Chooks or students?

ChickensThe Geelong Infirmary & Benevolent Asylum Annual Reports never cease to amaze me – this time for two reasons.

  1. The number of “employees” listed by company / employer.  Even if the company or employer kept an archive of their records, they wouldn’t be easy to track down, but because the company or employer and their employees contributed to the Infirmary & Benevolent Asylum Fund, they were listed in the Annual Reports.  We’re talking about ordinary people – probably our ancestors!  It’s definitely worth checking the Geelong and District database after each major update.
  2. The reason for choosing this photo!  Apart from collection boxes and other donations, the Infirmary & Benevolent Asylum Annual Reports list “Gifts in Kind” – the donors and generally the item(s) donated.  A popular contribution in the 1918-1919 Annual Report was EGGS!  It appeared that local schools raised chooks and contributed the eggs to the Infirmary & Benevolent Asylum.  And what an amazing job they did!  I hope they got plenty of school work done as well and didn’t devote their entire time collecting eggs and looking after the chooks. :-)  This lengthy list is about 3,286 dozen eggs being contributed.  And the top 5 schools? …
  • Ashby State School – 220 dozen
  • Winchelsea State School – 213.10 dozen
  • Modewarre State School – 160 dozen
  • Flinders School – 157.4 dozen
  • Ocean Grove State School – 141 dozen

We now have 1,623,428 records in the Geelong and District database.  This is what’s been added since the last major update on 1st October 2014:

  • Geelong Infirmary & Benevolent Asylum: Annual Report 1918 - 2,524 entries
  • Geelong and District: PROV Wills and Probates 1841-2009 – 35,820 entries
  • Old Ocean Grove land titles: sellers and purchasers – 2,336 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!

When did they die?

Inventory in Probate fileSometimes we take things for granted and don’t realise how many people are not aware of the myriad of different places they can find a person’s date of death – cemetery records and newspaper notices to name just a few.  Probate files also provide this information and in Victoria we are spoilt with the online Probate indexes to 2009 as well as the option to download digital copies of Probate files up to 1925.

When I was thinking about additions to the Geelong and District database I realised that extracting “local” entries from the PROV Index would assist people researching in our region.  Not only does it give an alternative method of searching [text string searching in our database] but would also remind or teach researchers that there is more than one way to skin a cat!

The PROV links and file IDs are not included as people should always go back to the original source to ensure they get the correct file, however extracting the name, occupation, residence and date of death would definitely benefit our local researchers.  Of course there will always be missed records as they have been extracted by place of residence – and we know how many place names have changed over the years.  Methodically working through possible place names, using the Geelong and District Towns, Places and Parishes file, so far I’ve covered most of Geelong, the Bellarine Peninsula, and the road to Ballarat.  There are heaps more to come so there should be no doubt that the target of 1,600,000 entries in the database will be achieved before the end of 2014.

We now have 1,582,738 records in the Geelong and District database.  This is what’s been added since the last major update on 22 September 2014:

  • Geelong Infirmary & Benevolent Asylum: Annual Report 1908 - 3,009 entries
  • The Drysdale Boys and One Girl: remembering those who fought in the First World War [Book] – 185 entries
  • Geelong and District: PROV Wills and Probates 1841-2009 – 52,354 entries
  • Old Ocean Grove land titles: sellers and purchasers – 185 entries

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

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!

Nurses, WWI, Infirmary and Books

Sr Olive Laura THOMASAdditions to the Geelong and District database are quite a mixture but it would be hard to go past the story of one of our local nurses who served during WWI – Sr Olive Laura THOMAS.  Looking at the Geelong Infirmary and Benevolent Asylum WWI Roll of Honour [Visions & Realities: A history of the Geelong Infirmary & Benevolent Asylum], the list of nurses includes Nurse M J THOMAS and Nurse O THOMAS.

It is possible that the first should be Nurse M R THOMAS as two siblings – Margaret Rosetta THOMAS and Olive Laura THOMAS – left Melbourne on 6 December 1916 on the ship Orsova.  Margaret, aged 31, enlisted 24 August 1916 and Olive, aged 25, enlisted 8 September 1916.  Both girls served in France.  Olive returned to Australia 26 November 1918 and resigned 19 December 1918 “due to family reasons” – perhaps to support her recently widowed mother.  Margaret returned 4 January 1920.  Both siblings ended up marrying.  Margaret died in 1957 and Olive in 1968.  The beautiful photo of Sr Olive Laura THOMAS is from the State Library of Victoria Collection.

We now have 1,525,764 records in the Geelong and District database.  This is what’s been added since the last major update on 14 June 2014:

  • Geelong District: Nurses from the Victoria Government Gazette 1952-1956 - 625 entries
  • Geelong Infirmary & Benevolent Asylum: Annual Report 1898 - 2,889 entries
  • Lemnos 1915 – a nursing odyssey to Gallipoli [Book] – 97 entries
  • Linton Cemetery Notes [Book] – 125 entries
  • Forever Home: a history of the Yaugher Cemetery (Forrest-Otway Region) [Book] – 782 entries
  • Forrest Region Voters: Forrest, Yaugher, Kaanglang & Henry’s No. 1 Mill (compiled from Victorian Electoral Rolls 1903-1960) [Book] – 1,743 entries

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

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!

Ocean Grove land titles

Old Ocean Grove Section ASome things are worth waiting for!  Just over 10 years ago – 10 May 2004 – I purchased and downloaded a digital copy of a Certificate of Title Vol 1946 Fol 389059.  This was the largest of several early Titles for Ocean Grove and contained 82 pages.  It, together with the other titles, was an absolute gold-mine for anyone researching early land owners in Ocean Grove.

Ocean Grove began as a private subdivision containing more than 2,263 allotments – by the time land-owner details were given to the local council for rates & valuations, unravelling the puzzle of who owned which allotment was just too hard to contemplate.

Way back in 2004 I knew these Titles were the answer to this puzzle but it just seemed too daunting.  A recent week’s holiday when it was cold and wet was the perfect environment – turning those ideas into a workable database.  And it worked!  10 years might seem a long time but when you see the end result, the wait was definitely worth it!

The names of the Sellers and Purchasers have now all been added to the Geelong & District database but the detail is what will help people with their research.   These links will take you to the Plans showing allotments from the original subdivision for Sections A, B, C, D, E & F.  Reports from the Ocean Grove land database are also available in text searchable PDF format for these six sections.  These reports will be updated periodically when more Certificates of Title have been added to the database.

Plans and allotments:

Details of address and transactions from database:

We now have 1,519,503 records in the Geelong and District database.  This is what’s been added since the last major update on 18 May 2014:

  • Old Ocean Grove land titles: sellers and purchasers – 1,180 entries
  • Names mentioned in the Geelong Advertiser – 57 entries
  • Geelong District: Nurses from the Victoria Government Gazette 1951 - 119 entries
  • Geelong Infirmary & Benevolent Asylum: Annual Report 1889 - 1,797 entries
  • Geelong and Portland Bay Immigration Society [1845-1846]: Inward migrants ex Tasmania – 769 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!

Shelford School No. 379 and lots more!

Shelford State School No.379The school register for Shelford State School No. 379 features in the latest group of updates to the Geelong & District database.

From Vision and Realisation, published by the Education Department of Victoria in 1973:

Probably a Presbyterian School operated at Shelford before the 1850s.  Certainly a Denominational School was established from 1st of July 1853 on the present site, in a wooden building that survived more than thirty years.  Shelford then was called Leigh.  The HT in 1853, Patrick Collins, stayed until the end of 1854.  The longest serving HT, George Hunt, stayed from 1861 until 1885.  In his time, the present bluestone building was erected in 1866.  When the school was taken over by the Department, Hunt remained in charge.  The Church sold the site (originally given by Russell and Bell) to the Department at the end of 1873.  Hunt’s successor, John H Betheras had a notable career in the Department retiring as Assistant Chief Inspector of Schools in the 1920s.  Betheras had charge until 1891.  He was the last teacher to use the original wooden building which was demolished in 1887, after serving as an infants room.  Although the township was by this time known as Shelford the school’s name was not changed to Shelford until 1908, when Thomas Spowart was HT.  The close association of the school with the Presbyterian Church is indicated by the names of the Committee Chairman after 1911: the first Chairman was the Rev. J Higginbotham who served twice, to 1918; then the Rev D Jones to 1921; and the Rev R Parry three terms to 1942.  After the second World War closer settlement caused such a rise in population as to warrant a second classroom.  This was built in 1966; but population fell from 47 pupils to an enrolment in the 20s.  This gave rise to concern for the future of the bluestone building which, because of its obvious beginnings as a church structure, is of no little interest, and steps are being taken to preserve it.  John Coffey took charge in 1967.

We now have 1,514,097 records in the Geelong and District database.  This is what’s been added since the last major update on 24 February 2014:

  • Geelong District: Nurses from the Victoria Government Gazette 1940-1950 - 1,272 entries
  • Geelong District: Surnames of Interest - 14 entries
  • Geelong Infirmary & Benevolent Asylum: Annual Report 1885 & 1915 - 4,693 entries
  • Geelong: Index to Deaths Books for Geelong Infirmary & Benevolent Asylum 1852-1925 – 5,996 entries
  • Shelford: School register for State School No. 379: 1901-1954 - 275 entries

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

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!

Latest additions to database

Geelong Infirmary and Benevolent Asylum in1866Geelong Hospital again features in the latest additions to the Geelong and District database with another index of an Annual Report – this time for 1910.  I’d forgotten how much useful information was printed in these Annual Reports.  They don’t include name of patients or inmates but the really useful section covers subscriptions.  These were akin to our present day Medicare – public health!  There are pages of names, usually grouped under employers, of employees who were covered by these contributions which entitled them to Subscription Tickets or Inpatients Tickets for medical care.

These lists are quite extensive and provide data not normally available from other sources.  In addition to the many names listed and indexed, many are just initials.  If you suspect your ancestor worked at a particular trade or on a particular property in the country in Geelong & District, have a look at the actual report as they may be listed by initials only.  Could they be B.P., or J.K. who were butchers at the Geelong Freezing Works?  Or perhaps A.G.P. or T.L.W. who worked for Hawkes Brothers?

Numerous other indexes from the Geelong Family History Group collection and our volunteers are also included.

We now have 1,439,222 records in the Geelong and District database.  This is what’s been added since the last major update on 21 December:

  • Geelong: Infirmary & Benevolent Asylum Annual Report 1910 – 2,776 entries
  • Geelong: Infirmary & Benevolent Asylum Annual Report 1920 – 2,122 entries
  • Geelong: Geelong Advertiser – Trades and Businesses 1840-1851 - 1,767 entries
  • Geelong District: Names from the Geelong Times – 814 entries
  • Geelong District: Geelong Times – Admissions to Geelong Hospital 1874 – 152 entries
  • Geelong District: Geelong Court of Insolvency c1854-1933 [VPRS 815] – 83 entries
  • Geelong District: select land files from various VPRS at PROV – 33 entries

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

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!

Latest additions to database

Geelong Hospital c1915Geelong Hospital features in the latest additions to the Geelong and District database with the index of the book Visions & Realities: a history of the Geelong Infirmary & Benevolent Asylum by Dr W R (Roy) Lang.

It also includes the final part of the index to Pioneering Days: a woman’s life compiled by the Colac & District Family History Group.  The complete index for this book contains 6,809 entries and provides a wonderful ‘local directory’ for people in the region.  Where the same people appear multiple times, by referring to the entry in the book you will find the relevant years for each reference – a terrific resource.  The book can be purchased from the Colac & District Family History Group.

We now have 1,420,041 records in the Geelong and District database.  This is what’s been added since the last major update on 10 November:

  • Visions & Realities: a history of the Geelong Infirmary & Benevolent Asylum – Book – 575 entries
  • Pioneering Days: a woman’s life – Book – 2,683 entries
  • The Lockies of Gheringhap – Book – 391 entries
  • Ss Peter and Paul’s, Ashby 1866-1966 – Book – 292 entries
  • Geelong District entries from Index: Mail Contractors of Victoria 1838 to 1901 - 305 entries
  • Geelong District entries from Index Victoria’s Postmasters and Postmistresses 1837 to 1901 - 835 entries

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

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!

Mount Moriac – Duneed baptisms plus more

The featured index in the latest bundle of additions to the Geelong & District Database is for baptisms at St Patrick’s Roman Catholic church at Mount Moriac – also referred to as the Duneed Mission.  Separate pages for each year were found at the end of the St Mary’s Geelong baptism registers – these covered the years 1875-1881.  Earlier years [1855-1873] had already been included in our GDHA Church Records database and indexed in the Geelong & District Database.

These new entries generally include parents’ names, mother’s maiden name, residence and sponsors – so if you’re looking for more on someone in the Mt Moriac / Duneed area in 1875-1881 these baptisms could help you.

This is the list of additions since 24 March making a total of 1,266,631 entries in the database:

  • Geelong District: GDHA Church records – Duneed Mission RC 1875-1881 [St Patrick's, Mount Moriac] – Baptisms [inc. Fathers, Mothers & Sponsors] – 539 entries
  • Book – The History of the Geelong Golf Club 1892-1992 – 4,141 entries
  • Colac Shire: Rate Books 1890-91 [GRS 1393] - 2,417 entries
  • South Barwon Courts: Petty Sessions Registers 1861-1863 [VPRS 350] – 634 entries
  • Geelong District: names from the Geelong Advertiser [groups, prizes etc.] – 592 entries
  • Geelong District: names from the Geelong Times [groups, prizes etc.] – 1,129 entries
  • Geelong District: Hospital Admissions from the Geelong Times – 106 entries
  • Geelong District: Grapevine compensation lists from the Geelong Times – 104 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!

Our volunteers and contributors are amazing!

To say we are blessed with our wonderful volunteers and contributors would be an understatement – they really are amazing and such an asset to anyone researching in the Geelong & District region.

Our latest major addition to the Geelong & District Database comes courtesy of Fred Walter and Heather Cox.  Way back in 1990 they compiled and published the Index to the Admission Books of the Geelong Infirmary and Benevolent Asylum.  They then provided this index free on their web site of the same name.

Now they have taken this a step further by giving us permission to include what we call a limited index of their web site in the Geelong & District Database.  We call it “limited” because we have omitted the Admission number from our index.  This number is the key to follow up further details and means you need to use their web site to obtain that key as well as read the explanation of the source of the index, how to use it and how to proceed further.  The entries in the Geelong & District Database include the name, year and TAB on their website under which you’ll find the entry.

This isn’t the only addition to the Geelong & District Database since I posted the last lot of updates but it’s certainly one of the most signicant ones and a perfect example of the contributors to everyone who is researching in our region.

Another highlight in the latest additions – a great selection of Court Records for Steiglitz.  This is just the start – there are more entries to come for people with ancestors at Steiglitz.

This is the list of additions since 4 March making a total of 1,256,871 entries in the database:

  • Geelong District: Admission Books of the Geelong Infirmary and Benevolent Asylum – 12,594 entries
  • Geelong District: GDHA Church records – St Mary’s RC church, Geelong 1873-1881 – Baptisms [inc. Fathers, Mothers & Sponsors] – 10,635 entries
  • Geelong District: GDHA Church records – Wesleyan circuit, Geelong 1868 – Baptisms [inc. Fathers & Mothers] – 510 entries
  • Colac Shire: Rate Books 1869-70, 1880-81, 1905-06 [GRS 1393] – 6,894 entries
  • Steiglitz Courts: Petty Sessions Registers 1899, License Register 1862-64, Charge Book 1868-79 [VPRS 351] – 2,634 entries
  • Book – Beacons of Hope: an early history of Cape Otway and King Island lighthouses – 546 entries
  • Geelong District: names from the Geelong Advertiser [groups, prizes etc.] – 615 entries
  • Geelong District: names from the Geelong Times [groups, prizes etc.] – 1,182 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 Infirmary and Benevolent Asylum: Annual Reports

The Annual Reports of the Geelong Infirmary & Benevolent Asylum are being indexed by volunteers for the Geelong region.  The report for 1877 has just been added to the Geelong & District Database.  This makes a total of 28 Annual Reports indexed to-date.

Full digital copies of the reports from 1852-1922 are all available for download from the Geelong Infirmary & Benevolent Asylum web site.  You can also see which have been indexed – or even better you can volunteer to assist with the indexing!

The Annual Reports do NOT include lists of patients, however they include information about the staff and progress of the hospital and for family historians they include comprehensive lists of subscribers.  The subscription lists expand over the years to include employees of companies and inhabitants of small towns / communities making donations to the organisation and thus entitling the subscribers to medical services – similar to Medicare today.

A timeline history of this institution can be found on the Geelong Infirmary & Benevolent Asylum web site and a link is provided to two other important sites when searching for your ancestors:

The Annual Reports were digitised and provided to our Geelong & District web site by Geelong Hospital librarian Stephen Due who was also responsible for creating the wonderful Australian Medical Pioneers Index.

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