Adjust Font Size [ + ] [ – ] [ o ]

Victorian Archives Centre public opening hours

Monday to Friday: 10:00 am to 4:30 pm
(excl. public holidays)
The second and last Saturday of every month
We will be closed on Monday 26 January for the Australia Day Public Holiday

New Records Transfers

New PROV logo BLACK

The below records have been transferred into the PROV collection and are now available for ordering and viewing in our North Melbourne reading room.

VA 3727 City of Yarra
VA 2494 Richmond City Council
VPRS 12892 / P2 Voters’ Rolls, Ward Order [1870 to 1973]VPRS 12895 / P2 Rate and Valuation Register, Assessment Number Order [1963 to 1978]VPRS 16671 / P1 Index to Inward Correspondence [1856 to 1875]VPRS 16669 / P1 Inward Correspondence, Annual Single Number System [1856 to 1876]VPRS 16672 / P1 Mayor’s Correspondence [1905 to 1912]VPRS 16673 / P1 City Surveyor’s Correspondence [1898 to 1907]

VA 4931 Yarra-Melbourne Regional Library Corporation
VPRS 16676 / P1 Board Papers, Minutes and Agenda [1995 to 2007]VPRS 16677 / P1 Correspondence and Subject Files, CEO [1995 to 2006]VPRS 16678 / P1 Committee Minutes, Agenda and Papers [1996 to 2007]VPRS 16679 / P1 Confidential Board Papers, Minutes and Agenda [1999 to 2007]VPRS 16680 / P1 Enterprise Bargaining Agreement Files [1996 to 2006]

VA 511 Melbourne City Council
VPRS 16940 / P1 By Laws  [1862 to 1965]VPRS 16675 / P2 Rates and Valuation Cards [1960 to 1977]

VA 3727 City of Yarra
VA 2494  City of Richmond
VPRS 16668 / P1 Subject Correspondence Files [1858 to 1956]VPRS 16670 / P1 Inward Correspondence, Alphabetical [1877 to 1952]

VA 2989 Cabinet Office
VPRS 11935 / P3 Cabinet Records [1918]

VA 4838 Department of Planning and Community Development (DPCD)
VPRS 16156 / P2 Country Victoria and Metropolitan Region Planning Scheme Ordinances, Interim Development Orders and Approved Amendments
VPRS 16260 / P3 Guide to Melbourne Metropolitan Planning Scheme (MMPC) and Interim Development Orders (IDO) Maps in VPRS 16157 and Planning Scheme Amendment Maps in VPRS 16155

The below records have been transferred into the PROV collection and are now available for ordering and viewing in our Ballarat reading room.

VA 3708 Moorabool (Shire 1994-ct)
VA 967 Ballan (Road District 1862-1864; Shire 1864-1994)
VPRS 16965 / P1 Register of Rateable Properties, Cards [1946-1987]

VA 2378 Bacchus Marsh II (Shire 1871-1994)
VPRS 16988 / P1 Register of Rateable Properties, Cards [1964-1979]

VA 3734 Horsham III (Rural City 1995-ct)
VPRS 16966 / P1 Council Agenda Books [1995-2008]VPRS 16967 / P1 Council Minute Books [1995-2008]VPRS 16973 / P1 Minutes and Agenda Books, Committee of Management, Horsham Regional Art Gallery [1983-1994]

VA 2440 Horsham II (Borough 1882-1932; Town 1932-1949; City 1949-1995)
VPRS 16968 / P1 Council Minute Books [1883-1994]VPRS 16969 / P1 Council Agenda Books [1992-1995]VPRS 16971 / P1 Council Committee Minute Books [1889-1994]VPRS 16972 / P1 Notices of Motion [1966-1984]

Mark “Chopper” Read – Did he or didn’t he?

Whilst no one should glorify death at the hands of someone else, it is something that is a part of our society.

Mark “Chopper” Read’s final interview, which aired on Sunday 20 October on 60 Minutes, displayed a callous and cold blooded murderer, with a complete and utter lack of remorse. Until Sunday’s confessional, “Chopper” had never been convicted, and therefore incarcerated for the act of murder. He had spent years behind bars for a litany of offences, including armed robbery, assault, arson and kidnapping.  Sunday’s confessional from the grave identified four murders, one of which had been deemed a ‘missing person’ case.

PROV holds inquests and coronial investigation records from 1840-1985, and it is within this date range, which two of these murders took place.

Inquests can hold a range of information, including photographs of the victims and crime scene, witness statements, police statements and any relevant information which may have helped to identify the victim.

Desmond “Dessie” Costello had a long criminal history which included violence and dishonesty dating back to 1943. Costello, a union heavy weight and painter and docker by trade was found dead from gunshot wounds in December 1971.

The first of four murders, which Read confessed to in his final interview, was an organised ‘hit’ and took place in Clifton Hill. Costello’s body was found in an excavation pit where construction was taking place for the new Eastern Freeway on Alexandra Parade. Unidentifiable at first, the body was assessed by a fingerprint expert, who identified the victim as Desmond St. Bernard Costello. Once the identification had been made enquiries began to trace his movements prior to his death. Police hit road blocks when Costello’s associates on the docks refused to assist in their investigations. At the time an election was underway and several painters and dockers had been shot and severely assaulted in what appeared to be ‘shows of strength by the two factions attempting to gain control of the union’. This would come to be known as the ‘Waterfront Wars’.

The final findings from the coroner into Desmond Costello’s death stated that he died from ‘gunshot wounds to the head feloniously inflicted on or about the 12th day of December, 1971 by a person or persons and at a place unknown to me’.

Desmond Costello

VPRS 24 P3 Unit73 Item1973-2095 

VPRS 24 P3 Unit73 Item1973-2095 Image5VPRS 24/P3 Unit 73  Item 1973/2095

Reginald Edward Isaacs was first sent to prison in 1952 for child sex offences.  He was subsequently sentenced several more times for various crimes, including murder.  In his final trial for murder in 1974 Isaacs was sentenced to the death penalty and sent to Pentridge Prison.

In his native Britain, Isaacs had been discharged from the Army as medically unfit on psychiatric grounds.  After his time in the National Service was involuntarily cut short he migrated to Australia, where his family subsequently followed. It would be in Geelong in 1950 where Isaacs’ first attempted suicide by drowning himself in the Barwon River after he started to experience ‘homosexual urges’. And it was noted throughout his lengthy inquest that he had suicidal tendencies.  So when he was found dead in his cell in ‘D’ Division having likely hanged himself, it was deemed suicide and the case was closed. All of the evidence had pointed towards him taking his own life, and with his history of self-abuse it was apparently unsurprising to the prison officers, police, his psychiatrist, prison medical staff and the coroner that this was the eventual outcome of his life of crime.

However, “Chopper” Read’s final interview told another story about the death of Isaacs.  Read ‘confessed’ to playing a part in Isaacs’ death, alongside Charles “Mad Charlie” Hegyalji, a known underworld gangland criminal in Melbourne.  The pair reportedly made their way into Isaacs’ locked cell and beat him to death before tying him up and making it look like he’d taken his own life.

Reginald Isaacs

VPRS 24 P1 Unit45 Item1975-1758VPRS 24 P1 Unit 45 Item 1975/1758

Whether these deathbed confessions by Mark “Chopper” Read, who led a life of crime, are in fact true will be for the Victoria Police to investigate if they so see fit. However, for now, we can only speculate.

To order to view the original inquest records, please click on the below links.  Please note: You must register as a public user prior to ordering this record.

Desmond Costello – VPRS 24/P3 Unit 73  Item 1973/2095

Reginald IsaacsVPRS 24 P1 Unit 45 Item 1975/1758

 

*Please note that any information obtained here has been done so with the use of the inquests held at Public Record Office Victoria (PROV).

Irish Famine Orphans

I was searching VPRS 521 (Register of Names, Particulars and Personal Descriptions of Prisoners Received 1850-1941) as an alternative method of finding Irish Famine Orphans who were convicted of a crime. The Series records Names, Ship and date of arrival into Victoria, personal description and particular scars, marks, tattoos etc.
One entry caught my eye – Ann Brown arrived on the “Derwent” in 1850 and was born in 1825, was 5ft1 inch with a  stout build, fresh complexion, brown hair and hazel eyes.  She was burnt on the right side of her face and was “deficit of her right ear”.  Pretty unique and distinctive, right??
 
Imagine my surprise when I discovered the description of Ann Hall – “arrived on the “Derwent” in 1850 and was born in 1825, 5ft1 inch with a  stout build, fresh complexion, brown hair and hazel eyes.  She was burnt on the right side of her face and was “deficient of her right ear”.  What a coincidence!
 
Then both Ann Beaty and Margaret Beatty had exactly the same description – “arrived on the “Derwent” in 1850 etc.  ….. burnt on the right side of her face and was “deficient of her right ear”.
 
What was going on?  Was this early evidence of cloning?  Or was it an epidemic of short, careless Irish girls who consistently fell into fires at the same angle and received the same horrific injuries?  I came to the (obvious) conclusion that one woman had been arrested multiple times and was using an alias each time but which was the correct name? I checked the passenger list for the “Derwent” – no Ann  Brown, Ann Beaty, Ann Hall or Margaret Beatty was listed.  There was, however, a Sarah Beatty listed on the 1850 voyage of the “Derwent” whose age was listed as 25 – making her born in 1825 and considerably older than the usual Irish Orphan. On further investigation of VPRS 14/P0000 (Nominal Disposal List), Sarah Beatty was listed as a Sub-Matron who assisted in the supervision of the Orphans whilst on the “Derwent”.
 
In Inward Correspondence (Immigration Board) – VPRS 115 / P0000 / 0004 ref 50/ 71 dated 07 March 1850 –  Sarah Beatty, one of the sub-Matrons, was reported to the Immigration Board by the Surgeon Superintendent for inefficiency in the discharge of her duties. On investigation, the charges were found to be correct and the Board recommended not paying her the gratuity expected.
vprs 117-p0-0001 page 117
Again in Inward Correspondence (Immigration Board) – this time in  VPRS 115 / P0000 / 0005 ref 50/310 and dated 19 July 1850 – there is a description of how, prior to leaving Ireland, Sarah suffered an epileptic fit and fell into a fire, receiving burns to the right side of her face and entirely losing her right ear.
 
So, Sarah Beatty is clearly her correct name but I have been unable to find any conviction under her correct name or a marriage for Sarah or her death or even a committal to a Lunatic Asylum.
 
Her story remains a mystery to me and although technically she is not an “Irish Orphan”, I would love to discover her fate because she was obviously a character. If you are descended from Sarah or your research has uncovered more of Sarah’s story, please contact me through this Blog so that I can satisfy my curiosity.

See the digitised records held by the Public Record Office Victoria and read more of Sarah’s story at Records relating to Sarah Beatty

Christine O’Donnell – Access Services Officer

New Records Transfers

New PROV logo BLACK

The below records have been transferred into the PROV collection and are now available for ordering and viewing in our North Melbourne reading room.

VA 1148 Veterinary Practitioners Registration Board of Victoria (1997-ct) (formerly known as the Veterinary Board of Victoria 1888-1997)
VPRS 17300 / P1 Minutes of Board Meetings [1888-2012]VPRS 17301 / P1 Veterinary Lists [1893-2012]VPRS 17302 / P1 Annual Reports [1995-2012]VPRS 17303 / P1 Outward Correspondence Books [1888-1893]VPRS 17304 / P1 Inward Correspondence [1888-1900]VPRS 17305 / P1 Subject Correspondence Files [1890-2012]VPRS 17306 / P1 Register of Veterinary Practitioners (formerly know as the Veterinary Register of Victoria) [1888-1999]

VA 4970 Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation
VA 2955 – Licensing Court of Victoria
VA 2905 – Victorian Licensing Court
VA 1110 – Liquor Control Commission
VPRS 17084/P1 – Index Cards to Liquor Licences
VPRS 17298/P1 – Index Cards to VPRS 7712, Licence Case Files

VA 4086 Office of the Administrator
VA 1002 State Electricity Commission of Victoria
VPRS 17092 P1 to P12 Photograph Albums, SECV Latrobe Valley Photo Collection [?1920 to 1990]VPRS 17093 P1 Photographic Prints and B & W Negatives, Subject Headings, SECV Latrobe Valley Photo Collection [1935 to 1965]VPRS 17094 P1 Subject Index to VPRS 17093 Photographic Prints and Negatives, Subject Headings, SECV Latrobe Valley Photo Collection [1935 to 1965]

VA 2989 Cabinet Office
VPRS 11935 P4 Cabinet Records  [1976 to 1982]

VA 3745 Department of Treasury and Finance
VA 4684 Victorian Plantations Corporation
VPRS 14373 P1 Audit Committee Records
VPRS 14374 P1 Board Minutes and Papers
VPRS 14375 P1 General Correspondence Files, Alphabetical
VPRS 14430 P1 General Correspondence Files, Annual Single Number System
VPRS 14376 P1 General Ledger
VPRS 14377 P1 Executive Management Meeting Minutes and Papers
VPRS 14429 P1/P2 General Correspondence Files, Multiple Number System
VPRS 14379 P1 Subject Files: Softwood Plantations Exporters
VPRS 14380 P1 Valuations, Plantations
VPRS 14381 P1 Assets Register
VPRS 14382 P1 Annual Reports
VPRS 14701 P1/P2 Maps and Plan Collection

VA 534 Department of State Forests/ VA 1034 Dept. Conservation, Forests and Land
VPRS 11563 P2 General Correspondence Files, Annual Single Number System

VA 1034 Dept. Conservation, Forests and Land/VA 3004 Dept. of Conservation and Environment/VA 3097 Dept. Conservation and Natural Resources/VA 3972 Dept. of Natural Resources and Environment
VPRS 14565 P1 & P2 General Correspondence Files, Annual Single Number System II

VA 4086 Office of the Administrator
VA 1002 State Electricity Commission of Victoria
VPRS 17095 P1 Photographic Prints and B & W  Negatives, SECV Latrobe Valley Photo Collection [1948 to 1980]VPRS 17096 P1 Index to Photographic Prints and B & W  Negatives, SECV Latrobe Valley Photo Collection [1948 to 1980]VPRS 17099 P1 Photographic Prints and B & W  Negatives, SECV Latrobe Valley Photo Collection  [1953 to 1974]VPRS 17100 P1 Index to Photographic Prints and B & W  Negatives, SECV Latrobe Valley Photo Collection [1953 to 1974]VPRS 17102 P1 Photographic Prints and B & W  Negatives, SECV Latrobe Valley Photo Collection [1974 to 1995]VPRS 17103 P1 Index to Photographic Prints and B & W Negatives, SECV Latrobe Valley Photo Collection [1974 to ?1989]

VA 2585 Legislative Assembly
VPRS 11212 / P2 General Subject  Files, Speaker
NOTE: These records are Restricted for public access.  Requests for access must be made to the Clerk of the Legislative Assembly. Written authorisation from the Clerk must then be presented at the Public Record Office Victoria Reading Rooms before records can be made available for inspection.

Mobile Technologies and Recordkeeping Issues Paper

The emergence of the mobile market is fundamentally changing the way government conducts its business and interacts with the public. This trend is by no means confined to Victoria or Australia. Internationally, governments have harnessed this technology to enhance the flexibility and efficiency of their business processes.

The use of mobile technology can improve and streamline government processes and also reduce operational costs. From a recordkeeping perspective, mobile devices allow information to be accessed and managed without being anchored to a set physical location or work station. However, any uptake of new technologies also creates new risks. These risks need to be managed.

To assist agencies with identifying recordkeeping risks, Public Record Office Victoria has produced a new Issues Paper on Mobile Technologies and Recordkeeping, which is now available for download from our website (http://prov.vic.gov.au/government/standards-and-policy/policies/mobile-technologies).

This issues paper focuses on the aspects of mobile technology (including but not limited to Bring Your Own Devices (BYOD)) that have a direct bearing on the management of public records. This issues paper recognises the complexity of mobile technology and does not intend to examine policies relating to the technical or financial considerations of its use.

This issues paper invites comment from Victorian Government agencies, and all local, national or international interested parties, in both public and private enterprise.

The consultation phase will conclude on 22 November 2013. The comments received will inform an official policy from PROV regarding the records management component of mobile technology use.

Please respond to those questions or aspects of the issues paper to which you may have views about. In your response please identify both the section of the issues paper and the questions, issues and paragraphs to which you are responding. Additional ideas or comments on matters not addressed in the issues paper are welcomed. Please include them at the end of your response to a particular matter raised in the issues paper.

In responding to this issues paper agencies should be aware that PROV may be legally required to release the content and details of any response. If you have any concerns about information provided in your response, it is suggested that you seek legal advice.

Please email your responses to: Standards@prov.vic.gov.au.

The closing date for responding to the issues paper is: 22 November 2013.

If you have any questions, pleases contact Alan Kong, Manager, Standards and Policy at alan.kong@prov.vic.gov.au or 03 9348 5720.

New Records Transfers

New PROV logo BLACK

The below records have been transferred into the PROV collection and are now available for ordering and viewing in our North Melbourne reading room.

VA 4997 Ferntree Gully & Gembrook Railway Construction Trust
VPRS 17122 P1 Rate Books 1901 to 1919

VA 4978 Ferntree Gully (Shire 1889 to 1964)
VPRS 17104 P1 Extra Rate Books [1896 to 1908]
VPRS 17105 P1 Special Rate Book, Country Roads Act [1917 to 1919]
VPRS 17111 P1 Separate Rate Book [1920 to 1927]
VPRS 17112 P1 Summary Rate Book [1934 to 1935]
VPRS 17113 P1 Properties Register Rate Book [1918 to 1924]
VPRS 17139 P1 Rate Books [1892 to 1964]
VPRS 17114 P1 Council Minutes [1889 to 1964]
VA 2509 Sherbrook (Shire 1964 to 1994)
VPRS 17143 P1 Register of Rateable Properties [1964 to 1972]
VPRS 17140 P1 Property Valuation and Rate Card Books [1972 to 1984]
VPRS 17281 P1 Rate Records, Computer Printout [1984 to 1994]
VPRS 17114 P2 Council Minutes [1965 to 1994]
VA 2522 Upper Yarra II, Shire 1888 to 1994
VPRS 17123 P1 Rate Books [1895 to 1982]
VPRS 17282 P1 Rate Records, Computer Printout [1982 to 1994-95]
VPRS 17115 P1 Council Minutes [1905 to 1994]
VA 4981 Upper Yarra District Road Board
VPRS 17127 P1 Board Minutes [1862 to 1872]
VA 2439 Healesville Shire 1887 to 1994
VPRS 17124 P1 Council Minutes [1887 to 1994]
VPRS 17119 P1 Council Committee Minutes [1946 to 1994]
VPRS 17120 P1 Committee Minutes, Various [1928 to 1995]
VPRS 17125 P1 Rate Books [1890-1976]
VPRS 17126 P1 Rate Valuation Book

VPRS 17283 P1 Rate Book, Computer Printout p1 [1976 – 1994]
VA 2458 Lillydale Shire 1872 to 1994
VPRS 17141 P1 Council Meeting Agenda [1989 to 1994]
VPRS 17142 P1 Council Committee Agenda [1989 to 1994]
VPRS 17121 P1 Council Minutes [1872 to 1994]
VPRS 17147 P1 Council Committee Minutes [1953 to 1994]
VPRS 17145 P1 Rate Books [1872-1945/46]
VPRS 17284 P1 Rate Records, Computer Printouts [1971- 1979]
VA 4998 Lilydale & Warburton Railway Construction Trust
VPRS 17144 P1 Minutes [1899 to 1920]
VPRS 17146 P1 Rate Book [1902-1905]
VA 4999 Lillydale Waterworks Trust
VPRS 17148 P1 Minutes [1903 to 1915]

Irish Famine Orphans – Pt2

You can contribute too!!

I am so excited – I was talking to a Researcher in the Reading Room about “my” Irish Orphan project and he turned out to be the Great-grandson of one of the Girls. His ancestor, Winifred Jane Nealis, arrived on the “Lady Kennaway” and was admitted to the Immigration Depot on 13th December 1848.  

She left there 16th December 1848 when she was engaged by Major Firebrace of Milford, Melbourne for 12 months at £11 per annum. (Disposal List – VPRS 14/P0000/0006). She married Samuel Pickersgill and was one of the early Pioneers of the Griffiths Point (now known as San Remo) district.

I was able to find a Land Selection File for when they applied for selection of land under Sections 19 & 20 of the 1862 Lands Act, a Probate and Administration File and an Inquest for Winifred. Her great-grandson has given me access to memoirs about family and community happenings written by her son and even photographs of the old family home.

It is a great insight into the opening up of country areas of early Victoria. You can read Winifred’s Story here (or cut-and- paste http://wiki.prov.vic.gov.au/index.php/Winifred_Nealis) – and don’t forget to follow the link to Records relating to Winifred Nealis and her Family.

Here’s a page from the Land Selection File:VPRS 625p0000-142 File 8030 page 1 sml

If you are descended from one of the Victorian Famine Orphans and would like to share your story, I’d love to hear from you.  Post a comment on this blog post or send me an email at enquiries@prov.vic.gov.au

Christine O’Donnell – Access Services Officer

What’s new in our Collection – October 2013

New PROV logo BLACKThe below records have been transferred into the PROV collection and are now available for ordering and viewing in our North Melbourne reading room.

VA 3727 City of Yarra
VA 2494 Richmond City

VPRS 9984 P0003 Various Committees and Conference Minutes [1963 to 1979]

VPRS 12889 P0004 Reports to Council and Council Committees [1901 to 1981]

 

VA 2493 Queenscliffe (Municipal District 1863; Borough 1863-ct)

VPRS 16248 / P0003 Contract Files [2007-2009]

VPRS 17038 / P0001 Building Permit Files [1955-1997]

 

VA 4944 Wannon Region Water Authority

VA 2096 Hamilton Waterworks Trust

VPRS 17085 P0001 Waterworks Trust Meeting Minutes [1899 to 1983]

VPRS 17086 P0001 (Finance and Works Committee) Committee Minutes [1901 to 1953]

 

VA 2215 Hamilton Water Board

VPRS 17087 P0001 Board Meeting Minutes [1983 to 1994]

 

VA 1982 Hamilton Sewerage Authority

VPRS 17088 P0001 Meeting Minutes [1935 to 1983]

VPRS 17089 P0001 (Finance Committee) Committee Minutes [1935 to 1953]

 

VA 4241 Glenelg Region Water Authority

VPRS 17090 P0001 Agendas, Reports and (Minutes from 1994 to 1996) [ 1994 to 2005]

VPRS 17091 P0001 Meeting Minutes [1996 to 2005]

 

VA 3686 Gannawarra (Shire 1995-ct)

VPRS 16763 / P0001 Rate Records, Computer Printouts [1996-1999]

VPRS 16765 / P0001 Rate and Valuation Register, Computer Printouts [1995-1999]

 

VA 2447 Kerang I (Shire 1898-1995)

VPRS 16764 / P0001 Rate Records, Computer Printouts [1983-1995]

VRPS 16767 / P0001 Rate and Valuation Register, Computer Printouts [1985-1990]

 

VA 2446 Kerang II (Borough 1966-1995)

VPRS 16762 / P0001 Rate Records, Computer Printouts [1989-1994]

VPRS 16808 / P0001 Rate and Valuation Register, Computer Printouts [1994-1995]

 

VA 2407 Cohuna (Shire 1922-1995)

VPRS 16761 / P0001 Rate Records, Computer Printouts [1984-1991]

VPRS 16766 / P0001 Rate and Valuation Register, Computer Printouts [1982-1995]

 

VA 3706 Monash (City Council 1994-ct)

VA 2532 Waverley (City 1961-1994) and VA 2706 Monash (City 1994-ct)

VPRS 17274 / P0001 Contract Registers [1961-1995]

VA 4848 Mulgrave (Shire 1897-1961) and VA 2532 Waverley (City 1961-1994)

VPRS 17275 / P0001 Contract Registers [1914-1965]

VA 871 Oakleigh II (Borough 1891-1924); Town 1924-1927; City 1927-1994)

VPRS 17276 / P0001 Contract Registers [1924-1957]

Irish Famine Orphans

Lady Kennaway Nominal Disposal List page 1

Lady Kennaway Nominal Disposal List page 1

My obsession with the Irish Famine Orphan Immigration began as a result of being asked to present an Information Session at the Immigration Museum in October 2012 as part of their “Leaving Dublin” Exhibition”.  After a great deal of research, my session, titled “Irish Immigration to Victoria using the Resources of Public Record Office Victoria (PROV)” was born.

Not a very catchy title, I’ll admit, but the stories that I discovered had me caught …. hook, line and sinker!! There were stories of good girls who went bad, those who went mad, those whose lives were filled with an almost inevitable tragedy, those who vanished and those who made good lives for themselves and the children who followed them.

These (mainly illiterate) girls – and a few from England and Scotland – are the stuff that the pioneers of Australia were made of – in fact, they were pioneers who explored a frightening land, totally alien to anything that they had ever previously experienced in their short lives before reaching Australian soil.  Many of them married within a very short time of arriving here and life, for many of them, was very hard – as it was for many of the working-class people of the time.

I began my research with perhaps fifteen stories of girls whose lives told the story of Australia – the most memorable for me are the tragic ones like Alice Ball, Mary Coghlan, Margaret Gorman,

There are websites and memorials dedicated to these brave girls who traveled half-way around the world to make a life for themselves in Australia – Irish Famine Memorial Sydney and the Memorial Rock at Williamstown. An invaluable resource is “Barefoot and Pregnant?” by Trevor McLaughlin.

What I have commenced doing is to list all the girls who arrived in Victoria on the six vessels and to research their stories through the official records held by Public Record Office Victoria – records such as Nominal Passenger Lists, Disposal Lists, Prison records, Criminal Trial Briefs, Inquests, Wills and Probates, Licensing Registers, Land Records, Inward and Outward Correspondence, Rate Books and Asylum Records. It is a very ambitious task – especially seeing that I do it in my spare time. The website is http://wiki.prov.vic.gov.au/index.php/Irish_Famine_Orphan_Immigration

Through this blog, I plan to share the stories that I am currently researching with all the highs and frustrations of the search.

Written by: Christine O’Donnell, Access Services Officer

Showcase Record – October 2013

Crawford Pasco (1818-1898)

Sketches by Crawford Pasco VPRS 5488

Highland on Wilson's Promontary

Born in Plymouth, England in 1818, Crawford Atchison Denman Pasco established his long career on the seas with the Royal Navy at the age of 12. By 1837 Pasco had been involved in the Portuguese Civil War, the Battle of the Scheldt, the siege of Oporto and had been witness to the repercussions of revolutions and earthquakes in Peru and Chile. By 1839 Crawford was serving on the Beagle, which had been engaged to survey parts of Australia’s northern and western coasts, which had been integral in the discovery of the Adelaide River, the future port of Darwin and the Victoria River. From 1842 he had been involved in survey work in Bass Strait, sailed via America to the Far East, South Africa, Van Diemen’s Land, Canton, Singapore, Penang, Borneo and the Philippines, where he carried repatriation money from the Opium War and is said to have ‘subdued a rebellious rajah’.

In 1852 Crawford Pasco set sail for Australia as a passenger on the P. & O. Co. steamship Chusan. It was Pasco who navigated the way through Port Phillip Heads. Once in Victoria he retired from the navy and was appointed as a police magistrate and helped to organise the expanding Williamstown water police force. Dealing primarily with deserting crews, he was instrumental in convicting sailors imprisoned in hulks instead of a Melbourne gaol.

[5] View from Cement Hill Stockyard Creek Corner Inlet 18 Sept 1873

Retiring for the second time at the age of 60 Crawford Pasco became a founding member of the Victorian Branch of the Geographical Society in 1884 as well as the chairman for the first Antarctic Exploration Committee, which was heavily involved in encouraging support in Australia, Scandinavia and Great Britain from politicians, scientists, whalers, explorers and philanthropists.

In 1878 Crawford Pasco became the owner of ‘Mt Edgecombe’, one of the first buildings of substance and scale in the west end of Queenscliff. The Pasco’s summer residence still stands today.

Donated to PROV in 1983 were seven sketches varying in content and size by Crawford Pasco. These sketches were all produced in 1873 by the retired naval officer and include ‘Queenscliff from Life Boat pier’, ‘View of Port Albert August 1873’ and ‘Original Homestead of Stevens, Willis and Swanston at Queenscliff’.

Original Homestead of Stevens, Willis & Swanston 26 July 1873

To find out further about Crawford Pasco you can consult the following PROV resources:

Passenger Lists – available online

Wills and Probate Records 1841-1925 – available online

Inward Registered Correspondence VPRS 937

Land Records VPRS 624

Phoebe Wilkens – Access Services Officer

 

Page 10 of 29« First...89101112...20...Last »