Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Family History services at SLV to move


State Library Victoria are undertaking a major re-development via their Vision 2020 Redevelopment Project which will transform the library space and its services.

From 24 August 2018 to 20 September the Newspaper and Family History Reading Room and the Arts Reading Room will be moving to beautiful new spaces. They will re-open on 21 September.

The Courtyard closures research guide has now been published. The guide details what resources will be unavailable when the courtyards close from August 24. It also lists what resources will still be available, i.e. Ancestry, and suggests alternate sources.  This guide appears on the research guide homepage

Image: [Public Library, Melbourne. Library/Museum facade]  Creator: Victorian Railways, photographer. Date: [ca. 1945- ca.1954] State Library Victoria

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Cemetery Research



Lee Anthony from Friends of Coburg Cemetery recently spoke at Diamond Valley Library as part of the monthly Family History Fest program.  The cemetery is managed by the Greater Metropolitan Cemeteries Trust.  A Deceased search can be conducted on their website for all nineteen cemeteries in the Melbourne area under their care.

If you are researching your family history or have an interest in locating the final resting place of your ancestor consider the following:

Final resting place should be indicated on the death certificate of your ancestor.

Another source for the final resting place may be a death, funeral notice or newspaper obituary.

Look for the website for your cemetery of interest – and then see if there is a “deceased search” facility to find out about the cemetery and the specific location you are interested in.

Look for a Friends Group associated with the Cemetery who may possibly have information on your ancestor.  They may have developed a self-guided tour as the Friends of Coburg Cemetery have done, as well as conduct regular walks in person.


Visit the cemetery either in person or virtually via Google street view


Check opening hours and grave location before your visit. You may need to contact the Cemetery Trust / Caretaker /Local Council beforehand


Look to see if your cemetery has had a headstone indexing project in the past – GSV facilitated these a while ago. Search the collections of family history groups or your public library.


Your grave may not have a headstone.   Check directly with the cemetery for details of names who may share “your” grave.


Headstones inscriptions projects are just that – not a list of all the burials.  They may not necessarily include all the internments in the grave and do not include unmarked graves.


Some headstones may commemorate a person who is actually not buried at that location (for example war dead)


Take a note of names on neighbouring graves, including the row your grave is in - as these may be connected to your family.


Photograph and transcribe inscriptions on headstones for your records. 


There are a number of websites aggregating information from cemeteries, including photographs of headstones.  These include Billion Graves and Find My Grave with content constantly being added.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Anzac Day 2018


Australians recognise 25 April as a day of national remembrance. It is a time when we reflect on the many different meanings of war. Yarra Plenty Regional Library is acknowledging Anzac Day through a series of exhibitions and presentations.  Throughout April, Eltham Library are featuring objects from the memorabilia collection of the Eltham Montmorency RSL sub branch.  Watsonia Library has a small display with a nod to the great work our community has done in contributing to the 5000 Poppies Project.  
Whittlesea Library will be hosting Vietnam Veterans and members of the Whittlesea RSL sub branch as they share stories of their experience 50 years ago.  Join them on Monday 16 April at 2.00 pm.  Retired Lieutenant Colonel Peter Gurney will discuss the Origins of the Dawn Service and the importance of this annual tradition of remembering all wars at Eltham Library on Thursday 19 April at 7.00pm.  Local and Family History researchers can receive tips on researching Anzacs on Trove at Mill Park Library, Friday 20 April at 10 am. Dr Janine Rizetti, from Heidelberg Historical Society will discuss the 1917 Conscription Campaign through the eyes of local City of Banyule residents at Rosanna Library on Tuesday 24 April at 2.00 pm.
2018 marks the final year of the Anzac Centenary. State Library Victoria shares Victorian stories via its World War One centenary portal
Check out new reading list for Anzac Day: Vietnam Veterans

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Collaborating online for your family history


RootsWeb Mailing Lists have been offline for a little while but they have recently advised that they aim to be back on line at the end of the month. The update will include old archives and current emails.  Mailing Lists are a terrific way to find others researching your interests. Other tools such as online family trees, Facebook groups and other Social Media platforms can help greatly in the collaborative process of researching your family and local history.  What have you discovered by collaborating with others?

Monday, February 05, 2018

New name for Australian Institute Genealogical Studies

Thomson Family, Kinglake. Shire of Elham Pioneers Photograph Collection
The Australian institute of Genealogical Studies is now known as Family History connections and has also launched a brand new website
Their Press release states: "We are still the same organisation with the same objectives and deep commitment to assist members and the wider community in their search for their ancestors in Australia and overseas".
They remain located at Unit 1 / 41 Railway Road, Blackburn. Sunday talks will be now be held on the first Sunday of the month.
Consider joining a family history group to help you research your family history.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

101 Photographs among 3 million

101 Photographs is a visual resource compiled from the collection of the Centre for Image Research and Diffusion (CRDI) based in Gerona, Spain.
The photographs stand out for a particular aspect: for its visual content, its aesthetics, its historical relevance, its uniqueness or its exceptional nature as a photographic object.Historical photos,even if they are not from your own collection can inspire stories and memories in your own research or trigger a research strategy you have not thought of before.Enjoy this amazing European collection.

Wednesday, January 03, 2018

Fay Thomas Collection

The Fay Thomas Collection provides an insight into the lives of the local pioneering Thomas family, extended family and the broader community of the City of Whittlesea. The collection includes photographs, books, correspondence, manuscript material and ephemera dating from about the 1830's through to the present.

Thomas Moses with 2 adult women and 2 babies ca.1875


The late Fay Thomas, great-granddaughter of Moses Thomas, was the custodian of the Thomas Family collection and keeper and collector of much of the family lore. In 2015, after her death, Fay Thomas' Executors kindly loaned the collection to the City of Whittlesea prior to its transfer to State Library Victoria. During this time the collection was digitised.

Fay was the eldest daughter of Charles and Jean Thomas, and a descendant of Moses Thomas. Following in the footsteps of three great aunts who had been teachers, and a great uncle who has been a school inspector, she graduated from teachers college in 1961. In the 1980s Fay was one of the first locally appointed women principals in Victoria, an acknowledgement of her outstanding achievements and leadership skills. Throughout Fay's career as a teacher, principal, and education consultant she influenced the lives of thousands of Victorians.

Moses Thomas was a significant figure in the history of the area now known as the City of Whittlesea. Fay had a strong connection with her ancestry and she recognised that accumulating and maintaining a comprehensive collection of historical photographs, documents and objects relating to Moses and his family, his businesses, his involvement with the Church and School at Mernda, and the social milieu of early Whittlesea was an effort that had far-reaching implications.

The digital collection was passed on to Yarra Plenty Regional Library in March 2017. Images are progressively being made available via the Fay Thomas Collection album on Yarra Plenty Regional Library's Local History Flickr   with selected local images via our website.  Search the catalogue with keyword "Fay Thomas Collection".

This blog post also appears on Yarra Plenty Library Local History