Aged 50 years in 50 minutes!

Geelong and District RegionLast night I was on a fast-track into the Guinness Book of Records – the oldest woman alive in Australia.

I thought it was about time to add some indexes I had to the Geelong & District Database as it had been a few months since I had done this.  More than 1.63 million entries live in an MS Access Database.  Indexes of all sorts to be added are compiled into an MS Excel spread sheet then copied and pasted into the MS Access form before uploading to the SQL database online.

Everything was honky-dory until I tried to paste – as I have done hundreds and hundreds of times before.

ERRORS – and nasty ones.  It wouldn’t even let me manually add a single entry!

What had changed since I last added entries?  I had upgraded MS Office to version 365 [actually version 2013].  I wasn’t about to uninstall the new version as that included months of University assignments but surely it was just something really simple that would fix the problem.

I had older versions backed up – didn’t come down in the last shower and I was able to update the database on the old Notebook running Vista.

Hours and hours of Google work showed I wasn’t the only one with problems but none of them were exactly the same – and certainly didn’t solve the problem.  By then I had about 8 versions I was experimenting with.

I then sat quietly and spoke quietly to myself saying there HAD TO BE a logical answer.  Then I tried attacking it from a different angle.  The Geelong & District Database is probably one of my oldest LIVE MS Access databases.  So I tried a new more recent one – NOT A PROBLEM!

I won’t bore you with the next four hours of experiments – I’ll just give you the outcome.  The MS Office upgrade should have converted the database to work in the new version.  True BUT NOT IF YOU HAVEN’T UPGRADED every time there was a new release.  I couldn’t afford that and so somewhere along the way where I didn’t pay for an upgrade until there were a couple of versions, it skipped a step that no longer works in the latest version.  Very convoluted but after another couple of hours I had all the data, queries, forms and reports working in a brand new database.  Basically I had to completely recreate the relationships as well as the Forms and Sub-Forms but I’m no longer heading for the Guinness Book of Records!

I’ve lost nothing [unless you count a bit of sanity], added the new indexes and uploaded the entries to the online database.

Haven’t had any sleep since last night but hey – IT’S WORKING!  What a relief.

Geelong & South Western Rail Heritage Society

Biregurra Railway StationI do love it when groups in our region progress to having a real web and blog site.  We have two additions to this category in the last month.

Geelong Historical SocietyObviously they still want to add more to their sites but both are well and truly up and running and it’s worth checking them out.  The Geelong Rail Heritage Society web site includes an amazing range of up-coming tours and events, and the Geelong Historical Society web site includes speakers at their meetings for the rest of the year.  Both also have a great range of books / publications.

Congratulations to both groups!  Keep up the good work.

Geelong database – latest additions

Ocean Grove Certificate of TitleI love original documents and there is nothing better than Victorian Certificates of Title – a real work of art and so full of information.  Sometimes people are dazzled by the front page and miss the massive amount of information on the reverse and subsequent pages.  To date, 17,036 transactions for land in “Old” Ocean Grove have been added to the Ocean Grove Land database together with a growing number of photographs for different properties.  These have been consolidated for the Geelong and District Database down to a total of 7,560 entries so far.

Since the last major update on 25 October, there are now 1,628,809 entries in the Geelong and District Database.  Latest additions include:

  • Geelong Infirmary & Benevolent Asylum: Annual Report 1882 – 1,300 entries
  • Geelong and District: Geelong Football Club players missing photographs – 209 entries
  • Surnames of Interest entries – 15 new entries [1,133 submitters in total]
  • Old Ocean Grove land titles: sellers and purchasers – 3,856 entries

Details on these indexes can be found in the Geelong & District Potpourri pages.

And don’t forget to search again for your ancestors in the Geelong & District Database – they could have been in the last load of additions!

Chooks or students?

ChickensThe Geelong Infirmary & Benevolent Asylum Annual Reports never cease to amaze me – this time for two reasons.

  1. The number of “employees” listed by company / employer.  Even if the company or employer kept an archive of their records, they wouldn’t be easy to track down, but because the company or employer and their employees contributed to the Infirmary & Benevolent Asylum Fund, they were listed in the Annual Reports.  We’re talking about ordinary people – probably our ancestors!  It’s definitely worth checking the Geelong and District database after each major update.
  2. The reason for choosing this photo!  Apart from collection boxes and other donations, the Infirmary & Benevolent Asylum Annual Reports list “Gifts in Kind” – the donors and generally the item(s) donated.  A popular contribution in the 1918-1919 Annual Report was EGGS!  It appeared that local schools raised chooks and contributed the eggs to the Infirmary & Benevolent Asylum.  And what an amazing job they did!  I hope they got plenty of school work done as well and didn’t devote their entire time collecting eggs and looking after the chooks. :-)  This lengthy list is about 3,286 dozen eggs being contributed.  And the top 5 schools? …
  • Ashby State School – 220 dozen
  • Winchelsea State School – 213.10 dozen
  • Modewarre State School – 160 dozen
  • Flinders School – 157.4 dozen
  • Ocean Grove State School – 141 dozen

We now have 1,623,428 records in the Geelong and District database.  This is what’s been added since the last major update on 1st October 2014:

  • Geelong Infirmary & Benevolent Asylum: Annual Report 1918 – 2,524 entries
  • Geelong and District: PROV Wills and Probates 1841-2009 – 35,820 entries
  • Old Ocean Grove land titles: sellers and purchasers – 2,336 entries

Details on these indexes can be found in the Geelong & District Potpourri pages.

And don’t forget to search again for your ancestors in the Geelong & District Database – they could have been in the last load of additions!

When did they die?

Inventory in Probate fileSometimes we take things for granted and don’t realise how many people are not aware of the myriad of different places they can find a person’s date of death – cemetery records and newspaper notices to name just a few.  Probate files also provide this information and in Victoria we are spoilt with the online Probate indexes to 2009 as well as the option to download digital copies of Probate files up to 1925.

When I was thinking about additions to the Geelong and District database I realised that extracting “local” entries from the PROV Index would assist people researching in our region.  Not only does it give an alternative method of searching [text string searching in our database] but would also remind or teach researchers that there is more than one way to skin a cat!

The PROV links and file IDs are not included as people should always go back to the original source to ensure they get the correct file, however extracting the name, occupation, residence and date of death would definitely benefit our local researchers.  Of course there will always be missed records as they have been extracted by place of residence – and we know how many place names have changed over the years.  Methodically working through possible place names, using the Geelong and District Towns, Places and Parishes file, so far I’ve covered most of Geelong, the Bellarine Peninsula, and the road to Ballarat.  There are heaps more to come so there should be no doubt that the target of 1,600,000 entries in the database will be achieved before the end of 2014.

We now have 1,582,738 records in the Geelong and District database.  This is what’s been added since the last major update on 22 September 2014:

  • Geelong Infirmary & Benevolent Asylum: Annual Report 1908 – 3,009 entries
  • The Drysdale Boys and One Girl: remembering those who fought in the First World War [Book] – 185 entries
  • Geelong and District: PROV Wills and Probates 1841-2009 – 52,354 entries
  • Old Ocean Grove land titles: sellers and purchasers – 185 entries

Details on these indexes can be found in the Geelong & District Potpourri pages and the Geelong & District List of Books.

And don’t forget to search again for your ancestors in the Geelong & District Database – they could have been in the last load of additions!

Update of Ocean Grove land titles

B041RAYs Store - now demolishedA lot of titles have been added to the Ocean Grove land titles database so it’s worth checking again.  A lot of new photos have also been added – links to these can be found in the PDF Section Plans.

In the meantime, it might help people understand the Sections that make up “Old Ocean Grove” as these can be confusing – especially as every section starts with Allotment number 1 ! :-)

WARNING – hyperlinks to photos in PDF Section files may not work in some browsers – it is best to save the PDF file then open in Acrobat Reader – the links will then work fine.

IMPORTANT DETAILS re owners:

  • Owner does NOT mean occupier
  • There are usually more changes of ownership in recent years which are NOT shown in this database
  • Transactions in the last TEN years are NOT shown in this database
  • Although details for these more recent transactions are available they are suppressed in the online version.

Plans, Allotments, Address, Transactions, Photo links

  • Old Ocean Grove Section ASection A plans
    The boundaries of this Section are:

    • Tuckfield Street in the east
    • The Esplanade in the south
    • Eggleston Street in the west
    • Madeley Street in the north
    • SECTION A file with address, transactions and photo links
    • LP1854 [lodged plan number]
  • Section B [bottom] plans
    The boundaries of this Section are:

    • Eggleston Street in the east
    • The Esplanade in the south
    • Presidents Avenue in the west
    • The Avenue in the north
    • SECTION B file with address, transactions and photo links
    • LP1855 [lodged plan number]
  • Section B [top] plans
    The boundaries of this Section are:

    • Eggleston Street in the east
    • The Avenue in the south
    • Presidents Avenue in the west
    • Madeley Street in the north
    • SECTION B file with address, transactions and photo links
    • LP1855 [lodged plan number]
  • Section C [bottom] plans
    The boundaries of this Section are:

    • Presidents Avenue in the east
    • The Esplanade in the south
    • Field Street in the west
    • The Avenue in the north
    • SECTION C file with address, transactions and photo links
    • LP1856 [lodged plan number]
  • Section C [top] plans
    The boundaries of this Section are:

    • Presidents Avenue in the east
    • The Avenue in the south
    • Field Street in the west
    • Madeley Street in the north
    • SECTION C file with address, transactions and photo links
    • LP1856 [lodged plan number]
  • Section D [bottom] plans
    The boundaries of this Section are:

    • Field Street in the east
    • The Esplanade in the south
    • Sweetman Parade [now Wallington Road] in the west
    • The Terrace in the north
    • SECTION D file with address, transactions and photo links
    • LP1857 [lodged plan number]
  • Section D [top] plans
    The boundaries of this Section are:

    • Field Street in the east
    • The Terrace in the south
    • Newcomb Street in the west
    • Asbury Street in the north
    • SECTION D file with address, transactions and photo links
    • LP1857 [lodged plan number]
  • Section E plans
    The boundaries of this Section are:

    • McCutcheon Street and Sweetman Parade [now Wallington Road] in the north east and east
    • Orton Street in the south
    • The Barwon River in the west
    • Guthridge Street in the north
    • SECTION E file with address, transactions and photo links
    • LP1828 [lodged plan number]
  • Section F [left – west] plans
    The boundaries of this Section are:

    • Eggleston Street in the east
    • Madeley Street in the south
    • Field Street in the west
    • Thacker Street in the north
    • SECTION F file with address, transactions and photo links
    • LP1858 [lodged plan number]
  • Section F [right – east] plans
    The boundaries of this Section are:

    • Tuckfield Street in the east
    • Madeley Street in the south
    • Eggleston Street in the west
    • Thacker Street in the north
    • SECTION F file with address, transactions and photo links
    • LP1858 [lodged plan number]

Background information and original announcement …

Some things are worth waiting for!  Just over 10 years ago – 10 May 2004 – I purchased and downloaded a digital copy of a Certificate of Title Vol 1946 Fol 389059.  This was the largest of several early Titles for Ocean Grove and contained 82 pages.  It, together with the other titles, was an absolute gold-mine for anyone researching early land owners in Ocean Grove.

Ocean Grove began as a private subdivision containing more than 2,263 allotments – by the time land-owner details were given to the local council for rates & valuations, unravelling the puzzle of who owned which allotment was just too hard to contemplate.

Way back in 2004 I knew these Titles were the answer to this puzzle but it just seemed too daunting.  A recent week’s holiday when it was cold and wet was the perfect environment – turning those ideas into a workable database.  And it worked!  10 years might seem a long time but when you see the end result, the wait was definitely worth it!

The names of the Sellers and Purchasers have all been added to the Geelong & District database but the detail is what will help people with their research.   These links will take you to the Plans showing allotments from the original subdivision for Sections A, B, C, D, E & F.  Reports from the Ocean Grove land database are also available in text searchable PDF format for these six sections.  These reports will be updated periodically when more Certificates of Title have been added to the database.

Nurses, WWI, Infirmary and Books

Sr Olive Laura THOMASAdditions to the Geelong and District database are quite a mixture but it would be hard to go past the story of one of our local nurses who served during WWI – Sr Olive Laura THOMAS.  Looking at the Geelong Infirmary and Benevolent Asylum WWI Roll of Honour [Visions & Realities: A history of the Geelong Infirmary & Benevolent Asylum], the list of nurses includes Nurse M J THOMAS and Nurse O THOMAS.

It is possible that the first should be Nurse M R THOMAS as two siblings – Margaret Rosetta THOMAS and Olive Laura THOMAS – left Melbourne on 6 December 1916 on the ship Orsova.  Margaret, aged 31, enlisted 24 August 1916 and Olive, aged 25, enlisted 8 September 1916.  Both girls served in France.  Olive returned to Australia 26 November 1918 and resigned 19 December 1918 “due to family reasons” – perhaps to support her recently widowed mother.  Margaret returned 4 January 1920.  Both siblings ended up marrying.  Margaret died in 1957 and Olive in 1968.  The beautiful photo of Sr Olive Laura THOMAS is from the State Library of Victoria Collection.

We now have 1,525,764 records in the Geelong and District database.  This is what’s been added since the last major update on 14 June 2014:

  • Geelong District: Nurses from the Victoria Government Gazette 1952-1956 – 625 entries
  • Geelong Infirmary & Benevolent Asylum: Annual Report 1898 – 2,889 entries
  • Lemnos 1915 – a nursing odyssey to Gallipoli [Book] – 97 entries
  • Linton Cemetery Notes [Book] – 125 entries
  • Forever Home: a history of the Yaugher Cemetery (Forrest-Otway Region) [Book] – 782 entries
  • Forrest Region Voters: Forrest, Yaugher, Kaanglang & Henry’s No. 1 Mill (compiled from Victorian Electoral Rolls 1903-1960) [Book] – 1,743 entries

Details on these indexes can be found in the Geelong & District Potpourri pages and the Geelong & District List of Books.

And don’t forget to search again for your ancestors in the Geelong & District Database – they could have been in the last load of additions!

Images of old Ocean Grove

WilhelmsruheOK – my holidays end tonight so the output will slow down but I just wanted to get this last bit working.  Then I will have a formula to follow for the updates to the Ocean Grove land titles.  I’m concerned that things are different because it’s my blog site, so I need others to give this a try and let me know if it works for them!  Please? :-)

After a lot of experimenting I have decided to start adding old photos of places in old Ocean Grove.  The simplest option for my database is adding a URL / link to the images which I have added to this blog site.  Unfortunately, as most of you probably know, PDF files now perform quite different in different browsers, and also, as the blog owner I may be able to access more than the “ordinary” people out there – that’s why I need your help.

I’ve updated the Detailed report for Section B with some more place names as well as links for images.

What I’ve found for my setup – the links don’t work in MS Internet Explorer, Firefox or Google Chrome if I try to open the PDF file within the browser.  If I save the PDF file to my hard drive or download it, then the links work fine.  Obviously it also works if I copy and paste the image link into my browser.

Once you have the PDF file for Section B, scroll through to these Lot numbers – B155, B156, B160, B169 and B210 – all of these have images added to them.

My fingers are crossed that this works for most people – it’s certainly the easiest for my database setup.

OH – and if you have old photos of any places in the old Ocean Grove land titles – they would be most welcome to add to this database for others to enjoy.

Ocean Grove land titles

Old Ocean Grove Section ASome things are worth waiting for!  Just over 10 years ago – 10 May 2004 – I purchased and downloaded a digital copy of a Certificate of Title Vol 1946 Fol 389059.  This was the largest of several early Titles for Ocean Grove and contained 82 pages.  It, together with the other titles, was an absolute gold-mine for anyone researching early land owners in Ocean Grove.

Ocean Grove began as a private subdivision containing more than 2,263 allotments – by the time land-owner details were given to the local council for rates & valuations, unravelling the puzzle of who owned which allotment was just too hard to contemplate.

Way back in 2004 I knew these Titles were the answer to this puzzle but it just seemed too daunting.  A recent week’s holiday when it was cold and wet was the perfect environment – turning those ideas into a workable database.  And it worked!  10 years might seem a long time but when you see the end result, the wait was definitely worth it!

The names of the Sellers and Purchasers have now all been added to the Geelong & District database but the detail is what will help people with their research.   These links will take you to the Plans showing allotments from the original subdivision for Sections A, B, C, D, E & F.  Reports from the Ocean Grove land database are also available in text searchable PDF format for these six sections.  These reports will be updated periodically when more Certificates of Title have been added to the database.

Plans and allotments:

Details of address and transactions from database:

We now have 1,519,503 records in the Geelong and District database.  This is what’s been added since the last major update on 18 May 2014:

  • Old Ocean Grove land titles: sellers and purchasers – 1,180 entries
  • Names mentioned in the Geelong Advertiser – 57 entries
  • Geelong District: Nurses from the Victoria Government Gazette 1951 – 119 entries
  • Geelong Infirmary & Benevolent Asylum: Annual Report 1889 – 1,797 entries
  • Geelong and Portland Bay Immigration Society [1845-1846]: Inward migrants ex Tasmania – 769 entries

Details on these indexes can be found in the Geelong & District Potpourri pages.

And don’t forget to search again for your ancestors in the Geelong & District Database – they could have been in the last load of additions!

Superfluous hair removal added to Geelong and District DB

Madame FROKJARSometimes things stop you in your tracks and this was one entry in the Geelong & District database that did just that!  There I was quietly indexing the four issues of Investigator from 2013 [the journal of the Geelong Historical Society].

One of my favourite regular articles in Investigator is the Chronology from the Geelong Advertiser 100 years earlier.

The entry from Saturday 31 May 1913 …

Madame Frokjar, expert in the destruction of superfluous hairs, is to be in Geelong on Saturday 8th June, when she may be consulted free at the Town and Country Club in Ryrie-street.

I challenge anyone with an iota of curiosity in their body to ignore a statement like this without asking themselves a heap of questions?  And who could not start researching Madame FROKJAR?  She was a lot easier to research than I anticipated and certainly was not what I expected!  From The Cyclopedia of Victoria, published in 1903 [Vol III, pp.153-4]:

Madame FROKJAR, Medical Masseuse (Diploma College of Copenhagen, pupil of Dr Claud Hansen, masseuse to the Danish Royal Family), Method of Royal Gymnastic Central Institution, Stockholm.  Madame Frokjar was born in Zulland, Denmark, in 1862, and came out to Victoria possessed of independent means, but vicissitudes overtaking her, she resolved to embark in an enterprise such as would afford a living for herself and children.  With this laudable object in view, Madame visited Copenhagen in the year 1896, and there diligently applied herself to study, and distinguished herself by passing successfully all the necessary examinations in connection with her profession, and gaining her diploma.  Madame then spent some time at the Garrison Hospital, Copenhagen, under the well-known and celebrated Dr Claud Hansen, and when fully qualified returned to Victoria in 1901, and commenced practice in Melbourne.  Here her connection very rapidly expanded, and it soon became necessary to acquire more commodious premises in order to carry out the treatment of her numerous patients, recommended to her by the leading members of the medical profession throughout the State, whose confidence and good opinion Madame has gained.  The present premises in Scourfield Chambers, Collins Street, opposite Messrs. George and George’s, have been fitted up on the most resplendent lines, and combine beauty, comfort, and relief in their arrangement.  Madame is assisted by a well-trained and capable assistant, and her establishment is recognised as the leading one of its kind in the city.

A later report in 1905 in the Adelaide Advertiser clearly showed the esteem with which she was held:

A MASSEURS’ ASSOCIATION

A preliminary meeting of medical practitioners has been held in Melbourne for the purpose of forming an association of masseurs and masseuses.  Dr J W Springthorne presided. After letters from medical men throughout the Commonwealth expressing sympathy with the movement had been read it was unanimously decided to form an association, to be the recognised association of the profession throughout the Commonwealth.  The objects are to establish a system of registration of acknowledged medical masseurs and masseuses; to establish a uniform system of training and examination – to be of such standard as may be decided on by the medical profession and the executive of the association, and to promote the interests of the massage profession in all matters appertaining to its work.  The following provisional committee to frame a constitution was appointed:- Chairman, Dr Springthorpe, and Drs MacGillicuddy and MacGibbon, Messrs. Grundt, Best, Pascal, Peters, Robertson, Doyle, Kyte and Moody, Mesdames Frokjar, Hacke, and Vahland, with Misses McCauley, Robertson, Meares, and Martyn, together with the following interstate representatives:- Messrs Schuch (New South Wales), A Semmens and Hugo Leschen (South Australia), Alexander Peters (Western Australia), and Peterson (Tasmania).  Mr Best, of the Alfred Hospital, was elected treasurer pro tem., and Mr Teepoo Hall (Melbourne Hospital) secretary.

Anna Marie SKRIVER was born in 1862 and married Andra FROKJAR in Denmark in 1891.  They arrived in Melbourne in 1892 when their first son Henry Andrew was born with a second son born in early 1895.  In September 1894 her husband was admitted to the Yarra Bend Asylum and remained in mental asylums until his death in 1932.

Between 1912 and 1922, Anna Marie travelled to Western Australia, New Zealand, USA and England.  As a “foreigner” she was identified as an Alien passenger during her travels.  Her son, Henry Andrew adopted the anglicised name of FAULKNER prior to qualifying as a Veterinary Surgeon in Melbourne in 1913.  He died in Surrey, England in 1990.  To-date the death place or date for Anna Marie has not been found.

I certainly didn’t expect to find the above when I started on this journey of researching the lady who removed superfluous hair!

We now have 1,515,142 records in the Geelong and District database.  This is what’s been added since the last major update on 30 April 2014:

  • Investigator, journal of the Geelong Historical Society: volume 48 for 2013 – 1,042 entries

Details on these indexes can be found in the Geelong & District Potpourri pages.

And don’t forget to search again for your ancestors in the Geelong & District Database – they could have been in the last load of additions!

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