Blue Mountains Family History Society Inc Activities 2019






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Activities 2019

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 25th - committee meeting


February Newsletter for Downloading>

Tuesday 5th February - Library volunteers resume duty for 2019

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 8th - General Meeting & Guest Speaker

February Guest Speaker: Laurie Turtle, Transcription Agent, was our guest speaker at this meeting. Unfortunately, there was a problem with the internet connection so a disappointed Laurie was not able to present his talk as prepared. Nevertheless, Laurie did an excellent job on what he had to work with and it would appear that those members in attendance found it very informative. Trish Brown was lucky enough to win a free Birth, Deaths or Marriage Certificate transcription of her choice from the Turtles.

TURTLE TRANSCRIPTION SERVICE. Please support Lorraine and Laurie Turtle as they have supported our Society


They offer a New South Wales BDM transcription service, a New South Wales State Records retrieval service, a Tasmanian BDM transcription service and an English certificate retrieval service. . Their service is professional, timely and offers value for money.

Laurie and Lorraine conduct regular research at the NSW Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages. As well, they regularly visit the repository of New South Wales State Records at Kingswood. They transcribe Tasmanian BDM records up to 1899 and also retrieve English BDM certificates. They can also give assistance with Scottish and South Australian BDM records.

As a First Fleeter, Laurie has traced his roots within Australia back to the very earliest days of white settlement. His great great great great grandmother was Ann Colpitts who arrived in New South Wales in 1788. She was one of the first women to give birth in the new colony as she had a baby on the voyage out from England. Branches of this family have various links to our convict and seafaring heritage, harking back to Ireland, Scotland and England.

Lorraine's family has an equally interesting lineage tracing back to some of the earliest Jewish immigrants to arrive in this country. Benjamin Nelson arrived in Tasmania from Prussia (now Poland) in the 1820's before doing very well out of the gold rushes in New South Wales. Lorraine's family has links to Poland, Italy, England and Scotland.

Laurie and Lorraine are passionate about family history. They have both been tracing their family history for many years. Laurie holds a Diploma in Family History Studies and has completed the Archives Course at NSW State Records. Both Lorraine and Laurie have been teachers in "former lives" and hold relevant qualifications in these fields as well. Both enjoy working with clients to help them solve their research. Lorraine has also conducted courses in family history for U3A.

Laurie and Lorraine are also available for talks to family history groups, although these need to be booked well in advance.

They can be contacted on or (61 2) 4573 1559.

Their mailing address is PO Box 144, Kurrajong, NSW 2758.

Friday 22nd - committee meeting.


March Newsletter for Downloading

Friday 8th - General Meeting & Guest Speaker

March Guest Speaker: Our member, Barbara Gow, presented a very interesting and well researched talk on her 3 x Great Grandfather, William Pashington Terry Gow which those members present, found very interesting. "Thank you Barbara".

Our March guest speaker was Barbara Gow and how she told us that her relative, Gordon Gow was the voice caller of the talking clock which you dialled for the time. A recent snippet in the Herald advised that when Gordon retired he was presented with a cuckoo clock. On the hour the cuckoo stuck its head out and shouted "Hey, what's the time?" Incidentally the service of the talking clock which has been telling the time for 66 years, will fall silent at the third stroke after midnight on October 1, 2019.

Friday 22nd March - committee meeting


April Newsletter for Downloading

Friday 19th April to Monday 22nd April - Easter

Friday 12th - General Meeting

Our guest speaker this month was Craig Schubert. Craig is a descendant of the famous Austrian composer Franz Schubert and he spoke about his very famous ancestor. He included a number of photographs of the house and village where Schubert lived. Craig has visited these sites and these were his own photographs. A brother of Franz Schubert moved to South Australia with a great many other Austrian families in the 19th Century.

Thursday 25th - ANZAC DAY

As both Springwood and Katoomba libraries are closed no volunteers will be on duty.

The first edition for 2019 of Explorers' Tree was available for members at the April meeting. Those who have paid for their copy to be posted should have received them early in April. Copies for those who were unable to attend the April meeting and who do not pay for postage, will find their copy in the Concertina file in the Family History Centre of the Springwood Library.

Friday 26th - committee meeting


May Newsletter for Downloading

Friday 10th - General Meeting & Guest Speaker

Our guest speaker this month was Heidi Brown. Heidi’s talk was about the Parramatta Female Factory. Heidi is a direct descendant of Matron Ann Gordon who was Matron at the Female Factory from October 1827-1836. Ann's time at the Female Factory started and ended in a riot. The first riot being a "food riot", the second was a few days after her departure. It was certainly a very interesting talk, accompanied by photographs of the Female Factory as it is now and how it was in the 19th Century, along with photographs of the important characters of the time.

Street Stall: Our first street stall for the year was held on Saturday, 11th May 2019.

This was the day after our general meeting and was held in the grounds of the Presbyterian Church Springwood. As this was the day before Mothers' Day we hoped to capitalise on this event by selling cakes, biscuits and plants as well as items we have left over from previous stalls. Fortunately our members with green thumbs were able to provide us with some potted plants and those among you who are cooks were able to provide the culinary items.

We also had a Mothers' Day raffle by putting together a basket of interesting goodies. Members were able to provide additional new items that were suitable for a Mothers' Day raffle. The Raffle was drawn on the day and won by Dorothy B. of Winmalee.

Friday 24th - committee meeting


June Newsletter for Downloading

Friday 14th - General Meeting


Bob Howard Award: Vicky Edmunds from Blue Mountains City Library presented the Bob Howard Award to the lucky winner for a factual family history article in the Explorers’ Tree. The Winner of the Bob Howard Award for 2019 was Brian Meagher for his article entitled "David Moore – Persistence: when we put our minds to it, all is possible". Highly Commended was Rosalyn Powell for her article "'Tabratong' and William Messer."

Coolgardie Safe Award: This award for the best article "keeping family history fresh" was won by our member Lynne Tocher entitled: Goldfields House. Highly Commended was Christine Wenman with her article "Our Royal Family Link."

Any member contributing a story to the Magazine is a potential winner for either the Bob Howard Award or the Coolgardie Safe Award. The names of all past winners can be found on the appropriate shield on the wall in the Springwood Library, Family History Centre.

Guest Speakers at our June Meeting were: Two Sister Missionaries from the LDS Church who spoke about the genealogy program "FAMILY SEARCH" that is available free on the Internet. They explained the reason why the Church is heavily involved in Family History, the resources available to the public and family history researchers and gave a live demonstration of "FAMILY SEARCH". Th included document searches and how to build a family tree using these documents and the other resources available.


Friday 28th - committee meeting


July Newsletter for Downloading

Friday 24th - General Meeting & Guest Speaker

Friday 26th - committee meeting


This year the dates are Tuesday 6th August until Thursday 29th August with BMFHS activities planned in Springwood.


August Newsletter for Downloading

Friday 9th - General Meeting

Friday 23rd - committee meeting

Saturday 24th - Biennial Seminar

Anglican Church Hall, Great Western Highway, Springwood.

Topic: "Old Ways and New Ways in Family History".


NSW State Archives: Suzanne Upton.

Ryerson Index: Robert Atkins.

Smits Art Restoration: Kristel Smits.

We are hoping to get a speaker from Ancestry but to-date we have not heard whether anyone is available.



September Newsletter for Downloading

Friday 13th - General Meeting & Guest Speaker

Saturday 9th - BMFHS Bi-annual Seminar "Settling the Blue Mountains"

Friday 27th - committee meeting


October Newsletter for Downloading

Friday 11th - General Meeting

Friday 25th - committee meeting


November Newsletter for Downloading

Friday 8th - Annual General Meeting (AGM)

The November meeting of the Society was held at 10:00am on Friday 8th November, 2018 in the Presbyterian Church Small Hall, Macquarie Road, Springwood.

As this meeting was the AGM there was no guest speaker however all members attended heard the various reports from the executive of all activities of the Society over the past year.

The following members were elected to the Executive and Committee for 2020

  • President: VACANT (Yvonne Wright, pro tem President
  • Vice President: Anne Devrell
  • Secretary: Colin Brest
  • Treasurer: Ian Kendall
  • Public Officer: Ian Kendall
  • Honorary Auditor: Bob Chrismas
  • Explorers' Tree Editor & Team: Rhonda Flowers, John Arnold & Ian Kendall
  • Membership Secretary: Caroline Spratt
  • Newsletter editor: Lorraine Austin
  • Library Roster: Helen Allen
  • Librarians: Ann Krazny & Alison Tissington
  • Committee: Janet Knight, Tanya Kirk, Yvonne Wright
  • Any member who is willing and able to join the committee is encouraged to put their name forward for election. 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 at 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.

    Friday 22nd - committee meeting


    Friday 13th - Christmas function

    There is 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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