Friday, 3 October 2014

Sunday, 3 August 2014

Free Intro to Family History Course - Part of National Family History Month

The Stockton Historical Society Inc, in conjunction with Stockton Library, is running an Introduction to Family History Course on 14 August 2014 as part of National Family History Month.

We will cover the basics of where to start and look at some of the many resources available to help you in your research.

What will be covered:

  • Where to start
  • Where to find resources - free and paid
  • How to record and organise your information 
  • Where to go from here 
Handouts will be provided, but please bring something to write with.

Date: 14 August 2014
Time: 2pm - 4pm
Location: Stockton Library, King St, Stockton
Bookings: Bookings are essential, please email: or phone Michelle on: 0407 201184
Cost: Free (but donations appreciated)

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Soup and Damper Night - 19 July 2014

We will be holding another Soup and Damper Night on 19 July 2014. It was a great event last year with great food and great stories. 

This years menu includes:
  • Pea and Ham
  • Sweet Corn Chowder
  • Chestnut w Bacon
  • Spicy Pumpkin
  • Potato and Celery
  • Chicken and Noodles
  • Bacon Garlic Tomato

All soups served with bread. Desert will also be served, apple pie and cream/ice cream.

To book, call Bill on 0403 212147 or via email:

Saturday, 12 July 2014

Chilvers Family Reunion

A family reunion is planned for the weekend of July 26-27 at Parramatta and Liverpool for descendants of James Chilvers, one of John Macarthur's carpenters.
The couple had seven children and the family were pioneers in the Camden area.Elizabeth Chilvers, his daughter, married Frederick Taplin in 1850.
For reunion details please contact Karys Fearon on 4323 1849, or at
Karys Fearon, Tascott


Our family interest is in the history of Thomas Chilvers 1816-1896, as we are having a Bi-centennial celebration on the weekend of 26/27th July 2014 to commemorate the arrival of his mother, Mary Smith, on the "Broxbornebury", that arrived in Port Jackson on the 28th of July 1814. Mary was sent to the Female Factory in Parramatta. Evidently she found "accommodation" with James Chilvers who was working for Mrs Elizabeth MacArthur on Elizabeth Farm at the time. Thomas was born in 1816 in Parramatta, and after his father James was accidentally killed in January 1825, he and his five and a half year old brother James were sent to the Male Orphan School at Bonnyrigg, Thomas was 9, James did not survive, dying from Dysentery in the May of that year. Thomas was eventually apprenticed to a Sydney boat builder named William Brown of Macquarie Place. 

Mary's female children, Mary and Elizabeth were sent to the Female Orphan School, eventually being apprenticed out as domestic servants.

In our research up to now, it is obvious that the "Thomas Chilvers" that became a boat builder in the Stockton area, and the numerous references to him gleaned through "Trove" indicates that he is "our" Thomas Chilvers and he had a long and productive association with Stockton.

He married and had 7 children, they also married and the surnames of the females became, Penglaze, McKenzie, Dawson and Hildreth. The son Thomas married and had 7 children, adding the surnames of Ralph, Houston and Harvey to the growing descendants through subsequent generations, to include James Chilvers who became the licensee of the Federal Hotel Stockton as well as a boat builder  and his son James, who was killed accidentally in 1930 when working on the construction of the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

Thursday, 19 June 2014

Memberships Now Due - Online Payment Available

Dear members, payment for next years membership is now due. We have a variety of ways to pay your membership:
Online Membership $15 - This type of membership provides email copies of our quarterly journal and access to our extensive library and family history files. You will also receive one free research lookup to be carried out by a member on your behalf.

Individual Membership $25 - This type of membership provides paper copies sent by mail of our quarterly journal and access to our extensive library and family history files.

Family Membership $35 - This membership provides coverage for your immediate family members and the quarterly journal mailed to one address. It also provides for access to our extensive library and family history files.

Thursday, 12 June 2014

Member Interest Forms Now Working

Thanks to everyone who let us know that the Members' General Interest Directory Form and the Member Family History Interest Form weren't working. This was due to an issue with Dropbox. They automatically disabled all links due to a security issue. They are now working again.

While it does say Member's, we are happy for anyone researching or interested in families associated with Stockton to complete and return the form.

We get many inquiries from people asking for information about families from the area and it is a great way to make contact with other people researching the same families.

Saturday, 10 May 2014

Shipwreck Walk - 26 April 2014

As part of National Trust Heritage Festival, members of the Stockton Historical Society conducted a Shipwreck Walk along the Stockton Foreshore on Saturday, 26 April 2104.

A group of approx. 40 people came along to hear about the various shipwrecks which litter the coast on and around Stockton. We met up at the Stockton Ferry Wharf.

We had to wait a little while as the normal ferry service was interupted by the running of a round of the National Powerboat Championships on the harbour. History is still being made there!

Members Debra and Trish ready to take part in the walk.

We walked towards the ocean and moved towards the Norfolk monument, commemorating the escape of a group of convicts on board the sloop in 1800. It was the wreck of this vessel that earned Stockton its original name of Pirate Point.

We then moved to the breakwater itself, where a sign outlines the history of the structure and names the many wrecks associated with it.

Below we have an image of the wreck of the Adolphe, including the observation deck which overlooks the remains of the wreck. You can see the walk group gathered to listen to our speaker.

Some history of Nobbys being spoken about with the subject in the background.

The main wrecks used as the basis for the breakwater are commemorated by a series of makers, like this one for the Cawarra.

I'd like to thank all those associated with organising, running and taking part in the walk. We received many positive comments about the walk and hope to undertake more in the future.

Thursday, 1 May 2014

CANCELLED - 3 May 2014 Research Day

Just a quick note to let anyone who may have been coming along that the research day scheduled for 3 May 2014 has been cancelled.

However, we hope to see you at the Tony Robinson Tour of Duty event where I will be taking the World War One photo frame along and maybe getting some help in identifying either men or uniforms etc.

Saturday, 26 April 2014

Visit to Lake Macquarie Family History Group - World War One Frame Talk

On Saturday, 19 Apr 2014 a small group of us (Bill, Vera and myself - Michelle) went to visit the Lake Macquarie Family History Group at Marmong Point to speak about out World War One Frame Project. The meeting was held in a lovely community hall on the lake.

We received a warm welcome when we arrived and listened to some great stories being told by members, many of which focused on World War One.

I used a brief powerpoint to highlight points of the talk, including details on how we managed to identify one man from the frame so far, Pte Alfred PENN.

We received some great suggestions for further research and even got some tips in real time as members were able to access some electoral records relating to Mrs Evans.

I'd like to thank the Lake Macquarie Family History Group for the opportunity to speak to them about our project and for the warm welcome and great tips they provided.

Thursday, 24 April 2014

EVENT: Stockton Shipwreck Walk

Join the always popular wal along the Southern Breakwall of Newcastle Harbour with the dedicated members of the Stockton Historical Society. Highlights include Pirates' Point and the remains of the many ships which ran aground in the treacherous harbour. If you are interested in attending, please book.

Date: Saturday - 26 Apr 2014

Time: 2pm (ferry leaves Newcastle Wharf at 1.45pm)

Cost: $10 Adults - bookings required

Contact: 02 4961 1063 OR

Address: Meet at Stockton Ferry Wharf

Monday, 14 April 2014

Upcoming Visit to Lake Macquarie Family History Group - 19 April 2014

On Saturday, 19 April 2014 members of the Stockton Historical Society will be visiting the Lake Macquarie Family History Group at the Community Hall, George Street, Marmong Point from approx. 2pm.

We have been asked to speak about our World War One Photo Frame and the project we have undertaken to identify the men in the frame.

We will be speaking about how we came into possession of the frame, the methods we have used to identify the men, an example of the information we have found so far, and information about the recent conservation process we have had undertaken on the frame.

Members of the Stockton Historical Society have been invited to attend.

Friday, 21 February 2014

Newsletter #3 - February 2014

The February 2014 issue of our Newsletter is now available. The newsletter contains updates to the Library, research requests, guest speaker round ups etc. It will be published as and when required.

If you would like to have an electronic copy emailed to you when it becomes available, please email me at:

The newsletter will also contain updates to the library, research requests, guest speaker round ups etc. It will be published as and when required.

If you would like to have an electronic copy emailed to you when it becomes available, please email me at:

Guest Speaker - Lorraine Yudaeff on Stockton Centre

Our most recent guest speaker was Lorraine Yudaeff, former CEO of Stockton Centre. Lorraine spoke of her time guiding the Centre through a number of significant changes in government, policy and community changes in attitudes to the people for which the Centre was and is home. Passionate debate was also had on the announced closure of the Centre. While passionate, the debate remained civil and differing opinions given an airing.

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Newsletter #2 - Jan 2014

The January 2014 issue of our Newsletter is now available. The newsletter contains updates to the Library, research requests, guest speaker round ups etc. It will be published as and when required.

If you would like to have an electronic copy emailed to you when it becomes available, please email me at:

The newsletter will also contain updates to the Library, research requests, guest speaker round ups etc. It will be published as and when required.

If you would like to have an electronic copy emailed to you when it becomes available, please email me at:

Thursday, 16 January 2014

Video - Construction of the Stockton Bridge

This is a fascinating historical video released by the NSW Roads and Maritime Services division. It was originally made by the NSW Dept of Main Roads to document the construction and opening of the bridge in the early 1970's. It's typical of the film of this type for the period, but a very interesting watch nonetheless. It includes film of one of the last vehicular ferries, the Koondooloo.  It runs for about 17 mins.

Friday, 10 January 2014

Rocket Brigade and Lifeboat Service Memorial Dedicated

The members of the Newcastle Lifeboat Service and the Rocket Brigades were about 350 over the course of their 136-year existence and are often forgotten in the Hunter’s maritime history. Many men from Stockton were members of these groups over the years, and our long time member, Eric Pitt is a descendant of James Robert who served on the crews.

On the 13th Dec 2013, a new memorial was unveiled on the Newcastle coast to remember the dangerous work done by these brave volunteers.

Eric Pitt with the new memorial to the Newcastle Lifeboat
Service and the Rocket Brigades
The Rocket Brigades formed in 1866. They were split into north and south divisions, based either side of the harbour and crews didn’t have the luxury of a boat. Instead, they trudged heavy equipment, including a rocket launcher designed to fire ropes on to stranded ships, along the 30-kilometre stretch of Stockton beach. The Rocket Brigades were last involved in a rescue in 1974 when the iconic Sygna was lost – the wreck is still visible from Stockton beach.

The articles below have some great photos of the new memorial statue and Eric features in the first one!

Friday, 3 January 2014

Update on the Aurora

Following up on our recent post on the SY Aurora - recently a small group of negatives were found in the Antarctic which feature the SY Aurora. The full article can be found here - On Ice: 100-year-old negatives discovered in Antarctic .
"Conservators restoring an Antarctic exploration hut recently made a remarkable discovery: a small box of 22 exposed but unprocessed photographic negatives, frozen in a solid block of ice for nearly one hundred years."