Have you ever wondered about your ancestors … what they looked like, how they lived, where they came from? There’s a friendly and industrious group based in Armidale who can help you answer these questions.
The Armidale Family History Group Inc. has a centre in Kentucky Street, with a vast array of sources to help you find out more about your family. The group’s committee, headed by President Wayne Hoppe, is happy to welcome new members and provide their assistance and expertise in the field of family history.
How and when was the Armidale Family History Group Inc. established?
The Armidale Family History Group was established in early 1986, when a number of Armidale family historians decided to establish a group so they could help each other research their families.
The group met at various venues, until we established our own centre in Kentucky Street 21 years ago.
What are the aims of the group?
The aims of the group are to help members and visitors to research their family.
Our volunteers are only too willing to assist others in this fascinating hobby, and the centre has a very large range of resources that may help in finding an elusive piece of the jigsaw puzzle.
We are also passionate about recording our history and family history, so that it is available for future generations.
Why are you personally interested in researching family history?
Like many of our members, we were a little curious about our family history – and then we caught the bug. We want to record who our ancestors were and what they did, so that in the future others will know about their way of life, which was so different to what it is today. It also shows how much we are like our ancestors in so many ways.
When and where (days/times) do group members meet … and are potential new members welcome?
The centre is open Mondays from 2pm to 5pm, and Wednesdays from 10am to 4pm.
The doors are open for all members and visitors, and potential new members are always welcome. Our volunteers are happy to help other with their research and give those invaluable insights in how to research your ancestors.
What types of sources/records do you have access to when you’re researching family history?
There are a very large number of records available to assist you in researching your family history, and not all of them are on the internet.
The group has over 4,000 books, CDs, microfiche and other records. These include a large number of cemetery records, pioneer registers, personal family histories, area histories and how to guides.
You don’t have to have local families, as these records stretch right across Australia.
Your group has produced various publications over the years, that may well be of interest to our readers. What project are you currently working on, and how can we purchase it?
The group is currently in the process of digitising the Armidale Cemetery, and every headstone has now been photographed and an index prepared. This index also includes many of the unmarked graves that are recorded on the Council cemetery plans.
We expect these records will be available for sale in the New Year, and we are happy to accept expressions of interest for their purchase.
What upcoming events does your group have planned?
The group holds monthly meetings and a yearly seminar with guest speakers on a variety of topics. Both members and visitors are welcome to come. Please contact us if you would like to find out more.
Where can we find out more info about the Armidale Family History Group Inc.?
You can find out more about the group at our website www.familyhistoryarmidale.org or by calling the centre on 6772 0450 during opening hours.
Alternatively, you can come and visit at our research centre in Kentucky St, just south of Dangar St, behind the big green gym.
Interview: Jo Robinson.
Photos supplied by the Armidale Family History Group Inc.