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Hawkesbury Family History Group Meeting News

~ August 2008 ~  


13 August JOHN LOW From Inns to Villages: Glimpses of Family Life in the Blue Mountains
10 September PAUL BRUNTON Rum Rebellion 1808
8 October MICHELLE NICHOLS What's new in family history?

Meeting held 2nd Wednesday of the month at 10am in the Tebbutt Room, Windsor Library



Manning Wallamba Genealogical and Historical Fair is to take place at the Taree PCYC hall, Commerce St, Taree on Saturday 27th September 2008, 9am-3pm.  A range of excellent guest speakers will be discussing a variety of topics on the theme of “Europe to the Colonies” For more info email manningwallambafhs1@yahoo.com.au


All will be revealed when Parramatta Heritage Centre opens a confronting and inspiring exhibition unearthing the harsh lives of female convicts in 12 convict female factories across Australia, the oldest and most famous being the Parramatta Female Factory. Opened from 2nd August until November. The display will bring alive the stories of female feistiness & determination in this often ignored chapter of Australia’s early colonial life. Incarcerated in Female Factories, the convict women would wait until employed by free settlers, to be reassigned, to give birth to their children or to receive court-ordered punishment. Women Transported reveals the personal accounts of these women and documents their skills across two hundred different occupations including as dairymaids, housemaids, washerwomen, weavers, lace-makers, seamstresses, teachers, fishing net makers and shoe binders. Contrary to the myths, only a handful were prostitutes and the majority were literate.   The Heritage Centre is located at 346A Church Street Parramatta ph 02 8839 3324 & admission is FREE. Opened 9am – 5pm 7 days a week. Public holidays 10am – 4pm.


Thousands of 2nd hand books, duplicates from the Society of Australian Genealogists collections & other special vendors including Gould Books, Library of Australian History etc 120 Kent Street Sydney Tel 02 9247-3953


New Local Studies items now available to consult in the Local Studies Collection at Hawkesbury Central Library. To check the Library catalogue online go to http://catalogue.hawkesbury.nsw.gov.au/amlibweb/

  • The female line : researching your female ancestors / WARD at RL 929.1072 WAR
  • Damned rascals? : Henry & Susannah Kable, 1764-1846 / KABLE & WHITTAKER at RL929.20994 KAB


It is particularly useful when undertaking any research to read widely about a subject and delve into a range of material. Check the catalogue at http://catalogue.hawkesbury.nsw.gov.au/amlibweb/ for more information. Lending items can be reserved online (if you are a member & have a pin) If you would like a pin number see library staff or ring 4560-4460. The following items may be of interest :

  • Van Diemen's land by James Boyce Shelved at 994.602 BOY (Windsor)
  • Essential guide to researching your family history [DVD] Shelved at DVD ESS (Windsor)
  • Preserving your family history with multimedia [DVD] Shelved at DVD PRE (Windsor)
  • Writing a compelling family history [DVD] Shelved at DVD WRI (Richmond)
  • Who do you think you are? Australian series [DVD] Shelved at DVD WHO (Windsor & Richmond)


Back in about 2002, I got hold of a family history software program for my PC - I installed it, fiddled with it for a couple of days, and then the excitement kind of faded rather rapidly. It wasn't like I hated it, because it was something I was interested in, I suppose I just wasn't ready to do this type of thing. Fast forward to July 2007, I installed the program again, the only difference this time was that my research actually started, and continued......  my research officially had begun. Having being born with a different surname to the one I have now, and knowing practically nothing about 'family' of my birth name I was hesitant at first to research this side for personal reasons, even though that is where half my DNA is from. I initially concentrated all my efforts on the other side of the tree, but after a few months, that slowly started to change, and I reluctantly started adding, and googling both sides, and eventually was fully committed to researching all my ancestors.

The Morisset Gambrills & the Oleksiuk's whom came to Greta Camp in 1950 as displaced persons are my 2 main lines. My Oleksiuk grandparents were both used as forced labour during WW2, after it had ended, they couldn't go back to the country where they lived, and so ended up in NSW. On the other side, William Gambrill stole a few watches in the UK, and he ended up in Sydney in 1839. A watch thief and displaced persons is the reason why I'm Aussie, mate. I'm planning on visiting Morisset next year for the first time in my adult life, so, if your a local Gambrill, I might just come knocking on your door for a coffee and a chat. One of the issues I've had so far in my research is finding ancestors with no gravestone - I have more than my fair share, and will need to try and get something sorted with family members.

I'm probably a bit fortunate that I do the tree with my cousin (he is in Brisbane & I'm overseas) - we email very often and our ancestry is closely related in that our mothers married cousins - so our trees are nearly identical, Having 2 people sharing responsibilities of the same research, I believe has made a huge difference in terms of cost and genealogical progress. One year on and the research is doing well. I have about 830 names in my tree, but am more concerned with a quality tree, rather than the numbers game. Year 2 should bring about an already planned web site, an influx of BMD docs (bulk ordering planned), a visit to Greta & Morisset and the usual genealogical enquiries......oh, and more of my nagging at family members.

Bobby Nilsson (GAMBRILL) Email bobbysushi@gmail.com
If you would like to submit a story to How I got started on family history? post c/- Hawkesbury Library, 300 George Street Windsor 2756 Email michelle.nichols@hawkesbury.nsw.gov.au 

Surfing the internet……. Sites for family historians

Members with internet access should check out the following interesting sites. The Library has free access to the internet, contact 4560 4460 for bookings at Windsor & 4578 2002 for Richmond bookings.

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


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