News Release

Family History: A Family Affair

There was a buzz in the air with the gentle tapping of computer keys and chatter amongst people. Scattered throughout the room were helpers in bright green vests with the words “” printed on them.

During National Family History Month, members of the Patterson Lakes Ward (congregation) of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Braeside, Victoria hosted an event attended by family history buffs and other interested people of all ages.

Mirza Miller, one of the organisers, was observed bustling around helping people at various stations dedicated to such things as finding a name, indexing, account access, and old fashioned activities for children.  


“Family history work is a family affair,” remarked Mirza. “Why? Because it gives people a sense of connectivity both with our past and our future. People, in general, want to know where they came from.”

But isn’t family history for older people? The grandmother who has albums of photos or the grandfather who always has a story to tell? 

In response to these questions, Mirza shook her head with a smile.

“This work is also for the younger children, teenagers, in your 20s, 30s, 40s - for everyone!”

She pointed to some wearing the vests. There were young girls helping mothers and teens whizzing through the Internet.

One of the youngest volunteers was eleven-year-old Emily, who helped people gain access to their accounts on,, and

“I love the fact that you get to see how big the family is,” said Emily as she moved to the next person. “You think it’s so small and then you see [your family tree] and it’s so big!”

Mirza added, “Family history is about learning who our ancestors are, their lives and stories - they were also young kids and teenagers once.”

“Learning how they've lived, their goals, sacrifices, aspirations, successes and failures, and from these stories perhaps we can learn a lesson or two. It is only when we have studied their lives that we develop that deep love and appreciation for our ancestors.”

She continued, “I believe it is beneficial to engage our younger children in this work. The earlier they learn about their personal history, the sooner they become aware of different cultures and gain pride in their heritage.”

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