In 1915 the NSW Police Department advertised for two female special constable positions. Around 400 women applied, with the successful applicants being Maude Rhodes (an inspector for the State Children Relief Department) and Lillian Armfield (a nurse at Callan Park Mental Hospital). At the time there were 2,661 police officers in the NSW force. Rhodes and Armfield were not only the first women employed as police officers in NSW, but also the first in Australia.
On the 27 January 1834 at the Sydney Quarter Sessions, Mary Maguire was convicted of stealing and sentenced to 12 calendar months at the Female Factory as a Third Class prisoner (less privileges).
The State of New South Wales is fortunate in having in its archives an extensive collection of records documenting the 'careers' of over 80,000 Imperial convicts transported between 1788 and 1842 (plus the 'convict exiles' from the later 1840s and 1850s)...A better understanding of the Convict records can be gained by an awareness of how the system worked within the Colony. Primary responsibility initially devolved upon the Colonial Secretary, supported by the Principal Superintendent of Convicts.
The Royal Botanic Gardens in Sydney celebrated its bicentenary on 13 June 2016. A selection of records are discussed in context in celebration of this milestone being reached.
Part of this collection of lantern slides was shown at the Franco-British Exhibition in London, 1908. Many of the slides are of typical country scenes such as saw mills, dairy farms, mining, and timber felling and hauling.
The photographing of prisoners was introduced into New South Wales gaols in 1871. This 1875 record contains a rare and revealing photograph of a former Imperial convict, a prisoner again in her old age.
These photos are of pit-tops and loading and transport facilities of northern NSW coal mines & include: Australian Agricultural Company's pits at Glebe and the Sea-pit, Burwood No.1 and 3 and Burwood Extended, Cardiff, Co-operative, Duckenfield, Dudley, Durham, East Greta, Ferndale, Gartlee, Hetton, Lambton, Minmi, New Lambton, Pacific Teralba, Seaham, Skillingworth, South Waratah, Stockton, Wallarah, Wallsend, West Wallsend and Young Wallsend.
This series by the Government Architect's office includes but is not limited to: departmental buildings such as the Lands Office Sydney and Government House, court houses, general hospitals, post offices, post and telegraph offices, police stations, police barracks, psychiatric hospitals, mothers and babies welfare centres, State hospitals, convalescent hospitals, university buildings, some interior photos of buildings, and the Government shipbuilding yards at Newcastle.
These photos of prisoners were accompanied by the following details: name, aliases, date when portrait was taken, native place, year of birth, arrived in colony - ship and year, trade or occupation, religion, degree of education, height, weight (on committal, on discharge), colour of hair, colour of eyes, marks or special features, where and when tried, offence, sentence, remarks, previous convictions - where and when, offence, sentence.
Photo albums of Mr L.G. Watt, NSW Board of Fire Commissioners. These photos are a visual account of the Commissioners' travels around New South Wales and parts of Victoria, Queensland and South Australia covering 1928-1935. To some extent the photos capture the route the Commissioners took on their travels recording where they stopped for lunch, where they stayed and any events they attended during the trip. This series is an excellent snapshot of regional NSW during the late 1920s to mid-1930s and record the antics of the fire commissioners as they made their way throughout NSW and across neighbouring state borders.
Watermen were boatmen licenced to ferry passengers. With watermen working on New South Wales waterways these could be an untapped source for family and maritime history.
Divorce files can be a detailed source of information for the family historian, providing extra details which may not have been discussed or known within the family. And official records can often give a more impartial account than a family story. Researchers have been known to locate marriage certificates, handwritten letters and occasionally photographs in the files.
In the Police Service Registers John Vance Blain is listed as a Foot Police officer (not Mounted Police), born in Ireland in 1850. He was 5 feet 11 and a half inches tall with blue eyes, fair hair, and a fair complexion.
Every now and then rare we find rare examples of collection items which may be described as 'treasures'. One example is the intestate estate file for a Mr Patrick Birmingham who died in 1907. Most of the records on this page are not typically found in intestate estate files, especially the photos. Which makes this fantastic example such a treasure!
A small number of Polish-born convicts were transported to New South Wales.
The earliest records held in the NSW State Archives Collection relating to the French are contained in the Colonial Secretary's Papers, 1788-1825. Included are letters that relate to a number of French vessels visiting Sydney, such as the Surprize asking for permission to go sealing in 1802.
The earliest records held by NSW State Archives relating to Greek people arriving in NSW are the convict indents for seven sailors from Hydra convicted at Malta in 1828 for piracy and transported for various terms.
Few Indians arrived and settled in the colony of NSW in the first half of the 19th century. Most were labourers who returned to India once they had completed their contracts. A small number of convicts were transported to NSW from India, including David Cusshon, who was tried at Bombay in 1828. The majority of convicts transported from India were tried by military courts.
The first time the number of Italian born immigrants in NSW was reported was in the 1871 Census, when 772 Italians were recorded.
Convict life on Norfolk Island was severe and often brutal. This page is a snapshot of one convict, John Walsh, who spent ten years on Norfolk Island from 1834 to 1844.
Sentenced beyond the Seas project revealed tales of convict fraud, the origins of Australia’s love of beer, executions and more. In this podcast and presentation from Open Day 2013 Janette Pelosi tells tales of some of our earliest convicts from 1788 to 1801.
Personnel record books 1884-1955 (NRS 510) detail the career of each fire fighter and include personal information such as date of birth, marital status, number of children and height. Professional information such as previous occupation, promotions, examinations, transfers and awards are also included.
This page was created thanks to a researcher who was looking the records of education and schools for deaf children in NSW.
In the management of female convicts the governors of NSW faced many problems and the female factory was seen as a solution to the 'problem' of protecting women and harnessing their economic power.
During the 1790s plans to establish an orphan asylum in Sydney gathered pace as the number of neglected and destitute children increased. The first Female Orphan School, championed by Governor Philip King and Reverend Samuel Marsden, opened in 1801. Initially boys were apprenticed out rather than being institutionalised until the first Male Orphan School was established in 1818 in George St, Sydney. The Male Orphan School then moved to Cabramatta in 1823.
The wreck of the Dunbar, with the loss of 121 passengers and crew, is one of Australia's worst maritime disasters in peacetime.
One of the highlights of the State archives collection for the 20th Century is a highly significant set of documents relating to the iconic Sydney Opera House. They include the 1955 booklet setting out the conditions for the architectural competition, the original set of competition drawings submitted by Jørn Utzon, as well as a number of later, more detailed sketches, drawings and plans. These ‘founding documents’ for the Opera House are now available for the first time in digitised form.
The Soldier Settlement website: A Land Fit For Heroes? contains 195 case studies using a variety of sources including those held by us and the returned soldiers’ digitised personnel files held by the National Archives of Australia. The case studies are often incomplete and the information generally dates to the early 1930s. There were over 9,000 soldier settlers in New South Wales and this small sample has been extracted from our voluminous files.
Lebanese migration and settlement in Australia commenced around 1880. There is a breakdown of the occupations of the ‘Syrian’ males in NSW at the time of the 1901 Census. These included: drapers (10); merchants (10); storekeeper, shopkeeper and relative assisting (16); hawker and relative assisting (20) scholars (16) and Maronite Priests (3).
A number of Germans, such as Augustus Alt (appointed the first Surveyor of Lands on May 1787), the astronomer Carl Ludwig Rümker and Phillip Schaffer who established one of the earliest vineyards in Australia, played key roles in the early development of New South Wales.
Chinese migration and settlement in New South Wales has a long history. Early musters and census include Chinese and although Chinese migration was being considered as a solution to the labour shortage in the Colony as early as 1828, the numbers remained low until the middle of the nineteenth century.