Starting today, The Area News will publish a fortnightly column from the Griffith Genealogical and Historical Society Inc about events of the area’s past.
The society first started as Griffith Family Tree Discussion Group on July 22, 1981.
Lynette Brown was one of the 17 founding members and is still an active member.
Back in 1981, there were no research aids or indexes as there are today.
In August 1982 the society began researching the oldest cemetery in the area, known as the Bagtown Cemetery (on Pedley Road, Hanwood) where there were four surviving headstones, the rest were unmarked.
Between 1911 and 1922 burials were recorded at Hay or Narrandera, with registrations held at the Hay Courthouse.
Registrations began in Griffith in 1923.
The first burial in the new Griffith Cemetery was on Anzac Day, 1922. Mirrool Lions Club had undertaken to renovate the cemetery and, with the 1988 Bicentenary approaching, decided to erect a memorial listing all burials.
In 1982, the society decided to record burials in all cemeteries within 100 miles of Griffith, from West Wyalong to Ivanhoe and Lake Cargelligo to Coleambally.
Members visited cemeteries, transcribed headstones and typists printed the transcriptions for checking before the results were recorded.
By 1988 not only was the restoration of the Bagtown cemetery completed but seven books of cemetery transcriptions were published.
They were later transferred to CD Riverina Cemeteries which is available for sale.
Between 1990 and 1993 the society published four volumes of Griffith and District Pioneers.
Over 37 years the society has built a considerable library of research resources of books, microfilms and computer indexes to aid accurate family history research within Australia and overseas.