Heritage environment, cemetery, and award – WINNERS!


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Moonah Walk, Queenscliff CemeteryBack on 25 September 2016 I posted a blog with the above title minus the last bit … [ – WINNERS! ] .

The new title with its addition says it all – the Geelong Cemeteries Trust won the 2016 Premier’s Sustainability Award for the category of Environmental Protection.

Congratulations to the Geelong Cemeteries Trust.  And for all of you family history researchers make sure you look at the GCT online searchable database for the large number of cemeteries that come under their care.

You’ll also find some very useful background information on their research page.

GCT recipientsThe award

It’s history week and this is OUR history


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2000 - Ocean Grove races

Image: downunder exposures

By “our” I mean Ocean Grove – a lovely corner of Paradise on the Bellarine Peninsula – right beside Bass Strait.

Because it’s unique in Australia, it really is wider than our “local” history so I’ve put it up on my Geelong and District Blog and decided it should also be here.

And there is no denying that the annual even drew the crowds – just look at the photo!

The FULL story and digitised Race Books can be found on my web site.

A VERY unique and important part of our history!

Victoria, Inquest Deposition Files 1840-1925 – online


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Sample of Victoria Inquest Deposition FileGot an itch to do some research this weekend?  There are limitations – you can’t print or download – BUT if you want to look at Inquest Deposition Files for Victoria 1840-1925 online just go to the under-utilised FamilySearch site.

At the moment you CAN view these on the Public Record Office web site but they are not easy to locate.  It won’t be long before these records are fully searchable and the files will be online on the PROV web site.  And of course don’t forget to look at the NEW BETA web site for PROV – give them some feedback on this exciting new change.  Try some of your inquest searches on the new web site – be prepared for a surprise – you’ll find some online that you can view.

Try the FamilySearch web site for the Victorian Inquest Deposition Files 1840-1925.

And don’t blame me if your weekend just disappears!

Heritage environment, cemetery, and award


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GCT Moonah Memorial WalkIt’s not often that these words are all part of one story but they are!  The Geelong Cemeteries Trust is a finalist  in the Environmental Protection category of the 2016 Premier’s Sustainability Awards.

Individuals can participate in the People’s Choice Award and vote for the magnificent Moonah Memorial Walk – part of the Queenscliff Cemetery managed by the Geelong Cemeteries Trust.

The Queenscliff Moonah Memorial Walk is a magical area in the Queenscliff Cemetery – read about this project of the Geelong Cemeteries Trust.

And while you’re looking at the Geelong Cemeteries Trust web site, have a look at the cemeteries managed by the Trust – then do a search for your ancestors as most of these cemeteries are indexed and mapped on the GCT Deceased Search site.  Also read about researching burials during the early years of the Geelong Eastern Cemetery.

Don’t forget to vote for the GCT Moonah Memorial Walk.

Don Grant Memorial Lecture 2016


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Grannie FERRISSince I presented the 2016 Don Grant Memorial Lecture for VAFHO (Victorian Association of Family History Organisations at the Family History Feast at the State Library of Victoria I’ve received a heap of emails.  Many saying how much they enjoyed my presentation and others asking when the presentation would be put online on the SLV web site.

  • I would like to thank everyone for their very kind emails and comments.
  • I would like to say how much of an honour it was to be invited to present the annual Don Grant Memorial Lecture
  • It was also a great honour to have Don’s widow, Lorraine, his daughter Ally, and his grand-daughter in the front row for my presentation.

My presentation titled ‘Grannie Ferris: midwife, nurse, doctor and undertaker‘ is now online on the State Library of Victoria web site.  Above is a photo of the formidable looking Grannie Ferris.

Some of my presentation related to the registers of Nurses and Midwives appearing in the Victoria Government Gazettes – this was the subject of an earlier blog I published on these registers.

During my presentation I also mentioned the two web sites from which you can download these detailed registers:

A special bonus for family history organisations who are members of VAFHO:

Send a USB to VAFHO with a stamped self-address envelope requesting a copy of the files mentioned in the presentation and the earlier blog site.  These files have been updated through Acrobat so that you can search ONCE in the folder containing all of these 70+ files – the search will search each individual file.

Enjoy!  And thank you to VAFHO and SLV for inviting me to present the 2016 Don Grant Memorial Lecture.

How old is history?


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Which bag is it in?I posted a blog a couple of weeks ago [ #sun7 ] lamenting the demise of Hobart on Sunrise in the order of weather on the info strip at the bottom of the screen.

History has been made in more ways than one!  I’m not sure if it happened earlier this week but I definitely noticed it this morning – Hobart is back in it’s rightful place.  I could be forgiven not spotting it earlier this week as Monday morning I picked up the keys to my new home [renting a lovely unit in South Geelong].  Needless to say I’ve been a tad busy but this morning I woke in my own bed in my new home and had a lazy lie-in watching Sunrise … and I nearly fell out of bed – Hobart came after Darwin and before Melbourne – exactly where it should be!  It really felt like all was right with the world … and Hobart.

BUT another bit of history is being made NOW as I type – this if the first blog I’ve posted from my new home.  I confess – the computer is all hooked up and working on my kitchen bench while I sort out the new office [spare bedroom] etc. but I can’t spend too long chatting – the list of chores is LONG.

I have separate pages on my dining room table to write on – complete with pen handy:

  • PU – OG [pick up from Ocean Grove – still emptying and cleaning out old place]
  • PU – Newcomb [while I was waiting 3 weeks to get the keys to here, every trip to Geelong meant a car loaded with boxes and items – the storage unit is only 5 minutes from here, so saving a lot of petrol and packing time]
  • FIND – I remember seeing it in … that bag or that box!  See the image at the top!
  • BUY – either essential items for the unit or perhaps some food!
  • TASKS – essential tasks here – cleaning or re-arranging before I bring in more things to trip over
  • TO-DO – essential things – like ring the Salvos for a pick-up, etc.

OK – TASKS and TO-DO items are yelling very loudly so this is enough blogging for now – I’ve created history so I must move on.

OH – and my pussy cat is yelling loudly – currently locked in the bathroom until I let him explore his new home further – probably tonight when I’ve stopped going in and out the doors every two minutes!  Best thing is that he was allowed to live with me in my new home.

Happy, tired, contented …

Victorian Schools Names and Numbers


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A major index that’s been added to the Geelong & District Database covers a little more than our region – in fact it covers all of Victoria – hence it’s reason for this appearing on my wider blog.  You can search for any Victorian school [pre 1975] by number or [part] name.  And of course if they are schools in the Geelong district you may find more than just the new entries from Vision and Realisation.  You also have a second option – rather than searching our database, you can download PDF files by name or number:

Details on these indexes can be found in the Geelong & District Potpourri pages.

And don’t forget to search again for your ancestors in the Geelong & District Database – they could have been in the last load of additions!

How old is history?


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HobartHave you ever pondered “how old is history” and then is Hobart history?  [ It’s all about #sun7 ].  If something annoyed me last year and it’s changed in the meantime does that make it history?  If we don’t record it, this history will be lost forever!

What am I babbling on about?

This might seem trivial and perhaps it’s due to my lack of sleep and a frantic period in my life – packing up all household goods after more than nine years and downsizing.  That’s why I’m having a garage sale tomorrow [Saturday 30 April] – and I’m exhausted already!

I’m even having to sell a huge part of my library – reference, local history, genealogy, architecture etc.  If I get time tonight I might update the list – there’s a HEAP more to add – but will I be up all night anyway?  I guess if there’s a particular book you want it’s always worth asking if I have it for sale – yes, it’s a BIG library!

So what has all this got to do with Hobart and what’s been driving me nuts for some time!

I think I have a personality best classified as ‘méthode Poirot’ – that’s how Poirot often solved his cases – if it was out of order then it was a clue.  I’m into order and method – I’m also a “list” person – I create lists about anything and everything.  Is that why I live and breathe databases and indexes?

Okay – back to HOBART.  If you ever watch Sunrise on Channel 7, do you pay attention to that strip across the bottom of the screen?  I’ve even researched it – an official name could be Chyron but it’s also referred to by a variety of names such as ‘info strip’ or ‘news ticker’ and so the list goes on.

During Sunrise it’s an orange strip in 3 sections – the largest section on the left has News, then there is weather info and then the time.  My angst is with the weather which itself includes three components: city, expected temperature, and a weather symbol.  It’s in alphabetic order but actually it isn’t and that’s where poor old Hobart becomes part of history.

I’m sure we all remember when Tasmania has been left off the map of Australia – not once but numerous times – just Google ‘Tasmania left off map of Australia’!

I’m fairly certain [could be wrong – it has happened on the odd occasion] that I first noticed this last year.

Let’s go through the capital cities of Australia in alphabetical order: ADE, BRI, CAN, DAR, HOB, MEL, PER, SYD.

On Sunrise [ #sun7 ] – it went like this: ADE, BRI, CAN, DAR, MEL, HOB, PER, SYD.  It drove me nuts for ages and just when it was getting too much to bear, recently it changed to: ADE, BRI, CAN, DAR, MEL, PER, HOB, SYD !

Why does this matter – I’m sure Hercule Poirot would have something to say about this.  But if you’re buzzing around doing things and just glancing at the screen now and again waiting to check on the MELBOURNE forecast – it comes after HOBART – doesn’t it?  Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo !

Should I let such a small thing bother me?  Of course not.  But it DOES !

Did someone at #sun7 suddenly realise that HOBART shouldn’t come between MELBOURNE and PERTH and fixed it?  Fixed it even worse????

OK – I’ll get off my soap box – I needed a little light relief before a HUGE day today and tomorrow and now I’m laughing VERY loudly.

Of course I now have a new problem – I have to keep watching that tricky little Chyron waiting for someone to fix it … will they???

Nurses and Midwives in Victoria


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Nurse B.P. Frankston, VictoriaI spotted a post on Facebook and was going to check my files when I realised that I should do a blog with the details for others to research their nurses or midwives.

And while we’re at it, someone might know the identity of the nurse in the photo.  The image is from the State Library of Victoria collection [H2006.188/34] and it states she is a young woman, identified only as “B.P. from – a nurse from Frankston, Victoria”.  The photo was taken in 1900.

The files I mentioned?  Some years ago I spent many hours searching for and finding these files – hence I recorded them in a couple of spreadsheets.

The Victorian Government Gazette included lists of Midwives and lists of Nurses generally annually in the 20th century – it wasn’t always easy finding them hence my reason for keeping a record of them.  The two best places for finding and downloading the relevant Victorian Government Gazette :

Most of the lists are alphabetical BUT DON’T STOP at “Z” because you may be reading the initial list of those added to the register, then there may be a list of those removed from the register, then those who changed their names [i.e. by getting married], and others who changed their address.  All wonderful information for family historians and researchers.  Now and again the Gazette will include the entire list of everyone registered and year of registration.  Some lists include their date of registration.

I haven’t had the need to search but I presume that all states would have had this type of register in their Government Gazettes.  And of course Nurses and Midwives weren’t the only lists: Railway employees being one occupation that comes to mind.  If they had to be “registered” or were Government employees, then LOOK FOR THEM!  There are Dentists, Doctors … the list goes on and on.

So back to my lists – the reason I looked for them and then downloaded them was to select [with help from some of my wonderful volunteers] any nurses or midwives and therefore add them to my Geelong & District Database.  Women aren’t easy to trace and midwives in particular were some of the women who didn’t have to give up their job when they married.

You also learn what files may contain by being observant – e.g. I included page numbers / ranges – this might give you the clue as to whether it was a yearly register or a complete register.  Have a look at the Nurses board for 31 December 1935 – page range is 2051-2135 – that’s more than 80 pages – whereas 1929 is less than 20 pages.  The 1935 list includes ALL nurses registered at that time.

As the tables didn’t transfer well into this blog, I’ve created a PDF file for each which you can download:

Enjoy researching your nurses and midwives!

Norfolk Island library


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NorfolkIslandMy library is still too large and this time I’m putting up my Norfolk Island collection of books for sale – there are 99 items available.  It is a VERY large collection that covers Norfolk Island, Pitcairn Island, HMS Bounty, Van Diemen’s Land, and convicts.  Many of the publications are very rare and not readily available.

Prices are less than, and often considerably less than, second hand online prices.

You can download the Norfolk Island list and decide if there are any that you want to move to your library!


  • If someone requests and pays for any items, they are no longer available for others – first in, best dressed.
  • Items can be collected from me on the Bellarine Peninsula [in Victoria] or posted – obviously I will need to check the weight and destination to confirm postage costs which will be added to the price of the book(s).
  • Items must be paid for before they can be posted or collected – direct Internet banking is the preferred option – other options charge too much which considerably reduces the amount I receive.
  • If you wish I can provide contacts of others who have purchased some of my books – they will vouch for me!

If you wish to get in touch and/or purchase any books, you can CONTACT ME HERE.

In case you haven’t worked it out yet, the majority of my books are for history, genealogy, and research.