Trove newspaper training Wed 29 July

Trove is a search engine focusing on Australia and Australians. It is managed by the National Library of Australia. In this session you will learn how to use it so you can find old newspaper and magazine articles and more, dating back to the 19th century. Start exploring!

When: Wednesday 29 July, 6-7pm

Where: City of Tea Tree Gully Library

Bookings essential. Phone 8397 7333 or book here

Starting your family history?

Do you need help with starting your family history or just want some practical advice on how to overcome problems with your research? Need to find the missing names, dates and relationships in your family tree?

Experienced volunteers are available in Tea Tree Gully Library’s Local History Room to assist you with your family history research every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 11am-5pm.

Should you have a large family tree to uncover, or you require assistance to perform a more detailed family history search, you can book a special one-on-one session with a volunteer on Wednesdays and Thursdays.

Our volunteers can help you to research several key resources that form the backbone of any family history research, such as:

  • Indexes of births, deaths and marriages.
    You’ll find indexes but full certificates are held by the registry office in the State that the event happened.
  • Passenger lists
    Look for indexes and lists of passengers immigrating to Australia.
  • Convict records
    Find records about sentencing, transportation, where convicts served out their sentences and maybe more.
  • Electoral rolls
    See where you ancestors were living.

Come into the Library any time to make an appointment or give us a call on 8397 7333.

Reconciliation Week is launched

The Gully Winds Choir

The Gully Winds Choir

Mayor Miriam Smith and Local Historian David Brooks were joined by members of local Aboriginal group Gully Winds to officially launch Reconciliation Week at a moving ceremony within the Library today.

The Gully Winds Choir sang some songs that were special to them, including one written by Choir leader Vonda about Aboriginal soldiers who had gone to war for Australia, even before they were considered citizens.

Mayor Miriam Smith officially launches Reconciliation Week

Mayor Miriam Smith officially launches Reconciliation Week

Part of the event was dedicated to the launch of the Aboriginal Oral Histories, a project undertaken by David and Gully Winds members aimed at addressing the matter of Identity, a topic that is lacking from the records of the local area. Several members provided their oral history of their lives, and lives of their families from the region.

Thanks to all who were involved, and special thanks to those who quite openly recorded their lives for the rest of us to gain an understanding of what Identity means to them. The Oral Histories are available to borrow on CD and soon will be available to hear direct from the Library catalogue.

Be part of history!

Say YES to question 60 on census night 9th August, 2011.


On census night you will have the choice to have your personal information made public after 99 years. To have your information saved you must say yes to question 60. The census is a valuable record of Australian family history. It is the only public record that comes close to recording the name, address and occupation of every Australian. No other sources, such as electoral rolls and birth certificates achieve this. Millions of Australians are not on the rolls and millions more were not born here.

Future family historians will thank you!

Family History Course for Beginners

Anstey the Echidna researches his family tree

Have you ever thought about starting your family tree? Interested in where you came from but not sure where to start?

Come along to our Family History Course for Beginners. This course will be run every Saturday morning for four weeks by our Local History team. Over the four sessions you will be taught how to find information about your family, and how to record the information you find.

Dates: Saturday 6, 13, 20, 27 August
Time: 10:00 – 11:30am
Venue: City of Tea Tree Gully Library Local History Area
Cost: Free

There are limited spaces available for this course, so book now!

Finding families

The Local History room had a visitor today who had come to us a few months ago to pursue her husband’s Hungarian family tree. She came back this afternoon to tell us about their trip to Hungary in search of long-lost relatives.

Our customer arrived in the area the family were from and asked around at many places including the local town hall. They had a few difficulties with language barriers, but eventually got through to a staff member who spoke English and could understand what they were looking for. After being told that the staff member would take some time to gather as much information as possible, our customer and her husband went for a walk to pass the time. When they came back they were told that a cousin would be there very shortly to pick them up so they could stay with him!

Our customer found this to be an amazing experience and said the cousin looked exactly like many others in her husband’s family. They stayed with these new-found family members and were sent off a few days later with food and many newly formed friendships.

This is just one example of how exciting it can be to discover your family history. Come talk to our friendly staff and volunteers and start yours today!

The Family History Volunteers Rack Up 1000 Enquiries for 2010/11!

The Family History Volunteers have been counting down for the last couple of weeks but on Thursday the 9th of June (that’s D-Day+3 for those of us who are historically minded) the team cracked their 1000th customer for the 2010/11 financial year.

Tim Perkins of Para Hills was the lucky 1000th. Tim is a semi regular customer of the service and he was very pleased to receive his celebratory copies of Haystacks to Cul de Sacs and From Paddocks to Plaza!

Tim was introduced to us through a Family History Course put on by the Local History Service and his win was celebrated by the volunteers also.

While Tim was the winner, the volunteers did the hard work. A session with a Family History volunteer can often run for over an hour (conditions approving) which means that Local History tasks aside the Vollies here have achieved anywhere between 1000 and 5000 hours of successful service.

The Local History Service simply could not cope without them.

If you see Pam, Barbara, June, Helen, Lyn, Geoff or Faye please congratulate them on their milestone!

Journaling your family history

Have you ever thought about keeping a journal of your family history research?
It’s different from a research log – instead of just names, dates and facts, a journal records your feelings and opinions on finding out about your ancestors.
It can be a fun and helpful way to reflect on your work and uncover information you may have missed.
Our final Lunch Time Bites session for the year will be on Wednesday 17 November from 1:00pm in the Community Learning Centre.
If you’re interested in keeping a research journal and want to know where to start, come along and find out. Don’t forget to bring your lunch!

Celebrating Our Successes: Heritage Heroes Award

(L-R): Geoff (Local History Volunteer), Pam (Local History Volunteer), David (Local History Officer), June (Local History Volunteer), Melaina (Librarian, Library Partnerships)

Did you know the City of Tea Tree Gully Library’s Local History Volunteers were recently recognised as finalists for the Heritage Heroes Award?

 The Heritage Heroes Award is an annual award which celebrates South Australia’s heritage. It is open to volunteers working in a heritage field or organisation. The “One on One Family History Help,” project was nominated, which developed in 2009 in response to a growing interest in family history. It has gone from strength to strength over the past year with its popularity far exceeding initial expectations. Collectively the Local History Volunteers have donated 2,594 hours of their time and assisted more than 850 people during 2009 to 2010.

 In addition, Melaina Tate, Librarian for Library Partnerships, here at the City of Tea Tree Gully Library recently gave a short presentation at last weeks Council meeting on the 14th September to celebrate the Heritage Heroes Award and acknowledge the time and dedication our Local History Volunteers share with the community.

 The City of Tea Tree Gully Library simply could not achieve all the things we do without the support, hard work and ideas of our volunteers.

 If you are interested in making a booking with our fabulous Local History Volunteers for One on One Family History Help please contact the City of Tea Tree Gully Library on (08) 8397 7444.

Adult Learners Week

The City of Tea Tree Gully Library aims to provide social, cultural and technological learning through a regular program of events, and through the provision and access to a wide range of physical and electronic resources for the whole community. This includes classes in Basic Computer Skills, Searching the Web, Local and Family History; practical seminars and workshops on health and wellbeing, finance, gardening and travel; author events and interactive reading workshops; access to multimedia items and computers every day of the week.

 Adult Learners Week highlights to the City of Tea Tree Gully Library the importance of providing these opportunities. We aim to provide a series of opportunities for individuals to participate in learning and gather a deeper understanding of what our area has to offer on an ongoing basis.

Adult Learners Week is celebrated annually from the 1-8 September. The theme of this Adult Learners Week is, “Your Learning Journey: Take the next step.”

Participants learned about environmental and cultural literacy options in their local community where they can continue to grow and develop: learning more about the environment in which they live and play, and how they can contribute back to the environment through more sustainable living and best practices. The other half of the learning was focused on the importance of local and family history: the impact that our stories have on bringing us to where we are today and where we will be in the future.

The Tea Tree Gully Walk of Environmental Literacy began with an enthusiastic introduction to the environment of the City of Tea Tree Gully, and then headed out to the Wynn Vale Community Garden. Participants also learned about the Gully Wetlands and various environmental initiatives of Council, as well as experience the beauty of nature. Morning tea was served with guest speaker, Penelope from the City of Tea Tree Gully Council, and then the group headed back to the Civic Centre through the Kingfisher Reserve.

The Cultural Literacy Bus Tour took participants on a journey through the streets as they took in our local history. Participants learned about our history with a tour of Houghton Cemetery, had morning tea and a tour of Highercombe Museum, then headed through the Wynn Vale Community Garden as they explored the impact and importance of our flora and fauna on the development of the character and culture of the City of Tea Tree Gully.

Get involved and discover the contribution that learning makes to the prosperity, health and wellbeing of individuals, communities and organisations.