Friday, February 17, 2017

Rootstech 2017

One of the major conferences for the Genealogy industry and associated family researchers worldwide: Rootstech – has just concluded in Salt Lake City, Utah and by all accounts it was another huge success.

The international conference featured four days of seminars, presentations, product promotion and a huge showcase hall and the opportunity for many attendees to visit the Family History Library.

Some sessions are now available on line for a short time, including presentations on DNA, Jewish Genealogy, Tracing female lines, next steps in British Research and more. Visit  Rootstech  for more information

Rootstech 2018 dates are already set for February 28 – March 3 2018

The next major genealogy conference will be Who Do You Think You Are Live in Birmingham, England in early April 2017.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Geography of Surnames

The Geography of surnames is a new resource devoted to the study of English, Scottish and Irish surnames and should be of interest to family history researchers.
Surnames are examined from a geographic perspective, focusing on their distribution, patterns and origins.  Examples are drawn from areas as diverse as Cornwall, Wales, the Borders of Scotland and Ulster. In addition themes such as occupational and topographic surnames are examined from a geographic perspective, focusing on their distribution, patterns and origins.
The site also includes a list of recommended reading. Visit Yarra Plenty Regional Library's list of reading for Researching surnames.
Photo: State Library Victoria Digital Pool

Wednesday, January 04, 2017

Ryerson Index Update

The Ryerson Index is a free index resource to death notices appearing in Australian newspapers, dating back in some cases to 1831 (Sydney Morning Herald). While most of the entries relate to death occuring since 1970. The index is completely managed and contributed to by volunteers and is said to grow at a rate of over 100 entries per day. The site was updated on 31st December 2016 and now includes 320 newspapers with 5,856,742 entries including those from local Leader newspapers.
Ryerson recently  announced that a new facility has been added to the site whereby a search on GIVEN NAME only can be made. This will make it easier to locate those women with obscure given names who have married, but you don't know their married surname.
Searches have also been consolidated onto a single screen. You can now search on any one of the primary fields, with all other fields available to filter results.
Image: [Elderly woman sitting in front of a corrugated iron shed] ca 1890-1910 State Library Victoria

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Retiring Digger CD-ROMS

It is increasingly difficult to support genealogy CD ROM’s which use the Digger© software.  The software has not been updated in line with update of equipment and operating systems.  These products represent Victoria, Tasmania, Queensland, South Australia and Northern Territory births deaths and marriages indices, as well as other indices including the Victorian Inquest index and the Victorian marine birth, death and marriage index.  

A lot of the data can now be accessed online, including via Yarra Plenty Regional Library's e-resources Ancestry and Find My Past.  (access on any computer in every library via our website).  Also access for free at:
Trove  and more...
There has never been a better time to start family history research.  Remember it starts at home.  Speak to elderly relatives and identify your heritage family photographs today.

Thursday, December 08, 2016

Meet Cedric at State Library Victoria

Have you explored the digitised collections at State Library Victoria?  A number of collections have been curated and can be explored via the Cedric link  here.
Collections include:
Melbourne Street Directories 1912-152
Victorian Groundwater records
Journal of commerce of Victoria and Melbourne
Mufti 1934-2000
Football Record
Victorian Historical Journal 1911-2012
Records of Coles Myer
Australasian decorator & Painter 1905-1924
Proceedings of the Royal Society of Victoria
World War 1 unit histories
The Traveller 1895-1924
Search the online catalogue for more.
Image: Man in dust coat replacing armful of books onto shelves. Source: State Library Victoria via The Age 1954

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Australian Dictionary of Biography

The Australian Dictionary of Biography was once a well thumbed addition to Reference collections in Australia's public libraries.  Today the ADB is a valuable free online resource for local and family historians alike.
Search by place name for significant people connected to your place.
The Australian Dictionary of Biography want to add entries for women active 1788-1890, and are asking for your suggestions. All you need to provide is name, profession/significance, birth and death date. The ADB will be applying for a grant to research and write the dictionary entries. Read their August newsletter for further information.
Photo: Unidentified women.  If you can identify these lovely ladies please contact

Monday, August 01, 2016

August is Family History Month

August is family history month. Be inspired by personal stories and learn tips for your own family history research with our free program of events across Yarra Plenty Regional Library this month.
We have a number of events to support our Writing the War exhibition at Eltham Library including Research an Anzac, Researching WW1 Victorian Ancestors and Researching your female ancestors.
Pick up a free @your library flyer and view the program of events or visit the events section of this website.
While you are at the library, access our free e-resources including Ancestry, Find My Past, British Newspapers Archive and the UK News Vault.

Letters from World War One come to Yarra Plenty Regional Library

Alice Mills (Photographer) Percival Langford c 1914 University high School, Parkville archvies
To commemorate the centenary of World War One, Yarra Plenty Regional Library in partnership with Nillumbik Shire Council is presenting a touring exhibition from State Library Victoria exploring the personal stories of ordinary Australians told through their own photographs, letters, diaries and writings.
Writing the war: Personal stories from WWI tells the story of Australia’s involvement in WWI seen through the eyes of seven ordinary Australians from very different backgrounds – a teacher, a nurse, a bank clerk, a farmer, a journalist, an artist and an activist. Their personal experiences are conveyed through personal and published writings, photos, drawings and multimedia which take us from Gallipoli to Egypt, Gaza and the Western Front, and capture a diverse range of perspectives.
Some of these writings helped shape public opinion about the war effort, such as Sir Keith Murdoch’s Gallipoli letter or the writing of pacifist Vida Goldstein. Some were never intended to be read in public, like the diaries of George Auchterlonie which remained in his family’s possession for more than 70 years.
The exhibition due to open at Eltham Library Community Gallery on Thursday 4 August and will also feature the Lemnos Gallipoli Photographic Exhibition, memorabilia and personal materials from Eltham Montmorency RSL, the Australian Army Signals Museums and local history groups.
“These diaries and letters of both prominent and ordinary Australians give us an insight into WWI that is immediate and intimate because it is told in their own words,” says Liz Pidgeon Local and Family History Librarian.
Eltham Library Community Gallery is one of twelve regional libraries and galleries across Victoria who will host the exhibition until June 2017.
Writing the war: Personal stories from WWI is a free exhibition at Eltham Library Community Gallery from 4 August 2016 to 29 August 2016.
On Saturday 6 August Yarra Plenty Regional Library is hosting a special event to formally open the exhibition as well as launch their Anzac Centenary book project Fine Spirit & Pluck, which is a poignant collection of local stories from Banyule, Nillumbik and Whittlesea. The anthology helps to connect us to our past and offer a sense of place in the community in which we live, and which exemplify the fine spirit and pluck exhibited by every Australian.
The exhibition is also supported by a number of events in association with Family History month.
Explore more WW1 resources at State Library Victoria Writing the War
The Writing the war exhibition tour is supported by the Victoria Government through Creative Victoria.