Monday, March 31, 2014

Oral History Seminar

News from The RAHS eNewsletter March Issue 1 includes notice of this event.

Saturday 5 April 2014 - Oral History Association NSW
Hear your community's voice: creating an oral history project
Listen to oral historians describe how they have created community oral history projects covering a local area, recreational fishing, a workplace and more. An open discussion will further illuminate how to plan and run projects, shape a collection, organise interviews,train volunteer interviewers and make interview information available.

Panel Co-ordinator Virginia Macleod has worked as a professional historian for nearly 20 years. Recently she has undertaken several commissioned oral history thematic projects, including two with a focus on migrant communities.

Pauline Curby co-ordinated an oral history project for Ryde City Council, during the 1900s. She will explain the background to this project, how it was organised, the training of volunteers and reflect on how such a project might be organised today.
              Talking Fish: Oral histories of fishing on the Murray Darling River System, State Library of NSW 2010-2011   [Photograph courtesy of Carol Hannon]

Jesse Stein will talk about how she got started with the NSW Government Printing Office oral history project: what she learned in the shaky early days, the unexpected consequences of snowball sampling. It became easier over time as she gained the employees' confidence and learned trade jargon.

Jodi Frawley interviewed fishers, indigenous communities, tourists and landholders, about their relationship with the Murray Darling Basin, their experiences of the river and its fish, and changes they have seen over the years. She will discuss the logistics and satisfactions of working on this environmental project Talking Fish in rural Australia.  

Time:  10 am - 1 pm (9.45 am registration)
Place: Dixson Room, First Floor, Mitchell Library, Macquarie Street Sydney
Cost:  $45 includes morning tea, Oral History NSW members $35  Bookings essential
Full details here.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Book Launch

News from The RAHS eNewsletter March Issue 1 includes notice of this Book Launch.

Saturday 29 March 2014 - Hawkesbury Historical Society
Spanning the centuries of Hawkesbury History: Hawkesbury Personalities

The Hawkesbury Historical Society announces the forthcoming publication and launch of Spanning the centuries of Hawkesbury History: Hawkesbury Personalities
, a volume of Biographies as its Society Journal No 3; the result of joint collaboration between:
Dharug and Lower Hawkesbury Historical Society, Hawkesbury Family History Group, Hawkesbury Historical Society, Kurrajong-Comleroy Historical Society, National Trust of Australia (NSW), Hawkesbury Branch.

10.30am for 11.00am
Hawkesbury Regional Museum
8 Baker Street Windsor
Light refreshments will follow the launch
Enquiries: Neville Dehn: 4578 2443

Book Launch

In a recent newsletter the Society received from the RAHS there was the following  notification of a book launch that may only be open to RAHS members. The author, Dr Anne-Maree Whitaker, was our guest at our 50th anniversary celebrations last year. If you are interested in attending further details can be found here on the RAHS site.

Members may be interested in putting this title on their "To purchase" list.

Join us at History House on Wednesday 16 April 2014 at 5.30pm for the launch of our President, Dr Anne-Maree Whitaker's new book entitled William Cox and Cox’s Road: a bicentenary souvenir commemorates William Cox and the road he built in 1814–1815 which first expanded European settlement outside the Sydney basin. It contains a new transcript of Cox’s journal as well as seminal documents from Governor Macquarie and a list of the men who ‘laboured for their liberty’ to build the road. It also presents a new biographical study of William Cox, and details of his 13 children and 88 grandchildren from hitherto-unpublished family papers. Most important of all it includes a field guide for intrepid history buffs on where they can see the road and important features associated with it.

Anne-Maree Harriet Cox Whitaker is William Cox’s great-great-granddaughter and the President of the Royal Australian Historical Society. She has a doctorate in history and has written ten books and numerous journal articles. Public recognition of her expertise as a historian includes shortlisting for the NSW Premier’s Literary Awards in 2001 and receipt of a National Trust Heritage Award in 2010. Anne-Maree is also a Fellow of both the Royal Australian Historical Society and the Royal Historical Society (UK).

The book will be launched by Dr Siobhan Lavelle OAM, whose book 1813: a tale that grew in the telling told the story of the First Crossing and its commemorations over the past 200 years.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Evernote - Technology Special Interest Group

The main topic for discussion at our meeting at 1:30pm next Thursday, 20th March will be Evernote.  

Evernote,,  is a free online organisational tool that is available for Windows and Mac and for tablets and smartphones.   I will recycle a talk I gave on the recent genealogy cruise about this amazing free product and hope that anyone who has dabbled with Evernote will contribute to the conversation.  I will also share some of the tips I learnt during a recent Hangout on the topic of Evernote and Genealogy. If you are just curious then just come along and hear what it is all about. 

A slide from the Evernote Presentation

As per usual we will also have time for some general discussion, sharing of new resources and questions. 

As there are still members who have asked for Flip-Pal guidance I have indicated that I will appear at 1:00pm to give them some help prior to our meeting. Feel free to come along early if you need assistance in this area. 

Jill Ball

POW Camp in St Ives

The Society has received the following invitation from the Rotary Club of St Ives. If you are interested in attending this event please contact the Club directly.


Many people may not be aware but there used to be a POW camp in St Ives for Italian prisoners of war captured in North Africa in World War II. It was situated on Mona Vale Road near Richmond Avenue. One of the last (probably the last) of the army personnel stationed there with full knowledge of its location and activities is Major L. P. (Laurie) Hindmarsh who was the Administration Sergeant for the full duration.

Laurie will be giving a talk on the camp, its location and what went on there at the Rotary Club of St Ives on Wednesday the 2ndApril 2014. He will also be happy to answer questions. The venue for his talk will be the Pymble Golf Club in Cowan Road, St Ives and the time for the Rotary meeting will be 6.30pm for 7pm and will end at about 8.45pm.

The cost will be $35 (including dinner) which will need to be paid at least 2 days beforehand. If you wish to attend, please contact Dee Stewart on mobile 0412 398814l or email

Monday, March 10, 2014

Seniors Week - How to research your house

Come along to this talk by members of the Society's Built Heritage team covering the basics of how to research the history of a house. 

After the talk, there will be an opportunity to do some hands on research with assistance from volunteers of the team.

This session is on Tuesday 18 March from 10.30am to approximately 12.30pm and will be held in our Research rooms in the Old Gordon Public School (next to the Gordon Library).

It is free to all but as morning tea is provided, please RSVP.
Phone our rooms on 9499 4568 (between the hours of 10am and 2pm please) or email us at

Please see our Calendar tab for other Seniors week events.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Seniors week talks

One of our Vice Presidents, Jo Harris has two talks as part of this year's NSW Seniors Week.

The first is titled Stories of Early Ku-ring-gai.

Jo will take you on a journey through the development of Ku-ring-gai, from Captain Arthur Phillip’s overland expedition, to the timber-getters, then the orchardists followed by early settlers and suburbs.

This talk is on Friday 14 March from 10.30am to approx 12.30pm
It will be held in Gordon Library Meeting Room 2 - on the other side of our research rooms from the Gordon Library (799 Pacific Highway Gordon).

For the second talk, Jo, leader of the family history group, will give a highly entertaining presentation on getting started with researching your family history.

This talk is on Monday 17 March from 10.30am to approx 12.30pm.
It will be held in Gordon Library Meeting Room 1 - between our research rooms and the Gordon Library (799 Pacific Highway Gordon).

Both talks are free to all but as morning tea is provided, please RSVP.
Phone our rooms on 9499 4568 (between the hours of 10am and 2pm please) or email us at

Please see our Calendar tab for other Seniors week events.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Seniors week: learn how to write a blog

The second in our NSW Seniors Week program is
Sharing your story in small bites: write a blog

Obviously you are interested in blogs if you are reading this. 

Would you like to learn how easy it is to start your own?

Learn from one of Australia’s foremost bloggers, Geniaus (aka Jill Ball), how you can use blogs to:
- preserve your stories, 
- record your travels, 
- share your recipes, or  
- keep a journal. 
Examples of different types of blogs will be provided.

It is on Wednesday 12 March from 10.30am to approximately 12.30pm.
It will be held in Gordon Library Meeting Room 1 - between our research rooms and the Gordon Library (799 Pacific Highway Gordon).

It is free to all but as morning tea is provided, please RSVP.
Phone our rooms on 9499 4568 (between the hours of 10am and 2pm please) or email us at

Please see our Calendar tab for other Seniors week events.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Did you know we have a Museum?

Our research rooms are located in the Old Gordon Public School building and we have a little museum in the old Headmaster's office just across the hall from our rooms.

This mini-museum commemorates the students, teachers and parents and citizens associated with the Old Gordon Public School, the first public school on the North Shore of Sydney.  The school opened in 1871 and closed in 1989 and the collection includes a range of class photographs, some photographs of teachers and a small collection of memorabilia.

Some students, teachers and parents have provided us with ‘recollections’ of their time at the school.  These can be anecdotal, humorous or simply statements of fact about life at the school.  Collectively and placed in context of time they are beginning to reveal some of the history and life and times at the school.  

Recently we had an exciting visitor:
Warren Dent, was Dux of GPS in 1955, but has lived overseas for the last 45 years. 

He was impressed with the resources and has since sent many class photos to add to our collection. 

Warren has written many Australian historical books, and his latest book-in-progress concerns the Jamison Family and his convict ancestor who was assigned to Sir John Jamison at “Regentville”.

If you have any photographs or other GPS memorabilia you would like to share with us, we'd love to hear from you. (If you would like to retain the photographs or memorabilia, we can arrangements to copy those items and return the originals to you.)

The Museum is open when our Rooms are open.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Do you have European ancestors?

Come and look at a new resource on our intranet: 
Emigrants from Hamburg to Australasia 1850 – 1879

This database provides an index to 40,857 passengers departing from Hamburg for ports in Australia and New Zealand between 1850 and 1879. 

This is an important resource for family historians with an interest in migration from Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Switzerland, Italy and other European countries through the port of
Hamburg. It was published by the Queensland Family History Society.

It provides information such as name, former place of residence, age, occupation, ship, destination ad departure years.

Les, one of our members has recently donated a German/English dictionary and this will be a great help to the German SIG and other researchers. Thanks Les.

Please note, there is no German Research Special Interest Group in March.
The next meeting will be on Monday 14 April at 1.30pm in the KHS Research Rooms and this new resource will be demonstrated then.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Seniors week WWI memories

Our first morning session for this year's NSW Seniors Week is called WWI Memories and Mementos.

We have an active group researching and writing biographies of local soldiers and related background information around the time of the war. 

Our newsletter and blog articles have highlighted to us that there are many others with memories of their fathers, uncles, grandfathers who served in WWI.

So, as we near the centenary of the commencement of Great War, we invite you to come along and share your family WWI stories. 
Bring and show photos and other mementos of WWI. 
Learn where all the memorials are in Ku-ring-gai and how to find out more about your family member’s involvement in WWI.

It is on Monday 10 March from 10.30am to approximately 1pm.
It will be held in Gordon Library Meeting Room 1 - between our research rooms and the Gordon Library (799 Pacific Highway Gordon).

It is free to all but as morning tea is provided, please RSVP.
Phone our rooms on 9499 4568 (between the hours of 10am and 2pm please) or email us at

Please see our Calendar tab for other Seniors week events.