This image is of Ocean Grove shows the main shopping strip – The Terrace – from the corner of Presidents Avenue near the bottom right up to the intersection with Hodgson Street at the top left. The building at the top left is the Corner Store on the south east corner of The Terrace.
When you’re at that stage in your research that you’re sure something should exist but you just can’t find it – sit back and think quietly and logically – and if you’re still stuck – ASK! I’m not simply talking about asking questions on Facebook – and don’t get me wrong I personally have had a lot of success on Facebook and hopefully helped many others with their questions.
I’m talking about asking experts – and sometimes more than one expert – two or more brains are often better than one!
I’ve mentioned this in a previous blog – Ask a librarian – it’s wonderful! And there have been many other occasions where the opportunity to ask a librarian has been an absolute gold-mine.
This time I was stuck with some land records from the Public Record Office Victoria – VPRS 460.
I also made a big MISTAKE – I didn’t read and understand the description for VPRS 460: Applications for Certificate of Title. I merely groaned and said … “Murphy’s Law – the ones I want aren’t there!”
I had quickly read the description that said …
Note that VPRS 460/P0 units 3213 to 30298 do not exist.
I had incorrectly presumed that the FILES I wanted weren’t there whereas the description stated that the UNITS weren’t there!
If you read the description now, you could be forgiven for saying I was silly not to read the next couple of sentences which were perfectly clear. BUT I wasn’t that silly, I’m just grateful that PROV have since updated the description in the catalogue so others don’t make the same mistake that I did.
After I ASKED for help, the verbal explanation made perfect sense … part way through the consignment [P0], they had changed the way the Application files were catalogued – initially UNITS equated to boxes which contained numerous FILES. From Application File Number 30299, each FILE was a UNIT.
The Application files EXIST – all the ones I’d grumbled about as “missing” were there! My big mistake – I didn’t read the Description properly and I didn’t ASK!
And why are these files so important? The contents can be amazing.
The ACTUAL Application files are currently in the Land Titles archives at Laverton – the General Law Library for the Registrar General Office documents. The SUPPORTING documents are at PROV. From the PROV description of VPRS 460:
If the researcher holds a certificate of title for the piece of land, then the application number may be marked on that certificate. If present, the number may be shown with the words, for example, “derived from application number 12345”.
This series consists of the files created to record the progress of applications to bring land alienated from the Crown prior to 2 October 1862 into the Torrens system of land registration.
VPRS 460 at PROV contains the details and background documents. At the beginning of this blog is an image of a death certificate. Why? In VPRS 460, together with a Statutory Declaration they were evidence as to why the family of the late John MACKEN / McKIE had no claim to the land. In fact the Stat Dec gave amazing details of John MACKEN’s life and work on the property in question.
portion of the said land has been and is now used as a cemetery
Not exactly what you expect to find but it had been claimed that two people were buried on the property. Other documents in the VPRS 460 file also refer to this private burial ground.
Now do you understand why I love finding VPRS 460 Application files?
And I am so glad that I ASKED!
A little over a month ago I came across this beautiful photograph of the Miller’s Family Hotel – one of my favourites and included in my book Hotels of the Bellarine Peninsula. The image was from the State Library Victoria online collection – H2002.198/72
One thing I noticed was that there was no location recorded for this image so I was in the process of contacting the State Library when I noticed the ‘creator’ – G. G. M., photographer.
On further investigation there were 121 images attributed to G.G.M. with a number being around the Bellarine Peninsula. I have a web page identifying all photographers in Geelong and District and G.G.M. wasn’t included in my list.
I checked the two main references for photographers in Australia – The Mechanical Eye in Australia: Photography 1841-1900, Alan Davies & Peter Stanbury, 1985, and Australians Behind the Camera: Directory of Early Australian Photographers 1841 to 1945, Sandy Barrie, 2002.
There was one possible entry: George G MURRAY (New York Studio / New York Photo Co.:
- 246 Collins Street, Melbourne 1903-06
- 244 Collins Street, Melbourne 1908
- 28 Union Street, Brunswick 1912-19
- 28 Union Street, Brunswick 1936-37
The G.G.M. images in the SLV catalogue were dated ca 1914 – ca 1916 however Gerard, a Librarian from the SLV Pictures Collection, has positively identified one of these images to November 1906. In fact Gerard has provided a great deal of information including the fact that the donor of this collection and numerous SLV staff had spent a great deal of time trying to identify G.G.M.
Another clue from Gerard and other librarians from the SLV Pictures Collection was that perhaps G.G.M. ‘might have been a skilled and ambitious amateur rather than a full-blown professional. There is something amateurish in the way he inscribes his initials on the negatives.’
In addition to numerous locations, G.G.M.’s images include many people – I think perhaps these are of his parents and siblings. I wonder if family historians / genealogists can help solve this conundrum? Certainly someone related to this family would discover a number of images of members of their family.
People mentioned (could be siblings):
- Alan (also in AIF uniform)
- Bert (also in AIF uniform)
- Portarlington, Vic
- Clifton Springs, Vic
- Kyneton, Vic
- Healesville, Vic
- Coburg, Vic
- Brunswick, Vic
- Lilydale, Vic
- Richmond, Vic
- Melbourne, Vic
- Beaconsfield, Vic
- Badgers Creek, Vic
- Williamstown, Vic
- Fern Tree Gully, Vic
- Sassafras, Vic
- West Gippsland, Vic
- Belgrave, Vic
- Coogoo, NSW
- Dubbo, NSW
Property / house name:
- River Lea
- River Lea and Mount Toolebewong? (shown in the background)
The results show 118 images but a couple of those have two images in the link.
So are you up to the challenge? Who was G. G. M., photographer.
Sharing G. G. M., photographer might unearth family members who recognise the family and siblings.
Do you know how wonderful it is to wear a pair of shoes for the first time in more than 3 months? Obviously VERY low heels – but I’ve long given up wearing high heels anyway.
BUT, most importantly, the swelling is down enough for me to actually get my feet in the shoes. A couple of visits to the physio and meticulously doing my exercises have paid off!
Still need lots more exercises and physio appointments to get me back to where I was but well on the way.
And I AM VERY HAPPY!
We’re on the last leg and yes – I’m double dipping again. I’m trying to reach as many people as possible to achieve the target amount and target deadline for the Geelong & District crowd-funding project.
Help if you can – it doesn’t have to be a large amount – multiple small amounts soon add up!
Since 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:
- Victoria Government Gazette 1836-1997 – State Library of Victoria
- Victorian Government Gazette 1843-1999 – Austlii – Australasian Legal Information Institute
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.
That blog went to my Facebook page and my Twitter account. It was then re-Tweeted through Swinburne and since then word has spread via Social Media far and wide.
The result – oh yes, we definitely have results.
Have a look at the updated detailed Timeline to see the amazing results.
Social media works … thank you everyone who has contributed to this wonderful outcome!
What triggered this was someone implying that I wasn’t prepared to get off my backside and learn and suggested that I wanted to be spoon-fed. As she doesn’t know me, I won’t even bother to retaliate!
And my favourite saying? …
If you don’t learn something new every day …
you’re just not listening to the rest of the world.
Q. What am I trying to find?
A. A photo of the house shown as “Loughtaine” in the attached Melbourne Metropolitan Board of Works sewerage plan. NOTE: this house had a number of different names, and spellings, in it’s lifetime.
Where is it located? North west corner of Burwood Road and John Street, Hawthorn, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.
When was it built? Possibly mid 1860s – demolished 1915 or later.
Where might we find a photo? It’s quite probable that family photos of the different families who lived there or owned it might show the interior or exterior of the property in the background!
Have a look at the really detailed Timeline I’ve produced to-date [updated Saturday 25th April 2015] – this might give you many clues on where to look.
The family names are [but not limited to]:
- HOOKE, John Swaine
- MOLLOY, William Thomas Doctor
- McMULLEN, Hamilton Doctor
- SPARLING, William Augustus Doctor
- DOYLE, Patrick Doctor
- ANDERSON, Eugene Wilton Doctor
- CHERRY, Charles Cummins Veterinary Surgeon
The House names are [but not limited to]:
- Robe Villa
- Loughtaine or Loughtain
- Lungile or Lungille
Can you help find this elusive photo?