Part of the worldwide genealogy/family history community


FamNet eNewsletter August 2014

ISSN 2253-4040


Quote: “Obstacles are things a person sees when he takes his eyes off his goal.” E. Joseph Cossman.


Contents. 1

Editorial 2

DNA Testing for Family History. 2

Part 6.  Your Direct Maternal Line. 2

Colleen’s Corner 4

The Great Irish Famine. 4

Mystery Poem Found in World War One Kilt 7

The Changing Face of Genealogy Collaboration. 8

Useful Websites. 9

From Colleen. 9

From Sue. 9

Group News. 10

Whangarei Family History Computer Group. 10

News and Views. 11

Book Reviews. 13

Community. 15

Ask an Expert 15

Help Offered. 15

Information Wanted etc. 15

Have Your Say – Letters to the Editor 15

In conclusion. 16

A Bit of Light Relief 16

Advertising with FamNet 16

To Unsubscribe. 17

Copyright (Waiver) 17



From Colleen Sherman-Williams


Do you often wonder if your grandfather or great grandfather owned a pet?  Maybe he had a beloved dog or a cat.  Unless you have old photographs with a pet in the picture, you would never know. You do not hear many stories in a history of an ancestor who had a pet.  I don’t know if any of my ancestors had pets.

My cat Tula, died today.  Last year we had a family portrait taken and took Tula along to the photographers to be included in the photo.  As the walls, ceilings and floor were white she couldn’t work out where she was.  She is walking crouching along in the photo.  I am so glad I took her as she is in our most recent family photo.  Hopefully this photo will be passed through my family knowing I had a beloved pet.

I write this with a very heavy heart. But will remember all the joy she bought into our lives.  Will I get another cat?  I don’t know.




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From the Developer

From Robert Barnes

Due to a bereavement in the family, Robert will not be contributing to the newsletter this month.  He will be back again next month.

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DNA Testing for Family History

© Gail Riddell 2014

Part 6.  Your Direct Maternal Line

This is the 6th in a series of 12 articles by Gail Riddell (a popular and renowned DNA presenter in New Zealand) on the subject of DNA testing for genealogy purposes.  For further information, please contact her directly at

In the 5th article for this newsletter, I finished off by stating I would go into more depth on the maternal lineage testing.  So here we go!  (As in keeping with my previous articles, this is aimed at the non versed tester and not to the scientific community, thus I am attempting to use layman’s wording and examples, wherever possible, in spite of the shortcomings of same).

All human beings carry mitochondria – these are inherited from their mothers.  They are not a chromosome, although they carry DNA.  The mitochondria surround the outside of the cell which in turn houses the chromosomes.  They are the “power house” of that cell – they provide the energy for everything that is within the cell and all the functions required throughout that cell’s lifetime.

Although men inherit mitochondria from their mothers, they cannot pass it on to their offspring – this is done by the women.  So even though you and all your siblings both male and female will show the same outcome of a mitochondrial test (called “mtDNA”) provided you all have the same mother, only the daughters will pass their mother’s mtDNA to their children, and so on.  Thus, it is invaluable for tracing your mother’s ethnicity.

Hang on a minute… ethnicity?  Why ethnicity?  You are interested in ancestry – right?  Sorry.

You will not get ancestry from this test under normal circumstances UNLESS you seek out the direct female descendant of the woman you believe to be also of your mother’s direct maternal ancestry and get her to also test.  If you and she have the same mtDNA results then yes, you have received your answer.  So if that person (or any other member of your mother’s direct ancestry) never tests, then you will never get that required match.  (More on this shortly).

I can hear the wheels turning in your mind as you wonder why anyone would even consider taking such a test for genealogical purposes…  Here are some possible answers.

1.      You wish to learn from what direct maternal ethnicity your mother descends?  White, black, brown, red, etc. meaning European, African, Maori, American Indian etc.

2.      You wish to learn if great Aunt Bertha (or her brother) and your mother had the same direct maternal ancestor.

3.      You wish to learn whether you and a cousin (who looks exactly like you), had the same mother.

4.      You have been adopted and you are seeking something (seeking anything) on your direct maternal family.

5.      You hope that one day, sooner or later, you will get a match with someone who has a similar mtDNA result as you AND that they have a family tree.


mtDNA mutations across the markers move excruciatingly slowly.  Meaning if you select the “Full Sequence mtDNA” test, then you may have numerous matches (or none whatsoever) and you may not have clue why you have a match with that other tester, meaning you do not recognise the surname and you have no idea why they are living in say, Norway.

To begin, generally a woman changes name at each generation by taking her husband’s name and unless you have incredibly detailed huge family tree with absolutely every single possible person in your family listed (as well as their husbands, their offspring, their children’s spouses and children, and so on), why should you (any tester) expect to recognise the name your march possesses? 

To further explain this, take for example one woman born around 1700.  She will likely have married and begun to have children by the age of 25 and if she is healthy and not in impoverished conditions, she may have say 10 children and possibly ½ of these will be daughters.  Now, say all five daughters do the same, marrying and again having a large family with half of them daughters.  In turn, all 25 carry on the same practice.  So by the year 1825, we have hundreds of direct maternal descendants (in just one century) all bearing that one woman’s mtDNA (born 1700) but if they have a child, most will be using the surnames of their husbands/their fathers and highly likely to have moved to a different county or a country different to that of their direct maternal ancestor (whose mtDNA they carry).

Oops, we forgot about when a woman adopts an orphan or another family member’s child and brings it up as her own.  Such a child bears no resemblance in terms of mtDNA to that of the woman she calls “ma”.  But genealogical paper-work states she (or he) is a child of the woman (and man) who raises her – after all, the marriage documents of that adopted child or the “Old Parish Records” or the death documents state the parent’s names as proof, right?  Wrong!   

Such records record only what is told at the time of such registration by the informant at that time.  These are wonderful records to locate but they are not “proof”.  DNA matching is “proof”.

To change tack on this topic, I am now going to write about the tests for mtDNA.  Many commercial firms will take your money for mtDNA and they will offer you the absolute basic test, which we call HVR1 (“hypervariable region 1st level”), although they may simply label this as “mtDNA”.  This looks at a few SNPs  (single nucleotide positions) within the mitochondria and this output is classified as “low resolution”. 

Just as an example, think of your computer monitor screen where you can alter the resolution of what you see on your screen or alternatively think of the output from your printer (or scanner) where you can alter the “dpi”(dots per inch) from low resolution to high resolution etc.  Low resolution is “grainy”, whereas high resolution is “fine or smooth”.  This is a little similar to mtDNA results.

After this basic test, there is HVR2, meaning it is of a “higher resolution” of the hypervariable region and therefore delves a little deeper to get results.  Is this sufficient?  The resounding answer has to be “NO”.  Neither of these tests is in any way conclusive as to your mitochondria.  There is more to go if you want some sort of conclusiveness.  (Always assuming that you are merely putting a “toe into the waters”  as opposed to deliberately testing two possibly related females).

Should you want the highest resolution, you are obliged to test with just one firm – the only one which offers it, namely FamilyTree DNA (FTDNA).  You need to order the “Full Sequence” test which covers both HVR1 and HVR2 pus adds what is commonly known as the “Cambridge Reference” Sequence (“rCRS” or “CRS”). 

Just before I finish off, from a personal viewpoint, after I tested my Full Sequence mtDNA, I decided I wanted my siblings to test also.  After all, it would be good to know that my siblings and I had the same mother, in spite of the fact that I was the oldest and had seen my mother go through her pregnancies with my siblings.  It was me that wished for proof that I had not been adopted! 

Yes, all of us were from the same mother – mind you, I had little idea as to what I would do or say had it turned out otherwise.  (This can be a real issue for anyone getting their siblings to test!)

In the 9th article, you will learn more about understanding the results of your mtDNA test.  The next and 7th article will consider the autosomal test and the 8th will be on “Understanding your Paternal results”.   The 10th article will “understand your autosomal results”.  The 11th article will be “Hints and Tips”.  The final article will be on “Websites and blogs and forums for DNA” or whatever questions you have and forward to me.

Colleen’s Corner

From Colleen

The Great Irish Famine

Following on from Sue’s review of “Atlas of the Great Irish Famine” I purchased a copy for myself (at a great price!) and of course I have been reading it.  There are 700 pages and it weighs at least 2kgs.The information contained in the book is so interesting I thought readers might like to learn of what really caused the famine and the consequences.

Terry Eagleson wrote “Part of the horror of the Famine is its atavistic nature – the mind shattering fact that an event with all the pre-modern character of medieval pestilence happened in Ireland with frightening recentness.  The deathly origin then shatters space as well as time, unmaking the nation and scattering Irish people and history across the globe.  One million died in Ireland and 1.5 million emigrated. The population dropped from 8 million to 6 million in two years.

All over the country of Ireland on the state of the potato confirmed how complete was the devastation of the crop.  Many thousands faced starvation and thousands died in the bitter winter of 1846/47.  The great reduced acreage of potatoes sown in 1847 yielded a better crop but the disaster continued into 1848, when the whole crop was practically wiped out.  Excess mortalities rose rapidly in 1847/48 and persisted in some areas until 1851/52.

The blight on the potato was the fuse that set off the time-bomb of the Great Famine, the echoes of which still reverberate down to our own times.  It began by shattering and withering of bodies of the poor as they starved in their cabins, in the fields, on the relief roads and in the lanes of towns and the cities.  The unspeakable had happened.  Tadhg O Scannaill, a farmer in Rathmore County Kerry tells how his mother – then a child – recalled the Famine of 1848.

She remembered finding a mother and daughter on the path locked in each other’s arms, within a few yards of Rain an Daimh, on the path above the Glenn.  The night was snowy, there was a little snow on their clothes, they were around here the day before.

Miss Mary Kettle recalled – my grandfather was going with a cow to the fair of Cootehill, and he saw a girl standing up against a gate that was along the road.  The cow moved over to the gate and when my grandfather went over to drive the cow away from it, he got a terrible shock when he found that the girl was dead.  She died from hunger and cold.  Her clothes were stiff from the frost,

There are hundreds of narratives but one which stands out; quote:  I was surprised to find the wretched hamlet apparently deserted.  I entered some of the hovels to ascertain the cause, and the scenes which presented themselves were such that no pen or tongue can convey the slightest idea of.  In the first, six famished and ghastly skeletons, to all appearances dead, were huddled in a corner on some filthy straw, their sole covering with what seemed a ragged horsecloth, their wretched legs hanging about, naked above the knees.  I approached with horror, and found by low moaning, they were alive – they were in fever, four children, a woman and what had once been a man.  It is impossible to go through the detail.  Suffice to say, that in a few minutes I was surrounded by at least 200 such phantoms, such frightful spectres no words can describe,  Their demoniac yells are ringing in my ears, and their horrible images are fixed upon my brain.  My heart sickens at the recital, but I must go on.


Emigration both seasonal and permanent – had long been a feature of Irish life.  Already about a million people had left the country in the two decades 1821 and 1841;  The annual emigration continued up to 1845/46; then as famine intensified , the exodus from Ireland became an unstoppable flood.  Close to a million desperate Irish people emigrated to overseas countries between 1846 and March 1851 with close to a further half million leaving Ireland by the end of March 1852,  In addition, between a quarter and one-third of a million famine-stricken people ended up in the slums of Liverpool, Glasgow, London and other English cities.  By 1891 , four out of ten of the total Irish-born population were living abroad particularly to the Unites States, Britain and also a major recipient Australia and New Zealand were becoming other havens.  The scattering of the Irish across the English speaking world was in full flow – southern Africa had also emerged as a possible destination by the late 19th century.

I purchased this book at the cost of two paperbacks and for a genealogist or the historically minded it is a brilliant book.  It was purchased from The Book Depository online with free postage.  Just as well, with the weight of the book.

A great read for anyone..







February 10, 1846

IRELAND. (From Our Own Correspondent.)



I regret to say that there is not the slightest mitgation in the accounts of the destitution received today. We are now in the midst of a second winter, the frost and snow of Christmas having apparently reset in with equal if not increased severity, so that any prospect of amelioration is just now as remote as ever. The progress of distress in the county of Cork may be learned from the Southern Reporter of Saturday:

"The duty of publishing reports of the inquests held on persons who have 'died by starvation' has now become so frequent, and such numbers are daily reaching us from every part of the county, that the limits of our space to not admit of their publication. Our reporter sends particulars of 15 of such cases from Bantry yesterday, and mentions that 20 more had occurred during the week, but inquests could not be held; and we received this morning from Mallow reports of 11 inquests held by Mr. Richard Jones on persons who had died from want of food. Communications pour in from every district, a tithe of which we could not find room for, stating similar appalling facts. Our reporters are daily occupied in attending meetings throughout the county, and there are as many applications to that effect as would require a corps equal to the Times, and a sheet of equal size, to present a daily record of them."                      Women tilling the fields Irish Potato Famine

Image of Potato Blight TheGreatIrishPotatoFamine 








                 Potato Blight





Mystery Poem Found in World War One Kilt


Note found in kilt

The poem was written by a Helen Govan of 49 Ardgowan Street in Glasgow

A hidden poem from a Glasgow woman has been found sewn into the folds of a World War One kilt owned by a Southampton academic. Dr Helen Paul discovered the hand-written message when she was removing the packing stitches from the kilt, which has been passed down her family. The note is a poem with lines including: "If married never mind, if single drop a line".

It is signed by Helen Govan, of 49 Ardgowan Street in Glasgow.

The full poem reads:

I hope your kilt will fit you well

and in it you will look a swell

If married never mind

if single drop a line

Wish you bags of luck

and a speedy return back to Blighty

Dr Paul said: "It would be fantastic to trace who this lady was and learn more about her history."

The London Scottish Regiment kilt was manufactured by Peter Wilson of Bridge Street in Glasgow. It was destined for a soldier heading to the front during WW1 but for unknown reasons it was never unpacked or worn.

Dr Paul, an economics historian at the University of Southampton, said: "This garment has been in our family for a number of decades and until recently we were completely unaware there was such an intriguing secret hidden in its folds."It was a real surprise when the note fell out."

The Changing Face of Genealogy Collaboration

I could not find the author of this piece, but thought some of you might find this interesting.

We talk about collaboration and telling the stories of our family almost as though it is something new. Surely this is the real reason why so many of us get interested in genealogy in the first instance. Whatever our age we all like to hear about things that have happened be it last week or last century.

This month I have decided to write about collaboration and how the perception of genealogy has changed due to the internet and our increasing use of what is available to connect with others.

When I first started researching our family history (I am also researching my husband's family) the internet was in its infancy and we were on dial up. This was expensive and you would go online pick up your emails and read them later.

Collaborating with others was difficult but not impossible and like many others I used some of the Rootsweb mailing lists of relevance to my research interests.

The only other way of communicating with fellow researchers was to belong to a family history society to find other researchers and contact them by post.

Research in those early days, even just finding a reference to order a certificate, meant heading off to record offices or local archives where you had to trawl through microfiche or film to find what you wanted. There were some indexes available mainly through local family history societies which did help you find the right roll of film.

Programmes like WDYTYA which is showing its 11th series in the UK have changed public perception and sparked interest in the hobby. Despite only a small proportion of the resources available being online, what is there has made a difference to the way we both conduct and record our research.

These changes have taken place over a relatively short space of time and it is true that there are those who have not truly embraced the changes.


There has been discussion on social networks about how family history societies may need to change to connect with the needs of their members. Some have been forward thinking and have reached out to researchers across the world by providing access to online education but this may not be an avenue that every society can or should copy.

The societies I belong to in England have changed some of the things they do but we must not forget that they rely upon volunteers. The direction that each society takes will depend upon who has the time and inclination to commit to the development of that society. This can lead to a society stagnating because none of its members has the inclination or time to commit to change. If you belong to a society which may be stuck in the past don’t forget to make suggestions, they may get ignored, but any society is only as good as its members are willing to make it.

What do you want from your society? Don’t forget to tell those who help run the society, you may find that others think the same.

I have mentioned discussion on social networks and these have become the equivalent of the mailing lists of the past but more. Facebook has groups for genealogy and Google+ has its communities. There are also others such as Twitter and Pintrest. Whereas we communicated by email and text in the past we now have a much more visual way of sharing. This has enhanced our ability to share our experiences but opened up more challenges when we publish online what might be copyrighted. Will these copyright challenges limit our experience?

We also interact using our blogs such as this one and many other individual blogs see Geneabloggers  maintained by Thomas MacEntee.

Whilst webinars are an educational resource they can help provide pointers to things you may not be aware of and they are a great way to get information to those who may not be able to get to conferences or other genealogy events.

Video blogging using the Hangouts on Air on Google+ is becoming increasingly popular and allows genealogists from across the world to communicate by live discussion. They can also be used as a tool similar to webinars and a way to share how you do things.

To finish I would like to tell you about a Google+ community I am setting up to discuss how we get our genealogy software to work for us.

I will post on my blog when I launch. I want this to be a discussion forum so that we can learn from each other, we all need to collaborate. 


Useful Websites

If you know of websites that you think may be helpful to others please email The Editor

To find FamNet’s Useful Websites page: either

· Click the [Community] tab on FamNet’s home page. Click the button [Useful Web Sites]. Or

· Click the [General Resource Databases] tab on FamNet’s home page. Locate “Useful Web Sites” in the list of “Other Tables” and click this link.

From Colleen

Useful Maori Websites

I have been doing a bit of research on Maori and found these sites of interest.

Whakapapa meaning Maori Genealogy

This is the main Maori site on the net.  This site has births, deaths and surnames.  Very useful site.

From Sue

Red Cross WW1 Prisoner-of-War Records go Online

It's 3 years since the plans of the International Committee of the Red Cross to make available their records in time for the centenary they've met their target. This PDF document explains the records held - which unfortunately are fairly limited. You can search the index cards here.

WW1 Film Clips Online at the Imperial War Museum

There are over 1000 film clips from the Great War online now at the Imperial War Museum's main website, but it's a little difficult to navigate so I'd suggest following this link.

There's also a new dedicated WW1 search page at which you'll find here.

National Archives England

First World War officers' service records   From today you can search surviving First World War Officers’ service records online. These records contain a range of correspondence relating to an officer's career, including insightful documents revealing promotions, medical history, pensions and details surrounding their death. Search these records by name and regiment through our research guide looking for records of a British Army Officer after 1913. If you identify an officer's record that you would like to see, you can come to Kew to see it or order a copy. The price for this service depends on the number of pages in the record.

The Battle of Mons remembered We have many resources available to help you research and understand this crucial action in the opening days of the war. Read our latest blog The Battle of Mons and explore our digitised British Army war diaries 1914-1922 (WO 95) to better understand the events of 23 August 1914. Sign up to our Twitter feed @UnitWarDiaries which is live tweeting the centenary using our unit war diaries, and features regiments involved in the Battle of Mons.

The First Victoria Cross of the First World War The first Victoria Cross (VC) of the conflict was awarded to Lieutenant Maurice James Dease of the Royal Fusiliers, killed in action at the Battle of Mons. To mark this, we have digitised a file of correspondence between his school and the War Office from 1926 and have made it available to download free of charge. This record gives a fascinating insight into how Dease was confirmed as the recipient of the first VC and the understandable pride of his school.

You may also be interested in exploring the Victoria Cross Registers 1856-1944 (WO 98) for details of more VC recipients. Visit this page for a free download of the register entry for Private Sidney Godley, Royal Fusiliers who was also awarded his VC at the Battle of Mons.*

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Group News

Whangarei Family History Computer Group

image001 Contacts: 

 Gloria: (022) 635 4161

 Wayne: (09) 437 2881

 Pat: (09) 437 0692


Thursday evening venue is 6 Augusta Place, Whau Valley. Call Wayne, Gloria or me or;

email me at, if you need directions. **NB new Thursday venue

Saturday meetings are held in the SeniorNet rooms in James Street.

The rooms are upstairs in the Arcade leading to Orr’s Pharmacy and Tiffany’s Café, Start time 9.30 til finished before 1.30pm.



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News and Views

Research Resources at Archives NZ

These Archives New Zealand Research Guides and Information Sheets contain summaries of commonly used records held at Archives New Zealand. The guides provide brief details of records held, including archives references, as well as advice about the information contained. Please note that the Research Guides are not comprehensive and can only cover a small proportion of Archives New Zealand's total holdings.

Citizenship This research guide describes records relating to: Citizenship, Naturalisation, Aliens, Chinese records.

Personal Identity This research guide describes records relating to: Births, Deaths and Marriages, Intentions to Marry, Coroner's Inquests, Probates, Other Records.

War This research guide describes records relating to: Nineteenth Century, First World War 1914-1918, Second World War 1935-1945, Post Second World War, Air Force and Navy, Other Records.

Migration This research guide describes records relating to: Shipping Records, Immigration 1840-1880s, Immigration 1880s-1970, Special Group/Nationality Migrations, Other Sources of Immigration Information, Emigration.

Education This research guide describes records relating to: Department of Education, Education Boards, Teachers, Universities.

Mental Health This research guide describes records relating to: Institutional Records, Court Records, Health Department Records

Government Employment This research guide describes records relating to: General Lists/Public Service Lists, Departmental Employment Records

Welfare This research guide describes records relating to: Child Welfare, General and Adult Welfare.

Land - Wellington This research guide describes records relating to: Deeds and Lands & Survey, held at the Wellington office of Archives New Zealand.

Making a Living This research guide describes records relating to: private employment, work, and financial status.

Photographs - Wellington This research guide describes records relating to: the collections of photographs held at the Wellington office of Archives New Zealand.

Police Gazettes This info sheet resource describes the holdings of New Zealand Police Gazettes for all offices of Archives New Zealand, and describes the type of information that can be found in them.

Deeds Indexes This info sheet resource describes how to use the Deeds Indexes held in the LINZ Register Room at the Wellington office of Archives New Zealand.

News from ScotlandsPeople Release of further 1861 Census enumeration book, and updated index for all census years!

A further 1861 Census enumeration book has been indexed and is now available to search on ScotlandsPeople! 15 pages for the Milton, Glasgow area have been made available for the first time. If you are looking for ancestors around Glasgow, then be sure to search these new entries!

You can also browse the entire new 1861 book using the advanced search function with the advanced search query rdno:644 && rdsuffix:7 && enumdist:8.

For more information on using the advanced search function, please follow this link.

We’ve also updated over 44,000 indexes for all census years. So if you’ve had trouble locating an ancestor in the census and believe their name may have been miss-recorded, then you can try searching the new refreshed index.

New PDF feature for viewing multiple page documents We’ve also added a new feature for viewing multi-page records (Wills & Testaments, Soldiers’ Wills, and Coats of Arms), to allow you to download all pages as a PDF document.

This great new tool means that larger documents, particularly the Wills & Testaments, which can be up to 40 pages, can be viewed, saved and printed as a single document. To download a multi-page document as a PDF, click the blue 'Download as PDF' button at the top right of the image viewer.

News from Findmypast

We're excited to announce the addition of millions of new Victoria Passenger Lists 1839-1923 on Findmypast. You can now track your ancestors travelling to and from ports around The Garden State with a fascinating set of inward and outward passenger lists. Did your ancestors arrive after an exciting voyage across the ocean? Covering nearly a century of voyages, this fantastic collection will help you find your ancestors who arrived into Victoria, as well as those who departed from there for other destinations in Australia and around the world. You'll uncover great details about your relatives including their nationalities, departure and destination ports and the name of the ship they travelled on.(Note Findmypast is by subscription)

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Book Reviews


Land Girl. (Review by Colleen Sherman-Williams)

A manual for volunteers in the Women’s Land Army

Well, what can I say!  After reading this, I can just imagine how the public would react in this day and age. This book was written for women, some of whom had been to University and others well educated.  They were spoken to like children.

Talk about emotional blackmail: Quote; It is possible for a volunteer to resign for urgent private reasons for reasons of health.  Volunteers however, must be reminded that money has been spent on them to make them specialists for a vital job so you should NEVER resign.  You are feeding the nation; if you drop out SOMEONE MAY STARVE.

When living on a farm, where a maid is kept, the volunteer must remember that she is also employed by the farmer, and not by herself.  She should not therefore expect the maid to wait on her, nor should she give the maid extra work and extra bother.

Town girls on the whole wear more makeup than ordinary girls, the Women’s Land Army Volunteer is expected to “tone down their lips” considerably.  A certain amount of makeup may be used at parties and local village dances, but long nails are quite unsuited  to work on a farm , especially when covered with bright crimson nail varnish.,

A volunteer will soon find that as the other girls from the village do not use makeup, she will prefer not to use it herself, so as not to look conspicuous.  She will find too, that she will get such a healthy colour to her cheeks that rouging will not be necessary.

I personally go dead white when I do physical work!!!!!!

Some townspeople are apt to look upon all country folk as country bumpkins.  They have an idea that it is only the townfolk who know anything, and because people in the country are not so slick, or well dressed, or perhaps up to the latest fashion.

Actually country folk, usually know far more than those who are born and bred in towns and cities.   They may not know all the names of the film stars but do know the names of the birds and their habits.  They are able to tell if it is going to be fine or wet the next day.  They know which herbs are useful and all the ways of wild animals.

I could go on and on, but imagine farmers of today reading about their so-called knowledge       




Berry Boys : Portraits of First World War Soldiers and Families

Authors: Michael Fitzgerald and Claire Regnault

NZ RRP (incl. GST): $54.99

Extent: 200pp Format: Hardback

Go to click on store for further details.


A surprise discovery unearthed the remarkable early 20th century photographs of Berry & Co., including around 130 showing ordinary World War One servicemen. Published alongside the TVNZ documentary, Berry Boys features the full collection of these powerful photographs, accompanied by the carefully researched stories of the soldiers and their loved ones, offering a poignant snapshot of New Zealanders facing the First World War – and the changing face of the war itself.



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Ask an Expert

Help Offered

Do you own reference books at home and would be happy to do lookups for members? Or are you willing to visit cemeteries, archives, etc. for others? Simply click here and add a record into the “Information Offered” table: we’ll put a note in the next newsletter, and at any time FamNet users can look up this table and make contact with you.

Like “Useful Web Sites”, we believe that a combination newsletter/table approach is needed. The newsletter can give you an instant “aha” and if it happens to coincide with your need it’s perfect, but you also need the table so that you can look up the list later long after you’ve forgotten which newsletter mentioned the subject that you needed help with.

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

Just click here and then click the [Letters to the editor] button, then follow the on-screen instructions.

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In conclusion

A Bit of Light Relief


Advertising with FamNet

As of January 2014 if your organisation 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. FamNet is a charitable organisation and like everyone else we need funds to help keep FamNet going. Fees are very minimal. If your organisation 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.

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Copyright (Waiver)

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