HIS­TORY SO­CI­ETIES

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Across both Aus­tralia and New Zealand, you will find many fam­ily his­tory and lo­cal his­tory so­ci­eties and or­gan­i­sa­tions. The Aus­tralasian Fed­er­a­tion of Fam­ily His­tory Or­gan­i­sa­tions Inc ( www.affho.org) was es­tab­lished in 1978, and acts as an um­brella group for so­ci­eties across both Aus­tralia and New Zealand, with a direc­tory of mem­ber groups at www.affho. org/affho/mem­bers.php. Amongst the mem­ber or­gan­i­sa­tions are the New Zealand So­ci­ety of Ge­neal­o­gists ( www.ge­neal­ogy. org.nz), which runs a re­search cen­tre in Auck­land and which is cur­rently cel­e­brat­ing its 50th an­niver­sary, whilst the Syd­ney based So­ci­ety of Aus­tralian Ge­neal­o­gists ( www.sag.org.au) does like­wise. One of the key fea­tures of many so­ci­eties are their ‘spe­cial in­ter­est groups’ which con­cen­trate on var­i­ous ar­eas of an­ces­tral ori­gin or shared in­ter­est, such as the New Zealand based so­ci­ety’s Scot­tish, Ir­ish, Maori and Com­put­ing groups. De­tails of such groups are usu­ally re­ferred to on their re­spec­tive web­sites.

There are of course many use­ful on­line web­sites and sup­pli­ers of­fer­ing ad­di­tional records of use. With the foun­da­tion of Aus­tralia be­ing as a pe­nal colony, there are many col­lec­tions avail­able to pur­sue con­vict blood. Pa­tri­cia Downes’ Ir­ish Pi­o­neers site at http:// mem­bers.pcu g.org.au/~p downes is worth con­sult­ing, whilst Find­my­past (www.find­my­past. co.uk) has a ‘Con­vict Ar­rivals in New South Wales 17881842’ data­base amongst its sub­stan­tial Aus­tralasian hold­ings. An­ces­try has an equally grow­ing range of re­sources, in­clud­ing pas­sen­ger lists and im­mi­gra­tion records, po­lice gazettes, directories, pro­bate in­dexes and more, al­though the types of hold­ings vary be­tween the states, with New South Wales the best rep­re­sented on the plat­form. For mil­i­tary ca­su­al­ties, the Com­mon­wealth War Graves Com­mis­sion ( www.cwgc.org) in­cludes the names of those who fell in the two world wars from both Aus­tralia and New Zealand.

For the lo­cal per­spec­tive on the fam­ily his­tory scene down un­der, there are many blogs worth not­ing, in­clud­ing Shauna Hicks’ Di­ary of an Aus­tralian Ge­neal­o­gist ( https:// di­ary of an aus­tralian ge­neal­o­gist. blogspot.com.au), Alona Tester’s Lonetester HQ ( www. lonetester.com), He­len Smith’s Dragon Ge­neal­ogy ( www. drag­onge­neal­ogy.com/ blog), Jill Ball’s GeniAus ( http://geniaus. blogspot.com.au), and Caitlin Gow’s won­der­fully in­fec­tious Ge­nealog­i­cally Speak­ing ( http:// ge­nealog­i­cally-speak­ing. blog spot. com. au ), amongst oth­ers. Un­lock the Past Cruises ( www. un­lock­thep­astcruises.com) of­fers reg­u­lar ge­neal­ogy con­fer­ence cruises around Aus­tralia, New Zealand and Pa­pua New Guinea. Its par­ent com­pany, Gould Ge­neal­ogy ( www. gould.com.au), sells ge­neal­ogy sup­plies and data CDs, and also pub­lishes a se­ries of use­ful guide books through its Un­lock the Past brand ( www. un­lock­thep­ast.com.au), as well as run­ning var­i­ous re­gional con­fer­ence events.

The foun­da­tion of Perth in 1829, as de­picted by Ge­orge Pitt Mori­son on the cen­te­nary of the oc­ca­sion

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