Sometimes you just have to eat your words!

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These are the words I used in my last blog just 5 days ago … Yippeeeeeeeeeeee!!  We now have more than 900,000 entries in our database and heading in the right direction to reach that magic 1,000,000 mark.

No – I didn’t “mis-count” or “over-calculate” – I just had one of those flashes when I said to myself … You idiot, why didn’t you think of that before?  I’m talking about the number of records in the Geelong & District Database.  My crazy dream was reaching 1,000,000 entries by the end of 2012 – but that was before I had that flash.

I had a few more indexes to add – one of the fun things you can do when you have some holidays – and I thought we would get the total close to 910,000.

So what was the flash?  I realised that in one of my large databases I had a couple of extra columns of names that weren’t in the Geelong & District Database – and they should be!  I’m talking about the wonderful GDHA Church Records database available at select societies in our region – the societies who have contributed to the GDHA database.  These extra columns of names need some manipulating / tidying up as they were not the key indexes, so some still need a lot of work before they can be added to the Geelong & District Database but some were reasonably easy.  What I’m talking about are the parents, and potentially witnesses and sponsors in the GDHA baptisms, marriages and burials.  The records will NOT be added as a whole but the parents etc. will become new entries showing the name, year, place and event – i.e. Baptisms [Parent].  So they won’t be matched to the child, but will give you enough information to evaluate following up on the records further.

So, we now have 986,027 entries to search free online in the Geelong & District Database!

Now you understand why I have to eat my words?

That’s just 14,000 short of 1,000,000!!!!!

And at the risk of having to eat my words again, I hope to hit 1,000,000 before the end of January.

This is what’s been added since my last blog:

  • Geelong District: Schools – pupils and prize winners.  These appeared in the Geelong Times and so far include 906 entries from 1874-1898
  • Winchelsea Court of Petty Sessions – 1,082 entries from 1865-1872
  • South Barwon Court of Petty Sessions – 212 entries from 1859-60
  • Mount Moriac Court of Petty Sessions – 852 entries from 1862-1867
  • Birregurra Court of Petty Sessions – 576 entries from 1907-1910
  • Higgins Collection – 6412 entries from 1840s-1904.  This is an index to the solicitor’s papers held at the Geelong Heritage Centre.  They’re an amazing collection covering wills, crime files, land transactions and debt cases and most are available on microfilm at the centre.
  • Church Records: Baptisms [Parent] – 63,701 entries [fathers only at this stage, mothers and sponsors yet to come]
  • Church Records: Marriages [Parent] – 11,058 entries [fathers part done, mothers and witnesses yet to come]

Details on these indexes can be found in the Geelong & District Potpourri pages.

As you can see from this and the previous two blogs, we’re trying to include a huge mixture of record types as well as covering all the municipalities in our Geelong & District region.  Apart from our Winchelsea Wonders who I’ve spoken about before we also owe thanks to our PROV Girls and GFHG & GDHA volunteers.

The PROV Girls regularly make the trip up to North Melbourne for a day of focussed work.  One is responsible for photographing pages of registers which can be indexed from the images at home, and the others index directly into their notebook computers from other registers.  As you can imagine it’s quite a logistical exercise pre-ordering the right records for the team and this is all co-ordinated and managed by Pam Jennings who is also the chauffeur for the day – What a team!

In the meantime the GFHG (Geelong Family History Group) and the GDHA (Geelong & District Historical Association) volunteers are working on local newspapers and the huge collection of indexes from the GFHG Library.  Most of this library now resides at the Bellarine Historical Society at Drysdale and to search for a name in these 100s of indexes would take a week – thanks to the GFHG we are progressively indexing / transcribing these to go into our online database.

What a team effort – thankyou to EVERYONE involved!  By the way, the new target for the end of 2012 should be something like 1,250,000!!!

If you’ve got this far, you’d better scurry for the Geelong & District Database and search for YOUR ancestors!  HAVE FUN!!!

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