Tweed Gold Coast Family History and Heritage Association president Bev O'Hara may add to her own antiques collection at the upcoming fair.
Tweed Gold Coast Family History and Heritage Association president Bev O'Hara may add to her own antiques collection at the upcoming fair. Yvonne Gardiner

Antiques fair funds family history research

THE 19th Tweed Antiques and Collectables Fair will be a vital fundraiser to further the research of family histories in the region.

This fair is the only major annual money-maker for the Tweed Gold Coast Family History and Heritage Association, and last year's had to be cancelled because the venue undergoing renovations wasn't available.

The association started in 1997 and the fair began two years later. Funds help pay for a research room which is set up inside the South Tweed Heads Sports Club, 4 Minjungbal Drive.

Association president Bev O'Hara has been researching her own family history for close to 30 years and helped her mother with research before that.

She says a variety of research equipment is required in family history societies, and that's why fundraising is necessary.

"We have eight computers in the research room and a reader printer for viewing family history documents on film and microfiche. Old parish registers reveal some interesting data.

"There's more and more family history data being placed online. We've taken out subscriptions of many genealogy websites.

"Our members pay an annual fee. They are also required to become members of the sports club, of course. If you're a short-term visitor, we charge a small fee."

The association will set up its own stall at the Tweed Antiques and Collectables Fair, with experienced researchers there to give advice

Dealers from all over New South Wales and Queensland will offer a fantastic array of antiques, collectables, fine china, ceramics, jewellery, retro items and many other quality pieces for purchase.

Items for sale will appeal to the discerning collector, the enthusiastic decorator or a lover of antique and vintage items.

The fair will be held at the Tweed Heads Civic Centre, next to the Tweed Heads Bowls Club, corner of Brett and Wharf Sts, Tweed Heads.

Doors will open at 9am on Saturday, August 11, until 5pm, and again on Sunday, August 12, from 10am to 3pm.

Entrance fee is $5, with accompanied children under the age of 12 admitted free.

Also on display will be the work of well-known artist Michael McMahon.

Bev offers a basic tip for those people new to family history research.

"The first thing you should do is start with yourself and work backwards," she said.

"It's easy to research the wrong family."

Sometimes the research is difficult, as Bev found when she was trying to trace her 3xgreat-grandmother, Frances Kelly, who was born in Norfolk, Virginia, USA, in 1771.

"She'd been given different names on various documents in my possession," she said.

"It was the greatest eye-opener of all times.

"Frances' grandfather, Dr Archibald Campbell, together with a Dr Dalgleish, tried to develop a smallpox vaccine in Norfolk some years prior to Edward Jenner's successful development."

Seek help in tracing your family history by finding more about the Tweed Gold Coast Family History and Heritage Association at www.tweedgoldcoastfamilyhistory.org.au.


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