Family History

Next Meeting: Nonday 15th May 2017 
There is NO meeting in April: Easter Monday

The meeting will be held in the meeting room at the rear of the Mornington Community Information and Support Centre.  The Centre is located at the Main Street/Elizabeth Street intersection with car parking access from Elizabeth Street.

Please note that the meeting of the Family History Group will commence at 1:30 pm, allowing for the inclusion of a “DNA Discussion” agenda item as the first item on the agenda.

Guests of members and visitors are welcome to attend for up to 3 Peninsula meetings before being required to become financial members of the MelbPC User Group.

Note:   There will not be any meeting in April as the 3rd Monday falls on 17th April which is Easter Monday – a pubic holiday.

Colin A Ackehurst, Convener – MelbPC Club – Peninsula Family History Group 

 This was the AGENDA 20th March 2017at 1.30 pm to 4:30 pm

DNA Discussion: Coverage of members’ experiences with DNA, how to get your DNA tested and how to use it in family history.  Those members who have already had tests carried out can compare their experiences with the different testing organisations and assist each other in how to interpret the test results.  New developments in DNA Testing will be listed.  We will concentrate on how to use the results from Y- DNA testing as follows:

  • Family Tree DNA - Y-DNA Test:  Discussion and answering questions on the  analysis of test results.

Q & A Session:Input from members on any problems or items of interest from a member’s research.  All members are invited to participate in sharing their “Eureka Moments”. 

Family History Websites: If any members have knowledge of a "new" or interesting website the Family History Group would appreciate comments on their experience in using the website. Any suggested websites will be demonstrated "live" on the internet at the meeting.  Some websites of interest are set out below.  Generally most of these websites have been selected from the monthly Newsletters circulated from the Lost Cousins website.  These websites mainly cover UK research.  Thanks to Peter Calver who operates the LostCousins website at  You encouraged to join LostCousins which includes the Newsletters. Basic membership is FREE. 

  • Public Records Office Victoria Updated Website:  The PRO produces a newsletter “Despatch” advising of the updated website.  Malcolm Hull will comment on his experience using various aspects of the updated website at
  • British Newspaper Archive launches 'In Pictures'

The new 'In Pictures' feature at the British Newspaper Archive makes it easier to search for photographs - 'In Pictures' is at the beta stage. To find out more see this blog article.

  • Release of 1642 “Census”: In May 1641 all members of the House of Commons swore an oath of allegiance to the Protestant religion, and in the following January the Commons ordered that all adult males should do the same. The names of those who conformed were listed by parish, and this return was submitted to Parliament. In a few cases those who refused to sign were also listed.

There's a map on the Parliament website that shows the approximate location of the parishes for which returns have survived - you'll find it here. Just type in the name of the place of interest, or the nearest town - you'll probably need to enlarge the map to see the markers for individual parishes.

·         Northern Ireland's 1939 Register: The 1939 Register at Findmypast covers England & Wales - but it is possible to obtain extracts from the Northern Ireland register by contacting the Public Record Office for Northern Ireland (PRONI). And best of all, they're not charging for the information.  Note: at the time of writing there is no dedicated page on the PRONI website - but you can complete the online form here(thanks to Claire at Irish Genealogy News for her help).

·         The Russian Orthodox Church in London: Findmypast have made available online browseable images of marriage and other records for the Russian Orthodox Church in London. If you have Russian ancestors you'll almost certainly recognise the names of family members should they appear in the records, which include marriages up to 1915.

  • Ancestry & FamilySearch updates:  Both websites list many new and updated databases (collections) from month to month and these websites will be accessed at the meeting and the new and recently updated databases will be reviewed. These websites and others frequently add new data for searching and should be regularly reviewed by researchers.


A number of brief presentations will be shown at the meeting covering the following aspects:

  • Videos of ancient migrations and population growth and the effects of ice ages and volcanic activity
  • PowerPoint presentations on genealogical aspects in storing information and analysis of data

Agenda Items for Future Meetings:

  1. Workshop on researching Family History Records worldwide prior to Civil Registration e.g. Church Records etc.
  2. An updated Presentation on Immigration, Migration Records etc.
  3. Guided tours of the Public Records Office and/or the State Library Genealogical Centre

 Updated: 27th March 2017