Business as usual – well close!

The Geelong Family History Group has been a ‘virtual’ / online family history group since we closed our Research rooms and Library in 2006.  APART from our Monthly meetings everything we have done since then was online.  That’s why I say … Business as usual – well close.

The ONLY thing different at the moment is that our Monthly (physical) Meetings have been deferred BUT we are still enjoying our speakers already scheduled at our publicised ‘Monthly Meetings‘.  Those speakers are very generously pre-recording their presentations which I release to our Members (and non Members if speakers agree) on the day of our normal scheduled meeting.

That means that Members can enjoy our speakers’ presentations when it is convenient.  They don’t have to be online at a specific time for these presentations.  For our next meeting – 22nd April 2020 – we are also going to have a ZOOM meeting for those who wish to join in.  If you’re interested, email me (Susie Zada, GFHG Secretary).

The MOST important thing – we still have access to ALL our Research Resources – so we are able to provide both of our Research Requests options.

From the various facebook pages and mailing lists it is obvious that many Family Historians are making the most of their ‘spare time’ to do more on their Family History.


  • Members get free quick look-ups
  • Members get half-price Research Requests ($10 instead of $20)
  • Anyone can request a free first check of our GFHG Research Files – see procedures.
  • We encourage everyone to check the Geelong and District Database – it’s free with more than 1.7 million entries for the extended Geelong District region!  And make sure you read the Tips, Warnings and Info to get the most out of your search.
  • If you then look at the GFHG Research Files Catalogue you’ll see which entries are included in the GFHG Research Files request and all those extras.  You may find that a GFHG Research Files request works out more economical than a standard Research Request or you may find that a more focussed Research Request is a better option.  REMEMBER that the Geelong Heritage Centre is currently closed so some resources are unaccessible to us unless we have our own copies.  We also have many resources not available at the Geelong Heritage Centre.

When do things get back to normal?  That is probably the main question on everyones’ lips about everything.  Obviously the libraries need to re-open but when we can recommence meetings will be a library decision and not automatically once each library re-opens.

In the meantime we will keep providing IMPORTANT extra options for our members and supporters.

  • We are providing pre-recorded presentations by our advertised monthly speakers.
  • We are going to have short ZOOM meetings on our normal monthly meeting times and dates – to keep in touch, ask family history / research questions and advice, and keep you up-to-date with special access to various sites during isolation periods.
  • Members now have online access to ALL journals the Geelong Family History Group receives each month.
  • Our Pivot Tree journal is being provided to all our members as a digital PDF file until we are able to get them printed and Members can collect them at our meeting.

If you have any questions, please email me (Susie Zada, GFHG Secretary).

If you are not already following this Blog, subscribe to our Blog so you will be notified of any changes.

Join our Geelong and District Mailing List to keep up with other news for Family and Local Historians or join the Victorian Mailing List for broader topics.  I’m List Admin for both of these lists and will be a tad more lenient on topics during our period of isolation.

Most importantly – keep in touch!

Posted in Event, Family history, Family History Research, GFHG Web Site | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

If you thought March was going to be quiet – think again!

Discounted certificates for the month of March

To say thank you to our valued family historians, the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages Victoria (BDM Victoria) are offering downloadable uncertified historical certificates for $20 each for the entire month of March.

This is a saving of $4.50 per certificate.

You can also subscribe to BDM Victoria’s mailing list for future offers, updates about system improvements and user guidance.

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DNA in Focus – and in Plain English

DNA, or deoxyribonucleic acid, is more commonly referred to as Genetic Genealogy.  And if you can’t remember, or pronounce, the full meaning of DNA, it won’t impede your ability to doing DNA research.

Thinking of taking a DNA test?

Already taken a DNA test and need to understand your results?

Just need a new angle to tackle your results?

Why not join me at 6.30 pm this Tuesday – 11th February 2020 – at the Belmont Library.  Still time to book for this FREE presentation?

There are two outcomes from a DNA test for family history purposes: Ethnicity estimates and DNA Matches.  This presentation looks at both outcomes but with more emphasis on DNA Matches and how you solve your family history puzzles.  It is also very important to be aware of the impact of doing a DNA test that can impact you, your family and others.

This presentation will be suitable for people who have not yet done a DNA test; those who have done a test and are overwhelmed or don’t understand the results; as well as those who have made some progress with their DNA results but need more help.

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New exciting Research option

The Geelong Family History Group now offers TWO options for paid Research.  Both options cost $20 ($10 for Members).  You can request either Research option or both.  Today we’re announcing the second and most exciting addition for people researching in the Geelong and District region.

For those not sure of the area this covers –  it is in Victoria, Australia.  The boundaries are not rigid but basically cover an arc from the Otways up to a little south of Ballarat, across to Werribee and all points to the south east of that area.  Many of the web sites, databases and indexes cover this area, others are more focussed on specific areas, and some are relevant to all of Victoria.

  1. Research Requests – the traditional research option
    A Research Request enables you to identify the type of information you are looking for.  Geelong Family History Group Research Officers have extensive research experience and have access to an incredible range of local family history resources including those previously available at our former library and research centre.  READ FULL DETAILS
  2. GFHG Research Files – the exciting new option
    The GFHG Research Files enable you to search 665 documents containing more than 56,000 scanned pages for a SURNAME or PLACE NAME or SUBJECT and you choose the TEN PAGES you want.  READ FULL DETAILS

Users should also check the Geelong and District Database.  This free to search database contains more than 1.7 million records, many of which came from the numerous indexes created by the Geelong Family History Group since 1981.

The GFHG Research Files Catalogue List gives information about the documents included in Option 2 – the GFHG Research Files.

The GFHG Research Files option has taken a full year to prepare – I had a vision of what it could provide but even I was overwhelmed with how well the whole project worked!

At some stages during the year my lounge / dining room floor was covered with boxes of documents – 3 tiers high.  I created a tunnel between the armchair and the television so I could actually sit down to watch it!  The main image is just a small quantity (perhaps 10%) of the documents scanned to create this project.

ENJOY!  It results are really amazing.

Posted in Family history, Family History Research, GFHG Web Site, Local History | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

GFHG Members’ Surnames of Interest

Members of the Geelong Family History Group have submitted their Surnames of Interest.

People who may be researching the same families can contact GFHG Members – read the details.

Posted in Family history, Family History Research, GFHG Web Site | Tagged , | 1 Comment

NSW Research Seminar – Sunday 27th October 2019

The Geelong Family History Group are holding a NSW Research Seminar:

When: Sunday 27th October 2019, 10.00 – 4.00 pm

Where: Meeting Room, Waurn Ponds Library, 230 Pioneer Rd, Waurn Ponds. [NOTE: correct street number]

Cost: $15.00 per person ($10.00 GFHG Members)

Bookings are essential – GFHG A5 folded brochure.

IMPORTANT: New South Wales originally included the areas we now know as Victoria, Tasmania, Queensland, Australian Capital Territory, Northern Territory and New Zealand – what you will learn in this seminar can also help you with your research in these States, Territories and Country.


  • Susie Zada, Secretary Geelong Family History Group, Researcher and Historian
  • Heather Garnsey, Executive Officer, Society of Australian Genealogists
  • Danielle Lautrec, Education Officer and Archives Officer, Society of Australian Genealogists
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Don’t miss this!

Happy National Family History Month!  The Registry of Births Deaths and Marriages Victoria has just announced a terrific gift for ALL family history researchers for NFHM!

Click on the image at the right to find out more!

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Reminder – important news

Just a reminder to all Geelong Family History Group members and followers – here are two blogs that you really need to read and absorb!

These are both REALLY important:

If you decide to go to the Victorian Archives Centre on Friday 2nd August – or any other time – one of the easiest methods is to catch the train from Geelong to Footscray and then jump on the 402 bus outside Footscray Station – takes you to North Melbourne – a very easy trip!

Make sure you subscribe to both Blogs and keep up-to-date with important information:

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VAFHO – Frances Brown Award

At the VAFHO Expo in Hamilton on Saturday, Susie Zada, from the Geelong Family History Group, was presented with the Association’s Frances Brown Award.

The Award is made by VAFHO to an individual who has made a significant contribution to Family History in Victoria.  The Award is named in recognition of the work of Frances Brown as Genealogy Librarian at the State Library of Victoria, and also in founding VAFHO.

The Geelong Family History Group was pleased to make the nomination in view of Susie’s outstanding contribution to Family History over many years, not only in the Geelong region, but to Victoria generally.  Susie was also nominated by the Genealogical Society of Victoria.

Congratulations Susie!

David Wilson
President, Geelong Family History Group.

The Frances Brown Award

The Frances Brown Award Winners

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Important news from Vic Registry of BDMs

We now have direct contact with senior management at the Victorian Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages.

To keep abreast of the current and changing status of the Vic BDM website and searches, follow the VAFHO (Victorian Association of Family History Organisations) Blog site at:

Simply search for BDM to locate current and previous blogs on this subject.

Posted in Event, Family history, Family History Research | Tagged , , | 1 Comment