Discover Local History Using Facebook

Discover Local History Using Facebook

September 24, 2013 in All Posts, Australia, Local History, Reference

I don’t know of anyone who doesn’t like sitting down with an old photo album and flipping through the pages, wondering about people, the places, and life as it was back then … reminiscing. And any historian and/or genealogist know that learning about the history of a region where your family (be it YOUR own family, or the generations before you), is such an important aspect of it research. But just how do you find out the history and people of a town or area?

Well until relatively recently there’s been two options. Firstly look around to see what books have been produced on the area and try to track them down, either through libraries, or secondhand bookstores), or secondly visit (or write if you’re not local) the genealogy or historical groups that are in the region. These are usually a goldmine of information, and are ALWAYS a good source of records. A third option, and is one that we all love, is to search old newspapers. And for us here in Australia that means going to Trove!

But now there’s a new way to at least enhance your knowledge of the area, and that is by following a Facebook page that is dedicated to the local history of the town or area you’re interested in. The concept of starting a Facebook page for someone to share their photos and knowledge of a town, while inviting others to contribute seems to have really boomed in the past year or so.

Facebook now has over 1.15  users globally, and almost 700 million of them log on daily (and yes, I’m one of those 700 million), so creating a Facebook page or group really does potentially give you a global audience.

Setting up a page or group on Facebook is simple and there is no cost, so for someone to choose to create a page to share photos, is really creating an photo album to share with the Facebook world.

I’m in Australia but I have roots to various counties in England as well as to New Jersey in the US, so I find it interesting to learn about the history of those areas. And as part of that I currently follow a Facebook page called Old Cornwall in pictures, which simply puts up old photos of Cornwall, and while I’ve never been there I find it very fascinating to see the places my ancestors came from.

As you can imagine not every place around the world (or even in Australia) has a Facebook page or group created for it, but having browsed around I can tell you there’s a LOT. So I’ve decided to create a list of the Australian-related local history pages that I’ve found so far. Now, I’m sure that I’ve missed some, so if you know of others, write them in the comments box below, so others can then see them.

Please note, I’ve chosen to ONLY list those pages or groups that are primarily dedicated to sharing local history. But I have chosen to not include organisations such as Historical Societies, Museums or similar for this list.

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AUSTRALIAN CAPITAL TERRITORY
Vintage Canberra
https://www.facebook.com/vintagecanberra

 

NEW SOUTH WALES
Memories of Blacktown NSW
https://www.facebook.com/blacktownmemories

Lithgow Heritage Trail
https://www.facebook.com/LithgowHeritageTrail

Lost Manly
https://www.facebook.com/groups/LostManly/

Lost Manly
https://www.facebook.com/lostmanlypage

Lost Newcastle
https://www.facebook.com/groups/LostNewcastle/

Memories of St Marys - South Creek NSW, Australia
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Memories-of-St-Marys-South-Creek-NSW-Australia/122749694597723

Lost Sydney
https://www.facebook.com/groups/lostsydney/

Lost Sydney
https://www.facebook.com/lostsydneyhistory

Lost Tumut
https://www.facebook.com/losttumut

Lost Wollongong
https://www.facebook.com/groups/lostwollongong

 

NORTHERN TERRITORY
Lost Darwin
https://www.facebook.com/LostDarwin

 

QUEENSLAND
Lost Brisbane
https://www.facebook.com/Lost.Brisbane

Your Brisbane: Past and Present
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Your-Brisbane-Past-and-Present/122963015127

Lost Bribie
https://www.facebook.com/lostbribie

Lost Caboolture
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Lost-Caboolture/558045160898361

Cairns of yesteryear – celebrating our past
https://www.facebook.com/OldCairns

Lost Cairns
https://www.facebook.com/LostCairns

Have you seen the old Gold Coast
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Have-you-seen-the-old-Gold-Coast/280745045301771

Vintage Queensland
https://www.facebook.com/VintageQueensland

Ipswich, Then and Now
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Ipswich-Then-and-Now/172663226219296

Longreach News Trips & Tales
https://www.facebook.com/LongreachNewsTripsandTales

Mackay North and Western Queensland Old Pics and Yarns
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Mackay-North-and-Western-Queensland-Old-Pics-and-Yarns/271725352851414

This is Nerang
https://www.facebook.com/ThisIsNerang

Lost Redcliffe
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Lost-Redcliffe/566426046738867

Yeppoon/Rockhampton/CQ Old Pics and Yarns
https://www.facebook.com/OLD.PICS.AND.YARNS

 

SOUTH AUSTRALIA
Lost Adelaide
https://www.facebook.com/LostAdelaide

Gawler Gold
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Gawler-gold/685675811447250

Gawler History Team
https://www.facebook.com/gawlerhistoryteam/

Gumeracha and District Past and Present
https://www.facebook.com/GumerachaHistory

Hamley Bridge Past and Present
https://www.facebook.com/HamleyBridgePastAndPresent

Lost History of South Australia
https://www.facebook.com/LostHistoryOfSouthAustralia

 

TASMANIA
Lost Hobart and Southern Surrounds
https://www.facebook.com/groups/223873127723634/

 

VICTORIA
Ballarat
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Ballarat/403878793068098

Birregurra..Then And Now
https://www.facebook.com/BirregurraThenAndNow

Colac
https://www.facebook.com/ColacVic

Country Victoria
https://www.facebook.com/LostCountryVictoria

Daylesford & Hepburn – Lost History & Photos
https://www.facebook.com/DaylesfordHepburnoldphotos

Dunolly & District History
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Dunolly-District-History/157363057656075

Fading Victoria
https://www.facebook.com/fadingvictoria

Flemington Heritage
https://www.facebook.com/flemingtonheritage

Geelong
https://www.facebook.com/geelongvictoria

Lost Maryborough
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Lost-Maryborough/202802246554650

Lost Melbourne
https://www.facebook.com/LostMelbourne

Moonee Valley Memes
https://www.facebook.com/MooneeValleyMemes

Lost Mornington Peninsula
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Lost-Mornington-Peninsula/377591039028519

Lost West Heidelberg
https://www.facebook.com/lostwestheidelberg.photos

 

WESTERN AUSTRALIA
Memories of Busselton
https://www.facebook.com/BusseltonMemories

Memories of Bunbury
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Memories-of-Bunbury/158463297660502

Lost Geraldton
https://www.facebook.com/LostGeraldton

Lost Mandurah
https://www.facebook.com/LostMandurah

Lost Northam
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Lost-Northam/635682966443938

Lost Perth
https://www.facebook.com/LostPerth

Lost Rockingham
https://www.facebook.com/lostrockingham

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So there you go, that’s my tip for the day. Find a Facebook page or group that relates to an area you’re in, and follow it. Like I said earlier you can simply search for others by typing the place name in the top search bar, and before hitting the Enter key, scroll down to the last few options on the dropdown list and look for “Find all places called ……”, or “Find all pages called ….”, then you simply browse through.

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  1. Shauna Hicks - September 24, 2013

    Great idea and useful list, thanks Alona

    • Alona - September 24, 2013

      Thanks Shauna.

  2. Helen Smith - September 24, 2013

    Excellent list! You beat me to it with your post.

    I have been a long-time fan of these Facebook groups and am always pleased to find more as can spend many an hour browsing through the old photos.

    • Alona - September 24, 2013

      Ooh no, I’m sorry Helen, I didn’t know you were going to to the same thing. I didn’t mean to tread on your toes with it. But yes, I do love these groups … it’s great to see the areas as they were.

  3. Merron Riddiford - September 24, 2013

    Great list Alona. I have a couple of Western Victorian pages you might like -
    Have You Seen Old Ballaarat Town? http://www.facebook.com/pages/Have-you-seen-old-Ballaarat-Town/678478752179245
    Stawell’s Views By Old Time Photography http://www.facebook.com/pages/Stawells-Views-By-Old-Time-Photography/553752538018258

    • Alona - September 24, 2013

      Ooh Merron, thanks for those. Obviously I missed those in my search, but thatnks so much for the links. I’m off to have a look now.

  4. Michelle Maunder - September 24, 2013

    Hi Alona, this is my first comment, I have been a fan for a while now and really enjoy reading your page. I agree with the facebook pages, I have found so many recently that are just a wealth of knowledge and information. I hope the genealogy pages keep appearing on Facebook and that people become aware that Facebook can be useful & educational :)

    Michelle

    ps. Thanks for your list.

    • Alona - September 24, 2013

      Hi Michelle, so glad you dropped by to say hello, and that you’re enjoying my blogs. And I’m also a fan (as you may have guessed) of the Facebook local history pages. They are great aren’t they. And whether you’re familiar with the area or not, they give a little insight into what the place was like. ;-)

  5. Pauleen - October 8, 2013

    A great list Alona. I’ve followed blogs for aome of thse in my Qld interest but hadn’t looked for them on FB! Oops, and thanks!!

    • Alona - October 9, 2013

      I must admit I was surprised at how many there were when I really started looking. But it is a lovely way to connect with others and see the history of a place.

  6. Merron Riddiford - October 22, 2013

    I have another one Alona…Lost Warrnambool…https://www.facebook.com/lostwarrnambool

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