Avoca and District Historical Society Inc.

Looking for lost ancestors from Ireland, England, Scotland, Wales or other parts of Europe who might have been on the Victorian goldfields during 1859-1860?

Check out this index containing over 3,000 names and 6,000 source references from the Lamplough district during 1859-1860.

This name index was collated in the course of researching the gold rush to Lamplough, near Avoca, in Victoria, Australia, which took place during late 1859 and early 1860.

Lamplough was one of the later gold rushes in 19th century Victorian goldmining history. It attracted thousands of miners. A thriving township sprang up overnight, which included hotels, billiard rooms, schools and churches, and just as quickly when the gold ran out the miners departed Lamplough and moved to the next promising location - nearby Mountain Creek, Kiandra in NSW, and even the fields in New Zealand.

Not much was left behind, except my ancestors and a few other families. Gradually, services were concentrated in nearby Avoca and Lamplough faded until today it is marked only by a road sign on the main highway.

My interest was prompted twelve years ago by the appearance of the name Lamplough on an ancestor's birth certificate and when I looked in the usual sources I found only occasional references to the town and the rush.

I then embarked on a research journey exploring every possible source in the National Library of Australia and other locations. At the time I was working on Senator Brian Harradine's staff in the nearby Old Parliament House and so I use to spend lunch hours and spare time (not much was available!) scanning microfilm of old newspapers in the National Library's Newspaper Reading Room. Occasional holiday trips to Melbourne included quick forays to Avoca and the State Library of Victoria.

Every time I came across a name I noted it down.

Retirement, access to the Internet and the purchase of some useful OCR (Optical Character Recognition) scanning software led to a decision to place the content of the paper version of the index on the Web for wider access.

The research resulted in an article "The Gold Rush to Lamplough, near Avoca in Victoria, Australia, during 1859-1860"which appeared in the journal Familia published by the Ulster Historical Foundation (Vol 2 No 3 1987 pps 3-21) and later, a more detailed twenty-four page article in the Victorian Historical Journal (Vol 60 No 1 March 1989 pps 3-26) "A Forgotten Victorian Gold Rush: Lamplough via Avoca, 1859-60".


Under the guidance of Helen Harris and other Society officials the Avoca and District Historical Society has amassed a huge card index system which records many names associated with the gold rushes to the area.

This indexing has been going on for years and if I attempted to correlate the Lamplough Index with the Society's card index system it would probably result in a fifty percent increase in the size of the Lamplough Index. However, it is possible that many of the names in my Index are not duplicated on the cards and the converse applies - many references on the cards may not be in my index.

So, if you want to 'exhaust' all possibilities contact the Society via [email protected]

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Avoca and District Historical Society Inc. 


Avoca and District Historical Society Inc.

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