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Hawkesbury Family History Group Meeting News

~ July 2009 ~  


8 July

DR KEN KNIGHT Colourful Colonial Publicans

12 August ALISON SPENCER History of postcards
9 September MICHELLE NICHOLS Researching Scandals, Crime & Corruption

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



National Family History Week will be celebrated all over Australia between the 1st – 9th August 2009 and is an initiative of AFFHO (Australasian Federation of Family History Organisations).  Family history and genealogy are proving the most popular hobbies in Australia and around the world.  Did you know that family history is the second biggest subject on the web with sites receiving billions of hits each year. Lots of events will be held, see www.affho.org

To celebrate National Family History Week visit the Local Studies Collection at Hawkesbury Central Library and see what information is on offer. Attend an introductory tour of the Local Studies Collection and check out the family history resources. The Library has a wide range of research tools including information about convicts and early settlers, shipping records to English census and other databases online. This is a great opportunity to meet experts to help you get started or tackle a problem. Tours will be held on Tuesday 4th and Thursday 6th morning from 10am to 11am. On Wednesday morning 6th August from 10am there will be a talk on the Electronic Resources available for genealogical research. This talk will run for an hour.  The above events are free and bookings are advised by phoning 4560-4460.


Members of the Hawkesbury Family History Group had an excursion to the Ebenezer Church & Cemetery last month [see pictures below]. The group were given a talk by Ted Brill and tour of the historic church and grounds just prior to the Bicentennial celebrations. Despite the very cold windy conditions an enjoyable day was had by all. Members particularly enjoyed the scones and jams served by the gracious ladies  in the Pavilion.


Ebenezer Church had a wonderful weekend of celebrations on the 19-20 June 2009. Several thousand people flocked to the historic setting including 1000s of descendants of the original families connected to the church. Tents were set up for families such as the Grono, Bushell, Johnston, Arndell, Cavanough, Jacklin, Hall, Howe, Stubbs and Turnbull. As well as a an open air service, there was entertainment plus historical displays. A wonderful tribute by the Ebenezer community to commemorate 200 years of the church.


In August and September the Hawkesbury Regional Gallery will be showing Vessels of Hope, a tribute to the convict women of Australia, developed by conceptual artist Christina Henri. Christina's dream is to have 25,566 bonnets made, one for every woman transported to Australia.  If you have a convict ancestor, Christina invites you to share your information on that woman's life and to make a bonnet with her name on it. If you have no female convict ancestry she provides a list from which you can 'adopt' a convict woman to whom you feel drawn. Either way, you’ll need the pattern, so reply to this with your postal address and we’ll send you one, or click here to download http://www.christinahenri.com.au/index.php?/info/downloads/ The Gallery will also be making kits available with all materials included for $10 (gallery members and museum volunteers $5). Sewing bees will be held at the gallery on Sunday 12 July (Stan Stevens Studio) and Sunday 19 July, when you can make your bonnet in company and call on expert advice and practical assistance should you need it. To order a kit and/or book in for the sewing bees, phone the gallery on 4560 4441.


Maitland Family History Circle Inc. will be holding their family history fair  on 23rd August 2009, 9am – 3pm at Maitland City Bowls, Sports & Recreation Club, Arthur Street, Rutherford. Entry Fee is $5

1911  CENSUS

“The 1911 Census for England was released to the public in January 2009. It was a low-key launch, as nobody wanted a repeat of the 1901 debacle. The census is appearing three years earlier than it really should be, as it was officially to be released to the public 100 years after it was taken. It was released early because of the successful Freedom of Information Act appeals. It is a joint project between the National Archives and Find my past and is available to access (u$er pay) at www.1911census.co.uk This great resource tool has all the features of the earlier English census but also includes the number of children born in a family, as well as how many children survived. The forms were completed by the householder so you get the signature of the head of the household. The disability column has is not available to view. The 1911 Irish census us also being released with some counties already available, the only other complete Irish census to survive, the 1901 will also be available shortly. The Irish census are and will be available free to view. The Scottish 1911 census will not appear until at least mid 2011.”


The following new items are available to consult as part of the Local Studies Collection:

  • Australia’s Army War Dead 1885-1972 (on CD-ROM)
  • Police Gazettes Compendium 1921-5 on CD-ROM


As of 12th June 2009 there has been an increase in the prices of the following items, postage & handling for 1-2 items is $10 extra:

  • Hawkesbury Pioneer Register Vol. 1 ~ $30.00
  • Hawkesbury Pioneer Register Vol. 2 ~ $35.00

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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