Michelle Nichols at Hornsby Shire FHG

We invited a special guest speaker to Hornsby for our National Family History Month meeting. Visitors travelled from as far as Wollongong to hear Michelle Nichols speak on “Researching Hawkesbury Families” at Hornsby Library today. A straw poll prior to Michelle’s presentation found that most audience members had ancestral links with the Hawkesbury.

Jonathan Auld sets up the presentation while Jill Ball introduces Michelle

Jonathan Auld sets up the presentation while Jill Ball introduces Michelle

Michelle commenced her presentation with some historical background of the Hawkesbury region before she talked about researching ancestors from the area. We learnt about when the area was settled, about transport and services and work and play in the Hawkesbury. Michelle discussed the resources available at Hawkesbury Library for research, gave some general tips for reseaarch and highlighted the importance of going beyond mere Birth, Death and Marriage facts to add context to our ancestors’ stories. Visitors left with some very useful handouts that Michelle had prepared.

Before the lights went out  - Michelle commences her talk

Before the lights went out – Michelle commences her talk

Michelle’s excellent Powerpoint presentation had few words; the many historic photos of Hawkesbury people and places gave context to Michelle’s words. Michelle was most gracious in talking individually to our audience during afternoon tea and after our meeting. One attendee commented that he didn’t know much about the Hawkesbury prior to Michelle’s talk but after it he knew it all.

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Michelle takes questions from the audience

Links to some of the resources Michelle discussed can be found here: http://www.hawkesbury.net.au/familyhistory/ and Hawkesbury Library Catalaogue can be found here http://catalogue.hawkesbury.nsw.gov.au/amlibweb/ and Claim a Convict can be found here: http://www.hawkesbury.net.au/claimaconvict/.

Thanks to Karen Richardson form Hornsby Library for taking photos of our event. Thanks also to member Bronwyn for being such a delightful meeter and greeter.

We look forward to welcoming more visitors to our National Family History Month Genealogy Clinic on Saturday 22 August.

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