Sunday, July 18, 2010

Explore the Parramatta of 200 years ago

Want to experience Parramatta as it was in Governor Macquarie's time? View the district through the eyes and voices of the soldiers, settlers, rogues and clergy who roamed the streets of the city in colonial times with a terrific iPhone App by Parramatta City Council. 

This fun and interactive tour takes you on a journey with a lively account of Macquarie's vision for the remote penal colony. This free app is brilliantly produced, with terrific voiceovers (I loved the accents of the narrators) and lovely images. Don't have an iPhone? Until 28 July you can hire an iTouch for free from Riverside Theatres. 

For more information, contact Discover Parramatta.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Favourite flickr - Ships from ANMM

Untitled, Hugh Crawford in two views off a rocky coast
Hugh Crawford near a rocky coastline. Source: ANMM flickr

Featured on the Australian National Maritime Museum (ANMM). The ship transported cargo and passengers between London, Hobart and Sydney during the early 1800s. It is a rare depiction of an early ship associated with trade in colonial Australia.

The barque Success off Point Piper
Convict ship Success off Point Piper. Source: ANMM flickr

Built in 1840, Success achieved great fame in the twentieth century for being an original convict transport.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Hyde Park Barracks wants your reunion photo

Hyde Park Barracks. Source:

The Hyde Park Barracks is putting together a new semi-permanent exhibition about convicts in Sydney. A component of the exhibition discusses the legacy of convicts and the many descendants of convicts alive today who are very proud of their ancestry.

We are looking for a photograph of a large family reunion of people descended from a convict. It would be preferable to have descendants of a convict who resided in the Hyde Park Barracks, but any Sydney-based convict would be welcome.

If you recently had a family reunion of convict descendants, had a group photograph taken and are happy to have this on display in the Hyde Park Barracks, please contact Kate Bruxner at the Museum of Sydney on 02 9251 5988 or email

Source: The Society of Australian Genealogists, June newsletter

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Check out Ask about Ireland

It seems that everytime we go onto the Ask about Ireland site, there is something new and interesting. The Ask about Ireland team is definitely providing one of the best resources we know for Irish history online.

For example, we found out today that the centre of Cork city is built on a number of marshy islands on the River Lee. The word 'Cork' comes from the Irish word 'corcach' which means a marsh. A map of 1545 brilliantly outlines the different islands. The first settlement near the city was not on the islands themselves but a monastery founded south west of the islands.

Early map of Cork City, 1545 Source: Ask about Ireland

AskAboutIreland is an initiative of Irish public libraries together with local museums and archives which aims to digitise and publish the unique and the unusual material from their local collections to create a national Irish online resource for culture.

Want more info? We'd highly recommend a visit to Ask about Ireland. You can also follow Ask about Ireland on twitter and Facebook. Enjoy!