Price: $40 plus $20 postage and handling

Birubi Cemetery, New South Wales

The land [56 hectares] where the Birubi Cemetery is located originally belonged to the Worimi people as evidenced by the shell middens still visible in the local area.  It was a traditional Aboriginal ceremonial and burial site in the pre-1788 times.  The site is believed to be associated with men’s ceremonies.

John Blanch moved to the area circa 1855.  Sadly his wife Lucy (nee Neale) died on 27 April 1876.  John donated the land where the cemetery now stands to be used as a cemetery.  Our research shows Bertha Imogene Evangeline, first daughter of Alfred John Blanch and Selina nee Neal died on 3 April 1870.

At some stage the cemetery was fenced and the area became known as Cemetery Point until 1855.

People buried in the cemetery were men and women who were born in England, Scotland, Wales and Finland as well as many native born Australians.  There are men who served their country.  The last burial was in December 1994.

Birubi Cemetery is now closed and classified as an Historic Cemetery set in a picturesque setting overlooking the ocean.

Launched March 2020

Price: $40 plus postage and handling

Anzacs of the Tomaree Peninsula, New South Wales – Their Stories

“Anzacs of the Tomaree Peninsula, New South Wales – Their Stories” has been published to commemorate the sacrifice of the young men from the Tomaree Peninsula [from Nelson Bay to Salt Ash] who served in WW1 and the tremendous effort of those who worked tirelessly on the home front to provide these brave lads and one nurse with woollen socks, sheepskin vests, parcels from home etc and who supported the Red Cross and other volunteer groups. During our research we have found errors and omissions on the Nelson Bay War Memorial and every effort was made to make sure the information in this book is correct. We would like to thank Anzac descendants and their families who have kindly loaned us photos and memorabilia.  They are a valued inclusion in the book. We hope this book will provide family members, school students and the community with an insight into what these soldiers went through and what the war effort was like in a small seaside town of New South Wales.

Launched April 2015

Price: $85 plus $15 postage and handling in Australia

(2 Volume Set)

Pioneers and their Descendants – Nelson Bay, Port Stephens and Beyond 1824-1920

Launched in November 2013, the publication of the Pioneers and their Descendants – Nelson Bay, Port Stephens and Beyond 1824-1920 is the culmination of 6 years of tireless effort of a group of, initially, ten members of the Tomaree Family History Group (Nelson Bay) Inc. and then intensively a group of four members. 

These dedicated researchers worked every Friday in the Resource Room of the Tomaree Family History Group (Nelson Bay) Inc. at the Tomaree Library in Salamander Bay as well as working from home individually for a number of years.

The group is grateful to members of the local community who have shared their families’ stories and loaned us their photos for inclusion in the publication.

The Pioneers and their Descendants – Nelson Bay, Port Stephens and Beyond 1824-1920 is a comprehensive and historical record of the people who settled in our area.   The book contains a wealth of information for the descendents of our Pioneers, residents of our area and school students studying local history. 

Family names and place names have been transcribed as written at that time.

The presentation of family history is very important to members of the Tomaree Family History Group (Nelson Bay) Inc.  and we are very proud of our publication.



Price: $25.00 plus $10.00 postage and handling in Australia

Salamander Project – Convicts of the Third Fleet

In 2004 members of the Tomaree Family History Group commenced a research project on the ship SALAMANDER which transported convicts to New South Wales in 1791 as part of the Third Fleet. Salamander Bay in Port Stephens is named after the ship and provided the impetus for the group to undertake the project. The research is now presented in the book “The Crimes and Lives of Convicts arriving in Sydney on the Salamander 1791” which was published in April 2006.

The SALAMANDER departed Plymouth in March 1791 with 160 convicts and 12 soldiers of the New South Wales Corps and arrived in Port Jackson in August of that year, 147 days later. Five convicts died during the voyage. After a brief lay over in Sydney the SALAMANDER sailed for Norfolk Island where the majority of her convicts disembarked to serve their sentences.

The SALAMANDER had originally been built as a whaling ship and after she had discharged her transportation duties, she embarked on the first European whaling voyage in Australian waters. Early in 1792 she became the first European vessel to enter and chart Port Stephens. Salamander Bay is today named in honour of this historic event.

The histories of most convicts commence with their trials in Britain and follow their lives in Sydney, on Norfolk Island and in Van Diemen’s Land. Some convicts have left a wealth of records and their histories are well documented while others died in obscurity. The book records convicts who, having served their sentences, acquired land grants and became successful settlers and in some instance, prominent citizens. Some individuals enlisted in the military or became constables, while others ended their days as labourers, paupers or in the insane asylum. Several of the soldiers from the Salamander also became settlers in New South Wales and their histories are also presented. Where spouses of convicts or soldiers were identified, their histories were also researched and included in the book.

The book is fully referenced and contains a comprehensive index of the names of over 800 convicts, soldiers, their spouses or other related individuals identified in New South Wales, on Norfolk Island or in Van Diemen’s Land during the research. An index of references to over 100 ships documented during the research is also included. Genealogy of the first and second generations of convicts and soldiers descendents is included where identified. The book provides a comprehensive summary of publicly available information and is an excellent reference source for researchers who are undertaking more detailed work.

The First Edition of the book was released in April 2006 and has since sold out. A wealth of feedback and additional information was subsequently received from other researchers or convict descendents and this information has been incorporated into the Second Edition which was released in November 2006. Additional information is welcome and will be included in subsequent editions.