Our second meeting in our room saw us use the data projector, for the first time.

Rowan did an excellent talk on The Master Genealogist (TMG). He started with an overview as to why we need programs to enhance our research, this was very informative and then he showed us how the program works.  Different pages for children and siblings, along with source and citing features make it a very good program.

Teresa spoke about her program for the Mac, as when we went to connect the cable, it didn't fit.

I then set up my PC to show Brother's Keeper and as with all things new,  I couldn't get the screen to show on the wall. Much fiddling and pushing of buttons and we got it to work! It was weird as the computer screen was blank and I had to operate it by the mouse on the data screen, then use the keypad for entering information. Technology!

Brother's Keeper has been around for years and is the only one I have used, so I am biased in my review. I find it very simple and easy to use, with help just a mouse click (F1)  or an email away. It has a good selection of charts, trees, reports, with the ability to print photos on several of the reports.

Gerry then showed us his hand drawn tree, going back to the 1600's and it is going to be done in tapestry. I look forward to seeing the finished tree, it should be stunning.

There were discussions about how much we should upload to the internet, with the concern about privacy and people taking your information for their trees. Other topics were discussed and ideas were suggested, for future meetings.

We had 18 attend, with three visitors, Natalie, Bridgette and Kerin, from the Canterbury & District Historical Society. We also welcomed back Elaine from her across Australia trip, which did include meeting new cousins in Perth. It is also wonderful to see now familiar faces each month. Ours financial  members have now increased to 30.

Kerin will be our guest speaker in October. Craig has volunteered to speak on military matters at our November meeting.

I will be the guest speaker on 24 June at the Canterbury & District Historical Society meeting. Something I am looking forward to.

Until next time, Happy Ancestor Hunting!

It is almost time for our June meeting and we are going to try something different. We hope to be able to use the data projector and several of us will give  brief presentations. The presentations will be about the family tree program we use to record our information on.
It should be an interesting evening. I will post more after it happens.

Last night we held our first meeting in out new, permanent home, the Landsdowne Room. Bankstown Library and Knowledge Centre. The room will be just right for our meetings, with tables, chairs, access to WiFi and data projection and a small kitchen as well.

We started our evening in the foyer of the library, where Jeni met us. As the lift is small it took two trips to get  us to the Local/Family History Resource room on the second floor. Jeni is the family/local history  librarian and her knowledge local history and some of the first families is extensive.  She is passionate about local and family history.

The local/family history room is long with resources on easy access as well as two computers and a table. Local history is at one end and family history at the other. It looks as if it would be a quite place to work but with 20 people in it, it was hard to tell. Jeni demonstrated to new computer system, that also takes micro fiche and micro film. What looks like a bench down the middle of the room holds hanging files, containing such things as old photos, maps, plans, subdivision plans.  The list is endless. Several of us wanted to stay and research.

We were also shown what family history resources are held and how to use them. Births, Death and Marriage records for various state, convict and passenger records, council minutes, the history of Bankstown and suburbs are just a small amount of what is on offer. The library also has Ancestry and Find My Past, for people to use, free. There is also a collection of Historical newspapers.

Jeni explained that in the old library much of the resources  were in compactus and couldn't be accessed and that they are able to be accessed now. Wonderful for researchers!

Bankstown Library has a good website  http://www.bankstown.nsw.gov.au/index.aspx?nid=582 and this site is easy to use/ You can also ring (02) 9707 9728.

After this we went to our room, yes I know it belongs to council but it is nice to know we have a permanent spot. We welcomed a new member, Geoff and talked about what is happening, in the next few months and had a report from the treasurer.

Next month we are going to give the data projection a workout with a workshop on family history programs.

Happy Researching,


As I mentioned in my Presidents Message our Group is up and running. It has been an interesting time for all the committee members and as President I have been learning the intricacies of NSW Fair Trading paperwork!

Our first meeting had 29 attendees and we have maintained steady numbers since then. I hadn't realised that so many were interested in family history.

March 4 saw our first formal meeting and the vote to accept or reject our new constitution. The constitution was a merger of two constitutions, with  additions and subtractions, to suit our group.   Members were sent a copy and asked for submissions. The committee looked at any submissions and these were discussed at the meeting. A vote was held and the constitution was accepted.

Our April meeting had us nomads back at Panania Diggers. This meeting was a workshop looking at six free web sites people can use. Some of the group were happy to browse each site, others had brought research, with the hope of finding answers. The squeals that were heard seem to indicate that there were some success stories. Another workshop is planned for our June meeting.

Our May 6 meeting will find us in our new 'home', the Bankstown Library and Knowledge Centre. While the room isn't in the actual library, it is in the same building and we will be able to make use of the resources in the Family and Local History Room.

Why not join us?