Blue Mountains Family History Society Inc Activities 2014








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Activities 2014

Dates of meetings and other activities are added to this page as arrangements are finalised. On most occasions a brief summary of the event is added after completion. Exhibitions, seminars, open days etc in which members may be interested are listed in our monthly newsletter. Frequently, some members attend & the more unusual of these are included.

Committee meeting dates are listed for member information.


Friday 24th - committee meeting


February Newsletter for Downloading>

Tuesday 7th February - Library volunteers resume duty for 2014

Katoomba Library - 2nd and 4th Tuesday each month 10:00am - 12:00noon

Springwood Library - Every Tuesday and Thursday 10:00am - 1:00pm

Other days and times at Springwood are possible but not guaranteed.

Friday 14th - General Meeting

Guest speaker was Joy Ware who shared her family research in Ireland and her book "Altnachree: An Irish Castle,, a family and a man with a passion".

Joy WareAltnachree: An Irish Castle

The presentation was well received and very enjoyable. Joy was an excellent speaker and her visual presentation with many photographs was very informative.

Friday 28th - committee meeting.


March Newsletter for Downloading

Friday 14th - General Meeting & Guest Speaker

The guest speaker was Society member, Bob Maynard, who presented a talk on the 1842 UK Royal Commission into the Employment of Women and Children in the Mines.

Bob Maynard

We discovered that children as young as 6 years of age worked deep underground in the almost pitch black dark aided by a single safety candle, usually working naked along their older brothers and fathers, uncles and grandfathers. Working for as little as 4p per day as a young child, with the men earning 20s per week. A fascinating presentation and well worth listening to. Thanks Bob!

Blue Mountains Historical Society Inc logo



On 15 March, 2014, the Blue Mountains Historical Society held an Open Day at its 19th century cottage, "Tarella", at 99 Blaxland Rd, Wentworth Falls from 10.00 am until 4.00 pm.

Visitors were able to explore the late 19th century cottage and experience life in the Blue Mountains as it was over a hundred years ago. As part of the Open Day, The Historical Society's magnificent collection of late 19th and early 20th century photographic material was on display. Visitors discovered the work of our early Blue Mountains photographers: Kitch, Phillips, Fowler, Butler, Stanich, Cockereton and Cook.

As well as their many unique photographic images, visitors were able to see postcards, stereocards, albums, view books, guide books and advertising materials all of which help to tell the story of our Blue Mountains.

Friday 28th - committee meeting


April Newsletter for Downloading

Friday 11th - General Meeting

Today's guest speaker was Lorraine Purcell who introduced a very necessary topic for those researching their family history - The importance of getting all the family history research out of the shoebox (or computer) and into some form of sharable resource for future generations.

Lorraine Purcell

Friday 18th April to Monday 21st April - Easter

Friday 25th - ANZAC DAY

Friday ???th - committee meeting

No Committee meeting was held in April 2014 due to EASTER and ANZAC Day holidays.


May Newsletter for Downloading

Friday 9th - General Meeting & Guest Speaker

There was no guest speaker in May at our meeting but members of the committee expanded on Lorraine Purcell's talk in April of writing and publishing our family histories by expanding on Lorraine's "shoebox" to preserve our family history research and photos with three open discussion groups on, "How Can I Preserve My Family History for Posterity." Please download the discussion notes Preserving_our_Research.

Blue Mountains Association of Cultural and Heritage Organisations logo

BMACHO Blue Mountains History Conference 2014 - "Opening up the Route to the West - Architecture and the Railway"

Was held at The Carrington Hotel, 15-47 Katoomba Street, Katoomba, Saturday 10 May 2014. Attendance was excellent and the program of talks and activities was well appreciated.

Friday 23rd - committee meeting


June Newsletter for Downloading

Friday 13th - General Meeting

The guest speaker was Steve Rawling AM, President of the Kurrajong Comleroy Historical Society.

Steve Rawling

He is currently undertaking research into Heritage listings of the Kurrajong district. Steve is also a musical entertainer having written and performed songs to recount the history of the Kurrajong Comleroy district recounting the exploits of the bushrangers and the building of the Bells Line of Road. Steve Rawling spoke of the lives and the outstanding achievements of three women who were either born or lived much of their lives in the Kurrajong district. His talk and presentation was very well received.

Friday 27th - committee meeting


July Newsletter for Downloading

Friday 11th - General Meeting & Guest Speaker

The July meeting was held on Friday, 11 July 2014 at the Presbyterian Hall, Macquarie Road, Springwood at 10:00 am. The guest speaker was Ian Palmer, President, "Fellowship of First Fleeters".

Ian PalmerFellowship of First Fleeters Australia

The Fellowship is an organisation comprised of descendants of those who arrived in Sydney Cove with the First Fleet on 26 January 1788. Ian Palmer is currently the national President of the Fellowship having previously served as its Vice-President for a number of years. Ian is descended from two First Fleeters; John Palmer, who was the purser on HMS Sirius and later the Colony's First Principal Commissary, and, Richard Morgan, a convict transported on the Alexander. His wife, Robin also is actively involved in the affairs of the Fellowship and is directly descended from two First Fleeters herself, William Eggleton and Mary Dickenson.

Recently, Ian Palmer spoke at the unveiling of a statue and painting commemorating Governor Arthur Phillip's contact with the local Wallumedegal people on February 15, 1788 at what is now Looking Glass Bay. Then State Governor, Her Excellency Professor Marie Bashir performed the official unveiling.

The Fellowship was formed in 1968 and since then over 8000 descendants have established their lineage and joined the Fellowship. Links have so far been established in 136 families to no fewer than 191 individual First Fleet Ancestors. There are currently over 1770 active members.

Membership is open to anyone who can prove his or her relationship to a First Fleeter - convict, marine, seaman or Government Official. Associate and Friend membership is also welcomed. The Fellowship has its headquarters in "First Fleet House" at 105 Cathedral Street, Woolloomooloo, an historic section of Sydney, and has established a series of Chapters covering Sydney suburbs, regional NSW, Victoria, the ACT, Queensland and Western Australia.

Friday 25th - committee meeting


This year the dates are Friday 1st August until Sunday 31st August.


August Newsletter for Downloading


Springwood Library and the BMCC Customer Service Desk will be temporarily closed Monday 4th August until Sunday 7th September 2014. This is so that building work can occur to link the Library to the new Cultural Facility.

Hence, the Blue Mountains Family History Research Centre in the Library will also be closed and no volunteers will be on duty.

Friday 8th - General Meeting

The guest speaker was Emeritus Professor David Carment who spoke about his ancestors and their strong links to the Blue Mountains including Woodford Academy.

Emeritus Professor David Carment

Professor Carment has a longstanding interest in the Blue Mountains and is an active supporter of the work of the Blue Mountains Association of Cultural Heritage Organisations (BMACHO). His mother's family, the Sulmans, first became associated with the Blue Mountains during the late nineteenth century and with Woodford Academy in the early twentieth century. That association commenced through regular long summer visits and developed after the family acquired Kihilla in Lawson as their Mountains residence. Three of his family members - his great grandfather the architect, town planner and patron of the arts Sir John Sulman; his wife the community worker and photographer Annie, Lady Sulman; and their son, his grandfather, the racing car driver, Tom Sulman, who was one of the earliest students to attend Woodford Academy - all contributed greatly to the life and culture of the Blue Mountains and all lived for long periods in the Blue Mountains, and this family connection continues through to the present.

David Carment worked at Charles Darwin University, Emeritus Professor of History in Darwin, Northern Territory and previously was Dean, Faculty of Law, Business and Arts, Charles Darwin University. He currently lives in Mosman, NSW. David has also served as Senior Vice President (2009-2011) of the RAHS, and when Ian Jack decided not to seek re-election as President, David Carment was elected to succeed him (2011-2012). David Carment was also a recipient of the Blue Mountains, Lithgow and Oberon Tourism Awards of Excellence 2013 for his contribution to the Blue Mountains Crossings Bicentenary (Chairperson 2010-2012). In 2013 he authored the family history text From Scots to Australians: The Carment and Inglis Families 1672-1976.

Friday 22nd - committee meeting


September Newsletter for Downloading

Friday 12th - General Meeting & Guest Speaker

At our September meeting, Society member, Mr Ian Kendall, and Honorary Treasurer of the Blue Mountains Family History Society spoke on DNA and its role in family history research, both personally and generally; how to join a family history DNA program; how to do the tests and get the results; what to do with the DNA test results when you have them; how they could help you find lost cousins; how they could really throw your concept of your family into disarray. Mr Kendall has further information on DNA and Family History Research and is available to discuss this.

Ian Kendall

Friday 26th - committee meeting


October Newsletter for Downloading

Friday 10th - General Meeting

There was no guest speaker at the October meeting, instead members joined in a large circle seated around the hall and offered assistance to a number of members who brought their "brick walls" or stumbling blocks to their research. These were discussed openly with great enthusiasm and I'm sure some sound advice and assistance was given.

Friday 24th - committee meeting


November Newsletter for Downloading

Friday 14th - Annual General Meeting (AGM)

As this meeting is the AGM there will be no guest speaker however all members are encouraged to attend to hear the various reports from the executive of all activities of the Society. Please also consider standing for one of the positions and committee as it is our members who continue to make our Society strong and you can help.

At this year's AGM our President, Audrey King did not stand for re-election, so the Society thanks her for all she has done during her time as President.

We welcome the incoming Executive and Committee:

  • President 2015: Yvonne Wright
  • Vice President & Secretary: Colin Brest
  • Treasurer: Ian Kendall
  • Public Officer: Joan Edwards
  • Honorary Auditor: Bob Chrismas
  • Membership Secretary: Ann Raaphorst
  • Publicity & Newsletter editor: Pauline Gibson
  • Committee: Ann Krazny
  • Up to four (4) positions on the Committee are vacant and any member who is willing and able to join the committee are encouraged to put their name forward for co-option. New members come with new ideas and these are always welcome. Being a committee member is not an onerous task. Committee meetings are held once a month, on the fourth Friday of each month. These meetings are held in the small room behind the Presbyterian Hall in Springwood. It is not essential that you attend each meeting, so long as there is a quorum the meeting can proceed - half the committee members plus 1.

    We also welcome Rhonda and Terry Flowers as the new Editors for our highly regarded journal, Explorers' Tree. The next issue of the journal will be available to members in March 2015.

    Friday 23rd - committee meeting


    Cake Stall: 21 November 2014 was held in the grounds of the Presbyterian Church, Springwood. As well as donations of cakes, jams, and pickles - donations of books, DVDs and crafts were welcome additions to the stall on the day. Pleasing support of this stall occurred as a major fund-raising activity for this year to boost our dwindling finances. With the Springwood Library closed for two months, there has been no income from donations from those who have been assisted with their research. Some $400.80 was raised at the stall. Many thanks to those who assisted on the morning and to those who provided donations. Special to Pauline Gibson who was the tireless coordinator.

    Cake Stall


    December Newsletter for Downloading

    Friday 12th - Christmas function

    There was no December meeting of the Society. Instead, our December meeting was replaced by our usual Christmas Lunch. This was held on our usual meeting day, Friday 12 December 2014. We gathered at the Grandview Hotel, Wentworth Falls at 12:00 noon for a spendid traditional Christmas lunch with all the trimmings. There was plenty of time for social activities and our Annual End-of-Year Raffle was drawn. The raffle of a beautiful framed watercolour by Pat Carruthers raised $140.00. It was wonderful to see 41 members there and enjoying the festive occasion.

    There was no committee meeting in December

    Convict Interests The Blue Mountains Family History Society has has been compiling a list of Convict Ancestors, Pioneers and Interests of our Members. Many of our members have quite a few Convict Ancestors whilst others are researching groups of Convicts or particular Convict Ships. This list, along with details of the member involved is available at the Family History Centre in Springwood Library in a loose-leaf folder.

    This list is now also available progressively on this website and will be found here. Convict Interests



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