Lost a male ancestor near Geelong between 1856 and 1889?

You might just find them in VPRS 22 Unit 21 at the Public Record Office Victoria!

This is a wonderful register dating from 7 August 1856 through to 1889 – Register of Seamen engaged Geelong and is the latest project being indexed by our Geelong & District volunteers.

So far, entries for 1856 have been added to the Geelong & District Database – 308 in total.

Details in the database for each entry: 

  • NAME: Name of seaman
  • DATE: of Engagement
  • PLACE: [of engagement] Geelong
  • COMMENT: Name of ship
  • REFERENCE: VPRS number and UNIT number (entries are generally in chronological order)

Additional columns of information in the register:

  • Capacity = rank i.e. AB [Able Seaman], Mate, Cook etc.
  • Nature of Voyage – Coasting, Foreign etc.
  • Reference [if Foreign] to Duplicate Agreement
  • Name of Master
  • Name of Licensed Agent
  • Last Vessel – on which engaged
  • Last Certificate of Character
  • Remarks

You can obtain this additional information and copies of the entries by visiting the Public Record Office Victoria at North Melbourne or submitting a (paid) Research Request to the Geelong Family History Group.

As the first part of the index was uploaded to the Geelong & District Database on Christmas Eve, it’s appropriate to select the seamen engaged on 24 December 1856.

NAME SHIP CAPACITY Prev SHIP REMARKS
John DORAN Ann & Maria Able Seaman Red Jacket Discharge lost
James LOW Mary Ann Cook & Steward Shalimar Discharge lost
George H GREEN Vibilia Mate Vibilia  
John ANLESS Vibilia Able Seaman Martha  
James AULD Vibilia Able Seaman Braces  
James KERR Vibilia Able Seaman Vibilia  
Andrew YILL Vibilia Able Seaman Vibilia  
George F CLEMENT Vibilia Cook & Steward Rattler  

All three of these ships were coastal traders which had arrived from Newcastle [NSW] laden with coal.  They returned to Newcastle carrying ballast and no passengers.  The Ann & Maria, a brig, departed 28/29 December, the Mary Ann, a brigantine, departed on 29 December, and the Vibilia, a schooner, departed on 24 December.

This is an ongoing indexing project – we’ll probably add entries a year at a time – I hope you enjoy this terrific index and register.

Merry Christmas to all from the volunteers in Geelong & District.

Meredith dog owners: 1864-1866

With the thunder causing all the local dogs to start barking it seemed an appropriate time to include this index in the Geelong & District Database!

The Meredith Road District: list of persons who have registered dogs in the Meredith Road District [GRS 819 Item 1] has been transcribed by the Geelong Heritage Centre.  An index to the transcribed file has been added to our database – and from the Meredith Dog Registrations 1864-1866 page we have included a link to the Geelong Heritage Centre where you can download the transcribed file.

Not only do you get details of the individual dogs but you will also know where the owners lived in 1864-1866 in the Meredith district.

Winchelsea Wonders give us Barrabool!

The Barrabool Inn, Ceres [Wynd collection]So just who are the Winchelsea Wonders?  A pair of wonderful ladies who are constantly doing indexing projects for the Geelong & District database.  Joan and Di are from the Winchelsea & District Historical Society.

Their most recent project has been the Shire of Barrabool rate books 1869-1901.  They have indexed every five years but have access to the interim years if you are “missing” your ancestor in that period.  The indexed rate books include 5,204 entries.

The Barrabool Inn at Ceres [photo above] can be found in the index in 1869 under the ownership and occupation of James Parsons.  He “inherited” this imposing establishment by marriage.  The former owner, George Cartwright from Yorkshire, died in 1868.  His widow, Eliza, carried on the business until she married James Parson in 1869 when the licence was transferred to him.

The Shire of Barrabool rate books are grouped into three ridings: Ceres, Moriac and Coast.  The parishes in the Shire are:

  • Barrabool
  • Gnarwarre
  • Modewarre
  • Duneed
  • Puebla
  • Paraparap
  • Jan Juc

Thank you from all of us to our Winchelsea Wonders!  Think of them while you search the Geelong & District database for your ancestors.

Winner of 2011 PMI Short History Prize

Prahran Mechanics' Institute: Short History Prize [2011]The winner of the 2011 Prahran Mechanics’ Institute Victorian History Library Short History Prize was our very own Dr Peter Mansfield.

Most locals involved in family or local history in Geelong & District will know Peter and his involvement with many groups.  He has been convenor of the Geelong & District Historical Association, on the committee of the Geelong Historical Society, guest speaker to many of our societies, and formerly CEO of the Geelong Regional Libraries.  He has researched and written many articles on some of his favourite subjects including Free Libraries and local politicians.

Able, gifted, trustworthy and disloyal: the political fortunes of Henry Bournes Higgins, MLA for Geelong, 1894-1900 is the title of Peter’s winning entry.  Peter has very kindly provided us with a copy for all to enjoy.

Congratulations Peter!

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