Congress 2018 Sydney

Bridging The Past and Future

The next Australasian Congress on Genealogy and Heraldry is just around the corner.

The 15th Congress will be hosted by the Society of Australian Genealogists (SAG).

It will be held in Sydney from 9-12 March 2018 at the International Convention Centre, Sydney (Darling Harbour) and the theme is "Bridging The Past and Future". The SAG last hosted Congress 30 years ago in 1988 which proved to be one of the largest gatherings of family history enthusiasts in our region. 2018 promises to be a great following act!

The Conference website, includes all information and special announcements from the Congress mascot, Bernhard. The website is accessible here and the Congress Facebook page can be located here.

We look forward to seeing you all in Sydney in March 2018!

The Nick Vine Hall Award is open for entries.

The Nick Vine Hall Award is awarded annually to member societies (in two categories based on membership) for the best family history journal/newsletter in Australia and New Zealand. AFFHO provides this award to encourage its member societies to produce quality journals/newsletters, and to honour Nick Vine Hall AM.

All member societies of AFFHO are encouraged to select one of their journals/newsletters published in 2016 and enter it before the closing date of 31 March 2017. Prize winners will be announced during National Family History Month in August 2017.

Further information available here.

Births & Deaths - Extra Indexes and Temporary Price Cuts

Major changes are about to affect our access to records of births and deaths in England & Wales.


Until recently, the only way to consult indexes of birth and death registrations online and free of charge was by visiting the FreeBMD website. FreeBMD will continue to be useful to many researchers. However, for some searches, newly released indexes on the General Register Office (GRO) site will also be helpful. They cover these periods:
Unlike all other indexes, the new GRO ones include these details for all years back to 1837:
The new GRO indexes are very cumbersome to use as you have to specify the year (plus or minus up to only 2 years) and also the gender of the person concerned.

Temporary price cuts

The GRO is now legally able to issue registration information other than as a certificate. As a pilot service, it intends to make information available in PDF form. Phase 1 of the new service starts on 9 November 2016 and will run for up to 3 weeks. It will test demand for uncertificated copies of the civil registration entries that are already digitised (i.e. birth entries recorded 1837 - 1934 and death entries recorded 1837 - 1957), in addition to those much more recent birth, death, marriage and civil partnership records which were also recorded directly onto the registration service online system. The application must be submitted online and contain a GRO reference. These PDFs will cost £6.

This phase of the pilot will close after 3 weeks or when 45,000 PDFs have been ordered, whichever comes soonest. Further phases will follow and are described in detail on the GRO site.

So, if you want details of such births and deaths, you can get them for £6.00, instead of £9.25 - but only for a very short time. We have no idea what the price will be after then.

Any Questions?

See this page of the GRO website.

Francis Howcutt
Vice Chairman, FFHS


Our Australasian really useful information leaflet is now available.

This is an initiative of the UK based Federation of Family History Societies in association with the Australian Federation of Family History Organisations and the Society of Australian Genealogists.

Copyright © 2004, The Australasian Federation of Family History Organisations Inc.
GPO Box 1394, Canberra, ACT, 2601, Australia
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