HANDWRITTEN history will be on display when the 1828 Census Regional Tour comes to Bathurst this Monday, April 15.
Bathurst was only 13 years old when Australia's first census was held and many of the city's forebears are recorded in the publication.
Among them is George Suttor, who arrived free on the ship Porpoise in 1800 and was recorded as a farmer at Bathurst who had 2280 acres and 3500 sheep.
Representatives from NSW State Archives and Records will visit Bathurst Library as part of the regional tour and will be bringing one of the 190-year-old handwritten volumes with them.
The tour is being held to celebrate the inscription of the 1828 Census of NSW on the UNESCO Australian Memory of the World Register.
Library services manager Patou Clerc said the 1828 Census was conducted after it was found the governor had no authority to compel free men to attend a central muster (the previous method used to keep track of the colony's population).
"If you think compiling the Census is a mammoth task now, think how hard it must have been in 1828 when there were hardly any roads, let alone the 'information highway' and technology that today's statisticians can now employ," Ms Clerc said.
"Local constabulary had to visit every household and often had to complete the forms themselves if the residents were not literate.
"These household returns were then recorded in alphabetical order into two sets of handwritten volumes - one of which was sent to England and the other that now resides at NSW State Archives."
The 1828 Census covered around 36,500 men, women and children of NSW and provides a social and economic picture of the colony at that time.
It records details such as name, age, status (free or convict), the ship on which they arrived, religion, residence, employment, and any livestock and landholdings.
IN OTHER NEWS AROUND BATHURST:
"Many of the original household returns used to compile the Census have been destroyed, but fortunately a small number, including all 129 from Bathurst, still survive," Ms Clerc said.
"This makes the Census an invaluable resource for local residents researching their family history or simply interested in early life in Bathurst."
A talk will be given by Wendy Gallagher from State Archives and Records at 11am and bookings are essential. Call the library on 6333 6281, inquire at the front desk or register at eventbrite.com.au.
A volume from the 1828 Census will be on display from 11am-2pm.