Family History ACT

the home of the

Heraldry & Genealogy Society of Canberra

The office holders for 2016-2017


President – Nick Reddan

Nick has been a member of HAGSOC since 1988 when he started researching his family history. He has been a member of HAGSOC council since 2009.
His main interest is in Irish genealogy but he has also researched his English and Scottish ancestors.
Nick initiated and manages a significant genealogical database – The Registry of Deeds Index Project Ireland.
His research efforts have been recognised by the Irish Genealogical Research Society who made him a fellow in 2007.

Vice President – Jenny Higgins

Jenny has been a member of HAGSOC for over 30 years and has contributed to library supervision and the education program. She was the family history librarian at the National Library of Australia until retirement in 2013 and holds a part time position at the Australian Dictionary of Biography.


Secretary – Gina Tooke

Gina has been a HAGSOC member for five years. She was part of the Society’s Education and Events Committee during 2014 and co-ordinated volunteers for the NSW & ACT Family History Conference held in Canberra in 2013. A highlight for Gina was working with Rhonda Kerr to produce the Society’s 50th anniversary commemorative publication We are Family.

Gina has a keen interest in writing family history stories and convenes the Society’s Writers Special Interest Group. She is looking forward to contributing to the Society through her role as Secretary.


Treasurer – David Le Roy

David’s interest in family history started when he was a young boy, having met one of his grandmother’s elderly aunts. He discovered his family had roots in Germany and the UK - Guernsey (Channel Islands) and England. He’s been searching for many years for the elusive "Portugese connection" his paternal grandmother alluded to and, after a recent brickwall breakthrough, discovered not only an ancestor for the Azores, but also an Irish connection and a few convicts. His interests are London, South-West England, Guernsey, Convicts and trying to learn more about DNA. David was a member of HAGSOC in the 80s and re-joined after retiring from work in 2013.



Rosemary McKenzie

Rosemary has been researching her family history since she was a teenager. Her parents are from Victoria and Queensland, so no local or even NSW research. Her ancestry then goes overseas to Germany and the UK – England, Scotland, Ireland – no Wales yet! Her primary interests are convicts, immigration, writing, travel and recently DNA. Rosemary has been a member of HAGSOC since 2003 and has been on council for nine of those years starting with membership secretary then vice-president, treasurer and president. Currently Rosemary is editor of The Ancestral Searcher (TAS).

Anne Beasley

Anne has a brick wall that she is keen to break down or at least make some cracks in which she has been working on and off on for many years. Has been a member since 2015. Keen to learn more about DNA and how it can help researchers of family history. Loves swing and balboa dancing from the 20’s – 30’s era. Keen to learn more about HAGSOC and how it helps its members and looking forward to being able to spend more time researching and attending meetings of interest at HAGSOC in 2017.

Robyn Coghlan

Robyn Coghlan

Has been a member of HAGSOC since 1987 and has supervised the library on a monthly basis from the beginning. For the past four years, Robyn has coordinated use of the Education Room by external groups.

Clare McGuiness

Clare McGuiness

Clare has been a happy researcher for over 30 years, a member of HAGSOC since the early 1990s, and never with enough time. Special areas of interest are Irish research, colonial Australia, medieval times, research methodology and data management, descendant research, DNA and Family Tree Maker - all areas of enthusiastic amateur muddling. She hopes to write more, publish a bit and generally learn more about the workings of the Society and is starting with the Events and Education committee.

Sue P

Susan Pillans

Sue, recently retired, has been a quiet member since the early 90’s and is looking forward to finally making a contribution to the running of HAGSOC. Interests include Irish and early Australian History, WW1 and the Family Historian program . Playing bridge and gardening take up the rest of her vanishing spare time.