No research rooms but LOTS of research resources

It is more than ten years since the Geelong Family History Group vacated its library and research centre however in that time access to Research resources has escalated.

For our meetings we have access to state of the art facilities in the meeting room at the Belmont Library – WiFi for interactive sessions using the data projection facilities.

It has also meant that our volunteers have been able to put their energy into making resources available online to our members and local history researchers.

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A daytime talk – female ancestors – midwives and nurses

For those members unable to get to our meetings at night, you can come to a free talk on researching female ancestors, particularly Midwives and Nurses on Wednesday 16th May, 2018 at 1.00 pm at Newcomb.

Full details can be found on the Geelong and District Blog.

Attendees will be given access to a surprise / special bonus!

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Searching for records on PROV website

Some people have struggled with the changes to the PROV (Public Record Office Victoria) website – help is at hand.

The blog might refer to searching for Yarrawonga but it could easily be Geelong or Gippsland – just follow these simple steps to search for any place or name.

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GFHG going to VAFHO Family History Expo in Sale, April, 2018

The Geelong Family History Group will be an exhibitor at the VAFHO Family History Expo in April.

Have a look at the options for getting there by train.

Of course another option from Geelong is to catch the ferry across from Queenscliff!

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A daytime talk – Point Henry

For those members unable to get to our meetings at night, you can come to a free talk on Point Henry on Wednesday 21st February, 2018 at 1.00 pm at Newcomb.

Full details can be found on the Geelong and District Blog.

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Australia Will Be There

We have received an invitation from Deakin University:

The Shrine of Remembrance Trustees and Deakin University Library are pleased to invite you to attend the launch of Australia Will Be There, the centenary touring exhibition from the Shrine of Remembrance.

Drawn from major collections and from families of those who served, over 100 photos from the era serve to illustrate the stories and contributions of Victorians to the First World War, and increase our understanding of this critical time in our history.

The event will be held on Wednesday, 7 February at 2pm in the Atrium, Geelong Waterfront Campus. Please RSVP: https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/australia-will-be-there-victorians-in-the-first-world-war-1914-1919-tickets-42731382716

I hope to see you there!

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GFHG – how to get FREE months of membership

The Geelong Family History Group is typical of most Family History Societies in Australia and around the world – run by enthusiastic and dynamic volunteers.  We think we’re special because we are THE Family History Group in Geelong, Victoria, Australia.

The Geelong region is chock-a-block full of history and is the second largest immigration site in Victoria – only Melbourne was larger.  Before and after the discovery of gold, Geelong (through Point Henry) was the mecca of immigrants and activity.  Our region is literally a gold-mine for family history researchers.  Our newspaper, the Geelong Advertiser, has been published continuously since it began in October 1840.

All of that and more are really good reasons to become a member of the Geelong Family History Group.

The BEST reason to become a member?  We run on a financial year for membership – renewals of membership are due on July 1st each year.  If you join NOW, you do not have to renew your membership until 1st July 2019 – that means you get FIVE months free membership.  Join anytime between January and 1st July 2018 and you’ll get a number of months free – the earlier you join, the more months you get free.

Have a look at all the benefits of membership and join us now – you won’t regret it!

The Geelong & District Database which contains more than 1.7 MILLION records is full of hundreds of indexes compiled by the Geelong Family History Group since its formation in 1981, and many more recent indexes transcribed by volunteers from the Family History Group.  The GFHG Research Officer has access to the source of these indexes and much more.

Is this a sales pitch?  You bet it is! Apart from all of those benefits, your membership will help support our group well into the future and we think that is IMPORTANT.

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GFHG Speaker Program

The Geelong Family History Group has put together an excellent program of speakers for 2018 and 2019.

To restore a document like the one in this photo you would definitely be commissioning an expert conservator, however for the everyday care of your own Family Archives – documents, photos, family treasures – you would be looking for advice from a conservator.

John Greenwood is our guest speaker at our February meeting – he’s an expert conservator but also loves showing people how to look after their personal items in their collections at home.

The Geelong Family History Group welcomes visitors to our meetings.  You might also like to become a member and benefit from receiving copies of our journal – Pivot Tree – and additional research support.

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Belmont, Geelong – our spiritual home

The Belmont Library meeting room has been the venue for Geelong Family History Group meetings since August 2013 – long enough for us to call it our ‘spiritual’ home.  Technically the library is on High Street however most of us use the car park on the southern side off Roslyn Road.  Interestingly, this early map of the Township of Belmont n.d. [Wynd Collection] didn’t mention either High Street or Roslyn Road.  Back then, both were called Government Road.  Present day High Stret had additional notations showing ‘From Colac’ at the southern end and ‘To Geelong’ at the northern end.  Other Government Roads became Thomson Street and Mount Pleasant Road.  Township Reserve became Herd Road and Hovell Street was renamed McDonald Street.

The present Belmont Library was opened in 1982 following a temporary relocation to Regent Street during demolition and building.  Their previous building had been on the High Street site since 1957 and prior to that the Library was on Mount Pleasant Road with the old South Barwon Shire Offices.

A forthcoming auction was reported in the Geelong Advertiser on Wednesday March 15:

A most important announcement to the PUBLIC OF VICTORIA, but more particularly to persons in search of Comfortable Suburban Residences, Stores for general merchandise, Blacksmiths, Wheelwrights, and Hotel-keepers; also, Vineyard Sites, near the river Barwon. [ … ]

The Township of BELMONT, now a town in reality, on which there has been recently erected, 24 COTTAGES, all for positive sale to the highest bidder, the greater number having each Four Comfortable Rooms, besides a Hall, and others of Two Rooms each, all of them substantially built and finished, under the careful inspection of Messrs. Snell and Kawerau. [renowned architects of Geelong] [ … ]

J B HUTTON, being instructed by the proprietor of the above very valuable Fee-simple Properties, DR THOMSON M.L.C., has much pleasure in announcing that a Sale by Auction will take place on the 16th Instant, on the Grounds, when a sumptuous entertainment will be provided for the occasion.  The Township of Belmont is on that beautiful rising ground after crossing the Barwon at South Geelong, just above Kardinia, and all the New Houses erected thereon (about 24 in number, and now to be sold), are on good sized allotments of Ground; and the situtaion for health, comfort, and convenience, being less than one mile out of Geelong, is not to be surpassed.

This aerial photograph, c.1926, taken by Charles Daniel Pratt not only shows Belmont with High Street running from north to south but also his aerodrome and strip at the lower left hand side of the photograph.

The red arrows and numbers on the image show:

  1. Site of the Belmont Hotel
  2. Location of ALDI supermarket today
  3. Location of the Belmont Library
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Back when it began … 1981 !

What began?  The Geelong Family History Group!  It actually started in 1980 and was officially formed in 1981.

I’ve lost count how many times I’ve said that family history groups and local historical societies are the worst at recording and documenting their own history.  They’re great at doing everyone elses but hopeless at their own.  I was delighted when the Geelong Family History Group published their Timeline & History in 2012 documenting their first 30 years.

We’ve now been able to continue that by bringing the details up-to-date here on the group’s website.

You’ll find things like:

I hope you enjoy them!

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