Treasure trove of local history at the Library

Members of The Tumut Family History Group Inc with their library display: L to R Carolyn Martin, Phyllis Dowling, Robert Merrigan, and Paula Cavanough.

August is National Family History Month, and the Tumut Family History Group have seized the opportunity to show off what they can do. There will be a display in the library demonstrating the kinds of things they can uncover, and President Phyllis Dowling said anyone interested in exploring their own family’s history should get in touch.

“We’ve got four of us here pretty much permanently on a Wednesday afternoon between 12 o’clock and four o’clock if anyone comes in, and we’ve got this set up for the month so if anyone wants to see what is available they can take a look at it anytime, or they can come and we’ll explain it to them,” she said.

The display stands in the back corner of the library in front of the group’s considerable set of resources, including books of local history and extensive local records. There are pioneer’s registers, church registers, cemetery books, births, deaths and marriages, and newspapers on microfilm from Yass to Cooma.

There are copies of the Tumut and Adelong Times as well as our former competitors, the Tumut Advocate, and the Adelong and Tumut Express, going back to 1864.

“If you were looking for something early on you’d have to go through three papers to find it, and it would always be in the last one you looked at!” laughed Phyllis.

There are even copies of the Adelong Mining Journal, along with the Alpine Pioneer, and Kiandra paper when the former gold mining town was booming.

Then there is something quite special: the Perkins Papers.

“They were done by one of the Perkins’ from Adelong; he was a Member of Parliament, and when he retired he went through all these papers and typed up everything out of every paper that pertained to Tumut, and that is indexed,” Phyllis explained.

The Tumut Family History Group can be reached at [email protected], or otherwise can be contacted in person at the library on Wednesday afternoons.