Not that hard: visiting the Genealogical Society of Victoria

If you think that you need to be a member to visit the Genealogical Society of Victoria [GSV] hopefully this blog will encourage you to visit and find out the facts first hand.  The other misconception some people have is that the Society’s resources are limited to Victoria.  In fact the society has wonderful resources for researching ancestors from around the world.

Explore the web site of the GSV to find out all the details: opening times, services, activities, events, bookshop, catalogue and much more. 

This blog isn’t about repeating the information on the GSV web site – it’s aimed at making you feel comfortable about dropping in for a visit.

WHERE:

Level B1, 257 Collins Street, Melbourne

HOW TO FIND THE GSV:

The GSV is located in Emirates House on the south side of Collins Street between Swanston and Elizabeth Streets.  Australia on Collins is almost opposite and Emirates House is just a few doors towards Swanston Street from the pedestrian crossing lights.  [below left and centre]

Go through the sliding glass entrance doors of Emirates House.  [below right]

 
     

Once you are in the foyer, DON’T go past the escalators!  Turn LEFT immediately before the jewellers on the left – the lifts are behind the jeweller’s shop.  Press the DOWN button and when you’re in the lift select “B1″.  [below left]

Emirates House runs between Collins Street and Flinders Lane.  If you are coming from the Flinders Street Railway Station, you can enter the building at rear – 257 Flinders Lane.  [below centre]

When you come out of the lift at level B1 you will see the GSV sign in the foyer.  [below right]

 
     

WHAT YOU’LL FIND AT THE GSV:

Turn left down the corridor – and pause to look at the wonderful family charts on the wall.  There are also photos of all the GSV’s presidents.  [below left]

At the end of the corridor is reception and the bookshop.  Allow plenty of time to browse the wonderful selection of books, CDs, charts, genealogy programs, vouchers and much more.  Have a look at the online GSV bookshop to get an idea of the huge range available … and if what you want is not in stock the GSV may be able to get it in for you.  [below right]

 
   

USING THE LIBRARY:

Prospective members may have a brief tour of the library if the staff or volunteers are available.You do not need to be a member of the GSV to use the library – there are day rates and also reciprocal rights for members of nominated interstate societies.  Ask at the reception desk to check the options for you.

Visitors and members are required to wear their name tags or membership cards at all times in the library. 

No bags are permitted in the library – these should be placed in one of the lockers provided.  Clear plastic bags are permitted for your research papers.

Only pencils are permitted in the library – if you don’t have one, you can borrow one from the library information desk.

Members should scan the barcode on their card when they first arrive at the library and at the end of the day when they leave.  [below left and right]

 
 

 

LIBRARY FACILITIES and RESOURCES:

The information and enquiry desk is the first point of call – this is where you book computers and film readers, ask for assistance and advice on using the catalogue and doing your research, and collect your printing and copying.  [below left]

Bookings must be made for using the computers and film readers as there are time limits and specific machines are allocated depending on your area and type of research.  [below centre and right]

All monitors have been upgraded to flat screens providing greater desk-space for everyone.  [below right]

 
     

You will also need to book microfilm readers and should check with the information desk on procedures for using microfiche.  [below left]

Many resources are still available on microfiche and microfilm and the GSV holds an extensive collection.  [below centre]

In addition to the film printer, the GSV has a Scanpro film and fiche scanner and printer – digital images can also be saved to USB drives from this equipment.  Check with the information desk to book the Scanpro for short-term use.  [below right]

 
     

OTHER FACILITIES:

The GSV meeting room is used for the Thursday lunchtime talks, computer classes, courses and various special interest groups.  It includes full data projection and audio equipment.  Check the GSV web site for information on all activities.  [below left]

You can plan a full day at the GSV – bring your own lunch or make use of the numerous food outlets nearby.  There is a kitchen with tea & coffee making facilities.  Relax and chat with other library users in the lunch area.  [below right]

 
 

 

There is so much to see and do at the Genealogical Society of Victoria – don’t be afraid to visit and find out what you’re missing!

Geelong: Assisted Immigrants Remittances 1856-1858

I do love some of the wonderful hidden treasures amongst the records held at the Public Record Office Victoria – and those that have been transcribed or indexed by the Geelong Family History Group [GFHG].

As part of an ongoing project with the GFHG, volunteers from our region are transcribing or indexing their huge collection and adding them to our Geelong & District database.

This is one of my absolute favourites!  It is part of VPRS 22 / P0: Customs, Shipping and Immigration Records – 8 of the 27 units in this series are specifically Geelong records!  And yes, we’re planning on working on the other records in this series.

To give you an idea on how wonderful these records are, I’ll step you through the details available in our Geelong & District database and the additional information available from the Geelong Family History Group transcriptions.

A search was done in the Geelong & District database for the name CROHAN.There were 43 matching entries [10 Sep 2011] for CROHAN – the ones of particular interest are the four entries for:

  • Bridget CROHAN
  • 23 Sep 1856
  • Geelong: Assisted Immigrants Remittances 1856-1858

 

 CROHAN – search

  Clicking on VIEW for the first entry you will find these details:

  • Bridget CROHAN was the Depositor
  • Mary CURTIN was the Nominee
  • Mary CURTIN was the MOTHER of Bridget CROHAN
  • PROV reference: VPRS 22 / P0 / 15
  • GFHG Reference Number is 70
  • Link to explanation of this record group which includes links to GFHG Research Requests or the Public Record Office web site

CROHAN – results 1

  Clicking on VIEW for the second entry you will find these details:

  • Bridget CROHAN was the Depositor
  • Mary MOYLAN was the Nominee
  • Mary MOYLAN was the SISTER of Bridget CROHAN
  • PROV reference: VPRS 22 / P0 / 15
  • GFHG Reference Number is 70
  • Link to explanation of this record group which includes links to GFHG Research Requests or the Public Record Office web site

CROHAN – results 2

Viewing the third and fourth entries will provide similar information for Thomas MOYLAN and Patrick MOYLAN – probably nephews of Bridget CROHAN.

If you look at the original record at PROV or submit a Research Request for the transcription from the Geelong Family History Group, you will find these details [in addition to those above]:

  • Bridget CROHAN resided with Ed Willis Esq, Barrabool Hills, Geelong
  • Mary CURTIN was aged 50, a housekeeper and widowed
  • Mary MOYLAN was aged 30, a nurse and widowed
  • Thomas MOYLAN was aged 16, a labourer and single
  • Patrick MOYLAN was aged 9 and single
  • The Nominees [CURTIN & MOYLANs] arrived on the ship Echunga on 20 August 1857 [many ship details have been added to the GFHG transcriptions and were not all included in the original transcription]
  • The Nominees’ residence was shown as – Alex Bannalyneby [?], Ennis Mills, Co Clare, Ireland

GFHG Ref No 70 – CROHAN

CROHAN – GFHG transcription [.pdf file]

Some Nominees’ residence details include cottage / house names, and street addresses – who wouldn’t just love that information for their ancestors?  The majority of entries are from Ireland however there are also significant numbers from England and Scotland which also include detailed addresses.

There are 1,289 entries [total number of Nominees] in VPRS 22 / P0 / 15 for 550+ Depositors.  This equates to 2,578 entries in the Geelong & District database – they are “duplicated” so that you can search by both Depositor and Nominee.

These records refer to depositors dealing with the Sub Treasury in Geelong.  There are plenty of similar records out there for Melbourne, other Sub Treasuries, and of course Geelong for different years.  They won’t be handed to you on a platter like these ones!  You will need to search for them.  Make use of the PROV Guide 52: Transport – Immigration Records.  Look in the Correspondence and administrative section – these type of records are found in the Immigration Branch files.

You should also do some background reading for details on immigration remittances, regulations, procedures and rates payable.  These can be found in these Victoria Government Gazettes by searching for the word IMMIGRATION and the dates shown below:

Well, that should keep you busy on what is a very cold September day in Victoria!

Day 2 – Victorian Expo

I’m sitting at my keyboard wondering where I’m going to find the strength to get off the chair and crawl into bed!  I’m totally physically and mentally exhausted … but what a magnificent couple of days!

It’s all over and it went so well – the photo shows the section occupied by most of our Geelong & district groups [there were another 4 in the sections above and below ours].  Our main section had our groups on both sides of the rectangle marked by the red lines and arrows!  This was a quiet time – the only time I managed to get the camera out and take a couple of snaps!  There were 200-300 people in the 2 presentations going on at the same time but still plenty of people in the exhibition area to keep us all busy.  Also, the photo shows about one third of the total exhibition area – it was huge and buzzing over both days – it was a terrific vibrant feeling.

There might be a “recession” in the book selling industry but that definitely wasn’t apparent at the Expo – we did an absolute roaring trade with our huge range of local & family history books from our Geelong & district groups.  And more importantly our groups had heaps of interest in their brochures, membership and research options.  And the comment we heard again and again and again – “we didn’t realise there were so many groups in the region”!  That alone makes the Expo a huge success – a lot more people know that our local groups exist and I’m sure there’ll be plenty of follow-up communications for them all.

And as tired as I am, I couldn’t end this without mentioning the terrific show by Colin Mockett & Shirley Power last night … “Hit the Road, Digger”.  Everyone who was there thoroughly enjoyed it.  Entertaining, full of interesting history, wonderful historic images and of course the wonderful voice of Shirley Power singing songs from the 1920s & 30s … and yes, we had a good old sing-a-long.  Congratulations to Colin & Shirley for adding a wonderful evening to our Expo.

I’m sure there’ll be plenty of photos appearing in the next few days on the Unlock The Past web site, so keep an eye out for them.

In case you hadn’t worked it out – I enjoyed the last couple of days – they were wonderful!

Day 1 – Victorian Expo

Wow – day 1 of the Victorian Expo (Geelong) was terrific – caught up with heaps of friends, didn’t stop talking ALL day [surprise anyone?] and we launched our new “book” [CD] … Irish in Geelong & District.

What a great day – and there’s still time for anyone to get along to the second day – today – and that’s where I’m heading now.  Hope to see some of you there.

I know I’ll be doing plenty of talking again today – 2 presentations – “Look local: it’s not all on the web” and of course my favourite “Sewerage records” – the one that has everyone laughing and completely gobsmacked by the end at this wonderful resource.  And if anyone has heard this before, you might want to hear it again – some terrific news about Sewerage records – something exciting that happened VERY recently that you might find just a tad interesting!

Irish in Geelong & district – NEW publication

Am I excited?  You bet I am!  Just over a year ago Pam Jennings & I published Scots in Geelong & district to 1860.  The obvious question from people was when are you going to do the Irish one?  Of course we replied – “can’t be done”!

OK – we’ve proved ourselves wrong.  At the Victorian Expo tomorrow we’re launching Irish in Geelong & district.  This publication will ONLY be produced on CD and there will NOT be a print-on-demand version.  Why?  Because there are 1,711 pages!  That doesn’t include an index because the book is in Acrobat (.pdf) format and is fully text searchable.  Also the A-Z section is in surname order for easy browsing.  Mind you, it takes a while to browse 1,700+ pages.  At a later stage the full index will be added to the Geelong & district database.

It isn’t a list of ALL Irish who came to Geelong & district but a HUGE number of records that may include your ancestors – if not you’ll certainly get an understanding of the wealth of information available in our region.

The CD will normally be $30 and details on how to purchase a copy will appear on the Geelong & district web site after the Expo, but for an Expo special it can be purchased at the Victorian Expo on Friday 2nd or Saturday 3rd September for $25.00.  Visit us at the Geelong & District Historical Association stand at the Expo – Table 18 – and make sure you visit all the other Geelong & District Historical Societies and Family History groups in our block of tables 13-24.  We’ve got heaps and heaps of books for sale from our region.

And if you haven’t booked to attend the Expo, don’t worry.  Anyone can come and it will only cost you $5.00 to get in.

It’s now less that 24 hours to the start of the Expo – and I’m sure my to-do-list includes more items than there are minutes before it all starts!

See you there!

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