Whether it’s a long lost grandparent or a home town you never knew about, Wyndham residents are being encouraged to discover more about their backgrounds this Family History Month.
Wyndham City’s Plaza Library offers free genealogy services, with a specialised collection of family history records from around the world and resources relating to the local Wyndham area available to residents.
The library even has a dedicated Family and Local History Room with a collection of books, magazines, microfiche and microfilms, as well as computers, scanners and WiFi that are all free to use.
Wyndham City’s Learning City portfolio holder, Cr Josh Gilligan, said there was no telling what residents could discover.
“This Family History Month a series of workshops and talks ranging from developing research techniques to restoring old photographs will be held” — Cr Josh Gilligan
“This August is Family History Month, which is a great excuse to start delving into your background,” Cr Gilligan said.
“There is no better place than the Plaza Library to start the search. Genealogy tours are run regularly to get you started, while very experienced volunteers are available most days to help you along the way,” he added.
The libraries also have free access to Ancestry.com, Find My Past and the British Newspaper Archives databases, while Family History Self Help Groups meet at the Plaza Library once a month.
“This Family History Month a series of workshops and talks ranging from developing research techniques to restoring old photographs will be held,” said Cr Gilligan.
Tarneit residents Alan Dann is one of the many people who have uncovered their family history by using the free services available at the Plaza Library.
“The amount of information we’ve discovered at our local library has just been amazing. It’s been a big eye opener,” said Dann, adding that he his wife Alma had become budding genealogists.
“I’ve gone as far back as my Great, Great, Great Grandfather William Dann who was born in 1818 in Devon,” Dann said.
“One of the most interesting stories I uncovered was that of my mother’s father. I didn’t know where he came from and I ended up finding out that he was a foster child and was raised by a group called the Guardians of the Poor. His mother and father couldn’t look after him because they were too poor. I wouldn’t have known about that at all if it wasn’t for this,” he added.
“It can open up a multitude of good things. A lot of people want to know where they come from and I think that’s a good thing. We are an immigrant area here in Wyndham and you can bump into people from all over the world just by visiting your local supermarket. By looking into your family history you can find out so much more about yourself and where you’re from,” he said.
Genealogy Tours are run at the Plaza Library on Mondays from 11am-12pm and Thursdays 2pm-3pm. Bookings for these tours and other Family History Month events on offer in Wyndham, can be made by visiting http://wyndhamlibrary.webwiredsolutions.com.au/web/webcal.php