NEWCASTLE FAMILY HISTORY SOCIETY INC
New South Wales, Australia
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NFHS Publications
Remembrance: Newcastle’s First World War Memorials
St Luke’s Anglican Church Wallsend, NSW
Surgeons at Sea
St John’s Anglican Church Cooks Hill, Newcastle, NSW
Christ Church, Newcastle NSW 1804-1900
The Story of Lambton – a suburb of Newcastle NSW
Huntington's History of Newcastle and Northern District August 1897-August 1898
Coalmining Related Deaths, Hunter Valley New South Wales, 1926-1950
Coalmining Related Deaths Hunter Valley New South Wales, 1951-1975
Souvenir Civic Week, 1929 Newcastle City Council
Burials in Stockton Cemetery, NSW  1890 -2005
Coal and Shale Mining Non-Fatal Accidents New South Wales, 1876-1920 
Coalmining Related Deaths, Hunter Valley New South Wales, 1901-1925.
History of Merewether
 NMH Domestic Notices & Accident Reports 1879-1898 (irreg.)
Maitland Municipal Petitions 1861-1862
Early Newcastle – the Fettered and the Free
Nineteenth Cent. Coalmining Deaths Hunter Valley NSW
NMH Court Reports 1879-1898 (irreg.)
Geographical Encyclopædia of New South Wales
A Private Town - A Private Cemetery  Minmi  1859-2003
Branxton General Cemetery    Branxton Catholic Cemetery
Greta Cemetery   Big Hill, Teralba
The Irish Relief Fund
The Diaries of John Reid
Old Wallsend
Burials in Wallsend Cemetery New South Wales 1896 - 2008

A full  list of our current publications, with order details,  is on  NFHS main page.


Remembrance: Newcastle's First World War Memorials

This CD publication was produced to mark the centenary of the First World War. The major section of this work is headed The Memorials. There is information on 204 memorials originally located in the current Newcastle Council area with many illustrated. The memorials are arranged by suburb and represent churches, schools, lodges, sporting clubs, business and community groups. A total of 323 biographies were written and 256 of these are attached to the memorial where the name appears. The remaining 67 are more in depth stories of servicemen, nurses, etc. contributed by members of our Society and the general public. A database with 13,433 entries lists all names found on the memorials and honour rolls.
A full  list of our current publications, with order details,  is on  NFHS main page.
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St Luke’s Anglican Church Wallsend, NSW
Baptism Registers 1862-1925 Marriage Registers 1867-1965 Burial Registers 1862-1872, 1925-1985
Compiled by Marilyn Maddocks

The historic church of St Luke at Wallsend is the second oldest Anglican Church in the Newcastle area.
Anglican services at Wallsend commenced in late 1861 shortly after the establishment of the mine and the town. These were held in the blacksmith’s shop at the mine by Rev. Thomas Dodd, Rector of Hexham, until the erection of a timber-slab building in 1864 which served as both a school and church.
Following the death of Rev. Dodd, the Wallsend part of the Hexham parish was attached to St John’s, Newcastle for almost three years. With the arrival from England of Rev. Joshua Spicer Wood in 1867, a new parish known as Wallsend was formed. Upon his departure in 1877, Wallsend was annexed to St James’, Wickham.
In 1880, Wallsend became a separate parish again with Rev. Walter Tollis appointed as rector. The parish once covered a much larger area than it does today and has at various times included Hexham, Waratah, Lambton, Minmi, Swansea, Cooranbong, Yarramalong, Wyong, Edgeworth and Birmingham Gardens.
This publication includes a short history of St Luke’s plus details of:

Baptism Registers 1862-1925: 2382 Baptisms
Marriage Registers 1867-1965: 1458 Marriages
Burial Registers 1862-1872, 1925-1985: 2320 Burials

Entries dated earlier than 1867 were extracted from the Hexham registers. All records are fully indexed. The registers have been transcribed in accordance with the access conditions stipulated by the Anglican Diocese of Newcastle.

A full  list of our current publications, with order details,  is on  NFHS main page.
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Surgeons at Sea
An index to the filmed surgeons’ journals on the convict ships to Australia, with some strays.

Were the convict transports to Australia “hell ships” as so many writes have claimed? No doubt there were some voyages which would fit this description, but an examination of the filmed surgeons’ journals and their sick lists could lead one to a different conclusion.
This publication covers some 670 voyages, most of which were convict ships to Australia from 1817 to the end of transportation. A few migrant, Royal Navy and convict ships to other destinations were also transcribed from the films and the entries from these are found in the strays’ database.
The work is divided into the following sections:
*  A database from the journals of over 600 convict ships to Australian ports
A database from the journals of strays
A list of ships transcribed
A list of surgeons
A glossary of 19th century medical terms
Stories from the surgeons’ journals
The databases derived from the sick lists and general comments of the surgeons are fully searchable with over 50,000 entries in one and more than 3,000 in the other.

A full  list of our current publications, with order details,  is on  NFHS main page.
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St John's Anglican Church Cooks Hill, Newcastle, NSW
Baptism (1857-1912), Marriage (1860-1962) &
Burial Registers (1862-69,1921-36,1962-1982)
& the 1871 Census of St John’s Parish


Newcastle’s original Christ Church building was constructed in 1817 and was eventually demolished in 1892 to make way for the development of the present Christ Church Cathedral. Midway through that century in 1857-60, a second Anglican Church was built in the Newcastle suburb of Cooks Hill, where it was intended to serve the extensive workforce, established to mine coal in the region. Consequently, St John’s is now the oldest, still serving, church building in Newcastle.
Funding to build this modest church came initially from the generosity of a few of the English proprietors of the Australian Agricultural Company, who were concerned about the social and educational needs of the mining workforce, members of whom had immigrated to Australia from Great Britain and Ireland to work the coal mines developed by their company in Newcastle.
During its first century, St John’s Church was the principal place of worship of an extensive industrial workforce of miners, labourers and tradesmen. St John’s began its existence in 1857 with the construction of a rectory, teacher’s residence and schoolroom, of which the latter was a pressing community need for the growing families of the miners. The building of the Church followed this initial phase and was consecrated by Bishop Tyrrell in 1860.
The present publication is a companion volume to the transcriptions of Christ Church Cathedral Burial Ground (1804-1900). Combined, they represent an unrivalled, detailed record of the Newcastle’s Anglican community in the 19th Century.
The registers of St John’s are located in the University of Newcastle Archives. All transcribed records conform to current NSW access restrictions – 100 years for births, 50 years for marriages and 30 years for burials. They include the details of 4,563 baptisms, and 3,032 marriages. Unfortunately there are several burial registers missing from the collection. This problem is somewhat diminished by the fact that St John’s did not have its own burial ground – hence following the burial service, the remains were interred in various cemeteries in the Newcastle district, most of which have been documented by publication or can be located in accessible records on relevant websites.

A full  list of our current publications, with order details,  is on  NFHS main page.

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Christ Church, Newcastle NSW 1804-1900

Fully indexed transcriptions of Christ Church Registers for the 1800s have been reproduced from original records held in the University of Newcastle, Cultural Collections. The registers contain approximately 5,100 baptisms, 1,120 marriages and 3,352 burials. The publication also includes selected records of individual burials, culled from newspapers and other sources.

The original Christ Church was built in 1817 and its last service was conducted in 1884 before being demolished to make way for the current Cathedral. For much of its history the church was not used as a place of worship because of the instability of the spire which was progressively lowered in 1825 and 1868.

Although the cemetery was closed in 1881 (concurrently with the opening of Sandgate Cemetery), it remained an ongoing maintenance problem for the church before finally being resumed in 1966 and converted into a public rest park by Newcastle City Council.

A full  list of our current publications, with order details,  is on  NFHS main page.
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The Story of Lambton – a suburb of Newcastle NSW

The Scottish Australian Mining Company established the Lambton Colliery in 1863 following which it became one of the most profitable and technologically advanced in Australia. Not surprisingly the township of Lambton which developed nearby was one of the most prosperous in the Newcastle area. For almost three-quarters of a century the colliery shaped the development of the suburb and this abundantly illustrated volume describes every facet of the growth of this diverse community. Also included is a CD containing 140 extra photographs and a database listing the details of about 5,500 early residents of Lambton

A full  list of our current publications, with order details,  is on  NFHS main page.
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Huntington's History of Newcastle and Northern District August 1897-August 1898

Henry William Hemsworth Huntington came to NSW in about 1860 when he was 12 years of age. In 1879 he was appointed as a clerk in the Department of the Minister of Justice and Public Instruction. After several promotions, he was transferred to Newcastle in 1885 with his appointment as Registrar of Newcastle Court and Assistant Clerk of Petty Sessions at Newcastle.

During his lifetime he became a noted historian of his adopted country. Following his transfer from Newcastle to Newtown in 1894, he appears to have undertaken the task of compiling a history of Newcastle and the Hunter District, scouring the printed volumes of Historical Records of NSW and the History of NSW from the Records which were at the time of limited circulation.  At the instigation of the Newcastle Morning Herald Huntington published a series of 101 columns which appeared  twice weekly from 10 August 1897 to 2 August 1898.
Those newspaper columns are transcribed in this volume. They provide a detailed record of a wide variety of 1897-98 events which were of considerable interest to the citizens of that period. Later generations can now access this valuable historical collection in this reproduction. The Society is grateful to Gionni Di Gravio for providing copies of this material from the University of Newcastle Archives.

A full  list of our current publications, with order details,  is on  NFHS main page.
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Coalmining Related Deaths Hunter Valley New South Wales, 1926-1950

This work follows the earlier publications by the Newcastle Family History Society Inc.,
Nineteenth Century Coalmining Related Deaths, Hunter Valley, NSW, and

Coalmining Related Deaths, Hunter Valley New South Wales, 1901-1925

In his determination to create a permanent record of these tragic events Mr Frank Maxwell has spent many years researching newspaper, court and government department reports of these tragic events which brought great distress to many dependent families. As a tribute to these mining families the Newcastle Family History Society has published a series of three volumes on Hunter Valley Coalmining Deaths which bring together a massive amount of information.

In this third volume spanning the period from 1926 to 1950 further industrial advances became evident. First, the enactment of the NSW Workers’ Compensation Act in 1926 made it possible for dependants to have their claims for compensation heard before a judge. Secondly, the winning of coal in the Hunter Valley shifted from underground to the surface in the form of  open-cuts, which themselves were a revolution in technique and the use of specialised machinery. Thirdly the universal adoption of  “hard hats” led to a marked reduction in fatal head injuries. This book contains a comprehensive index for all three volumes.

           

A full  list of our current publications, with order details,  is on  NFHS main page.

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Souvenir Civic Week, 1929 Newcastle City Council

This book was originally produced to celebrate the opening of the Newcastle City Hall and Civic Centre in December 1929. It provides us with a fascinating, extensively illustrated snapshot of the whole city at a significant point in time when suburban local government still held sway. It was not until 1939 that the several municipalities were amalgamated into the City of Greater Newcastle, later renamed City of Newcastle in 1949.

The first half of the book contains detailed documentation of the various facets of the city, while the second half is a reproduction of the numerous advertisements which paid for the original production. These advertisements are a social history in themselves, and illustrate that in 1929 Newcastle was a vibrant city with extensive development of primary and secondary industries.

This reprint by Newcastle Family History Society has a new table of contents, and a comprehensive index which lists the names of those citizens who played an important role in the development of local government and industry.

        A full  list of our current publications, with order details,  is on  NFHS main page.
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Burials in Stockton Cemetery, NSW  1890 -2005
Compiled by Margaret Robson

This is a comprehensive catalogue of burials in Stockton Cemetery, NSW, including details
of marked and unmarked graves, and newspaper funeral notices, etc. where available.
There are approximately 1700 headstones in the book and 5000 burials, with or without a headstone.
The first burial in the cemetery was that of John Taylor which took place in June 1890.
The first Mayor of Stockton is buried there as well as the first Lady Mayor of Newcastle.
There is also an Australian Test Cricketer.


New maps have been provided to resolve the differences which exist between the Trust, Church, newspaper
and Council records. The maps cover burials with headstones, wooden crosses or grave surrounds. There is also a section on the Old Burial Ground, Newcastle Quarantine Station and Williamtown Uniting Church Memorial Wall.

All burials are listed alphabetically. A section covers some Stockton people who may have died overseas or those whose body was not recovered as in drownings.

A Supplementary DVD (2010) contains the photographs of all existing headstones located in Stockton Cemetery. All photographs are keyed to the denomination, row and plot number of each grave and it is therefore essential that a copy of the NFHS Stockton Cemetery Book (2006) is used in conjunction with this disk.

To accommodate all the photographs they have been recorded on a DVD (+R) disk which must be used on a computer disk drive compatible with this format. Unlike commercial DVDs, each photograph is a separate file and the disk is not suitable for use on players attached to television sets.


A full  list of our current publications, with order details,  is on  NFHS main page.
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Coal and Shale Mining Non-Fatal Accidents New South Wales, 1876-1920
Compiled by Elaine Sheehan

This new  work published by the Newcastle Family History Society Inc. has been extracted from a number of sources, primarily from the Annual Reports of the NSW Department of Mines from 1876 to 1920.  There has also been some irregular coverage from reports by Mines Inspectors to the Department of Lands 1863 to 1874, samples of claims before the NSW Compensation Board, and newspaper extractions.  The project yielded over 4,150 cases of non-fatal injuries in mines throughout the State, the majority located in the Hunter Valley, the Illawarra, the Lithgow region and a number of smaller areas such as the Sydney Harbour colliery at Balmain.

The recorded injuries range from temporary, although painful afflictions, to distressing long-term or permanent disability, with loss of sight, limbs or mobility. Permanent disability of the breadwinner was frequently a disastrous outcome.  Comparatively minor accidents might also have imposed a financial burden on the family of a man who was temporarily away from his work.


When such accidents occurred is not only difficult to find, but the event may also be unknown to family historians with colliers in their ancestry. To discover the date of an accident can yield information about the man's work and his colliery, and lead to other research such as informative newspaper accounts, compensation, benefits etc.
 

A full  list of our current publications, with order details,  is on  NFHS main page.
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Coalmining Related Deaths Hunter Valley New South Wales, 1901-1925.
This work follows the earlier publication by the Newcastle Family History Society Inc.,
Nineteenth Century Coalmining Related Deaths, Hunter Valley, NSW, which appeared in September 2004.

In this shorter period of twenty five years at least 450 fatalities occurred, either within the mines or associated with the workings of those mines, such as drownings in colliery dams, accidents caused on the mine rail network, falls down the shaft etc., to name a few.

The twentieth century saw the significant movement of the industry to the “Coalfields”, such as Maitland, Kurri Kurri, Cessnock and other regions of the Valley, although mining did continue for a time in the earlier regions of Newcastle and its surrounding districts.

The individual cases include accounts of accidents, inquests, burial details, with several references to other sources which are available to the interested researcher. Full accounts appear of the major disasters as Bellbird, Burwood and Stanford Merthyr, together with a list of over seventy collieries at which fatalities occurred.

Included also is a sample of the entries for 1916-17 of the Beneficiaries of Fatal Accidents of the Miners’ Accident Relief Board (Hunter Valley only) and a selection of photographs.

A full  list of our current publications, with order details,  is on  NFHS main page.
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Coalmining Related Deaths Hunter Valley New South Wales , 1951-1975

The information in this last volume in the series relates to more than 100 collieries. The coverage from 1951 to 1975 includes 355 fatalities, most of which were the result of workplace accidents within the Hunter Valley coal mines. It also documents other deaths which occurred within the vicinity of old workings, such as drowning in dams, accidents with colliery trains, age-related natural causes, accidents on the way to work and at least one murder. Ages of those who died range from 18 months to 78 years.

An index covering all four volumes in the series has been prepared, expanding the list of deaths to include those in the present volume. Over the whole interval from the Nineteenth Century to 1975, a total of 1,760 deaths have been documented, the majority of which were the result of accidents in underground mines.

A full  list of our current publications, with order details,  is on  NFHS main page.
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History of Merewether
Originally Published by Jonathan Dixon, 1935.
NFHS Inc has produced a new publication containing the History of Merewether by Jonathan Dixon (1935) supplemented with an index of many names in that volume. The Society had added 22 photographs of old Merewether, plus a list of the Occupiers of Properties in Merewether from 1 July 1910 to 1 January 1913, as transcribed from Water Board Rate Books.
Jonathan Dixon (1872-1944) enjoyed a distinguished career in several fields, principally in coal mining and local government in Merewether. His father was one of the significant contributors to the formation of  the Merewether Municipality, and Jonathan followed in his footsteps by becoming an Alderman in 1908 and again from 1917 to 1937, part of this time holding the position of Mayor. He was therefore well equipped to provide a detailed account of the growth and development of Merewether during its formative years.
His contribution is remembered in the suburb by the decision of the 1932 Council to name the recreation reserve adjoining Ocean Road and Livingstone Street as Dixon Park. He also opened the Dixon Park Surf Club Pavilion in February 1934.
 
A full  list of our current publications, with order details,  is on  NFHS main page.
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NMH Domestic Notices & Accident Reports 1879-1898 (irreg.)
Continuing the compilation of articles taken from the Newcastle Morning Herald & Miners' Advocate by the Snippers Group of NFHS, this CD contains domestic notices (mostly Undertakers' funeral notices) combined with 'news' items reporting local and 'home' deaths, and an extensive collection of accident reports which were usually presented with explicit graphic details. Accounts of inquests, requiring the participation of a Coroner and a Jury, regularly expanded upon the earlier news reports.  Unlike the paid funeral notices, birth and marriage events were limited to the occasional 'news' report.

The pages of cuttings have been indexed by surname, resulting in a list which contains more than 51, 000 entries. This index has been divided into alphabetical groups on the CD. Like its companion Court Reports 1879 - 1898 (irreg.) CD,  the contents provide a fascinating snapshot of 'sensational' events in the life of the late 1800s in the Newcastle area.

A full  list of our current publications, with order details,  is on  NFHS main page.
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Maitland Municipal Petitions 1861-1862
The Government of New South Wales passed an Act in 1858 enabling the formation of municipal institutions. This book gives a brief outline of the struggle between opposing forces in the Maitland area.

East Maitland supported the incorporation of their township with a petition containing 208 names. The first petition in West Maitland has 448 names, and a subsequent petition from the opponents of incorporation has 641 signatories. A supplementary petition from those seeking a council has a further 229 names.

The final part of the book is a "street directory" which lists all the West Maitland petitioners under the addresses given in the petitions, thus making it possible in many cases to find an individual's neighbours. The book is illustrated, and contains a map.

This book is produced partly because it is possible, through the petitions, to arrive at what amounts to a "census" of East and West Maitland in the period 1861-1862. It is also designed to assist family historians to gain an insight into their ancestors political and social thoughts, by observing their vote, and in some cases, their change of mind on the issues involved.

A full  list of our current publications, with order details,  is on  NFHS main page.
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Early Newcastle – the Fettered and the Free
The first twenty years of permanent European settlement at Newcastle embraced the years 1804 through to 1824. During this period the beauty of the area was quite ignored with the advantage of its remote location being one of the deciding factors in the establishment of a penal colony. As a place of secondary punishment, Newcastle saw some of the most hardened criminals in the colony arrive at its harbour. Discipline, of necessity, had to be strict.
Most of the convict arrivals were put immediately to hard labour: some at the coal mines, others to the limeburners’ camp north of Stockton, and still others into the gaol gang. A few of the most trustworthy were chosen to move up the river seeking the precious cedar required by Sydney’s builders.
Each group of convicts performed their tasks under the watchful eye of soldiers or an overseer, often a convict himself. No doubt there were trials and tribulations attached to each of these forms of hard labour, but one task which arguably may have been the hardest, was the construction of the breakwater joining Nobby’s island to the mainland. Working with huge lumps of stone in constantly wet conditions probably saw an unknown number of convicts crushed and washed out to sea, leaving no record of their demise.

Women convicts at Newcastle received no special treatment. A few acted as nurses at the hospital or maids to the authorities, while those confined at the gaol were employed in such work as picking oakum to be used in caulking for boats built or repaired in the harbour.

The Camp, as Newcastle was known by the convicts, was not a happy place in its first twenty years. Brutality and violence were the norm with joy and laughter being a rarity.

This then was the setting for those ordered to the penal settlement at Newcastle. The database presented in this publication lists over 4500 convicts, settlers, military and maritime personnel, most of whom were unwilling pioneers of the fledgling settlement.

As well as outlining Newcastle’s development under each of its commandants, this work illustrates the life and times of the settlement through the stories of selected individuals.

How fortunate we are to have letters, maps, art works, reports, etc. which are still in existence and which we can call upon to tell Newcastle’s story. There are few major cities in this country able to list the “ordinary people” who helped forge their foundations. Members of the Newcastle Family History Society who have worked on this project are very grateful for the opportunity to share this record of our pioneers.

This publication is comprised of four distinct parts:-
Part 1: An outline of the development of Newcastle from Mulubinba, the land of the Indigenous people, to the closing days of the penal settlement.
Part 2: A database of those in Newcastle between 1804 and 1824. About 4500 individuals are listed, including some 750 soldiers.
Part 3: The stories of selected individuals who had some part in the Newcastle story during and beyond the twenty years under review.
Part 4: Eight appendices provide further information on groups of individuals.
A bibliography and index complete the work.

A full  list of our current publications, with order details,  is on  NFHS main page.
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Nineteenth Cent. Coalmining Deaths Hunter Valley, NSW
by Frank Maxwell And Elaine Sheehan
Contents include: A short history of the beginning of coalmining in the district; Detailed information about each man or boy (406 males) who died in a mining accident; Short history of each of the major disasters: Ferndale, Hamilton, East Greta, Stockton, Burwood, South Burwood and Dudley.
The book is a tribute to the men and boys who died as the result of accidents in the coalmines of the Hunter Valley during the nineteenth century. It is based significantly on the work of Mr Frank Maxwell, a retired miner, who generously donated his enormous collection of research material to the Newcastle Family History Society.
Although this study purports to cover the nineteenth century – 100 years – the absence of records for the early period could well conceal a greater number of fatalities than the 406 named here. Mining began in the first short period of settlement in Newcastle in 1801, then resumed permanently in 1804. Indeed, coal was the impetus for the foundation of the settlement at Coal River. The first fatal coal mining accident record found was that of Richard Hamilton in 1816, and then nothing further until the 1840s, despite our best endeavours.

Early in the period the victims included convicts, ticket-of-leave men, emancipists and immigrants, whose origins were mostly in the mining areas of Scotland, England and Wales, but also from a surprising number of other countries. Later in the century the Australian-born became more numerous, many of them being sons following their fathers into the mines. Their ages ranged from 11 to 76 years.

Their stories tell more than the manner of their deaths. Not only is there much to learn about the individuals – whether they died in a single accident or in the great disasters of Stockton, Hamilton, Ferndale, East Greta, Burwood, South Burwood, Dudley – but also details of their families, homes, and interests in the community.

The wider picture constantly reveals many examples of mateship and heroism, at their very finest, among the men who engaged in the arduous and dangerous work of the collieries of our Valley. It is still possible a century or more later to grieve for these lost men and boys and those they left behind, often in very reduced conditions or destitution. Clearly, circumstances dictated that many of these men lie in unmarked graves, without headstone or any marker. In undertaking this work both Mr Maxwell and the Newcastle Family History Society hope that it is, in some measure, their memorial.

The Society wishes to acknowledge the RAHS grant of $1,000 towards the publication cost of this book.
2 companion volumes have also been published,
Coalmining Related Deaths, Hunter Valley, NSW 1901-1925, and Coalmining Related Deaths, Hunter Valley, NSW 1926-1950

A full  list of our current publications, with order details,  is on  NFHS main page.
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Newcastle Morning Herald & Miners’ Advocate Court Reports 1879 - 1898 (irreg.) CDROM
Created by the Snippers Group of NFHS this CDROM contains Court Reports from some issues of the Newcastle Morning Herald published during the above interval. A total of 1,509 pages of Court Reports have been scanned and reproduced on this CDROM.  In addition, the above pages have been indexed by surname, resulting in a list which contains more than 54,000 names. The years and months covered are on the NMH Indexes page.
The pages contain a remarkable overview of the operation of the Newcastle District Law Courts in the late 1800s. Some reports are also of significant cases in other towns including interstate, reported in the NMH. The articles provide many hours of interesting reading, covering topics from the regular appearance of “drunks” before the bench (standard penalty 5s. or 24 hours in jail) to crimes of murder which resulted in the hanging of the convicted felon.
Readers may be surprised to discover that their ancestor had a brush with the law, or was a victim of indecent language, assault,  theft, or applied for a licence, was owed money, or was a witness at court.
System requirements Windows 95, 98, ME, 2000, XP. The CD also contains Adobe Acrobat Reader 5 for Windows 95 or later, and Adobe Acrobat Reader 6 for Windows 98 & later. Because of the size of the typeface used in the papers, the reader will need to enlarge the pages on the screen or print out copies of selected pages.
A full  list of our current publications, with order details,  is on  NFHS main page.
A list of the other creations of the Snippers Group, available to use at our library, please see the NMH Indexes page.
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Geographical Encyclopædia of New South Wales
INCLUDING THE COUNTIES, TOWNS, AND VILLAGES, WITHIN THE COLONY,
WITH THE SOURCES AND COURSES OF THE RIVERS AND THEIR TRIBUTARIES.
PORTS, HARBOURS, LIGHT-HOUSES, AND MOUNTAIN RANGES.
POSTAL, MONEY ORDER AND TELEGRAPH OFFICES, AND SAVINGS BANKS.
THE RAILWAYS AND STATIONS ON EACH LINE.
THE  PUBLIC SCHOOLS, AND THE COUNTY IN WHICH EACH SCHOOL IS LOCATED.
WITH A MAP, AND DIAGRAM OF LIGHT-HOUSES ON THE COAST.

BY WILLIAM HANSON, A.L.S., LOND.
(Formerly Government Printer of NSW),
AUTHOR OF “THE PASTORAL POSSESSIONS OF NEW SOUTH WALES”
Sydney
CHARLES POTTER, GOVERNMENT PRINTER, PHILLIP-STREET.1892.

This 112 year old volume, originally produced in 1892 by William Hanson, has become a valuable aid to family historians trying to decipher geographical information enshrined in many old family documents. Geographical place names evolve over the years such that many names, familiar to the New South Wales citizens of 1892, can no longer be located on current maps.
The library of the Newcastle Family History Society Inc. (NFHS) contains a fragile copy of this book and in order to preserve its contents, the Society sought permission from the New South Wales Government to reproduce copies of the original book for dissemination throughout the Family History fraternity. We were advised that, since the book was published over 50 years ago, it is already in the public domain and hence we are able to distribute it without infringing copyright restrictions.
The original text of the book was scanned and converted into a computer file using OCR software. Several members of NFHS Inc. have made every effort to eradicate the inevitable errors introduced by this process. It is felt that the ability to distribute the book, as well as an Adobe Acrobat™ PDF file on a compact disk, will more than compensate for any residual transfer errors.
In a work of such monumental scope, there were understandable inconsistencies in the original publication. Variations in the spelling of place names have not been changed in the reproduction, except in a few cases where obvious corrections have been added in square brackets. Changes in printing technology have meant that this reproduction does not exactly match the pagination of the original volume. In a book which is essentially a long, alphabetically arranged list, this variation does not appear to be of major significance.

The CD-ROM (Windows only) edition has been recorded locally on best quality disks which use a colour change for the recording process. This medium is not as robust as stamped, commercial disks. We anticipate that our disks should give long service provided they are protected from dust, finger prints, sunlight and/or high temperatures.
Adobe Reader™ v.5 or later is required to read the PDF file. Installation copies of this free software are provided on the CD for your convenience. Version 5 requires Windows 95™ or later and version 6 requires Windows 98SE™ or later.
A full  list of our current publications, with order details,  is on  NFHS main page.
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A Private Town - A Private Cemetery  Minmi  1859-2003
Ian J Lyons (Editor)

Coal was discovered in the area in 1845 by Harry Styles at a time when the region consisted of the estates of A. W. Scott, W. C. Wentworth and John Eales. Eales opened a mine in Minmi in 1848, but through poor management and flooding in the mine he sold out to brothers John and Alexander Brown, who had arrived in the colony in 1839. Their names are closely linked with the history of coal-mining in the Newcastle district and they are credited with breaking the monopoly enjoyed by the A A Company in the early days of the industry.  In its heyday the town of Minmi  was considered one of the most active and important in the district with the Brown brothers owning the mine and controlling the private township of Minmi. They would have set aside the land for the cemetery. This control of the township continued until 1990 when some residents received land deeds.
There are five sections made up of headstone transcriptions, birth death & marriage information, public notices (death, funeral notices, in memoriams, inquests)  family history, and an index.
Available as book, A4 format 498 pages, or CD.
A full  list of our current publications, with order details,  is on  NFHS main page.
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Branxton General Cemetery
New South Wales
Transcribed by John Delaney, 1984
Revised and updated
Newcastle Family History Society Inc August 2002
In 1984 Mr Delaney transcribed the headstones of this historic Hunter Valley graveyard, adding valuable information from research in the records of several courthouses, now no longer readily available. In addition he identified "unlocated" graves, that is, the burial places of those without headstones, as well as describing the physical condition of many graves.
In 2002, with Mr Delaney's permission, the Newcastle Family History Society Inc. undertook to revise the work and record the headstones of the intervening years, together with any variations in the grave furnishings noted by Mr Delaney. His earlier work on the courthouse records is also included in full.
This pioneer cemetery continues in use to the present day. The oldest surviving headstone is dated 11 November 1853.The book is 84pp, A4, thermal bound. It records up to one thousand burials, and contains a short history, full index, photographs and a site plan by courtesy of the Cessnock City Council.
A full  list of our current publications, with order details,  is on  NFHS main page.
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Branxton Catholic Cemetery
New South Wales
Transcribed by John Delaney, 1984
Revised and updated
Newcastle Family History Society Inc Oct 2002
For background details see Branxton General Cemetery.  This graveyard lays alongside the Church of St Brigid in Station Street.  Over 1000 burials have been identified here.  This book is 90pp, A4, and contains a short history, full index, photographs and a site plan by courtesy of the Catholic Diocese.
A full  list of our current publications, with order details,  is on  NFHS main page.
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Greta Cemetery
New South Wales
Transcribed by John Delaney, 1984
Revised and updated
Newcastle Family History Society Inc Oct 2002
For background details see Branxton General Cemetery.  Up to  1500 burials are identified, some, unfortunately in "unlocated" graves, but about which information has been recorded.  It includes the grave of Norman Brown, killed in the Rothbury Riot of 1929.  The Newcastle Morning Herald of 18 Dec 1929 reported that his funeral was attended by 6,00-7,000 people and "large numbers failed to gain admission", a number difficult to imagine in a now serene and quiet spot.
Greta had an army base during WW2, and the  cemetery has a small War Memorial section. After the war the base became a camp for post-war migrants, and the cemetery also has many European names.  This book is 90pp, and contains a short history, full index, photographs and a site plan.
A full  list of our current publications, with order details,  is on  NFHS main page.
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Big Hill, Teralba
A Tribute to the Pioneers Interred in Teralba and District cemeteries, NSW.

In a bush setting at Teralba, on top of what was known as "Big Hill" then "Goat Hill" lies a cemetery where some of the early pioneers have been laid to rest, as well as many young children belonging to those early families.  This cemetery is in ruin, the few remaining headstones lying broken and neglected,  and the cemetery itself is difficult to access.
Records are sparse, conflicting, difficult to interpret, or non-existent.
In 1994 a survey conducted for Landcom estimated there were 50 burials in the Teralba Cemetery.  Investigations by NFHS  members have identified 200 internments in the area.
This book is 168pp, and contains a short history, full index, photographs and a map.
A full  list of our current publications, with order details,  is on  NFHS main page.
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The Irish Relief Fund
List of Subscribers
published in The Maitland Mercury in 1846
Estimates of the number of deaths from the Great Irish Famine have been as high as one million, with those who survived living in destitution.  Although the first reports of the failure of the potato crop in Ireland appeared in English and Irish papers as early as September 1845, it was not until a year later that the situation became known in Australia.  Monica Gibbs writes that "When the news eventually reached the colony, the whole population, especially the Irish, was moved to action." An advertisement in The Maitland Mercury of 9 September 1846 set in train a relief effort in the Upper Hunter Valley which attracted donations from districts such as Aberdeen, Dungog, Raymond Terrace, Port Stephens, Murrurundi, Singleton, Clarence Town to name a few.  The sums collected ranged from sixpence up to the grand sum of £10, from a wide range of people, including children, with some listed merely as "a poor man", "a widow", "Aboriginal Mickey", to reach a total of £517.10.3 to be sent to Ireland.
An introduction details the history of the local committee and its operation. Over 1,300 people are named with, in most cases, the district in which their donation was made. An Appendix lists the Committee members/collectors, as far as has been possible to identify them.
Monica Gibbs is Assistant Librarian of the Newcastle Family History Society Inc. and served for some years as its Research Officer.
The book is 31 pages (printed one side only), A4, thermal bound.
A full  list of our current publications, with order details,  is on  NFHS main page.
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The Diaries of John Reid
Victorian Schoolmaster 1853-1856
Transcribed by the Newcastle Family History Society Inc.

John Reid was born in Scotland on 12 June 1835, the eldest child of the Reverend John Reid and his wife Marion, née Crybbace. The couple had five sons and two daughters. In 1852 the family came to Australia where the Rev. Reid ministered to a congregation at Moonee Ponds ( Essendon) in Victoria for four years, but then, "resigned the most successful Church he had established in Essendon..." to relocate to Sydney where he became a colleague of Rev. John Dunmore Lang.

John Reid, whose diaries and notebooks - six in all - are the subject of this transcription, was the master at Essendon which school, it seems, he established, teaching up to 100 pupils. Apart from his own interests and thoughts, he records several events of the times. He witnessed both the arrival and the funeral of the Governor, Sir Charles Hotham, heard Caroline Chisholm's address in Melbourne, commented on the arrival of Chinese immigrants, "soldiers returning from the goldfields", besides noting overseas news such as the Crimean War and much else. His own active turn of mind was evidenced in the formation of a "Mutual Improvement Society", to debate the issues of the day.  Some of these discussions are included in the transcriptions.

The transcriptions also list the many people he knew and visited. Of particular note is his recording of his pupils by name and subject performance.  They include three of his own siblings, Marion Jane, (named in his obituary of 1903 as Mrs James Ewan of Sydney), Mary Eliza (Mrs D. Yorke Syme, whose husband was proprietor of The Melbourne Age), and George Houston Reid, who was later to become Premier of New South Wales, Prime Minister of the Commonwealth of Australia, High Commissioner in London and to take a seat in the British House of Commons.

John Reid, although intending to enter the Church after giving up teaching, eventually settled in Newcastle where he establishes the shipping firm of John Reid & Co..

The book is A4 format, 134 pages.

A full  list of our current publications, with order details,  is on  NFHS main page.
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Lost Burial Grounds

Old Wallsend, North Waratah St Andrews and West Wallsend Cemetery books were launched in late 2001.  Old Wallsend and North Waratah wind up our Lost Burial Grounds project. We have already produced the Newcastle West set of three, Presbyterian, Roman Catholic and Wesleyan Methodist.  The project has been under way for five or six years but there comes a time when you have to say "no more!", even knowing that new information could always turn up. We would be grateful for any further information to add to our files and to include in subsequent editions.

"Old"  Wallsend Cemetery New South Wales 1863-1896

The suburb of Wallsend is now part of the Newcastle agglomeration, but began as a self-contained village. Land was granted in the area as early as 1824 and was apparently mainly under agriculture in a small way and with cattle grazing, but its future was to lie in the mining of coal.  Alexander Brown  ("Big Brown"), the first supervisor of the Newcastle Wallsend Coal Co., opened Wallsend as a coal mining centre in 1858.

In 1864 the Wallsend Co granted a piece of ground for a cemetery. Until then a journey to Newcastle was required for burials. By the time the closure of "old" Wallsend was sanctioned (NSW Government Gazette, 20 June 1896), there had been up to 4,000 interments in its area of 3 acres 21 1/4 perches. Possibly the largest funeral ever seen in the Newcastle district was James Fletcher's (the "Miner Statesman") in March 1891 to Wallsend when it was reported that 25,000 people witnessed the procession. Conversion to a park and clearance of the headstones took place under Act No 5 of 1953 of the NSW Parliament.

Old Wallsend is the largest volume in our  set of five lost burial ground books.

Old Wallsend presented other  problems which had little to do with its size. It is not considered "good form" to speak ill of the dead, although sometimes it is necessary to do so to protect the living.

The keeping of the Wallsend death registers left much to be desired.  We wondered whether the registrar kept his notes (if any) for a time and then made a number of entries once a month or so, relying in part on memory. Possibly of most  relevance here, apart from other oddities, is that he may have assumed Wallsend as the burial place.  Funeral notices on the day and, in the case of North Waratah to which a number of Wallsend registered deaths went, payment for a plot and the survival of burial records, can often suggest otherwise. That is a problem best left to those with special interests in any deceased person.

Many family historians will agree that people frequently tell us more about themselves in death than we can find in their lifetime, and Old Wallsend is no exception about individuals and their society.  Funeral notices can reveal the complex family relationships it would otherwise take much work to unravel .

Newspaper reports tell us where they lived,  as people were usually buried from their homes, so we read in the funeral notices the streets we know - Elder Street, de Vitre Street, Karoola Road, Young Road, Pearson Street, Kendall Street in Lambton and in the Wallsend Plattsburg district, Wentworth, Macquarie, Metcalfe, Clarke streets and others.

From obituaries and other reports we can learn something of their appearance - a slight man, a very fat woman, a blind man, a limp following an accident - and often quite a bit more than the brief "cause of death" on certificates. "Coal fall" can be expanded in newspaper accounts or reports of the Lands or Mines Department to quite graphic and distressing injuries.  "Heart disease" or such will lead to very detailed inquest descriptions of the condition of the offending organ or organs.

Of all five graveyards, Old Wallsend was the only one where we found some reasonable report of the numbers interred. Newspaper accounts, generally complaining about overcrowding, unsanitary conditions, the need for closure etc., frequently suggested a figure as precise 3,447, very likely from gravediggers' records now lost, or yet to be found.

Our study has found that the number of people buried in that relatively small site facing Newcastle Road did in fact approach 4,000. But numbers are all very well. Who were they?  What do they tell us?

As in most 19th century graveyards, there are lots of children, frequently several from one family.  Childhood was dangerous.  If they survived the first hours or days, they could fall victim to diphtheria, measles, cholera and typhoid. They were suffocated by sleeping with their parents, they were murdered. They were scalded by tumbling into laundry tubs of boiling water or pulling it down on themselves, they drowned in tanks, wells and waterholes, were burned in house fires or when their clothes caught alight on  open fires, either inside or out. One ate matches. A boy fell out of a tree while trying to catch a koala (in this district!), another was run over by a roller in Lambton Park.  They were run down by carts and trampled by horses.

The parents of these children were frequently of immigrant background, indicating the diversity of the community, one significant group being the Welsh as shown by their names - any number of Joneses, Williams, Owens, Lloyd, Lewis, Phillips, Thomas, Morgan -  and those interesting names showing the old Ap prefix - Powell, Preece, Price, Pritchard, Prosser, Probert, Brice. The Welsh were mostly miners and were, of course, joined by the many Scots who also came to work in the collieries of the district.

These adults, too, make one wonder just how many managed to die "normal" deaths in their beds. Others succumbed as did the children to falls, drownings and burns, to cholera and typhoid.  (There were dreadful drought years in the 1870s and Dr Hill, a Lambton practitioner, was a member of a delegation to the Colonial Secretary in 1878 to urge the establishment of a water supply. He claimed that 25 per cent of all deaths were due to typhoid.)

Mine fatalities were all too numerous. People were killed in fights or brawls, or were murdered. The clothing of the time was a hazard for women who caught fire, went up like torches and died from horrific burns. Even  nearly 130 years later one can hope that Jane Kibblewhite of Lambton who was dreadfully injured in 1874 was already unconscious before the  metal busks in her stays burned into her breast.

The demon drink claimed both sexes from alcoholic poisoning.  Men, particularly, reeling their way home, were often unwise enough to lie down in the middle of the road, on the tramline or the railway, with predictable results.
Life wasn't easy, and suicides were not uncommon and many means were available -  hanging, throat cutting, shooting, drowning or a ready to hand commercial product called "Rough on Rats".

One miner caught his death of cold while supplementing his income by the gathering of leeches from swamps in the district.  Others, no doubt not merely for sport but to add food to their table, shot themselves and each other while hunting or they drowned on fishing trips.

These activities outside their usual occupation reminds me that my own Scottish great-grandfather, Thomas Pryde, was concurrently a miner and the licensee of the Marquis o'Lorne in the 1890s and that was but one of the great number of hotels in the district.

While the pubs were undoubtedly a solace in everyday life, in death they were also commonly the venue for inquests.  Many local people today will remember the Sportman's Arms in Hobart Road, New Lambton, now the site of Wests, which was the scene of many inquests.

If the deceased was of any note or  a familiar or popular figure in Lambton, Wallsend or Plattsburg, businesses closed for half a day in respect and the mines certainly did for the burial  of their own.  An amazing number of  funerals were reported as "the largest ever seen in the district".  And some of them were large, hundreds and hundreds of people converging on that increasingly crowded graveyard, almost difficult to imagine in the scene of today.

Possibly the largest ever in the whole of the Newcastle district than that of James Fletcher on 22 March 1891 to Wallsend. He fills a special place in the history of this district, but that quiet spot of today also holds others who played their part, however slight, in history, and I'd like to mention just a few examples.

Contrast the Fletcher burial with that in 1876 of poor Blind Sam, whose body was taken in a cart to the graveyard by the undertaker who had the government fee of £3 for a pauper burial. Sam's cortege consisted of  a female neighbour and three children and the help of passers-by had to be enlisted to get the coffin into the ground. There was no ceremony, a fact which was slated in the newspaper a few days later.

Sam Maulburn or Melbourne was  one of 160,000 people in a very important part of Australian history.  He was a transported convict, having arrived here in 1839 as a 22-year old, a collier tried at the Staffordshire Quarter Sessions in 1837 for stealing flannel.

Edward David Butters at his death in 1886 was reported to have Crimean War, Sebastopol, China War and Baltic Medals, while .... William Grant who died in 1889 was a veteran of the Battle of Waterloo.

There were many unusual funerals over the years - whatever a "usual" funeral may be.

In 1871 a man named Foster brought the body of a child and presumably a shovel, for a d.i.y. job, until he was apprehended. It was a cost-saving exercise as he had buried another child earlier in the year at a cost of 6/9.

A Frenchman, Etienne Daney, had let it be known he was not to be buried in consecrated ground, thus eliminating Christ Church, the three graveyards at Newcastle West and North Waratah, since Sandgate was yet to open.  So in 1880 his coffin, draped in the tricolour, came all the way from Newcastle, with a numerous assembly of dignitaries including the French Consul.

There was an occasion when two funerals arrived simultaneously for one officiating clergyman and there was a heated confrontation as to whose would take precedence.  Once the clergyman didn't turn up at all, so an informal ceremony was conducted by those present at the graveside. At least once, if not more often,  the hole wasn't big enough so the coffin rested on the ground while the plot was enlarged which must have been harrowing for the grieving relatives.

In 1880 the Chinese community buried Soo Kan in Old Wallsend and delighted a crowd of onlooking children by distributing fruit and other goodies. It was reported that they were looking forward to the next such ceremony

The book includes an historical survey, three maps, Index of Surnames (127 pages) Supplementary Material (270 pages)

A full  list of our current publications, with order details,  is on  NFHS main page.
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Burials in Wallsend Cemetery New South Wales 1896 - 2008

This is an historical compilation of those buried within the boundaries of  the ‘new’ Wallsend Cemetery. More than a century has passed since the first burial of Robert Elliot in Wallsend Cemetery yet whether it is a headstone that has withstood the elements of a century or a mound still wet with the tears of a grieving family, this book remembers those whose eternal resting place is Wallsend Cemetery.
This massive three volume set of some 1500 pages was launched on 28 June 2009.

A full  list of our current publications, with order details,  is on  NFHS main page
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Newcastle’s First World War Memorials
Surgeons at Sea
St John’s Anglican Church Cooks Hill, Newcastle, NSW
Christ Church, Newcastle NSW 1804-1900
The Story of Lambton – a suburb of Newcastle NSW
Huntington's History of Newcastle and Northern District August 1897-August 1898
Coalmining Related Deaths, Hunter Valley New South Wales, 1926-1950
Coalmining Related Deaths Hunter Valley New South Wales, 1951-1975
Souvenir Civic Week, 1929 Newcastle City Council
Burials in Stockton Cemetery, NSW  1890 -2005
Coal and Shale Mining Non-Fatal Accidents New South Wales, 1876-1920 
Coalmining Related Deaths, Hunter Valley New South Wales, 1901-1925.
History of Merewether
 NMH Domestic Notices & Accident Reports 1879-1898 (irreg.)
Maitland Municipal Petitions 1861-1862
Early Newcastle – the Fettered and the Free
Nineteenth Cent. Coalmining Deaths Hunter Valley NSW
NMH Court Reports 1879-1898 (irreg.)
Geographical Encyclopædia of New South Wales
A Private Town - A Private Cemetery  Minmi  1859-2003
Branxton General Cemetery    Branxton Catholic Cemetery
Greta Cemetery   Big Hill, Teralba
The Irish Relief Fund
The Diaries of John Reid
Old Wallsend
Burials in Wallsend Cemetery New South Wales 1896 - 2008
 

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Page last updated  23 March 2017
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