National Family History Month in Australia


August is National Family History Month (NFHM) in Australia. It is the initiative of the Australasian Federation of Family History Organisations (AFFHO). It has been an annual event since August 2006 when it was celebrated during the first week of August. Due to its ever increasing popularity, National Family History Month was increased to the whole month of August from 2013.

National Family History Month 2015 banner

National Family History Month 2015 banner

NFHM 2015 celebrates any aspect of heraldry, genealogy and family history. Previous years have seen a wide variety of events offered not only by genealogy and family history societies but also archives, libraries, museums, sponsors and individuals.

NFHM is a national event with individual events held in every Australian State and Territory and there is even an online events category. Genealogists and family historians can celebrate their interest in history and the role their ancestors had in that history no matter where they live.

During NFHM, I like to focus on one set of my ancestors and this year it will be my mother's Price family. Mum has fond memories of her grandmother Elizabeth Price and I will be capturing her memories on a digital recorder throughout August.

Hicks Aug 2015 Thomas and Elizabeth Price, Charters Towers Queensland ca 1914

My great grandparents Thomas and Elizabeth Price in Charters Towers, Queensland ca 1914. Elizabeth was the only grandparent my mother ever knew.

For genealogy and family history societies, it is a time to promote their societies to the tens of thousands of people across Australia who are researching their genealogy and family history and to help them understand the social context within which their ancestors lived.

As voluntary coordinator of NFHM in Australia, I have a list of 31 activities for individuals to do during August. You can do as many or as few of the activities as you want. There are also 31 activities for genealogy and family history societies again, as many or as few activities as societies choose to do. See the Resources of my website for the lists of 31 activities for individuals and societies.

Why not join in the fun and excitement of National Family History Month?

Societies do not need to be a member of AFFHO to participate. Participation can be as simple as calling your August monthly meeting a NFHM meeting, or one of your library open days a NFHM open day and entering the event/s onto the NFHM web calendar at. Or you can organise a special event such as a book launch, seminar, beginners session or anything else associated with genealogy and family history.

Archives and libraries are also welcome to participate in NFHM and by adding events to the NFHM web calendar, many more people will see your events and help to make your events even more successful. Many archives and libraries are regular hosts of NFHM events in August but it would be wonderful if we had even more.

Individuals can see what is happening near them by visiting the events page for their state and then checking for their postcode. Check surrounding postcodes too because some events may be worth the travel time. Remember that there are online events you can do in the comfort of your own homes.

NFHM has some great sponsors and in 2015 our major sponsors are AFFHO and Ancestry. The National Archives of Australia is the launch sponsor for the 10th year.

In addition, there are numerous prize sponsors who have donated prizes for both societies and individuals.

Australian genealogy and family history societies with events in the NFHM web calendar are automatically entered into the prize draw for societies and Australian individuals can enter from 1 August 2015 up until midnight on 27 August 2015. The prize draw will be on 29 August. Entrants must live in Australia.

Why not Like the NFHM Facebook page and see all the latest news. Our Twitter tag is #NFHM2015 to follow any tweeting before and during August.

Let us all join together to make NFHM 2015 the biggest and best NFHM yet!


Shauna Hicks

About Shauna Hicks

Shauna Hicks has been tracing her own family history since 1977 and worked in government for over 35 years in libraries and archives in Brisbane, Canberra and Melbourne. Since retiring, she has written a number of family history guides and is a regular speaker at genealogy cruises, conferences and seminars. She now operates her own business at www.shaunahicks.com.au and is the author of the blog, Diary of an Australian Genealogist.

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