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There are many websites that help you find facts about your ancestors and build your family tree. Our Family Past is a new website with a difference. It makes it easier for you to tell the story of your family and your ancestors, and to share your story online.

The internet has given family historians enormous opportunities for finding new ancestors and new facts about their family history. There are now many genealogy websites and the sets of online historical records that are available grows daily. Family trees and family facts are interesting, but it’s the stories of real people and the places that they lived in that really captures the imagination. This is shown by the success of television programs such as Who Do You Think You Are?

Printed books are a wonderful way to tell a family story but books can be difficult to update as family history research uncovers more ancestors and more facts. Online blog sites can be useful but they have limitations.

Our Family Past is a new online service for creating, sharing and preserving family history stories. It is easy to use and powerful. Our Family Past allows family historians and the members of their families to create narrative stories about their families’ pasts, based on their family history research and on the memories of family members.


Each family story that is hosted on Our Family Past is made up of articles. Some articles can be about individual people, telling the story of that person’s life and their family connections. Other articles can be about groups of people, about particular places or about interesting topics in the family’s history.

Family stories can also be told through images, sound recordings and videos. Family photographs can bring a story to life. Audio recordings can capture the voices and the memories of our relatives. And today, we are capturing treasured family moments on video which can be passed down to our descendants. Our Family Past makes it easy to include images, audio recordings and video recordings in articles. There is a media library for each story in which to upload and store the images, audio recordings and video recordings.

Our Family Past has simple tools for editing articles and publishing them online. Family stories can be progressively extended, with new articles added and existing articles updated as new family history facts are discovered.


The stories that are hosted on Our Family Past can be made publicly available or only shared with invited family and friends.

Our Family Past was launched in January 2016. It has been developed by an Australian team of family historians and digital storytellers. The website features some stories that families have made publicly available and has videos showing how to get started.

Our Family Past is a subscription based service. It’s free to get started and create a story of up to 10 articles. For larger stories and more advanced features, the subscription fee is from $85 per year.

Visit Read more about the site in the current Jan-Feb issue of Inside History

Courtesy State Library of Victoria, ID H2011.59_41.
Courtesy State Library of Victoria, ID H2011.59_41.

Brought to you by our friends at Our Family Past

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