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Hawkesbury Family History Group Meeting News

~ February 2008 ~  


13 February DR CAROL LISTON Parramatta Orphan School
12 March MICHELLE NICHOLS Lucy Osburn Women with a Mission - Womens History Month
9 April KAREN MILLS History of the Grono family
14 May DR GRACE KARSKENS New history of early Sydney (Topic to be confirmed)
11 June

GAIL DAVIS Treasures from the State Records

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


On the Run - Daring Convict Escapes

Free display tells the story of some daring convict escapes of the early 1800s including Mary Bryant, William Swallow & Alexander Pearce.  Available to view at Hawkesbury Central Library, 300 George Street Windsor between 11 to 24 February 2008 during Library opening hours.

Society Of Australian Genealogists (SAG)

SAG are making a special offer for the duration of the Australian series on SBS TV "Who Do You Think You Are?". The joining fee for any new member joining prior to the 20 February is being waived. By joining SAG you can get access to the SAG library resources, as well as assistance from helpful volunteers. You can visit at Level 2, 379 Kent Street Sydney on Tuesday-Thursday or Saturday, 10am to 4pm, or download an application form at www.sag.org.au Phone (02) 9247 3953. 

Original Six ~ Rheingau to Camden Park ~ 1838-2008 Reunion

To celebrate 170 years since 6 German Vinedressers with their families arrived on the "Kinnear" a reunion is planned in Camden, NSW on 26-27 April 2008. In October 1837 Edward Macarthur recruited 6 vinedressers from Mittelheim, Hattenheim & Erbach in the Duchy of Nassau. Casper FLICK, Georg GERHARD, Johann JUSTUS, Friederich SECKOLD, Johann STEIN and Johann WENZ with their families left Germany for London on 19 November accompanied by Edward Macarthur. They departed 10 December 1837 arriving in Sydney on the "Kinnear" on 23 April 1838. Edward, James and William Macarthur Esquires received a total Bounty of £145 for the six families. To obtain information on the reunion please contact Julie Watt on (02) 4683 3973 or email wattlebee@bigpond.com or visit www.twomeycontracting.com/reunion

Politics & Power: Bligh's Sydney Rebellion 1808

On 26 January 1808, William Bligh, fourth governor of New South Wales, was deposed & placed under house arrest. Politics and Power: Bligh’s Sydney Rebellion 1808 presents this story through the original pictures, manuscripts and printed works of the time. The above exhibition is on display until the 27 April 2008 in the Picture Gallery State Library of NSW Macquarie Street, Sydney.


Some members may recall Jean & Barry Purtell, from days gone by. Barry passed away in the Hawkesbury Village on 30 January 2008. 

Memorial to Convict women 10 April 2008

A service commemorating ALL Convict women will be held at St John’s Cathedral, Church Street Parramatta on Thursday 10th April, 2008 2pm. ALL WELCOME. Bonnets made by women world-wide will be placed in a boat in St. John’s Cathedral in a service paying tribute to the lives of convict women and to highlight the economic and social contribution made by female convicts to the Nation. Thousands of convict women spent time in Parramatta. For more information see www.christinahenri.com.au There will also be a dinner held at 6.30pm at Lachlan's Restaurant, Old Government House Parramatta Park $75. Additional details on the Blessing of the Bonnets and dinner.


Owen & Margaret Cavanough Reunion - 29 March 2008

Descendants of Ebenezer church pioneers Owen & Margaret Cavanough - please note that a family re-union is planned for 29 March 2008 at Ebenezer Church, starting at 10am. Sunday 30th March picnic lunch at McQuade Park, Windsor. Associated families include : Beecroft, Bowd, Buttsworth, Curl, Everingham, Greentree, Mitchell, Paull, Salter, Simmons, Smallwood, Stubbs, Watkins and all those related to Owen Cavanough & Margaret nee Dowling. Further details from: Pat Holdorf, 85 James Street, Punchbowl NSW 2196 or email p1234@tadaust.org.au 

Lock and Graham Reunion - 24 May 2008

Lock and Graham Reunion will be held on Saturday 24th May 2008. Other names connected are Hodgetts & Maloney. Will be held St. Matthew's Anglican Hall, corner of Greenway and Moses Streets, Windsor. 9am to 3pm. Bring along lunch, family photos, family stories and anything of interest. Tea & coffee available for small charge. More info contact Coral Haeusler, 02 9622-7501 or email wyzwords@optushome.com.au 

In Search

Researchers wishing to advertise a Reunion or seeking information may be interested in the free service offered by the "Daily Telegraph" newspaper. A number of members have used this successfully. The following is the most current contact information about In Search. Send details to In Search, Feedback Editor, PO Box 2808, GPO Sydney 2001 or email yoursay@dailytelegraph.com.au It is necessary to include a contact name and telephone number. Emails should not include attachments.


During the late 1980s I was working a large tapestry as a wedding present for my daughter.  The scene was an old sailing ship ploughing through rough seas.  Each time I was working it I would wonder if any of my ancestors travelled on a ship such as that.  I already knew that my mother's family had arrived as immigrants in the late 1800s, but I hadn't traced my father's family. After my daughter's wedding I started to buy certificates as it was a common surname and I wanted to be sure that I was following the correct family. Eventually I worked back to the Hawkesbury area.  Up until then I'd never even heard of Webb's Creek, let alone knew where it was.  I contacted the Hawkesbury Family History Group and Michelle published my questions in the "Hawkesbury Crier".  I had a lot of help from members of the Group, for which I'll be forever grateful.  Some people already knew of my connection to the Stubbs family and advised me of the Stubbs Reunion which was due to be held soon after. 

Since that time I've been constantly amazed at the number of Hawkesbury families to which I'm related.  Previously unknown relatives are still popping up as more and more people start to trace their family history.  The best advice I can give to beginners is not to believe all that you read and to always verify information to your own satisfaction if possible.  Some people claim to have traced their family history in just a few weeks, but sometimes they have just copied other people's mistakes.  Always listen carefully to family stories and make a note of them. Sometimes there is some embellishment of the truth, but the basics may still be there.  One story I was told was of an ancestor who was shipwrecked in the Bay of Biscay on her way to Australia.  I knew that she was in Sydney in 1877 but couldn't find her arrival.  After many years I found that she was sailing from England to New Zealand when the ship was disabled (not shipwrecked) in the Bay of Biscay.  They were towed back to England where the ship was repaired, then they sailed again for New Zealand.  My ancestor stayed in New Zealand for a few months but then came to Sydney.  Another mystery solved.With more records constantly becoming available online researching is far easier than it was when I first started, but I still find it a fascinating hobby.

Submitted by Coralie Hird email cdhird@optusnet.com.au Researching SULLIVAN, HEARNE, REILLY, ROSE, HOBBS, STUBBS from the HAWKESBURY RIVER NSW area.

If you would like to submit an item for How I got started on family history?  for inclusion the newsletter, send to the address below or email michelle.nichols@hawkesbury.nsw.gov.au

Volunteers needed for FreeBMD

FreeBMD is an ongoing project, the aim of which is to transcribe the Civil Registration index of BDMs for England & Wales, & provide free Internet access. If you haven't yet used this site, take a look. On 11 Feb 2008 FreeBMD users did 229,031 searches! The whole index hasn't yet been transcribed 1837-1909 is almost complete & volunteers are now working on 1910-29. To date 145,120,921 records have been transcribed but more people are needed to help. If you have very basic skills, a computer & 30 mins a week, FreeBMD needs you! Help speed up the rate at which free BDMs indexes become available. To check it out see http://www.freebmd.org.uk/Signup.html


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/

  • SA Death Registrations 1916 - 1972 (CD-ROM)
  • Rod & Wendy Gow books newspaper index books now available to access on the Local Studies PC

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.

Ebenezer Church website ~ www.ebenezerchurch.org.au

Non-Parochial Registers UK (For records of birth, baptism, marriage, death & burial taken from non parish sources) ~ www.bmdregisters.co.uk

Notable Australian Women http://www.teachers.ash.org.au/jmresources/achievers/women.html

Notable Australians ~ http://www.teachers.ash.org.au/jmresources/achievers/australian.html

Newspaper Indexes by Rod & Wendy Gow (new address) ~ http://members.ceinternet.com.au/rgowadsl

South Australian Passenger Lists ~ http://www.shipping.familyhistorysa.info/

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


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