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FamNet eNewsletter April 2014

ISSN 2253-4040


Quote: “My ancestors wandered lost in the wilderness for forty years because even in biblical times, men would not stop to ask for directions.”  Elayne Boosler 


From the Editor

From the Developer

Adding your Scrapbook Items into FamNet

DNA Testing for Family History

Colleen’s Corner

Lost Trails – from the RSA Review

Medal Requests

Military Genealogy

Useful Websites

Group News

Whangarei Family History Computer Group

News and Views

From Wayne


Ask an Expert

Help Offered, Information Wanted etc.

Have Your Say – Letters to the Editor


In Conclusion

A Bit of Light Relief

Advertising with FamNet

To Unsubscribe

Copyright (Waiver)


From the Editor

http://www.famnet.org.nz/newsletters/FamNet/April_2014/Newsletter_files/image008.jpgI hope you all had a nice Easter and the weather was kind to you wherever you went on holiday, or if like me you stayed at home.  This month I have made the main feature of the newsletter ANZAC and the 100th ANNIVERSARY of the start of WWI.  I hope you find the following of interest and there is information which may be of help to you. 

If you live on the West Coast of NZ I hope you are all OK. My daughter told me of a farmer next door to her who had a tree fall on a cow which he then had to destroy, as the tree had broken the cows back.

We have a competition this month which I hope many of you will enter.  There is a prize. I love entering competitions, I hope you do too. 

I enjoyed the visit to New Zealand of the Royals this month, as I love all things royal. I expect that many genealogists will share this outlook: royalty is, after all, all about genealogy and many of us are keen to be able to claim even a tenuous link to royalty or other famous people. But for king or commoner alike genealogy improves our knowledge of where we’ve come from, and our story. I have a tenuous link to William Shakespeare.  Maybe that is why I am the Editor.

Enjoy the newsletter.

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From the Developer

Adding your Scrapbook Items into FamNet

If your family tree is just a collection of names and dates then it is of little interest, even to your own family. To make it really interesting your family tree needs to be accompanied by pictures and stories of your ancestors, making them real people with lives and loves. 

We encourage you to load your trees into FamNet, and like every other genealogy site the standard way of doing this is to upload a GEDCOM.  Unfortunately these don’t include scrapbook information, so to upload your pictures you have to update the records on line. Open one of your own records and you’ll see an [Edit] option.

Click this and an edit page appears allowing you to update the record. You can upload pictures with the controls there, or click [Scrapbook] for more flexibility. 



Scrapbook provides a dialog that allows you to easily upload your pictures, documents, and videos and sound files. Click here to hear one of our family treasures, a recording of Mary’s aunt that we discovered 17 years after her death.  Pictures are often of groups, and documents too may involve others, so when the object has been uploaded you can easily link it to other people as well. A particularly easy option is [Link to Family] where the dialog gives you a list of the subject’s parents, siblings, partner(s), and children, i.e. the people most likely to be with him/her in a picture.



We strongly encourage you to upload your scrapbook items. You get extra subscription credits for this, and more importantly your tree becomes more interesting to your family and everybody else.

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DNA Testing for Family History 

Where Would One Begin?

http://www.famnet.org.nz/newsletters/FamNet/April_2014/Newsletter_files/image013.jpgThis is the 2nd in a series of 12 articles on the subject of DNA testing for genealogy purposes by Gail Riddell (a popular and renowned DNA presenter in New Zealand). For further information, please contact her directly. 

 In the previous (first) article, I finished by requesting that you focus on what it is that you wish to learn from such testing. You see, if you are uncertain of what it is you wish to learn then it is possible you may select the wrong firm and the wrong test and result in an unsatisfactory outcome for your requirements. This is because no two firms offer the same procedures nor the same tests. Even more sadly, not all firms offer the same services. (Never mind what their publicity machines state!)

So, should you decide to get genetically involved, please spend time working out what you wish to learn or what aim you have to ensure such an investment works for you. (Not for your neighbour; not for your friend; not for your relative but for you).

Here are common reasons you may have for considering such a test in the first place:-

1.      I am curious as to what I would find.

2.      I am adopted and wish to learn who my birth parents might be.

3.      My mother/father is adopted and has no idea as to her/his parents.

4.      I look nothing like anyone in my family – are my parents really my parents?

5.      I suspect a person is actually a relative but how can I be sure?

6.      I wish to learn who my UK relatives are.

7.      Am I European or another ethnicity group?

8.      My family history goes back hundreds of years but I wish to learn whether this is genuine.

9.      My surname is very common so how do I know for certain if I am related to other people using the same surname?

10.  I am curious as to whether I am (examples) English, Scottish, Irish, Welsh, Flemish, Spanish, Flemish, Portuguese, Norwegian, Danish, German, Italian, Indian, Maori, African, Jewish,    

11.  Turkish, Russian, Polish, Chinese, Asian etc. etc.

12.  I am interested in whether my genes may show I am allergic to certain things or I have a medical weakness. Can DNA testing help me with this?

13.  My parents were brown-eyed, as are my siblings so do my blue eyes mean I am not a biological child?

14.  My brick wall is when my ancestors arrived in New Zealand and I cannot find the ship on which they arrived, nor where they came from – will DNA testing help me?

Those were mere examples of reasons I am given every day. On the surface, these all appear to be straightforward. But once I dig a little deeper, the motivations and thoughts in behind those examples give very real clues as to what test should be taken, by whom and with which firm. The final decision usually depends on three important decisions you must make.

1.      The funds you are willing to outlay? (Meaning, it is not as expensive as say “golf” but it can prove to be expensive. And if the correct test is not taken with the correct firm, you will be wasting your money).

2.      Who in your family is willing to test? And does that person represent the one whose results will give you what is needed? (Meaning, is that person being tested, in the correct descendant’s line?)

3.      Do you want fast and cheap? Or do you want slow and accurate? Do you want health and genealogy or just genealogy?

In my next article, the subject of which is “what test should I take to give me the outcome I am seeking?” I shall give an overview of test-type descriptions and what you will learn from each.

Here is a true story regarding a soldier leaving behind a mystery finally unravelled by the use of DNA.

© Gail Riddell 2014

Colleen’s Corner

http://www.famnet.org.nz/newsletters/FamNet/April_2014/Newsletter_files/image008.jpgLost Trails – from the RSA Review

With April being ANZAC month, and this year being the centenary of WWI, I thought I would republish some material from the RSA, the first about some items to be returned to descendants if they can be found, and some requests from people wanting war photographs identified and some information.  If anyone could help with these the recipients would be very grateful. 

Items for Return to Family of Alfred Martin

Items for return to family of ALFRED MARTIN, 72075, a World War I soldier. The items include an order to parade from the New Zealand Expeditionary Force; the army form dated April 2, 1919, and is addressed Mrs E Mathews, North Head, Papanui. According to the notification from the base records branch of the NZ Military Forces in Wellington, Alfred Martin died at the front of wounds on November 8, 1918. He had lived in Wellington and seemed to have been conscripted from there. 

Alfred Martin was a retired Colonel of the NZ Army.  His last appointment was as Director and CEO of the National Army Museum.  In his retirement he conducted military research for individuals and organisations.  From a brief examination of the files relating to this man – which included a copy of his Will, Alfred Martin willed all his possessions to his brother a Harold Sidney Bashford of 59 Mitchell StreetBrunswickMelbourneAustralia and he appointed his father, Herbert Brooker Bashford of the same address as the Executor of his Will.  He had listed a Mrs E Mathews of North Road, Papanui, Christchurch as his next-of-kin and showed her status as a “friend”. If you are a family member or have information on the whereabouts of family please contact The Editor.

Are You the Owner Of These Kit Bags?

Two kit bags to return to families.  Details on the kitbags are: Tpr. Connolly JP 45584 NZEF. Pte Climo K.G. 49070, 14 Millward St., Wanganui. Contact The Editor




Missing Colleagues

Roy Green, 94, a World War II Veteran, seeks information on two colleagues from Italy; Snow Burling, Tank Transporters Regiment from Wairarapa, possibly Featherston, and Verdan Grey (nicknamed Hector), also from Wairarapa.  Roy is feeling rather weak at the moment so hopefully we can find this information for him.  Contact the Editor if you can help this old soldier.

Needing Identification

Can anybody help identify anyone in the photos below?  The soldier seated in both photos is Norman Simpkin who served in WWI.  The short soldier on the right of the group of three and second from the right in the bigger is Pte Ernest Edward Hughes.  He and Simpkin were in the 39th Reinforcements. 

The National Army Museum, at Waiouru, has identified this as a private/studio photo, and has suggested they could have been men from C Coy (both Simpkin Burgess and Pte Thomas Hansen were in C Coy and from the same area, Dargaville.  Simpkin, Burgess and Pvt Thomas Hansen, all from that area, were in military training before enlisting.

They were attested on October 30, 1917, began service on August 19, 1918, were in the New Zealand Medical Corp, and embarked with the 39th Reinforcement. Hansen could be the soldier on the left of the threesome and on the right hand side of the larger group.




The 3 soldiers in the left photo appear to be the same as the middle 3 soldiers in the back row of the 2nd photo. The only 2 that we know who they are: - photo 3861; - seated is Norman Simpkin, 2nd in from RH end is Ernest Burgess (he is also the one on the Right, in photo 3862)

Suggestions of who they could be (from the Waiouru Museum) are:-

·         Private Allen, Horace George   (b.  10/11/1891 son of George and Rosie Ellen Allen, Arapito, Westport)

·         Private Gray, Eric Stanley ( b. 12/7/1890 wife was Eileen Florence Quinlivan c/- T.F.Quinlivan, 911 Gordon Rd, Hastings)  - son of George  & Elizabeth Gray,

·         Private Hansen, Thomas (b. 6/6/1893 - parents Carl Andreas and Lydia HANSEN nee Ford, Matakohe, Kaipara)

·         Private Smith, Herbert (born 4/6/1896 as Herbert YEO, at East Moulsey, UK, - his father died and his mother Annie remarried to James Morris SMITH,  c/- Public Works Dept., Maungaturoto)  This soldier MIGHT be the one in the centre of both of the photos.

·         Private Ward, Edwin (born 10/1/1895 at Northam, DevonUK - mother Mrs Mary Ann Ward, "Commons", Manawaru, Te Aroha) He may have married Mary Elizabeth Mackwood.. They were all in the 39th Reinforcements.

Looking For Relatives of a Soldier Who Was Saved By Rex Dakers

The Israeli Ambassador is looking for relatives of a New Zealand soldier whose life was saved by an Australian pastor, Rex Dakers. Rex intervened when the Germans, who were about to execute the New Zealander and a Jewish Soldier (both from the Sappers) for trying to escape from a prisoner of war train shortly after the Germans occupied Greece.  Contact the Editor if you have any information on this soldier.

Can You Help With the Date These New Zealanders Were Photographed?



Can anyone help with the date these New Zealand sailors were photographed after returning to New Zealand in 1945, after WWII? Also what was the name of the ship they returned on? 

The contributor whose two brothers (both now deceased) were on board, says she knows they had been at HMS Mayoma and came home later, rather than earlier, in the year.  The ship is believed to have been an aircraft carrier designed for the United States. I contacted the NZ Navy on Facebook and they have sent it to their museum. If you can help please contact the Editor.

Request for a Photo of an Aircraft

An RSA member asks if anyone possesses a photograph of 356Sqn Liberator VI. Serial KH161?  This was his grandfather’s aircraft. If you can help please contact the Editor.

Medal Requests

Where Are Nana and Granddad’s Medal’s?

·         Do you know if your paternal and maternal grandfather (and grandmother) ever served during WWII and therefore may have some medallic entitlement?

·         Do you know their service number and a brief outline of their service?

·         Have medals been issued and who holds them now?

·         Are they in good order?

With the growing interest in Anzac Day and Family History Research, there are now many requests to the Medals Office from families trying to locate these medals.


In the early 1920’s WWII veterans had to apply for the medals of service, unlike WWI servicemen who had them mailed out automatically. The service decided by WWII that the automatic mail out was too difficult a task, so made the rule that all servicemen and servicewoman (or the families in the case of deceased personnel) had to apply. 

Many WWII veterans did not agree with this rule and refused to apply.  Their medal entitlement is still recorded on their personnel files and the NZDF Medals Office still holds a large number of WWII medals.

More information can be found on the NZDF medals website  Also available on the website are the new All Medal Entitlement application forms for the Medal Office to check if the relatives medal entitlement has been issued.

If you want to have additional sets for your grandchildren – talk to your medal mounter to have some miniature medal sets made for them to wear on the right hand side of their jackets on Anzac Day. They are far easier to get and cheaper overall than full sized medals plus having the advantage of being a lot lighter to wear. Orders, decorations are worn on the left breast by a veteran in a line suspended from a single brooch mount (swing mounted) or a rectangular frame (court mounted).

Australian War Memorial

The War Memorial’s collections contain a wealth of material relating to the military service of individuals as well as units. If you are trying to track down information about relatives who served in any of the conflicts in which Australia has been involved since the 1860s, you can search their collections. The photograph collection includes individual and group portraits of military and support personnel, allied and enemy soldiers and local civilians, and scenes of the Australian home front. The private records collection includes private papers, letters, and diaries of non-government organisations and individuals. And the film, sound, art, heraldry, and technology collections are also useful sources to check.

How to Find Stolen Australian War Medals

This site is very interesting with a lot of success stories.  You may find your Australian Medals here.

Depending on where your family member served; the date on which they actually enlisted and when they shipped out, a number of medals may have been awarded.

Unless your family has been diligent and kept these items together in the one box, chances are medals have become lost or the medal group separated over the years. After all, not everybody has military medal display cases taking up space in the loungeroom, in which to store their family treasures.

The reasons WHY these medals have gone missing are many and varied. After The Great War of 1914-1918 (World War 1) considering the carnage and massive loss of life, it was not uncommon for certain family members to take offence at the Government’s offer of a War Medal & Death Plaque (colloquially known as a “Dead Man’s Penny”) to families that had lost a loved one.

Canadian Medals

To obtain an application for awards through the Canadian Dept of Veteran Affairs

Medals in the United Kingdom

The demand for both current and historic campaign medals has risen sharply in recent years. In order to cope with the demand, the Royal Navy, Army and RAF single Service Medal Offices were combined into the "Ministry of Defence Medal Office" in March 2005. The office now forms part of the Service Personnel and Veterans Agency and since then, has dispatched over 200,000 medals.

Claiming for Campaign Medals

Service personnel receive their campaign medals during the course of their service. These are issued as part of their Service dress. If, however, after an individual leaves the Armed Forces and feels there is an outstanding entitlement to a medal then they should contact the MOD Medal Office. There are still many veterans who have not received the medals to which they are entitled. By far the largest group of veterans were those who were in the Armed Forces during the Second World War. 

As a general rule, most Second World War Service personnel were not issued with medals before they were de-mobilised at the end of the war and consequently they had to claim for them after they had left the Services. Brown prepaid postcards were placed at post offices around the country; the intention was that ex-service personnel could complete the cards and send them off to initiate the claims for Medals. Although the availability of medals for wartime service was widely advertised at the time, many people, for a variety of reasons, did not claim their Medals. Now, over 60 years later, hundreds of veterans, or their next of kin, are making initial claims for Second World War medals, every month. They were, and still are, issued in the first instance free of charge for initial issue.

Medals can be issued to the legal next of kin of deceased ex-Service Personnel; however proof of kinship will be required. To claim initial issue medals replace stolen/destroyed medals or find out if an individual is entitled to a medal, please write to the Medal Office at the address below. The following information (or as much as possible) is required:

Service Number, Regiment/Corps (Army/RM), Branch/Trade (RAF and RN), Full Name, Date of Birth, Rank and date of discharge, plus, of course, your current name and address. If you have access to the internet you can email the Medal Office with these details

All claims are dealt with as quickly as possible by experienced Medal Office staff however, finding files from archives and verifying individual's records can take time as every detail has to be checked and double checked to ensure eligibility. Whatever the outcome, you will be notified.

Replacing Campaign Medals

Medal’s for campaign service are supposed to be treasured possessions, reflecting service to one's country and awarded by The Sovereign on behalf of a grateful nation. While their market value is often only superficial (though some can be quite valuable, particularly awards for gallantry), the recipient is expected to treat them with care and be mindful of their security. In view of this, once medals are issued they become the sole responsibility of the original recipient, or his/her next of kin. They will not, therefore, be replaced by the MOD if they are lost.

The only exception to this rule is if the medals are stolen or accidentally destroyed beyond the control of the owner, for example in a house fire. In these cases the MOD may replace the medal if proof of the loss is provided in the form of a Police Report or a claim to an insurance company. A charge is made for medals that are replaced to cover the cost of manufacture and a nominal charge for administration. It should be noted that in many cases the replacement medals will be stamped as such to avoid confusion with the originals should they ever be found.

Home Guard

Claims for medals for service in the Home Guard are also dealt with by the MOD Medal Office, however when requesting medals for this type of service, the address the recipient was living at when they signed up for Home Guard service needs to be supplied 

Contact: The Ministry of Defence Medal Office at the following address:

Service Personnel and Veterans Agency (SPVA)

(Joint Personnel Administration Centre)

MOD Medal Office 

Building 250 

Imjin Barracks 



Or contact the Veterans-UK helpline on 0800 169 2277. Remember to have your service number, date of birth and full name and address to hand.

Other sites to Visit Regarding WW1 and WWII 

British Army Soldiers after 1913 Soldier ranks include Private, Lance Corporal, Corporal, Sergeant, and Warrant Officer. The Ministry of Defense website gives more detail. 

Forces War Records

Forces War Records is the sister site of Forces Reunited, the leading British military community on the web with more than one million members and reuniting veterans since 2001, part of Clever Digit Media Ltd. The site was created in 2008 upon the request of some Forces Reunited members who were looking for information on their ancestors but had come up against dead ends with the usual genealogy sites. Since inception they have gone on to add over six million individuals records and are currently adding over 200,000 records a month. 

They currently employ over 50 people in their UK offices, including the data entry analysts who add new records to the site. They could have followed some of the more well-known sites and out-sourced this to China, but have ensured their data is as accurate as possible, and they also felt they had an obligation to employ UK staff and pay their fair share of UK taxes!

About the British War Medal

The British War Medal was instituted in 1919 to recognise the successful conclusion of the First World War (1914-1918). Its coverage was later extended to recognise service until 1920, recognising mine clearing operations at sea, and participation in operations in North and South Russia, the eastern Baltic, Siberia, the Black Sea and the Caspian.

The obverse of this medal shows the uncrowned left-facing profile of King George V by Sir Bertram Mackennal. The reverse of the medal depicts St George on horseback trampling underfoot the eagle shield of the Central Powers, and a skull and cross-bones (the emblems of death).  Above, the sun has risen in victory.  The figure is mounted on horseback to symbolise man's mind controlling a force of greater strength than his own, and thus alludes to the scientific and mechanical developments and machines which helped to win the war.

Throughout the British Empire about 6.5 million medals were awarded in silver.  Approximately another 110,000 were awarded in bronze, mainly to Chinese, Indian and Maltese personnel in labour battalions.

Military Genealogy

Irelands Memorial Records

The City of Ypres holds an original copy of Ireland’s Memorial Records. Field-Marshall Sir John French, Lord Lieutenant of Ireland (1919-1922), ordered these records to be made up and published. Being the commander of the B.E.F. during the 1st and 2nd Battles of Ypres in 1914 and 1915, he had been honoured by the British Government with the title of First Earl of Ypres and felt obliged to donate a copy of the finished records to the city. 

Military Genealogy

It is now possible to find information on most of those from Britain who died in military service in both World Wars.

Additionally, over 400,000 particulars including much biographical information of those who served is now available to view in the form of the National Roll of the Great War, De uvigny's Roll Of Honour, Men of The Battle of Waterloo 1815, Boer War Casualties 1899-1902, Distinguished Conduct Medal Citations, Ireland's Memorial Records, Naval Casualties 1914-1919 and British Prisoners of War (German Camps).

Researching New Zealand Soldiers in the First World War

100,000 New Zealand men signed up to fight for King and Country in the First World War. Their names were listed in the Nominal rolls of New Zealand Expeditionary force, published by the government between 1917 and 1919. These rolls are available through public libraries in their original printed form and on microfiche.

British Army War Diaries 1914-1922

“What are these records? These records are the unit war diaries of the cavalry and the first 33 infantry divisions of the British Army in the First World War. They are part of a large series of records, WO 95, which contains many more diaries that have not yet been digitised. They are not personal diaries (try the Imperial War Museum for those).

Some diaries record little more than daily losses and map references whilst others are much more descriptive, with daily reports on operations, intelligence summaries and other material. The digitised diaries cover activity in France and Belgium. The diaries sometimes contain information about particular people but they are unit diaries, not personal diaries. A few contain details about awards of the Military Medal and the Meritorious Service Medal.”

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Useful Websites

This month we seem to have scattered the “Useful Websites” in other articles, except for this one, “The History Classroom”, that looks especially useful when we need to get our facts correct on NZ History.

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Group News

Whangarei Family History Computer Group



 Gloria: (022) 635 4161 barryandgloria33@gmail.com

 Wayne: (09) 437 2881 wayne@bydand.co.nz

 Pat: (09) 437 0692 whangareifamilyhistorygroup@gmail.com



Thursday evening 6 Augusta Place Whau Valley. 7.00 - 9.00 pm

Saturday meetings in SeniorNet rooms in James Street. Rooms open at 9.00 and we finish by 1.00pm

$2.00 each meeting or $20.00pa.

 The Whangarei Group have made trips around the Hokianga area and to the Auckland Library and Archives. They discovered searchable documents of land on the website. The full Whangarei Family History Computer Group newsletter can be read here.

News and Views

From Wayne

CamScanner turns any Smartphone into a Scanner and Document Management System. “Let’s say you are at archives looking at old land records and you find what you have been looking for: the transcription of your ancestor’s deed showing his purchase of property. Of course you need a copy but the only available copy machine doesn’t handle oversized documents. Even more important, you always prefer a digital image whenever possible as it’s easier to store, copy and include in your reports. However there is no scanner available. What to do?

The answer: use your cell phone’s camera.

(This article was originally from Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter, but has disappeared from there so we’ve linked to the CamScanner site directly)

Other Websites

Irish Wills index which is online covering the years 1858 to 1920

Papers Past

This month I had a session on using Papers Past and have had some wonderful finds on my Matthews relatives. I did feel that some of the family were rather overshadowed by The Reverend Joseph Matthews. Wonderful events in the announcements such as marriages and births so often had the mention that they were the descendants of Rev Joseph even if they were in-laws of the said gentleman. However, for me looking for information it has been a boon because I am able to build up more family stories about that particular branch of my family.

More newspapers are being added each week and World events, such as the death of the Albert, Prince Consort are written up in our own newspapers so perhaps it is worth those who say “I don’t have ancestors in NZ” to put in names and events they are searching for. There may be a snippet found. The miserable wet night last week I feel was well spent churning through these pages.

Find My Past also has a wide range of smaller provincial newspapers on their website.

In April many will be remembering those who went to World Wars 1 and 2, and the more recent ones with sadness and gratitude for those who lost their lives and those we were lucky enough to have returned home to us.

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Ask an Expert

Question I have been researching my father-in-law’s (now deceased) father for over 25 years and cannot find any of his family. I have the following information only.  My father-in-law was born on 20 August 1908.  His father was Thomas Wilson, occupation miner, aged 38, from Sydney. He was to married Caroline Bartley at Broken Hill, Australia. Caroline married three times. Thomas died in a mining accident in 1938 at Broken Hill. 

Thomas Wilson was from Sydney.  From there the trail goes gold.  If you can help, please contact the editor.

Help Offered, Information Wanted etc.

Remember that you can post photos for identification, and information wanted requests:-

Click here to post a photo

Click here to request help with some information

We’ll post the photos and information requests in the next newsletter, and they’ll remain on display for at least a year.

There were no new photos at the time of sending the newsletter.

Have Your Say – Letters to the Editor


Do you think unusual spellings of common names and unusual names are going to cause confusion in genealogy research in the future?  Please email the editor in 50 words or less and the best letter will be published and will win a year’s free subscription with FamNet.

In Conclusion

A Bit of Light Relief

Advertising with FamNet

As of January 2014 if your organization is not a group subscriber then there will be a charge for advertising events and services, which must be paid for before publication. Charges start at $NZ20 for a basic flier, and increase for more elaborate presentations. Like everyone else we need funds to help keep FamNet going. Fees are very minimal. If your organization paid a yearly subscription you can have all the advertising you want all year round in the Group News section. Your group could be anywhere in the world, not just in New Zealand. The editor will continue to exercise her discretion for free events.

To Unsubscribe

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Copyright (Waiver)

Feel free to redistribute this newsletter. If you publish a newsletter yourself you may include material from this newsletter in yours provided that you acknowledge its source and include a FamNet link

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