Researching online is great; you virtually have the world at your fingertips and within a few keystrokes what was once a brick wall becomes a fantastic find. Recently my research led me to the south of Australia in Victoria, and specifically to the small towns of Eganstown, Echucha and Nathalia. One of the families I am looking at lived for a time in each of these towns after finally settling in Nathalia; a name I wasn’t at all familiar with. After asking my best friend Google for some help and scrolling through her answers, I chanced upon the Nathalia Genealogy Group and my research took a new turn when I found they had five publications in which two of my families were featured. Of course I had to order the books for my library and when they arrived I was jubilant to see some old photos of some of the ancestors I had come to know, as well as brief biographies about their emigration and life in Victoria; little gems of information to pass on to my client. It reminded me that these out of place and obscure repositories are where most of these little gems are found; the large databases are unarguably important however they mostly contain the “exterior” of the story, a few of the leaves for your tree. But it’s places like Nathalia Genealogy Group, or local historical societies, which more often than not have the crux of your story, the heart of your hidden past, “the bark and roots of your tree”…and sometimes these gems have been gathering dust for years on their humble shelves…waiting for you to polish them once again.