Monday, January 28, 2013

First Family History Meeting for the Year

On Saturday February 2 members and visitors with an interest in Family History are invited to join us for our first meeting of the year.

At 11:00 am there will be a workshop session in the Society  rooms: “BDMs” – tips, tricks, new areas.

At 2 :00 pm the group will gather for our monthly meeting in the Gordon Library Meeting Room. Guest speaker for the meeting will be Lester Burgess.

Warrawee resident Lester grew up in the Mudgee district, attended a one teacher school at Cooyal, obtained his PhD in Plant Pathology at Sydney Uni, and later became Dean of Agriculture. He has agriculture in his blood, as his forebears settled farms in the Yass and Crookwell districts.

The APS website has a detailed biography of Professor Burgess on its site.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Diary Dates

The Calendar page on our blog has been updated to include details of meetings and workshops planned for February and March.

Please take a look at the events that are planned and mark the dates in your diary.

Visitors are welcome to attend our events.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Toby who?

Our research team does a wonderful job answering queries that arrive by 'phone, email and from people who visit us.

Recently the team reported on the following request and the Society Committee thought it worthwhile sharing the story on our blog.

Toby Toe Retreat

The enquirer had a friend moving to the vicinity of Toby Toe Retreat (as noted on the UBD Sydney Street Directory) and wanted to know why the park was so named.

Carol, one of our Society members, had done some research on land in the area and informed us that the real name of the Retreat is Toby Joe Retreat and with this information found it listed on the Geographical Names Board.  

Reading “The Story of St.Ives” by Gay Halstead p. 259 the Cates Family and the orchards they owned Alice Cate decided to name extra land acquired “Toby Joe”. It was suggested to the enquirer to call into the Society Rooms and read about the Cates Family.   

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Ann Howard - Dangar Island

Ann Howard at Ku-ring-gai today
Local historian and author, Ann Howard a longtime resident of Dangar Island was the guest speaker at the Society General Meeting today.

Ann, who has written several books on the history of the island, spoke to us about the island and some of the characters who resided there.

Firstly Ann set the scene by giving us a short history of the island. Captain Arthur Phillip visited the island in March 1788 and was so impressed by the number of fish that his party caught that he named it Mullet Island. It was renamed Dangar Island by a member of the Dangar family who purchased it in the mid nineteenth century.

The members' interests were piqued as Ann told tales from her books so that, at the end of the meeting, a long line of people wanting to purchase Ann's books formed. Ann graciously spent time signing books and conversing with members.

Books by Ann Howard


The following details are copied from the RAHS website

Pot Luck with History   hh aust day sm10am – 4pm
On Australia Day drop in and visit our Victorian-era townhouse, History House at 133 Macquarie St, Sydney, the home of the Royal Australian Historical Society for a real experience of history There will be Pot Luck with History talks of ten-minute duration every half hour between noon and 3.00pm. Grab a chance to hear one of our historians speak about events, people and places that contributed to Australia’s history.
Entry to History House and lectures are free but you might spend some money at our book sale.
Macquarie Street will also host one of the largest vehicle displays in the southern hemisphere - Australia Day CARnivale proudly sponsored by Supercar d’Elegance with over 600 vehicles on display throughout the day. There will also be veteran and vintage cars in abundance on display.
Time: 10.00am – 4.00pm
Location: Macquarie Street to the corner of Park and College Streets

Thursday, January 17, 2013

"I hope they will say, he did his duty"

This free talk at Mosman Library on Tuesday 12th February may be of interest to Society members.

Sir William Cullen & Family of Tregoyd in Mosman in the First World War. A talk by Tony Cunneen.

Registration is necessary for the talk - Full details can be found on the Mosman site.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

A Virtual Tour of History Blogs

Members and visitors are invited to join us at 10:30 am on Friday 18th January in the Society Rooms for a free talk by Committee Member, Jill Ball. The main focus of this talk will be a virtual tour during which we will visit a range of  blogs that may be of interest to historians.

In this talk the following points will be covered:

¡What is a Blog?
¡Types of History Blog
¡Why Read Blogs?
¡Finding Blogs
¡Accessing Blogs
¡Let’s go on Virtual Tour
¡You want to start a Blog?

Please 'phone (02) 9499 4568) or email ( us if you would like to join us for this event.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Dangar Island History

Come and join us for our first General meeting of 2013 on Saturday 19 January from 2pm.

Our speaker is Ann Howard who will speak about her book Rainbow on the River, one of a series of books on the surprising history of Dangar Island.

You can read some more about our speaker in Inside History Magazine, August issue.

Visitors are welcome to join us for the meeting and afternoon tea at 2:00 pm on Saturday 19th January 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).

Sunday, January 13, 2013


Thanks to Society Treasurer, Peter Stehn, for permission to post this article from the last issue of the Society Newsletter below.

Excellent progress has been made adding articles of our
Intranet-based Historical Encyclopedia, KUPEDIA
(accessed via the prominent link on the home page of our

KUPEDIA now has more than 145 separate articles
available for browsing or for historical research.  Most of
these articles are from early editions of our journal, The
Historian dating from 1973 to the early eighties, but articles
from other sources are also included.  Eventually we hope
to include all locally sourced articles from The Historian,
Newsletters, and other sources such as biographical files.
KUPEDIA has a comprehensive search facility that
allows you to quickly locate articles relevant to your research,
such as:
• The Lane Cove shark tragedy.
• The first post office in Gordon and what was the
connection to J.G Edwards?
• Who was J.G. Edwards?
• The naming of the railway stations on the North
Shore railway line.
• Horse racing in Ku-ring-gai.
• Plus many other topics, too numerous to mention.

The search facility will display relevant results in a way
very similar to Google, with a clickable link allowing instant
access to the article itself.  All articles are fully text

Check-out KUPEDIA the next time you’re in the rooms.
You will be surprised at the wealth of information it contains

Friday, January 4, 2013

A Blog from our Neighbours

Many Library publishes a blog, Manly Library Local Studies Blog, that has interesting articles on people and places in their area.

Yesterday's post Bennelong at Manly reminded us that it was the Bicentenary of Bennelong's death. 

Posts which are published on a regular basis can be found at

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

A New Year - a New Blog Feature

Our first post of 2013 also happens to be our 50th blog post.  To date our blog has received over 3,000 visitors; we thank you for your interest and look forward to your visits in 2013.

It seems appropriate that we celebrate by announcing a new feature on our blog.

You will notice on the Menu Bar underneath our banner image that between the Built Heritage and Contact tabs there is a new tab Calendar. At present this page is not complete but as the week progresses your bloggers will add details of  Society events and activities planned for 2013.

Please return to check the calendar regularly.