Geelong Heritage Centre … moved

National Wool MuseumIf you haven’t caught up with the news, the Geelong Heritage Centre has moved while the new Library and Heritage Centre is built on the site of the old premises.

The Heritage Centre is currently closed during the move and will re-open on Thursday 27th June on the 3rd floor of the National Woold Museum at 26 Moorabool Street, Geelong.

The good news – the Heritage Centre will be open Mon-Fri 10.00 am – 5.00 pm.  This will make things a lot easier for visitors to the region as they can make a “long weekend” of their visit and go to the Heritage Centre on a Monday or Friday.

IMPORTANT: Much of the Heritage Centre Archives are now stored off-site and you will need to order certain items in advance AND check that they are ready for your visit.  Keep checking the Heritage Centre web site for details.

It’s also important to make use of the Geelong Record Series Catalogue and other finding aids to ensure your visit is productive.

In the meantime, enjoy the extended opening hours!

Who built the Great Ocean Road?

Building the Great Ocean RoadWhat an important project and one that YOU can get involved in!  Iain Grant and the Portland Family History Group have been compiling a list of anyone who had a connection with building the Great Ocean Road between 1919 and 1932.  Unfortunately the “official” records were destroyed during WWII so the only way to compile a comprehensive list is with help from you – the descendants, families, or friends of those workers.

And we’re not just talking about the actual road workers – there are so many others who should be on this list.  Local farmers and land owners who helped with provisions.  Suppliers, carters, engineers, surveyors, pastoral care workers, medical and health workers, wives and families who supported their husbands, fathers and relatives.

Who provided the tents and supplies for the various camps along the length of the road?  There were 2,400 ex-servicemen and 500 civilians working on this project.  And how many more were associated with the project?

The 2013 Press Release gives so much more information – it is worth reading and may give you some ideas on how you can contribute – photos, information, names …  It also includes contact details for Iain and the Portland Family History Group.

Have a look at the Great Ocean Road Workers facebook page – the photos are definitely worth seeing.

And if you can help with this terrific project it will help everyone.

United Service Home

United Service Home, DrysdaleMajor-General TULLOCH opened the United Service Home at Drysdale on Wednesday 2 July 1891.  When he arrived in Victoria as commander of the Victorian military forces in 1890, he was appalled to discover that a number of old soldiers and sailors of the Imperial forces were homeless and destitute in Melbourne.  Funds were raised to build the Home which was to be used for two classes of pensioners: those requiring a little financial assistance [sustenance] and those requiring somewhere to live.

To commemorate the 100th anniversary of the establishment of the United Service Home, Eric Hourn published “A Drysdale Romance” featuring “United Services [sic] Home”.

This publication is still available from the Bellarine Historical Society and includes lists of residents and sustenance recipients.  Since this list was compiled, further research has enabled the Society to update some details of names and dates.  A new research project commenced to properly identify these men from the updated alphabetical list.

The first soldier selected was Jeremiah BROWN – one of the first eight residents of the Home.  We certainly didn’t expect to uncover the details that emerged from this research!  The story of Jeremiah appears in the June 2013 issue of Ancestor, the quarterly journal of the Genealogical Society of Victoria.  This edition of Ancestor is on its way to members and subscribing libraries and will shortly be available for purchase through the GSV Online Shop.

Jeremiah BROWNJeremiah may not have been what he said he was, but you just can’t help developing a soft spot for him!  And the old saying “you learn something new every day” was so relevant for Jeremiah BROWN.  The Waterloo Cyclorama in Melbourne was as fascinating as the story of Jeremiah.

What will we find when we research some of the other residents of the United Service Home?  Perhaps one of your ancestors or relatives appears in the list – why not check and see?

Latest additions to database

Augustus BOSTOCKThe latest additions to the Geelong and District database and web site include a very special file donated by Thelma Birrell.  It is from the diaries of Augusta BOSTOCK [1833-1920].  The diaries have not yet been indexed in the Geelong and District database but are fully text searchable as a .pdf file.

We now have 1,398,026 records in the Geelong and District database.

This is what’s been added since the last major update on 27 January:

  • Geelong District: Names mentioned in the Geelong Advertiser 1865 – 40 entries
  • Colac District: Names mentioned in the Colac Herald 1887 & 1901 – 76 entries
  • Birregurra District: Names mentioned – various sources 1867 & 1897 – 88 entries
  • Geelong District: Entries from the Investigator journal – 78,182 entries
  • Geelong District: Midwives from the Victoria Government Gazette 1918-19, 1921, 1923, 1926-30, 1932 – 588 entries
  • Geelong District: Surnames of Interest – 24 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!

THE biggest news for Geelong and district

CelebrateI confess – I screamed, I laughed, I shouted for joy, and yes … I was close to tears!  I had just heard the most fantastic news for all local and family history researchers in our region – and I have permission to do this blog.

Some of you who have followed this blog and our mailing list over the years will know how hard we have worked, grovelled and pleaded to get the Geelong Advertiser digitised and available through TROVE.  We eventually succeeded in November last year with the Addy online up to 1856.  We were warned not to expect many more years in a hurry.

At this very moment I’m sitting at the VAFHO State Family History Conference in Ballarat – about to give my talk titled Regional Victoria: a goldfields experience.  At the same time Jenny Higgins from National Library Australia is presenting her paper More than Gold: Treasure from TROVE.  Jenny had asked for an “Announcement” to include in her presentation.  And I had THE most exciting chat with Jenny and I have her permission to post this blog as soon as we’ve both finished our presentations.

You MUST have guessed by now that the exciting news is about the Geelong Advertiser but it’s even better than that!  The Addy will be included in the 1914-1918 papers digitised in the next financial year [July 2013 - June 2014] … AND …

In the same group, the Addy will be digitised from 1857 to 1913.  You heard me!  NOW you understand why I’m so excited!

The Addy will be online from 1840-1918 .. that warrants a BIG celebration!!!!!!!!!!

Some GOLDEN opportunities

Ballarat Mechanics Institute [SLV IAN14/08/69/160]Ballarat Fine Arts Exhibition [SLV H5525]Was your ancestor in Ballarat in 1869?  Did they attend the opening of the completed facade and Fine Arts Exhibition by the Governor?  Perhaps they’re in these images?  What a wonderful thought!  These beautiful images are of the Mechanics Institute, Sturt Street, Ballarat and its main hall – now called the Minerva Space.

You could follow in their footsteps and stand in this magnificent room – FREE!

Have a look at these golden opportunities – Friday 3rd May, 2.00 pm – 9.00 pm, Mechanics Institute, Ballarat:

  • SPECIAL Ballarat history and genealogy exhibition – an associated event with the VAFHO State Conference.  The Genealogical Society of Victoria will be participating in this exhibition as are many of the other conference exhibitors.  This special exhibition is open to ANYONE - no registration required – and even better, it’s completely FREE.  Why not enter the Poll for this event?
  • The special exhibition is being held in the Minerva Space in the Mechanics Institute, Sturt Street, Ballarat.  This is a great chance to see this magnificently restored room in the 1860s Mechanics Institute.
  • You won’t often get this sort of Golden opportunity, so why not come along and visit us – you might even win one of the prizes on offer from the participating exhibitors.

There are more opportunities – not free but definitely a golden opportunity – Saturday 4th and Sunday 5th May, Australian Catholic University, Ballarat:

  • Under the Southern Cross: A Goldfields Experience – the 8th Victorian State Family History Conference and Exhibition
  • Saturday – 3.00 pm – Regional Victoria: A Goldfields Experience – Susie Zada [yes - that's me!] presenting on the impact of the Victorian goldfields on regional Victoria.  Of course the Geelong region will feature in this presentation and you will learn about resources that may help you find your elusive ancestors on the goldfields.  Of course there is no guarantee you will find them but you’ll certainly gain a better understanding of what you might find.

See you there!

Copulation Register

Copulation RegisterIt’s true – I’m not pulling your leg!

For full details have a look at the GSV blog Genealogy World!

British Isles seminar – great value!

Paul MilnerOK – I will confess to a vested interest in this seminar – it is sponsored and co-hosted by the Genealogical Society of Victoria where I work and I will definitely be attending.

Paul Milner [right] is giving four presentations on the day and as you’ll see on the GSV blog it promises to be terrific day at a great price.

The reason I’m posting it here is because many people in our region will find it worth attending – a pleasant train trip to Melbourne and a day packed full of interest for all family historians.

I hope to see you there!

Latest additions to database

Geelong City Band Honor BandThe latest additions to the Geelong and District database are a real mixture.  Of particular interest are two indexes from the late Brian Fallon – WWI volunteers and soldiers’ awards in our region.  There are a multitude of on-line databases for researching our WWI ancestors, however these indexes produced by Brian over many years are well worth including in our local database.

This is the list of additions since 30 December making a total of 1,319,039 entries in the database:

  • Geelong District: Honor Boards [additions] – 197 entries
  • Geelong District: WWI Volunteers [Brian Fallon Index] – 2,436 entries
  • Geelong District: WWI Soldiers’ Awards [Brian Fallon Index] – 241 entries
  • Geelong District: Police Court Reports from the Geelong Advertiser 1850-1856 – 1,881 entries
  • Geelong District: Geelong Court of Insolvency c.1854-1933 [VPRS 815], miscellaneous files – 322 entries
  • Geelong District: Crown Land – Petition for Wetern Baths jetty and bath houses [VPRS 242] – 155 entries
  • South Barwon: Court of Petty Sessions Registers 1867 [VPRS 350] – 136 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!

ALL Victorian school names AND numbers

Just after Christmas we added a major index to the Geelong & District Database.

In the database, you can search for any Victorian school [pre 1975] by number OR [part] name.  And of course if they are schools in the Geelong district you may find more than just the new entries from Vision and Realisation.

You also have a second option – rather than searching our database, you can download PDF files by name or number from the Genealogical Society of Victoria blog site.  These lists now cover Volume 2 and Volume 3 – the complete list from Vision and Realisation.

The lists include the school name, school number, region, volume number and page number in Vision and Realisation.

Enjoy!

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