Latest additions to database

Jane FRANCISIt seems that people are still fascinated with Midwives which again feature in the latest additions to the Geelong and District database.  Unlike teachers who had to give up their job if they married, midwives could be single women, married women or widowed women.  Women of any status are traditionally difficult to trace and perhaps that is one of the reasons for the popularity of this index in our database.  There are still some years to be indexed from the Victoria Government Gazettes and when they are finished we’ll start extracting Geelong District women from the Registers of Nurses in the Gazettes.

Pictured is Jane FRANCIS, a midwife in our district.  Jane PIPER was the daughter of John and Grace PIPER.  On 8 April 1830 Jane married Joseph FRANCIS at Bradworthy Parish Church in Devon, England.  The couple had 10 children in England.  In 1853 they emigrated to Geelong where their married daughter, Mrs Elizabeth PRICE, had settled.  Jane FRANCIS is recorded as the midwife on birth certificates from 1867 to 1884.  Jane died 2 December 1891 aged 82 and is buried in the Geelong Eastern Cemetery.  [photo and information provided by Pam Jennings]

This is the list of additions since 23 June making a total of 1,405,236 entries in the database:

  • Geelong District: Midwives – 1940, 1941, 1943 & 1945 – 177 entries
  • Bush Nursing at Forrest & District: accidents & recoveries – book – 671 entries
  • Barrabool: Shire Rate Books [GRS 877] – 1908, 1913 & 1853 – 3,885 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!

Bush Nursing at Forrest and District

Bush Nursing at Forrest & DistrictA new book has been published by the Forrest & District Historical Society Inc – Bush Nursing at Forrest & District: accidents & recoveries.

It tells the story of the Bush Nursing Association in Forrest, formed in 1914, through to 1940 and includes sawmilling and district accidents & deaths.

The book is available from the Geelong Family History Group – $15.00 plus $4.00 postage.

The index contains 671 entries and has been included in the Geelong & District Database.

Geelong Naval and Maritime Museum

Geelong Naval & Maritime MuseumSometimes I get cross and sometimes I get over it and other times I just have to speak out.

What makes me cross?  When a group of volunteers work hard for their group and they just don’t get the support they deserve!  The Geelong Naval & Maritime Museum is one such case.  Years ago I created a page on my web site for this worthy group.  I was later asked to remove that page as the City of Greater Geelong was catering for them on their updated and upgraded web site.  I had no problems with that request because things like opening times can change and it was better for there to be an “official” site.  As with all other societies and museums in the region, I added them to my Geelong & District Research Centres page with a link to the City of Greater Geelong web site.

Last night I received an email from someone in Melbourne asking if the Geelong Naval & Maritime Museum was closed as the link no longer worked and searching the City of Greater Geelong web site didn’t come up with any matches for the Museum.

I eventually found a web page [not the City of Greater Geelong] however the opening times proved to be wrong.

OK – it’s easy to say that any group can create their own web page, but in this case the Museum is owned by the City of Greater Geelong and they HAD been included on the CoGG web site.  So why has the City of Greater Geelong removed them?  It could be a genuine mistake or oversight but whatever the reason, it’s WRONG!  I hope that the City of Greater Geelong fixes this omission and supports the volunteers at the Geelong Naval & Maritime Museum.

The current details:

Geelong Naval & Maritime Museum
rear of “Osborne House”
Swinburne Street
North Geelong Vic 3215
Open: Daily except Saturday, 10.00 am – 3.00 pm
Phone: 5277 3808

Get behind the Geelong Naval & Maritime Museum – visit them and show your support and/or ask the City of Greater Geelong why they are no longer supporting them on their web site!

Latest additions to database

Pioneering Days: a woman's lifeThe latest additions to the Geelong and District database and web site include the first part of the index to a new book – Pioneering Days: a woman’s life compiled by the Colac & District Family History Group.  The group has spent almost 10 years compiling the data and it definitely warrants a full index.  Apart from the terrific content, so many of the entries include funeral details from local newspapers which has resulted in a huge number of people mentioned throughout the book.  It would be impossible to include all of these in the printed index, therefore it warranted a full computerised index.

Only 71 pages have been indexed so far but that has resulted in almost 2,000 entries.  Multiple entries for people will let you check the book for the date of the funeral(s) and therefore act as a local directory for these people.  The book can be purchased from the Colac & District Family History Group.

We also have more additions to the Geelong & District Midwives collection from the Victoria Government Gazette – it still amazes me how popular this series is!

We now have 1,400,503 records in the Geelong and District database.

This is what’s been added since the last major update on 7 May:

  • Pioneering Days: a woman’s life – Book – 1,990 entries
  • Geelong District: Midwives from the Victoria Government Gazette 1933-34, 1936-39 – 487 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!

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!


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