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Don Grant Lecture 2016: Susie Zada on 'Grannie' Ferris

  • Date recorded: 8 Aug 2016

  • Duration: 51:30

'This isn't just a story about Grannie and a couple of babies ... we compiled enough proof that Heritage Victoria has listed this as a heritage archaeological site'

- Susie Zada

About this video

Watch the annual Don Grant Lecture, delivered as part of Family History Feast 2016 by genealogist and researcher Susie Zada.

Susie introduces 'Grannie' Ferris, a formidable figure who persists in legends and oral histories in Ocean Grove, Victoria.

Born Susanna Smith in 1815 in Gloucester, England, 'Grannie' emigrated to Australia and worked as a nurse and midwife, and even as an unofficial doctor and undertaker, in the Barwon region in the late 18th century. An unmarked grave where she buried more than ten babies and children was discovered by Susie after she began researching the fascinating story of 'Grannie' Ferris.

Susie also discusses the difficulty of researching female ancestors, and offers advice on how to find records and information about female ancestors who worked as nurses and midwives. 


Susie Zada is a genealogist, researcher and historian. She blogs about local and family history at I just love history and maintains the Geelong and district database of local history in the greater Barwon region.