THE biggest news for Geelong and district

CelebrateI confess – I screamed, I laughed, I shouted for joy, and yes … I was close to tears!  I had just heard the most fantastic news for all local and family history researchers in our region – and I have permission to do this blog.

Some of you who have followed this blog and our mailing list over the years will know how hard we have worked, grovelled and pleaded to get the Geelong Advertiser digitised and available through TROVE.  We eventually succeeded in November last year with the Addy online up to 1856.  We were warned not to expect many more years in a hurry.

At this very moment I’m sitting at the VAFHO State Family History Conference in Ballarat – about to give my talk titled Regional Victoria: a goldfields experience.  At the same time Jenny Higgins from National Library Australia is presenting her paper More than Gold: Treasure from TROVE.  Jenny had asked for an “Announcement” to include in her presentation.  And I had THE most exciting chat with Jenny and I have her permission to post this blog as soon as we’ve both finished our presentations.

You MUST have guessed by now that the exciting news is about the Geelong Advertiser but it’s even better than that!  The Addy will be included in the 1914-1918 papers digitised in the next financial year [July 2013 – June 2014] … AND …

In the same group, the Addy will be digitised from 1857 to 1913.  You heard me!  NOW you understand why I’m so excited!

The Addy will be online from 1840-1918 .. that warrants a BIG celebration!!!!!!!!!!

Some GOLDEN opportunities

Ballarat Mechanics Institute [SLV IAN14/08/69/160]Ballarat Fine Arts Exhibition [SLV H5525]Was your ancestor in Ballarat in 1869?  Did they attend the opening of the completed facade and Fine Arts Exhibition by the Governor?  Perhaps they’re in these images?  What a wonderful thought!  These beautiful images are of the Mechanics Institute, Sturt Street, Ballarat and its main hall – now called the Minerva Space.

You could follow in their footsteps and stand in this magnificent room – FREE!

Have a look at these golden opportunities – Friday 3rd May, 2.00 pm – 9.00 pm, Mechanics Institute, Ballarat:

  • SPECIAL Ballarat history and genealogy exhibition – an associated event with the VAFHO State Conference.  The Genealogical Society of Victoria will be participating in this exhibition as are many of the other conference exhibitors.  This special exhibition is open to ANYONE – no registration required – and even better, it’s completely FREE.  Why not enter the Poll for this event?
  • The special exhibition is being held in the Minerva Space in the Mechanics Institute, Sturt Street, Ballarat.  This is a great chance to see this magnificently restored room in the 1860s Mechanics Institute.
  • You won’t often get this sort of Golden opportunity, so why not come along and visit us – you might even win one of the prizes on offer from the participating exhibitors.

There are more opportunities – not free but definitely a golden opportunity – Saturday 4th and Sunday 5th May, Australian Catholic University, Ballarat:

  • Under the Southern Cross: A Goldfields Experience – the 8th Victorian State Family History Conference and Exhibition
  • Saturday – 3.00 pm – Regional Victoria: A Goldfields Experience – Susie Zada [yes – that’s me!] presenting on the impact of the Victorian goldfields on regional Victoria.  Of course the Geelong region will feature in this presentation and you will learn about resources that may help you find your elusive ancestors on the goldfields.  Of course there is no guarantee you will find them but you’ll certainly gain a better understanding of what you might find.

See you there!

British Isles seminar – great value!

Paul MilnerOK – I will confess to a vested interest in this seminar – it is sponsored and co-hosted by the Genealogical Society of Victoria where I work and I will definitely be attending.

Paul Milner [right] is giving four presentations on the day and as you’ll see on the GSV blog it promises to be terrific day at a great price.

The reason I’m posting it here is because many people in our region will find it worth attending – a pleasant train trip to Melbourne and a day packed full of interest for all family historians.

I hope to see you there!

Michael Gandy in Melbourne … update

In less than a week Michael Gandy will be speaking on the first of two days when Melburnians will be able to experience one of the best genealogical speakers in the world!

Important information about locations, access and bookings can be found on the Genealogical Society of Victoria blog.

Personally I’m looking forward to these presentations immensely – it’s not often that we get such a wonderful opportunity right here in Melbourne!

Michael Gandy: live in Melbourne

This is a wonderful opportunity for all family historians to experience one of the best genealogical speakers in the world!

Michael Gandy has been to Australia before but to hear him speak you would have had to attend an Australasian Congress held somewhere around Australia or New Zealand.  This would not have been cheap – taking into account transport, accommodation and Congress registration fees.  Now you have a chance to hear Michael give four presentations plus a Q&A session in Melbourne.

The Genealogical Society of Victoria web site includes details of Michael’s presentations and how to book for this great event on Saturday 10th November.

The start and end time have been chosen to enable family historians from country areas to travel to Melbourne, enjoy Michael’s presentations, and get back home again on the same day.

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!

Unlock The Past Victorian Expo (Geelong)

Unlock The Past and the City of Greater Geelong have issued a HUGE invitation to anyone wanting to come to this terrific Expo.  It’s a banner across the Melbourne-Geelong Road – on the footbridge spanning the main road into Geelong – you can’t miss it!

If you see the banner and you’re coming to the Expo, you’re on the right road!  Stay on the main road, follow the bends as you go up and over the railway line, then start working your way into the left-hand lane.  Yes, I know The Arena is on the RIGHT but you have to go LEFT from the service lane at the Victoria Street exit [3rd set of traffic lights after the railway overpass].  Then turn hard right into the Margaret Street overpass to go up and over the Melbourne-Geelong road.  Turn right at the end and The Arena main car park is on your right.  See the map.

Look forward to seeing you all there.

Unlock the Past Victorian Expo (Geelong)

Well I really can’t quite believe that it is SEVEN months this week since I first posted the news of the Unlock the Past Victoria Expo to be held in Geelong on Friday 2nd & Saturday 3rd September!  And now it’s only a week and a half away.

Already we have 74 exhibitors and lots of people registered.  Don’t forget that if you register before 30th August you get into the Expo for FREE!  And don’t forget to book for any of the sessions you want to attend to ensure you don’t miss out.  There are some free sessions with others at $5 each.

I really hope to see lots of you there.

And just to share something funny with you … this afternoon I was testing some computer equipment we’ll have on the Geelong & District stand so we can do lots of lookups of databases etc.  I had previously used my Netbook and USB dongle for Internet connection.  Unfortunately the Netbook has a rather insignificant display card and when a larger screen is attached for people to view it looks a tad … well … AWFUL!

The screen looks great with my Notebook but I had never used my USB dongle on it.  So, there I was trying to get my Internet connection working on the Notebook computer.  You see, where I live in Ocean Grove, we’re in a shadow and sometimes struggle to get digital TV reception, let alone a wireless Internet connection.  If you can picture me standing on tippy-toes on a chair on the verandah AND holding my Notebook as high as I could while still reaching the touch-pad and keyboard to try to get a connection … well I nearly fell off the chair laughing – it looked pretty silly and obviously my neighbours thought the same.

The good news – it works!

See you there … Susie Z

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