At this morning's meeting of The Hawkesbury Family History Group Geoff Cannon from Maitland NSW spoke of his love affair with NSW maps and of the work that is a result of this liaison.
Geoff kept the huge audience enthralled as he shared his knowledge of County and Parish maps in NSW. With his casual and down to earth approach he made a difficult topic enjoyable and easy to comprehend.
Geoff's work started many years ago with a plan map of Maitland in the Hunter region in NSW. He then procured all of the parish and town/village maps for that County. Geoff compiled on cards an index that listed the original titleholders of every land grant in the County.
Once he finished Geoff moved on to the neighbouring counties and Sydney, purchasing and indexing all of those maps. He plans to index 19 counties and anticipates publishing the last instalment of his work within five years. After attending a technology Conference of the Royal Australian Historical Society in Wollongong Geoff applied and was successful in gaining a grant to help him publish his work.
His first work published 1997 was the result of 20 years research. He has since published further indexes on CD and in print. A listing of Geoff's publications and where they can be found in Australian libraries is on the Trove website.
After speaking about his work Geoff turned his attention to the Parish of St Matthew that includes Windsor, home of The Hawkesbury Family History Group and shared information about the first landholders in that area with the group. He indicated that before 1800 there had been 39 recorded grants in the Parish of St Matthew.
Geoff finished his talk with a poem by John Dunmore Laing about place names in NSW. I wish I would have asked for a copy of this, I will seek it out and share it via this blog when found.
I have only been to two meetings of this group so far and have thoroughly enjoyed the presentations by Geoff today and Karen Rogers last month. I am sorry that I will not be able to hear next month's presentation by Cassie Mercer from Inside History Magazine.