COVID-19 Update Wednesday 20 May 2020 - Special Arrangement for June Ancestor
The world has significantly changed these past months. Everything has been affected. The Councillors of the Genealogical Society have reacted to these changes, and you will have been advised of many of these changes in my last email, dated early April 2020.
Today, we announce another change. Council has decided that we need to further protect our assets, and because a significant expense for your Society is postage of our Ancestor magazine, we have decided to release our June issue predominantly as a digital edition.
Your copy of the June edition can be found by logging in as a member to the GSV website, and from the Members area, click onto the Ancestor journal page. You will find the latest June 2020 issue available for you to read. It is available as a PDF download, or as a Flip Book. Please note that the Flip Book is not a replacement for our printed journal. It is fortuitous that it has become available for this June issue, mainly due to some incredible efforts from member Tom O’Dea, and I am sure you will find it a welcome addition to our digital library.
This decision was not taken lightly, nor should it be seen as a permanent change. A limited number of magazines have been printed for distribution to members without an email address, and to our Library colleagues who require a copy for their bookshelves. We appreciate that some of you may have good reason to prefer a printed copy. We have established a special email address JuneAncestor@gsv.org.au , for your comments and requests, and we will attempt to resolve any difficulties encountered. If you have difficulty in reading from a screen, you might choose to print off articles as required.
We are all looking forward to the end of these lockdown restrictions. Changes do seem to be happening, but the Premier has emphasised that we need to be safe and cautious. We need to remember that many of us are in the “at risk” category, and that could mean that opening the GSV might not occur for a few more months. In the meantime, we hope you enjoy your June issue of Ancestor. More details can be found in my column “Pen of the President”
Kind regards, and stay safe
GSV COVID-19 Update Monday 6 April 2020
I hope this finds you virus-free and well, with plenty of time to continue your family history research. We are pleased to be able to tell you that we now have access to two more databases for you to use from home. This is in addition to the access we already have to MyHeritage.
The library versions of findmypast and TheGenealogist are now available for GSV members only. Instructions for accessing these databases can be obtained by logging into the members area of the GSV website. Allow time for these instructions to be received as emails are replied to between 10am-4pm on Monday to Friday.
Please note that members cannot use any personal subscription to findmypast at the same time as using this library version. Also note the 20 minute time limit and the need to logout when using TheGenealogist .
For those less familiar with the content of the major databases there is a very good introduction at
This is a video link to Sunny Morton’s talk "Comparing the Genealogy Giants: Ancestry, FamilySearch, findmypast and MyHeritage" at the London 2019 RootsTech conference.
Sonny’s basic message about finding which records are on which site is to look at the Catalogues at each site (subscriptions not necessary).
findmypast has good Irish record collections, 1939 census, maps and extensive UK parish records (many quite early and not available elsewhere).
Unfortunately the video does not include TheGenealogist, a good UK-based site for census and parish (especially non-conformist) records, tithe maps, war and many other records.
I should also remind you that the free “Quick Lookup” service for members is still available despite the GSV Centre being closed.
Enjoy your researching and stay safe,
GSV COVID-19 Update Monday 23 March 2020
The GSV centre both the Library and the Office will be closed until further notice from Monday 23 March. Staff will continue working from home. All queries should be directed by email to firstname.lastname@example.org
GSV COVID-19 Update Monday 16 March 2020
On behalf of the GSV Council and staff, I hope this email finds you in good health as the COVID-19 pandemic disrupts all aspects of community life.
Given the increased risks to our members from the virus, over the weekend it was decided that all events at the GSV will be cancelled from tomorrow, Tuesday March 17, until the end of April.
The situation will be reviewed as the crisis continues and in all likelihood the cancellation time period will need to be extended.
For now the centre will be open to members as normal for independent research but we will no longer be opening late on Tuesdays.
No library volunteers will be rostered although volunteers may of course choose to come in.
We are in the final testing stage of our capacity to offer members video conferencing and video presentations of some of our classes. Members will require a computer, web browser, speaker and microphone to access this facility. Follow the GSV Website and Events page for further information over the next week or so.
You will be able to contact the GSV office on 9662 4455 during normal office hours if you have any queries.
Feel free to contact me at email@example.com if you have any questions. Please stay safe.
With best wishes
GSV information Friday 13 March 2020
As you will know the rapid spread of the COVID-19 virus continues to make headlines worldwide. We therefore ask all GSV staff, volunteers and other members to be vigilant and to follow the recommended procedures for minimizing risk to themselves and others.
If you are experiencing flu like symptoms, have been in close contact with someone known to be infected with COVID-19 or have been diagnosed yourself, we ask you not to visit the GSV for a period of 14 days.
We have implemented a number of processes at the GSV in response to the COVID-19 virus. These include:
- strongly encouraging frequent hand washing with soap and water for 20 seconds both after coming into the GSV on public transport and at intervals during your visit.
- providing liquid sanitiser (Isocol) at the administration front desk, which may be used to clean hands if necessary (currently sanitizer gel is unavailable). However soap and water, properly used appear to be more effective in removing the virus.
- providing toilet paper, soap and towels in the shared bathrooms (please inform staff if supplies are low).
- periodically wiping down computer keyboards, phones and other hard common surfaces with alcohol during the day.
We will continue to monitor and act on official advice issued by Health Authorities and the State and/or Federal Governments.
Take care of yourselves, your family and friends.