Welcome to the GSV

President's Keyboard

President's Keyboard

Big thank you to our donors - The Keyboard of the President

Bill Barlow
6 June 2020
GSV News
In the Library
President's Keyboard

To the GSV Fundraiser Campaign donors and all our wonderful members

 

Thank you so much for your wonderful support, your generosity has been quite overwhelming. We have already reached the target we set to help us cover our operating costs during this Covid lockdown period.

 

Although government restrictions are being gradually relaxed, we do not envisage opening the Centre to members for a while yet. We can limit numbers and can social distance and sanitise at the Centre, but public transport into the CBD (which is steadily returning to pre-Covid passenger levels), is a major issue of concern for many of us. We are monitoring the situation and planning for a staged reopening of the Centre as soon as it is safe and practicable.

 

On the upside, we have used the closure period to work from home developing our digital skills. Using Zoom we can now resume some of our monthly Discussion Circles and members who are unable to get into the CBD can now participate. New members can access talks via the website introducing them to the society and our resources. We can now offer our Ancestorjournal in two digital formats as well as hardcopy.

 

In addition to having access from home (for the duration) to many of the major databases (find my past, TheGenealogist, MyHeritageand Ancestry), staff and volunteers have been working hard producing more digital resources for members to access from home. More than 128,000 new records have been added to our catalogue.  Members can now access a beta version (pre-release software) of the GSV Presto catalogue by going to the bottom left of the Members’ page and clicking Presto.

 

These Victorian databases are unique to the GSV and we encourage you to explore them. There are now more than 3 million records in the GSV Genealogical Index of Names(GIN) database of people mentioned in our library holdings and elsewhere. These include names from hospital, criminal and school records, directories and newspapers as well as pioneer registers and published books. A new separate database called Milestonesnow contains nearly 1.4 million entries including births, baptisms, deaths and burials plus obituaries, cemetery and church registers. There are even more new records in the updated catalogue that can only be viewed at the GSV due to copyright requirements.

 

Once again, I thank you all for your ongoing support of the GSV. With your help, we are working to ensure that the GSV continues to educate family historians and provide research assistance for many years to come.

 

Jenny Redman

President

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If you are not a member, you can see from the activity above that this is a good time to join - you have the time and we have the resources. Go to our website www.gsv.org.au and follow the links. 

 

GSV events cancelled from Tuesday 17 March

Bill Barlow
16 March 2020
GSV News
President's Keyboard

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 president@gsv.org.auif you have any questions. Please stay safe. 

With best wishes

 

Jenny Redman

President

The bushfires

Bill Barlow
7 January 2020
President's Keyboard

Like us at the GSV you've undoubtedly been dismayed and saddened by Australia's ongoing bushfire crisis. 

 

We are particularly concerned about the welfare of our country members, some of whom will have been directly affected as they protected their homes and communities.

For those whose families have been directly impacted by the fires you have our deepest sympathies. 

We also join with others in thanking our volunteer firefighters whose incredible efforts and courage are an inspiration to the whole country. They, together with emergency services, defence force personnel and the many other volunteers are still out there dealing with ongoing threats as I write this.

In some areas vital local heritage, buildings and historical records may have been lost. When the immediate danger is passed and losses to historical assets and collections are assessed, the GSV may be able to help with the rebuilding process. If your Family History Group has been affected by the fires please contact us directly.

 

Jenny Redman

President GSV

 

From the Keyboard of the President - August 2019

Bill Barlow
19 August 2019
GSV News
President's Keyboard

Hello all members (and soon-to-be members),

 

Even though it has been a bit wintry, we have been quite busy at the GSV. There has been a lot on, marking National Family History Month.

 

David Down and I recently met with the new president of the Royal Historical Society of Victoria(RHSV), Emeritus Professor Richard Broome and Rosemary Cameron, their executive officer, at the GSV. In addition to showing them over the Centre we had a very productive discussion about the two Societies. Like us they are concerned about the ongoing viability of organisations, such as ours. We look forward to having a closer partnership with the RHSV, exploring possible joint events and cross-promotion early in 2020.

 

Many of us still have one or more ancestors that appear to have arrived in Victoria by swimming, as there seems to be no trace of them in the usual passenger records. If you need help with 'when and how did they get here’, the new GSV Victoria and Tasmania Discussion Circle is a good place to start. Meeting on the fourth Friday morning each month, they now have their own Facebook group. See 'What’s on at the GSV' pages in Ancestor and our website for details. But note there is no meeting in September, as the Centre will be closed for the AFL Grand Final public holiday.
 

Tuesday evenings are a good time to come into the Centre if you want one-on-one help with your research. There is normal entry into the building until 6 pm when the front doors are closed. If you want to come in later, ring the GSV before 6 pm and we will arrange to open the doors for you. If you work nearby even 2 hours a week researching each week could help fill out that family tree.
 

The Annual General Meeting of the Society will be held on Saturday 5 October 2019, 2.00 - 4.00 pm. We will present the 2018/19 reports on the activities and financial position of the Society, and elect Office Bearers and Councillors for 2019/20. All members are welcome. Nominations for positions close on 30 August at 4 pm. Members can see the Notice of the Meeting and download the Nomination Form in the Members Area of the website.

 

With the first signs that Spring may be coming, now is the time to check the GSV Events calendar for the coming months and thaw out your family-history endeavours.

 

We'd love to help you at our Research Centre.

 

Jenny Redman

President - GSV

From the Keyboard of the President - April

Bill Barlow
20 April 2019
President's Keyboard

April 2019 - but still endless summer! Or maybe autumn is coming with leaves finally changing colour.

 

We are changing how this blog, Family History Matters at GSV, is linked to our website, so my apologies for some glitches you may have experienced with recent notifications. We will tell you more about this in another post shortly.

 

But there is plenty going on. The new Discussion Circle starts Friday May 24 and will continue monthly on the fourth Friday. The Victoria and Tasmania Discussion Circle will include a range of topics including convicts and the goldfields.

 

Our IT upgrade is progressing well with faster download times in the library, better security and storage for our email system (changed to Gmail). All library computers have been replaced and work on the new cataloguing system is progressing. Unfortunately we still have a large item to replace in the near future , our scanner-photocopier is showing its age. This is obviously a vital piece of equipment used everyday by GSV members and staff and we are appealing for funding to cover this cost.

 

A reminder to update your research skills and learn about new online sources by attending GSV classes on topics such as using Ancestry, the National Archives UK, and Australian archives. See Website for details

 

As talked about in my last blog post, we are investigating ways of providing our journal electronically (to save the environment and reduce the impact of increases in printing and postage costs). One possibility is a 'flipping book'. We would like to hear from any member who has experience with this format.

 

A local lurgy has affected many in the community including many of our volunteers. This, together with school holidays and extra grandparenting duties, exposed our need for more volunteers in all activity areas but especially Research Assistance in the library (six and a half day a week). New RAs will be trained and supported. This is a great way to improve your own research skills!

 

My own research? Just attended Alan Rhode’s talk on DNA Painter. A fantastic tool and after getting the basics (thanks Alan), not too difficult to construct a multi-coloured chromosome map of your DNA.  Just need a few spare hours to play with it.

 

Jenny Redman - GSV President