Northern region of New South Wales, often referred to as
the New England district, is characterised by
foothills and plains to the west; and vast tablelands
in the east. It spans an area of 98,606 square kilometres; its
two major cities are Tamworth and Armidale (population circa
180,576). Thirteen shires
comprise the North - Armidale
Glen Innes Severn, Gunnedah, Guyra,
Gwydir, Inverell, Liverpool
Plains, Moree Plains, Narrabri,
Uralla and Walcha.
Required for the position of Northern
County Coordinator. A County Coordinator maintains the county website
and moderates the existing message board. This is not a difficult position
and anyone with basic web editing experience and a genuine interest in the region is welcome to apply. In addition to web and query
maintenance, a County Coordinator also oversees the local GenWebs within its
region. This duty is non-technical as a County Coordinator operates in an
advisory capacity only.
Existing Local GenWeb Coordinators and non-locals are welcome to apply for the position.
Rootsweb's AUS-NSW-New England mailing list -
suitable for anyone with a genealogical interest in the New
England District; includes the towns of Armidale, Tamworth,
Glen Innes and surrounding areas.
circa 22,000) (map);
Armidale is a university and cathedral city in northern New South
Wales; it is also the administrative centre for the New England region.
inhabitants were the Aniwan (Anaiwan or Nganaywana) people.
European settlement began in the 1830s following the exploration of the area by
explorer, John Oxley. Despite the spelling, it was named after Armadale on the Isle of Skye in
Scotland. The Scottish Armadale was the ancestral home of George James McDonald who was the Commissioner for Crown Lands in the late 1830s.
Oxley recommended the region for grazing, and soon early pioneers set up small farms in the locality. The town, which was surveyed in 1848 and gazetted in 1849, was established to provide a market and administration for the
farms. It wasn't long before gold was discovered at nearby Rocky River and Gara
Gorges. A gold rush subsequently ensued enlarging the town rapidly in the 1850s. The gold mining settlement of Hillgrove, about 10km east of Armidale, was the site of Australia's first hydro-electric
Dumaresq GenWeb Coordinator: Volunteer
Innes Severn (map);
Glenn Innes is a town and local government area located at 1,062
m in the beautiful New England Tablelands (population circa
6,200). The area is renowned for its distinct seasons and
is commonly referred too as 'Celtic Country'. The first
settlers, who arrived in 1838, were predominantly of Scottish
origin; today the town is the site of Australia's only official
monument to the nation's Celtic pioneers (the Standing
Stones). When tin was discovered at Emmaville in 1872,
Glen Innes became the centre of a mining bonanza. It is a
prolific sapphire region and also produces emeralds, garnets,
topaz and quartz crystals.
Innes Severn GenWeb Coordinator:
(map) is a town and
local government area situated 264 metres above sea level on the Liverpool Plains in the Namoi River
valley (population circa 12,287 of which approximately 8,000 live within the town of Gunnedah).
The area is very flat; the tallest hills are 400 to 500 metres above sea level. The climate is hot in
summer with mild dry winters, although rainstorms in catchment areas occasionally cause flooding of the Namoi River.
Major floods cut transport links to the town, briefly isolating it from the outside world.
Gunnedah and surrounding areas were originally inhabited by Aborigines who spoke the Kamilaroi (Gamilaraay) language. The area now occupied by the town was settled by Europeans
circa 1833. Dorothea Mackellar wrote her famous poem My Country
(popularly known as I love a Sunburnt Country) about her family's farm near Gunnedah. This is remembered by the annual Dorothea Mackellar Poetry Awards for school students held in Gunnedah.
Villages within the
shire include Breeza, Carroll, Curlewis, Mullaley and Tambar Springs.
(map) is a town
and local government area situated in the New England region of northern New South
Wales (population circa 4,440). The traditional
inhabitants were the Anaiwan people, whilst European farmers
arrived in the 1830s. Guyra was proclaimed a town in 1885.
Located on a volcanic uplift of the Northern Tablelands, the town is one of the highest in Australia at
1,325 metres above sea level. The principle industries include fine wool,
lamb, beef, potatoes and tomatoes. The town is known for its extremely cold winters by Australian standards, with an average of 59 nights
per year with subzero temperatures.
Guyra became the focus of national attention on 5 February 1960 when a four year old boy named Steven Walls wandered off from his father on a property north of the town and became lost for four days. Hundreds of volunteers searched the bush for the boy until he was discovered asleep against a log. His immediate question to searchers was
"Where's my daddy, where's my daddy?"; which gave rise to a hit song by singer Johnny Ashcroft, entitled 'Little Boy Lost'. A film of the events was later commercially made using many of the local people of Guyra and shown across Australia.
Villages within the shire include Ben Lomond, Ebor, Llangothlin and Tingha.
Guyra GenWeb Coordinator:
(map) is a
local government area formed following the amalgamation of the former Yallaroi and Bingara Shire Councils, and a northern portion of the former Barraba Shire Council.
The Yallaroi Shire was based in Warialda, the town is now home to the shire's main works depot.
The shire is bordered by Inverell and Guyra Shires to the east;
and Moree Plains Narrabri Shires to the West. The shire includes the towns of Warialda, Bingara and the villages of Warialda Rail, Gravesend , North Star, Croppa Creek, Coolatai and Upper Horton.
while the Federal seat of Gwydir was abolished in 2006 the
region continues to be represented here as Gwydir Shire.
For further information: Click
GenWeb Coordinator: Volunteer
Inverell (map) is a town
and local government area situated on the western slopes of the New England highlands.
The name is of Gaelic
origin and signifies 'the meeting of the swans' - 'inver' (meeting
place) and 'ell' (swan). The Macintyre River and Swanbrook
River meet in Inverell.
flourishes within the region although mining is also
undertaken. Inverell is renowned for its gems, contributing to the majority of Australia's sapphire production.
The Inland Fishing Festival is held every year at Copeton Dam, the district's main water supply.
This man-made dam holds three times the capacity of water as Sydney
Harbour. It is so large that when it is below 3% of its capacity during drought, it still has enough water to supply the town for up to ten years without water restrictions.
Inverell GenWeb Coordinator: Volunteer
is a geographical
and local government area in northern New South Wales. It
is primarily flat due to the undulating terrain formed from the remnants
of volcanoes, such as those of the Liverpool Ranges to the southwest. To the south and
east it merges into the higher and cooler Northern Tablelands.
The Liverpool Plains Council was formed in 2004 by the amalgamation of Quirindi Shire, substantial parts of Parry (Split with Tamworth Regional Council) and Murrurundi Shires,
plus small parts of Gunnedah Shire. It has an area of 5,085 km2 and a population of
The largest town in the geographical area is
Gunnedah although it lies outside the local government
area. The largest town within the shire is Quirindi. Other towns include Werris Creek, Wallabadah, Willow Tree and Curlewis.
Plains GenWeb Coordinator: Volunteer
is located on the New South Wales side of the border with
Queensland. It is one of the largest Local Government areas in the
State of New South Wales (population circa 16,027). Also known as the
'Spa Capital of Australia', the township of Moree is situated at the crossroads of the Newell and Gwydir
Highways. Local produce includes Wheat, Barley, Sorghum, Pulses, Cotton, Maize, Beef,
Sheep, Wool, Olives, Pecans and Canola.
The Moree Hot Artesian Pool Complex, first established in 1896, attracts visitors from around Australia and overseas to
'take the waters'; an activity particularly popular with immigrants from eastern and southern Europe and eastern Asia. Moree itself sits at the south-eastern extremity of the Great Artesian Basin, a vast underground water resource covering much of eastern and central Australia.
The Shire has a relatively high Indigenous Australian population
(17%) and in recent years has achieved recognition for its Aboriginal Employment Strategy, targeting indigenous employment in the mainstream workforce through a process of mentoring and counselling of both employer and employee.
The town of Mungindi (population circa 645), which straddles the New South Wales/Queensland border, is custodian of the world's largest survey peg, the One Ton Post, which marks the start of the colonial border survey of 1881 from Mungindi to Cameron's Corner at South Australia.
The Shire also includes the towns of Boggabilla (population
circa 667), Pallamallawa (population circa 307) and Gurley
(population circa 305).
Plains GenWeb Coordinator: Volunteer
(map) is a town
and local government area located on the Namoi River. It
is 531kms northwest of Sydney; situated on the junction of the Kamilaroi
and Newell Highways (town population circa 8,000).
Narrabri is the centre of a major cotton
industry; other industries include wheat, beef and lamb. Nearby attractions
include Mount Kaputar National Park; the Australia Telescope Compact Array at the Paul Wild Observatory (administered by the
CSIRO); and a number of agricultural centres, including the Australian Cotton Centre.
Just to the south of town is the Pilliga Forest, the largest remnant temperate forest in Eastern Australia.
Narrabri Shire includes the towns of Wee Waa, Boggabri, Pilliga, Gwabegar and Bellata.
Narrabri GenWeb Coordinator: Volunteer
(map) is the
major regional centre for southern New England and the government seat of the Tamworth Regional Council Local Government Area.
Nationally famous as the 'Country Music Capital of Australia',
it is home to the annual Tamworth Country Music Festival.
Tamworth is the
traditional home of the Kamilaroi people. The first
European settler to pass through the area was explorer John Oxley
(1818). In 1831, the first sheep and cattle stations were
formed; and in the same year the Australian Agricultural Company
(AAC) was granted a lease of 127,000 ha of land at Goonoo Goonoo, south of the present location of Tamworth, extending to present-day
In the 1830s a company town began to develop on the Peel's southwest bank, the present site of West Tamworth. In 1850 A public town was gazetted on the opposite side of the river from the existing settlement. This town became the main town, called Tamworth after Tamworth, Staffordshire, represented at the time in parliament by Robert Peel. The town
prospered and was reached by the railway in 1878.
In 1888 Tamworth was the first town in the Southern Hemisphere to have municipally-operated electric street
lighting generated by a newly opened power station.
Tamworth was proclaimed a city in 1946 and in 1988 a country music icon, the 12 m tall Golden Guitar is erected as a symbol of the city's country music roots.
In 2004, a new local government area 'Tamworth Regional
Council' is formed from Tamworth City, Manilla Shire and parts of Parry, Nundle and Barraba Shires.
Tamworth GenWeb Coordinator: Volunteer
(map) is a town and
local government area located in the New England region of northern New South Wales.
Situated at the intersection of The New England and Bruxner Highways,
Tenterfield is a 3 hour drive from Brisbane (QLD) and a 10 hour
drive from Sydney. It sits in a valley astride the Great Dividing Range at an
altitude of 880m.
Tenterfield's proximity to many regional centres and its position on the route between Sydney and Brisbane led to it being a centre for the promotion of Federation of the Australian States. Sir Henry Parkes delivered his Federation Speech
in Tenterfield in 1889 whilst en route from Brisbane to Sydney.
A number of
famous Australians have roots in Tenterfield including Major J.
F. Thomas, a solicitor known for his vigorous defence of Harry
'Breaker' Morant; and the boy from Oz, Peter Allen who lived
with his grandfather George Woolnough, a saddle maker who was
forever immortalised in the song 'Tenterfield Saddler'.
Tenterfield GenWeb Coordinator:
is a small town and a
local government located on the New England Highway about 500kms north of Sydney and about 20kms
south west of Armidale (population circa 2,500).
Situated more than 1000 meters above sea level, the area is
known for its cold winters and mild summers.
firmly established as a town in 1855, spurred on by a gold rush
that inflated the town's size to 5,000 plus. It is still possible to pan for gold in the rivers around the town. Today, the area is used for raising sheep and is renowned for its super-fine and ultra-fine wool for use in the fashion industry. It is also a good area for growing apples and other fruit which require
cooler weather. Three foundries account for a large
percentage of the employment rate, as well as other metal manufacturing businesses.
Uralla is the final resting place for the infamous bushranger, Captain Thunderbolt.
GenWeb Coordinator: Volunteer
locally as 'Pasture Wonderland' (map), is town and local government
area situated approximately two and a half hours drive from the
New South Wales coastline. Originally inhabited by the
Anaiwan and Dangaddii people, the first European to venture into
the area was explorer John Oxley. He arrived in September
1818 and promptly named the local river 'Apsley' after the
Secretary of State for the colonies, Lord Apsley.
Collins Sempill was the first settler in the area, arriving in
1832; he named the area 'Wolka'. The etymology
of Wolka is inconclusive although it is said that Wolka (Walcha)
may mean 'sun' or 'water'.
Between 1834 and 1858 a number
of settlers joined Sempill, one of whom was David William
Jamieson. Jamieson and associates
industrialised the region by introducing a flour mill, local
store and blacksmith. The first school was established
during this period as were the local churches. By 1870 gold fever
had struck the region and the population soared.
was proclaimed a Municipality in 1889; the adjacent Shire of
Apsley was proclaimed in 1906. By the turn of the century
the town was a thriving local hub with a population of
approximately 2,600 (includes surrounding area). In 1955
the Shire of Walcha was constituted by the amalgamation of the
Municipality of Walcha and the Shire of Apsley; in 1993 Walcha
Shire Council was renamed Walcha Council.
GenWeb Coordinator: Volunteer