NSW Government Gazette

NSW Government Gazette
Trove highlight
1 November 2016

This month’s Trove highlight is the New South Wales Government Gazette. The lives of thousands of ordinary people are mentioned in every issue, making it a valuable source when researching Australia’s history.

Exploring the NSW Government Gazette in Trove will take you on a journey from 1832 to 2001.

The NSW Government Gazette, which includes parts of what is now Queensland and Victoria until the 1850s, provides great insight into how the early settlers built the colony through categories like tenders.

One tender that piqued my interest was seeking a supplier of ‘about’ 4,000 pairs of shoes! Hopefully, they ended up with an even number.

Government Gazette tender screenshot

New South Wales Government Gazette, Wednesday 7 March 1832 (No.1), page 4. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article230388110

For the family historian

The NSW Government Gazette contains a wealth of information for family historians. It contains notices about:

  • Convicts-assigned, escaped and freed
  • Government, teachers or police position employment notices
  • Businesses founded, bankrupted, bought and sold, extended and closed
  • Wills, including assets passed and held, probate notices
  • Professional registers, for example, from architects to medical practitioners and nurses
  • Criminals and bushrangers–reward notices and crimes

The most lucrative reward notice in the NSW Government Gazette is for Ben Hall and his gang: £1,000 for his apprehension, and another £100 for information on who was harbouring, assisting or maintaining him!

Government Gazette Ben Hall reward notice

New South Wales Government Gazette , Friday 7 April 1865, [Issue No.62], p. 765. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article225850210

Contrast this to the £25, or conditional pardon, for George White, the Postman between Queanbeyan and Bungonia, who ‘left the Hyland’s Inn for Bungendore with the mail, and has not been heard of’. I was not able to find out what happened to Postman White. Perhaps an intrepid Trove explorer could find out and let us know.

Postman reward Government Gazette screenshot

New South Wales Government Gazette, Wednesday 15 January 1840, [Issue No.3], p 47. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article230136444

Search your suburb or town

One of the more popular searches has been for suburbs and towns. Find out more about the history of your local area, but make sure you try different spellings. There are, for instance, at least four options to search for if you’re interested in Muswellbrook (Muselbrook, Musclebrook, Musselbrook and Muswelbrook). 

Musclebrook notice Government Gazette screenshot

New South Wales Government Gazette (Sydney, NSW : 1832 - 1900), Friday 21 March 1884 (No.134), page 1969. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article223768732

But that’s not all….

The NSW Government Gazette also contains:

  • Taxation information
  • Import and export records
  • Health population figures and census results
  • Unclaimed letters, including name and address details
  • Money held and revenue raised by banks and government
  • Changes to local districts
  • Notices about land – releases, tenders, sales, rentals and occupational leases
  • Mining leases
  • Timber licenses
  • Stock brands, including registered name and address
  • Ration notices
  • Tenders for supplying and providing services to the colony
  • Building of roads
  • Railway timetables
  • Legislating immigration policies, reflecting the need for particular skills in the early years of the colony

Should you ever need to find out about deserting seamen, carriage by-laws, proclamations from the King or Queen, the history of ferry runs, or postage rates to the rest of the world in 1854, you will find it all the NSW Government Gazette!

Tell us what you find

The Trove team would be delighted to learn about your discoveries in the NSW Government Gazette. Let us know in this comments section below this blog or contact us.

About the digitisation project

The digitisation of the NSW Government Gazette was generously supported by the State Library of New South Wales. Over 1 million items were digitised over 8 months by the National Library of Australia.

Comment: 
What a fantastic addition to our research capabilities. I look forward to a lot of searching for information .
Comment: 
As a person who is interested in family history I believe this will be a terrific asset for researching our forebears.
Comment: 
Fantastic addition to an already fantastic resource. Look forward to researching it.
Comment: 
Congratulations of achieving this amazing milestone of completely digitising the NSW GG's. This is a major historical resource and ranks alongside the amazing digitised newspapers. In 100 years people will look back at your achievements and consider the efforts ground breaking. Again, well done.
Comment: 
The Civil Service List of 1885 will be a valuable resource for anyone researching the late 19th century. 172 pages, 12000 names - including a 65 page index. (http://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/221637735/13071304)
Comment: 
Great to see this resource available online. So much easier to search, librarians everywhere are smiling!
Comment: 
Excellent work, thatvresearchers and historians of our land will use yearning.
Comment: 
What wonderful news. Doing a family history course at UTAS, this is sure to be of great value
Comment: 
Great asset can't wait to be able to research my family history.
Comment: 
Absolutely delighted. I have several"missing" ancestors and this is anew path to search. Thank you
Comment: 
My grandparents acquired Mungunyah homestead, hotel, general store, Cobb n Co stables and property on the Warrego River in the late 1870s. Arrived from Derby England but after twenty years suffering droughts, fires and floods returned England for QV jubilee 1897. Returned Carlton 1903 where he became Melbourne Council health inspector.
Comment: 
I love the government gazettes. They say so much more than facts. They give the social nuances flowing through the community but you must apply some lateral thinking "to sop up the gravy with the meat". One shouldn't apply today's norms with yesteryear otherwise, you may miss out on important leads to other unknown treasures. Did you know know that Edward Kelly was proclaimed a "Wolf's Head" and what did this mean? I wonder did the NSW government go down this path with Ben Hall, after all, 1000 guineas was a small fortune?
Comment: 
I will be spending the summer diving into this TROVE or wonderful information.
Comment: 
Wonderful service such dedication I appreciate it
Comment: 
Wonderful service such dedication I appreciate it
Comment: 
Wonderful service such dedication I appreciate it