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Hawkesbury Family History Group Meeting News

~ 14th November 2007 ~  


10 October


14 November JEREMY PALMER UK family history sources
12 December

Show & Tell plus Christmas Party


No meeting in January

13 February

DR CAROL LISTON Parramatta Orphan School

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



Hawkesbury City Council has the following document "Wilberforce Cemetery Draft Conservation Plan" on public exhibition for community comment. Anyone with ancestors buried in the Wilberforce Cemetery may be interested in making comments. The plan is available to consult at both Windsor & Richmond libraries as well as on the internet at www.hawkesbury.nsw.gov.au/files/26130/File/ORD_OCT9_2007_Atttoitem207.pdf

Comments should be addressed to the General Manager, Hawkesbury City Council, PO Box 146, Windsor 2756 by no later than 5pm Friday 30 November 2007.


Finally Australians will get to see the "Who Do You Think You Are?" series on free to air TV. SBS are going to show this brilliant series starting on Sunday 2nd December for 6 weeks. Then the Australian series will be launched on 13th January 2008. There will be 6 Australian celebrities and the series tracks them tracing their family roots. The celebrities include Cathy Freeman, Jack Thompson, Geoffrey Robertson, Kate Ceberano, Ita Buttrose & Dennis Commetti. The series created a huge interest in genealogy when ever a new series has been aired in the UK. More about it at http://www.tvtonight.com.au/2007/09/aussie-celebs-to-trace-family-tree.html


Marilyn Rowan from Marbract Services has advised of their Certificate transcriptions annual Christmas Special. All orders received before the 24 December will get 10% off. (Full Certificate Transcripts $15 - discounted to $13.50) See www.transcriptions.com.au Tel : 02 9543-8156, PO Box 38, Menai Central 2234, email marilynr@marbract.com.au

Joy Murrin has advised they will be closed over Christmas from 20 December until 14 January 2008. She has also advised that they will be having some special savings on in 2008 so check out thheir website www.joymurrin.com.au Joy has kindly donated 2 $5 vouchers which we will use as a lucky door prize today. Joy Murrin Family History Services, PO Box 278 Oatley 2223. Phone 02 9585-1187 Email joy@joymurrin.com.au  


The ABC is currently collecting information about Australian words.  This includes local meanings as well as usage.  They are encouraging contributions for the community.  Check it out http://www.abc.net.au/wordmap/default.htm


Members & friends of the Hawkesbury Family History Group may be interested the current recruitment drive for volunteers for the new  Hawkesbury Regional Museum.  Volunteer Coordinator, Rebecca Turnbull, is keen to hear from prospective volunteers to help with the running of this exciting new cultural facility. Volunteering is a great way to learn new skills in a challenging new environment & make new friends. Some of the roles include:

  • Curatorial project volunteers
  • Office administration assistants
  • Visitor guides
  • Heritage precinct walk guides
  • Education volunteers
  • Function attendants or Front of house ambassadors

If you are interested in being part of an enthusiastic team bringing a quality museum experience to residents & visitors. Contact Rebecca Turnbull on 4560 4439 or email:  rturnbull@hawkesbury.nsw.gov.au Specialised training is provided.


Timelines:Blue Mtns History Conference will take place on Saturday 17th November 2007 at Wentworth School of Arts. There will be a range of talks and workshops relating to local  history and oral history, writing etc.  Cost is $28 per session or $38 the day which includes morning/afternoon tea and lunch. For more information contact John Merriman 4723-5044 or email ref@bmcc.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.

Access to Archives (A2A) ~ http://www.a2a.org.uk/

Personal historian ~ http://www.personalhistorian.com/

Irish Times - Digital Archive ~ http://www.ireland.com/search/

India Office Family History Search (British Library) ~ http://indiafamily.bl.uk/UI/

Cheshire Wills (UK) ~ www.cheshire.gov.uk/recordoffice/wills  

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


New Local Studies items now available to consult in the Local Studies Collection at Hawkesbury Central Library.

The Police Gazettes 1862 - 1910 are available to consult on the Local Studies computer.

Diggers' Hill : surviving on a soldier settlement farm by Vera Machtolf-Bentvelzen. Copy in lending at 994.42 MAC  as well Local Studies at RL994.42 MAC


It is particularly useful when undertaking any research to read widely about a subject and delve into a range of material. Family History is no different and there are a wide range of subjects that family historians are interested in as a result of their research. 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 and have a pin) If you would like a pin number see library staff or ring 4560-4460. The following items may be of  interest :-

For those of you that enjoyed the book 'The Floating Brothel', by Sian Rees have you tried "The ship thieves" Copy in lending at 994.402 REE as well Local Studies at RL994.402 REE

Notorious strumpets and dangerous girls : convict women in Van Diemen's Land, 1803-1829 by Phillip Tardif. Copy in lending at 994.02 TAR  as well Local Studies at RL994.402 TAR


"How I got started on family history?" Ernest James Byrnes

I am not sure what really prompted me to start researching my “Byrnes” family tree maybe curiosity or some inner voice triggered it on, as far as I can recollect I got the bug and was hooked as far back as 1984, it has been an on again, off again and back to it affair over the years.  It has sometimes been frustrating and as they say “up against a brick wall”. I was fortunate in being able to extract a lot of very useful information from my mother who luckily had a very clear memory up to the time when she passed away.  Mum told me of an elderly lady Pearle who was in a nursing home at Burwood who was married to one of my Grandfather’s brothers, I arranged to take Mum down to see her. I took a tape recorder with me, just in case, thankfully I did as Pearle in her 90s at the time, still had an excellent memory of the time she spent married and living at Windsor, even referred to the good old bullock days. I gained much valuable information from Pearle and I still treasure the tape as Pearle is now only a memory.

My dilemma is that my name can be spelt many ways and sound the same, i.e. O.Byrne, Byrnes,Byrne, Burnes, Burne. Our name goes back to early times in Ireland and has an officially registered crest.  Patrick Byrnes who it appears is the first arrived in Australia, is a common Irish name and there were many Patrick Byrnes that came out around the same time. At an early age I became a shutterbug and got a Kodak Box Brownie camera, this proved a good move as I still retain the photos of my relations who sadly are long gone. I have also started on my mothers side “Drayton”.

Like many researchers I have spent countless hours traveling into Sydney to the State Library, Society of Australian Genealogists (SAG) also State Records at Kingswood. I joined SAG early in the peace, I will admit I have been able to get some of my information from the Windsor library as my ancestors came to Windsor in the late 1800’s and all spent their time here. I joined the Hawkesbury Family History Group many years ago and have enjoyed the company and also I have made some friends here.

f 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

Hawkesbury Family History Group meets every 2nd Wednesday of the month in the Tebbutt Room of Hawkesbury Central Library, 300 George Street Windsor NSW 2756. Anyone interested in family & local history, welcome to attend.
Enquiries contact the Local Studies Librarian at above address phone (02) 4560-4466 or email michelle.nichols@hawkesbury.nsw.gov.au


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