read more here).
By the time the course commenced, 8 people had signed up, none of whom were members of the Church. For most, their participation in the course was their first personal contact with the Church and first experience inside a Church building.
Each two hour lesson block was divided into an hour of instruction and an hour of practice time, assisted by local FHC volunteers including the Centre director and his wife, Graham and Sue Brown. Topics included:
- Getting started - Why the Church invests so much in family history, and why it's worthwhile for us to get to know our ancestors.
- Recording your family history - Using paper (including the new My Family booklet), computer and on-line facilities including the Family Tree on FamilySearch.org.
- Australian research - How to access local births, deaths and marriage records and Australian newspaper archives.
- International research - Using international databases, websites and forums to research ancestors in other parts of the world.
- Photos and stories - Preserving precious family memories that turn our hearts to our ancestors.
- Unlocking records - Volunteer projects that enable us to contribute to the availability of on-line records, such as FamilySearch Indexing and BillionGraves headstone recording.
In describing the experience, Suzanne said, "I've always appreciated the importance of family history as a member of the Church, but to be able to see others who are not members of the Church visibly touched as they made discoveries about their ancestors was a real testament to me of the power of turning our hearts to our fathers."
None of these students may ever join the Church - that was not the objective of the course! - but each one has a deeper connection to their own families and greater understanding of the value that Church members place on enduring family relationships.
A copy of the course in PDF format will be made available here shortly.