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FamNet eNewsletter May 2019

  ISSN 2253-4040

Quote: Always go to other people's funerals; otherwise they won't go to yours. - Yogi Berra


Editorial 1

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

Regular Contributors. 1

From the Developer 1

Saving a large document 1

The Nash Rambler 1

My Grandmothers. 1

DNA Testing for Family History. 1

36.  Using your Family Tree in your FTDNA Account 1

Jan’s Jottings. 1

Use it or lose it 1

Wairarapa Wandering. 1

A very precious caterpillar 1

Digging Into Historical Records. 1

Hutt County Hares. 1

Chinese Corner 1

Rev Alexander Don’s Roll 1

Guest Contributors. 1

Ken Morris. 1

Shackleton's Epic – Recreating the World’s Greatest Journey of Survival 1

Avis McDonald. 1

Your best-ever find, and what difference it made to your tree! 1

From our Libraries and Museums. 1

Auckland Libraries. 1

HeritageTalks  - Waha pū-taonga. 1

August (Family History Month) 1

Auckland Family History Expo | Tāmaki Huinga Tātai Kōrero. 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

How to Locate Hidden Genealogical Gems on 1

Out-of-Print Books – Genealogy Gold. 1

Is Your Family in the Updated Digital Library?. 1

13 Secrets to Getting Replies from DNA Cousin Matches. 1

How to Preserve Your Genealogy Research. 1

In conclusion. 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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Greetings and welcome to another issue of the FamNet newsletter.

I have just read Seonaid Lewis's column where she has announced the speakers list for the weekend gathering at the Fickling Centre in Mt Roskill in August this year. I am looking forward to hearing them and maybe a little sit-down conversation with the overseas speakers. It is not often that we get speakers who have had a major role in the history of developing genealogy research. I use Cyndi's List a lot and am a fan of the work of Nick Barratt. They can be the worst speakers ever but I'll still admire their work and would be flattered if I am able to talk to them. I have blocked that weekend off for a saturation of genealogy. I must thank the organisers of this weekend conference for the quality of their speakers and the subjects they cover. And, most of all, it is free to attend. FREE!!! My Scottish ancestry is excited.

Remember that I always prattle on about the success in research may be as a result of a conversation and advice from fellow researchers. Working alone in your warm computer room may be comfortable but not as successful as fighting for a seat in the lecture rooms, queuing for a coffee and struggling to find a good lunch. It is always a pleasure to have a natter with old friends who I only see at this event. And it's FREE.

Start planning to attend. Start saving your pennies to shout Robert and I a coffee (or two).

Anyway, here is our latest offering. I hope it is interesting.


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 onto the FAMNET website - 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

Saving a large document

One of our long-time FamNet users, Jo Hilder, approached me with a problem.  She’d written a family history, “The Hilder-Graham Connection in Aotearoa New Zealand,” and she wanted to put it into FamNet, but couldn’t. It’s normally easy to upload a document (on the FamNet home page click [Documents] and then follow the dialog), but I’d programmed a limit and, at 16MB, Jo’s PDF document was too big.

There were two solutions, increasing the limit, or for me to load the document on her behalf with my administrator tools.  We took the 2nd approach, she emailed it to me, and I uploaded it.  This was actually very quick and easy, and unless there are going to be many such large documents then I’d rather keep doing this from time to time than simply increase the limit.

The next issue: how to index the names in this document?  Unlike a biography or photo which relates to one or a few people, a family history could refer to many people.  We discussed creating the links from Jo’s Excel names spreadsheet, but this is not as easy as one might think, as slight differences in the way that the name is held in Jo’s index from the way it is recorded in FamNet can mean “no match”.  In the end the easiest approach proved to be to use the facilities already built into FamNet.  By editing the FamNet records of the family members recorded, it was easy to add a link to the document to their scrapbook.  Jo tells me that “Link to Family” was particularly useful: having linked to one person, a single click can link the document to a parent, spouse, sibling, or child.  “Link to Others” was also useful.  The process didn’t take as much time as we’d feared, within a day Jo had the records in her FamNet database linked to the document. The PDF document doesn’t have a linkable index to the pages where particular people were mentioned, so all of these links just go to the start of the document, you’d then have to search the document for the name you were looking for. 

If anybody else has a similar issue, wanting to put a too-large document into FamNet, please contact me.  It’s easy and quick for me to load the document into FamNet, and I’m happy to do so.   If there prove to be a large number of such requests, then I’ll increase the limit.

Regards, Robert.

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.

Robert Barnes

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The Nash Rambler

My Grandmothers

I am in a reflective mood this week. I have been reminded of both my grandmothers and have decided to make sure my memories are recorded. I have basked in memories that I had forgotten.

First of all, I was invited to sit in a game of 500 - that magnificent old card game. I can't report that my team won but the memories that flooded back to me as a result of that experience has surprised me. During the 1950s and 1960s, in Whangarei, the card game, 500, was an accepted way of socially mixing in an era of early pub closing and no television. At this time the Catholic community in Whangarei had regular tournaments with a minimal winning prize but a lot of kudos could be achieved by winning one.

My family is fairly large but the COUTTS side were particularly regular and cut-throat players. Within our family there was a recognised code for calling for tricks and eventually winning the "valuable" kitty. Woe betides any person who varied from this code. I have seen husbands and wives almost divorce because one has unexpectedly detoured from the code. The funniest experience was when my cousin went ten no trumps without the joker in his hand. His partner, my uncle went berserk and refused to play the hand because the joker was in his (the uncle) hand and he had been unable to call it. That argument lasted years and is still spoken of with much hilarity. You must indicate that you had the joker; you must, if possible, indicate any ace you held; you must remember 3rd player plays high when the first player leads low; etc etc. Remember these messages were conveyed by how you took part in the auction process. We didn't cheat by blatant table talk - we were good Catholics!  Unfortunately, my beloved grandmother Nana Coutts very often disobeyed the code and her family refused to partner her. Winning the tournament was more important than trying to fathom out Nana's method of play. I was in primary school and could hold my own in a game and was often forced to be her partner. She liked that because I was "her favourite grandchild" and I could not abuse her if she played "funny". I can vividly remember being hauled out of bed to partner Nana. I cannot remember winning but the pleasant memories are of being Nana's partner. We could last a long time in a tournament before being eliminated and forced into kitchen duties. Maybe I get my contrariness from Nana Coutts.

As a consequence of these memories I have started to write an essay on how my parents and grandparents entertained themselves after work has finished, the meal eaten and the dishes done.

Nowadays, when we have family functions, the younger generation bury their noses in electronic devices and only communicate by text etc even when the other person is in the same room. I must admit to being the grumpy old man when this happens. I start to confiscate devices which causes howls of shock, horror etc when they are forced to talk to me and look at me while they are doing so. I love being grumpy but don't tell the younger generations.

The second action that resulted in pleasant memories was caused by my boredom with the background screen on my computer. It was time to change it. So I set it so that it showed some of the many photos I have on my computer. I set it up so that every 1 minute a photo appeared from an album belonging to my grandmother, Nana NASH. I had scanned that album when my mother died some years ago and had forgotten what I had. I now spend time watching this slideshow of box brownie, black & white photos taken about 1920 in the backblocks of Hokianga. Considering how old they are and how imperfectly stored they were, and are, they are of a very good quality. I recommend that you do this to your computer because you will value your photos more. You will see photos you haven't looked at for ages.

The actual albums are stored (badly) in an old dusty carton in a shed with the environment temperature controlled by the weather. I'm not proud of that fact. My children and siblings don't want to have these historical items and aren't in the least interested in what or who are in the photos.

Seeing these photos has led me to consider their preservation in the future. I will offer the digital versions of the photos to my cousins so that these family heirlooms are widely dispersed. I will attend the reunion of my grandmother's sisters' family and show the albums to them because there are photos of their ancestors that they may not have seen.

There is a wonderful little museum up in the Hokianga which is doing great things to ensure that Hokianga heritage is collected, preserved and retained. I have decided to take the albums of early Hokianga to them and offer them for preservation on condition that it is accessible to the family. I refuse to ruin them by my inadequate storage methods and I shudder at thinking that when I wander off into the afterlife, whatever that may be for me (much debate there) these albums will join the rubbish bin or the big bonfire on the front lawn that will accompany the celebrations the family will have at that time.


Regards to all

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. 

36.  Using your Family Tree in your FTDNA Account

GailDNAWhen you order a DNA test from a firm other than (FTDNA), you receive what is known as an Autosomal set of results.  This is also known as ‘atDNA’ or ‘Family Finder’ or ‘Your Ancestry’ or ‘Your Family DNA’.  The reason for all these names is that such a test considers all the genes inherited from both of your parents.  Do not confuse this with taking a YDNA test or a Mitochondrial test.  They are very different.

Yes, I know that some firms are advertising that you will get your ‘Fatherline’ and your ‘Motherline’ if you test with them, but what they are not saying is that you will get the Haplogroup only.  A Haplogroup for the ‘fatherline’ is kind of like your father’s genetic signature, but only males will receive this as it comes from the Y chromosome which only males carry.  A Haplogroup for the ‘motherline’ is kind of like your mother’s genetic signature and although everybody has mitochondria which gets considered, the male cannot pass it on to his offspring – this passing on is only available through the female.

While it is good to know what your haplogroup is, without comparisons and without matching it is not exactly helpful unless you are interested in deep ancestry.

Using the old nomenclature, my paternal line is (thanks to a brother testing for me) is R1b which is usually referred to as R-M343 in the new nomenclature .  Nomenclature is just a flash method of saying ‘naming system’.  My maternal line is H3as.  Both of these are of the most common European haplogroups.  These can be set out in the same way that your family tree is set out.

Here is a screenshot of a partial R1b haplogroup tree with the oldest (R-M343) at the top, just like a typical family tree from top to bottom.  Note that R-M269 is over 10,000 years old.  It even has a brother (R-M73/M478  (This graphic is by kind courtesy from Eupedia).


If you have a result from a firm proposing to test your father line, then you will likely receive a haplogroup name  beginning with R or maybe another letter such as I.  A very much simplified Y Haplogroup phylogenetic tree looks like this.  This is courtesy of

Here is a graphic for a very much simplified mitochondrial Phylogenetic tree.  It is courtesy of WikiTree.

There is only one firm who tests the Y chromosome and/or the mitochondria for Genealogical purposes and supplies Genealogical matches for you to contact, and that is Family Tree DNA. (FTDNA).

My reasoning for bringing all of this up is to highlight the atDNA or autosomal test (which is being offered by all of the commercial firms such as FTDNA,, My Heritage, 23andMe, Living DNA and so on) and ensure you know that those results can be transferred to FTDNA.  

Yes, you can also transfer those autosomal results to the new which is well worthwhile doing.  However, here are some reasons (in no particular order) for you to transfer (or get a new autosomal test) to FTDNA.

Once you have an account with FTDNA, you can join a project – this might be a Surname project or a Geographical project.  There is no limit or cost involved to join.

You can order a YDNA test if you are a male or a mitochondrial test and once you have your haplogroup, you can join a Haplogroup project.

You will receive notifications of your matches, both close and distant.  From there on, it is up to you to make contact with that match.  If you do this, please, please do not simply say something like “…You are my cousin and I would like to know what XYZ surnames you have in your tree”.  Be helpful and offer information as well as asking for it.

Get members of your family to also transfer to FTDNA (or take an autosomal test with FTDNA.  The older the generation you test, the better it will be.  Ideally, test your parents if they are still living otherwise, ask a 1st cousin from your mother’s side to test as well as a 1st cousin from your father’s side to test.  It is important to have at least one person from each of your parent’s lines because this will aid you with your matching.

Once you have yourself and a member from each parent’s side in FTDNA, spend some time and place your own family tree into your FTDNA account.  This can be done by using a Gedcom either from your own genealogy software or from if that is where your tree is.  If it is from, here are the instructions to export your tree to your computer as a Gedcom file.

From any page on Ancestry, click the Trees tab at the top of the page. From theTrees drop-down menu, select the tree you'd like to transfer. In the top-left corner of the tree, click the tree name and select Tree Settings.

Make certain that the exact same names as your relatives have used as their testing name is replicated in your family tree.  This will enable FTDNA to calculate whether your autosomal matches are from your paternal line or your maternal line.  Once calculated, you will see in your ‘Matches’ something what looks like this.

Screen Shot 2019-04-22 at 1

Notice the first two in this graphic “Ms E.” and “M”.  Both are indicated as “half Sister, Grandmother/Granddaughter, Aunt, Niece” but both have different icons to each other.  The reason is that the person with only the red female icon has no connection with the male belonging to Ms E.’s genetics. 

Had you not bothered to get anyone in your family to also have their results in FTDNA and had you not put your family tree into your FTDNA account, you would not have these extra hints.

And whilst we are considering family trees, have you joined Famnet and placed your tree in that data base?  Perhaps you have not looked at his FAQs for awhile?

Late last year, I was taking a class on DNA and had learned of a family name of one of the attendees.  It was a rather unusual name and I knew the tree for that family was in Famnet.  I mentioned this to the attendee who looked it up for herself.  There was quite a reunion a few weeks later!  Could such an event happen to you?

Feel free to contact me 


Gail Riddell

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Index so far

Jan’s Jottings

Use it or lose it

This is so true!!!  What am I referring to????  Family History Centres. 

'Oldies' will remember how we spent so many days at our local FHC. Now, much of what we did there, is available for us to find at home. BUT NOT ALL. As always, FamilySearch is very mindful of copyright and privacy regulations, living people etc. But they always try for the best use for us.

So, as you research at home, you may receive a message that "you have to visit a Family History Centre or Affiliate Library to be able to view this record"  or similar words.

Where is your nearest Centre or Library?   Go to Go to

the help button at top right.

Select "Contact Us"

At the top left there is a box to fill in and above it the words "Find a Family History Center".

Type in New Zealand.  A map will then appear. Zoom into the map and look for the area where you want to find an FHC. This will show both LDS FHC's and Affiliate Centres...

Keep zooming in to be able to see street names. Click on the tree icon for address, opening hours etc. Clicking on this Family Tree Icon will get all the info you need.

Remember that our NZSG in Panmure (have asked for this info to be updated - not showing at present) is an affiliate library and also our Auckland Libraries.  Big smile on my face as I write this as I was able to organise these Affiliate Libraries years ago.  NB if your local library is not an affiliate - talk about it with them because it can be arranged.

Some FHCs have already reduced their hours or are temporarily closed.

Access to the actual databases with all the info is available for Ancestry, MyHeritage etc. saves you using free trials etc. You can research at home, and create a nice list of everything that is not in FamilySearch and then spend a day or more at your local.

Some Family History Centres also have a good collection of helpful books to browse.

So - use it please!! They will order in more and more helpful records if they know people will come.


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Wairarapa Wandering

A very precious caterpillar

AdeleWhilst doing family research, my sister mentioned she had our father's parachute from WW2 with her in New Zealand, and asked what she could do with it.  I put it on Rootsweb site and was inundated with museums wanting it. It has ended up at Classic Flyers Museum in Tauranga. 

This museum also have Dad’s large thermos flask. When I say large, take my word for it, it's large! It has three containers inside to keep a hot meal ready for the pilot when he needed it on a bombing raid - he took part in over Germany during WW2.

When I got the history of the thermos, from the company itself, I was informed that many parachutists had them so that when they parachuted down they had a hot meal with them.  This flask has a thick glass lining, and Thermos mentioned to me, when the Queen Mum used her Thermos the lining broke and they had to find one to replace it for them.

 I have in my possession, from the actual Irvin folk who made the parachutes, out of silk, a letter from my father requesting for his crew to obtain a caterpillar badge as they had parachuted using the Irvin one which permitted them to obtain a caterpillar badge, which was very prestigious thing to have achieved. It was a gold caterpillar and I don’t just put gold and mean brass, it was GOLD, with ruby eyes, a much sought-after award today.

Sadly when dad died in Beaminster, Dorset, UK in 1992, and my sister was there clearing out his belongings. I asked her one time, what happened to dad's Caterpillar badge and told her that it was now worth thousands. I said Dad kept his on the inside of his lapel of his blazer. She had no idea!

So it was lost to Hospice somewhere, but his name will have been on the award, Gerard Francis Pentony, he served both RAF and RCAF during WW2. According to the Irvin letter I have for dad the under mentioned aircrew, on return from a bombing operation, were forced to abandon their aircraft near Heathfield, Sussex.  None of the them were seriously injured by the parachute jump.  F./L Pentony and his crew are desirous of becoming members of the Caterpillar Club. Any further information you may require will be gladly forwarded.

F/L. G. F. Pentony.     


F/O. J. G. Messenger   


P/O K.A. Craig.           


P/O G. A. Fitzgerald.   


F/S. G.W. Patten.         


F/S. G.J. Byers.            



Signed Wing Commander.


429 Squadron. R.C.A. F.


The Catapillar Club

C/- Irvin Parachute Co.,

Icknield Way

Letchworth. Herts.


Letter dated.  22nd October. 1943.

File No. 4298/10/Air.


Back in those days, the actual Caterpillar didn’t cost much, as one letter has the price, but today it is worth a lot more and wish I could find Dad’s one. My parents retired to Dorset from Surrey, as my sister and family were down there at Misterton, then my brother in law in the Royal Navy had a posting to New Zealand!  Sister and husband have retired to Halls Head, Perth, Australia after years in New Zealand.


Adele Pentony-Graham

12 Neich’s Lane

Clareville 5713

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Digging Into Historical Records  

Hutt County Hares

John Cracroft Wilson may have been the first person to introduce hares to New Zealand. His first attempt, in 1854, to bring them to Canterbury from India via the American ship Akbar apparently failed. [1] Five years later he succeeded in bringing two hares from Calcutta to Lyttelton via the steamship Armenian. [2] In November 1859 the ship Christopher Newton arrived at Wellington, from London, with some hares on board belonging to Mr Turner, an old colonist. [3] Although Charles Rooking Carter succeeded in importing three hares from London via the ship Berar in May 1865 they didn’t make it to the Wairarapa. [4]

 In October 1865 hares were included in a list of imported species that gained legal protection from hunting during the months November to April. [5] This was amended the following year to allow owners to destroy hares on their own land and to enable coursing by greyhounds or hunting with beagles or other hounds. [6]

 In early March 1874 hares were let loose by the Wellington Acclimatisation Society at the Domain grounds [7] and seventeen more were received from Melbourne in May. [8] Four years later hares were “increasing in Wairarapa.” [9] Croskery, Hall & Co., auctioned a pair of tame hares at Lambton Quary in April 1880 [10] and 60 hares were shipped to Wellington from Mr Studholme’s run at Waimate by the ship Taiaroa in August 1881. [11]

In April 1882 it was officially notified that hares could be taken or killed in Hutt County from 12 May to 31 July and that the license fee was £1 to kill and £5 to sell game. Licenses were obtainable from the Postmaster at Wellington, Featherston or Masterton. [12]

Edward Hill appears to be the first person to be brought before the Resident Magistrate for killing five hares in Lower Hutt within the close season on 22 April 1883. He was fined 10s and costs. [13] By April 1886 there was considerable poaching at Waiwetu where hares were constantly coursed, shot and snared out of season. Substantial rewards were offered to detect and punish offenders in addition to the standing reward of the Acclimatisation Society. [14] In September 1886 hares were “reported to be numerous in the Hutt County.” [15]

Samuel Smart Mason, a Waiwetu farmer, wrote to the Colonial Secretary on 02 August 1888, requesting permission to shoot hares upon his property. [16] His brother-in-law, Charles John Cridland, of York Bay, made a similar request on 30 October 1889. [17]

At the fifth annual meeting of the Wellington Acclimatisation Society in April 1890, it was reported that several settlers near Lower Hutt had applied for leave to keep hares down out of season. This was granted by Government during the months of March and April. [18]

At a meeting of the Hutt Producer’s Association, held on 16 January 1891, it was resolved to request the Government to declare hares in the Hutt district as vermin, owing to the depredations which they have been committing for some time past. [19] Furthermore, the Ranger for the Hutt County, Henry Davies O’Callaghan, was also employed as a clerk at Parliament when it was in Session. As this was generally during the midst of the shooting season a great amount of poaching took place during his absence much to the chagrin of license holders. [20]

In September 1891 the Hutt County Council unanimously passed a resolution that the Colonial Secretary be asked to proclaim hares as pests within the boundaries of Hutt County. [21] This was forwarded to the Wellington Acclimatisation Society and they were of the opinion that hares were confined to particular localities and were by no means widespread. They also reported that many settlers were much opposed to wholesale destruction and pointed out that any settler could apply to the Colonial Secretary for leave to destroy them on his own property. The Colonial Secretary concurred in the Society’s views. The council then resolved to present a petition to the Colonial Secretary, praying him to allow hares to be destroyed through the county. [22]

On 12 August 1892 the Wellington Acclimatisation Society succeeded in prosecuting James Burrows, a youth, for killing three hares at Wainuiomata without a licence. He was fined 20s with costs amounting to 36s. [23]

In a memorial to the Colonial Secretary, signed by 25 fruit growers of the Hutt District on 17 August 1893, it was claimed that hares have “so increased in number as to cause very serious damage and threaten to utterly ruin many of the orchards lately planted in our district.” At Samuel Smart Mason’s orchard at Wainuiomata most of the 1300 trees were utterly destroyed by their ravages. Only six living trees were left. [24]

In response the New Zealand Gazette of 14 September 1893 notified the public that hares could be killed out of season in the Hutt and Wainuiomata Valleys. [25]

Mason’s attempted Wainuiomata orchard was probably planted on the southern moiety of Lot 20, Lowry Bay Section 21. This land was within a Wainuiomata Small Farm Settlement and is consistent with Mason being a member of the Hutt Small Farms Association since 1885. [26]

The 51 acre block is situated on the eastern side of Upper Fitzherbert Road in the vicinity of Jack Vaughan Grove and the top of Wise Street. [27] Mason purchased this on 25 September 1890 then added the northern moiety of 51 acres on 23 August 1897. He then sold the 102 acres on 15 September 1897 to Alexander Paterson, a tailor of Cuba Street, Wellington. [28]

The following is a listing of the 25 fruit growers who signed the memorial in 1893.  Any assistance with filling the gaps would be much appreciated.

Image: 1893-HuttFruitGrowers.jpg


Image: 1893-FruitGrowersSignatures.jpg


[1] Lyttelton Times 29 Apr 1854 - Akbar

[2] Lyttelton Times 09 Apr 1859 Shipping News – Armenian

[3] Nelson Examiner and New Zealand Chronicle 07 Dec 1859 – Christopher Newton

[4] Wellington Independent 13 May 1865 Local and General News

[5] An Act to provide for the Protection of Certain Animals in New Zealand [30 Oct 1865]

[6] An Act to amend “The Protection of Certain Animals Act 1865” (08 Oct 1866)

[7] Wellington Independent 05 Mar 1874 The Acclimatisation Society

[8] Wellington Independent 14 May 1874 Wellington Acclimatisation Society

[9] Auckland Star; Thames Advertiser – 18 Jul 1879

[10] Evening Post 23 Apr 1880

[11] Evening Post 04 Aug 1881

[12] Evening Post 14 Apr 1882

[13] Evening Post 08 May 1883

[14] Evening Post 01 Apr 1886

[15] Evening Post 18 Sep 1886

[16] Archives NZ Reference (Archway) ACGO 8333 IA1 557 / [106] 1888/2832 (R24509357)

[17] Archives NZ Reference (Archway) ACGO 8333 IA1 575 / [23] 1889/3249 (R24688857)

[18] Evening Post 30 Apr 1890

[19] Evening Post 17 Jan 1891

[20] Evening Post 23 May 1891

[21] Evening Post 08 Sep 1891

[22] Evening Post 12 Jan 1892

[23] Evening Post 12 Aug 1892

[24] Archives NZ Reference IA 1 904 [8] 1903/4122 (R24857238) Protecting Hares in Mungaroa Riding Hutt County

[25] New Zealand Mail 01 Dec 1893

[26] Hutt City Archives Reference ARCH74660 Hutt Small Farms Association

[27] Tales from the Swamp by Vicky Alexander (2000)

[28] Archives NZ Reference AFIH 22394 W5691/94 (R21063372) Wellington Deeds Index Volume 34 folios 241 and 242


Pandora Research

Dawn Chambers

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Chinese Corner 

  Rev Alexander Don’s Roll Reverend Don’s Roll was an exciting find, when I began my NZ Chinese Research. I will let the words from the website tell the story of Rev Don.

More Information can be found on the Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand website.

Alexander Don (1857–1934) came to New Zealand in 1879 from the Victorian goldfields. It was his interest in mission that brought him to New Zealand. He sought work with the Presbyterian Church of Otago and Southland, which ran a number of missions in Asia and the Pacific, as well as in New Zealand itself. Don was given the position of missionary to the Chinese miners who had begun coming to the region in increasing numbers following an invitation from the Otago Chamber of Commerce in 1865. He first went to Canton to study Cantonese and learn something of the environment from which the Chinese miners came. After returning to Dunedin in 1881 he began his theological training, before going into the field, first at Riverton and then Round Hill. In 1886 he moved again, this time to Lawrence, where there were a large number of Chinese living. From 1889 he was based in Dunedin, but he continued to travel extensively around the mining regions of Otago and Southland. From 1913 onwards his direct contact with Chinese miners lessened, as his career took him in new directions. He moved first to Palmerston North, then back to Dunedin to take up the position as Foreign Missions Secretary. He retired to Ophir in 1923, where he wrote Memories of the Golden Road: A History of the Presbyterian Church in Central Otago (Dunedin: A.H. and A.W. Reed, 1936).

It is not entirely clear at what stage Don began compiling his Roll, but it was probably soon after he arrived at Round Hill in 1883. The first entry in the Notebook is dated 1883, and while it is possible that this was entered at a later date, it seems likely that he began recording the names of Chinese he met in the Notebook at this time. The early sections of the book contain a list of the names of around 400 men, covering the period between 1883 and 1896. Don provides a romanisation of the man's Chinese name, and sometimes brief notes on the physical appearance of the person. As James Ng suggests, Don probably used this early part of the Notebook as an aide-mémoire to help call faces to mind. Here, Don also listed the names of men he organized remittances for, as well as those whom he had assisted by getting letters carried to their families in China.

The Roll proper begins at page 50 in the Notebook, where Don begins to set out much more systematically information about the Chinese he encountered. He gathered this information during his travels (especially his tours of Central Otago) and through many interviews with the Chinese he met. Some he knew well; others were little more than passing acquaintances. Early entries are often grouped according to people's location in New Zealand in 1896, indicating that Don would fill in a section of the Roll after visiting a group of Chinese in a particular place. There were long periods when he was able to add little new information to the Roll, but if he met a group of Chinese, perhaps gathered for a festival or congregating in Dunedin prior to the departure of a boat back to China, he would be able to gather a great deal of new material, which he would then use to update individual entries. Similarly, after he shifted to Palmerston North in 1913, he was able to add many more entries for Chinese residents in the North Island, and we find long sections of the Roll devoted to people living in places like Otaki or Wanganui. After he was appointed Foreign Missions Secretary, Don was not able to maintain such regular contact with Chinese people and the entries in the Roll become less frequent, but he continued to add occasional notes up until 1929.

Most of the people Don encountered came from a cluster of districts or counties in and around Canton in the Pearl River delta in south China. The majority, nearly 70 per cent, came from Poon Yue (Panyu), which lies immediately north of Canton, while a much smaller number came from the two other Sam Yap counties around the city itself (Sun Dak and Naam Hoi). Another significant group came from the Four Counties (Seyip, especially Toi Saan), which lie to the south of Canton. Nearly 8 per cent came from Jang Sing County (Zengcheng) to the north of the city, while 2.4 per cent came from Heung Saan (Zhongshan) and 1.3 per cent from Fa Yuen (Hua county).

Don’s Roll can be searched at

This database is an electronic version of Alexander Don's (1857–1934) ‘Roll' of the Chinese. We have based it on the facsimile reproduction of the Roll provided in Volume Four of James Ng Windows on a Chinese Past (Dunedin: Otago Heritage Books, 1993).

The Roll consists of entries for some 3,682 Chinese present within New Zealand between 1896 and 1913. In it, Don recorded the person's name (in Chinese characters), their age in 1896, the number of years they had been away from China, the number of times they had returned, and the number of years of schooling they had received. This information is followed by columns listing the district (or county) in China that the person came from, the nearest market town to their family home, and the town or village in which that home was located.

The opposing page of the Roll was divided into two. The first column listed the location in New Zealand where the person was living in 1896, then the final column, by far the largest, was used to add a range of miscellaneous information that Don was able to collect about each individual. Here, we find details about the person's movements, about Poll Tax requirements, family relationships, personal health, debts, run-ins with the law, bequests and remittances.

These records relating to each individual can provide fascinating insights into the lives of the Chinese who came to New Zealand in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. When taken together, however, they enable us to begin to build a social profile of the early Chinese community in New Zealand. From this information it is possible to reconstruct patterns of dispersal and resettlement, the founding of communities around new forms of employment and in new locations.

In creating this searchable database, we hope to present the information in the Roll in a form that enables researchers to generate responses to questions much more quickly than would be possible by working through the Roll in its printed form.  

The database is only as accurate as the source it represents. At no stage have we attempted to revise or manipulate the data in the Roll.   The database is simply an electronic, and searchable, version of Don's Roll. It will be most useful when used in conjunction with the Roll itself.

For an example of the kind of research that can be done with the data in the Roll, see Brian Moloughney, Tony Ballantyne and David Hood 'After Gold: Reconstructing Chinese Communities, 1896-1913,' in Henry Johnson and Brian Moloughney (eds), Asia in the Making of New Zealand (Auckland: Auckland University Press, 2007), pp. 58-75.

Alexander Don's 'Roll' of the Chinese was converted to an online database by Brian Moloughney, Tony Ballantyne, and David Hood of the University of Otago History Department.

The project is now finished and has been placed here online for the use of other researchers.


Helen Wong

Guest Contributors

Ken Morris

Shackleton's Epic – Recreating the World’s Greatest Journey of Survival

By Tim Jarvis

HarperCollins 2013 (ABC Books)

ISBN 978 0 7333 3265 4

Following an earlier article on my trip to Antarctica I have read Tim Jarvis’s “epic recreation” of Shackleton’s incredible journey of survival and bringing home his entire expedition crew and team from Elephant Island to South Georgia in 1916. In short, the expedition ship Endurance was finally crushed by the ice and sank in the Weddell Sea (never found), the 28 survivors made their way to Elephant Island in the three life boats. Shackleton then took 5 men and sailed 1,500 km to the west coast of Sth Georgia in what had been an open boat with an added deck framed with sledge runners and a canvas cover, surviving an horrendous storm and successfully making landfall, based on limited noon sun shots. Three men were left using the beached boat for shelter and Shackleton and two companions made their way across Sth Georgia to Stromness Whaling Station on the east coast. Having completed this, Shackleton organised rescue parties to pick up the other team members, all survived, and a truly great journey of survival was completed. The “World’s Greatest Journey of Survival” tag was bestowed by Sir Ed Hillary

Tim Jarvis, an Australian author, explorer and scientist and who has made four other expeditions to Antarctica and the Artic decided to emulate Shackleton’s 1,500 km small boat voyage and the journey across Sth Georgia using a boat built to the same design as the “James Caird”, and to use the same navigational equipment, clothes and food that Shackleton used.

Albeit the five that accompanied Tim on the voyage and the two on the island crossing were experienced seaman and mountaineers and were hand picked by Tim, a modern-day recreation needs all sorts of “others” to be able to record the emulation and make a saleable documentary to pay for the expedition. These “others” included a support ship, safety & insurance requirements dictated by today’s society as well as the building of the “Alexandra Shackleton” (named after Sir Earnest’s granddaughter) together with all the logistical nightmares when people from many far-flung locales are involved. Tim was emphatic that the support and the safety of the expedition team was a must but was not to be used unless “absolutely necessary”, otherwise the authentic reproduction of the expedition would be compromised.

Over time (5 years) Tim was to find that his planning efforts and frustrations paralleled those of Shackleton’s almost a century later.

The first part of the book covers all the issues of planning, finance, insurance, sponsors, logistics, publicity and the arrangements to produce both a written story of the well as a visual story that will sell and provide the necessary finance. For a long period, the funding was by Tim & his family by mortgaging their home, this was his unstinting commitment to the project. It makes for interesting reading and in no small part ensured the success of the project.

The original boat James Caird was retrieved in 1916 and is now on show at Shackleton’s old college Dulwich. A replica was built in England, sea tested including ability to self-right, and was shipped with logistical difficulty to Antarctica. Necessary modern changes were for batteries and film equipment but the sleeping area as well as access to the deck and ablutions (a bucket, to be used in all weathers) were basically as per the original. There have been four other attempts to complete the sea voyage, and some for the land crossing, but none to complete the double.

Tim, who is a land, based & polar explorer had to choose his crew of five to cover both the extensive sea voyage, the James Caird/Alexandra Shackleton is only 6.9m long) which involved navigation using 1916 era equipment and sailing a keelless sailboat in one of the stormiest oceans. For the final land-based crossing of Sth Georgia the team had to have mountaineering experience. The recreated expedition was 97 years after Shackleton’s crossing and the areas that had been ice were reduced and the screws put into the soles of the leather boots to give traction on the snow & ice were worn down quickly on some of the now rocky areas.

In addition, the team had to be compatible, be multi skilled and provide the specialist expertise, which was the primary reason of their being chosen for the expedition, all very similar characteristics that Shackleton had looked for: Optimism, Patience, Imagination/Idealism and Courage

Finding a suitable support ship was a major challenge for many reasons and final choice the “Australis” a 23m fully rigged motor sailor polar expedition cruise boat admirably fulfilled the purpose. “Australis” just over twice length of “Alexandra Shackleton” and a total complement of passengers & crew of 12 is still a small boat to tackle the mighty Southern Ocean.

The book is well illustrated with many photos of the original and recreated voyages and clearly show the authenticity of the boat, the clothing, cramped accommodation as well as the storms that both teams had to endure.

The recreation was truly in in the league of the great age of polar exploration & heroism and deserves its own place in Polar Adventure and provide a great example for current & generations to come.

Ken Morris

Avis McDonald

Your best-ever find, and what difference it made to your tree!

Shields family  - In 1970  a relative,  Jenny, who was housebound, researched this family.

She wrote to Hudson Bay Company for records pertaining to Robert Shields, born 1799, Edinburgh Scotland who had immigrated on the Hudson Bay company ship Prince of Wales. to Fort Douglas, Kildonan, Red River Settlement, North America (Saskatchewan Canada).

IMG-1056 After they had portaged up the river to Red River Settlement, Robert married Mary Brown 1891 who had been on the same ship. They had two sons Andrew and John, and lived in Fort Douglas, but it was a very hard life with battles of Indians and fur traders, locusts and extremely cold winters and scorching summers. In 1824 the family portaged back down to Hudson Bay and sailed on the IMG-1058Prince of Wales to London and returned to Edinburgh.

The first son was killed in a cycle accident, but the 2nd son John married Elizabeth MILLER and along with their eldest child Agnes sailed on the ship Blundell from Greenock, Scotland to Port Chalmers arriving in 1848, on the fourth ship to come to the colony. All but one of John’s 6 siblings married and came to NZ.  Almost all had large families.

In 1970, Jenny, who was an excellent researcher and meticulous record keeper, interviewed many of the early NZ relatives. She published the book SHIELDS – SHIELS 1819   Four Generations

  This book was invaluable when I started researching this large family. I visited her frequently but she would not allow me even photocopy the large amount of correspondence she had. As she aged and her eyesight and health deteriorated I kept asking if I could please copy and return all the research, but the answer was always an emphatic NO.

Finally she told me when she died, it was all going to be dumped. When I told her I would go to the dump and retrieve it, she relinquished it. 

The early SHIELDS SHIELS book and all the information was the basis from which I interviewed many later relatives, and wrote the SHIELDS SHIELS book in 2017.

Avis McDonald

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

 HeritageTalks  - Waha -taonga

Are you interested in family and local history; the historical stories of New Zealand, the Pacific, and beyond?


Then why not come along to one of our fortnightly HeritageTalks | Waha -taonga and hear more about both our personal and our shared heritage?

These talks are given by experts in their field and can provide valuable insight into our histories.


When: At least fortnightly on Wednesdays, from February to November, 12pm - 1pm unless otherwise stated
Where: Whare Wānanga, Level 2, Central City Library, Lorne St, Auckland
Cost: Free
Booking: All welcome. Booking recommended but not essential.


To ensure your place, please contact Research Central on 09 890 2412, or book online at



Farmers Trading Company with Ted Dickens

Wednesday 8 May, 12pm -1pm

New Zealand Sign Language week – there will be a sign language interpreter at this event

Beginning in 1953 with his first job as a message boy for the Farmers Trading Company, Ted Dickens held many positions and ended up staying for 33 years.  Drawing on that long-time association comes this fascinating talk on Robert Laidlaw’s founding of Farmers, and the growth of his mail order dream into the renowned Kiwi department store it became.


Bringing history back to life with Diane McAllen, Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Wednesday 15 May, 12pm -1pm

Audiovisual recordings allow us to see and hear people from the past. In this talk, Diane McAllen, Senior Outreach Curator Kaitoko Kaupapa Torotoronga ā-Iwi, will talk about local treasures that have been digitally restored from the collections of Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision. Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision collects, shares and cares for New Zealand’s audiovisual taonga, in sound and moving images.

Audioculture presents: Gareth Shute on mapping Auckland's historic music venues

Wednesday 22 May, 12pm -1pm

Gareth Shute was an Auckland Library Heritage Trust research scholar for 2018. Hear about his project, involving mapping the music venues of Auckland back to the mid-20th century for the music history website, His research also involved examining the Rykenberg Photography Collection, so he’s sure to bring great images to look at!


Starch work by experts: Chinese laundries in Aotearoa New Zealand, with Dr Joanna Boileau, Auckland Museum

Wednesday 5 June, 12pm -1pm

This talk provides a brief overview of the history of Chinese laundries in New Zealand, along with telling the story behind the rise and decline of laundries in Auckland, from their beginnings in the 1890s.  Also presented will be stories of some major laundry families in Auckland, revealing insights into their daily lives.

Te Whaioranga - The Road to Recovery with Haunui Royal, Auckland Libraries

Wednesday 19 June, 12pm -1pm

After the protests and land marches of the seventies, and the devastating financial reforms in the eighties Maori communities reached crisis point.  In the nineties, through development of kaupapa māori institutions, Māori businesses, cultural revival, and Waitangi treaty claims, positive signs of recovery emerged. Utilizing documentary footage, Haunui Royal examines key themes arising from that period, and some of the personal stories behind this renaissance.


Coming home: The Returned Soldier experience after the war with Dr Stephen Clarke

Wednesday 3 July, 12pm -1pm

During the First World War, over 18,000 New Zealanders died, and their names are immortalised on local war memorials that are the focal point of remembrance on Anzac Day. But what do we know about those 80,000, often forgotten New Zealanders, who survived the war? Join Dr Stephen Clarke as he discusses the Great Silence about the experience of coming home from the Great War.


The lost suburb of Newton East with Lynnie Howcroft, Elianna Gabriel, Jade Oskar Harvey and S’Wee H’ng

Wednesday 17 July, 12pm -1pm

Join Lynnie Howcroft and the team behind the children’s book, Barkell and Mr Arkell, Elianna Gabriel, Jade Oskar Harvey and S’Wee H’ng; They’ll discuss their tentative journey into self-publishing, and how they developed this true story of characters who lived in Newton East, 80 years before construction of the Newton Motorway Interchange. It promises to be an inspirational discussion about bringing history to life, for both adults and children.


Your DNA Heritage with Michelle Patient

Wednesday 24 July, 12pm -1pm

There is a lot of hype and misunderstanding around the results of DNA tests. Are the tests a waste of time? Or are they a valuable tool for family historians? In this talk genetic genealogist Michelle Patient will discuss what the tests can reveal. She compares the work done by different companies and explains how the results can be useful for understanding our heritage.


New Zealand Imperialism in the Cook Islands with Chris Turnbull

Wednesday 31 July, 12pm -1pm

Fifty years after the Treaty of Waitangi, colonial New Zealand was given a second opportunity to shape the new government of a Pacific polity. This talk discusses the meeting of Colonial and Island cultures in the Cook Islands and argues that Island leaders were significant in determining the outcome. Chris Turnbull, an Auckland Libraries Heritage Trust scholar in 2018/19, is currently working on a PhD about Pacific History.


August (Family History Month)

1 to 31 August 2019

Family History Month at Auckland Libraries
Various library venues around the Auckland region – check with your local library.


Auckland Family History Expo | Tāmaki Huinga Tātai Kōrero

Friday 9 August to Sunday 11 August 2019

Auckland Libraries and the Genealogical Computing Group proudly present a weekend-long event covering a wide range of topics on researching genealogy, whakapapa and family history.

Seminars • exhibitors • computer workshops • ask-an-expert sessions • research assistance • raffle prizes.

International guest speakers

•          Cyndi Ingle, US (CyndisList)

•          Nick Barratt, UK (broadcaster/historian)

•          Raymon Naisbitt, US, FamilySearch

•          Jason Reeve, AncestryAU

•          Russ Wilding, US, MyHeritage.

Local guest speakers

•          Jan Gow QM FSG

•          Andy Fenton

•          Fiona Brooker

•          Michelle Patient .... and more to be announced.


• Ancestry • Archives New Zealand •  Auckland Libraries •FamilySearch •  FamilyTree DNA FamNet •  Guild of One Name Studies •  Head to Head Productions • Hooked on Genealogy Tours/Beehive Books •  Memories In Time • Mentis •  MyHeritage •  National Army Museum (Kippenberger Research Library •  National Library of New Zealand/PapersPast •  NZ Chinese Genealogy Group •         NZ Fencible Society •  NZ Society of Genealogists Inc •    NZ Micrographics •  Wales – NZ Family History Society

Come and see us at the Fickling Convention Centre, 546 Mount Albert Road, Three Kings, Auckland. Find out more at


The Hidden Web: Digging Deeper with Cyndi Ingle

Wednesday 7 August, 12pm -1pm

Don’t give up if Google and traditional search engines fail to return useful information. We will explore resources that are invisible to Google and hidden deep within web sites and proprietary databases. The "hidden web" lies buried within the collections of commercial web sites, libraries, archives, and museums. We will also talk about the importance of indexes that deep-link into web sites online, thus uncovering hidden gems of information that may not be found easily through a search engine query.
US genealogist Cyndi Ingle is one of the keynote speakers at the Auckland Family History Expo.


Family History & the Media – Behind the scenes of WDYTYA with Nick Barratt

Wednesday 7 August, 1.30-2.30pm

UK author, broadcaster, and historian Dr Nick Barratt is best known for his work on BBC’s Who Do You Think You Are? series. In this session, Nick discusses broadcast media and how the rise of the internet has transformed genealogy and family history. He will reflect on how the hit BBC series was commissioned, researched and filmed. Using case studies from the show, he explores how several celebrities changed the way the programme was made - with a profound impact on the way audiences embraced a new style of research.

Come and hear Nick tell us about what really goes on behind the scenes of these TV programmes. More opportunities to hear Nick Barratt speak at the Auckland Family History Expo.


Russ Wilding, MyHeritage

Wednesday 14 August, 12pm -1pm

Another opportunity to hear Auckland Family History Expo speaker and MyHeritage Chief Content Officer Russ advise us on using MyHeritage technologies to discover your family history. He’ll also tell us how MyHeritageDNA can become another tool in your genealogy toolbox to help find missing links and verify your research.


The Many Faces of D.B. Russell 1862-1940 with Lisa Truttman
Wednesday 21 August, 12pm -1pm

Light opera singer, entrepreneur, impresario, supposed construction engineer, agricultural expert, resident agent and manager: D.B. Russell convinced people he could do virtually anything – then left behind little record of his activities. Lisa will discuss how she researched his life via archives held in New Zealand, Australia, America and Mexico. D.B. Russell enjoyed a career on stage in the Far East and travelled through the Pacific during a time of British and New Zealand imperial activity in the area. She discovered shady deals in the Gilded Age of the late 19th and early 20th centuries in America, a grand Auckland canal project which never materialised, and his experience of the 1911 Mexican revolution.


Dall'altra parte del mondo: To the other side of the world with Giuseppe Gallina

Wednesday 28 August, 12pm -1pm

Giuseppe Gallina presents an illustrated talk about the evolution of Italian emigration to New Zealand which began in 1769 with the first arrival - a Venetian sailor who came on the Endeavour with James Cook.

Giuseppe explains why Italians left their homeland for this country, when they came, where they settled, the work they did, and the challenges they faced as their community grew.


Wills and probates with Marie Hickey

Wednesday 11 September, 12pm -1pm

Many researchers believe that it’s not worth looking for their ancestors’ wills, because their family didn’t have much money. This means that they miss out on vital information: Lists of household items, what happened to a particular item, or even learning about a family squabble.

This presentation will look at material from New Zealand, England, Scotland and Ireland, including websites where information may be found and why you may not find anything when you believe that there should be a will.


The growth of New Zealand towns with Hugh Dickie

Wednesday 25 September, 12pm -1pm

Enjoy an interactive visualise presentation including fascinating facts about the growth (or otherwise) of our towns and cities, including a focus on Auckland.  Misconceptions and historical myths are dealt with, as well as current trends and possible future changes.  Based on extensive new research.


5 October to 27 October 2019

Auckland Heritage Festival
Various events around the Auckland region.


See more HeritageTalks at


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.






 Worth a look at - Welcome to The Legal Genealogist

About “My name is Judy Russell. I’m a genealogist with a law degree, and my purpose here at The Legal Genealogist is, in part, to help folks understand the often arcane and even impenetrable legal concepts and terminology that are so very important to those of us studying family history. Without understanding the context in which events took place and records were created, we miss so much of both the significance and the flavour of what happened.”






Waikanae Family History Group

WFHG 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:

 How to Locate Hidden Genealogical Gems on


Out-of-Print Books – Genealogy Gold


Is Your Family in the Updated Digital Library?

 Where can you go to find more information about your family? Have you ever tried the FamilySearch Digital Library?

The digital library on is a powerful resource for finding family history books and learning about families and places all over the world. Although the digital library has been around for awhile, new changes and updates have made it easier than ever to find exciting and enriching details for your family story.

13 Secrets to Getting Replies from DNA Cousin Matches

It happens to all of us. You see you have new DNA cousin matches, and you get excited. Maybe they have a brick-wall surname you recognize, or maybe they’re a really close match, or maybe they’re in an area where you think your ancestors may have lived. You do a genealogy happy dance, and you send them a message.

And then you wait. And wait. And wait. And nothing happens.


How to Preserve Your Genealogy Research

You’ve spent a lot of time, energy, and money tracing your family tree. Not to be morbid, but have you thought about what happens to all of that when you’re gone? Don’t leave things to chance. Here are 5 ways to preserve your genealogy research.



Genealogists On The Road        We've all felt this frustration at least once... its ok to admit it. There's that one relative, dead or alive, you want to "remove" from the tree!     Wizard of Id by Parker and Hart #genealogy

In conclusion

Help wanted

Letters to the Editor

Keep emailing me. I don't print many of the emails I receive, but it helps the contributors and your harassed editor when we receive a compliment or a reaction to our attempts at "good writing".


From the Editor: We are a genealogy newsletter but sometimes current affairs become so shocking or so important that we feel a need to refer to them. Robert and I were much moved by the recent Christchurch atrocity that we made a few pertinent, we felt, remarks. We received the following email after we sent out the last newsletter:


            Removing guns from law abiding citizens is known to increase crime. Now the criminals know there are less guns, so they are emboldened. This action put the law abiding people of New Zealand more at risk for gun violence. God help us if this type of law is passed in the U.S.

            Please unsubscribe me from this list. I do not agree with the dangerous gun grabbing philosophy of this email.

            I wish you the best 

            Sheila Donnelly


Robert replied with:

            Sheila, I find your reasoning bizarre.

                        > Removing guns from law abiding citizens is known to increase crime.

            On the contrary, the U.S.A is an anomaly, with several times the rate of gun deaths of other countries.  I refer you to Wikipedia


            and this page from VOX.


            As the writer of most of this month’s editorial, clearly I am very much in favour of the moves that our government is making.  I heard from a friend who has just returned from the U.S. who wrote: -

            Whilst in the US, the moment people realised I was from NZ, they were like buzzing bees and sadly, I shamed myself by letting the tears escape as they told me their thoughts.

            It pisses me off to think we are in the limelight for all the wrong reasons.  And I still get all emotional about it.  Grrrr

            The nice thing was that the Americans (no, not all - some are really aggressive about their gun rights) were envious of our PM and her / our attitude to bearing arms and the speed at which NZ can change laws.


            Most of the world looks on in amazement as there continues to be frequent mass shootings in America, yet all your politicians can do is offer “Thoughts and prayers”.  


            Feel free to unsubscribe from FamNet – all you have to do is to follow the link at the bottom of the newsletter.  Although why our gun views have any more relevance to Family History than our religion I do not know.


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

 From the Editor: My good friend Trevor sent me this. I want to claim Robert Opus for my family tree. A more interesting death than "visitation of god", drowned in a beer tank, and plain old age.


Anyone want to take a shot at the odds of this ever happening again? 


On March 23, 1994, the medical examiner viewed the body of Ronald Opus, and concluded that he died from a shotgun wound to the head.

Mr. Opus had jumped from the top of a ten-story building intending to commit suicide. He left a note to the effect indicating his despondency. As he fell past the ninth floor, his life was interrupted by a shotgun blast passing through a window, which killed him instantly. Neither the shooter nor the deceased was aware that a safety net had been installed just below the eighth floor level to protect some building workers, and that Ronald Opus would not have been able to complete his suicide the way he had planned.


The room on the ninth floor, where the shotgun blast emanated, was occupied by an elderly man and his wife. They were arguing vigorously and he was threatening her with a shotgun! The man was so upset that when he pulled the trigger, he completely missed his wife, and the pellets went through the window, striking Mr. Opus.


When one intends to kill subject 'A' but kills subject 'B' in the attempt, one is guilty of the murder of subject 'B.


When confronted with the murder charge, the old man and his wife were both adamant, and both said that they thought the shotgun was not loaded. The old man said it was a long-standing habit to threaten his wife with the unloaded shotgun. He had no intention to murder her. Therefore the killing of Mr. Opus appeared to be an accident; that is, assuming the gun had been accidentally loaded.


The continuing investigation turned up a witness who saw the old couple's son loading the shotgun about six weeks prior to the fatal accident. It transpired that the old lady had cut off her son's financial support and the son, knowing the propensity of his father to use the shotgun threateningly, loaded the gun with the expectation that his father would shoot his mother.


Since the loader of the gun was aware of this, he was guilty of the murder even though he didn't actually pull the trigger. The case now becomes one of murder on the part of the son for the death of Ronald Opus.


Now comes the exquisite twist...

Further investigation revealed that the son was, in fact, Ronald Opus. He had become increasingly despondent over the failure of his attempt to engineer his mother's murder. This led him to jump off the ten-story building on March 23rd, only to be killed by a shotgun blast passing through the ninth story window. The son, Ronald Opus, had actually murdered himself. So the medical examiner closed the case as a suicide.

A true story from Associated Press.


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