Media release: Wednesday, 23 March 2011
The National Archives is encouraging people to discover their family roots with the fourth annual Shake Your Family Tree day on Friday 25 February 2011.
Shake Your Family Tree is a major event on the Archives' calendar, drawing approximately 2500 people to its offices around the country. The theme for 2011 is 'Unexpected Discoveries – amazing stories you can find in the Archives'.
The Archives holds Australian Government records on men and women who served Australia in wartime, who settled here in the twentieth century or who were employed on public projects.
Visitors will have the chance to unearth their own family records from the Archives, including letters, photographs, war service files and immigration documents.
'People are always amazed to discover what we hold in the Archives', said Director-General Ross Gibbs.
'Family historians find letters, photographs, immigration and citizenship applications, employment records and copyright registrations, which help to build a picture of their past. The search is even easier now, as many of these documents are available online', he said.
Shake Your Family Tree offers free expert advice from family historians, tips on finding family treasures, and activities ranging from preservation seminars to celebrity panel discussions.
It is presented in association with related organisations such as state records, national and state libraries, genealogy societies, historical societies and ancestry.com.
People can view records from the Archives' collection, learn how to use the online database, buy books on family history research and pick up a free show bag.
Each capital city office will hold seminars, workshops, demonstrations and guided tours to help Australians start their family history journey. State programs are available at naa.gov.au.