Genealogy in the Redlands

The objectives of the Redland Genealogical Society (RGS) are to advance the interests of the study of Genealogy in general and specifically to assist and advance the study and recording of family history in the Redland Shire, and:

  1. To provide a local meeting place and local genealogical research facilities primarily for the benefit of its members and ultimately to increase the knowledge of local and family history for the benefit of the citizens of Redland City.
  2. To foster and promote the study, practice and preservation of genealogy, heraldry, topography, history, biography, heredity and family and local history generally in Queensland but primarily in the Redland City area.
  3. To obtain, purchase or accept by donation any magazines, newsletters, books, CD’s, microfilm, microfiche or other form of records to be displayed in or made available for research at the local genealogical research facilities.

On the 11th May 1981 the Cleveland Genealogical Club was formed, and on the 9th November of that year the members voted to become a branch of the Genealogical Society of Queensland (GSQ).

The compiling of the Redland Pioneer Index using Council Minutes, Rate and Letter Books in the lead up to the Bicentennial celebrations in partnership with the Redland Shire Council was a turning point in the fortunes of the Society. After operating from member’s homes for several years the Society was provided space in the Cleveland library because of our involvement in the Bicentennial Project. Our move into the library was approved by Council on 24th December 1986.

When the new Cleveland Library building was constructed in 1996 the Society was allocated a room in the south western corner of the building. Shortly after the library opening a council Local Historian was employed and also located in our room reducing our available space. In January 2013 we moved into our own room in the library. Our membership has increased tenfold since moving into the library building and as well as our own members we assist Redland City Council (RCC) Library customers with genealogical research. At present we have several fiche readers and our display equipment stored off site.

We have worked closely with the Cleveland Library staff since 1984, even to the point of having our holdings catalogued and listed on Red-E-Cat and made available for borrowing through the library. These holdings consist of books of historical importance, books on genealogy, family histories, overseas family history society magazines, cemetery & shipping records, all Australian BDM indexes and other records on microfiche and on CD.

On the 1st November 1999 the Society was registered with the Registrar of the Australian Business Register with the ABN Number of 77 099 527 209. At a Special General Meeting in November 2005 a motion was approved that the Redland Genealogical Society apply to the QLD State Office of Fair Trading to be accepted as an incorporated body. We were incorporated on 13th May 2011 with the Incorporation Number IA39027.

To become a member of Redland Genealogical Society (RGS) you have one of two choices:

  1. You may join the Genealogical Society of Queensland as a Branch Member. There are no extra charges for Branch Membership. Tick the Branch Member box on the application form and write in “Redland Branch”.
  2. You may join the Redland Genealogical Society as an Associate Member. An Associate member of RGS is not a member of the Genealogical Society of Queensland Inc. and does not have free access to the library or facilities of GSQ, or receive a copy of the GSQ newsletter known as “Generation”. An Associate member of the Society does have full access to the library and facilities of RGS and any other facility or society with reciprocal rights, as may be authorised from time to time, by the management committee of the Society. All Society members receive the journal Redland Researcher.

Membership Fees

Single Associate Membership RGS – $30 per annum

Family Associate Membership RGS – $45 per annum

Single GSQ Membership – $77 (Including a one-off joining fee)

Family GSQ Membership – $122 (Including a one-off joining fee)

Our Meetings

General Meetings of the Society are held on the second Wednesday of each month, February to December, at the Donald Simpson Centre (DSC), 172 Bloomfield Street, Cleveland, Queensland, from 12.15pm until approximately 3.00pm. A $2.00 entry fee applies at General meetings.

A Guest Speaker may be engaged to address the meeting, on completion of general business, on a subject of interest to the members of the Society, or a subject relating to genealogy. The Guest speakers for 2018 include:

  1. 14 February Robyn Tennant – CPR Awareness Training
  2. 14 March Dawn Montgomery – The Hugeuots
  3. 11 April Sharyn Merkley – Brisbane Burns
  4. 9 May Les McFadzen – Accessing Information in War Diaries
  5. 13 June Problem Solving Day – Researchers will demonstrate techniques used to solve genealogical problems
  6. 11 July No Guest Speaker – AGM
  7. 8 August Andrew Gildea – What is Flinders Cafe?
  8. 12 September Greg Cope – History of South Sea Islanders in Australia
  9. 10 October Col Sutcliffe – Education of Outback Children from 1901
  10. 14 November Helen Smith – Investigating Photographs to Determine When They Were Taken
  11. 12 December No Guest Speaker – Christmas Celebrations

Some of the subjects our Guest Speakers have covered in the past include:

  • The law and copyright
  • Internet security
  • Records of persons arrested by police & victims of violent crime in Queensland pre 1900
  • Fossicking in the State Archives
  • The little used resources at the State Library
  • Scandinavian records, especially Danish
  • Police records, wages books
  • Remembering the Centaur
  • How DNA tests can be used to solve genealogical puzzles
  • Roots Magic & Family Search
  • The Maritime Museum and its records
  • Moreton Chapter of the Fellowship of First Fleeters
  • Parish Records -Beyond Hatch, Match and Despatch

Library, Groups and Documents

The Redland Genealogical Society (RGS) library is located in the Redland City Council’s (RCC) Cleveland Library, located at the intersection of Middle and Bloomfield Streets. Ask at the reception desk for directions.

The RGS library is open for visitors every Tuesday and Thursday mornings from 9.30am to 12.30pm and Saturday afternoons from 12.30pm to 3.30pm (Except Public Holidays & during the Christmas Break). Our Genealogical Research Assistants (GRAs) are on hand to help you.

Financial Associate and Branch Members may use the Society library and its facilities six days a week, at any time the RCC library is open. (Mon, Tue & Fri from 9am – 5pm, Wed & Thu from 9am – 7.30pm and Sat from 9am – 4pm). However, access to the personal computers is only available during the times the GRAs are on duty. Two on-line computers are available for use at any time the library room is available.

The Society’s library contains CDs, microfiche and books for all Australian states, New Zealand, the Americas, UK and Ireland, and many other countries, world-wide. We hold the indexes to Births, Deaths and Marriages (BDMs) for all Australian states, as well as a wide range and a large number of indexes not available on the internet. We have an evergrowing collection of cemetery transcriptions, funeral directors’ records, electoral rolls etc. Holdings also include reference and ‘How to’ books, copies of Australian and overseas commercial and genealogical journals and government gazettes. We have free access to computers and internet, including Ancestry and Findmypast.

The Librarian chairs bi-monthly meetings of the Library Committee that is comprised of all the Genealogical Research Assistants (GRAs) who are listed on the current Library Roster. Books, microfiche, specified CD-ROMs and a range of genealogical magazines may be borrowed in accordance with the RCC and RGS Library borrowing rules.

Our Library

Download our subject listing of books, CDs and microfiche

1. The Magazine Interest Group (MIG):

  • Consists of those members of the Society who subscribe privately to various Family History Societies around the world. Journals issued by these societies are circulated among the members until they have all read them. Once the circulation is complete, the journals are returned to their owners. Some members then donate their journals to the Library for the use of all Society members.
  • The MIG is an autonomous body operating independently of the library.
  • The position of Convenor(s) of the MIG is agreed by the members of the group.

2. The Writing Interest Group:

  • Consists of those members of the Society, and visitors, with an interest in the various aspects of writing that relate to family history.
  • The position of Convenor(s) of the Writing Interest Group is agreed by the members of the group.
  • The Convenor is to maintain a register of the members of the Writing Interest Group.
  • The Convenor is to organise discussion/lecture sessions as required by the group’s members.
  • Meetings take place at 1400 on the 4th Wednesday of March, May, July, September and November in the meeting room of the Cleveland Library, Middle Street, Cleveland, Qld.

3. The Cemetery Interest Group:

  • Consists of those members of the Society with an interest in recording burial details and maintenance of the information relating to all cemeteries in the Redland City area.
  • The position of Convenor(s) of the Cemetery Interest Group is agreed by the members of the group.
  • The Convenor is to maintain a register of the members of the Cemetery Interest Group.
  • The Convenor is to organise sessions as required by the group’s members.

4. The Family History Research Group:

  • Consists of members of the Society, selected by the Management Committee, with the expertise necessary to carry out and present research on behalf of the Society, and any specialist researcher deemed necessary by the group’s members.
  • The position of Convenor of the Family History Research Group is agreed by the members of the group.
  • The Convenor is to liaise with the group’s members to allocate research duties and to produce a report for the customer.
  • The Research Report produced contains a summary of the information submitted, a listing of what materials had been searched, what information had been located, commentary on what has been found and what it means, suggestions for further research and any supporting certificates and/or documents.
  • Members of the group involved in research may submit a Claim for Expenses with supporting receipts (where available) for any costs incurred as a result of their research for reimbursement by the Society.
  • The fee charged by the Society for research is set at $100.00 plus the costs of certificates, presentation folder and any ‘out of pocket expenses’ directly relating to the research. The research fee may be adjusted or altered by the Management Committee as required.

5. The Family Tree Maker (FTM) Interest Group:

  • Consists of those members of the Society, and visitors, with an interest in the Family Tree Maker genealogy programme. Discussion/lecture sessions as required by the group’s members are organised by the Convenor and take place at 1330 on the 3rd Wednesday of each month. The Convenor maintains a register of the members of the FTM Interest Group.
  • The position of Convenor(s) of the FTM Interest Group is agreed by the members of the group.

All Financial Associate and Branch Members are invited to submit their interests upon joining the Society, and to update such interests as they change.

Details recorded include Member Name and number; Interest, location and date range. The Librarian maintains a database of all submitted interests electronically, and a complete record is available for reference in the Library in hard copy.

All newly submitted Interests are published in the Society Newsletter “Redland Researcher” as space permits.

If you would like to contact an RGS Member re a Surname then all RGS Members may be contacted via email at

Download our complete list of members interests (database)
(PDF, 700 KB))

Download our complete list of members interests (sheets)
(PDF, 200 KB)


The Society newsletter is the Redland Researcher published and distributed in Feb, May, Aug and Nov each year, so as not to coincide with the publication and distribution of the Genealogical Society of Queensland (GSQ) magazine, Generation.

The Redland Researcher, in emailed pdf format, is available free to financial members of the Society. Each printed issue is available for casual purchase at $3.00. Back copies of the Redland Researcher can be downloaded from this document section.

Our Social Media

Have Any Questions?


Genealogical Links – Genealogical Society of Queensland – Facebook – Gateway to more than 300,000 family history websites worldwide – Free search Queensland BDM indexes on line – National Library of Australia Lists many Australian Genealogy sites – National Library of Australia Newspaper Digitisation Project – Qld State Library – Family History Resources Online – Qld State Archives – The UK government’s official archive and a key information gateway – Covers all states with information relating to Aborigines – WW1 Service Records; – WW2 Nominal Rolls; – Korean War Nominal Rolls; – Vietnam War Nominal Rolls – Database lists 1.7 million casualties of Commonwealth forces in all conflicts. – IGI Records, Births and Marriages, and submitted data – (beware of this) 1881 Census for England & Wales, 1881 Canadian Census, 1880 US Census. – UK and Australian immigration & military records, etc – The Mahady Family Tree.