May! Where did April go?

Our little group is getting smaller and smaller and this is causing us to worry. We are fortunate that the Bankstown Sports Club continues to support us with the room and use of the AV BUT we still have bills that need to be met.

We had hoped that we would be able to drop the fees  but as the number of financial members is small this can't happen. We still have to pay insurance and memberships to supporting bodies. I am very open to ideas as to how we can increase and keep our membership.


Our April meeting saw Jeff Madson give an interesting talk on how we can use maps in our research. For those who haven't looked at this, go to

SIX Maps

Parish and historical maps - Land and Property Information

Both of these give you access to a variety of maps. I have also found that the City of Sydney website, it has a wonderful section under the Learn tab, Explore our Collection. I have found some really old maps of Sydney.
Our May meeting was our 3rd Birthday and cupcakes were enjoyed by all.
Karen Rogers fro the Guild of One-Name Studies, GOONS, gave a wonderful talk on Surnames and how they came about and how they spread. She also made a good point that listen to how a person says the name, because back when our ancestors arrived they might have been illiterate and have a broad accent. When they said the surname, the person, who wrote it down, might have written it how it sounded and because the person couldn't read, to correct it, the surname changed.
I have two One-Name studies on the drawing board. One for Abberton and one for Chasmar. Both require work.
Our June meeting will have John Graham present a talk on the Ryerson Index.
Don't know about the Ryerson Index, have a look.
That's all for this month,

We had a small but enthusiastic group attend, on Tuesday.


I gave a presentation on Getting Organised. It dealt with the problem of paper documents, photos, back-ups and what you can do, with them. Ideas were discussed and information shared. Part Two of this topic will be in August, when Rowan gives the computer side. I did show how I keep my saved links organised but I'm looking forward to hearing his talk.

Next month we are looking at  Obscure Place Names and Parish Maps, with Jeff Madson. I have heard Jeff speak before and he is very knowledgeable. I hope to be able to find some of my 'missing' places after this.

Easter is coming up and it is a wonderful opportunity, when with family to both take photos and to talk to the older generation or even get the grandchildren to interview you. Let them set the questions and see what happens.

This month I started writing the family story of my mother's maternal side. It is going slowly as I keep finding more things to triple check and then I get side-tracked. I'll keep you posted each month or you can go to my other blog, Lilian's Tree.

Bye for now,


Morning, It is very wet here, in Bankstown having rained all night. Staying in and updating things.

Our meetings have been organised for every month, except December.

 July 4   Is our AGM and this night we won't have a speaker as there is a lot to discuss. But please bring show and tell.

August 1.  Rowan will present Part 2 of Getting Organised.

September 5.  Lorraine Turtle is going to talk on Earning a Crust, Employment Records.

October 3. Peter Plowman is talking on Migration to Australia. Mostly 20th Century.

November 3. Wendy & Terry Nunan are going to talk about, Thinking outside the square- research hints for overcoming dead ends.  This is good close to the holidays, will get you enthused for searching.

December 5. TBA.  Ideas welcome.


I've made 2017 the year that I publish some of my family history. I'll keep you posted.

Bye for now,



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:-

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

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.