Sep 12, 2014

Tips for Getting Started with your Family History Research

Here is the list of tips for getting started with your family history research compiled by the group on Tuesday 9th September.

- label and store original documents in acid-free sleeves
- record where you found information including date, details and source
- decide what you are going to research
  • which family 
  • how much detail 
  • start with yourself and work backwards 
- decide the purpose of your research
  • database of names and dates
  • family tree
  • photo album
- decide who it is for
  • your immediate family
  • wider family members
  • copy to the State Library
- scan all photos to your computer and write in pencil on the back of each one including all known names and dates
- make your tree 'private' until you know your way around the program
- back-up or copy all documents and files

Topic of next meeting - Tuesday 16th September
The group is planning to look at different software options - online and free.
Come and join this lively discussion - 2pm at Sam Merrifield Library.

Sep 4, 2014

Upcoming topics for the Family History Group

Hello and thanks to all the people who have been coming along to the Family History Group recently started at Sam Merrifield Library. Hope you are enjoying the group!
Here are the upcoming topics for the Family History Group for the next 4 weeks:
    Tuesday 9 September 2014: Starting out and keeping track of your research. What are your tips, tricks or recommendations? Bring along examples of what you do!
    Tuesday 16 Sept: Writing it up. How do you write up your research? Bring along examples to share.
    Tuesday 23 Sept: Library resources. Quick presentation of some of the resources you can access at the library to help with your family history research.
    Tuesday 30 Sept: What next? and social session This week the group will set the next few topics and catch up with library staff and other group members to discuss how the group is evolving.

Want to join the group. Come along to Sam Merrifield Library, Tuesdays 1-3pm. No need to book, just drop in.

Aug 19, 2014

The War that Changed Us

If you're interested in how the First World War affected Australia don't miss the ABC's new documentary, The War that Changed Us, tonight. It will be looking at the war experiences of 6 Australians (3 men and 3 women) who had very different experiences of the war.

One of the people they will be focusing on is Lieutenant Colonel Harold Elliott, better known as "Pompey" Elliott, who reached the rank of Brigadier General. This should be fascinating because Elliott had an outstanding but often controversial life and career. Although he was originally from Ballarat, and never lived in Essendon, as commander of the "Essendon Rifles" before the war, and leader of the Battalion that included the Company recruiting from the Essendon area at the start of the war he had very strong ties to this area. Which is why we've also chosen to feature Elliott in our event Essendon 1914: local impact of WWI this Saturday, which will look at how World War I affected the area that is now Moonee Valley.

Pompey Elliott

To book for Essendon 1914, call 8325 1950, or book online: at


Aug 17, 2014

Moonee Valley Libraries' Family History Group is up and running...

The first meeting of our new Family History Group, on Tuesday afternoon, was attended by 30 participants. The group decided on an ongoing meeting time of Tuesdays 1-3pm. These drop-in sessions will be held every week at Sam Merrifield Library, with no need for bookings. Each week the group will focus on a pre-determined topic for the first hour, and the second hour will be open for free discussion, chat and/or research.

The discussion topics for the first 4 weeks are as follows:

    Week 1 (19 Aug): Show and tell: family heirlooms/quick stories
    Week 2 (26 Aug): Library resources for family history
    Week 3 (2 Sep): Dealing with brick walls in your research. What obstacles have you hit in your research? What tips do you have on overcoming “brick walls”?
    Week 4 (11 Sep): Tools for keeping track of your research. What tool/s do you use to record your research? Can be software/online or other methods (files/notebooks/other)? What are your tips, tricks or recommendations?

Aug 15, 2014

Essendon 1914: local impact of WWI

For the last few weeks both Jennie and I have been doing lots of reading and researching about the war and how it impacted on the local community. The stories we've uncovered have been fascinating. Volunteer soldiers from this area were involved in some remarkable, often tragic and harrowing, exploits - and we both feel that these are stories of great local relevance that deserve to be better known by the community. This is why we're holding a special event at Sam Merrifield Library, Essendon 1914: local impact of WWI.

This event is happening on Saturday 23rd August from 2pm until 4pm, and will involve special guests Ross McMullin (author of Pompey Elliott and Farewell Dear People) and local historian and life member of the Essendon Historical Society, Lenore Frost (author of Bandsman Vosti and many other titles). Ross and Lenore will join library staff in a discussion about how local people contributed to the Great War, and how this conflict affected the local area. Each of the panellists will also look at the war experiences of a particular individual with a local connection: Ross McMullin will focus on one of Australia's greatest commanders, Pompey Elliott; Lenore Frost will look at Les Vosti a volunteer from Ascot Vale who served as a stretcher bearer and bandsman on the Western Front; and Jennie will focus on Alfred Shurey a Saddler Seargeant who also served on the Western Front.

A small ensemble from Moonee Valley Brass will also perform songs from the era.

This event is free, but bookings are required. Call 8325 1950 or book online.

Pompey Elliott

Les Vosti

Alfred Shurey