Events in May at GSV

We have a full program of events in May for your ongoing family history research or to help you get started.

May 11 –  ‘Timelines to help your family history’. Speaker Meg Bate. Looking at the use of timelines in family history and a study of good practice when researching and documenting records. Bookings are required and can be made online, in person, by email or by telephone. Members $5, non-members $20.

On May 13‘Newtown in the 1840s’. Port Phillip Pioneers Group Inc. Speaker: Michael Moore from Fitzroy Historical Society. Entry $2. Refreshments provided.  2:00 – 4:00 PM. At Wesley Hall, St. Andrew’s Uniting Church, 253A Burke Road, (cnr. Malvern Road), Glen Iris, Vic. Phone: 0418 106 219 – Email:

On May 25 -‘Death and Dying in Australia’ – Speaker: David Down. An examination of the history of death and dying in Australia as illustrated by the various memorials in the Fawkner and Coburg Cemeteries. Bookings are required. Members $5, non-members $20.


On May 31 – a day seminar on Irish Family History with speakers from the Ulster Historical Foundation, Belfast. Program includes Scots-Irish research, landed estate records, census substitutes, church records, Using Registry of Deeds. Irish Poor Law records. Seminar covers all of Ireland, not just the North. Bookings Essential  $45.

There are also the regular meetings of GSV’s Discussion Circles and Groups – Writers, DNA, Scottish, Irish, South West England (SWERD), and International Settlers, plus classes to help you with your family history projects.

Some of these are members-only (but you can always JOIN), others are open to all for a fee. Full details are on our website at and you can book online, in person, by phone: (03) 9662 4455  or by email:

Looking ahead for a genealogical research opportunity : 18-19 August

If you are researching ancestors from the British Isles and Europe, you might be interested in a two-day event that focuses on how and where to research in these two areas.

As part of this program, the GSV will make a short presentation on the British Isles resources available at the GSV Research and Education Centre, 85 Queen Street, Melbourne.

It will be held on 18 and 19 August 2017 at the Veneto Club in Bulleen.

For more information and enrolment details, go to

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What the GSV family history writers did in April

13 April 2017 –

‘All writers need support and advice about their work. Last week as always, members of this GSV group generously offered thoughtful analysis and encouragement for two of its writers.’

Tina Hocking reports: Last Wednesday (5 April) the GSV Writers Circle met for the first time at GSV’s new Centre at 85 Queen Street. It was also possibly the first time we reviewed a submission from an interstate member unable to attend the meeting.

The ‘row of chairs’ arrangement in the meeting room should suit our structured ‘topic’ meetings, but we hope to recreate our informal ‘circle friendly’ atmosphere in future meetings.

There was spirited discussion of the submissions by two of our members, which focused on immigrant families from quite different backgrounds. Some members had already emailed their responses to our two presenters, with others to follow.

The feedback provided at this session for our Adelaide member should encourage any writers on our email list of over 80 who cannot attend meetings due to distance, to join in either as submitters or email reviewers. And there is also the GSV Writers Closed Facebook site for continuing the discussion. (This is part of a GSV membership).

One of the participants – who is writing the odyssey of the Dedes and Wares families – wrote:

‘Thank you for your most helpful analysis of my work – I appreciate the comments. Along with other observations from the group, I have lots to follow up! 


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What’s on …

Our new Centre opened last week and it looks good! Congratulations to all who made it happen! Pop in and visit us soon. This coming week our program continues with the following events:

DNA Discussion Circle

Wed 12 April 2017 – 10.30am to 12 noon.

At: GSV Research & Education Centre. Members only. See website for information about this group:


South West England Research & Discussion Circle (SWERD)

Wed 12 April 2017. 12.30 pm – 2.00 pm.

At: GSV Research & Education Centre. Members only. See website for information about this group


GSV Library catalogue and databases

Thurs 13 April 2017 – 1.30 pm to 2.30 pm.

These small-group classes are designed to enable you to get the most out of the computer-based resources available in the GSV Research & Education Centre and at home. Duration 1 hour.

At: GSV Research & Education Centre. Free for GSV members. $20 non-members, $15 AIGS,RHSV. Bookings are required and can be made online, in person, by email or by telephone.

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GSV re-opens!

GSV opens the doors at our new Research and Education Centre on Tuesday NEXT WEEK – 4 APRIL – L6, 85 Queen Street, Melbourne.

Two Events next week:

Wed 5 April at 12.30 pm – The GSV Writers Circle meets to review two pieces of writing submitted by members – one ‘The Odyssey of Two Families: the Dedes and the Wares’ and the other a saga of Simeon Kneebone and family: two generations of a mining family from Gwennap, Cornwall. The writers of these interesting developed drafts will have the opportunity to discuss their writing with the members of this Group, and receive useful feedback: everything from meaning and structure to style and punctuation. GSV Members only (but you can join on the day and see if this Group could be useful for you).

Thurs 6 April – Special Class:  10.00am – 1.00pm – English Research 1700-1837
Speaker: Alan Fincher
How to trace your English ancestors pre-civil registration, through church records, maps, wills, educational, occupational and military records, newspapers, and land related records – with relevant sources and websites.
Members $45  –  Non-members $90 – Bookings essential. 

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A family history takes shape


23 March 2017

At the next GSV Writers Circle meeting (for members) on 5 April at our new Research and Education Centre, the group will discuss and offer suggestions on draft pieces of family history writing submitted by two of the Group. One of this month’s writers can rarely attend the Group as she lives interstate, but she still joins in and benefits from the GSV Writers Circle by way of email. She writes: I circulated this story at the end of last year. I received one small correction and a detailed and very helpful review… I am re-circulating it again for discussion at the April meeting. Much [extra research] has happened in the almost six month since I wrote it… Whilst I had intended to make only small changes now and to wait until after the April meeting to revise the story, I have done a little more than I originally intended and also worked on the majority of [the previous] suggestions… While I was writing the background to [this] life I realised that the two-generation story was more interesting.’ Where else can you receive knowledgeable help with your writing – the GSV Writers Circle includes many published writers – at no additional cost to your GSV membership? The aim of this GSV group is to help its members turn their research into accurate and readable stories. Your research deserves to be told and kept for the future.

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GSV Writers discuss Writing Reviews

Louise Wilson and GSV Writers (Photo. G. Nicholas)

Friday 10 March

Writing Reviews: basics and a touch of the unexpected

Gayle Nicholas.

It was hot in Melbourne on 1 March as members of the GSV Writers Circle gathered for their monthly discussion at Emirates House for the last time. The conversation was initially dominated by the imminent change in location of the Society and some members were recalling previous GSV locations, such as Block Arcade.

The focus of this meeting was on Book Reviews, and under Louise Wilson’s adept leadership books had been selected, reviews planned or pondered on, or already written.

Louise was well prepared and there was much for members of the group to think about. Members’ reasons for choosing books for the session included prior knowledge of the author and personal or research connections to people and places featuring in the selected book. The discussion soon moved to whether our choices were helping us as writers. Discussion emerged on the need to found writing in research and to use citations as members had come across family histories without sources. The cusp between history and creative writing, an area of ongoing interest to writers, was also raised.

The group was challenged by a question regarding the impact on target readers of titles and covers. The newly released Victoria the Queen has a cover appealing to current day readers and is receiving favourable reviews.   Louise placed book reviews in time and place. Mary Durack’s Kings in Grass Castles has received less impressive reviews in recent times while continuing to maintain sales.

‘Should authors review books?’ asked Louise after sharing her own experiences as a reviewer. Louise argued that authors bring something extra to reviewing because of their experience and that reviews should incorporate the intellectual and emotional responses of the reviewer. Discussion extended to whether and how authors should respond directly to reviewers. Examples of responses generally considered appropriate, and others not so appropriate, were weighed up.

Most reviews written for this session were based on Ancestor publishing requirements.   Discussion of Ancestor’s practice of publishing reviews of (recently released?) genealogical resources rather than family histories may well have sown seeds of change.

A newly animated group of writers dispersed into the Library and the hot city with new thoughts and questions to ponder. The next meeting will be in the new GSV premises.



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Lease signed for GSV’s new home

28 February 2017

We have now signed the formal lease documentation for our new Centre at Level 6, 85 Queen Street, and will gradually move in over the last three weeks of March, opening our doors on TUESDAY 4 APRIL. Orientation meetings have been arranged for our Volunteers to assist them with the delivery of our Member services in our new home. We have commenced the cleanup of our current premises in anticipation of packing our books and other items during the week commencing Monday 13 March. Thank you to those who are currently helping us with our move. Quite a few additional volunteers will be needed to help in various ways. If you are available to assist during the period from Monday 6 March through to Monday 3 April, please email your availability to Allan Aberdeen, who is in charge of the overall management of this process or Claire Johnson via

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New premises for the GSV announced

10 February 2017
David Down, GSV President, announced on 10 February, that the GSV has located new premises for its offices at Level 6, 85 Queen Street, Melbourne. This will be known as the ‘GSV Research and Education Centre’.
The current Collins Street location will be closed from, and including, Monday 13 March. The new Centre in Queen Street is planned to open for weekday operations from TUESDAY 4 APRIL and Saturday access will begin on 22 April. GSV looks forward to welcoming you at its new Centre.

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Construction Update 3

Here is Construction update 3 for the GSV building at Emirates House 257 Collins Street, Melbourne. Also includes is a Construction zone plan.
Please note we shall be open as usual during this construction. In particular the Scottish Ancestry Group meeting will be held 1.00 – 3.00 pm this Saturday 26 November. Also there will be a class covering ScotlandsPeople – The New Website to be held 1.30 – 2.30 pm on Monday 29 November. For more details go to our Current and Upcoming Events

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