Michael Gandy: live in Melbourne

This is a wonderful opportunity for all family historians to experience one of the best genealogical speakers in the world!

Michael Gandy has been to Australia before but to hear him speak you would have had to attend an Australasian Congress held somewhere around Australia or New Zealand.  This would not have been cheap – taking into account transport, accommodation and Congress registration fees.  Now you have a chance to hear Michael give four presentations plus a Q&A session in Melbourne.

The Genealogical Society of Victoria web site includes details of Michael’s presentations and how to book for this great event on Saturday 10th November.

The start and end time have been chosen to enable family historians from country areas to travel to Melbourne, enjoy Michael’s presentations, and get back home again on the same day.

Geelong Advertiser … it’s here!

The first part is here!  So far 1 Nov 1851 – 20 Dec 1851 and I must confess that the first page I looked at was not great quality but there is so much to look forward to.  As you can see from the list below, this is the last part of the second group of papers.

  • 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)

Have a look at Trove Digitised Papers or the summary page.

We can expect notification of additions progressively over the next couple of weeks.

Yippeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

Geelong Advertiser … 24th June 2012 update!

I think we’ve all been holding our breath after the National Library said [in January 2012] the following would occur …

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)

Now for the latest news!

It is so close you can smell it!  If you go to TROVE and search for Geelong Advertiser you’ll see what I mean!  For the results which include the title(s) and date range shown above it also shows the magic words [coming soon].

A layman’s interpretation is the OCR / text part is loaded [or in the process of being loaded] and the images will follow.

The bottom line is that it is VERY CLOSE!

I suggest that everyone gets some extra sleep in preparation for some LONG nights searching the Addy.

And for those that want 1843 or 1857 or later – let’s be very grateful that at least it’s started and there will be more to come.

Peter Bowden aka Peter St Albans

What a fascinating journey of questions, doubts, research and discovery!

Dr Andrew Lemon presented the Don Grant lecture at the Family History Feast almost a year ago, but it was only last weekend that I finally had time to listen to this fascinating presentation and give it the attention it deserved.

To precis it here would not do justice to Andrew’s presentation – to appreciate it to the fullest you should download the podcast from the State Library of Victoria’s website.

It is the story of Peter Bowden, also known as Peter St Albans – an alias acquired from his association with James Wilson and the St Albans stud at Whittington in Geelong.

I must confess that when I had listened to and absorbed the presentation in its entirety I hastened to my Geelong and District web site to see if I had also fallen into the trap of repeating the “story” behind Peter St Albans’ origins!  Thankfully I hadn’t.  The local references I have found certainly support Andrew’s research and hopefully there may be a few that are “new” and can be passed on to support Andrew’s conclusions.

It was pleasing to find references in two local publications that adhered to the facts and did not expand to include the “popular story”.

Brownhill’s The History of Geelong and Corio Bay published in 1955 …

The rider of Briseis in the Melbourne Cup [1876] was Peter Bowden, who was popularly known, because of his association with the St Albans stables, as Peter St Albans.  He died at the home of his father-in-law, William Ryan, at Breakwater, Geelong, in July 1898.  Remarkable testimony of the popularity of the jockey was given at the funeral to the Eastern Cemetery, which was attended by sporting men from Melbourne, Ballarat and other places besides Geelong.  There were 50 vehicles in the funeral procession. [p.524]

In Painters of the past: colonial art and Geelong, published by the Geelong Art Gallery in 1991 …

Frederick Woodhouse 1820-1909 [ ... ] In his painting of Briseis, Woodhouse included portraits of the horse’s jockeys, Tom Hales (seated) and Peter Bowden, better known as Peter St Albans.  Hales was Briseis’ usual jockey but, on being placed on Feu d’Artifice in the Cup, was replaced by St Albans, who rode Briseis to victory with Hales coming in second. [p.50]

Give yourself a treat and listen to the podcast!

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.

Lost a male ancestor near Geelong between 1856 and 1889?

You might just find them in VPRS 22 Unit 21 at the Public Record Office Victoria!

This is a wonderful register dating from 7 August 1856 through to 1889 – Register of Seamen engaged Geelong and is the latest project being indexed by our Geelong & District volunteers.

So far, entries for 1856 have been added to the Geelong & District Database – 308 in total.

Details in the database for each entry: 

  • NAME: Name of seaman
  • DATE: of Engagement
  • PLACE: [of engagement] Geelong
  • COMMENT: Name of ship
  • REFERENCE: VPRS number and UNIT number (entries are generally in chronological order)

Additional columns of information in the register:

  • Capacity = rank i.e. AB [Able Seaman], Mate, Cook etc.
  • Nature of Voyage – Coasting, Foreign etc.
  • Reference [if Foreign] to Duplicate Agreement
  • Name of Master
  • Name of Licensed Agent
  • Last Vessel – on which engaged
  • Last Certificate of Character
  • Remarks

You can obtain this additional information and copies of the entries by visiting the Public Record Office Victoria at North Melbourne or submitting a (paid) Research Request to the Geelong Family History Group.

As the first part of the index was uploaded to the Geelong & District Database on Christmas Eve, it’s appropriate to select the seamen engaged on 24 December 1856.

NAME SHIP CAPACITY Prev SHIP REMARKS
John DORAN Ann & Maria Able Seaman Red Jacket Discharge lost
James LOW Mary Ann Cook & Steward Shalimar Discharge lost
George H GREEN Vibilia Mate Vibilia  
John ANLESS Vibilia Able Seaman Martha  
James AULD Vibilia Able Seaman Braces  
James KERR Vibilia Able Seaman Vibilia  
Andrew YILL Vibilia Able Seaman Vibilia  
George F CLEMENT Vibilia Cook & Steward Rattler  

All three of these ships were coastal traders which had arrived from Newcastle [NSW] laden with coal.  They returned to Newcastle carrying ballast and no passengers.  The Ann & Maria, a brig, departed 28/29 December, the Mary Ann, a brigantine, departed on 29 December, and the Vibilia, a schooner, departed on 24 December.

This is an ongoing indexing project – we’ll probably add entries a year at a time – I hope you enjoy this terrific index and register.

Merry Christmas to all from the volunteers in Geelong & District.

Winner of 2011 PMI Short History Prize

Prahran Mechanics' Institute: Short History Prize [2011]The winner of the 2011 Prahran Mechanics’ Institute Victorian History Library Short History Prize was our very own Dr Peter Mansfield.

Most locals involved in family or local history in Geelong & District will know Peter and his involvement with many groups.  He has been convenor of the Geelong & District Historical Association, on the committee of the Geelong Historical Society, guest speaker to many of our societies, and formerly CEO of the Geelong Regional Libraries.  He has researched and written many articles on some of his favourite subjects including Free Libraries and local politicians.

Able, gifted, trustworthy and disloyal: the political fortunes of Henry Bournes Higgins, MLA for Geelong, 1894-1900 is the title of Peter’s winning entry.  Peter has very kindly provided us with a copy for all to enjoy.

Congratulations Peter!

Irish in Geelong and district – INDEX

The Winchelsea girls are amazing!  Di and Joan have finished indexing the 1,700+ pages of the CD publication Irish in Geelong & District.  This has resulted in 33,452 index entries being added to the Geelong & district database.

IMPORTANT: – the CD publication isn’t a list of ALL Irish who came to Geelong & district but a HUGE number of records that may include your ancestors – if not you’ll certainly get an understanding of the wealth of information available in our region.

Details on the publication can be found on our web site.

Geelong: Assisted Immigrants Remittances 1856-1858

I do love some of the wonderful hidden treasures amongst the records held at the Public Record Office Victoria – and those that have been transcribed or indexed by the Geelong Family History Group [GFHG].

As part of an ongoing project with the GFHG, volunteers from our region are transcribing or indexing their huge collection and adding them to our Geelong & District database.

This is one of my absolute favourites!  It is part of VPRS 22 / P0: Customs, Shipping and Immigration Records – 8 of the 27 units in this series are specifically Geelong records!  And yes, we’re planning on working on the other records in this series.

To give you an idea on how wonderful these records are, I’ll step you through the details available in our Geelong & District database and the additional information available from the Geelong Family History Group transcriptions.

A search was done in the Geelong & District database for the name CROHAN.There were 43 matching entries [10 Sep 2011] for CROHAN – the ones of particular interest are the four entries for:

  • Bridget CROHAN
  • 23 Sep 1856
  • Geelong: Assisted Immigrants Remittances 1856-1858

 

 CROHAN – search

  Clicking on VIEW for the first entry you will find these details:

  • Bridget CROHAN was the Depositor
  • Mary CURTIN was the Nominee
  • Mary CURTIN was the MOTHER of Bridget CROHAN
  • PROV reference: VPRS 22 / P0 / 15
  • GFHG Reference Number is 70
  • Link to explanation of this record group which includes links to GFHG Research Requests or the Public Record Office web site

CROHAN – results 1

  Clicking on VIEW for the second entry you will find these details:

  • Bridget CROHAN was the Depositor
  • Mary MOYLAN was the Nominee
  • Mary MOYLAN was the SISTER of Bridget CROHAN
  • PROV reference: VPRS 22 / P0 / 15
  • GFHG Reference Number is 70
  • Link to explanation of this record group which includes links to GFHG Research Requests or the Public Record Office web site

CROHAN – results 2

Viewing the third and fourth entries will provide similar information for Thomas MOYLAN and Patrick MOYLAN – probably nephews of Bridget CROHAN.

If you look at the original record at PROV or submit a Research Request for the transcription from the Geelong Family History Group, you will find these details [in addition to those above]:

  • Bridget CROHAN resided with Ed Willis Esq, Barrabool Hills, Geelong
  • Mary CURTIN was aged 50, a housekeeper and widowed
  • Mary MOYLAN was aged 30, a nurse and widowed
  • Thomas MOYLAN was aged 16, a labourer and single
  • Patrick MOYLAN was aged 9 and single
  • The Nominees [CURTIN & MOYLANs] arrived on the ship Echunga on 20 August 1857 [many ship details have been added to the GFHG transcriptions and were not all included in the original transcription]
  • The Nominees’ residence was shown as – Alex Bannalyneby [?], Ennis Mills, Co Clare, Ireland

GFHG Ref No 70 – CROHAN

CROHAN – GFHG transcription [.pdf file]

Some Nominees’ residence details include cottage / house names, and street addresses – who wouldn’t just love that information for their ancestors?  The majority of entries are from Ireland however there are also significant numbers from England and Scotland which also include detailed addresses.

There are 1,289 entries [total number of Nominees] in VPRS 22 / P0 / 15 for 550+ Depositors.  This equates to 2,578 entries in the Geelong & District database – they are “duplicated” so that you can search by both Depositor and Nominee.

These records refer to depositors dealing with the Sub Treasury in Geelong.  There are plenty of similar records out there for Melbourne, other Sub Treasuries, and of course Geelong for different years.  They won’t be handed to you on a platter like these ones!  You will need to search for them.  Make use of the PROV Guide 52: Transport – Immigration Records.  Look in the Correspondence and administrative section – these type of records are found in the Immigration Branch files.

You should also do some background reading for details on immigration remittances, regulations, procedures and rates payable.  These can be found in these Victoria Government Gazettes by searching for the word IMMIGRATION and the dates shown below:

Well, that should keep you busy on what is a very cold September day in Victoria!

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 296 other followers