Tuesday, July 17, 2012


In my last blog I spoke about the joys of assisting a friend into making the first steps towards researching her family history and how we used TROVE to search for some more details on her great great grandfather. Over the past few years I think I would have to rate TROVE as one of my most valuable research tools.

The National Library of Australia has developed TROVE as a free search engine that gives us access to a variety of collections in Australia and some overseas collections that relate to Australia.  These collections include Australian Newspapers, photos, articles, maps and books. No matter what your are researching, whether it be your family history, social conditions of a certain era, history of occupations, CWA recipies or sporting history as a few examples,  with just one click on trove.nla.gov.au you are able to find the most amazing collection of related material. The huge bonus to all researchers is that this information is free and accessible to all.

You can easily register as a user by going to this site https://trove.nla.gov.au/signup.  As you delve into the records you are able to tag articles of interest under you membership for later reference. Much of the TROVE content is digital and comes from libraries, cultural and educational institutions all around Australia.
When a researcher searches the site they are taken straight to the source, giving them immediate access to the information they are looking for.
As I look on family tree research as not only the collecting of the dates of birth deaths and marriages but also the collecting of family stories I find Trove to be one of the most valuable tools in my family research. There have been many occasions when I have used it to check a story that has been passed down in the family.  Often the discovery of a birth or death notice will provide that long searched for link to other members of the family or a place of birth.  However, what I find most exciting is that you are able to access stories about the towns and the times that your ancestors lived in, and some of the historical events that they lived through. 

Try your luck with TROVE.  The possibilities are endless.  Some of the areas I would suggest looking in are advertisements for sales of properties, family events, probate notices, court cases, obituaries, WWI and WWII notices or the names of towns that your families lived in. Small snippets from these types of searches have provided me with a rich source of information on where my ancestors came from, their occupations, life styles and important events in their lives.

TROVE also provides family tree researchers with the opportunity to share their discoveries and look for other researchers with similar interests on their forum.  If you are interested in using this resource it is very easy to register at this site  http://trove.nla.gov.au/forum/faq.php

I hope you find this resource as rich and rewarding as I have and please share your TROVING stories.

Happy Troving

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