The most valuable component of our Society is the contribution made by its members. Their combined experience and research expertise means that the best chance exists to solve research problems. Membership is open to all those interested in Family History or Newcastle and the Hunter Valley region. We welcome members from around Australia.
Membership fees for the 2019-2020 Membership year commencing in March are:
Primary Membership: $40 pa. An additional family member $25 pa
New Membership: $40 plus $10 joining fee
Distance Membership: $25 plus $10 joining fee (currently outside the borders of NSW)
Please Note: Lapsed members incur the $10 joining fee.
New members will be approved at the monthly Management meeting before they receive their new members research pack.
The Society is accepts new members at any time but all Memberships will expire at the end of February with the exception of people who join in February. A half-year membership is made available each year from September to new people joining the Society. For a single member this will cost $30.00 ($20 + $10 joining fee) + $2.50 journal postage if required. An additional family member at the same address will be $12.50.
Family Membership entitles each household to one copy of each Journal and Newsletter. All family members must reside at the same address.
For those residing outside NSW who are unable to frequently visit our rooms and who are generally unable to attend meetings, a distance membership is available. Distance members receive Newsletters and Journals via email and are able to access meeting notes within our growing Member Area to enable them to keep in touch with their Society.
The advantages of membership.
All members are welcomed at our rooms to undertake research. No payment is required to use our resources for Members. Please remember to sign in and bring your membership card. Remember to sign out when you leave. This is a fire and safety requirement.
A monthly newsletter (every month except January) keeps members in touch with events, new library resource acquisitions and other news. These newsletters are emailed to members. If members are unable to receive their Newsletter as a PDF or visit the Society to read the Newsletter on the noticeboard and would prefer to receive the Newsletter in print form, an optional postal charge of $12 is required.
The Society's quarterly journal may be collected from the Society or can be emailed as a PDF by request. If members are unable to visit the Society to collect their Journal and would prefer to receive it in print form, an optional postal charge of $5 would apply.
We publish a Members' Interests Directory (MID) during odd years in a special publication. This directory lists the research families, locations or interests of our members and ensures that all members and the Societies with whom we exchange Journals, are aware of who is researching what locality, name or names! Members are entitled to ten free entries in the MID.
Members are entitled to a 10% discount on their first purchase of any Society publication.
Once you have been a Member of the Society for a year you become eligible to borrow books from our extensive library.
Download the 2019-20 Half Year Membership form:
Forms for a New Membership will be available on this page from February 2020.
Becoming Involved with NFHS
Our Society has five established groups of volunteers who help ensure that NFHS meets its aims and objectives and members’ needs. The groups function in an informal, collegial and social manner. If you are interested in any of these groups, please email the secretary (address above), who will pass on your name to a member of the group; or leave a message on the answering service. Most groups meet on a schedule, but attendance at every meeting isn’t a requirement – members can give as much time as they want. Besides the groups, there are opportunities for volunteers to help with specific events or programs. You might also like to let the secretary know of any areas of interest or experience that you would like to share with other members. We’ll be sure to find a spot for you!
The eTeam plans, produces and distributes our quarterly Journal. An editor oversees the activities, but everybody is involved in suggesting themes, ideas for articles, proof-reading, layout, printing and preparing for mailing. Being on the eTeam is a great opportunity for members to like to write and publish some of their own family history or get involved in research and writing about other things of interest. No specific experience is required but it is up to the eTeam to completely fill the Journal if it hasn't been filled by contributions from our Members. There are usually three meetings for each Journal. Each meeting is about two hours long. Meetings are usually held on a Friday morning – two during the month before the Journal is printed to edit and then print and one shortly after the Journal is posted to plan the next Journal. Print Days are marked on our Calendar. A look at any of our Journals will show you what a quality production is created.
There are two ways to be involved in the Society Library – as a member of the team which processes and maintains our resources, meeting for two hours on the second and fourth Mondays of each month; and/or as a Library volunteer who opens the Library for researchers on Thursday afternoons and Saturdays. No previous experience is necessary for either of these and people with Library experience oversee the purchase and processing of resources as well as assisting new members understand the procedures; and there are other experienced volunteers working each day the library is open. Both are excellent ways to become familiar with the holdings of the library, meet other members and help others with their research. There is no compulsion to attend every group meeting and Library opening days are on a rostered basis.
This is our newest group, formed to co-ordinate a program of social and educational activities identified in a survey of members in 2018. The group makes initial plans for activities which are then carried out by group members and other volunteers. Meetings are about two hours long, with dates decided according to the activities being planned. So far, the group has co-ordinated our successful Sandgate tours, Orientation sessions for members, monthly Social outings with a family history theme, How To … sessions for using Trove and our Volunteers’ Morning Tea. Further events may include activities to link with seasonal or community celebrations; seminars; and sharing members’ interests. No special expertise is required for this group, but enthusiasm helps!
Publications group plans, co-ordinates, writes, promotes and distributes all the Society’s publications. It is a major contributor to the financial well-being of the Society. There are usually a number of publication projects running at any given time so members can be involved as much or a little as they are able. Any Publication needs researching, transcribing, writing, formatting, proof-reading and editing but we always need suggestions for new publications. Everyone who is able can contribute a part of any Publication or provide support or assistance to the coordinators of a publication by helping to produce advertising posters and brochures or finding resources. We always need a coordinator to take on the responsibility of overseeing each publication - alone or as a group. Completed publications are created by the Publications Officer which is an elected position. Meetings are held at 10.00 am on the second Thursday of the even months of the year (except December). Anybody who is interested in any facet of a publication is welcome to join the group. Please take a look at the Society’s publications catalogue or the Publications page to see the type of publications we have already created.
The Snippers group also works to produce print resources for our Library. Using copies of early newspapers, members locate, copy if necessary, snip, collate and produce booklets of clippings of interest to researchers in the local area. Volumes are indexed for ease of use. Compilations of recent and current death and funeral notices are also produced. Meeting twice monthly, on the first and third Wednesdays, Snippers has a co-ordinator who oversees the group’s activities. A look at the bound books in the front room at the Society will show interested members what this group produces.