Welcome to the GSV

GSV News

GSV News

Ancestor journal’s shortened URL trial

16 March 2023
GSV News

The Ancestor editorial team has been trialling the use of shortened URLs for webpage addresses in the regular ‘Blogging with Meg’ feature for the Sep 2022, Dec 2022 and Mar 2023 issues.

As many of you are aware, webpage addresses – known as URLs or Uniform Resource Locators – are hyperlinked in the Ancestor pdf and flipbook versions to provide direct electronic access to references cited. However, often the web addresses can be very lengthy, particularly if the reference is to specific information buried deep in a website. This can cause problems, not only in digital editions but also for print edition readers who want to go to that page, but need to carefully type in long strings of letters, numbers and characters to their browsers.

Shortened URLs, on the other hand, make that access easier by creating a shortened redirected link via the GSV’s domain name, www.gsv.org.au/[pathway]. So, for instance, in the September 2022 issue, https://blog.nationalarchives.gov.uk/record-linkage-across-19th-century-poverty-and-pauperism/ was shortened to https://www.gsv.org.au/tnapoverty.

We would be very interested in reader feedback about this trial.

For instance:

  1. Are the shortened URLs sufficiently short to make a difference?
  2. Does it matter if you can’t see full details of the blog/website you are headed to in the shortened URL link?
  3. Would you like to see shortened URLs continue to be used in this feature and/or used more extensively throughout Ancestor?
  4. If yes to the above, would it be helpful for the website name to be included after a shortened URL link? e.g https://www.gsv.org.au/tnapoverty (The National Archives UK)

Your views would be greatly appreciated. Please email us: ancestor@gsv.org.au

Australian Servicemen buried in Belgrade: Can you help find their families?

7 March 2023
GSV News

An Anzac Day ceremony will take place on 25 April 2023 at the War Cemetery in Belgrade where twenty-seven Australians servicemen from World War Two are buried. Three Australians are planning to travel there to attend the ceremony: Kathy Hancock and Richard Cooke, whose great aunt and grandmother respectively served as a medical officer and Nursing Sister with the Serbs, and myself, Bojan Pajic.  The Australian Embassy is having my book Australians with Serbs in World War One translated into Serbian to distribute in Serbia and we will be in Belgrade for the launch of that Serbian-language edition.

Before our departure, we would like to contact any surviving family of these buried Australians to inform them that we will be visiting the graves of their forebears and to ask whether they would like us to do anything whilst at the cemetery, such as placing sprigs of rosemary or poppies on the graves and taking photos. We hope to take some video film in Serbia to possibly make a documentary about the theme and our visit; in which case we could also provide current families with links to such videos.

We would appreciate help to find the families of these Australians and would ask them to get in touch with us on this email address: bjpiris@gmail.com

The service and sacrifice of Australians who served with the Serbs in World War One will also be commemorated at the Anzac Day ceremony. See this link for information: https://1drv.ms/b/s!AjB3nikUeHiakLN353FDJyh_6Xv8fg

Hoping you can help.

Bojan Pajic

Australian buried in War Cemetery, Belgrade
Last known family addresses from the Commonwealth War Graves Commission

DNA for Family Historians

6 March 2023
GSV News

GSV online talks on using DNA in your family history are starting on Monday 20 March.

The first session starts with the basics of using DNA and requires no previous knowledge. There are ten sessions in total over the coming months dealing with various aspects of using DNA in your family history.

You can attend all the sessions, or you can choose which ones you think are most relevant to you. However you must register for each session.

See the GSV Calendar of Events for details of the sessions.

You will receive a handout summary of the session beforehand and there is email help if you have any questions or are having difficulties with your research.

If you have any questions about the sessions, email dna@gsv.org.au

Interested in Oral History?

23 February 2023
GSV News

The topic for the GSV Writers Circle meeting next week is Oral History.

It seems to be a hot topic at the moment, cropping up in many other discussion circles.

This meeting will be an active participation session, with members sharing their experiences.

Some will share resources and techniques they have used, and how they have used the oral history in their family research.

The questions we’ve asked circle members in advance are:

  1. Have you done any oral history?
  2. Did it work? If so, please share what you did.
  3. If not, why do you think it didn’t?
  4. Are there pitfalls others of us can avoid.
  5. Did you write / type / record it? How do you think that went?

Our discussion circles are GSV member-only events. You are welcome to attend even if you are not a current member of the Writers Circle. Please come prepared to share on the day. Don’t forget to register on the Events page.

TROVE funding threats

10 February 2023
GSV News

Are you aware that the funding for TROVE is seriously under threat? Where would our research in Australia be without TROVE?

GSV will be sending a response to the relevant ministers but we would urge anyone who uses Trove to sign the parliamentary petition found here:


and click the sign this petition box. It will take you less than thirty seconds to complete and you will receive an email from parliament house to confirm your signature.

There are two other petitions for the same purpose on the site and if you are so inclined — sign them as well.

We need TROVE and we can't allow that funding for it ceases.

Image credit: The 'Monster' Women’s Suffrage Petition - https://victoriancollections.net.au/items/62ea00bd8b3ae1f33f110d9d

Welcome to our new Library and Resources Manager

7 February 2023
GSV News

A big welcome to GSV’s newly appointed Library and Resources Manager, Rebecca Landy. Rebecca started with us on 7 February and she is sharing the management role at GSV’s Library and Research Centre (Level 1, 10 Queen St, Melbourne) with our Library and Digital Resources Manager, Meg Bate.

Rebecca comes to us very well qualified for this position. Her formal qualifications include a Bachelor of Arts (with Majors in History and Jewish Studies) and a Master of Education and she has over 20 years of experience at a Secondary College as a librarian and teacher of History, Geography, English and Literature. Rebecca’s depth of experience in engaging and enthusing students through remote learning during the Covid pandemic will bring new approaches, and be a great aid, to our online education and discussion circle activities. Rebecca also has a depth of experience with preparing and using websites, blogs and vlogs, wikis, apps, social media and knowledge management, all of which will help GSV creatively promote our resources and facilitate their use by our members and the family history community.

Rebecca has been actively engaged in family history research for 15 years and tells us she still clearly remembers the thrill of her first big discovery bent over a microfiche machine in the GSV’s basement library in Collins St. She finds genealogical research an enchanting puzzle, while exploring family, history and place through an array of information sources. Her curiosity about her family’s history has taken her to numerous places around Victoria and to the UK. Rebecca has enjoyed working with students to help them learn how to critically examine sources to make informed decisions about their ancestors and she now looks forward to helping our members discover their own world of family history.

Please do join us in welcoming Rebecca next time you are visiting GSV.

Not just for people with connections to India!

5 February 2023
GSV News

At the next meeting of the GSV British India Discussion Circle to be held on Tuesday 21 February, starting at 7.30 pm, Clare Claydon will be presenting a short and idiosyncratic look at what we can read and view on film to increase our knowledge of India. This will be followed by a group discussion.

Everyone is welcome, whether you have ancestors who spent time in India or not. But why would this session be of interest to non-Indian descendants?

Well, lots of reasons. Among them, that India is set to become the largest source of migrants to Australia this year (overtaking the Chinese). India has just overtaken China in population. And by decade’s end, India is predicted to have the 5th largest economy in the world.

Clearly, it will be useful to know more about this country that also has a fascinating history and culture.

Join us for a lively and very informal discussion by Zoom! Please register via the GSV website.

DNA and Family History

31 January 2023
GSV News

GSV’s very popular Zoom sessions ‘DNA and Family History’ are starting again in March 2023.

The sessions will help you use DNA with your family history. Whether you are looking to break down a brick wall, extend your family tree, confirm your research, or find new cousins, DNA can help with your family history.

The sessions start with the basics and progress through to more intermediate topics. They are relevant to which ever testing company you have used but the sessions use examples mainly from Ancestry and My Heritage.

The early sessions assume people are just starting to use DNA for family history. You can either follow the whole series of sessions or join for topics of interest. Look at the GSV Events Calendar for the details of each session.

The online sessions are presented by Alan Rhodes and involve a presentation on Zoom, followed by time for questions and discussion. Detailed handouts are provided for each session which explain the main ideas and provide suggestions for further reading and follow up activities. GSV also offers a DNA email where you can ask questions about the session or get advice on using your DNA test.

If you have not yet done a DNA test and wondering whether you should, why not look at the GSV’s three webcasts, listed in the GSV catalogue. They cover the basics of:

  • Should I do a DNA test?
  • DNA Ethnicity results
  • DNA and family history

It is recommended that you do a DNA test and preferably have your results to get best value from the sessions. The sessions start in late March so there is still time to organise a test and have the results for the early sessions. There is a $5 registration fee for each session.

If you have any questions about the sessions or how they might help you, email us at dna@gsv.org.au

DNA Matches in Family Tree maker

23 January 2023
GSV News

Talk - How I Manage My DNA Matches in Family Tree Maker by David Stephen – Thursday 9 February 2023 at 10.30 am by Zoom.

DNA is a powerful tool to help with your family history research and a DNA test can set you on your way to finding cousins, common ancestors and solving family history mysteries. DNA results list thousands of people who share DNA with you.  These matches could be immediate family, or cousins, close and distant. Your DNA matches are the key to using DNA in your family history.

David Stephen will explain how to set up a source template in Family Tree Maker (FTM) to track your DNA Matches. He will also explain how he uses the smart filtering in FTM to let him know how many DNA Matches he has in FTM.

David is the current President of VicGUM.  VicGUM is Australia’s leading association helping genealogists better use their computers, associated equipment and genealogy programs as part of their family history interest.

This talk is for GSV Members only and there is a $10 charge to attend. Book via the GSV web site.

David Down

STOP PRESS: Access to Irish Newspapers, FREE for GSV members until 3 February, 2023

17 January 2023
GSV News

A free trial British Library Newspapers: Part VI: Ireland has been set up for members of the GSV until 03 February 2023.

British Library Newspapers: Part VI: Ireland 1797-1950 includes both National and regional newspapers from Dublin,Cork and Galway as well as more rural towns like Waterford, Tuam, Ballinasloe, and Birr.

It also includes newspapers and periodicals that cover various aspects of Irish history, society, economy, politics and religion.

The trial is for unlimited access.

The link for you to access the newspapers is available in the GSV members area under Commercial Databases, and the link and access code is available to members when they contact the GSV office during office hours, 10am - 4pm, Monday to Fridays.

Further information about the Newspapers is available at


If you are researching Irish ancestors, do make use of this offer. Newspapers can be a fantastic resource for details of your family story.