The Queensland Family History Society was launched on 6 June 1979, by a group of family history researchers who met at Holy Trinity Church Hall, Woolloongabba.
This group appreciated the importance of educating members in family history research techniques. They realised that a comprehensive family history requires an understanding of the period being researched: the social, political, military, economic, religious, medical, migratory, and geographical circumstances of the time.
A very active society developed in the first 10 years. Early members established a library of resources to help members with their worldwide research. Life memberships helped fund acquisitions. The library was first located under Joan Hodgson's home, later moved to under Marianne Eastgate's desk at Griffith University Library, before moving to the society's first rooms at Bowen Hills. The Library and Resource Centre’s next move was to a larger building at Albion, and finally to the current premises at Gaythorne. Read about the history of the Gaythorne area.
In the Society’s early days, general meetings, Open Days, and social activities encouraged the interaction between members necessary to build a vibrant society. Members shared hints, tips, and techniques to help break down research brick walls. Today these activities, and more, continue to assist members with their research.
The members also started to record cemetery monumental inscriptions throughout Queensland. Over five years, Joan Ainsworth coordinated transcription of Toowong Cemetery, one of the first of many Society publications. Members also began indexing Queensland government and immigrations records. As an Australian bicentennial project, the Society published the Queensland pre-separation population index (later released on CD as the Queensland early pioneers index 1824-1859). This index, suggested by Dorothy Grice and coordinated by Marianne Eastgate, covered 75 sets of records for Queensland for the period before separation from New South Wales in December 1859.
Many people with vision and commitment have contributed to the growth of our society; they are warmly remembered.
For further reading see Queensland Family Historian 1999, Vol. 20, Nos 3, 4.