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Handbooks Courses Units

HYM4620 - Family History and Genealogy

12 points, SCA Band 1, 0.250 EFTSL

Postgraduate Faculty of Arts

Leader: Seamus O'Hanlon


Not offered in 2008


This unit offers a critical and practical approach to the study of family history and genealogy. Students will examine the recent explosion of interest in family history, placing it against the broader history of the family and the contemporary search for personal identity, including the recovery of memory among migrant and indigenous communities. They will be introduced to the interpretation of the main sources of family history, including records of the human life-cycle, migration, church affiliation, property transactions and adoptions, and oral history. They will gain skills in writing and publishing family history and using family history in celebrations, commemorations and reunions.


On successful completion of this unit students will:

  1. have been introduced to debates surrounding the modern development of the family history movement.

  1. have been introduced to the history of the family in its European and Australian contexts.

  1. have developed skills in the selection and interpretation of the main sources for the writing of family history in Australia.

  1. have developed skills in the writing, editing and publishing of family history.

  1. have explored the uses of family history in events of celebration, commemoration and reunion.


Source Exercise 2000 words 20%, Critical/ reflective Essay 2000 words 20%, Family History Project 4000 words 50%, Class participation 1000 words 10%

Contact hours

One x 1 hr on-line discussion group/week


One x 2 hr seminar/week


Undergraduate degree with a major in history, or permission from co-ordinator.

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