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