Queensland Family History Society Inc


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QFHS Book Award

The books in this collection have either won the QFHS Book Award or have been highly commended.

Title (size)


Boots, shoes, and seeds (14mb) (No login required) This book by John Field presents a rich picture of aspects of life in Toowoomba during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The story begins with Peter Fields’ miserable start in life in an English workhouse. However, following his arrival in Australia in 1874, with his “energy, hard work and entrepreneurial skill, Peter built up a prosperous boot manufacturing business in Toowoomba with retail stores throughout southern Queensland.” He survived the depression of the 1890s to later establish, in his retirement, one of Toowoomba’s leading guest houses, which he and his wife ran for thirty years. The Author was presented with the QFHS Family History Book Award 2017
Four into one (10.7mb)

(No login required). From migrant families came the four grandparents of the writer, Ian Roemermann. The Andrewartha family, who lived in the South West of Cornwall, has been traced back in time to the early part of the 17th century. This is a very comprehensive history of the families who first arrived in South Australia in 1847. Some family members made their way to Melbourne and to the Victorian goldfields before heading north to Brisbane. This book contains many early photographs and a timeline. The author was presented with the QFHS Family History Book Award for 2016. 

Shaking the Mulga (50.7mb)

(Login required) In this book, by Clem Ditton, the Mulga Belt was the family sheep property where Clem lived as a newborn. It was the starting point for his explorations into his ancestral origins in Shaking the Mulga. In his very Australian family history, Clem gives the family tree a good shake as he explores the circumstances that drove his ancestors to leave their homes on the other side of the world to come to this new country. This is also a book that can help us to understand that knowing our past can offer us a greater sense of who we are and our place in the world.  

The author was presented with the QFHS Family History Book Award for 2022. (PDF)

Three trunks and a cardboard case (5mb) (Login required) A compelling ‘creative non-fiction’ story about the struggles of an immigrant family in the cane fields of far North Queensland in the 1950s, told from a daughter’s perspective. This warmly told story welcomes the reader into the author’s family, to share the challenges her parents experienced in emigrating from Sicily, establishing a new home and farm in untamed country, and of her, and her brother’s, journey through childhood as they familiarised themselves with the physical and cultural aspects of life in Australia. Overall, the author has written a book that emphatically captures the scenes described, and consequently solidly embeds the story in facts related to family, locality, society and politics of the era. (PDF) QFHS Family History Book Award 2017 - Highly commended as a memoir.
William & Leonora Monk. A couple from London arrives in Queensland in 1857 (26.6mb) (Login required). This account begins with the arrival from London of William and Leonora in Ipswich in 1857 and traces their movement north, then devotes chapters to their children who settled in regional areas of Queensland. Ultimately, this book is a salutation to William and Leonora, beautifully captured by the Author, and their brave decision to emigrate 163 years ago. How profound have been the consequences! It may be true to say that the lives of their many descendants have indeed been enhanced by realising how they are woven into the lives of those who went before. In this sense, William and Leonora have made their own unique contribution to the vast fabric of Queensland history. The author was presented with the QFHS Family History Book Award for 2021. (PDF)

 (Login required). This book by Linda Cartmill presents the Cartmill Family's journey from Armagh to Australia. 

This thoroughly researched, well-written and well-presented book delves into the lives of author Linda Cartmill’s ancestors. Linda’s great-grandparents emigrated from Armagh in Northern Ireland in the mid-nineteenth century, initially settling in Clarence River District of New South Wales, towards the New England Tableland. Later, some descendants, including Linda’s branch of the family, moved to Pomona in Queensland, later settling in the Beechmont District. Each key ancestor is discussed individually. Relevant background information is provided to firmly embed their stories in the social fabric of the localities in which they lived, both in Ireland and Australia.

The author was presented with the QFHS Family History Book Award for 2023. (PDF)

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