Greetings from Cobram Genealogical Group in Victoria. We hope you will find some interesting information and will free to contribute or make comments.

VAFHO Conference Notes

The VAFHO conference was recently held in Mulwala from 28th to 30th May. It was run by the VAFHO committee with help from member from Yarrawonga Family History Group. It was a wonderful weekend with many interesting speakers and displays to look at. I have collated the notes I took during the weekend adding links to many of the resources I heard about that are available and some exciting news about what is going to become available. I hope you enjoy reading what I gathered and find some useful information from some of the links.

Digital photo restoration and retouching

Carol Heath http://www.pixelbypixel.com.au// - can signup for a newsletter

We print usually at 300 dpi
Need to scan at higher resolution especially with small photos that you want to enlarge.
Scan to a TIFF file or PSD as these are lossless files not like jpg files that are lossy files.

Faded Photo Restoration –Scan, enlarge and analyse the photo. Always scan B&W photos in Colour at RGB as you can alter some of the problems such as yellowing.

Crop any dark edges if necessary first.

Duplicate the original in a new layer

Check the colour channels in RGB and adjust individual colour channels if necessary.

Create a new adjustment layer and change the levels for a blending mode.

Multiply this then change the opacity.

New adjustment layer to change the contrast of the image.

Use a black paintbrush to mask some of the areas that are overexposed.

Remove yellow staining by converting image to black and white.

Hue /Saturation adjustment layer change blending mode to colour.

New saturation layer and change the hue sliders in the different channels.

Use a colour burn layer and create a white layer with a black paint brush on low opacity.

Create a new layer to repair damage – Use cloning stamp and healing brush. CS5 has a content aware fill tool.

Can add a sepia tone to old photos under Actions – sepia tone layer.

Lastly sharpen image before printing – filter sharpen –unsharp mask.

Family Search Indexing




Some of PROV stuff is being digitised and the images will be available online. Wills and Probates up to 1925 have been imaged and are currently being indexed. While inquests are to be next to go online. Help is needed in indexing these records and by signing up as an indexer from the above link and contacting Lesle Berry at the GSV you can become a helper.

Family search have 2.4 million rolls of film that they will be indexing in the future so that we will have access to the indexes of these images, that they have the rights to.

The indexing system is a split screen system that has the image of the record on the top half and you type the information underneath with an instruction page to help you. These files are double batched and any discrepancies can be checked by a third party.

They are only starting on English Counties now so they wont be available to awhile to access.

A Youtube video is available on getting started with this indexing process.


You can choose what records you want to index and do as many or as little indexing as you like.

Some Australian records that have been done are Bounty Immigrants NSW some Newspapers for QLD, NSW and VIC and the PROV stuff.

They may have a point system put in place to give those people that do more indexing credits towards viewing payperview records they have indexed.

The wiki also provides a vehicle for sharing information. If you have access to records that you can share you can post this on the wiki. Eg Cemetery records.

Jenny Higgins NLA

Local Librarys can borrow books on your behalf for $13.20 or get a copying service of pages.

Look up "Making of the World 1460-1850" in the Licensed eResources it has some interesting social and economical information and has some lists of people.

Part 2 of the British Newspapers is now available and has a lot more regional stuff which could be a good source for information on convicts.

You can also access pictures through FlickR for Picture Australia http://www.flickr.com/

Oral histories are being converted into digital format.

The Australian Newspaper Digitisation Program has lists of the papers that have been selected for digitisation. http://www.nla.gov.au/ndp/

Online lists are in TROVE and you can Tag records to group them.
 Family Search Indexing - Paul Parton

Family search online has research aids in their Education section.


GIS – Geographical Information Systems uses system for mapping like google earth. You can tag through google earth places your ancestors lived.

England Jurisdictions - http://maps.familysearch.org/ more to come. Here you can search places via counties in England like the Fillimores maps but it gives info on the records that are available for parishes in those areas.

It is important to check Jurisdictions carefully. There are links to the Family Search Catalog on the places you search and what records are available for that place.

A radius search will list all neighboring parishes. The layers tab will show different jurisdictions so you can select what you want to search for in family search catalog and the areas that are marked in red means that is indexed or digitised or both online. Don’t forget to check the wealth of info in the Poor Law records.

Shauna Hicks – Searching QLD Online

QLD Births, Deaths and marriages online


Queensland Archives – Check out What’s New to see what is going on

http://www.archives.qld.gov.au// - have online indexes

If you do an advanced google search in their archive catalog you can narrow down your search results.

State Library of QLD have notices and forums through their nub http://www.slq.nnub.net/ You can also follow them on twitter.

The family history pages have many links to databases etc.

OneSearch is a bit like TROVE.

GSQ - http://www.gsq.org.au//

QFHS - http://www.qfhs.org.au// they have some information on World Vital Records Australasia which is now part of http://findmypast.com.au/ a free 24 hr trial is available. They have lots of cemeteries, gazettes and directories.

Brisbane City Archives - http://www.brisbane.qld.gov.au/BCC:BASE::pc=PC_3155

Brisbane City Council Cemetery Search - http://www.brisbane.qld.gov.au/BCC:BASE::pc=PC_899

A google search through Australian Cemeteries will cover a number of cemeteries in one search http://www.australiancemeteries.com/qld/index.htm
Interment.net also has QLD cemeteries http://www.australiancemeteries.com/qld/index.htm

Sth East Qld Cemeteries at http://www.chapelhill.homeip.net/FamilyHistory/Photos/

The Royal Historical Society of QLD – Welsby Library has useful research section http://www.queenslandhistory.org.au/WelsbyLibrary.html

Judy Webster has some online indexes for SW QLD. - http://www.judywebster.gil.com.au/

Allan Phillips -  Gould

Allan discussed the new developments  in Digital Archives.
A National Roadshow will be happening later in the year featuring Dan Lynch the author of "Google Your Family Tree"

They are in the process of putting together a Family and Local History Handbook similar to the British one and Local groups will be able to make contributions to it.
They are also planning a Genealogy Guide like the Entertainment guides that have vouchers.

On the Resources tab on the Unlock the Past website you will find free indexes to many of the Police Gazettes  - http://www.unlockthepast.com.au/resources

Brightsolid are the umbrella company for a swag of genealogical resources including Scotlands People, Findmypast.co.uk, Genes Reunited, 1911 Census, Findmypast.com.au (free 24 hr trial available) and the British Library archives of 40 million pages.

Other major companies are UK genealogist and Origins

Findmypast.com.au have acquired World Vital Records Australasia and have 35 million names at present and they hope to double this in the next 12 months.

Jenny Carter - Were they pushed or pulled?
Jenny spoke on the migration of our ancestors around Australia and the reasons they may have done this. Giving us new pathways to search for our missing ancestors.
The Gold rush in the 1850's brought many people to Australia from Europe, America and Asia, and people moved from area to area as large gold discoveries were found, including New Zealand and Western Australia. By the 1890's Australia was in a depression and many people were looking for work. The GSV are currently indexing records from PROV VPRS 1053 Applications for work on the Board of Works.
It was also mentioned that Commonwealth Pensions were not available until 1908 and could be a source for records. Judy Webster has information on QLD pensions on her site http://www.judywebster.gil.com.au/pension.html

Dr Val Noone - Life and Progress in Victoria's border regions, 1895: Michael Davitt's Views.

Michael Davitt was an Irish Reformist who was born in County Mayo and following his family being evicted from their home when he was very young they were forced to move to Haslingden, Lancashire in England. While Michael was working in a cotton mill at age 11 he was in a bad accident and had to have his arm amputated.  He studied and later joined the Fenian movement.

Michael was an avid traveller and visited in 1895 publishing a work of his visit called "Life and Progress in Australasia".

His work highlighted many important factors to consider on family movement in these times. In the 1890's there was a crash in the economy with years of depression. Many families moved to Western Australia in search of work.

Next year the National Museum of Australia are holding an exhibition featuring the Irish in Australia from St Patrick's Day. http://www.nma.gov.au/exhibitions/irish_in_australia/

Davitt discusses the Labour movement through his tour visiting many places in particular Echuca and Maryborough. There was much support at this time for Irish Home Rule. Lists of the committee members involved are listed in his publication.

Tim Hogan - State Library of Victoria - Newspapers Online
Many papers are becoming available in a digitised format online and will continue to do so.

To date the Argus up to 1954 is available through the National Library of Australia. The Camperdown Chronicle is also available. http://newspapers.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/home

You can also access some years of The Age through Google News http://news.google.com.au/news
Port Phillip Herald is available through Paper of Record at http://www.paperofrecord.com/search_paper.asp?PaperId=203 
Old News Copy have a number of old Victorian newspapers at  http://www.oldnewscopy.com/newspapers.htm  

There are 53 newspapers shortlisted for the priority pool of 2900 newspapers to be digitised.
The Camperdown Chronicle is being done now from 1874-1954 available on TROVE. Portland, Sale and Bendigo have priority through trust funds made available. Yea, Alexandra, Kilmore, Broadford and others will follow.

Other newspapers are available through local sources - The Northcote Leader is available through the Darebin Libraries at http://dhe.darebin-libraries.vic.gov.au/newspapers.asp

The Illustrated London News from 1840-2003 in online at http://ilnpictures.co.uk/ some are available to view at http://www.iln.org.uk/

Shauna Hicks - Family History on the Cheap

Some sites mentioned to have a look at:

GOONS - Guild of One Name Studies http://www.one-name.org/

IGP - Ireland Genealogy Project http://www.igp-web.com/

Develop a Personal Continuity Plan to preserve your files and records against a disaster. A sample here http://www.rmaa.com.au/docs/library/items/PersonalContinuityPlan.pdf

South Australia Genealogy and Historical have some birth death and marriage transcriptions. http://www.saghs.org.au/research.htm#transcription  and some databases http://www.familyhistorysa.info/births-marriages-deaths/

Online Parish Clerks records are a good source of information - http://www.onlineparishclerks.org.uk/

Daniel M Lynch author of Google your Family Tree will be in Melbourne 12-13 November.

If you are a member of VAFHO  there will be free access to Ancestry.com during Family History week in August. AFFHO will be publishing what is going on around Australia that week.'

Shauna has published a booklet with a lot more information called "Family History on the Cheap" which you can purchase through Gould.