RootsWeb alternative for Geelong and District

Red British post boxI know many of you will be frustrated with the technical problems that RootsWeb are having with their Mailing Lists although some of you may just think that Mailing Lists have lost their appeal and aren’t being used any more!  Just like the old fashioned letter box has lost its popularity and falling into decline.

Well, I can assure you that a number of people are missing the assistance they used to get from the Geelong and District Mailing List and the Bellarine Peninsula Mailing List.

I came to the conclusion that you could:

  • read all the complaints and contradictory suggestions on the RootsWeb Listowners Mailing List (for admins of RootsWeb Mailing Lists)
  • get cross
  • join the tirade – unfortunately many of us couldn’t as a HUGE number of email addresses / domains were not getting through to the list so that wasn’t an option for many
  • do nothing
  • do SOMETHING !

I opted for the latter as subscribers from my Mailing Lists were contacting me directly and asking what was happening and what could be done.

I know I could create a new Yahoo Mailing List but I didn’t want to “replace” the existing ones – just offer an alternative until the Mailing Lists were fixed.  The Alternative could continue with a life of its own if users wished (although I intend to post “new messages” to the old list once it recovers).

I know many people are not comfortable with Facebook and I wanted something relatively easy – so I’ve created a pseudo Blog Mailing List.

It’s called the Geelong and District Mailing List and although you can click on that link it’s really easy to remember because you just need to type in:

and you’ll find it!  Although its called the Geelong and District Mailing List it also caters for the Bellarine Peninsula.

Make sure you read the tabs: About, and Guidelines for some more information but basically:

  • Follow the instructions to enter your email address etc.

That means you’ll get an email when a new Message / Post is added.  The email will include a COMMENT button – click on that and you’ll be taken to the Comments area for THAT Message.  Type in your comment.

That’s as hard as it gets!

Now, a brief word of warning – I’ve tested it as much as I can and I’m 99.999% certain that’s how it will work.  I may need to do a little more tweaking as people post messages but it should be good.

A couple of important things / benefits of this pseudo Mailing List:

  • Your email address does NOT appear anywhere on the Blog / Mailing List
  • I can add photos to Posts / Messages

How do you post a message?  Just click on the POST A MESSAGE tab near the top right and fill in the fields.

Initially ALL Messages Posted and Comments on Messages will be held for approval – just to make sure you are legitimate – once someone has been approved to Comment on a Message they will be able to Comment without waiting for another round of approvals.  BUT if anyone thinks this is a way to get in and cause problems, I can suspend / remove you so you don’t annoy our legitimate Mailing List users – the same sort of option the List Admin had on our RootsWeb Mailing Lists.

Posted Messages at this stage will require me to copy and paste to the Mailing List Blog – again making sure things are legitimate.  Once things have started moving, I will invite Posters to become Authors on the Mailing List Blog – ONLY if you’re comfortable to do that.  Becoming an Author will allow you to create your own Mailing List Blog on this site, edit it and add photos however it won’t allow you to edit or change anyone else’s Mailing List Blog.  It means you can post a Message without using the Post a Message form.

Confused?  Don’t worry – you can sit back and read other messages and comments just like you did on the RootsWeb Mailing List and do nothing more.  Then if you feel the urge to get involved you just need to click on the comment button in the email you received with each message.  Remember you do have to click on FOLLOW BLOG / FOLLOW THIS MAILING LIST VIA EMAIL to get the messages as emails from the list.

Let’s give it a try and see how it goes.

If you want to comment to me privately, just you the CONTACT US button in the menu at the top of this blog, or use the POST A MESSAGE button on the Mailing List Blog – both options ONLY come to me and I will get back to you personally to answer your questions.

I hope this all works – it depends on YOU – it’s frustrating not being able to use our normal Geelong and District Mailing List and the Bellarine Peninsula Mailing List, so in the meantime try the new GEELONG AND DISTRICT MAILING LIST.

Scottish Road Show in Geelong

Geelong Family History Group Scottish Road ShowIf you have Scottish ancestors or an interest in Scottish research, then this Road Show is NOT to be missed.

The Road Show has been organised by the Geelong Family History with support from the Scottish Ancestry Group and their speakers.  The Road Show is being held in the meeting room of the Waurn Ponds Libary.

Even if you’re not a member of the Geelong Family History Group, the Scottish Ancestry Group, or the Genealogical Society of Victoria, this full day of brilliant speakers and information will only cost you $25.00 for the whole day which includes morning and afternoon tea.  And if you are a member of one of the groups mentioned, then it will cost you just $20.00.

Download the brochure for all the details and the booking form.

See you there?

3 Cheers for Vic BDMs

1894 Victorian Death CertificateI’m supposed to be working on an assignment for my Diploma but this news is SO IMPORTANT that I had to give myself a 5 minute break to share it with everyone.  This wonderful news is already out there on various genie Facebook pages but I know a lot of people don’t use Facebook so I thought it was worthwhile adding it to my Blogs .

The initial screen is dated 10 November 2015 so this is very new.

Victorian BDMs are now FREE to search online!

Last night I was reading my journal from the Birdwood & District Family History Society – it included a lot of notes on the NSW & ACT Conference in Port Macquarie. Amanda Ianna from NSW BDMs announced that Lifelink (their BDM Search Software) had been “purchased by Victoria and NZ and other states have shown interest. More money could then be thrown at putting records online.” So I didn’t dream it – it works beautifully. One disappointment – NSW version of deaths doesn’t show age – that would be a good ‘new feature’ if it’s a possibility. BUT really good option not in NSW – you can search ALL types of events at once!

Victoria is probably now the leader in family history search for BDMs – free online searching and instant digital downloads at one of the best prices in Australia – $24.00.

Congratulations to the Victorian Registry of BDMs – some years back they stated they wanted to put BDM searches online for free but their software couldn’t handle it and they didn’t have a budget for new software.  We complained at the years NSW spent trying to get their online BDM software to work but thankfully they persevered and Victoria is the beneficiary.

Celebrate and pass on the good news.  I first saw this online on Australian Genealogy – a great Facebook page.  It’s closed so you have to request to be added – it is a well-moderated Facebook page that keeps on-topic and is a joy to be on.

Happy searching!🙂

UPDATE – make sure you click on the entry of interest – this displays more information – for some records this includes the FULL place of registration AND the place of the event – different for different events and it appears that more is being added so it’s worth checking now and again.

Geelong Library and Heritage Centre confirmed opening

Image processed by CodeCarvings Piczard

It’s excitement plus in Geelong!  The City of Greater Geelong have just announced the public opening of the new Geelong Library and Heritage Centre … Saturday 21 November 2015.

Can U help identify these photos – people and places?

The Farmer boysA collection of 27 small black and white photos was passed on from the Apollo Bay area in Victoria.  They have been scanned and made available on my Flickr Album and also my Pinterest Board.  Any details on the reverse of the images have been included in the text / description, as well as actual print sizes.  Have a look and see if you can help.  The Pinterest Board is especially useful as it displays all images and the text in the one view.

Many had information on the back but not all and not always useful information!  A couple had a date – 1923 and a few others were narrowed down to between 1927 and 1936 as they included the Ocean Grove – Barwon Heads bridge [built in 1927] and the Barwon Heads Boathouses [removed in 1936].

Some had stamps on the back – Kodak print and sometimes Velox.  According to a web site this dated them 1940s-50s or 1960s-70s.  From the images it is possible that these were reprints from negatives as some were obviously earlier than the suggested dates.

Some images were crisp, others not so – some have been enhanced a little to improve the clarity of the subjects.

One tantalisingly includes the words the Farmer boys.  The “F” definitely looks like a capital “F”.  So is Farmer the surname or were all the boys farmers by occupation?

There are three Christian names – perhaps three brothers:

  • Charlie
  • Teddie
  • George

There are a couple of locations mentioned :

  • Barwon Heads
  • Barwon River
  • Mount Duneed
  • Queenscliff
  • Geelong

The obvious ones – the Geelong Art Gallery and Eastern Beach – have been included in the scanned group as they may provide context or dates.

Can you help unravel this collection of photos?

Researching George BUTCHER

BHS1694Sometimes it is so frustrating – a person filled out the Contact form on the Geelong & District [and Bellarine] web site asking if the Bellarine Historical Society had a photo of the Drysdale Blacksmith shop and also where they could get copies of the Ocean Grove Echo for 1967 and 1968.

As you can see by the photo – yes we had a photo – two in fact!  And I was able to tell him where he could find the old copies of the Ocean Grove Echo.

The problem?  He typed his email address incorrectly!  His name is Kevin THOMPSON and obviously researching the BUTCHER family.  If you know Kevin, please ask him to get in touch and make sure his email address is correct.

Unfortunately the “old-fashioned” form didn’t provide an option for automatically collecting the sending email address – I think I’ll have to update the form to link to the more modern ones on this Blog site which DO automatically collect the sending email address.


More cemeteries online

Colonel Robert Wallace HeadstoneExciting news for everyone!  The Geelong Cemeteries Trust has been hard at work – two new HUGE cemeteries added to their online database. You can now search and locate graves online for the Colac Cemetery and the Queenscliffe Cemetery. Cemeteries managed by the Geelong Cemeteries Trust that are still to be added to the database – some of these may take a while as I’m not sure about the existence of the Burial Registers:

  • Beeac Cemetery
  • Mount Moriac Cemetery
  • Warncoort Cemetery
  • Whoorel Cemetery

The first three of these can be found on Ian Marr’s Cemeteries of South Western Victoria web site – based on headstone information.

Hotels of Geelong and District

Bay View Hotel Portarlington [courtesy Naomi Henry]New lists and images for Hotels of Geelong and District.  They are also available on one of my Pinterest Boards. This has been a huge project and still has a long way to go, but rather than making you wait until I’ve finished adding all the photos and details I thought I’d let you enjoy it sooner.  Why are old hotel photos so enjoyable? There is now a Pinterest Board for a number of Geelong and District categories. Of course there are plenty more entries that could be added for the different categories and I encourage you to help me find images for them – please let me know!

Schools of Geelong and District

Winchelsea Wesleyan Mission SchoolNew lists and images for Schools of Geelong and District.  They are also available on one of my Pinterest Boards.

Things have been very quiet on my blogs due to intense study and assignments for my Diploma of Library and Information Services but I haven’t been quiet on my web site.  Pinterest was part of one of my assignments and when you HAVE to use something, you learn more about it and appropriate uses.  In fact Pinterest made me realise some of the work I had to do on my web site!

I’ve updated lists and images on my web site for:

There is a Pinterest Board for each of those as well as extra ones for Geelong & District Architecture and Old Geelong & District.

Of course there are plenty more entries that could be added for the different categories and I encourage you to help me find images for them – please let me know!


When and where was this photo taken?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe Bellarine Historical Society presents Our Boys at War – a tribute to the local lads and indeed all soldiers that served in the First World War.

The Society has prepared a display in the Old Court House Museum to remember the centenary of the battle for Gallipoli.  Working in conjunction with the Drysdale RSL, the Historical Society is creating a ‘walk into the trenches’ display with memorabilia, photos, written articles and an audio/visual display pertaining to WWI.  [This photo was taken in the entrance to the Old Court House Museum in the last few days.]

Following a very moving RSL ANZAC Day remembrance service at the Cenotaph in Drysdale, a very special memento of Gallipoli will be moved into the Museum next door and the display will then be open to the public.  We hope that the whole community will take the opportunity to visit and remember those sacrifices so long ago.

The Museum will be open for this special display from 10:00am – 4:00pm both Saturday 25th April and Sunday 26th April, then the following 1st Sunday of the month in May, June and July between 1:30 – 4.:30.  We would also welcome contact by any schools or groups that would prefer a private visit during weekdays.

BendigoBankThe Bellarine Historical Society and the Drysdale RSL acknowledge the sponsorship and support of the Bendigo Community Bank for this project.

Further information can be obtained by phone Bob (0425 844 429) or Lynette (0417 133 177).