Tag Archives: National Family History Month

Martyn Killion

P1050225The guest speaker for our meeting in National Family History Month is Martyn Killion, Manager Public Access, State Archives and Records NSW.

You are invited to join us at 2:00pm on Wednesday 16 August at Hornsby Central Library to hear Martyn tell us about the State Archives Website and how the resources there can help us with our family history research.

Martyn has been involved in genealogy for 40 years. He  is a qualified information professional with experience in Arts NSW who has also worked at the State Library of NSW.  In addition to supporting family historians through his work in  the State Archives Martyn holds voluntary positions in the genealogy arena. He is currently President of The Society of Australian Genealogists  and is on the organising committee for Congress 2018.

We are privileged to have Martyn as our National Family History Month guest.



Family History for You

NFHM-logoIn celebration of National Family History Month Hornsby Shire Family History Group will be hosting its 3rd Annual Geneagala in conjuction with Hornsby Library.

When: Saturday 12th August 2017, 10:00 am to 3pm

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

This event is open to all those with an interest in their family history, there is something on the program for beginners to experienced genies.

Sydney genealogist and historian, Christine Yeats, our special guest will be the first speaker on our program.

Family History for You – Program

10:00 am Welcome – Coral Shand, Hornsby Shire Family History Group
10:15 Is there really nothing there? – Family history research in the 21st century – Christine Yeats
11:30  National Archives of Australia: records for family history – Coral Shand
12:15 The British Newspaper Archive – Neil Chippendale
1:00 Beginning Family History: 10 rules, 10 tips, 10 resources – Jill Ball
1:45 Early Church Records/Films for NSW – Lyn Parsons
2:15 Using Trove and online newspapers for research – Jill Ball
2:45 Prize Draw – Main Prize A gift certificate from the National Institute for Genealogical Studies (NIGS) for any online course from a choice of over 200 courses  – Coral Shand

Genealogy Clinic

10:30 – 10:30 to 2:45 with Hornsby Shire FHG volunteers in the Esther Wait Room and Computer Room

Drop in to the Geneaclinic throughout the day for:

  • Help for beginners
  • Assistance with Hornsby Library’s online resources (Ancestry, FindMyPast and My Heritage) and other resources
  • Help with Brickwalls and research problems
  • Tips for organising your research
  •  A chat with Hornsby Shire FHG members

At 2:45 pm there will be a prize draw for those in attendance.

For further information please contact:
Coral Shand, Coordinator  cshand21@gmail.com
Jill Ball, Communications  jillballau@gmail.com 
Local Studies, Hornsby Shire Library & Information Service.

Christine Yeats

Christine will be the star turn at our 3rd Annual Geneagala “Family History for you“. When: Saturday 12 August 2017, 10:00am to 3pm
Where: Hornsby Central Library, 28-44 George St, Hornsby


Christine Yeats (2017)Christine Yeats is an archivist and historical researcher. Over her 35 year career ─ much of it with State Archives NSW ─ she implemented a number of key initiatives aimed at improving access to the State’s archives.

Currently National President of the Independent Scholars Association of Australia (ISAA), Chair of ISAA’s NSW Chapter, Senior Vice President of the Royal Australian Historical Society and chair of the Assessment Committee of the UNESCO Australian Memory of the World Register.

Over the course of Christine’s career she contributed to a wide range of publications and spoke at national and international conferences. Since retiring from full-time work she has continued to undertake research and publish articles based on this work.

The full program for the event can be accessed here.

But wait, there’s more…

It’s  National Family History Month and we have one more treat in store for you.  Heather Garnsey, Executive Officer at The Society of Australian Genealogists will be the guest speaker at our August Meeting.  You can read about Heather and her involvement in the genealogy world in this interview from last year.

We look forward to seeing you and your friends at this event.

Heather Garnsey

Celebrating Family History

In spite of the fact that our Geneagala Day clashed with the Opening Ceremony of the 2016 Olympics in Rio we had a healthy turnout for our National Family History Month event held at Hornsby Library yesterday.


Members and visitors at the Geneagala

Thanks to Neil Chippendale from the Library who set up our areas and to the dozen or so Hornsby Shire Family History Group volunteers who worked throughout the day  meeting, greeting and mentoring people.

There was a good rollup to hear guest speaker (and local resident) Kylie Rees from The History Company talk to us about Archiving our digital records.


Kylie’s Presentation


Kylie Rees

Our members Coral Shand and Jill Ball also gave presentations during the day while a band of volunteers helped visitors solve their family history problems.


One of our members, Bronwyn, won the gift certificate for a free course from NIGS (The National Institute for Genealogical Studies while a member, Diana, won the bottle of wine.


At the conclusion of the event all of the attendees agreed that they had learnt something new….what more could we ask for?

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.