Sparrovale or Sparrowvale Farm?

I can’t believe that it’s more than two years since I was asked a simple question – is it Sparrovale or Sparrowvale Farm?  The sign on the gate is Sparrovale – the sign on the road is Sparrowvale.  It would have been simple to accept the spelling on the entrance gate but then I would have missed the amazing detail found over more than two years of research.

Sparrovale Irrigation Farm began in 1906 at Marshall near Geelong – relatively modern history – but such an important part of our local history.

I hope you enjoy the journey of discovery that definitely proved that the correct spelling is Sparrovale Farm, despite it being named after Edward Rogers “Ned” SPARROW.

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.

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!

Geelong & District Municipalities and Rate Books

Did you know that to research people in a region in Victoria it’s really important to know which municipality [council] they lived in at the time?  That’s because of the amalgamation of many councils in 1993-94.

The municipal records, such as rate books, are identified with the FORMER council name but may be in the possession of the CURRENT council.

How do you know which one to look for in Geelong & District?

It’s easy, just have a look at this web site.

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