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Hawkesbury Family History Group Meeting News

~12th November 2003 ~  


12 November J SALTER & P KETTLE Research in London & the Home Counties
10 December SHOW & TELL Plus Christmas Party


Members of the group will be saddened to know that Grace Douglass passed away last week. Her funeral will take place on Thursday 13th November at 12noon in the North Chapel at the Northern Suburbs Crematorium. Read Grace's story at the end of the news.


The First Fleet Nash Family by Carol Baxter tells the story of 3 generations of the family of Marine Private William Nash & his wife Maria Haynes through detailed biographies of 29 family members & their spouses including numerous Hawkesbury families. Carol Baxter, 10 Melaleuca Dr, St Ives NSW 2075 e-mail: c_baxter@optusnet.com.au Softcover, A4 size, illustrated, indexed, bibliography, approx. 500 pages. A special pre-publication offer (30% discount) is available until 31 December 2003. Prior to that date the publication will cost $49.50 however from 1 January 2004 onwards it will cost $70 Postpak @ $7.50 each (fits 2 books) Book ready for postage in March 2004.


Will be held on the weekend of 29th & 30th November 2003, from 9.30 am to 3.30 pm at Windsor High School Hall, Mulgrave Road, McGraths Hill. The reunion is being organised by Lesley Uebel ckennedy@bigpond.net.au Norma & Ian McLean and Coralie Hird. Entrance Fee is $5, Children under 16 Free (Fee covers a person attending either one day or both days) For more information see below or http://users.bigpond.net.au/convicts/page154.html


Family History Seminars at State Records O'Connell Street, Kingswood. Presented by Martyn Killion (SAG President) & Heather Garnsey (SAG Executive Officer) by the Society of Australian Genealogists Saturday 29 November (10.30-12.30) Successful surfing - Websites of archives & libraries in Australia (1.30-3.30) Successful surfing - Websites of archives & libraries overseas Cost: $20 per lecture ($15 for SAG members) or book a place at all 4 for $70 ($50 for SAG members) For bookings & payment contact SAG Phone: (02) 9247 3953 Email: info@sag.org.au Web: www.sag.org.au 


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

Pastfinders ~ www.pastfinders.net

Old Bailey records ~ http://www.oldbaileyonline.org

National Archives of Scotland ~ http://www.nas.gov.uk/

Check out some of the new sites available on the State Records site

Gaol Photograph Index ~ Albury & Armidale gaol photograph description books have been available to search online, the latest additions to this index are Bathurst and Dubbo gaols. ~ www.records.nsw.gov.au/indexes/gaols/introduction.htm

Index to the Randwick Asylum for Destitute Children, 1852-1865 ~ www.records.nsw.gov.au/indexes/randwick/introduction.htm.

Schools and related records index (Browsable by school) ~ www.records.nsw.gov.au/indexes/schools/default.htm

Naturalization index 1834-1903 ~ www.records.nsw.gov.au/indexes/naturalisation/introduction.htm

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

GRACE DOUGLASS (1930-2003)

The following is adapted from Grace's story she wrote for the Meeting News on the 14th June 2000.

Grace was born at Naremburn in 1930, the only child of Jack and Queenie Buddle. At the age of 2 she had her first holiday with her parents in the Hawkesbury, staying in carters Road, Grose Vale. At that time she was more interested in the cows and chickens, rather than the fact her g.g.g. grandfather had been granted land in the area by Governor Macquarie. Grace however grew up with the knowledge that her maternal grandmother's family came from the Hawkesbury and had been living there for several generations. Her family moved to Chatswood just before the outbreak of World War 2. When Grace had finished her education she began working in an office in the City where she met her husband Gordon Douglass. Grace and Gordon married and moved to their home at Pennant Hills in 1955. Grace and Gordon had 3 children, Robert, Beverly & Lynne.

Grace first became interested in family history in 1964 when one of her Mother's cousins showed her some material she had copied from the Mitchell Library, information about John Ezzey born in the colony, the District Constable at North Richmond and his family. It wasn't until the early 1970s that Grace had time to develop her passion of genealogy and began delving into the past at the Archives Office. She established that William "Izzy" formerly Hizzey and later Ezzy/Ezzey, arrived in 1792 on the "Royal Admiral" and with his free wife Jane nee Floid. Grace discovered that Jane was the first woman to receive a land grant in the Hawkesbury. Other relatives included Henry Lamb who arrived in 1791 on the "Albermarle" a member of the NSW Corps and Elizabeth Chambers a convict who arrived on the "Kitty" in 1792. Her Mother had told her many stories of her Witney g.g. grandparents as she was growing up.

Grace applied her excellent family history techniques to medical research. Gordon's family, unfortunately suffer from the familial form of Motor Neurone Disease which is passed from parent to child in their genes. Most MND sufferers have the sporadic form (no record of other relatives suffering) However in the 1980s Grace set about drawing up charts and family trees to assist the medical researchers in Australia to trace descendants and assess to what extent the Douglass/Hunt family was affected. With the help of other family members they were able to find evidence of the disease in the family back to Gordon's g.g. grandfather who came to Australia in 1882 down to present day. Following Gordon's retirement he drew up flow charts and spreadsheets showing the age of the onset of disease etc. These with the family history records have been sent to medical researchers in Australia the UK and USA in the attempt to understand the cause of the onset and to one day find a cure.

They retired in 1992 and purchased a Landcruiser and a larger caravan and over the last 10 years traveled all over Victoria, NSW and Queensland and in 1998 went to Cooktown via the Bloomfield Track. They both enjoyed learning about early history of the town they traveled through and spent time looking at museums and pioneer villages, exploring the bush lands and roaming through cemeteries.

Grace joined the Hawkesbury Family History Group in 1983 and has always contributed to the Hawkesbury Crier with articles and stories and also created an index for the Hawkesbury Crier for 1983-1998. Grace (along with cousin Laurel) were instrumental with processing both volumes of the Hawkesbury Pioneer Register and worked countless hours, checking, typing and researching. Grace also worked tirelessly over the last 2 years entering the transcriptions of St. Matthew's Church of England cemetery and only recently completed.

A few months ago Gordon and Grace set off on another of their jaunts however Grace became unwell and they returned home. She was diagnosed with gall Bladder cancer and commenced treatment however she was very ill and was hospitalised. She passed away on Thursday 6th November. Her husband Gordon, aged 76 years, sadly passed away on the same day.

Their funeral will take place on Thursday 13th November at 12noon in the North Chapel, in the Northern Suburbs Crematorium. By request no flowers, donations to the Motor Neurone Society. When the St. Matthew's Church of England, Windsor Cemetery is published, the publication will be dedicated in Grace's memory.


A reunion for all the families of Hawkesbury Pioneers 29 & 30 November 2003 at Windsor High School, McGraths Hill, from 9.30 am to 3.30 pm at Windsor High School Hall, Mulgrave Road, McGraths Hill. The reunion is being organised by Lesley Uebel ckennedy@bigpond.net.au Norma & Ian McLean and Coralie Hird. Entrance Fee is $5, Children under 16 Free (Fee covers a person attending either one day or both days) For more information see http://users.bigpond.net.au/convicts/page154.html

The following is a message from one of the organisers, Lesley Uebel to assist with planning for this great event. 

The count down is on with only a few weeks to go and I along with my co-organisers (Coralie Hird, Ian and Norma McLean) are really looking forward to the event and also meeting you all. We expect about 600 plus people to attend over the weekend.

A few reminders

* Although plenty of name labels will be available, you may like to consider producing your own to ensure that you include your family names.

* If you own a computer you may also wish to consider printing out some business cards to include your name, address, email address and mainfamily lines to pass out to those who you meet at the reunion. You can purchase business cards on an A4 sheet at many department stores such as Big W and they are fairly cheap and easy to use. If you don't want to be bothered with purchasing these, you may like to just print out your details on some A4 sheets and then cutting to size.

The attendance sheets will be typed up shortly after the weekend and will be made available (as an attachment) via email for free and on request and will only be sent to those who attend the reunion. For those who wish a hard copy, A4 size envelopes will be available for people to self address. There will be a charge for this service as the envelope, postage and photocopying of about 20 pages will cost $5.00.

*We will need some helpers over the weekend especially some help on the reception desk and the clean up at the close of each day. If anyone would like to assist at the reception desk for an hour on either day it will be much appreciated. Ian and Norma McLean are in charge of reception and you can contact them directly on: normabmc@optusnet.com.au

Anyone who can stay until the end of each day and help with a general tidy up will be welcome to do so with open arms - more hands mean less work....so they say !

** Another reminder about the dinner I have organised at the RSL Club on Saturday evening - so far just over 120 people will be attending, so if you have not as yet advised me, please do so, as I would like to give the RSL as much notice as possible. For those who may not be aware of the dinner...... it will just be a relaxed affair at the club and we have a section of the club booked for us. There will be no special menu - just normal club fare. The Windsor RSL have a band on Saturdays nights and I believe that on that Saturday it will be a Rock and Roll band - so those of you with any energy left after an full day of talking may like to bring your dancing shoes.

** Each day I will have a diagram of the room (near reception) so that those who are organising a space for their own family interests can note on that diagram where they are located within the room. This will make it easier for those attending to find those who are researching the same names and will also save people having to ask where different groups are located within the hall...I hope !

Desks and chairs will be available and don't forget to organise your own lunch. Alcohol is not allowed to be consumed within the school hall.

See you soon, Lesley Uebel ckennedy@bigpond.net.au


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