Part of the worldwide genealogy/family history community


FamNet eNewsletter January 2016

ISSN 2253-4040


Quote.  The past is not dead. It isn’t even past. William Faulkner


Editorial 2

From the Developer 2

Telling your Story – Merging Trees Part 1:  Why Bother?. 2

Telling your story.    Index so far 4

The Nash Rambler 4

Diane Wilson. 4

Family Treemaker 5

Disposal of Books. 6

Photographs. 6

News and Views. 7

DNA Testing for Family History. 7

Wairarapa Wandering.  E Feist & Co. 8

Jan’s Jottings. 9 10

From our Libraries and Museums. 10

Group News. 10

Whangarei Family History Computer Group. 10

Waikanae Family History Group. 10

Community. 11

Information Wanted/Offered. 11

Book Reviews. 13

Bloodlands  Europe between Hitler and Stalin. 13

The Settlement of Puhoi 13

From the Heart of Europe to the Heart of the Southern Cross. 15

Deep South. 15

Unearthly Landscapes. 16

In conclusion. 16

A Bit of Light Relief 16

Advertising with FamNet 16

To Unsubscribe,  Change your Email Address, or Manage your Personal Information. 17

Copyright (Waiver) 17


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I’ve begun to talk about merged trees in this issue’s “From the Developer”.  This first part introduces the idea and shows how it works, next newsletter we’ll show you how to create a merged tree by adding records on line linked into an existing tree.

Several of our contributors have commented on Family Tree Maker being discontinued by see the The Nash Rambler,  Jan’s Jottings,  and The Waikanae Family History Group.  While FTM users are naturally concerned, they don’t need to panic.

Other items in Peter’s contribution: congratulations to Diane Wilson on her medal, Disposal of Books and Labelling Photographs.

In general News and Views,

·         Gail has added another article about DNA Testing for Family History,

·         Adele gives some history of a Carterton/Lower Hutt business

·         Jan and Wayne tell us of web sites that they’ve found useful

·         Events being run by the Auckland Library are highlighted.  We’re hoping that other libraries (etc) will take advantage of our offer to carry similar information, and to carry articles from them that will be of interest to our readers. 

We heard from Irene that seeking information here can produce useful results, and this month we again we have a reader who wants help in identifying some pictures.  So everybody, have a look and see if you can help, and if you have a problem that somebody else might be able to help with, sent it to us for publication.

Book reviews: there are 5 (FIVE!) reviews this time, one from me and four from Peter.  He’s promised me more for next issue.

Please feel free to pass this newsletter on to any of your friends that might be interested, and encourage them to register (it’s free) to get further copies directly.

Finally, we’re always looking for contributions, and also I’d really like some editorial help!  If I didn’t have to write the newsletter myself, I could spend the time on improving the site. 

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From the Developer

I haven’t done any work yet on the “Name Lists” idea that I raised last time.  Partly this is because I didn’t get lots of people – or anybody – saying that it was a good idea, but mainly it was because I’ve been so busy working on Manasys Jazz, my main software project, that I haven’t had any time anyway. We approached OldFriends to see if they would make any of their data (that wasn’t private) available to us but they declined, so without that impetus there was no special urgency in upgrading FamNet’s database facilities.  However it will get done some day as it’s a good idea, simplifying FamNet both for you, the user, who just wants to use the site, and for me, the developer, who has to keep FamNet running without too many errors.  

In this issue I’m continuing the series on Telling your Story.  In this chapter I’ll start to show you how to create a merged tree.

Telling your Story – Merging Trees Part 1:  Why Bother?

The idea of a merged tree is so obvious that it astounds me that, 10 years after FamNet demonstrated the concept, it still isn’t a feature of every other family history site as well.  Consider my family tree as an example.  Here is part of my ancestry:  John BARNES/Hannah OLD were my grandparents, and Arthur BARNES/Olive WELLARD my parents: -

Mostly these records are mine, as you can see by the (robertb) ownership.  If you were to click around this or other FamNet displays you’ll find more ancestry generations, for example my mother’s record opens into a WELLARD tree going back to before 1867, and a BARKMAN tree going back to 1662.  But in my records, while I had a record of my Uncle George I knew little about him or his wife.  My cousin Don obviously knows far more about his father than I know about an uncle who died before I was born, and he is motivated to record the ancestry of his mother, and his cousins.  On the other hand he can’t be expected to care any more about WELLARDs than I do about COWIEs – it’s of academic interest, but not worth the effort necessary to create extensive and accurate records.  It makes sense for us to get together and merge our trees.  By replacing my records of George BARNES and Ethel COWIE with his, the tree taps into his records, while his tree taps into my records of WELLARD and BARKMAN ancestors.  

Of course the fact that the combined dbarnes/robertb database now has a lot more records is a bit of fun, but the real benefit comes from the record ownership.  His record of Ethel COWIE was always going to be a better record than mine, while my record of Olive WELLARD was always going to be better than his.  Information has been researched more thoroughly, there are more scrapbook items – photos and stories – and other users don’t have to compare two records and try to decide which one is right. 

Here’s another example.  As my grandchildren reached the stage where they were doing family history projects at school they or their parents filled in their fathers’ side.  (With the permission of my daughter), here’s the ancestry of one of my grandchildren.  Hannah (my daughter) has added records of Paul’s ancestry under her own ID, as “Hannah” records.   This is great, she can add find out facts and post photos and stories, and any user will send queries to her, not me.  Vastly superior to my trying to research and record the information in my own family history, and all hugely more convenient than emailing information to/fro to be incorporated into a Legacy or FTM database.



In this way extending the family tree is not just mere “name collecting”, as each section is as well researched as possible, and is correctly attributed to the person who did the research.  For example, here is an hourglass chart based on my grandparents.  My records are in green, but the orange records are from Mirk Smith, who we all acknowledge as the authority on the OLD family of Taranaki.  The pink records are my cousin Don’s, blue are from my brother’s son, white are from a son-in-law.   This chart doesn’t even show all the merged-tree links!  At this scale the names are unreadable so I’ve displayed the complete chart including living people.

These records will be as complete and accurate as we can make them, and are continually improving as more information is discovered.  Any FamNet user can look up these records – or at least the public ones: living people are hidden on charts and other displays – and follow the record links.  By reducing the duplication, and making the individual records better, the database is improved for everyone.  And my grandchildren, my brother’s children, and unknown others can simply find out their ancestry, accessing records that might have come from me or from somebody else. 

The advantages of merged trees are clear, so the next question is obvious: how do we create one?   We’ll start dealing with that in “Merging Trees Part 2”, which will cover adding linked records on line, and “Merging Trees Part3” which will cover combining two existing family tree databases.

Telling your story.     Index so far

So far I’ve covered these topics.

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

2.  Embedding pictures in Word documents

3.  Saving Documents for Web Publication.

4.  Saving Scrapbook Items

5.  Sharing your Story: Managing your Family Group

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

7.  Comparing and Synchronising Records

8.  Producing and Using Charts


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The Nash Rambler

I hope 2016 be a great year for each and every one of you. May every New Year's resolution be accomplished and may you have a major discovery in your genealogical research.

This is another disjointed column but, let's face it, you are getting used to this in my columns.

Diane Wilson

It is with great pleasure that I heard that Diane Wilson received a medal in the New Years Honours List. Nobody deserves such an honour more than Diane.

Diane has an amazing ability to coordinate a collection of people from all over NZ to complete an indexing project. She manages to keep them all happy and concentrated, over a long period of time, so that the project is completed. To some this indexing has been a vital occupation and contributed to the alleviation of some of the suffering they are/were undergoing

I was a member of the team and cursed her every time a new set of material arrived by email. I would hurry, but following the format she required, so that I would finish it in sufficient time to avoid the friendly rocket that would come if my output was too slow or not in the format. Unfortunately, as soon as you finished another would arrive. She provided a regular newsletter with tips that team members had developed, interesting titbits that were found, news of other team members, her husband's tomato gardening, and other funny news she had found. Every time a project was completed all team members were consulted about what would happen to the material eg how it would be published and where any funds would be used.

The team has raised an amazing amount of money for the New Zealand Society of Genealogists and, during my time there, increased the Society's annual income by at least 25%.

She also provided some amazing finding aids to the genealogy community in general. Two of the most useful databases that would not have been published without Diane's input are the Burial Locator and the NZ Marriages CD Rom. Diane's team did the work for the Burial Locator and without Diane pushing the then Executive Officer (myself) to get a legal opinion the Marriages CD Rom would have stayed on a computer somewhere in the NZSG.

If I remember correctly, just about every publication she has provided for the NZSG has been hampered by interfering and, in my opinion, jealous members of that society. I can remember all sorts of petty arguments from her opponents when they attempted to get the society to reject her publications - I can remember one where the colour of the CD Rom case was wrong.

It is a fact that she is not a talker, she is a doer.

So my congratulations go to Diane. It has been a pleasure being one of your team.

Family Treemaker

Don't panic!  Don't panic Mr Mannering! (I know the spelling is wrong)

I was surprised that Family Treemaker is not being continued by its producer. It is a programme I have been using for about twenty years. My programme has over 3,500 individuals on it with over 46,000 text references and hundreds of photos and scans. It meets my needs fully as a repository of my research findings and provides me with all the reports and family trees I require. I have never used the internet connections it has.

Initially I was upset and worried about what programme I would move to. I am not a fan of storing my research material on a web site somewhere (sorry Mr Barnes) but that is my own idiosyncrasy.  With technology growing as fast as it is my little foible is getting so outdated. But what the hell I'm a Luddite of long standing.

Mr Barnes insert a comment or two.  

But then I thought about what I use the program for ie data storage. For some years I have used earlier versions of the programme and only updated it when I met Jan Gow. The fact that I was using old versions did not hamper the programme's ability to store data.

So, I'm not panicking. I will carry on using Family Tree Maker until I'm convinced of an alternative.

Another point is the rate of development of the digital format. I can remember floppy discs - they were a wonderful invention way back when I was in shorts and jandals. Remember how easy it was to collect a massive number of them. Then CD Roms came in. Remember how much you could store on them. Now we have memory sticks with massive memory.  Why we don't even need a computer now, our phone can hold all our important stuff. And that's a point - remember the bricks we had for mobile phones, now the bricks have shrunk so much that an old sod like me can lose them in my trouser pockets.

From Robert.

Peter, thanks for the opportunity to comment.  Firstly, regarding Family Tree Maker: see Jan’s and  Hanley’s comments below.  As long as you have an installation CD for FTM 2006 (and something that will read CD’s), there should be no problem.  As CD readers start to disappear it might be worth copying your installation CD to a memory stick or your backup disk.  It might also be worth copying your complete database as a GEDCOM, even if you don’t intended to upload it anywhere.  As a GEDCOM it will be in a form that any genealogy software (Legacy, Brothers Keeper, etc) or web site (FamNet, Ancestry, etc) can handle, should you ever find yourself unable to use FTM.

As far as putting your research material on a web site, obviously I would like everybody to put their research into FamNet.  We have unique features for managing privacy so that you can share information about living people with friends and family while keeping it confidential from strangers, without the loss of control that is unavoidable when the sharing method is emailing or downloading a GEDCOM.  Not only do I believe that FamNet is the most convenient and most secure way of sharing your research, with FamNet it is very difficult for anybody else to claim your work as theirs.  Personally I see no point in a family tree that you don’t share with family and friends, and a web site (particularly FamNet) is a much better way of sharing it than any alternative.

The benefits of putting your research into a shared web site are enormous.  How else are you going to get others to find mistakes for you?  Or fill in your gaps?  Or share it with your descendents who haven’t even been born yet!  Not to mention the value of having a backup. You should never rely on a single copy, whether on your computer or on a web site.  So far we’ve had three users ask us to supply a copy of their uploaded database, which we were easily able to do.  We don’t provide a download facility but require you to ask us as this  allows us to check that the person who is requesting the database is the person who uploaded it, but we’re happy to oblige.

Back to Peter.

Disposal of Books

Thanks for all the feedback I received when I opened this can of worms. It seems that a lot of people have the same problem.

Lyn supplied a couple of thoughts that I am considering and investigating. She suggested that I digitalise the rarer books or arrange for their digitalisation by an appropriate organisation so that they can be made available to more interested researchers.

Since that column my library has increased by some seven books - all vitally important to my research. The only saving grace is that the family provided a few of them for Xmas so I have avoided a "session" with the Minister of Finance in my marriage.


Here is another of my hobbyhorses - labelling all the old photographs.

My mother died a year or three ago and I was given all the photograph albums. Thank god I had managed to go through a few with her and labelled most of her family photos.

But she had acquired a few of my father's mother's albums. My father has identified most that were taken in the 1930's onwards but that is a small part of the collection. He didn't meet his paternal grandfather and grandmother so was unable to shed any light on the earlier photographs. I can identify some because of the photos I acquired from other relatives who had the various "sitters" identified. But I have some wonderful "old brownie" photos of farms, houses, scenery, celebrations and people who and which we cannot identify.

So I have a couple of albums of early Hokianga photographs that mean nothing to me.

I have a cousin who was an early family history researcher. Unfortunately she is now blind. But she has acquired albums of my father's maternal line which have wonderful photos of impressive Scottish gentlemen with huge white beards that are in my family tree. I can see where I get my impressive good looks from although I do not have as much hair on my head. But not one is identified.

My son came home from London for Xmas. Because we have "downsized" our house we have cartons of important material still stored in "the shed". We got the strong, hulking giant to move the cartons so we could identify what's where and heaved a few out. But we found some boxes of photos from the children's young days. If we don't label them now they won't know who's who. Equally I have quite a collection from my childhood days in Whangarei as has my wife of her younger days. So we have a few winter evenings to be occupied in labelling these photos.

Now the preaching - label your own photographs. To you, they may not be important but to your grandchildren and great grandchildren, they could be extremely important. Let's not take a chance, let's just do it - label our photos.

While we are at it, why not scan a few of them. That will ensure their safety a bit more.

I had a black and white photo of early 1960's Kohukohu given to me by a relative. He took the shot on holiday and it has shops and buildings in it that were destroyed in a subsequent fire. I gave a copy to my sister who took it into the Kohukohu "art gallery" and they raved about the photo and asked for permission to reproduce it. I got a framed copy for myself but, the point is that I did not realise the importance of such a simple photo. Scanning it was a master stroke by me, giving a copy to my sister was another. Now that photo is part of the Kohukohu historical records.

At the moment your collection may not be important because you do not understand the full value. A simple box brownie holiday snap could become a valuable historic item.

I also found a few boxes of the black and white photography I did in the 1970's. Without being boastful (not half) I showed a bit of ability then. But time has dimmed that ability.

Peter Nash

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News and Views

We invite contributions from FamNet members for this section: please contact The Editor if you have any material.  Contributions received after the 22nd of each month may be carried forward.

DNA Testing for Family History

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

© Gail Riddell 2014

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

1.  What is Molecular Genealogy?

2.  Where would I begin?  

3.  What test should I take?

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

5.  Direct paternal line (men only).

6.  Direct maternal line (men and women).

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

8.  Understanding direct paternal results.

9.  Understanding direct maternal line results.

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

11.  Understanding the X Chromosome.

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

13.  DNA Websites, Blogs, and Forums

14.  Commonly Asked Questions – Some Basic, Some Advanced

15.  DNA – Something a little different…

16.  Current Pricings for the Three Main Genealogical Testing Firms


17.  DNA Testing for Family History

It dawned on me the other day, that many have no idea that I operate a large number of projects for Family Tree DNA (FTDNA). 

I am frequently asked just why I do this.  The simple answer is that  FTDNA uses me as a mentoring admin – there are so few of us available who have the knowledge I have.   In time, an Admin with a genealogical connection to the project will step up – a wonderful day for me.

The large majority of those I am responsible for are surname projects and these include names such as
Brenton, Briggs, Brodie, Brownell, Calhoun, Dilloway, Elliott,  Fleming, Fouts, Fraser,  Gandy, Gladstone, Hepburn, Kirkpatrick, Lovett, Marston,  Neal, Page, Picton, Power, Rakes, Riddell, Ruddenklau,  Scott, Simmons, Slater, Slee,  Stone, Tomlinson, Tulis, Watson, Webster, Wilkinson, Williams (these are examples only because there are others where I have taken on only a guiding role).

The largest is a haplogroup project and there are just over 9,000 members today.

Nearly 100% of these projects all have private ‘in-house’ forums and the queries are most interesting – although these take up time, they add to my own knowledge as I go seeking answers to issues that can range from the total ‘newbie’ to those of the sophisticated and experienced genetic world.  (The latter come about because Admins possess certain “tools” that are not available to a non-admin.)

There are also numerous cultural and geographic projects I run, but of those perhaps the most interesting are the New Zealand projects and the Scottish ‘Border Reiver’ Project.

With each project, I provide links for the researcher – whether it be DNA oriented or historical, geographical or concentrating only on that project in mind.

For those of you particularly interested, try the New Zealand project at this site.  These are free for you to use or to let me know of those that are missing, as it pleases you.  (As I come across more, I will add them).

The Australian Convicts DNA site I run is particularly oriented to that topic.  If you have an interest or even care to search for a surname, go to

Whilst you are visiting these sites, feel free to look around but not everything will be available to you unless you have joined us as a DNA tester.  

An easy way to learn if there is an available project suiting your particular interest, go to

And of course, by joining a project, the prices get cheaper for your test, than if you just happened to click onto   .

But not all projects are surname projects as I have already implied.  There are geographical projects; there are Haplogroup Projects and once you start testing numerous other categories will come into view – should you look for them.

Gail Riddell 

Wairarapa Wandering.  E Feist & Co

I have over the past so many years, been buying up old postcards for Carterton, and donating them to the Carterton District Historical Society, as many of them show us what the town was like over 50-100 years ago, so interesting.  I was after a special one on the site that I get a list from every morning, but with Christmas and one thing and another, I realised the auction was over… Drat!.  But as luck would have it, it didn’t sell.  Actually it wasn’t a Carterton scene, but a store in Lower Hutt,  E. FEIST and Co.  It was a photograph that I dearly wanted, just something that interested me, as it had the staff of the store outside, with the horses and carts there as well as the name E. Feist on the store.

Some history.  Back over 100 years ago, here at Clareville, Frank Feist had a business in the old Taratahi Store, which was on the main road (S.H.2 today) opposite Chester Road, Clareville, but in late 1890s he took the stock down to Carterton.  If you look up the 1897 Cyclopedia you can see the photograph in that issue of the store in Carterton, on the corner of High Street North and Holloway Street.  Part of the building is still there today, it has been “Nature’s Rules” in more recent times. Then there was Edwin Feist, Mayor of Masterton, buried at Masterton, and buried at Clareville are two little baby sons of Frank Feist, no headstones (1885 Frank  17 days old) and 1900 James 3 months old).  Frank, after a trip home to UK, returned and was Mayor of Carterton 1911-1914.

Egbert Feist owned the shop in Lower Hutt from 1889, to quote from Cyclopedia “The business started some years ago”.  But what worries me: the Feist family came out in 1860s, from Surrey on the Mallard, but on the photograph it clearly states Est. 1845.  Surely this is an error, isn’t it a bit early for New Zealand to have a business like this back then?  I have sent a scanned copy up to one of the Feist family up in Bay of Plenty as he had kindly sent me copies of what he had found.  This lovely department store has on the top of the building, “Grocery  Mercery  Boots & Shoes”. On the corner, “E. Feist & Co. then Estd. 1845”,  and along the other frontage,”E. Feist & Co. Drapery …” (I cant quite read the other lettering).  .. lovely looking store, so pleased that I am now the owner of this lovely photograph, it does have on the reverse, near the Feist’s  horse and cart. Arnold, so he was the Driver of the horse and Cart.. so guess that this actual photograph came from his family, wonder who he was! Early 1900 photograph.. stunning.. awesome.. as I have a lot on the early Feist family this is the reason I wanted this lovely lovely photograph! Paid good money for it, much more than what I normally pay, as it was a must have for me….am waiting to hear back from Lower Hutt Historical Society and Council to see if they would like a copy of it and any more information.

Adele Pentony-Graham
Carterton Early Settlers Researcher.

Jan’s Jottings

An On-line Map of Ireland  just for the South. But a really beautiful map if you have a street address. I went into Google and found a map for my town, then zoomed in so I could read a street name and then went back to OSI to search for the street map. Zoom out again before clicking on the other levels of view. As well as the usual Google type maps showing the houses etc, there are three Historic Maps - 6" in colour and in b&w and 25".

Zoom out if the 25" is not clear. Even has genealogy choices - show Alm Houses, churches etc.

Just great if you do have a street address, or even know roughly so you can see the neighbourhood.

Family Tree Maker

Could not believe it when I read that FTM was being discontinued!!  I immediately thought that I should get some more stock for Beehive Books as there was bound to be people who wanted to update or try a more recent version.  But no, no stock left at the wholesalers!!  And it was some months since they ran out. So obviously this was a long term plan.

The important thing to remember is that nothing has happened to your program now that 31 Dec 2015 has gone. And nothing will happen to your program and data on 31 Dec 2016 either.

If you are happily using a program - no matter which one or which version - then - keep using it.

I liken it to travelling on the motorway. If you are using an older program or version you are driving along the motorway in a horse and sulky.  Cars are passing you and you may get a little wet in the rain but you are getting from A to B and that is what you want to do. As long as you are happy, then this is fine.

There could be a problem when the motorway bosses decide that they won't allow horses and sulkies on the motorway anymore. This could be what this recent decision means. Or maybe it is when your Windows O/S doesn't like the older version or program.

But the decision is yours.

What has happened is that, as people create a .ged file to move their data away from FTM, it is being revealed that FTM is not creating an .ged file that will correctly transfer the data. So you need to tidy your data in FTM - check everything you can to make sure you can get the best result. Especially in the Places. Check to see if you have any notes with your places.

The possible receiving programs eg Legacy and Roots Magic, are working hard to try to fix the errors during the import process.

So good idea to wait awhile before making the change. More likely the .ged will import correctly into Legacy or Roots Magic or Family Historian.

On a convict Facebook page I found a link to This is an interesting site with a wealth of ideas. It is edited by Kimberly Powell


Kimberly Powell is a professional genealogist, genealogy blogger and proud mother of three children. She is a course coordinator and instructor at the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy, and an instructor at the Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research at Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama. She is also the proud winner of the Silver Tray for Excellence in Genealogical Publishing, awarded by the Utah Genealogical Society in January 2013 for her work on”

From our Libraries and Museums

Triggered by an email from Seonaid (Shona) Lewis, I am 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 and by publicising what’s available at their library/museum increase their visitor numbers.  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 Library

Shona has asked us to highlight some events: -

Unlock the Past event on Feb 13.

Lunchtime series.  This restarts on 10 February

2016 Family History Club

Group News

Whangarei Family History Computer Group


image001 Wayne: (09) 437 2881

 Pat: (09) 437 0692


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

email, if you need directions.

 Saturday meetings are held in the SeniorNet rooms in James Street.

The rooms are upstairs in the Arcade leading to Orr’s Pharmacy and Tiffany’s Café, Start time 9.30 till finished before 1.30pm.

Waikanae Family History Group


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

Venue:  Meets every 4th Thursday morning at the Waikanae Chartered Club, 8 Elizabeth Street Waikanae, just over the Railway Crossing from 9.30am to 12 -12.30pm, every month from January to November. Research days planned for either 2nd or 3rd Thursdays at 9.30am approximately four times a year.

Here is Waikanae’s latest newsletter. 

Family Tree Maker & Ancestry’s Dumping!

Don’t despair if you have versions of FTM and you think that after 2017 you will be unceremoniously dumped.  That’s Ancestry for you.  First step you should take is keep your system disk safe so that when your old computer dumps you as well, you can reload when you get a new computer.  My further advice to FTM users is if you have been lured into a post “2008 to now” upgrade, contemplate going back to 2006 V16, especially if you have the system disk for 2006.

Should you replace your old computer have all your old computer stuff loaded onto the new machine by the vendor.  Now if your FTM and all its data has disappeared in this process, try reloading your system disk for your FTM version onto the new computer. I did this recently for one of Kilbirnie’s members who had FTM 2006 and all her data and the programme did not resurface.  So I re loaded FTM 2006 onto her new computer and hey presto! her original programme and all her data reappeared.  Imagine her relief, and her response!

I am still using FTM 2006 V16 and I see no reason to upgrade to any of the newer versions, Ancestry admitted that they are all unnecessarily complex, plus they have never done anything to improve them, and now of course they abandon those newer versions plus the past!  Why would you spend your valuable family history time trying to fathom out how an FTM upgrade works rather than getting on with your primary focus of doing your family tree.   I rest my case.

Hanley Hoffmann, Waikanae Family History Group.

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Information Wanted/Offered.

Remember that you can post photos for identification, and information wanted requests:-

Click here to post a photo

Click here to request help with some information

We’ll post the photos and information requests in the next newsletter, and they’ll remain on display for at least a year.

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

Follow up from Last Newsletter

I (Robert) have often wondered whether it is worth the effort to post information requests to forums such as this.  My own experience has not been encouraging.  I was very pleased therefore to get this response to my email to Irene when, as I was in the final stages of preparing this newsletter, I asked: -

Tony, I'm preparing the next FamNet newsletter.  Did you get any useful feedback from the "Information Wanted" request?  Do you have any follow-up information that you'd like to put into the January newsletter?

She replied: -

Yes thank you I had a couple of responses and some new leads

As a result I have ordered some certificates

However I would like to find out what became of William's wife Elsie Maude as I cannot find any record of her death.

One of my contacts suggested either remarriage or return to Australia but I cannot find any trace of that happening

The last record I can find of Elsie is the 1935 Electoral Roll and she was still in Waipawa

Thanks again and I hope that I may contact you when I get to Auckland and I hope to spend some time at the Family Research Centre in Auckland on 4th April

Cheers Toni

So FamNet Newsletter readers, it’s worth posting something here!  This month Shirley is seeking some help.

Family Photos

I would very much like to know who this family is . Possibly  FINDLAY  , David FINDLAY  and Rosina MIST . Rosina only sister of my grandfather George MIST . They are from Godshill , Fordingbridge , Hampshire . The other two woman daughter and granddaughter !!!!!!!     David had  tailoring business in Te Awamutu . The young woman appears to be wearing a wedding ring . Would appreciate any help in identifying this family . Dated approx 1930/40’s

Kind regards, Shirley Brown .   (09) 447 3467        

NZ families:  ORBELL, BUNNING, MIST, PIERCE, WINMILL, STANNERS all early settlers.   My husband’s BROWN family Heywood, Lancashire, he has no connections to NZ.


This photo has long been a mystery to us . Great grandfather Samuel BUNNING b Whitechapel 1853 , 2nd wife Edith Annie LUND . No issue . Son Samuel George BUNNING b 1874 Hackney , London died NZ 1931 , never mar . Who is the Maori guide , photo taken Rotorua hot pools . The family farmed in Mangaweka for many years .

Kind regards, Shirley Brown .   (09) 447 3467        

NZ families:  ORBELL, BUNNING, MIST, PIERCE, WINMILL, STANNERS all early settlers.   My husband’s BROWN family Heywood, Lancashire, he has no connections to NZ.

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Book Reviews

Bloodlands  Europe between Hitler and Stalin

By Timothy Snyder.   Available from in various formats.

I’ll start by quoting the Amazon review: -

“Americans think of World War II as “The Good War.” But before it even began, America’s ally Stalin had shot and starved millions of his own citizens; he would continue to do so throughout the war. American soldiers liberated concentration camps, but they never reached the death factories, killing fields, and starvation sites in the East where Hitler and Stalin murdered civilians on a massive scale. In twelve years, in deliberate killing policies unrelated to combat, the Nazi and Soviet regimes killed fourteen million people in a zone of death between Berlin and Moscow. At war’s end, these bloodlands fell behind the iron curtain, leaving their history in darkness. In Bloodlands, acclaimed historian Timothy Snyder offers a groundbreaking investigation of the place where Europeans were murdered by the millions, providing a fresh account of the atrocities perpetrated by the two regimes. Assiduously researched, deeply humane, and utterly definitive, Bloodlands is required reading for anyone seeking to understand the central tragedy of modern history.”

Pity the inhabitants of the bloodlands – Poland, Ukraine, Belarus, and the Baltic States.  First the subject of Stalin’s terrors in the 1930’s, where 4 million were killed by the NKVD as Stalin sought to create his utopia and exterminate all opposition, then overrun by the Nazis who killed another 10 million Jews and Slavs in their insane genocide.  After the war it suited the West to acquiesce to the Soviet version of events – brave Soviet fighters resisting the evil Germans – and the German narrative of ignorant civilians and decent Wehrmacht but evil SS.  Not until Glasnost and another generation of Germans has the truth emerged, and the past been faced.

This is a difficult book to read, both because of its subject matter and because this is uncompromisingly an academic history book.  There were times that I put it aside and wondered whether I would finish it, and I would have liked it to have been briefer.  Did it really need two whole pages to distinguish concentration camps like Dachau where inmates were starved and worked to death from extermination sites like Sobibor where they were simply gassed? However I’m glad that I persevered and finished it.  I had no idea how truly terrible it really was.

Robert Barnes

The Settlement of Puhoi

by Ruth Schmidt, published by the Puhoi Historical Society 1963 (Available from the Puhoi Museum)

 This publication is the 1934 thesis for the degree of Master of Arts by Ruth Schmidt at Auckland University. Her family have C:\Users\Nash\Documents\Peter\Puhoi,Thesis.jpgpermitted the publication by the Puhoi Historical Society.

The author was able to formally interview and talk to some of the original settlers who, although young at the time of arrival, lived through the trials and tribulations of the settlement of a remote settlement by German settlers with little experience of the English language. Its major importance is that very aspect, ie interviewing the original settlers. Together with Father D V Silk's history, written in 1923, we have two very good histories based on information obtained from the settlers by interview and thus have become the basis of all histories and family histories written since.

The original settlers came from Bohemia in 1863 on the ship "War Spirit". Being German, they were an unusual group of settlers among the usual settlements of English/Irish/Scottish people. They brought their own language, customs, music, food styles etc into a harsh and remote settlement of New Zealand, although the area is almost a suburb of Auckland now.

The author goes into the history and conditions in Bohemia in the nineteenth century that contributed to the keenness of this group of settlers to migrate so far from home to a land whose people did not speak German. She writes about the group's choice of poor land, remoteness, lack of decent transport and roads and how they assimilated into the New Zealand way of life.

Because of my descent from this group of settlers it was a pleasure to finally obtain a copy of this thesis. It will become a major part of my written family history.

Peter Nash

From the Heart of Europe to the Heart of the Southern Cross

by K Mooney

C:\Users\Nash\Documents\Peter\Puhoi,MooneyA.JPGThis publication was written for the 1963 Centenary of the foundation of Puhoi. To quote the forward:

This booklet is a condensed history of pioneering folk of Puhoi, their settlement, the hardships they faced breaking in a new land and accepting a new environment.

The original settlers came from Bohemia in 1863 on the ship "War Spirit". Being German, they were an unusual group of settlers among the usual settlements of English/Irish/Scottish people. They brought their own language, customs, music, food styles etc into a harsh and remote settlement of New Zealand, although the area is almost a suburb of Auckland now.

Being a descendent of the first wave most of the stories were told to me by my grandmother who was a first generation of these settlers and I was able to repeat them from an early age. They reached the status of fairy tales to a young lad.  We had unusual food styles and I remember "hunky punkies" and other bohemian delicacies.

This book is a fairly typical book written for a centennial celebration, some fifty years ago. There are many photographs and names galore.

This book is a must buy for descendents of these settlers and also for genealogists wanting to gain some feeling for their ancestors who settled in remote districts.

Peter Nash

Deep South

by Paul Theroux.  Published 2015 by Penguin Random House, ISBN978-0-241-14673-6 (Available through Whitcoulls )

C:\Users\Nash\Documents\Peter\DeepSouth.JPGOne of my "when I win Lotto" dreams is to travel in the Southern USA region, by car, and savour the food and music (both jazz and blues). I have even got the itinerary set down in my mind so that I can maximise the experience of that region.

Theroux is a noted travel writer of about sixteen major works in the genre of travel writing. He does not write in the format of a diary and tends to avoid major cities. His material is obtained by interviewing the local people, rich and poor, black and white so that he gets a real feeling for wherever he travels.

After reading this book, I may have to review my dream. The book gives an eye opening picture of poverty that is as bad as areas of Africa where charities are spending much money providing assistance - here very few charities are working to relieve poverty. Racial integration is not an actuality and the Klu Klux Klan has quite a part to play in local affairs. Theroux travels four times to the area (once each season) to get a more rounded view and to do follow-up visits that he was unable to do at his first visit.

This book has nothing to do with genealogy but is a must read to obtain a true picture of southern USA.

Peter Nash

Unearthly Landscapes

by Stephen Deed published 2015 by Otago University Press, ISBN 978-1-927322-18-5 (Available through Whitcoulls)

C:\Users\Nash\Documents\Peter\UnearthlyLandscapes.JPGThis book explores the ideals the early settlers to NZ had from their English life regarding burial practices, and the consequent provision of cemeteries in New Zealand. The development of early cemeteries, churchyard burial places and urupa are explained, as is the various practices and customs towards cemeteries. The major legislation in the 1880's had a dramatic effect on the location of burial sites and the inability to be buried in churchyards and in inner city cemeteries. The various graveyard environments such as trees, fencing, gates etc and the provision of various gravestones, plot fencing, paths etc are explored. Many early photographs are included in the book.

This book is a necessary read for those genealogy tragics who relish a visit to an old churchyard or cemetery or even the idiots, like myself, who are buried in cemetery records and monumental inscriptions. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book.

Peter Nash

In conclusion

A Bit of Light Relief

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