Tasmanian Family History Society Inc. Hobart Branch

News - October 2020

Editor: Judith Crossin

View this email in your browser       

Tues 20 October - 7.30pm General Meeting

VENUE: Zoom Meeting

GUEST SPEAKER: Richie Woolley

TOPIC: “Alsatians” … as in people from Alsace!

This Newsletter has been delayed by the need to arrange at late notice a replacement speaker for the October meeting. The scheduled speaker Marijana Bacic from the Parliamentary Library is not available.

As for the previous Zoom meeting, log-in details for the meeting will be sent separately by email. The details will also be available for members on the Branch Facebook page.

More for Your Diary

Thu 15 October – 10.00am Branch Committee Meeting

VENUE: Branch Library, Bellerive

Thu 15 October – 1.30pm DNA Group Meeting

VENUE: Church Hall at St Marks Anglican Church, Bellerive

Thu 22 October – 2pm Library Committee

VENUE: Branch Library, Bellerive

Tue 17 November – 7:30pm – General Meeting

VENUE: Zoom Meeting

GUEST SPEAKER: Eddy Steenbergen

TOPIC: “The Hobart Turkish Bath Company”

Library Accessions September 2020


The following items were accessioned during the month of September 2020.

Books / Computer Disks

* Berger, John & Carol Grbich; THE ACCIDENTAL HEIRESS - Journal of a Glencoe squatter’s daughter [Q929.2 BER]

* Denotes complimentary or donated item


Many of our members have been suffering from research withdrawal symptoms and the good news is the Branch Library re-opened on Saturday 1st August 2020 and is operating according to government restrictions and requirements. A COVID-19 plan (in line with the government requirements) is in place. Initially, use of the Library is restricted and bookings are required.

Opening times are Tuesdays 12.30 – 3.30 pm and Saturdays 1.30 - 4.30 pm.

To make your bookings, please phone the office 6245 9351 prior to opening times.


Isolation restrictions and closures of libraries – Branch and Libraries Tasmania – have meant that family historians are working more from home and on-line. Many are returning to some of the older reference materials in their personal collections and seeking information via email from our Branch research officers. Such requests are not only from within Tasmania but from interstate and overseas.

One resource that has provided the answers to many research requests has been TAMIOT – Tombstones and Memorial Inscriptions of Tasmania. This is one of the oldest resources produced by the Tasmanian Family History Society Inc in its earliest guise as the Genealogical Society of Tasmania (GST). It was developed as a collaborative exercise by the fledgling branches of the Society and, in fact, some recording of inscriptions had commenced before the GST was formed in 1980.

As we know inscriptions and other records such as BDM, newspaper items, family records and personal knowledge sometimes (often?) conflict so using multiple records is important. New members might not be aware of TAMIOT as a resource and ‘older’ members might be overlooking this valuable research resource. The resource is still available for purchase as a CD ROM from the Branch Library and is available on the computers in the Library. (We even still have the original punched cards on which the original database was stored.

And if you are interested in the history of TAMIOT there is an article published in Tasmanian Ancestry (Vol 1. No. 1 p19), on the Society website, here. There, amongst other things, you will find that the Society had a Cemeteries Committee back in 1980 that included Jim Wall (Coordinator), Carol Rodway, Neil Chick, G. Richardson, M A Parssey and William Sharples who were involved from the very beginning, when Hobart was the Society! All five branches contributed to the TAMIOT database and the creation of the fiche.


Some members may have heard President Louise Rainbow and Resource Manager Maurice Appleyard being interviewed on ABC Radio on Friday 2 October. A couple of days earlier the Branch Secretary was contacted by ABC producer Lucie Cutting asking whether we had records confirming that singer Helen Reddy who died that week was in fact a founding member of the Genealogical Society of Tasmania as was claimed in a Wikipedia entry about her life.

A search of the first record book of members did not immediately reveal the answer, but further investigation revealed that she was indeed member number 70 of the GST under her married name Mrs Helen Reddy Wald and that as an overseas member she received her copies of the first issues of Tasmanian Ancestry at her Californian address. Still further sleuthing has revealed that she was a descendant of Richard Morgan, a First Fleeter who has descendants in the Derwent Chapter of the Fellowship of First Fleeters.

Here is the link to the ABC interview.


Dr Kate Bagnall
Course Coordinator
Diploma of Family History

We have now reached our final two units for the year, with HAA006 Place, Image, Object starting last week, and HAA004 Writing Family History kicking off soon.

We are excited to welcome Stewart Ralph as Unit Coordinator for Place, Image, Object, and to introduce you to the newest member of our team, Dr Naomi Parry, who will coordinate Writing Family History. You can meet Naomi in the interview in this newsletter.

Units Coming Up

Enrolments will open for next year’s units on 26 October 2020. We will be running HEJ001 The Photo Essay: An Introduction for the last time in 2021, do not forget to sign up if it is on your unit wish list!

Staff News

Meet… Dr Naomi Parry!

What is your role in the Diploma of Family History?

I am the coordinator of the Writing Family History unit, which means I will be delivering lectures and supporting discussion group members, as well as carrying out the general organisation of the unit. I am the key point of contact for students in this area.

What is your area of research?

I'm a bit of a magpie, but I am attracted to Aboriginal history, the exciting political, social and government developments of the period 1880 to 1940, labour history, migration history, social welfare policy, museums and archives, the Great War and Skippy the bush kangaroo.

My PhD was on the Stolen Generations in the context of the broader child welfare setting of Tasmania and New South Wales in the period 1880 to 1940. Following from that I worked to help Forgotten Australians and Former Child Migrants as a historian on the Find & Connect web resource and on the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, as well as an appearance on Who Do You Think You Are? I was the coordinator and lead author of the NSW Government's Centenary of Anzac publication New South Wales and the Great War.

My current great passion is frontier history, which I began when researching the biography of an Aboriginal warrior called Musquito who was exiled from New South Wales to Norfolk Island and then to Tasmania, where he was hanged in 1825. Following him has taught me a lot about colonisation, the environment, and the writing of Australian history.

What is your favourite type of research resource?

I love archives of all varieties (especially if they are paper-based instead of microfilmed) and I can lose myself for hours in a collection of glass plate negatives, but my most favourite research resource, and the rarest, is case files (such as welfare files or military records) because they tell such vivid stories of the relationship between the individual and the state.

Do you have a family mystery you would like to solve?

Oh yes! I have two sets of convict forebears and by happenstance it seems that at least one of them was around wherever Musquito happened to be during the years he was living amongst the white people. I would love to find out enough information about them to be able to say they knew of him or that they might have seen him or met him.

What have you read, watched, or listened to recently that you would recommend to students of Family History?

I am just opening Grace Karskens' wonderful new book, People of the River: Lost Worlds of Early Australia. It's the story of Dyarubbin, the Hawkesbury River, and is an incredible study of place and community that is based on years of research and a deep understanding of the environment and, most importantly, is informed by the voices and understandings of contemporary Aboriginal communities who still live on the river today. In this, and her earlier work The Colony , Professor Karskens writes stories of people in place that debunk persistent myths, such as the belief convicts were abject ruins and the idea that the Aboriginal people of Sydney drifted away into the bush when the colonists arrived.

Need help?

If you would like further information, please email or call 1300 361 928 between 8.45am and 5pm, Monday to Friday.


 Researching Presbyterian Ancestors in Ireland , by Dr William Roulston, has just been published by the Ulster Historical Foundation. Whether your ancestors were Covenanters, Seceders or Non-Subscribers, whether they were devout or merely nominal, whether they lived and died in Ireland or departed from these shores, this publication will assist you in understanding more about Presbyterians and Presbyterianism in Ireland.   For further information:Researching Presbyterian Ancestors in Ireland


Narryna has taken on the market identity of the Merchant’s House. The new name personalises the house which was built by merchant, Captain Andrew Haig and home to subsequent merchants such as Maria Lempriere and George Washington Walker. Narryna’s origins relate to the development of Battery Point and the New Wharf (Salamanca Place). The Merchant’s House title embodies international travel and cultural exchange, aspects of entrepreneurial early Hobart. These continue through Narryna’s dynamic programming such as the upcoming Christmas Spirit Market.

The latest newsletter is available here. Previous newsletters are also available.


 AFFO The Australian Federation of Family History Organisations Inc.

Wataweih (hello) from Norfolk Island!

From 03 to 05 August 2021 the Norfolk Island Museum will be hosting the 2021 Congress of the Australasian Federation of Family Historians (AFFHO). Norfolk Island Museum personnel are organising for a very special Island style event that will showcase and highlight the reasons why Congress theme for 2021 is History in Paradise. Travel dates will be from Sydney 30 July to 06 August, and from Brisbane 31 July to 07 August.

I am writing to advise that Expressions of Interest are now being called for speakers at concurrent sessions. Please find  the EOI form and information here.

For your early information, a Trade Stall will be part of the program and if you would like more details please contact Rose Evans.