Discover Local History Using Facebook

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.


Vintage Canberra


Memories of Blacktown NSW

Lithgow Heritage Trail

Lost Manly

Lost Manly

Lost Newcastle

Memories of St Marys – South Creek NSW, Australia

Lost Sydney

Lost Sydney

Lost Tumut

Lost Wollongong


Lost Darwin


Lost Brisbane

Your Brisbane: Past and Present

Lost Bribie

Lost Caboolture

Cairns of yesteryear – celebrating our past

Lost Cairns

Have you seen the old Gold Coast

Vintage Queensland

Ipswich, Then and Now

Longreach News Trips & Tales

Mackay North and Western Queensland Old Pics and Yarns

This is Nerang

Lost Redcliffe

Yeppoon/Rockhampton/CQ Old Pics and Yarns


Lost Adelaide

Gawler Gold

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


Country Victoria

Daylesford & Hepburn – Lost History & Photos

Dunolly & District History

Fading Victoria

Flemington Heritage


Lost Maryborough

Lost Melbourne

Moonee Valley Memes

Lost Mornington Peninsula

Lost West Heidelberg


Memories of Busselton

Memories of Bunbury

Lost Geraldton

Lost Mandurah

Lost Northam

Lost Perth

Lost Rockingham


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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11 Responses to “Discover Local History Using Facebook”

  1. Shauna Hicks says:

    Great idea and useful list, thanks Alona

  2. Helen Smith says:

    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 says:

      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. Great list Alona. I have a couple of Western Victorian pages you might like –
    Have You Seen Old Ballaarat Town?
    Stawell’s Views By Old Time Photography

    • Alona says:

      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 says:

    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 :)


    ps. Thanks for your list.

    • Alona says:

      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 says:

    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 says:

      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.


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