Perth, Western Australia
As this site is always changing
Despite its bizarre
name, the Perth Dead
Persons' Society is alive
and well, tracing family
When a member emailed me it looked at first glance like a weird junk-mail message, and was destined for the recycle bin.
But on reading it I found a link to an Internet resource attracting thousands of hits from genealogy researchers worldwide.
The name was inspired by the Robin Williams film, Dead Poets' Society, popular when the society began earlier this decade.
Back then computer and Net use was just starting to take off.
Many retirees wanted to trace family roots but had trouble with their computers and modems - this was even before Windows 95.
Initially, members con-
tacted each other via bulletin boards. The need for computer advice sparked group meetings, first in Melbourne and then in other capitals, including Perth.
So, initially, the society focused on technical help and some assistance with research.
Now it has branched out into an on-line data resource and is involved in reciprocal research around the world.
The Perth DPS was originally formed by people who communicated on a bulletin-board service which closed early last year.
Then Murdoch University's Teaching and Learning Centre came to the rescue, offering to host a web site and a DPS chat mailing list.
Many of those involved are in the WA Genealogy Society too, but the DPS has always had a more on-line focus.
List moderator Rob Nelson
said the 135 regular list mem-
bers include some from over-
The DPS also holds meet-
ings and has an extensive
series of web pages attracting
a big number of hits.
Close to 80OO hits have
been recorded on the DPS
homepage since May last
year and more than 14,000
hits are recorded on the site's
Australian convict research
Military movements are
featured too, including Boer
War troops. There are also
pages on specific names be-
ing researched by members.
A "funny bones" section
shows just how odd geneal-
ogists can be. Enthusiasts
know they're addicted to
genealogy if they brake when
driving past libraries and
hyperventilate when they see
an old cemetery.
See more at:
The Perth Dead Persons' Society was originally formed by a group of Western Australian family researchers who communicated on the FidoNet Bulletin Board service known as the Dark Closet. It was operated by Sue and Tony Down and unfortunately, had to close down in late January 1998.
Murdoch University's Teaching and Learning Centre came to the rescue and offered to host this Web Site and a Mailing List called [dps-chat].
The [dps-chat] Mailing List is moderated by Rob Nelson and the Mailing List Web Pages will give you subscription details and other information.
The DPS movement began in Melbourne, Australia in August 1992 when twelve interested people met in the home of Leone Fabre. The Melbourne DPS has grown since those early days, and since April 1994 has met in a local community hall capable of accomodating the fifty or more people who attend each month.
After the Melbourne experience, groups soon sprang up in other major capital cities and in each case the DPS members gravitated around a Fidonet BBS which specialised in genealogical conferences and files.
Meetings provide a forum for the exchange of ideas and skills, and apart from regular hands-on workshop sessions, guest speakers are also invited to speak on special topics of interest.
Today DPS SOCIETIES are located throughout
Australia and New Zealand, and if you are travelling around Australasia, why
not try and attend a DPS meeting along the way.
Oct 5, 2002