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Eleanor Martin and Kathleen Compton at Lithgow Library

A work in progress

Family history is one of the most popular hobbies around the world. Family history is the second biggest subject on the web with sites receiving billions of hits per year. There are over 250,000 Australians who are members of family history related organisations.

Australian Family History month which is celebrated in August each year is an opportunity for family history societies across the nation to showcase their records and share the results of the research of those who have a passion for discovering the long lost stories about their ancestors.

This year the Lithgow & District Family History Society accepted the invitation of the Lithgow Library & Learning Centre to do just this, and the result has been an exhibition of family trees, photographs, items of family memorabilia and more.

The ‘more’ includes information about some of the exclusive records held at our society’s Resource Centre including copies of school admission registers, church registers and some colliery registers.

The Lithgow Small Arms Factory Museum has showcased samples of some of the employee records and photos from their museum collection, all of which are valuable resources in putting the flesh on the bones of the skeletons whose names appear on the family charts.

The idea that “the internet is just the tip of the iceberg” when it comes to family history research is one that keeps our society searching for new records and information to add to its collections.

Our society’s first President Yvonne Jenkins was a prolific artist and author and encouraged everyone she met to research their family and write down the family stories so they would not be lost to future generations. Examples of Yvonne’s work are highlighted in the display cases and in 2013 the society chose to honour Yvonne’s memory with an annual essay writing competition. The subject chosen for the 2015 essay was “What my ancestor did in World War I”, with the note that the subject of the essay did not have to be about a soldier.

The presentation of the Yvonne Jenkins Memorial Award for 2105 will be announced at a public function to be held on Saturday 29th August 2015 at the society’s Resource Centre, Ewen Smith Memorial Hall, Cnr Tank & Donald Streets, Lithgow commencing at 2 p.m.

Michelle Nichols, Community History Librarian at Hawkesbury Library for over 30 years, well known in both local and family history circles, will be the guest speaker and her subject is “Researching your World War I Soldier”.

Please RSVP by phone to the society on 02 6353 1089 during opening hours, or email by 22 August.

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