The Blue Mountains

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Welcome to the Blue Mountains, NSW, Australia

FACEBOOK – Blue Mountains Family History Society has its own Facebook page. Please check us out, "like" us, leave comments, post historical photos or just read what others have to say about us.


Blue Mountains Family History Society Inc screenshot from FaceBook

Please check our FaceBook page regularly as often there are notices of short-term interest, such as free searches on Ancestry or Find my Past or special discounts on Certificate Transcriptions, that are available for only a weekend or limited time.

Please note, that you do not have to belong to FaceBook to view the Society's page. The page is public and accessible without any danger to your own privacy. However, to "like", comment or post a photograph or article you will need to be a signed-in member of FaceBook.



Due to the restrictions brought about by the COVID-19 Pandemic, the following changes are notified:

The activities of volunteers in the Family History Research Centre in Springwood Library have remained CLOSED; and will remain closed until (approx) July 2022 due to the renovations and upgrade of Springwood Library.

The volunteer research assistance in Katoomba Library has remained closed also. Later in 2021, volunteers will be available for assistance in all family history research matters at the Blaxland branch of the Blue Mountains City Library. A limited number of resources will be available there whilst the majority of our resources are in storage pending completion of the upgrad to Springwood branch.

Research assistance continues via email and will still be available. Please refer to our Contact details;


As the majority of other Family History Exchange Journals are now delivered in digital/PDF format, these are held in a directory in the BMFHS Society's computers in the Family History section of the Springwood Library. These are available when a Society Volunteer is on duty as these computers are restricted by password to BMFHS members only.

All digital/PDF exchange journals will be received by me, BMFHS Web Site Manager, in order to include these on the BMFHS Library computers.

September 30 is the end of our Society Financial Year. Please ensure that you have paid any membership fees that are due (overdue!) and any reimbursement requests are sent to the Treasurer before September 20 so they may be receipted or paid before the end of the financial year and included in the 2021 Reports.

The Genealogical Society of Queensland (GSQ) is holding their annual seminar titled 'Finding Family in England and Wales Records on Saturday 23 October at 12:30pm AEST. As this event is their major fund-raiser for the year, members of our Society and the general community are invited to take part.

Genealogical Society of Queensland

Further information on this exciting afternoon of great presenters can be found on the attached brochure which you are welcome to distribute. The seminar has an Early Bird discounted offer ending on 30 September 2021. All bookings are to be made through our website Events page https://www.gsq.org.au/event/finding-family-in-england-wales-records/

You can download their Brochure HERE with all details including bio's of the speakers.


Bob Howard Award: Vicky Edmunds from Blue Mountains City Library has judged the Bob Howard Award for a factual family history article in the Explorers’ Tree. The Winner of the Bob Howard Award for 2019 was to be announced at our March Meeting. Likewise the Coolgardie Safe Award: This award for the best article "keeping family history fresh". The winners and runners up in each category were published in the March Edition of Explorers' Tree.

2019 Bob Howard and Coolgardie Safe Awards

Vicki Edmunds, Community, Library & Customer Services Manager from the Blue Mountains Library graciously read, and once again judged, all the articles submitted and published in the Explorers’ Tree. Here are the results with Vicki’s comments attached.

The Bob Howard Award — the best researched article: Winner
Early Days by William Beck (October 2019)
Not only were there original texts quoted, sources quoted with internet links, the whole essay was put into context with the wider picture of world and local events pertinent to the events mentioned as background. Very enjoyable and knowledgeable read.
Runner up
Families at War: Three Brothers WWI by Christine Wenman (October 2019)
Excellent research following the war experience of three brothers in WWI — from their enlistment, embarkation, woundings, death and the experience for the family at home. Makes the Military experience of research very accessible.
The Coolgardie Safe Award - worth preserving and exudes a breath of fresh air: ‘ Winner
Shifting Sands by Christine Wenman (March 2019)
What an interesting way to learn about what a harbour pilot did in Ballina in the 1800s. Woven into a story that spans generations, I cannot believe how you wove such an evocative story like this into only 3 pages!
The Story Behind the Picture: Richard and Lilian Hosking by Sue Forsyth (June 2019)
A picture that inspired a story. How lovely that it took two family members, across the Tasman Sea, to piece a photograph together. How much more depth Sue now has of her grandparents and Sue's niece now knows how important the 2 strangers were to Grandmother. Just a beautiful outcome.

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.

Judging for the 2020 presentation for the Bob Howard Award is currently underway and the presentation of the winners will be announced later this year.


10.00 am
Presbyterian Church Small Hall, Macquarie Road, Springwood.

Here is our September 2021 NEWSLETTER for downloading from this site in Adobe Reader (pdf) format.

The next meeting of the Society will be held at 10:00am on Friday 8th October 2021 in the Presbyterian Church Small Hall, Macquarie Road, Springwood IF the NSW current lockdown has ended (Unlikely at this stage with COVID cases still rising!).

Our Guest Speaker for this meeting will be announced shortly.


Everyone is welcome.

Morning Tea as usual is $2 for everyone.

The June 2021 issue of our excellent journal, Explorers' Tree was available and posted to all members. The next issue for the year 2021, will be available at our October 2021 meeting. It will either be posted to all if the COVID-19 situation has not improved, otherwise it will be available at that meeting.

PLEASE NOTE: Our Editor of The Explorers' Tree Rhonda has notified of her desire to relinquish her Editorship at the completion of this year, so a new Editor will be required for 2022. Please consider taking on this position so that our excellent journal can continue well into the future.


The Blue Mountains Family History Society Inc. offers a research service for non-members and others living away from the Blue Mountains.

The cost for this service is $25.00 and is payable in advance. Activity is by regular mail and email BMFHS WebMail.

Please contact the Research Officer of the Blue Mountains Family History Society Inc, PO BOX 97 SPRINGWOOD NSW 2777.

Please include as much information as you can to assist our Researcher is sourcing information for your request. After initial research is completed, further research will be at additional cost.


Blue Mountains
Family History Society Inc


Or alternatively, it's time to join the Blue Mountains Family History Society

As we have now past the end of March, all members are reminded that it is time now to renew your membership for this year, 2021. The cost of both single and family membership has remained for another year as $30.00 and $40.00 respectively. It is now over 5 years since our rates were increased. The only change for the forthcoming year is that with a number of postage increases by Australia Post we have had to raise the cost of Postage of Explorers' Tree for those who wish to have their three copies each year posted to $10.00. This works out at $3.33 per issue for postage and packaging that represents the actual cost to the Society. However, as last year had only two meetings, although all three issues of Explorers' Tree were posted during the year, the Committee have decided to make membership payments optional this year. However, as Treasurer I note that we still have a number of costs that occur every year (members Insurance, Printing and Postage costs for Explorers' Tree, storage facility, hall hire) I would encourage everyone if they are financially able to once again pay Membership.

Members who have failed to rejoin before 31 March are deemed unfinancial and will cease to obtain membership benefits, this includes our Journal, Explorers' Tree. You will NOT receive the June or October issues unless you renew. Of course given optional payment this will not occur, however, please complete a new member form so that details can be updated as members often change address, email and phone number and we need these details to communicate with you. Membership forms can be downloaded from this website. (See below)

You will find an application form to download to be submitted with your payment (cash, cheque or direct debit - details are on the form) below.

It is important to complete a NEW membership application form each year as addresses, phone numbers and email addresses do change and we do like to keep in touch with all our members during the year.

Here is our Membership Application Form 2021 for downloading from this site in Adobe Reader (pdf) format.


Blue Mountains
Family History Society Inc


Contact with the Society can be made by using the following:

Blue Mountains Family History Society inc.
P.O. Box 97, Springwood N.S.W. 2777, Australia.


Society email contact- xploretree@yahoo.com.au

Web and research request contact only is bmfhsweb@gmail.com



Although some Society Activities and Initiatives have been temporarily suspended during this COVID-19 pandemic, the following will resume as and when it will be possible.


"Mentoring System"

We have instituted a ‘mentoring’ system to help members with their research and involving members, who may be able to offer help to others in a field of research of which they have a particular knowledge. A mentoring form to this effect is available at General meetings and for download.

Download the form here, MENTORING SYSTEM FORM", complete the details and hand to a member of the Society Management Committee or leave at the Library with one of the Volunteers.

Suggestion Box

A Suggestion Box is available at General meetings for members’ input such as, whether or not social outings should recommence; a proposed social outing; the name of a possible guest speaker and topic; whether you want a guest speaker at our monthly meetings or whether you would like a more hands on approach to family history research and in what way, etc. We would encourage all members to offer suggestions for activities and functions, guest speakers and Society policy.


We are attempting to reinstate our Society outings after a period of no activity. An outing was planned for late 2016 year but there was very little interest and had to be cancelled. An outing was organised for the following year but once again it was disappointing and there was insufficient interest by members and guests. It is disappointing when time and effort is put into planning and organisation for an outing only to have a poor response.

If there is a venue or activity that you would like to see planned, then please use the Suggestion Box for your request

NORFOLK ISLAND CONVICTS? Don and Carrie with Private Parts

Convicts Don & Carrie & Private Parts


Jewish Museum at 148 Darlinghurst Road, Darlinghurst The October 2012 outing was to the Jewish Museum at 148 Darlinghurst Road, Darlinghurst on Monday 15 October 2015, with a guided tour starting at 1.00 pm. The cost was $10 and was be payable to Blue Mountains Historical Society (as this was a combined guided tour of both societies). Only two members of the BMFHS attended along with 5 members of the Historical Society. The visit was most worthwhile to see the extent of Jewish influence on the early colony of NSW (there were 16 Jews among those of the First Fleet). As well the extensive displays of the Holocaust that every person should see.

Berrima Historical Museum and Harper's Mansion, Berrima Don booked a guided tour of Berrima Historical Museum and Harper's Mansion, Berrima for Thursday 14 June 2012. Departure from Springwood was at 8.00 am from the northern parking lot at Springwood Railway Station (the 15 minute parking). Cost was $10.00 plus petrol money (probably $10.00 for those not driving). Don says the museum was arranged thematically and has wonderful exhibits relating to the internment of German internees at Berrima.

OLD GOVERNMENT HOUSE PARRAMATTA The September 2011 outing to Old Government House, Parramatta was very enjoyable and educational. Some members went to Parramatta Heritage Centre after lunch to view their exhibit or to do research in Local Studies.

STATE PARLIAMENT HOUSE - The August 2011 outing was a visit to Parliament House Macquarie Street Sydney. This is also when Parliament was sitting so as well as an extensive tour by Parliamentary staff and local member, Rosa Sage, visitors were able to sit through Question Time.

POWERHOUSE MUSEUM In July 2011, we had an enjoyable tour of the Powerhouse Museum and a few of our members went on to the book launch of Richard Reid’s “Farewell My Children”, at the NSW State Records at The Rocks.

The May 2011 outing to Liverpool Genealogy Group was a success. The members who attended were very impressed with the research rooms, the friendly Liverpool members and the networking. It is always good to see the facilities of other societies and to get new ideas. Our members were provided with lunch and a few of our members found new information, researching in the afternoon.

We were invited to Ku-ring-gai Historical and Family History Society research rooms at Gordon and an outing undertaken on 17th November 2010. Many thanks to the members of Kur-ing-gai for their hospitality and use of their wonderful resources.

To view a selection of photographs taken by member Pauline H, see our Lancer Barracks Gallery. plus photographs taken on other excursions.

The excursion for July 2010 was to Susannah Place Museum at 11.00 am on Thursday 29th July 2010. Susannah Place, 5 mins from Circular Quay, provides an insight into the richness of community life in The Rocks in the 19th Century. Some Photographs are available of the excursion as well as photographs of Cockatoo Island also visited on the excursion.

Thanks to Pauline H for these photographic memories.


So far in 2021 we have welcomed three new members.

Welcome to:

Member No 415 - Rosemary

Member No 416 - Chris

Member No 417 - Ann

We also pause to remember our long-time member, Joan Edwards, who passed away 21 April 2021. Joan had been a tireless worker for the Society, instrumental in a number of Society initiatives including the Society's Facebook page, editing Society's publications and active as a research volunteer in both Katoomba and Springwood Libraries.

Latest Updates to this site: Events 2020, Member's Interests

Check our latest PHOTO GALLERY from one of our recent Society Activities.

Check our latest NEWSLETTER for downloading from this site in Adobe Reader (pdf) format.

The Society was formed in 1986 and concentrates on serving the area of the Blue Mountains City Council from the rise from the Cumberland Plain to Mt Victoria and the off shoots of Mt Wilson and Mt Irvine to the north and the Megalong Valley in the south. We are a true family history society with interests back to our roots - in England, Scotland, Ireland, Germany, France etc, how & where our ancestral families lived and worked and where they travelled. We have a close association with the Local Studies Librarians of BMCC - but our main focus is facilitating the family history research needs of the local residents, not local studies.

We have close ties with adjacent regions: Lithgow in the west, Nepean (Penrith) and Hawkesbury in the east.


Map © copyright J Edwards 1999


The Blue Mountains Family History Society Inc. offers a research service for non-members and others living away from the Blue Mountains.

The cost for this service is $25.00 and is payable in advance and all activity is by regular mail.

Please contact the Research Officer of the Blue Mountains Family History Society Inc, PO BOX 97 SPRINGWOOD NSW 2777.

Please include as much information as you can to assist our Researcher is sourcing information for your request. After initial research is completed, further research will be at additional cost.


We are a very active family history society with regular meetings with guest speakers, workshops, regular help available (see under Springwood and Katoomba libraries), outings to resource centres and other places of interest, undertaking monumental inscriptions at local cemeteries and producing a variety of publications to aid family historians.

The Society meetings are held at 10am on the second Friday February to November in the large hall of Springwood Presbyterian Church, Macquarie Road, Springwood (right in the centre of the commercial centre. Visitors are welcome. Alternately meetings feature a guest speaker or a workshop as well as a resume of the business of the Society. Committee meeting dates are included for Activities for 2015 (see under Archive of Events). Members are encouraged to make suggestions & raise concerns.


Activities in Springwood Library are currently unavailable whilst the library is being refurbished. Activities should resume in July 2022.

The genealogical resources of BMFHS and those of the BMCC Library are in the Family History section at Springwood Library. Society volunteers are in the section 10am to 1pm every Tuesday & Thursday. Members able to assist may be present on other days without notice (including Saturday).

By arrangement, support in individual research at Springwood Library can be given. Please contact the Society by email Blue Mountains Family History Society Inc. to arrange date and time.

Fiche readers & microfilm readers and 4 computers are set up for use in the area. The Society's CDs are available on our computers, a third computer has some of the BMCC library's CDs loaded while the fourth is for use with other CDs and has internet access. Limited print out facilities are available.

Ancestry.com (library edition) and Find My Past (Library Edition) are available though the six general access computers in the main library, but prior booking of these computers is strongly recommended.

The catalogue of the Society's holdings is on our computer & a hard copy is available. General access to our holdings is via Resources on this website.

Currently BMFHS holds more than 1200 books grouped by content. Following a new organisation plan, members led by Joan and Ian worked to improve the organisation of the library area and the resources. Now completed a new library catalogue is available and all resources are catalogued into new categories for ease of retrieval. BMCC Library family history holdings are in the same area.



Activities in Katoomba Library remain unavailable due to the restrictions imposed by the Library during COVID-19. Hopefully, they will resume in the near future.

From June 2006 BMFHS volunteers have been at Katoomba Library to help with family history enquiries, 10 to 12am every 2nd and 4th Tuesday of the month. This service has been very successful and we have met many well established family history researchers as well as beginners. Due to this success, if you wish to take advantage of this service please ring Katoomba Library to make a booking. Bookings are of 1 hour duration. Assistance is available each month February to November. Arrangements for private research with a Society Volunteer can be made by contacting the Society by email Blue Mountains Family History Society Inc. to arrange date and time.


Convict Interests The Blue Mountains Family History Society has begun 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


For further information email bmfhsweb@gmail.com




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