Welcome to 2017!

This year promises to be a good one, for this little group. Bankstown Sports Club are again, sponsoring us and for this we are extremely thankful. Knowing that the room and AV are set up each month, is great.


I’ve been busy chasing down speakers for us and with Rowan’s help were have February to June filled and then September as well.


February 7th.Breaking down your Brickwalls. Bring along the line you are stuck on and   let’s see if we can help you knock it down.

March 7th. – Getting Organised. Lilian Magill and Rowan Morrison are presenting this. We could have a clash, for Rowan. If this happens Rowan will present his talk in July.

April 4th – Obscure Place Names and Parish Maps.  Jeff Madsen is a font of knowledge, pertaining to maps and this talk will discuss how to locate that obscure place name that you have been searching for and then search for and download parish maps to your computer for further research.’ I have attended talks by Jeff and come away with new ways to look at and use maps.

May 2nd -  Karen Rogers from the Guild Of One Name Studies. (GOONS),  will talk about the Guild and how to do a one name study.  It isn’t as hard as you think.

June 6th – Ryerson Index. John Graham is the person who co-ordinates this wonderful index. Have a look at it:- http://www.ryersonindex.org/

July 4th – Annual General Meeting.


I won’t be at the February meeting as I will be attending a conference, RootsTech, in Salt Lake City. I will share interesting bits, later in the year.


Happy Ancestor Hunting.

Lilian Magill

Our end-of-year meeting was a casual relaxed affair focussing on members' Show and Tell and discussions of topics for 2017 meetings.

It never ceases to amaze when researching our forebears to find what interesting lives they led. Often dangerous and arduous; sometimes criminal, wanton or notorious, our ancestors also achieved much and made significant contributions to our society.

Of course we want to learn as much as we can about our families' pasts and this has led to a desire to help each other break through those "brick walls" that have frustrated us. At our February meeting, members are encouraged to bring along details of their research of their favourite ancestors for the meeting to consider ways of helping to further progress their research.

Our meeting ended with coffee and cake where we wished each other the best for the festive season.


A small, but interested group, attended last nights meeting, with several having dinner, beforehand.

Donna Newton, from the Royal Australian Historical Society, gave a very interesting talk on the Library Collection. Explaining have the society started and what sort of things are in the collection.

The discussion, after was great and many of the members found that the RAHS, might just hold something that they are looking for. I know I did and am planning a trip to town.

Below are some photos from the evening.


Lilian Magill

P1620961 P1620964 P1620967 P1620968


Seventeen people braved the cold and rain to attend our meeting, last night. Allan Murrin presented a workshop on FamilySearch.org

The projector was very out of focus, making it very hard to see what he was pointing to and the internet was slow, but I think everyone had a good time.

We had been give a Gift Voucher, from The National Institute of Genealogical Studies, Toronto, for our door prize. It was for a free subject, of your choice, to the value of $120. John Moore was the winner and I'm sure he will be able to find a topic to study.

This Saturday, 6th, is the Royal Australian Historical Society's day at Bankstown. Check out our links page to see all about it.

October 22 -23 is the weekend, conference. This year in Wollongong.

Next month, Donna from the library at RAHS, will be our guest speaker..

Also next month, the NSW Family History Societies are having their conference, at Camden, again see our what's on page, for details.


Bye for now,



Presidents Report for the year 2015-2016.

Welcome to the second Annual General Meeting of the Bankstown Family History Group.

I would like to acknowledge the Bidjigal/Dharug peoples, traditional owners of the land that the Bankstown Sports Club is on.

The past twelve months have seen the group maintain steady numbers at each meeting. We have had some members leave, due to ill health and personal reasons. We have also welcomed new members.

From June 2015 until December 2015 we met in Community room 2, at the Bankstown Library and Knowledge Centre. This venue was good but we could not rely on the room being open, for our meetings and then they increased the room hire fees, to more than double. This led us to seek a new, reasonably priced venue that would offer us stability. Rowan Morrison approached the Bankstown District Sports Club, on our behalf and they have very generously sponsored us, with both the room and AV requirements. I would like to personally thank the Club for their ongoing support and I know that the members of this group feel safer, coming here, than over at the library.

We have had a wide range of guest speakers, covering a wonderful array of topics. With the centenary of the ANZAC landings, we had Alan Ashton speak on WW1 and then in April several members presented stories of the own service personal. Janette Pelosi and John Cann, both from NSW Archives came and imparted their knowledge. Janette on what the archives holds and how to access them and John on what records related to the Bankstown area. Both talks were very useful.

Lorraine Turtle took us beyond Birth, Death and Marriages, with her talk.

We have had several people come and talk about how they researched and then published their information. It is always good to hear what others have done, as this gives us new ideas.

December saw our Christmas party, and the night we were locked out of the room, Melissa Hulbert, gave a wonderful talk on Photoshop Elements on how to look after and fix your old photos.


Rowan chaired the February meeting, as I was in Salt Lake City, attending RootsTech. Thank you Rowan for this and being the Chairman, in July and August, whilst I was overseas.

The March meeting had Jill Ball and I speak about our time at RootsTech. This is a massive genealogy conference, held in Salt Lake City, every February. It combines genealogy and technology, with speakers, workshops and vendors.

May brought our second birthday, a fact that slipped by me as we had Cassie Mercer, from Inside History, as our guest speaker and she was wonderful. We have purchased several of the books, she was promoting and they have been added to our library.

Last September we were awarded a small grant of $800, towards our room fees. As I have mentioned, we have changed venues and no longer pay fees. This money has been used to cover our insurance, something we have kept going, for our peace of mind, and other expenses we have. We haven’t applied for any grants this year.


We have a new website, thank you Teresa Clark, for you work on that. The comments have been very favourable. Our Facebook page is attracting new members but this hasn’t transferred to paid members, as such.


With the amalgamation of Bankstown and Canterbury Councils, we no longer have a patron.

We had a table at the Royal Australian Historical Society’s annual conference, held in October. The event was well attended and comments about having a family history group, in the area, were good.


I would like to say “Thank You” to my committee and to you members, without your support and encouragement, this group would not exist.

As we now know Bankstown City Council has merged with Canterbury Council, with the name The City of Canterbury Bankstown. As such the group will welcome anyone from any area, who wishes to join and pursue the enriching (expensive) hobby, of Genealogy.

Well back to researching my Vaughans. Boy have they a tangled web!







The committee met, last night and we tossed around several very good ideas. We are going to design a logo, this will make us standout, when we do fairs etc. We are also going to get a stand banner, with this on it.

We have come up with a slogan, that makes people realise that the group isn't just about Bankstown. This was something that Jenni and I found a problem, at the Botany Bay Fair. We weren't interested because that think we just dig for old Bankstown families.

Teresa is going to update the Events page, check it out.

We also discussed that for a meeting/workshop, where we have a guest speaker, that we charge a nominal fee, for guests. Most societies have one fee for members and a dearer one for guests. What do you think?  We would still have the door prize.

We discussed our fees and they will remain at $50 for a single and $75 for a family, this is so we can met our ongoing expenses. Fees are due by 1 July 2015. You can pay by cash, cheque, made out to Bankstown Family History Group or by direct deposit. Please email for those details.  Don't forget to update any changes to your contact details.

We have been asked to take part in the Royal Australian Historical Society's annual conference/fair in October. This is being held at the Bankstown Sports Club on the 23 - 25 October. I have asked that we have a table and that has been agreed upon. More details as they come.

I can't think of anything else.
Bye for now,

P.S. Allan Murrin is presenting a workshop on Family Search at Tuesday's meeting. Bring your laptop/tablet.

As I write there are many discussions happening. We had a work shop on TROVE and there have been some interesting discoveries. A murder-suicide was the most interesting. Our Visitor, Shirley and member, Kay discovered that they were related and had exchanged information, years ago.
 We had John join the group, welcome.

Here are some photos of the evening.

Yes, today we are 1 and last night we celebrated!

We started the night in the Local Studies room, of the library and we were able to spend time browsing the resources and searching for information. The room has so much from old maps of the area, BDM's of several states, Windsor Church records, (no luck there for me) and much, much more. I know I need to spend days there, with my research.  One of the resources they do have is the Sydney Morning Herald, from the start to I think last year. Useful as TROVE only goes to 1954. Keep that in mind if you need information.

                                                This is just one end of the room.

                                           Members looking at family history resources.

                                          Using the computers. Now where is Aunt Maud?

We had to leave the room by 7.45pm, as the library closes at 8.00pm, so we adjourned to the café, where we celebrated our birthday.

I had the honour of blowing the candle out and cutting the cake. Thank you Ingrid for the number one.

We followed this with show-n-tell, something we enjoy as unique items are shown.
Elaine had a small coin holder, complete with sixpences and farthings!

Wendy has a very special item to show us. Her grandfather's bugle from World War 1. Granddad and the bugle both it home.

It is really beautiful and if only it could talk, what stories it must hold.

A highlight of the night was a 'tune' on the bugle from Margaret.

A wonderful evening to celebrate a fantastic year.

Thank you all for your support.
Bye for now,

What is a Webinar I hear you say? Well a webinar is a (sem)inar done on the web, webinar, simple.

This one was run by the Royal Australian Historical Society (RAHS) and it was on land research- the Parish Map. Carol Liston, Associate Professor, University Western Sydney.

Carol gave a very informative presentation on Parish maps, giving an overview of how they came into being, what to look for on them and how to follow the numbers trail, (those written on the map). She also recommended looking at ALL editions of the map, so you can see the changes that happened. One thing to take note of, is that only the name of the ORIGINAL purchaser is on all of the maps, for other you need the numbers. The only names that changed where Crown land was leased.  You need both the Parish and County name to find a map and for that Carole used the Geographical Names Board web site. www.gnb.nsw.gov.au  select Search Place Names and follow the instructions. There is a Fact Sheet that is useful.

Once you have the county name, you then switch to web site http://six.nsw.gov.au/wps/portal
this site is where you locate the maps. Go to the little box marked HLRV and that will take you into the  correct area. I haven't looked at the site for a while and can't remember if there is a fact sheet. Have a play and see what you find.

Remember that some Parish Names where used more than once, so check that you have the correct County. Make a list of the different ones, if you aren't sure and check them all.

Happy searching,