Part of the worldwide genealogy/family history community

FamNet eNewsletter February 2018

  ISSN 2253-4040

Quote   "The true delight is in the finding out rather than in the knowing" - Isaac Asimov

Editorial 2

Regular Features. 3

From the Developer 3

OLD Family Reunion. 3

The Nash Rambler 5

Genealogical Consultations. 5

Jan’s Jottings. 7

Who?  Where?  When?. 7

DNA Testing for Family History. 8

25.  What DNA test?  What firm?. 8

Wairarapa Wandering. 9

Tracey’s Tales. 10

Hanley Hoffmann: 13

The Importance Of Order 13

Digging Into Historical Records. 14

Chinese Corner 16

From our Libraries and Museums. 17

Auckland Libraries. 17

HeritageTalks at Central Library, Auckland Council 17

Group News. 17

Whangarei Family History Computer Group. 17

Waikanae Family History Group. 18

Waitara Districts History & Families Research Group. 18

News and Views. 18

How Much It Costs to Research Your Family Tree. 19

How Many Ancestors Do You Have?. 21

What’s New: FamilySearch Places. 23

What's Coming from FamilySearch in 2018. 25

Early New Zealand Books. 27

Book Reviews. 28

Hello, My Name Is .... The remarkable story of personal names. 28

If Only They Didn’t Speak English: Notes from Trump's America. 28

Advertisements. 29

Help wanted. 29

Letters to the Editor 29

Advertising with FamNet 30

In conclusion. 30

A Bit of Light Relief 30

To Unsubscribe, Change your Email Address, or Manage your Personal Information. 31


Back to the Top. 17


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Greetings and welcome to another issue of the FamNet newsletter.

Another month has flown by. Another newsletter is assembled and another sigh of relief sounded. I don't change that opening because it is how I mostly feel when I get to this section, which is the last bit to write.

Last year was an incredible year for data being made accessible on the many genealogy websites. and FindmyPast are, week by week, adding more and more databases and becoming more and more indispensable to genealogists. I "fell in love" with FamilySearch. I have used that website more and more. I give speeches and give classes on it. It is my number one go-to site. PapersPast and Archway are getting better and better. I will continue to explore these and other sites. I expect FamilySearch to become my modern version of the much praised practice of reading LDS films in darkened rooms in days gone by.

As you are aware (because I'm always skiting about them in columns) I have had major finds last year. I have had great fun helping friends and acquaintances with their research. After finding miracle facts I then try to justify my research techniques to increase my reputation as a researcher for no other reason than self esteem. But the fact is researching can come down to illogical search techniques in which pure chance and luck are the major requirements for success. I will continue to help people with their research. Hopefully I will continue my lucky streak of miracle finds particularly in my own family tree.

As I preached all last year, we need to consult with other genealogists in an informal setting. Solitary research at home can be successful, but we can become restricted by tunnel-vision and unable to think constructively, and we forget the limits of our knowledge. I will continue to preach this.

I shall attend more conferences and talks by experts. I need to keep up to date with developments.

Lastly, I tried to resign as editor but Robert wouldn't accept it. So I will continue to edit this newsletter and I will continue to enjoy communicating with my team of columnists who are a varied bunch of interesting researchers.

There goes my list of New Years resolutions.

In this issue:-

·      From the developer: talking about a Family Reunion he attended and how FamNet can be used in such events

·      The Nash Rambler: I have had another miracle find for a friend.

·      Jan: Who? Where? When?

·      Gail Riddell  has written another column on matters DNA related and needs some suggestion for subject matter.

·      Adele buys an historic book written by the founder of Carterton.

·      Tracey Bartlett talks about a post card she purchased.

·      Hanley Hoffmann talks about The Imporantance of Order

·      Dawn Chambers talks about three early Wellington settlers

·      Chinese Corner  Helen Wong, has publicised the release of a book about Chinese shopkeepers.

·       Auckland Libraries:  Heritage Talks restart on Wednesday 7th Feb.

·      I have included an article on what it costs to research your family tree.

·      I have included an article on how many ancestors you have

·      I have included a article on developments on the FamilySearch website and what developments are due this year

·      Book reviews.  I have been reading a lot and have reviewed 2 books.


Hopefully you will find something of interest among all that. I have enjoyed assembling this month's newsletter.



Peter Nash

Back to the Top

Regular Features

From the Developer

OLD Family Reunion

For the past several months the FamNet newsletter has been advertising a reunion of descendents of Richard and Jane OLD, pioneer immigrants to New Zealand arriving in New Plymouth in 1843 with 9 of their 10 children.   The reunion was held on the 20th January, the 175th anniversary of their arrival on the Essex, the third group of Wakefield settlers to arrive in New Plymouth.

With many of the next generation also having had large families there are a large number of these descendents.  For example my great grandfather John OLD, Richard’s third son, had 16 children, and although a few died in infancy or as children, most lived long and fertile lives.  This seems typical of the OLD children, and other pioneers.  John met his future wife Mary Jane KNUCKEY on the voyage out, at the time she was a girl of 13.  Two years later they were married, and they clearly didn’t waste much time in getting on with the job of populating the new country.

When Christine contacted me I was keen to attend.  For me this was an opportunity to meet some distant relatives, to learn more about my ancestors, and also an opportunity to show others of my VERY extended family the information about their ancestors that was already on FamNet, and encourage them to contribute more, filling in gaps and correcting errors.  I had never attended a family reunion, so I wondered what it would be like.

We started with some messages and videos from a descendent of Richard OLD’s eldest son who had stayed behind in Cornwall.  Photos of the places that they left contrasted greatly with the videos of present-day Cornwall.  Then a presentation about Richard and Jane, the voyage out, and their life in New Plymouth, followed by similar presentations about each of the next generation, the 9 children who had come out with their parents. Each presentation was given by one of the children’s descendents, and a photo was taken of the descendents of that person at the reunion.  Several people were in more than one photo, as there was a lot of intermarriage in the early years.  

Christine has made these presentations available to FamNet and I’ve uploaded their text and linked slides.  If you click on one of the left-hand links the relevant FamNet record will open.  Click the right-hand link to directly open the presentation.   The right-hand links will open immediately, whereas the left-hand links will require your email or FamNet user id.  Just enter your email and click [New User] and follow the simple dialog if you are not already a FamNet user – it’s free to register and access FamNet from links like this.  While the left-hand links are a bit more work than the direct links on the right, you’ll see more information, and be able to navigate around the family tree to ancestors and descendents: -

OLD, Richard(1790-1871)

Richard OLD

OLD, Jane(1816-1852)

Jane OLD

OLD, Robert(1819-1865)

Robert OLD

OLD, John(1821-1896)

John OLD

OLD, Margaret(1823-1906)

Margaret OLD

OLD, William(1824-1894)

William OLD

OLD, Martha(1828-1898)

Martha OLD

OLD, James(1831-1882)

James OLD

OLD, Christianna(1832-1914)

Christianna OLD

OLD, Fanny(1835-1920)

Fanny OLD


Clicking the first right-hand link you’ll see this: -

Look in the Scrapbook section where you’ll see a biography.  Click this to open it to see the presentation.  Links in this bio will show you the slides that accompany the presentation.  These presentations and slides are now a permanent part of the FamNet record.

Also, let me draw your attention to Jan Gow’s article in this newsletter.  If you go to I think that you’ll be able to find 1840 maps of St Mawgan and other Cornwall areas that our ancestors came from.  I haven’t had time to check this out yet.

The best part of the reunion for me was hearing the stories about our ancestors, providing a glimpse of their lives in the pioneer years when life was tough and uncertain.  Thank you Christine for organising this event, and thank you Mirk and others who contributed material.  Click here to see the Facebook page about this reunion.

FamNet will be happy to advertise similar reunions for the same low rates (free) as this one, and help you to add material such as the presentations and pictures into your permanent FamNet archive.

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
Updating General Resource Databases

16.  Privacy

17.  Indexes: beyond Excel.

18.  Linking trees

Back to the Top

The Nash Rambler

Genealogical Consultations

For years now I have talked about the social side of genealogy. You may be able to do your research sitting home in front of your computer. It is a fact that more and more sources are appearing in digital format. This past year I have had major breakthroughs in my research, particularly in London in the early 1800's. For years it has been almost impossible to find anything in London outside of the census records because parish records and Poor Law records were almost impossible to locate. But, almost weekly, more and more are appearing online.

The problem with closet solitary pyjama genealogy is that you become lost in your own logic and thought patterns. If you cannot find anything it must not be there. You become susceptible to making mistakes and, not knowing that it is a mistake, plough on going down sidetracks that are irrelevant to your family tree.

I have always recommended joining genealogical groups, attending conferences and genealogical/historical lectures where you can have a natter with fellow researchers about your research and, of course, it is good manners to talk about their research. Unfortunately the cost of joining societies and groups, attending conferences and congresses can be prohibitively expensive. I have had major finds that have arisen because of some small discussion I have had with somebody who was interested enough to talk to me about my research. I also have a gift of being able to make discoveries for other researchers after a convivial discussion and/or coffee. It is strange but a researcher who works on their own without social interplay takes longer to achieve their research goals.

To illustrate this and to also heap lots of praise on myself I will give you a recent example. Every Wednesday I have an enjoyable coffee and a scone or a muffin with a very good friend of mine, Allan. We have a handful of places with good food and, particularly, coffee and we rotate our visits. Together we can "waste" a couple of hours sorting out the world, our families and other topics of interest to the pair of us. Both of us have been genealogists for many years but both make simple mistakes, go down wrong paths, forget to work from known to unknown not the reverse and similar things that plague our research. We swap magazines particularly genealogy ones, discuss books, talk about functions we have attended or will attend. It has become an appreciated weekly "date" which is looked upon, with envy, by other relatives and friends.

Yesterday we were in a lovely cafe in Royal Oak. I don't know how we got onto the subject but Allan talked about what his targets were for his research this year. He is a strong fan for timelines and has convinced me of their value. Allan's grandfather was, until I started, a bit of a mystery to him. He found his birth, had difficulties with census records and, in particular, could not find out how and when he arrived in NZ and this was his major target for 2018. I asked many questions which is a process I use when I'm doing research for others. Unfortunately Allan couldn't be exact but the theory was that his grandfather William George Rudge came to NZ about 1910. He was born in Birmingham in about 1880, married, in NZ in about 1915, to a previously married lady, Amy Prior, who had left her family of three or more children to come to NZ. They were both buried in the Hillsborough cemetery but not in the same grave. Allan gave a little more information but it was all fairly vague.

Because I was particularly bored that afternoon, I did a bit of digging for Allan. I have the Hillsborough database at home and know that, if you are lucky, burial records give how long the person has been in NZ. This figure is nearly always obviously wrong but it is worth a look. These records also give the funeral directors, in this case one was Littles and the other was Sibuns, both of whom have easily accessed records.

I next checked Archway, the website for Archives NZ. I did this because I knew that most men of serviceable age had to go through the attestation processes for World War 1 even though they never served overseas. These records have been a very fertile resource for me in the past. Allan had been unable to find this but I searched for the name Rudge with no given names. Sometimes when searching digital databases you can put too much information in the search boxes. Allan had always gone for the full name. Using Rudge only I got a big number of hits but I persevered and scrolled down them all. The search was complicated by a photographer, Rudge, who took a lot of photos on Antarctica and other searches in other sources were complicated by a motorcycle brand, Rudge.

Hello, his record was under the name William with no reference to George at all. The record was right because his wife was Amy and other information agreed with what Allan had provided. BUT there was another interesting item, a divorce for William and Amy Rudge in 1923. This was imperative for Allan to investigate to see if it was relevant. There was a will or two as well.

I next proceeded to Paperspast. I searched all of 1923 and, voila, up popped two articles about the divorce. It was very interesting reading and answered all Allan's questions except which boat they travelled on. Apparently they had travelled to NZ as a married couple under the name of his brother in 1910.

I had cracked it. Boy did I quickly ring him together with an email giving all the details. He owes me a good coffee next week.

But the point is that Allan was entering too much in his search boxes in an effort to lessen the number of hits. He also had not thought of some of the suggestions I had made but he had done some excellent research to get where he was. He had photographs of his grandparents together and had not any reason to check for a divorce. A fresh set of eyes and a fluky search by me had cracked it.

He was fortunate enough to be able to discuss his problem with another researcher who was bored enough to investigate the problem. Make sure you "mix and mingle" with other genealogists and don't be afraid to talk about your problems.

In finishing I will add two points:

            1) No you cannot join our Wednesday Coffee Group

            2) Allan and I would seriously consider taking a consultation with you if you buy the GOOD coffee and a scone, donut or muffin but it will cost. There are no guarantees for any success from our consultation but the pleasure of our company should be enough.


Regards to all

Back to the Top

Jan’s Jottings

Who?  Where?  When? 

When I first started my family history research, I was concentrating on the WHO!!!  Which was a good choice because how can you find the paper trail of registrations, census, parish registers etc etc etc if you don’t have a name!!! How will you know if you have the correct people in a document if you don’t have a name??!!  Or names.

But then you realise how important the WHERE is. Not just for commonsense research eg you find a family tree which has your 3 x great grandfather being born in America and baptised, 3 days later, in Kent, England!!!! But also because of your background knowledge of the WHERE research eg not looking for a birth registration in Scotland before 1855. 

And the WHEN? This is very important also - again because of research ‘boundaries’  - starting dates etc - and because of knowing which generation a common forename could be found etc.

All three of these are so important and are very much the tip of a huge iceberg with so much hidden from us.

But I do really love the WHERE. Using (Treepadplus is a good choice), I have created a place template which can give you an idea of what we can find out about our places. I am happy to share this - just ask.

You will need to download TreePadPlus. Try for three weeks for free and then c@US30

You can add your choices for places also.





















And I love maps! Was one of the things I loved about having Beehive Books was to offer large scale maps so we could see a little of what it was like for our ancestors. How far did gggg?grandfather have to walk to the PH for example?  (Public House - the local pub). How far to work? To Church? To school? How close were the nearest towns - you could jump in a boat and row across water to visit your heart’s desire - but climbing a mountain range may not have been easy. Great to be able to walk with the enumerator and see exactly where your family lived. [not sure how to do this?? Watch for next month’s Newsletter]

Now, we can see maps on the Internet!!  So - I wanted to let you know about some maps online. The Scottish Maps Forum have worked on the 24" County Series mapping for England and Wales. C1900.  Scotland is there too. Lots to see here  - give yourself some hours to explore.

Set aside an hour or two and go to  Historic maps now online for every town in England and Wales .  They are available on the website of the National Library of Scotland (NLS) as a result of an extensive programme that has digitised historic maps across the UK. Chris Fleet, Senior Map Curator at NLS said: “These new maps cover all of England and Wales and are immensely valuable for local and family history. People can search for the street their grandparents lived in or see how 19th century farmland has turned into today’s suburbs.”

The six-inch to a mile maps show all place names recorded by Ordnance Survey, including all street names in towns, and all smaller farms, hamlets and villages. The website allows viewers to zoom on the maps to pick out the detail they are interested in.

The maps were surveyed for the whole country twice - first between 1842-1893 and then between 1891-1914. They were subsequently updated regularly for urban or rapidly changing areas from 1914 to the 1940s. The result is that, for many towns there are three to five editions of mapping between the 1840s and the 1950s.

They can be searched in a number of different ways, by place names, street names, post codes and grid references. They are also available via county lists. Watch for any sliders - move these and you can see the changes taking place as the years go by. Look lower left hand side for a small blue ball.

The website address is

Chris always looks after us when we visit the Maps Reading Room whilst on our Hooked on Genealogy Tour. We love going there where you can actually see (and touch) the maps! Order copies etc. Look at other helpful research tools.  Looking forward to going there whilst we are in Edinburgh in June with this year’s Tour. If you would like to experience this then email Check out the new website - under development just now.  This year’s Tour leaves 6 May.

RootsTech will be held in Salt Lake City 28 Feb-3 Mar. Last year over 20,000 people were registered. Plus thousands more online. Do you have a sense of excitement?? Of doing something different??  Yes????  Then how about coming to a direct feed of one of the keynote speakers?  Then breakfast, then another speaker?  Would that be interesting and fun?? And best of all - it would start around 4am!!!!  No worries about the traffic! Email me if you would like to know more. 

Back to the Top

DNA Testing for Family History

25.  What DNA test?  What firm?

There are some wonderful TV programmes available from time to time showing families reunited; showing where you come from; showing you cousins you never knew existed; perhaps even showing you your relationship to a royal family.  They make “it” look so easy.  So you are a little bit tempted, right? 


So you chat with your friends and family about “having a test”.  Right?

You get a mixed reaction – depending on whom you ask.  I bet you meet up with someone who says “how exciting”.  Right?

I bet you also meet up with someone who says “rubbish” or something similar.  Right?

So what should you do?  Test or not test?  You are keen but unsure, so you try our friend Mr Google and you type something like “DNA testing” into your browser’s search box.  Go on, try it!

Up come pages and pages…  Now what? 

You select a few and they all say something similar like “Uncover your heritage…” or “Our DNA tests can help you find family…” and on and on it goes.  How do you choose?

Seriously, do NOT choose because what you are reading are the public relations people earning their mega bucks to keep making money for the firms.

There are four main firms (Ancestry, My Heritage, 23andMe and FamilyTreeDNA aka as FTDNA) which offer DNA testing, but what exactly is DNA testing?  Are all firms offering the same thing when they say “DNA testing?  These are the questions that you need to be asking.  You also need to be learning just what DNA testing actually is.  Are there any risks and if so what are they?

I have lost count of the times someone has said to me “I have tested my DNA and it told me….”.  Being me, I usually respond along the lines of “what test did you take?”

“Huh?” is the start of the response, followed by “I tested my DNA”.  That’s my cue to again ask “Yes but which DNA test?”  A blank look follows indicating to me that they have no idea that there are many different types of DNA tests.  Examples are forensic, paternity, medical, autosomal, Y-DNA, mitochondrial and so on.  Then comes my question as to which firm they used, because that immediately tells me which test was taken.

This is because not all firms test the same aspect of DNA, so it is not much use when a person selects a firm that only does autosomal testing if the tester wants to know if they are related to a famous person bearing their surname who lived in the 17th Century.  The same thing applies to a person who wants to know if their mother is a Maori and they choose a firm that does not do mitochondrial testing.

Get the firm wrong and the results will not give you an answer – in fact it is “rubbish” in terms of what you want to know.  Get the test wrong and the results will not give you an answer to your question.  It is “rubbish”.  But get the firm right and the test right and the excitement following will have you at your computer far into the night.

Now we are back where we started – how do you choose?

Let us take a step a little further back and think about what it is you want to learn.  Why do you think a DNA test might give you that knowledge you are seeking (put the advertising out of your mind and think about just what your DNA is and why you think it might be interesting to take a test.)

Have you read my earlier articles in the Famnet newsletter?

Have you looked at this web site?

Although I do not agree 100% with what is said in that URL, most of it is accurate.  I say that because of experience with such firms and with their tests although I have not personally used Living DNA.

Keep in the back of your mind that all these firms are rather genetically oriented to the US testers, consequently most will offer tests for prices given in US currency – although not all.  And yes, it is worth it!

As always, I am available for queries

Gail Riddell

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.

Gail has run out of ideas for further matter to be covered in future columns and I think it is too important a subject to let her stop writing about it. Therefore send some questions or suggestions for articles to her or me. Maybe she can write something pertinent to your situation?

Index so far

Wairarapa Wandering

Wairarapa Wanderer buys a valuable book.


Late last year, whilst on my favourite site, Trademe, I spied a book for sale, and considered whether to buy it. I waited bit see how the auction went

The book was written by Charles Rooking CARTER, back in 1870 whilst he was in England, and published in London in 1875. It's only the second time I have seen a book written by Charles for sale on line, the other one was a set of three huge volumes, but this one, was just the one book, in royal blue. It was titled "Incidents of Travel and Sketches of Remarkable Places".  In short, I managed to buy it and paid what I thought was a very reasonable price for the book, under $100!  I was told that if I bought it overseas it would have cost more like $500!

Charles, in my opinion, was a man before his time. He married in 1850, in St James London, to Jean ROBERTSON, not ROBIESON. I have a copy of the banns and know a relation of Jean living up in Hastings.NZ today!  So James ROBIESON, Jane’s brother, must have had a strong Scottish accent to get the spelling incorrect in 1850s! And he was on board the ship, Eden, with Charles and his sister Jean.

I have read most of the especially where Charles visited in England and the continent as, being an ex-Londoner, I know many of the places.

I was thrilled to have been able to purchase this book, and have since donated it, through our mayor John Booth, to Carterton, never to be loaned. It's here for the town that Charles Rooking CARTER was the main benefactor and named after him in 1859.

I had an appointment to meet up with the mayor the other Monday to hand it over, and a friend from Wellington came with me when I handed that treasure over.

One of the areas that Charles visited, was Stonehenge. The drawing he did of it was great. He had measured all the pillars as, back in 1870, one could stand next to each pillar and again in 1972 as I remember, on my honeymoon, we visited the area and stood alongside them, but that is not allowed anymore.

But, the book had a secret in it - it had been awarded to a William McLEAN. It was third Prize for his essay on Coal in 1880, but, it was from a teacher at Wanganui High School. Now that set another research i.e. to find out about that school…nothing to do with the High School which is there today, as that started up in 1954, I have been in touch with them, and it has nothing to do with Wanganui Collegiate.

I am now reading the Wanganui Collegiate School Register which I have a copy here at home. There were two of this name registered, with a W - W. H. McLEAN 375 and W. H. McLEAN 822. One lived in Feilding and served in WW1.  Feilding Archives have been a great help, they asked if there was any chance of donating to their records. I said sorry it's for Carterton!  Now Feilding are in touch with a member of the McLEAN family and I wonder if they know about this book being awarded to William McLean in 1880!

If  anyone knows of a William McLEAN please make contact with me.

Wairarapa Wanderer.

Adele Pentony-Graham

12 Neich’s Lane



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Tracey’s Tales

From the Editor: Unfortunately this is the last column for a while from Tracey who is taking a break. One of the hardest things about writing a column for a monthly newsletter is the thinking about a subject to write on. Once a subject is decided it, generally, is fairly easy to do the actual writing. Tracey wrote the original column and then managed to produce a monthly contribution for many months. She writes an interesting column. She needs a break to gather more ideas. So thank you very much, Tracey, I have enjoyed reading your columns and working with you.


Creative thinking about the next column

Other writers have contributed an occasional column or a short burst of three or more. This newsletter is the only monthly magazine where contributions from the general public are accepted. Columns need to be a maximum of about 1000 words. This newsletter is a vehicle in which you can start writing your family history chapter by chapter. After about a year or so you can rearrange the columns and you have written a decent book. Why not give it a try. An occasional column is acceptable. Give it a try.

THE TWO HALVES OF A POSTCARD: 14 December 1909, Hampstead

On a blustery, wet day during the New Year summer storm, I ventured to an antique fair. The event provided a much-needed change of scenery, even if the wares were beyond my budget. I did not, however, come away empty handed. A box of postcards caught my attention; one in particular: a sepia photograph of Miss Isabel Jay as “Christine” in “Dear Little Denmark.”  The history of the post card immediately appealed to me - I lived in Hampstead, a ‘village’ within the city of London, for a couple of years when I was younger.  Hampstead is full of history and this card, written and posted 108 years ago, plays out a tiny spec in its yesteryears. Back in my little cottage, I opened my laptop. Miss Evelyn Long, the recipient of the card, would likely have been surprised had she known her life was going to be explored, in another small ‘village’ on the other side of the world over a century later. 

Miss ISABEL EMILY JAY: Opera Singer and Actress

Born Wandsworth, London, 17 Oct 1879, died Monte Carlo 26 Feb 1927

Text Box:  Rotary Photographic Co., founded in 1898, used rotary presses to mass produce photographs for postcards; of which Miss Isabel Jay appeared in 400 during her career as a soprano singer and actress. In 1909 Isabel appeared in the Gilbert and Sullivan operatic ‘Dear Little Denmark at the Prince of Wales’ Theatre from 1 September 1909. It is in this theatre costume as Christine, daughter of the Burgomaster (Mayor of a Danish town), that she appears on ‘my’ postcard. The two-act musical was reviewed in The Era:  

"Miss Isabel Jay's bright, alert acting and fascinating personality would have condoned many deficiencies. But in addition to winning all hearts by her freshness and earnestness, Miss Jay gave us a delightfully easy and accomplished rendering of her share of the score, and the way in which she used a very valuable voice told of sound training and keen intelligence." (Ref: Wikipedia)

Married twice, and with an established career behind her stemming from an early age, Isabel died aged 47 years in Monte Carlo, apparently from the effects of scarlet fever which she had as a child and which manifested during a cruise. The Royal Academy of Music established the Isabel Jay Memorial Prize a couple of years later to honor her achievements. This prize still exists today.

MISS EVELYN LONG, “Glencairn”, West End Lane, Hampstead

Evelyn Beatrice LONG, born 1881 St John’s Wood, died 1957 Hampstead.

On Tuesday 14 December 1909, a person by the name of (?) Ethel sent a postcard to Evelyn Long at the above address. It appears that Evelyn had sent a message to her friend whose response, penned on a postcard of Miss Isabel Jay as “Christine” in “Dear Little Denmark,” was: 

“Shall be very pleased to have tea with you on Friday and will be at the Club about 4 o/c. Yours Ethel”

In addition to Men’s Clubs and general mixed clubs, Women’s Clubs indeed existed – the Alexandra (est. 1884, Grosvenor Street) and Green Park Club (est. 1894, Grafton St) “for those particularly interested in drama and music” were just a couple. They were a place to read, socialise, meet like-minded women, to meet before or after shopping and to have tea. (Ref 1)

Text Box:  Evelyn had recently turned 28 years of age when she received the postcard from Ethel, who confirmed her availability on Friday 17th December for tea - perhaps a pre-Christmas catch up. Ethel and Evelyn, we could suppose, belonged to the same Women’s Club.

Evelyn was the youngest of three brothers and at least three sisters. She had been living with her parents Edwin and Emma, and some of her older siblings at the abode of West End Lane, West Hampstead from at least 1891.The household appeared to have three servants in resident at any time. 


On 25 February 1891, a ‘Wanted’ advert appeared in The Guardian (p. 37)

WANTED, a clean, healthy WOMAN, age about 22; one who has YOUNG . . .. 22; one who has some knowledge of cooking, and desirous of improving herself under lady. Also HOUSE-PARLOUR-MAID, about same age. Must be tall and with nice appearance. Apply Glencairn, West-end-lane, West Hampstead, N.W.

Interestingly, Evelyn and her parents cannot be located in the 5 April 1891 UK census – perhaps overseas at the time. 

In the 1901 Census, Evelyn was 19 years and her older brother Stanley, 27 was the head of the household of four siblings, working in his father’s long-established Umbrella and Parasol manufacturing business.

Parents Edwin and Emma reappear however, in the 1911 census with their two unmarried daughters -Evelyn, 29 years and sister Irene, 31 years, still living in West End Lane. The house of “Glencairn” is described as a large detached house and was located at 46 West End Lane but was demolished in WWII air raids. We know that shortly after the census of 1911 the family moved as the artist Albert DE BELLEROCHE and his wife moved into the house in 1912 where they lived for about six years before moving to Sussex.

We get the feeling the Evelyn lived a comfortable life supported by her parents. Evelyn lived through two World Wars. It appears from the 1939 Pre-War Register ‘Review’ page on Find My Past, that she lived in Chorleywood, Hertfordshire in a household with George F SUTTON and two others at the commence of WWII. Did she participate in the war efforts in some way?  We do know that she returned to Hampstead, where her father’s death was registered early 1914 and her mother’s death was registered early 1930 aged 88 years.

Evelyn’s death was registered in Hampstead in the second quarter of 1957, aged 75 years. She remained unmarried with her name registered as “Evelyn B Long.” Is she buried in a family burial plot in Hampstead? Perhaps one day I might just get back to look up old friends, old haunts and perhaps to seek out Evelyn, a reminder of the Hampstead of old.


Ref 1: The Women's Suffrage Movement: A Reference Guide 1866-1928, Elizabeth Crawford – Google E-Book


Tracey Bartlett

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Hanley Hoffmann:  

The Importance Of Order

Recently our group committee and I did some brainstorming over subjects that presenters can deliver to our group sessions to help members speed up their plans to construct the genealogical side of their family history, as neatly and carefully, and as legibly as possible.  I also perceive that a lot of members can’t differentiate between what is historical and what is genealogical in their quest to put the building blocks of their family history data together.

My advice to members is to make the genealogy data the priority, that is the births, deaths and marriages of their children, their siblings,  their ancestors going back a couple of generations.  As for finding your lineage back to Richard III forget it until you have satisfied the more recent generations.  If your grandfather passed through the goldfields at Lambing Flats in NSW (Young NSW) don’t bother too much about what he did there, if he made some money, that’s fine but if he also sowed his wild oats as well that may lead to some unpalatable outcomes, which may only mean you have some illegitimate ancestors who will prove difficult to find or prove.

So how to do something about the importance of order; my first advice is have a notebook dedicated to your project.  Again I am biased towards using an A4 four ring binder setup, an overlay one, with plastic pocket, ruled paper, some family group sheets, a pedigree chart, census check lists, electoral roll check list, and importantly some spare plastic sleeves.  There are small A5 size notebooks available but they have their limitations, especially they are limited on the space in which to write details you have scavenged in your research.

Now about note taking:-

In your notebook remember to take your time and print clearly in large print the details you have just found, using double spacing on the ruled paper in your book.  Can you decipher what you have had just printed easily?  Is it going to be clear to your wife or one of your siblings who may be in on this research?  Better still photocopy details if you can and place your copy in one of the plastic pockets in your notebook, that way you won’t have to rely on your handwriting/printing.

If your notes require dates don’t abbreviate other than the rule of 09 Aug 1937 for example, and be consistent.  Although we have abbreviations for countries don’t unless you have those published list of country codes, and even then someone else may not be able to interpret your shorthand. And of course if you were a shorthand exponent don’t use it.

In doing research on databases use the system’s print facility every time.  If it costs per page don’t be a scrooge, use it.  You will ever be grateful in two years time when you come back to audit what you have done, there is less chance of you having mistranscribing it into your family tree programme.

Now why would you be looking back at your notes in a couple of years? Because firstly you should have retained those notes, and secondly Aunt Hilda disputes your accuracy.

If you use my filing system then there is space to retain a page of printout from The NSW Births, Deaths, Marriages database for example.  You can respectfully say to your Aunt, “See here it is and there can be no argument!”

We tell members that they must prove everything possible, and it is good reason to ensure that you keep certificates filed with your filing system, preserved with plastic sleeves.  Don’t fold documents, copies, certificates printouts – searching through documentation can be boring at anytime but it can be marred by creasing and loss of clarity if you ill treated that valuable piece in the first instance.  File it immediately into one of those plastic pockets.

In conclusion if you attend the National Library, Archives or other repositories you are not permitted to take your brief case into the research area.  So if you have that well set up A4 note book with plenty of sleeves and notepaper you are permitted to carry that in. Of course you can take in a laptop or “notebook” but, not in its carry bag, the best and most reliable of sources is your hard copy printout, or photocopy of your “finds” because you can take them home and study them forever – what you typed into your ipad or electronic device is still subject to your human error, losing your device, a crash and all that time lost along with the information.  Your hard copy will be around long after your device has been superseded.

You could be critical of all of this hardnosed advice from me, if you are just starting out there are just some good pointers to put you on the right path to enjoying genealogy with a little bit of history thrown in.  If you have been at this project for years you are never too old to learn, and from now on follow a new system, you will enjoy the fruits of a new system.  Maybe you will want to say to me, where were you when I started seventeen years ago?

A New Zealand resident, born in Young, NSW.

Now Waikanae FHG Newsletter Editor

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Digging Into Historical Records  

Three Wellington Ladies of 1854

Twenty two items are listed in Archway under the general title "Cashbooks and other accounting records of the Wellington Commissioner of Crown Lands" covering the time period 1848-1927. One of these, the "Land sale book 1853-1856", contains returns of lands sold listing names, acreages and payment details for Wellington, Wanganui, Ahuriri, Wairarapa and Rangitikei districts, including purchases of native land. Nothing unusual there as most of this information is also recorded elsewhere. The surprise of this volume was the naming of individuals who paid in or received funds as recorded in statements of income and expenditure. [1]


Wellington Lady No.1

Isabella Mendes deposited £10 on 06 May 1854 and on 13 July 1854 it was returned to her. [1] A letter about the return of this deposit was written to the Commissioner by David Stark Durie at Wanganui on 05 July 1854. [2] Isabella arrived at Dunedin on 05 February 1854 on the ship 'Stately' [3] then travelled on to Wellington [4]. She arrived there on 07 March with her three children [5] then continued, on 19 March, to Wanganui via the schooner 'Governor Grey'. The father of her three sons [6], Charles Lett [33-34], died at Wanganui on 21 August 1854 aged 42 years. [7] Isabella married John McLaren 05 September 1856 [8] and died at Patea 19 December 1880 aged 64 years. [9]


Wellington Lady No.2

Helen Byron was named in Voucher No.75 valued at £10 and dated 09 October 1854. This was for "allowance for House" accompanied by the remark "to Native Presents". [1] On 19 October 1850 a Mrs H. Byron advertised herself in Wellington as a nurse - "Gravel, White Swelling, and Sore Eyes, carefully treated." [10] An Ellen Byron was included in a list of unclaimed letters at the Wellington Post Office for the quarter ending 31 December 1858. [11] Is this Helen? An Ellen Byron who died 25 October 1859 aged 74 years [8] was recorded in St Paul's Anglican burial register as "died 24 October 1859 aged 69 years." Information about the burial register indicated that "while most of the burials took place in Bolton Street cemetery, Wellington, some of the entries will relate to cemeteries in the Hutt Valley or as far as Porirura. [12] Ellen is not listed in the Friends of Bolton Street Cemetery burial list. [13]


Wellington Lady No.3

Elizabeth Tomlin, for the period 01 April to 30 June 1854, was paid £1 0s 9d for "Binding maps and paste". [1] She arrived at Wellington on the 'Clifton' on 17 February 1842 with her husband John and six children. [14] John, a widower, married Elizabeth Harrison of Desborough by banns at Rothwell, Northamptonshire on 10 Apr 1826 in the presence of Morris Essex and Mary Ann Essex. [15] Their two eldest sons, Richard and Thomas, were baptised in the Independent Church at Rowell [16] and the next three, Charles, Silas and Henry, were baptised at the Independent Church at Brigstock. [16]. The birth of the youngest, James Harvey Tomlin, was registered in the June Quarter of 1840 in the Thrapston Registration District. [18] In the 1841 Census John was a Forest Keeper residing at Brigstock with his wife and four of his sons. [19] Soon after arrival at Wellington their 2nd youngest son, Henry, aged 4 years, died of "decline" in 1842 [20] and was buried at Bolton Street Cemetery. [13] In 1843 John, known as Tommy, was associated with a clay building that served as a school near Hobson and Murphy Streets [31] and was also listed as an Emigration Agent of Hobson Street in the 1843 Burgess Roll.


John Tomlin was employed by the New Zealand Company and received regular payments from April 1843. Elizabeth, on 14 October 1843, was paid £1 "for attendance of self and son on the sick brought from the Wairau." [21] In January 1845 John was a clerk and collector for Wellington Markets [22] and residing at Thorndon Flat. [23] In late June 1845 he was selling "Hutt potatoes" from Thorndon Fort at 1s per 50-60 pound basket. "The Wanganui intruders, after boasting so loudly of their intention of remaining and fighting with the Pakehas, have handed over all their potatoes to the authorities to be sold for them, and are at once preparing to depart for their own country." [24] In late October 1847, Arthur Edward McDonogh, Adjutant in the Wellington battalion of militia, forwarded an account "of John Tomlin for cleaning arms" to Matthew Richmond, the Superintendent. [25]


On 16 October 1848 the Colonial Hospital was "suddenly rendered uninhabitale by the severe shock of an earthquake". Richard Tomlin, the eldest son, was a signatory to a letter of gratitude to His Excellency for "affording us shelter in Government House." [26] Richard was a patient at the time. [27] On 18 January 1851 John Tomlin wrote to the Colonial Secretary "soliciting for employment under the Government." [28] Francis Dillon Bell, the Commissioner of Crown Lands, Wellington, requested "authority to pay T. Tomlin for sweeping office, cleaning etc on 25 October 1851. [29] This may be John or possibly Thomas, another son.


In early January 1853 "John Tomlin begs to inform the Inhabitants of its vicinity, that he intends to re-open the Thorndon School on Monday, the 10th instant - the utmost attention will be given to the improvement of the Children. Terms - Reading, Writing, and Arithmetic 6d per week; Readers only, 3d. [30] At the time the family were probably still living in Hobson Street as this address was given for two sons in the 1853 Jury list - Richard, a shoemaker, and Charles, a baker. For the first nine months of 1854 John Tomlin received regular payments from the Commissioner of Crown Lands for cleaning offices, cutting firewood, and for paste. His son Charles was employed as a labourer during the first half of 1855. [1] In the 1858 City of Wellington Electoral Roll John is listed as a schoolmaster with a household qualification and his son Richard, a shoemaker, with a leasehold qualification. Both were residing in Hobson Street. After this the family seemed to have moved to New South Wales as evidenced by the death registrations of a John Tomlin in 1865 aged 83yrs; and four sons - James H. Tomlin in 1873; Charles at Randwick 1897; Richard at Granville 1898 and Silas at Ashfield in 1905. The latter died at his residence, 9 Rose-St, Ashfield. [32] No trace of Elizabeth has been found.



[1] Archives NZ Reference ADXS 19524 LS-W33/4/4 [2] Archives NZ Reference ADXS 19480 LS-W2/3 1854/192 [3] Otago Witness 11 Feb 1854 Shipping - Ship 'Stately' arrives - Mrs Ann Letts and family [4] Otago Witness 04 Mar 1854 Shipping - Ship 'Stately' to Wellington - Mrs Letts and family [5] Wellington Independent 08 Mar 1854 - Ship 'Stately' arrives - Mrs Lett and three children [6] NZ Cooks Strait Guardian 22 Mar 1854 - Schooner 'Governor Grey' for Wanganui - Mrs Lett and three sons [7] Wellington Independent 06 Sep 1854 Death notice [8] Births, Deaths and Marriages online [9] Patea Mail 21 Dec 1880 Death notice [10] NZ Spectator and Cooks Strait Guardian 19 Oct 1850 Advertisement [11] Wellington Independent 12 Jan 1859 Supplement [12] Anglican Burials: Wellington/Hutt Area 1840-1866 compiled by Margaret Allington and Meryl Lowrie (1983) [13] Friends of Bolton Street Cemetery burial list

[14] New Zealand Settler Ships - Clifton 1842

[15] Marriage Register Rothwell, Northamptonshire [16] Baptism Register Independent Church, Rowell, Northamptonshire [17] Baptism Register Independent Church, Brigstock, Northamptonshire [18] FreeBMD Birth Jun Qt 1840 James Harvey Tomlin at Thrapston (includes Brigstock) [19] 1841 Census HO 107/797/3 Brigstock, Northamptonshire [20] Register of Deaths in the Wellington District since the Foundation of the Colony 1840-1847 Appendix to the New Zealand Journal 1848 page 291 [21] New Zealand Company Receipts 1842-1846 Archives NZ Reference AAYZ 16000 NZC 132/4/8 [22] NZ Spectator and Cooks Strait Guardian 04 Jan 1845 - J. Tomlin, Clerk, Collector &c., Wellington Markets [23] NZ Spectator and Cooks Strait Guardian 08 Feb 1845 Jury List - John Tomlin, Thorndon flat, Clerk of Market [24] NZ Spectator and Cooks Strait Guardian 28 Jun 1845 [25] Transcript of the 1848 New Munster Inwards Correspondence Register (Letter 1848/6) Archives NZ Reference ACFP 8218 NM9/2 - [26] Wellington Independent 25 Oct 1848 Publication of letter to His Excellency dated 18 October 1848 [27] Wellington Hospital Admission & Discharge Book 1847-1880 Archives NZ Reference ABRR 6889 W4595/1 [28] Archives NZ Reference ACGO 8333 IA1 92 1851/93 (includes Letter 1851/95 written by John Tomlin) [29] Archives NZ Reference ACFP 8217 NM8 50/[55] 1851/1462 [30] Wellington Independent 08 January 1853 Advertisement Thorndon School [31] Early Wellington by Louis E. Ward (1928) - Schools from 1840 [32] Sydney Morning Herald 15 Jul 1905 Death [33] NZ Herald 15 Dec 2016 In Search of an Ancestor (Portrait of Charles Lett)

[34] - Charles Lett

Pandora Research

Dawn Chambers

Chinese Corner 

The Fruits of Our Labours: Chinese Fruit Shops in New Zealand


Many of us remember well the daily or weekly trip to the local shops to buy our food supplies – meat, bread, milk, fruit and veges. Often, the fruit and vege shop was run by a Chinese family, all working together to provide the customer with the freshest fruit and produce, always accompanied by personalised service. However, the introduction of self-service retailing and the emergence of supermarkets led to the demise of the independent retailer, and the days of the Chinese fruiterer have all but ended.


The Fruits of Our Labours traces the development of Chinese fruit shops from the general store-cum-greengrocer of the 1880s through to the fresh fruit and vegetable retailer of today. The 1950s and 60s were the heyday years of Chinese fruit shops: a time of economic growth and prosperity after the hard times of the Depression and the Second World War, both of which affected Chinese fruiterers.


Authors Ruth Lam, Beverly Lowe, Helen Wong, Michael Wong, and Carolyn King were commissioned by the Chinese Poll Tax Heritage Trust to produce this fully-illustrated, two-volume set. It combines historical research and statistics with the personal stories and photographs of Chinese fruit shop families to give a better understanding of the hard work and sacrifice that led to their eventual prosperity and that of their descendants – the fruits of their labours.


For further information please email


Information for ordering "The Fruits of Our Labours"

The Fruits of Our Labours is a two-volume, soft cover set of books. To ensure you get your copy as soon as it is released and at the best price, please pre-order and pay before 24 February 2018. Then come along to one of the book launches to collect your order and meet the authors.


Price: The Fruits of Our Labours is available as a two-volume soft cover set for $90.00 per set incl GST. There is also a limited edition of hardcover sets available (first come, first served) for $120.00 per set incl GST. Postage and packaging is $11.00 extra.


Pre-order special price: Pre-orders will be accepted until 24 February 2018 at the special price of $80.00 per set (softcover) plus P&P. NB: there is no special price for the hardcover set.


Helen Wong

From our Libraries and Museums

Triggered by an email from Seonaid (Shona) Lewis, 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 is starting to make good use of this free service, let’s see if other libraries and museums take up this offer.

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

Auckland Libraries

HeritageTalks at Central Library, Auckland Council

Where: Whare Wānanga, Level 2, Central City Library, Lorne St, Auckland with some marked exceptions

Cost: Free

Booking: Not always essential but to secure your place, please contact the Central Auckland Research Centre on 09 890 2412, or complete our online booking form.

HeritageTalks re-start at Central Library, Auckland on Wednesday, 7 February

HeritageTalks re-start at Central Library, Auckland on Wednesday, 7 February

Are you interested in family and local history? Or about the history of New Zealand? Then come along to one of our fortnightly HeritageTalks<>. Experts in specialised fields deliver these talks and provide insight into our histories.

HeritageTalks take place at Whare Wānanga, Level 2, Central City Library, Lorne St, unless otherwise stated. Booking is recommended.

Wednesday 7 February, 12pm to 1pm
Waha pū-taonga: Te Kōpū

Whare Wānanga, Level 2, Central City Library

A HeritageTalk with artists Natasha Keating and Bethany Matai Edmunds.

Te Kōpū is an installation of new works by painter Natasha Keating and weaver Bethany Matai Edmunds at Mangere Arts Centre from 27 January - 3 March 2018. Together these artists' work will define and narrate a space of reflection, incubation, growth and transformation.

Join them for this artists' talk that will respond to and describe the teachings, research and creative processes uncovered in the formation of Te Kōpū.

Booking recommended, phone Central Auckland Research Centre 09 890 2412 or book online:<>

Wednesday 14 February, 12pm to 1pm
Know your ancestors: Parade magazine with Andrew Henry

The popular Australian monthly Parade (1947-1981) featured vibrantly painted covers by Australian artists and cartoonists, along with a family history feature called Know Your Ancestors.

From 1970 to 1980, Australian and New Zealand readers wrote in with their queries, which were answered in the next issue. Do the questions greatly differ from those of today? Join Andrew Henry on this parade through pop culture, social, and family history.

Booking recommended, phone Central Auckland Research Centre 09 890 2412 or book online:

Wednesday 28 February, 12pm to 1pm
W J Napier, Sir George Grey's lawyer with David Verran

William Joseph Napier enjoyed a legal and political career that not only included the position of George Grey’s lawyer, but also time spent as both a local and national politician.

In this talk, David Verran tells the story of this distinguished colonist, who not only supported and stood with Grey as an electoral candidate, but who continued to uphold Grey's legacy long after his death.

Booking recommended, phone Central Auckland Research Centre 09 890 2412 or book online:

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

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.


ANCESTRAL FINDINGS. This is an American site but it has a lot to offer and has a lot of “free” stuff worth reading -

WHANGAREI NEWS - A new online group has started in in Whangarei and most of the Whangarei Family History Computer Group have joined – The Genealogy / Family History Group – it is restricted to Neighbourly members in Whangarei and is strictly online. One member is keen to start a similar group of the descendants of early Whangarei Settlers – will see how it develops


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


Waitara Districts History & Families Research Group

The contact details of this group are:

Waitara Districts History & Families Research Group

Rose Cottage 33 Memorial Place


Tel: 06 – 754 – 3212


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News and Views



How Much It Costs to Research Your Family Tree

From the Editor: Here is an article I found in a website US News. It is about a subject that many of us, including myself, refuse to think about and hope our life's partners are not thinking about - the cost of our hobby or addiction. I suggest that you read it for its thoughts but do not take it too seriously, you are too deeply involved in genealogy to back out now.

When you read the article remember that it is written in the USA so monetary values are US not NZ or UK.

Unearthing the past can mean an expensive present and future.

By Geoff Williams, Contributor |Jan. 26, 2018, at 4:04 p.m.


 Money doesn't grow on trees, which is too bad, because it would make researching your family tree a lot easier.

If you aren't careful, or even if you are, you could end up spending a small fortune while researching your family history.

Just ask Lana Rushing, who owns a public relations firm in Los Angeles. In the spring of 2014, she was on a vacation in Ireland and stopped by the library in Dublin, hoping to learn more about her mother's side of her family tree. She came away inspired to learn more, soon after subscribing to a genealogy website, getting her DNA tested and travelling in order to search for clues about her past. It's a hobby that can get costly.

"All told, I have spent about $4,800 so far, but it has been worth every penny," says Rushing, who isn't including in her tally the cost of that vacation to Ireland.

Most people who spend money researching their family probably do feel that the expense is worth it. After all, looking at genealogy isn't something one has to do, like paying for car repairs. People do it because they want to. Still, if you're looking for ways to research your family tree and want to know what you're in for, or if you want to spend more money in order to dig up more roots, you have a number of things you can spend money on.


Genealogy sites. is likely the best-known of these sites; an annual subscription starts at $189 ($99 for six months). For the money, you'll receive access to a seemingly limitless amount of historical data, including census and military records as well as birth, marriage and death certificates.

But there are other genealogy sites you may want to check out, such as (which is free and a good place to start), (starts at $9.95 a month; aimed at people with British and Irish heritage) and (free, and for people researching African-American roots).

You can also use genealogy services without paying for them.

"Most public and state libraries subscribe to one or more genealogy services. These are available [online] at no cost to anyone with a library card, though Ancestry's library collection can only be accessed from the library [building]," says Stacy Harris, a publisher and editor in Nashville, Tennessee.


Genealogy DNA testing services. You know you are part Native American, Pakistani or Italian but are wondering, just how much? You could use companies like MyHeritage DNA, Family Tree DNA, AncestryDNA and 23andMe. Their prices generally range from $79 to $199, with sales sometimes popping up throughout the year.

That can get expensive, though, if you and a spouse or other family members are interested in your ancestry. For instance, over the holidays, Dana Freeman, a travel journalist in Burlington, Vermont, bought DNA kits for herself, her husband, her sister and brother-in-law for a total of $260.

She also purchased a six-month membership to and is contemplating becoming a paid member to other ancestry websites and doing some travel-related research. She says that she has been interested in genealogy for some time, collecting information from relatives and keeping track of it in a hand-written family tree book she bought 20 years ago for nine bucks. Only recently did she begin spending money to learn more about her past.

"I fear though going forward this endeavor is going to be a lot more expensive," Freeman says.


Travelling. Rushing spent about $2,000 to visit Tennessee to meet some distant cousins on her father's side. She also estimates she spent another thousand when she visited the Daughters of the American Revolution's library headquarters in the District of Columbia to do some research.

Freeman is considering going on a Jewish World Heritage cruise, which would cost over $8,000, with flights, hotels and cruise fare for two people.


Miscellaneous costs. If you go to a lot of libraries, photocopying fees of birth, wedding and death certificates and newspaper articles and so on can add up, Rushing says. She estimates she has spent about $300 on photocopies in the last four years.

And by joining the Daughters of the American Revolution, Rushing says she is spending about $150 a year as a member. Rushing says that she has also bought history books associated with the counties she is researching and spent $300 to hire a professional genealogist to help her out as well.


Time. If you feel time is money, you'll spend a lot of it. But that's hopefully part of the fun.

"I've spent hours and hours reading death certificates, census records, looking at tombstones – I do love cemeteries – old newspaper articles, family letters and staring at the backs of family photographs," says Roxann Kinkade, a communications executive in Kansas City, Missouri.

And you could spend your entire life savings researching the lives that came before you.

But the information you find may be priceless. For instance, Kinkade says that one of her father's relatives was convinced he was a Native American.

"He spent his entire life giving Native American cultural presentations to school children. He certainly dressed the part and even had the two tribes' symbols placed on his tombstone," Kinkade says.

After his death, his kids asked her to research if they actually descended from Native Americans. Nope, Kinkade had to tell them. But the kids' father was a first cousin of a man who went to prison for conspiring to kill many Osage tribal members in the early 1920s.

Freeman says that one of her surprising moments was of turning up a relative of her husband's, a nun who went on a mission to Jamaica for five years.

"He had no idea," she says.

And one of Rushing's fun finds was learning that Camden, Tennessee, has many areas named for her ancestors, like Rushing Creek and Rushing Road. She also learned about ancestors such as her great-great-grandfather, William Henry Rushing, who fought for the Union side during the Civil War while living in Tennessee, which was very much a Confederate state.

"He fought against his brothers and neighbors," Rushing says.

And if Rushing wants, she can spend plenty more time – and money – tracking down long-lost ancestors connected to her family.

"My mother has 10 siblings and my father has nine," she says. "This feels like a never-ending jigsaw puzzle – but I happen to like puzzles."


How Many Ancestors Do You Have?

The question: How many ancestors do you have in the past one thousand years? Many people do not know the answer to that question. Care to guess? (The answer is given below but please don’t peek just yet.)

The number of ancestors is simple to calculate as it is a simple mathematical progression: every person has two parents, four grandparents, eight great-grandparents, sixteen great-great-grandparents and so on. The number doubles with each generation. As you go back in years, the numbers soon become very large.

For this example, I have assumed that a new generation appears on an average of every twenty-five years:

Number of Ancestors

Generation Number

# of Years Before Your Birth

Number of ancestors in that generation

Total ancestors (this generation plus all later generations)

































































































































































Answer to the earlier question: If we assume that there is a new generation every twenty-five years, an ancestor born 1,000 years before you would be 40 generations removed from you. You would have 2,199,023,255,550 (that’s 2 trillion, 199 billion, 23 million, 255 thousand, 550) unique ancestors born in the previous 40 generations, assuming no overlap (that is, none of your ancestors were cousins to other ancestors).

1,000 years doesn’t even take you back to the years in which Charlemagne lived! (April 2, 742 AD to January 28, 814 AD)

Now, how many ancestors have you had in the past 10,000 years? 100,000 years? I’ll leave it to you to figure out the mathematics involved. However, the answers obviously are huge numbers!

There is but one problem: all of these numbers are far more than the total number of people who ever lived on the face of the earth.

The reality is that all families can find lots of cousins somewhere in the limbs of the family tree, resulting in the same ancestor(s) showing up in multiple places in the pedigree charts. Ask anyone who has done French-Canadian genealogy or has researched any families that lived for generations in one small village almost anyplace on earth.

Obviously you and everyone else have cousin marriages in your ancestry, resulting in individual ancestors showing up in multiple places in your family tree.

Image result for genealogy humour

What’s New: FamilySearch Places

December 21, 2017 By Leslie Albrecht Huber


Unsplash_milada-vigerova-35571Anyone who has tried to uncover his or her family history knows that place is an integral part of every family’s story. The places our ancestors lived shaped their lives and experiences. They also determined what records were created about them. It makes sense, then, that to find our ancestors and understand their lives, we need to learn about the places they came from.

FamilySearch has a new tool called FamilySearch Places, which makes learning about places easier. Although the development of this tool is ongoing, some great features are already available, so you can start using it now.

Getting Started in Your Search

How to search for your ancestors by location.When you open the FamilySearch Places page, you’ll see a large map, with the FamilySearch main tabs across the top and a small search box near the upper left corner. Getting started is as easy as typing a place-name in the box. The place can be a town, parish, county, state, or any other kind of place. If you aren’t sure of the spelling, use wildcards in the place-name, such as “Neubrandenb*rg,” or use a tilde (~) to search for similar spellings (the tilde is usually found just left of the 1 key on a keyboard). With this flexibility, a search for “Providance~, Utah,” would also find “Providence, Utah,” and any similar place-names worldwide. The search results show possible place-name matches and identify the types of places they are. You may notice that the places in this database are the same ones used in FamilySearch when “standardizing” place information (such as birthplace or marriage place) about your ancestors.

Discover your ancestors by locationIf any historical constraints exist for a place, those will be included in the search results. For example, a search for “Wisconsin” will list the current state of Wisconsin as well as Wisconsin Territory, which lasted from 1836 to 1848. Such information may help you understand how your ancestor’s home has changed through the years and how record-keeping may have changed for that location.

Consider how the following examples could help you research the place-names of your ancestors. Suppose that you searched for the place-name “Neukloster.” From the results, you would see that this was the name of a town, a commune, and a Lutheran church. Next, suppose that you searched for a town named “Neustadt.” You would see dozens of possible matches from many different countries. These broad search results can ensure that you have considered all possibilities in your research. Perhaps while researching your family, you come across a town name but do not have the full context of where that town was. Seeing a full list of places with this name would help you find all possible matches. (The corresponding map is interactive, allowing you to zoom in or out and move around.)

After you have searched for a place-name and narrowed the results to one that you are interested in, click it to view further details about the place. The details are organized into sections, starting with Basic Information and History. Some places will have­­ a short and rather simple history. Other places, such as those that changed jurisdictions, will have a more complicated history. The History section ­­­­will show which jurisdictions the place was under during different time periods and will direct you where to look for records in each period. Knowing where to find records is a key benefit of using the History section.

Using Research Links

How to search for your ancestors by location.Below the History section of a selected place, you will find the Research Links section. Several of these connect to outside websites with place-focused information. For example, provides information about historical sites and museums near the place-name you searched, and pins historical photos of the selected place to Google Maps. The amount of information available on these outside resources will vary greatly. For some places, you’ll find little, while for others, you’ll find a rich collection of photos, histories, and facts.

Another research link you should use is the “Search for Records for This Place on FamilySearch.” Clicking that link will search the historical records of FamilySearch. Under the Records tab, you can see people in Family Tree who are associated with the place. Under the Collections tab, you can see records associated with the place. Keep in mind, though, that you are not searching the entire catalog, only the historical records. This means that the results will not include a list of possible records for that place. For example, if you searched for “Neukloster” and then clicked to search the historical records on FamilySearch, you would see the Mecklenburg-Schwerin censuses listed. However, you would not see the all-important (but unindexed) church records that were kept in Neukloster. You would need to search the catalog to find those.

The other research links can provide a list of nearby places or other places found within that jurisdiction.

Finding Alternate Names

How to search for your ancestors by location.Below the Research Links section, you will find the Alternate Names section. This lists other names the place was known by throughout history. Such information could be particularly important for places that have changed jurisdictions. For example, if you searched for the city of Gdansk, Poland, the results would show that Gdansk was also known as Danzig, with German listed as the language. This would give you a new lead to follow in the search for your ancestor’s hometown, as well as an understanding of how the city records may have been kept and how they may now be categorized. You may find similar information about a place in the History section.

Exploring Additional Information

How to search for your ancestors by location.The final section of the basic search results is the Additional Information section. What you find here will vary. In this example for Wayne County, Utah, you can see a Wikipedia link and a FamilySearch Wiki link. The Wikipedia link explains a little about the geography of the place and provides links to some of the towns. The FamilySearch Wiki provides a wealth of information about records and resources. Reading through these would be a great way to jump-start your research for a location since it will familiarize you with the important records for the area and tell you how to access them.

If you’d like to explore further with place-name searches, experiment with the advanced search. Because the FamilySearch Places tool is still under construction, you should expect changes and adjustments as improvements are made. But why wait? Go ahead and explore the latest features now. With this place-centered resource, FamilySearch has made it more convenient than ever to lay the foundation you need to understand where your ancestors came from and know how to find them!

What's Coming from FamilySearch in 2018

Posted: 22 Jan 2018 11:38 AM PST on British Genes Blog

FamilySearch ( has released details of things to look out for in 2018:

Salt Lake City, Utah (22 January 2018), FamilySearch is a global leader in fun, online family history services with over 9 million users in 2017. In 2018 FamilySearch will be expanding its free site and services by adding new family discoveries, more online connections, expanded global reach, and millions of new sources to search.

1. Personalized Home Page

Refinements to the FamilySearch personalized home page will enable signed-in patrons to make many more new discoveries and easily engage with their family trees.
As new photos, stories, or documents are added by other members of the family, they will be shown on your personalized home page and prioritized based on relevance. You will also be able to see new additions as relatives add them.
FamilySearch's new user dashboard personalizes activity and new content in a fun, interesting way. Enjoy more adaptive, relevant FamilySearch Record Hints. As millions of new records are added to FamilySearch weekly, the search engine maps them with your family tree. FamilySearch will specifically begin looking for new ancestor record sources you don’t already have in your tree. It will be easier than ever to add them.
Relevant ancestor event notifications, if you want, will be able to prompt you throughout the year regarding relevant dates in the lives of your ancestors. These can be great nudges to learn more about your forbears.

2. Historical Records
FamilySearch will digitally preserve over 400 million images in 2018 and publish the majority of them online. It will also add hundreds of millions of indexed, searchable names in historical records, thus making it easier and faster to find your ancestors.
New additions will include prominent international collections from Europe, Central and South America, and the United States. New images will first be accessible in the FamilySearch Catalog Viewer. Once they are indexed or have additional metadata, they'll be published in the FamilySearch Historical Record Collections.

3. Online Discovery Experiences
FamilySearch will introduce fun, new personal “discovery” experiences online and in additional physical locations in 2018. The online experiences will be similar to the popular attractions currently found in select FamilySearch Family Discovery Centers.

4. Family Tree
Refinements to the FamilySearch Family Tree in 2018 will extend its reach globally to more devices through improved language support and making the service faster and easier to navigate in lower bandwidth regions of the world.
An underlying goal of the FamilySearch Family Tree is to ensure new developments regarding data are always converging towards more accuracy and completeness.
An upcoming feature will help improve collaboration while encouraging more sound edits and discouraging poor edits to good data.

5. Family Tree Mobile App
FamilySearch will continue to update its FamilySearch Family Tree app and mobile experiences, which extend the website's functionality. Currently, the robust app has 90 percent of the functionality of the web feature.
The app will provide fun, location-based experiences for making family discoveries wherever you happen to be. The popular 2017 “Relatives Around Me” feature allowed crowds or groups to discover who in the crowd was related to them and how.
New experiences in 2018 will build upon this, allowing interaction based on your proximity to people or locations with which you have a personal ancestral relationship.
The app will also continue to enhance the research capabilities of the mobile experience, including a new Research Mode that will allow multiple windows to be opened simultaneously to facilitate multitasking and research from within the app.

6. Memories
Individuals are now uploading millions of family photos and documents for free permanent storage at FamilySearch. In 2018, patrons will be able to add multiple photos to a family story, rather than just one.
The FamilySearch Tree Fan Chart will help patrons, at a glance, easily discover areas in their tree where memories and sources are attached to ancestors, and help them identify opportunities where they need to be added.

7. FamilySearch Web-Based Indexing
FamilySearch will end its desktop indexing software in 2018 as it continues to roll out more updates to its new web indexing platform. The new web tool is easy to use and works with any digital device (besides cell phones) with a web browser. It enables hundreds of thousands of volunteers worldwide to make millions of historical images easily and freely searchable by name so online family history researchers can quickly discover ancestors.

8. RootsTech
RootsTech, hosted by FamilySearch International, will continue to expand its support of community growth, personal development, and exciting industry innovation. This popular global family history conference will attract over 100,000 attendees (in-person and live online viewers).
Keynotes this year will include: Scott Hamilton, olympic figure skating champion, Brandon Stanton, Humans of New York photographer and writer, Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Finding Your Roots. and Natalia Fourcade, internationally renowned Mexican pop-rock singer.
The RootsTech Innovation Showcase will highlight exciting innovations related to family history. It will replace the Innovator Summit and Innovator Showdown.

9. Oral Histories
Family history in oral (no written documentation) cultures are kept in the minds of village elders—walking, human libraries. When they pass away, the library is lost forever. FamilySearch will increase the number of oral histories it captures from these tribal historians significantly throughout Africa.

FamilySearch appreciates its growing customer base (over 134 million visits in 2017!). When you visit FamilySearch in 2018, be sure to sign in to your free account to enjoy the most of what FamilySearch has to offer. Come back regularly to add your own family memories. Enjoy the new content added daily and the new features coming soon. Collaborate with your family to upload your favorite photos, documents, personal histories, or journals from previous years, and update your ancestors' stories.

(With thanks to FamilySearch - original news release at


Early New Zealand Books

From the Editor: If you like reading early NZ books or are looking for background material for your ancestor's life and the book you are going to write have a browse through the this website and be amazed and occupied for some time:



Intelligence Test:

From the Editor: Another small diversion - see if you can answer these.

1.      Two men went down to the river. There was a boat that could carry only one person at a time. Both men crossed the river. How did they do it?

2.      The 22nd and 24th presidents of the United States had the same parents but were not brothers. How is this possible?

3.      We drop it when we need it and raise it when we are finished with it. What is it?

4.      I am the beginning of the end and the end of time and space. I am essential to creation and I surround every place. What am I?

5.      You're running a race & you pass the person in second place, what place are you in?

6.      During what month do people sleep the least?

Did you think of an answer? 


From Memory Foundation

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Book Reviews   

Hello, My Name Is .... The remarkable story of personal names

by Neil Burdess, published by Sandstone Press Ltd, 2016, ISBN 978-1-910985-32-8 obtained in London.

C:\Users\Nash\Documents\Peter\CoverNames.jpgOver the years I have read various articles and listened to lectures which have offered parts of the history of names and how they developed. I have even pontificated on the subject during my illustrious career as a public speaker and genealogical teacher and/or expert (which is debatable regarding the degree of illustriousness).

This book is the first I have seen which presents the whole history of names. It charts the history and importance of personal names i.e. given names, surnames, name titles, professional names used by authors and actors.

The author lists Bill Bryson as his favourite author and he tries to imitate the style of Bryson when he wrote the book. It is humorous and very readable but, unfortunately, he repeats some of his jokes in more than one section and he uses the same examples time and time again. This does get a little annoying but does not detract from the value of the book and what it is explaining.

The book does not give the development of individual names and their meanings but gives an overall picture of how they were created and developed over time.

I recommend the book as a very readable book that brings the entire history of names under one book cover. It is an enjoyable and easy read.

Peter Nash

If Only They Didn’t Speak English: Notes from Trump's America

by Jon Sopel published by BBC Books which is part of The Penguin Random House Group in 2017, ISBN 9781785942280.  Book obtained in London.

C:\Users\Nash\Documents\Peter\CoverSpeakEnglish.jpgTo quote the cover flap "As BBC's North American Editor, Jon Sopel has had a pretty busy time of it lately. In the 18 months it's taken for a reality star to go from laughing stock to leader of the free world, Jon has travelled the length and breadth of the United States, experiencing it from a perspective that most of us could only dream of: he has flown aboard Air Force One, interviewed President Obama and has even been described as ‘a beauty’ by none other than Donald Trump."

This is not a book that analyses how Trump won the Presidency. It does not go through the campaign but tries to explain how and why Trump got elected. He analyses a country which is now "mired in a storm of political extremism, racial division and increasing perverse beliefs".

The chapters are labelled: anger, race, patriotism, government, god, guns, anxiety, special (i.e. its special status in the world and with respect to UK) and truth. He explores each of these subjects fully in an effort to understand how an "apparent idiot" managed to appeal to so many Americans.

I was lucky enough to enjoy, thirty years ago, an American "scholarship" that provided me with a thirty day, all expenses paid tour of anywhere in the US I wished to go. I visited nine major cities but managed to get out into the countryside and talk to people. I came away from that trip with a view that was similar to what the author is discussing and the conclusions he arrives at. In fact, I wrote a report for my organisation, and stupidly sent a copy to the US embassy. This resulted in me no longer getting invitations to Embassy functions - I gathered that they were not too pleased with the impression I came back with. No more free beers and high quality food!

So this book rang a bell with me. I found myself nodding and agreeing with most of the book. It appears that I was nearly thirty years too early. Maybe I'll change my name to Nostradamus Nash.

I recommend the book. After you read it you will understand how the USA is now getting themselves into more and more political messes.

Peter Nash

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From the Editor: 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.

Help wanted

Letters to the Editor

From the Editor: My last column on Ancestry theft drew a lot of correspondence. Many have had the same experience. I have included two - one from each side of the problem.


I was given a copy of FamNet – I loved your Ancestor Theft – yes it happens quite regularly – but please write to the person. I found that a person and myself were tracing the same Danish family – but our DNA did not match – I went all over my notes and kept in contact with this person - -I eventually found we were both tracing the correct matching names – correct matching parents names but two different families – I have changed my record now to the correct one and gave the lady back her family – without my connection. The surnames changed there each generation – depending on the Christian name of the father  and sen or datter after it. It works well but also can confuse if you are not careful – we found the mistake and corrected it by communication – does not always happen like that

Kind regards



Dear Peter Nash

My great grandfather was a master mariner and sailed to New Zealand in the 1800s where he met and married my great-grandmother in Havelock Marlborough and later they settled in Taranaki where my grandfather was born. My half brother's wife who has also been researching the family found another Calvert of the same name, born around the same time but in a neighbouring county, who was sentenced to be deported to Tasmania. She has decided that that man was our great grandfather - but she is wrong.

I have actually been to Nottingham and spent four days researching family in Nottingham and been to Southwell where my great-grandfather and his brother were born and have a photo of the actual house, Calvert's House. But although I have emailed her she refuses to change her version of our family. She also has my great-grandparents being married in Havelock North (in the North Is.) I have a copy of their marriage certificate. 

Some people do not take care with their research or check their "facts".


Penelope Shadbolt



About those free websites. I find that one that I am always going to is the NZ BDM online. Is that too obvious? Does everyone know that one?

Also I find that almost every public cemetery in the country has its records online now. And when I can't get what I want there is someone at the office who will take the trouble to look up the information for me. Even, in one case, going out to the cemetery to take a photo. I just put xyz cemetery search and it gives me the website. Then I add it to a growing list of cemeteries in my Bookmarks.

Is that too obvious? Perhaps there are newbies out there who haven't found out yet.

Oh, yes, and you can get exact dates from NZBDM online by putting closer and closer dates in the search boxes. Not everyone knows that.

Terry Montgomery

Did you think of an answer?

1.                  They were on opposite sides of the river.

2.                  They were the same man.

3.                  An anchor.

4.                  The letter ‘E’.

5.                  You are in second place.

6.                  February – because it is the shortest month.

Advertising with FamNet

If your organisation is not a group subscriber then there will be a charge for advertising events and services, which must be paid for before publication. Charges start at $NZ25 for a basic flier, and increase for more elaborate presentations. Like everyone else we need funds to help keep FamNet going. Fees are very minimal. If your organisation paid a yearly subscription you can have all the advertising you want all year round in the Group News section. Your group could be anywhere in the world, not just in New Zealand. The editor will continue to exercise discretion for free events.

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In conclusion

A Bit of Light Relief

From the Editor: You may know that I like to collect humorous photos of families and family trees. Here is another but many may not know the Kardashian Family, particularly one member who has a medically rearranged piece of anatomy.




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