Part of the worldwide genealogy/family history community

FamNet eNewsletter August 2019

  ISSN 2253-4040

Quote:  Friends come and go, but relatives tend to accumulate – Anon


Editorial 1

Do you want to receive this newsletter every month?. 1

Regular Contributors. 1

From the Developer 1

Have you written your story yet?. 1

The Nash Rambler 1

Give me the compliments. 1

DNA Testing for Family History. 1

Jan’s Jottings. 1

My Pictures. 1

Wairarapa Wandering. 1

The Petition. 1

Digging Into Historical Records. 1

The Wrigglesworth Pianoforte. 1

Chinese Corner 1

The Chinese Poll Tax in New Zealand. 1

Guest Contributors. 1

Ken Morris. 1

Anne Sherman. 1

Researching your Ancestors in English Newspapers. 1

From our Libraries and Museums. 1

Auckland Libraries. 1

HeritageTalks  - Waha pū-taonga. 1

Group News. 1

Whangarei Family History Computer Group. 1

Waikanae Family History Group. 1

Waitara Districts History & Families Research Group. 1

News and Views. 1

Various Articles worth reading: 1

Leaves Family History Research Service Website. 1

Before You Take A Mail-In DNA Test, Brace Yourself For Family Secrets. 1

Originality counts. 1

How to Use FamilySearch Person Ids. 1

Book Reviews. 1

In conclusion. 1

Help wanted. 1

Letters to the Editor 1

Advertising with FamNet 1

A Bit of Light Relief 1

To Unsubscribe, Change your Email Address, or Manage your Personal Information. 1


Back to the Top. 17


Share this newsletter

FBTweet Email


Greetings and welcome to another issue of the FamNet newsletter.

I am in contact with a couple of genealogy writing groups who are interested in having some of their efforts produced in this newsletter. Their ambition is to have their writing sufficiently good enough to be published and had not thought of this newsletter as being a vehicle to achieve this. So, hopefully, we may see some examples of their work. It may inspire you to write.

This month we introduce a new columnist, Anne Sherman, who is an English professional genealogist. She has a good website that is well worth a visit and I draw your attention to it in the news and views section. I hope you enjoy her efforts. It is good to attract new writers because our regulars are struggling to produce a monthly column. I never realised how hard it is until I started writing my column. The hardest part is what the subject matter will be. Once that is decided the creative juices tend to flow. Robert and I are grateful for the efforts of our regulars. If we get a few more we may be able to rest the regulars every now and again.

Anyway, here is our latest offering. I hope it is interesting despite its apparent shortness.

Remember the conference in Mt Roskill is getting nearer - save your pennies to shout Robert and me a coffee and talk to us.  It’s on the weekend of 10-11th August, at the Fickling Centre which is at the end of Mt Eden Rd.  Admission is free.


Peter Nash

Do you want to receive this newsletter every month?

This newsletter is free. There are not many free newsletters of this length in New Zealand. I am biased but it should be an interesting read.

To subscribe is easy too. Go onto the FAMNET website - don't misspell it as I have, twice already.

The front page is lovely, but click on [Newsletters].  A page opens showing you a list of all the past newsletters, you can click the link to read one that you’re interested in.

Like the front page, the newsletters page has a place where you can log on or register.   It’s in the top right-hand corner.  Put your email here and click [Continue].   If you aren’t already on our mailing list, there will be a message “Email not in database” and a button [New User] appears.  Click this and follow the dialog to register.  It’s free and easy.  You should receive a copy every month until you unsubscribe.

Robert has assured me that he will not send begging letters to your email - apparently, he has enough money at the moment. You will not have to put in your credit card number. You will not be charged a subscription.

Tell other genealogists so they can enjoy the newsletters too.


Peter Nash

Back to the Top

Regular Contributors

From the Developer

Have you written your story yet?

Readers who have been following my articles for a while know that my main theme is “You must tell your story”.  I love it that our family has an extensive family tree, researched by our parents, extending back through many generations.  But actually even the really notable people, like Mary’s many-Greats Grandfather who was an Admiral in Nelson’s navy, or my pioneer ancestors who arrived with other Wakefield settlers in the 1840’s, are less interesting to me than the people that have their stories recorded.  I’m lucky that several people in my ancestry have written such histories, turning the people from just names and dates to real people with lives and personalities. 

From the beginning FamNet was designed not just to be a list of names, dates, and relationships, but rather to be a framework on which this interesting stuff can be hung.  Photos of course, but also documents, and audio and video.  Treasures in our family tree include this story of Hannah OLD’s life in the backblocks near Whanganui, this recording of Mary’s “Red Aunt Freda” talking about the depression, my Dad’s Early Recollections, and my brother’s recollections.  Now irreplaceable.  Even the family photos, of which we have a lot stored with our family tree in FamNet, are not as precious.  Nothing tells us as much about a person as their own words.  So, since I started this web site I’ve been on a crusade to get others to see it, not just as a place where you can look up names and dates in the hope of finding some more remote relatives, but as a repository, a place where we can securely store information about ourselves and our families that may be of interest to future historians. 

So I urge everybody to write their story.  It doesn’t have to be very long, just a few pages will be enough.  And even after you’ve stored it in FamNet you can edit it as you remember more. Don’t let “perfect” get in the way of “good”! 

These FamNet records from my own family show you how you can store any number of scrapbook items with a person’s record, making the record a rich source of information about their life.   You will need to log on to see them, but you shouldn’t need a subscription to open them from these links: -

My record.   Normally a living person’s record would be hidden, but I’ve made this one public.

My brother’s record.  As well as the recollections referred to above, the two web references Ham Radio Contact and Ted at Orroral are quite emotional for me, remembering a much loved brother. 

Mary’s Aunt Freda.  Here you’ll see the links to the audio, plus other links to various things that we’ve found through Digital New Zealand.

My Father and his mother, Hannah OLD (my usual demonstration record when I’m presenting FamNet)

If you want more examples, follow the links from my Father to my Mother, and to their parents.

And if you’re able to, come to the Family History Expo at the Fickling Centre, Mt Eden, over the weekend 10-11 August and meet with Peter and I, and we’ll give you a demo of how easy it is to put all this stuff into FamNet. The articles that I’ve written previously, indexed below, may help.

Telling your story: Index

1.    Writing your story as notes, or with Word.  

2.    Embedding pictures in Word documents

3.    Saving Documents for Web Publication.

4.    Saving Scrapbook Items

5.    Sharing your Story: Managing your Family Group

6.    On Line Editing: More Facts, Family, GDB Links

7.    Comparing and Synchronising Records

8.    Producing and Using Charts

9.    Merging Trees.  Part 1:  Why Bother?

10.  Merging Trees.  Part 2:  Adding Records On-Line

11.  Merging Trees.  Part3.  Combining Existing Trees

12.  Finding Your Way Around FamNet (Getting Help)  

13.  FamNet – a Resource for your Grandchildren

14.  FamNet’s General Resource Databases
15.  Updating General Resource Databases

16.  Privacy

17.  Indexes: beyond Excel.

18.  Linking trees

19.  Uploading a GEDCOM file

20.  Uploading Objects to your Database

21.  Bulk-uploading Objects.  FamNet resource: Useful Databases
22.  Publishing Living Family on Family Web Sites  

Robert Barnes

Back to the Top

The Nash Rambler

Give me the compliments

I have experienced two situations this last month that have given me much pleasure and "job satisfaction" with my genealogy addiction. After thirty odd years of painstaking research, constant doubting about the results of my research and the value of such a lot of time involved, it is nice to get some compliments about the worth and the quality of my research. I am basking in that pleasure.

The first experience arose over a mysterious email I received from a firm of architects who had a commission to write a heritage report on the Hillsborough Cemetery. It seemed that everywhere they went they were referred to me as the "expert" and they asked for an appointment to see me. For a boring old pensioner fart like me it was pointless in suggesting that I was too busy, so I arranged to meet them in Devonport. I thought that a slow trip to Devonport using "Winnie's" gold card, a short interview, a lovely coffee in the sunshine and a slow trip back would "warm the heart".

I had lived beside the cemetery for seven years. I had made a database of the burials in that cemetery which included the burial records, monumental inscriptions, updated the list of monumental inscriptions and corrected the database the cemetery and Auckland Public Library was using. I had written a few articles on the cemetery and had given many guided tours through that cemetery for various historical organisations and events. So I suppose I knew a little about that beautiful block of land. Incidentally the database before I started had up to a 50% error rate!!!!

Unsurprisingly I could answer all questions about what the land was before it became a cemetery, how it was purchased, why it was needed as a cemetery, and most of the questions about "the residents". I was feeling most flattered by their compliments and spent a lovely hour in the sunshine enjoying the coffee and the crosswords were solved. What more can a man ask for? (A lotto win could be better!)

The second experience was even better. I found a family tree on for my Nash family. It was put up by a relative of mine who lived in Australia. Because of my "marker error" I have in my tree I knew that the tree was based on my research - don't ask about this "marker error" because I have been crucified by the sanctimonious NZSG experts many times for doing this and I'm not repentant. This cousin had progressed the tree back a few generations and had made, by my thoughts, some monumental assumptions that appeared almost preposterous. Suddenly my Frederick MURRAY became Francis Murray and born in Ireland as a MULROE. Incidentally autocorrect is haemorrhaging about the concept of progressing a family tree backwards - I love upsetting the boffins but that really is a progression.

This MURRAY family is a brick wall of mine. Frederick MURRAY (allegedly) murdered his wife, Julia, in Onehunga in 1864. They had five children and she was only 24 - boy did she start breeding young. My theory is that my great grandmother, Julia Ann MURRAY, was one of the children.  I cannot find her birth certificate etc even though family records have her born in Sydney in 1854. I have identified three of the children as John, Francis and Mary Ann and my theory is that one of the other two was Ann who adopted the name Julia after her mother died. Incidentally Francis and Mary Ann were baptised with a father, Francis. To add a final valuable bit of information, Mary Ann Murray married a Robert GEMMILL in Onehunga in 1889. Also Julia Murray married my famous or infamous Joseph NASH.

So I sent of an email to this cousin asking how she had arrived at the tree she had submitted. Nothing happened for a long time until recently I received a response - she was in Auckland and wanted to meet me. So off I toddled to Epsom to see her. I realised how we connected. Her grandfather, George NASH, was an "interesting" character who seemed to like the process of "passing his genes onto descendants" and has a number of them, some legitimate and some otherwise. He wasn't clever because he died in WW2 in England, during an air raid, by falling out a bathroom window on the second floor of a building. This seems to be a typical NASH unfortunate accident.

I first queried how she had decided the ancestry of Joseph NASH. After much discussion about her research, my research, my NASH one name study, and the fact I could trace all Joseph Nashs in New Zealand in 1860-70, and the muster records of the 70th regiment that we were right about his ancestry. Now this lady, Tricia, who lives in Queensland has become a professional genealogy researcher and specialises in DNA research. She is very good in her knowledge and impressed me. She has done her DNA and has some very interesting matches. One is to a member of the family descended from Mary Ann Gemmill nee Murray. This is a very good point in favour of my theory. Another DNA connection she has in an American family descended from the Irish family MULROE which is proving to be very intriguing. We are now working on the paper search to confirm the DNA results.

I left that meeting very pleased with my research results and the direction I am going. She is a very good researcher and will probably crack the case before I will.

So these two meetings have fed the genealogy addiction. I am satisfied that my research is good - it's a pity about the rambling writing.

Regards to all

Peter Nash

Back to the Top

DNA Testing for Family History

From the editor: Gail has written quite a series on DNA Testing. You will see them all on the FAMNET website and they are a must-read, particularly if you are considering or have had a test done. They are easy to read and not too technical.  Click Index so far to see these articles.

Unfortunately for us Gail is overseas somewhere and cannot contribute this month.

Gail Riddell

Back to the Top

Index so far

Jan’s Jottings

My Pictures

Oh it is sooooo hard to remain focused and stay on track and ONLY look at web pages etc relevant to the item you are supposed to be working on.   

Something I have been meaning to do for years.... and years.... and.... Was to use a Picture Keeper flash drive and copy all the photos from my previous to the last notebook computer and previous to that one and most probably previous to that one.....  

So, the notebook in question was just sitting in a drawer waiting... and waiting ... to be thrown out or finally given away. I had copied various file types - copied and moved - so not a lot left there, but, I found out, nearly 3GB of 'pictures'.   

I had always planned to copy the files from the original Picture Keeper flash drive, onto a new flash drive and then set up the copying process to copy the pictures from the old notebook computer to the flash drive. All automated and so did not need my attention. I checked the licence and they were insistent that I go through the procedure twice so that I have two copies, one being a backup.  So feel OK creating my own Picture Keeper flash drives for copies and backups. 

Oh were such special precious moments as I watched the photos being found and copied from the hard drive to the flash drive. Now, of course, I need to put some time aside to work through the copies and save them on the family flash drive and then into named family folders or perhaps named folders. But - the photos/pictures are safe!! 

So - VIP to note that Picture Keeper copied all my folders.  So each 'picture' was just where I had filed it (??). I have two sets of family coloured flash drives - giving me a working set and back up of family files set. I have matching coloured lanyards, so always easy to find the MARTIN (green) family flash drive for example.   

So, do you have some previous computers sitting somewhere with lots of family photos/files thereon???  I had over 3,500 pictures on that old computer hard drive. 'Picture' covering any of the usual 'picture' file extensions - jpg, pdf etc. etc.

Let Google search for Picture Keeper and read all about it! I see a Photo Stick $NZ34 - 64Gbs.  

Now ...... where was I.......????

Jan Gow

Back to the Top

Wairarapa Wandering

The Petition 

July 26th, 1859 was the date that Carterton's name was changed from Three Mile Bush.

 It was named in honour of Charles Rooking Carter, who donated many books for the purpose-built library, and other items for St Marks church.

There was a Banquet held at the nearby Taratahi hotel on this date with many settlers attending to decide what name to call this area of the Wairarapa.

Some years back, I was able to obtain through Wellington Archives a copy of the petition with the names of the settlers who attended the function, and donated it to Carterton’s then Mayor Gary McPhee. I can remember being thrilled to have it for the town.

Then last year, I wondered where the petition was and if it was framed, so I asked our present mayor who, sadly, had never heard about it. He rang me some time later having located it in the council archives.  I requested that it be out in a place where it can be seen by the public, so it's hanging up in one of the offices… at last! Thanks to mayor John Booth, our present mayor.

On 27th July, I organised a cemetery tour at Clareville, where many of the settlers who signed the petition are buried, together with Charles Rooking Carter. He died on 22nd July 1896 in Wellington, and was bought up to Clareville cemetery to be buried. Many of the graves of the petition's signatories were visited:

            Richard Fairbrother who was Carterton’s first mayor

            Charles Dakin

            Charles Ordish.

            Richmond Daysh

            John Daysh

            William Bambry

            Walter Francis

            Philip Goodin

            Edward Clay

            William Challis

            Thomas Moore

            Humphrey Callister

            Robert Dixon

            William Parker

            Edward Wakelin

            George McPartland

Naming them could assist folks with their ancestry - they may not realise that their ancestor signed this petition.

There were a few more signatories but they are not buried at Clareville.

At least 40 interested people turned up for the tour I also pointed out other interesting graves.

Adele Pentony-Graham

12 Neich’s Lane

Clareville 5713

Back to the Top

Digging Into Historical Records  

The Wrigglesworth Pianoforte

My 3x great-grandmother, Agnes Sinclair nee Spiers (1809-1878) of Wainuiomata, was photographed by James Dacie Wrigglesworth leaning against an intricately carved upright piano with a floral box arrangement on top. Other items shown in the photograph were an upholstered chair and foot stool, a long drape and a stage type background. [1] Could this photograph be dated with any degree of precision and where exactly was it taken?

 The websites “Early New Zealand Photographers and their successors” [2] and the Auckland Council Library Photographers database [3] were a good starting point. They revealed that Wrigglesworth went into partnership with an already established Wellington photographer, George Henry Swan, on 25 January 1864. [4] Between June and September 1865 they stopped using Clay Point in their advertising and began using Lambton Quay or Willis Street. [5-6] Reclamation work meant that this was no longer a shoreline property.

The Swan and Wrigglesworth partnership was dissolved on 15 January 1866 [7] and afterwards Wrigglesworth continued on his own account. From this date his Carte-de-visites were labelled as “Wrigglesworth, Photographer, Wellington” and marks the earliest date when the photograph of Agnes could have been taken.

Determining when the first “Wrigglesworth & Binns, Photographers, Wellington” Carte-de-visites were produced is less certain. The Wrigglesworth & Binns entry in the Canterbury volume of The Cyclopedia of New Zealand stated that “this well-known firm… was formed in 1870.” [8] In October 1872 Wrigglesworth described Frederick Charles Binns (1844-1915) as “my assistant” [9] and in a cablegram announcing Wrigglesworth’s death in 1906 it was stated that he was in business “on his own account until 1874.” [10] A change may have occurred after the erection of “Mr Wrigglesworth’s new atelier” Willis Street in December 1873. [11]

The period during which Agnes was photographed was therefore sometime after mid- January 1866 and before 1874.

The Willis Street studio was located close to the southwest corner of Lambton Quay and Willis Street and can be seen in a photograph almost adjacent to and north of Miller’s Commercial Hotel. The picture display in the front window, though indistinct, may be of ships. [12] In February 1869 Wrigglesworth displayed photographs of the missionary brigantine Day Spring and of the ship Nebraska in May 1869. [13-14]

The studio can also be discerned in another photograph, taken about the same time, showing “Outfitting Warmoll’s Establishment” on the Lambton Quay/Willis Street corner. [15] This property, part of Town Section 512, was purchased by John Warmoll on 13 December 1867 [16] and was later sold to James McDowell on 22 February 1872. [17] Sometime not long after this Edward Villiers Briscoe recorded two buildings in Willis Street between the Commercial Hotel and McDowell’s in his surveyor fieldbook. [18-19]

These two photographs establish where Agnes went to get photographed. What event would bring Agnes from her home “Moness” at Wainuiomata to Wellington? During the period 1866-1874 there were three weddings and a death in the immediate family. Perhaps it was one of the marriages? Can the period be narrowed further?

The distinctive piano can be seen in five other “Wrigglesworth, Photographer, Wellington” Cart de visites, four of which feature the foot stool and two the upholstered chair. Henry Welch (1832-1884) of Opaki and Laura Eliza Robinson (1860-1946) of Makara are the only individuals identified. The other three photographs are of a woman, a girl, and two boys.

Where did the piano come from? Until 1888 immigrants’ personal baggage, including household effects were exempt from duty. Early statistics counted packages containing musical instruments and their estimated value. Pianos were not recorded separately until 1877. [20] Tracing a piano that arrived in the 1860s is likely to be dependent on mentions in the newspaper or oral tradition.

Perhaps the Wrigglesworth piano was the “very superior pianoforte, by Collard Collard” that was auctioned on 05 October 1868 at the Parsonage in Bolton Street? The seller was the French widow of the late incumbent of St Paul’s Cathedral, Rev Patrick Hay Maxwell. As Emilie Desiree Maxwell and her three children intended returning to England “the whole of the household furniture and effects” and a “valuable collection of books” were also sold on the same day. [21]

If the answer is yes then two 1868 Sinclair weddings can be ruled out. One was held in February in Wainuiomata and the other at Lower Hutt in July. This leaves the third in 1872 by which time Agnes had lost her husband Hugh. [22]

Shortly after Hugh Sinclair died on 11 November 1871 his two sons, John and Duncan, opened a timber yard adjoining the Te Aro pa in early December. [23] Duncan appears to have moved to Wellington to oversee the yard, while John remained at Wainuiomata to continue operating the saw-mill.

On 15 February 1872 Duncan Sinclair and Martha Mowlem were married by Rev James Paterson at his home on The Terrace. [24] Besides the wedding itself Agnes may have had an additional incentive to be there. Both she and Rev James Paterson were born in Ayrshire, Scotland – she at Ballantrae in 1809, and he at Kirkoswald c1831 – both near the coast about 20 miles apart.

Although the attempt to date the photograph yielded further information about the Sinclair and Mowlem families no definitive evidence has been found. As Duncan and Martha leased a property in Courtenay Place and started a family, Agnes may also have been photographed later in 1872 when her grandson, Hugh Gordon John Sinclair, was born on 31 October.

So what happened to the Wrigglesworth pianoforte?

On 07 March 1874 Wrigglesworth lost his wife and two sons when the barque Cyrus was wrecked during a heavy storm between Sinclair Head and Island Bay. [25] A week later a pianoforte and music stool along with furniture, utensils and a large number of books were auctioned at his residence. He intended “leaving Wellington for some time.” [26]

The new owner is unknown.

Nine Wrigglesworth Pianoforte images can be viewed as a Digital NZ Story at:

It also includes the two Willis Street photographs referred to above.


[1] Wainuiomata Museum Photograph P1139 Agnes Sinclair, Wrigglesworth, Photographer, Wellington

[2] Early New Zealand Photographers and their successors

James Dacie Wrigglesworth (1836-1906)

George Henry Swan (1833-1913)

Frederick Charles Binns (1844-1915)

[3] Auckland Council Library Photographers Database

[4] Wellington Independent 30 Jan 1864 Swan & Wrigglesworth Partnership and Photography Advertisements

[5] Evening Post 14 Jun 1865 Advertisement for a Printer – apply to Swan and Wrigglesworth’s Photographic Studio, Clay Point (later known as Stewart Dawsons’ corner)

[6] Wellington Independent 07 Sep 1865 Swan & Wrigglesworth display a photograph of James Fulloon at their Willis Street premises

[7] Hawke’s Bay Herald 04 Nov 1865 Swan & Wrigglesworth Partnership Dissolution notice

[8] Cyclopedia of New Zealand – Canterbury Provincial District Volume page 288

[9] Evening Post 10 Oct 1872 Letter to the Editor of the Evening Post by J. D. Wrigglesworth

[10] Evening Post 25 Oct 1906 Cablegram from Melbourne announcing death of Mr J. D. Wrigglesworth

[11] Wellington Independent 06 Dec 1873 Mr Moeller’s New Buildings

[12] Alexander Turnbull Library Ref: 1/2-035512-F Looking along Willis Street, Wellington

[13] Evening Post 15 Feb 1869 Photoraphic display of the missionary brigantine Day Spring

[14] Wellington Independent 14 May 1869 Photographic display of the ship Nebraska

[15] Alexander Turnbull Library Ref: 1/1-000694-F Willis Street showing Warmoll’s outfitting establishment Note: This photograph was published in the Evening Post on 24 November 1928 in association with an article titled “Willis Street”.

[16] Deeds Register Volume 16 folio 487 No.9066 Conveyance 13 Dec 1867 of part of Town Section 512 from Edward Hales to John Warmoll - Archives NZ Ref AFIH 22395 W5691 115 (R20163011) [17] Deeds Register Volume 65 folio 614 No.14377 Conveyance 22 Feb 1872 of part of Town Section 512 from John Warmoll to James McDowell - Archives NZ Ref AFIH 22395 W5691 164 (R20163069)

[18] Land Information New Zealand Fieldbooks Recollect Image Collection – Wellington District Field book No.309 page 40

[19] Surveyor Field Book Register 1842 to Mar 1962 (Wellington District)

[20] ‘A Piano in Every Other House’? The Piano in New Zealand Trade Statistics 1877-1931 by Michael Brown. New Zealand Journal of History 2017 Volume 51 No.2 Pages 26-53

[21] Wellington Independent 01 Oct 1868 R. J. Duncan auction sale notice

[22] Sinclair Family Genealogy

[23] Wellington Independent 04 Dec 1871 Opening of Timber yard adjoining Te Aro pa

[24] Evening Post 15 Feb 1872 Marriage

[25] Wellington Independent 09 Mar 1874 Heavy Storm in Cook Strait

[26] Wellington Independent 13 Mar 1874 Auction notice


Pandora Research

Dawn Chambers

Back to the Top

Chinese Corner 

The Chinese Poll Tax in New Zealand

Chinese migration to New Zealand began in 1865 with the arrival of labourers to rework the southern gold fields at the invitation of the Otago provincial government. From the outset the presence of Chinese migrants in New Zealand provoked protest from European miners and other settlers.

A newspaper article from April 1906 talks about the Chinese population and the increase in Poll Tax to be applied.

The Conference of delegates representing the Trades and Labour Councils of the colony resumed at 9 o'clock yesterday morning, Mr W. Hood (chairman) presiding. The following were present: — Messrs A. H. Cooper, D. McLaren, D. H. Hampton. W. Wostbrook, A. Collins, A. Rosser, W. Wallace, T. G. Love, J. H. Moore, R. Breen, J. T. Paul, W. Cannington, F. Patz, E. Gohns, and J. Barr.

Mr W. Wallace moved: '"That seeing the present poll-tax of £100 per head on Chinese immigrants is not sufficient to prevent large quantities of Chinamen from coming into the colony tied hand and foot for years to Chinese employers who have advanced the amount of their poll-tax, this Conference is of opinion that the tax should be increased to not less than £200 per head. Mr A. Rosser seconded the motion, and said that in a recent cargo of Chinese which arrived at Auckland there were three Chinese women, The Chinese capitalist was very like his white brother, and now controlled the market gardens in Auckland. It was a practice for the Chinese capitalist to advance the poll tax and to bring out Chinese who had to work for years to pay it off.

Mr Collins moved as an amendment: "That the poll-tax be £1000 per head." (Laughter.) Speaking to the amendment, he said he was glad to notice that there were practically no Chinese in Christchurch. It was true that he had bumped up that morning against a laundry with the name Yung Sue over it, or something like that, but he understood that was a Scotch name. (Laughter.) He went on to say that practically the whole of the fruit trade in Wellington was monopolised by Chinese, although he was pleased to say that the Europeans were gradually pushing them out. The Conference might think a £1000 poll-tax too drastic, but he did not think that would stop them. In Manners street there was a wealthy Chinese merchant who laughed at the poll-tax. He brought out Chinese labour, and paid the poll tax with a smile. Chinamen came out to him as bonded slaves, and worked for two shillings or three shillings a week. But if they were allowed to come into the country, he thought they should be allowed to "bring their women with them. It was deplorable to see a sight that was common in Wellington, viz., a Chinaman with a white wile and five or six half-cast children. Mr Westbrook seconded the amendment, and thought it did not go far enough. Mr Cannington instanced the numbers of Chinese on the West Coast, and regretted that they were rapidly increasing, judging by the number of children that could be seen. He was glad to be able to state, however, that the last Chinese fruit shop in Nelson had closed up. (Hear, hear.) Mr R. Breen thought that the immigration of Chinese should be prohibited altogether. Carried, and became the substantive motion. Mr Breen then moved, as a further amendment "That the Government be urged to prohibit the immigration of Chinese and other Asiatics, and that this Conference declares itself in favour of a white New Zealand." Mr J. T. Paul seconded the amendment. Mr J. Barr asked the chairman to ride if the amendment was in order, as it brought up the question of the immigration of all Asiatics and that of a white New Zealand. The Chairman ruled the amendment in order. Mr Paul, continuing, agreed with Mr Collins, that to increase the poll tax simply meant increasing the term of slavery which the Chinese had to undergo on arrival. It was better, therefore, to go all the way, and prohibit the importation of Chinese altogether. Mr A. Rosser thought there, was no chance of passing a, resolution in favour of a white New Zealand. It was unattainable, and in many respects’ undesirable. The amendment was lost by 12 votes to four. At the suggestion of Mr Hampton, the mover decided to add a proviso to his motion, that Chinese be submitted to the same educational tests as any other undesirable immigrant. The motion was then carried unanimously.  Press, Volume LXII, Issue 12484, 21 April 1906, Page 7 Press, Volume LXII, Issue 12484, 21 April 1906, Page 7


The New Zealand Chinese Association  will be celebrating the 80th Anniversary of the Chinese women and Children arrival as War Refugees, in Auckland, on 13 October 2019. 

For more information -   

Helen Wong

Guest Contributors 

Ken Morris 

A few more from “A DICTIONARY OF KIWI SLANG”  and some a little bit “politically incorrect” in today’s world

David Mc Gill Published 1988

I can remember “jugs” led to arguments if shared and someone took more than their share!


I can remember the term “Grouse” and wasn’t in ref to food

 “MIN” – Minhinnick A few more and we have similar characters in same situations ~ 40 years on

NZ Cricket in the news again in 2019 – we “was robbed”!

Pollies Perks are alive & well on both sides of Tasman

Ken Morris

Anne Sherman

From the Editor: Anne Sherman is a professional researcher living in the UK. Her website is:

Quoting her website, she is:

A Registered and Qualified Family History Researcher and Tutor, who researches English and Welsh family history.

With over 30 years’ experience in the field I cover everything from complete research portfolio’s, specific research (lookups), to coaching and training on how to research your own family history tree, because I believe everyone should know where their family started.


Hopefully she will become a regular contributor. Have a look at her blog section for some very useful articles.

Researching your Ancestors in English Newspapers


Newspapers can be a great source of information about your ancestors, ranging from the birth, marriage and death notices, details of court cases, advertisements for their business, advertising for domestic staff, auctioning farm land or house contents, group or society memberships and reports of good deeds or crimes including victims, witnesses and police officers as well as the culprits.

Articles cover all walks of life so do not think that your ancestors would not be worthy enough to appear in them.

Be aware, however, that historical newspapers are not as easy to read as current ones.  They contained many small articles one after another, often without a heading, and rarely contained images, as demonstrated here.

Britain’s first newspaper has been traced back to 1621 when the ‘Corante’ was published in London, but publication was not on a regular basis. The first English daily newspaper was not published until 1702.

Due to a largely illiterate population, newspapers took a while to become popular, as most people relied on Town Criers to hear the news.


Many of the 30,000 newspapers, some often a single sheet, printed between 1640 and 1660 can be seen at the British Museum. Other newspapers dating from 1699 can be viewed at the British Library in their Newspapers Collections.

Many County Archives have copies of local newspapers on microfilm but it is always wise to check first to make sure they have the copies for the period you are searching for. Few have been indexed and some newspapers could have several editions each day with slight differences in what was reported. Researchers generally need to trawl through each paper manually to find the article/person they are looking for.

The British Library Newspapers Collections holds the largest collection of British newspapers including:

            Regional English, Welsh, Scottish, and Irish newspapers, including those from the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man.

            British national and provincial papers from the mid-19th century to the present

            Pre-1801 London papers.

            Their holdings of Irish newspapers are “the best in the world, as the collection held in Dublin was largely destroyed in 1922 during the Civil War.”

See: for more details.


The British Library Newspapers Collections have two centres. Boston Spa, West Yorkshire now holds all the printed newspapers and St Pancras, London holds the newspaper microfilm collection.

For those researching ancestry in Wales, the National Library of Wales in Aberystwyth holds original copies of Welsh newspapers which can be viewed in their reading rooms.

Online Access:

There are a few websites that give newspaper access most of which you have to pay for.  The most popular are those on Find My Past and the British Newspaper Library Archive (not to be confused with the British Library Newspapers Collections discussed above).  Although the same company currently own both websites, the terms and conditions, and pricing structure are very different.  Please be aware that these online copies are under license and so permission from the relevant website is required if you wish to publish any articles found there.

You can find a list of the newspapers the BNL Archive website holds here:

Both websites have a free to use index for any search requests, which will give you an idea of whether the article is relevant to you.

Some British library services, colleges and universities have free online access to the British Newspaper Library. This online access may be listed under Gale Cengage Learning. It does not have the same newspaper collections as Find My Past or the British Newspaper Archive websites.  It is possible that you may find an article using one website but not in the other. The Gale database mainly covers newspapers dated before 1900.

The Welsh Newspapers Online website is a free online resource from the National Library of Wales where you can search and access nearly 120 newspaper publications from 1804 up to 1910.


When conducting a search using the British Newspaper Archive, a newspaper image will appear on the left of the index result showing a slightly blue area. This is where the article is located on the page. In many cases the whole column or page is highlighted so you will need to read through it all carefully.

The index shows the date and county of publication, the newspaper title and which page the article can be found on.

It is usually a good idea to search both websites, as each may give slightly different information. This can help you to locate the article and determine if it is what you are looking for.  Remember you will need to pay to view the full article.

The best search results are not always found by using the forename and surname search boxes.  The OCR system is unable to differentiate between names and words.  For instance, looking for John Smith will also find words such as blacksmith, or silversmith.  A search for the name Wright will also list shipwrights and wheelwrights, and the surname Chester will also include place names such as Chester and Manchester.

It will also search for the keywords in the order you have entered them, so it may be worth changing the order to find different results.  As shown below a search on Find My Past for ‘Hull’ and ‘wheelwright’ gives 639 results. A search for ‘wheelwright’ and ‘Hull’ gives 500 results.

Optical Character Recognition

Be aware that some of the spelling in the article may appear incorrectly.  This is because the system uses Optical Character Recognition (OCR) whereby the computer tries to read printed text.  It is not always accurate, hence the mistakes.  In the article above ‘Eric’ is shown as ‘Erio’ and ‘Hesslewood’ is also spelt as ‘Heselewood’.  A search for ‘Eric Hesslewood’ would not find this article.


The London Gazette.

The world’s oldest surviving periodical is The Oxford Gazette which was founded in 1665. It was renamed as the London Gazette in February 1666.

The London Gazette was originally the official newspaper of the Crown and British Government, with details about all Acts of Parliament and wars, including the Glorious Revolution of 1688, the Napoleonic Wars and the Crimean War, as well as other major events such as the Great Fire of London in 1666.  During the two World Wars it recorded all the official War Office and Ministry of Defence events. This included listing those ‘Mentioned in Despatches’ (MIDs), honours and awards for gallantry or meritorious service, officer commissions, appointments, promotions, and casualties. Researchers can often use these notices to track a military career.

Apart from military and government notices the London Gazette also covers Wills, bankruptcies and insolvency notices.  The Gazette is an official record and as such all the information published is verified and certified as fact.

This website has recently been redesigned and some say it is not as easy to use as it previously was; however, it is still a useful and free source of information. Links to advice on searching its database can be found here:

Scottish and Irish Gazettes.

The Edinburgh Gazette and the Belfast Gazette (previously the Dublin Gazette) can also be searched on London Gazette’s website. Since 1889, all three Gazettes were published by Her Majesty’s Stationery Office.

Newspapers are a good way of learning more about your ancestors and their families – if they appeared in them. You may also be surprised how far afield the antics of your ancestors were published.  The same article often appears in different newspapers across the country.

If you need advice or help in searching for your ancestors in the newspapers, contact me via my website or on Social Media.

Anne Sherman

From our Libraries and Museums

We are offering a forum to our libraries and museums to publicise their events, and to contribute articles to this newsletter that may be of interest to our readers. Auckland Libraries makes good use of this free service, let’s see if other libraries and museums take up this offer.

For readers of this newsletter: please bring this to the attention of your local libraries etc, and encourage them to participate.

Auckland Libraries

HeritageTalks  - Waha -taonga


July to November 2019
Are you interested in family and local history; the historical stories of New Zealand, the Pacific, and beyond?

Then why not come along to one of our fortnightly HeritageTalks - Waha -taonga and hear more about both our personal and our shared heritage?

These talks are given by experts in their field and can provide valuable insight into our histories.

When: At least fortnightly on Wednesdays, from February to November, 12pm - 1pm unless otherwise stated
Where: Whare Wānanga, Level 2, Central City Library, Lorne St, Auckland
Cost: Free
Booking: All welcome. Booking recommended but not essential.

To ensure your place, please contact Research Central on 09 890 2412, or book online at


August (Family History Month)

1 to 31 August 2019

Family History Month at Auckland Libraries
Various library venues around the Auckland region – check with your local library.


An afternoon of family history with the three keynote speakers for the weekend’s Auckland Family History Expo – 12noon to 4pm

The Hidden Web: Digging Deeper with Cyndi Ingle

Wednesday 7 August, 12pm -1pm

This session is now fully booked. No seats available.


Family History & the Media – Behind the scenes of WDYTYA with Nick Barratt

Wednesday 7 August, 1.30-2.30pm

This session is fully booked. No seats available.


Explore the British Isles @ FamilySearch with Raymon Naisbitt

Wednesday, 7 August 2.30pm-4pm

After Dr Nick Barratt, please welcome Raymon Naisbitt of FamilySearch from Salt Lake City, our third Auckland Family History Expo keynote speaker. Come and hear him tell us about Exploring British Isles Research using FamilySearch.

Explore from the viewpoint of doing British Isles research. Discover the vast amount of digital British and Irish collections that are accessible online including records, books and digital microfilm. Raymon will go more indepth on different British and Irish record collections at the Expo.The Family History Expo is a weekend-long event covering a wide range of topics on researching genealogy and family history.

To book please phone Research Central on 09 890 2412 or book online:

Friday 9 to Sunday 11 August 2019


Auckland Family History Expo

Tāmaki Huinga Tātai Kōrero
Come and see us for a weekend of family history and whakapapa at the Fickling Convention Centre, 546 Mount Albert Road, Three Kings, Auckland.
See more at

Russ Wilding My Heritage

Wednesday 14 August, 12pm -1pm

Using MyHeritage technologies to discover your family history. An introduction to the records on MyHeritage. Find out how MyHeritageDNA can become another tool in your genealogy toolbox to help find missing links and verify your research.


The Many Faces of D.B. Russell 1862-1940 with Lisa Truttman
Wednesday 21 August, 12pm -1pm

Light opera singer, entrepreneur, impresario, supposed construction engineer, agricultural expert, resident agent and manager: D.B. Russell convinced people he could do virtually anything – then left behind little record of his activities. Lisa will discuss how she researched his life via archives held in New Zealand, Australia, America and Mexico. D.B. Russell enjoyed a career on stage in the Far East and travelled through the Pacific during a time of British and New Zealand imperial activity in the area. She discovered shady deals in the Gilded Age of the late 19th and early 20th centuries in America, a grand Auckland canal project which never materialised, and his experience of the 1911 Mexican revolution.

Dall'altra parte del mondo: To the other side of the world with Giuseppe Gallina

Wednesday 28 August, 12pm -1pm

Giuseppe Gallina presents an illustrated talk about the evolution of Italian emigration to New Zealand which began in 1769 with the first arrival - a Venetian sailor who came on the Endeavour with James Cook.

Giuseppe explains why Italians left their homeland for this country, when they came, where they settled, the work they did, and the challenges they faced as their community grew.


Wills and probates with Marie Hickey

Wednesday 11 September, 12pm -1pm

Many researchers believe that it’s not worth looking for their ancestors’ wills, because their family didn’t have much money. This means that they miss out on vital information: Lists of household items, what happened to a particular item, or even learning about a family squabble.

This presentation will look at material from New Zealand, England, Scotland and Ireland, including websites where information may be found and why you may not find anything when you believe that there should be a will.

The growth of New Zealand towns with Hugh Dickey

Wednesday 25 September, 12pm -1pm

Enjoy an interactive visualised presentation including fascinating facts about the growth (or otherwise) of our towns and cities, including a focus on Auckland.  Misconceptions and historical myths are dealt with, as well as current trends and possible future changes.  Based on extensive new research.


5 October to 27 October 2019

Auckland Heritage Festival
Various events around the Auckland region.

Auckland`s History through its placenames with Phil Sai-Louie

Sunday 6 October, 12pm -1pm

Come and hear a talk on Auckland’s history from a different but interesting angle. Historian Phil Sai-Louie’s research shows that the names of our suburbs, districts & streets reveal many fascinating snippets about Auckland`s evolution & cultural heritage.


St James Theatre with George Farrant

Wednesday 9 October, 12pm -1pm

Join George Farrant for this HeritageTalk for Auckland's Heritage Festival and hear all about "Auckland's Greatest Theatre" - the St James - from its glorious past to its less illustrious present.


Showing a montage of interior views of St James Theatre. Creator New Zealand Sporting and Dramatic Review, July 1928. Auckland Libraries Heritage Collections 7-A11880.

Opened in 1928 and proclaimed "Auckland's Greatest Theatre", the St James Theatre has had an interesting past with vaudeville shows, musicals, comedy, theatre, dance, royal command performances, and movies. Its future is a bit more checkered since its closure in 2007 following a fire in an adjacent cinema, an electrical fire in 2015, and the recent withdrawal of finance for the planned adjacent multi-storey apartment block that would part-fund the already-started restoration of the theatre. Join George Farrant, Auckland Council Principal Heritage Advisor to hear more about this building with its sad external look, but gorgeous well-preserved Spanish-Renaissance style interior. 


Journeys through the Pacific Ocean to Tamaki Makarau before 1890 with David Wong Hop and Lisa Truttman

Sunday 13 October, 10.30am -12.30pm

From China, Syria and India, to England, Scotland, and Ireland, our ancestors endured long and often arduous journeys to reach their new homeland of New Zealand. Join David Wong Hop and Lisa Truttman as they look at some of these pre-1890 journeys, from the shipwrecks and the hardship of the voyage, to how ‘shipping intelligence’ was reported, along with difficulties encountered - including the Chinese who had to pay poll tax to enter New Zealand.


Early Auckland: Highlights from Kura with Joanne Graves

Wednesday 16 October, 12pm -1pm

From the 300-page Addresses to Sir George Grey, to the Pioneer Women's Honour Roll, the Old Colonists Association Register to the C. Little & Sons Funeral Director cards, Auckland Libraries continues to digitise all manner of items for Aucklanders to enjoy.  Join local history librarian Joanne Graves on a tour of these treasures and learn about the stories behind them, the information held in them, and how you can access them on Kura Heritage Collections Online.


Sarah Mathew and the musical entertainments of the English ladies with Polly Sussex

Wednesday 23 October, 12pm -1pm

Sarah Mathew arrived at the Waitematā Harbour in 1840 with her husband the surveyor Felton Mathew. At first, they lived in a tent in present-day Britomart and Sarah kept “my devoted piano” in a box beside it. Once their house was built the piano became indispensable for entertainment. In this talk Dr Polly Sussex will share a glimpse of recreational music in the life of a lady in early Auckland using examples from musical scrapbooks compiled by the family of missionary Henry Williams.

Dr Sussex will play music from the Henry Williams scrapbooks on a square piano from 1835 at concert that will take place on 7 November 2019 at Central Library.


The Kiwi speaks… with Max Cryer

Wednesday 6 November, 12pm -1pm

Max Cryer examines the somewhat casual relationship New Zealanders have with the English language. The average Kiwi knows little about the structure of the language most commonly spoken in Aotearoa - but Max does know. He illuminates the scene by light-heartedly examining formidable-sounding local language by-ways such as metathesis and hypochorism styles which many New Zealanders didn’t know they used.

Women Mean Business: Colonial Businesswomen in New Zealand, with Dr Catherine Bishop, author

Wednesday 6 November 6pm-7.30pm

‘The greatest comefort to me is to get an honest living for my familey’. Boarding-house-keeper Susannah Wall’s words in 1845 echo the sentiments of many colonial women in New Zealand throughout the nineteenth century. Like Susannah, many of them ran small businesses (though not all were as concerned about the ‘honesty’ of the living they got).

‘Milne and Choyce’ and ‘Smith and Caughey’s’ are well-known female-founded businesses in Auckland - but what about the Mclaughlin sisters’ drapery, Mary Ann Brassey’s school, mess-woman Louisa Darby or Sophia Paris James’ Q.C.E. Hotel? In this talk Catherine Bishop, author of Women Mean Business (Otago University Press), explores the stories of some of New Zealand’s colonial entrepreneurs – the successful and the outright failures, the heart-warming and the tragic, the everyday and the scandalous. 

Born and raised in Whanganui, Dr Catherine Bishop is currently a postdoctoral fellow at Macquarie University in Sydney. Her first book Minding Her Own Business: Colonial Businesswomen in Sydney (NewSouth Publishing, 2015) won the prestigious 2016 Ashurst Business Literature Prize. This is her second book.

From Taranto to Trieste with Jennifer Mallison, author

Thursday 7 November 6pm-7.30pm

Following the 2nd NZ Division’s Italian Campaign, 1943-45

This is a modern journey in the path of 2nd New Zealand Division in Italy, from its arrival in Taranto in October 1943 until disbandment after the end of the war in Europe.

The author faithfully reconstructs the journey of the Division, from disembarkation in Taranto to peace-keeping in the ethnic and political hot-bed of Trieste, commenting on the landscape and social context while recalling the impressions and experiences of the soldiers as they passed through. The author also visits the four areas where the Division went into action: above the Sangro River in Abruzzo, at Cassino and in the mountains to the north, south of Arezzo and Florence in Tuscany, and across the rivers of Emilia-Romagna. The historical context (military and political) is related separately to explain and complement the story of the overall Kiwi experience.

The book is generously illustrated with detailed journey and local maps, numerous contemporary photographs, and a selection of war history photographs. The story is embellished by personal reflections, and notes on the physical and cultural environment, with interesting detours off-route to irresistible and often hidden attractions.

Two appendices provide brief descriptions of the Commonwealth War Cemeteries in Italy where New Zealanders are buried, and the Italian POW Camps where New Zealanders (from previous campaigns) transited or were held prisoner.

DNA Discoveries with Seonaid Lewis

Wednesday 20 November, 12pm -1pm

DNA testing is an exciting new tool in the genealogists’ toolbox. It also brings with it, a learning curve and potentially some surprises or even shocks. Just be prepared for the possibility of rattling some skeletons! Hear Auckland Libraries’ family history librarian, Seonaid Lewis take you through her own discoveries.


Lunchtime with Sylvia Valentine, UK guest speaker

Wednesday 27 November, 12pm -3pm

Speaker Biography

Sylvia Valentine is a UK based researcher and has been researching her own family history for almost 40 years. After retiring from a 30-year career working in the charity sector, she became a student of the University of Dundee, and graduated in 2016 with a Master of Letters degree in Family and Local History. She is now a doctoral candidate researching Opposition to Compulsory Smallpox Vaccination in Scotland in the late 19th and early 20th Centuries. She owns her own research company, Recover Your Roots, researching particularly in northern England and Scotland.

Her specialist area of interest are the records created by the Poor Law Amendment Act 1834 – and compulsory smallpox vaccination. Sylvia is an Honorary Teaching Fellow of the University of Dundee and delivers their online family history courses. She is also the Doctoral Fellow 2019 for the Centre for Scottish Studies.

She is a Director of the Register of Qualified Genealogists, (RQG) a member of the Association of Scottish Genealogists and Researchers in Archives, (ASGRA) and is an Associate member of the Association and Genealogists and Researchers in Archives (AGRA).


Twitter @historylady2013

Researching Workhouse Records in England and Wales

Family historians often think of using workhouse records chiefly in terms of the admission or discharge of a pauper ancestor. However the Poor Law Amendment Act of 1834 created a bureaucratic system across England and Wales for the management of local poor law unions. Not all records have survived, but those which do frequently name individuals with some connection to the workhouse. For example, suppliers of foodstuffs clothing and services such as dentistry. Your Ancestor might have been a workhouse employee or been one of “the great and the good” who oversaw day to day management. You can find information about absconding parents, apprentice records and smallpox vaccination records. This lecture explains some of the records you might be able to find.

The Dawson Orphans - From the Workhouse to Oxford University

Starting with a letter discovered in a workhouse letter book, out of curiosity, Sylvia set out to research the story of the five Dawson orphans who were born in the early nineteenth century. This talk shows how a researcher can use a variety of resources to put together a family history. The story has been pieced together using more than 25 resources, but, spoiler alert, sadly there are no happy endings for the brothers.

Smallpox Vaccination Records for Family History

Smallpox vaccination records might seem an unlikely source for family historians but, where they have survived, they might just help you with a “brick wall”. This presentation discusses some of the history of smallpox vaccination, resistance to compulsory vaccination and suggestions for locating any records, primarily within England and Wales.


Our 2020 HeritageTalks for will start again on Wednesday 5 February

Phone: 09 890 2412


Nga mihi | Kind regards


Seonaid (Shona) Lewis RLIANZA | Family History Librarian

Central Auckland Research Centre, Central City Library

Heritage and Research

Auckland Libraries - Nga Whare Matauranga o Tamaki Makarau

Ph 09 890 2411| Extn (46) 2411 | Fax 09 307 7741

Auckland Libraries, Level 2, Central City Library, 44 - 46 Lorne Street, Auckland

Visit our website:

@Kintalk on Twitter / Auckland Research Centre on Facebook


Back to the Top

Group News

Whangarei Family History Computer Group


image001 Wayne: (09) 437 2881

 Pat: (09) 437 0692


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

email, if you need directions.

 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 till finished before 1.30pm.






Waikanae Family History Group

 Contacts: Email:

Venue: Meets every 4th Thursday morning at the Waikanae Chartered Club, 8 Elizabeth Street Waikanae, just over the Railway Crossing from 9.30am to 12 -12.30pm, every month from January to November.

Research days: at the Waikanae Public Library, 10am to 12 noon on second Wednesday of each month.



Waitara Districts History & Families Research Group

 The contact details of this group are:

Waitara Districts History & Families Research Group

Rose Cottage 33 Memorial Place


Tel: 06 – 754 – 3212



President:- Rona Hooson 

Vice President:- Doree Smith

Secretary:- Trish Smart

Treasurer:- Marilyn O’Lander



Back to the Top

News and Views 

Various Articles worth reading:          

From the Editor: Because of space restrictions and copyright issues I cannot put the complete articles in this newsletter so here are some URLs that are worth looking at:

Leaves Family History Research Service Website

We are in the process of convincing the owner of this website to contribute a regular column. I visited this website and spent much time reading her blogs. You will learn a lot by reading them. If I could I would immediately reprint a few in this newsletter but, alas, that magic killer word, COPYRIGHT.


Before You Take A Mail-In DNA Test, Brace Yourself For Family Secrets



Originality counts

by Judy G. Russell | Jul 5, 2019 | Copyright | 5 comments


The limits on copyright

Reader Dennis Yancey asks a great copyright question.

“If a person transcribes the family record data in a Family Bible,” he asks, “can they claim copyright on this transcription?” And, he continues, “Is the answer to this pretty much the same for any transcription of any document of genealogical value?”

The Legal Genealogist loves questions with easy answers: No and yes, in that order.

Let’s break this down.

Copyright laws around the world are pretty much the same in one critical respect–there’s one fundamental thing that has to be true in order to get a copyright.

The material being copyrighted has to be the original work of the person (or corporate entity that owns the rights to that person’s work) applying for copyright protection.

One of the very first sections of the United States law dealing with copyrights puts it this way: “Copyright protection subsists … in original works of authorship …”[1]


As explained by the U.S. Supreme Court, originality is “the touchstone of copyright protection today… the very ‘premise of copyright law’ (and) ‘constitutionally mandated’” before copyright’s benefits will be extended. It is, the Court said, the “bedrock principle of copyright” that the work “must be original to the author,” that is, “independently created by the author (as opposed to copied from other works)…” In the copyright context, “originality requires independent creation.”[2]

So the bottom line here is that someone can only get a copyright where “the author created the work without copying from other works.”[3]

By definition, transcribing that Bible record is copying from other works. No copyright possible there.

So, easy answer: no, the person transcribing that family data from a Bible can’t claim copyright. That person didn’t create the original work. And yes, that’s going to be the answer for any transcription of any document of genealogical value.

Now translations are different. There’s some discretion and judgment involved in translating a work from one language to another, in word choice and interpretation of nuance or colloquial terms. So you can get a copyright on a translation under both international law[4] and United States law.[5] The new copyright is limited to the new material, and, if the original work is still under copyright, the translation has to authorized by the owner of the original copyright.[6]

But transcriptions? No. Not original, so no copyright.

Great question, Dennis!

Cite/link to this post: Judy G. Russell, “Originality counts,” The Legal Genealogist( : posted 5 July 2019).


1.         17 U.S.C. §102(a), “Subject matter of copyright: In general.” 

2.         Feist Publications, Inc. v. Rural Telephone Service Co., Inc., 499 U.S. 340, 345-347 (1991), emphasis added. 

3.         See §§308-309, Compendium of U.S. Copyright Office Practices, 3d. ed. (2017), U.S. Copyright Office ( : accessed 5 July 2019). 

4.         See ¶ 3, Article 2, Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic WorksWIPO-Administered Treaties, World Intellectual Property Organization ( : accessed 5 July 2019). 

5.         See §507.1, “What is a Derivative Work?,” Compendium of U.S. Copyright Office Practices

6.         See ibid., §507.2 and §609.1. 



How to Use FamilySearch Person Ids  

June 21, 2019  - by  Amie Tennant

While exploring your family tree, you may have noticed a combination of letters and numbers below each family member’s name.

These are person identification numbers (ID), and understanding what they are and how you can use them can be a great asset to you as you do your family history!

What Is a Person ID, and Where Can I Find It?

Each person in the FamilySearch Family Tree has an assigned person ID, which appears as a series of letters and numbers. These person IDs are unique to each deceased person.

You can find the identification number below a person’s name in your family tree or in the header of the person page.

How Can I Use a Person ID?

Copying the Person ID

It can be helpful to know the person ID of an ancestor, especially if you plan on returning to that person’s information (more on this later). To quickly copy a person ID, follow these steps:

1. Click or tap the person ID, which you can find below the person’s name in the family tree or on an ancestor’s person page.

2. A pop-up window will appear that says “Copy ID.” To copy the person ID, click this link.

3. Paste the ID number into a document or wherever you keep a record of person IDs.


You can use the Recents feature in Family Tree and an ancestor’s person ID to quickly return to an ancestor’s page. It only takes a few simple steps.


1. On your family tree, click or tap the Recents tab on the top left side of the screen.

2. A drop-down menu will appear and give you the option to type or paste in a family member’s name or a person ID. Enter the person’s ID.

3. Click Go. If the ID number is correct, that ancestor’s page will open.


If you already know the person ID of a specific family member, you can also use the person ID to find the person’s page:

1. Tap or hover over Family Tree at the top left side of the screen, and select Find from the menu options.

2. Tap or click Find by ID, and enter the person’s ID number in the field provided. Then click Find. The name of the person who has been assigned that specific ID will appear on the next screen.


3. From this screen, you have the option of clicking any of the hyperlinked names, which will then take you to that ancestor’s page.



Sometimes, instead of relying on the Possible Duplicates tool, you can use a person ID to merge duplicate people in the tree. To do this, you will use the Merge by ID option from the Tools section on the right of the person page.


1. Copy or write down the person ID of the record that you don’t want to keep.

2. From the person page of the more correct record, scroll down, and in the menu options on the right, click or tap Merge by ID in the Tools section.

3. In the field provided, enter the person ID number you copied or wrote down. Again, this is the person ID of the record that had the least accurate information. Click or tap Continue.


4. At this point, you will see the profiles from both records side by side so you can compare the two, and copy over any information you wish to keep. Review all information.

5. Once you have reviewed both profiles thoroughly, click or tap Continue Merge at the bottom of the screen.

6. You will be prompted to explain the reason you believe these two records should be merged. When you have entered your reason statement, click or tap Finish Merge.

7. You have now completed the process of merging a duplicate person by person ID.

Explore Your Tree

Now that you know what person IDs are and what they can help you do, visit your family tree and find ways to put your ID knowledge to use!

Amie Tennant

Amie Bowser Tennant is a genealogy researcher, writer and presenter. She writes blog articles and other content for many top companies and societies in the genealogy field. Her most treasured experience is working as a consultant for family history. Amie lives with her husband and three children in Ohio, surrounded by many of her extended family.


Book Reviews

It seems nobody has read any books this month.

In conclusion

Help wanted

Letters to the Editor

Advertising with FamNet

Every now and then we get requests to put an advertisement in the newsletter. I have therefore created a new section which will appear from time to time. Advertisements will be included only at the Editor's discretion and will be of a genealogical nature.

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 $NZ25 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 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 discretion for free events.

Back to the Top

A Bit of Light Relief





To Unsubscribe, Change your Email Address, or Manage your Personal Information

If you have problems with this page you can email us directly, but the page should be self-explanatory.

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 the FamNet URL.

Back to the Top