Find yourself in genealogy seminar

A FEAST of local history covering everything from early settlement, genealogy and delving into records is on offer next month.

The Australian Society of Genealogists is holding a two-day seminar titled ‘Lost in the Southern Tablelands’ at the Centretown Lagoon Motel on the weekend of November 5 and 6.

Normally held annually at the Sydney’s Mitchell Library, in the past two years the event has branched out to regional areas. Regional history librarian Lynn Bonomini successfully lodged an expression of interest for Goulburn to host the seminar in 2011.

“I attended one of these seminars in the Hawkesbury quite a few years ago, which was brilliant and then heard about another one being held in Orange,” she said.

“I thought if Orange can have one, so can Goulburn. We’re not far from Sydney and a lot of people have family connections in this area.”

So far, some 67 people have booked and organisers are expecting 100. The history buff also suggested speakers like Dr Bruce Pennay, font of information on early maps and land grants, Ray Mooney and author and heritage consultant Barry McGowan.

The Society’s education committee representative Sylvia Murphy said together they had compiled a program appealing to beginners and more experienced family and local historians.

“It incorporates both general topics and some specific to the Southern Tablelands area,” Ms Murphy said.

“As far as possible even the more general topics will draw on examples taken from resources held in Goulburn and the county of Argyle.

“From my visits I have discovered that Goulburn, through its Regional History Room and the Historical Society in particular, is indeed a very rich source of archival records that are of immense value to local and family historians.”

Mayor Geoff Kettle will open the event while Mrs Bonomini is the first speaker. The agenda covers early Southern Tablelands settlement, migration and industry, mining, sourcing family records, using state archives, maps and plans, tapping into less well known history sources and much more.

“We are especially delighted that well known historians, Dr Bruce Pennay, OAM and Dr Barry McGowan, heritage consultant and visiting fellow at ANU, have agreed to be part of the program,” Ms Brook said.

Dr Pennay, who is well known to Goulburn, will reexamine Jean Martin’s account of the displaced in Goulburn.

His talk will also cover wider discussion of immigrant settlement experiences. The event runs from 10am to 3.45pm on the Saturday and 10am to 3.15pm on the Sunday. Bookings may be made online through the Society of Australian Genealogists website (go to events) or by phoning 02 9247 3953.

The cost for the full weekend seminar is $115 which includes teas and a light lunch. Bookings can be made up until October 28 but Ms Murphy says there are only a few places left. Early arrivals also have the opportunity to participate in a tour of Kenmore Hospital grounds and museum which will be on Friday, November 4 from 3.30 - 5pm.

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