Assisted Immigrants – lied about their age and/or their occupation!

How many times have we heard this or found them in our own family research?  It’s “common knowledge” that immigrants lied about their age and / or their occupation to be eligible for the various assisted immigrant schemes – that’s why it’s so good to find proof of this accepted statement!

Digging through an old box of papers in a cupboard at the Geelong Family History Group, a bundle of exciting photocopies was found.  Some are being indexed / transcribed to be added to the Geelong and District Database.  There’s a lot there and the majority relate to the Geelong region.

One two-page document stood out – unlike the others, there was no source written on these pages, however I believe I’ve identified the VPRS number and unit at the Public Record Office Victoria.  Hopefully in the next two weeks we’ll be able to confirm that and then see just what other similar documents we may find in this collection.  This two-page document was a covering letter attached to a “List of Ineligible Immigrants by the ship ‘Joshua’ arrived at Melbourne 30th January 1852″.

Although these arrivals were in Melbourne, I’ve added them to the Geelong and District Database.  And if we find the right VPRS number we’ll definitely be looking for Geelong arrivals to add to the database.  In the meantime I’ve included the entries from this document below.  And take note of the comment for the final entry!

Details of the covering letter can be seen on the Geelong and District Potpourri page.  The letter was dated 9 March 1852.  I haven’t checked each immigrant but the few I have checked were either from Ireland or Scotland.  I’m not sure of the implications of being classed as “ineligible” – these immigrants arrived, some were assigned to employment and others went to family already in the colony.

I hope you find this document as interesting as I did!

MARRIED COUPLES  
ANDREWS, Thomas & Mrs A Lighterman; since employed in a foundry – described as an Agricultural Laborer
BOWLES, James & Mary Ages given in the Nominal List 39 and 39.  They are apparently between 50 and 60, and quite unfit for work
FOURBISTER, Robert & Mrs A Builder, described as an Agricultural Laborer
GUDGEON, Nicholas & Mrs A Fisherman, described as an Agricultural Laborer
MELDRUM, James & Mrs Salesman for five years to Mr Anderson, a Merchant of Dundee, described as a Shepherd
RICKARD, John & Mrs A Gentleman’s Servant for 9 or 10 years, described as an Agricultural Laborer
ROWE, George & Mrs A Gentleman’s Servant, described as an Agricultural Laborer
ROUGET, John & Mrs A Guernsey Fisherman, described as an Agricultural Laborer
SHARMAN, Thomas & Mrs Age stated as 34 – apparently 50 and unfit for work
STANBURY, John & Mrs A Miller, who had failed in business, described as an Agricultural Laborer
SEXTON, Morris & Mrs States that the agent at Killaloo [?sp] (Dr Bourke) told him to describe himself as an Agricultural Labourer – he is really a Coachman
SINGLE MAN  
SIMPSON, William A Coachman, described as an Agricultural Laborer
SINGLE WOMEN  
BOYD, Margaret Age stated as 32 – she is apparently between 45 and 50
BOYD, Mary Age stated as 24 – she is apparently 40
REARDON, Catherine Age stated as 38 – she says she is 52.  This is a very bad case as the woman looks older than her real age

Vision and Realisation – Index to Volume 2

Most Victorian researchers will be familiar with the 3-volume set of Vision and Realisation - it’s a wonderful resource for anyone researching schools in Victoria.  They were compiled by regional teachers and historians to commemorate the centenary of the Education Department of Victoria in 1973.  They provide a short history of every school that was a part of the Victorian Education system – some quite brief and others more comprehensive.

Volume 1 is extensively indexed.  Volumes 2 & 3 are indexed by school name only.

Some years ago the Geelong Family History Group indexed Volume 2 which included the Barwon Region [Geelong and surrounding area] together with virtually all of western Victoria.  This index included all people mentioned – a large number of these were teachers.  The GFHG Index has now been added to the Geelong & District database for searching and includes 12,040 entries.  NOTE: the school names have not been re-indexed as ALL schools are included in the original volumes - should you wish to research a school you need to access the Vision and Realisation volumes which are available at many societies and libraries throughout Victoria.

Volume 2 covers:

  • Glenelg Region
  • Wimmera Region, including the sub-regions of Stawell; Dimboola, Losan and Kaniva; Donald, Dunmunkle and Warracknabeal; Horsham and Arapiles
  • Mallee Region
  • Loddon Region
  • Central Highlands Region
  • Corangamite Region
  • Barwon Region

For general information …

Volume 1 covers:

  • Origins and foundations
  • The Common Schools period
  • Free, Compulsory and Secular
  • The Primary Division
  • The Secondary Division
  • The Technical Division
  • The Education and Supply of Teachers
  • Special Services
  • A Complex of Organisations
  • The Teacher and the Community
  • Current Trends
  • Educational Personnel

Volume 3 covers:

  • Port Phillip Western Region
  • Port Phillip Eastern Region
  • Upper Goulburn Region
  • Goulburn Region
  • Upper Murray Region
  • East Gippsland Region
  • West Gippsland Region

Many thanks to the Geelong Family History Group for this wonderful resource

Colac Cemetery burials

We have just added 12,211 entries to the Geelong & District Database – these are burials in Colac Cemetery [extracted from the headstones].

We have to thank Ian Marr for permission to include these entries in the Geelong & District Database - for anyone who hasn’t looked at Ian Marr’s Cemeteries of South Western Victoria then you are missing an amazing project.

You won’t find the entries in Ian’s on-line Surname Index because there are just too many – 12,211 entries and and more than 7,000 headstone photographs for the Colac Cemetery.  For the very large cemeteries in the region, they are included on the CD / DVD / USB instead of on-line – making sure that people can still search the thousands of other entries at all the smaller Cemeteries.

Ian has priced the complete set of cemeteries at an extremely affordable price and no-one should criticise him for trying to recoup some of the costs [including petrol] that he has expended over the years.  Congratulations Ian – a really fantastic job – and he’s still going!

Geelong Infirmary and Benevolent Asylum: Annual Reports

The Annual Reports of the Geelong Infirmary & Benevolent Asylum are being indexed by volunteers for the Geelong region.  The report for 1877 has just been added to the Geelong & District Database.  This makes a total of 28 Annual Reports indexed to-date.

Full digital copies of the reports from 1852-1922 are all available for download from the Geelong Infirmary & Benevolent Asylum web site.  You can also see which have been indexed – or even better you can volunteer to assist with the indexing!

The Annual Reports do NOT include lists of patients, however they include information about the staff and progress of the hospital and for family historians they include comprehensive lists of subscribers.  The subscription lists expand over the years to include employees of companies and inhabitants of small towns / communities making donations to the organisation and thus entitling the subscribers to medical services – similar to Medicare today.

A timeline history of this institution can be found on the Geelong Infirmary & Benevolent Asylum web site and a link is provided to two other important sites when searching for your ancestors:

The Annual Reports were digitised and provided to our Geelong & District web site by Geelong Hospital librarian Stephen Due who was also responsible for creating the wonderful Australian Medical Pioneers Index.

Christ Church, Geelong – Burial Register 1863-1902

The card index of the Christ Church [Church of England] Burial Register, Book 2 [27 Aug 1863 - 20 Jan 1902] has been added to the Geelong & District Database.

We have combined all details from the card index with comments and family history data added from the corresponding entries for Geelong Eastern Cemetery [contributed by Pam Jennings].  The new index contains 3,408 entries of people who appeared in the Christ Church burial register and were then buried in the Geelong Eastern Cemetery.  Not all burials were in the Church of England Section at the cemetery – there are burials in all denominational sections and of course some are listed as “unknown location”.

The importance of this card index from the burial register is that they include many death dates which don’t appear in the Geelong Cemeteries Trust on-line database.  The new index also combines data from different sources providing the best combination for family history researchers.  Details of the contents can be found on the Potpourri Database page for this index.

The card index was transcribed with permission from the Genealogical Society of Victoria and the new combined database will also soon be available in the GSV members’ databases [LINX AUS and GIN]

From Native Creek to Teesdale 1837-1900

The index of this new book has been added to the Geelong & District Database.

From Native Creek to Teesdale 1837-1900 was written and published by Dianne Hughes.  The index contains 2,360 entries of people, places, organisations and subjects relating to the the town of Teesdale, formerly known as Native Creek.

The book was launched on 2nd April 2011 – copies are available from the Geelong Family History Group.

Colac Court of Petty Sessions 1860- [VPRS 301]

The Colac Court of Petty Sessions [VPRS 301] is being indexed by our Geelong & District volunteers.

Currently 1483 entries have been added to the Geelong & District Database.

This is an ongoing project – the following entries have been added to date:

  • VPRS 301 / 25  [21 Mar 1860 - 14 Nov 1860 DONE]
  • VPRS 301 / 27 [6 Jan 1869 - 22 Apr 1870 DONE]
  • VPRS 301 / 55 [14 Aug 1914 - 8 Oct 1914 DONE]

Details include:

  • NAME: Either Prosecutor / Complainant / Applicant OR Defendant – COMMENT field will explain which
  • DATE: of court sitting
  • OTHER NAMES: Either Prosecutor / Complainant / Applicant OR Defendant – COMMENT field will explain which
  • COMMENT: Reason for court appearance, and explanation of NAME and OTHER NAMES field for EACH entry
  • REFERENCE: VPRS number and UNIT number (entries are in chronological order)

Farmland, Forest & Surf: Environmental History

New book index added to Geelong & District Database.

Farmland, Forest & Surf: Environmental History, prepared by Dr Carlotta Kellaway (1998), revised & updated by Dr David Rowe (2009) as part of the Surf Coast Shire Heritage Study Stage 2B (2009).  This publication of the Environmental History from the Heritage Study was produced by the Surf Coast Shire (2010).

Introduction: The Surf Coast Shire’s special landscape features and natural beauties have been identified over many decades as factors that have contributed to its popularity both as a holiday and resort place, and a desirable place to live and work.  Although close to Melbourne and to Geelong, Victoria’s second largest town, the Shire (an amalgam of parts of the former Shires of Barrabool, South Barwon and Winchelsea) is notable for its attractive natural features and relatively undeveloped condition.  It includes coastal holiday places along the Great Ocean Road, large areas of national park and forest reserves, and extensive pastoral landscapes.

This publication includes the following chapters: The Natural Environment; Arrival and Settlement; Economic Development in the Shire; Transport and Communications; Towns; Governing the Shire; Holidaying at Surf Coast; Community Life; Housing; and an extensive bibliography.

The Waterholes: a history of Drysdale on the Bellarine

New book index added to Geelong & District Database.

The Waterholes: a history of Drysdale on the Bellarine, written by Lynette Willey and published by the Bellarine Historical Society Inc.  The index contains more than 740 entries of people, places, organisations and subjects relating to the the town of Drysdale and the home of the Shire of Bellarine.

This book was launched at the historic Coriyule homestead – home of the Lady Squatters – in 2011.  Copies are available from the Bellarine Historical Society.

Year of Hope: 1857 in the Colac district

New book index added to Geelong & District Database.

Year of Hope: 1857 in the Colac district written by Dawn Peel.  The index added to the database includes 1300 Colac residents of 1857 from the appendices in this book.

From the back cover: The Colony of Victoria. January 1857 …

It’s just two years since the Eureka Rebellion. Former miners and ex-convicts are joining with new immigrants to challenge the 20-year domination by squatters in the developing Western District of Victoria. Traditional Aboriginal life has been irreversibly changed.

These are the forces at play in the young township of Colac at the start of 1857. Professional historian Dawn Peel takes us through the following twelve months with a factual and fascinating account of power, religion, class and race in both this local area and the fledgling Victorian colony during its first full year of responsible government.

Key personalities and the social life of a colonial township are also illustrated as Year of Hope creates a detailed vignette of this pivotal year.

Dr Peel has uncovered a wealth of primary sources and other data during her extensive research for this academic and readable study of a key settlement at a vital moment in history.

The book is available from the author – email to check price and availability.

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