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My ancestors did what??
Iberia Departing Outer Harbour in 1954 (Courtesy State Library B69065)
Tracing your ancestors can be a fascinating, if at times frustrating experience.
Records can be hard to locate (if they exist at all). Sometimes they are overseas. Older family members may be long gone, or unable to remember much of your family history.
Once you have found the information, you may then uncover some surprises. Perhaps your great grandfather was a renowned scientist. Maybe great aunt Hettie was a South London street walker.
Maybe you can find more about your surname origins, or even discover the family crests.
It can be a bumpy journey, but it's one that many people want to take. Perhaps particularly parents, who want their children to have an understanding of their origin and family history, and what they have achieved to be happily living in Australia.
My own parents were ten pound ($20) immigrants, who were lucky to get an assisted fare by ship to Australia after the war. Their story is recorded in the Migration Museum, like may others. Thousands of people who came that way now consider themselves just as Australian as those whose ancestors were deported here.
If you are interested to find out your own family history, the National Archives has just the thing for you.
On Tuesday April 16 the local office of the Archives will hold Shake Your Family Tree - a full day of activities designed to help people who are of immigrant origin find out more information about their past. You will be able to learn how to find records related to your family's story of arriving and settling in Australia.
Key sessions will be webcast, including a special panel about how migrants have shaped Australia, moderated by Karen Middleton, SBS journalist.
Ten pound'immigrants'???? They were 'Ten pound Poms'! I doubt that any Irish Sottish & Welsh immigrants appreciated being included under the 'Pommie' umbrella, but they too were eligible &came under the same heavily subsidised scheme. As far as I know msny immigrants had to pay their own full fare (eg Italian & Greek immigrants) although I think many 'displaced persons' (eg people from the Baltic States who were the first non-British immigrants to arrive in any numbers) may have travelled here gratis as refugees.