These are ESSENTIAL instructions and guidelines for a successful SEARCH of our GFHG Research Files. Please read them carefully.
What are the GFHG Research Files?
- Scans of indexes, manuscripts, and documents held in the Geelong Family History Groups library that relate to the Geelong Region and South West Victoria. These items were created and collected by GFHG members over the past 40 years. The library is no longer accessible however these items have been scanned.
- GFHG publications including all Pivot Tree
- Printouts of select items from the Geelong and District Database.
- Scanned items donated to the Geelong and District Database such as the Geelong Infirmary and Benevolent Asylum Annual Reports.
- All items have been made text searchable except for handwritten pages.
- 1,830 documents / manuscripts / books containing more than 188,139 pages have been scanned as part of the GFHG Research Files collection (as at 18 December 2022).
- GFHG Research Files Catalogue List – this list shows all the documents which will be included in your search. The latest copy can be found on the RESEARCH OPTIONS page on the GFHG website. https://geelongfhg.com/research-2/
- Request a search of a SURNAME, OR PLACE NAME, OR SUBJECT – send request via email to email@example.com
You may request ONE search PER month but ONLY if you pay for at least ONE search out of every three searches – see Item 3. Below.
SURNAME search – You can request a search for a Surname ONLY – no initials, given names or titles. With such a huge range of files, names can be recorded in a number of ways and limiting a search to initials and surname, given name(s) and a surname or any combination with a surname will produce limited results which may miss the person of your search.
- You will receive an email stating the number of documents / manuscripts / books and the number of instances (matches) for the requested Search – this will be in the format ddd / mmm where ddd = number of documents etc, and mmm = number of matches.
- If you don’t want to proceed with this search, please reply by email stating NO FURTHER ACTION.
You may ONLY request THREE searches every SIX months unless you pay for at least one of those THREE searches as per item 4. below.
- If you want to proceed with this search, send $AUD 25 to the Geelong Family History Group ($AUD 12.50 for Members):
- Pay direct into our Bank Account:
Ref: YOUR name
EMAIL proof of payment to firstname.lastname@example.org
- OR Send a cheque or Postal Note to: Research Officer, Geelong Family History Group, PO Box 1187, Geelong Vic 3220
- OVERSEAS PAYMENTS – even if sent as $AUD (unless paid by an Australian Bank), banks charge us an overseas transfer fee, so you need to add $AUD 5 to your payment. If unsure, please Contact Us.
- Pay direct into our Bank Account:
- After receipt of payment has been confirmed you will be emailed up to 5 PDF files containing all search results – you can then request your 10 pages / manuscripts / documents. You do not need to request all 10 at once. NOTE: the GFHG Research Files option has become a victim of its own success – we had reached the limits allowed by Acrobat. Consequently you now receive 5 separate files containing different groups of manuscripts etc.:
- Group 1 – Manuscripts.
- Group 2 – B-XTR files – manuscripts XTR.
- Group 3 – all Pivot Tree journals (Geelong Family History Group); all Investigator journals (Geelong Historical Society); all Hospital Annual Reports; Publications Plus; and Geelong and District Church Records.
- Group 4 – BUCHTER Collection – covering Batesford and local region.
- Group 5 – all B-LOC files (Manuscript Location files).
- Review your results paying attention to the Results Guidelines.
- Request copies of TEN PAGES from your results. You must state the full File or Title AND page number for each of the TEN PAGES you request.
- These TEN PAGES will be emailed to you. If you want more than TEN PAGES please contact the GFHG Secretary at email@example.com to discuss options.
- 5 x Results PDF File – Take your time when reviewing these files when they are sent to you.
- Layout of Results PDF Files – A Summary of your results (number of documents and number of instances) is shown at the beginning of your Results PDF files. Instances from each document will each start on a new page.
- Find full results elsewhere – You can often find the full results yourself without requesting a copy of the page as one of your TEN pages included in your Search payment. Don’t forget to search the Geelong Regional Library Catalogue https://www.grlc.vic.gov.au/ and the Geelong Heritage Centre Archives https://archives.grlc.vic.gov.au/ . Of course, it may be more convenient for you to order the pages from the Geelong Family History Group but it’s important for you to understand the options.
- Geelong and District database – ALWAYS search the Geelong and District database for your SURNAME, or PLACE NAME, or SUBJECT BEFORE ordering your TEN pages.
- Some scanned items have previously been indexed in the database and may provide enough information to answer your question.
- The location of the original item may be included in the “More Information” link in the database results.
- The original item may be available free online – follow the “More Information” link.
- And of course, search ALL your other Surnames, Place Names, and Subjects in the database – there are more than 1.7 million entries for the Geelong region, south west Victoria, and some for all of Victoria.
- Don’t forget to check ‘Tips, Warnings and Info’ to get the most out of your database search. http://zades.com.au/gandd/index.php/databases/gddbs/gddbtips
- Purchase publications – some GFHG publications are included in the Research Files and can be purchased as digital (PDF) copies. If available this will be shown in the NOTES column in the GFHG Research Files Catalogue List on the GFHG website.
- Newspaper references – These are generally to the Geelong Advertiser – the document Title will confirm this. These are currently available on TROVE to mid-1929 – check to see if you can find your entries on TROVE first before ordering from GFHG as part of your TEN PAGES. NOTE: Microfilm copies of the Geelong Advertiser are available for viewing at the Geelong Heritage Centre and State Library Victoria.
- Page Numbers – shown in your Results PDF File are the Acrobat / PDF page number for the relevant document and NOT the printed page numbers within the document.
- Multiple entries on one page – If you find more than one entry on one page in one document, you get all the entries on that page when the page is one of the ten pages you order. It is not TEN entries but TEN pages that you can order as part of your paid search.
- Unintelligible text – like TROVE Newspaper searches – some text looks suspect to say the least. Any OCR / Text Recognition is only as good as the quality of the original. Remember if your Surname or search word was found then it’s recognisable – however some text before or after the word may appear to be hieroglyphics. Copies of the scanned page of the document will help with interpretations.
- Strange results – an example was a search for ALFORD resulting in …
This doesn’t look terribly interesting but in this case the Text Recognition looked at COLUMNS of data and not rows! The actual document looked like this …
DEFINITELY worth getting – 8 different ALFORDs with plenty of data!
- DO NOT ORDER PAGES FROM THESE DOCUMENTS –
B-HOS-A01 yyyy Geelong Infirmary Annual Report – they are all available free online and can be downloaded from
Did you know you could win a free search of GFHG Research Files? Have a look at our Blog https://geelongfhg.com/a-request-from-you-and-an-offer-from-us/