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Genealogy SA Open Day

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by Dave Walsh (subscribe)
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Trace your Irish ancestors at this free event
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Unlock Your Irish Family History With Irish Census Information

Tracing your family history is a rewarding job, but it does have its challenges. And even if you are successful, it can turn up some unexpected or even unpleasant facts. Your ancestors may have been distinguished people or heroes, or some may have been criminals or achieved other notoriety.

If you're prepared to take the good with the bad, then searching for your family history online is the easiest way to start. Australian ancestors can sometimes be found with the help of the National Library of Australia's Trove, a fantastic archive of Australian newspapers, photos, maps and more. But if you have an Irish family history then your task can be considerably harder - many Dublin public records were lost in the early twentieth century, and record keeping during the Irish famine of the 1840's and 1850's appears to have been fairly haphazard.

There are plenty of family history online resources such as Rootsweb to help you in your search, although many are not free to use. Even if you think you have found an ancestor, variations in the spelling of names can sometimes lead you down false trails. Many names only have a middle initial too, which can mislead you into spending time tracing the wrong person.

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Is Kissing the Blarney Stone Part of Your Family History

After locating details of their ancestors most people use specialised family history software to store the results. Some of the more common programs used include Ancestry, Family Tree Maker and My Heritage. The software often helps you to draw family tree charts although free versions of family history software are usually less functional than paid versions.

If all this sounds too hard, don't give up. Genealogy SA is a not for profit organisation dedicated to helping people research their family tree. It is operated by the South Australian Genealogy & Heraldry Society, and you don't even need to be a member to access their family history online database of South Australian births, deaths and marriages. However there are real benefits in joining Genealogy SA - their library has a massive 30,000 items to help you research your family tree, and there are special interest groups that meet regularly to share knowledge on useful topics or for specific nationalities.

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Fireworks on the River Liffey in Dublin - a Free Event on St Patrick's Day

On Sunday August 31 the Genealogy SA Irish Group is holding a free Open Day to help people with an Irish background to trace their ancestors. From 10.30am until 4.30pm there will be volunteers delivering presentations and offering free assistance to research your Irish family history. If you have questions about family history software, Trove, Rootsweb or other genealogy websites, or just want to learn about the history of Adelaide's Irish communities then come along to this free event.

For more information about Genealogy SA and the Irish Group Open Day, check the Society's website and Facebook page.

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Why? Learn about your family history
When: 10.30am - 4.30pm
Phone: (08) 8272 4222
Where: 201 Unley Rd, Unley
Cost: Free
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