Pointers for tracing your family tree at Bonegilla Reunion

“We always tell people to start with themselves and then work back from there,”
Wodonga Family History Society program co-ordinator Janette Griggs

Have you ever wanted to track your ancestry but didn’t know where to start?

The Wodonga Family History Society will host a genealogy talk and morning tea as part of the Bonegilla Reunion weekend on November 2 and 3.

Wodonga Family History Society program co-ordinator Janette Griggs said she often comes across people who say their family tree is complete but would challenge them to double check it.

"People have often got it wrong because they haven't checked it all properly and there are all these online programs these days but you need to have all the right documents and records etc and that is why I would encourage people to come along," she said.

Mrs Griggs biggest piece of advice is to always start with yourself and where your parents were born and then branch off.

"Don’t jump back two or three eras to start with because that’s where you can go wrong and that will be important for those tracking family who have come through Bonegilla," she said.

“And you don’t want to go on a wrong tangent and that’s why we always should start with ourselves and work back, especially with European ancestry because the names are going to be more difficult because of the spellings that we are not used to.

“The other really important thing is that you must follow the clues and that’s why it is important to get certificates because there might be one little clue on the certificate that takes you to the next step, which could be as simple as an area or an occupation.

"If you do hit a brick wall, the important thing is to keep trying and look at all angles."

Wodonga Family History Society Secretary Wendy Cooksey will give a presentation on starting your family history research in Australia, then working back to the country from which your family migrated.

She will also talk about how to keep your records in order, how to search and places to research.

The one-hour talk will take place in Tudor Hall from 10am on Saturday, November 3 with morning tea to follow.

Bookings required, phone 6020 6912.

Following this presentation there will be half hour one-on-one sessions to guide you in further research. 

The Genealogy Station will be set up in the single accommodation huts from 12.30pm to 4pm.

The sessions are free, donation welcome. Pre-book or bookings available on the day if not booked out prior.

Mrs Griggs said there had already been a lot of interest in the presentation.

“We have had quite a lot of interest in this so far with people registering, so it will be quite a good day and if you didn’t even have anyone come through Bonegilla, it’s still great to sit in on a family history talk and use it to your own advantage," she said.