Part of the worldwide genealogy/family history community

FamNet eNewsletter June 2020

  ISSN 2253-4040

Quote: “People say nothing is impossible, but I do nothing every day” -Winnie the Pooh (what my wife thinks is my motto since I retired, The Editor)


Editorial 1

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

Regular Contributors. 1

From the Developer 1

Our Shared Database Grows. 1

The Nash Rambler 1

Has Anyone Finished Their Family Tree Yet?. 1

DNA Testing for Family History. 1

Do you have a ‘Royal’ in your family background?. 1

Wairarapa Wandering. 1

Digging Into Historical Records. 1

Three Eltham Vintage Postcards. 1

Chinese Corner 1

Market Gardeners Valuable War Work. 1

Anne Sherman. 1

Could your Ancestors Read and Write?. 1

Jan’s Jottings. 1

Guest Contributors. 1

Ken Morris. 1

Library Thing – Amazon Book Cataloguer 1

I Think We’ll Be Alright 1

Peter Tucker 1

A couple of family Puzzles. 1

Sharron Cole. 1

My Convict 1

Graeme Jury. 1

Family Trees Online. 1

Hugh Winters. 1

Myth and mystery behind Campbell Island's 'royal' resident 1

An Invitation to Contribute: 1

From our Libraries and Museums. 1

Auckland Libraries. 1

Anzac week commemorations - SoundCloud tracks. 1 tips with Michael Higgins. 1

Webinar series: Democracy 2020. 1

Group News. 1

Whangarei Family History Computer Group. 1

Waikanae Family History Group. 1

Waitara Districts History & Families Research Group. 1

News and Views. 1

Various Articles Worth Reading. 1

Is This the End of Genealogy Conferences as We Have Known Them?. 1

How Do You Pronounce “Ye”?. 1

10 Letters We Dropped From The Alphabet 1

Source guide for tracing your transported convict ancestor(s) 1

In conclusion. 1

Book Reviews. 1

Through the Mill 1

Dark Emu – Black Seeds. 1

Help wanted. 1

Letters to the Editor 1

Advertising with FamNet 1

A Bit of Light Relief 1

To Unsubscribe, Change your Email Address, or Manage your Personal Information. 1


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Hello fellow hermits.

Greetings and welcome to another issue of the FamNet newsletter.

I think we should go back into full lockdown. What do you say – I’m mad!! But, as editor of this wonderful newsletter (one reader told me that last week), it has made producing this edition much easier. 

Our last issue was obviously read. And our readers reacted. Besides the one letter that was full of praise I received 5, (I repeat 5) articles from readers that fitted the very few limitations I have imposed. These five new correspondents required very little editing to their articles. I have included 4 in this issue, and kept the other for next month.  I have been able to rest a couple of our regular writers.

I have always said that the hardest part of writing monthly columns is not the writing but deciding the subject matter. You may have deduced that if you are a regular reader of my column. Some are focussed, informative and a joy to read (patting myself on the back). Others are rambling nonsense on subjects that that shouldn’t have been written about – who said that they all were?

One contribution that I particularly enjoyed was that of Sharon Cole. It turns out that one of her ancestors enjoyed the voyage out to Tasmania as a convict on the same boat as my Francis Murray. Her ancestor turned out better than my Francis (who was, later, a murderer) because he abandoned his wife and children but then ended up as a pillar of the Presbyterian Church and a town notable in New South Wales. I have been well beaten in the comparison of our convicts.

The other contributors, Peter Tucker, Graeme Jury and Hugh Winters have also produced interesting articles. I recommend them.

I also recommend the two books reviewed by a wonderful reviewer – I’ve forgotten his name. But the books are well worth reading.

Now that others have taken the plunge and produced masterpieces why don’t you?

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

Peter Nash

Do you want to receive this newsletter every month?

This newsletter is free. There are not many free newsletters of this length in New Zealand. I am biased but it should be an interesting read.

To subscribe is easy too. Go on - don't misspell it as I have, twice already.

The front page is lovely, but click on [Newsletters].  A page opens showing you a list of all the past newsletters, you can click the link to read one that you’re interested in.

Like the front page, the newsletters page has a place where you can log on or register.   It’s in the top right-hand corner.  Put your email here and click [Continue].   If you aren’t already on our mailing list, there will be a message “Email not in database” and a button [New User] appears.  Click this and follow the dialog to register.  It’s free and easy.  You should receive a copy every month until you unsubscribe.

Robert has assured me that he will not send begging letters to your email - apparently, he has enough money at the moment. You will not have to put in your credit card number. You will not be charged a subscription.

Tell other genealogists so they can enjoy the newsletters too.


Peter Nash

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Regular Contributors

From the Developer

Our Shared Database Grows

Those of you who have seen me demonstrate FamNet will know that one of its features is that a family tree database can have many different owners, each controlling a different section of the extended tree.  I usually illustrate this by starting with my grandmother, Hannah OLD.   If you click that link (you’ll need to log on) you’ll see that this is my record (“record owner robertb”) but “mirk562” is the owner of her parents’ records, while of her children, my Uncle George’s record has owner “dbarnes”, and Uncle Vic (Harold)’s record has owner “tinabelk”.  The logic is obvious: almost always members of the immediate family have better information, and are more motivated to enrich the records with photos etc, than more remote relatives.  I can click the links to Uncle George or Uncle Vic and then find out about the families of my “Aunts in Law”, something that I’m not interested enough to research for myself, but which is of some interest when I want to understand names that I remember from family stories. 

Also, it solves the problem that Graeme Jury cites of the same error being repeated from tree to tree.  In FamNet we’d like to have fewer but better records, ideally only one record of each person, with that record holding the best information that we can collectively provide.   Of course that’s a utopian dream and we actually have a lot of duplication because most people don’t merge their trees, instead treating FamNet as just another system like Ancestry, but at least the potential is there.   I think that the combined database of which my records are a part has more than 400,000 people in it, although I’m only familiar with a small fraction (about 1000) of these people.

This month I was delighted to be contacted by somebody who’d found me through FamNet and who turned out to be a member of a branch of the family within the dbarnes records.  These records were not well documented because they were Don’s brother’s family, not his own.  With the agreement of Don’s son, who took over the responsibility for the dbarnes records on Don’s death, I transferred ownership of this group of about a dozen records to user “mozrock”.  Now this section of the extended family tree is being brought up to date and extended by the direct family.  I’ve added Mozrock and his daughter to my family group so that they can see all of my family, and we’ve started a conversation sharing our memories of these people.

Another case: until now the robertb records of my brother’s family ended with his children, and although his son had entered good records of his mother’s family there was only a single record of his wife.  I’d been trying without success to persuade my nephew’s wife to enter her ancestry.  Their children are now approaching the age where, like my grandchildren a few years ago, they will be doing family history projects at school. I told her how useful FamNet had been, with all of my families using the information that was already there for my side, and working together as a family to build out the other side, so that their children acquired a great record of their heritage.  I showed her the article that I wrote about Hannah’s family wall.  Now she is enthusiastically digging into her own family and mine, and we’re having fun swapping emails as I answer questions about my family.

Don’t develop your family history on your own, it is something in which the whole family should be involved.  A tree is a living repository of each family’s story. If you have a family tree in FamNet (and if not, why not), why don’t you reach out to your cousins.  You can add them to your family group, then suggest that they review and add to their own family’s records.  If you want to transfer part of your tree to their ownership, let me know and I’ll make it happen. 

Telling your story: Index

1.    Writing your story as notes, or with Word.  

2.    Embedding pictures in Word documents

3.    Saving Documents for Web Publication.

4.    Saving Scrapbook Items

5.    Sharing your Story: Managing your Family Group

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

7.    Comparing and Synchronising Records

8.    Producing and Using Charts

9.    Merging Trees.  Part 1:  Why Bother?

10.  Merging Trees.  Part 2:  Adding Records On-Line

11.  Merging Trees.  Part3.  Combining Existing Trees

12.  Finding Your Way Around FamNet (Getting Help)  

13.  FamNet – a Resource for your Grandchildren

14.  FamNet’s General Resource Databases
15.  Updating General Resource Databases

16.  Privacy

17.  Indexes: beyond Excel.

18.  Linking trees

19.  Uploading a GEDCOM file

20.  Uploading Objects to your Database

21.  Bulk-uploading Objects.  FamNet resource: Useful Databases
22.  Publishing Living Family on Family Web Sites 

23.  Have YOU written your family story yet? 

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

25.  It’s the Stories that Matter

26.  Using QR Codes for your Family History

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

Robert Barnes

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The Nash Rambler

Has Anyone Finished Their Family Tree Yet?

During the now famous lockdown, I read an article somewhere on my many travels through the internet in which the question was posed. Had anyone finished their family tree yet? It was a semi humorous article that bordered on an analysis of addiction. But it got me thinking about my reasons for starting work on my family tree, my “travels through the realms of genealogy”, my success or otherwise, and whether I had had enough of that time wasting “hobby” or addiction.

During the lockdown I had addressed a few of my “addictions” and maybe it was time to “fix” this one. You see I did have a few addictions that I had cured myself of. The first was my habit of buying books and magazines – no shops no buying. The second was my love of the Scottish national drink. I haven’t cured this one but the lack of purchasing opportunity slaked my thirst a little. Incidentally, I bought a bottle online about three weeks ago and it is still on its way to me. Meanwhile my cupboard is bare. If it takes any longer my thirst may be finished. My well-known love of a coffee produced by my favourite lady barista has been lessened from one a day to one every third day (or so) after a period of five weeks without any, but my love of a coffee paid by another person has not been addressed. My vegetable garden looked perfect but empty (no shop no plants). I couldn’t cure my addiction to crosswords and I don’t intend to. But Genealogy HMMMM!!!!

My first steps into family history and genealogy started about thirty years ago when I was volunteered by my father to write the NASH family history for a reunion. I had six months to complete it and I achieved it. I only went back to my great grandfather who had ten children and my grandfather had eleven children. I tracked down all descendants of my great great grandfather and every attendee at the reunion appeared somewhere on a giant family tree.

After this I continued on with my research. I set the target of getting all lines back to the late 1790s. I had decided that I didn’t want to trace back to Adam and Eve – that can be done by others. Apparently it can be done – I have spoken to a couple who swore that they had done that and I wasn’t in an asylum of any sort. After about eight years I discovered three major brick walls and these dominated my research time.

The first was Sarah DINNISS – a surname with many, many spellings. Sarah had an illegitimate son in the mid-1830s with the church warden’s son in Saleby, Lincolnshire. This magnificent church official recorded it all in the parish registers except for where Sarah originated from and who her parents were. With great pleasure I read about a hundred parish records of Lincolnshire looking for her birth. Eventually it was solved after a session with the research team at the NZ Society of Genealogists. Sarah had married three times between various census years and surname spellings varied from BDM and parish records. I basked in the glory of that “wonderful piece of research”. I spoke throughout NZ on the process. An Australian Genealogy Group journal carried an article (written by a cousin who was frustrated by the same problem) on the research and I basked in further glory!!!

During that period, I got heavily involved in the administration of the NZ Society of Genealogists which was a further “waste of time” but I was paid for it. Sometimes we get side-tracked badly in our research.

The second brick wall was Joseph NASH. He must be one of the most famous early settlers of NZ because I have spoken publicly and written about him many times. I finally had the choice of two options – one being a drunken sailor and the other a drunken deserter from the 70th regiment. Both of these appeared at the same time in Auckland courts for various misdemeanours. I developed an extended family tree for both options back about four generations without solving the mystery. After years of research into army records and merchant navy records I cracked it about four years ago. There is a lesson here. I read the muster records film for this regiment three times. The third time I found on the first page the proof I needed to solve the mystery. Remember; read every page including the frontispiece. The deserter was my man!!!! After badly bruising my head by bashing it against the wall, I basked in the glory of breaking down another brick wall.

The final problem ancestor was Julia Anne MURRAY. I wrote about her in my column in the last newsletter. I believe I have solved that one which entailed a few convicts in Tasmania much to my pleasure as well as my first drop of genuine Irish blood. This was solved just before lockdown and I spent the lockdown period basking in the pleasure of my great researching ability (for the sake of this column I will ignore the fact that a very good friend of mine actually solved it) and the fact that I had acquired a convict or two as well. This has got to be genealogical nirvana!!!!

But all my targets had been achieved. I had broken the three brick walls that had dominated my research for thirty years. I had all my lines back into the very early 1800s. I entered a period of depression. There were no more reasons to search the internet sites, read history etc. For the last few weeks I have done no research. I am struggling to even write about it. It is very hard to readjust my targets and refocus on the new search after thirty years of focus on finding the origins of three ancestors. And this is my problem – I should readjust my targets and just get on with it. Oh well, maybe I’ll go and beg a coffee from my mate, Alan, and have a wee dram then pick a name at random from my tree and concentrate on getting that line back. The problem is that I come from a long list of Ag Labs.

Or maybe I have finished my family tree.


Peter Nash

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DNA Testing for Family History

From the editor: Gail has written quite a series on DNA Testing. You will see them all on the FAMNET website and they are a must-read, particularly if you are considering or have had a test done. They are easy to read and not too technical.  Click Index so far to see these articles

Do you have a ‘Royal’ in your family background?

The possibility of being related to any of the ‘Royals’ continues to enthral people.  And given the very frequent shenanigans amongst the male species down through the ages, this can sometimes be a very real possibility.

I am an Administrator (one of them) for what is known as the Royalty Project with FamilyTreeDNA (FTDNA).  Usually (but definitely not always), a newcomer joins if he or she is someone hopeful of finding a match within that project.  On some occasions, that newcomer has actually done much of the hard genealogy work which has led them to consider that their unknown ancestor was a child of a ‘Royal’.  But that is not the usual scenario.

Unfortunately, the majority of newcomers have joined in the hopes they may strike it lucky.  Those same people seldom stop to think about the actual line in their genealogy which might lead back to a particular Royal family.  Nor do they realise that although they may find matches in the project, they overlook the fact that they may be matched to another hopeful person.

Sometimes there is a tenuous connection via a male descendant or separately, via a female descendant – depending on how good the research was of the hopeful tester.  And by research, I do not mean by finding someone else’s tree on the internet and simply copying it.  I mean doing the work themselves – birth, marriage, death documents; historical references; the geography and dates of the persons under scrutiny.

When it is a mixed gender line (which is the usual way), proving the link via DNA can be problematic because it depends on how a number of questions get answered.

Questions such as:

who is available to test?

what generational difference is there between that person to the target ‘Royal’?

what is the genealogy of that specific person likely to be back to that ‘Royal’?

does the tester have a well-researched genealogical line to extended family members from that particular ‘Royal’ to the present day?

is it a straight male line or does it have women interspersing that line?

is it a straight matrilineal line?

how far back did the ‘Royal’ live?

Is the particular ‘Royal’s’ DNA already known (whether YDNA or mtDNA or atDNA)?

If unknown, how can a test result be compared to that ‘Royal’?

All these questions have a bearing on the hoped-for outcome.

Let us say that through family stories, you have deduced that your illegitimate great grandfather (or great grandmother) might have been the son (or a daughter) of a ‘Royal’ because you have learned that although he/she was raised in a less-well-to-do family, he/she had the absolute best of everything – private schooling; tailored and expensive clothing; university; travel and so on.  But you have no idea just who that ‘Royal’ was, if, in fact a ‘Royal’ was even involved.  Everything you have found has always led you to a brick wall – name, birthdate, birthplace, country of upbringing etc.

Under such circumstances, you would need to work through the above questions as well as become familiar with exactly what each DNA test will reveal.  (I refer now to FTDNA and not one of the other firms). 

Examples are:

YDNA (preferably the Big Y 700) is for the direct male line – son to father to grandfather to great grandfather and so on.  If the results of that test match one of the Y haplogroups that are already known for the men in the Royal family, then you will have your answer.

mtDNA (only the Full Sequence) for the direct female line – son or daughter to mother to grandmother and so on.  If the results of that test match one of the mtDNA haplogroups that are already known for the women (or a particular man in the Royal family, then you will very likely have your answer.  But not necessarily so.

atDNA (autosomal DNA aka Family Finder) for the mixed gender generations from the tester through to the target ‘Royal’ family.  If the results of that test indicate a ‘Royal’ cousin, then you have a possible answer.  Note it is only a possible answer and not definite.  Finding an autosomal match can be misleading, meaning the match may be showing as say, a 2nd cousin once removed.  But in fact, depending on the unpredictable way that a child inherits his ancestors’ autosomes, this may not be accurate.  This is because of consanguinity or endogamy.  (Re-read my article in the May Famnet newsletter).

With atDNA testing, we can have the situation where say, known 3rd or 4th cousins are not matching one another autosomally.  Sometimes it is because of the random way the segments are passed from the parents to the child and then recombined.  Sometimes it is too small a segment to reliably measure.  And sometimes a particular segment from an ancestor skips a generation.  This why it is wise to test a number of people in a family rather than just one.  Note this atDNA test is NOT referring to a paternity test – it is a test for genealogy.

It is because of these factors and to make use of the different data base sizes that many choose to also get an autosomal test with MyHeritage as well as with Ancestry, 23andMe and with Living DNA.  Some choose to start with Ancestry because of the size of its database and this can be a sensible move.  Later they choose to transfer their results without realising that no two firms test the same positions on the autosomes.  Certainly comparisons are done, but there is a more complete outcome by adding the test to their already existing account – assuming it is FTDNA.

As always, it comes down to money and how serious a person is in their search.

For what it is worth, FTDNA is highly likely to have a USA Fathers’ Day sale on or about 21 June – it is likely to begin a few days earlier and possibly run a few days after.  I am expecting all the YDNA tests plus the atDNA test.  I suspect the other firms mentioned above will also have a USA Fathers’ Day sale. 

No matter what you are seeking, if you are a male, you may like to look at this website around that time to learn what all your YDNA prices might be (all will be in US$), as well as the Family Finder (atDNA) price.

Be sure to let me know if you have success with your connection.

Happy ‘Royal’ hunting…

Gail Riddell

Wairarapa Wandering

Adele is taking a break this month.



Adele Pentony-Graham

12 Neich’s Lane

Clareville 5713

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Digging Into Historical Records

Three Eltham Vintage Postcards

These appeared on Trademe in early September 2018 and each had a message on the back written by the same hand. Two of the three cards were “real photo” cards produced by Frederick George Radcliffe (1863-1923). [1]

“This is a photo of the Salvation Army Boys’ Home, which was built a few years back. It is situated on a hill about three miles from the town. The inlaid stone on the left side looking at the photo is the one Dad placed.” (FGR-4182)

“Dear Hilda, This card shows the house which we have just shifted from. It is marked x. It is near the town which is over to the left of the photo. I remain your loving cousin, Laura.” (FGR-4181)

“Dear Hilda, These are views of Eltham showing in the top photo a part of the town. The house in the front, marked x, is where we lived before we came up to the farm.” This is a “Greetings from Eltham” card produced by Muir & Moodie of Dunedin before the partnership broke up in 1916. [2]


A comparison of the two house photos indicates that the Greetings photo was taken slightly before the FGR-4181 photo. The boundary hedge in the latter obscures more of the fence.


With no dates or any other clues is it possible to work out who Laura and Hilda were? A search for other Eltham postcards yielded three other photographs showing the house taken from a similar vantage point. Two of these were Muir & Moodie postcards. One was posted in 1906 to Gertrude Margaret Garratt in Auckland (MM-131) and the other (MM-5304) was addressed to Private Basil Capeling Clifford, No. 44348, in Wellington and dated 18 March 1918. [3]

In February 2020 another copy of FGR-4181 appeared on Trademe and this was a reproduction published by the Eltham Historical Society. On the back it read “Eltham from Mount View Hospital hill – early 1900’s. Douglas Stewart’s (author of “The Seven Rivers” and “Springtime in Taranaki”) home on right of photo.”

Douglas Alexander Stewart (1913-1985) was a poet, editor and literary critic and was the son of Alexander Armstrong Stewart and Mary Effie nee Fitzgerald [4]. His father was the schoolmaster at Rawhitiroa in 1911, a law clerk residing in Collingwood Street, Eltham 1914-1919 and a solicitor residing in Meuli Street, Eltham 1922-1938. [5]

The Mount View Hospital, built in 1919 for Dr Harold Alexander Cooper (1883-1948), occupies a commanding site on a hill at the north-east end of Eltham – closest to Meuli Street. [6] So how can we prove that Laura lived next door to the Stewart family beyond “x” marks the spot on the postcard?

There is no spatial information recorded in the Wises Post Office directories for Eltham and any street numbers recorded in Electoral Rolls prior to World War II are sparse. Transcripts of the South Taranaki Rate Books (1894-1900) are too early to be useful [7] as Meuli Street didn’t come into existence until November 1905. [8]

A 1927 map of Eltham Borough enables some discernment of likely land appellations and shows the Mount View Private Hospital on Lot 1 of Part Section 31, Block X, Ngaere Survey District. [9] These could be used to facilitate access to the Eltham Borough Valuation Rolls held at Archives NZ Wellington. These would reveal who lived next door to Alexander Armstrong Stewart.

Now that the location is known Laura’s house can be seen in Google Street Maps as at November 2019. It is recognisably the same building and the address is 7 Meuli Street. A reference to the current Certificate of Title for this property can be found using Quickmap [10] and the document can be purchased from Land Information New Zealand. This will reveal an earlier Certificate of Title reference thus enabling stepping back in time as far as is needed.

Given that current circumstances prevent access to information held at Archives NZ and National Library is there any other way to learn more about Laura? In the message on the back of the Salvation Army Boys’ Home postcard Laura said that “the inlaid stone… is the one Dad placed.”

On 07 June 1909 the Mayor of Eltham (Mr E. Parrott) laid the foundation stone of the Home for Destitute Boys and it bore the inscription “This Boys’ Home was erected by Thomas Hunt Jenkins to the Glory of God and in memory of his late wife Mercy, 1909.” [11]

Edwin Parrott (1871-1922) was elected Mayor of Eltham (unopposed), in April 1909. [12] The previous year his wife Sarah Jane nee Wylie was residing at Rawhitiroa and in 1911 the family were residing in Collingwood Street, Eltham. From 1914 to 1919 the family resided in Meuli Street, Eltham. [13] Edwin and Sarah Jane had two daughters and a son – Elsie Mavis (born 1898), Laura May (born 1900) and William Egmont (born 1910). [14]

If Laura May is the Laura of the postcards did she have a cousin Hilda?
Edwin Parrott was born at Ilkeston, Derbyshire in 1871 [15] and was the son of William Parrott and Elizabeth nee Stones. [16] In 1891 he was a hosiery apprentice and was living with his father at 14 Sycamore Road, Nottingham. [17] Edwin served in the hosiery branch of Messrs Adcock and Blagg in Nottingham [18] before travelling alone on the steamship Ionic that departed from London on 02 September 1892 for Wellington, New Zealand. [19]

Sarah Jane Wylie, the eldest child of ten, was born in 1872 to William Wylie (1848-1920) and his wife Sarah nee Aim of Mosgiel. Her younger sister, Agnes Aim Wylie, married Daniel Bryce in 1907 and they had a daughter, Hilda Mervyn Bryce, born 15 Dec 1909. [20]

If Laura May Parrott and Hilda Mervyn Bryce are one and same of the postcards would their timelines help with regard to dates and hence support the assumption? Laura mentions “the house which we have just shifted from” and “where we lived before we came up to the farm.”

In 1916 Laura May Parrott was a pupil teacher at the Eltham District High School and remained there until 1919. [21] About 1920 the Parrott family moved to a small farm at Cutfield Road in New Plymouth. [22] At about the same time Hilda Mervyn Bryce, aged about 10 years, lived at Mosgiel Junction with her parents. Her father, Daniel, was a miner at Saddle Hill. [23]

Although these details seem to fit well it’s not quite a slam dunk as the Stewart and Parrott families did not live adjacent to each other at the same time. However, the Eltham Borough valuation rolls, covering the period 1914 to 1924, will record Edwin Parrot as an owner and/or occupier and will very likely record the subsequent owner of the property. Likewise an adjacent record in the same volume will probably record Alexander Armstrong Stewart, c1922 onwards, and the previous owner of that property. [24]

The remaining question relates to dating the house photographs. Laura’s messages, c1920, are a good four years after the production of the Muir & Moodie Greetings postcard. Did she purchase them close to the time of use or did she have a collection to draw from?

There may be a clue with regard to the two Frederick George Radcliffe cards. His Eltham photographs seem to form a sequence. Those that I know of so far include FGR-4180, 4181, 4182, 4184, 4185 and 4191 and they may all have been taken at roughly the same time.

FGR-4191 shows two cars on Bridge Street near the Coronation Hotel and their licence plate numbers are visible – H. W. 583 (Hawera County Council) and N.P. 105 (New Plymouth Borough).

Hawera County Council was allocated “H. W.” and the numbers 500 to 750 in March 1912 by the Under Secretary of Internal Affairs under the Motor Regulation Act 1908. [25] In New Plymouth, by mid-June 1914, there were 637 registered cars and cycles. [26]

The photograph also shows, adjacent to the Coronation Hotel, the Hairdresser & Tobacconist premises of Alfred John Richards. It is assumed he moved with his family to New Plymouth in late 1914 as he was not removed from the Egmont Electoral Roll as at 21 November. [27] On the morning of 22 December 1914 he inaugurated a motor coach service between New Plymouth and Opunake using a 35 h.p. Overland coach to carry fourteen passengers. [28]

This suggests that the photograph was taken 1912-1914 and hence FGR-4181 about the same time. The Greetings card photograph is an example of Muir & Moodie using an image more than once. The same image in their numbered series of cards (MM-5304) has the year 1911 written in tiny writing in the bottom right corner. Thankfully the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa scanned the postcard at a sufficient resolution to enable it to be spotted after missing it initially. [29]

In total there are four images of Laura’s house and three of these have been referred to. The earliest photograph was taken by Nigel Douglas Connell (1874-1951) and published in colour and black and white by Henry George Carman (1873-1938), a local bookseller and stationer. Some of the cards were printed in Germany. The original glass plate negative may be in the Connell collection held by the Eltham & Districts Historical Society. [30] This card pre-dates the  Muir & Moodie card (MM-131) that was posted in 1906, as there is almost no vegetation in front of the border fence.


[1] Mim Ringer. 'Radcliffe, Frederick George', Dictionary of New Zealand Biography, first published in 1996. Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand,

[2] “Wish you were here” – The Story of New Zealand Postcards by William Main and Alan Jackson – New Zealand Postcard Society Inc. 2004 (page 46)

[3] DigitalNZ Story Eltham Vintage Postcards

[4] Australian Dictionary of Biography – Douglas Alexander Stewart

[5] Egmont Electoral Rolls

[6] Hawera and Normanby Star 01 Dec 1919 Eltham – The new private hospital, Mount View

[7] South Taranaki Rate Books 1894-1900

[8] Hawera & Normanby Star 07 Nov 1905 Eltham Borough Council – Meuli Street declared

[9] Borough of Eltham Map 1927 (NZMS 16)

[10] Quickmap (Available to the public at National Library)

[11] Hawera & Normanby Star 08 Jun 1909 Eltham – Salvation Army Home for Boys

[12] Opunake Times 23 Apr 1909

[13] Egmont Electoral Rolls

[14] Births, Deaths & Marriages

[15] HM Passport Office - General Register Office Online Index: Birth Edwin Parrott Jun Qt 1871 Basford (mother Stones)

[16] FreeBMD Marriage Dec Qt 1863 Radford – William Parrott to Elizabeth Stones

[17] 1891 Census William Parrott, Nottingham – Class RG12, Piece 2694, Folio 15 (note: Edwin is recorded as Edward in this return)

[18] The Cyclopedia of New Zealand 1897-1906 Vol. 6 Page 195 Mr Edwin Parrott, Secretary of the Eltham Bacon Factory Company and proprietor of the Excelsior Store in Bridge Street, Eltham.

[19] Ancestry: UK and Ireland, Outward Passenger Lists

[20] Births, Deaths & Marriages

[21] Education Department Schoolteacher listings Appendices to the Journal of the House of Representatives – Eltham District High School 1916-1919

[22] Hawera & Normanby Star 10 Nov 1922 Death Notice & Obituary for Edwin Parrott

[23] 1919 Chalmers Electoral Roll

[24] Archives NZ Wellington: Valuation rolls New Plymouth - Eltham Borough - Roll numbers 1-782 (R16778756) and Roll numbers 783-842 (R16778757)

[25] Hawera & Normanby Star 11 Mar 1912 Hawera County Council

[26] Taranaki Herald 16 Jun 1914 Motorist’s Association

[27] 1914 Egmont Electoral Roll – Listing of persons removed from the roll. Alfred John, Clara and May Richards of Julian Street Eltham – Nos 3944, 3945 and 3950

[28] Taranaki Herald 22 Dec 1914

[29] General View, Eltham Muir & Moodie Postcard (MM-5304) Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa reference PS.001400

[30] Eltham & Districts Historical Society Inc (NZ)


Pandora Research

Dawn Chambers

Back to the Top

Chinese Corner 

Market Gardeners Valuable War Work

The valuable service being given by Chinese market gardeners in Auckland and surrounding districts, was the subject of favourable comment by the No. 1 Transport Licensing Authority, Mr. E J Whelan, at a sitting yesterday, when applications for truck licences under the Transport Goods Emergency Regulations were lodged by 60 Chinese and about 12 Hindus.

Mr. Chang, secretary of the Chinese Commercial Growers' Association, stated that about 2000 acres were at present being worked by Chinese in and around the city. He did not know the number of men employed or the tonnage of vegetables produced. Most of the vegetables were for the local market.

Representatives of the Hindu applicants said that in some cases fruit and vegetables were delivered from shops to individual consumers. The authority stated that in his opinion this practice should be discontinued during the war. Decision in all cases was reserved. New Zealand Herald, 30 April 1943, Page 2 (scroll down).

Acute position Transport Vehicles - Many Applications Heard

"The position regarding petrol and tyres has never been more acute than it is to-day," said the No. 1 Transport Licensing Authority, Mr. E. J. Phelan, at a sitting held in the Native Land Court this morning to hear applications for ancillary licenses. Among applicants who were deserving special consideration, he said, were farmers and those associated with essential production. There were in force to-day sufficient carriers' licenses to cope with all ordinary requirements, but where ancillary services were needed by farmers their claims would be carefully weighed. In a list of 32 applicants there were, in addition to farmers, a number of market gardeners, mainly Chinese growers, several men who desired facilities to market firewood, particularly on the northern side of the harbour, and several builders and contractors. In the majority of the cases the authority reserved decision. "If any new transport licenses are now required, priority should be given to the claims of returned soldiers,' 'said Mr. Phelan, when W. E. Tisch, produce dealer, of Epsom, sought permission to run an additional truck in connection with his business. So long as there is a decent livelihood to be obtained returned men should come first. That policy has met with the general approval of the carriers. There will be hundreds of men returning from overseas who desire to start operating, and we consider it our duty to help them as much as possible.

Limitations of Licenses

Mr. Phelan made it clear that if ancillary licenses were granted those who received them were not entitled to use their vehicles for hire, but must limit them to such work as assisting operations on farms or within a limited distance, or to the carrying of machinery or gear or repair materials by builders and contractors. It was a breach of such a license to make an extra charge for the delivery of timber to a job, or for the carting of firewood or any similar service. In some instances the master carriers' organisation, which was represented, opposed applications on the ground that it considered the work for which ancillary licenses were sought could be done by carriers, and the authority carefully questioned a number of applicants regarding the 'possibility of engaging carriers instead of endeavouring to do their own carrying.

One of the largest market gardeners in the Auckland district, Quong Sing, of Panmure, who had three production areas, at Panmure, Papatoetoe and Glendowie, of a total area of 220 acres, asked for permission to run another truck, as the two he already had were insufficient to enable him to develop 87 acres of Government housing land he had secured at Tamaki for the growing of vegetables. It was stated that he was a big producer of cauliflowers and other winter vegetables for the city Government Gardens. 

When Mr. Phelan said that many Pukekohe growers were compelled to rely upon the services of licensed carriers, Mr. Chong, counsel for Quong Sing, said the main crops grown there were potatoes, onions, carrots and swedes, except for large quantities of cabbages supplied to the dehydration plant at Pukekohe. The marketing of green vegetables in Auckland was a more difficult matter, and an extra truck was essential. A city produce merchant said Sing would have a tremendous quantity of vegetables to market this winter, and, like some others, he had undertaken a heavy production programme at the request of the Internal Marketing Department, following a contraction in the area of Government gardens.

The Government had decided to close down vegetable growing on about 800 acres in this district, it was stated when applications by two other Chinese - Wing Lee and Kwong Loong, were being heard. Instead, the Marketing Department had contracted with local market gardeners for supplies of certain vegetables for the armed forces. In each case decision was reserved. Applications were granted to the Mace and Bartlett Construction Company, Limited, Newmarket, for extra transport facilities in connection with their business; to A. W. Parker, farmer, of Woodhill, to operate a small truck; to Raysko Products, Limited, to operate between their three factories; two of which were at Penrose and one at Onehunga; to C. S. West, of Helensville, for a ton truck; to R. J. Monk, Remuera, for a truck as an adjunct to his contracting work; to E. R. Smith for working on his farms in the Mangatangi and Mangatawhiri valleys; and to W. Daubney, builder and contractor, of Otahuhu.

Helen Wong

Anne Sherman

Could your Ancestors Read and Write?

Marriage records after 1753 contain the signatures or marks of our ancestors, and these are often seen as evidence of our ancestors’ ability to read and write.  One of the biggest mistakes family historians can make, however, is to assume that if they made their mark, then they must have been illiterate – meaning they could not read or write.  The question of literacy has been investigated for a long time, usually looking at the ability to write as this was easier to prove.


Even in our own lifetimes the ability to read is usually achieved before we learn how to write, and so it was with our ancestors.  Until 1880 when education in the UK became compulsory, schools and their individual curriculums differed from village to village and between the towns. Some taught reading, others taught reading and writing, whilst others did not teach either. Many historians have proved that there is little to link improved literacy with school-based education. In fact literacy levels were improving before the 1870’s when 'school boards' were set up to build and manage schools in areas where they were needed, even though attendance at that stage was not compulsory.

Even if your ancestors did not attend school as a child, they may still have been able to read if they had been taught at home. Working class people may have been able to read, even if it was just reading the bible ‘by rote’.  Studies have shown that in some cases men and women of different classes could read the bible but would struggle to read anything else. 

In 1838 in the area of Hernhill, Kent there was a revolt by agricultural workers and one of the outcomes of this was a survey of the inhabitants of the area, which included questions regarding their ability to read and write. This survey showed that one third of the children who were under the age of 13 years and attended school could not read or write, however 14% could read and write, the remainder could not write but could read either fluently or just a little.  The survey also found that 41% of the men, who could not sign their name, could read.


How much can be learnt by looking at people signatures?  Did they sign their name or make their mark? If they signed, was it a confident signature or more tentative?  As today, children may have learnt how to write their own names before they wrote anything else, therefore it is feasible that a tentative signature may mean that the writer could only write their name and nothing else, that they were not used to writing and found the pen difficult to use, or (as is the case with my own signature at the time of my marriage) the bride or groom was so nervous and filled with excitement that their signature appears shaky even though they could write perfectly.

Just because they had been taught to write as children does not mean they kept that skill.  Family historians may be forgiven for believing that if a young person signed their name at the time of their marriage, they would be able to do the same later in life. Research, however, has proved that this is not the always the case and a young woman may have been able to sign her name when she married, but, due to a lack of practice, could not when she remarried several years later.

In the survey mentioned earlier, 64% of men and women who could sign their names, could read and write, 27% could only read, and 9% could not read or write.  The majority of those who could read but could only sign their names or make their marks, were agricultural labourers.


Whereas being unable to read or write today is seen as shameful, in the time of many of our ancestors the ability to read and/or write may have been seen as a luxury.  Many children were taught the skills they needed to live and work, which for boys often meant using the different tools and knowledge for farming the land, or becoming skilled at another occupation, for the girls, how to run a household.  In addition, the cost of paper, pens, ink and books would be beyond the reach of many.  It would have been common for some people to be able to read, even just a little, and yet not be able to write their names. Some of the adults may have been taught how to read, and possibly write, as children but through a lack of practise had since lost the ability to do either. 

So the next time you see the mark or signature of your ancestors remember that they may still have been able to read, but not necessarily known how to write anything other than their name.

Further Reading:

Going to School.

Reay, Barry (1991) The Context and Meaning of Popular Literacy: Some Evidence From Nineteenth Century Rural England.  Past and Present Society No: 131. p. 89-129.

Stevens, W.B. (1990) Literacy in England, Scotland and Wales, 1500-1900. History of Education Quarterly, Vol: 30. No: 4. p. 545-571.

Neuberg, Victor E. (1969) Literacy in 18th Century England. A Caveat. The Local Population Studies Society. No: 2 (Spring 1969) p.44-46

Anne Sherman

Jan’s Jottings

Jan is a little indisposed at the moment. We wish her well and hope she recovers quickly.



Jan Gow

Guest Contributors

Ken Morris

Library Thing – Amazon Book Cataloguer

I was looking for some way of listing my engineering, construction & mining books I had collected over 50+ years with a view to finding a good home to the ones still relevant – it still remains a WIP project.

I did find “Library Thing”, an Amazon web page (yes big brother may be watching) and its ability to allow one to create a catalogue of one’s books. It came in a full system with a fee and a free system called TinyCat, since I started its all now free.

To see how it worked and if it was going to meet my needs, I started cataloguing my “other” books. It did work and has become addictive to catalogue all my books, one reason be able to sort them if I downsize and need get rid of some, I can then sort them. So far have catalogued about ~ 700 and a few hundred to go. The best ones will be kept, and I may even take a favourite with me.

It is time consuming, not doing the cataloguing, but many of the books conjure up memories (I still have many books from back in 50’s) some real gems that warrant a relook and possibly mark for a re-read.

The coronavirus has shut down all the libraries here in Brisbane and I’ve offered to loan books to members of local Probus Book Club, another reason for completing the catalogue.

How Library Thing works: you log into the web page, create a Profile including name & password, you then get to “Add books”, where the simplest thing is just type in the ISBN.  All books other than earlier 20th century books have the International Standard Book Number. For ~90% of my books this found the book.  The system searches six sites, and the magical thing is that up pops a thumbnail of the books cover, its name and author (& lots of other stuff), and all you have to accept and it then saves it to “Your Books” In some cases it will show all the versions of the book over years and publishers etc.

If it doesn’t find your book by its ISBN (a 10- or 23-digit number) there is ability to make a manual entry. At this stage I’ve not added tags (GENE HISTORY NZ etc) & like to make searches or made reviews, ratings etc. It also shows how many “other members” have the book, and a swap register – these all to learn about somewhere down the track. What it has done is to show I have a lot of cartoon & humour books that may or are very likely no longer “politically correct”! but the Kama Sutra translation by Sir Richard Burton must be still ok.

Your catalogue can be shown in different formats, and the data can be sorted and downloaded. The various main parts are: Sign Up, Home Page, Profile, Add Books, Your Books, Work & Author Pages, Groups & Talk, Local, Zeitgeist and More.

I’m still to see what all these parts do and decide to use them or just use the site as a catalogue, but if it’s anything to do with books it’s here, it is Amazon, but no advertisements.

I could of course be “preaching to the converted” who are wondering why it took a person so long to find Library Things, as to how many books I have the number palls into insignificance to some of the other catalogues people have.

No matter what eBooks do and what Google provides, a book made of paper and which can be held is still my preferred choice.

Ken Morris – not in lockdown but close to it Brisbane March 2020

I Think We’ll Be Alright

A topical poem published in supplement to our Courier Mail paper 23-24 May

Poem by Rupert McCall a contemporary poet on the subject of Corona Virus and our lock down & where to from here – might resonate with the readers

Rupert has done a number of poems for ANZAC “90 Years Ago” and for the Firemen of NY for the 9/11” Firefighters Dream” and a book “Golden Soil”



Ken Morris

Peter Tucker

A couple of family Puzzles

For some time I had a couple of situations in my TUCKER family that had me scratching my head a little. Puzzling a bit, but not actually brick walls, fortunately. Sometimes you have to deduce answers from bits and pieces that you find out either digging around or quizzing family. This is after all what genealogy tends to be like.

Firstly why did my Grandfather emigrate to NZ?

My Grandfather Ernest Crossing TUCKER was the only one of his nine siblings to emigrate to NZ. He arrived here in 1902 having left Plymouth in Devon. Like many immigrants he kept little contact with his family back in Plymouth but was there more to it? He did on rare occasions receive letters from his two younger sisters. His other siblings were three older brothers and four younger brothers. He never talked about his brothers, ever. He was born very premature in 1879 and his mother was told there was virtually no chance of him surviving, however she was determined that she would try her best and kept him in a small box beside the coal range. Well of course he survived or I wouldn’t be writing this. He became his mother’s ‘pet’. He said she always wore a full-length black dress and hanging on a belt in the folds of the skirt she had a cane. He said that he never received punishment from this but his brothers did regularly. He grew to be only 5 ft and ½ an inch. (Never ever forget the half inch!).

Apparently he was not popular with his other 7 brothers because he could never do anything wrong in his mother’s eyes. AIthough he never said as much, I believe this is probably the reason he emigrated, it was to totally cut off any contact with his brothers. Fortunately, he married a woman here in NZ considerably taller than himself and so their offspring (my father and his sister) did not suffer from his lack of stature. My father was 5 ft 10½ and I am 5 ft 11. There are no family photos of them both standing together, only some where he is sitting on a cushion on a chair with the rest of the family (his wife, my father and sister) standing. I am now convinced his unpopularity amongst his brothers, but not his sisters, is the reason that he decided to leave England.

The other puzzle

Ernest’s parents were Joseph Crossing TUCKER and his mother Emma Jane FUGE, both born in Plymouth, Devon. The puzzle arises on Emma’s FUGE lineage. Her father was William FUGE on her birth certificate. I knew he had come from Sturminster Newton, in Dorset, but could not find him under FUGE, there being lots of FUDGES in this area but no FUGES. Eventually I found the family but they were all born FUDGE, including William.

Why was he FUGE later and not FUDGE? Was it just one of those recording errors that were common in many instances in earlier years? Eventually I stumbled on what I believe was the reason.

In October 1839 William (age 12) along with brothers Samuel 14 and Andrew 15 were imprisoned in Dorchester Prison for trespassing! What actually constituted the trespassing is unknown, did they nip into an orchard and pinch some fruit? Who knows? Fortunately, I think because of their young ages they were not deported. It appears after William was released he eventually left the area and went to Plymouth and to disguise his former transgression he must have dropped the ‘D’ out of FUDGE. It so happens there were a few families in Plymouth whose last name was actually FUGE so this wouldn’t have raised any suspicion in that area. Puzzle solved – I think.

Peter Tucker

Sharron Cole

My Convict

I read with great interest in the May newsletter "The Hunt for Julia Murray". While more complex than my brick wall, it has a number of features in common.

Years ago, I discovered my paternal great great grandfather Martin THOMSON was convicted of housebreaking in Edinburgh in March 1844 and was transported to Hobart on the Maria Somes, arriving July 1844. This was the same convict ship on which Francis MURRAY was transported so they would have undergone the same initiation into the Tasmanian convict system.

Martin was given permission in 1852 to marry Frances BRAHAM/BRAIN/BRAYHAM/BROWN who was free born and had arrived in Hobart on the Australasia in 1851, rather than Bridget Higgins' arrival date in 1849. I'm pretty sure Frances' name was BRAHAM but it is spelled various ways in the different Tasmanian marriage and birth entries. I know where she left from in England (The Downs) but I have been unable to find any record of her there, despite trawling through census and other records. Perhaps she came from Europe rather than Britain?

Martin and Frances had 6 children, including my great grandfather Archie, but 3 died leaving 3 sons who reached adulthood. For 20+ years, I could never find what happened to the family, other than my Archie turning up in Lyttelton in 1875 where he married my great grandmother a year later. About 18 months ago however, a cousin doing research said he had possibly found my great great grandparents and his hypothesis has turned out to be correct, now confirmed by DNA.

In January 1862, Frances applied to have her older two sons William Martin and John Anderson THOMSON admitted to the Queen's Orphanage. On the admission application, she stated that her husband had gone to the Gippsland goldfields in February 1861 and hadn’t been heard from for several months. She had been pregnant when he left and since had a little girl. The older two boys were accepted into the orphanage while Frances kept the girl also named Frances and my Archie with her although the little girl died of epilepsy at the age of 4. What is known of Frances then is documented in her 1874 admission papers to the New Norfolk Lunatic Asylum where she died two years later. She had had had a miserable existence taking in washing and becoming increasingly more erratic and apparently violent due to intractable epilepsy. I recently visited the site of the asylum outside Hobart to pay my respects to her. What a grim place it must have been to be confined in.

The older boys didn’t have a fun time growing up either as I’ve found a newspaper story on how one made to live in a pig sty. Orphanage children as they grew older were boarded out or placed with employers who were paid allowances to feed and clothe the children but many saw it as an opportunity to exploit their labour and to profit from the allowances.

And where was my great great grandfather Martin at this time? He was indeed initially in Gippsland where he changed his name to William Martin THOMSON and in November 1865, remarried. The name of his parents, his father's occupation and Edinburgh as his place of birth on his second marriage certificate are consistent with those on his convict records. Martin and his new family then moved to Sydney and then on to Lismore NSW where now William Martin THOMSON became a businessman and a pillar of the Presbyterian church.

Martin had 11 children in his bigamous marriage. The story he gave about his past and what is known by his second family was mostly accurate - his father was a cabinet maker in Edinburgh - but he said he came to the goldfields in Gippsland in 1855. Of course genealogists in his second family could find no record of that - for good reason obviously. I link by DNA to a descendant of the second family and that cousin and I both link to a descendant of Martin's younger brother Archie who remained in Edinburgh.

So I’ve partly broken down the brick wall re what happened to Martin and Frances but I still haven’t been successful in tracking Frances’s English or European roots. I think with a name like BRAHAM she may have Jewish ancestry. I do not show any Jewish DNA although I do have northern and southern European DNA but my brother has 3% Ashkenazi Jewish which I'm pretty sure comes from Frances.

I was struck by several of the similarities in Peter's story, especially ancestors being on the same convict ship. Taking on new identities was also a common thing for former convicts to do, in order to escape the otherwise lifelong stigma of their convict past. As a chair maker, my Martin was a premium convict worker after he did a couple of years in the Impression Bay gang. I am pleased that eventually he did all right for himself, putting his convict past behind him. I have never been bothered by his being a convict as being poor in Edinburgh meant an impoverished, unpleasant existence. I find it much harder to accept his deserting his pregnant wife and 3 children and leaving her to eke out a miserable existence and to die abandoned in the asylum. As to what it was like for my Archie during those years, I can only speculate. However, Martin's story is a good reminder that you can’t choose your ancestors.

Sharron Cole

Graeme Jury

Family Trees Online

Looking through a succession of family trees in various sites like Ancestry, My Heritage etc. it is common to find the same error perpetuated across all these sites and in multiple databases in each site. It seems that smart matching and other forms of aligning family trees make it too easy to click a button and the error is carried on and becomes a fact in its own right due to 30 or 40 or more trees holding the same mistake. In the case that I am presenting there seems to be a lack of will to correct this false information which I suspect in a few cases is because to the mistake makes a number of people descendants of one of USA’s first families and on the English side, descended from Royalty and aristocracy back to Beli Mawr in 110 BCA. I suspect this may stir up a lot of resentment in a minority of family tree managers when I suggest that this “ain’t so”.

Samuel BATT is claimed as the son of Christopher BATT and Anne BAYNTON. Both from aristocratic families who emigrated to Salisbury, USA in 1640. There is no birth record for Samuel in England although there are records for some his siblings. It must be assumed that he was born shortly on arrival at America without documentation making his birth about 1641 followed by the documented birth of more of his siblings. This begs the question: was Samuel a child of Christopher and Anne? As rumoured, did he return permanently to England and become an Anglican minister? This is stated many times. By going off the beaten track I was able prove that this rumour was actually correct as the will of Anne (BAYNTON) BATT mentions him by name and I provide a quote below.

“Item. I give and bequeath to my dearly beloved son Mr Samuell Batt minister of the gosple in England a book of my owne experiences and motherly counsel, and to his son, my dear grandson Samuell Batt a little gold ring the posy whereof is the gift of a friend”

Furthermore, that Samuel matriculated and was ordained is proven. From "Alumni Oxonienses: Vol. I" (1891)

BATT, Samuel, 'serv.' Wadham Coll., matric. 15 June 1657; B.A. from Queen's Coll. 5 Feb, 1660-1, vicar of Steeple Aston, Wilts, 1676, and rector of Coulston, Wilts, 1671-84, until his death in 1684.

Painstakingly going through the Church Registers in Coulston and neighbouring parishes revealed that Samuel baptised his own son Samuel in East Coulston where he was noted as Rector. So Samuel himself looks squeaky clean but from here it gets murky and brings me to where I got suspicious. The online trees claim that Samuel married Elizabeth COLLINS (COLLINGS) in 1651 and as she was born in 1641 it made her 10 years old at the time of the marriage – I don’t think so! Again, painstakingly going through the Church registers and Bishops Transcripts I came across the marriage at the parish of Boscombe in 1671 of “Mr Samuel Batt curate of Eddington and Mrs Mary Toop of Sarum July ye 20th”. Church records exist to show that Samuel and Mary had the following children.

Samuel baptised 10th June 1671



Thomas BATT, baptised 14th July 1678

That these children were his and Mary’s are verified by Samuel’s will where each are mentioned by name with Mary being described as “my dear wife Mary Bat” and thus all the ancestors of Samuel BATT and Elizabeth (COLLINS) BATT (who actually do exist but are not the same people) have just lost their path to the First American Families and British Royal and Aristocratic line. Which is a bit sad as I am one of them and although it did not feature in my everyday life, it did feel kinda nice.

The story of course does not finish there – no genealogy story ever does – and the mystery of my family descended from the Robert BATT, purported child of Samuel and Elizabeth BATT – but not really so – remains. Robert was the father of Avice BATT who married Henry (Harry) REEVES and church records, wills etc. in my possession verify this right down through the generations to my existence. So who was Robert’s father and who were his siblings? Robert BATT’s father, I discovered, was also Robert and I have found his will which matches up with Robert’s (Avice’s husband) siblings but can’t find his birth around the Pewsey Wiltshire parishes. But Robert BATT sure was a popular name around there and with gaps in the Registers and BT’s in the last quarter of 1600 I may have a brick wall here. I am guessing that he moved from another parish beyond the Pewsey area and where better to start looking than the parish where Christopher BATT and Anne BAYTON lived as Robert seems to be popular in that area too. You never know, the wheel may make a full turn.

I have written to a couple of data managers for online databases in Ancestry and My Heritage but they don’t even reply so I guess the best plan to get the family tree corrected is to publish the correct information together with sources in some prominent repositories like Famnet, WikiTree and Family Search and see if the corrections migrate to some of the other trees. I published a photo of my Gt. Grandfather and within 24 hours it was on 2 other sites.

It’s funny how you can get caught up in researching these kind of things. Originally I was simply going to record my direct family line going back as far as I could and that would be that. I wonder how come I wound up teaching myself enough Latin to be able to read church registers in Latin, reading every page in the Pewsey Church registers and by the way found 2 entries which had been missed from Ancestry’s index. I find myself guiltily creeping into bed at 1 am because I have been scanning photos or researching. I wonder if I am starting to get a bit hooked on this genealogy thing.

Graeme Jury

Hugh Winters

Myth and mystery behind Campbell Island's 'royal' resident
Our sub-Antarctic Islands hold many a mystery, perhaps the strangest being that of a young woman who supposedly lived alone on Campbell Island around 1810.
Remote, rugged and windswept, few places in the whole world could be more inhospitable to inhabit. Our southernmost island lies 700km south of the South Island and 270km southeast of the Auckland Islands.

The earliest whalers were the first to report of her presence, "tripping along the shores of Campbell Island wearing Stuart Tartan, Paisley shawl, shoes with silver buckles, and in her Glengarry bonnet, a sprig of Scottish heather". It was said she lived in a sod hut which had a clump of Scottish heather at the door, her white pebble path leading down to Camp Cove in Perseverance Harbour.

The legend grew and soon it became almost accepted fact that she was the banished daughter or granddaughter of Bonnie Prince Charlie of Scotland, more correctly Prince Charles Edward Stuart, the Young Pretender who led a futile quest to save the Jacobean soul of Scotland from the dominance of Protestant England. Despite initial successes, Charles was roundly defeated in the decisive 40 minute battle of Culloden Moor in 1746, forcing him to eventually flee to France, but not before he fell head over heels for a woman called Meg Walkinshaw, with whom he would sire a daughter in France. The story goes that this girl was eventually treated as a traitor to the Jacobite cause, suspected of being a spy for England, and handed over to whaler and sealer Captain William Stewart (Stewart Island is named after him) who whisked her away to the bleakest of exile on Campbell Island.

Another version says the young woman was Marie Almand, Charles granddaughter, which makes the dates fit far better.

Two novels written about the subject seemed to consolidate the myth, one by Australian author Will Lawson was called The Lady of the Heather (1945), the other by New Zealand writer Carlyle Ferguson (1913), was titled Marie Levant. The latter author even claimed to have bought, at a Dunedin left-luggage sale, a box which contained a confession of "someone" who knew the whole story. Interspersing real people and true events, both books, not to mention a plethora of articles, have all served to make the myth surprisingly plausible.

The crux of these and other stories share a common theme, that upon arrival at Campbell Island, Captain Stewart’s whaling crew built the young woman a hut which they stocked with provisions. She planted the pot of heather which she’d brought out in her cabin. They even supposedly built her a shrine and left her a ship’s bell so she could ring the Angelus during her lonely hours, then just sailed off leaving her to her fate.

Another version has sealers visiting her hut a year or two later to find her skeleton lying on the earth floor, the bones of her fingers till clutching a sprig of heather.
That heather bush no longer exists on Campbell, although it was well known up to relatively recent times. But the grave of this mystery woman is still there, not far beyond the foundation remains of the sod hut at Camp Cove.

So what is the truth behind the legend? It was a story that would take me to Norfolk Island to eventually find out the real truth.

It all begins in 1810 with the "discovery" of Campbell Island by Captain Hasselburgh of the sealing brig Perseverance. Keeping new sealing grounds secret was normal procedure, so word did not get out about the new island which he named after his Sydney employer, it being simply recorded that his ship had returned to Sydney for provisioning on August 17, 1810 ‘from southwards, having left part of the crew for the purpose of securing skins’.

A young woman named Elizabeth Parr, aged 13, was certainly on the next voyage back to Campbell Island to pick up the sealers, if not the first voyage there as well, having previously joined the ship at Norfolk Island. Records in the archives there have her born on October 1 1796, her mother an Irish convict there by the name also of Elizabeth Farr (nee Clark). How she ended up on Hasselburgh’s ship is open to speculation, but likely she became the captain’s ‘ship girl’ to escape her dreary existence of her mother’s life in a penal colony. Volume 2 of The Sealers Shanty - A journal of Sealer’s Stories, records the tragedy that befell the captain and her on their return to Campbell in late 1810.

"When the Perseverance was moored at Campbell Island, Hasselburgh decided to take the rowboat ashore to check on some barrels of oil left by his sealing gang. He launched a jollyboat and rowed ashore.
 "Elizabeth Farr, ‘a young woman’, and a ‘native of Norfolk Island’, was in the Jollyboat. So too were James Bloodworth, the ship’s carpenter, George Allwright, a 12 year old boy from Sydney, another boy from New Zealand, and a sailor by the name of Richard Jackson.
"The sea was rough and the weather cold. Hasselburgh saw his oil casks were safe and started to head back to the Perseverance. Then a sudden wind overturned the Jollyboat."

Jackson and the New Zealand boy made it ashore, but Hasselburgh was wearing his heavy overcoat and high boots which dragged him under. Young George Allwright also sank beneath the waves. Bloodworth held onto Elizabeth, swimming with her through the waves. Only when he got ashore did he realise she had not survived his rescue effort. The bodies of the captain and Allright were never found, but Parr was given a decent burial by her shipmates, not far from the sealers sod hut they had constructed on the earlier visit. Farr was 14 at the time of her death.

Almost certainly the legend of Bonnie Prince Charles marooned daughter or granddaughter began with the burial of young Elizabeth Parr.

And every one of the elaborations can be traced back to the facts of that time. Colourful histories can be so concocted, and in time they become the historical record.

Hugh Winters

From the FamNet editors: We recommend this mailing list, which has replaced the discontinued Rootsweb list, to our readers.  If you have a query about New Zealand family history, you’ll often get this answered by posting it on this list.

An Invitation to Contribute:

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

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

We circulate this newsletter to about 7,000 subscribers worldwide but is read by many more as it is passed on to other readers and LDS research centres. Every month I get feedback on my poor attempts at writing and I have now made many "new friends", albeit digital ones. In a few months I hope to meet a few when I waddle along to a few conferences and meetings in England and Scotland. I have even had a few very helpful assistances in my research.

Why don't you contribute an article?

My basic requirements:

1) The column must be in English

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

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

4) The subject should be genealogical or historical in nature

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

From our Libraries and Museums

We are offering a forum to our libraries and museums to publicise their events, and to contribute articles to this newsletter that may be of interest to our readers. Auckland Libraries makes good use of this free service, let’s see if other libraries and museums take up this offer.

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

Auckland Libraries

Anzac week commemorations - SoundCloud tracks

New Zealanders at War: stories from the Military Collections

Series hosted by Auckland Libraries in association with Ancestry and AncestryProGenealogists:

Presentations given by New Zealand's leading historians, military and family history experts in the week leading up to Anzac commemorations 20-24 April 2020.

Five audio tracks available on our SoundCloud account - these have been released as audio files, as they didn't necessarily need pictures.

(Videos take a different skill set to edit, and are still in the production queue. The rest will be ready at a later date).

-------------------------- tips with Michael Higgins

17 June 12pm-1pm

Join area manager Mike Higgins via live Zoom webinar, to hear about the origins of FamilySearch and how the organisation has adapted since its early beginnings in 1894.

Learn tips and tricks of how to get the most out of the website. Hear about updates.


Webinar series: Democracy 2020

Join us each day this week for a series of live webinars at 12pm from Monday 22 June to Friday 26 June 2020.

Five daily webinars - more speakers for each day still to come

(event not yet on our website)

19th century: Voting and property ownership Monday 22nd June 12pm-2pm

• Development of the voting system, from propertied men to universal suffrage - Dr Jim McAloon, Professor of History, Victoria University of Wellington

Māori and democracy Tuesday 23rd June 12pm-2pm

• Māori and voting - Dr Maria Bargh Associate Professor, Victoria University of Wellington

Women suffrage Wednesday 24th June 12pm-2pm

•The Women’s Suffrage Campaign - Megan Hutching Oral Historian and author

• “From Suffrage to a Seat in the House”  - Jenny Coleman Director - Academic Programme, Massey University

NZ political figures Thursday 25th June 12pm-2pm

•NZ’s “top-10” Prime Ministers - Dr Michael Bassett, author and former politician

•Putting flesh on the bones; providing context for family history - Judith Bassett

Modern politics – 20thC to MMP Friday 26th June 12pm-2pm

•Why New Zealand is not a democracy”…? - Dr Grant Duncan, Associate Professor, Massey University

•Inequality and the Vote - Dr Toby Boraman, Massey University


 The Adventures of Pinocchio Wednesday 8 July 12pm-1pm

A live Zoom webinar with Giuseppe Gallina on "The Adventures of Pinocchio" - the story of a wooden marionette written just for Italian children that became a story enjoyed by everybody around the world.

To hear an earlier HeritageTalk by Guiseppe Gallina, listen to his talk on Italian migration to New Zealand, on the Auckland Libraries podcast .


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.





Waikanae Family History Group

Contacts: Email:

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


President:- Rona Hooson 

Vice President:- Doree Smith

Secretary:- Trish Smart

Treasurer:- Marilyn O’Lander



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News and Views


Various Articles Worth Reading

From the Editor: Because of space restrictions and copyright issues I cannot put the complete articles in this newsletter so here are some URLs that are worth looking at:

Is This the End of Genealogy Conferences as We Have Known Them?

Dick Eastman · May 11, 2020 


How Do You Pronounce “Ye”?

Dick Eastman · May 12, 2020 


10 Letters We Dropped From The Alphabet

Dick Eastman · May 14, 2020 


Source guide for tracing your transported convict ancestor(s)


In conclusion

Book Reviews

Through the Mill by Brian Jordan, ISBN 978 0 473 44832 5, published 2018, available from the author.

This is the story of the men from the Kohukohu area who served in the First World War.

I would not be surprised if you had not heard of Kohukohu which is a very small settlement on the northern side of the Hokianga Harbour not very far from the landing place of the current car ferry service from Rawene. But, in 1911, the census gave the population of the town as 614 and the Kohukohu Riding as being an additional 348. The town had a town hall, a library, a post office, numerous shops and offices, 2 banks, a hotel, a boarding house, a school, 2 large boatbuilders, 2 timber mills and other workshops. Now, if you are driving through, you must be careful not to blink or else you will miss the entire township.

Half of my NZ ancestry comes from that area having settled there in the mid-1880s. The other half of my NZ ancestry lived in the area for about 20 years from the 1930s. My mother married the boy from over the back fence of her parent’s farm. About 10 of my family enlisted or tried to enlist and 2 died overseas. I have visited the graves of these two men in the France – Belgium area.

According to the author, 79 men with connections to Kohukohu had embarked to the battlefields with 29 losing their lives. This means that about 10% of the population served overseas.

The book gives a very readable account of the actions in which the NZ Army played a part. In fact, this was the best accounts of the actions of the NZ Forces that I have read. This account is about 100 pages long, but I felt it gave an adequate story to explain “what the boys were doing and where”. The author then proceeds to give an account of the service record of each individual and the service of the unit in which he served. If you are reading each and every account, it can get repetitive because the men enlisted and served as groups and each individual account has a history that is repeated in other men’s service history. This is not annoying but is unavoidable. This account avoids the need to consult regimental histories and thus all the facts needed are in one spot.

If I have one disappointment not a criticism, it is that 4 of my relatives from the Kohukohu area did not make the cut. Three were born within walking distance of the town and one married into the family. One member, John ARCHIBALD made the book but his brother (who was decorated) and brother-in-law (who was killed) did not. Both my NASHs did not appear with one being a casualty. This disappointment suggests that the author’s numbers of servicemen is a bit out, but this should not detract from the excellence of his research and the final book and adds to the poignancy of the Kohukohu experience.

This is a welcome addition to my collection of Hokianga books. I recommend the book as an admirable reference book and very readable account of the experiences of the men from the area who served and the families they left behind.

The author has written a similar book on those men from the Okaihau area who served overseas in World War 1.

Both books may be available from the author. His email address is and this book cost me about $50 including postage.

Peter Nash

Dark Emu – Black Seeds by Bruce Pascoe, ISBN 9781922142436, published by Magabala Books Aboriginal Corporation in 2014, borrowed from the Public Library.

I cannot remember who recommended that I read this book but I am very happy I read it. My little brain was very surprised at what the author presented.

What do you think of when you have to answer the question: What were the Australian Aborigines? How did they live? What did they eat? I’ll bet big money that you would come up with words like hunter-gatherer that lived mainly on animals they speared etc etc. Outside of that my impression was they were of low intelligence and very thinly spread out in Australia.

Well what would you think if I say that they, throughout Australia, domesticated local plants and farmed large plantations of plant material even out in the deserts. They had sophisticated buildings and quite large “villages”. They had sophisticated irrigation systems including the building of dams and the changing of the course of rivers. They farmed fish. They worked in harmony with dolphins to harvest fish. They farmed animals. They used regular burning of the underbrush in the forests to aid soil fertility and avoid forest fires. They had a country-wide system of government.

You may think that this can’t be true but the author quoted the records and diaries of early Australian explorers to prove it.

This book opened my eyes to the fact that the “whites” decimated quite a huge civilisation in the weird belief that it was useless. Now they are paying the price with bush fires and infertile farmlands.

This book has won a number of awards and is only about 150 pages long. It is not a monumental book but you will, as I did, get quite immersed in the book and read it over a day or two.

I recommend this book to you. Please try to locate a copy and be impressed.

Peter Nash

Help wanted

Letters to the Editor

Advertising with FamNet

Every now and then we get requests to put an advertisement in the newsletter. I have therefore created a new section which will appear from time to time. Advertisements will be included only at the Editor's discretion and will be of a genealogical nature.

If your organisation is not a group subscriber then there 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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A Bit of Light Relief


Subject: Are you as moral as you think?

Are you as moral as you think you are?

This test only has one question, but it's a very important one.
By giving an honest answer, you will discover where you stand morally.
The test features an unlikely, completely fictional situation in which you will have to make a decision.
Only you will know the results, so remember that your answer needs to be honest.

You are in Florida, Miami to be specific.
There is chaos all around you caused by a hurricane with severe flooding.
This is a flood of biblical proportions.
You are a photojournalist working for a major newspaper, and you're caught in the middle of this epic disaster.
The situation is nearly hopeless.
You're trying to shoot career-making photos.
There are houses and people swirling around you, some disappearing under the water.

Suddenly you see a man in the water.
He is fighting for his life, trying not to be taken down with the debris.
You move closer. Somehow the man looks familiar.
You suddenly realize who it is.
It's Donald Trump!
At the same time you notice that the raging waters are about to take him under forever.

You can save the life of Donald Trump or you can shoot a dramatic Pulitzer Prize winning photo, documenting the death of one of the world's most powerful Republican men hell bent on the destruction of America.

Here's the question, and please give an honest answer.
"Would you select high contrast color film, or would you go with the classic simplicity of black and white?"






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