|Ewen Smith Memorial Hall
Cnr Tank & Donald Sts Lithgow NSW 2790
|Business Address:||PO Box 57 Wallerawang NSW 2845|
Lithgow & District Family History Society Inc maintains a record based library at Ewen Smith Memorial which is accessible by society members free of charge and to the general public for a minimal fee.
The Society provides a fee-based mail research service for those who are unable to access the Society’s library in person, details of which are on the Society’s web-site. Many of the Society members are researching families from other parts of Australia and overseas and the Society’s library reflects that interest. In saying that, a large volume of information on the shelves relates to families from the Lithgow district and surrounding local Council areas. This includes transcriptions from local parish registers, pre 1856 Pioneer Registers of Lithgow & District, records held at Hartley Historic Village, gravestones in local cemeteries, electoral rolls, family and local histories, newspaper cuttings, school admission registers, hospital infectious diseases register and admission register, electoral rolls and census lists, parish maps, NSW Government & Police Gazettes. A listing of some of these records is available on the Society’s website.
The Society has a collection of over 2000 photographs, which is added to regularly. Non-local information held includes the types of records listed above for many towns in NSW and a more limited coverage in other States; journals from over 100 family history societies in Australia, family history magazines from UK, pioneer registers and family and local histories. Some of these records are on microfiche and on CD Rom.The Finding Guides on the library shelves assist researchers to know what records are available at State Records NSW, National Library, the Australian War Memorial as well as overseas repositories.
Despite the advance of technology since the Society commenced in 1986, not everything is available on the internet and anyone interested in family history is encouraged to spend time researching in our library. Who knows what (or who) might pop up?
The Society members recently completed a quilt to commemorate those ancestors who arrived in Australia prior to 1888. Members were given 7 inch square of calico and given the option of the medium to inscribe their ancestor’s names and appropriate decorations. When assembled as a quilt, the use of many different types of medium including needlework, appliqué, candle-wicking and fabric paints has produced a unique quilt which members are proud to display.Society members, supported by members from the local community, embraced the concept of ‘The Roses from the Heart’ project which focussed on making replica bonnets for each of the over 25,000 convict women who were transported to Australia. This Society completed over 200 bonnets, each has the name of the convict woman embroidered or written on the brim as well as the name of the ship on which she arrived and the year of arrival. The name of the maker of the bonnet is recorded on the inside. The bonnets were displayed at Lithgow City Library before being sent to the collection point in Tasmania. Another unique way to commemorate our heritage.
The Lithgow & District Family History Society publishes many local historical and family history related books, as well as the Society’s journal which is distributed to members and over 100 family history societies in Australia. Other publications include 10 Volumes of cemetery transcriptions for cemeteries in the Greater Lithgow and surrounding areas; the Lithgow & District Pre 1856 Pioneer Register (2 Volumes and spouse supplement); Glimpses of Lithgow Past (with kind permission of author Neville Morgan); Clarion Clippings (a selection of newspaper clippings extracted from Clarion Newspaper December 1941 – December 1942) and two books on Rydal under licence from their authors: ‘Rydal – A Centenary souvenir’ and ‘100 Years of Education – Sodwalls’.
The Society publishes the Occasional Papers of the Lithgow & District Historical Society Inc and ‘Opening the Gateway. A Brief History of Lithgow’, originally published by the Lithgow & District Historical Society Inc.The Society’s War Hero Project which commenced in 2012 will culminate in the publication of a book to commemorate the local servicemen and women of the Boer War, WWI and WW2, as well as collecting and collating other information on those who served in these theatres of war. This information will be placed in the Society’s library and be available for research and reference by future generations. It is envisaged that the book will be completed in 2012 to commemorate the anniversary of commencement of WWI.