Latest additions to Geelong and district database

Berry Bank HomesteadMack’s Hotel and Berry Bank Homestead are two names closely associated with Joseph Gardner MACK – a very early settler in Geelong.  Chain of Ponds gives a wonderful insight into this early pioneer and his family – well worth indexing.

Another gem is the huge index to A Whirr of Many Wheels – many thanks to Rod Charles for providing this index from his award winning book.

These are the book indexes that have been added this time around.  We now have 1,429,520 records in the Geelong and District database.  This is what’s been added since the last major update on 8 December:

  • Chain of Ponds: a narrative of a Victorian Pioneer – Book - 975 entries
  • The Todd Journal – Book – 341 entries
  • A Whirr of Many Wheels: cycling in Geelong, Volume 1, 1869 to 1914 – Book – 1,767 entries

Details on these indexes can be found in 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!

Not that hard: visiting the Geelong Heritage Centre

Geelong Heritage CentreI’ve heard on the grapevine that regular visitors to the Geelong Heritage Centre in the former Little Malop Street building have not started appearing at the new location in the National Wool Museum in Moorabool Street.

Despite working in Melbourne 5 days a week, I managed to visit the “new” Geelong Heritage Centre last week – I wasn’t sure what to expect but what a pleasant surprise – you don’t know what you’re missing!

This blog isn’t about repeating the information on the GHC web site – it’s aimed at making you feel comfortable about dropping in to the new centre for a visit and some research.  Explore the web site of the GHC to find out all the details: opening times, services, activities, events, bookshop, catalogue and much more.  And hopefully you won’t miss the great news that the new Geelong Heritage Centre is open FIVE days a week from 10.00 am.

Join me on my journey to the “new” Geelong Heritage Centre …

THE OLD GEELONG HERITAGE CENTRE:

If you mistakenly go to the Old Geelong Heritage Centre site, this is what you would have been greeted with in November 2013.  It looks pretty forlorn but you’ll have a chance to see the artist’s impression of the magnificent new building for the Geelong Regional Library and the Geelong Heritage Centre.

 Old Geelong Heritage Centre site  Old Geelong Heritage Centre site  Old Geelong Heritage Centre site

If you’re standing looking at this and cursing at anyone you can think of, don’t get too frustrated – the location of the “new” centre is not that far away.

GETTING TO THE “NEW” GEELONG HERITAGE CENTRE:

Make your way to the north east corner of Johnstone Park – on the way, enjoy the view of the Peace Memorial, Geelong Art Gallery and the Geelong Town Hall.  It’s amazing how many people haven’t seen these beautiful buildings from this angle.

From the corner of the Park, walk along Malop Street to the next intersection [Moorabool Street], turn left and before you get to the next intersection [Brougham Street] you’ll be at the site of the “new” Geelong Heritage Centre.

OTHER WAYS OF GETTING THERE:

There are also Park & Ride options in Geelong that you might find helpful.

The City of Greater Geelong also runs a Central Geelong Free Summer Shuttle Service that stops at the train station, the Waterfront, Geelong Botanic Gardens and other Central Geelong locations.  Contact the City or Tourist Information Centres for details.

THE “NEW” [INTERIM] GEELONG HERITAGE CENTRE – WHERE:

Top Floor, National Wool Museum

26 Moorabool Street, Geelong

HOW TO FIND THE GHC at the NATIONAL WOOL MUSEUM:

The GHC is located on the top [third] floor of the National Wool Museum [below left, centre and right]

Go through the main doors between the National Wool Museum [red] and Geelong Heritage Centre [blue] banners.  [below centre and right]

 "New" Geelong Heritage Centre  "New" Geelong Heritage Centre  "New" Geelong Heritage Centre

Once you are through the doors, go to the desk on your left [below left].  Ask for your pass to go up to the Geelong Heritage Centre [below right].  You must wear this pass while you are in the building to use the Geelong Heritage Centre otherwise you will be asked to purchase a ticket for the National Wool Museum.  Don’t forget to return your lanyard and pass to the desk on your way out.

 GHC Front Desk  GHC Pass for all visitors

Access to the top floor is via the ramp through the National Wool Museum.  Go straight to the Geelong Heritage Centre – your pass is not a ticket to the Wool Museum!  The ramp is a very gentle slope to the top floor – if you have any concerns, ask at the front desk for a wheelchair.  Wool Museum volunteers cannot wheel you up to the Geelong Heritage Centre – you will need to be accompanied by someone who can help you.

Continue up the ramp until you see the huge stack of wool bales [below left], go up the ramp with the bales on your right [below centre] and you will notice two entrances in front of you [below right].

GHC Top Floor GHC Top Floor OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Go to the entrance on the left first as this contains the lockers [above right].

No bags are permitted in the Heritage Centre Reading Room so they should be placed in one of the lockers provided [below left].  Remember to take your key with you and keep it in a safe place.  Only pencils are permitted in the centre – if you don’t have one, you will find some in the Reading Room.

 GHC Lockers  GHC Entrance

Return to the entrance on the right [above right], go through the entrance and turn right.

INSIDE THE GEELONG HERITAGE CENTRE READING ROOM:

The reception / enquiry desk is on your left inside the Reading Room, just past the shelves of publications for sale [below left].

Report to the desk [below left] and make sure you know how and where to find resources.

IMPORTANT: The Reading Room is on three levels with a few steps on each side of the room between each level.  There are good solid rails to hold as you move up or down the steps but if you feel you might have difficulty please speak to those on duty.  Where possible they will bring items to you for viewing on the top [entrance] level so you don’t have to use the steps.

 GHC Reception  GHC Reading Room  GHC Reading Room

From the entrance:

  • rows of bookshelves are on the right of the Reading Room on all levels [above right and below left and right]
  • computers, tables and chairs are on the left on the middle level [above centre and right]
  • microfiche, microfilms and readers are on the left on the lower level [below left and right].
 GHC Reading Room

 GHC Reading Room

The new Reading Room contains most of what was available in the old [demolished] Reading Room.

WHAT ISN’T IN THE “NEW” GHC READING ROOM:

There is no direct access to the Archives at the GHC Reading Room.  Mind you, very few people ever used these archives in the old [demolished] centre – and only PART of the Archives were held in Little Malop Street anyway!

It was Murphy’s Law that the item you wanted to view was stored off-site in which case you needed to order it in advance and wait for it to be available [a couple of weeks].  So really, nothing has changed!

Make use of the GHC web site to search the Archives and order the relevant item(s) or check to ensure that what you want to view is available when you visit.  And don’t forget that many of the more popular archives have been filmed and are available to view on microfilm in the “new” Heritage Centre.

The GHC now has a terrific new scanner which means items on film or fiche can be scanned and saved as an image – don’t forget to bring your USB drive with you!

ENJOY YOUR VISIT TO THE “NEW” GEELONG HERITAGE CENTRE:

Without doubt, the “new” / interim Geelong Heritage Centre Reading Room is absolutely delightful.  It’s fresh, well laid out, and very inviting.  Do yourself a favour and drop in for some research.

GEELONG REGIONAL LIBRARY:

If you’re still standing at the demolition site in Little Malop Street and wondering where the library has gone, just look behind you – it’s in the Government Offices – the upside down pyramid building [below right].

 Geelong Regional Library  Geelong Regional Library

Winchelsea Wonders give us Barrabool!

The Barrabool Inn, Ceres [Wynd collection]So just who are the Winchelsea Wonders?  A pair of wonderful ladies who are constantly doing indexing projects for the Geelong & District database.  Joan and Di are from the Winchelsea & District Historical Society.

Their most recent project has been the Shire of Barrabool rate books 1869-1901.  They have indexed every five years but have access to the interim years if you are “missing” your ancestor in that period.  The indexed rate books include 5,204 entries.

The Barrabool Inn at Ceres [photo above] can be found in the index in 1869 under the ownership and occupation of James Parsons.  He “inherited” this imposing establishment by marriage.  The former owner, George Cartwright from Yorkshire, died in 1868.  His widow, Eliza, carried on the business until she married James Parson in 1869 when the licence was transferred to him.

The Shire of Barrabool rate books are grouped into three ridings: Ceres, Moriac and Coast.  The parishes in the Shire are:

  • Barrabool
  • Gnarwarre
  • Modewarre
  • Duneed
  • Puebla
  • Paraparap
  • Jan Juc

Thank you from all of us to our Winchelsea Wonders!  Think of them while you search the Geelong & District database for your ancestors.

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!

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!

Unlock The Past Victorian Expo (Geelong)

Unlock The Past and the City of Greater Geelong have issued a HUGE invitation to anyone wanting to come to this terrific Expo.  It’s a banner across the Melbourne-Geelong Road - on the footbridge spanning the main road into Geelong – you can’t miss it!

If you see the banner and you’re coming to the Expo, you’re on the right road!  Stay on the main road, follow the bends as you go up and over the railway line, then start working your way into the left-hand lane.  Yes, I know The Arena is on the RIGHT but you have to go LEFT from the service lane at the Victoria Street exit [3rd set of traffic lights after the railway overpass].  Then turn hard right into the Margaret Street overpass to go up and over the Melbourne-Geelong road.  Turn right at the end and The Arena main car park is on your right.  See the map.

Look forward to seeing you all there.

Unlock the Past Victorian Expo (Geelong)

Well I really can’t quite believe that it is SEVEN months this week since I first posted the news of the Unlock the Past Victoria Expo to be held in Geelong on Friday 2nd & Saturday 3rd September!  And now it’s only a week and a half away.

Already we have 74 exhibitors and lots of people registered.  Don’t forget that if you register before 30th August you get into the Expo for FREE!  And don’t forget to book for any of the sessions you want to attend to ensure you don’t miss out.  There are some free sessions with others at $5 each.

I really hope to see lots of you there.

And just to share something funny with you … this afternoon I was testing some computer equipment we’ll have on the Geelong & District stand so we can do lots of lookups of databases etc.  I had previously used my Netbook and USB dongle for Internet connection.  Unfortunately the Netbook has a rather insignificant display card and when a larger screen is attached for people to view it looks a tad … well … AWFUL!

The screen looks great with my Notebook but I had never used my USB dongle on it.  So, there I was trying to get my Internet connection working on the Notebook computer.  You see, where I live in Ocean Grove, we’re in a shadow and sometimes struggle to get digital TV reception, let alone a wireless Internet connection.  If you can picture me standing on tippy-toes on a chair on the verandah AND holding my Notebook as high as I could while still reaching the touch-pad and keyboard to try to get a connection … well I nearly fell off the chair laughing – it looked pretty silly and obviously my neighbours thought the same.

The good news – it works!

See you there … Susie Z

Christ Church, Geelong – Burial Register 1863-1902

The card index of the Christ Church [Church of England] Burial Register, Book 2 [27 Aug 1863 - 20 Jan 1902] has been added to the Geelong & District Database.

We have combined all details from the card index with comments and family history data added from the corresponding entries for Geelong Eastern Cemetery [contributed by Pam Jennings].  The new index contains 3,408 entries of people who appeared in the Christ Church burial register and were then buried in the Geelong Eastern Cemetery.  Not all burials were in the Church of England Section at the cemetery – there are burials in all denominational sections and of course some are listed as “unknown location”.

The importance of this card index from the burial register is that they include many death dates which don’t appear in the Geelong Cemeteries Trust on-line database.  The new index also combines data from different sources providing the best combination for family history researchers.  Details of the contents can be found on the Potpourri Database page for this index.

The card index was transcribed with permission from the Genealogical Society of Victoria and the new combined database will also soon be available in the GSV members’ databases [LINX AUS and GIN]

Geelong & District Surnames of Interest

Well – this one is exciting.  The former Geelong & District Surnames of Interest was still in the old HTML format and not searchable in my web site – you used to have to select a letter of the alphabet and browse the names.

I was going to bring it into the 21st century when I realised there was an even better way!  The Surnames of Interest entries have now been added to the New Geelong & District Database.

I’ve included all those on the former web pages plus some more – I still have a backlog to add which will be done progressively – I only need another dozen hours in a day! :-Q

There is an explanation on this function called “About the Surnames of Interest DB” and don’t forget to follow the Help and Tips links from the Database search page.

I think people are more likely to find and contact Submitters of Surnames of Interest as they will appear in the same search for surnames in the database – make sense?  Have a play and see!

1863 Geelong & District entries from Vic Gov Gazette

100s of entries for our region have been extracted from the 1863 Victoria Government Gazette and are now in our Geelong & District Database

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