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!

Australia Day additions to database

Citizens Bar Committee 1858-1861This update includes a mixture of items – some adding to existing ones and others new.  Because this lot includes both Assisted and Unassisted Immigrants to Geelong [actually Point Henry] it seemed appropriate to include this photo of the Geelong Citizens’ Bar Committee 1858-1861 - the group representing the citizens of Geelong to arrange the removal of the sandbar across the entrance to Corio Bay.  This sandbar stopped ships carrying immigrants from overseas from sailing into Corio Bay and the wharves of Geelong.  The end result was these ships dropping anchor east of Point Henry leaving the immigrants a long journey into Geelong.

Some members of the Bar Committee were William G McKELLAR, chairman; Frederick CHAMPION, vice-chairman; and Walter M HITCHCOCK, secretary]; Peter HUDDART; James Clark WALLACE; John MATTHEWS; George A STEPHEN; John NOBLE; and Captain F TROUTON.

We now have 1,486,217 records in the Geelong and District database.  This is what’s been added since the last major update on 30 December 2013:

  • Geelong District: Assisted Immigrants – limited PROV index - 244 entries
  • Geelong District: Unassisted Immigrants – limited PROV index – 3,611 entries
  • Geelong District: Nurses from the Victoria Government Gazette 1931-1933 - 322 entries
  • Geelong District: Surnames of Interest – 18 entries
  • Geelong District: Honour Boards - 1,404 entries
  • Geelong Infirmary & Benevolent Asylum: Annual Report 1868 – 1,814 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!

Geelong Advertiser: WWI years

Geelong Advertiser 8th June 1918I hope everyone has been keeping tabs on the National Library of Australia / TROVE additions!  If not, you will have missed the start of the 1914-1918 copies of the Geelong Advertiser appearing.

So far the uploads include part of 1917 and 1918 – keep watching and DON’T FORGET to register and do your bit by correcting as many entries as possible to make it easier for others to find their families.

Thank you to the State Library of Victoria and the National Library of Australia – where would we be without them?

I must confess to smirking last Thursday – sitting in the audience listening to an American genealogist – he was SO jealous of our NLA digital newspapers and TROVE!

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