Part of the worldwide genealogy/family history community

FamNet eNewsletter June 2018

  ISSN 2253-4040

Quote    Friends come and go, but relatives tend to accumulate. – Unknown


Editorial 2

Regular Contributors. 2

From the Developer 2

The Nash Rambler 4

DNA Testing for Family History. 7

Wairarapa Wandering. 12

Hanley Hoffmann. 13

Digging Into Historical Records. 14

Chinese Corner 15

Wah Lee - The Iconic Asian Goods Emporium.. 15

U.S. Award to Chinese Nurse From Auckland. 17

Guest Contributor 18

What a nonchalant remark can lead to :  My paternal grandparents’ emigration to  New Zealand. 18

From our Libraries and Museums. 21

Auckland Libraries. 21

HeritageTalks at Central Library, Auckland. 21

Auckland Family History Expo 2018. 22

Group News. 24

Whangarei Family History Computer Group. 24

Doing your family history online – 50 best websites for family history. 24

10 Tools for Your Genealogy Research That You Never Thought You’d Need. 24

Genealogy: Build an identity profile about ancestors. 24

Waikanae Family History Group. 25

Waitara Districts History & Families Research Group. 25

News and Views. 25 FamilySearch Digitized the Records You Need? Here’s How to Check. 26

Don’t Make this Big Mistake with 32

Book Reviews. 36

Photo Organizing Made Easy, Going from Overwhelmed to Overjoyed. 36

Advertisements. 37

Help wanted. 37

Letters to the Editor 37

Advertising with FamNet 38

In conclusion. 38

A Bit of Light Relief 38

To Unsubscribe, Change your Email Address, or Manage your Personal Information. 39


Back to the Top. 17


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Greetings and welcome to another issue of the FamNet newsletter.

Winter has finally arrived. My garden has been thoroughly prepared for the cold spell with not a weed to be seen and healthy winter vegetables all spaced correctly and in nice tidy rows. The lawn no longer needs mowing. Thank god for rain which means I can't get out to sweep the leaves off the driveway. I'm in genealogy heaven. Warm computer room, wonderful coffee, nobody at home to interrupt me, some interesting magazines and books, cats for company, - what more can a genealogist want? Some long planned exercises have been started. A one name story and some writing up of ancestors has begun. I have been exploring websites - particularly Family Search. I need to find a way that my warm office can become an official LDS research facility so that I have full access to all the digital data available on that website. I wonder whether I can become a temporary pope for the LDS. and FindMyPast have caused me much pleasure. PapersPast is a wonderful resource. Digital books on the internet is fun - but it is a pity that I can't lay down with my computer screen on the ceiling to enjoy the process of reading rare books.

This month I have learnt a valuable lesson regarding the New Zealand Birth, Deaths and Marriages website. I have always trusted that website but I now know differently. It is a pity that such a valuable website has question marks now rightly added to it. It goes to show that the old-fashioned methods still have their value. I have included my small database of NZ primary resources available online.

Gail has continued her DNA series. Reading her articles is causing me to rethink my decision about DNA testing for myself.

There are some very interesting articles in this month's issue.

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



Peter Nash

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Regular Contributors

From the Developer


Question: What does [About you] on the FamNet home page mean to you (think of your answer BEFORE you click it).   Now click on it and see if you were right.   Should we change its name?


It's easy to get the system to send you a new password: in the login dialog, just click [Send me a new password]: -




This immediately resets the password, and you get an email like this: -

Now, how do you change your password?   It's simple if you know to click [About you].   We should change this message to add: -

preferred password value.  Click [About you] to do this.

But is there a better name for this button?   My daughter (accidentally) changed her password, so the system sent her a new one.  With it there was a message like that above, and she logged on with the new password.  Now, how to change the password?  It's easy if you know to click [About you].   But she thought that this was her GDB page about herself - a reasonable assumption - so she couldn't figure out how to change her password.

Some ideas:  [Userid Info], [Your ID Info], [ID Info], [Your ID],  [Your Account],  [Your Info]

What do you think?

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

19.  Uploading a GEDCOM file

20.  Uploading Objects to your Database

21.  Bulk-uploading Objects.  FamNet resource: Useful Databases.


Robert Barnes

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The Nash Rambler

The Wonderful Internet (again)

Well I started another project and got very involved into another time wasting and interesting exercise and have become aware of some warnings I must pass onto my readers.

Warning number 1: Never think too much about your genealogy and never tidy up your "collection of stray information".

We genealogists find all sorts of information about families that aren't ours. If you have an "interesting" surname you begin to collect information by way of bits of paper and download documents that don't add to your family tree but "make life interesting". The attitude is that it may be useful in the future.

One of my names is COUTTS. Over the years I have gathered certificates, newspaper articles etc for this surname with the firm belief that these, although not my relatives at the moment, could be perfect in some future date to break down a "brick wall" that will undoubtedly arise or turn out to be relatives in the future.. This has become a carton of "valuable" documents that are too valuable to throw away

Since I began downsizing my accommodation I have to get rid of paper - boxes of paper, many boxes of paper. So I decided to do a one-name study for the surname COUTTS (and its variants) in New Zealand and enter all the data on these stray bits of paper into a digital database..  I have done a major one for the surname NASH in New Zealand and should have learnt about the pitfalls of this exercise. But I ploughed on.

Warning number 2: don't do a one name study. It becomes the dominant task in your research. The housework gets ignored, the lawns grow to heights that suggest haymaking is a valid option, the wife introduces herself to me every second day, what's food? coffee gets tasteless and cold etc etc etc. But onwards I go in the relentless pursuit of this addictive task.

With the internet and such sites as NZ BDMs, Family Search (wills), PapersPast, many cemetery sites etc the study progresses rapidly.

To start the process I printed off all the COUTTS births and deaths from the NZ BDM  website and crossed off each entry that I had put into families on my Excel database. The Marriages and Burial Locator CD Roms got hammered - boy are those very useful pieces of antiquated digital data. Very quickly I had twelve families created, most with three or four generations. I was proud of myself.

But I reached a point where I had COUTTS children being born in much shorter gestation periods than expected to, for example, William and Mary.

I had to find Peter COUTTS, born about 1894. According to Paperspast, his father's will, his war service record and an inquest into his mother's death he existed and was born in New Zealand. But the BDM website seemed to suggest otherwise i.e. he wasn't born!!!

Warning number 3: don't believe websites. I had a flash of brilliant inspiration. I would consult the BDM microfiche - remember them? They are now considered to have gone the way of dinosaurs. I borrowed a set of fiche and a fiche reader. It took me some time to remember how to use a fiche reader but it all came back to me and I re-felt the pleasure of old-fashioned research. I even used a pencil to write down all the COUTTS entries (for births - I haven't done the deaths yet) I was in heaven even though I was adding more paper to the desk top.

Up to 1900 I found ten COUTTS births entries that have not appeared on the website!!!!! The missing Peter Coutts was among them. I think that the transcribers the website used must have been Bangladeshi because the website has two COUTTS variants that don't exist on the microfiche. COUTS and COULTS appear on the website but not on the microfiche and in the microfiche these particular entries are in the middle of a group of COUTTS births - ie a stupid transcription error if the microfiche were used to transcribe. These missing entries are a huge percentage of that period of COUTTS entries. I am shocked at this high "error rate".

Another bonus of this exercise was the hand written entries with "odd" numbers. This led me to reread Ann Bromell's speech at the Northland NZSG conference in the early 1990s. She has explained what these hand written notations mean and consequently this has lead me into the realms of adoption, late registrations etc.

This exercise led to another genealogy pleasure - reading old conference proceedings. Never throw them away (he says after he has done just that).There are gems among the articles, most of which have become somewhat dated.  I have just finished reading a book about New Zealand convicts who were transported to Tasmania in the 1840-1855 time period and Verna Mossong spoke about this very subject at an early NZSG conference. I reread her paper it saved me forty odd dollars by convincing me not to buy that book.

Remember District Keys. They are almost impossible to find. These enabled me to locate where the births were registered. William and Mary were not a very fertile couple but were two couples, one in Thames and the other in Tokomairiri - look up for yourself where that is. The district keys are a vital cog in the whole process of forming one name studies.

Warning number 4: One name studies are time consuming even in the internet age.     I am still deeply immersed in this exercise. I have spent far more hours that I intended to. I have found one or two COUTTS births that are definitely mine that I was unaware of. I have solved a problem that caused much heartburn in a branch of my COUTTS family.

But, as in many of my columns, I have to preach. This exercise has proved to me that websites are not a primary source and a researcher cannot believe everything that is on that website or, as in the case of the NZ BDM website, is not on the website.

Before I started this exercise I have been known to compliment the NZ government for its BDM website. I am not in favour of restrictions on the availability of data i.e. the 100 years restriction on birth entries. I believe that the historical certificate and entries should be available free of charge to any researcher as in the Irish situation. But despite these two reservations I was a very happy user of that website and recommended it to beginners.

I refused to believe that this website should have so many entries that were missing in the microfiche and so many apparent name variations that did not exist in the microfiche. I am now extremely disappointed with this website.

And the final preach. One website entry does not prove, 100%, any particular fact. A competent researcher must find at least one more source for that fact and a primary source is vital. In this case the web page entry is not enough, the birth certificate or equivalent is. And do not get me going on the family trees that have appeared on many websites. Some are great fictional creations by apparently qualified researchers.

Well I have vented for this month. I shall go and have a lie down so that I can recover.


Image result for genealogy humour


Last month I mentioned that I was creating a small database which showed where on the internet primary NZ resources were available. Well here it is. If you have something to include please contact me.









births 100 yrs old, Stillborns 50 yrs old





can search by Christian name

pay per view, free at libraries








50 yrs ago or birth 80 yrs ago





can search by Christian name

pay per view, free at libraries








80 yrs old









before about 1950








1854 - 1950




1854 - 1950







World War 1 Service Records




World War 1 Service Records



pay per view, free at libraries






School Class Lists


only Auckland Province, up to 1920







Coroner's Inquests


1888-1938, under court records (NZ)







Passenger Lists


1839 - 1973, under immigration (NZ)









1843 - 1998 (some to come)







Electoral Rolls



not all

pay per view, free at libraries






NZ Gazette


1869 - 1894

pay per view, free at libraries

Police Gazettes


1878 - 1945

pay per view, free at libraries

Cyclopedia of NZ




pay per view, free at libraries

Regards to all

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From Robert: also, click here.

DNA Testing for Family History

28.2   Wending your way through FTDNA – Segment 2

Autosomal DNA for transferees or for FTDNA testers

Many of the genealogical DNA testing companies (for example Ancestry; 23andMe; myHeritage) offer the autosomal test.  However, because FamilyTreeDNA (FTDNA) offers a number of tests, they market atDNA as ‘Family Finder’.

In May’s newsletter, I offered you a number of hints and “how-to” relating to setting up your FTDNA Home page.  This segment deals only with atDNA and only with FTDNA.

Therefore if you have NOT tested (or transferred) your autosomal results with FTDNA, the following may not be overly helpful.  Why?  Because the other companies offer different tools to those offered by FTDNA.

Let me start with transfers. 

In this sector, I am assuming you have tested at either Ancestry or 23andMe  and you have decided that you want to transfer your results to FTDNA. 

Here are the instructions.

The following describes how to access and download your autosomal raw data from AncestryDNA:

  1. Navigate to the website homepage.
  2. In the upper-right corner, click Sign In to display the sign in window.
  3. In the Username or email field, enter your username or email.
  4. In the Password field, enter your password.
  5. Click Sign In. Your Ancestry home page is displayed.
  6. On the menu bar, click DNA > Your DNA Results Summary. The AncestryDNA home page is displayed.
  7. On the right side of the page, click Settings. Your Test Settings page is displayed.
  8. Scroll down the page.
  9. On the right side of the page, in the Download your raw DNA data section, click Get Started. The Download your raw DNA data window is displayed.
  10. Enter your password in the empty field.
  11. Click Confirm. A window requesting that you check your email is displayed.
  12. Check your email for an email from AncestryDNA with the subject line Your request to download AncestryDNA raw data.
  13. In the email, click Confirm Data Download. You will be redirected to the website.
  14. Enter your username or email and password in the appropriate fields, and click Sign In. The Download DNA Raw Data page is displayed.
  15. Click Download DNA Raw Data to download your raw data file. Note where you save the file on  your computer.

The following describes how to access and download your autosomal raw data from 23andMe.

  1. Navigate to the 23andMe homepage.
  2. In the upper-right corner, click Sign In. The Sign in page is displayed.
  3. In the Email address field, enter your email address.
  4. In the Password field, enter your password.
  5. Click sign in.
  6. Once signed in, on the home page, click Browse Raw Data. The Browse Raw Data page is displayed.
  7. In the upper portion of the page, click Download. The Download Raw Data page is displayed.
  8. Enter your password and secret question answer in the corresponding fields.
  9. In the Whose data would you like to download Profile field, select the person whose raw data you want to download.
  10. In the Choose between downloading data for… Data set field, select All DNA.
  11. Click Download Data to download your raw data file. Note where you save the file on  your computer.

Although not essential, in order to make use of all the tools offered for atDNA transfers at FTDNA from either Ancestry or 23andMe, you need to pay US19.00 (currently) to unlock same.


Those who chose to read and can recall the last item in the May Newsletter will know that I placed a reduced graphic of my own Home page in amongst the written word.  Here it is again because I am going to use this as my base reference for this article.  In fact, this entire article is assuming you have received an email from FTDNA advising your Family Finder results have been processed.  If you allowed such a notification (see the May newsletter), you may have also been emailed that you have a match.

Therefore, let us assume that you recently received an email that FTDNA has found a close Family Finder match for you


Click on Family Finder in your Home page and when the page has finished populating, click on the heading on the ‘match date’ column.  Depending on when you tested, you may need to click on this more than once to enable the most recent match to come into view.  (This applies to all testers in case you are wondering).

You can see that the uppermost match on my “matches” page indicates that Ms Macpherson has 43 shared centimorgans (cMs) with me.  (By the way a centimorgan is simply a measurement as found on a number of chromosomes.  It is not a measurement such as inches or centimetres.)

I have no idea who this person is and so to learn more, I go to Chromosome Browser (see the box at the very top of the page after clicking on the small square to the left of her name.  (Sadly, I note she does not have a tree on her FTDNA Home page, nor does she list her ancestral surnames.)

The chromosome browser reveals that she has just 13 cMs on chromosome 8, but at this time, I have no idea whether she is matching me on my maternal side or my paternal side.


But at just 13 cMs, I know she is my 4th cousin which means one of my GGG grandparents – you have 32 of these persons – is our common ancestor.  This is the maximum distance that I would consider making contact because some of my GGG grandparents are missing from my tree.  Even more importantly, I have not followed all the lines from the known GGG grandparents down to the present day.  Nevertheless, because I have tested many of my cousins on both my maternal and paternal side, I have hunted further and find she is a connection on my paternal side which reduces the number of potential GGG grandparents to just 16.  In fact, she is related to one of my Scottish (Isle of Skye) ancestors – discovered simply because of the cousins from that side of the family testing for me.

Now it is simply a case of clicking on her silhouette for her profile or clicking on the envelope icon (from the previous Family Finder matches screen) and introducing myself .

Within that introduction I will need to name the potential relationship and where I found it plus give her name.


Why give her name?

Think of the possibility that she is not looking after her own DNA and a cousin is attending to this and think of the fact that the managing cousin is doing the same for a number of other cousins.  If you do not state the name of the match you are enquiring bout, how on earth would that managing cousin know to whom it is you are referring?

In addition, I would give her all the surnames of my GGG grandparents and their localities.  Remember, you are trying to make it simple for her (or to her manager) to respond to you.  (I have lost count of the number of times I am told that a tester has written to a match and there has been no response.  Digging deeper, I would not have bothered responding to such an email as “Hi, we match as cousins at FTDNA – who are your ancestors?”   To get something, you must give something.

If she had been a 3rd cousin, then it would have been a GG grandparent (You have 16 of these); if a 2nd cousin, it would have been a G grandparent (you have 8 of these).

The above is attempting to explain that to make a success of your Family Finder testing, you really need to ask as many of your relatives as it possible i.e. 1st cousins, 2nd cousins and so on, on both sides of your parents.  And please do not overlook testing both of your parents and/or their siblings as well as your own siblings.  This is because although a person inherits 50% of each of their parent’s DNA, there is no way they will inherit the same amounts of the cMs of the various chromosomes.  On occasion, I have noted that my son has inherited even more than those of my siblings in regards to a particular person’s cMs.  

There is another task you can perform with your autosomal DNA and that is to upload the raw results to  Gedmatch is not a testing firm but it receives autosomal results from 23andMe and from Ancestry and from FTDNA and enables you to compare results – thus finding cousins who have tested with the other firms.  Note that is ONLY for autosomal testers!  And it is free – but if you are seeking specific tools, then a small donation is requested

Changing tack a little.

Say, you have elected to not test with 23andMe because of its cost and the crippling courier charges.  For US$5.00 you can upload your autosomal results to a firm called Promethease and you can receive your health reports.  You will receive a large number of reports as a result – incredibly beneficial if you get permission from your parents and your siblings to also upload theirs.

This brings us to the matter of privacy and ownership.

Although you own your DNA, different testing firms have different “takes” on this ownership.  I cannot recommend strongly enough that you read the fine-print of the firm you are considering to test yours or your family’s DNA.  I say this because a couple of well known firms will “sell” your DNA, although to be fair, your name and address are kept out of such a sale. 

In FTDNA, your ownership and your privacy are of utmost importance.  Certainly, your results can (and will) be made public if you agree (see last month’s segment), but not your personal identifying information unless it is to a match.  In other words, although the aim of genetic genealogy is to share, this does not mean you are sharing your identity unless you choose to do this.  It means you are sharing your results and should I decide to use a de facto /pseudonym, I defy anyone other than the FTDNA employees, to be able to actually deduce that I personally am the tester from a bunch of cMs or alleles consisting of a series of the nucleotides A, C, T, G (A=Adenine; C=Cytosine; T=Thymine; G=Guanine).

Moving on now to My Origins.

When you get there, you have to click on the map.

Then you look at the top left-hand box and click on ‘Expand all’.

It may take a minute or two, but you will also get all your matches and their ethnicity in terms of % .

This is what mine looks like.                                                              

This is what my sibling’s looks like


it is an ESTIMATE of my ethnicity AND it is different to that of my full siblings – not by much but definitely different.  Why?  Because I inherited different segments of the 22 chromosomes from my parents to those inherited by my siblings.

Therefore, you cannot state such a map is proof.  In fact if you test at another testing lab, you will receive a different result.

That’s enough from me for this segment – next segment will be considering Y-DNA.

As always, please contact me if you have a question that has not been answered in any of the previous articles I have supplied to Famnet.

Gail Riddell

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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.

Index so far

Wairarapa Wandering

Research for an interesting lady.

The Fisk Jubilee Singers are a group of African American Singers who came over to New Zealand and a few stayed here, one being Ralph Edward  MARTIN, which is another surname I have had dealings with lately.


Now Ralph Edward MARTIN married a few times and one of his descendants asked me to search out her history. I would say that she was so mixed up with the untruths of her story and muddled up the years. I guess that with a father whom newspapers labelled as a "con man" would cause this.


One marriage was to Nellie COLE, who gave birth to a daughter, Maida Valerie MARTIN. Nellie was from England. But I have also learnt of previous marriages and lost some children over the years I have been researching this family.


I first met Maida about 8 years ago when she had been down to East Taratahi to a friend asking for help to sort out her history. The friend advised her to find "Adele known as the local super sleuth". She then visited another friend in Carterton, and luckily Peggy Stuart knew this "sleuth" and rang me and invited me down to her Costley St home to meet Maida that day.


I sat there and listened to the stories she told. Apparently she had lived in Germany, Canada, England, and here in New Zealand, in Carterton and Eketahuna, It was fascinating, but not true because, being an ex-Londoner myself, I had to discount the story of living at Buckingham Palace and Balmoral when she said as a toddler she walked out of the palace and walked into a police station next door. Now I had worked in Buckingham Palace Rd, and knew the palace surrounds very, very well and there was no police station in sight, the nearest being New Scotland Yard, miles away near the Thames! There never has been a Police Station where she said it was. I could add that my great uncle worked at the palace and never once had seen a wee child off different race in the surrounds.  She added that Queen Mary took her up to Balmoral then organised her trip to Germany, with a letter to obtain property in New Zealand and Te Teko - such a small hamlet miles from anywhere I ask you. I have been there with her to see what was there. There was no tall hotel she claimed she owned there, and not near the river but inland! She said whilst in Germany she made friends with Adolf, used to sit on his lap. Really!! But I listened to it all then worked on it later.


What surprised me was that her birth certificate says she was born in Whakatane. She swore that she was born on Plains of Abraham which she said was a massive area. I said yes, the size of Queen Elizabeth Park in Masterton. She reckoned she was a Sioux!


She also claimed she was educated with Pierre Trudeau and related, but his son Justin said he had never heard of her and his dad never had anyone with him at school. She claimed to have gone skiing in Switzerland with Pierre. Dream on lady!!!


When she came to NZ, with the letter from the palace, she said that on board the ship, was a Rolls Royce and staff to help her in a new country - her own staff from the Palace!!!  She forgot that everything can be checked and re checked through Archives -  in her case Windsor Castle Archives and NZ Archives, shipping records etc.. I have been there done that, we knew we would not find anything but had to prove it to her.  I guess with a father like she had, she learnt how to con folk. One cannot say no to research, but one must carry on with it, crossing items off each time till you get a page of crosses!!


Best thing was, buying a book online; on the area she took me to out of Palmerston North one day. The book was on Tokomarua, and there was a photograph of the school children featured on one page and there looking at me was Maida MARTIN exactly when she swore to me she was in Germany. Then on another page was a photograph of Darkie MARTIN - hello dad!!  So I sent a copy of each around to all her friends, and wrote to her, saying what I had found and suggested that she ask her friends to see the photographs because she did not get one in her envelope. I never heard from her again, I had caught her out, hook line and sinker!


But she had stated that at one time, she was in prison in Christchurch and had escaped. Apparently she made her way to Wellington, boarded a ship to Germany. Hitler took her to a submarine base and put her on board for Wellington. This was during WW2 and she was the only lady on board, and, drugged throughout the journey, and woke up in Gisborne. Yeah right!!!


I often wondered how she managed to buy a car, and drive it as her driving scared me, I bet she never had a licence or passed a test, but after she died I wrote to the car firm in Masterton where she had bought the car from. She had told me where she shopped, don’t think I was surprised at the email that came back to me, she used as ID, her drivers licence, a much younger age by about 20 years!! I wonder to this day if it was her daughter's details given for the Licence???


But she is buried as Niagara Maida Valerie SMITH, as she married in the 1940s, and subsequently divorced.


Now, I have read about Edward Ralph MARTIN,  - in fact three names were in the article, but only Edward is off interest at present. He claimed an exotic ethnic background and a great deal is known because of his incessant efforts to raise money, including one from the government. He goes on about being a professor of music and was involved in many frauds to get money. Maida assured me that her father had taken her inheritance from Buckingham Palace!!!


I have come across a photograph of Edward Ralph MARTIN when he first came to New Zealand and he was a good looking young man He is buried down in Christchurch, and Maida, his daughter, is at Eketahuna Cemetery.


All my research on this lady, will be lodged with Wairarapa Archives, as I believe one day someone may want to find out more about her. I have a good collection of certificates to hand over for Maida Valerie MARTIN/ SMITH.


Did I believe her story, in fact, NO from start to finish!  There is more about her, but it would take pages and pages….


Wairarapa Wanderer.

Adele Pentony-Graham

12 Neich’s Lane



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Hanley Hoffmann  

Plates in Fine China made by Lancaster & Sons, Tinkersclough In Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent UK.

At our May Kilbirnie meeting I missed the opportunity to uphold my boast from some months back that you could find my name, Hanley, on the bottom of fine china, and not just the odd item because in Stoke-on-Trent in England there are 1500 establishments involved in the fine china and pottery manufacturing business.  There are no less than five museums in this city, and the city is made up of six towns, Tunstall, Burslem, Hanley, Stoke, Fenton and Longton, and all these museums are dedicated to the history of pottery.  The population of this city is 252,509.

Like all industrial cities in Britain those bottle shaped chimneys or ovens belched coal laden smoke and Stoke-on-Trent had an atmosphere much like modern China until the Clean Air Act of 1964 was enacted.

In 2019 Stoke-on-Trent will host a national garden festival, a 164 acre horticultural fair from May to October, expected to draw in an estimated 3.5 million visitors.  Ceramics will remain the star attraction, visitors will be welcomed at the factories of Coalport, Minton, Royal Doulton and Spode. Most readers will have heard of one or all of these names in the ceramics world of Britain.

The side plate (bread and butter plate in our vernacular) is only 150mm square, is distinctive by its square and gently scalloped sides. Its trade mark is not clear but the copy is exactly as reproduced here.  Because this plate was made in the 1920’s it is a collectable and of some value. If one were to spy a plate with this distinctive shape in a second hand shop or an antique dealing establishment you would not need to turn it over to examine its trade mark to identify who manufactured it.

Because there are numerous potteries in Hanley there are as many other designs not manufactured by Lancaster & Sons which herald the name Hanley in their trade mark.  I have another example made by Weatherby and they use the name Hanley in their trade mark.                                                                                                                        

Are you a collector of New Zealand pottery because there are two very well known brands here, Temuka and Crown Lynn maybe there are others I am not aware of but these should figure in your family history.  Temuka is distinctive by its earthy colour and curvy accessories. Crown Lynn has very distinctive ordinary daily use tableware but it also has some much sort after colourful stuff, but in all this be sure to document this in your family history, someone whose legacy this collection could be will welcome having found your story to back up their prize.


Hanley Hoffmann

A New Zealand resident, born in Young, NSW.

Now Waikanae FHG Newsletter Editor

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Digging Into Historical Records  


Vogel Assisted Immigrants at the Hutt 1873

Archives New Zealand hold a group of immigration papers titled “Papers relating to individual immigrants” covering the time period 1872-1894. There are 21 items listed in Archway under the reference ACFQ 8223 Im3. Three relate to cancelled nominations (1873-1889), 14 are labelled “General” (1872-1894), one to the Immigrants Land Act (1874-1878), one to Passenger Contract Tickets, Shaw Savill and Company (1875-1876) and two to Promissory Notes (1873-1891). At present no further descriptive information is available.


The oldest Promissory Notes file contains about a ream of correspondence. On brief perusal a “Hutt Valley” letter was spotted. It was written on 12 October 1873 by Constable Martin Connor (1822-1897) of the Lower Hutt Police Station to Frederick Atchison (1829-1902), Chief Inspector of Police, Wellington.


“Sir, I have the honour to report for your information that I have called twice on all the Immigrants in or about the Hutt as Collector for their passage money and that I have received only two pounds, a pound each from George Scadden and James Begg. I herewith forward a letter from two immigrant girls handed to me and addressed to the Immigration Officer when I called upon them for their passage money.” Although the latter letter was not obviously found in this file it may still be there on closer inspection. [1]


George William Scadden (1835-1917), a navvy from Dorsetshire, arrived at Wellington on 02 March 1873 on the ‘Forfarshire’ with his wife, Elizabeth and four children. The Government were seeking the repayment of £32 in the form of two promissory notes, No.1121 for £20 and No.1122 for £12. [2] The family lived in Lower Hutt for a few years then removed to Masterton after George declared bankruptcy in April 1882. [3]


James Beggs, a 44 year old labourer from Westmeath, Ireland arrived at Wellington on 11 March 1873 on the ‘Glenlora’ with his wife Jane (33) and daughter Maria (14). The Government were seeking the repayment of £13 as per promissory note No.661. [4] Maria married Michael Hogan in 1873 [5] and gave birth to Mary Ann Maria Hogan in 1875. Maria died the same year aged 18 years [6] and was buried at Lower Hutt St James. [7]


In the mid-1880s a James and Mrs Frances Begg were paying rates as owner/occupiers on Lower Hutt Section 21 in Alicetown. [8] In 1891 “The Friends of Mr James Begg are respectfully invited to attend the Funeral of his late wife, Frances, to leave his residence, Alicetown, Lower Hutt, Tuesday morning, 16th June, at 6 o’clock.” [9] Frances was 57 years of age [6] and was buried at Lower Hutt St James. [7] In her will, dated 20 Dec 1890, she appointed Robert Cleland as executor who was to hold her estate upon trust for her husband, James Begg, and after his death, for her son-in-law Michael Hogan and on his death for her grand-daughter Mary Anne Maria Hogan. [10] This arrangement was confirmed in an 1897 Lower Hutt Magistrate court case. A Mrs Coleman was stated to be the daughter of Michael Hogan and the report implied that James Begg was deceased. [11]


When James Begg died in 1895, at the residence of his grand-daughter, Mrs Mary Coleman, in Lower Hutt, he was described as a pensioner of the 9th Regiment. [12] His regimental records reveal that he was born c1820 at Clonmellon, Westmeath, Ireland. He was attested at Liverpool on 21 July 1840 and was discharged to pension, at his own request, at Limerick on 21 July 1862 having completed 21 years of service. He served 9 years 6 months abroad in the East Indies, Malta, Crimea and Canada. He was wounded twice – at Jugdulluck (1842) and at Sebastopol (1855). He appeared nine times in the defaulters book and was court martialled twice, once being acquitted. At some point in his life he would have had in his possession five medals – Kabul (1842), Sutlej with two clasps (1845-1846), British Crimea with Sebastopol clasp, Turkish Crimea and Distinguished Conduct Medal (1855).  [13] The location or even existence of these medals is unknown.   Attempts to ascertain where he was buried have so far eluded this researcher and likewise the whereabouts of his grand-daughter.


There is an entry for a Mary Ann Maria Coleman in a Wellington Land Transfer Office volume held at Archives New Zealand that covers the period 1895-1910. This will reveal at least one land description, a date and a certificate of title reference. [14]


[1] Archives NZ Reference ACFQ 8223 IM3/19/4/1 – 1873/11-1879/1217 Promissory Notes 27 Feb 1873 to 26 Nov 1879

[2] Archives NZ Reference ACFQ 8235 IM15/2/35 Passenger List Forfarshire 16 Nov 1872 to 07 Mar 1873 (FamilySearch)

[3] Evening Post 19 April 1882 Bankruptcy Notice for George William Scadden of Lower Hutt

[4] Archives NZ Reference ACFQ 8235 IM15/2/25 Passenger List Glenlora 06 Aug 1872 to 11 Mar 1873 (FamilySearch)

[5] New Zealand Society of Genealogists Kiwi Index V2.0 NZ Bride and Grooms (not in online BDMs)

[6] New Zealand Births, Deaths and Marriages online

[7] New Zealand Cemetery Records – Burial Records Lower Hutt St James (Ancestry)

[8] Lower Hutt Local Board Rate Book – Hutt City Archives Reference ARCH34387

[9] Evening Post 15 Jun 1891 Funeral Notice

[10] Archives NZ Reference AAOM 6029 W3265 68/3731 Probate for Frances Begg 1891 (FamilySearch)

[11] Evening Post 04 Nov 1897 Local and General – sitting of Magistrate’s Court at Lower Hutt – Hogan v. Routley

[12] Evening Post 12 Aug 1895

[13] National Archives (UK) WO 97 Chelsea Pensioner Records for Private James Begg (1712), 9th Regiment of Foot (FindmyPast)

[14] Archives NZ Reference AEFT 19643 W299 LTOW299/9 Land Transfer Nominal Index A-E  – transcript of index at

Next step see Archives NZ Reference AEFT 19643 LTOW299/182 Land Transfer Index Volume 6 folio 755


Pandora Research

Dawn Chambers

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Chinese Corner 

Wah Lee - The Iconic Asian Goods Emporium

The first mention of Wah Lee was in Greys Avenue in 1904 as a fruit shop. It used to be a bank for the Chinese, too. At Greys Avenue, “our customers were mostly Cantonese, not many Europeans came in”.  The shop moved to Hobson Street in 1966. [i] History records 3 sisters, who were in China at the time of the Japanese war, 1944 to 1945.


Some 15 years ago two young Chinese girls, Alice Wah Lee and Nancy Wah Lee, accompanied by other members of their family, left New Zealand for China. A few days ago, the two sisters completed the return journey under vastly different conditions.

The journey began months ago and has involved travelling by river boat, train, aeroplane and ocean-going steamer.

They were in Hongkong studying at a convent in December, 1941, when the city was attacked. On Monday, December 8, one of the girls was half-way to school when the first Japanese bombing raid was carried out, the objective of the Japanese on this occasion being the airfield. The attacks came as a surprise, and at first the general feeling was one of bewilderment.

On the following day there was a great scramble to buy foodstuffs and other necessities, and shops were emptied of their stocks in half an hour. The Japanese then started to bomb the docks and barracks.

The girls, who, owing to the rush on the shops, had been unable to obtain food, were given a sack of rice and some bread by an English soldier prior to the Japanese occupation. The rice was destroyed by a bomb, but they were able to retain the bread.

Then the land fighting began. The flat in which they were living was situated in Happy Valley, between the British Army and the Japanese. The flat shook constantly from gun fire and falling bombs. During this time the girls slept fully dressed, their pockets crammed with toast and dry bread. The building was hit, but they miraculously escaped injury, and they went to stay with friends. They were in constant danger of death from bullets.

The day Hongkong was taken there was very heavy fire in the morning, but in the afternoon, this ceased. They thought the Chinese Army had attacked and the Japanese were retreating. Soldiers came into sight and in the distance the girls thought they were Chinese, but they proved to be Japs. One of the girls described them as "looking like monkeys and stinking horribly." They had obviously been plundering en route, for all had their pockets bulging with loot. Some had half a dozen wrist watches, practically covering their forearms. Others had numbers of fountain pens clipped in their pockets. Others again carried perfumes and powder, and if they took a fancy to a girl they would shake these over her.

They came into the house and stared at the girls and their friends, and then ordered them outside while they searched the place. The Japanese made them line up in a row and then stood in front of them, training a machine gun on them, but after scaring them ordered them back to the house. When drunk the Japanese would wail that they would lose in the end and the Chinese would win, and they would moan over the thought of losing their wives and homes. The house was visited a second time by Japanese soldiers, but these did no more than look around and ask questions. Nevertheless, the experience was very frightening.

They could hear girls screaming and crying from the agonies. of torture by the Japanese. The whites, however, suffered most of all. The Canadian soldiers had to exist on half a bowl of congee (rice boiled to a very thin consistency) daily, and were made to stand in trenches, where they were buried up to their heads and tortured. Civilians were killed like pigs, others were cut to pieces, others had ears lopped off. The Japanese were frightened of the population getting out of hand as a result of the food shortage, and their policy was to remove those who were not engaged in important undertakings in Hongkong. Those remaining faced dire consequences if they did not obey the Japanese.

Three Chinese doctors prominent in the community refused to accompany the Japanese to Burma. One had his fingers chopped off, another was disembowelled, and the fate of the third was not known. The Japanese also collected captives for forced labour in Burma.

The Italians and Germans were the only white people allowed to go free. They were given white arm bands to distinguish them from the other Europeans.

In order to reduce the population, the Japanese started running refugee boats, and to get on these boats thousands of refugees collected at the wharves. Many people were killed by the Japanese clubbing them on the head in efforts to control the mob. A large number of old people and children were trampled to death.

The two girls spent three days and three nights on the wharf before they were able to get aboard one of the boats. The journey from Hongkong to their home at Toishan, which normally took a day and a half, occupied ten days, but they were quite well treated.

The girls later went to Kukong to continue their studies at the University, but there they were subject to bombing and machine-gunning three times a day. There was no special military objective, but hundreds of houses were burned. Delayed action bombs were also dropped, and at first many were killed when looking at these.

The girls' brother in New Zealand decided that they should join him out here, and with the assistance of another sister, attached to the U.S. Army in Chungking, was successful in making the arrangements. From Kukong the girls travelled for two days in a train to Kweiling, in Kwansi Province. There they boarded a U.S. Army plane for Kunming, in Yunnan Province. They crossed the Himalayas by plane and suffered from bleeding noses and ears in the rarefied air. In Calcutta the warmth of the hospitality of the Indians left nothing to be desired, but with true Indian courtesy they insisted on feasting the girls on large quantities of heavily curried Indian foods, and according to the custom the hosts themselves placed the food in the girls' mouths, with the result that the sisters were bespattered with food, while the curry brought tears. On the last stage or the journey, aboard ship, the elder of the girls proved a bad sailor, but the younger had a royal time, the captain taking a special interest in the two refugees. At Fremantle they were entertained by the Chinese Consul, and at Sydney were interviewed by a representative of a Chinese newspaper.

The girls recalled that time after time in the adventurous weeks since December, 1941, they had escaped death by a hair's breadth. After each escape they would look at each other amazed to find they were still alive.

On every hand they found kindness as they travelled. It made no difference whether they sought assistance from Chinese, British, American or Indian—all helped the two sisters. 

They did not, however, leave China without regret. There was a new and vital spirit in China. Men, women and children were all in the fight, and despite seven long years of war and suffering all were as determined to continue resistance to the end. The position of women in China had changed. To-day, encouraged by the bravery and devotion to duty of the "First Lady" of China, Madame Chiang Kai-shek, they were taking part in war activities of all kinds, even to fighting. Reconstruction, too, was being planned. The west was being opened up, and migration there encouraged by the Government. Free schools had come into existence, and the Government was sending its university graduates overseas for further training, so that they might return to China able to give the best possible assistance in rebuilding the country. [ii]

U.S. Award to Chinese Nurse From Auckland

To an Aucklander falls the honour, of being the first Chinese nurse to be awarded the United States Civilian Emblem. She is Miss Annie Wah Lee.

Born in Auckland 27 years ago, Miss Wah Lee was educated at the Normal School, then in Wellesley Street, and at the Auckland Girls' Grammar School. After she had had a year's study at the Grammar School the Wah Lee family returned to China, where Miss Wah Lee completed her education.

After leaving college, Miss Wah Lee, who was a brilliant student, taught English. She was at this time staying with a Jamaican girl, and by her she was introduced to a priest, who advised her to take up nursing. Through his good offices she was able to join the Kowloon Hospital, where she gained her first year's training as a nurse. Then followed a further five years' training at the Queen Mary Hospital, Hongkong, at the conclusion of which Miss Wah-Lee was appointed matron of the Hospital of the Precious Blood, which was also situated in the British Colony, and was run by sisters of the Roman Catholic Church.

At the time of the fall of Hongkong, Miss Wah Lee’s two sisters, Nancy and Alice, whose exciting escape to Free China and subsequent voyage to New Zealand was reported in the Star last year, were on the island. Miss Wah Lee was on the mainland at the time, but at risk of her life she crossed to Hongkong to contact her sisters. As a nurse she was able, through a doctor, to gain a special pass to make the trip, but even so the hazards were considerable. The Japanese wanted to keep her on the island to nurse their own sick and wounded, but she refused, and since the Japanese were more concerned with subduing the British on Hongkong rather than the Chinese—except those of wealth or high position—the request was not enforced.

Her two sisters, disguised as old women, were taken to occupied China on a refugee boat controlled by the Japanese, and Miss Wah Lee later made a similar trip. This service was run by the Japanese in order to reduce the population on the island, and it was a dangerous voyage. Apart from the fact that many people were brutally clubbed to death by the Japanese in their efforts to control the thousands of refugees on the wharves and that a large number of old women and children were trampled to death, the Japanese themselves often attacked the boats and robbed the passengers. Furthermore, young Chinese women were liable to be molested by the lustful Japanese soldiers.

Miss Wah Lee was fortunate in escaping harm and after reaching the mainland made her way by foot, rickshaw, sedan chair and truck to Free China. The last-named means of transport, though faster than the others, was reliable, for many of the lorries ran on coal when out of petrol and were prone to come to a halt leaving the. occupants to spend a night on the mountains. Nevertheless, the journey to Chungking—a distance of some 700 miles as the crow flies —was completed in three weeks. In the war time capital Miss Wah Lee contacted a priest, with the assistance of whom she obtained a position with the American Red Cross, rising to a position of prominence.

Miss Wah Lee has not said much about her appointment to her family, but they know she had been associated with the care of the sick and wounded American servicemen. Part of her duties have been of an investigatory nature and she also made many trips by air to India in connection with the purchase of supplies. For her services to the Army the Civilian Emblem was awarded in October last. Miss Wah Lee has also been in contact with Madame Chiang Kai-shek. A few weeks ago, Miss Wah Lee went to the United States, where she will further her studies in nursing work. She expects to be in America about two years before returning to China. It is understood by her family that she passed through New Zealand en-route but was unable to land and see her brothers and sisters. Her parents are in occupied China[iii]



[1] By Philip Matthews, AUCKLAND STAR, 1 FEBRUARY 1945

Helen Wong

Guest Contributor

What a nonchalant remark can lead to :  My paternal grandparents’ emigration to  New Zealand.

Having all but completed the search for my half brother on my maternal side, when, during our weekly coffee with fellow genealogist and collaborator, the conversation turned to what was going to be my next research project. Without thinking I nonchalantly replied that I was thinking about looking to researching my paternal grandparents, William George RUDGE (1881-1946) and Amy PRIOR nee DUGMORE (1874-1941) emigration to New Zealand.                                                                                                                         

Over the years I had made sporadic half-hearted efforts to research this to little or no avail. I knew that it was most likely they had travelled together to New Zealand. But when and how was the burning question.  It was always on my mental to do list since I had started researching my family history. My father Selwyn Hope RUDGE (1910-1954) was born in 1910 in Remuera, Auckland. He was the elder of two siblings the other being my aunt Queenie RUDGE born 1913 at Oratia, Waikumete.  So, I knew my grandparents were in New Zealand by late 1910.

For the death certificate of my paternal grandmother Amy RUDGE on 26 November 1941 my grandfather William George RUDGE was the informant. This information is not on the certified copy but is verified from Sibuns the undertaker's record. The certified copy cites that the deceased wife of William RUDGE, Amy, maiden name DUGMORE, had been previously married to a William Dennis PRIOR.  The interesting information the certificate provides is that there were two male children and three female children from this her first marriage.

Searching the England GRO birth indexes I compiled a list of 13 entries of possible candidates for the births of the five PRIOR Children in Birmingham, Warwickshire.

Next I corresponded with the Birmingham RGO asking them to provide birth entries for any PRIOR children with parents William Dennis PRIOR and Amy nee DUGMORE. From this I had a final list of four Prior children births. I now knew the birth date of the eldest and the youngest of four of the five children of the PRIOR family. William Dennis PRIOR b.1893 and the youngest Maud PRIOR b.1904. The other two PRIOR siblings were born c1899 and 1904 respectively. This meant that in 1904 Amy and William PRIOR were still living together as husband and wife.

Some further research was done by a researcher in Wellington on my behalf who found some interesting information in the New Zealand Department of Justice RGO birth records. as it was previously known, now the DIA , Births Deaths and Marriages.  This concerned the birth entries of both Selwyn Hope RUDGE and Queenie RUDGE originally registered in 1911 and 1913 respectively. Here's the twist. They were originally registered with the parent's given names of Alfred RUDGE and Lizzie RUDGE nee MILLS. These entries were amended from Alfred John RUDGE and Lizzie RUDGE nee MILLS to the correct parents names on the 7th August 1942 by William George RUDGE to father: William George RUDGE and mother: Amy RUDGE, formerly PRIOR nee DUGMORE.

Keep in mind Alfred RUDGE and Lizzie MILLS. Their likely collusion with William and Amy brings into play an interesting development to this family narrative. Remember also the period when this research was in hand it was in the ‘dark ages of research’; pen & paper, correspondence, fiche readers, and visits to research facilities and repositories.

Another twist is that William George RUDGE and Amy PRIOR did not marry until 1915.  Therefore both Selwyn and Queenie RUDGE were born out of wedlock. I always suspected that this was because Amy was still legally married to William Dennis PRIOR, which proved to be the case.

Fast forward to the coffee sessions. Within the next week or so my collaborator had done some research on Paperspast and found two articles of interest published in 1920 and 1923, by searching on the RUDGE surname.

In the Auckland Star newspaper account of 1923 William RUDGE was in the Auckland Magistrates Court petitioning for a divorce from his wife Amy RUDGE formerly PRIOR nee DUGMORE. A decree nisi was granted “on the ground of habitual drunkenness and continued neglect of household duties” However the petition also provides an account of how and when the couple came to travel to New Zealand. “The petitioner [William RUDGE] a second hand dealer of Newmarket, stated that he met respondent (Amy PRIOR) in 1909 when she was the wife of a man named PRIOR, and she went and lived with witness. A year later they came to New Zealand as Mr and Mrs RUDGE using witness’ brothers' marriage certificate.

There it was all the proof needed that revealed how and when my grandparents came to New Zealand. A further search of the emigration and immigration records for William RUDGE and Amy RUDGE travelling to New Zealand using the aliases of William’s brother and sister in law namely Alfred RUDGE (1880-1955) and Lizzie RUDGE (1881).

The Shaw Savill and Albion Line Company SS Matatua left London on the 5th October 1910. The voyage took 48 days, arriving at Auckland on the 22 November 1910.  This was less than a month before Amy was due to give birth to my father, her 6th child. Two of the passengers travelling under the alias of Alfred RUDGE and Eliza RUDGE were William George RUDGE and Amy PRIOR, ( Eliza being an obvious mis-transcription for Lizzie).

The second relevant article was published in the Auckland Star in 1920 when William RUDGE sued a William PRIOR to recover £29-9-00 being the balance owed of £38-9-00 for passage money. This article raises several questions. What was the passage money for – coming or going? What was the purpose of their visit to New Zealand; immigration, tourism or family reasons. Was it push pull emigration or just a visit?  The W D PRIOR listed in Niagara’s manifest is most likely Amy’s eldest son, William Dennis PRIOR by William Dennis PRIOR. For confirmation a search for the court record would possibly reveal the full given name of William PRIOR.

Turning to “Family search” and access to emigration and immigration shipping passenger lists held at New Zealand Archives. This listed a Mr and Mrs W.D. PRIOR, aged 25 and 31 respectively, born in England, leaving from Vancouver, Canada. The couple travelled to New Zealand as steerage passengers on board the Union Steam Ship Company SS Niagara, the same SS Niagara that is believed to have bought the Spanish flu pandemic to New Zealand in 1918.  The SS Niagara left Vancouver on the 18th December 1919 sailing via Honolulu and Suva  arriving at Auckland in early January 1920.

Analysing the above it is sufficient evident proof that the Mr, and Mrs. W.D. PRIOR, listed on the SS Niagara passenger manifest, is the eldest son and daughter in law of William Dennis PRIOR and Amy nee DUGMORE.  William Dennis PRIOR (junior) married Kate BODMAN in 1915. Most likely the Kate PRIOR nee BODMAN listed on the Niagara’s passenger manifest just as Mrs PRIOR. The ages of the PRIORS also correspond and the death of William PRIOR b.1871, in 1911 being before the PRIOR’s visit in 1919 is further evidence. The question still remains as to why they came to New Zealand.

When researching passenger lists it pays to look at both the ships passenger manifest and the transcription. In the case of the Niagara’s passenger manifest lists the PRIORs as Mr & Mrs. indicating the relationship while the transcript copy does not indicate the relationship between the couple.

Let’s look at some of the time line dates for the main characters in this chronicle.                                     

            William Dennis PRIOR (1871-1911) married 1892 Amy DUGMORE (1874-1941)                                                             

            1909: Amy leaves William PRIOR to reside with William RUDGE                                                                     

            1910 April: Selwyn RUDGE conceived.                                                                                                           

            1910 October: Amy & William emigrate to New Zealand sailing on the Shaw Savill and Albion Line SS Matatua on the 5th October using Alfred RUDGE and Lizzie RUDGE nee MILLS marriage certificate as proof of a conjugal relationship in order for them to travel together as a           married couple.                                                                                                      

            1910: November William and Amy in Auckland.                                                                                                     

            1910 14 December: Selwyn Hope RUDGE born (1910-1954)                                                                                                  

            1911:  William Dennis PRIOR death.                                                                                                                               

            1913:  Queenie RUDGE birth 1913-1997.                                                                                                                                  

            1915: William RUDGE and Amy PRIOR nee DUGMORE married.                                                                              

            1920: William RUDGE sues William PRIOR for passage money.                                                                             

            1923: William RUDGE petitions for divorce from Amy RUDGE. Decree nisi granted.                                                                                                                                          

            1941: Amy RUDGE dies                                                                                                                             

            1942: William RUDGE has the birth entries of Selwyn and Queenie RUDGE emended to the correct given names of the parents.                                                 1946: Death of William RUDGE                                                                                                                     

            1955 : Death of William Dennis PRIOR (1893-1955).

In October 1910 when William and Amy immigrated to New Zealand, Amy would have been seven months pregnant with Selwyn Hope RUDGE who would have been conceived about April 1910. Amy also seems to have forsaken her children by William Dennis PRIOR. I do wonder whether or not that maybe Amy and William RUDGE were under family pressure to emigrate to New Zealand because of her condition, and the shame and opprobrium it would bring on the family. Added to that, what with leaving her young family behind, may have also contributed to Amy’s obvious depressive mental state in 1923.   At that time in 1910, given the social mores of the time, it would be inappropriate or improper for Amy, a heavily pregnant single woman, to make such a journey as a single woman even on the same vessel as her future spouse.

By 1915 Amy and William RUDGE somehow learned of William Dennis’s death in 1911 and were therefore able to be legally married without committing bigamy.  

William and Kate PRIOR both travelled to New Zealand in 1919 on the Niagara. It is unclear when they returned to England although William died in 1955 in Birmingham. There is more work to do on this one as yet.

Today with technology and the huge amount of data that is now readily accessible, finding out when and how my grandparents came to New Zealand was still fraught with twists and turns. The key was the 1923 newspaper article which provided the account of how William and Amy immigrated to New Zealand. Serendipity, luck, collaboration and good solid research all also played a role.

Less than a decade ago this research would have been extremely time-consuming and almost impossible using the limited technology and resources available at that time.

One of the lessons learnt and repeated periodically in genealogical publications is that it is not only a practical but also a beneficial exercise to review old research and revise it with any subsequent research found.

My thanks are due to my coffee collaborator for his valued assistance.

Allan Rudge

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

Are you interested in family and local history? Or about the history of New Zealand?
Then come along to one of our fortnightly HeritageTalks

Where: Whare Wānanga, Level 2, Central City Library, Lorne StAuckland 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.

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.

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


Fateful choices with Cushla Randle  

Making the invisible visible: Uncovering the stories of the 1893 Suffrage Petition with Stefanie Lash from Archives New Zealand

Wednesday 12 June 12 noon-1pm

The signing of the 1893 Suffrage petition was a momentous achievement for wāhine in Aotearoa. It led to women winning the vote and was a key milestone in the fight for gender equality. We were the first in the world to achieve this.

But who were the 25,519 women who signed their names? For the most part, we know very little about them. Where did they live? Where did they come from? What were their lives like in 1893? 
Central City Library in association with He Tohu lead curator, Stefanie Lash from Archives New Zealand, is delighted to present a background to the suffrage movement, the petition, and a look at some of the wonderful women whose stories have been discovered so far. 

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

Māori cloak project 'Nāu i whatu te kākahu, he tāniko tāku. You weave the cloak, and I’ll weave the border'. Te Awe: Nga Taonga o te Whare Pora - An Auckland Museum project. A HeritageTalk with Bethany Matai Edmunds, Auckland Museum

This event was scheduled for Wednesday 20 June but has now been postponed till Wednesday 26 September

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



Let the Elders speak with Ian Lawlor

Wednesday 4 July, 12pm -1pm

Come and hear archaeologist and anthropologist Ian Lawlor’s speak about his newly completed project, researching and transcribing of the Native Land Court 1868 Orakei minute books. 

Zines with Renée Orr and Zoë Colling

Wednesday 18 July, 12pm -1pm

Artists have long been interested in book-making as a creative practice, just as self-publishing has been a strategy to have one’s voice heard. Join Zoë Colling and Renée Orr in a hands-on exploration of how private press meets DIY publishing in Auckland Libraries’ printed heritage collections, as they delve into their connections and divergences as heritage items – asking what they communicate as aesthetic objects and social documents.

Auckland Family History Expo 2018

Friday 10 - Sunday 12 August
Proudly presented by Auckland Libraries and the Genealogical Commuting Group of New Zealand.

A weekend-long event covering a wide range of topics related to researching genealogy and family history.

When: Friday, 10 August to Sunday, 12 August 2018 
Where: Fickling Convention Centre, 546 Mt Albert Rd, Three Kings, Auckland 

Expressions of interest from potential sponsors and exhibitors are still welcome.
Please email

Meet our international guest speakers:

Kerry Farmer (Australia) has degrees in science and humanities, and has been teaching family history classes since 1997. She is a member of the Education Committee and on the Board of the Society of Australian Genealogists, and is also the Director of Australian Studies for the National Institute for Genealogical Studies. Kerry authored "DNA for Genealogists”, "Arrivals in Australia from 1788" and together with Rosemary Kopittke wrote "Which Genealogy Program?"

Russ Wilding (USA) is the Chief Content Officer at MyHeritage and is leading the growth of its historical content. His work has led to the establishment of the MyHeritage digital archive of over 9 billion records, which is one of the largest global collections online today.

Russ brings a wealth of expertise in historical content acquisition, licensing and digitization from his previous 11-year role as CEO of iArchives, Inc. and Founder and CEO of its customer-facing website, which was sold to in 2010.

Diane C. Loosle (USA) is an Accredited Genealogist® and a Certified GenealogistSM.  She has a Bachelors degree in History with an emphasis in Family History and Genealogy and a Masters of Business Administration. She has worked for FamilySearch for the past twenty-four years as a British Reference Consultant, British Reference Unit Supervisor, Customer Experience Manager, FamilySearch Genealogical Community Services Manager, Director Genealogical Services, Director of the Family History Library and FamilySearch Centers worldwide, and is currently Director of the Family History Library and Senior Vice President of the Help Division for FamilySearch.

Jason Reeve (Australia) is Content Manager for Ancestry in New Zealand and Australia. Originally from Adelaide in South Australia, he has spent several years working within the Information Technology industry. A passionate advocate for all things history, Jason works closely with a range of archives, registries, historical & genealogical societies to uncover new record collections and share them with the Ancestry community. He is a regular speaker at genealogy events on Ancestry and AncestryDNA genetic testing.

Friday 10 August, 5pm-8.30pm

Expo opening reception for speakers, exhibitors and the general public

$15 a ticket, numbers limited, bookings essential - book:

5pm: Reception: Refreshments and canapes, mix and mingle

6pm: Welcome. Then DNA: another tool in the genealogist's toolbox with Kerry Farmer

7pm: Panel discussion DNA and traditional genealogy, followed by Q&A session


Saturday 11 August, 9am-7pm and Sunday 12 August, 9am-5.30pm

Free seminars, no booking required.

Free workshops and computer-based tutorials – bookings available on the day.


Exhibition room: Hillsborough Room – lower ground floor.

Absolute Beginners’ Table: Hillsborough Room by main entrance.

Seminar rooms: Waikowhai Room, Lynfield Room and Puketapapa (Senior Citizens) Room, lower ground floor.
No bookings required. Seats on a first come, first served basis.

Workshops/Ask an expert sessions: Three Kings Room (seats up to 10) – upper ground floor (library level). Bookings only available on the day at the information desk, restricted numbers.
Computer workshops: Mt Roskill Library computer area (seats up to 12) – upper ground floor. You are most welcome to bring your own device (laptop/tablet) and join in.

Bookings only available on the day at the information desk.


Exhibitors: Ancestry, Auckland Council Libraries, Auckland War Memorial Museum ADU,  Beehive Books/HOG Tours, Chinese Poll Tax Trust, FamilySearch, FamNet/Jazz Software, Guild of One Name Studies (GOONS), Indian genealogy / West Research Centre, Memories In Time, MyHeritage, New Zealand Fencible Society Inc, New Zealand Micrographics/Recollect, New Zealand Society of Genealogists Head Office and Interest Groups: New Zealand, English, European, Irish, Maori, Pacific Island, Scottish; Wales – New Zealand Family History Society.


Thank you to all our sponsors, who are providing financial support and awesome raffle prizes:  Ancestry, Auckland Council, FamilySearch, Genealogical Computing Group,  LivingDNA, MyHeritage, Puketapapa Local Board, The Genealogist.


Keep an eye on for updates

Full Expo programme available soon


The Auckland City branch of the New Zealand Society of Genealogists meet monthly at Central Library Auckland, on the fourth Tuesday of each month 10.30am-12pm

Join the monthly meeting of the Auckland City branch of the New Zealand Society of Genealogists on the fourth Tuesday of each month.

There is a speaker and a topic at each meeting, with tea and coffee afterwards. Non-members very welcome!
Meeting is held in the Whare Wānanga on Level 2.

Enquiries to


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.


Doing your family history online – 50 best websites for family history

“The internet is packed with websites, large and small, dedicated to helping us trace our family histories. To help ensure that you cover the really unmissable ones, we’ve handpicked a master list of the 50 greatest, mostly free, websites in no particular order. So hop aboard with Karen Clare to set off on a tour of the addictive online world of genealogy and discover which family history website is for you.”

10 Tools for Your Genealogy Research That You Never Thought You’d Need

“When you have been doing genealogy for a while, you get used to surprises. You make new discoveries in places you never thought you would find anything. You meet new people in unusual places who have information on your family you could never get on your own. And, sometimes, you find yourself needing a tool to do your research you never thought you would need. Here are the top ten tools for your genealogy research you never thought you’d need.”


Genealogy: Build an identity profile about ancestors

“The identity of the ancestor is more than a name. It is every known detail of a human life, which includes information about the individual, their relationships and their origin.

Begin by targeting your research location. Search for any document created during the time your ancestor lived. Make sure you understand the circumstances under which every document was created, continually comparing, contrasting and questioning details.” – This is not long, but is very handy.

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                                                                                    Image result for genealogy humour                                 FamilySearch Digitized the Records You Need? Here’s How to Check

From the editor:This may look like a long article but the actual word count is low.  For "slow genealogists, like myself, it has lots of scene shots to show what each step brings up. This website is an amazing resource. Day by day it increases its digital content.You must explore the site. Wonders await.

Toni Carrier

by Toni Carrier

FamilySearch recently announced that they had added the 2 billionth record to their free online databases of digitized historical documents. The records giant currently adds over 300 million new images a year to their online holdings. A world of free resources for African American genealogy await you on FamilySearch – you just have to know how to find them.

Two ways to find digitized records on familysearch

In our recent post “Find Millions of Free FamilySearch Records for Your Area of Research Interest,” we showed you how to browse digitized collections on FamilySearch using the navigation tools in the left sidebar to browse to collections for your area of research interest, as in the two examples below (please refer to the original post for step-by-step instructions):


The post referenced above will guide you through the steps of browsing to digitized collections on FamilySearch. But another treasure trove of records await you in microfilms that FamilySearch is digitizing that are not part of its formal collections.

In this post, we will take you step-by-step through accessing the millions of records available through the FamilySearch catalog. With more records being digitized each day, searching the FamilySearch catalog will keep you up to date on newly-digitized records for your African American genealogy research.

The familysearch catalog: treasures await!

To search for newly-digitized records in the FamilySearch catalog, start on the FamilySearch home page and click on “Search.” A dropdown box will appear. From the dropdown menu, click on “Catalog.”

Let’s do a search for Chatham County, Georgia records. As we start typing “Georgia,” a dropdown box appears with suggestions. Click on “United States, Georgia.” Those words will appear in the search term entry box.

Slide 2

Now we’re ready to add Chatham County. As we begin to type Chatham, the dropdown box appears with suggestions:

Slide 3

When we have our search term entered and click on “Search,” a list of record categories for Chatham County Georgia appears. 
Slide 4

Let’s click on the “Public records” category. We see two entries there. Let’s click on the Register of free persons of color:

Slide 5

This takes us to the detail page for the Register of free persons of color. If we scroll down, we’ll see a list of the microfilms for this item. 

slide 6

Here there is one microfilm listed. See the microfilm reel icon to the right of the microfilm collection? A microfilm reel icon tells us that the microfilm has not yet been digitized. We can keep checking the catalog from time to time in coming weeks, to see if the film is digitized

Slide 7

Let’s move on to another category for Chatham County Georgia by using the back key to go back to our search results. Let’s click on the category “Vital records” and see which record sets are listed there. Marriage licenses (originals), 1805-1866 looks interesting, let’s click on those:

Slide 8

The detail page pops up. We can scroll down to see the microfilms included in this record set.

Slide 9

See the camera icons to the right of the microfilm descriptions? A camera icon means that the microfilm is digitized, so we can view the film online. Let’s click Marriage licenses, 1865-1866 to view the microfilm:

Slide 10

This takes us to the image thumbnails for each frame in the microfilm. We can click on an image thumbnail image to view a larger version of the image. These records are not yet indexed and searchable, but we can view the entire microfilm frame by frame, as we would if we were viewing the film in a library.

Slide 11

This takes us to the image on the microfilm. 

Slide 12

Let’s go back to our search results and continue exploring the Chatham County record sets. This time, let’s click on “Voting registers:”

Slide 13

This takes us to the detail page for the record set. 

Slide 14

Scrolling down, we see from the camera icon that the Savannah voter’s registers microfilms have been digitized. Let’s click on the Voters registers for 1870-1871:

Slide 15

This takes us to the image thumbnails, where we can click on an image to view it larger:

Slide 16

We can now view the individual frames on the microfilm.


Slide 17


Here is another neat feature of searching the catalog. We searched Bertie County, North Carolina records in the catalog and clicked on “Negro cohabitations:”

Slide 18

See the magnifying glass icon next to the camera icon on the right side? If you see a magnifying glass icon, it means that this microfilm is searchable. Let’s click on the magnifying glass:

Slide 19


This takes us to a screen where we can search that microfilm. The microfilm number automatically appears in the left sidebar search entry form so we can search just that microfilm! 

Slide 20


With the previous post and this one, we now have step-by-step instructions for the two ways to find digitized records on FamilySearch: (1) browsing to established collections, as in the previous post “Find Millions of Free FamilySearch Records for Your Area of Research Interest,” and (2) searching the FamilySearch catalog using the instructions above, in this post.


      Image result for genealogy humour               Image result for genealogy humour       

Don’t Make this Big Mistake with

Are you making this HUGE MISTAKE when using or other genealogy sites? Find out from genealogy author and educator Thomas MacEntee how to avoid losing access to record images when researching your family history!

Why Users of Ancestry and Other Genealogy Sites Should Always Save Record Images to Their Computer

If you are an member or paying subscriber, you may not fully understand a feature of the website: periodically records, and even entire record sets, can and do disappear! Seriously. And it isn’t just Ancestry that does this. Many of the major genealogy websites, even free sites like FamilySearch, have removed records and record sets in the recent past.

So what’s going on? What you may not realize is that the record sets are licensed to vendors like Ancestry with specific terms as to how they can be used and for how long they can be used by Ancestry members and subscribers.

Here’s a prime example that many of us who research in the Cook County, Illinois area understand: For many years, a researcher could access birth, marriage, and death certificates with images on and family search. Then suddenly one day proof! These records were gone and eventually replaced only by an index. So what happened? It turns out the Cook County let the licensing agreement with ancestry and family search expire without renewing the license their plan was to create their own site where they would sell the certificates for $15 each. This was well within the rights of Cook County since they are the owners of the documents and the document images. And if you look at it from the local or county government perspective they are always looking for ways to monetize assets and bring in income to avoid raising property taxes, other taxes, and other fees paid by its citizens as well as visitors.

What You Need to Know about Licensing of Genealogy Records

Licensing is a common way for genealogy vendors such as Ancestry, FindmypastMy Heritage, and even FamilySearch to acquire new records and to expand their holdings. Here are some of the factors involved in licensing that you may not realize:

  • Some licenses are exclusive. This means that only Ancestry (or some other site) will be the provider for these records. Typically it costs more for the vendor to acquire a record set through an exclusive license, but doing so allows them to remain competitive with other genealogy vendors. Often genealogists subscribe to more than one genealogy website in order to access exclusive records.
  • Most licenses have an end term or an end date. Despite this, almost 80% or more of the licenses are typically renewed at or near the end of term. This means there is no service interruption for Ancestry subscribers and members who use those records on a regular basis.
  • Record sets are missing from the Ancestry Library product. If you have ever used the library version of Ancestry at a library or repository, you may notice that some record sets are missing. Or you may notice that you can’t save the images whereas you can save the same images when using Ancestry at home. Some licenses are structured defining what the user can and cannot do with the records depending upon the product version of the genealogy website. The same issue exists with FamilySearch: you may have noticed that you can’t access a record image on from home, and you are told to visit a local Family Search Center or the Family History Library in Salt Lake City to access the image. Again, this all has to do with the specific license for that specific record set.

Why Record Set Licenses are Important in Genealogy

There licenses for many types of information that we use as consumers either for free or paid through a subscription. A license regulates who retains copyright on the content, who has permission to sell the information, who has permission to use the information, and in what manner there are allowed to use the information. If we didn’t have licenses, it would be very difficult to enforce copyright and intellectual property laws. A license is often a way of monetizing intellectual property while at the same time protecting copyright.

Read the Terms and Conditions for each Genealogy Website

As they say, “the devil is in the details,” Always read the Terms and Conditions for each genealogy website to understand how licenses work for record content. If you look closely at the terms and conditions for ancestry, you realize that you have agreed to the following:

Ancestry Terms and Conditions

5. Content Used in the Services

Ancestry Content: The Services contain photos, videos, documents, records, indexes of content, and other content that are owned by or are licensed to Ancestry. We refer to this content as “Ancestry Content.” Except for WebSearch records, which are governed by the third parties that host the records, all Ancestry Content is owned by or licensed to us and may be used only in accordance with these Terms. You may use the Ancestry Content only as necessary for your personal use of the Services or your professional family history research, and download the Ancestry Content only as search results relevant to that research or where expressly permitted by Ancestry.

With respect to Ancestry Content, you agree:

– To keep all copyright and other proprietary notices on any Ancestry Content you download or print; and

– Not to distribute, republish, or sell significant portions of any Ancestry Content.

Public Domain Content: Some Ancestry Content may be in the public domain, and yet also subject to restrictions on reuse. We refer to Ancestry Content in the public domain as “Public Domain Content.” You are free to use a small portion of individual photos and documents that are Public Domain Content, but you must obtain our written permission to use more than a small portion of these collections. If you have any questions about your use of Public Domain Content, please contact us.

See Ancestry Terms and Conditions

FamilySearch Rights and Use Information

You will find provisions similar to those at Ancestry, but with some variations since FamilySearch does not charge for access to content:

Licenses and Restrictions

All content found on this site (including visuals, text, icons, displays, databases, media, and general information) is owned by us or licensed to us. You may view, download, and print content from this site only for your personal, noncommercial use, or for your use as a volunteer indexer in connection with the FamilySearch Indexing Program pursuant to the FamilySearch Indexing Program Terms and Conditions or the FamilySearch Indexing Software License Agreement. In addition to the foregoing, unless otherwise indicated, content may be viewed, downloaded, or reproduced by media personnel for use in traditional public news media. You may not post content from this site on another website or on a computer network without our permission. You may not transmit or distribute content from this site to other sites. You may not use this site or information found at this site (including the names and addresses of those who have submitted information) to sell or promote products or services, to solicit clients, or for any other commercial purpose.

Notwithstanding the foregoing, we reserve the sole discretion and right to deny, revoke, or limit use of this site, including reproduction of site content. It is not our responsibility to determine what “fair use” means for persons wishing to use content from this site. That remains wholly a responsibility of the user. Furthermore, we are not required to give additional source citations. Also, in no case do we guarantee that any content on this site is legally cleared for any use beyond personal, noncommercial use. Such responsibility also ultimately remains with the user. However, we do maintain the right to prevent infringement of our content and to interpret “fair use” as we understand the law.

See FamilySearch Rights and Use Information

So what does this mean to you as an Ancestry or FamilySearch user? See below for my tips on the first thing you should do when you find a record that you want to use as part of your genealogy research. Basically, I recommend that you immediately save a local copy and don’t assume that attaching a record image to your online tree will ensure that you will always have that image available.

Can I Find Out Which Record Sets Will Disappear?

The truth is you really cannot find out from Ancestry or any other genealogy website which record sets are scheduled to disappear or may have disappeared recently. When you think about it, this makes sense, at least to me as a business owner. I remember when I worked for big law firms we always had a big announcement when we opened a new office overseas. But we never announced the closing of an office!

It works the same way with the big genealogy vendors. You may see press releases, blog posts, Facebook announcements, advertisements etc. as to new record sets or additions to an existing record set. But is very rare that you will see a genealogy vendor admit to getting rid of a database.

If you want to see what Ancestry has added recently they do have a web page available, called Recently Added and Updated Collections ( Unfortunately, we are left to having other genealogists, especially genealogy bloggers, report the disappearance of record sets on Ancestry and other genealogy platforms.

My Recommended Action Plan for Always Having Access to Genealogy Records

AUSTIN John Ralph b1896 WWI Reg Card

World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918,” digital images, Ancestry ( accessed 29 Oct 2016), John Ralph AUSTIN, Draft Board 135, New York County, New York; citing World War I Selective Service System Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918, NARA microfilm publication M1509; Family History Library Roll No. 1766376.

Here is the procedure that I use when researching on Ancestry as well as other sites:

  • I treat that record as if it were the only time I could access it. How many times have you researched late at night only to discover that you can’t find that record or website in the morning?
  • As soon as I find a record, whether or not it will prove or disprove one of my research data points, I go and save the image if an image exists, to my local hard drive.
  • The next step is to give the file image a name that makes sense. Many times Ancestry will use a long for filename which doesn’t help me much. My goal is to look at an image file and determine right away what is in that file. Here is the file syntax I used recently for the image of a Word War I Draft Registration Card for my great-grandfather John Ralph Austin, born January 31, 1896, the card being dated June 5, 1917:

AUSTIN John Ralph b1896 WWI Draft Card 19170605 image 01

  • Now I move the newly named file from the Downloads directory to its proper place with my other genealogy files.
  • Once I have secured the image I can then complete the research information on my research log for that record including the source citation and evidence evaluation.
  • I also make sure that that image is part of my backup plan for all of my genealogy data.

The procedure above is the safest way to use Ancestry and any other record provider. If I don’t grab the image right away and give it a proper name right away I tend to get lazy and tell myself I will do it later and later never comes.

What is your action plan for saving record images from online genealogy websites? If you haven’t been saving these records on your computer, do you have a plan to go back and grab them now?

PLEASE NOTE: The post content above contains affiliate links. This means I make a percentage of sales via these links. This does not INCREASE the price you pay as a consumer. It simply supplements my income so I can continue providing as much free genealogy content as possible through my “abundance model.”

Disclosure Statement: I have material connections with various vendors and organizations. To review the material connections I have in the genealogy industry, please see Disclosure Statement.

©2018, copyright Thomas MacEntee.  All rights reserved.




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Book Reviews

Photo Organizing Made Easy, Going from Overwhelmed to Overjoyed

by Cathi Nelson Published 2017 Publish your Purpose Press 167 pages ISBN 978-1-946384-22-5 PRINT & -23-2 eBook $AU20.76 from Book Depository (free delivery)

Photo organising is very similar to organising your ancestors and relatives, your source information can be sketchy, incomplete with no sense of order & in many places, we know this can be the case for ancestry. For photos it means the data is in a shoe boxes, in little plastic yellow boxes, plastic sleeves, albums, and spread across computers and mobile phones.

Like ancestry there are people who will sort out and tidy up/organise & catalogue your photos.

The book sets out the process of achieving organisation over chaos & is well laid out and follows & documents what are really common-sense procedures. It is US centric as to references to more detailed cataloguing systems, services & products, but these will lead you check for possible home country equivalents.

Cathi also sets out to make sure we know what we are trying to achieve and why, its not just to have everything in order. “Essentially, we take photos to tell the story of our lives”, “we are a people of stories”, this is what our photos do. Photos conjure up our memories and its nothing worse than to have an upcoming event or wish to present a photo (with a story) to a friend or relative and not be able to find it in time.

There is a collection of real stories of people sorting and cataloguing photos and their particular reasons to do so, the results and satisfaction they achieved for themselves and others being families &/or clients in the case of professional photo organisers. (I’m currently involved with a work 30th reunion and have collected from my own & other participants ~ 1,000 photos of “people”. These will be shown at the reunion and then made available together with the reunion photos to the participants & those that couldn’t make it, and believe it they all tell a story, but some stories won’t be printed!)

Cathi set out the pros & cons of cataloguing by timeline or by theme/event and the advantages of using good cataloguing software, this software can be frustrating at times but it pays off in the long run to be able to filter by date, location, who, rating, etc and with one click have all the photos (assumed to be in electronic format) you want with the click of a button.

The book covers scanning, backing up, storage electronic & hardcopy, as well as the presentation formats to tell the stories.

To make sure you achieve your goal, Cathi says “You are more likely to achieve your goal when you tell someone who can hold you accountable. You can do it”. A maxim I have found does work

(Being of the old school I prefer organise over organize)

For those wanting to delve deeper into archiving &solving photo mysteries the following published by Family Tree Books shop are very good

Family Photo Detective – how to find genealogy clues in old photos by Maureen A. Taylor

How to Archive Family Photos by Denise May Levenick

For some excellent examples of family story telling with photos go to the Momento Photobook link as below. Momento may be more expensive than some of the other photobook producers, but the quality of their photobooks puts a great finish on all the time & effort you have spent on collecting the family history & photos.

Ken Morris


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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


Hi Peter,


Thanks for mentioning the NZ Police Gazettes in the April newsletter.


I was unaware of the Gazettes on Ancestry as I don't have a current subscription.  I dashed to the library and found info on my grandfather's brother.  I knew he was up to no good as reported in NZ newspapers, and the Gazette verified my suspicions of him with an alias for his given name.  The Police Gazettes are such a wonderful resource.


Certainly research has changed since I began in 1980, imagine back then if it was suggested in the future we could test our DNA for genealogical research!  Last year I tested for both autosomal and mitochondrial (mt) DNA.  The autosomal results confirmed some of my ancestral lines; and an interesting result with the mtDNA which supported the paper records I hold. I suppose at some point there may be answers for my other ancestral lines.  I tested with Family Tree DNA and uploaded my results for free with Gedmatch and MyHeritage.


I enjoy reading the monthly newsletter.




Penny Armstrong


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

 Image result for genealogy humour      Image result for genealogy humour



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

If you have problems with this page you can email us directly, but the page should be self-explanatory.

Copyright (Waiver)

Feel free to redistribute this newsletter. If you publish a newsletter yourself you may include material from this newsletter in yours provided that you acknowledge its source and include the FamNet URL.

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[iii] By Philip Matthews, AUCKLAND STAR, 1 FEBRUARY 1945