Wednesday, February 27, 2013

KHS Members go to Sea

Three of our members attended the recent 3rd Unlock the Past History & Genealogy Cruise that sailed from Sydney to Noumea in February. During the cruise there were opportunities for cruisers to attend 7 full days of genealogy and history related talks from Australian and International speakers.

KHS Sailors
If the idea of a Geneacruise appeals to you have a chat with one of the members pictured and you will hear of their experiences.  A number of bloggers have written about their experiences on the cruise; to find their posts do a Google search for blog posts by Alona Tester, Helen V Smith, Jill Ball, Linda Elliott, Louis Kessler, Paul Milner or Shauna Hicks and read their reports of the event.

Unlock the Past have a 4th cruise planned for February 2014, details can be found here 4th Unlock the Past History and Genealogy Cruise.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Writing Ku-ring-gai History Competition

Do you fancy yourself as a writer? …or a budding historian?
We would like to help you. 

It's the 50th anniversary of our Society, and with the help of a grant from Ku-ring-gai Council and the Turramurra-Lindfield Community Bank, we are about to launch a history writing competition. 

Don’t worry about coming up against the whizz kids and their Internet research skills, we will have separate categories for primary and secondary school students, and for adults. 
The topics will focus on Ku-ring-gai history, buildings and/or families and there will be great prizes.

We hope this will encourage you all to discover the extensive resources of Ku-ring-gai Historical Society and in the process learn more about the wonderful community we live in.

So, stay watching - we'll announce all the details very soon.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

DNA for Genealogists

A reminder: this Saturday 23 February, 10.30am
Come and join us to learn how genealogists can use DNA testing to enrich their family history research.
Kerry Farmer will help us understand how the genetic markers in DNA can help us find our ancestors, when genealogy is combined with genetics. 
Kerry will explain DNA in simple terms and discuss the various tests available, and how to decide which DNA tests and which DNA testing companies best suit what you want to know.
This talk will be held in the meeting room between Gordon Library and our Research Rooms in the Old Gordon Public School on Pacific Highway Gordon from 10.30am to 11.30am.

The cost is $5. 
Bookings are preferred on 9499 4568 or

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Trove Tuesday - Pymble Golf Club

Eighty seven years ago tomorrow, the first ball was played on the Pymble Golf Club links.

Pymble Golf Club is likely to be the venue for the dinner to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Ku-ring-gai Historical Society.

The dinner will be on the actual anniversary of the very first meeting of the Society - Thursday 7th November 2013.

Strangely, back in 1963, the 7th November was a Thursday too.

We'll release more details soon - keep the date free.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Ancestors from Scotland?

The next meeting of the Scottish Interest Group is scheduled for Monday 25 February 2013 at 1.30 pm in the Society rooms.

While we would love to see more members at this meeting we understand that this time may not be convenient for all with an interest in Scottish research. 

If you are unable to attend the meetings but would like to be on the mailing list for this group please  email Committee member Jill Ball and we will add you to the email list.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Ku-ring-gai Carryall

Ku-ring-gai Historical Society bags went on sale at our last Family History Group Meeting.

The Bags are Unboxed
These attractive bags are made of sturdy cream material with black trim and a generous gusset will easily transport half a dozen books and assorted pararphenalia; they can even double as a supermarket shopping bag. They have a small secure inside pocket with a velcro closer to store your mobile phone or small change.

The bags are available from the Society Rooms for only $10 each.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Almost Like Home

Michael Hogan is our guest speaker for this month’s General Meeting this Saturday 16 February.

Michael is the author and editor of many books, including our most recent publication Almost Like Home.

From the back cover:
This is the story of the many thousands of men, women and children who lived in an ex-RAAF camp at Bradfield Park in post war Sydney.
In 1947 the Housing Commission of NSW leased part of the camp for emergency housing. From 1949, part of the site also housed European refugees, and later British migrants. Families shared the sub-divided fibro Air Force huts, freezing in winter, stifling in summer, a paradise for the children, a time of trial for the adults.
After the Housing Commission camp closed in 1964, and the migrant camp in 1971, even the name was all but lost. It is time for this chapter of Sydney’s history to be told, with the stories and photos of those who lived there.

We will have books to sell and Michael is happy to sign them after the meeting.

The meeting is held in the meeting room between Gordon Library and our Research Rooms in the Old Gordon Public School on Pacific Highway Gordon from 2pm.

Visitors are welcome and afternoon tea is provided.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Ku-ring-gai at Hornsby

A strong contingent from the Society crossed the border into Hornsby to attend the Unlock the Past Scottish seminar at Hornsby RSL with British expert Paul Milner today.

Thanks to the Society representatives Jo, Angela, Jenny and Yvette who manned the KHS table selling books, signing up new members and spreading goodwill from 9 till 5. There were many in attendance who had links with Ku-ring-gai and who stopped to chat about their ancestors and former family homes and schools. We met people from Campbelltown, Penrith, Windsor, Cessnock, Lake Macquarie, Paterson and many places closer to Hornsby.

Paul was an excellent presenter with a great depth of knowledge in his subject area. By the end of the day your blogger's head was near bursting with newly acquired tips and knowledge. I am sure that many attendees would have been in the same situation.

A Society member wins a door prize
KHS volunteers selling our wares
Paul Milner with a KHS volunteer

Friday, February 8, 2013

Gadgets and Tech Toys

A lively group assembled in the Society Rooms with your blogger this morning to learn about Tech Toys that may be used to assist in research related activities.

In an atmosphere where no question was considered too simple or silly we learnt about cameras, scanners, computers, tablets, mobile phones, Wifi connections, storage devices and other gadgets. We discussed the advantages and disadvantages of various devices for capturing images, interviewing our Aunty Maudes and preserving precious data.

Keen students at KHS today
One participant suggested that we hold a followup Q&A session in six months time when members can bring along any new questions they may have for discussion. We will announce this date on this blog and in the Society newsletter.

Thanks to Jenny Joyce for her input and for bringing along her bagful of tech toys.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

German Research Group

We have an active German Research Special Interest Group that meets about every second month.

Our next meeting will be on Monday 11 February at 1.30pm in our research rooms at the Old Gordon Public School, next to Gordon Library.

The main topic for discussion in this meeting will be the wealth of material from the SAG German genealogy presentations in November, and how we can use this material in our own research.

This is a discussion based group where we share information to help each other in our German genealogical research.

If you need more information, please email

Friday Fun this week at KHS

There are two events on the calendar in the Ku-ring-gai Historical Society Rooms this Friday.

At 10:30 am Committee Member, Jill Ball, will lead a workshop on Tech Toys : BYOD (Bring your own Device) in which we will examine and discuss gadgets and mobile devices that we can use in our research.

At 1:30 pm there will be a meeting of the Irish Special Interest Group. If you have a "Touch of the Irish" please come along and join this meeting.

You could even pack a sandwich, attend both events and spend the whole day in our rooms.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Two new outings announced

At Saturday's Family History Group Meeting two new outings were announced.

On 13th February there will be a Hawkesbury River cruise with narration by local historian, Tom Richmond. The cruise will travel to all of the spots visited by The Riverboat Postman as well as calling at Bar Island. A Devonshire tea will be served on the cruise and lunch will be served at 2:00 pm in Brooklyn after the cruise.

Participants are to make their way to Brooklyn and meet at 10:00 am.

Numbers for this outing are limited to 22 people so bookings need to be made as soon as possible. The cost of $50 must be paid at the time of booking in the Society Rooms.

On Tuesday 19th February at 6:45pm 25 members can meet at The Pymble Army Depot in Suakin Street, Pymble to see the 7:00 pm Parade followed by a tour of the Depot and Archives.

Bookings for this event are to be accompanied by a $10 refundable deposit to be paid at the time of booking in the Society Rooms.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Trove Tuesday - Troubles with Ku-ring-gai

I know it's not Tuesday but this is the first post related to Trove Tuesday that our Society bloggers have done, so it's better to get it posted.
Hopefully we can do a few more - maybe some of our newly trained members can help contribute.

Trove is great!
None of us doubt that, but try searching for difficult terms.

Yesterday's (booked out) hands on Trove workshop in our Research rooms highlighted such difficulties - with our own local government area: Ku-ring-gai

Not only do we have to deal with the OCR difficulties surrounding hyphenated words, we also have to contend with journalists and contributors not knowing how it is spelled.

So, as a reminder to our members, and a handy hint to other researchers, try numerous 'spellings' and configurations.

Here are some variations that actually exist within documents found in Trove:
Ku-ring-gai (the correct one)
and even Kurin-gai (>9000 entries in the digitised newspapers for this last one)

The results for each of the above are quite different, so you could miss out on that vital piece of the puzzle if you don't search them all.

Use your imagination and if you find other alternatives, we'd love to know about them