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)

Peacehaven Botanic Park – Legacy of a Pioneering Family. By Barbara McKenzie  (151mb) (Login required. Large document). This is a very attractive book, both through its overall design and its presentation of particular aspects of stories about the Kuhl family and Peacehaven’s development. Stanley, a member of the Kuhl family, donated the land for the Botanic Park as his lasting contribution to the community in which he lived all of his long life. Although the book is not a “family” history in the traditional sense, readers would gain insights into the challenges the Kuhl family faced after Stanley’s ancestors relocated from Germany to Highfields. Barbara’s book constitutes a very authoritative and readable “local” history, with a genealogical bent. Barbara’s book is available from the Toowoomba Historical Society or from the Friends of Peacehaven; all proceeds from the sale of the book go to this supporting organisation. QFHS Family History Book Award 2024 - Highly commended.

What’s in a name and where did we come from? The Louis family from 1778. By Sylvia Bannah.  (48mb)

(Login required. Large document). Sylvia bases her book on wide-ranging and in-depth research in Germany and Queensland. It provides very comprehensive descriptions of the lives of various members of the Louis family, the first three generations of which lived in Prussia. In so doing, the author places her ancestors in both countries within the critical historical events that occurred during the book’s time-period. Sylvia makes good use of brief family trees, photos of people and places, maps, as well as relevant documents. The author was presented with the QFHS Family History Book Award for 2024.
Eduard Gottlieb Julius Neuendorff 1837-1903 (1st Edition).  By Gregory J. Koppenol (10mb)  (No login required). The professional research undertaken into the author’s ancestors, mainly in Germany but also in Poland, is impressive. Ancestor charts/reports, maps, photos of people and places, and excerpts from documentary evidence, appropriately support the writing. Gregory highlights key data in yellow to assist readers with their interpretation of documentation not written in English. The reader is left with an understanding of the historical events in which the lives of various ancestors of the author occurred.
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