Family History Festival: Family History Month












This weekend we celebrate our Family History Festival through a series of blog posts with information and activities.
Read: Family History Festival: WW2 Tribute

Read: Family History Festival: Digital Mags

Read: Kids Corner: Family History Festival

There has never been a better time to research your family history. Lockdown provides an opportunity to uncover family stories, dive into online resources and organise family archives. Genealogy is a great way to keep the mind active and stay connected with others.

National Family History Month
August is also a time when the Australasian Federation of Family History Organisations promote family history through its National Family History Month program. There are many online events being offered so check what may interest you. Some do require bookings.  Geelong Family History Group are providing discounted research for the month 

Getting Started

New to Family History? Talk to senior family members about their parents and memories of their grandparents. Identify old family photos and gather records around the house. Check the links in this guide.  Summarise what you know and decide which line you want to focus your research on. This may be the unusual name which may be easier to find in the records, or you might like to confirm the stories you have been told. Work backwards from yourself and always do as much research in Australia as you can, before your overseas research.

Purchase historical certificates to confirm family stories and take generations backwards. The Victorian Registry of Births Deaths and Marriages continue their discounted certificates offer.
AIGS (Australian Institure of Genealogical Studies, now Family History Connections) provides further advice.

Plan your research
Wether you are a beginner or more experienced, consider setting yourself a goal in your research journey. This may be to take your family back to your pioneer ancestors in Australia, it might be to confirm details of arrival to Australia for an ancestor or find that elusive death date for that ancestor who fell off the edge of the earth. Where would records for that event be found? What resources are available on line?

eLibrary for Genealogy
Ancestry Library Edition remains accessible for library members with your library card number. We have recently published this handy guide.  Ancestry includes a wide range of growing content including but not limited to:

  • Canada, USA, UK.Ireland, Scotland, Wales Census
  • England and Wales birth, marriage and death indexes
  • Australia Electoral Rolls 
  • Australian Convict Records
  • Sydney Sands Directories

Gale Primary Resources is accessible year round at home for library members with your library card.  Search over 400 years of historical British newspapers. Access our guide here.  Search the Illustrated London News or the Times Digital Archive for obitaries, shipping news, convict trials, first hand accounts of events and more.

Geneaogy Giants

FamilySearch The historical records collection spans billions of names across hundreds of international collections, many searchable by name.  Some collections are browse only. FamilySearch also includes user-submitted genealogies, catalogue, books and learn wiki, all worth exploring. Trove was recently re-launched.  The digitised historical newspapers are a favourite but there is also much more to explore here for your Australian research.

Hit a Brick wall?

Maybe we can help.   Library staff are available to provide advice. Our #askalibrarian service is always available.  Our weekly live Facebook session is every Monday 4.00pm – 5.00pm or fill out the local and family history enquiry form for some one on one advice


Don’t feel like research right now? We get it! Relax instead with some family history themes streaming video, including the first Australian season of 'Who Do You Think You Are':

View Full List

Play Family History Bingo. How many tasks have you completed in your family history journey? 


Relax with some family history themed downloadable and e-fiction: 

View Full List

We welcome your respectful and on-topic comments and questions in this limited public forum. To find out more, please see Appropriate Use When Posting Content. Community-contributed content represents the views of the user, not those of Yarra Plenty Regional Library