Peter F B Alsop

The Old Iron Bridge at ShelfordI can’t think of any image more appropriate than the Old Iron Bridge at Shelford to bring back memories of Peter Alsop.  Ss Peter & Paul’s Catholic Church at Ashby [Mercer Street, Geelong] would be up there and there were so many other buildings and structures with which Peter was involved but as an engineer bridge’s were hard to beat.

I say “bring back memories” because sadly Peter died 6 September 2014.  He was buried with his parents at a private funeral last week.  Our thoughts are with Peter’s close friends and respect his wish for privacy.

It is important however that all those researchers over the years who admired and benefitted from Peter’s knowledge are aware of this sad loss to our Geelong community.

Peter treasured his privacy even more after the death of his close friend, Ian Wynd, in 2003.  We have been so fortunate over the years with some major contributors to our history – Ian, Peter, Bill Morrow, Philip Brown, Ruth Hill, and Bill Smith – we’ve been spoilt and we miss them all.

Lots of Geelong Addies!

Old Geelong Advertiser buildingGosh I hope everyone has been following the number of Geelong Advertiser editions added on to Trove / NLA in the last couple of weeks!  I was going to post some messages on our Geelong & District and GDHA Mailing Lists but with the problems on Ancestry that means that all Rootsweb mailing lists are also out of action.  Hence this blog!

If you don’t know how to be on the notification list, go to NLA Newspapers for the Geelong Advertiser [1857-1918] and click on one of the options for Web Feeds.

Since 27 May 2014, this is the list of Addies that have been added online:

  1. From 1859-07-01 to 1859-12-31
  2. From 1860-07-02 to 1860-12-11
  3. From 1906-01-02 to 1906-12-31
  4. From 1908-07-01 to 1908-09-30
  5. From 1910-04-12 to 1910-07-30
  6. From 1910-11-17 to 1911-03-08
  7. From 1913-12-18 to 1913-12-31
  8. From 1860-01-02 to 1860-06-30
  9. From 1860-12-12 to 1861-05-31
  10. From 1864-09-12 to 1865-02-28
  11. From 1865-08-26 to 1866-02-23
  12. From 1866-08-25 to 1867-02-21
  13. From 1867-08-24 to 1868-02-19
  14. From 1871-03-01 to 1871-08-31
  15. From 1872-03-14 to 1872-10-31
  16. From 1875-01-02 to 1875-06-30
  17. From 1881-01-03 to 1881-06-30
  18. From 1884-01-01 to 1884-06-30
  19. From 1885-01-02 to 1885-06-30
  20. From 1885-07-01 to 1885-12-31
  21. From 1886-07-01 to 1886-12-31
  22. From 1902-07-01 to 1902-12-31
  23. From 1903-07-01 to 1904-06-30
  24. From 1904-07-01 to 1904-12-31

Now that’s an impressive list that will keep going for some time to come!

Images of old Ocean Grove

WilhelmsruheOK – my holidays end tonight so the output will slow down but I just wanted to get this last bit working.  Then I will have a formula to follow for the updates to the Ocean Grove land titles.  I’m concerned that things are different because it’s my blog site, so I need others to give this a try and let me know if it works for them!  Please?🙂

After a lot of experimenting I have decided to start adding old photos of places in old Ocean Grove.  The simplest option for my database is adding a URL / link to the images which I have added to this blog site.  Unfortunately, as most of you probably know, PDF files now perform quite different in different browsers, and also, as the blog owner I may be able to access more than the “ordinary” people out there – that’s why I need your help.

I’ve updated the Detailed report for Section B with some more place names as well as links for images.

What I’ve found for my setup – the links don’t work in MS Internet Explorer, Firefox or Google Chrome if I try to open the PDF file within the browser.  If I save the PDF file to my hard drive or download it, then the links work fine.  Obviously it also works if I copy and paste the image link into my browser.

Once you have the PDF file for Section B, scroll through to these Lot numbers – B155, B156, B160, B169 and B210 – all of these have images added to them.

My fingers are crossed that this works for most people – it’s certainly the easiest for my database setup.

OH – and if you have old photos of any places in the old Ocean Grove land titles – they would be most welcome to add to this database for others to enjoy.

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!

Yeah! We’ve got more Addies!

Police Court Roster July 1859Got home from work late – tired, exhausted, wet & hungry … but that all vanished when I had a quick check of my emails.  That magic email notification I’ve been waiting more than a year to spot!  Notification from the National Library of Australia … Geelong Advertiser … added on 2014-05-27      Yippee!!!!!!!!!!

Before today, we had Addies up to 1856, then 1914-1919.

At the right is the Police Court Roster for July 1859 – that’s right … 1859!

For those who remember the first lot of Addies to come online … if you did a search, there were lots of “Coming Soon” entries – searchable but not yet viewable.

CelebrateAt the moment, they’ve just loaded a full six months of 1859 – searchable AND viewable.  Then if you check some more … I’ve found heaps of searchable but not yet viewable … 1861, 1866, 1873, 1878 … it’s all happening and it’s SO EXCITING!

And don’t forget that we owe a HUGE Thank You to our own State Library of Victoria – without their support we wouldn’t have got this far, let alone the full gamut from 1840 through to 1919 that is all on its way.

We’re spoilt – we KNOW just how magnificent the Geelong Advertiser is for researchers – now the rest of the world can share that awe!

THREE CHEERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Superfluous hair removal added to Geelong and District DB

Madame FROKJARSometimes things stop you in your tracks and this was one entry in the Geelong & District database that did just that!  There I was quietly indexing the four issues of Investigator from 2013 [the journal of the Geelong Historical Society].

One of my favourite regular articles in Investigator is the Chronology from the Geelong Advertiser 100 years earlier.

The entry from Saturday 31 May 1913 …

Madame Frokjar, expert in the destruction of superfluous hairs, is to be in Geelong on Saturday 8th June, when she may be consulted free at the Town and Country Club in Ryrie-street.

I challenge anyone with an iota of curiosity in their body to ignore a statement like this without asking themselves a heap of questions?  And who could not start researching Madame FROKJAR?  She was a lot easier to research than I anticipated and certainly was not what I expected!  From The Cyclopedia of Victoria, published in 1903 [Vol III, pp.153-4]:

Madame FROKJAR, Medical Masseuse (Diploma College of Copenhagen, pupil of Dr Claud Hansen, masseuse to the Danish Royal Family), Method of Royal Gymnastic Central Institution, Stockholm.  Madame Frokjar was born in Zulland, Denmark, in 1862, and came out to Victoria possessed of independent means, but vicissitudes overtaking her, she resolved to embark in an enterprise such as would afford a living for herself and children.  With this laudable object in view, Madame visited Copenhagen in the year 1896, and there diligently applied herself to study, and distinguished herself by passing successfully all the necessary examinations in connection with her profession, and gaining her diploma.  Madame then spent some time at the Garrison Hospital, Copenhagen, under the well-known and celebrated Dr Claud Hansen, and when fully qualified returned to Victoria in 1901, and commenced practice in Melbourne.  Here her connection very rapidly expanded, and it soon became necessary to acquire more commodious premises in order to carry out the treatment of her numerous patients, recommended to her by the leading members of the medical profession throughout the State, whose confidence and good opinion Madame has gained.  The present premises in Scourfield Chambers, Collins Street, opposite Messrs. George and George’s, have been fitted up on the most resplendent lines, and combine beauty, comfort, and relief in their arrangement.  Madame is assisted by a well-trained and capable assistant, and her establishment is recognised as the leading one of its kind in the city.

A later report in 1905 in the Adelaide Advertiser clearly showed the esteem with which she was held:


A preliminary meeting of medical practitioners has been held in Melbourne for the purpose of forming an association of masseurs and masseuses.  Dr J W Springthorne presided. After letters from medical men throughout the Commonwealth expressing sympathy with the movement had been read it was unanimously decided to form an association, to be the recognised association of the profession throughout the Commonwealth.  The objects are to establish a system of registration of acknowledged medical masseurs and masseuses; to establish a uniform system of training and examination – to be of such standard as may be decided on by the medical profession and the executive of the association, and to promote the interests of the massage profession in all matters appertaining to its work.  The following provisional committee to frame a constitution was appointed:- Chairman, Dr Springthorpe, and Drs MacGillicuddy and MacGibbon, Messrs. Grundt, Best, Pascal, Peters, Robertson, Doyle, Kyte and Moody, Mesdames Frokjar, Hacke, and Vahland, with Misses McCauley, Robertson, Meares, and Martyn, together with the following interstate representatives:- Messrs Schuch (New South Wales), A Semmens and Hugo Leschen (South Australia), Alexander Peters (Western Australia), and Peterson (Tasmania).  Mr Best, of the Alfred Hospital, was elected treasurer pro tem., and Mr Teepoo Hall (Melbourne Hospital) secretary.

Anna Marie SKRIVER was born in 1862 and married Andra FROKJAR in Denmark in 1891.  They arrived in Melbourne in 1892 when their first son Henry Andrew was born with a second son born in early 1895.  In September 1894 her husband was admitted to the Yarra Bend Asylum and remained in mental asylums until his death in 1932.

Between 1912 and 1922, Anna Marie travelled to Western Australia, New Zealand, USA and England.  As a “foreigner” she was identified as an Alien passenger during her travels.  Her son, Henry Andrew adopted the anglicised name of FAULKNER prior to qualifying as a Veterinary Surgeon in Melbourne in 1913.  He died in Surrey, England in 1990.  To-date the death place or date for Anna Marie has not been found.

I certainly didn’t expect to find the above when I started on this journey of researching the lady who removed superfluous hair!

We now have 1,515,142 records in the Geelong and District database.  This is what’s been added since the last major update on 30 April 2014:

  • Investigator, journal of the Geelong Historical Society: volume 48 for 2013 – 1,042 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!

SNELL, KAWERAU, PROWSE, architects, engineers and Family History

Heritage-HomesteadWhat ties all of these together?

They all spent some time in Geelong AND they all come together in the 2014 Heritage Week seminar at the Genealogical Society of Victoria.

Not only is the seminar worth attending, non-members of the GSV have the opportunity to use the extensive GSV Library for the afternoon at no extra cost.

Come along and see what you’re all missing!

More information can be found on the GSV Blog.



Clergy, Hospital, Street names, Nurses and more!

Rev Thomas QUINTONThe Reverend Thomas QUINTON is one of our local Church of England ministers extracted from the Cable Clergy Index.  This terrific index has on average about half a page of biographical details for each entry – definitely worth checking and going back to the details in the original index.

The Bye-Laws of the Geelong Infirmary & Benevolent Asylum contain some interesting items!

1879: Bye-Law number 61: PERSONS NOT ADMISSABLE

No pregnant female for the purpose of confinement; no insane person, except on remand for medical examination in the Lunatic Ward; no one having a contagious or infectious disease; no one subject to epilepsy; nor any one who, in the opinion of the Surgeon, might receive equal benefit as an out-patient, shall be admitted; and no child under five years of age shall be admitted, except in case of accident or for a surgical operation; nor, except under special circumstances shall patients be admitted from other districts where hospitals exist.  Provided that the House Committee or Officers of the Institution, shall have discretionary power to admit such prohibited cases, and shall report upon the exercise of such power to the next general meeting of the Committee of Management.

It was the 58th Annual Report for 1909-1910 before Bye-Law number 61 had been changed and pregnant females were no longer classed as “Persons not Admissible”.

We now have 1,501,852 records in the Geelong and District database.  This is what’s been added since the last major update on 9 February 2014:

  • Geelong District: Nurses from the Victoria Government Gazette 1935-1939 – 865 entries
  • Geelong District: Surnames of Interest – 18 entries
  • Geelong Infirmary & Benevolent Asylum: Annual Report 1879 & 1905 – 4,225 entries
  • Geelong District: Street Names [history of] – 4,654 entries
  • St Augustine’s and the Christian Brothers [book] – 1,018 entries
  • Geelong District: Anglican Clergy – 496 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!

1.5 million records in Geelong District database!

CelebrateThat’s right – 1,500,000 records in the Geelong and District database.  There’s sure to be something there for your family!  And yes, that WAS the target for December 2014 – now I’m going to have to come up with a new target!

The details of the latest additions will be in a separate blog – this one has to stand on it’s own. 🙂