“I saw behind me those who had gone, and before me, those who are to come. I looked back and saw my father, and his father, and all our fathers, and in front, to see my son, and his son, and the sons upon sons beyond. And their eyes were my eyes”…………..from Richard Llewellyn’s “How Green Was My Valley”


If you like jigsaw puzzles, detective novels, Cluedo and the Thrill of a chase, you’ll love GENEALOGY @Janet Reakes Historian 1986


Tracing one’s ancestors can be a thrilling and rewarding experience – but it can also be frustrating and expensive. GENEALOGY helps you gain an appreciation of your ancestors as you delve into your Family Tree.

And, importantly, remember that you can’t change what has already happened!




  1. ALWAYS work backwards from the known (yourself) to the unknown (your forebears)

  2. NEVER believe everything on a Birth, Death Marriage certificate

  3. NEVER completely trust the spelling of surnames, place names etc

  4. ALWAYS check surname variants when researching

  5. ALWAYS have at least two separate sources of proof for each event

  6. REMEMBER that everything is only speculation until verified

  7. ALWAYS photocopy or scan certificates and important documents and leave the originals in a safe place

  8. IF a document exists, read it!!

  9. JOIN at least one Family History Group, Genealogy Society or Historical Society

  10. SHARE your information and documentation (copies only) with other researchers

Source: Australian Family Tree Connections Magazine December 2011


Useful Links


1. The 1788-1820 Pioneer Association Inc

Established in 1968- for those descendants of the early pioneers up to 1820 and to encourage the preservation of our heritage now managed by the Biographical Database of Australia (BDA)

Contact: email:                                                                                                                                                           

2. First Fleet and Second Fleet Memorial Gardens.

The First and Second Fleet Memorial is the only garden memorial to the First and Second Fleets. Carved by stone mason, Ray Collins, the names of all those who came out to Australia on the eleven ships in 1788 are found on tablets along the garden pathway. The stories of those who arrived on the ships, their life, and first encounters with the Australian country are presented throughout the Garden.
The memorial lies on the banks of Quirindi Creek, the perfect location to stop, take a break, picnic and be inspired while learning more about the history of Australia. Adjoined to the Memorial Garden is a free camping area with barbecues, tables and amenities as well as a children's playground                                                                     

Address: New England Highway Wallabadah NSW 2343


3. Society of Australian Genealogists

Established in 1937- Helping people trace family history for over 75 years. Publish a monthly electronic newsletter advising upcoming events and courses. Have also started giving podcasts on history. - Publishes quarterly ‘Descent’ magazine


4. Royal Australian Historical Society.

The Royal Australian Historical Society (RAHS), Australia’s oldest historical organisation founded in Sydney in 1901, exists to encourage the study of and interest in Australian history. The Society boasts a membership network of individuals and local historical societies, libraries and corporate partners. As a not-for-profit organisation, its activities and facilities are largely funded by contributions from its members and benefactors.

Address: History House, 130 Macquarie St Sydney NSW 2000


5. Friends of the 1st Government House Site (Inc)

Established in 1983-To promote awareness and research into the 1st Government House Site 1788-1845  - Publishes quarterly ‘The Site Gazette’ newsletter


6. The Australian Society of Mayflower Descendants

Established in 2020 by charter from the General Society of Mayflower Descendants in Plymouth USA.

Our mission includes helping to tell the story of the Pilgrims to honour their strength, courage, faith and commitment to the principles of liberty.  Our members are descendants of the original Mayflower passengers who seek to preserve their heritage in Australia.


First Fleet Family Associations



The Rope-Pulley Family Heritage Association is a group of descendants from the two First Fleeters: Anthony Rope and Elizabeth Pulley.

Contact: Rosemary Roberts, Chairperson-email:



Contact: Secretary Bob Davis: email:



Contact: Ron Baird, President-Ph 02 4822 9383



Contact: Rob Herbert-Ph 02 4862 1206 or Mb 04 1997 2301


6. Descendants of First Fleeters EDWARD PUGH & HANNAH SMITH Association

We are a group of family history researchers who are all descendant from Edward Pugh and Hannah Smith (or spouses or friends of descendants). Edward arrived in Australia on the First Fleet ship The Friendship, and Hannah on the Lady Penrhyn . We found each other mainly through the website and family contacts.
Secretary Colleen Moss- email:


7. JOHN NICHOLS Family Association


8. JOHN SMALL and MARY PARKER Descendants Association


9. ILLAWARA SMALL Bradley Hibbs UK First Fleet Family


10. OWEN CAVANOUGH Family Historical Society

Contact : Pat Holdorf- email





Contact: Secretary: Marilyn Ayres -email:



The Association was founded to foster and promote awareness of Hobart's historical heritage and to encourage members in the research, collection and writing of their family historical background, and to preserving material of all types relating to the first and early settlers of Hobart.

Contact: PO Box 337 Glenorchy 7010 Tasmania, Australia


 Other Useful Web Sites:



These can be found on the FFF SOUTH COAST CHAPTER web site under the “GETTING STARTED WITH GENEALOGY tag.



First Fleet House

Office Address:

First Fleet House,

105 Cathedral St.


Sydney, NSW, 2011


Phone: 02 9360 3788



OFFICE HOURS Monday, Wednesday & Thursday 

10.00am to 3.00pm

*Note; If visiting FF House to do Research, please

Telephone beforehand and make an appointment


Copyright Fellowship of First Fleeters