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Book and CD Reviews


This page shows reviews of Books and Resource CDs available to members in the Shakespeare Room at 'The Cottage'

~ ~ ~ BOOKS ~ ~ ~

CON049 - CON 052 : Guilty or Not Guilty. Vols 1 - 4 [Review by Kerrie METCALFE]

Covering the years 1841 - 1856, cases of thousands of people brought before the Supreme Court - Criminal jurisdiction, Quarter Sessions, Assizes and Police Courts for Colonial Crimes in Australia. Historical Notes describe the criminal institutions of the day and punishment issued.


DIA005 : The Diaries of John Price. [Review by Kerrie METCALFE]

Who was John Price?
The name John Price has been associated with the business life of Penrith since 1855; John Price was an Undertaker, Monumental Mason, Auctioneer, commission agent, an Alderman of the local Council and Town Clerk. His diary refers to many different family names that may have leased or bought land through him in the district of Penrith.
An example of one entry : "Mr. Charles McDonald took the front of Mr. Orth's shop in High Street for watchmaker at 8/- per week, Nov 1882, Mr. Worth owner". If your ancestors moved South-West over the Blue Mountains, it may be they stopped in Penrith for a time before moving on. The John Price Diaries are certainly worth a look.


IRL038 & IRL039 : A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland by Samuel Lewis. [Review by Kerrie METCALFE]

These books contain several counties, cities, boroughs, corporate, market, post towns, parishes and villages with historical and statistical descriptions, embellished with engravings of the arms of the cities, bishoprics, corporate towns, boroughs, and of the seals of the several municipal corporations with an appendix describing the electoral boundaries of the several boroughs as defined by the act of the 2nd & 3rd of William IV. The following is an example of what you can find. DUNMOYLAN a parish, in the Shanid Division of the barony of Lower Connello, County of Limerick and Province of Munster, 11 1/2 miles (s) from Shanangolden, on the road to Newcastle containing 1704 inhabitants. It comprises 1774 statute acres as plotted under the tithe act. The land is, in general, good but for want of drainage is much damaged by surface water; the system of agriculture is in a backward state. It is a vicarage, in the Diocese of Limerick, forming part of the union of Castlerobert or Robertstown; the rectory is impropriate in the earl of Cork. The tithes amount to £235 of which two thirds are payable to the impropriator, (a layman in possession of church property) and the remainder to the Vicar. In the R.C. divisions it is part of the union or district of Kilcoleman. There are three private schools in which about 50 children are educated. Near the ruins of the old church is the Doon or fort, whence it derives its name.

IRL041 : Tracing your Irish Ancestors by John Grenham [Review by Kerrie METCALFE]

This book is for those who want to get ideas on how to trace their Irish ancestors. It recognises that the circumstances of each individualís family can be very different and is structured to reflect these differences. It has a comprehensive series of maps covering all Catholic parishes of Ireland; it examines sources which have a narrower application and is a reference guide which allows access to a range of research materials, including county by county source lists, printed family history, occupations and Church of Ireland records. A wide range of researchers can use this book. A person with no experience can pick this book up and find the necessary guidance and advice they need. The author was formally a professional genealogist attached to the Genealogical Office in Dublin.


LHC027 : The Ship Builders of Brisbane Water, NSW by Gwen Dundon [Review by Kerrie METCALFE]

This is a local history of the Gosford district of NSW based on the old wooden shipbuilding industry. It gives details of about 500 registered and otherwise recorded ships including information on builders. Some of the most prominent families involved were Henderson, Piper, Davis, Booth, Woodward, Riley, Settree, Beattie & Frost. The book includes photos and illustrations of ships, people and old views of the area. The book is also indexed.


LHS168 : Picture of Sydney and Strangers Guide in NSW for 1839 by James Maclehose [Review by Kerrie METCALFE]

Topics covered in this book which was directed at prospective emigrants include Immigration, Hints to Immigrants, Memoranda, the Streets, Public Buildings, The Counties of NSW, the Mountains, the Aborigines and the Rivers. A useful guide deals with the local industries, import & export statistics and gives a list of merchants, agents and brokers in Sydney. Worth a look for those who have an interest in early Sydney. Page 93 has a photo of St James Church plus some history on the Church.


WLD015 : The Australian Family [Review by Gwen BATES]

Families from many countries are covered. It is a series of magazines printed possibly in the 1960s and is based on Twentieth Century immigrants coming into Australia giving their background and conditions in their old country, the reason for coming to Australia and the problems confronting them here in Australia.

WLD016 : About the Dutch [Review by Gwen BATES]

Printed for the Millennium with information supplied by the Dutch authorities covering quite a large block of information on the Dutch discovery of Australia and the reason why they did not establish settlement in Australia.

~ ~ ~ CDs ~ ~ ~

CD232 : Picton & District Specialist Indexes by Liz Vincent [Review by Kerrie METCALFE]

These Indexes are divided into two main sections; one consisting of the Court Records Index and the other the Catholic Records Index.

The Court House Index contains :
- Cawdor Bench Book 1825 - 1828;
- Entrance Book to the Picton Lockup 1845 - 1861;
- Picton Bench Books 1829 - 1883

The Catholic Records Index contains :
- Stray Registers from Picton & Districts;
- Stray Baptism, Marriage and burial entries between 1840 and 1948


CD233 : Indexes to Irish Wills 1536 - 1858 [Review by Kerrie METCALFE]

This series of five volumes was compiled from the existing finding aids at the Public Record Office in Dublin and published between 1909 and 1920. They contain entries for over 30,000 wills for most of the diocesan consistorial courts of Ireland up to 1800 and many up to 1858 when the administration of wills and probate was removed from Church control to the State. Each entry records the testor's name, address and year of probate as well as frequent references to social status or occupation. The first two volumes were compiled William Phillimore Watts. After his death in 1913, the tireless Irish genealogist Gertrude Thrift continued the work. The series was cut short by the destruction of the PRO in 1922.


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Updated : 31 Mar 2010