Part of the worldwide genealogy/family history community


FamNet eNewsletter December 2015

ISSN 2253-4040


Quote.  Genealogy: Where you confuse the dead and irritate the living. – Unknown


Editorial 2

From the Developer 3

Name Lists. 3

Telling your story.    Index so far 5

DNA Testing for Family History. 5

Current pricings for the three main genealogical testing firms. 6

News and Views. 7

Wairarapa Wandering. 7

Five Fingers of Lead. 7

The Nash Rambler 8

Back up your computer 8

My previous ramblings. 9

Disposal of books. 9

Jan’s Jottings - Sourcing. 10

Ancestral Tourism.. 11

Ancestral Tourism and Norfolk Island. 11

Repairing and Caring for Ancestor’s Graves. 12

Group News. 13

Whangarei Family History Computer Group. 13

Waikanae Family History Group. 13

Community. 13

Porirua RSA: Website Project 13

Green Island Memorial Gardens Research Project 14

William Osborne in New Zealand. 14

Rae Arnold Arthur Sharp. 14

Book Reviews. 15

Harbour Bridge. 15

Ettie Rout 15

In conclusion. 16

A Bit of Light Relief 16

Advertising with FamNet 16

To Unsubscribe,  Change your Email Address, or Manage your Personal Information. 16

Copyright (Waiver) 16

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FamNet, like all genealogy software, has a very strong connection to people but a weak connection to place.  Who were your parents and siblings?  Who were their parents and siblings?  FamNet is good at recording these relationships.  But try asking it or any other family history software questions like “What community shaped my father?”   You’re not going to do this with a simple query!

As my grandchildren progressed through primary school and started doing their family history projects FamNet became very useful to them, but the questions that the teacher asked my Kerikeri grandchildren made me think.  “What is your mountain?  What is your river?”  My first thought was “What on earth has this to do with family history?”  Maori orators may refer to “their mountain” when they’re talking about their ancestors but as a Pakeha I’d dismissed this as a bit of cultural nonsense.   Reflecting on these Kerikeri questions I realised that they’re actually hinting at something quite profound.  We are shaped by our family, but also our place. 

For me, born in Wanganui but brought up in New Plymouth the questions were easy to answer.  My river is the Whanganui, my mountain Taranaki.  I don’t feel much connection to Whanganui River, but the mountain, that’s different.  It dominates the Taranaki province, and I suspect the reason that there was far less fuss about changing its official name from “Mt Egmont” to “Mt Taranaki” than there was about “Wanganui” becoming “Whanganui” is that to us locals it was never called either, it was always simply “The Mountain”.  As a teenager it was my playground, now in spite of living away from Taranaki for all my adult life I can identify where a photo of The Mountain has been taken from, and I feel an emotional pull every time I see it in a picture or my first view of it when I travel to New Plymouth.   I loved the sense of being able to almost reach out and touch it when I stayed with my brother, who lived almost on the park boundary.  Sadly, I may never return to Taranaki now that Ted has died.

Enough emotion!  But all this has made me think about “How can FamNet support this idea of place, of community”.  I’ve got some ideas – see Name Lists below.  Let me know what you think.  Is this worth doing?  Will you use it if I provide this enhancement?

I’m pleased to see that the Community Section is starting to be used. After years of it being ignored, it’s as if users have suddenly realised that it’s there.

Also in this issue: -

·         Current DNA test pricing.  Gail gives the prices on offer from the three main genealogy DNA testing companies.

·         Wairarapa Wanderer: “Five Fingers of Lead”.  Adele discovers links between Carterton and Derbyshire.

·         The Nash Rambler.  Backups, Remembering, Disposal of Books.

·         Jan’s Jottings - Sourcing

·         Ancestral Tourism.  Wayne has visited Norfolk Island.

·         In the community section,

·         Alan is seeking and also offering information about Servicemen from Porirua for a Porirua RSA website project.

·         Irene is doing something similar for Green Island Memorial Gardens

·         Toni Osborne is seeking information about William Osborne

·         Murray is looking for information about Rae Arnold Arthur Sharp

Can you help?

·         In Book Reviews Peter has reviewed two books, “Harbour Bridge” and “Ettie Rout”.


This will be the last newsletter this year, so let me wish you all the best for Christmas and the New Year.  I hope you have a happy time with your family over Christmas, and that 2016 is a great year for you.

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From the Developer

Name Lists

I was going to write #9 in the “Telling your story” series, showing you how to create merged trees.  However I’ve decided that for this issue I’ll spend my time discussing the idea of “Name Lists”, as this has me excited.  Potentially it provides a useful facility, allowing us to not only bring in the Maori idea of “What is your place” but organize data by any other community of interest – people that emigrated from a place, went to a particular school, lived somewhere, and so on.  With little or no enhancement to the facilities already present it would be easy for FamNet to provide the facilities being lost as LostFriends closes down, within the context of the rich family relationship management that only a genealogy site can provide.

Background – General Resource Databases

The genealogy database, a large collection of records that are linked to each other through family relationships, is the main database in FamNet, but almost as important are the General Resource Databases.  These are essentially lists – of people, or of categories. Click [General Resource Databases] and you see many lists of people: -

and below, many lists of categories: -


As NZGDB evolved into FamNet I was keen to get as many such databases as possible.  I quickly realised that creating tables for each different situation was going to be unmanageable both for me as programmer and for you as user, so I developed a general facility, allowing me to create a new table in minutes, that is instantly available for users to search, and the group manager to update. For example, on receiving the information requests for Porirua and Green Island that are described below I set up a table of Service Personnel containing the records for these projects.  It took me only an hour or so to set up this table and to load their spreadsheets into it: now Alan and Irene have a searchable table that they can maintain, and that can appear on their own web sites as well as in FamNet.  Alan’s records all contain links that you can click to see a biography on the Porirua RSA site.  As he adds further records he can easily create links to these new biographies as well.

The more such lists that we have the more likely you are to find something of interest to you, but also the more unwieldy it all becomes.   As I was setting up the table for Alan and Irene it occurred to me that their table is not very different to the list of emigrants that I set up a while back, or the list of burials.  Each is a list of people containing the basic fields of name (given and family), one or two dates, and a list of further fields.  With a few simple changes I can simplify FamNet, and also make it more useful.

Proposed Change #1

I am going to combine several of the people tables, using a couple of fields (“Category Type” and “Category”) to distinguish them.  Thus tables like “Burials etc”, “Emigrants”, “Service Personnel”, and others will disappear, to be replaced by “People”.  When you look up the People table you can search by name and you’ll find the records that were in all of these earlier tables.  You can select a Category Type (e.g. “Burials”) to see only the records that you would have seen before in the Burials table, or selecting “Category” to see only the records at the Featherston cemetery.  This will make wide searching much easier than at present, while making specific searching no harder.  A Categories record will be defined, and will combine the functions of Cemeteries, Emigration From, and other current Category records. 

Proposed Change #2

Anybody will be able to create another category, so that if you want to create a category for “Taranaki”, “New Plymouth Boys’ High School” or anything else, then you’ll be able to do this and instantly you’ll have available a person record with any or all of the 40-odd field types defined for the current Burials record. Not all fields will be relevant for your category: you wouldn’t include “Celebrant” for a record that’s intended to record school pupils.  Both your category record and the person record may include images, and most of the fields in either table will be searchable. 

As time goes by the list of fields for both category and person will expand, but starting with the field lists for Cemeteries and Burials we’ll have more than we need for most purposes.  I will add a new field type for a Google Map reference.


If I can make it simple enough users should be able to create new categories without my involvement unless they need a new field type. Everything described here (except Google Map references) is already present in FamNet, so we may be able to support many of the functions being lost with the closure of Old Friends, as well as supporting concepts of place and association in a very general way.  New people should be able to simply come to the FamNet web site, register (email and name), find groups (=categories) of interest to them (create new ones if necessary), and invite others to join these groups.  Actually FamNet can do almost all of this now, just not in a particularly user-friendly way.  I need to make it as easy as Facebook. 

Given my personal time constraints and the level of financial support for FamNet that precludes my paying anybody else to help with development it may take some time to achieve this.  The first thing however is for you to tell me that this is worth doing.  If I can provide these facilities, will you use them, creating lists of schools, areas, iwi, whatever, and encouraging other people to join them?

Telling your story.     Index so far

So far I’ve covered these topics.

1.  Writing your story as notes, or with Word.  Embedding links in Word documents. 

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

The next topic in this series is planned to be “Creating Merged Trees”

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DNA Testing for Family History

This is a complete list of the articles written by Gail over the last year or so.

© Gail Riddell 2014

Just click the link to go back to a previous article in this series. 

1.  What is Molecular Genealogy?

2.  Where would I begin?  

3.  What test should I take?

4.  What DNA will NOT tell you and the risks involved.

5.  Direct paternal line (men only).

6.  Direct maternal line (men and women).

7.  All the lineages including maternal and paternal (men and women).

8.  Understanding direct paternal results.

9.  Understanding direct maternal line results.

10.  Understanding your Autosomal ("cousin") results.

11.  Understanding the X Chromosome.

12.  Bits ‘n Bobs:  DNA Testing Companies, Glossary.

13.  DNA Websites, Blogs, and Forums

14.  Commonly Asked Questions – Some Basic, Some Advanced

15.  DNA – Something a little different…


At this time of year, you may be thinking of an interesting present to give a loved one.  If he or she has an interest in genealogy, have you considered purchasing a DNA test? If you have, here are some prices that may aid you with choosing. 

Current pricings for the three main genealogical testing firms

As at 21 November 2015.  The NZ exchange rate is at the end. along with a website to check for yourself.  Remember that your credit card will also add a commission. All are cheek swab tests done in the privacy of your own home.

Family Tree DNA (FTDNA)

Found at  (prices are US$)

Holiday Sale began Sunday, November 15 and extends through 11:59 p.m. CST on December 31, 2015. Bonus coupon mailings began Monday, November 16. Coupons are good for 7 days and new ones will be sent each Monday of the sale. 

For your convenience, here is a chart of FTDNA products and sale prices, including upgrades. 


Standard Price

Group Price





not on sale




not on sale













YDNA Upgrades

Standard Price



Y12 - 37




Y12 - 67




Y12 - 111




Y25 - 37




Y25 - 67




Y25 - 111




Y37 - 67




Y37 - 111




Y67 - 111




Big Y

Standard Price



Big Y




Family Finder

Standard Price








Standard Price






not on sale

mtDNA FullSeq




mtDNA+ to FullSeq




SNP Packs

Standard Price



SNP Packs

$99, $119


$10 off each pack


Note that there is also a postal cost added – currently US$9.50 to a non American country.


Found at (prices are US$)

The basic test costs US$99.00 – this gives autosomal results but an indication of the Y and mtDNA Haplogroups is included.

The health reports will cost a further US$100 and such reports are not included by any other genealogical testing firm.

Postage to NZ is by return ‘door-to-door’ courier but this costs US$79.00


AncestryDNA is included for completeness, but it is not a firm I recommend unless you are just vaguely curious or you have an annual subscription with Ancestry which you intend to continue.  

Found at  for Australia and New Zealand testers.

            For US testers, found at

            For UK testers, found at

The test costs AU$149.00 plus postage.  This gives autosomal matches.

For US testers it is US$99 which includes postage

For UK testers it is £99 which includes postage.


Prices as at 21 November 2015 from the site

Here is the ‘tiny URL’:


North America


United Kingdom


















It is somewhat astonishing to see the price differentials – and of course, by the time you read this, the exchange rates will have again altered, thus the supplied website so you may see for yourselves.

Gail Riddell

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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.  Contributions received after the 22nd of each month may be carried forward.

Wairarapa Wandering

Five Fingers of Lead

During the early 2000’s I was asked by a fellow researcher “Could I please find out what and/or where was Five Fingers of Lead, as this was to do with Samuel Oates and Jane Bonsall who settled here in Carterton”.  The couple came from Derbyshire, a beautiful part of England, Peak District, Jane Bonsall came from Monyash, and Samuel Oates from Codnor not too far distant from Monyash.   Samuel Oates is the person who wheeled a wheelbarrow over the Rimutaka’s with young trees for Charles Rooking Carter.  He stopped in Greytown for a drink and when he came out some were missing; the large tree at St Lukes Church is one off them, a historic tree!

Rakes End Farm is where Jane had lived, Rakes is the end of a lead seam, and Derbyshire is thick underground with lead, as when I was searching for the name of Dalefield, there is a Mine near Wirksworth called Dalefield, a CD was kindly posted to me from there all about it.

No one was able to tell me about what I was looking for so I emailed Derbyshire County Council.  I found a lovely lady to help me who referred me to Mrs Shipley of Hulme End.  Eureka!  Valerie was wonderful, a lovely letter arrived explaining it all to me some weeks later.  She wasn’t into computers, but sent me a snail mail letter with full explanations.  As the council lady said, “If Valerie cannot help you no one can!”  Valerie is listed in the book Dear Sister which is about two sisters, writing to each other from England to New Zealand.

Five Fingers of Lead, were in fact two public houses, one at Youlgreave which possibly the couple rode over to meet up at. Five Fingers is a lead measurement.

This find, on Five Fingers of Lead, started an ongoing friendship with the couple at Hulme End, and I stayed with them in 2004 for a few weeks in their 16th Century Farmhouse. I asked Valerie about her family history.  I have Irish blood in my veins and I get feelings that I can’t explain, but from the start of her writing to me and still there when I was staying with them was that there was a local connection. I mentioned the family history, and asked if “By chance was she related to Jane Bonsall?”  as oddly enough Valerie’s sister lived next to the farm where Jane was bought up.  Neither sister knew their history then, but I said to them that when I returned to New Zealand I would ask the family historian for help. He (Murray Parsons) said “Yes Valerie and her sister are distantly related to Jane Bonsall who married Samuel Oates”. 

I was treated like a member of their family staying with them, taken out most days and shown all around the lovely valley, it’s a holiday I will never forget.  Sadly Alan, Valerie’s husband, died a few months back, very sad.  I am still in touch with Valerie, she actually has a relative buried at the Akatarawa Cemetery. 

I have a photograph on my computer of Jane’s old family home. The couple lived in Somerset Road, Carterton at Peach Grove.  Across the road is the private Oates Cemetery, looked after by the local Council.

Adele Pentony-Graham
Carterton Early Settlers Researcher.

The Nash Rambler

I apologise for the missing masterpiece in the last newsletter but I experienced the mind altering death of my computer. Believe me it was a terrible experience. Suddenly I had so much time on my hands. My fingers itched for the pleasure of punching keyboards. No 'important' emails arrived - there were times I was praying for a bit of spam, it would have been treated with reverence if it had appeared. Believe me snail mail is slow. Nobody rang me. I was in a communication desert. My lawns have never been so lovingly mowed. Gosh I even chatted with my wife - it scared her.

Once again this column will be disjointed but such are the powers of a columnist - he gets to set the rules. Hence disjointed it is.

Back up Your Computer

Given my recent experience, it is not surprising that I would mention this. Luckily it was a slow death and, thanks to my son's expertise, he backed everything on my computer onto a spare hard drive.

Sometimes you forget what you have on your computer. I have scanned many of my mother's photograph albums. I have a copy of a special slide show my wife produced for my daughter's twenty first celebrations (too many years ago to mention the exact amount). I have the digital copy of the book I wrote about twenty years ago for a family reunion. My family history program has some 4000 people on it with many, many photographs. I have copies of many speeches I have given over many years. Having just spent thirty minutes of nostalgia looking at all the photographs and files that I have I shudder to think what I would have lost if the death had been sudden.

For a while I was backing up some of my important files (but not all) on memory sticks every now and again. I would forget to label the sticks and consequently would use those sticks as general "memory carriers". I would store these sticks in the drawer of the desk or even on the coffee mug that holds my pens etc. There is even one in the car. But there is nothing like a computer crash to rewrite the procedures manual. Therefore I am going to do the following:

·                     back up regularly ie monthly

·                     label my back up storage, no more "what's this" moments

·                     keep at least 2 months backup storage

·                     invest in a hard drive for complete backups. This means my many, many photographs and valuable files can be saved.

·                     think about alternative safekeeping venues. It seems pointless to backup your computer and leave that backup sitting next to the computer.

·                     anything else I may think of in the future.

I did suggest that I buy a laptop as a backup system but the Minister of Finance in my household shook her head very strongly which I took as a negative sign.

I know you all back up your computer - don't you? But I am a late developer and there is nothing like a computer crash to focus your mind on these matters.

I highly recommend that you review your back up procedures.

(From Robert: I’d recommend getting an external hard drive: at about $70 for 1TB this provides more backup storage than you’re ever likely to need unless you’re into pirating movies.   Then set up your computer to back up every 24 hours, using either the utilities provided with the operating system, or a product like Acronis.  These backup programs will initially take a full backup of your computer, then every 24 hours backup all the changed files, they run unobtrusively, and are easy to recover particular files.  Once set up, you can forget about it, it just works provided that you leave the hard disk plugged in, and you’ll get messages if not. I’ve never experienced recovering the whole computer, but presumably this too is relatively easy. 

To cover the risk of the hard drive being stolen along with your computer you could store critical files in Dropbox.  There will then be a copy on your computer and another in the cloud.  You treat Dropbox as just another folder on your computer, and every time that you make changes Dropbox will automatically and unobtrusively update the cloud copy).

My Previous Ramblings

In my first column I suggested that you write your autobiography, especially if you have a situation or two in your past that you would rather hide or put a better interpretation on than what happened. Well the famous Mr Robert Barnes found an interesting article

I am surprised that I had stumbled into an area of scientific research but, yes, the "memory" discussed here is exactly what I was suggesting. Aren't you amazed that an old, semi-decrepit, mind bogglingly stupid man can suggest the use of such a deeply intellectual field of scientific research for the benefit of you, yourself, in a effort to immortalise (in a better bias) your life?  Love that sentence.

The only proviso is that your "invented memory" be sufficiently cloudy so that the future researcher glides over that portion of your life without any further digging to verify your statements. Make your memory a little vague eg

            Memory: My love of gardening and agriculture lead to an offer of a position with the Government in Turangi where I could use my skills in these fields for a few years whilst I considered my next moves in my life

            Fact: Sentenced, for growing cannabis, to two years at Rangipo Prison

Remember that you have one chance of forestalling any future family member finding your embarrassing events. Do not make out that you were a hero because that is easily verified. Also it is worth considering how far digital accessibility to records is going to become.

I also remember a friend ranting and raving about her father in law, in his nineties, who would not talk to her about his life. He was almost insulting in his refusal to answer her questions. Luckily or unluckily for him and her I found the reason why when I was researching in the Police Gazettes. He had a problem or two with motorbikes sticking to his hands in the late 1920s. Some even followed him home and would not leave when he asked. This resulted in a period of rest and recreation in one of Her Majesty's hotels. In his case he could have led her astray by suggesting that he moved to Australia for a few years (and prayed that something like Paperspast would not be invented).

Anyway, thanks Robert for that interesting article. It is well worth reading if you are in the process of hiding an embarrassment or two.

Disposal of Books

Having recently moved houses I "discovered" the extent of my library. Having disposed of seven cartons of books before moving I am left with a huge library.

I have every book, bar two that I will buy in the next few weeks, which have been produced on Hokianga history. This library is mainly historical, particularly NZ history. I have purchased some at auctions. I have been given some by people who knew that I would value them. I have found some in second hand bookshops all over New Zealand. I have some that are virtually impossible to acquire. I have even, naughty naughty, photocopied rare copies of school histories, church histories and other pamphlets that were produced in very small quantities for particular reasons.

When I leave my family in peace after many years of being a thorough nuisance, my wife will probably have great pleasure in getting rid of most of it. Obviously I do not blame her but would spin in the ashes urn if they were dumped or destroyed. My problem is: where I can donate this library so that the value I attach to it will be matched by future users.

My first thought was to give it to the NZ Society of Genealogists who do not have copies of most of the books in my library. BUT, would you donate to an organisation that has deemed you not a fit and proper person to be a member. No - it is not an option.

My second thought is to approach the Hokianga museum or the few libraries up there to see if they would be interested. This is likely to be the way I will go.

The problem is not urgent, I hope, but it needs to be addressed before I move on. I think that this is a problem that many of us need to consider. It also applies to our family history research and the historical photos that have been acquired but I will discuss this in a later column.

I am suggesting that everybody seriously consider the disposal of all the books and treasures accumulated during your addiction to that disease called genealogy. It is not fair on your loved, or otherwise, ones to inflict that chore without giving some suggestions.

I would be interested in any suggestions.

Peter Nash

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Jan’s Jottings - Sourcing

Do you pull an ugly face when someone mentions sourcing your data in your genealogy program??!!!

I have just been to Kapiti to give my annual (for over 10 years) Legacy Lectures. Around 40 people attended the seminar day on Saturday.

I decided to cover Sources. But, realising that people may not attend with this as the subject, I called the morning presentations “Preparation, Participation, Preservation”.  Or “Sight, Site, Cite!!”

So - what do you do when you start to research a new person?  I have a wonderful family to research - belongs to one of my Meals-on-Wheels people. Born in NSW; her mother died in Auckland in 1984. So found this on the NZ BDM Historical Index and ordered the printout.

Let’s stop there. If this was you, what Sourcing would you have done?

Whilst you wait for the printout to arrive by email (same day some times).

Here is what I did:

1. Created the Master Source for Family Interview - Olive XX (my MOW lady) and the detail of the date and place of the conversation. Sourced her birthday (same as mine!!) to this Master Source. Sourced her Mother’s name, death date, death place to this interview.

2. Created Master Source of Registrar General’s Index to source the year of Mother’s death and her birth date.

3. Searched for her death.

4. Captured the screen showing the Death Index results for my search for her death. Did this with capture program. Free to trial then around $US20 to purchase. I used this because it is so easy to ....

5. Caption the clip. I need to record what I searched for, what time frame, and the date searched, and the results. I need to see the Registration Number. I can do this so easily with Faststone.

6. Now I have a worthwhile media clip to add to the Master Source of Registrar General’s Index.

7. Having a Master Source of Registrar General’s Index lets you keep track of your searches and the results - especially when you have a list of sibling’s registrations. You don’t want or perhaps need to order and pay for a print out, but you need to record and source the fact that this event was registered.

8. If you have a lot of relevant hits, you could highlight and copy the hits and paste into TreePad, Word, Excel etc as well as saving as a Source. [Hint left click to the left of the first character you want to copy and then SHIFT left click to the right of the last character you want to copy. All characters between the clicks will be highlighted. Hit Control C to copy and then Control V to paste in your chosen program.

9. Depending on how important, to your research and family, the person is, you might want to save the screen capture without the caption and as a .tiff file (so that you capture that image at the best possible resolution even if created as a .jpg) and then caption and save, a second time, especially for your source.

10. I use to save a .jpg as a .tiff. Free program and great for other things as well eg straighten that crooked image of census page etc.

Hope this has given you something new to think about. Sorry I can’t include some 48 hour days so you have time to go back to all your entries and source to the Master Source -  Registrar General’s Index!!!!

Hooked on Genealogy Tour

2016 Hooked on Genealogy Tour will leave on 28 May for 21 nights in Salt Lake City. Whilst there we will be attending classes especially to meet our needs and researching, researching, researching!! This is the 25th year of Jan Gow’s Hooked on Genealogy Tours and we never want to leave that wonderful Family History Library!!  Even though our next stop is London.  We will have 12 days in London and then to Edinburgh for 10 days and a feast of Scottish Research. We have three pre-tour seminars and lots of help to make sure we are prepared both for the travel and the research.

For more information email

Ancestral Tourism

Genealogy or Ancestral Tourism is a segment of the tourism market consisting of tourists who have ancestral connections to their holiday destination. These genealogy tourists travel to the land of their ancestors to reconnect with their past and "walk in the footsteps of their forefathers". This was my objective in Scotland, England and Norfolk Island.  Ancestral Tourism takes people on a truly personal journey, which is memorable, emotional and creates lasting, bonding relationships


Ancestral tourism has potential to create good income for tourism businesses - See more here.  Scottish tourism businesses were encouraged to adapt their products and services to tap into ancestral tourism opportunities in the run up to 2014, when Scotland welcomed the world for the Homecoming, the Ryder Cup and Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games. Since the success of Ancestral Tourism in Scotland, England along with Wales and Ireland have embraced the concept.


For more, search Google for “Ancestral tourism”.

Ancestral Tourism and Norfolk Island

It was on the basis of previous research on my forebears, Andrew Goodwin and Lydia Munro, who were in the First Settlement on Norfolk that I decided to visit the island. I wanted to know more about how they lived and where they farmed.


I found the Norfolk Museums very helpful and the information given was of great value, the staff were very knowledgeable and very helpful, adding to information I already knew. The pure tourism experience part of my trip was greatly enhanced due to the ancestral connection to Norfolk Island. The Museums gave general information, while the Research Centre gave valuable genealogical data that made the general information more meaningful.  Not all countries have valuable genealogical resources, but Norfolk Island is in the unique position for the First and Second Settlements and the Bounty / Pitcairn Island Settlement, to have a win, win situation where all aspects of tourism benefit. With this in mind, solid genealogical and historical information is vital in your preparation to the destination of your ancestral tourism.  The amount of research you can do online will make research that much easier and once you gather your material together from your trip you can start building a profile of how your forebears lived.


I was also delighted to meet a living relative, who added to the value of my trip.  I had not expected to meet a living relative as my ancestors went to Van Diemen’s Land, now called Tasmania, after the First Settlement was abandoned.


Since my trip and through the encouragement of my new cousin, I have started using Facebook and have joined a number of convict Facebook sites and meeting even more cousins.

Repairing and Caring for Ancestor’s Graves

Peter Calvert has just written a paragraph on this subject and I offer my personal advice on what we in both sides of my family have done.  I have led the way in our case by suggesting and going through with applying a brass plaque to two family graves, one in Wanganui, and the other in Young NSW, my home town. Stonemasons over the centuries have used different methods of lettering on headstones but very few of them are particularly long lasting.  So in 2004 in Wanganui we found a neglected grandparents’ Troy’s grave, a simple concrete perimeter with an engraved headstone with a sandstone finish with barely visible lettering. 

The answer is a bronze plaque with raised lettering fixed in an appropriate blank space on the headstone. These are almost indestructible, from time to time thieves have stolen them, but that is a rare occurrence because they are usually firmly fixed.  The cost back in 2004 was around $450 but when you organise the lettering to accurately record birth and death dates, it is a relatively inexpensive update.  In Young we were dealing with a vandalised gothic window shaped headstone, which was poorly replaced on the flat of the grave – an illegal fix according to the local municipal council because the grave was considered an historic one, and should have been faithfully repaired, and in an upright position. 


My grandparents’ new “headstone” at Young NSW, it might be obvious with that family middle name whose grandparents they are.  Above left is the completed restoration plaque and the right photo the whole grave showing the improvement, but it does not excuse the sloppy fix of the original headstone.  If families are concerned at the state their ancestor’s grave they should not only consult a monumental mason but also the local council.  I am not sure what NZ local bodies have in the way of rules over historic graves, but in Australia they are viewed as historical sites and after vandalism should be faithfully restored.

My mother kept chasing up the monumental mason to contemplate a good fix, and hence in desperation he blundered into using “no more nails” glue or its equivalent!     

Hanley Hoffmann, Waikanae Family History Group.

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


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.

Here is Waikanae’s latest newsletter.  See above for Hanley’s contribution – with its photos I (Robert) felt that it seemed better in the general News and Views section. 

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Information Wanted/Offered.

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.

If you can help anybody below with their information requests please email them, cc

Porirua RSA: Website Project

Robert, I have been reading Famnet for a long time and thought it was time to offer something.

I'm working with the Porirua RSA developing a website that will have an individual story of the service men and women from the wider Porirua District who have served in conflicts from the Boer War through to Modern day Peace Keeping. The criteria is simply 'if they called the area home.'

To date 26 men from the wider district who served in the Boer War have been identified. Their stories, with photos where we have found them, have been loaded up onto the website.   

200+ names of men and women from World War One are also up on the website and 30 of their stories loaded with more each week.

One group of interest are the men and women from the Porirua Mental Institute who enlisted in the NZ Medical Corp and NZ Army Army Nursing Service. Of a staff of sixty, forty eight served with many paying the ultimate price. A large number of the men were single men from the United Kingdom who had come to look for work. They served in the NZEF and the majority returned to New Zealand to make it their home.

If anyone has a World War One relative who has a Porirua  /Plimmerton / Pukerua Bay / Pauatahanui / Titahi Bay or Tawa connection and believes they should be included we will be more than happy to do the military research for the story.

The website is

e-mail contact is

Once World War One is completed it is then the stories if the 300= who served in this conflict so the project is very long term.

I can supply high resolution photos of men from Boer War, World War One and World War Two if required.

Allan Dodson

(Robert:  To assist Alan and Irene with their projects I have set up a searchable table of their data.  Go to the General Resource Databases section and select the table “Service Personnel”.   In the case of Alan’s records this contains a link that will open a story from the Porirua web site.  Alan and Irene can update their own records, and can put links to their tables on their own web sites)

Green Island Memorial Gardens Research Project

I am involved in a local project.

Near Dunedin at Green Island there is a Memorial Garden with about 150 roses with plaques of returned servicemen and woman. Another lady and I are taking photos of the roses and endeavouring to get a photo of the servicemen & women whose names are on the plaques. I have about half the photos and wonder if I could send a list of the remaining sixty two to be put in your newsletter.

I have a list of the photos required together with their enlistment numbers and which war they served in.I have searched Papers Past , Auckland Cenotaph etc.

I have attached a file to give you more of an idea of what it is we are about.

Any assistance you are able provide will be acknowledged in a book that we hope to have published in time for ANZAC Day 2016.

Irene Patterson

William Osborne in New Zealand

My name is Toni Osborne and I live in Darwin Australia I am trying to locate a whole branch of my tree My pops half brother William Osborne was born at Gulgong in northwest Nsw in 1875 He married Elsie M Steinhour born 1868 at Coonabarabran also in north west NSW in 1907 Sometime between their marriage and the birth of their first child William Elijah Z Osborne in 1908 they migrated to New Zealand So far I have not been able to locate their immigration records They had at least five children William 1908 Henry Albert 1910 Roy Jones 1911 Una Elsie 1914 Stanley 1918

I have located some of their burials in the Waipawa area William sr, Henry Albert and his wife Molly

William Elijah lived at 57 Clare Street Cambridge and was buried in 1992 but I could not find any death or funeral for Elsie I am coming to New Zealand in April and intend to visit the research centre in Auckland prior to visiting the Cambridge and Napier areas to do some digging Any advice or assistance in locating the original Osbornes migration and residential information wouLd be greatly

Thanks in anticipation

Toni Osborne

Rae Arnold Arthur Sharp

I would like to know if anyone can help me out with info on a Rae Arnold Arthur Sharp.  He was born in 1906 to a William Henry Sharp and Louisa Maud Grace Millar. Their marriage split up in 1906 also after Louisa had been having an affair with a Harold Shepherd.  It is said in his  divorce statement she was seen going to Fiji as a Mrs Shepherd around that time, and they later settled in Hamilton area where they had two children of their own..

No mention of what happened to the children, a Doris Mary Emma Sharp, and Rae Arnold Arthur Sharp.. Doris grew up and married a Aurelio Mereu in 1920 and lived in Wellington, r where their are decendants living still, now.  No info on what happened to Rae is known, no info on if he died, as a child, was adopted and had a name change, or is on any electoral roll, or emigration lists.

Thank you, Murray Sharp


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Book Reviews

Harbour Bridge


by Philippa Werry published 2014 by Scholastic New Zealand Limited ISBN 978-1-77543-166-4

Review by Peter Nash

I picked this book up in a sale for a very cheap price. It is classified as a children's' book and that is why I probably enjoyed reading it (no big words) but do not be put off by this classification.

As you are probably aware I am writing my memoirs (probably not a best seller but the family may appreciate the finished product), and this book gave a feeling for what life was like in the middle to late fifties, particularly in Auckland. It brought back to me many childhood memories of primary school days and helped increase that chapter in my masterpiece by a substantial amount.

The other reason I bought the book is that my father in law came from Ireland, via Yorkshire, to work on the bridge construction. The technical sections helped my research into such matters as who he worked for, how he got involved and moved to NZ, his job etc. Thank goodness his wife is still alive because she could answer a lot of these questions.

For the price I paid this was a treasure and I highly recommend it as a source of the fifties lifestyle.

Ettie Rout


by Jane Tollerton published by Penguin 2015 ISBN978-0-14-357324 (available through Whitcoulls)


This book examines a side of World War 1 that is not spoken about and treated "hush hush". One of the "entertainments" that soldiers experienced in their leave, rest periods, recuperation time and general spare time involved the sexual act and the consequences, during World War 1, were profound on the soldiers and their families when they returned.

To quote:

The VD infection rate will be about 20 per cent of the approximately 100,000 men who served with the NZEF overseas; there are not accurate figures. In March 1919, a medical corps doctor, answering a query from the Chief Health Officer will write, "At a moderate estimate I consider there have been at least 16,000 cases of venereal disease. Of these nearly 4,000 are cases of syphilis."

Whether the treatments the men have been given have worked is often not clear to either doctor or patient. The resulting damage done to the men, their wives and girlfriends and unborn children will be uncountable but massive. Men with syphilis will die sooner or later but doctors will often record the immediate cause of death, such as pneumonia, to save family embarrassment."

Ettie Rout was a New Zealander who fought against the Government, the Army command and general public conservatism to provide various means of battling infection that may result from sexual encounters. She did not try to, sanctimoniously, preach celibacy but concentrated her efforts on avoiding infection. For this she was greatly admired by the soldiers but was treated with totally opposite sentiments by everybody else.

This book gives another side of World War 1. It is a very sobering read but a necessary read that may explain a few incidents in your family history.

In conclusion

A Bit of Light Relief

Here’s one especially for those interested in DNA: -

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