Part of the worldwide genealogy/family history community


FamNet eNewsletter November December 2014

ISSN 2253-4040

 Quote: “A lovely thing about Christmas is that it's compulsory, like a thunderstorm, and we all go through it together.”  Garrison Keillor


Editorial 1

Editors Position Vacant 2

FamNet in Schools Promotion. 2

Also in This Newsletter 2

Seasons Greetings. 2

From the Developer 3

Putting Pictures into Your Documents. 3

DNA Testing for Family History. 4

9. Understanding your Direct Maternal Mitochondrial Results. 4

Useful Websites. 10

Group News. 11

Whangarei Family History Computer Group. 11

Waikanae Family History Group. 12

News and Views. 12

Book Reviews. 13

The Naturalist 14

Names and History: People, Places and Things. 15

Community. 15

Ask an Expert 15

Help Offered. 15

Information Wanted etc. 15

Have Your Say – Letters to the Editor 16

In conclusion. 16

A Bit of Light Relief 16

Advertising with FamNet 16

To Unsubscribe. 17

Copyright (Waiver) 17



From Sue and Robert  

Editors Position Vacant

Colleen is taking a break due to some family issues, so until further notice Colleen’s Corner will be discontinued and Sue and I have taken back editorial control.  We hope that these issues get resolved and she can return, but whether she does or not we wish her well. 


Due to Colleen and Sue being unavailable a new editor is needed for the FamNet newsletter, so we’d love to hear from anybody who can help.  You can be anywhere in New Zealand, and the task is not terribly onerous provided that you have a little bit of time, skills in Word and can use Dropbox and Skype (which are very easy if you haven’t already used them).  We will continue to support you, but we really need someone to take the lead as the editor.   We’d also like more contributors, especially regular ones like Colleen (Colleen’s Corner” and Gail (DNA for Genealogy).  We’d love to hear from you.


Our apologies for the lateness of this issue.  Our target for the next (January) issue is to get back to our normal schedule of sending it out at the end of the month, but please bear with us if we don’t make it.

FamNet in Schools Promotion                                                                                             

The FamNet trust has sent an email to all New Zealand Schools bringing to their attention the facilities that FamNet offers for their family history projects.  The experience we had in 2012 with the pilot projects showed that students loved using FamNet. In this Internet age even little children are highly computer literate and the year 5-7 students had no difficulty using FamNet – if only they could remember their passwords J.  You’ll remember the stories recounted in earlier newsletters, like the boy who developed his family tree working with his grandfather in London.  Unfortunately our FamNet in Schools program hasn’t been promoted since then as I (Robert) became involved in an unrelated software project, but the trust is now promoting this project for adoption in schools next year.  We’re going to make it completely free to the school groups, they need to contact me so that I can make this so.


The teachers running these school projects should find everything that they need on the site, but they may appreciate some help from the genealogy community with research.  I expect that most projects will focus on building a tree from information that the students can get by talking to their parents and grandparents, but some of the students in the pilot projects quickly achieved the first target (“Create a family tree at least to your grandparents, with photos”) and started to ask how to find more information about their dead ancestors.  So it would be great if we (FamNet) could direct schools to enthusiasts living in the area who could visit the school to help.  If you’d be interested in helping us and them in this way please let us know, and we’ll create a list of people willing to help.  I have no idea whether you’d be called on, but in my experience it’s a lot of fun.

Also in This Newsletter

Gail continues her excellent series on DNA Testing for Family History with “Understanding your Direct Maternal Mitochondrial Results”. And in From the Developer the theme of “How do you tell your story” is continued: this month we deal with putting pictures into your documents.   Have you written your story yet? 

Seasons Greetings

It’s that time of year again, so from FamNet we hope you all have a great holiday season with your family.  Christmas, whether celebrated kiwi style with a beach barbecue, or more traditionally with a gathering at one of the family’s homes, is all about families coming together to celebrate.  This is a great time to catch up with people that you haven’t seen for a while, and for those with relatives arriving from afar, an opportunity to get their stories to add to yours.  Have a good time.  Drive safely.


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From the Developer

image004From Robert Barnes


Last month covered the basics of creating a Word document and embedding links within it.   Sue pulled me up – not everybody uses Microsoft Word.  I don’t know how many of you use something else, but I’ve used nothing else since my company dropped Wordstar and moved to Word for Windows when we moved to Windows 3.11.  That’s a long time ago.  As I have no experience with other word processors I will continue to talk about Word.  I hope that my notes are still useful for those who don’t use it although you may have to do a bit of research to find the equivalents within your word processing software

Putting Pictures into Your Documents

I promised to talk about embedding photos and arranging text around them in this newsletter.  It’s very easy.  For example, in 2007 I created this document by combining some text with photos from our family albums.  Let’s re-create it. My starting point: a Word document with some of the words already entered, and a file containing the pictures.  Pictures will usually have format .jpg: the first picture that we want is in my FamilyPhotos folder as Freda1.jpg.


1.      Open a Word document.  You may leave this blank, or write some or all of your words on it.  In my example most of the words have already been written.

2.      Click in the document approximately where you want the picture to go.

3.      Option 1:  Menu Insert/Picture/From File.  This drops the picture into the document, but not very neatly as the text is put above and below the picture.  It now looks like this: -



4.      Option 2: sometimes you’ll want to include part of a picture, or use a snapshot of a web page or other document as I’ve done above.  This is also very easy to do, especially if you have a screen capture program.  Snap the picture you want and paste it into your Word document. 

To snap the picture I use MWSnap32, a free program for Windows which you can download from this web site.  To me this strikes a perfect balance between power and simplicity.  While it is slightly limited compared to some programs that I’ve tried (you can’t capture the parts of a window that are off your visible screen), it is far simpler and more intuitive than more powerful products that do.  No doubt there are equivalents for a Mac.  If you can’t find a program like this you can use the build-in screen capture of “prt sc” (your keyboard, at the top), but then you’ll probably have to edit the capture with Paint.


5.      Right-click the picture, and a menu appears with options including “Format Picture”.  Select this to bring up the Format page: select the Layout tab, and select the option you want.  I almost always choose “Square”.  Click [OK] and you return to your document: with the square option the text will flow around the picture.  Simply drag the picture around to place it wherever you want within your text.  With Word you can put the picture(s) wherever you want on the page, but if you’re planning to produce a web page it’s best if you put the picture on the left or right side.  There can be some interesting challenges in making a web page look good for all browsers and screen resolutions.



Once you’ve got your document looking as you want it to, your next decision is: how to save it.  The simplest is to simply save it from Word (or whatever word processor you’re using), and this is certainly what you’ll do if all you intend is to have a local document that you’ll print out, and perhaps edit further.  However if you are going to store it on a web page then you should consider some other options.  We’ll consider this next time.


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DNA Testing for Family History

© Gail Riddell 2014

9. Understanding your Direct Maternal Mitochondrial Results


This is the 9th 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 8th article for this newsletter (Understanding your Y-DNA results), I finished by stating I would write about understanding your mitochondrial (mtDNA) results in this, my 9th article.  (You receive such results, whether you are male or female, if you have purchased the mtDNA test).  All tests are available (and there is a discount for you as a New Zealander for Y-DNA and mtDNA) if you please firstly go to and once there, click on <Join Request> in the dark blue tool bar, select <Option B> and follow your nose.

In keeping with my previous articles, this too is directed to a new tester. It is not for the scientific community.  Consequently, using layman’s wording and examples, wherever possible, to explain (in spite of the shortcomings of same).

To recap, mtDNA considers ONLY the direct maternal line.  This is your mother, her mother, her mother’s mother and so on back through thousands of years.  Women pass their mtDNA on to all their children but although men receive it, they cannot pass it on.  (Please re-read the 6th article where I introduce mtDNA).

The mtDNA is not the X chromosome – it is a totally different area of your cell and bears no relationship to your chromosomes nor is it reported on via any of those other tests you might choose.  In fact, physically, it is found in the outer part of your cells whereas all the chromosomes are found in the nucleus (1-22 plus the gender chromosomes – two Xs for female and one X and one Y for males.  

Similarly to the Y-DNA tests (at differing levels of testing), so too are there differing levels of testing mtDNA.  These are called ‘HVR1’ (hyper variable Region 1), ‘HVR2’ (hyper variable region 2) and the ‘Coding region’ which is technically a reference sequence .  (These all build on one another so if you have taken the full sequence of mtDNA testing you will have all three levels.  Please see an excellent set of examples as written in March 2014 by Roberta Estes - at the end of this article.

For this article, I am going to assume you have taken the full sequence mtDNA test.  This is usually named on the FTDNA site as mtDNA FMS.   (If you got the cheaper test, that is, HVR1 or HVR2, what follows in this article will bear little relevance to you).

On testing, you will receive your mtDNA Haplogroup – this is the genetic family from whom your mother’s direct maternal ancestors descended.   It could be anyone of these as displayed in this graphic below and will likely be more refined than the labels given to those in this graphic.  Please note that FamilytreeDNA (FTDNA) is (apart from Genebase), the ONLY firm which offers this full sequence test that will give you the fine tuning of your mtDNA Haplogroup.



To get a larger and clearer image, you will need to go to the source URL.  This is found at   

If this wraps, you may prefer the tiny URL.    


The most common European mtDNA Haplogroup is H – this is said to have originated in the Mesopotamia area many thousands of years ago.  See this overly simplified map.  Be aware that this is based on frequencies of those mtDNA Haplogroups found throughout the world and as more information is found, any such map will alter.  It is purely to give you an idea as to the dispersal of the older haplogroups. 


My own mtDNA Haplogroup is H, but on testing the full sequence, I have been categorised as H3as.  Thus far I have zero full identical matches (except with my brother and my mother’s sister’s son, that is, my 1st cousin on my maternal side), but we have a number of matches with distances at either 1 or 2. 


For me, this means that the only people in the entire FTDNA data base who have any sort of match with me or my maternal family are those from thousands of years ago.  And of course, this means that until I get a full match (with no differences), then I have no identifiable genetically direct maternal line relatives (within genealogical times) in the data base who have tested to this level.


In other words, the mtDNA test is NOT a genealogy test.  Meaning for those merely putting their toe into the waters of the FNA pond, it is usually a waste of money – unless of course you are wanting to only learn what your direct maternal line’s ethnicity might be.  Under these circumstances, the full sequence mtDNA test is mandatory because you will not get this by the cheaper test of just HVR1 & HVR2.


BUT, in having said that, it is invaluable if you and another person have the idea that you may share a common mother or a common grandmother or great grandmother – and so on.  UNLESS you and another person have reason to wonder whether you have the same direct maternal grandmother or same direct maternal great grandmother or great, great grandmother etc. and you are wanting to know for certain.  But even then, you still will not know for sure if the woman ancestor was exactly the same – it may have been a sister or a daughter or an aunt or someone else bearing that same direct maternal mtDNA.  (Note my comment above that my 1st maternal cousin, even though his mother is NOT my mother, they share the same mtDNA FMS outcome.  Why?  Simply because his mother and my mother were sisters with the same mother,  So it is her mitochondria that we have received – as is passed down through the direct maternal descendant line).


Genetic DNA testing will give all sorts of valuable information but it will never be able to state the actual name of the person from whom you and another descended


For this, you must rely on your genealogy.  But should you get a match, then this will spur you on to your next discovery.  Always overriding these tests must be that you totally understand that if you do not wish to know the truth, then please do not test.  The genetic genealogical forums are full of stories asking how to handle the total surprises that often occur.  Remember that some families have hidden their secrets for many generations.  If you make the decision to test because you want to know, then this is different.  But what do you do if you sweet talk a relative into testing to aid you in your quest (note this:  your quest as opposed to their quest) and you find that the tester does not have the lineage you were expecting?  My brief answer is to ensure your ‘testing person’ understands that you will be privy to privileged information and get their reaction as to how they want you to report the outcome.  Certainly, this may jeopardise your tester actually agreeing but in my view, you owe a “duty of care” to anyone who trusts you and agrees to your request – whether you pay or not).


Genetic genealogy does NOT test the areas of our cells that the forensic or medical tests will test. Remember that this applies to all the genetic genealogy tests you and your siblings and your cousins take.  Genetic genealogy is a tool for any serious genealogist.


Having tested your mtDNA full sequence, and having received your Haplogroup, you will also receive the lists of particular mutations where you differ from the Cambridge Reference Sequence.  Here is a screen shot of mine.  For the purposes of this article, I am ignoring my HVR1 and HVR2 results and concentrate only on the ‘Coding Region’ results.  This is where the detail is and normally it is never shown to any match as it contains sensitive information.  Because mine does NOT show any such unpleasant results, I am happy to divulge same, even though I am aware that it means my maternal family’s results are also shown.  Had it contained something sensitive, you would not see it.



What you see here is a comparison between what the Cambridge Reference Sequence expects and where I differ in terms of the nucleotides.  (These are A, C, T, G;  and from past articles, you will recall that A = Adenine, C = Cytosine, T = Thymine, G = Guanine).  These are my maternal line mutations.  These are what contributes towards me being me.  The differences are neither “good” nor “bad”, but to be a match on my direct maternal line, the other person needs to mimic my results and mimic my mutations at the given positions. 


I have already stated only my brother and 1st maternal cousin (in the entire FTDNA data base has these at this time).  Therefore, it could be said to have the same mother.  But the truth is, either my brother or I or our maternal cousin (or all of us) could have been adopted by our mother. 


There is only one way to find out if say, our mother has died or has no siblings still living or has no 1st or 2nd maternal cousins living who is also from our direct maternal line.  And that is to get two of my brothers or a male sibling of our father (or a son of my father’s male sibling) to test their Y chromosome.  If the two brothers have the same Y chromosomal results then there is a HIGH probability that we have the same set of parents – whoever they might be.  But say their Y chromosomal results were different, then automatically we would know that the two brothers had different fathers.  If this was the case, who would their father be?  Again, you would have to go back to your family tree and find another member of the family to take the same set of tests.


Re-read that paragraph.  Do you see the principle behind genetic testing as a tool for genealogy?  Each test by each person in any family adds more and more information.  Sooner or later that brick wall you have been facing will disintegrate. 


Here is a screenshot showing others who have similar but not quite the same matches with me.  I say not quite the same because there is a difference of 1 between me and the others I reproduce here  (I have blanked out names for obvious reasons).  The zero indicates the person is identical and to me, automatically I would be emailing that person.  On the left hand side are their blanked out names and underneath those names are small icons indicating the other tests that person has taken as well as whether the person has loaded their family tree into the data base.  



Using a different report (also offered by FTDNA), I see that those who match me with one mutation or one step difference, believe their most distant known ancestor was from Ireland – this is the same as I know.  BUT this means nothing when we realize we have only gone back to the early 1800s in our known maternal ancestral line!  In other words, where was my gg grandmother born?  I cannot find her birth date.  I cannot even find who her parents were, let alone her mother’s name?  The little I do know is full of contradictions.  But one day, another exact match will arrive in the data base and I can start to remove that current brick wall I face in that particular lineage.  (I might be fully experienced in Scottish and English research but I confess to having much difficulty with Irish research, meaning Ireland as opposed to Northern Ireland!)


Another member of my extended family has 16 (yes sixteen) exact matches through taking the  mtDNA FMS test.  Although I have managed to extend her direct maternal line on paper back to the 1700s, the few I have contacted, state that because they do not have any similar names in their family trees (from the direct maternal line), they have no interest in furthering their search with me.  That, to me is a tragedy.  (I have written about this ‘closed mind’ phenomenon before!) 


In case you have not received or mislaid them, you will find back copies of these articles in the left-hand menu on the Famnet website


That same member of my extended family, has an mtDNA Haplogroup of J1c3b.  If you go back to the chart presented earlier, you will see that this is assessed as being an older Haplogroup than mine (H3as).  But although the routes travelled were different, the archaeologists and paleontologists have deduced it originated from a similar area as the H haplogroup.  Currently it is classed as being the most common in Portugal.  If we look at the world migratory patterns, it appears to have begun in the Serbian region, travelled to the Portuguese area and from there up into Ireland and Scotland.  This certainly makes sense when we read world historical accounts – often long before the Romans set about colonizing the known western world.  But just as importantly, this is precisely where I have her maternal lineage extended to, that is, the lowlands of Scotland.  (Not far south of Edinburgh to be a little more precise).  Which now lends itself to the fact that with the general upheaval between Scotland, England and Ireland in those times, I may well find the answers I seek in both Ireland and Wales – I suggest the latter because the travel between Ireland and Wales was as prolific in those times as was the traffic between Scotland and Ireland.


As mentioned earlier, mtDNA is also the method of learning your maternal ancestry’s ethnicity.  I have already stated that H is of European extraction.  But if you believe your mother’s direct maternal lineage (remember this is mother to mother to mother to mother to mother to mother and so on – no men can break this line) is Maori, your question might be “could I get this from testing mtDNA FMS?”.  The answer is “yes”.  But not specifically for just NZ Maori – more for the Polynesian direct maternal haplogroup.  Yet, there is another Haplogroup that is even more oriented towards native New ZealandPlease see this article   Just recently the ‘National Geographic’ conducted a small exercise in the Hawkes Bay area on the south eastern coast of the North Island of New Zealand (although I fail to understand exactly why it was this particular area that was selected).  The reported outcome and exercise done seems quite shallow.  But you may think otherwise.  You will find the full article here.


Be aware the sample by ‘National Geographic’ was extremely small.  So small that in the scientific circles, it will not raise much more than a murmur or two.  So far the findings are that B4a1a1a indicates the Polynesian lineage.  Amongst those of the Maori culture, I have been fortunate in getting some to test for me although I would welcome more. 


I stated earlier that it is a ‘tragedy’ when your matches are not keen to co-operate.  To me this attitude indicates they have no real interest in making the most of their investment.  Nor do they have any real understanding just how their test can aid them with extending their trees.  Mind you, the persons concerned may have only done such a test because a relative begged them to do so and they personally have absolutely no interest in the outcome.


The planned 10th article is called “Understanding your autosomal results”. 


I was planning the 11th article as “Hints and Tips” with the final (and 12th) article listing “Websites and blogs and forums for DNA”.  But it has been suggested to me that the 11th article might be better to dwell on the X chromosome.  In the past, I have avoided writing on it because it is so poorly understood, but perhaps this is the exact reason why I should bring it up.


This means the final (12th) article is still open for suggestions unless you want a mish-mash of hints tip, blogsites, forums etc!.  If there is no feedback, then I shall simply toss some of my thoughts and ideas into the air and see what lands.  J 

Just email me at 


I have also been asked if I would consider further contributions to the Newsletter.  Whilst I am happy to do this – I need direction as to the items that will interest you, please.  Otherwise, they will not happen…


The earlier promised excellent mtDNA comments from Roberta can be found here

Useful Websites

If you know of websites that you think may be helpful to others please either add them yourself, or email them to 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.


Old photos from VC Browne & Son aerial photograph collection (1932-1978)


Run1-45 1-3-47 Ruapehu to Rupuhia   

0731 9-7-53 Harewood - DC3s - Pigeon Bay – Lyttelton

PB1201 Sumner Yachts

PB1202 Millers Dept store windows – Parcels 

PB1203 Miscellaneous Burnham – Egmont

PB1204 Hall - Timaru – Misc

PB1205 Mt Cook and Others

PB1206 Portraits - Wells - Smith – Ricker

PB1207 NFU - Langs Beach


Nelson Museum Glass Plate Photo Collection

The glass plate photo collection from the Nelson Museum, which houses one of the largest photograph collections in the country, is being put on line.  Digitising its collection of 169,000 photographs is still a work in progress


Genealogy and DNA

Judy Russell is a legal eagle and regularly writes for the various genealogy and DNA forums etc.  Her work is exemplary and covers many issues…  as you will see if you look at some of her previous messages within her site.


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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.


Please note there won't be any of the normal meetings, on the 2nd Thurs 11th Dec or the 3rd Sat 20th December.  Attached is the final newsletter for 2014.  Thank you again to all those who have helped during this year again.


(From FamNet:  our apologies for not getting this newsletter out in time to publicize your 13th December Afternoon Tea meeting) 


Waikanae Family History Group



Email:    Phone  (04) 904 3276,   (Hanley Hoffmann)


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 planned for either 2nd or 3rd Thursdays at 9.30am approximately four times a year.


The Waikanae Family History Group as a body of 40 members are all members of FamNet, as a result of some local body funding, FamNet did give us a good deal if you would like further information about why we did this, and why your group should also join FamNet contact Hanley Hoffmann.

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News and Views

We invite contributions from FamNet members for this section: please contact The Editor if you have any material. 


An Idea for Christmas

(Thanks to Karin for sharing this idea)

Here is an idea you may like to share with your readers.   Each Christmas, my ex husband,  his 2 brothers and sister write a childhood memory, photocopy it for the others and that is their Christmas gift to each other.  They've been doing it for about 30 years now so you can imagine the wealth of family memories they have accumulated. Our 3 children (now grown up) love reading them and they will be awesome for the grandchildren too. 


National Archives England

We are delighted to once again support the week-long, nationwide Explore Your Archive campaign which sees archives across the country open up their records in new and exciting ways. Read on to book your tickets for some very special events that we have planned.

This month also sees the annual act of remembrance for those who have fallen in conflict. In the centenary year of the start of the First World War there has never been a more apt time to pause, reflect and remember those who have given their lives. In this edition, we're giving advice on how to explore our extensive records covering many conflicts and asking for help to locate our own Tommies.


Last month saw the 350th anniversary of the Royal Marines and to mark this milestone, we published a blog, which included details of a new project looking for volunteers. Our latest batch of Security Service records was also released at the end of October. Read the news story to discover more.


BoxCryptor - Secure Your Data in the Cloud (from The Ask Leo Newsletter)

One of the hidden issues in online storage is that of privacy. Specifically, almost all online storage providers have the ability to examine your data or hand it over to law enforcement even if the provider has encrypted your data. Hopefully, most of us will never have to deal with the law-enforcement scenario, but even the realization that a rogue employee at an online data storage provider could peek into what we keep online can cause concern. For some, it's enough concern to avoid using cloud storage at all. The solution is simple: encrypt the data yourself.

Unfortunately, implementing that "simple" solution isn't always that simple or transparent and can add a layer of complexity to online storage that some find just as intimidating.

BoxCryptor Classic is a nicely unobtrusive encryption solution and free for personal use.

Continue Reading: BoxCryptor - Secure Your Data in the Cloud


Note: I (Sue) recommend this newsletter: it is an excellent source of information about using your computer, especially useful I think to people who are struggling a bit with the technical details. 


Your Wanted Website is Down! Or is it Your System or Your Browser? (By Gail Riddell)

A member of one of my DNA forums (Ray Critchley) has just posted these two websites to enable you to tell one way or the other whether the problem is your system and browser or the actual website.  Keep these SAFE:  I bet you will use them over and over!  (They were given as an example when another forum member had a problem with All you need to do is alter the address to the url name you are seeking to access. Meaning the important part of the url is altered to suit the wanted website... or


Commemorative Pin, Stamps & Coins WW1

100 years ago, the shape of New Zealand began to change forever, as we followed King and Empire to serve in the First World War. To commemorate this important centenary and honour those who served, New Zealand Post is issuing official stamps and legal tender commemorative coins.


WW100 Centenary Pin

The WW100 pin is a metal and enamel ‘brooch clasp’ pin using the centenary programme logo. It represents the official government programme for the New Zealand centenary of the First World War.


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Book Reviews

The Naturalist

By Thom Conroy.



Novel based on the life of Dr. Ernest Dieffenbach: scientist, explorer, revolutionary, outcast"--Back cover.


This fascinating novel chronicles the moving story based on the real life of Dr Ernst Dieffenbach: scientist, explorer, revolutionary, outcast. In championing freedom and equality, Ernst Dieffenbach was rewarded with exile, first from Giessen, then Strasbourg, then Zurich. Stranded in London, he decided his only way to return to his beloved home in Prussia was to redeem his reputation. He hoped to do so by becoming the naturalist for Colonel Wakefield's 1839 expedition to New Zealand to buy land for colonists eager to settle. But as Dieffenbach was to discover, many of the local Maori with whom the land purchases were to be made were themselves exiled. Dieffenbach's journey was to become a struggle for a home, for love and for his belief in the equality of all people, regardless of race. Featuring Darwin, Charles Heaphy, von Humboldt, and the notorious Maori chief Te Rauparaha, The Naturalist connects New Zealand's past with world history and brings alive the story of this remarkable man.



Names and History: People, Places and Things

Paperback – 15 Jan 2007

by George Redmonds

ISBN 185285507X


How names were acquired, and how they have changed, is a subject of perennial fascination. They are part of our personal histories, defining who we are and where we live. Names are everywhere, identifying people, places, animals, ships, materials, plants, public houses and fields. To understand them we need to look beyond etymologies, examining names instead in their historic and chronological contexts. The investigations in "Names and History" all involve fascinating detective stories into the connections between names and related subjects - archaeology and the landscape; genealogy, genetics and family networks; dialects and social customs; industrial and farming practices. In them George Redmonds, a leading historian of names, widens the whole range of name studies and draws readers into the enquiry. Names will never seem the same again.


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Ask an Expert

There were no questions this month for our expert panel.

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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