Tasmanian Family History Society Hobart header

44th Conference and Annual General Meeting

Program and Online Registration Form

to be held at Windsor Community Centre, 1 Windsor Drive, Riverside, Tasmania on: 
Saturday 15 June 2024

10.30 am

Registration and Morning Tea

10.55 am

Welcome by President, Robyn Gibson: Presentation of Early Bird Prize

11.00 am - 11.45 am

Graeme Williams: Touring Around Tasmania by Car with Spurling circa 1919

11.50 am - 12.30 pm

Dr Jai Paterson and John Dent OAM:  Launceston Court Records - just hope your ancestors were caught

12.30 pm - 1.30 pm


1.35 pm - 2.15 pm

Sophie Appleby: Harlequin Bob - the 'chequered and eventful' life of convict, Robert Cowburn

2.30 pm - 3.00 pm

Annual General Meeting including presentation of:

Lillian Watson Family History Award
Best Journal Article Award
Patron's Award

6.00 pm

Dinner - Riverside Hotel, 407 West Tamar Highway, Riverside (own cost)

Sunday 16 June

FREE Guided Walking Tour of Cameron Street, Launceston with John Dent OAM

About Our Guest Speakers

Graeme Williams

While researching his family history in the 1980s, Graeme commenced collecting pictorial post cards, predominantly of Northeast Tasmania where Graeme was born. His family owned Williams Bros at St Helens, opened as a general store in 1888 by Alfred Williams. When Graeme had collected about 50 cards, he thought he had quite a few - his collection of Tasmanian pictorial post cards now exceeds 9,000!

The Stephen Spurling photographic family of Tasmania spans three generations. Their photography spanned almost a century from the early 1840s to 1941 and included portraiture and landscape from some of the wildest parts of Tasmania. Graeme's presentation will take you on a tour of Tasmania, via the medium of the Spurling postcards, as if we were all travelling together in the year 1919. This will be a magical mystery tour so book your tickets early, pack your bags and you will enjoy a trip of a lifetime!

Dr Jai Paterson and John Dent OAM

Jai has worked in museums and as a roving curator in Tasmania, written history books and has completed her PhD. Her interest in early Launceston Hotels was certainly useful in transcribing the Court Records as every second case mentions a hotel.

John has recently retired as a registered land surveyor in private practice. John has an interest in early Launceston after co-authoring "York Town- a respectable looking village" so transcribing these Court records was a good follow-on from the book.

Jai and John's presentation will provide details of what can be found in recently discovered Court Records for Launceston in 1827, 1828 and 1832. Examples will highlight how they can be used for family history research and add colour to the narrative. So just hope your ancestor was one of those caught and tried as the amount of detail and first-hand accounts is astonishing.

Sophie Appleby

Sophie is a writer, multi-disciplinary artist and former English and Literature teacher. Her first book, exploring family, grief and the joy & solace of ancestral connection is a work in progress. Sophie hopes to share her passion for Tasmanian history and bring family history research to a new generation, through the creative arts and social media. Sophie's presentation will explore the 'chequered and eventful' life of early convict, Robert 'Harlequin Bob' Cowburn, a cotton spinner from Lancaster, England. His arrival in Van Diemen's Land began a series of events that would see Robert's escapades live on generations later in Tasmanian folklore. What began as a routine ancestor search, has evolved into a six-year journey to unravel the myths, truth and lies of Harlequin Bob's mysterious life.

Registration is still open ..

This form is to register and then pay online for the 2024 AGM and conference in Launceston. (A PDF registration form can be downloaded here.)

Second person, where applicable

Submit details and proceed to payment. 
Registration is $40 per person, including morning tea and lunch

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