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Hawkesbury Family History Group Meeting News

~14th August 2002 ~  

Today the members will celebrate the 20TH BIRTHDAY of the Hawkesbury Family History Group 1982-2002


14 AUGUST 2002 GEOFFREY BURKHARDT 1900s sources + 20th birthday celebrations
11 SEPTEMBER 2002 KEITH JOHNSON Sydney Burial Ground
9 OCTOBER 2002 CATHY McHARDY Did your ancestors live in the City of Sydney?
13 NOVEMBER 2002 JOCELYN POWELL Publishing your family or local history
11 DECEMBER 2002 SHOW & TELL Plus Christmas Party

20th Birthday Celebrations-Hawkesbury Family History Group

Your last opportunity to participate in the Hawkesbury Family History Group's "Members Interest List" which will be published in the September issue of the Hawkesbury Crier. Forms are available at meeting however information does not have to be on this form, but please use the same format. To participate send the following details you are researching :


Research does not have to relate to the Hawkesbury. Limit of 16 entries per person. Details to be received by the 23rd August 2002. Post to PO Box 146 Windsor 2756 or send via email to mnichols@hawkesbury.nsw.gov.au

Tracing your Irish Ancestors seminar - ADVANCE NOTICE

The Library has organised on behalf of the Group to hold a special seminar as part of the Fruits of the Hawkesbury Festival later in the year. The Guest Speaker will be renowned lecturer Dr. Richard Reid. This event will take place on Friday 25th October 2002, from 10am to 3pm and will include a light lunch 12noon-1pm. There is no fee however bookings are essential. This is advance notice and bookings are being taken as of today. Bookings at the Reference Desk in the Library or phone 4560-4460.

Death of Darrell Cox

Long-time member of the Hawkesbury Family History Group & also Nepean FHS, Darrell Cox passed away last month, after a long illness. His funeral was held at St. Monica's Catholic Church at Richmond on Tuesday 16th July 2002. Members, John Norris, Des Nicholson & Michelle Nichols paid their last respects on behalf of the group. He was buried at the Richmond Lawn Cemetery.

Central Coast Family History Society Family History Fair

This will be held on Sunday 17th November 2002 at the Lions Community Hall 10am-2pm. There will be various exhibitors as well as a sausage sizzle etc. If anyone in the group is interested attending and selling the Hawkesbury Pioneer Registers on behalf of the group, please advise Michelle, 4560-4466. Need to know by the 15 September 2002.

Earlier Library Opening Hours

Hawkesbury City Council Library Service has changed its opening hours from Monday 1st July 2002. New opening hours are as follows :
Windsor Central Library
Monday to Friday 9am - 7pm, Saturday 9am - 1pm &
Sunday 2pm - 5pm.
Richmond Branch Library
Monday to Friday 9.30am - 6pm & Saturday 9am - 1pm.
Both libraries closed Public Holidays. Any enquiries contact 4560-4460.

Australian Ex-Prisoners of War Memorial Appeal

A memorial is to be established at Ballarat recording 35000 Australians who became prisoners of whom 8600 during the Boer War, WWI, WWII & the Korean War. (No POWs were taken in the Vietnam War) The Ex-POW Memorial organisers would like to know the location of every POW or their families, contact The Ex-POW Memorial Appeal RSL, 2 Lyons Street, South Ballarat 3350. The Committee is also seeking donations to fund the Memorial, send donations to the above address. Please pass this information onto any interested groups or persons. (All donations over $2 are Tax Deductible)

Midwives & nurses on Nth Coast 1890s to the 1940s

Information sought on the life & work of midwives &/or nurses who established provate maternity/general hospitals from the 1890s to the 1940s on the mid north coast for a historical project. Areas included are Kempsey (Macleay Valley) Armidale, macksville, Grafton, Coffs Harbour, Dorrigo, Lismore, Casino, Kyogle & the Brunswick Valley including Mullumbimby, Ballina, Brunswick Heads & Byron Bay. Please contact Noeline Kyle, 8 Avocado Court Mullumbimby 2482 Tel : 02 6684 2700 or email nkyle@scu.edu.au

NSW & ACT Assoc of Family History Societies

ANNUAL CONFERENCE "Progress and Unity" at Casino 20-22 September 2002
Full Conference (2 days) $75 (Saturday only $55 Sunday only $35) Conference Dinner on Sat evening $28. More info see www.rootsweb.com/~nswcdfhg/Conference.html or Ph: (02) 66628114 ah (02)66622893. Email Address: casinofhg@hotmail.com

Surfing the internet**. Sites for family historians

The Library has free access to the internet, contact 4560 4460 for bookings. Richmond also has access, for bookings phone 4578 2002.

Divorce Index Victoria 1861 - 1900 http://www.macbeth.com.au/indexes/divsearch.html

Unassisted Shipping Index of Inward Pass Lists for British etc Ports 1852-1889 http://www.macbeth.com.au/indexes/immsearch.html

Search Assisted Immigration to Victoria 1836 to 1879 Ships http://www.macbeth.com.au/indexes/assimmsearch.html

Guide to Australian Business records http://www.archivists.org.au/busrec/index.html

Leah Hutton's Genealogy Homepage http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Forum/3709/

~ Let us know of any new addresses, that you have tried with (or without) success ~

Family History & Internet Family History Classes

Hawkesbury Community College are once again running Family history classes. The classes are taught by Michelle Nichols and are held at Windsor Central Library. The courses are aimed at beginners, or for researchers who are at a standstill with research. The dates for classes are Saturday 24th August, 10am to 5pm.

Internet for family historians is also being run again. This session is an introduction course for persons wanting to become familiar with sites relating to family history. This session is on Saturday 26th October, 2pm-5pm. Contact the College if you are interested in enrolling on 4588-5466.

New Items added to the Local Studies Collection * check out the following:

* A guide to London & Middlesex genealogy & records / WEBB RL929.20942 WEB
* Occupational sources for genealogists : a bibliography / RAYMOND RL929.1072 RAY
* Managing a Genealogical project / DOLLARHIDE RL929.1 DOL
* Beyond pedigrees : organising & enhancing your work / WHITAKER RL929.1 WHI
* Tracing your family history in Australia : a national guide to sources / VINE HALL RL929.394 VIN
* Tracing your family history in Australia : a bibliography / VINE HALL RL929.394 VIN
* Iron in our blood :history of the Presbyterian Church NSW 1788-2001 / HUTCHINSON RL285.2944 HUT
* Seven miles from Sydney : A history of Manly / CURBY RL994.41 CUR
* George Doust 1823-1866 & Elizabeth Wright 1832-1864 of Parramatta / MEYER RL929.20994 DOU
* A tour of the Wesleyan Cemetery / CASWELL-MILLER RL929.5099441 CAS
* Sydney takes shape : a history in maps / ASHTON RL994.41 ASH

Member's Profile

We have been featuring a section called "Member's Profiles" providing details of members. More are needed. Details required include a bit about yourself, your background, and your interest in family history & importantly the names you are researching. We will keep featuring this article as long as members contribute. To date we have featured Ian Brothers, Del Swain, Des Nicholson, John Norris, Hazel & Bill Reidy, Grace Douglass, Don & Jill Mills, Sue Bennett, Laurie Hession, Laurel Legge, Michelle Nichols, Ernie Byrnes, Judith Norris, Elaine Greentree, Graham Thom, Wendy Stalker, Trish Moon & Robynne Winley.


I'm Geoff Ford [geford@tpg.com.au] - Dr Geoff Ford, where the Ph.D. just means I did a research degree many years ago. My spirit is in the Hawkesbury Sandstone environment where I've been reared, with the most formative years in the Ford family home at Springwood. It was formative being left outside to play with a resident redbellied blacksnake when I was a toddler (so my mum's gasping story told). My dad used to crawl through the underbrush with me to watch lyre birds showing off. I identified with the outdoors and with animals so much, I became a veterinarian and later a lecturer then a specialist pathobiologist in my professional occupation. All my life I've been bushwalking and doing other outdoor pursuits. Amongst other places on the planet, I've worked in Tasmania where I could climb the south west mountains, and in South Australia where I could camp in the central deserts in my spare time. Now that I'm retired I have no spare time at all, but still take people on outdoor heritage activities.

The aspect of Hawkesbury Family History, which is my principal study now, involves the family life of the people responsible for the crossing of the River at Peats Ferry. Did you know that Australia's First Native Settler (conceived in the colony) was George Peat? Peat with his first family settled at Wilberforce around the 1820s. He was following his mentor (and brother-in-law) James Webb up the River. Webb and Giles Mower were the two soldiers sent with the first twenty two Hawkesbury settlers, Mower at Windsor, Webb at Pitt Town. Then Mower and Webb went to Webbs Creek. Subsequently, after Webb became the first settler at Brisbane Water, Peat with his second family became the first settler at Mooney Mooney, establishing the ferry crossing.

James Webb had a common law wife at Brisbane Water from whom some of the present Aboriginal Guringai people are descended. George Peat plotted a line of road to connect Sydney to Brisbane Water following a path shown to him by a local Aborigine. I would welcome every lead to a story about Webb and Peat on the Hawkesbury which may add to my research.

The more fascinating Hawkesbury connection for me is my father's fathers' line. I thought I knew who I was when I made the link in 2001 that dad's grandparents were John and Ruth Ford of Wilberforce. Then I found my connection had been confirmed with the listing by Grace Douglass in the Hawkesbury Pioneer Register Vol.1. But, to find the stories of John's life, I have to separate him from another John Ford of Wilberforce - son of John Ford arr.1818 Fortune and Jane Hoskisson arr.1823 Mary - who married Charlotte Hynes (Crupper). Yet in Hawkesbury Pioneer Register Vol.2, Dawn Reid has John Ford of Wilberforce - son of the American Charles Ford arr.1816 Atlas and Sarah Hoskisson - who married Charlotte Sheppard (Cropper). Help! Just how many John Fords were there there then!!

Compared to the mystery of John Fords, others are a doddle. My Hawkesbury "great" grandparents include John Wenban and wife Mary Piper arr.1838 Maitland, Michael Ford arr.1817 Larkins, John Cobcroft arr.1790 Scarborough & Sarah Smith arr.1790 Neptune. But I still have to trace the arrival around the 1860s of Payne ancestors. The fun puzzle is looking for stories of the origin of the family name, because Michael was a Roman Catholic Irishman. The English wrote his name as Ford, but was it really? When he worshipped at Windsor's St Matthews, was it C of E or RC? And, on the Hawkesbury, Michael became a local schoolmaster ..... but who knows which school??

For my thousands (nay, many thousands) of Everingham cousins who follow the First Fleet descendants, I'm the Geoffrey Eric Ford on page 131 in Cornstalks 1988. This immediately tells the world that - on my mother's mothers' line - I have a Hawkesbury Family History with ancestors from Richard Woodbury arr.1806 Fortune, Joseph Bridge arr.1806 Fortune, Elizabeth Buffey arr.1806 Alexander, Catherine Neal arr.1796 M.Cornwallis, William Shaw arr.1791 William & Ann, to Elizabeth Rymes arr.1790 Neptune. It's what happened after that that's the challenge. You see, I have the theory that my cousins who did that research may have covered up a scandal that my grandmother was her eldest sister's daughter. Then there's the 1820s Medhurst connection, and the question of the arrival around the 1830s of Dengate and Trench ancestors. So, even in such a well researched family, there's lots to uncover yet.


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