Geelong Advertiser … can’t research without it!

Geelong Advertiser 9 January 1841 p1Just 175 years and 3 days ago the first edition of the Geelong Advertiser was published – November 21, 1840 in fact.  It is Victoria’s OLDEST morning newspaper.  The banner for the Geelong Advertiser includes the words “Fortis est veritas” or THE TRUTH IS STRONG.

Map of Corio from the Geelong Advertiser 9 Jan 1841On Saturday January 9, 1841, a supplement to the (then) standard 4-page issue 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!]

We’re celebrating the 175th birthday of this wonderful paper and as a researcher and historian [local and family], I am so fortunate to be able to search and access the digitised version of the Geelong Advertiser from 1840 to 1926.  Of course researchers are greedy and we want more and more to appear online.  Hopefully funds will become available to continue the digitising.

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!

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] the paper is so important to many researchers.

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.

It is full of people and local history – an absolute goldmine for researchers.  If you are researching past 1926, in Victoria the Addy is on microfilm at the State Library of Victoria and the Geelong Heritage Centre.

From all of us … “Happy Birthday to the Geelong Advertiser“!


Really, really, really important news!

Geelong Library & Heritage Centre - new buildingThis has been confirmed by the Geelong Heritage Centre – SPECIAL opening hours to celebrate the opening of the new building.

The centre will be open the SAME times as the library on Saturday 21st and Sunday 22nd November AND on Saturday 28th and Sunday 29th November.

That means 10.00 am to 5.00 pm BOTH days and BOTH weekends.

IMPORTANT : on those two weekends you will NOT be able to order items from the archives repository, however during the week – Tuesday to Friday – you can order items as usual.

From Saturday 5th December, you will be able to order items from the archives repository and opening hours will be 10.00 am to 1.00 pm.

We hope to see lots of familiar faces at the celebratory opening weekends!

Keep your eye out for a new web site coming VERY soon for the Heritage Centre.  There should be announcements in the press and on the Geelong Regional Libraries site.

3 Cheers for Vic BDMs

1894 Victorian Death CertificateI’m supposed to be working on an assignment for my Diploma but this news is SO IMPORTANT that I had to give myself a 5 minute break to share it with everyone.  This wonderful news is already out there on various genie Facebook pages but I know a lot of people don’t use Facebook so I thought it was worthwhile adding it to my Blogs .

The initial screen is dated 10 November 2015 so this is very new.

Victorian BDMs are now FREE to search online!

Last night I was reading my journal from the Birdwood & District Family History Society – it included a lot of notes on the NSW & ACT Conference in Port Macquarie. Amanda Ianna from NSW BDMs announced that Lifelink (their BDM Search Software) had been “purchased by Victoria and NZ and other states have shown interest. More money could then be thrown at putting records online.” So I didn’t dream it – it works beautifully. One disappointment – NSW version of deaths doesn’t show age – that would be a good ‘new feature’ if it’s a possibility. BUT really good option not in NSW – you can search ALL types of events at once!

Victoria is probably now the leader in family history search for BDMs – free online searching and instant digital downloads at one of the best prices in Australia – $24.00.

Congratulations to the Victorian Registry of BDMs – some years back they stated they wanted to put BDM searches online for free but their software couldn’t handle it and they didn’t have a budget for new software.  We complained at the years NSW spent trying to get their online BDM software to work but thankfully they persevered and Victoria is the beneficiary.

Celebrate and pass on the good news.  I first saw this online on Australian Genealogy – a great Facebook page.  It’s closed so you have to request to be added – it is a well-moderated Facebook page that keeps on-topic and is a joy to be on.

Happy searching! :-)

Geelong Library and Heritage Centre confirmed opening

Image processed by CodeCarvings Piczard

It’s excitement plus in Geelong!  The City of Greater Geelong have just announced the public opening of the new Geelong Library and Heritage Centre … Saturday 21 November 2015.

Colac Cemetery fire

Colac Cemetery hedge fireWhat a horrible sight – the magnificent hedge around Colac Cemetery on fire – I’m amazed how quickly they got onto it and stopped it spreading even further.  They got the bulldozers into action and that probably saved the rest of the hedge.

Original Sands & McDougall’s Directories

The time has come, the walrus said … to make some room in my place.  Consequently I’ve made the huge decision to move on some of my research library starting with my collection of hardback Sands & McDougall’s Victorian Directories.  Needless to say they take up a lot of space!

I can’t find any of these digitised – and we all know that the 20th Century is often the hardest for us to research so these are ideal.

You’ll find them on Gumtree – just search for:

Keyword: Directory

Location: Ocean Grove

Any purchasers can collect them from Ocean Grove but they can also be posted – details provided on request.  Three were posted in one box up to Melbourne recently so anything is possible.

Another option – if you finalise arrangements in time, they could be collected from the Geelong & District stand at the 2015 VAFHO Expo in Seymour on 17th October, 2015.  Obviously that would save all postage costs.


Geelong Heritage Centre temporary closure

NewGLHCI initially posted this on my Just Love History blog as the impact is a much greater area than Geelong and District.

Mark Beasley has confirmed that they will shut down at 5.00 pm on Wednesday 23rd September 2015.

Also take not of the message about the new library catalogue on the same blog!

If you haven’t seen them before, at this stage these are the new opening hours for the Geelong Heritage Centre when it opens in the new building:

  • Monday closed
  • Tuesday 9am-8pm
  • Wednesday to Friday 9am-5pm
  • Saturday 10am-1pm

Please spread this message far and wide!

Geelong Hospital Nurses – 50 year reunion – Can you help?

Geelong Hospital c1915It is only a week away but a local group is organising a 50 year reunion for nurses from Geelong Hospital.

The group has managed to track down all the past nurses except one – Jo or Josephine CLEARY.  She married Dr R N MATTHEWS who was killed in a car accident in 1972.  They have spoken to some members of the MATTHEWS family who think she may have remarried but are not 100% sure.


Please don’t post any personal or contact details here but get in touch with me via the Contact Us form and I will pass the details on to Judy Brown, one of the organisers.

More cemeteries online

Colonel Robert Wallace HeadstoneExciting news for everyone!  The Geelong Cemeteries Trust has been hard at work – two new HUGE cemeteries added to their online database. You can now search and locate graves online for the Colac Cemetery and the Queenscliffe Cemetery. Cemeteries managed by the Geelong Cemeteries Trust that are still to be added to the database – some of these may take a while as I’m not sure about the existence of the Burial Registers:

  • Beeac Cemetery
  • Mount Moriac Cemetery
  • Warncoort Cemetery
  • Whoorel Cemetery

The first three of these can be found on Ian Marr’s Cemeteries of South Western Victoria web site – based on headstone information.

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 an addition to this category in the last month.

Obviously they still want to add more to their site but they 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.  They also have a great range of books / publications.

Congratulations and keep up the good work.


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