What’s coming up at GSV in the next two months

GSV had a very successful Family History Month in August and events were well attended.

The winner of the AncestryDNA kit was won by Rod Van Cooten, and GSV thanks all those who participated.

There are plenty of special interest groups and discussion circles for GSV members to join and get help with their particular lines of research. And they are all part of your membership. Each quarter, notices from the groups are published in Ancestor journal in a regular feature ‘Around the Groups’ and now a new page for ‘Around the Circles’ has been added (September issue). More frequent news from the groups will be posted on this blog and on the website to keep you up to date. Check the GSV website for all Events in the months ahead and plan your Springtime!

British India Discussion Circle – changes to meetings

Beginning in 2019 the British India Discussion Circle will meet each quarter rather than on a monthly basis. We will have set topics for discussion, also members will be welcome to make short presentations (no more than 10 minutes) on their research. These help to stimulate the discussion as many of us are following one area of research – military, as an example.

In August this group discussed BMD’s and where to access information if official records are unavailable including newspapers.

Our 18 September meeting will feature military research: how to use the FIBIS guides and where to access records.

There will NOT be a meeting in October, as the convenor will be attending the FIBIS 20thAnniversary conference in Oxford, England.

This group is also considering setting up an email group which would allow members who are unable to attend meetings to post questions and receive advice.  [Mary-Anne Gourley, Convenor].

Classes and Talks 

October 5 – ‘Starting Irish Family History’. Speakers : Maureen Doyle and Beryl O’Gorman.This class will cover basic information, where to start your research, church, civil and land records, Internet sites and question time. Register via https://www.gsv.org.au/civicrm/event/info?reset=1&id=995

October 17,24,31 – Australian family history [course]

Presenter: John Bugg. Topics to be covered over three two-hour sessions on 17th, 24th and 31st October:
– Where do I start? How to gather and store information
– Getting here – immigration, convicts, naturalisation and wills
– State records – private lives and public records
– National records – finding families.

Register via https://www.gsv.org.au/civicrm/event/info?reset=1&id=1000

NOTICE – ‘Resources in Ballarat’ – 27 September. This talk is fully booked, but GSV has received the sad news of the death of the intended speaker, Dr Joan Hunt.  Her full life of contribution to academia, to historical research and especially to communities was described in an earlier post about this talk and she will be well-remembered. We are at present contacting a potential new speaker.

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You have to be in it to win in Family History Month

August is National Family History Month.  To celebrate your family history endeavours there are opportunities for you to win prizes IF YOU ARE QUICK!

Simply enter your details in the draw for PRIZES provided by the good sponsors of National Family History Month – BUT YOU HAVE TO QUICK – closing 20 AUGUST! 

AND you can enter your writing in the GSV 2018 Writing Competition which is on now – CLOSING 31 AUGUST.

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NATIONAL HISTORY FAMILY HISTORY MONTH PRIZES – CLOSES 20 AUGUST

There are lots of events and some terrific prizes to be won including DNA kits, Ancestry and MyHeritage subscriptions, a Nikon camera and more. For details on how to enter the prize draw go to  http://familyhistorymonth.org.au/sponsors/

GSV 2018 WRITING COMPETITION – CLOSES 31 AUGUST

Our 2018 writing competition is still open but entries close soon – 31 August.  It is open to all GSV Members. We are very pleased that Ancestry™ has very generously offered a 12 months subscription to their ‘UK Heritage plus’ option as the prize.

Last year’s prize was won by Helen Pearce with her article: Thomas Owen: the skeleton in my family’s closet. This is the story of her ancestor Thomas Owen who was transported to Australia for ‘uttering’ – the passing of forged notes. Helen began her story with her memory that her mother was adamant that there were no convicts in her family, even though she was from a long line of Tasmanians. The real story was uncovered by Helen too late to let her mother know the facts – perhaps just as well – but Helen was excited with her discovery. It is interesting how a better understanding of the times has changed the way we receive this knowledge. You can read her story in Ancestorjournal December 2017 (vol 33 issue 8)

It is not too late to make your final edits to that family story you have been researching – or even to write up that material you have been promising to put in better shape for the family. And the winning article will be published in the December 2018 issue of GSV’s award-winning journal. What better way to make your story available for the family down through the generations!

For full details of conditions of entry click HERE.

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The Keyboard of the President #4 – August 2018

GSV Council has been working hard to support members in their family history endeavours.  In this post, David Down, GSV President gives us an update. There are more benefits than ever from joining GSV and many ways you can contribute to helping others. [Ed.]

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The GSV was very pleased this week that its quarterly journal Ancestor was, once again,  selected as the winner of its category in the 2018 Nick Vine Hall Awards, which were presented at the AFFHO launch of Family History Month.

Strategic Plan: Council met this week to review the Strategic Plan that we developed one year ago. We have introduced a number of new programs such as our contact with new member’s scheme, our DNA for Family Historian program and our new Discussion Circles. These efforts have resulted in an increase in new members and the slowing of the decline in our membership. We intend to reinforce those programs and introduce other initiatives such as a website Forum for members to replace the old ‘GSV-L’ Rootsweb bulletin board and new Discussion Circles.

AGM: The Society’s Annual General Meeting will be held on Saturday 6 October at 2 pm in our meeting room. The GSV Council is responsible for ensuring that the human, physical, financial, and research resources are available to ensure that the Society is acting in your best interests both currently and in the future. We are seeking members prepared to serve as Councillors for the next two years. The challenges of guiding the Society’s future are exciting and fulfilling and if you are interested in learning more about how you could contribute please email me and I will contact you.

Our new computers are being installed.  I would like to thank everyone who has very kindly donated to our ongoing appeal for the renewal of our IT infrastructure – we have raised almost $9,000 of the $15,000 appeal target. The funds raised so far are sufficient to replace all the library PCs and those who have visited recently will have noticed that we have commenced installing the new PCs and monitors and a few new ergonomic chairs. After considerable hard work from our IT volunteers and librarians we are implementing a new universal menu system that enables the user to access all our resources from each PC. We are still very keen to raise the remaining balance of $6,000 as the back-room IT equipment, especially the servers, need to be replaced to ensure a stable and secure IT system.

Opportunity for people to help as Office Assistants. We have an ongoing requirement for Office Assistants to join a team who support Linda to handle the day to day running of the Office. They are the first point of contact with members, volunteers and visitors. Major responsibilities include reception duties, administrative tasks such as handling cash, processing cheques and credit card payments, and processing within our membership system. A program of training and mentoring will be provided. If you are interested in assisting in this way please contact Linda during office hours. She will explain what is involved and send you more information in the form of a position description document.

Membership System Emails: I must apologise as recently a number of regular membership emails failed to be sent out whilst follow-up emails advising that membership was overdue or had expired were distributed. The system is designed around three emails:

  • a membership renewal email sent one month in advance of the renewal date
  • a reminder email sent a few days after membership is due
  • an expired membership email sent one month after the due date

Understandably if the sequence is disrupted then it is not easy to determine if your membership is current. If you have any queries at any time please email us or phone the office during business hours. We are investigating the source of the problem with a commercial company experienced with the software and hope to resolve the matter promptly. Again, please accept my apologies for any concerns that the disruption may have caused.

All the best with your family history research.

David Down – President GSV

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A treasure trove of military genealogy

Military Genealogy at the Royal United Services Institute of Victoria

On Thursday August 2 at 12.00 pm – 1.00 pm at the GSV, Major General (Ret’d) Michael  O’Brien will give an insight into the extensive collection of military genealogy that is held at the library at Victoria Barracks- a real treasure trove of information to be explored.

The RUSI library at Victoria Barracks

Mike is a committed community activist and a believer in a fair go. He is an experienced manager and company director, has run an iconic Melbourne antiquarian bookstore for 17 years and is an advocate for small business as the main engine that drives our economy. He had an extensive military career but balanced it with directorships of a listed company and a non-bank financial institution. He has tertiary qualifications in Science and Management. He has lectured around the world on cruise ships for 10 years gaining an enviable number of days at sea, an excellent remedy for a former Infantryman. He writes local history and believes our built heritage should be highly valued.

This is a great opportunity to find out about this lesser-known archive of material, that could hold just the link you need for your own research.

Bookings are essential – you can book HERE

Cost $5 GSV members, $20 non-members, $15 CAV, RHSV, FHC members.

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MELBOURNE TARTAN FESTIVAL – Genealogy Day 20 July

As part of Melbourne Tartan Festival come to GENEALOGY DAY at the GSV.

FRIDAY 20TH JULY 

An introduction to family research with guidance from experienced volunteer researchers from The Genealogical Society of Victoria Inc. (GSV)

The GSV is your best destination if you have an interest in researching your family history. Tracing your ancestry is fascinating and rewarding but can be tricky at times, so let us help. Our centrally located Research & Education Centre is in Melbourne where you can work with our experienced volunteer research assistants. With their guidance, you can efficiently organise and record the family information you already hold. Then you can investigate our many resources and background information to find new information and fill in the gaps.

On this Genealogy Day there are two morning sessions which will be repeated in the afternoon.

Morning:

Session 1 -“An introductory talk” is free. Book here
Session 2 with guidance from an experienced researcher. Ticket price $10.00 pp. Book here
 

Afternoon:
Session 3 “An introductory talk” is free. Book here
Session 4 with guidance from an experienced researcher. Ticket price $10 pp. Book here

This festival is jointly sponsored by the Victorian Scottish Heritage Cultural Foundation and the Scots of Victoria co-ordinating Group.

Don’t miss out on this opportunity.

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It’s not too late to enter the Victorian Community History Awards 2018

This year marks the 20th Victorian Community History Awards.

Your research of a family story may add considerably to our understanding of some part of Victoria’s history. You are invited to enter a work or project by 20 July.  

The Victorian Community History Awards recognise excellence in historical method. Subject matter is limited to history primarily relating to the State of Victoria or projects that encourage greater access to Victorian collections. The Victorian Community History Awards have been held since 1999, and are proudly presented by Public Record Office Victoria and the Royal Historical Society of Victoria (RHSV). This year the $5000 award has been renamed the Victorian Premier’s History Award.

The diverse award categories acknowledge that history can be told in a variety of formats with the aim of reaching and enriching all Victorians. The awards cover apps, projects, multimedia and articles,
as well as the more regular books. One year a bridge with interpretative panels won.

Entries close 2pm Friday 20 July 2018.

Entries should have been created between 1 July 2017 and 30 June 2018. The conditions of entry and entry forms can be found on the RHSV website:

Find out more HERE.

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Postscript:   GSV historians win RHSV Trivia Night

Seven enthusiastic GSV representatives braved the wintry Friday night to attend the RHSV Trivia Night on 22 June.  Having been made very welcome by our RHSV hosts we took up our seats at Table No. 4 to enjoy the evening and a tasty array of snacks, and a glass or two of wine.  We got off to a good start, running second after the first round.  We fielded a wide range of topics and tricky questions and fell into fourth place.  However all stops were pulled out in the fourth and fifth round and some fine sporting knowledge had us regain a competitive position.  In the final quiz element of the night and with the combined efforts of all, but especially of Vicki and Simon, we correctly answered all questions to come up with the winning answer and the big prize.  Yes, we took FIRST PRIZE! Congratulations Vicki, David, Simon, Meg, Leonie, Stephen, and Tony. 

Our thanks to RHSV for a fun event and if RHSV decide to run the event next year, we will have a title to defend.  

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Are you from up north?

The Northern English Counties Discussion Circle will meet on Tuesday 10 July at 12.30 pm. There will be two brief presentations outlining the resources available to assist those researching ancestors who were agricultural labourers or employed in shipbuilding and allied industries. General discussion will follow. All members of GSV are welcome as part of your membership.

‘Angel of the North’. Artist: Antony Gormley, at Gateshead, Tyne and Wear, 1998

We are an enthusiastic group who meet on the 2nd Tuesday of the month (except January), to discuss research and share interests in the North of England, covering the counties of Northumberland, Westmorland, Durham, Yorkshire and Cumberland. For anyone who has ancestors in this region, whether you are just starting out or have been researching for a number of years, we can help.

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Rare Book Week at GSV

We are hosting two free talks at the GSV Research & Education Centre as part of Rare Book Week. This is a good opportunity to visit the GSV Centre and hear two interesting presentations – but you do need to book.

The first on Tuesday 3 July, 12.00 pm – 1.00 pm is: 

Preservation of books, photographs and paper-based items.

Conservator, Debra Parry will provide information on how materials deteriorate and how to handle, store and display such items to preserve them for the future.

Then on Thursday 5 July at 12.00 pm – 1.00 pm, Douglas Heywood will present: 

‘Guests of the Unspeakable’ : The letters and diary of Warrant Officer 1, William Scott Heywood, POW Thai Burma Railway and Japan 
 
WO1 William Scott Heywood, 1941. (Photo courtesy of Doug Heywood)
Doug’s talk will cover :-
The Prelude: his letters to his girlfriend/wife before his departure to Singapore.
The Journey: his letters while stationed at Malacca prior to the fall of Singapore.
A Prisoner: his diary as a POW in Burma from July 1942 – March 1944
At home: correspondence to his wife from the Defence Force and friends.
 
These previously unpublished, rare materials mention over 150 personnel names.  
 
Both these events are FREE as part of Rare Book Week and are open to all. Bookings essential, in person at GSV, email to gsv@gsv.org.au, by phone (03) 9662 4455 or register via the website  HERE.
 
 

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From the Keyboard of the President #3 – June 2018

As winter descends on Victoria the place to be seen is at the GSV Centre for Research and Education. The Society conducts many talks, classes and other events to assist with researching our ancestors and developing an understanding of the times in which they lived. Our meeting room holds a maximum of 40 attendees and some events book out quickly. Please use the website to book into events to ensure your attendance.

Our DNA for Family Historians talks are proving to be very popular. We intend to repeat all the talks in a cycle so that everyone is given an opportunity to attend. We will shortly issue a separate blog outlining the full program and schedule of talks.

We have decided to extend the coverage of the Northern English Counties Discussion Circle to include Yorkshire in addition to the other northern counties. A talk will be held on Tuesday 26 June at 12.00 am where a panel of speakers will discuss the records available to assist you research your ancestors from that area. If you have an interest in that part of England then please come and share your experiences and interests.

Classes: We conduct a number of classes each month which are free to members. In addition to Orientation and Starting Your Family History, there are a series of classes designed to help you obtain the best results from various online websites including accessing the vast resources of the GSV through our catalogue. On average there are few attendees at these classes so come along and you will be assured of personalised assistance from our presenters.

Our award-winning journal Ancestor, our Facebook site and this Blog Family History Matters at GSV are all produced by volunteers.  As you are aware we are posting to this blog and our Facebook site regularly to provide updates and useful information for our members. And soon, we hope to add a ‘Members Help Members’ forum.  If you would like to help us with the production of our media then you may like to join our Communication Team. No technical skills required and we can help you learn. Contact Janne Bonnett at e: socialmedia@gsv.org.au.

Donations

The GSV relies on the ongoing support of our members and volunteers and we ask that at this time of year, when considering tax-deductible donations, could you please give favourable consideration to making a donation to the GSV. Donations of $2 or more to the Society’s library are fully tax-deductible. Thanks to the people who jumped on board with a donation on the opening day of our campaign. We hope that starts the ball rolling so we can upgrade our facilities and equipment for our members. You can donate here http://gsv.org.au/donate-now.html

Enjoy your researching and join us over winter by participating in our numerous events.

David Down – President GSV

Post expires at 10:41am on Friday 21 September 2018

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We need your help to get better computers for your research

Announcing GSV’s fundraising appeal for new faster computers and widescreen monitors to help your research.

GSV is launching an appeal to raise $15,000 to purchase new faster computers for our Research & Education Centre and for an important IT upgrade.  The main aim is to purchase new widescreen monitors, wireless keyboards and mice and faster computers to replace our 10 year old stalwarts.  This will improve the experience of members undertaking research at Queen St and the IT upgrade will help those using on-line access from home.

GSV very much appreciates the ongoing commitment of our members and supporters.  We would be delighted to receive your support for our fundraising appeal and remember that all donations of $2 or more are tax deductible. 

Donations can be made through our website (refer to the DONATE NOW tab at the bottom of the web homepage) or click here DONATE HERE, by cheque, telephone or in person at our office.  

GSV needs you! Help us help you. 

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Again, thank you for your membership and support.

GSV Council

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