Look back and learn

TRAGEDY, love and war are always the catalysts of a great story.

Yet many still look to Hollywood for their tales of inspiration.

Liverpool Genealogy Society president Peter Allen is determined to change that.

He is encouraging locals to piece together their own family tree and discover the hidden truths of their ancestors.

The Vietnam veteran, 70, began his own journey into his past almost 15 years ago. He said once he delved in, he was hooked.

"I was truly surprised by what my history found," he said. "I discovered that my great-grandfather, who was of Irish decent, migrated to Australia in 1841. He married an Irish lass and they lived in Campbellfield in Victoria on a government allotment where they had 10 children.

"My grandfather was the eldest child and he also had 10 children. Most were farmers and they lived in the rural areas of Victoria and NSW in the Riverina district. They farmed wheat and barley and grains, and were responsible for supplying flour for the community's bread.

"My mother's father was a cattle driver and a horse showman. He used to drive the cattle across the Darling River to pasture."

Mr Allen said the key to genealogy was to begin with yourself and, with the help of family members, track your blood line.

"You look at your parents, their parents, their parents' parents and you use all the records available to you," he said.

"I've been doing my history since 1999 and I only just finished at my grandfather.

"It takes a long time because you have to go out and find the information, cross-check it and make sure it is correct."

Mr Allen said his society also had links with overseas historic and genealogy societies.

"We provide a free-of-charge service to help interested persons piece together their family tree," he said.

"We can access records for NSW, Queensland and Victoria up to certain years under current legislation.

"We also have access to cemetery records, and a genealogist.

Details: The Liverpool Genealogy Society is located inside the Liverpool Regional Museum.

Address: Corner of the Hume Highway and Congressional Drive. Call: 9822 8360

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