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Climbing your family tree

20 August 2012

Climbing your family tree

People interested in researching their family history have the chance to learn the first steps in genealogy at an intensive two-day course run by Victoria University.

Participants will receive help and support from genealogy teacher Rachel Brown on how to start researching family history—including advice on where to go, what they may find out and how this leads to further information.

She will introduce participants to useful repositories and websites, and talk about where to find documents such as historic newspapers, wills and photographs.

Rachel, who has taught genealogy to others for more than a decade, completed an honours degree in History at Victoria University in 1999 and has more than 20 years experience researching her own family tree.

Climb Your Family Tree: First Steps in Research is held over two consecutive Saturdays, 6 and 13 October 2012.

This course can be done on its own, or it also provides an introduction to Victoria University’s genealogy study tour to the United Kingdom in February 2013.

“Doing this course before the tour will ensure participants find easy-to-get material. On the tour there will be time to discover the harder-to-find material, and hopefully each person will have success,” says Rachel.

The 14 day tour of repositories in London and Edinburgh will provide opportunities for people with English and Scottish ancestry to discover their genealogy, beginning with a three-day Who Do You Think You Are? event at the London Olympia exhibition centre.

A further six days will be spent in London exploring the London Metropolitan; National Archives at Kew, the United Kingdom’s official repository; the Society of Genealogists library and education centre; and British Library Newspapers Colindale, where participants will receive expert guidance from in-house specialists and assistance from the tour leader, Rachel Brown.

Participants will then travel to Edinburgh and spend two days at the ScotlandsPeople Centre to access records held by the National Records of Scotland, and a day at the Scottish Genealogy Society.

“There’s nothing quite like looking at documents your ancestors left behind and seeing where they came from,” says Rachel.

The Climb Your Family Tree: First Steps in Research course will cost $160. To register, visit:

The cost of the study tour is approximately $5,250–$9,700. Information on travel options is available from


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