Geelong Advertiser … update!

One thing my previous blog proved – a LOT of people believe that the Geelong Advertiser is an important newspaper and that it should be part of the National Library of Australia Newspaper Digitisation project!

Now for the latest and greatest news!

One member of our Geelong & District Mailing List contacted the National Library about the digitisation of the Geelong Advertiser.  The reply she got included a statement that the Geelong Advertiser WAS included in their 2011-12 schedule and that it had been added to the NLA Future Titles – Titles coming soon web site.

The papers are currently being scanned and hopefully would be completed by the end of the financial year [June 2012].  The papers in this lot are:

  • Geelong Advertiser and Squatters’ Advocate (28 May 1845-26 Oct 1847)
  • Geelong Advertiser (29 Oct 1847-20 Dec 1851)
  • Geelong Advertiser and Intelligencer (22 Dec 1851-9 Aug 1856)

It is important to note that this scanning is being funded by the National Library of Australia and not by the State Library of Victoria.  And I guess that also adds weight to our argument on how important these papers are.

This also fits with the statements made when the Digitised Newspapers project was announced at the Genealogy Congress in Darwin in 2006.  At the time I remember being particularly excited when they announced that one key regional newspaper for each state would be selected as part of the pilot project.  For New South Wales it was the Maitland Mercury [where many of my ancestors lived] and for Victoria it was the Geelong Advertiser.  At the time I remember feeling smugly spoilt!  The Maitland Mercury happened but not the Addy.

Now before you start jumping up and down and yelling and saying that the Addy doesn’t appear on the Future Titles web site [that's what I did!] … if you do a FIND on the page you’ll find them in the strangest place!   They’re listed under South Australia!  I don’t care where they’ve put them – as long as they are there that’s all that matters.  [And AFTER I posted this blog I noticed that the Geelong Advertiser now belongs to Victoria - right where it should be.]

By now you should have noticed that the papers to be scanned commence 28 May 1845 and the Geelong Advertiser began 21 Nov 1840 – so what about the issues 1840-1845?

I’m guessing the decision has been made to not repeat what’s already been done or they’re waiting until they can access all the issues missing between 1840 and 1845.

In my previous blog I mentioned that:

Some issues from the first five years of the Geelong Advertiser were digitised as part of the Australian Periodical Publications 1840-1845 project.  It’s available online as single page downloads however it’s not searchable.

Back in 2004 to 2006 I did a lot of work checking these files.  At the time I produced a spreadsheet showing which papers were missing.  I’ve just double checked the spreadsheet and it’s still the same.  I’ll mention a few gaps here but I’ve also uploaded the spreadsheet as an Acrobat file so you can at least check if there are important dates that may already be online.  [ Geelong Advertiser Summary of papers 1840-1845 ]

Some explanations for the “gaps”:

  • There are random omissions – I don’t have an explanation for these.
  • There are NO editions for 1843, hence the jump from 26 Dec 1842 edition No. 110 to 1 Jan 1844 No. 184.
  • There is a strange mixup of edition numbers from 10 Jul 1844 No. 238 to 15 Jul 1844 No. 230.  A sequence of edition numbers if repeated – and also missing first time around.
  • There are some gaps of almost a month throughout 1844 – no explanation.
  • There is no issue No. 315 however this may never have been produced – following the sequence it would have been for 28 May 1845.  You’ll notice that the name changed 28 May 1845 to Geelong Advertiser & Squatters Advocate – they may have just decided to skip an issue number.
  • The planned scanning for NLA commences with this new title on 28 May 1845.

It’s possible that someone on our Geelong & District Mailing List may have done more detailed research into the missing / existing issues and can give us an update.

In the meantime let’s celebrate the imminent digitisation of a good chunk of the Geelong Advertiser.  Our next task is to confirm the plans for 2012-13 – hopefully the scanning won’t stop at 1856.

I know a LOT of people will be getting a LOT of sleepless nights once the Addy hits TROVE – in the meantime you’ve got nearly six months to store up some extra sleep to compensate for the last half of the year!

Geelong Advertiser … where is it?

The banner for the Geelong Advertiser includes the words “Fortis est veritas” or THE TRUTH IS STRONG.

From the Geelong Advertiser web site:

The Geelong Advertiser is Victoria’s oldest morning newspaper, the first edition being published on November 21, 1840.

A mere 171 years ago today, the Geelong Advertiser included a supplement to the (then) standard 4-page issue.  The supplement was this amazing “Map of the Town of Corio (or Geelong) including the Suburbs, the Bay, and the River, 1841 … printed and published for John Pascoe Fawkner by Harrison & Watkins, Corio”.

And what a huge amount of history is in the map and the names associated with it – not least of which is James Harrison a true pioneer of our region.  [Do yourself a favour and actually click on the link to read the Australian Dictionary of Biography entry for this truly amazing man!]

So why am I writing this blog today?  There are TWO reasons …

  1. Today I published a blog to announce that we had achieved more than one million records in our Geelong & District database.  This amazing effort is due to a heap of volunteers who have just one aim – to help others research their family and local history – a totally unselfish attitude by all involved.
  2. I’m CROSS – and it’s time I got on my soap box.

ANYONE with an ounce of history running through their veins knows how much history exists in our region.  I have given presentations all over Victoria and also in New South Wales, South Australia and the Northern Territory.  Many have been on Geelong and Point Henry (the place of arrival of so many ships bringing immigrants to our shores) but the majority have been on other local and family history subjects.  Without fail the majority of the audience had ancestors who arrived in Geelong / Point Henry.  In June 2011 I gave four presentations to the Genealogical Society of the Northern Territory [GSNT] – almost 100% of the audience had Geelong connections!

Using the National Library of Australia catalogue, I have confirmed the following places where people can access the “full” Geelong Advertiser, either on microfilm or hard copy, to do their research:

Of course, being the LONGEST RUNNING morning newspaper in Victoria AND the newspaper covering not just Geelong but all of the western district of Victoria [and across the border into South Australia] you would think it would be a high priority to be included in the wonderful Digitised Australian newspapers web site.

Have a look at this amazing list of places already included in the Victorian newspapers that have been digitised or are on the 2011-12 list to be digitised:

Acheron

Alexandra

Ararat

Avenel

Bacchus Marsh

Bairnsdale

Balaclava

Ballarat

Balmattam

Bellarine Shire

Benalla

Bourke

Box Hill

Brighton

Broadford

Broadmeadows

Bulla

Buln Buln

Callignee

Camperdown

Casterton

Caulfield

Cheltenham

Coburg

Colac

Dalhousie

Dromana

Drysdale

East Bourke

East Brighton

Elsternwick

Eltham

Emerald Hill

Essendon

Euroa

Evelyn

Fitzroy

Footscray

Frankston

Gippsland

Gobur

Healesville

Heyfield

Horsham

Hurstbridge

Keilor

Kerang

Kilmore

Kyabram

Lilydale

Longwood

Maffra

Malvern

McIvor

Melbourne

Melton

Mentone

Merino

Miepoll

Mildura

Mirboo

Mordialloc

Mornington

Morwell

Narracan Shire

Normanby

North Melbourne

Oakleigh

Omeo

Point Lonsdale

Portarlington

Portland

Portsea

Prahran

Queenscliff

Reedy Creek

Ringwood

Rodney Shire

Sandford

Sandringham

Somerville

Sorrento

South Bourke

South Brighton

South Melbourne

St Leonards

Stawell

Strathbogie

Sunbury

Sunshine

Swan Hill

Taggerty

Tambo

Thornton

Toongabbie

Towong

Traralgon

Tyers

Upper Yarra

Violet Town

Wandin Yallock

Warragul

Warrnambool

Werribee Shire

West Gippsland

Whittlesea

Williamstown

Wimmera

Wodonga

Yarck

Yarra Glen

Yea

 

 

So what’s missing?  GEELONG !

If the Geelong Advertiser was digitised this list of places would double as it covers so many towns and districts in Western Victoria.

Verbally we’ve been told that if the Geelong Advertiser was digitised it would gobble up the annual newspaper digitising budget for the State Library of Victoria and that wouldn’t be fair on every other area of Melbourne and Victoria.  But is that fair on Geelong and half of the rest of Victoria?

What pre-1850 Victorian newspapers have been digitised for the NLA site?

  • 1842: Portland Guardian and Normanby General Advertiser
  • 1846: The Argus

And what about 1850-1860?

  • 1855: The Star [Ballarat]
  • 1856: Williamstown Trade Circular and Williamstown Chronicle

That’s it!  The Port Phillip Herald was digitised some years ago and is available [not free] as part of the Paper of Record web site, hence the reason it’s not included on the NLA site.

Did you know that the Geelong Advertiser published lists of people who shipped gold from the gold-fields to the port of Geelong in 1851-54?  We have 6,624 entries in our Geelong & District database for the gold shipments.  In fact our database includes 29,413 entries transcribed from various editions of the Geelong Advertiser on a variety of subjects.

There is no argument … the Geelong Advertiser should be digitised as part of the National Library Digitised Newspapers project.

What can we do about it?

If you look at the Australian Newspapers Digitisation Program for 2011-12 you’ll get an idea from the bottom of the page about the funding sources to get some newspapers into the program.  Of course there is no limit to where funding and/or support can come from:

  • the newspaper [Geelong Advertiser] and associates
  • the local council [City of Greater Geelong] and nearby  and western Victorian municipalities
  • private individuals and organisations
  • Federal and State funding including heritage / history type grants
  • other sources for grants / funding
  • petitioning the State Library of Victoria
  • petitioning State and Federal members of parliament
  • contributions from local societies and organisations

I’m an individual – I can’t do it all [apart from working 5-days a week] – but let’s get something moving!

OK – that’s my soapbox all worn out for now – come on everyone, come up with ideas and actions to help get the Geelong Advertiser digitised for the benefit of ALL researchers.

P.S. I almost forgot to mention that some issues from the first five years of the Geelong Advertiser were digitised as part of the Australian Periodical Publications 1840-1845 project.  It’s available online as single page downloads however it’s not searchable.

Australian Medical Pioneers Index

If you haven’t used the Australian Medical Pioneers Index and you’re interested in any 19th century physicians, then you’re really missing out!

This terrific resource was created by our “own” [Geelong & District] Stephen Due from Barwon Health.  Stephen is also responsible for providing our Geelong & District researchers with the digitised copies of the Geelong Infirmary and Benevolent Asylum annual reports.

In November 2011 Stephen was the speaker at the regular Thursday Talks at the Genealogical Society of Victoria [GSV] – as with many of these talks it was podcast for GSV members.  Unfortunately if you’re not a member of the GSV you can’t access the podcast but for those who ARE members you can download the podcast and enjoy Stephen’s talk in the comfort of your own home.

OK – I confess – I’m biased – I work at the GSV and I’m the one who catalogues and uploads the podcasts along with the millions of entries in the GIN database which members can also access from home!

SO, if you’re trying to work out a great present for someone for Christmas, why not think about a GSV membership?  Of course a new membership also gives you access to the podcasts already on the members menu!

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!

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

Not that hard: Victorian Land Memorials [old General Law titles]

Bound Memorials

Bound registers in the Memorials Library, Melbourne

This blog will guide you through the steps to find a Victorian Land Memorial – follow the footsteps of your guide – Joan Hunt – who kindly took the photographs and demonstrated this procedure to the Geelong & District Historical Association quarterly meeting – February 12, 2011.

This guide is the start of a series called “Not that hard!” – hopefully it will help you realise that it’s not that hard to find a Memorial at the Registrar-General’s Office in Melbourne.

Of course there is no guarantee that you will find a Memorial for YOUR ancestor, but if it’s there, this guide should help you find it.

WHERE:

Memorials Library at Marland House
10th Floor
570 Bourke Street, Melbourne, Vic 3000

ABOUT:

General Law Titles – some background information

ACCESS:

Take the lift to the tenth floor.  On leaving the lift note that there are glass doors both to the left and to the right.  Note the glass door with “Registrar-General’s Office” marked on it and enter.

You will pay $2.00 per hour per person. [Fee applicable Feb 2011 - obviously this amount could change in the future.]

At the counter ask for a pass into the Memorials Library, and also ask for a photocopying card.  You will use the card to access the photocopy machine but not pay until the end of your visit.

Return past the lifts and enter the opposite glass doors.  Immediately through the doors on your left is a door labelled Memorials Library – use your pass to gain entry.

In the Memorials Library you will find the bound Memorials of the conveyance (or lease or other Instrument) of land under the General or Old Law, relating to land granted by the Crown between 1838 and 1862.  The Torrens System of land registration was introduced on 2 October 1862.

NOTE: Numbers in [brackets] refer to images in the image gallery below.

LAYOUT:

Walk ahead to the compactus and note the photocopier against the wall to your right [No 2], and to your left benches along the middle of the room stretching the full extent of the row of compactus [Nos 3, 8 & 9].

Behind the benches in shelves against the wall are volumes bound in brown cloth, hardcovers, alphabetically labelled, and clearly designated Second Series. [Nos 4 & 5]

At the end of them, next to the Z volume, there are two white-cloth covered bound volumes A-K and L-A which are labelled First Series. [Nos 5 & 6]

SEARCH:

The search is in three stages.  Our example is a search for Edmond BUCKLEY who had land interests on the coast near Cobden in the 1850s, hence we will search the FIRST SERIES.

FIRST SERIES: covers the years 1838 to 1859
SECOND SERIES: covers later years with some overlap

STAGE 1:

First you must consult the indexes in the wall shelves. [No 5]
In Series One Nominal or Name Index, Volume 1 A-K was searched for Edmond BUCKLEY [No 6].
In the columns to the left for Edmond BUCKLEY:
Book 44, Number 392. [No 7]
NOTE: If you can’t read the details there are “reserve” copies of these volumes – you made need to ask for them.

STAGE 2:

Consult the Series One volumes under the benches using the Book and Number found in STAGE 1. [Nos 8 & 9]
These white-cloth covered bound volumes are all labelled in black writing.  These are the numerical indexes which give a page full of details of land transactions of a particular person – in this case we select Book 44 and Folio or Page Number 392. [No 10]

There were three entries for Edmond BUCKLEY: [No 10]

  • Book 46, No 614 – Patrick COADY – Woranga part por 15
  • Book 63, No 319 – Patrick COADY – Woranga pt sec 15
  • Book 64, No 267 – J A GOOLD – Woranga pt sec 16

In this case the first entry is chosen to view the Memorial of the Transaction (or Instrument as it is usually known).

STAGE 3:

Go to the compactus for Series One – they are arranged in numerical order – select Book 46.
Take the Memorial Book to the bench and open it at Page (or Folio) 614. [No 11]

The Memorial (Book 46, No 614) shows that it is a Conveyance. [No 12]
Edmond BUCKLEY and Patrick COADY are the two parties involved and the date is 10 March 1857.
There is also a witness name.

The right hand side of the document describes fully the land being conveyed – sometimes, if it is a hotel for instance, it may well state that the transaction contains the wooden building of eight rooms known as the King’s Arms Hotel and the outbuildings and stables attached, or something similar.  General there is no description of buildings.
At the right is the amount of money paid by the one party to the other. [No 13]

At the lower left of the Memorial is Edmond BUCKLEY’s signature. [No 14] 

SECOND SERIES SEARCH:

Follow the same procedure as for FIRST SERIES but using the volumes identified as SECOND SERIES.

PHOTO GALLERY:

BACKGROUND:

Joan learnt these procedures some years ago when she attended a Summer School run by the Royal Historical Society of Victoria.  Check to see if societies in your area run similar programs or courses.

The above guide was valid as at 12 Feb 2011 – you should always check that procedures and/or rules have not changed in the meantime.  Information should be available from the Land Titles Office.

Place Names in Vic BDM Indexes

This topic began as a local Geelong and District issue however it was obviously relevant to all of Victoria.

There are a multitude of web sites that give you lists of the infamous abbreviations of Place Names in the Victorian BDM Indexes however there are far too many places with similar names that could fit the abbreviation to make it more than guess work.

The tips and examples in this Place Names in Vic BDM Indexes web page can take most of the guesswork out of the puzzle.

At this stage I believe the cut-off date for using this method is about 1964 – when BDM registration became fully centralised and entries were no longer added in groups from each registration district across the state – more work needed to confirm this!

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