Alexander Henderson Award

The Alexander Henderson Award has been made annually since 1974 and is awarded for the best Australian Family History.

Alexander Henderson (1883-1968) was one of a number of dedicated persons who laid the foundations of family history research in Victoria. He compiled and published the two great genealogical resources, Australian Families (1936) and Pioneer Families of Victoria and the Riverina (1941). His last great work was The Liber Melburniensis centenary edition, the history of Melbourne Grammar School (1963).

Family History Connections honours the memory of this respected genealogist with the Alexander Henderson Award, which is presented to the person(s) producing, in the opinion of the AIGS/ Family History Connections, the best Australian family history submitted for the award. 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 AIGS Magazine.  Entries from previous years may be inspected at the Library during opening times.

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 the AIGS/ Family History Connections and will become part of the library collection, after judging. A special 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.

The AIGS/ Family History Connections has the right to publicise entries by title, and to publish comments made by the judges.

No winner will be selected if, in the opinion of the judges, a reasonable standard has not been achieved.

All entries must be in a recognised book form with paperback or hard covers, and be of an edition with two or more copies.

The decision of the judging panel will be 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 AIGS/ Family History Connections Council 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.

All entries must satisfy the requirements of the Guidelines:

Objectives & Research
• Scope and planning – what is the objective of the family history?
• Organisation and research – evidence of detailed and thorough research
• A researched pre-Australian component
• Did the publication achieve its stated objectives?
• Potential interest - family or broader?

These are critical to the document:
• Title page, full title, author, publisher, location and date. Reverse title page, copyright statement, edition, reprints
• Table of contents
• Footnotes/Endnotes providing source references and locations
• Illustrations, where appropriate, with sources
• Genealogical tables/charts linked to text
• Maps, where appropriate, with sources
• Bibliography, linked to text
• Comprehensive Index (this is essential)
• Acknowledgements and appropriate recognition of copyright ( and respect of privacy (

• Layout - page numbering, style and syntax and organisation into chapters
• Format - easy to read
• Has good use been made of material?