The October meeting saw a small but very interested group of members and guests gather to listen to our guest speaker, John Cann. He arrived a bit tardy having been misled as to the meeting room, but after combatting some technology demons, he gave a fascinating and informative talk about discovering your not so salubrious ancestors in the State Records Archives. There is no doubt that even though he spoke for 90 minutes, he had only skimmed the surface of his knowledge of the archives. There is a wealth of untapped resources available to the historian who explores the State Archives website or who ventures out to their repository at Kingswood.

(Having problems with the photos, they show in the draft but not on the site. 🙁 )

We had a small but enthusiastic group, last night, to hear John Cann speak on 'Discovering Bankstown'. He gave us a wonderful tour through State Archives, NSW Lands Department, National Archives, Trove and NSW Birth, Death and Marriages. From land grants, to school records and the fire,  destroyed the Torch newspaper. The journey was full of interesting tit bits and how to access the information.

I also mentioned a letter that the group had received from, The Women's Pioneer Society and I've attached the photo, with the details.

Here is the link to the NSW State Library. They offer interesting talks and workshops and you can access information, online, just by having a library card. The card is free and it is well worth obtaining one.

Bye for now,


John CannP1620571


I spread the news of our meeting far and wide and we had two visitors, who saw our ad in AFTC! Thrilled about that.  We had a really good turn-out and a past member, Val came for a visit. Good to catch-up.

Cassie Mercer, from Inside History, was our guest speaker and gave a great talk on Irish Wattle, convicts who were transported to Australia. This included two of Cassie's ancestors. She is an excellent speaker and I hope she will come and speak again.

Margaret showed us her Mother's Day present, a five generation photo, from her Dad back. The photos are beautiful. Such a wonderful keepsake.

Bye for now,

A good turn out for last nights meeting, lots of interesting stories about WW1 & WW2 servicemen and women. Jeni, gave a wonderful presentation on Google Focus and mapping ancestors. Something that might have to be repeated. We also welcomed two new members, Kerin and Francisca.

Next month Cassie Mercer, from Inside History is speaking on Early Irish Immigrants and in June John from NSW Archives, is speaking. Topic to come.

Happy Ancestor Hunting,

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This month was a do-it-yourself month. Members of our group took it in turns to make presentations about one of their ancestors who had served in a military capacity. No two presentations were alike. A very informative and entertaining evening.


After the 'problems' with our previous 'home', our meeting place has moved to Bankstown Sports.  It was lovely to walk in and be able to start the meeting, with it being all set-up for us. The club had our meeting, showing on their 'What's On' board.  The meeting was well attended.

This is our room. They even had cold water and glasses waiting for us.

Jill's presentation, about RootsTech was great. I learnt things about when it started and how she became an ambassador.


Our banner, to welcome people to the meeting.

Socialising, before the meeting.

Bye for now,



After an interesting start to the meeting, being locked out, the night was great.

Mel did a fantastic presentation on how to restore old photos and her results were great. She uses Photoshop for her restoration work and it seems very easy to use.


Following Mel's talk, we had some show and tell, with Wendy and Margaret having some really old photos to show us.

Wendy with her Grandfather's football team's photo. Her Great-Grandfather and an Uncle are also in the photo. The Uncle died in World War 1.

                                 Margaret with her Gallipoli photo, showing then and now.

We ended the evening with some Christmas cheer.


Thank you everyone for your support, this year, there are some interesting times ahead.

Merry Christmas,

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This was a fascinating exploration of how to digitally enhance your old photos using Photoshop Elements. The techniques could be transferred to any photo editing software. We all needed to go home and dig out that software we hadn't used and experiment.

A small group, last night but we had some interesting discussions. The sharing of knowledge is great and I know several people filled in some blanks.

Elaine had interesting show and ask. One was an evening bag that looks like it was knitted metal and the other was a shawl, also with metal through it. She wanted to know where she could get information as to the period they were made in. The Powerhouse Museum and a local librarian where suggested.

Another of our members has found details of an ancestor, who served in the Union Army, in the American Civil War, fascinating.

We also had Rowan show his newly published family history book. So much research has gone into the book about a fascinating branch of his tree. Rowan self published through

Next month we have Natalie giving a talk on her book.

Bye for now,

On Tuesday, Janette Pelosi, from NSW State Records, was our guest speaker. Janette gave a very interesting talk about the types of records held at State records and how beneficial they can be for family researchers.

The NSW State records have a wonderful range of pamphlets, called Archives in Brief. A copy of Archives in Brief #7, Tracing your family history , is useful in that it mentions the different records.
Some other useful ones are #1 - Shipping and arrival records; #2 - Convict records; #4- Inquests and coronial records; #19 - Teachers; #26- Schools 1788-c1979 and many more. Janette mentioned that there is 126 Archives in Brief now available. Look at the web site for the full list and spend some time searching for your ancestors.

I have found many interesting pieces of information, from visiting State Records and recommend visiting them, at Kingswood.

Here are some photos of Janette's presentation.