Friday, 4 December 2015

I loved it from the start!

Inside History magazine launched in Nov-Dec 2010, and this month is celebrating that 5 year birthday by giving away 5 subscriptions per day for 5 days. I was thrilled to be the lucky winner of one of those subscriptions. I've subscribed since its launch, so I'm happy-dancing about my win.

The magazine is issued bimonthly, which gives the publishers enough time to pack each issue with so many goodies that us genies love, such as little articles on what people are researching, book reviews and author interviews, as well as Ask our experts, what events are coming up in the family history world, reviews of genealogy apps that might be useful or time-saving for us, newly released datasets from the big companies like, the university libraries, as well as Trove.

Articles about Australian history an genealogy are especially well written, and I always learn something that I didn't know about that time period, looking for my own ancestor's surnames as I read, of course.

As well as this, the magazine is printed on beautiful thick paper, and when it arrives I always smooth my hand over the cover to enjoy the quality feel.

It's available in print and digital format subscriptions, at the newsagent and most big family history events, and hopefully even your local library has it for borrowing. If your library has magazine subscription app called Zinio you might be lucky enough to find it there too.

There is also a Facebook page that links to the magazine, and the website features even more information such as guest blogs, historical articles, author Q&A, and WW1 soldier spotlights.

Thanks to Cassie and Ben Mercer and their team for producing such a fabulous magazine.

If you haven't already read Inside History, give it a try. You won't be disappointed!

Friday, 23 October 2015

This is why I pay Ancestry the big bucks

For many years now I've known my great-grandmother's maiden name of CRUICKSHANK must've originated in Scotland, but I couldn't find the missing link that stretched from the family in Enmore, Somerset, England, back to somewhere in Scotland. My 5x ggf married Betty COLLARD in Enmore in 1772, but there was no record of his birth around there, and I had no specific area to attempt to find him in.

Enter Ancestry DNA. I had a match with a women from the USA, Jean, who had another Jean in her tree, Jean Cruckshank, born in 1644 in Botriphnie, Banffshire, Scotland. I'd never heard of the place before now, but sure enough, it does exist, and I'm sure it's lovely. Thanks to DNA being what it is I knew this was a real connection, not just a stab-in-the-dark-and-hope-it-fits type of result.

I thought I'd find out as much as I could about my William CRUCKSHANK in Enmore so I was well equipped for the search, hoping to find something (anything!) that would show me where he was born. William appeared in a search relating to his son, James, being given Freedom of the City of London papers in 1820, after becoming a Clerk and Solicitor.

Attached to this beautiful document was another lengthy one requesting permission to be admitted, and down the side of all the curly writing was this gem:

It describes James as "Son of William Cruckshanks of Botriphnie, Bamffshire, Scotland, Farmer".


I'd found the missing link, and of course happy-danced around for the rest of the evening, and there's even still some movement today. This hobby/addiction gives me such a buzz. I just love it!

Thursday, 24 September 2015

DNA never forgets, so they say

Convicts Esther Salamon Spencer and Thomas Stubbs had 9 children together:

Mary Anne (1801 - 1860)
Thomas (1802 - 1878)
Sophia (1803 - 1803)
Cecilia (1805 - 1896)
Elizabeth (1807 - 1888)
Annie Esther (1809 - 1837)
George (1811 - 1838)
John Emery (1812 - 1836)
Godfrey (1814 - 1814)

We are lucky enough to have photos of Thomas (Jr) and Cecilia from the 1860s or so.

Thanks to recent information supplied by Matiu in New Zealand, we now know that George married a Maori chief's daughter and fathered two sons, Wiremu (meaning William) Te Kakakura Parata, and Hemi.

This photo is of Wiremu.

I am amazed by the resemblance between Thomas and his nephew Wi Parata, especially around the brow area. I'm even more amazed by the photos of two living descendants, David and Steve. David is descended from Cecilia, and Steve is descended from Mary Anne. 

David and ancestor Thomas have the same cleft in their chin.
Steve looks similar in the brow and eye area to Thomas and Wi Parata.
Steve and Thomas were born 150 years apart, but the DNA shows through in their family resemblance. I think they could easily be brothers, going by their looks. Like Steve, I'm also descended from Mary Anne, but none of the men in my family look similar to these men. It's funny how DNA flows down the line, but seems to deviate around leaving its mark in some faces and not others.

Photo of Thomas Stubbs from the State Library of Victoria
Photo of Cecilia Stubbs from relative June in WA
Photo of Wi Parata from New Zealand History
Photo of David from his wife Barbara in NZ
Photo of Steve from Maree in Tasmania

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

We Are The Chosen

This beautiful piece of prose sums up exactly why we do what we do. It's a calling or vocation to do this work. I feel blessed that I'm the one on my family chosen to do this. 
Thanks to The Ancestor Hunter for sharing this, and to Della M. Cumming for her words.

We Are The Chosen

My feelings are in each family we are called to find the ancestors.
To put flesh on their bones and make them live again,
To tell the family story and to feel that somehow they know and approve.
To me, doing genealogy is not a cold gathering of facts but, instead,
Breathing life into all who have gone before.

We are the story tellers of the tribe.
We have been called as it were by our genes.
Those who have gone before cry out to us:
Tell our story.
So, we do.
In finding them, we somehow find ourselves.

How many graves have I stood before now and cried?
I have lost count.

How many times have I told the ancestors
you have a wonderful family, you would be proud of us?

How many times have I walked up to a grave
and felt somehow there was love there for me?
I cannot say.

It goes beyond just documenting facts.
It goes to who I am and why I do the things I do?
It goes to seeing a cemetery about to be lost forever
to weeds and indifference and saying I can't let this happen.
The bones here are bones of my bone and flesh of my flesh.

It goes to doing something about it.
It goes to pride in what our ancestors were able to accomplish.
How they contributed to what we are today.
It goes to respecting their hardships and losses,
their never giving in or giving up.

Their resoluteness to go on and build a life for their family.
It goes to deep pride that they fought to make and keep us a Nation.
It goes to a deep and immense understanding that they were doing it for us
That we might be born who we are.
That we might remember them.
So we do.
With love and caring and scribing each fact of their existence,
Because we are them and they are us.
So, as a scribe called, I tell the story of my family.

It is up to that one called in the next generation,
To answer the call and take their place in the long line of family storytellers.
That is why I do my family genealogy,
And that is what calls those young and old to step up and put flesh on the bones.

[Author: Della M. Cumming ca 1943.]

Thursday, 7 May 2015

Combining two loves....

....genealogy and reading, particularly historical fiction.

Thanks to a recommendation from Peter Calver from the Lost Cousins website I've discovered another favourite author to add to the list, Nathan Dylan Goodwin, who writes the England-based Morton Farrier crime mystery novels. The main character is a forensic genealogist, and to read about his work is fascinating. What makes the novels great (IMO) is that during the course of his research he mentions various repositories, databases and websites that he uses to search for clues. While I haven't had the pleasure (yet) of going to The National Archives at Kew and such places, I've been on all of the websites he uses. I love recognising places I the books I read.

While I was reading Book 2, The Lost Ancestor, a colleague returned from holidays bearing photos of her stay in Rye, East Sussex, which is the town where characters Morton and his partner, Juliet, are living. She even took a photo of the exact house and pub that is central to the book, not realising that I was reading about them. The Mermaid Inn was re-built in 1420, so it predates that, and the Norman cellars date back to 1156. Buildings of that age are unimaginable to me when Australia's oldest buildings are less than 200 years old.

The House With Two Front Doors in Rye, East Sussex
Photo courtesy

The Mermaid Inn, re-built 1420
Photo courtesy

Book 3 - a novella
Book 1
Book 2

So if you love reading and you love genealogy, get stuck into Goodwin's books. I can't wait for #4!!

Saturday, 4 April 2015

What a week I've had!

What a week!! My first ever Congress is over, and I loved every minute of it. HAGSOC did the most amazing job in organising such a gathering. I met lots of people who I only knew online, as well as many more that I met at random places like the lunch tables. Everyone was polite, chatty, and happy to be there. It was great to be in a place where we all share the same level of addiction to the same pastime. The speakers were all fantastic, & I was lucky enough to get a place in a couple of the additional lunchtime sessions. I figured that if I was there anyway I may as well cram it all in!

On the Thursday was the Librarian's Seminar, where we listened to 6 speakers at the National Library of Australia. At lunchtime we had a tour around the place, although we were a couple of months too early to see their new addition of a modern Newspaper & Family History Room. The ceiling on the way into the current Reading Room was build to look like the cards in an old-school card catalogue. The photo doesn't do it justice. Another photo is of the tube thingys (a very technical term) where the librarian used to take a request slip & send it via the right tube to the corresponding area in the stack where the book was located. Books are now collected by Charlie, ready for delivery to the Reading Room. And the last photo from the day is of one of the gorgeous wicker baskets that the library used to use on the trains to send inter-library loans to remote areas. This basket has "Braille Books" written on it, which goes to show the diversity of their collections, and the different needs people have all over Australia.

An inverted card catalogue sculpture as ceiling art

Tubes for request slip delivery

Wicker baskets used on the railways

Over the 4 days of Congress I went to 27 presentations, then on Tuesday I had a day at the State Library of NSW for work, where I listened to another 7 presentations. By Tuesday afternoon my head was spinning!

On the Sunday night there was a dinner at Jamie's Italian Restaurant with some fellow University of Tasmania students from the Introduction to Family History subject, and our fearless leader, Dr Dianne Snowden. We all had a wonderful time chatting about the course and our passion for genealogy, and our meals were delicious.

On the last day I was very excited to win 4th prize in one of the raffles, a $100 voucher to Gen-ebooks through Gould Genealogy, which was exactly the prize I would've chosen for myself anyway! I wasted no time and had no problem choosing some ebooks, such as gazettes and directories. Thanks Gould!!

I got home to a message that a university historian has been writing a book about businesswomen in Sydney's early days, and my ancestor, Esther Salamon SPENCER, is to be featured. What a thrill! More on that when the book is published in a few months.

The next Congress will be in Sydney in 2018 and hosted by the Society of Australian Genealogists, sometimes known as the "Society of Geologists", or my favourite, the "Society of Gynaecologists", as Martyn Killion (in disguise) said in his acceptance speech on behalf of the SAG. His speech had me in tears laughing. It bodes well for 2018. Hope to see you there!!

Monday, 16 March 2015

Getting prepared for Congress

Well I'm getting very excited in the lead-up to Congress next week, after many many months of waiting. I wrote about it here. I've been to Canberra a few times, but not on my own, so I'll be getting Google Maps out to figure out where I need to be & when. As well as Librarian's Day on the Thursday, I've also scored extra after-hours time at the National Archives of Australia and the National Library of Australia. Also I have a get-together with the Genealogists for Families Kiva project group, and straight on to dinner at Jamie's Italian Restaurant with the UTAS crowd. I have two cousins who live in Queanbeyan with their families, so one night will be spent dining with them, which I'm looking forward to, having only seen the youngest of their children on Facebook so far. So it looks like I only have one night to fend for myself at dinner, and I am quite familiar with the workings of a Maccas drive-thru, so I think I'll have no trouble in that department.

I've ordered business cards, thanks to Judy Webster's tip, & I used this link to Vistaprint so Kiva gets a contribution. The photo in the background is of my great great aunt's wedding in 1915, with my great great grandmother, Elizabeth Lorne CRUCKSHANK (nee BRACKENREG) being the widowed matriarch on the far right. I've got a business in mind, so I made the cards in anticipation of this, although the website is still a work in progress. On the reverse of each card are my research surname interests, which I am yet to complete on the Congress page.

The NSW elections are on Saturday 28th, & I have no intention of leaving Congress to drive out of the ACT to a polling booth, so I've registered for iVote, & I'll lodge my vote (for what it's worth!) when e-polling opens. That's one thing I won't have hanging over my head.

There are quite a few people I hope to catch up with that I have only met online, so I'm printing myself a cheat sheet of names with a photo of them (profile pic from Facebook, for eg) and which group I know them from, so I can be better prepared in a sea of faces.

At these kinds of events there are usually stalls run by magazines such as Inside History, transcription agents, & retailers such as Gould Genealogy. I love looking at all the goodies on display, but invariably forget what books I already have at home, I'm going prepared with a list of my genealogy library so I don't double-up - again.

See you there!!

Sunday, 8 March 2015

How I concluded what Andy's real birthday was, thanks to the University of Tasmania

Late last year the University of Tasmania offered an online subject called Introduction to Family History, as part of a Bachelor of General Studies. Almost 1500 of us enrolled in the course, although not all students finished. The assessments led up to the production of a research report based on a research aim, or answer to a problem that we identified, and we had to source the relevant documents to help us reach a conclusion based on these records.

I chose to find out the real date of birth of my great grandfather, known by various names such as George or Andrew (Andy) COLLINS, but also with the surname BARRETT, and also GIBB. He only went by the COLLINS name, William James BARRETT was his real mother's husband, but his real father was Henry Burgess GIBB. I don't know if he ever knew of his real paternity. The COLLINS family of Wallsend, NSW, fostered him as a baby in 1885 and he listed them as his parents when he married by great grandmother, Rosanna KING, in 1907.

Here is my research report on how I concluded the real date of birth for Andy COLLINS:

HSP105 Introduction to Family History
Assessment Task 3: Research Report

Research Aim
1. What was the exact date of birth for my great grandfather George Andrew Collins, being registered twice, showing dates of birth as 13 Nov 1885 and 14 Nov 1885?

Key Sources
Primary Sources: 
1. NSW Marriage Certificate, District of Waterloo, William Barrett and Ada Morrant 1883/003088
2. NSW Birth Certificate, District of Sydney, George Andrew Barrett 1885/003731
3. NSW Birth Certificate, District of Sydney, Andrew Gibb Barrett 1885/003889
4. Sydney Benevolent Asylum, Register of admissions and discharges, December 1882 – December 1886, Register 2, Z D577 CY 1815 (compiled about 21 September 1885)
5. Sydney Benevolent Asylum, Register of admissions and discharges, December 1882 – December 1886, Register 4, Z D577 CY 1815 (compiled about 30 November 1885)
6. Sydney Benevolent Asylum, Register of admissions and discharges, December 1882 – December 1886, Register 5, Z D577 CY 1815 (compiled about 09 December 1885)
7. Sydney Benevolent Asylum, Inmates Journals, October 1883 – December 1886, Journal 2, Z A 7236 CY 1968 (compiled about 21 September 1885)
8. Sydney Benevolent Asylum, Inmates Journals, October 1883 – December 1886, Journal 6, Z A 7236 CY 1968 (compiled about 05 December 1885)
9. Sydney Benevolent Asylum, Index to Discharges, October 1883 – December 1886, Journal 6, CY 1804 (compiled about 07 December 1885)

Secondary Sources:
10. Personal letter from Ellen Collins to Janelle Collins, c1988
11. NSW Birth Index, District of Waterloo, William James Barrett 1883/9644

Biographical Report of George Andrew Gibb Barrett/Collins

Write a report describing what you have learned from your research. What sources were of significant value to your research? Why?
The primary and secondary sources are all vital documents in me being able to draw conclusions and answer my two research aims. I have been careful to source these documents from the time as close to the event as possible, and from reputable sources. The most significant source was the Sydney Benevolent Asylum Inmates Journal(7), which revealed the father of my great-grandfather to be a man other than the one on his first birth certificate(2).
Research Aim:
What was the exact date of birth for this same great grandfather, being registered twice, showing dates of birth as 13 Nov 1885 and 14 Nov 1885?

To answer this Research Aim I needed proof of my great grandfather’s birth. I searched for a Birth Registration for him, and came away with two certificates (2)&(3), for the same child.  The first of the two registrations was on 18th December 1885 (#0037312) in Sydney, NSW, and the second was 13 days later on 31st December 1885 (#0038893), also in Sydney. Both certificates contain a mixture of facts and fabrications.
Almost every detail on certificate #0037312 contradicts the corresponding detail on certificate #0038893. The first certificate shows a date of birth as 13th November 1885, whereas certificate(3) shows his DOB as 14th November 1885. To clarify this anomaly I contacted the parties who have researched and copied the Sydney Benevolent Asylum records, and purchased primary sources including journal entries, register entries, and indexes for my great-great grandmother’s admission and discharge from the Asylum in 1885, which also recorded Andy’s birth. His DOB is recorded in two documents, a monthly register of admissions and discharges(5), compiled approx. two weeks after the birth, and an index to discharges(10), compiled sometime after June the following year (1886). Both records show Andy (named George Andrew BARRETT) as being born on 13th November.

There are a number of reasons that the dates of birth might have been recorded differently on the two birth certificates. The Benevolent Asylum has initiated the creation of the earlier of the two certificates, which was created only five days after the event. The date of 13th November on this certificate corresponds with the dates they record on their admissions and discharge registers. The later certificate was completed using information given by the mother, rather than the Asylum, and the mother had a number of possible reasons for giving incorrect information. Her circumstances were that this baby was from a pregnancy by a man other than her husband. At around the time the husband would have found out about the pregnancy he assaulted their toddler, almost causing young William’s death. The father was arrested, tried, and gaoled for this offence. When the mother, Ada, was admitted into the Asylum the notes(7) say: "Barrett Ada, 22 years, CE native of England, arrived in the colony when young. Father William Moran, painter, whereabouts unknown. Husband in Goulburn Gaol for 13 months serving a sentence of 5 years for ill treatment of his child. Barrett is now pregnant to Henry Gibb, miner, Newcastle. Confinement expected this month. No means."

Ada must have been under enormous strain. She was only 22, had no idea where her father was (her mother had died when she was 11), she was pregnant with an illegitimate child, her violent husband was in gaol, and she had witnessed an attack on her other child, who had been handed over to the Boarding Out Officer to be placed into foster care on 3rd October, only weeks before Andy’s birth. Ada was admitted to an asylum for the destitute, the same place she had been admitted to for six weeks when she was almost five years old when her mother was in the infirmary and her father was destitute. If Ada had a traumatic time during her first stay here, those anxieties would be in the front of her mind as she is admitted this time. As well as this she was illiterate, so mistakes could easily have been made on the second birth certificate, as she would not have been able to complete the form herself, or verify the accuracy of what was recorded on her behalf. These differences may also have been deliberate. Possibly Ada was trying to disguise the birth of this child so he couldn’t be traced by his step-father once he was released from gaol. She may have thought that providing another name, a move from Sydney to Newcastle, and different DOB for the child would give him a fresh start in his new life with his foster family. Possibly Andy was born very near to midnight and Ada genuinely believed his DOB to be 14th not the 13th. Andy himself believed his DOB to be 13th, as that was the day his birthday was celebrated, as indicated on the letter to me from Ellen Collins(10). Ellen was known to us all as Aunty Barrie as her maiden surname was Barrett - no relation.

All of these sources are of great significant to my research, as they provide direct evidence of what happened at the time. The Sydney Benevolent Asylum records (4-9) would have been compiled by a clerk in their office, who would probably have had no reason to record inaccurate data. The birth certificates (2 & 3) also provide evidence of the facts of the time, although as we have seen they are not 100% accurate.

Conclusion to Research Aim: Based on the evidence shown from these sources I conclude that Andy’s DOB was in fact 13th November 1885, not 14th November 1885.


What can you conclude from your research? What further questions do you now have?
Conclusion to Research Aim: Based on the evidence shown from these sources I conclude that Andy’s DOB was in fact 13th November 1885, not 14th November 1885.
As is usual with family history, answering a set of questions seems to generate many more. This search has highlighted to me some areas of research that I can undertake to gain a further understanding Andy and Ada’s lives in the late 1880’s.

Further questions generated by this research:

1. Did Andy know his father was Henry Gibb, not William Barrett Sr? He told his daughter-in-law, Ellen, that it was Barrett.
2. Was there any connection between Ada’s or Henry Gibb’s families and the Collins family that raised Andy?
3. At the time of Andy’s birth Henry Gibb was a miner in Newcastle. Ada registered Andy’s birth and said she was from Jesmond (a suburb of Newcastle). Was she only there to give her child away, or had she moved there?

I received a Distinction for this report, which I'm happy with. The whole course was a wonderful way to learn how to choose a question to answer, gather around the relevant sources, and analyse them to reach a conclusion that hopefully actually answers the question. I'm sure most of us answered one question, which in turn generated many others, as is the way in family history.

Thursday, 26 February 2015

Don't be afraid to ring absolutely anyone!!

When I'm looking for ancestors I'm a bit too much like a terrier in the hunt for information, & I won't stop until I find it. That process might take many years, but so be it.

Today I wanted to plot my ggg-grandfather's grave on Google Earth. John KING was born in O'Callaghans Mills in County Clare, Ireland, in around 1815, arrived here on the Neptune in 1841 for Messers Thos Entere & James, presumably to work for them. He had just married Mary ANGLIM and they brought out their baby daughter Catharine with them. He spent a lot of years working on the large property 'Bontharambo' (just north of Wangaratta, Victoria), where he died in 1889, age 74 or 76, and is buried at the local Boorhaman Cemetery.

All of my Googling today wouldn't reveal where the cemetery actually is, so I thought I'd ring somewhere local and ask them, seeing as I live 700kms away. Boorhaman isn't a very large town, but they do have a pub, so I rang there and prefaced my question with: "I know this sounds weird, but...". The friendly fellow who answered doesn't consider himself as a local, because he's only lived there 15 years, but he did know where the cemetery is, and he directed me to it while I followed along on Google Earth. And there it was!! Next door to the tip, but no matter.

Photo courtesy of

Headstone photos courtesy of Carol Judkins 

Another descendant tells me that John's grave is the oldest in the Boorhaman Cemetery. I find it interesting that his son, my gg-grandfather, William KING, has made his own name more prominent on the stone than his father's name, whose grave it is. William was the youngest of John and Mary's 9 children, the rest stayed in Victoria, but William moved to Newcastle, NSW in about 1900.

The inscription reads: 
Erected by 
William King
Memory of
His Beloved Father
John King
Who died Augst 15 - 1889 aged 76 years
May his soul rest in peace

His age at death is 76 on his headstone, but 74 on his death certificate. His date of birth is still a mystery, which I will hopefully solve one of these days.

So now I have a bright yellow pin on Google Earth, so I'll know where to go when I'm next down that way to pay my respects to John King. Thanks to the random chap at the pub who helped me find it.

Thursday, 1 January 2015

Some fiction based on life in early Australia

I'm a huge fan of the website Goodreads for recording everything I've read, or am currently reading, or would like to read. It has an app so I can be in a bookshop or library and see yet another book I'd love to read (so many books, so little time) and all I have to do is scan the book's barcode and Goodreads adds it to my Want To Read list. I can also connect with other readers who like similar things, or with existing friends through a link that uses my Facebook profile to find my friends.

I work in a library as my day job (I know, it's a tough life for some), and see so many books as I'm shelving, as well as getting recommendations from patrons and colleagues. When I'm shelving I have to discipline myself not to read the blurbs on all the books, because there will be too many I'd like to borrow, and I know I don't have enough time to read them all. Maybe if I didn't do any family history I could fit in all the reading, but that's not going to happen!! A month ago I liked the look of a cover I was about to shelve (yes, I know the saying, but if it were true then publishing companies wouldn't need marketing departments) but when I came back from my lunch break it had already been borrowed, & I couldn't for the life of me remember the title or author, just the first line of the blurb. I typed my dilemma into the Goodreads discussion group called What's The Name Of That Book??? and within a few days I had a reply with the exact book I was after. So I found it, read it, and loved it. Result!! Thanks Goodreads community.

The other good thing about Goodreads is the way I can categorise my books into whatever shelving system I like. I created one called Convict/Colonial to gather together everything I've read/want to read/currently reading about my favourite genre, fiction based on Australian convict lives and stories. I find that reading these books helps me envisage my convict/colonial ancestor's lives much better then reading a textbook about the times. My all-time favourite is The Secret River by Kate Grenville, and also the book she wrote about her research process called Searching for the Secret River. When I read the second one I realised how much work it takes to write a good book, not just in the massive amounts of research involved, but the editing process as well. Other favourites are The Burial by Courtney Collins (no relation), and the Convict Girls series by Deborah Challinor. If I read a book I love I try and contact the author to thank them, and ended up corresponding a little with both Courtney Collins and Deborah Challinor. I asked Deborah if she could include a map in the next book so I could refer to it and really know where things were in Sydney in the 1830's as she describes the main characters walking around the fledgling city. She said she'd ask the publisher, and voila! there was a map in the front of Book #3, The Silk Thief. Thanks Deborah!!

If you're looking for some fiction based on convict or early settler's life in Australia here is a list of the books I've read and enjoyed that fall into that category:

  • Surviving Sydney Cove: The Diary of Elizabeth Harvey, Sydney, 1790 - Alexander Goldie
  • An Irresistible Temptation - Carol Baxter
  • Kitty, Amber, then Band of Gold (trilogy) - Deborah Challinor 
  • Behind the Sun, Girl of Shadows, then The Silk Thief (trilogy) - Deborah Challinor
  • For the Term of His Natural Life - Marcus Clarke
  • The Burial - Courtney Collins
  • A Place Called Freedom - Ken Follett (set in Scotland then the USA, but similar vintage)
  • Tom Appleby, Convict Boy - Jackie French
  • The Secret River, Searching for The Secret River, Sarah Thornhill - Kate Grenville
  • The Lieutenant - Kate Grenville (fiction roughly based on the life of Lieutenant William Dawes)
  • To Love Anew, Longings of the Heart, and Enduring Love (trilogy) - Bonnie Leon
  • The Colour of Milk - Nell Leyshon
  • South of Darkness - John Marsden
  • Playing Beattie Bow - Ruth Park
  • The Quietness - Alison Rattle
  • Currency Lass - Margaret Leeson
  • A Woman Transported - Sharon Robards
  • Women on the Rocks: A Tale of Two Convicts - Kristin Williamson
  • The Currency Lads - Peter Yeldham
If anyone has any others to add to the list, please mention them in the Comments below. I'd love to hear of some more!

PS Once I pressed Publish on this post I went to the National Library of Australia's website and searched by subject, coming away with probably 50 new titles to add to my list, some of which I have already read but forgotten to add to Goodreads, like the Potato Factory series by Bryce Courtenay, Sara Dane by Catherine Gaskin, and The Australians series by William/Vivian Stuart Long. My list is 73 books long. Again, so many books, so little time.