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!

Geelong Family History Group – Urgent notice!

South Barwon Community CentreMessage from John Stewart, President, GFHG:

Hi everyone (as addressed) Being Geelong Cup Day, the Belmont Library is CLOSED – and they didn’t let us know. Our meeting tonight will be at the South Barwon Community Centre, which is in Mount Pleasant Road.  As you go up the Belmont High St hill from the river, turn right at the Belmont hotel (traffic lights) into Mount Pleasant Road.  The Community Centre is a short way up on the left. Obviously, if you are coming down High St., you turn left at the hotel. Please let others know in case they don’t see this email. Cheers, John

The South Barwon Community Centre is located at 33 Mount Pleasant Road, Belmont Vic 3216.

Don’t miss this chance to hear Rhonda Coffey talk on the history and background of Cottage by the Sea.

Ocean Grove album – about 35 years ago

Robert Bruce IRVINGWhat a great album!  Robert “Bob” Bruce IRVING [RBI] loved Ocean Grove with a passion.  His grandfather, Thomas GRANT, was a member of the Ocean Grove Progress Association in the early 1900s when he built the “Lookout” for the people of Ocean Grove.  The lookout has since been known by locals as “Grant’s Lookout”.

Thomas GRANT built a house, Spray Cottage, on the corner of Dare and Bramwell Streets for two of his unmarried daughters.  Another daughter Janet married George Washington IRVING and in 1940 George’s son Robert [RBI] married Lorna BRAMLEY – they spent their honeymoon in Spray Cottage.  In 1952 RBI built his beach house just down the road from Spray Cottage in Dare Street.

RBI was a journalist and photographer and as editor of the Geelong Advertiser he took the opportunity in his editorial once a year to give a retrospective of Ocean Grove.  The Foreword of the album explains the contents:

Compilation of the following photographic project on Ocean Grove was inspired by the picture on Page 2.  This was taken in 1917 by my mother, Janet IRVING (nee GRANT).  Recently I found the negative, printed it and was so amazed at the changes which 60 years have wrought that I decided to record something of Ocean Grove in 1977 so that persons living there in 2037 might be able to see something similar to the changes that I have witnessed.

I was born in Canterbury, Melbourne, in 1917, and made my first acquaintance with Ocean Grove at the age of approximately a fortnight, when my mother left hospital and spent a holiday in the cottage her father, Thomas Alexander GRANT, had built on the north-west corner of Dare and Bramwell Streets.  It would have been very isolated at that time.

Subsequently, our family spent many happy holidays there until the cottage was sold during the second world war.  Twice (in 1925 and 1927), my mother, my sister, Gwenyth, and I lived there for six months on end while our father was otherwise occupied with his calling, and Gwen and I attended the tiny school shown on Page 14.

No sooner was I discharged from the AIF after the second world war than I resolved to have another link with Ocean Grove.  By 1951, I had found and acquired a suitable double block of land at 128 Dare Street, and, by the end of 1953, my wife, Lorna, and I had erected, with our own hands principally, a three-bedroom timber dwelling thereon.  Our children and their children enjoyed many holidays there.

Ocean Grove was one of Bob’s passions – another was Rudyard Kipling.  How appropriate that he included a Kipling quote inside the front cover of the album:

God gives all men all earth to love,
But, since man’s heart is small,
Ordains, for each, one spot shall prove
Beloved over all.
Rudyard Kipling

Enjoy the 48 pages of this special album:

  1. Foreword and beach photo
  2. 1917 photo, east end of Ocean Grove
  3. 1977 – same direction
  4. 1977 – from Grant’s Lookout looking east-north-east
  5. 1930 and 1977 – Grant’s Lookout
  6. 1977 – from Grant’s Lookout looking west
  7. 1977 – from Grant’s Lookout looking north-west
  8. 1977 – from Grant’s Lookout looking nor-nor-west
  9. 1977 – from Grant’s Lookout looking nor-nor-east
  10. 1977 – from Grant’s Lookout looking north-east
  11. 1977 – from Grant’s Lookout looking east
  12. 1977 – from Grant’s Lookout looking toward Point Lonsdale
  13. 1977 – from Grant’s Lookout looking toward Barwon Heads
  14. OG State School; c.1917 – from cnr Dare and Bramwell Streets looking south east; 1981 – King tide and mountainous surf
  15. 1977 – dawn light on beach; beach & Barwon Heads Bluff; 1977 – east end of Dare Street; 1952 – building 128 Dare Street
  16. 1977 – from 132 Dare Street looking west
  17. 1977 – from 132 Dare Street looking north-west
  18. 1977 – from 132 Dare Street looking nor-nor-west
  19. 1977 – from 132 Dare Street looking nor-nor-east
  20. 1977 – from 132 Dare Street looking north-east
  21. 1977 – from 132 Dare Street looking east-north-east
  22. 1977 – Skinner’s Store
  23. 1977 – The Terrace shopping centre from Hodgson Street
  24. 1977 – from Aldebaran Road corner looking west
  25. 1977 – from Aldebaran Road corner looking north-west
  26. 1977 – from Aldebaran Road corner looking nor-nor-west
  27. 1977 – from Aldebaran Road corner looking nor-nor-east
  28. 1977 – from Aldebaran Road corner looking north-east
  29. 1977 – from Aldebaran Road corner looking east
  30. 1977 – Public Hall, Presidents Avenue
  31. 1977 – Catholic Church, The Terrace
  32. 1977 – original St Peter’s Church of England, Draper Street
  33. 1977 – new St Peter’s Church of England, Draper Street
  34. 1977 – Methodist Church, cnr Eggleston Street and The Terrace
  35. c.1920 – Barwon Heads boathouse with GRANT girls; 1977 – Boathouses in Dare Street; 1978 – Boathouses extended
  36. Green Gables [former Coffee Palace]
  37. 1979 – Cath-Kin flats [former Mafeking House]; Spray Cottage
  38. 1980 – gardening at 128 Dare Street
  39. 1980 – four colour postcards of Ocean Grove
  40. 1980 – three colour postcards of Ocean Grove; 1920s postcard of Barwon River
  41. 1920s – The Bluff; 1981 – The Bluff; 1916 – Barwon Heads river beach and boathouses
  42. c.1978 – Orungal boilers and story
  43. 1925 – MENZIES family; 1973 – Ocean Grove article; 1920s – panorama of the Barwon River postcard
  44. c.1920s – four images – Ocean House, Green Gables; Lovers’ Walk; FOYSTER’s first bus
  45. 1905 – Mafeking House; early 1900s – General Store
  46. 1910 – Ocean Grove State School
  47. 1958 – Ocean Grove Proclamation
  48. 1982 – article re demolition of Mafeking / Cath-Kin

WILD or WYLD – anyone lost this family in Victoria?

WYLD / WILD family headstoneI’m not surprised if anyone has “lost” this family – and it’s not just because the surname has multiple variations:

  • WILD
  • WILDE
  • WILDS
  • WYLD
  • WYLDE
  • WYLDS

And that’s just some that I’ve found.  The family headstone in the Catholic Section of Eastern Cemetery, Geelong is quite clearly WYLD but most of the BDM Indexes opt for the “I” instead of the “Y”.

The key to this “missing” family is that the majority of the eight children don’t appear in the Victorian Digger BDM Indexes.  Johanna, born at sea on the ship John and Lucy in 1855 appears in both the Marine Index as well as the Pioneer Index.    Son Edward John appeared in the Victorian Early Church Records [ECR].  But all the rest appeared in the Geelong & District Church Records [baptisms] except for Sarah who was only picked up from her entry in the death index.  Oh yes – all the others appeared in the Victorian BDM Indexes for their deaths and marriages but not the births.  And no, it had nothing to do with the births being before civil registration – only Sarah and Johanna [born at sea] fell into that category.

There heaps of more details and references to be added – many on the Geelong and District Database, in the meantime the Family Group Sheet gives you the bigger picture together with all the references – perhaps it will help someone descended from this family that tried VERY hard to remain hidden! 🙂

And what started all of this?  I’ve been recording and researching families who spent time in the Immigration Depot in Geelong.  That was where I first came across the WILD family – when their second daughter, Johanna, was baptised on 21 January 1856, the family gave their abode as “Depot, Geelong”.  This was just five days after the ship John and Lucy arrived in Geelong.  They didn’t leave the depot until 5 February when they went to work for P DUNNE at Fyansford.

I wonder if there are any descendants with photos of any family members?

Digitising Shire of Bellarine Rate Books

Who lived here?Well, this is definitely an experiment – my first POLL and I have no idea what it will look like or how it will work!  So forgive me if I get it all wrong.  More and more people are trying to research where their ancestors lives, and who lived there before and after them.  Rate Books are a great tool for this type of research.

The Bellarine Historical Society in conjunction with the Geelong Heritage Centre are applying for a grant to digitise the Shire of Bellarine Rate and Valuation Books – one of the few former shires in the region that doesn’t have them digitised yet!  The digitised records will enable us to properly index them – the index will be online but not the digitised records – the grant will only cover so much and this is the first step!

We are gathering letters of support from organisations in our district but I wondered what sort of response we might get with a Blog Poll?

So here goes – the instructions say to paste this code … 🙂  Please participate and help us with the application!

 

 

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!