As mentioned in our last post we have received the sad news of the death of Dr Joan Hunt, our intended speaker for this talk. The Ballarat resources to be outlined in this talk are a tribute to Dr Hunt’s lifelong work in this area.
We are grateful to Carmel Reynen who has agreed to present this talk. Carmel is a member of the Ballarat and District Genealogical Society Inc, produces “Link”, their newsletter, and administers their Facebook page. She has been active in photographing the headstones of many cemeteries which appear in the Australian Cemeteries website as well as a CD produced by the Smythesdale Cemetery for their 150th anniversary. Carmel has given talks in Warrnambool, Maryborough and Ballarat on Using Trove, Facebook and Genealogy, DNA, and Military Records.
Note: This event is currently full. However you can register now and be added to a waiting list. Go to the GSV website. You will be notified if spaces become available.
Post expires at 4:07pm on Wednesday 14 November 2018
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.
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.
Sadly wars produce a wealth of records of the lives lost and entangled in these conflicts. 2018 marks the end of the WWI Centenary. This war gave Australia and New Zealand the story of Gallipoli, but Australian and New Zealand volunteers were already in Serbia, treating wounded Serbians, before the ANZACs landed.
Because of the Gallipoli Campaign, Germany, Austria-Hungary and Bulgaria invaded Serbia to secure a land supply corridor to Turkey. The Serbian Army was forced on a deadly retreat over the wintry mountains of Albania to the Adriatic coast, an event sometimes called the Albanian golgotha. Australians and New Zealanders accompanied the Serbian Army on this long march. When the fighting shifted to the Salonika or ‘Macedonian’ Front, many served there with the British Army, the Royal Flying Corps, two AIF units and six Royal Australian Navy destroyers in the Adriatic and Aegean Seas. Some died in action, others from disease.
Several hundred doctors, nurses and orderlies treated the wounded and sick in an Australian-led volunteer hospital and in British and New Zealand Army hospitals. The author Miles Franklin was a medical orderly supporting the Serbian Army; her memoir is quoted extensively in a new book. Fifteen hundred Australians and New Zealanders served on this little known yet crucial battlefront.
There will be a commemorative presentation about the service of these Australians in WW1 and a launch of a book about them – in Melbourne on 8 September and at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra 15 September.
REMEMBRANCE EVENT NEXT SATURDAY IN MELBOURNE
On Saturday 8 SeptemberThe Australian Serbian Cultural Foundation is presenting an evening of remembrance and commemoration of the Australians and Serbs who served together in The Great War. Doors open 6.30 pm (for 7 pm start) at Holy Trinity Serbian Orthodox Church Hall, corner Nicholson St & Glenlyon Rd, Brunswick East.
This event is open to the wider Australian and Serbian community. Entry is free.
Special guests from Australia and Serbia will present remarkable accounts and experiences of these Australian and Serbian men and women, who served in that war:
‘Albanian Golgotha, 100 years later’ – presented by Marko Nikolic and Nenad Mitrovic, who are part of a team which in 2015 retraced the epic withdrawal of the Serbian King, Government, Army and civilian refugees in 1915/16 across the Montenegrin and Albanian mountains,
Richard Cook, the grandson of an Australian Nursing Sister who served in Serbia in 1915,
Margaret Brown, the grandniece of an Australian soldier who fought in Serbia and on the Salonika Front in 1915-16, and
Bojan Pajic, the grandson of a Serbian soldier of WWI, who will present his newly-published book Forgotten Volunteers – Australians and New Zealanders with Serbs in World War One.
The GSV has been assisting Bojan Pajic to trace and contact descendants and relatives of Australians and New Zealanders who served in Serbia or alongside the Serbian Army on the Salonika Front and nearby seas in World War One. Over 100 have been identified and contacted.
Finally, after several years of research and writing, this story has now been told in a book recently published by Australian Scholarly Publishing. The book will be launched by Emeritus Professor David Horner AM at the Australian War Memorial on the 15 September 2018.
Copies of the book can be obtained from the publisher by emailing them at e: firstname.lastname@example.org or you can arrange for a copy to be brought to the event next Saturday by emailing the author at email@example.com
This Serbian research is a reminder that, whereas the GSV helps Victorians, their stories and the GSV’s resources are truly international. And this is not limited to the British Isles. The GSV has a specific group for its members – the International Settlers Group – focused on non-British research. Go HERE to see when they meet and how they can help you.
For anyone with links to 19th C Victoria, Ballarat and other goldfields will be an important part of your story, if not directly, then in providing background to the growth of the new Colony. In the coming month the GSV hosts a talk by Dr Joan Hunt on the wealth of research sources that are available in Ballarat.
‘Resources in Ballarat’
Thursday 27 September 12.00 pm – 1.00 pm at the GSV. See HERE for details and to make a booking.
Ballarat is rich in both history and historical research sources. Dr Hunt will share with us the many resources that can help with local and family history research, revealing both on-line and personal contact responses from the Ballarat and District Genealogical Society, the Ballarat Historical Society and other societies such as those at Sebastopol, Smythesdale, Linton, Creswick, Clunes and other surrounding areas, the Ballarat Mechanics’ Institute, the Australiana Room of Ballarat Library, the Ballarat Archives Centre of the Public Record Office Victoria, the Gold Museum, and other sites.
This is a great opportunity to be guided by an historian with a deep knowledge of these local research materials. Dr Joan Hunt recently retired from her position as an Access Services Officer at Ballarat Archives Centre, Public Record Office Victoria. Dr Joan Hunt is a past president of Ballarat Historical Society, a founder and past president of the Woady Yaloak Historical Society, has served two terms chairing the Ballarat & District Genealogical Society, and is an active member of other local historical societies. She is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society of Victoria, where she served several terms on Council, partly as Vice-President, and partly as Convenor of the RHSV History Victoria Support Group. Her work in community history spans thirty-seven years, from Dandenong Historical Society committee membership in 1974 to involvement in the Ballarat region since 1980. She is a co-founder and inaugural secretary of the Central Highlands Historical Association. In 1988 Joan was awarded a Churchill Fellowship to study how local and family history societies in the UK organise and administer themselves. Joan has published a history of Ross Creek, a centenary history of Scarsdale Old Boys Reunion, a history of Smythesdale Cemetery, and many articles and papers. She is currently working on a history of the Springdallah goldfields.
Post expires at 1:33pm on Tuesday 25 December 2018
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.
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.
Post expires at 10:26am on Sunday 16 September 2018
Today’s post contributed by Ted Bainbridge draws our attention to the Catholic Heritage Archive available at Findmypast. Ted has been a researcher, teacher, speaker and writer on genealogy since 1969. He has taught many beginner and advanced genealogy classes. His genealogical and historical articles are published frequently by several US national, state, and county organizations. Ted is the past president of the Longmont Genealogical Society, in Colorado, US. and he is currently on the staff of the Longmont Family History Center.[Ed.]
The Catholic Heritage Archive
Ted Bainbridge PhD
Findmypast.com is enlarging its Catholic Heritage Archive [CHA] which intends to become ‘the most comprehensive online collection of Roman Catholic records for the USA, Britain and Ireland, containing one hundred million records.’ The site’s front page claims, ‘Most of these records have never before been accessible by the public – either offline or online.’
Go to https://www.findmypast.com.au/catholicrecords and sign in or subscribe. [Access to Findmypast is free to members of the Genealogical Society of Victoria (GSV) within the GSV Research Centre. Alternately free access is also available at LDS Church Family History Centres or your local library.]
The CHA contains or will contain millions of Irish records*, plus sacramental registers of England, Scotland, and the United States. Records of the archdioceses of New York, Philadelphia (beginning in 1757), and Baltimore contain thirty million records. English records include those of Birmingham and Westminster, both beginning in 1657. Records include baptisms, marriages, deaths and burials, censuses, and more.
You can search the entire collection by specifying various name, date, and place parameters. Alternatively, you can access English or Irish or Scottish baptism, marriage, or burial registers; as well as American baptism or marriage registers, or parish registers. Each data set can be searched for several parameters that you can specify or omit as you think best.
Invaluable guidance is available by selecting Learn More, Understanding the Records, Searching Irish Catholic Parish Registers, Common Latin Terminology, and Finding British and Irish Places of Birth.
There are many links to other helpful internet locations at the bottom of the CHA front page.
* The GSV also recommends going to the free IrishGenealogy.ie for locating any Irish ancestors for birth, death and Marriage records. [Ed.]
Post expires at 2:34pm on Saturday 15 December 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.]
The GSV was very pleased this week that its quarterly journal Ancestorwas, 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
Post expires at 2:49pm on Saturday 10 November 2018
August is National Family History Month and we celebrate the finding and telling of our family histories.
The GSV is particularly pleased to be awarded this year’s Nick Vine Hall Award for Ancestor, our quarterly journal. This award and our previous wins in 2012 and 2015 show our continuing commitment to helping people tell their family stories. Our journal is produced wholly by a volunteer Editorial Team and special congratulations are due to our layout designer, Jay Wickham, and to our two articles sub-editors, Martin Playne and Barbara Beaumont, as well as all our contributing writers. Barbara accepted the Award on GSV’s behalf at the launch of National Family History Month this week and her report of this successful event is this week’s post. You can find out more about National Family History Month on AFFHO’s website HERE.
The Australian Federation of Family History Organisations (AFFHO) launched National Family History Month on Wednesday 1 August in Hobart. Vicki Montgomery, wearing her AFFHO hat, (she is Vice President of AFFHO as well as GSV Secretary), conducted the meeting. The building at 91 Murray St, Hobart is home to The National Archives of Australia and the State Library Archives Service. Short addresses by Celia Blake, Victorian and Tasmanian Director of the National Archives of Australia, and Caroline Homer, Manager of the State Library (Tasmania) Archives Service, emphasised the value of the co-location of these two organisations. Celia introduced us to some of the treasures available in the National Archives, then Caroline spoke about how Family History dovetails with the library’s aims and outlined some of the Archive Service’s current projects.
The Nick Vine Hall awards for the best family history journal/newsletter in Australia and New Zealand were then made. The GSV (yes us!) won the first prize in Category B, societies with a membership over five hundred. I was delighted to be able to go as a representative of our editorial team to accept the award. Look out for the beautiful plaque we were given when you next visit the Society.
The keynote address, ‘Why is Family History Important?’ was given by Dr. Dianne Snowden. Dianne’s entertaining talk drew on her own experiences of family history research and touched on several themes. Some that particularly appealed to me:
In her childhood her grandmother’s exercise book of recipes and names and the big family bible sparked her interest in family history, and this led on to formal study of history and a passion for conserving heritage.
Academic historians, once condescending about family history, were lately coming to see its value (when it is done correctly).
Researching one’s family enables us to make connections with family both past and present, and helps to develop one’s own sense of identity.
The afternoon concluded with a lavish afternoon tea.
Most of us research family members who lived in various parts of regional Victoria. Many descended from pioneers or from those who took up land after the gold rushes. But there was also a significant exodus of families to the country from ‘Marvellous Melbourne’ in the severe financial depression following the collapse of the banks in 1893. Others took up land under various Soldier Settlement schemes. So visiting regional Family History Societies and their collections often provides a valuable local insight into the lives of our country ancestors. The GSV has 48 associated Member Societies based in regional Victoria. You can find their contact details on the GSV website. Next time you plan a trip, call in and visit these local collections. You will receive plenty of help and add local colour to your research.
In this post we feature the Wodonga Family History Society. Visit their website HERE. They are holding their annual seminar and this is a great opportunity to visit this Society and the area.
FINDING AND PRESERVING MEMORIES
Saturday 1 September 2018, from 8.30 am to 4.00 pm.
Felltimber Community Centre, Ritter Rd, Wodonga.
The topics for the seminar will include:
Dating photographs –Barb Toohey and Sue Pillans. Barb and Sue are members of the Heraldry & Genealogy Society of Canberra.
The Life of Emigration – the processes and experiences of 19thcentury migration – Liz Rushen is the Chair of the History Council of Victoria, a social historian; Liz has published widely in the field of migration history.
Finding shipping records –Meg Bate is the Assistant Library Manager at The Genealogical Society of Victoria.
Restoring and preserving photos and documents –April Padbury. April holds an associate degree in Local and Applied History.
Exhibitors include Tony Stewart Photography, The Little Purple Dragon Scrapbooking, Archival Access, Eric Barton Books, Genealogical Society of Victoria, Officeworks Wodonga.
Cost $40, $35 earlybird, if booked and paid for by 3 August, WFHS members $35. Morning, afternoon tea and lunch provided.
Mail: Wodonga Family History Soc. Inc., PO Box 289, Wodonga, 3689.
A discount of $10 per room is offered for seminar attendees at the Murray Valley Motel, 196 Melbourne Road, Wodonga 3690; ph: 0260 241422; email: firstname.lastname@example.org
People wishing to take advantage of this offer should speak to either Christine or Dean and mention that they will be in Wodonga to attend the Wodonga Family History’s seminar.
The Wodonga Family History Society was formed thirty years ago.
On 8 May 1987 members of the Albury Historical Society and others met at St. Patrick’s Parish Church, Wodonga to establish a family history group. It began its life as the ‘Wodonga and Districts Group of the GSV’ on the 15 June 1988, with an inaugural meeting at the Wodonga High School attended by thirty-seven genealogically-minded people, seventeen of whom were already members of the GSV. In 1992 the group was incorporated as the ‘Wodonga Family History Society Inc.’
The Society’s logo was created in July 1989, the result of the combined efforts of April Padbury, Wayne Bedella, Gavan Brown, and Susanne Pendlebury. It was designed to represent the areas of the district and the four points of the compass. Membership reached 100 in May 1996 and now fluctuates around this number as people complete their research and new members join up. A total of at least 508 members have passed through the Society since its inception.
The Society established a research collection and is actively involved in preserving and transcribing local records for access by present and future generations. Details of their holdings are on their website.
The website was launched on the 9 September 2004 and has been a resounding success with over 54,600 visitors to date. Meeting places have varied but in March 2000 they began holding their meetings at the Felltimber Community Centre. Almost every year the Society has held a major seminar or event and in 2001 they hosted the Fourth Victorian State Family History Conference, which ran for three days and was attended by 150 people. The Society also sponsors two story writing competitions, the Townsend Trophy which commenced in 1996 in memory of Gwen Townsend, and which is run every two years, and the Wayne Bedella Trophy in memory of our former President, which is run yearly.
The WFHS research and reference collection is held in the Upper Murray Regional Library, Hovell Street, Wodonga. The collection is open to the public at set times three days per week and there is always a willing member there to help.
WFHS Meetings: 7.30 pm on the 3rd Tuesday of each month at Felltimber Community Centre, Ritter Rd, Wodonga. Gold coin donation. Visitors are always welcome.
Springtime is a great time to explore any family links in this region and join the Wodonga Family History Society at this year’s Seminar.
Post expires at 12:43pm on Friday 28 December 2018
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.
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.