Newcastle Family History Society Inc.

Publications

Society Members receive a 10% discount on their first purchase of any Society publication that costs more than $10.

In the list of Current Publications below, some titles have a direct link to an information sheet about the publication.

Our Newest Publication

They Were Here: The People of Newcastle

Contents:
• Introduction to the Rate Books
• Newcastle Council Rate Book for 1885
• Hunter District Water Board Rate Book for 1892
• Hunter District Water Board Rate Book for 1898-1900

Local Studies at the Newcastle Region Library has a large collection of old Newcastle Municipal Council and Hunter District Water Board rate books on film, and it is this resource that has been used to create the databases found in this publication. At the time these rate books were compiled, the Newcastle Council administered an area much smaller than today, operating within a space bordered by the neighbouring villages of Merewether, Hamilton, Stockton, Carrington and Wickham.

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Current Publications

 

People of Newcastle and the Hunter Valley – Volume I

Volume I contains 50 stories covering a wide range of individuals. Included are military heroes, early pioneers and business people. Within the covers you will read about:
• the unfortunate outcome of a visit to the cinema to see Clark Gable in A Night to Remember
• the story of the Wagnerian artist who rose from humble beginnings to strut the world stage and sing with Nellie Melba
• the photographer who has left an amazing legacy which records so much of our past
• a displaced person from the devastation of the Europe of 1945 who lost his life here in an industrial accident just months after his arrival
• and a boxing hero who fought under the name of a fan, filled the Victoria Theatre and is remembered with a star in the walkway at the shopping centre on the site of the old stadium.

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People of Newcastle and the Hunter Valley – Volume II

The fifty stories included in Volume 2 paint pictures of other times helping us better understand our past so we can plan a better future. They cover a wide range of subjects, from bushranger to civic leader, from war hero to an unfortunate lady killed by her admirer. In these pages you will meet:
• the young mineworker caught up in a strike, the result of which led to his death
• two little sisters who left home to pick wildflowers and met disaster
• an Englishman who became the father of a Newcastle suburb
• the policeman’s wife who became known as ‘Australia’s Grace Darling’ because of her bravery
• the Irish brothers sentenced for conspiracy to murder who left a headstone in a local cemetery with a seditious inscription.

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They Sent Me North: Female Convicts in the Hunter

This work is a comprehensive record of the women sent north from Sydney. They often arrived through the settlement at Newcastle but some travelled north as settlers with their families once they were free.
It comprises three distinct parts:
Part 1 provides a database of the more than 1400 women who made their way north to Newcastle.
Part 2 contains biographies of 70 of these women. Some of the stories are told by descendants of the subject, others by local history researchers looking to uncover the unique lives and circumstances of the women in the early Hunter.
Part 3 of the publication gives a brief outline of the work undertaken by members and volunteers for the Roses From the Heart project which recognises the contribution made by the female convicts sent to Australia.

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The Story of Lambton – A Suburb of Newcastle NSW

This work is a comprehensive record of the origin and development of the Newcastle suburb of Lambton.
Part 1 of the book provides a history of the suburb.
For Part 2 of the publication, some members of the Newcastle Family History Society Inc. volunteered to research and write on aspects of Lambton’s people and its development. They were greatly aided by many of the suburb’s senior residents who provided oral history and personal photographs for the project.
Part 3 of the publications contains six appendices which add to the broad scope of the work.
The work is fully referenced and indexed.

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Christ Church, Newcastle, NSW, 1804-1900
Transcriptions and Indexes of Baptism, Marriage and Burial Registers

This work is a comprehensive record of the Christ Church, Newcastle.
Part 1 provides a chronological database of baptisms occurring between 1818 and 1900.
Part 2 provides a chronological database of a full transcription of the marriages between 1818 and 1900 and includes parents, witnesses and occupations where they were provided.
Part 3 provides a chronological database of burials in the Christ Church churchyard between 1804 and 1884. The burials are indexed.
The publication contains an extensive bibliography.

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Early Newcastle – The Fettered and the Free

This work is a comprehensive record of the first twenty years of permanent European settlement at Newcastle. It comprises four distinct parts:
Part 1 provides an outline of the development of Newcastle from the custodianship of the Indigenous people to the closing days of the penal settlement.
Part 2 is a database of those in Newcastle between 1804 and 1824. About 4500 individuals are listed including some 750 soldiers. As well as noting the ship and year of arrival, any further transportation is listed as well as references for further information.
Part 3 of the publication contains stories of selected individuals who had some part to play in Newcastle’s early history.
Part 4: includes eight appendices which add to the broad scope of the work.
The publication is fully indexed.

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“Big Hill” Teralba and District Cemeteries​

This cemetery is at Teralba, on top of what was known as ‘Big Hill’ then ‘Goat Hill’. Buried there are some of the early pioneers of that township as well as many young children belonging to those early families. The publication identifies many graves and burials in the cemetery and contains images of some graves taken in and before 2000.

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Coalmining Related Deaths, Hunter Valley, pre-1900

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

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Coalmining Related Deaths, Hunter Valley, NSW 1901-1925

In this relatively much shorter period of a quarter of a century, there occurred at least the 450 fatalities recorded here, as the result of accidents within the coal mines of the Hunter Valley, or other unfortunate deaths associated with the workings of those mines, such as drownings in colliery dams, and other mishaps.
The twentieth century reveals a significant movement into the region generally known as ‘The Coalfields’, such as Maitland, Kurri Kurri and Cessnock, with some lessening in the concentration of fatalities in the older areas.

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Coalmining Related Deaths, Hunter Valley, 1926-1950

In this third volume, some 470 fatalities are included, mainly the result of accidents on the many and varied jobs within the mines of the Hunter Valley, but also other deaths attributable to the presence of those workings – drownings in dams, accidents with colliery trains, at least one suicide – in over 90 collieries.
The bravery and self-sacrifice of men in dangerous rescue operations are a shining light in the darkness of nearly 150 years of tragedy and disaster. Several instances occur of men having to be restrained from rushing into dangerous situations before rescue work could be planned, and also of more volunteers offering than could safely be sent to an accident scene. There is no reason to suppose that this will ever cease, no matter the direction of this and other similar occupations.

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Coalmining Related Deaths, Hunter Valley, 1951-1975

The information in this last volume relates to more than 100 collieries. The coverage from 1951 to 1975 includes 355 fatalities, most of which were the result of workplace accidents. It also documents other deaths which occurred within the vicinity of old workings. Ages of those who died range from 18 months to 78 years.
Apart from the historical value of documenting another twenty-five years of mining history, this book aims to assist family historians to discover information about their extended families, through funeral notices, burial details when available, reports of coronial inquiries, and NSW State Records file numbers for inquests and workers’ compensation cases.

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Branxton General & Catholic Cemeteries, NSW

Branxton is a country town in the Hunter Valley between Maitland and Singleton. Branxton General Cemetery dedicated in 1853 but containing earlier burials, was originally known as Branxton Church of England Cemetery. Branxton Catholic Cemetery lies beside St. Brigid’s Roman Catholic Church. The oldest headstone dates to 1840 and it is estimated that the cemetery was established somewhere between 1820 when settlement first began and 1840.
Both cemeteries are indexed and the publication also contains a combined index.

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Coal and Shale Mining Non-Fatal Accidents, NSW 1876-1920

This work names over 4,000 non-fatal incidents in the coal and shale mines of New South Wales, from temporary, although painful afflictions, to distressing long-term or permanent disability with loss of sight, limbs or mobility.

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‘Old’ Wallsend Cemetery 1863-1896

‘Old’ Wallsend Cemetery was located in what is now Rest Park between Thomas Street and Newcastle Road, Wallsend, NSW.
In 1864 the Wallsend Coal Company granted a piece of land for a cemetery however some burials had occurred before this date. Official records remain from 1865, the date of the first burial for which a record was kept, until the cemetery was closed in 1896.
This publication has recorded over 3,700 burials in Old Wallsend Cemetery including 44 burials that occurred before 1864.

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Copeland Goldfield History and Heritage Cemetery

The town of Copeland (formerly Back Creek), located north-west of Gloucester and 142 km from Newcastle.
Copeland developed from a humble settlement into a thriving township where people put down roots and raised their families. By the last decades of the nineteenth century the mining situation was depressed and by the mid-twentieth century Copeland was almost deserted, with some optimistic fossickers continuing to try their luck.
This publication relates the early history of Copeland and its social fabric. It is illustrated with numerous photographs of the village and its citizens and includes the obituaries of 117 former residents buried in Copeland Cemetery as well as 14 children interred in an undocumented location near the Barrington River.

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Greta General Cemetery

Greta was originally known as Anvil Creek and is situated on the New England Highway between Maitland and Singleton. The Greta General Cemetery has graves associated with different immigration waves from a variety of countries over a period of time. By the mid-1800s German immigrants had begun to develop vineyards in the area. Coal mining began during in the 1860s and many miners moved to the area in search of work. The Greta Army Camp was established in 1939 and at the end of WWII this camp became one of the largest immigration camps in Australia. Immigrants arrived from countries including Poland, Russia, Ukraine, Italy and Greece and remained in the area until they were able to establish a life for themselves.

The Greta War Cemetery situated at the corner of Evans and Hunter Streets has also been added to this publication.

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History of Merewether

Among the large collection of books at NFHS we have some of extra interest because of their rarity. One of these was The History of Merewether written by Jonathan Dixon back in 1935 and long since out of print.
The Society has reproduced Dixon’s volume, adding an index of surnames, 22 photographs showing images of old Merewether and a list of residents from 1910 to 1913 taken from the Water Board rate books.
The work is fully indexed.

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Huntington’s History of Newcastle and the Northern District

Henry William Hemsworth Huntington published this history in the Newcastle Morning Herald and Miners’ Advocate between 1897 and 1898. The articles were intended to celebrate the centenary of Lieutenant John Shortland arriving in the area in 1797.
Huntington gathered together a rich collection of material. He records both great and small events and includes many interesting stories that have been up to now long forgotten. These stories remind us of the hardships and dangers faced by those who pioneered the Hunter district, while the author’s own comments shed a light on the thoughts and feelings of an educated man at the end of the 19th century.
Obvious spelling errors have been corrected but there may still be many suspect spellings to be found.

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Newcastle West Burial Grounds

These three burial grounds form one of Newcastle’s ‘lost’ cemeteries. The stones were removed and the ground cleared many decades ago. They were colloquially and locally known as Cottage Creek and Honeysuckle due to the cemetery’s proximity to Cottage Creek and the Honeysuckle area and former train station.
In October 1999 NFHS published each of the old cemeteries in Newcastle West, NSW separately and in 2007 they were combined into a single volume.
Each burial ground is indexed and there is also a combined index of all three cemeteries.

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Souvenir of Civic Week 1929

This publication was originally printed in December 1929 as a Souvenir to mark Civic Week and to celebrate the completion of Newcastle City’s Town Hall.
The first half of the book contains detailed documentation of the various facets of the city and the second half is a reproduction of numerous advertisements which paid for the original production.
The 2007 reproduction has a comprehensive index listing the names of those who played an important role in the development of local government and industry.

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St John’s Anglican Church, Newcastle

St John’s is now recognised as the oldest Anglican Church building, still extant, in the Newcastle district. It is included on the National Estate Register and is also subject to a Permanent Conservation Order under the NSW State Heritage Act. This publication includes a short history of St John’s.
Part 1: provides a chronological database of baptisms occurring between 1887 and 1912.
Part 2: provides a chronological database of a full transcription of the marriages between 1887 and 1962 and includes parents, witnesses and occupations where they were provided.
Part 3: provides a chronological database of burial services performed between 1887 and 1982. The burials are indexed.
Part 4: contains a list of the inhabitants of 756 households, regardless of religious persuasion, living within the parish in 1871.

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St Luke’s Anglican Church, Wallsend

The historic church of St Luke at Wallsend is the second oldest Anglican Church in the Newcastle area. Built of locally cut stone in 1880 on land granted by the Newcastle-Wallsend Coal Company, the church retains many of its original features including cedar pews, an elaborately carved font and an 1855 Walker pipe organ, one of the oldest in Australia. The addition of stained-glass windows over the years has enhanced the beauty of the church.
This publication includes a short history of St Luke’s plus details of: 2382 Baptisms (1826-1925); 1458 Marriages (1867-1965) and 2320 Burials (1862-1872), (1925-1985)

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Wallsend Cemetery 1896 – 2008

In June 1896 the old Wallsend burial ground between Thomas Street and Newcastle Road, Wallsend, was officially closed. A new cemetery in Sandgate Road had been gazetted in March 1894 and official burials began there in June 1896.
NFHS members surveyed the cemetery and the available records between 2003 and 2008 and compiled three volumes about those who were buried there till 2008.
The publication is in three volumes.
Volume I: (A to G)
Volume II: (H to Parsons, C)
Volume III: (Parsons, E to Z)

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Bulletins and Journals (1983 – 2017) (CD/USB Only)

Branxton General and Catholic Cemeteries, NSW

Catherine Hill Bay Cemetery, NSW Gravestone Inscriptions 1896-1994

Christ Church, Newcastle, 1804-1900 Transcriptions & Indexes of Baptism, Marriage and Burial Registers

Coal & Shale Mining Non-Fatal Accidents, NSW, 1876-1920

Coal Mining Related Deaths, Hunter Valley, Nineteenth Century

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

Coalmining Related Deaths, Hunter Valley New South Wales, 1926-1950

Coalmining Related Deaths, Hunter Valley New South Wales, 1951-1975

Copeland Goldfield, NSW History and Heritage Cemetery

Diaries of John Reid, Victorian Schoolmaster, 1853-1856 (Currently out of print)

Diary of a Voyage on the Dirigo, Liverpool, UK, to Rocky Creek, NSW

Early Newcastle – The Fettered and the Free

Family Record Charts

Geographical Encyclopædia of NSW Originally Published in 1892 by William Hanson (CD Only)

Gloucester: Copeland Goldfield, NSW History and Heritage Cemetery

Greta Cemetery, NSW

Lambton: The Story of Lambton – a Suburb of Newcastle NSW

Lambton: Newcastle Pasturage Reserve (“The Commonage”) A List of Applicants to Purchase

Maitland: Irish Relief Fund List of Subscribers Published in the Maitland Mercury in 1846

Maitland Municipal Petitions 1861-1862

Mayfield/Waratah: St Andrew’s Church of England Burial Ground, North Waratah (Mayfield) 1862-1902

Merewether: History of Merewether

Minmi – A Private Town – A Private Cemetery

Newcastle: Christ Church, Newcastle, 1804-1900 Transcriptions & Indexes of Baptism, Marriage and Burial Registers

Newcastle: Civic Week Souvenir, Newcastle City Council 1929

Newcastle: Huntington’s History of Newcastle and the Northern District, August 1897 to August 1898

Newcastle: Knaggs Almanac – an Index to the Newcastle Section, 1866, 1868-1899, 1901-1906

Newcastle Morning Herald & Miners’ Advocate Court Reports 1879-1898 (irreg.)

Newcastle Morning Herald & Miners’ Advocate Domestic Notices, Accident Reports 1879-1898 (irreg.)

Newcastle: Remembrance: Newcastle’s First World War Memorials

Newcastle: St John’s Anglican Church, Newcastle, NSW

Newcastle West Burial Grounds (Presbyterian, Roman Catholic & Wesleyan Methodist)

Newcastle West Burial Grounds (Presbyterian, Roman Catholic & Wesleyan Methodist)

Newcastle & Lower Hunter Region Pioneer Register – Pre 1900 & 1920 Index Only (Limited copies)

Research Guide 1: Family History – How to Begin

Research Guide 2: Is There a Convict in the Family?

Research Guide 3: Family History Through Family Photographs

Research Guide 4: Is There a Serviceman or Woman in the Family?

Small Cemeteries in the Hunter Valley

St John’s Anglican Church, Newcastle, NSW

St Luke’s Anglican Church, Wallsend, NSW

Stockton Cemetery Burials, NSW 1890-2005

Stockton Cemetery Burials – Photographs of Headstones

Surgeons at Sea: Index to the Filmed Surgeon’s Journals on the Convict Ships to Australia, with Some Strays

Teralba (Big Hill): A Tribute to the Pioneers Interred in Teralba and District Cemeteries, NSW

They Sent Me North: Female Convicts in the Hunter

Wallsend Cemetery, NSW (Burials in the ‘old’ cemetery) 1863-1896

Wallsend Cemetery, NSW (Burials) 1896 – 2008

Wallsend: St Luke’s Anglican Church, Wallsend, NSW

Waratah/Mayfield: St Andrew’s Church of England Burial Ground, North Waratah (Mayfield) 1862-1902

Waratah/Mayfield: St Andrew’s Church of England Burial Ground, North Waratah (Mayfield) 1862-1902

West Wallsend Cemetery