Alexander Henderson Award

The Alexander Henderson Award has been made annually since 1974, and it honours the memory of Alexander Henderson (1883-1968), who was one of a number of dedicated persons who laid the foundations of genealogical studies in Victoria. He compiled and published two genealogical resources, Australian Families (1936) and Pioneer Families of Victoria and the Riverina (1941).

 The Alexander Henderson Award is presented to the person(s) producing, in the opinion of the judges, the best Australian family history submitted for the award that year. Strong emphasis is placed on a pre-Australian component.

 The winners and place-getters are announced at the Awards Presentation Luncheon, which is usually held in Melbourne on the last Sunday in May. All entrants receive a commemorative certificate. The report of the judges is published in The Genealogist, the quarterly magazine of Family History Connections.

Conditions of Entry

An entry must be submitted, with the entry form, to the Awards Coordinator by 30th November. Applicants are advised to read and follow the Guidelines.

Each entry submitted will remain the property of Family History Connections and will become part of the library collection after judging. A book label indicating that it was an award entry will be inserted in the front of the book.

An entry need not have been published during the calendar year in question, but must not have been previously considered by the judges, unless in the form of a new edition with substantial additions. An author may submit more than one title in any year using separate entry forms.

Family History Connections has the right to publicise entries and to publish comments made by the judges.

All entries must be in a recognised book form. No winner will be selected if, in the opinion of the judges, a reasonable standard has not been achieved.

The decision of the judging panel will be final, before a public announcement of the Award winner/s at the awards presentation luncheon.

final, subject to the endorsement of the AIGS/ Family History Connections Council, before public announcement of the Award winner at an awards presentation luncheon.

Entry form for the Alexander Henderson award

The Judging Panel

The Award will be determined by an independent judging panel of at least three persons, appointed each year by the Council of Family History Connections, and to consist of the following:
• A genealogist or person experienced in genealogical research
• A qualified librarian
• An historian or compiler of historical or archival material

No member of the judging panel may be a member of the family of an entrant.


The judges will take into consideration, and mark accordingly, on the following points:

Objectives & Research

  • Scope and planning - what is the objective of the book?
  • Organisation and research - detailed and thorough
  • Pre-Australian component is important
  • Social and historical context must be included
  • Objectives of the book achieved
  • Potential interest beyond family
  • Did the publication achieve its stated objectives?
  • Potential interest for family or broader?
  • Literary quality – easy to read

These are critical to the document:

  • Title page – full title and sub-title, author, publisher, location and date
  • Reverse title page – publisher, printer, copyright statement, edition, reprints
  • Table of contents
  • Genealogical tables and charts in appropriate places
  • Footnotes or endnotes providing source references and locations
  • Illustrations, where appropriate, with sources
  • Maps, where appropriate, with sources
  • Bibliography and list of sources e.g. libraries, archives, etc.
  • Comprehensive index (this is essential)


  • Format – physical shape, design, cover
  • Layout – fonts, organisation, proof-reading, acknowledgements
  • Best use made of material