Thursday, 19 August 2010

Victorian Community History Awards 2010

This blog has won a Commendation in the Victorian Community History Awards. The Awards, are organised by Information Victoria and the Royal Historical Society of Victoria and 'recognise
excellence in historical method'.

The six Award categories acknowledge that history can be told in many formats, thus prizes are awarded for the Best Collaborative or Community Work; Best Print Publication; Best Audio Visual or Multi Media; Best Exhibit or Display; Best Walk or Tour and Best Community Research or Registers.

The Award Ceremony took place at the State Library of Victoria on Thursday, August 19 2010 and the awards were presented by Peter Batchelor, Minister for the Arts. It was very exciting and it was fantastic to have our Blog recognised. But, the best part was that there were 153 entries in various formats, all completed in 2009 and whether they won or not, that represents 153 different stories written about Victoria's history and 153 aspects of our shared history researched and recorded for the future. So in the end, the winner is our history and that's a good thing.

Friday, 13 August 2010

South East Victoria Family & Regional History Expo

Ancestry database now has Australian Birth, Marriage and Death records. The information covers much the same sort of information you can get from the Digger CD-Roms or the on-line Indexes available through the Victorian Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages. It also covers the same range of years. For privacy reasons, most of the Birth Indexes generally only cover births which took place 100 years ago, Marriages which took place 60 to 80 years ago and Deaths which took place at least 30 years ago, although it varies from State to State. This is a welcome addition to Ancestry and significantly adds to its Australian content. Ancestry database is available to use, free, at all our Library Branches.

If you are new to family history then you might want to know what is significant about these Records. They are essentially the Indexes to the Births, Deaths and Marriages and include the Registration number, which you need to apply for the Certificate, from the various State Registry Offices of Births, Deaths and Marriages.

Why would you purchase a certificate? Firstly, you usually get a lot more information. For instance, this is the Ancestry database record (above) of my great grandfather, James Rouse, who died in 1939 at Bunyip. James, a widower, arrived at Cora Lynn in 1903 with his nine year old son, Joe. They took up land on Murray Road. If we had his death certificate then it would potentially tell us who his parents were, where he was born, when he was married, how long he had been in Australia, what his cause of death was and what children he had. This is a treasure trove of information for genealogists. I say it will 'potentially' tell us, because obviously information on a Death certificate comes from family members or friends who may not be aware of all the circumstances of the deceased's life.


I have the birth certificate of James' son, Joe (my grandfather) and it includes the signature of James Rouse, and that is another reason why you might purchase a certificate. We don't have many photographs of James and, sadly, many of the people who knew him are no longer with us, so its lovely to see a sample of his handwriting. You will also get to see your ancestor's signatures on their Marriage Certificate.

This is a photograph of James (1862-1939) with his daughter, Lucy (1898 - 1981) and grand daughters Nancy and Dorothy, taken in 1929. Nancy and Dorothy are the children of Joe, and nieces of Lucy.

If you want to trace your own family tree and want some great advice and see some great resources, then the Narre Warren and District Family History Group are holding a Family and Regional History Expo on Saturday, August 28 at the Beaconsfield Community Centre, Old Princes Highway at Beaconsfield. There will be over 40 different exhibitors, including Casey Cardinia Library Corporation, 100s of records to research and lots of advice and information will be available.

Open 10.00am to 4.00pm, entry is $8.00, children under 15 free. There is also the chance to win a door prize of a 12 month World Deluxe Subscription from Ancestry.com.au. Even though we would still like you to come to one of our Libraries to use Ancestry, this is a great prize and means you can access all the Ancestry records, twenty four hours a day, from your home computer.

I look forward to seeing you there.