Family history at Gold Coast to help hunt for ancestors

TRACING ANCESTRY: A family group on the beach at Burleigh Heads circa 1935.
TRACING ANCESTRY: A family group on the beach at Burleigh Heads circa 1935. Courtesy of Faye Kenwrick

GOLD Coast Family History Society will host its Footsteps in Time 2017 event, including a family and local history conference and free fair, from May 19 to 21 at Southport.

Enthusiasts can browse the stalls, chat to the experts and find out about discovering their ancestry.

Conference convenor Ann Metcher said the conference and fair should inspire, educate and encourage family and local historians.

"It will provide the opportunity to exchange ideas and experiences among people interested in researching their ancestors," she said.

"And also showcase the resources that are available to people wanting to look up their family tree.

"It is a unique opportunity to listen and talk to experts about hunting for your ancestors - the biggest family history conference and fair in Queensland for years."

Three free talks on Friday morning will delve into ancestry, the National Library of Australia's searchable website Trove, and the world's largest online collection of genealogical and historical records, FamilySearch.

"These talks are a wonderful opportunity to learn about available resources and suitable for beginners as well as people who have already started on their hunt for ancestors," Ann said.

"Access to these speakers is not normally free of charge. We are grateful to them for their generosity."

Speakers and delegates from Canada, New Zealand and around Australia will attend Footsteps in Time.

"There is free access to the history fair - more than 30 exhibitor tables all weekend from Friday at noon until Sunday lunchtime," Ann said.

"There'll be new and secondhand books to browse and buy, experts to talk to, organisations to ask for hints and raffle tickets to buy."

Attendance for three one-hour master classes on Friday afternoon can be booked separately - they are presented by experts in their field, covering introduction to DNA, advanced DNA and preservation of documents.

Registration for the conference closes on April 14.

Visit the website and check out the master classes, the free talks and the exhibitors at the history fair.

Footsteps in Time 2017 will be held at Southport Community Centre, Lawson St.

Inquiries to Ann Metcher on 0402 356 429 or email

Topics:  ancestry general-senior-news history whats on

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