days ...

    From the Maitland Mercury report:
    A book uncovering central Maitland’s first community of European descent is close to publication. The book provides an expose on the lives of a small but diverse society made up of convict settlers, placed by Governor Macquarie on farms along the banks of the Hunter River between Morpeth and close to Elgin Street. The book looks at how these people – known as the Wallis Plains Settlers – and their families once lived, how their histories were originally embedded in crime and the opportunities they took to reform their lives.

    Full article by Emma Swain available at Maitland Mercury, 05 May, 2012

    Tomago House - Victoriana Concert

    Tomago House - a National Trust property
    Opera Hunter are presenting a concert at Tomago House, 4.00pm. Light refreshments at intermission. Tickets $25.00, bookings essential,
    ph. Fay 49301471 or Robyn 49574509 

    Sunday, May 6, 2012

    People's mall : Maitland

    From the Maitland Mercury report:
    Development in central Maitland will attract less red tape under Maitland City Council’s plan to foster the refurbishment of Maitland Heritage Mall and High Street.
    Corporate planning and engagement executive manager Leah Flint said the council would change its Local Environment Plan to accommodate more development in the precinct and make central Maitland the heart of the city.
    Ms Flint said people were keen to see the street’s heritage mixed with a modern look in the precinct such as has been achieved at the Maitland Regional Art Gallery.

    Full article by Belinda-Jane Davis available at Maitland Mercury, 24 Apr, 2012.

    National Trust Maitland Walk

    Wayne Campbell continues his series of walks around historic parts of Maitland on May 20. This time the focus is on the area around Campbell's Hill. Hear the interesting story of Monte Pio and wander back through time to the days of Maitland's rural past when the sale yards were near the centre of town.
    Walk commences at 2pm; supper at Brough House afterwards. Contact Grossman House on 49336452 for bookings.

    Historic Houses Trust Exhibition

    The Force: 150 years of NSW Police. The NSW Police Force was formed on 1 March 1862. It is the oldest and largest police force in Australia with operations on land, on sea and from the air. From wooden rattles and phrenology to taser guns and forensics, policing in New South Wales has continued to expand and develop according to the needs, attitudes and technology of the day. This exhibition celebrates 150 years of policing through a rich collection of photographs, objects and film footage. It charts the formation of specialist units, the science of crime investigation, the role of women in the force, changes in police duties and equipment, and also pays tribute to the thousands of officers who have served their community.

    Discover the stories behind Australia’s oldest police force through a rich collection of photographs, objects and film. See how policing has developed from phrenology to forensic services. Justice and Police Museum | Opens Saturday 12 May | Daily 9.30am-5pm |

    Coalfields Heritage Group

    Tumblebee, the bi-monthly journal of the Coalfields Heritage Group - April 2012 edition includes:
    • 1898 sixty years ago
    • 1862 Branxton Railway 150th year
    • 1844 Diabolical Maitland Murder
    • 1888 Aldine biographioes, part 4
    • 1888 site for Maitland Town Hall
    • William Munnings Arnold - a life unfulfilled

    State Records Sydney Reading Room

    Material moving from Sydney reading room - The Rocks               
    With the forthcoming closure of the Sydney Reading Room on 30 June 2012 the microform material and facsimile copies of selected records have started to be transferred to other locations. Please ring 9673 1788 and check if the material you want is still at The Rocks.
    Effective from 30 June 2012 State Records will close its city reading room at 2 Globe Street.

    Friday, May 4, 2012

    Get some heritage help

    From the Maitland Mercury report:
    Maitland City Council has loosened its purse strings to offer up to $15,000 to residents conserving the city’s heritage buildings.
    Now an annual project, the Maitland Local Heritage Fund is open to those conserving works to buildings and/or places of heritage significance.
    Last year the owners of Shenstone, Bolwarra, successfully applied for a grant to restore the elaborately designed gates to their historic property.
    “This project is an example of what people can do with help from the heritage fund,” council’s heritage officer Clare James said.
    Projects to be considered for funding allocation may include the conservation of culturally significant Aboriginal or European places or restoration work to residential or commercial premises.

    Full article by Emma Swain available at Maitland Mercury, 30 Apr, 2012.

    Society of Australian Genealogists

    Society of Australian Genealogists activities in May:
  • Saturday 12 May (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 12 May (10.30am - 12.30pm) - Family Tree Maker Software Group
    An information and Q & A session on both recent and all previous versions of FTM software. Please post beforehand on the FTM UG Forum, any topics that you would like discussed. Bookings Essential. $8 ($12 non-members).
  • Thursday 17 May (10.30am - 1.00pm) - Tour of Rookwood Cemetery by bus
    Join the bus at Reflections Café for a 2½ hour guided tour of this multicultural, working cemetery & heritage protected site. It is the Southern Hemisphere’s largest cemetery and highlights will include the gravestones of identities significant in Australia’s history, war graves, and the ornate architecture of the Chapels and Serpentine Canal with its elegant ponds, bridges & urns. Please note: Wheelchair access is not possible on this tour. Your cemetery guide Robyn Hawes, is a member of ‘Friends of Rookwood’ organisation. Bookings Essential. $15 ($22 non-members).
  • Saturday 19 May (10.30am - 12.30pm) - Google - More than just Search
    Learn how to use Google Books and Scholar for historical information; Google Docs to collaborate on documents; Google Maps for current maps of localities and creating your own maps of significant places; Gmail for free email; and Google Talk for cheap internet phone calls. Presenter - Carole Riley. Bookings Essential. $20 ($30 non-members).
  • Saturday 19 May (1.30pm - 3.30pm) - The Master Genealogist Software Group
    Linda Bishop will explain sentence variables and how to create interesting sentences for a book or report, directly from data entered into the TMG program. Bookings Essential. $8 ($12 non-members).

  • More activities detailed at the S.A.G. website.  

    National Archaeology Week (20 - 26 May)

    National Archaeology Week aims to increase public awareness of Australian archaeology and the work of Australian archaeologists both at home and abroad, and to promote the importance of protecting Australia's unique archaeological heritage. A range of events are planned, including:

    Royal Austalian Historical Society Evening Lecture:
    A Surprising Find: Thomas Ball’s Pottery pot compilation

    Monday 21 May
    This talk investigates the pottery from waster pits associated with Thomas Ball’s pottery (c1801-1823) in the Haymarket. This is the earliest Pottery site investigated so far in Australia. Thomas Ball was a Staffordshire-trained potter operating a Pottery in the Brickfields (now the Haymarket) and produced a range of locally-made wares, a mixture of utilitarian items and decorated tablewares, as well as smoking pipes and marbles. The tablewares imitated Staffordshire ceramics while others were decorated with unusual green and brown floral hand painted patterns. Aspects of the kiln and manufacturing process are discussed. Thomas Ball’s ceramics are also discussed within the context of other pottery imported into the colony at that time.
    Dr Mary Casey has been a heritage consultant since 1989, and is a principle of Casey & Lowe Pty Limited, one of the foremost historical archaeological consultancies in NSW. Dr Casey has excavated numerous early colonial sites, particularly in Sydney and Parramatta, and has a special interest and expertise in early Australian potters and ceramics.
    Time: 5.30 for 6pm – 7.30pm
    Venue: History House
    Cost: $10 members / $12 non members

    Brave Digger remembered

    From the Maitland Mercury report:
    Private John Bede Murray was Maitland’s only soldier killed in action along the Kokoda Track on October 23, 1942.
    He lived in Bourke Street, Maitland, with his wife Dorothy and he was a linotype operator at the Maitland Mercury at the time of enlistment.
    Private Murray’s death was deemed accidental after a two inch mortar bomb exploded prematurely. He was 31.
    He was originally buried at Eora Creek village and later his body was exhumed and reburied in Port Moresby War Cemetery, Papua New Guinea.
    He was remembered for his wartime service in the 100th anniversary edition of the Maitland Mercury on January 7, 1943, at the height of World War II.

    Full report by Rebecca Berry available at Maitland Mercury, 25 Apr, 2012.

    National Archives UK - Audrey Collins

    Audrey Collins, from The National Archives UK, will be touring the Eastern states of Australia in June-July 2012. This will be a special opportunity to hear one of the leading experts and presenters from the UK. 
    Fri 29 June - Sydney, 9am to 4.30pm - full day seminar at Parramatta RSL Club , Cnr Macquarie and O’Connell Streets, Parramatta.
    Audrey's writing credits include contributions to several family history magazines, and she is the co-author with Dave Annal of the forthcoming Birth, Marriage and Death Records: a guide for family historians. She makes occasional radio and TV appearances, including a feature for the interactive element of the UK version of Who Do You Think You Are? She also has a keen interest in online resources and social media, with her blog The Family Recorder and as a regular contributor to The National Archives new blog

    Bookings are now open for the Sydney event.
    Further information at Unlock the Past.

    The spoils from eight rounds with Les Darcy in 1912

    From the Maitland Mercury report:
    The medal ensconced in Neville Bates’ care may be losing a bit of its shine but its link to the region’s boxing history will never be tarnished.
    On April 27, 1912, the medal was placed around the neck of Mr Bates’ great uncle Harry Emery following a battle with The Maitland Wonder, Les Darcy.
    And while Darcy may have been declared the winner of the fight at Summer Park, Newcastle, Emery’s connection to that day – a century ago – lives on.
    “Uncle Harry didn’t have any kids so the medal was left to my dad to be handed down through the generations,” Mr Bates, 82, of Cessnock, said. “And even though I don’t remember much of Uncle Harry, I have always cherished the medal.”

    Full article by Emma Swain available at Maitland Mercury, 28 Apr, 2012.

    Iconic city property to become a classy hotel

    From the Maitland Mercury report:
    The sale of Mansfield – one of Maitland’s most significant historical buildings – will bring a premier hotel to High Street.
    John Murphy sold the 1885 building last week and said the new owners want to convert the second and third floor, which had previously been office space, into a hotel, and this would be a major attraction for the city.
    “It’s one of the most significant buildings in Maitland and, architecture-wise, it is one of the most significant in NSW,” he said.
    The plans will fit in with Maitland City Council’s plan to refurbish High Street to make central Maitland the heart of the city.
    The building was the home of the Commercial Bank of Sydney until 1949 and the manager used to live upstairs.
    But when a manager’s house was bought in Lorn, the top two floors were converted into office space and a variety of businesses used them.

    Full article by Belinda-Jane Davis available at Maitland Mercury, 25 Apr, 2012.