We enable people without access to traditional banks (including many women) to expand their businesses, educate their children, save for the future and raise themselves out of poverty. Through Kiva, a non-profit organisation working with microfinance institutions, you choose a borrower to support with a loan of just $25. Similar loans by other lenders are combined until the required total is reached. As your money is repaid you can withdraw it or lend it to someone else. Money that is loaned over and over again does more good than a one-time donation. Join 'Genealogists for Families' - together we are making a difference!

05 April 2012

Meet the Team: Kerry Farmer

This week's guest post is by Genealogists for Families team member Kerry Farmer from New South Wales, Australia.

Tell us a bit about yourself.

I live and work in Sydney, although I did live for a few years in London and also in Tokyo, in the years when I was a computer programmer and systems analyst. I started teaching 'Family history, using the Internet' in 1997 and later joined the GenClass group of instructors teaching online courses. Since 2010 I have been the Director of Australian Studies with the National Institute for Genealogical Studies, responsible for developing the Australian Records certificate, and writing many of the courses. 

What do lending and participating in this project mean to you?

My parents have always been heavily involved in community projects and fund raising for charity. Through Rotary International and Indigenous Community Volunteers, my Dad has organised or been involved in major international and Australian community projects, using his skills to help people help themselves. For me, getting involved with Kiva seems a great extension of that.

Did you choose particular borrowers because their occupations or situations have some significance in your family history or your own life?

As a mother myself, I tend to be drawn to women borrowers who are trying to help their families. Sometimes a particular occupation or location or even a name attracted me to want to help a particular person.

Do you have a strategy for raising funds or saving for your $25 loans?

When repayments from previous loans start getting close to another $25 I top it up to make another. So far one of my loans has been funded by surveys I've completed. Another couple came about when I was paid a small amount for giving a genealogy talk to a community group. They apologised for the small payment and I told them that I would use the money to make a Kiva loan. When I described what Kiva was about, in both cases people in the audience donated for their own Kiva loans.

Your Web site or blog?

http://familyhistoryresearch.com.au is my main website; http://famresearch.wordpress.com is my blog.

Your main family history research interests?

ETHERINGTON in Australia and southern England. Others include BENNETT, BOND, CARTER, KELLETT, LYONS, MILLS, MOORE, SCRIVEN, SHUTER in England and Australia, McKENZIE and McNEILL in Ayrshire (Scotland), EVERETT in Ireland, SHUTER in Poland and KELLETT in South Africa  plus a line in Asker, Norway with patronymic surnames that change every generation.
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Join Genealogists for Families. Together we can make a difference!


  1. Kerry, thanks for supporting Kiva and the Genealogists for Families project. It was great to catch up with you in person during the Congress in Adelaide.

  2. Thanks, Kerry and Judy,
    It's always interesting to read the bios of group members.


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