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Jump to Saturday  Sunday

Friday 11 October

9.30 Registration Opens
9.45 Welcome
10.00-10.45 Joy Murrin - Exploring the Past - Insights from the NSW Birth, Death and Marriage Registrations (Free Talk)

With experience as an Accredited Transcription Agent Joy will show you how to navigate through the BDM Index, and some of the hard to find processes as well as share discoveries found in the registrations to explore the records of your ancestors.
11.00-11.45 Paul Parton - FamilySearch (Free Talk)

FamilySearch offers all explorers a wide selection of resources to dig up the past of an ancestor. By using tools provided on the FamilySearch website this session explores the difference between searching and researching. Although essentially aimed at those unfamiliar with FamilySearch it includes some advanced techniques and a look at a few recently released features.
12.00-12.45 Danielle Lautrec - Stories from the Photographic Collection of the Society of Australian Genealogists (Free Talk)

The Society of Australian Genealogists has a vast photographic collection, dating from the early 1800s to the present day. Using examples from the collection, such as the famous Houison Collection, Danielle will illustrate the chronology of photographs, discuss their potential for family history and demonstrate how to find them in the catalogue.
2.00-2.45 Suzanne Voytas - The future of Family History Societies  (Free Talk)
3.00-4.00 Ben Finn - Family History Search (Free Talk)
3.00-3.30 Association Forum
4:00 Trade Tables Close
6 for 6.30 Meet & Greet

Friday Masterclasses
(additional $10 cost except for Jason Reeve's Ancestry talk)

10.00-10.45 Jeff Madsen - Add  Dimension  to your Family Research and Storytelling with map imagery

SIX is the Spatial Information eXchange and it has some free functions available to genealogists through the Spatial Services Portal:
  • SIX Maps allows us to transition from aerial photography of today to aerial photography of Sydney from 1943 to current street maps. It also provides Cadastral, Place Names and Addressing data.
  • NSW Globe is a free and easy way to view NSW government primary spatial information and spatial services using Google's familiar search and mapping functionality.
  • The Map Store allows you to browse and select Layered and Georeferenced PDF Topographic Maps Online.
Hear how these tools can add a new dimension to your research and storytelling with map imagery.  
10.00-10.45 Lilian Magill - Copyright & Ethics. Think before you share.

Combining both copyright and ethics, this talk touches on what is copyright, how long it lasts and the ethical side of sharing sensitive information you find. Will give links to useful websites, blogs and a book list.
11.00-11.45 Kerry Farmer - Tips & Tricks for working with DNA.

Learn how to get the most out of your DNA test results. This session will provide tips for all the main DNA testing companies as well as GEDmatch/Genesis.
11.00-11.45 Judith Dunn - Finding Your Ancestors in the Parramatta Cemeteries.

Most early colonists touched bases with Parramatta at some stage.  Larger than Sydney for a while with the majority of convicts working in the area, it also experienced large numbers of deaths.  That is why there are twelve cemeteries in Parramatta including the oldest remaining cemetery in Australia.  Earliest burials date from 1790 and denominations include, Anglican, Catholic, Wesleyan, Baptist, Presbyterian, a General Cemetery plus four private cemeteries and isolated graves.  Finding your ancestor may not be as easy as going to the correct denomination.  For instance there are many Anglicans in the Presbyterian cemetery, a large group of Germans in the Baptist cemetery, Swiss, Italian, German and Pacific Islanders in the Catholic cemeteries.  Chinese, Jewish and Aboriginal people are scattered throughout all cemeteries.  In this talk we will try to unravel where your ancestors are likely to be.
12.00-12.45 David Berry - The Australian Joint Copying Project (AJCP) for Family Historians.

The AJCP is a rich source of information for family historians researching the colonial period yet remains an under-utilised resource. Whether it’s convict or military ancestors, emigrants and settlers there is something here for everyone. Governor’s Despatches provide the context of European settlement as well as information on individuals. This session will pinpoint the records of interest to family historians and demonstrate how to access the information. The full range of finding aids including database access to digitised records is included.
12.00-12.45 Jason Reeve - Using Ancestry.com for Family History & An Introduction to AncestryDNA (including Q&A)

Have you heard of Ancestry.com?  Why should you use it? How can you find the help you need to overcome obstacles with your research and where does AncestryDNA fit into the picture?  Join Jason Reeve, Ancestry.com's Content Acquistion Manager for Australia and New Zealand, as he explains using Ancestry, taking an AncestryDNA test and discovering your family history.
2.00-2.45 David Wright - Reading Old Writing

Finding an old document relating to an ancestor is only half the battle.  Sometimes the real challenge can be reading it! To make matters more complicated, in early years in the British Isles people used a different "hand" (or font) to shape their letters. Learn how to tackle this issue and decipher your old documents.
2.00-2.45 Mary-Anne Gourley - Researching Ancestors in British India.

Brief outline of history of East India Company, the establishment of their records where they are now found at the British Library (BL). The BL and its resources and access online, how we in Australia can research using this resource. Pay to view sites FindMyPast and Ancestry and their holdings relating to India Office Records. An introduction to FIBIS, its website, publications and their guides for researching. Using FamilySearch to access Indian records held at the BL in London. The use of newspaper archives and how they can supply information on events not found in the BL records. British women in India, understanding their lives and contributions. Where to find and access relevant material in Australia.

Saturday 12 October

8.00 Registration & Trade Tables Open
8.30-8.45 Welcome
8.45-9.30 Adam Lindsay – John Vincent Crowe Memorial Address
9.30-10.15 Dr David Wright – Genealogical History and Geography

History without geography is meaningless. Our ancestors' lives set in context; how and why they moved and how such behaviour may be traced. County and other boundaries and the restrictions of freedom they allowed.
10.15-11.00 Morning Tea
11.00-11.45 Christine YeatsFamily history and the defence of home and Empire in New South Wales between 1801 and 1902

Although regular forces of the British Army were stationed in the Australian colonies between 1788 and 1870, local Loyal Associations and Volunteers Corps were also organised from time to time. In 1863 over 2,000 men volunteered to fight in the Maori Wars. They were no doubt lured by the New Zealand recruiters' promises of settlement on confiscated Maori land. Australian colonial military contingents volunteered to support Britain in the Sudan in 1885 − the first time troops from the Australian colonies fought in an imperial war – and in the Boer War between 1899 and 1902. They also provided naval support. In 1900, in response to a request from the British Government, Australian colonial ships were sent to join the international force during the Boxer rebellion in China.

For the family historian the discovery that an ancestor served in one of these actions is only half the story. To better understand the ancestor's actions it is important to take account of the social and economic conditions at the time within the wider context of British imperial history and contemporary international events.

This presentation will provide an overview of the history of New South Wales Colonial forces between 1801 and the end of the Boer War in 1902. It will explore the range of records that are available, both online and in archives and other repositories. It will conclude with a discussion of the strategies for linking these elements, thus enabling the family historian to construct an informed understanding of their soldier ancestors and the times in which they lived.
11.45-12.30 Martyn Killion Opening Up the Doors – successfully using the NSW State Archives Collections

In this session, Martyn Killion explains how to successfully use the State Archives Collection for family history research, everything from Collection Search to indexes, and outlines ways in which NSW State Archives is increasing awareness and use of the Collection.
12.30-1.45 Lunch
1.45-2.30 Kerry Farmer – Finding hidden family using DNA

Adoptees are not the only ones looking for ways to use DNA to help them identify their birth ancestors. Have you actually confirmed that your family is your family? Even genealogists have been surprised by DNA test results, learning that what they thought they knew is not supported by genetic evidence. While everybody's story and search is individual, there are some strategies for using DNA to help find those  ancestors who tried to hide.
2.30-3.15 Dr David WrightWorkhouses

The workhouse system started in the 1830s and brought about a sea change in the lives of the English poor. This talk will be an examination of the workhouses and their valuable records
3.15-4.00 Afternoon Tea
4.00-5.00 Association AGM
5.00 Trade Tables Close
6.00 for 6.30 Conference Dinner

Sunday 13 October

8.30-8.45 Welcome
8.45-9.30 Gay Hendricksen – Conviction - A fight for rights at the Parramatta Female Factory

Parramatta Female Factory is the oldest surviving female factory. It was a Governor Macquarie commission, incarcerated an estimated 5,000 convict women, was a model for the other female factories and the site of one of Australia's earliest workers actions. An overview of the female factory phenomena, the convict women's journey and the much debated 1827 Female factory action... or riot...depending on your point of view!
9.30-10.15 Jane Ison – Lost records of the Industrial Schools

Jane's research into industrial schools began after an investigation into the establishment of the first institution for girls at Newcastle (1867-1871). This resulted in the website: http://nis.wikidot.com

The individual case studies she undertook to research frequently demonstrated the revolving door of institutionalisation common for families of those on the fringes of society. Children may have been variously admitted to Randwick, The Benevolent Asylum, the orphan institutions and/or various gaols before an admission to an industrial school. After an arrest and court appearance children were sent to Newcastle, Biloela, Shaftesbury or the Vernon (depending on the year of arrest). In identifying the individual families and stories of the Newcastle girls, extensive use was made of the Joan Reese Colonial Secretary’s Index (CSIL) and records of various other institutions. By doing this compilation it was discovered (and confirmed with NSW State Archives), that some records for each of the industrial school institutions had not survived. Recreating these pre-1887 records is an ongoing project being constructed online, accessible to and free for all, with initial funding provided by the RAHS.
10.15-10.45 Morning Tea
10.45-11.30 Laurie Turtle – Ann Colpitts, a Great Survivor

This talk discusses the life of one of my First Fleeters, Ann Colpitts. She was a colourful lady and indeed a great survivor. The talk shows how she started life as a petty thief and eventually died as a respected settler in the Ryde area of Sydney.  However, it also shows how research can change as more information becomes available. Mollie Gillen in her excellent book on the First Fleeters gives what was then the most obvious lineage for her in England. However, later research through newspapers shows a very different picture of who Ann actually was. The talk explores this new picture of who Ann was, as well as showing what her life was like once she was here in Australia.
11.30-12.15 Carol Baxter - Finding Elusive Surnames: Why even the simplest surnames can be surprisingly difficult to find

In our bureaucratic world, we tend to think about surnames as written words; however, prior to universal literacy, surnames were spoken sounds rather than written words. When a scribe translated the sounds he heard into letters, he drew upon his mental lexicon of words and surnames or, if that failed, his implicit knowledge of English phonetics. Often, the written result is ‘accurate’ or is easily recognisable as a variant of a particular surname (e.g. Bryant/Brian); however, sometimes the result makes even the simplest surname extremely difficult to locate (e.g. Brian/Ryan). Yet most ‘mis-writings’ are predictable. Like a dart player attempting to hit a bull’s eye, a scribe who failed to accurately interpret the sounds of a surname generally hit one of the ‘nearby’ rings – that is, the ‘nearby’ sounds. This seminar helps researchers understand these distortion patterns; for example, why they should look for Puckridge when researching Buckridge, or Rabbett when researching Abbott.

Transcription misreadings are also common and are similarly systematic, which explains why genealogists should look for Hartup when researching Startup, or Witchell when researching Mitchell.
This seminar is a gateway to a new world. After learning about surnames from a sound and letter perspective, researchers will have a higher success rate in finding elusive surnames.
12.15-1.00 Wendy FrewGenealogy is history: Sharing your family story with a wider audience

Genealogists spend a great deal of time exploring their roots, and sharing what they have found with family and friends. Full of fascinating stories and historical tidbits, family histories are often worthy of sharing with a broader audience. But how do you reach people beyond your own family?       In the recently published Leane Times, the story of her Cornish ancestors' journey to Australia, Sydney journalist Wendy Frew places her family in the historical context of mass migration, colonisation, federation and war to reveal a complex story about her family and about Australia.

In her conference address, Wendy will tell you how she brought the Leanes to life by drawing on family letters, diaries and photos; official records and newspaper reports; and contemporary accounts of events the Leanes experienced. She will also explain how she published her book without the backing of a publishing house, by leveraging traditional and new media, holding book launches and giving talks to library groups and historical societies.
1.00-1.15 Call to Newcastle & Close