Family history research yields fame and notoriety

Derek

Family history research yields fame and notoriety

AUGUST 2015 | Joanne Eisemann

DEREK THOMPSON of Moltema began researching his family history a year ago. His efforts have uncovered around five thousand family members, deceased and alive, he did not know about.

He began this journey when he attended a University of the Third Age at the Family History Centre housed in the Mormon Church Deloraine.

Interest in the subject sparked “because (he) did not know anything about (his) family at all (as his relatives) never talked about (their) family.”

It turns out Derek is related to a famous figure in English history, Grace Darling. Her part in rescuing survivors from the SS Forfarshire when the ship was driven by a storm onto Harcar Rock, on the Farne Islands, in 1838 had brought her national recognition.

“Grace Darling (was) my great, great, great aunt,” says Derek.

He also has blood connections to Ralph Darling, the notorious governor of New South Wales from 1825 to 1831. Yet connections made are not all in the past.

“I have found a cousin I did not know I had since I have been researching,” shares Derek.

Also into family history, she has been working with him on their family tree even though they have never met.

However, he plans to change that soon. He will meet his cousin next year when he goes to New South Wales for his granddaughter’s university graduation.

According to Derek there is no better place than the Family History Centre in Deloraine to work on family history.

There he has access to everything he needs on the Internet as well as support from the people who run the centre.

“I am not going to find any better information or any better people to help me find that information,” comments Derek.

The Family History Centre operates from the Mormon Church in Deloraine every Tuesday from 10.00am to 3.00pm. All are welcome or give Graham Brown a call for more info on 0429 447 222.

 Mike Moores