18 December 2017
Jan Hurcum from Wagga Wagga & District FHS tells us about ancestral ties all over the world
In a town near you, there’s likely an enthusiastic band of family historians - your local family history society members. These hardworking volunteers run family history societies to help teach people about family history and work to preserve the historic records of the area for the future. The range of historic projects they are involved in is vast. Read on for an inspiring example…
Q Tell us about the Wagga Wagga & District FHS Inc. Are there closer ancestral ties with some places in the world than others? For instance, how much do the research lines lead back to Britain? What resources and projects do you run to help your members near and far?
A (Jan Hurcum) Most members have connections with the United Kingdom – England, Scotland, Wales, Isle of Man, Channel Islands and the whole of Ireland. Some have European ancestors – German, French, Dutch, Scandinavian etc. A few have USA, Canadian or South African connections.
Most members live in or fairly close to Wagga Wagga and are able to access the society library, which is staffed by members who are willing to give up their time to man the library and assist visitors with their research. Visitors come from all states of Australia, and we have overseas visitors as well (today a man from Ireland was looking for information on his grandfather).
We also have ongoing projects, such as newspaper clippings from Wagga Wagga and local smaller town newspapers (extracting births, deaths & marriage information) – there are nine 4-drawer filing cabinets of these). One member has been entering birth, death, marriage and In Memoriam notices from the local Daily Advertiser newspaper on a database. We plan to produce a CD. Another project which is almost complete is a database of soldiers’ names and information (from all wars) which has been collated from cenotaphs and war memorials within a 100-kilometre radius of Wagga Wagga. We also collect information on towns, properties, older houses and buildings in the area.
We also have shelves of Australiana books which were donated to the Society by a now-deceased member who was a ‘£10 pom’.
Visit their website at http://www.waggafamilyhistory.org.au/
To find out more about family history societies, the Family History Handbook is packed with behind-the-scenes interviews with key family history society members and a directory of family history societies worldwide!