Tasmanian Family History Society Inc. Hobart Branch

News - April 2022

Editor: Judith Crossin

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Saturday 9 April – 2pm Annual General Meeting

VENUE: St Mark’s Parish Hall, cnr Clarence and Scott Streets, Bellerive

GUEST SPEAKER: Anne Blythe-Cooper

TOPIC: Lucy Benson … Lady Conductor 1860 - 1943

Leading Amateurs is the title of newly released book about the life and times of a former Bellerive resident, Lucy Benson (nee Westbrook), who became Australia’s first “lady conductor”. She was involved with the Bellerive Social Institute, was a music teacher, a choral director and a producer. A contemporary of Sherwin and Melba she performed in Gilbert and Sullivan operettas, serious opera, musical comedy and in later life played for silent films and performed on radio.

Anne Blythe-Cooper is a Southern Tasmanian writer and music teacher, and the author of the 380-page scholarly work Leading Amateurs on the life, times and career of Lucy Benson. Anne has combined her interest in Tasmanian history and community arts to tell the story of Lucy Benson and display the impact she had on the arts and other performers in Victorian and Edwardian times. It is fitting that this presentation will take place at St Mark’s Anglican Church where Lucy Benson was a member of the congregation.

This meeting will be preceded by the Branch Annual General Meeting, expected to take no more the 15 minutes.


The Branch Library will be CLOSED for the afternoon on Saturday 9 April to allow library assistant and others to attend the AGM at St Mark’s Parish Hall at 2 pm.

More for Your Diary

Thu 21 April – 10.00am Branch Committee Meeting

VENUE: Supper Room, St Marks Church Hall

Thu 21 April – 1.30pm DNA Group Meeting


Thu 28 April - 2pm Library Committee

VENUE: Library

Tue 17 May - 7:30pm General Meeting

VENUE: Sunday School St John Park, New Town

SPEAKER : Warwick Lee

TOPIC : “Stepping into the Tasmanian Parliamentary Library”

May Meeting

The speaker for the Tuesday evening meeting on 17 May is scheduled to be Warwick Lee speaking on the topic Stepping into the Tasmanian Parliamentary Library. It is hoped that the COVID situation will be sufficiently stable for it to be a face-to-face meeting at the regular venue at the Old Sunday School St John Park, New Town. [Details to be confirmed]

Library Accessions March 2022

Library Logo

The following items were accessioned during the month of March 2022.


The Examiner: CONVICTS OF VAN DIEMENS LAND - How They Shaped Tasmania.



* Denotes complimentary or donated item

Covid Policy Reminder

The Society at its recent meeting set the rule that people attending a Tasmanian Family History Society premises should be able to show that they have been double vaccinated. This provides protection to visitors and our volunteers.

Changed Library Hours 

From the time of the re-opening of the Library – 8 March 2022 – the hours for Saturday afternoons have been brought forward by 30 minutes, making closing time 4.00 pm.

The new hours for private or assisted research are:

Tuesdays 12.30pm – 3.30 pm

Wednesdays 9.30 am – 12.30 pm

Saturdays 1.00 pm – 4.00 pm

FCRC Seminar 2022 - Sunday 1 May 2022

Presented in partnership with the School of Humanities, University of Tasmania.

Topic: Young female convicts in Van Diemen’s Land

Venue: Stanley Burbury Theatre, University of Tasmania, Sandy Bay

This seminar will focus on the youngest female convicts transported to Van Diemen’s Land – those aged 16 and under. Presentations will examine their origins, their convict experience and the lives that they built post-sentence.

Research presentations include:

There will also be a special presentation by historical archaeologist Richard Tuffin – “ Where we once lived: recreating past environments to understand past Tasmanian lives” .

The seminar program and registration details are now available on the FCRC website . This year you have the option of attending in person and we are hoping to offer online via Zoom webinar. A separate email will be sent when this is confirmed. Registrations for the seminar to be finalised by Sunday, April 24th.

We also have a new venue for 2022: the Stanley Burbury Theatre at the University of Tasmania. It is a spacious facility that enables easy social distancing in these COVID times.

If you have any queries, please email.

We look forward to seeing you at the Seminar!

Dianne Snowden (President)
Female Convicts Research Centre Inc
Jane Hofto (Seminar Organiser)

Family Search

The Hobart Branch has been approved as a FamilySearch affiliate library which means we now have access to a wealth of digital resources not available when you sign on to FamilySearch at home. If you use FamilySearch you will know that many documents are restricted and not available without visiting an LDS library or an affiliate library.

Those documents are now available at our library. You simply sign on to your FamilySearch account on one of our computers using your own username and password. Complete your search and the documents are available to print or download.

If you currently do not have an account with FamilySearch it is easy to create an account at their website or when you visit our library our assistants can sign on for you with our own account.

We look forward to helping you with your research.

Members Interests 

Members Interests have now been updated to the 2022 year and are available on our website in searchable form. Click on the Resources tab and then Members Interests.

A snapshot of the page follows:

Click on the column headings (Surname, Name, Area, Period or Member Number) to sort; click twice to sort descending.

Use Search in one or more columns at a time, using full or partial words. Searches are not case sensitive.

If you find a name that you are interested in, note the membership number and send us a quick email (or visit any branch) to request contact information.

Members Interests listing

Comprehensive Subject Index [CSI]

This on-line and in-Library index is a significant resource that the Branch provides for researchers. Many books in our Library have not been indexed – they are waiting for volunteers to index them! The Branch is always looking for volunteers to do indexing.

Where a book does not have an index, the process involves reading the book and keeping notes about important names, place names etc and the corresponding page numbers. Where a book has an index or contents list, the process might involve typing out the details in a format that can be transferred to the CSI database.

It is a good way to become thoroughly familiar with some books in the Library.

Contributors to Tasmanian Ancestry 

Are you disappointed that there are no articles in Tasmanian Ancestry that relate to your family and your family research? There is a simple solution to this. Write something yourself!

The stock of articles for future editions of Tasmanian Ancestry is quite small so members are urged to make that contribution that you have been planning to write. A single page of Tasmanian Ancestry consists of no more than 500 words, or less with a photograph.

It is known that several of our members have undertaken UTAS units in the Diploma of Family History course so there must be some assignments waiting to be converted to articles for our Journal.

It was interesting to hear a comment made by Malcolm Ward after a meeting that he believed a multi-generational brick wall was knocked down when he published a small booklet on an ancestor. The publication attracted a response from a relative who was able to provide the missing piece of the jigsaw!

Please contribute!