Archives &


Manning Valley Historical Society


The Manning Valley Historical Society was started in 1964 by a group of enthusiastic volunteers. Over that time we have collected and or received donations of books and histories of Manning Valley families and businesses. If you have information to add to our collection we would love to receive it, or perhaps we can help you solve you own historical puzzles. If you enjoy participating in the search for information yourself we can help or guide you so you can feel the satisfaction of finding that elusive puzzle piece! We hold many primary documents that can reveal some of those extra details for your history.  Perhaps you want to write your own history book? All research is carried out by volunteers.



Our resources reveal a  great deal of information on the early settlers to the wider Manning Valley.  Where did they come from?  Some came from England, Scotland and Ireland, while many others came from Germany, Lebanon and China.  Where did your family originate? Once they arrived in Australia they most likely moved from Sydney to the Hunter Valley and then on to the Manning Valley and beyond.  Many were unskilled while others came with very specific skills or trades.  We had many blacksmiths and coachbuilders in our valley as well as boatbuilders – necessary in this area with so many rivers, lakes and waterways. Among our resources we have hospital visiting books, individual histories, journals, letters and postcards.  We have scrapbooks and newspaper reports that cover our history of 19th migration to this area.  Over our Society’s history many of our members have produced articles and books that may provide you with helpful background information as you compile your own story.

  • In the Manning district and beyond
Family Histories
  • Newspaper clippings
  • Deposited family information
  • Obituaries
  • Directories
Local History
  • Information on local business, industry, councils, locations, lodges, local post office histories.
Church Records
  • Parish records  –  births, deaths, marriages
  • Church histories
  • Deposited historical information
Shipping & Immigration
  • Local shipbuilding industry
  • Scottish immigration  –  listed by ship
  • Some German immigration information
  • Shipping along the North Coast
  • Of local content
Maps of the Manning District
  • Survey maps
  • District maps
  • Parish maps
Cemetery Records
  • Including headstone transcriptions
  • Indexes from 1865
  • Newspapers on film  1865  –  1950
  • Royal Australian Historical Journals
  • Other historical journals
  • Museum journals
  • Australiana
Archive Co-ordinator – Kaye Wallace

Fees &


Our volunteers donate their time to the museum in order to raise funds for the maintenance of the building and other assets. Funds received from our research enable further equipment and facilities to be purchased. We thank you in advance for your research request and supporting the Museum and Manning Valley Historical Society.

  • The usual Research fee is $30 (research and postage) per family. However, as some families are more extensive than others, there may be additional costs.
  • We will advise you if further information, such as booklets or articles, is available and a quote will be provided should these items incur extra charges.
  • Our initial research will take at least 3 weeks from the date we receive your payment.
  • When the work has been completed you will be advised by email.
  • Researchers will be in attendance at the Museum on Tuesdays and Wednesdays
  • Should you wish us to conduct research for you, please or fill in the Online Research Request Form below or download our Research Request Form.
  • We recommend that you complete as many of the details as possible, particularly the source of information (such as family records, certificates and stories, etc). The more you provide, the greater the possibility that we can assist you.

Postal, email or online requests

  • Standard Enquiry – $30
  • Additional research – $15 per hour, quoted


  • Photocopies (A4 page) – 50 cents per page
  • Photocopies (A3 page) – $1


  • Copies or on CD: Price on Application

Payment Options

A written request with $30 initial fee, payable by cheque or money order and posted to:

Manning Valley Historical Society

12 Farquhar Street


or Make an Electronic Funds Transfer to our bank account:

Account Name: Manning Valley Historical Society

BSB: 932-000

Account Number: 500 159 678.

Please use YOUR name as Reference – then send us an email that payment has been made by Funds Transfer.

Manning Valley Historical Society


  • Contact Details

  • Research Brief

  • This information is critical to the success of your search. It provides us with a specific target for research and ensures you get value for money.
  • Any relevant dates such as Births, Deaths, Marriages, Arrival in Australia, Divorce, Change of Name, Siblings, Adoption and any other known dates.
  • Main career occupation(s) or last known occupation.
  • Birth, Marriage, Death certificates, diaries, family history, newspaper articles, Defence Force discharge papers/records, photos.
  • Brother/s and/or Sister/s
  • Any other specific information that may help us to find relevant information on the Target.
  • Future Research

  • Please note that we are caretakers of information provided to this society and we invite you to deposit your completed search with us for the benefit of future researchers of your family.

  • Research Fees and Payment

  • The fee payable is a search fee and is not refundable.

    If we do not find any information you will be provided with all the source locations that were checked. Please allow at least 3 weeks for completion by our volunteers.

    Please Note: Research will commence when your Research Fee is received in our bank account against your name.