Give a dad in your family a GSV Membership for Father’s Day 3 Sept

 

How often do we hear someone say that they wished they had asked their father to tell them more about his early life!

Prompt and help the dads in your family to discover and record their stories and those of their fathers by giving him a Membership of the GSV on Fathers Day. For the year ahead he can receive help to discover his family history with access to databases at GSV and more importantly, to friendly knowledgeable volunteers who can help him find his way and suggest other sources. He will receive four issues of the Ancestor magazine, have access to free and discounted talks and can join special interest groups to share their insights. He can also participate in the GSV Writers Group where he will get assistance and guidance to write up his story in a lasting form for the family.

You can find out more and join online https://gsv.org.au/index.php/gsv-home/why-join.html or just call the office on 03 9662 4455.

 

Post expires at 9:39am on Monday 4 September 2017

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Tales of research from beyond the web

Kath McKay

Much as I love my computer and the internet, some of my most precious family history knowledge has come from being able to seek out original documents.

In spite of searching for decades, previous family historians had not been able to find the marriage certificate of our great grandparents: an Irish coach maker and a young maidservant from Wiltshire. We knew they had about ten children in the 1860s and 1870s in Ballarat, but didn’t have a clear record of the children’s names, births or even number. Online indexes didn’t help a lot.

Then I had a little brain-wave. I knew that branch of the family were all Catholic so I contacted St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Ballarat to enquire about records. They eventually replied saying they had all their original records but none were digitised or indexed. However, I was most welcome to come and look for myself.

So one freezing July day I took the train from Melbourne to Ballarat. In the cheery Parish office, warmed by a fire in the hearth, I pored over the huge leather bound tomes brought out of the archives by the Parish Secretary. These are daunting books indeed, nearly a metre by half a metre and several inches thick. They record the births, marriages and deaths of the parishioners, documented in careful copperplate with pen and ink on parchment. I had a fair knowledge that the first child was born about 1860 and the last, my long-dead grandmother, in 1877. So I started with 1860 but it revealed nothing, nor 1861, 1862 and on through the whole decade. The Secretary cheerily brought volume after volume and the piles grew around me. She also kindly made me several cups of tea.

By the time I got to the 1870s with nothing, I was beginning to doubt all I had believed about this branch of our extended family.

Then I found them! In the late summer of 1875, two little girls were baptised, one aged two, the other six. At last! I had found something! Then I turned the page and found the death record for the little six-year-old who had just been baptised days before. Most of the rest of the page and many after that, were taken up with deaths of little children – all from measles in an epidemic that must have swept Ballarat in those early days before immunisation.

Another few turns of the giant pages and there were the rest of them! Five children baptised together, boys and girls aged from 1 to 14 in one job lot! Another page turn and there was the death of the first baptised little girl, the two-year-old. This was followed quite quickly by the baptism of a new baby. Our poor great-grandmother was pregnant when she was nursing, then burying, two of her little daughters. Sad times indeed.

But I still had not found the object of my original search, the marriage of my great-grandparents. More volumes, more page turning. And, finally, in January 1877, after they have had ten children and lost three, this pioneer couple marry. We had been looking in the wrong decade!

A few months later, in April 1877, their new, and last, baby was baptised: a daughter, my grandmother.

Just another family story that was not handed down.

***

At the Genealogical Society of Victoria we help members plan their family history search. This post’s author Kath McKay is a member of the GSV Writer’s Discussion Circle. See www.gsv.org.au for more information, or email gsv@gsv.org.au or phone (03) 9662 4455 for information about the Society.

 

 

Post expires at 6:04pm on Wednesday 11 October 2017

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GSV now offers DNA-specific research consultations

As a further service, the GSV is now taking bookings for DNA-specific consultations.

The focus will be on Autosomal  DNA (Ancestry DNA & Family Tree DNA,
Family Finder). 

Bookings can be made via http://gsv.org.au/consultations.html
Bring your access to your results (if you have them) and an ancestor or
pedigree chart (if you have one).

Cost GSV Members $30 Non-members $50
Friday bookings only

You might also be interested in the DNA Discussion Circle. The DNA Discussion Circle is for GSV members who would like to find out how DNA may assist them in furthering their family history. Your DNA can be used to confirm or establish links in your family tree as well as identifying your particular genetic origins. For more details, see
http://gsv.org.au/activities/groups/dna-discussion-circle.html

Post expires at 10:32am on Wednesday 20 September 2017

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Just go right along. You’ll start happening too.

Louise Wilson continues her musing on the journey of discovering family history. ***

The true essence of family history research is the journey – your own journey of self-discovery.

Let’s start with the genes you inherited. Most of us know less about our own genes than your average grazier knows about the genes of his cattle. You only have to watch one episode of ‘Who Do You Think You Are’ for that fact to be obvious. How many of us know the backgrounds of our two sets of grandparents – just four people? By the time we get to our parents’ grandparents, we are lucky to know anything at all. We might know only one story about our family background, and that story then tends to dominate our thinking, as if it formed our entire identity. We forget all the other forebears who’ve contributed to who we are.

The ‘ah hah’ moments are therefore quite thrilling if we set out to discover the full mix of ingredients in our personal cake. It’s no surprise to find the usual collection of general labourers, agricultural labourers, Cornish miners and female servants lurking in your background. In my case, some were convicts on the First, Second and Third Fleets. But I was very surprised that my genes also came from gentlemen farmers, innkeepers, artists, musicians, teachers, doctors, soldiers, clergymen, merchants, slave-owning sugar planters, bankers, mail coach entrepreneurs and turpentine factory owners, plus a solitary butcher, printer, chemist, engineer and circus proprietor. No wonder I found it difficult to choose a career. I wish I’d known this, when young. Such knowledge is powerful, perhaps giving permission to break away from family expectations. That eclectic mix of genes might explain why I eventually turned into the first writer in my line of the family.

Each generation that we step back permits us to make broader-brush discoveries. I was amazed to realise just how Anglo-Celtic I am. Three hundred years of an almost fully-completed pedigree chart, detailing eight generations of my ancestors, revealed only one forbear who did not originate in England, Scotland or Northern Ireland. He came from close by – northern France. As I flinch from the skin specialist’s spray can of liquid nitrogen, I readily understand and accept that my fair skin was never meant for Australia, although my forbears here date back to 1788.

What other health record do we inherit? My grandmother, an unlikely feminist, loved to tell her granddaughters that we descend from a long line of strong, independent women. Fanciful? No, my research proved her right. In her father’s family, from 1790, successive fathers and sons died of illness aged 52, 45, 62, 37 and 43. Their widows, left to raise the children, all lived into their eighties.

Health issues of a different kind were the focus of the powerfully-told and very moving episode of ‘Who Do You Think You Are’ where Susie Porter discovered recurring patterns of serious mental illness in her hitherto-unknown female forebears. Susie gained sudden insight into her own black moods and was never going to be the same person again.

Your family history research can change you and add great meaning to your life.  

At the Genealogical Society of Victoria (GSV) we help members explore and write about their family history. This month’s author, Louise Wilson (www.louisewilson.com.au), belongs to the GSV Writers’ Discussion Circle. For more information about the GSV, see www.gsv.org.au, or email gsv@gsv.org.au, or phone (03) 9662 4455.

Post expires at 11:00am on Monday 4 September 2017

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Last day coming to order ‘Familysearch’ microfilms

In case you missed it …

On September 1, 2017, FamilySearch will discontinue its microfilm distribution services.  (The last day to order microfilm will be on August 31, 2017.)

The change is the result of significant progress made in FamilySearch’s microfilm digitization efforts and the obsolescence of microfilm technology.

  • Over 1.5 million microfilms (ca. 1.5 billion images) have been digitized by FamilySearch, including the most requested collections based on microfilm loan records worldwide.
  • The remaining microfilms should be digitized by the end of 2020, and all new records from its ongoing global efforts are already using digital camera equipment.

Digital images of historical records can be accessed today in 3 places on FamilySearch.org under Search.

  • Records include historical records indexed by name or organized with an image browse.
  • Books include digital copies of books from the Family History Library and other libraries.
  • Catalog includes a description of genealogical materials (including books, online materials, microfilm, microfiche, etc.) in the FamilySearch collection.

From: https://www.lds.org/callings/temple-and-family-history/familysearch-microfilm-discontinuation?lang=eng&_r=1

Post expires at 11:37am on Saturday 30 September 2017

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More family history material scanned at GSV

16 June 2017

SCANNING & INDEXING PROJECT REPORT

The GSV scanning and indexing project is progressing thanks to all the hard work of our volunteers. Below is an updated summary of what we have achieved so far. But each week more is added so check back.

Family Histories

498  documents have been scanned, checked and the catalogue has been updated.  These digitized records are available to GSV members within the GSV Research and Education Centre.

Genealogical index of names (GIN) – 2017

Bostocks Creek State School register no. 2893 1890-1909 index

Royal Victorian Trained Nurses Association. Register of members [nurses] February 1922

Cemeteries Database

We have now indexed 564 cemeteries making a total 788856 records in the GSV Cemeteries database.

Note: if the library catalogue location states

CEMETERIES DATABASE. The  images are attached to records in the Cemeteries database and may be viewed online.

 INDEXED IN CEMETERIES DATABASE  : The cemetery had been indexed and our scanned document is only available at the GSV. Check the instructions on the catalogue

Cemetery indexes with images (mostly transcripts) added 2017

Beeac cemetery : previously Ondit and Cundare public cemetery : headstones 20 June 1870 – 27 November 1981

Black Heath (Sailors Home) cemetery headstones and receipts 11 May 1879 – 31 March 1930

Cemetery tombstone transcription series pt 8: Woods point, Victoria [14.9.1866 – 12.2.1966]

Coburg: brief history of cemetery and plan

Deaths and burials at Casterton

Deep Lead cemetery register & headstones 19/4/1859 to 19/1/1992

Edi Upper private cemetery

Eurambeen & Eurambeen East private cemeteries: headstones 2/3/1866 – 12/7/1977

Freshwater Creek: St David’s Lutheran church cemetery headstones 16/7/1867 to 1/7/1973

Jericho cemetery transcriptions 1868

Jindabyne (NSW) Soldiers Memorial Cemetery headstones 1919-1985

Kialla West cemetery register 1886-1985

Maddingley cemetery register 23/4/1863 – 14/11/1958

Maldon early burials (church burials) 1854-1856

Mornington cemetery headstones to 1951

Moroco Station, Mathoura NSW headstones 21/12/1853-28/8/1900

Mt Koroite Coleraine, Vic: private burial ground of the Young family

Noradjuha cemetery register and headstones 1891-1979

Omeo cemetery memorial inscriptions 13 July 1872 to 21 April 1980

Pine Creek Cemetery NT headstones -/9/1894 – 4/9/1970

Port Fairy (Belfast) cemetery 3 Mar 1904 – 27 Feb 1970

Rupanyup cemetery register 1914-1980 & headstones 1875-1990

Walkerville cemetery headstones 1899-1924

Warringal (Heidelberg) cemetery headstones: Roman Catholic (section M), General (Section N) 1853-1912

Yarra Glen cemetery headstones May 1864 to 16 Jan 1983.

***

 

 

 

 

 

Post expires at 8:38am on Tuesday 29 August 2017

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Some new family history stories are taking shape at the GSV Writers

 

Penny Scott – member GSV Writers Circle

14 June 2017

At the June 7 meeting of the Writers Circle we discussed the drafts of two new family history stories submitted by Circle members.

Bernece Schultz has done a lot of research on her South of England and Jersey ancestors who settled in Victoria and later in Tumbarumba, NSW. She said her submitted piece, Mary Ann Simmons, was written as a chapter in the middle of a book that she is writing for her family members about her maternal ancestors.

Her submission concerned the affecting story of Mary Ann Simmons (1848-1880) who in her short life experienced the death of siblings, mother, husband and children before she herself died aged thirty-two. Bernece described the living conditions and influences on Mary Ann, such as problems caused by tuberculosis, which contributed to her sad and difficult life. Bernece appreciated members’ constructive comments on the writing and the subject of the narrative.

The second piece of writing was titled The winds of change – a woman, a watch and a Whig, and the first paragraph provided the force and focus of the writing – a reference to an image of a satirical print by James Gillray. The identity, background and salacious life of the male figure in the print is revealed in the writing, and there is an amusing twist in the final sentence when the writer unwillingly admits the figure is her ancestor. 

Before the meeting the writer had outlined the feedback she would like from the group – comments on structure, tone, the flow of the narrative, its logical sequence, characterisation and references in the text. These areas and more provided the basis of a lively discussion.

The August meeting of the Writers Circle will provide an opportunity for two further members to receive feedback on their writing from the other members of the group.

Post expires at 7:01pm on Friday 14 July 2017

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GSV is scanning and indexing many of its family history records – progress report

During the recent process of moving, GSV identified a considerable part of its library holdings to be scanned and indexed in order to make this material more accessible for our members. This Scanning and Indexing Project is progressing well, thanks to all the hard work of the volunteer team we have assembled. We would always welcome additional assistance. Below is a brief summary of what we have achieved so far.

Cemeteries Database

We have now indexed 556 cemeteries making a total 780,980 records in the GSV Cemeteries database. We are making excellent progress but we still have approximately 110 cemeteries that have been scanned and are waiting to be indexed.

Family Histories

470 documents have been scanned, checked and the catalogue has been updated.  These digitized records are available to GSV members within the GSV Research and Education Centre.

1494 family histories from the vertical file have been scanned & are waiting to be checked. 313 family history files have been scanned & ready to be added to the catalogue.

 Cemetery indexes with images (mostly transcripts) added 2017

Moroco Station, Mathoura NSW headstones 21/12/1853-28/8/1900

Deaths and burials at Casterton

Pine Creek Cemetery NT headstones -/9/1894 – 4/9/1970

Rupanyup cemetery register 1914-1980 & headstones 1875-1990

Kialla West cemetery register 1886-1985

Coburg: brief history of cemetery and plan

Edi Upper private cemetery

Eurambeen & Eurambeen East private cemeteries: headstones 2/3/1866 – 12/7/1977

Black Heath (Sailors Home) cemetery headstones and receipts 11 May 1879 – 31 March 1930

Jindabyne (NSW) Soldiers Memorial Cemetery headstones 1919-1985

Maldon early burials (church burials) 1854-1856

Walkerville cemetery headstones 1899-1924

Jericho cemetery transcriptions 1868

Freshwater Creek: St David’s Lutheran church cemetery headstones 16/7/1867 to 1/7/1973

Deep Lead cemetery register & headstones 19/4/1859 to 19/1/1992

Mornington cemetery headstones to 1951

Maddingley cemetery register 23/4/1863 – 14/11/1958.

Note: if the library catalogue location states: ‘CEMETERIES DATABASE’ – The  images are attached to records in the Cemeteries database and may be viewed online. ‘INDEXED IN CEMETERIES DATABASE’ – The cemetery had been indexed and our scanned document is only available at the GSV. Check the instructions on the catalogue.

 Genealogical index of names (GIN) – 2017

Bostocks Creek State School register no. 2893 1890-1909 index.

***

Visit us online at http://www.gsv.org.au or call in to our new Research and Education Centre to discover your world of family history.

 

Post expires at 11:32am on Wednesday 9 August 2017

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‘Margaret Flockton’ book wins!

On 25 May, Louise Wilson’s book, Margaret Flockton: A Fragrant Memory (Wakefield Press, 2016), won the 2016 AIGS Don Grant Award for the best submitted biography with an Australian history focus. And another GSV Writer, Margaret Vines, came second in this year’s AIGS Alexander Henderson Award with her book The Baggotts from Herbertstown (2016). That Award was won by The Complete History of Arthur and Rose: the Martin, Jacka, Crougey and Commbe families in Cornwall and South Australia by Tony and Wendy Edwards.

In 2013 Louise also won the AIGS Alexander Henderson Award 2012 for the best submitted Australian Family History, with her book Southwark Luck. Two of Louise’s other books were Highly Commended in other years. You can follow her writing exploits at http://www.louisewilson.com.au.

Louise is also an active member of the GSV Writers Circle (which you can find out about here http://gsv.org.au/activities/groups/gsv-writers-circle.html) and in fact she submitted early parts of her winning Flockton book for review at a GSV Writer’s meeting in 2011.

At GSV Writers monthly sessions, she has led discussions on topics such as reviewing family history, marketing your family history, aspects of structure, and writing a finished piece. If you missed these, you can find her articles on these subjects published in GSV’s Ancestor journal in the regular ‘Getting it Write’ series. Ancestor is available at the GSV Research & Education Centre or members can read PDF versions on the GSV’s website.

Margaret Vines is also a regular contributor at GSV Writers Circle and co-presented a session on ‘the tasks involved in producing a book’. She will be conducting her regular Writing Course at GSV on August 15,22 and 29. (You can book on the website, but be quick.)

If you are facing the challenge of finally turning your never-ending research into readable and informative family history you might like to join the GSV Writers Circle, membership of which is available to all GSV Members as part of their GSV membership. As you can see above, this active self-help discussion group is fortunate to benefit from the award-winning expertise of Louise, Margaret and other published (and awarded) family-history writers.

GSV congratulates Louise Wilson and Margaret Vines!

Post expires at 11:39pm on Sunday 6 August 2017

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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: jacobsonbeverley@gmail.com

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 http://gsv.org.au and you can book online, in person, by phone: (03) 9662 4455  or by email: gsv@gsv.org.au

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 www.unlockthepast.com.au/events/researching-abroad-british-isles-european-ancestors-melbourne

Post expires at 1:00am on Thursday 1 June 2017

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