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FamNet eNewsletter December 2022

  ISSN 2253-4040

Quote: If genealogy and/or family history was easy to do then everybody would be doing it – unknown but highly likely to be Peter Nash


Editorial 1

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

Regular Contributors. 1

From the Developer 1

The Nash Rambler 1

Thoughts on Travelling. 1

DNA Testing for Family History. 1

Chinese Corner 1

Cindy Huang. 1

More Famous New Zealanders You have Probably Never Heard Of 1

Isobel Daniell (1872 – 1905) 1

Diane Wilson. 1

Taking lateral thinking to the next step. 1

Guest Contributors. 1

Diana Caldwell 1

Book review: The Women of Little Lon By Barbara Minchinton. 1

Seonaid (Shona) Harvey. 1

Services available at Auckland Central Library. 1

Robina Trenbath. 1

Ancient Mariners. 1

An Invitation to Contribute: 1

From our Libraries and Museums. 1

Auckland Libraries. 1

Group News. 1

News and Views. 1

What are Scottish kirk session records?. 1

Who was Charles Booth, and what are his poverty maps?. 1

RAF records: How do I find WW2 RAF service records?. 1

What is a workhouse infirmary?. 1

How to read old newspapers online. 1

1926 census to be digitised and made available free online. 1

Who were the Huguenots?. 1

Chelsea Pensioners’ service records: How to find them online. 1

In conclusion. 1

Book Reviews. 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

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Description automatically generatedHello fellow hermits.

Greetings and welcome to another issue of the FamNet newsletter.

It’s festive season again. I hope that each and every one of you have a pleasant and enjoyable Xmas and that next year is lucky, happy and memorable. May all your family arguments be memorable in a humorous way and forgotten quickly. May your well-hidden ancestors finally concede defeat and give you a massive clue about where to find them – but not all of them. If they all give up at once you will have no “brick wall” to talk about, worry about and to dominate your genealogy thinking. Try and write up some of your research and let me have an article or two for publishing. Please don’t get covid – it is not a pleasant experience.

Well, I survived my England trip. I behaved and was, in my opinion, the good grandad. I have written a few of my thoughts in my column. I apologise now for the non-genealogical nature of that column but it was the dominant feature of my life in the two months just past.

The other article I draw your attention too is the one by Shona Harvey about the research services of the Auckland Public Library. Other libraries, museums, archives and research resources are welcome to contribute an article or two.

Finally – an apology. During the covid mental fog I experienced, I managed to delete the entire inbox of my email account. Unfortunately an article or two disappeared into the ether and some unanswered emails did also. Bloody technology – in the old days a bit of paper was harder to “delete”. If you “were ignored by me” I apologise and ask you to resend. I promise to answer.

Anyway, back to reality. Once again, we have an interesting newsletter. The articles are varied. The jokes are funny although they are not the main reason for reading the newsletter.

I hope this month’s issue occupies some of your time and you find something valuable.

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 on - 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

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Regular Contributors

From the Developer

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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 

23.  Have YOU written your family story yet? 

24.  Editing and Re-arranging your Family Tree On-line.

25.  It’s the Stories that Matter

26.  Using QR Codes for your Family History

27.  What happens to our Family History when we’re gone?

28.  Our Shared Database Grows

Robert Barnes

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The Nash Rambler

Thoughts on Travelling

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Description automatically generatedWell I did travel to England, I came back, I got Covid. I recovered. Would I do it again? Here are some thoughts and my experience.

The cost of a plane seat is no longer cheap. There are fewer airlines flying the Auckland to London route. They are joining up in alliances that mean fewer planes flying with these planes full of passengers. So much less competition.

There is, in my opinion, less room than previously in the seats in the cattle- class section. I was unable to stretch out or get comfortable enough to sleep. I believe that the airlines are forcing passengers to buy an upgraded ticket to get more leg space and thus they make more profit.

Auckland airport is a rubbish experience. Once through the check-in procedures and through customs etc. it would be lovely to get a meal and a coffee. But at 2.30 pm on a Sunday afternoon the only food option was 1 bar. Even McDonalds was closed. Luckily the food was good and the coffee passable.

England is in a worse economic situation than NZ. We did not go into London or any other city except Oxford for a flying visit. But it was doom and gloom there with rapidly changing Prime Ministers and cabinet ministers. Prices were rising rapidly and there was a great fear of fuel costs during the upcoming winter. Food prices were rapidly rising – the example that sticks in my mind that supermarket pasta had risen by 67% in the last year.

Covid “doesn’t exist “ in England. The English seemed to take no precautions against catching that dreaded lurgi. No masks were seen. Life just continued as if covid had not existed. The infection rates are very high, the health system is in a worse state than NZ and, at any time, there are a high number of infections. But the English carry on.

We took as much care as we could. We avoided the cities and mass meetings of people. This wasn’t a hardship because the Cotswold region is a wonderful collection of “chocolate box” villages and travelling in the off-season (tourist wise) was easy and there were very few busloads of tourists. The weather was very warm and fine for autumn. We booked a house (in Carterton, Adele) for the whole month and ordered 14 frozen meals in so that if we were unlucky to catch covid we could isolate fairly comfortably. The only “crowded areas” we visited were the village pubs that we “discovered” with one of the golden rules for the trip was a “pretty pub” would be visited to see if the inside was pretty and the food and drink was worth the stop. I must say that we never experienced a bad village pub.

The reason for our visit was the recent arrival of our first grandchild. My wife wanted to introduce herself to the said grandson and wanted to be a memorable mother-in-law. I was under strict orders to behave and be a good grandad. But my silly son and his lady got engaged while we were there and I have to repeat the English experienced sometime next year – bugger, for a marriage ceremony. We spent quite a bit of time with the family and even ended up as babysitters.

I did no genealogy at all. We were a couple of days too late for a conference in Oxfordshire and I have no research to do in Oxfordshire. I did visit two churchyards and one church but that was mainly by accident because they were in the route we were walking and it was quicker to walk through rather than round. A couple of readers had contacted me and wanted to meet up and, in one case, visit a cemetery in London. I am grateful for their offers but “she who must be obeyed” kept me too busy to escape for a bit of genealogy pleasure.

Would I do this again? I must be getting too old for this experience – I have become a moaning traveller. Unfortunately I now have a grandson there and a wedding to attend. I don’t think I can avoid going again but I promise to be a very reluctant traveller. The pleasure of a spell in England has been overruled by the agony of the flights to and from.

Peter Nash

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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

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Description automatically generatedGail is having a break this month. She deserves it. If there is a particular question (on DNA matters) you want answered please communicate it to me & Gail may answer it





Gail Riddell 

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Chinese Corner 

 Cindy Huang

Cindy Huang uses object-based installation to recreate a market garden, symbolically highlighting the lack of recorded knowledge around Chinese and specifically, Māori Chinese history in Aotearoa. Written history has often been exploited and used as a colonial tool to delegitimize indigenous knowledge and disregard the history of others. The dominating narrative is a history of Aotearoa that centres the arrival of Pākehā and the colonial events that followed. Though often seen as impenetrable and permanent, history is fluid and exists within collective memory, something Huang highlights in her practice.   

Tāmaki Makaurau has an extensive history of Chinese market gardens, these being the most active sites of Chinese and Māori relationships. Many relationships were established through gift and exchange, cooperation and shared or similar cultural beliefs. Food is symbolic and holds sentimental feelings and memories connected to place, being a point of identity for individuals and social groups. Huang creates hand-build ceramics evocative of foods found at such sites like kūmara and hue/gourd. For many, food has been used as a medium for social events to facilitate hospitality and connection. Huang’s practice nods to the integral role it has played in our local history

Cindy Huang is an emerging artist currently based in Tāmaki Makaurau. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Honours) from Elam School of Fine Art (2019) and a Bachelor of Arts in Art History and Media from the University of Auckland (2018), where she is currently studying towards a Master in Heritage Conservation in Museum and Cultural Heritage. Huang’s multidisciplinary practice is grounded in an exploration of Chinese identity and from a Chinese-specific, Tauiwi lens. Working in the mode of object-based installation, she recreates the gallery space using hand-built ceramics, painting and found objects. Recent exhibitions include; Counter-Site: On-site, Project Space (2018), All Eyes, George Fraser Gallery (2018) and The Beaglehole’s Problem. Meanwhile (2020). Huang is currently working on a participatory public installation alongside, set to run across two spaces in Tāmaki Makaurau in early 2022.

On 16 Oct 2022 the writer had the privilege of attending Cindy Huang’s ceramic painting workshop and we had a friendly discussion around themes explored in her practice inspired by her ongoing exhibition project, A Footnote on New Zealand History.

Helen Wong

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More Famous New Zealanders You have Probably Never Heard Of

Isobel Daniell (1872 – 1905)

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Description automatically generatedIsobel DANIELL was born in Whanganui in 1872, the daughter of Ralph Allan and Mary DANIEL née IMLAY.

Ralph, known as Allan, was the youngest son of Captain Edward DANIELL, ex 1st Gordon (75th Regiment) Highlanders, of Trelissick, Cornwall, and his wife Juliana Pennick LAWRENCE. They had come to Wellington on board the Adelaide arriving on the 7 March 1840, with their second son, Lawrence, and various staff.

Captain DANIELL was a member of the governing body of the New Zealand Company. The family had brought with them an oak-framed house which was later assembled on Abel Smith Street. The next two children, Juliette and Allan were born there. The family later settled at Trelissick, on the original road to Porirua at Upper Kaiwharawhara. A road was constructed to the DANIELL property, to avoid a very steep part of the well-used road. This is now Ngaio Gorge Road.

Before leaving England, Captain DANIELL had purchased land scrip in London at £100 for each 100 acres. He had pre-purchased enough scrip for 1000 acres, but this amount of land was unavailable so in return for his long wait, he was given 250 acres for every £100 by Governor Grey. He was allocated 2500 acres in 1849 in Rangitikei.

The area of his property was referred to as Daniell’s Bush but in 1859 an English carpenter James BULL leased some land from the captain and opened a store, later an accommodation house and the post office.  The settlers went to Bull’s, which later became Bulls. Daniell’s property Killeymoon was, and part of still is, on both sides of what is now State Highway One just out of Bulls on the way to Taihape. On a visit ‘home’ for a family wedding, Captain DANIELL died in New York in 1866. His wife, Juliana died in Malta in 1870.

Mary IMLAY was born in Hobart in 1851[1], the daughter of Peter and Jane IMLAY née McGUIRE. Peter IMLAY and his two brothers originally started a business exporting goods from Tasmania to Sydney. The brothers then became large land holders and leased 72,000 acres at Bega in southeast New South Wales, and at one stage they had holdings of 1500 square miles (3885 km²). As well as within Australia, they exported bloodstock sheep, stud cattle, thoroughbred and farm horses to New Zealand. They also had a whaling business. At the end of 1843 stock prices dropped disastrously, and after the death of his two brothers in 1846, Peter came on to New Zealand with his young family. In 1857 he took up a large block of land on the Whanganui River opposite Languard Bluff. He named the area Balgownie after an area of Aberdeen, where he was born. Peter IMLAY died in 1881 in Whanganui, and his wife Jane in 1898. Imlay is the name of the AFFCO freezing works at Balgownie.

Isobel DANIELL married the Honourable Henry Cavendish BUTLER, the second son of the Earl of Lanesborough[2] in 1894 at Christ Church Anglican Church in Wanganui. Interestingly her father was listed as being of Truro, Cornwall. Henry was ADC to the Earl of Ranfurly, Governor General in New Zealand. After a few years, the family moved to Dinard in Brittany, north western France. After a visit to relatives in England, Isobel was drowned when the channel steamer Hilda hit rocks during bad visibility on a voyage from Southampton to St Malo in November 1905. There were 125 deaths from the disaster.

[1] She seems to have anticipated her parents wedding in 1853.

[2] He was later the 8th Earl of Lanesborough.

Christine Clement

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Diane Wilson

Taking lateral thinking to the next step 

We genealogists are some of the world’s greatest detectives – from knowing where to look and reading bad handwriting to recognising a false clue when we see it.

We are very good at taking a creative view of genealogical problems, sometimes in an indirect and creative way. In other words – lateral thinking – and it’s invaluable. Much as I hear some of you shuddering, I would like you to consider extending your lateral thinking to social media. Try joining a face book group. There are so many and even very specialised groups for a surname or area.   Don’t be offput by the negative comments of some.

Papers Past presented me with a marriage report from the Southland Times in 23rd March 1910. In brief, the second daughter of Mr BEANGE married Mr W SIM


 I looked for a SIM-BEANGE wedding? Nothing in the BDM records.

Time to post the clipping on Genealogy New Zealand and Beyond on Facebook – and look what happened.

Sunnie Shine – “I think it may be Christina (2nd daughter) having a second marriage to William AIM 10 1910. She married a George CAMERON 1891.”

Christine M Clayton – “As the bride was very popular and it was a quiet wedding, it could be a second marriage for one of them.”

Bingo. A BEANGE-CAMERON wedding.  The second daughter of Mr BEANGE now has a forename – Christina – and it was indeed a second marriage. She had first married George CAMERON, so of course her marriage details wouldn’t say BEANGE.

And there she is in BDM – as Christina CAMERON marrying William ANN. The mystery has not ended. Read on. Her husband’s name is not ANN and neither is he Mr W SIM. Back to the fiche – he’s William AIM. The Registrar-General has it wrong and that may be because of an earlier transcription error with SIM/ANN/AIM.

How to confirm the finding? There they are in the 1911 electoral rolls from the Wilson collection – Mr William and Mrs Christina AIM in Mataura.

That Facebook post not only solved the mystery, but it also showed that we do need to think laterally. 

Even though we have rapidly grown digitised resources, they are no help if the digitised version is wrong. One day I’ll tell you about the fun I had with McTHURSTON who turned out to be McPHERSON.

It is this sort of mystery that could drive a researcher to alcohol, but I suggest that if you find yourself in the same position, drive yourself to your community groups and ask them. We have always helped one another – a method of working now called collaboration but really as old as the hills.

And forget the term “social media”. It has such negative connotations when this exercise has shown its true value. After all, says “Social media is a collective term for websites and applications that focus on communication, community-based input, interaction, content-sharing and collaboration.” Haven’t we genealogists always done that? We’re just adding some new channels – from Papers Past, Ancestry and bulletin boards through to our genealogy groups on Facebook?

This also shows that one doesn’t have to rely on paid sites to solve a mystery.

There is a serious side to this search. The more I dig and delve the more I am sure that the traditional cornerstones of genealogy have changed.

When I first started researching, I accepted certificates and entries in registers as absolute facts. They were not to be challenged because they were the certificate, and newspaper reports were also almost gospel.  The microfiche and filmed records mainly provided by the Church of Latter-Day Saints were my go-to sources and many profitable hours were spent looking at films at the Pah Road Library Auckland. I worked on my own or with help from a small band of equally dedicated users, sometimes struggling to make sense of documents written in rather old script or in Latin. Delays in replying from letters sent to Scotland were accepted as part of the task.

Digitisation and social media have extended our reach and shown that one should never overlook the context – the second daughter of Mr BEANGE was not Miss BEANGE but Mrs CAMERON and Mr SIM was not Mr ANN but Mr AIM.

Digitsation also opens up new facets to our research with the description of the brides ensemble as Maree Lewis found with the “mole coloured face cloth”. She wrote: “It was fawn coloured fabric, and thickish texture. A bit like brushed cotton. Very fashionable at that time, and expensive.” Val Rippey added: “Google has described double-facecloth as wool and cashmere”.

The marriage project is such fun to do.  We make progress and I must again say thank you to all of you who have assisted with the certificate.  It is your generosity which helps to make the Wilson collection such a successful database.

Diane Wilson

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Guest Contributors

Diana Caldwell

Book review: The Women of Little Lon By Barbara Minchinton

A short time ago I stumbled across a page of awards on the History Victoria web site:

One piqued my interest because it was for a book called, “The Women of Little Lon.”  To a Melbournian, that had to mean Little Lonsdale Street.  Little Lon….  My Christina died in that area.  How do I know?  Her story could be told in another article!

I decided I needed to find a copy and have a read.  The Auckland Public Libraries e-book collection is wonderful and I was able to borrow it from there.  The book “brings to life the once notorious neighbourhood of ‘Little Lon’…. We learn how these women lived, how they were perceived by others, and why most had fallen on hard times.”

I have often wondered if my Christina may have been a dressmaker or a milliner – occupations that other family members took up.  And perhaps she was, but I have also wondered if she may have been a lady of the night – one of the women of Little Lon;  she died in Coromandel Place, a tiny street very close to Little Lonsdale Street.

I recommend the book to anyone who has similar ladies in their family tree.  The book is well-written about a specific area of Melbourne, but much of what happened there would be true for any city anywhere in the world.  “The superb detail of Minchinton’s research, so lightly worn, so delightfully deployed, restores respect and agency to the sex workers and madams that her sources routinely shunned and decried. Minchinton has mastered how to read ‘between the lines’”.

Diana Caldwell

Seonaid (Shona) Harvey

Services available at Auckland Central Library

Hello from Research Central, Auckland Central Library

For those of you unfamiliar with me, I am Seonaid (Shona) Harvey, senior research librarian (family history). I have been in this position for 12.5 years now and it’s probably the best job I have ever had – possibly because it is linked to my love of family history research and helping people.

Research Central offers one of the most comprehensive collections of international genealogy, family history and whakapapa research resources in a public library, in the southern hemisphere.

We have had some changes since we were closed firstly because of Central Library’s roof replacement project and our various Covid-19 lockdowns, so I thought I would bring everyone up to date. We took advantage of our closure to plan and implement some changes of layout on the Research Centre floor. The first change we made was to bring the reference desk back up to the other end near the main entrance of the research centre, along with a bank of four public PCs for general internet use. The other end of the research centre retains the microfilm readers (two of which are brand new), microfiche reader and Gazette and family history CD Rom computers.

We also have two internet capable research PCs that are bookable for researchers only and are separate from the other public PCs that are near the reference desk. They need to be manually booked, as they are not available on our network system. Just give us a call or email us if you want to book them for your research visit – or book them at the desk when you get there.

The result is a much more research-friendly space!

Research services

We have altered our research charging services. If you have an Auckland Libraries’ membership card, our research librarians can give you 30 minutes free research – this includes document supply.  The charge after that is $25 per half hour. Non-members are not eligible for the first half hour free.

You can send in your research queries here:

We also offer a free Book -A-Librarian session. This session is an hour and with a research librarian who specialises in the subject you are enquiring about.

This service is being offered free to those customers who

need assistance to begin their family history research

need help to use the Family and Local History Digital Library databases

have family history research ‘brick wall’ that they need assistance with

and are computer literate (we are not able to teach someone who to use a computer)

It is a “how to” service to show customers how to carry out their own research or solve their own problems. It is NOT primarily a research service i.e. we are not doing the research for the customer, although that may be the product of the tutorial session.

If you are not computer literate then you can bring a computer literate person along with you, who will be helping you with your research or you may want to make use of our paid research service. Or you may decide to take computer tutorials from your local library or an organisation like SeniorNet or other training providers before you make an appointment with us.

Whether you use our research service or our Book-A-Librarian appointments, it’s important that you “refine your research question” – what is it you want to know? Write out your question and include names and birth/death or marriage dates where possible. Where have you looked already? Have you confirmed each fact with documentary proof? Sending us concise information and a pedigree chart/family tree of the branch you are interested in can help us immensely.

I am available by appointment at the various research centres around the region:

First Tuesday of the month     Research North, Takapuna Library

Second Tuesday of the month           Research West, Waitakere Library

Third Tuesday of the month   Research South, Manukau Library

Fourth Tuesday of the month Research Central, Central Library

Also potentially available by appointment at Research Central on other days.

Other of my colleagues around the Research Centres may also be available for appointment by mutual agreement.

We require at least weeks’ notice for rostering purposes, but sometimes we might be able to accommodate short notice.

Book-a-librarian request forms are here:

Findmypast’s 1921 Census available at Auckland Libraries

Auckland Libraries’ have recently upgraded their subscription to Findmypast to the new subscription tier that includes access to the 1921 Census for England and Wales. Findmypast is available free to all people visiting our 56 Auckland Libraries’ sites through the public PCs and over the libraries’ WiFi network.

Also available free in the same way is Ancestry, The Genealogist and MyHeritage (MyHeritage is also accessible for free from outside Auckland Libraries’ sites by using your Auckland Libraries membership card to log in to the library website).

We have an assortment of heritage newspapers subscriptions some available from home, some only available on site.

And of course, we have our own databases – particularly , which must have nearly one million records by now with new records and images added to it every week, in addition to some of our legacy databases being transferred over.

Heritage Talks and other events

Our Heritage Talks continue and are now successfully being delivered both in-person in the Whare Wananga at Central Library and on Zoom, with people attending from all over New Zealand, and often overseas too.

We also plan to hold Research Days on Sundays a couple of times in 2023 on family history themes: - for example researching in England and Wales. And let’s not forget the Auckland Family History Expo, which will take place at the Fickling Convention Centre, Three Kings, Friday 11 August to Sunday 13 August 2023.

Watch this space for all our Heritage, family, and local history events:

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


Robina Trenbath

Ancient Mariners

How are you currently feeling about supply chains? As then – so it is now…one way or another, the transit of vessels across oceans, connects and concerns us all.

The seamen and mariners who work to deliver our need for grain, food supplies, fertilizer, machinery, cars etc. are as vital these days, as they were aeons ago. But the work environment of today’s merchant marine is a far cry from the prevailing seafaring conditions of times past. They were unbearably brutal. It took a lifetime of commitment, struggle and foresight by one individual to change the script of mariners – this is a brief account of a remarkable man who, all too easily, has slipped from the pages of history.    

               Andrew FURUSETH  (1854 – 1938)
        Merchant seaman and labour reformer. 
Over a lifetime he worked tirelessly to help establish and maintain two significant maritime unions: The Sailors’ Union of the Pacific (est. San Francisco 1885) and The International Seamen’s Union (est. Chicago 1895.)
‘FURUSETH was credited as the key figure behind drafting and enacting the Seamen’s Act of 1915, hailed by many as “The Magna Carta of the Sea.” (Ref. Wikipedia.)


He was born Anders Andreassen NIELSEN, the fifth child of Andreas and Marthe NIELSEN. At that time the family had moved to Furuseth. In accordance with local custom, the boy was named after his residence. (Ref. The Abraham Lincoln of the Sea – the Life of Andrew Furuseth by Berwick, Arnold; 1993.)

In 1873 he went to sea. Sailing around the world for six years he witnessed the brutality of his fellow sailors – thrashed, clamped in irons and treated worse than the lowest of the low. Included in the long list of harsh realities was the shonky practice of ‘hiring’ crew. “Crimps” (company hiring agents) would recruit labour by coercion or ‘knocking them out’, delivering them to a ship and forging their signatures on a work contract. (Ref. Andrew Furuseth: ‘The Abe Lincoln of the Sea’ in The American Postal Worker Magazine 2008.)

His story in his own words:

March 7, 1914: Statement of Mr. Andrew Furuseth President of the International Seamen’s Union to the Committee on The Merchant Marine and Fisheries House of Representatives, Washington.

`“I am here because the sailors sent me here, and because I was willing to come. I shall try to remember that I am a sailor.

My name is Andrew Furuseth. I am a sailor. I began sailing from Norway. Then, I sailed out of Sweden, Germany, Holland, England and America as an able seaman. For 15 years I sailed the Pacific, crossed the Great Lakes, traversed the Atlantic Coast, crossed the North Sea and sailed on the Mediterranean.

Twenty two years ago I left the sea to become an officer of the union and I have tried to inform myself on the laws of the different countries trying to find a reason for the decay of seamanship.

I was in New York when the news came that the ‘Titanic’ was lost and I said to a newspaper man “That settles it. There are 1,600 new faces in heaven because she had not got enough boats to take away 3,000.”

You can put me in jail. But you cannot give me narrower quarters than, as a seaman, I have always had. You cannot give me coarser food than I have always eaten. You cannot make me lonelier than I have always been.”

A year later, The Seamen’s Act was ushered in and delivered to seafarers (U.S.) a limit to sailors’ workdays (9 hours while in port) set minimum standards for food and living space, required a minimum percentage of the crew to be qualified Able Seamen and insisted on sufficient lifeboats on all vessels.

“This sounded the death knell to crimps, shanghiers and shady boarding housekeepers who had preyed on the sailor, taking a ‘mortgage’ on his wages in exchange for food, lodging, drinks and clothes.” (Ref. Seafarers International Union.)

Today the Seamen’s Union of the Pacific represents merchant mariners working on deck, in engine rooms and as stewards on commercial containers, tankers, military-support ships, tugboats and barges and passenger vessels. The International Longshoremen’s Union represents dock workers and others who help move ships’ cargo.

1936: His younger sister came to America and owned a small farm in Wisconsin. But she ran into financial difficulties. To prevent a mortgage closure and save the farm, Andrew gave his sister US $1,800 of his private savings – he had $200 left to live on.

Andrew FURUSETH was a loner, living simply on the pay of a sailor – his bill at the old National Hotel in Washington wasn’t much over $30/ month for room and bath.

1938: he died on 24 January. His body was laid in the rotunda of the Labour Building in Washington and services were attended by U.S. Congressmen and Supreme Court Judges.

Andrew FURUSETH’s ashes were scattered on the waves in mid-Atlantic as he had requested:  …as far from land as possible. (Ref. Andrew Furuseth. Extension of Remarks of Hon. John F. Shelley of California in the House of Representatives. Friday, March 21, 1952.)

2022: Our family’s mariners: at last count numbered 25. Some served, most worked till they dropped and quite a number (including my own father) lost their life at sea. Above all, they endured and in a number of instances a life on the ocean wave flowed from one familial generation to the next.

N.B. I am grateful to my son-in-law Andrew FURUSETH 1V of Michigan U.S.A. (he is not a mariner) for introducing me to his 3 x Great Uncle.

Robina Trenbath 

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An Invitation to Contribute:

I have a number of people that contribute occasional articles. These appear irregularly if and when the authors send them to me.  I use them to bulk up each month's newsletter. The more we have the more "rests "I can give my much-appreciated regular columnists.

This is a way that a person can get some of their writing published. Of course, we are all writing up our research results, aren't we? I have always said that every genealogist is an expert in some small piece of history, resources or research methods.

We circulate this newsletter to about 7,000 subscribers worldwide but is read by many more as it is passed on to other readers and LDS research centres. Every month I get feedback on my poor attempts at writing and I have now made many "new friends", albeit digital ones, I have even had some very helpful assistance in my research.

Why don't you contribute an article?

My basic requirements:

1) The column must be in English

2) The column should be no longer than about 1,200 words

3) The article should be emailed to me in a Word document format

4) The subject should be genealogical or historical in nature

Do not be afraid about your "perceived" bad English. The article will be edited, in a friendly manner, by me and then Robert. Then all columnists and a few valuable proof-readers get to read the newsletter before it is emailed out.   You’ll be paid $0 for your article, which is on the same scale that Robert and I pay ourselves for editing and publishing the newsletter.                  

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

Are you interested in family, local and social history, the stories of Aotearoa 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 and our cultures.

When: Wednesdays, February to November, 12noon - 1pm

Where: Whare Wānanga, L2 Central City Library,  44 Lorne St, Auckland. Also online via Zoom.

Cost: Free

Booking:  via Eventfinda or see

For queries contact Research Central ph 09 890 2412.

HeritageTalks for 2023 begin again on Wednesday 22 February 12pm

We are taking expressions of interest and/or suggestions for speakers and topics for next year’s HeritageTalks programme

DEADLINE for expressions of interest submission

Please email


Did you miss one of our HeritageTalks, or would you like to listen to it again?

Enjoy our podcasts - recorded events and presentations

And see more on our YouTube channel


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

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Group News

News and Views



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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.  Just click the heading.

What are Scottish kirk session records?

Who was Charles Booth, and what are his poverty maps?

RAF records: How do I find WW2 RAF service records?

What is a workhouse infirmary?



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How to read old newspapers online

1926 census to be digitised and made available free online

Who were the Huguenots?

Chelsea Pensioners’ service records: How to find them online

In conclusion

Book Reviews

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 may 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.

A Bit of Light Relief

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