MORE reasons to celebrate: 900,000+ entries in our database!

Yippeeeeeeeeeeee!!  We now have more than 900,000 entries in our database and heading in the right direction to reach that magic 1,000,000 mark.

It’s amazing what you can get done when you have a few days off – like sort out some of the indexes done by our terrific volunteers and manipulate them to import into the Geelong & District Database.

Since the last blog – and that was only one and a half days ago – this is what’s been added:

  • Portarlington: Mechanic’s Institute petition in 1860 [VPRS 5357]
  • Murroon: names on Parish plan
  • Geelong Times: Deaths at Geelong Hospital 1882-83 – there aren’t heaps but what’s there is pure quality – wish they were my ancestors!  Details include age; date of admission; date of death; cause of death; former abode; native place; arrival date and ship
  • Drysdale: Police receipt book
  • Victoria: Geelong Advertiser list of Ayrshire emigrants of 1854
  • Colac Shire: Rate Books 1863-64
  • Barrabool Shire: Obituary Book 1972-77
  • Drysdale: Racing Club Minute Book 1874-1895
  • Drysdale: Court Suitors Book 1862-1864
  • Geelong City Council: WWII Servicemen and women enlistments
  • Geelong Decorating Company: employees at William Nash’s Paint and Paper Store
  • Geelong Branch Australian Womens National League: members in 1906
  • Additions to Geelong Court of Insolvency records

Details on these indexes can be found in the Geelong & District Potpourri pages.

Updating those stats from the last blog – as most of these indexes were done in 2011 – they just had to wait until I had a bit more free time to work on them and get them in the database!

  • 9th January 2011 - 785,753 entries
  • 2nd January 2012 – 901,013 entries
  • 115,260 entries added to the Geelong & District Database in 2011

I think we can all celebrate that sort of effort.  I hope you find YOUR ancestors in this great collection.

What a wonderful team of volunteers - THANK YOU!

Reasons to celebrate: more indexes added!

To celebrate the New Year, more indexes have been added to the Geelong & District Database.

Recent indexes added:

  • Murroon State School No. 940: students [VPRS 4123]
  • Travancore passengers: Geelong Advertiser 1849
  • Duneed / Mt Moriac Police Occurences Book [Police Department Geelong District]
  • Geelong & District Surnames of Interest
  • Remembering our Anzacs [publication]
  • The Queenscliffe Lifeboat : Wreck and Rescue at Port Phillip Heads [publication]
  • St Mary’s, Geelong (RC) baptisms 1867-1872
  • Leigh Shire Voters Roll 1872

Details on most of these indexes can be found in the Geelong & District Potpourri pages.

Looking back at what our local volunteers have achieved in 2011:

  • 9th January 2011 - 785,753 entries
  • 1st January 2012 – 890,126 entries
  • 104,373 entries added to the Geelong & District Database in 2011

If we managed the same number of entries in 2012, we would end up with 994,499 entries by 1st January 2013 – that’s rather scary!

Mind you, 2011 was an amazingly productive year so we should probably set out target at 950,000 entries by the start of 2013.

Then again we could be really rash and aim for 1,000,000 or is that just plain silly?

Oh who cares – our team of volunteers have been absolutely amazing and simply deserve a huge THANK YOU and WELL DONE!

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.

Meredith dog owners: 1864-1866

With the thunder causing all the local dogs to start barking it seemed an appropriate time to include this index in the Geelong & District Database!

The Meredith Road District: list of persons who have registered dogs in the Meredith Road District [GRS 819 Item 1] has been transcribed by the Geelong Heritage Centre.  An index to the transcribed file has been added to our database – and from the Meredith Dog Registrations 1864-1866 page we have included a link to the Geelong Heritage Centre where you can download the transcribed file.

Not only do you get details of the individual dogs but you will also know where the owners lived in 1864-1866 in the Meredith district.

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.

Day 2 – Victorian Expo

I’m sitting at my keyboard wondering where I’m going to find the strength to get off the chair and crawl into bed!  I’m totally physically and mentally exhausted … but what a magnificent couple of days!

It’s all over and it went so well – the photo shows the section occupied by most of our Geelong & district groups [there were another 4 in the sections above and below ours].  Our main section had our groups on both sides of the rectangle marked by the red lines and arrows!  This was a quiet time – the only time I managed to get the camera out and take a couple of snaps!  There were 200-300 people in the 2 presentations going on at the same time but still plenty of people in the exhibition area to keep us all busy.  Also, the photo shows about one third of the total exhibition area – it was huge and buzzing over both days – it was a terrific vibrant feeling.

There might be a “recession” in the book selling industry but that definitely wasn’t apparent at the Expo – we did an absolute roaring trade with our huge range of local & family history books from our Geelong & district groups.  And more importantly our groups had heaps of interest in their brochures, membership and research options.  And the comment we heard again and again and again - “we didn’t realise there were so many groups in the region”!  That alone makes the Expo a huge success – a lot more people know that our local groups exist and I’m sure there’ll be plenty of follow-up communications for them all.

And as tired as I am, I couldn’t end this without mentioning the terrific show by Colin Mockett & Shirley Power last night … “Hit the Road, Digger”.  Everyone who was there thoroughly enjoyed it.  Entertaining, full of interesting history, wonderful historic images and of course the wonderful voice of Shirley Power singing songs from the 1920s & 30s … and yes, we had a good old sing-a-long.  Congratulations to Colin & Shirley for adding a wonderful evening to our Expo.

I’m sure there’ll be plenty of photos appearing in the next few days on the Unlock The Past web site, so keep an eye out for them.

In case you hadn’t worked it out – I enjoyed the last couple of days – they were wonderful!

Day 1 – Victorian Expo

Wow – day 1 of the Victorian Expo (Geelong) was terrific – caught up with heaps of friends, didn’t stop talking ALL day [surprise anyone?] and we launched our new “book” [CD] … Irish in Geelong & District.

What a great day – and there’s still time for anyone to get along to the second day – today – and that’s where I’m heading now.  Hope to see some of you there.

I know I’ll be doing plenty of talking again today – 2 presentations – “Look local: it’s not all on the web” and of course my favourite “Sewerage records” – the one that has everyone laughing and completely gobsmacked by the end at this wonderful resource.  And if anyone has heard this before, you might want to hear it again – some terrific news about Sewerage records – something exciting that happened VERY recently that you might find just a tad interesting!

Irish in Geelong & district – NEW publication

Am I excited?  You bet I am!  Just over a year ago Pam Jennings & I published Scots in Geelong & district to 1860.  The obvious question from people was when are you going to do the Irish one?  Of course we replied – “can’t be done”!

OK – we’ve proved ourselves wrong.  At the Victorian Expo tomorrow we’re launching Irish in Geelong & district.  This publication will ONLY be produced on CD and there will NOT be a print-on-demand version.  Why?  Because there are 1,711 pages!  That doesn’t include an index because the book is in Acrobat (.pdf) format and is fully text searchable.  Also the A-Z section is in surname order for easy browsing.  Mind you, it takes a while to browse 1,700+ pages.  At a later stage the full index will be added to the Geelong & district database.

It 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.

The CD will normally be $30 and details on how to purchase a copy will appear on the Geelong & district web site after the Expo, but for an Expo special it can be purchased at the Victorian Expo on Friday 2nd or Saturday 3rd September for $25.00.  Visit us at the Geelong & District Historical Association stand at the Expo – Table 18 – and make sure you visit all the other Geelong & District Historical Societies and Family History groups in our block of tables 13-24.  We’ve got heaps and heaps of books for sale from our region.

And if you haven’t booked to attend the Expo, don’t worry.  Anyone can come and it will only cost you $5.00 to get in.

It’s now less that 24 hours to the start of the Expo – and I’m sure my to-do-list includes more items than there are minutes before it all starts!

See you there!

Geelong district entries from 1863

628 local entries from the Geelong District from the Victoria Government gazette added to Geelong & District Database.

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