Australian Genealogy and History Snippets – June 2023 (& some extras)

From time to time I come across all sorts of interesting history and/or genealogy related tidbits that I want to share with you, so I’ve collected them together to make up another Snippets post.

These aren’t meant to be comprehensive, but rather they are just bits that I’ve found and wanted to share. They are mostly Australian-related news, but I have tacked on some overseas tid-bits and details of some new books that you might find interesting too.


Australian news

Lutheran Archives Donation Appeal
The Lutheran Archives is actively trying to make its collection more accessible through digitisation, but it’s a long, slow and expensive process. As well as our ongoing digitisation of Registers of Pastoral Acts (baptisms, confirmations, marriages etc) they have begun digitising their collection of church periodicals. These date from the late 19th century up to today and contain not only general church news, theological discussion, and spiritual direction, but also personal details, photos and local community news. Digitising each year of a periodical costs $100 of digitising time and there are over 500 annual volumes of material across all synods and districts. Donations to complete this work can be made at: and identifying that it is for digitisation of periodicals. Donations of $2 or more are tax deductible.
[from the Lutheran Archives ANZ Facebook page]

Moreton Bay Regional Libraries adds preservation stations
Exciting news for all! All of the libraries at North Lakes and Strathpine have recently installed brand-new Preservation Stations. Whether you have old family photographs, slides, negatives, or important documents that you want to preserve for future generations, the new stations can help you create archive-quality digital copies. To book a session at these new preservation stations, simply contact the library. Don’t miss out on this fantastic opportunity to protect your precious memories and keep them safe for years to come!
More info:

QSQ is fundraising with containers
GSQ has entered into a fundraising arrangement with CONTAINERS FOR CHANGE that every member can participate in. By collecting your recyclable containers, glass or plastic bottles, poppers and /or cans and recycling them the funds can be credited to GSQ fund raising account. Containers can either be taken to a recycling depot see below link for details of your closest depot OR arrange for a home collection. [GSQ’s Scheme ID is: C10659195]
More info:

Provisional State Heritage Listing of Victa Cinema
Great news from the Art Deco & Modernism, Adelaide Chapter, the Victa Cinema at Victor Harbor in South Australia has been granted Provisional State Heritage Listing. As the first South Australian picture theatre purpose-built to screen ‘talkies,’ the Victa Cinema established the pattern for all picture theatres that followed and is both an influential and pivotal example of its class. On 25 November 2022, the Victa Cinema (former Ozone Theatre) was provisionally entered in the South Australian Heritage Register under s17(2)(b) of the Heritage Places Act 1993 to protect the place from development so that it can be appropriately assessed. You can read the Summary of State Heritage Place about Victa Cinema here:…/26556-SSHP-Victa

QR Codes on Headstones at Mount Barker Cemetery
Next time you visit the old part of Mount Barker Cemetery you’ll notice QR codes at some of the historic gravesites. The QR codes have been placed by the National Trust SA Mount Barker branch. Using the camera app on your smartphone, point your camera towards the QR code. You’ll first notice that the QR code will be highlighted briefly on your screen and then a banner will appear with a link to the website. Tap the link and you’ll be taken directly to the National Trust SA website with a biography of the person whose QR code you’ve viewed. Mount Barker Cemetery is the resting place of some absolutely fascinating pioneers who have made significant contributions to the story of Mount Barker.  The QR Code project was developed with the support of Council and Business Mount Barker.
[info from the Mount Barker Council Facebook page]

State Library of Queensland’s Transcription Project
The SLQ is  asking if you’re an expert at deciphering handwriting? Or if you are interested in improving your transcription skills? As they have recently digitised the letters received by the Colonial Secretary of the British Colony of New South Wales which relate to the Moreton Bay settlement and Queensland from 1822-1860. The correspondence documents the daily activities of a penal settlement, including petitions from prisoners’ wives, supply requests for items needed to establish and maintain the settlement, and proposed infrastructure plans. This is a large and historically significant collection of 42,000 pages of letters and documents. These letters have never been available online before and will be a valuable research resource. However, the machine-generated transcripts of the Colonial Secretary’s letters are, on average, 50% accurate. Technology is great, but there is no substitute for the human perspective in deciphering handwriting. If you are interested in Queensland history, family history, or you simply enjoy the challenge of decoding handwritten documents, they would welcome your help. To contribute to this worthwhile project, please visit to sign up at From The Page and start transcribing.
[info from the State Library of Queensland Facebook page]

GenealogySA – New Family Historian Special Interest Group
Ok, this isn’t brand new news as this group was formed late last year, but I don’t think I’ve mentioned it, so figured it was worth doing so. So for those who have the software program Family Historian, and would like to meet with other users, this group meets on the 2nd Tuesday, of each month via Zoom, at 7pm (South Australian time).
Be sure to check the GenealogySA events calendar for details:

Have you started listening to the National Library of Australia’s ‘Bold Types’ podcast?
The podcast tells the stories of some of Australia’s first female journalists and how they blazed a trail for the industry today. Read about their stories and the experiences of the book’s author, Patricia Clarke – a trailblazing female journalist in her own right – in the book that inspired the podcast. Find the ‘Bold Types’ book in the NLA bookshop:
[info from the National Library of Australia Facebook page]

New Index from Archival Access Victoria
Mark from Archival Access Victoria has been busy, busy and has now indexed the Victorian State Ward records from 1911-1922. This contains 18,867 names of children who were made wards of the State (of Victoria) between 1910 and 1922. Use the index to find the reference, and then you can access the full ward record at PROV. View the index here:
[info from the Archival Access Victoria Facebook page]

Bendigo Regional Archives Centre releases Patient Records Index 1908-1931
A full index is now available for patient records from the Bendigo Receiving Ward (1908-1931), series VPRS 18845 and part of the Bendigo Health collection. These registers contain two pages per patient, and record various particulars like age, locality, native place, marital status and their discharge details. Many also contain notes on the patient’s symptoms and delusions, and other details about their lives.  Once you’ve found a relevant entry, note the Unit number and order that Unit from the PROV catalogue to view at the Bendigo Reading Room (link beneath the index):
[info from the Bendigo Regional Archives Centre Facebook page]

WA Convict Website Updated
The WA Convict Website compiled by the FHWA Convict Interest Group has been updated. Convict details and files containing links to UK prison registers have now been added for all convicts up to and including the Edwin Fox (Convict No. 5340).  The means that we have now loaded details for 5,112 convicts. Only 4,468 to go! Check out the website at
[info from the FamilyHistoryWA Facebook page]

New Home for the National Trust of South Australia
The National Trust of South Australia head office has officially moved from Beaumont into their new home at the North Adelaide Baptist Church on Tynte Street. The historic Church was built in 1870 and has been generously gifted to the National Trust. Come say hello to the team and check out their office space!
[info from the National Trust of SA Facebook page]

New Website for Saving Karrakatta Cemetery
We are proud to announce the launch of our new website This website contains important information about the Karrakatta Cemetery redevelopment process. Please share it with friends and family to help get the word out.
[info from the Saving SA Graves Facebook page]

Applications are now open for WA heritage grants
The 2023-24 Heritage Grants Program budget is $1.221 million, with $1 million allocated for the WA State Heritage Grants funding stream, and the balance allocated for the WA Community Heritage Grants stream. Eligible not-for-profit organisations, businesses and local governments are encouraged to apply for the Community Heritage Grants that assist innovative community engagement activities or interpretation projects that promote or celebrate a State Registered Heritage Place or local heritage listed place.
More info:

Overseas News

Findmypast Family History Forum
The Findmypast Facebook group has had a makeover! Now named the Findmypast Family History Forum, it will continue to be a place to seek help with your family tree and share your discoveries. Plus, you can take advantage of exclusive content, expert advice, and of course, being a part of a friendly, welcoming community. Join their group =>
[info from the Findmypast Facebook page]

Pharos Tutors Launches ‘New Look, New Website, New Student Experience’
The online genealogy course site, Pharos Tutors has just launches their brand new website and it looks very schmick. They offer over 50 courses all easily findable with their new course finder. Check it out at
[info from the Pharos Tutors Facebook page]

New Publications – Recently Released

How to Discover Your Family History Using FREE Resources
by Anthony E. Trice, Family History Books, £9.95

Suffering, Redemption and Triumph: The first wave of post-war Australian immigrants 1945-66
by Peter Brune, Big Sky Publishing, AU$32.99

Generation by Generation: A Modern Approach to the Basics of Genealogy
by Drew Smith, Genealogical Publishing Company, US$29.95

Getting the Most Out of RootsMagic 9
by Bruce Buzbee, RootsMagic, US$17.95/AU$29.95

Tracing Your Belfast Ancestors: A Guide for Family Historians
by Chris Paton, Pen & Sword, £14.99

Fettered Frontier: Founding the Moreton Bay Settlement, the First Four Years 1822-1826
by Jennifer Harrison, Boolarong Press, AU$34.99

Convict Orphans: The heartbreaking stories of the colony’s forgotten children, and those who succeeded against all odds
by Lucy Frost, Allen & Unwin, AU$34.99

Esme Quentin Mystery series ‘The Scourge of the Skua’
by Wendy Percival, the 5th book in the Esme Quentin Mystery series. Available in both Kindle and paperback formats from Amazon.

New Publications – Coming Soon

The Deserter’s Tale by Nathan Dylan Goodwin available for pre-order
A new short Morton Farrier story is now available to pre-order on Kindle! The Deserter’s Tale will be released 15 September 2023 (10 years to the day after Hiding the Past was first published). Audiobook to follow soon after. Hardback & paperback will be combined with Morton #10.


If you have any Australian genealogy and/or history related news that you’d like me to share, please feel free to send me an email with the info, and I’ll put it in my next Snippets update.  

Are You Listening? 25 Australian History and Genealogy Podcasts

Hands up how many of you listen to podcasts? Hmm, not enough of you. Before I get into that, let me start right at the very beginning by giving you the definition of podcast.

In simple terms, a podcast is a digital medium consisting of audio episodes that relate to a specific theme. The hosts of a podcast are referred to as “podcasters.”

So in essence it’s an audio recording that you can listen to on your computer, iPad, or phone. There are literally hundreds of thousands of podcasts available to listen to, on just about any topic that you can think of – just browse Audible to get an idea. They can be fun and entertaining, they can be horrifying, or they can be educational. Podcasts are great to listen to while you’re travelling.

Anyway today I just want to highlight a few Australian history and genealogy-related ones for you. Please note it takes a LOT of work and dedication to create a podcast, and as you’ll see some of those listed below are not currently active, but I’ve included them as you can still listen to the past episodes.


AdeLOL – Adelaide & SA’s Hilarious History Podcast
Stories of South Australia and Adelaide’s unique, and often hilarious, past.

Australian Ancestry Podcast
The Australian Ancestry Podcast helps you make the most of your uniquely Australian family history research by providing insights into how to perform your research in Australia, overview of historical trends in Australian migration & settlement and interviews with leading Australian researchers.

Aussie History Podcast
The Aussie History Podcast, (also known as the Aussie Waves Podcast) tells Australian history though the lens of all those peoples who have made the journey from other lands to call Australia home.

Australian Histories Podcast
The Australian Histories Podcast aims to take a fresh look at some of the brilliant stories from Australia’s past. Jenny is the host, and through her podcasts, she hopes to share with you an overview of various interesting episodes in Australian History, as well as some humour, interest and perhaps even a new perspective from those in your high school history textbooks!

Bookmark This Podcast
Bookmark This is a podcast from the National Library of Australia. Season one, Off Stage, explores the vibrant characters, milestone moments and cultural treasures found in the exhibition On Stage: Spotlight on Our Performing Arts. It delves into the untold stories of Australia theatre, dance, music and film. Season two, Bold Types is hosted by political reporter and author Amy Remekis. and it celebrates the pioneering women who took the world of journalism by storm, with each episode featuring contemporary female journalists reflecting on their experiences and those of their forebears.

Collected: Stories from the Australian War Memorial Podcast
Collected: Stories from the Australian War Memorial explores the artefacts that make up the museum of the Australian War Memorial and uncovers the stories that the public don’t always get to hear.

Convict Australia Podcast
A podcast about the convicts that were transported to Australia. Each episode offers a glimpse into life as a convict and a broader insight into the convict system. Presented by Jennifer Twemlow, author of ‘Convict Sydney: the real-life stories of 32 prisoners’.

Deviant Women Podcast
Alicia and Lauren are the hosts of Deviant Women. Every fortnight they discuss a different ‘deviant’ woman from history, fiction, mythology and the contemporary world: those who aren’t afraid to break the rules, to subvert the system, to explore, to seek and to challenge the status quo. While those covered in their podcast are not necessarily from Australia, Lauren and Alicia are, so for that reason I’ve included it here.

Downunder Genealogy Podcast
An Aussie genealogist who loves everything genealogy and wants to help and support others!

Goldfields Stories of Western Australia Podcast
History and stories of the Western Australian Goldfields written by local historian, Norma King (OAM) and Lorraine Kelly.

Forgotten Australia Podcast
From the desperate struggle against Spanish Flu in Sydney and the weekend Melbourne was ruled by anarchic mobs, to Brisbane’s most puzzling murder mystery and the Lord Howe Islander who tried to save passengers on the Titanic, each episode of Forgotten Australia brings you an incredible true story that you didn’t learn in history class.

Heaps Good History Podcast
Exploring incredible true stories from South Australia’s past. A podcast brought to you by The Advertiser, in Adelaide.

The History Detective Podcast
This began during the Pandemic, though the planning starte earlier. The site now has more than 35 episodes that look at different aspects of Australian History, including lesser known women from history and many stories about First Nations History.

History Lab Podcast
History Lab is Australia’s first investigative history podcast. And they’ve got some good stories to tell. But they are interested in much more than just the story. Instead of an academic or other expert telling you what to think, History Lab wants to draw you in to the investigative process. It wants you to come along with us as we try to make sense of the traces the past leaves in the present.

The History Listen Podcast
New and compelling stories from Australia and around the world, told by some of our most popular and trusted historians. Step inside a time machine for an immersive journey through history, where stories of people, places and events bring the past vividly into our present world.

The History of Australia Podcast
This is a narrative history podcast. It tells the story of Australia starting with the dawn of the Australian land mass, and moves forward through time until the year 2000.

I Was Only Doing My Job: Australia’s Military History Podcast
“I Was Only Doing My Job” is a fortnightly (Bi-weekly) Australian Military History podcast hosted by Ross Manuel. Instead of focusing on maps and dates, each episode is devoted to chronicling Australia’s Military History through the individual stories of those who served; where they grew up, what they did, and invariably what happened to them.

Jennyalogy Podcast
Jenny Joyce talks about genealogy resources for Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom and Ireland – Society & Culture.

Kick to Kick Podcast: Australian Football Podcast 1858 to Modern Day
An Australian Rules Football podcast, that looks at the history of the AFL/VFL. We start way back in 1897, and each episode will cover a different year. Enjoy hearing about the origin of the clubs, rivalries, players, finals systems, and much more. Note: the current episodes review recent games, but scroll back for the old, old games.

Look History in the Eye Podcast
This is the podcast Look history in the eye produced by Public Record Office Victoria. We interview people who delve into public archives and uncover interesting truths about Melbourne and Victoria’s past. Discover the back story to some iconic Melbourne and Victorian people and places, and download the archival record which inspired each episode.

The Portrait Detective Podcast
The Portrait Detective is a podcast series that dives into the collections of the State Library to discover the stories behind iconic portraits from 1817 to 1865. Join Margot Riley from State Library of NSW and Cassie Gilmartin (The Portrait Detective) as they journey back in time to discuss each portrait’s significance and how they can help you learn more about your own photographs in your family history collection.

Rum, Rebels and Ratbags Podcast
Humourist and historian David Hunt and ABC 702’s Dom Knight take on Australian history and uncover the characters, events and a cat that you won’t find in the regular history books. This is not history for the faint-hearted.

Tales from Rat City Podcast
Join David and Tom as they uncover the strange, little known and down-right bizarre history of the wild days of early Ballarat (Victoria). Their podcast is dedicated to uncovering the forgotten stories of Ballarat’s dark and bizarre past from the 1850s through to the 1920s.

Uncovering Family History Podcast
Victoria’s podcast is a weekly podcast sharing stories discovered through family history research – the highs, the lows, the exciting and even the mundane.

WW1 Digger History Podcast
Phil Mannell presents true accounts by soldiers of the Great War (World War 1 / WWI ). This is primary history as told by the soldiers themselves, mostly Australian diggers but possibly tommies, poilus, doughboys, kiwis or others, with additional commentary and definitions. It is memoirs and diaries of real men and women who served in the Great War, recounting the horrors of war, life behind the trenches and on leave in England, France and around the Mediterranean.


So there’s lots of variety there. Australia history as well as some regional histories, military history, convicts, women’s history, as well as genealogy related ones too. So plenty to listen to, and learn more about Australian history and genealogy. Podcasts are just another tool you can use for your education … and they’re ALL FREE!!

Good Reads #1

I’ve been mulling over this post for a while, partly as to if I should even post it, and partly as to what I would call it, if I did.

Anyone who knows me, knows that I read a lot. Excluding books for this purpose, I also read lots of interesting articles and blog posts. And it’s these that form the content of this post. It’s kind of an extension of a previous reiteration of “Inspiring Posts” that I had on a different blog – but I didn’t just want to copy that, so instead this is kind of a mix of interesting articles I’ve read, inspiring ones too, as well as educational posts. So that’s how my “Good Reads” theme has started.

So if you’re after some good reading, get yourself a coffee, and make yourself comfy as I promise you there’s lots of good reads here for you.


Covers off the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery’s hidden treasures that don’t often see the light of day

Oldest tartan found to date back to 16th Century

Cartographer and artist Alex Pescud creates hand-drawn aerial map of Wollongong

South Australia’s oldest known colonial-built fishing boat, the 19th century Rambler, could still be saved

Household Dust Harbors Forensic DNA Info

Scientists scan York cemetery in Western Australia for old, unmarked burial sites dating back to the 1850s

Who Do You Think You Are? UK returns to BBC One this June with a nine-part star-studded line-up

‘We’re Not All Ikea-Loving Minimalists’: The Resurgence of Young Antique Collectors

Long time no see: Freemasons uncover vault of century-old photo

How FamilySearch is using the future to discover the past with AI


How to Create A Beautiful Family History Website

5 Voice-Recorder Apps for Oral History Interviews

5 Priceless Resources for Australian Genealogy Research

Genealogy is like putting together a puzzle… without the box!

The Joy of a Genealogy Society Volunteer

Do You Know Who You Are?

A Record of Australia’s Suburban History Lives in This Archive — and It Was Nearly Lost

Does Your Genealogy Society Publish eBooks? If Not, They Should


German Naming Traditions Genealogists Should Know

My Top 10 Genealogy Tips

Consistency in Genealogical Format and Use of Abbreviations

What is a marriage bond?

Trove tips & tricks for newspapers

Daguerreotype, Ambrotype and Tintype: Telling Them Apart

11 Best Websites for Researching Irish Ancestors (Both Free and Subscription Sites)

Genealogy vs. Family History | Definitions and Examples of Each

Are FlashDrives Effective For Making Backups of Important Data or Digital Pictures?

Skillbuilding:  Perils of Source Snobbery

Tutorial: Find Records at the UK National Archives Website

MyHeritage for Free: 10 Tips for Using It Without a Subscription

So there you go. I know there’s a lot of links there, and while I don’t expect you to read them all, I do hope you found something of interest there. Let me know if you did. And if you enjoyed it, stay tuned for more Good Reads in the future.

Join SLQ’s New Transcription Project

Original records are fabulous, but unless you have the days (or weeks) to sit onsite and view these records in the archive or library going through them page by page, they remain unknown to most of the world. So to make them more accessible they need to be indexed, or even better, transcribed. And that’s exactly what the State Library of Queensland is doing with their latest project.

They write …

Are you something of an expert at deciphering handwriting? Or are you interested in improving your transcription skills?

We have recently digitised the letters received by the Colonial Secretary of the British Colony of New South Wales which relate to the Moreton Bay settlement and Queensland from 1822-1860. The correspondence documents the daily activities of a penal settlement, including petitions from prisoners’ wives, supply requests for items needed to establish and maintain the settlement, and proposed infrastructure plans.

This is a large and historically significant collection of 42,000 pages of letters and documents. These letters have never been available online before and will be a valuable research resource. However, the machine-generated transcripts of the Colonial Secretary’s letters are, on average, 50% accurate. Technology is great, but there is no substitute for the human perspective in deciphering handwriting.

So if you are interested in Queensland history, family history, or you simply enjoy the challenge of decoding handwritten documents, they would welcome your help. To be a part of their project, you can sign up at From The Page and start transcribing.