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As more information worldwide is digitised and becomes available on the internet, the challenge of doing a free family history search to find your ancestors is becoming progressively easier.
While there are many paid subscription sites that claim to help you trace your family tree, during Family History Month the State Library of South Australia are pulling out all stops to help you find your ancestors free of charge.
Many libraries all about South Australia also offer in-library access to genealogy online databases and family history software, but the State Library in Adelaide has a bigger collection of family history resources than most others. Local and interstate electoral rolls and other government publications are available for research within the library, and there is usually a library staff member around to assist with your family history search.
August is Family History Month in Adelaide's State Library SA
Even English and Irish family history resources are available to help trace families who originally came from the United Kingdom or Eire.
But during August the State Library of SA is offering special information sessions and other free things to do which will help you to find your ancestors and draw your family tree.
Take a free Onsite Family History Tour to learn about the library's collection, or explore Online Family History Resources. All of us ancestors who fought in a war, so there is a free session on Searching for the Soldier in Your Family, which is timely as we remember the centenary of World War 1.
If you're unable to find your ancestors take a free family history One on One Session, or join in with a Panel Discussion. A free tutorial about the Find My Past website will help you to use it more effectively, although there are many other sites too including Family Search, Ancestry and My Heritage.
Just remember that as you work through your family history search you will uncover large amounts of information, and when you do find your ancestors you will need to keep the information safely in specialised family history software. A lot of the software is free, but be sure to choose a program that allows you to export the data out easily to standard GEDCOM files. This will ensure that you're not tied to a specific company or program if they go out of business.
If you have Irish family history, be sure to take advantage of Genealogy SA's free Open Day on August 31, when the Irish Group is hosting a community event for people undertaking a family history search.
For those of you with South Australian roots, take one of these free city walks which will showcase your heritage and help bring it to life while you're in the Adelaide CBD.
With many of us keeping indoors during the cooler months in Adelaide, the State Library's program of free things to do for genealogy researchers during Family History Month is very timely.
Family History Month runs from August 1 to 31 at the State Library of South Australia. Please note that bookings are essential for all these free events, and you should book early as the sessions will be popular. For more information see the Library website and Facebook page.