A book that recounts the story of one of Thomastown’s pioneering families has been named as Australia’s best family history book.

Historian Robert Wuchatsch, whose forebears were among the first settlers at Westgarthtown, was recently awarded the Australian Institute of Genealogical Studies’s Alexander Henderson Award for his book Sarka to Westgarthtown: The Wuchatsch Family in Germany and Australia.

It tells the history of his family from the early 1700s, including the arrival of his great-grandparents, Johann and Magdalene Wuchatsch, in Australia in the 1850s from Germany.

Parts of the book are written in both German and English so Mr Wuchatsch’s relatives in Germany are able to read about their family’s history.


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Friends of Westgarthtown president John Fry outside Ziebell’s Farmhouse (Mark Wilson).

Mr Wuchatsch, who grew up in an 1850s bluestone farmhouse in the Westgarthtown precinct, said the nearby Lutheran cemetery sparked his interest in family history.

“I saw the Wuchatsch headstones in the cemetery and wondered who were these people,” he said.

Friends of Westgarthtown president John Fry said the group was appreciative of  Mr Wuchatsch’s work in researching the history of the precinct.

“It is fantastic to see his abilities recognised in the prestigious award,” he said.