Highlands Seminar coming soon

Coming up soon the GSV is privileged to host a Seminar on the culture, traditions and ancestry of the Highland Clans of Scotland presented by an international expert, Graeme Mackenzie of ‘Highland Roots‘, Inverness.

Glen Nevis (photo: Pauline Simpson, ‘Highland Roots’)

Friday 22 March 2019 10.00 am – 12.30 pm at GSV. 

Graeme’s seminar will cover:

‘The Culture and Traditions of the Highland Clans’ – the social customs, political practices and the often colourful traditions of the clans, and
‘Tracing your Ancestors in the Highlands of Scotland’ – the sources for genealogical research in Scotland, showing how they are used and issues regarding the use of Gaelic names.

Get in quick to book your place here on the GSV website https://www.gsv.org.au/civicrm/event/info?reset=1&id=1100

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Clan and Family History in the Highlands

Graeme Mackenzie MA founded ‘Highland Roots’ (http://www.highlandroots.net/index.html) in Inverness, from where it has been offering personal family history research for over 25 years. Graeme’s work as a clan historian and organiser of gatherings – for MacKenzies and MacMillans in particular – has given him a unique insight into the Highland Clans, past and present, about which he has frequently lectured in North America, and also in Australasia.  In recent years he’s taken the lead in the creation of the Association of Highland Clans and Societies which brings together over 45 clans and names in the Highlands of Scotland. 

Graeme’s genealogical journey is rich and varied.

Graeme Mackenzie

He won a scholarship to study history at Cambridge University, and after graduation taught the subject part-time while working in a number of other jobs, including pulling pints at the historic “Eagle” pub – where he created a cricket team and helped organise the Cambridge Pub and Social Clubs Cricket League. In the early 1980s Graeme created local music magazine “Blue Suede News”, and became a part-time presenter on BBC Radio Cambridgeshire. He was also involved for a number of years with the committee that organised the world famous “Cambridge Folk Festival”. In the mid-1980s Graeme’s BBC work moved into the production and presentation of music and current affairs documentaries, and in 1986-87 he conceived, researched, wrote, and presented a major ten part historical series – “A Power in the Land” – which looked at national history from a regional perspective, and was one of the first such series to be networked on local radio. 

It was whilst researching East Anglian families for this series that Graeme began to take an interest in genealogy; and this was eventually to lead him to return to Scotland to investigate his own ancestry, and to learn all the Scottish history he’d missed whilst studying “British History” at an English university. In 1989 Graeme set up as Highland Roots in Inverness with the intention of specialising in the history and genealogy of Highland clans. Though he’s subsequently had spells living elsewhere in Scotland – particularly in Edinburgh, where his father and grandfather were born – his spiritual home remains the “Capital of the Highlands” where he’s an active member of the Gaelic Society of Inverness.  

In 1993 Graeme was appointed Curator of the Clan MacMillan International Centre in Renfrewshire, with a particular brief to organise the collection and publication of information on the clan’s history and genealogy (a connection stemming from his grandmother Catherine Macmillan who came from Glen Urquhart on the shores of Loch Ness). This involved building the first Clan MacMillan International website and creating Project MAOL (Macmillan Ancestry On Line). Graeme’s also been instrumental in organising a number of successful clan gatherings, with tours, talks, concerts, pageants, and ceilidhs – including significant fund-raising elements for the major charity that was founded in the early twentieth century by a bard of the clan; i.e. Macmillan Cancer Support

Since 1995 Graeme has acted as Seanachaidh for Clan MacKenzie, compiling material on Mackenzie genealogy from published sources and through research commissioned from him by individual clanspeople; and he served for two years as Chairman of the Clan Mackenzie Society of Scotland & the UK. In the course of his work as a professional genealogist he’s collected a considerable amount of information on other Scottish families and names, and is pursuing a particular interest in the nature of the Scottish clan, and the evolution of the so-called “clan system”. His involvement with clan gatherings has given Graeme considerable experience attracting overseas visitors to the Highlands, which has led to him being invited to join VisitScotland’s “Ancestral Tourism Group”. He’s also a member of the Clans and Families’ Forum set up in 2014 by the Scottish Government. 

Graeme was Chairman of the Highland Family History Society – an organisation with hundreds of members worldwide – from 2007 until 2013, when he was elected Chairman of the Association of Highland Clans and Societies. For many years he’s been attending Highland Games and Clan Gatherings in Canada and the USA to meet and talk to MacMillans and MacKenzies, and to give presentations and lectures on Scottish history and genealogy at Celtic Events and to Scottish Interest Groups. In 2014 he undertook a month-long lecture tour in New Zealand and Australia, whence he hopes to return in 2019. Graeme has written extensively on Scottish clan and family history.

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This Seminar is not to be missed.

Graeme’s bio courtesy of Highland Roots website, accessed 28/02/2019.

 

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DNA Discussion Circle meets in January. GSV closed 22 Dec – 1 Jan


Even though lots of things don’t happen in January after our hectic Christmases, life actually keeps on going!  Just like the DNA DISCUSSION CIRCLE  which will have a meeting in January on Wednesday 9 th. at 10.30 am – 12 pm, as shown in our latest Ancestor journal in ‘Around the Circles’ (but unfortunately missed out in the ‘What’s On in January’ section. Our apologies. 

You can find out more about this interesting discussion circle on our website HERE.

THE GSV CENTRE WILL BE CLOSED FOR THE CHRISTMAS -NEW YEAR PERIOD ON SATURDAY 22 DECEMBER TO TUESDAY 1 JANUARY INCLUSIVE.

Later in January the Early English (the Discussion Circle, that is)  will meet on Wed 23 and London Research on Thurs 24. 

The following week on THURSDAY 31, Stephen Hawke will talk on New Poor Laws – post 1834.

Plan your January and see the website to book and find out what other Classes and focussed research assistance is available (Scotland and Ireland).

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Old Poor Laws pre 1834 talk tomorrow Thurs 29

There is a great opportunity to get the background to the Old Poor Laws pre 1834 and how they may have impacted your ancestors.

See the details of the talk on our website here https://www.gsv.org.au/civicrm/event/info?reset=1&id=1014

Presenter: Stephen Hawke.

Before Henry VIII dissolved the monasteries in 1536-9, the monasteries took care of the poor in England and Wales. With the monasteries gone, this responsibilty was shifted to each parish. An entire system of laws and documents grew up around caring for the poor. For the researcher, these documents can be invaluable in tracing migration of families, both poor and not poor, in England and Wales. Poor law documents can also reveal family relationships as well as giving insight into living conditions of ancestors. Poor law records are also known as parish chest records. This is because a chest kept in the church or the priest’s house was used to store parish records.

 

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FAMILY HISTORY TUESDAYS

Not ‘Sweet Thursday’;

not ‘Friday on my mind’

not ‘Saturday Night Fever’ or ‘Sunday Bloody Sunday’…

Not even ‘Stormy Monday Blues’, and unfortunately not ‘Pancake Tuesday’ – which only comes once a year,

BUT it’s FAMILY HISTORY TUESDAY every week at the GSV.

We now have our Research Centre at L.6 / 85 Queen St open later each week on Tuesdays until 7 pm.

So plan ahead and stay longer. Or come in after work if your lunch break  is not enough to get that bit of research done.

Experienced researchers are on hand to help.

(If coming in after 6pm you will need to call the GSV (tel  9662 4455) for the front door to be opened).

So check out our resources on the website here GSV RESOURCES and plan a day to come in on FAMILY HISTORY TUESDAYS.

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‘Vires acquirit eundo’ – we gather strength as we go

Vires acquirit eundo

With another act of aggression lashing out against civility in our city yesterday, I thought of the city’s motto – we gather strength as we go– and I believe we do, as we become a large, truly cosmopolitan city. I would not have known our city’s motto except that the day before I looked in on the current exhibition at the City Gallery in the Melbourne Town Hall – ‘Emblazon’: Melbourne’s coat of arms’ (7 September – 30 January 2019).

Coats of arms and heraldry are a somewhat old-fashioned part of our genealogical wanderings. But this small exhibition telling the story of Melbourne’s coat of arms is worth a visit. The City Gallery is easy to find and too easy to walk past – located on the main Town hall frontage sharing its entrance with HALF-TIX … see CITY GALLERY WEBSITE.

‘Emblazon’ Exhibition. City Gallery window at Melbourne Town Hall, 8 Nov 2018
Sevres vase 1880. City of Melbourne Art and Heritage Collection (photo: W. Barlow, 2018)

 

The exhibition includes many examples of the ‘arms’ from street signs, street bollards, documents, a cast iron roundel from the old Eastern Markets, a Sèvres vase (1880) and three quirky takes on that vase commissioned by MCC in 2018. Our official ‘arms’ includes a fleece, a cow, a whale and a ship as 1840s symbols of the city. One of the 2018 vases, Yhonnie Scarce’s memorial urn, contains ‘symbols of lives lost since the British arrived’.

Our family histories are embedded in the social history of our cities and places. City of Melbourne can be congratulated for its City Gallery, and these quarterly exhibitions, which have been showcasing our shared heritage.

You should visit.

Gallery with 2018 vases by Brennan (L) and Wedd (R). (Photo: W. Barlow, 2018)

Bill Barlow

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‘Emblazon: Melbourne’s Coat of Arms’, exhibition catalogue, 2018.

Exhibition Curator: Alisa Bunbury / MCC Art and Heritage Collection team.

Sevres vase, Sevres Porcelain Factory, 1880

‘Urn with Nature Pot’, vase, Angela Brennan, 2018

‘She gathers Strength As She Goes’, vase, Gerry Wedd, 2018

‘For the Fallen’, vase, Yhonnie Scarce, 2018. 

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New data added to GSV Cemeteries Index

 

The GSV is regularly adding to its Cemeteries Index with its ongoing project of transcribing records. So you need to check this to see if recent additions can help you.

An almost illegible early 1850s gravestone in Cemetery Reef Gully Cemetery, Chewton, Vic. (Photo: W. Barlow, 2017)

This index contains nearly a million references from cemetery records mostly relating to Victoria. It includes memorial inscriptions or burial registers from our collection.

GSV has been transcribing cemetery records since the 1950s and although there are now online websites for cemeteries (with many including photographs), some of those early headstone have disappeared or become illegible or even destroyed by vandals.

So make sure you try this database. You can see a guide to this Index HERE ON OUR WEBSITE.

Recently added to Cemeteries Database:

Trafalgar cemetery transcriptions 1886 -1996. 2nd ed

Trafalgar cemetery headstones 1882-1979

Voters’ roll for the… District of Epping, for the year ending July 1870

Steiglitz old & new cemetery register & headstone transcriptions 1854-1997

Mornington cemetery headstones 4/1/1861 to 18/2/1985

Orbost cemetery headstones 5.4.1882 to 12.8.1982

Winchelsea cemetery register and headstones 1858-1981

Yalca North cemetery headstones 1/10/1895 to 26/5/1977

Goroke cemetery register and headstones 14/3/1890 – 13/9/1982

Gormandale cemetery headstones 8/11/1895 to 13/7/1982

Guildford cemetery records 1871-1st Nov 1998

Ashens cemetery headstones 1890-1908; includes some Ebenzer Mission cemetery headstones

Flinders (Cerberus Naval Base) Boot Hill Naval cemetery records 7 June 1925 to 11 February 1980

Goroke private cemeteries: ‘Pleasant Banks’ station cemetery 1866-1893 & ‘Mortat’ private cemetery 1850-1877

Crib Point cemetery tombstones

Mulwala cemetery NSW: register and headstones 7/4/1853 – 22/5/1991

Bridgewater cemetery headstones 1863-1984

Coburg Pine Ridge cemetery register 1864-1996

Added to Genealogical Name Index & LINX Australia

Baptisms 1869 to 1900 at Bendigo St Paul’s Church of England (part complete)

Voters’ roll for the… Shire of Gisborne for the year ending October 1884: Borough Riding.

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This resource at the GSV is another very good reason to become a member to get full value from this work!

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Was your ancestor a criminal? : A World-First Survey on Crime History and the Public

Recently the GSV Writers shared their writing about topics such as ‘a skeleton in the family’. A number of interesting stories emerged, of forgers and even a murderer. How do we deal with those in our family who have become entangled with the law?

Old portable police lockup, Chewton, Victoria, 1860s. (Photo. W. Barlow 2017)

Dr Alana Piper, Research Fellow of the University of Technology Sydney researches criminal justice history and is conducting a survey on the public’s engagement with crime history. The purpose of this online survey is to find out about public interest in and understandings of criminal justice history. The online survey is run through SurveyMonkey and takes 5-10 minutes to complete. The survey is completely anonymous.

The survey can be found via the following link – https://criminalcharacters.com/survey/

In this project Alana is using digital techniques to map the lives and criminal careers of Australian offenders across the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Her research interests draw together the social and cultural history of crime with criminology, legal history and the digital humanities. Her PhD thesis examined female involvement in Australian criminal subcultures across the late nineteenth and early twentieth century.

Castlemaine prison, Victoria, built 1857-61 on the Pentonville Model (Photo. W. Barlow 2017)

Dr Piper outlines the project:

A World-First Survey on Crime History and the Public

‘One of the things I love about my job as a criminal justice historian is talking to people about my research. It does not matter who they are – or even if history in general is not a particular passion for them – most people are interested in hearing the stories I’ve uncovered about nineteenth and twentieth-century crimes and criminals.

Some people like to chat about the celebrity criminals whose lives have been immortalised in fiction and film, like bushranger Ned Kelly or Sydney crime queen Tilly Devine. Others like hearing about the quirkier or more unexpected tales I have come across, such as the fact that book theft was made a special offence in Victoria in 1891 after a spate of book stealing from public libraries. Or that until relatively recently fortune-telling was a criminal offence across Australia, with police intermittently cracking down on fortune-tellers throughout the twentieth century, in particular during the World Wars when people were desperate for reassurance about their loved ones.

These are not one-way conversations either. Family historians have often encountered at least one ancestor who had an entanglement with the law. It is fascinating to hear how sometimes those actions or events ended up changing the course of the lives of the entire family. Other people have developed an interest in local cold cases, such as the unsolved murders of three adult siblings that occurred in Gatton, Queensland in 1898, but still generate frequent speculation today.

The sense that I am left with from these encounters is that crime history is a subject in which the public is highly engaged. Anecdotally I know that other crime historians – both in Australia and overseas – have similar experiences. However, to date there has been no empirical research into public attitudes and interest towards crime history.

I am trying to change that by running an anonymous online survey about community perceptions of crime history. The survey only takes 5-10 minutes to complete, but will generate data that provides insights into the sources of information that inform public understandings of crime history, and how public attitudes about crime history vary across different national contexts.

Any participation in or promotion of the survey is much appreciated. It can be found via the following link – https://criminalcharacters.com/survey/– along with more details about my research project.’

Alana Piper, University of Technology Sydney. 

You can follow Alana on Twitter on @alana_piper

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This week hear about ‘Bounty and Government emigrants’ at GSV

GSV is privileged to have Elizabeth Rushen presenting ‘Bounty and government emigrants 1836-1840 including Mr Marshall’s migrants‘.

Liz Rushen has written a number of books in this area and you can see more about them at her website HERE.

Her talk is on this coming Thursday 18 October 12.00pm – 1.00 pm. Bookings are essential but you can still get a place if you are quick.  Bookings can be made in person at GSV, via the website HERE.  Or you can book by email to gsv@gsv.org.au or by phone 9662 4455.

GSV Members $5.00, RHSV/CAV/FHC $15.00 and Non-members $20.00.

There were many emigration schemes and agents operating in the early to mid-nineteenth century and this talk by historian and author Elizabeth Rushen will give a broad overview of emigration in the 1820s and 1830s. Various emigration schemes were available until the formation of the Colonial Land and Emigration Commission in 1840 and John Marshall was the most active entrepreneur under the bounty scheme of assisted migration to Australia.

This is an area of our history with which many of us have links and this is a great opportunity to get a knowledgeable overview.

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Discover the ‘1696 Association Oath Rolls for Cornwall’ at GSV

GSV has purchased a wonderful new publication to help our Cornwall researchers.  The 1696 Association Oath Rolls for Cornwall lists around 11,500 Cornish men who took an oath in defence of the realm following a failed assassination plot on the life of King William III.  The rolls list the men by parish/town as well as two extensive lists of tinners.  Some effort was made to group men by family, which may provide new insights for your research.  The publication includes a comprehensive introduction to the events of 1696 and the analysis of the rolls by the editors.

The SWERD meeting on Friday 12 October (12:30 at GSV) will discuss the background to the Oath Rolls and how this new resource can be used in your research.

We will also be discussing resources to help you research ‘the times’ of your ancestors in Cornwall, Devon, Dorset and Somerset.  How can you find out about local events that directly impacted their lives?  What are the best and/or your favourite books and other records covering the histories and events in the four south-west counties?  We’ll prepare a list of the resources discussed at the meeting for future reference in your research.

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SWERD is a group for GSV Members. Find out more on our website and it’s not too late to join GSV and SWERD before this interesting session on Friday.

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Back to Bonegilla Migrant Camp Gathering – 2-3 November 2018

Watching Jimmy Barnes’ personal story of his dire early days as a child migrant in Elizabeth, South Australia, (Working Class Boy) reminded me that many family histories in Australia commence with relatively recent arrivals – in the middle of last century after WW2 – rather than with early pioneers of the 18th and 19th centuries. The Bonegilla Migrant Camp in NE Victoria was where over 300,000 migrants started their Australian lives.

Next month the annual Back to Bonegilla Migrant Camp Gathering is on again :

Friday 2 November and Saturday 3 November 2018 from 10.00 AM to 4.00 PM each day. Entry is free. Daily activities include:

  • Tours;
  • Film screenings; 
  • Author and genealogy talks;
  • Dinner; 
  • Displays and exhibitions; and,
  • Food and music.

You can find out more about this and make bookings to events BOOKINGS HERE

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The Bonegilla Migrant Camp story

‘At the end of WW2 the Australian Government introduced a program of migration to assist millions of displaced people in Europe and, at the same time, combat a shortage of labour in Australian industry. As housing was not immediately available for the growing population, the Australian Government provided migrants with temporary accommodation like that at Bonegilla [in Victoria] until they found jobs and their own places to live.’

The Bonegilla Migrant Camp was established at a former army camp near Wodonga, Victoria. It was the first home in Australia for more than 300,000 migrants from more than 50 countries from 1947 to 1971. They had diverse arrival and settlement experiences.

Bonegilla August 1949 (Photo. Nandor Jenes / SLV Pictures H2002.16)

‘Many migrants recall arriving lonely and confused, unsure of where they were going and what they would be doing. Others saw Bonegilla as a place of hope, symbolic of a new start. In December 2007, Bonegilla Migrant Reception and Training Centre – Block 19 was recognised as a place with powerful connections for many people in Australia and a symbol of post-war migration which transformed Australia’s economy, society and culture under the National Heritage List.Today, Block 19 is a public memory place. The site and its associated oral, written and pictorial records in the Bonegilla Collection at the Albury Library/Museum bring to light post-war immigration policies and procedures that changed the composition and size of the Australian population.’ [Bonegilla Migrant Experience website, access. 6 Oct 2018.]

How do I say it?

“Depending on your cultural connection with Bonegilla, there are a number of ways to pronounce it. To many locals, it’s strictly ‘Bone – Gilla’ but to immigrants arriving from Europe after World War II, the word was often read as ‘Bonny-Gilla’ or ‘Bon-Eg-Illa’.” Passport  for Bonegilla, Bonegilla Migrant Experience website.

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The GSV hosts a group which helps its members with an interest in non-British research: International Settlers Group. On 17 November their presentation is ‘Andiamo – a Celebration of my Italian Family History‘ presented by Angelo Indovina. You can find out more about this group on the GSV website http://www.gsv.org.au/activities/groups/isg

 

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