If you are new to family history, you might be asking “where do I start?” Family History research starts with yourself and works backwards through your parent’s line, then your grandparent’s line – this is working from the known to the unknown.
You might say “well why would I do that because I certainly know all about myself and my parents and lots of information about my grandparents”. Knowing the family story is sometimes different to what is recorded in the actual records. If you do not work back through your generations it is very easy to miss vital clues. The only way to make sure you have the right information is a methodical search back through the generations.
This is where you start to either use charts to record your information or use a genealogy computer program developed specifically for family history.
|BDM Records||Electoral Rolls||Census Returns|
|Church Records||Cemetery Register||Cemetery Inspections|
|Land Records||School Records||Books about families|
|Post Office Directories||Armed Forces Records||Obituary Notices|
|Crew Lists||Immigration||Rate Books|
|Cattle Brands||Government Gazettes||Police Gazettes|
These records may be held in databases online, CD, microfiche, microfilm or in hard copy (in books or just some index), subscription data bases are also available. There are databases that you pay a fee to search, for example, Ancestry and findmypast.
However if you join a Library like ours, resources are there for you to use, including those we have subscriptions to like Ancestry and findmypast. Our Library has all the datasets for Ancestry, eg USA, Europe.
There are great resources that you can use from home like FamilySearch and if you have Australian family history, you could search TROVE. This is a magical site created by the National Library of Australia. At first the focus was on digitising captial city newspapers, then major regional areas and now the movement is heading towards the country towns – some had newspapers that continued for many years. FamilySearch and TROVE are free resources.
We can teach you how to use these to the best advantage.
With the exception of our exchange journals with other societies, all our resources in our Library are for reference only and cannot be borrowed.
Please ask one of our Volunteer Librarians should you become “stuck” on your tree or you need more information about what resources to use, or how to use them.
We hope that you find family history as fascinating and rewarding as we do.