Family History Book Award Applications

Past Winners


This Award is made annually by the South Australian Genealogy & Heraldry Society Inc. to the person or persons producing, in the opinion of the Society, the best family history in that calendar year.  The book must be published by a South Australian or be of a substantially South Australian family.


The Award

The T.T.Reed Family History Award is for a book published by a South Australian and/or details the times and lives of a predominately SA family. For the purposes of this Award, where the history is by other than a resident of South Australia, a South Australian family shall be taken to mean a family of three or more generations that is or was substantially resident in this State.

Enquiries and Entries

Enquiries should be made to the Society at the address below, by phone on 8272 4222 or by e-mail at

Written applications on the prescribed form and entries should be sent to :
   “South Australian Family History Award”
   c/- ­South Australian Genealogy & Heraldry Society lnc.,
   GPO Box 592, Adelaide 5001.
prior to the last working day in January in the year following publication.

A copy of the application form can be downloaded here.

Terms and Conditions

 The Award is governed by the following terms and conditions :

  1. The Award (if any) will be determined by a Selection Committee appointed each year by the Council of the Society.
  2. No member of any Selection Committee is to be a member of the family of any of the authors or their agents.
  3. The decision of the Selection Committee shall be final, subject only to endorsement by the Council of the South Australian Genealogy & Heraldry Society Inc., before the public announcement of the Award each year.  No correspondence will be entered into.
  4. Where there is doubt regarding eligibility, the Selection Committee’s decision shall be final.
  5. Entries for the Award must have been published in the calendar year in question or be a completely new edition of a previous work.  Publication date will normally be the imprint or public release date.
  6. Authors or their agents may submit more than one entry each year provided the entries be of different works.  An agent is a person having written permission to enter the book on the author’s behalf.  The Award will be made to the author.
  7. All books must be submitted to the Society by the date publicly stated each year.  The authors or their agents shall be responsible for the delivery of the book to the Secretary of the Society.
  8. All books submitted for the Award remain the property of the Society and will be housed in the Society’s Library after the final judging.  When placed in the Library, each book will have placed in the front a label detailing that it was submitted and accepted for the Award.
  9. Authors must allow the Society to publicise their entries by title and permit comments to be made on the books receiving public notice or acknowledgement.
  10. If in the opinion of the Council, no entry achieves a standard worthy of an award, then no award will be made.
  11. All entries for the Award must be accompanied by a signed application form and be received by the Society with the book before 4 pm on the last working day of January in the year following publication.


Family History Book Award Award Guidelines

Essential Features of a Family History Book :

  • Inclusion of at least three generations of the principal family involved
  • A title page with full publication details
  • An introduction and a conclusion to the book
  • A minimum of 4,500 words exclusive of titles
  • Numbering of all pages and inserts
  • A Table of Contents
  • A full index (or several) of persons, places names, cross references etc
  • Lists of all illustrations, maps, drawings, charts, plans and photographs etc
  • Captions for photographs/images with dates, places, events and individuals identified Factual data to complement anecdotal material
  • Descriptions of the personalities, achievements and activities of those involved
  • Use of place names of the time
  • Demonstration of proper and thorough research and research methodology
  • Adherence to accepted referencing guides
  • Adherence to Australian copyright laws regarding quoting and paraphrasing of material
  • Naming and acknowledgement of all sources
  • Compliance with legal deposit requirements and any other legal concerns
  • A bibliography and/or lists of references and sources used

Desirable elements of a Family History Book :

  • Consistent print styles and an easy-to-read layout
  • Accurate and relevant footnotes/endnotes
  • Clear and understandable family tables/charts and pedigrees
  • Balanced use of images in relation to text and tables
  • Appropriate appendices, statistical tables etc. maps, plans, diagrams
  • Avoidance of unrelated general historical backgrounds e.g. countries, migration schemes
  • Avoidance of overuse of secondary or derivative source material
  • Avoidance of heraldic devices associated with the name rather than with the family
  • Limited use of previously published material
  • Avoidance of a large number of reproduced certificates, previously published material

Readable features of a Family History Book :

  • Keeping to the subject and theme of the book
  • Information arranged in a coherent and logical order
  • Development in each paragraph of a single topic through a sequence of related ideas
  • Clear, understandable prose without ambiguity
  • Grammatically correct sentences of varying length tending towards the shorter sentence
  • Appropriate words to link sentences and paragraphs
  • Ease of reading using foot/endnotes and appendices to maximise textual information
  • Appropriate words with the appropriate shade of meaning
  • No jargon, clichés and trendy words currently in vogue
  • No euphemisms which dilute the real meaning (e.g. upwardly mobile)
  • Carefully selected adjectives to avoid overstatement (e.g. fantastic film)
  • Few contractions and acronyms
  • No foreign words where appropriate English words are available
  • Translations of any foreign words/expressions used
  • No tautologies (e.g. the barrel is completely empty)
  • No parochial and material reliant on inside knowledge (e.g. last year, after the war)
  • Terminology of units of measurement in a form appropriate to the time
  • Using the services of a professional editor and proof-reader