Unlock the Past Cruises

Australia - National

Australia - National


Open Hours
  • We are an online bookstore, website is open 24/7. We also answer emails 7 days!

Booksforever is divided into 2 sites at present.

One website deals in Australian Military history (www.booksforever.com.au)

Our second website (www.books-forever.com.au) deals in Australian history subjects. These subjects cover early Australia, Colonial, Politics, Maritime, Rail, Sports and many other subjects. 

Our commitment in the bookselling arena is to offer great books on Australian history.

As time passes we may offer other sites, with other specific areas of Australian history for those after the vast eray of books covering our unique past.

Milestones in Australian history of relevance to family historians

Many family historians have a poor knowledge of general history, yet historical milestones often resulted in new series of records being produced or changed the nature of those already in production. This seminar provides a guide to events that changed record-keeping.

- 45/60 minutes – Powerpoint presentation

Electoral rolls and directories

The politics of the critical 1850s meant that manhood suffrage was essentially granted to the people of Australia at a much earlier period than elsewhere. As a consequence, the electoral rolls serve as a virtual census return of males from that period onwards. Women also gained suffrage at the beginning of the twentieth century, much earlier than their sisters overseas. Other lists of individuals can be found in the various directories published from the 1830s onwards.

Case study: researching the notorious Mary Ann Bugg

When Carol Baxter began researching Captain Thunderbolt’s lover, Mary Ann Bugg, for her book Captain Thunderbolt and his Lady, historians told her that she wouldn’t have a hope of discovering the full details about Mary Ann’s parents, siblings, partners or children. Mary Ann Bugg – they said – was part-Aboriginal so she had slipped through the cracks. For a professional genealogist, that was a red rag to a bull! With money, persistence and sheer luck, Carol was able to break through these previously impenetrable research barriers.

Bearing arms for the King: tracing British military ancestors

Carol Baxter is the descendant of a First Fleet marine who later joined the NSW Corps, and of a British soldier who was taken prisoner during the American War of Independence, and has spent a considerable amount of time researching these ancestors. She has also examined military records in depth in her role as General Editor of the Biographical Database of Australia. This seminar will provide an overview of military records available in Britain and Australia and guide you towards the sources you can readily access.  

- 45/60 minutes – Powerpoint presentation

Polled! Australian muster and census returns

Carol Baxter has an unparalleled knowledge of the NSW Colonial Muster and Census returns, having edited all the surviving General Musters from 1800 to 1825, examined smaller returns for the same period, and processed the raw data of the 1828 NSW Census/Household Returns and 1837 Convict Return. This seminar explains how to best use colonial muster and census returns, including later returns such as the 1841 and 1891 Australian Census returns, taking into consideration their many faults and foibles.

- 45/60 minutes – Powerpoint presentation

Land ahoy! Tracing ancestors who arrived by sea

Four groups of people sailed to Australia in the colonial years: convicts, passengers, sailors and soldiers. Through her job with the ABGR and BDA Projects, Carol Baxter edited or processed records relating to all four groups of individuals. She edited the CD-ROMs Convicts to NSW 1788-1812 and the Free Passengers to NSW 1826-1837, the latter including records relating to ship’s crew members, as well as earlier and later sources of similar records.

Nicked! Tracing criminals and their crimes in Britain and Australia

Carol Baxter not only has convict ancestors of her own, she researches and writes about criminals in her popular histories – which fall within the sub-genre “true historical crime”. In fact, two of her books were long-listed for the Davitt Award for women crime writers. She edited the CD-ROM Convicts to NSW 1787 to 1812 (Society of Australian Genealogists, 2002) – a transcription and compilation of all the convict transportation records for that period – and, while General Editor for the Biographical Database of Australia, edited similar records for later years.

The murder that kick-started the communication revolution

In 1845, ex-Australian convict, John Tawell, made history as the first murderer caught using the electric telegraph. This amazing technology, recently nicknamed ‘the Victorian internet’ was struggling to find community support and financial backing – until Tawell was caught by the wires. This talk tells the story of the Jekyll-and-Hyde character at the heart of this sensational story.  

- 30/60 minutes – no equipment necessary but Powerpoint slides are available

The Thunderbolt conspiracy

In December 2009, the Sun Herald devoted a full page to claims that, according to new research, the bushranger Captain Thunderbolt did not die in 1870 but instead escaped to America. According to these researchers, the police had shot the wrong man and, fearful of the consequences if the news broke that Thunderbolt was still alive, they implemented a cover up. This conspiracy of silence supposedly continues even today and reaches as high as the Governor of New South Wales. Their claims were raised in Parliament in March 2010 and were reported in newspapers as far away as Britain.

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