Discover Local History Using Facebook
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.
AUSTRALIAN CAPITAL TERRITORY
NEW SOUTH WALES
Memories of Blacktown NSW
Lithgow Heritage Trail
Memories of St Marys - South Creek NSW, Australia
Your Brisbane: Past and Present
Cairns of yesteryear – celebrating our past
Have you seen the old Gold Coast
Ipswich, Then and Now
Longreach News Trips & Tales
Mackay North and Western Queensland Old Pics and Yarns
This is Nerang
Yeppoon/Rockhampton/CQ Old Pics and Yarns
Gawler History Team
Gumeracha and District Past and Present
Hamley Bridge Past and Present
Lost History of South Australia
Lost Hobart and Southern Surrounds
Birregurra..Then And Now
Daylesford & Hepburn – Lost History & Photos
Dunolly & District History
Moonee Valley Memes
Lost Mornington Peninsula
Lost West Heidelberg
Memories of Busselton
Memories of Bunbury
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.