Tag Archives: Jill Ball

Scottish Research

One of Australia’s leading professional genealogists, Kerry Farmer, is returning to Hornsby Shire Family History Group next week to talk to us about Scottish Research.   Kerry has previously visited Hornsby to speak about DNA and Immigration.


Kerry Farmer (R) with Jill Ball at Hornsby Shire FHG in 2016

Kerry, who has been teaching family history classes since 1997, chairs the Education Committee of the Society of Australian Genealogists, and presents seminars and classes there as well as at other organisations in Australia and overseas.. She currently teaches online courses in “Australian and New Zealand Genealogy” through the National Institute of Genealogical Studies. Kerry will be representing Australia as a presenter at Rootstech London in 2019.

You are invited to join us at Hornsby Central Library next Wednesday, July 17 at 2:00pm to hear Kerry’s presentation. Entry is by Gold coin donation.

Cast your votes now

Voting has now opened in the 2016 Rockstar Genealogists Awards.  Two of our members, Sharn White and Jill Ball, as well as two of our recent guest speakers, Kerry Farmer and Heather Garnsey, appear on this list.

Take a look at the list and cast your votes in this annual international event now. Voting will close at 6 pm EDT on Sunday 11 September.


Website Award for our Group


NSW/ACT Website Award

Tonight at the Annual Conference Dinner of the NSW and ACT Association of Family History Societies Inc our Group received The Dorothy Fellowes Website Encouragement Award for a website administered by a society member.

As our Group’s media (and website) person I was thrilled that I was in attendance at the dinner and able to collect the award on behalf of our Group.

Congratulations to our northern neighbours, Wyong Family History Group, a group with a long history who won the major award.

I was so proud that our efforts as a new Group were recognised with this Encouragement Award.That our Group that has only been in existence  for seven months received recognition for our efforts is most pleasing.

You can visit our website here: https://hornsbysfhg.wordpress.com


Jill Ball, Media Officer, Hornsby Shire Family History Group receives our award from Dorothy Fellowes.

Genealogy Clinic


Ad in the Library

A small band of enthusiastic volunteers from our Group, supported by Neil Chippendale, Local Studies Librarian, before 10am at Hornsby Library last Saturday for our first “Genealogy Clinic”, a National Family History Month event.

Thanks to Ann, Bronwyn  Jan, Jill, Judy, Lyn and Robert  who gave up their Saturday to support our Group and help local residents with their family history issues.Thanks also to Karen Richardson from the Library who prepared materials for our event.

Our program commenced at 10:30 with a talk on “Beginning Family History” from Jill Ball. The volunteers and Neil then opened the  “Genealogy Clinic”.

Although we had a small number of patients at our ‘Clinic’ we had an enormous amount of success in tracing their ancestors: one with a surname of Smith,one who had fibbed about his birthdate and changed his forename, someone in the wilds of Papua and another with unclear paternity. The genealogy resources freely available at Hornsby Library together with the  fresh eyes and experience of our volunteers contributed to our success.

Following are a few photos from our day. Unfortunately we neglected to take many as we got carried away chatting about our familys’ histories.

Those of us who attended had fun, Neil is already talking about doing it again for National Family History Month 2016.


Volunteer, Jan, welcomes our first guest


Jill Ball presents on Beginning Family History


Smiling volunteers sign up a new Group member


Some of our visitors chatted informally


Neil drew the winning entry for our NIGS Prize draw. Congratulations to Group member, Lyn, who won an online course.

Michelle Nichols at Hornsby Shire FHG

We invited a special guest speaker to Hornsby for our National Family History Month meeting. Visitors travelled from as far as Wollongong to hear Michelle Nichols speak on “Researching Hawkesbury Families” at Hornsby Library today. A straw poll prior to Michelle’s presentation found that most audience members had ancestral links with the Hawkesbury.

Jonathan Auld sets up the presentation while Jill Ball introduces Michelle

Jonathan Auld sets up the presentation while Jill Ball introduces Michelle

Michelle commenced her presentation with some historical background of the Hawkesbury region before she talked about researching ancestors from the area. We learnt about when the area was settled, about transport and services and work and play in the Hawkesbury. Michelle discussed the resources available at Hawkesbury Library for research, gave some general tips for reseaarch and highlighted the importance of going beyond mere Birth, Death and Marriage facts to add context to our ancestors’ stories. Visitors left with some very useful handouts that Michelle had prepared.

Before the lights went out  - Michelle commences her talk

Before the lights went out – Michelle commences her talk

Michelle’s excellent Powerpoint presentation had few words; the many historic photos of Hawkesbury people and places gave context to Michelle’s words. Michelle was most gracious in talking individually to our audience during afternoon tea and after our meeting. One attendee commented that he didn’t know much about the Hawkesbury prior to Michelle’s talk but after it he knew it all.


Michelle takes questions from the audience

Links to some of the resources Michelle discussed can be found here: http://www.hawkesbury.net.au/familyhistory/ and Hawkesbury Library Catalaogue can be found here http://catalogue.hawkesbury.nsw.gov.au/amlibweb/ and Claim a Convict can be found here: http://www.hawkesbury.net.au/claimaconvict/.

Thanks to Karen Richardson form Hornsby Library for taking photos of our event. Thanks also to member Bronwyn for being such a delightful meeter and greeter.

We look forward to welcoming more visitors to our National Family History Month Genealogy Clinic on Saturday 22 August.

Genealogy Clinic


As part of the celebration of National Family History Month, Hornsby Shire Family History Group in conjunction with Hornsby Shire Library invite you to attend a FREE Genealogy Clinic. Library staff and group members will be on hand to offer guidance throughout the day.

When: Saturday 22 August 2015, 10am to 3pm

Where: Hornsby Central Library, 28-44 George St, Hornsby

“Beginning Family History” free talk with Jill Ball in the Meeting Room at 10.30 am.

Jill Ball

Jill Ball

Drop in throughout the day for:

  • Help for beginners
  • Assistance with online resources and other Hornsby Library resources
  • Help with Brickwalls and research problems
  • Tips for organising your research
  •  A chat with Hornsby Shire FHG members

At 3:00 pm there will be a prize draw of a free gift certificate for any online course from a choice of over 200 courses from NFHM prize sponsor National Institute of Genealogical Studies (NIGS). Those who attend the Michelle Nichols talk on Wednesday 19th August or the Genealogy Clinic will be eligible to enter.

Group Meeting Next Week

Do your genealogy files look like this?

If you answered “Yes” you might find inspiration at our next Group Meeting on  April 15 at 2:00pm  in the Main Meeting Room at  Hornsby Central Library. Members  and guests are invited to join us for this event.

Coral Shand and Jill Ball will present case studies on Organising our Stuff  followed by a discussion from those present.

The Minutes from our last meeting will be distributed to members via email prior to this event.