Friday, December 28, 2012

Praise for our Blog

In a recent blog post Sydney Blogger, Diane Hewson, who has been catching up on blog reading during the holidays wrote on her blog, Family stories: photographs and memories"I thought it would be an opportunity to share with you some of the blogs that I have found amusing, informative and pretty!!!"

Diane listed as worth reading  fifteen blogs that are mostly Australian and mostly about history or genealogy. Included in this list was our Society blog.

Thank you Diane for the mention. We are pleased that you are enjoying our posts.  

Friday, December 21, 2012

Ku-ring-gai women cater for troops at Christmas

Seventy years ago a group of women from Ku-ring-gai prepared Christmas lunch for servicemen in Sydney. This Sydney Morning Herald article from 25 December, 1942 reports on the activity.

1942 'Women's News HOSPITALITY FOR THE SERVICES.', The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), 25 December, p. 5, viewed 21 December, 2012,

Friday, December 14, 2012

Kick Start Your Research in 2013

Watch this space!
Ku-ring-gai Historical Society is running a series of talks to "kick start your research" and get 2013 off to a great start.

Our research rooms reopen on Monday 7 January and we hope to schedule a talk most weeks.
These talks/workshops are free because some of our members are generously donating their time and skills. (We will ask you for a gold coin donation if you have a cuppa though.)

Our rooms are lovely and cool, so a great place to spend your summer and learn something at the same time.

The talks scheduled so far:

  • Fri 18 Jan: Blogs for Australian Historians
  • Thu 31 Jan: Hands on Trove workshop
  • Tue 5 Feb: how to use the Lands and Property Information website
  • Fri 8 Feb: BYOD: bring your own device and learn about useful tools to take with you when you visit research facilities
  • Fri 15 Feb: iPad day - tips and tricks and apps and more
  • Mon 18 Feb: ancestry introduction / refresher

All talks/workshops will start at 10.30am and run for varying lengths but with the opportunity to stay in the rooms and try out what you have learned.

We are also hoping to organise talks / workshops in:
- advanced ancestry - finding that elusive ancestor
- resources of our municipal library (with the local studies librarian)

If you are a member, you can find a bit more information in our Nov/Dec newsletter, and we will post more on this blog as we firm up dates and presenters.

If you have a topic you would like to present, or would like help to present, please contact us.

Bookings are essential on 9499 4568 or

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Our Christmas Break

We will be closing our research rooms from Tuesday 18 December 2012 for a Christmas / New Year break.

We will reopen on Monday 7 January 2013.

We wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

We look forward to seeing you in our research rooms throughout 2013.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Irish Special Interest Group

We have an Irish Special Interest Group that meets most months.

The November meeting was a small group but a spirited discussion on a range of topics.

Jenny Joyce had attended a talk by Michael Gandy recently and took us through some of the points he raised. We looked at a few websites, chased down some missing convict records and worked on some brick walls.

Our aim is to learn a bit while helping each other, and have some fun.

The next meeting will be on Friday 7 December at 1.30pm in the research rooms.
There will be no January meeting.

No need to book.
Further enquiries can be made by phoning 9499 4568 or emailing

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Mac Users Group

The last meeting of our Mac Users Group for 2012 will be on Monday 3 December at 2pm in our research rooms in the old Gordon Public School, next to Gordon Library.

Come and join our happy group and chat about all things Mac. 
It is a discussion group where everyone is welcome (and encouraged) to contribute, and there are no dumb questions.

You don’t have to be a member to come along to this group, just willing to participate and contribute. Questions and problems can be emailed in advance. Bring your MacBook, MacAir, iPad, iPhone, whatever and join in.

Email if you need more details.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Family History Show and Tell

This Saturday is the Christmas meeting of our Family History Group.
There will be no morning meeting this month.

The General Meeting will run from 2pm and will be a "Show and Tell".
So bring along an item that is special to you and share your story.

Please bring a small plate of food to share for our Christmas party.

Visitors are welcome to join us for the meeting and afternoon tea at 2:00 pm on Saturday 1 December in the Ku-ring-gai Library Meeting Rooms, The Old Gordon Public School, 799 Pacific Highway, Gordon (adjacent to the Gordon Library at the corner of Pacific Highway and Park Ave).

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Social History Series

The Society has been contacted by the producers of a major new television series who have requested our help.  Their message follows.

Bombora Film and Music Company and Beyond Screen are producing a major social history series about the Whitlam years. 

We want to hear personal stories from people who voted in the four key elections of 1969, 1972, 1974 and 1975

Did you change 

  your vote between 1969 and 1975 and if so why?

We want to know about the laws passed between 1972 and 1975 and how you were affected by these big changes. 

This documentary series is interested in all kinds of points of view and personal stories because we want to build a picture of what the whole of Australia was like at that time.

If you have a story or would like to find out more information please contact Erina on or 0400 340 271. Please leave your contact details so we can get back to you.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Canberra Opportunity

The organisers of the 2015 National Genealogy Congress in Canberra have advertised their Call for Papers and asked for this news to be distributed.

Canberra Calling

Issue 2 :: November 2012

Call for speakers

Would you like to present a paper at Congress 2015?
Or do you know someone who might like to do so?

All speakers interested in presenting at Congress 2015 are now being invited to advise Congress organisers through a Registration of Speaker Interest (ROSI) process. The call for speakers will remain open until the end of June 2013. Detailed information is available on our website

Speakers are asked to address the theme of the Congress, Generations Meeting Across Time,which allows exploration of a very wide range of issues, resources and technologies encompassing the fields of family history, genealogy and heraldry. Within this broad theme topics could cover, but are not limited to:
  • Crossing the great divide – be it geographic, social or cultural
  • Building the nation – infrastructure, military, social, political etc.
  • Finding families in national, state and local institutions or repositories
  • Making the digital age work for family historians and genealogists
Please pass this information to any potential speakers who may not have caught up with this news.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Christmas General Meeting

Our last General Meeting for the year will be held this Saturday 17 November at 2pm.
The meeting will be followed by our guest speaker, Pauline Curby and then an afternoon tea.

To celebrate Randwick City Council's 150th anniversary, Council commissioned professional historian, Pauline Curby, to write a fully referenced, illustrated, comprehensive new history of Randwick.
The 406 page hardcover book celebrates the history of one of New South Wales' oldest local government areas and tells the story of the diverse range of people who live in this scenic part of Sydney. Indigenous Australians, Anglo-Celtic Australians and more recent migrants all feature in its pages, as do jockeys, surf lifesavers, bodgies and widgies. Social problems such as the care of neglected children and the issues of crime and punishment, drinking and gambling are also part of the rich tapestry of this history.

Come and hear Historian Pauline Curby as she draws on an abundance of stories of people and places using images and records researched for this award-winning book on the Municipality of Randwick.

Please bring a small plate of food to share for our Christmas party.

Visitors are welcome to join us for the meeting and afternoon tea at 2:00 pm on Saturday 20th October in the Ku-ring-gai Library Meeting Rooms, The Old Gordon Public School, 799 Pacific Highway, Gordon (adjacent to the Gordon Library at the corner of Pacific Highway and Park Ave).

Monday, November 12, 2012

Research Services at Ku-ring-gai Historical Society

KHS’ large collection of materials related to Ku-ring-gai’s local history and pioneers makes it a valuable resource for those researching their own connections with the area – whether their ancestors, or the history of particular sites or dwellings.
The ideal way to undertake such research is in person, during our opening hours.  Experienced volunteers are usually on hand to assist in exploring our collections, or interpreting particular materials.

We recognise that not everyone can readily visit us in this way, so we have a small team of research volunteers willing to assist others.  Preference is given to those remote from Sydney, or whose personal circumstances otherwise make a visit difficult.

Those wishing to use this research service should download, carefully read and then complete the appropriate parts of our research form, according to whether their interest is a Ku-ring-gai family or dwelling. Each enquiry should be accompanied by a cheque for at least $25.  NB: No research will be commenced until we have an appropriately completed research form and cheque in hand!

Please note that we do not undertake research that has no connection to Ku-ring-gai, or which can be done personally using resources generally available on the web.

We usually acknowledge any research request by return mail or email.  Requests are dealt with in the order received.  The time taken to complete the research may take several weeks, depending on the nature of the request; on the availability of an appropriately experienced volunteer; and on how many requests are ahead of you in the queue!  We will endeavour to keep you informed if extended delays are expected.

We make a charge for any research and photocopying we do, and for any other expenses incurred – see our research form for current details.  We are always looking for opportunities to expand our research resources, so we certainly would appreciate any information on Ku-ring-gai families or properties you can provide.

Any original work done remains the property of KHS, and is made available to you for personal use and research.  Copies will be added to our files and may be used to answer other queries.  If you wish to publish any work we do for you, we usually require only an acknowledgement of our work, but a licence fee will usually be required for commercial publication.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Event at Hornsby

Members may be interested in attending Hornsby Library's next family history talk by Heather Garnsey from The Society of Australian Genealogists.

Family & Local History Talks

Photograph of Heather Garnsey


Try the Society of Genealogists

a talk by

Heather Garnsey

Are you having trouble researching your family history? Heather Garnsey will talk about the Society of Australian Genealogists collections and how they can help, especially the manuscript and family history collections.
Heather Garnsey is the Executive Officer of the Society of Genealogists.

  Friday 9 November
Time:  2:00 pm
Place: Hornsby Shire Library, Meeting Room
          28-44 George Street, Hornsby (entry via Hunter Lane).
Cost:  $5.00
Bookings: To book please call 9847 6614 or email For more information please call Hornsby Local Studies on 9847 6807.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Unusual Collections

A talk on unusual collections by guest speaker Ron Hattersley will be the highlight of the Society's family history group meeting next Saturday 3 November from 2pm.

Visitors are welcome to join us for the meeting and afternoon tea at 2:00 pm on Saturday 20th October in the Ku-ring-gai Library Meeting Rooms, The Old Gordon Public School, 799 Pacific Highway, Gordon (adjacent to the Gordon Library at the corner of Pacific Highway and Park Ave).

Monday, October 22, 2012

The Society has amongst its online subscriptions available to members in the Society rooms a subscription to Find my Past (Australia). We recently received news of a number of new record sets available via this subscription. This might just provide the key to finding those elusive ancestors and cousins.


We're excited to announce that we have just added a huge 56 million new records to our Australia / New Zealand collection. This brings the total number of records available on to a staggering 1.5 billion!
New records in the Australia / New Zealand collection include:
·         Electoral rolls for New Zealand and Australia
·         Birthsdeaths & marriages for South Australia
·         Government and police gazettes
·         Directorieshandbooks and almanacs
·         Unique records such as Radio Call and much more
See the complete list of records now available in our full list of records.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Mac Users Group

Did you know...

We have a Mac Users Group that meets every month in the research rooms. It is a discussion group where everyone is welcome (and encouraged) to contribute, and there are no dumb questions.

Initially most of our discussions were based around the different genealogy programs available on Mac and the pros and cons of each. We have amongst us, pretty much all the available programs in use, and many of the apps available for iPad / iPhone too.

Although still touching on genealogy programs, especially when there are new people, many of our sessions now cover various tips, tricks, shortcuts and latest software and gadgets.

You don’t have to be a member to come along to this group, just willing to participate and contribute. Questions and problems can be emailed in advance. Bring your MacBook, MacAir, iPad, iPhone, whatever and join in.

Our next meeting is on Monday 29 October at 2pm in the research rooms.

Email if you need more details.

Jackie van Bergen

Friday, October 19, 2012

Member blog post

Society member, Jenny Joyce, shares some valuable information in her latest blog post. Follow the link below to read the post.

Maps from the City of Sydney Archives

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

White Coolies

Do you remember the radio serial White Coolies?

Then come along to our general meeting this Saturday and hear the story of a POW nurse and survivor of the Bangka Island massacre.

As a captive of the Japanese during World War II, Wilma Oram Young, an Australian nurse, experienced the worst of human brutality: starvation, deprivation and degradation. She went on to become the first female president of the Australian RSL and worked for the rest of her life to relieve suffering for ex-POWs. 

Barbara Angell will speak about her book A Woman’s War: The Life of Wilma Oram Young AM.
Barbara is the author of three other books and an experienced television comedy writer and entertainer.

Visitors are welcome to join us for the meeting and afternoon tea at 2:00 pm on Saturday 20th October in the Ku-ring-gai Library Meeting Rooms, The Old Gordon Public School, 799 Pacific Highway, Gordon (adjacent to the Gordon Library at the corner of Pacific Highway and Park Ave).

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Treasures from Trove - Wedding Bells 16 October 1937

1937 'Family Notices.', The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1956), 9 October, p. 40 Supplement: Week-End Magazine, viewed 3 October, 2012,

The marriage will take place at the Sacred Heart Church, Killara, Sydney, on Saturday, October 16, of Miss Beatrice Noonan, of Northcote avenue, Killaradaughter of Mr. J. B. Noonan, of Vallis-Vale. Brickwood street, Elwood (V.), to Mr. H. Terry Abbott, who is a nephew of Mr. Abbott, the  administrator of North Australia. His father is president of the Pastoralists' Association of New South Wales.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Treasures from Trove - Redleaf Estate

1929 'WAHROONGA SUBDIVISION.', The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), 14 October, p. 13, viewed 24 September, 2012,

Following is the transcribed text from this article that appeared in the Sydney Morning Herald 83 years ago today

A sum of £23,000 was realised on Saturdayafternoon when the Redleaf Estate, Wah-roonga, adjacent to the station, was put upfor auction by Richardson and Wrench, Ltd.(in conjunction with Raine and Horne, Ltd.,and Hardie and Gorman Proprietary, Ltd.).Mr. Beatty, of Richardson and Wrench, Ltd.,
conducted the sale.
The property, the Kuring-gai Council'smodel subdivision, compilsed nine businesssites, 24 residential sites, the residence Redleaf, and a brick cottage. Bidding was brisk,and the business sites brought from £23 "to£ 28 a foot, while the residential sites realisedfrom £7/10/ to £18/10/ a foot. Some ofthe latter were disposed of slightly below thereserve, and were sold subject to approval by
the vendor.
The residence Redleaf, on about 1 1/4 acre ofland, was sold subject to approval for £4800.Altogether 29 lots were disposed of.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Partial Demolition of Lennox Bridge Approved

This statement was issued in the latest RAHS E-News. A number of our members requested that we post it, to alert as many people as possible to this:

Partial Demolition of Lennox Bridge Approved: 

On Wednesday 3 October the NSW Heritage Council voted to allow Parramatta City Council to demolish part of the 1830s convict-built Lennox Bridge to provide for two riverbank cycleways. 

The Heritage Council still has vacant positions for an historian and a National Trust representative, who might have been able to influence the vote. 

To voice your disapproval please email The Honorable Robyn Parker, Minister for Heritage, Heritage Council Chair Professor Lawrence Nield

Parramatta City Council has yet to determine the Development Application so you should also contact the Lord Mayor Cr John Chedid

We are seeking your help once again to save an important part of Parramatta, Sydney & Australia's history. 

This development application was withdrawn by Parramatta Council the first time they presented it due to the amount of objections it raised by individuals and Family & Local History Groups.
Unfortunately, the council has re-presented the proposal which has now been approved by the NSW Heritage Council - for reasons that are unknown and completely incomprehensible to us.

Please voice your disapproval of this application by emailing the abovementioned authorities.
Thank you
Dorothy Warwick

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Last Friday's Workshop

Around a dozen members gathered in the Society rooms last Friday for our workshop on  Social Media at KHS. It was an informal session with lots of lively interaction.

Topics covered were:

¡What is Social Media?
¡What does one need to engage via Social Media?
¡Social Media Categories
¡How can Social Media help my research?
¡Blogs and Facebook
¡Connecting with KHS
¡How does one get started?
¡How does one manage Social Media? 

As the response to this session was very positive we plan to run similar sessions in the future, some of which will be BYOD (Bring your own device) workshops where members  bring along and work with their own technology.

As promised a .pdf file of the powerpoint presentation and a list of links to sites mentioned have been posted  on your blogger's site :

Monday, September 24, 2012

Friday Event in the Society Rooms

This Friday between 10:30 am and 12:30pm Society President, Jackie van Bergen and Committee Member, Jill Ball will conduct a free workshop on Social Media in the Society Rooms.

You will learn about our Blog and Facebook pages and how to access them.  We will also take a peek at some other interesting blogs.  Please bring along your questions and we will endeavour to address them. If you and your friends are curious about Social Media please join us in this informal meeting where we will try to demystify the world of Social Media.

Bookings are essential: by email to, by phoning the rooms, or dropping in to fill out the sheet with your name and contact telephone number.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

The Life and Letters of Arthur Wesley Wheen

Guest speaker for Saturday's General Meeting will be Tanya Crothers will speak on the life of Arthur Wesley Wheen, little-known World War I hero, linguist, artist and writer (and former Gordon Public School pupil) whose Two Masters was one of the few contemporary anti-war books.

Tanya is the editor of the book  We Talked of Other Things The life and letters of Arthur Wheen 1897-1971.

Visitors are welcome to join us for the meeting and afternoon tea at 2:00 pm on Saturday 15th September in the Ku-ring-gai Library Meeting Rooms, The Old Gordon Public School (adjacent to the Gordon Library, 799 Pacific Highway, Gordon; Cnr Pacific Highway and Park Ave).

Sunday, September 9, 2012

South of the Harbour

Around ten members of the Society will be travelling south to Gymea later this week to attend the 28th Annual Conference of the NSW & ACT Association of Family History Societies.

Although registrations for the Conference have closed all are welcome to attend the free Pre-conference Family History Expo, open to the general public on Friday the 14th September.In addition to trade tables from societies and vendors there will be free 15 minute talks, free lookups and 1 hour workshops ($5 Entry)  by Heather Garnsey and Jill Ball.

Full details and directions to the venue can be found on the Conference website.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Vale Joyce Ryerson

Joyce Ryerson
Society members were saddened to hear of the death of our long time member, Joyce Ryerson, on August 30th.

The following tribute was read at last week's meeting of our Family History Group.

You will be saddened to hear of the passing last Thursday  afternoon  of our long time member and fellow family historian Joyce  Ryerson. 

Her archival activities at her old school SCEGGS Darlinghurst  will be  appreciated by generations of students in years to come. 

Joyce has left a legacy to many of us in company with the Sydney Dead Persons Society who named the Ryerson Index after her because of her huge collection of  Sydney Morning Herald Death Notices stashed away  in a  laundry cupboard. 

This Index is used by family historians world - wide, some  daily,  some not quite so often, but few have not ever used this index. 
Thankyou for your interest in our Family History Group, your company,  your family history skills and your friendship. 

Vale Joyce Ryerson.

An article published in the Sydney Morning Herald on July 26, 2005 tells the story of Joyce and The Ryerson Index.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Free Workshop - Blogs and Facebook

Join KHS bloggers, Jackie van Bergen and Jill Ball, at the Society for a workshop on Friday 28th September from 10:30 am until 12:30 pm.

You will learn about our Blog and Facebook pages and how to access them. We will also take a peek at some other interesting blogs. Please bring along your questions and we will endeavour to address them.
Bookings are essential: by email to, by phoning the room (02) 9499 4568, or dropping in to fill out the sheet with your name and contact telephone number.

Non-members who want to learn about our Society and its foray into the world of social media are welcome to join us.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Brick Walls and Butchers

Armed with virtual sledgehammers the members who gathered for last Saturday's Family History Group workshop helped each other knock down the brick walls they have encountered in their research. The old adage A problem shared is a problem halved was supported as members offered each other suggestions for solving their research issues.

Geoff Hammond
 The guest speaker following our afternoon General Meeting was Geoff Hammond, a member of the Hammond family who had butcheries in Chatswood, Roseville and Gordon for over 100 years. Assisted by his daughter, Jennifer Patterson, Geoff told us the story of his family and their businesses, explained the issues facing butchers in the 19th century and amused us with anecdotes about life north of the Harbour. 

Near the conclusion of his talk we heard a little about Geoff's career in the NSW Police Force which included time as the Head of the Drug Squad. 

Thank you to Family History Group Leader, Jo Harris, for organising such an entertaining guest speaker. 

Hammond Family Photos

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Social Media Seminar

Ku-ring-gai Council is hosting a seminar that some members may be interested in attending.

Introduction to social media for seniors

Learn how to connect with your family and friends online.  Anne-Maree Kerr from Tri Community Exchange will talk about a range of social media sites.
Date:  Thursday 20 September
Time:  10am to 12.15pm
Venue:  Ku-ring-gai Council Chambers - Level 3, 818 Pacific Highway, Gordon
Cost:  $10 - morning tea provided during break
 Download Senior_Seminars_-_August2.pdf  TARS and social media booking form.pdf (504KB)  (both Sept seminars on one form)

Monday, September 3, 2012

History Week Program

History Week 2012 will be celebrated from 8-16 September:

Threads They wore what?!
Long before the fashionistas of today decided ‘the look’, dress was an important element of human expression. From status to style, culture to professional identity, clothes have defined us. History Week 2012 will explore the history of threads and unpick the meaning behind the wardrobes of the past.

Details of  History Week  activities can be found here on the History Council of NSW website.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Family History Meeting

The first Saturday of the month, the day on which our Family History Group meets,  is nearly upon us. Members and visitors are invited to attend our activities on Saturday September 1.

 The 11:00 am Forum is a “My Brick-walls” Q & A Session where attendess will offer suggestions to help others smash through their brick walls.  At 2:00 pm following the General Meeting the guest speaker, Geoff Hammond, a descendant of the North Shore's Hammond Butcher family, will present a history of family butchers in the area  "From North Shore Family Butchery to??"

Monday, August 27, 2012

Hornsby Library Talk

Members might be interested in this talk at Hornsby Library on Wednesday evening at 6:30pm. Local Family Historian, Peter Booth will be presenting "Tips and Tricks for the Family Historian".

Bookings are essential as these talks are very popular.

Venue:  Hornsby Central Library
Location: 28-44 George St (Entrance in Hunter Lane) Hornsby NSW 2077
Time: 6:30pm
Cost: $5
Contact:  Hornsby Central Library
Phone:  9847 6614

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

“Saturated With Filth and Corruption”: NSW History?

The Society has received news from The Royal Australian Historical Society of the 2012 State History Conference, “Saturated With Filth and Corruption”: NSW History? taking place on 20-21 October 2012 at Rowers on Cooks River,  (1 Levey Street, Wolli Creek, Sydney).

Information and online registration details can be found  here on The Royal Australian Historical Society Website.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Annual General Meeting

Ann Barry presided at her last Society meeting today after serving four years as President. Also retiring was Doug Milne who had served as Treasurer for fifteen years and Jenny Joyce who had been a Committee member for five years. Yvette Reeve, Minute Secretary stepped down after two years service.

Presentations were made to retiring officers to thank them for their efforts on behalf of the Society. The commendations were supported wholeheartedly by the large group of members who were present at the meeting.

Ann stood down as President after the annual reports had been presented and ratified and Kevin Callinan, Returning Officer, took over to conduct the Annual Election of Executive Committee Members. Those elected for the 2012-2013 term were:

President : Jackie van Bergen
Vice-Presidents : Jo Harris, Graham Lewis
Treasurer : Peter Stehn
Minute Secretary : Trish Thomson

Committee : Jill Ball, Helen Davies, Jennifer Harvey, Lorna Watt

Guest speaker, Carol Baxter, told us about the research she carried out for her book "Captain Thunderbolt and his Lady" . Carol, who has visited the Society on two prior occasions, once again enthralled the audience with her lively and informative presentation.