Breamlea, Victoria

Breamlea, Victoria

Thursday, 20 August 2015

Welcome to Bendigo.  I visited
 the Bendigo Library, part of the
 Goldfields Libraries Group.
Part Two - Bendigo Library and Bendigo Family History Group AIGS

On Wednesday last, I travelled to Bendigo to research my great great Uncle James Armstrong. I had a terrific day, spending the morning in the BRAC, which you have already read about in a previous blog post.  In the afternoon, I stayed in the same building but spent time with the local family history group.

The Bendigo Library is one of the Goldfields Library Group, and is a real community centre in my opinion. A lot of thought has obviously gone into the design of the building. It has wonderful spaces for meetings of community groups.  Some spaces were like an open sunken auditorium, some were glassed off rooms with a large round meeting table and some were glass partitioned on three sides.  They also had food and drink available downstairs.  It all seemed very spacious and functional and user friendly to me, and I enjoyed being in their space.

I believe the people helping me were members of  the Australian Institute of Genealogical Studies or AIGS, Bendigo chapter.  They were wonderful, and really asked questions to understand exactly what I wanted.  They also offered local knowledge, which answered questions for me that would only have occurred to me much later on, thus saving me time and research.

They accessed local funeral director's records for me which are not available on-line.  They quickly found out specific things about my ancestor, which was heartening after a morning of fruitless searching in BRAC.

For example, I found out that my ancestor James had his funeral paid by an Insurance firm and a Repatriation fund.  The notes from the undertaker say "Polished coffin, Hearse, 2 Limousines, cemetery fee and press notices."  For his wife Lily, who died two months previous to him and is buried in the same plot: "Polished coffin, Glass Hearse, 1 Limo, Cemetery Fee." From these small details I imagine James consumed with grief as we know he was, following Lily's Glass Hearse to Kangaroo Flat Cemetery, where he would shortly follow.

Historically yours,
Valerius Copernicus

AIGS Bendigo volunteers are available at the Bendigo Library to assist researchers on Wednesdays 10am to 4pm and Saturdays 10am to 1 pm.

Research Officer
AIGS Inc. Bendigo Branch
PO Box 145
Bendigo 3552.

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