‘Finding and Preserving Memories’ seminar at Wodonga 1 September

 

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.

Contact:          Wendy:  0447 035 725 or 0260 563 220. Norma:  0448 356 125

Email:              secretary@wodongafamilyhistory.org

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: admin@murrayvalleymotel.com

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.

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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.

WFHS members with new research publications 2015

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.

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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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Maryborough’s gold-rush newspapers to go online

It’s pretty cold in Melbourne so it’s good to be reminded of colder places in Victoria, but it’s also great to hear of genealogical activities in those places. In this post Robyn Ansell, a member of GSV, the Maryborough Midlands and Creswick historical societies and the Chinese Australian Family Historians of Victoria (CAFHOV) lets us know of new online records being created to help researchers.

Robyn ‘s great grandfather William Henry Ah Whay came to Maryborough as a teenager from China around 1860. He lived there for 60 years, marrying a young girl from the Creswick Black Lead Chinese camp and fathering eleven children.

Whay family fruiterer and refreshment rooms, High St, Maryborough, c.1918-1922 (Courtesy R. Ansell)

Teachers, students and residents of Maryborough, Victoria, past and present will later this year be able to read the Maryborough newspaper online for eleven years of the gold-rush period 1857 to 1867. It will be made available through the National Library of Australia on the Trove website. The State Library of Victoria, which holds the microfilms from 1857 onwards, will send the microfilms to Canberra for digitisation.

Ballarat, Bendigo, Castlemaine and Beechworth, other significant Victorian goldfields towns, have newspapers for the goldrush period on Trove. To provide comparable Trove coverage for Maryborough will make a rich goldfields history resource available worldwide online to researchers and family historians. The World War I period 1914 to 1918 is already available on Trove. Users can easily browse the newspaper and download selected pages or individual articles.

The Maryborough-Midlands Historical Society holds many decades of the Maryborough and Dunolly Advertiser in hard copy, however the paper is fragile. It is expected that digitisation will reduce the need for people to handle the hard copies for 1857 to 1867.

The Local History Grants program which will pay for the digitisation is funded annually by the Public Records Office of Victoria. The successful application was made by the Chinese Australian Family Historians of Victoria, CAFHOV, which was established in 2001. Many Australians are descended from Chinese who came to Australia in the last 150 years but may not know about this element of their heritage. They have been discovering it through genealogical research and DNA testing. The Facebook page and website for CAFHOV may be of assistance to them. https://www.facebook.com/cafhov  and  http://www.cafhov.com

Other links : 

The Maryborough Midlands Historical Society

You can find them on Facebook  ‘Worsley Cottage’ and read about them at Culture Victoria website https://cv.vic.gov.au/organisations/maryborough-midlands-historical-society/

Maryborough Family History Group Inc. http://www.visitmaryborough.com.au/arts-culture-heritage/maryborough-family-history-group-1

Worsley Cottage, Maryborough Midlands Historical Society

 

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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

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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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Family history and DNA focus group – invitation to participate.

For GSV members only –  25 and 27 July.

We need YOU to help us understand how genetics is understood.

 

 

 

 

 

  • Have you had your DNA tested for family history?
  • Are you interested in having your DNA tested for family history investigation?
  • Are you worried about issues to do with privacy, ethics and bio data?
  • Has testing your DNA changed your family history story?

Free of charge. Maximum of 12 participants. Bookings are essential and can be made online, http://www.gsv.org.au, by email, gsv@gsv.org.au, by phone 9662 4455 or in person at the GSV (9.00 am to 4.00 pm Mon – Fri).



Research Leader: Dr Jerome de Groot, Manchester University. The “Double-Helix” project is investigating what people think about genetic science and how it affects them. In particular, the project is interested in talking with family historians about their experiences of commercial DNA services offered by MyHeritageDNA or Ancestry.com.

Two separate focus groups will be run at the GSV Research and Education Centre on 25th and 27th July. These are discussion groups for people to share their experiences. The sessions will be structured debate and discussion, encouraging participants to share their experiences.

The discussions will be recorded for research purposes. Any use of the discussion will be agreed with participants. No biodata or information relating to genetic data will be sought.

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