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.  

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.

Genealogy News – March/April 2023

Last month I started my “Genealogy News” series, and people seemed to love it, so here’s the next one for you. These are, putting it simply, a collation of news from the bigger-name genealogy and history societies, archives and other related organisations from Australia and elsewhere.

So grab yourself a coffee, and find a comfy place to sit and click on through to find out the latest news in the genie world. Anyway, now on with the news …

23andMe Adds More Detail for Customers with British and Irish Ancestry
23andMe’s New Hereditary Prostate Cancer (HOXB13-Related) Report

Ancestor Network
The Irish Ancestry of President Joe Biden

Ancestry Shares Corporate Responsibility Progress in Second Annual Impact Report
Kurrent & Fraktur: An Introduction to German Paleography
Finding Your Irish Potato Famine Ancestors
Ancestry Community Update – March 2023

Australian War Memorial
Anzac Day 2023 at the Australian War Memorial
Australian War Memorial marks Iraq Invasion 20 years on

DNA Painter
Shared cM histograms: did you know? #3
New gridlines and enhanced chromosome view in maps
Keeping track of genetic ancestors: did you know? #2
Changing segment layer order: did you know? #1

RootsTech 2023 Unites Friends and Families Worldwide
How FamilySearch is using the future to discover the past with AI

How Can Testing Your Siblings’ DNA Help Your Genealogy Research?
The New “Events” Mini Feature in Discover
Three Important Takeaways From RootsTech 2023
Group Project Administration Series: Shifting Your Mindset on Genealogy
Early Contributions to DNA Studies from Rosalind Franklin and Florence Bell
New DNA Analysis Uncovers Mysteries Around Beethoven’s Paternal Line
FamilyTreeDNA Works With Cambridge University Team To Uncover New Health and Genetic Information About Beethoven
Two Ways To Manage Test Results With FamilyTreeDNA

Find and Connect
Usability Testing is Open!
More Institutions Added

Discover monumental inscriptions for England and Wales
How to build your family tree with Findmypast
Explore the updated 1939 Register and more
Discover the stories of your military ancestors this week
Who’s who on King Charles III’s family tree?
Discover all things Irish history with this week’s record release
How to use the free Findmypast app for on-the-go family history
Discover the remarkably rich history behind Irish diaspora through the centuries

Legacy Family Tree Webinars
The 24-Hour Genealogy Webinar Marathon concludes – more than 55k registrants!

Daniel’s Favorites: 7 Historical Record Collections on MyHeritage That You Should Bookmark
New Look for Category and Collection Pages for Historical Records
8 Things a Genealogist Should Carry at All Times
MyHeritage Adds 19 Million Records in February 2023
What’s New at MyHeritage: Our Founder and CEO Gilad Japhet Addresses RootsTech 2023

National Archives of Australia
National Archives welcomes funding announcement for cultural and historical institutions

National Library of Australia
Temporary change to collection access
Book launch – Bold Types: How Australia’s First Women Journalists Blazed a Trail
Sustainable funding for the National Library of Australia
National Library welcomes announcement of ongoing Trove funding
Rare dictionaries at the Library
First Women in federal parliament – Dame Enid Lyons and Dame Dorothy Tangney
Apply now for Community Heritage Grants
Fellowships 2024: see your research come together

National Library of Ireland
National Library of Ireland Launches New Website

National Library of Scotland
National Library to celebrate 100 years of broadcasting in Scotland

Public Record Office Victoria
Feedback for new RDA for Redress and Reparations Function
Celebrating 50 years
Ports, piers and paddles: A century of Port Melbourne in photos
What’s new in 2023: March

New East Galway Records
New Issue of ‘Irish Genealogy Matters’ Newsletter Published
New Limerick Records Added

Retiring and Migrating Portions of RootsWeb

The Genealogist
Find your Infamous Ancestors

The National Archives (UK)
Ancestry to digitise UK Second World War records
Ancestry wins contract to digitise Ministry of Defence records
Colonial correspondence: Tasmania settlers [this is not brand new news, but worth resharing in case you missed it]

SOS: Save our Stories Appeal: Help State Library Victoria digitise the 1922-1954 editions of The Sun News-Pictorial
Admirable women in Trove: Shared by the Trove Community – Stories of little-known women making big impacts
National Library welcomes announcement of ongoing Trove funding
New in April 2023 Fresh in Trove, ready to explore
New in March 2023: Fresh in Trove, ready to explore
Coming Soon to Trove: New collections and titles (April 2023)
Find her-story (part two): Feminism in Australia 1980s-today
Explore Tasmania: 159 years of Tasmanian history with Libraries Tasmania
Find her-story (part one): Feminism in Australia 1900-1970s
First Australian leaders: For our Elders

Happy reading 🙂

Who Do You Think You Are? Australia 2023 (Season 14)

If you’ve been hanging out for the new season of Who Do You Think Your Are?, the Australian version, you don’t have too much longer to wait, as Season 14 starts on Tuesday, 2nd May.

This popular series is back with a stellar new line-up of well-known Australian personalities who embark on a deeply personal journey to explore their family history, discovering tales of love, tragedy and perseverance along the way.

So just who features in WDYTYA Australia 2023? Here’s the list …

Barry Humphries – an Australian comedian, actor, author and satirist
Jenny Brockie – Australian journalist and documentary-maker
Derryn Hinch – media personality, politician, actor, journalist and author
Rhonda Burchmore – Australian entertainer
Stephen Page – Australian choreographer, film director and former dancer
Peter Helliar – Australian comedian, actor, television, radio presenter, writer, producer and director
Kerry Armstrong – Australian actress and author
John Waters – Australian film, theatre and television actor, singer, guitarist, songwriter and musician

Bernadine Lim, SBS Commissioning Editor for Documentaries said:

“We are completely thrilled the new season of Who Do You Think You Are? will return to SBS from May 2, and with such a brilliant line-up of guests. Prepare to be delighted by Barry Humphries’ quest to prove he’s the most interesting person in his family, captivated by Jenny Brockie’s deeply emotional journey as she searches for the familial connections she has yearned for all her life, and moved as Derryn Hinch finally uncovers the long-suppressed identity of his mother’s father. And that’s just the first three episodes! With this new season Who Do You Think You Are? continues to fascinate, amuse and enthral Australian audiences, resonating with our universal desire to discover our origins, in all their diversity.”

Here’s a sneak peek for you …

So remember to note the date, Tuesday, 2 May, 7.30pm, SBS is when it starts, and if you want to check out episodes from past seasons in the meantime, just head to SBS OnDemand, and you can watch them from there.