Pandemic Prompts Growth in Family Tree Digging

I am normally in favor of anything that encourages people to research their family tree. However, I am not so sure we need to wait for a worldwide pandemic before starting such research! In any case, an article by Steve Meacham published in the (Australian) Sydney Morning Herald details the major growth in genealogy research in the past 3 months:

Since words like “pandemic” and “coronavirus” became part of everyday parlance, Australians have sought solace in researching their family histories in increasing numbers.

Tapping into this desire to know more, the National Library of Australia announced a new series of Family History for Dummies online tutorials as the international and local shutdowns took effect.

“They were booked out within minutes,” says Alison Dellit, the library’s assistant director-general. “Normally, we get around 100 people signing up for our online classes. In April, we had 356, and around a third of those lived in regional Australia.”

Other evidence of the recent growth in family history research can be found in many places:

“It’s all more accessible now. Cemetery records, gravestones, birth certificates — you can find them all now at home on a computer.” says Brisbane-based Marg Doherty, secretary of the Australasian Federation of Family History Organisations.

“I always warn people who go to Trove to be prepared,” said Alison Dellit. “You might hope to find a convict in your family tree, but you could end up with a politician.”

The article goes on to describe the recent growth in genealogy research in Australia and elsewhere. You can read Steve Meacham’s article at:

One Comment

Barbara McClatchey July 11, 2020 at 1:16 pm

Re the comment about convicts and politicians: You could probably hear me laugh all the way in Australia. Unfortunately, I have found a politician. Sigh.


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