Part of the worldwide genealogy/family history community


FamNet eNewsletter September 2015

ISSN 2253-4040


Quote:  “My deepest impulses are optimistic, an attitude that seems to me as spiritually necessary and proper as it is intellectually suspect,” Ellen Willis


Editorial 2

From the Developer 2

Telling your story.    7.  Comparing and Synchronising Records. 2

DNA Testing for Family History. 6

15.  DNA – Something a little different…... 6

Group News. 10

Whangarei Family History Computer Group. 10

Waikanae Family History Group. 11

News and Views. 12

A Useful Web Site. 12

Wairarapa Wandering. 12

The Nash Rambler 13

Jan’s Jottings. 14

Community. 15

Information Wanted. 15

Book Reviews. 16

Te Tau Ihu O Te Waka. A History of Maori of Nelson and Marlborough – Hilary & John Mitchell 16

Johnny Enzed by Glyn Harper 18

In conclusion. 18

A Bit of Light Relief 18

Advertising with FamNet 18

To Unsubscribe,  Change your Email Address, or Manage your Personal Information. 19

Copyright (Waiver) 19


The anniversary of my brother’s death brought reflections on the importance of family.  Ted and I lived in different parts of New Zealand and could go for months, even years, without speaking to each other, but when we did get together it was as if we were still at school and we’d only been talking yesterday.  Now there is nobody with whom I can share memories of our parents or our upbringing.  Given how little we used to pick up the phone to talk to each other I’m amazed at how much I miss him now that I can’t do this any more.  So the message is: make the most of your family and friends while you can.

A reminder for readers in the Wellington Region: I will be giving tutorials on how to use FamNet in Waikenae on September 24th. See Waikanae Family History Group  9 for more information.  Hanley would love to welcome you to these sessions. 

In this issue: -

In “From the Developer”:  FamNet locates duplicate records.  How is this useful?

Gail continues her series on DNA Testing for Genealogy.  This issue: are you related to ??? (pick your favourite famous person).

In News and Views

            Wairarapa Wandering.  Adele remembers Cilla Black.

            The Nash Rambler continues his “Writing your story” theme.

            Jan’s Jottings: Taking your genealogy on the road

In Information Wanted: can you help Susie Lyndon identify the people in this picture?

We have two book reviews this time:

            Te Tau Ihu O Te Waka. A History of Maori of Nelson and Marlborough.

            Johnny Enzed. A history of World War 1 written from the point of view of the NZ soldier

Happy Reading, Robert.

Back to the Top

From the Developer

Telling your story.    7.  Comparing and Synchronising Records

So far I’ve covered these topics.

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

2.  Embedding pictures in Word documents

3.  Saving Documents for Web Publication.

4.  Saving Scrapbook Items

5.  Sharing your Story: Managing your Family Group

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

Next time I plan to cover: Producing and Using Charts, before covering the topic of Linking and Merging Trees.  Unless someone suggests another topic!

In the last article the topic of “GDB Links” was introduced as a way of handling general relationships such as adopted children, uncertain parentage, friends, and so on.  There was a passing mention in that article that FamNet automatically creates these links with a type “Duplicate” when it detects two records of the same person.  This is FamNet trying to be helpful, as this directly leads you to other genealogists who are recording part of your family.  They may have information that you don’t have, or vice versa: by working together you can both increase your knowledge.  In this article we’ll discuss a number of tools that are available when FamNet has recorded a duplicate link, but first we’ll see how FamNet finds the duplicate records

Detecting Duplicates

If you open this record, Arthur Cyril BARNES(1901-1985),  then below the scrapbook you’ll see these GDB links: -

These are records that FamNet has decided are also records of my father.  This is very common: many of us have overlapping family trees, with our ancestors and cousins recorded in the records of many other genealogists.  When a GEDCOM file is loaded into FamNet part of the process is that the program attempts to find and link every other record of the same person.  The program is reasonably good at this: rarely if ever reporting a false duplicate – different people with the same name – and finding a reasonable percentage of the duplicate records (70-80%?). 

How does it do this?  It starts by creating a list of all the other “BARNES, Arthur Cyril” records in the database.  This initial crude list might include people with the same name who are not my father, and of course it will miss records where his name was recorded differently.  To eliminate the false duplicates it looks at the parent and grandparent records: for each pair it assigns a score by comparing four items, the family name, given names, year of birth, and year of death.  The score is increased by 1 if an item is the same, decreased by 1 if it is different, but not changed if the item is not present in either record.  Thus each trial match contributes +4 to -4 to the overall score, and the total score if both parents and all four grandparents are present can be as high as 28. Tests showed that if the criterion was set at 10/28 false matches were eliminated and matches could be detected with only two parents, or one parent and one grandparent.  The FamNet program will miss duplicates where the subject has no recorded parents, or where the family name is spelt differently.

Using the Duplicate List

The first couple of GDB links show the features of duplicate record links: -

The first column is a normal link to a GDB page.  Click the top line and a record of my father owned by user datamanager is opened.  Click the second and one owned by user mirk562 is opened.  The records are opened in page view, and will have a link “Contact Record Owner” if we want to send an email to the other record owner.

The second column is the link type.  In July’s examples we saw notations like “adoptive child”, but here they are all duplicates.  For the second line the “Duplicate” type has a brownish background colour: this indicates that the record has been discarded.  Mirk Smith (user mirk562) and I have combined our tree, with me using Mirk’s excellent OLD records and her using my BARNES records.  That meant that we no longer wanted my records of John OLD/Mary Jane KNUCKEY and related records, nor Mirk’s records of John BARNES/Hannah OLD and related records, and so the unwanted records were discarded.  Discarded records are retained in the database but no longer appear in searches, and if you click this link you’ll see: -

Combining trees will be the subject of a later article.

Comparing Records

The third column is a link “Compare”.  Clicking this opens a page comparing the records, with controls to synchronize and merge trees.  Usually you’ll be comparing one of your records with one of somebody else’s so your record will be “record 1”, and you’ll have update rights to it.  However you can compare any two records linked as duplicates.

Here is what I see from clicking the first Compare link: -

Records are identified, and then a report compares “Record 1” (my record) with “Record 2” (the other record).  Where there are differences – which can be as minor as an extra blank – the report shows the data for the two records.  Thus in the index record – what you’d see in a general search – Record 2 incorrectly shows my grandfather’s name as BARNES, John William, actually the name of his first son.  You can see a difference in the BIRT (=Birth) record where one record records “NZ” and the other records “New Zealand”,  BURI (Burial) is only recorded in record 1, and so on.

If Record 2 has any facts that you’d like to add to your record, you can of course note them, then edit your records to add them.  I hope that if you do this you do it properly, recording where you got your information from.  Unfortunately too many of us are lazy and don’t do this.  Fortunately there’s another way that is not only easier but automatically records the source of the facts and links that you add.  Click [Synchronise].

Synchronising Records

Here you change your record (“record 1”) to make it like the other record (“record 2”), and to establish duplicate links between ancestors and children.  However synchronising does not change any family links, so the two trees remain separate except for the duplicate links.  This changes only your record(s), and does not affect the other person’s record(s). 

Here I’ve clicked [Synchronise Facts] to expose the part of the page dealing with facts: -

Green facts are the same in both, yellow are different.  If I want to copy the information from the other record’s fact I click the relevant <== and the information is copied into my record, and its source recorded. I don’t want to do this here, but I did use this facility with my record of Hannah OLD.  I didn’t have her burial recorded, but I found this in Tony Cairns’ record, so I added this fact to my record.  My Hannah OLD record now includes this fact: -

“**” is a visual clue that there’s more information about the fact than can be displayed here.  Clicking “Burial” we see: -

Opening the Synchronise page will have automatically ensured that duplicate links were created for all ancestors based on their position (e.g. Father’s Mother’s Father), whatever their names.  However a name match is necessary to link Spouse or Child records, and for this to happen automatically the name and birth/death years must be identical.  Synchronise Spouses and Synchronise Children allows you to create duplicate links where there are differences.  Here I’ve clicked [Synchronise Spouses]: -

In record 2 my mother’s name-date is different – there is no year of birth – so the duplication hasn’t been detected automatically.  I am not going to click <== to change my record. I might click Link to create a Duplicate link between these two records.

Synchronize Soft Links will give a list of all the Scrapbook and GDB links from record 1 and 2.  This allows me to import links to pictures and other scrapbook items from Record 2.  I don’t actually get a copy of these pictures, just a link to them: the pictures remain attributed to and under the control of the other record owner.

Linking and merging trees will be the subject of a later article.  In the next newsletter I will show you how you can produce charts of your ancestors and their descendents from FamNet.

Back to the Top

DNA Testing for Family History

© Gail Riddell 2014

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

1.  What is Molecular Genealogy?

2.  Where would I begin?  

3.  What test should I take?

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

5.  Direct paternal line (men only).

6.  Direct maternal line (men and women).

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

8.  Understanding direct paternal results.

9.  Understanding direct maternal line results.

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

11.  Understanding the X Chromosome.

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

13.  DNA Websites, Blogs, and Forums

14.  Commonly Asked Questions – Some Basic, Some Advanced

15.  DNA – Something a little different…

This is an “extra” as a result of discussing a Guardian newspaper article with the Famnet instigator, creator and provider – Robert Barnes

In the 12th article for this newsletter, I mentioned I had been asked to continue the series so I responded with the 13th article consisting of Blogs, Forums and a DNA glossary.  The 14th article was an add-on with the topic being “Commonly Asked Questions”.  This 15th article is another add-on and if more are wanted – then you must please write and suggest the topic. 

This article deals with how to learn if you really are related to an historical personage or to the British Royalty or even to others who have, for some reason become well-known names.  Here in New Zealand, we have the likes of BUSBY  or  RUTHERFORD  or  MCKENZIE  or WAKEFIELD  or  FERGUSON  or  GREY or  UPHAM  or  BATTEN  or  HONI HEKA or  APIRANA NGATA  to name a mere handful (because of course, the New Zealanders are known world-wide for their achivements J).

Let me state at the outset, this article is not about colour, nor creed nor religion.  It is about learning whether you are related to so and so… and if you suspect that you are, then how you can find out.  It will bring all that you have been learning about DNA into everyday practicalities for this endeavour of finding out.  I suggest you re-read previous appropriate articles if you find you get “stuck” on the jargon within, but just to remind you of the absolute basics:-

1.      Only males carry the Y chromosome meaning only they can test the direct paternal line – which is son to father to his father and to his father and then to his father and so on back through the centuries.  (Only Family tree DNA – FTDNA – does this properly).

2.      Both males and females can test their mitochondria which is their direct maternal line meaning you back to your mother to her mother to her mother’s mother and so on back through millennia.  (Only FTDNA does this ‘properly’).

3.      Both males and females can test their autosomal line which are all your aunts, uncles and cousins back to around the 5th [may be less but may be more] generation).  The three main testing companies for this are 23andMe, FTDNA and Ancestry (the latter has in May 2015, begun to offer this to New Zealanders). 

To a certain extent, I am in a rather unique position because:-

·         I do have documented (and verified by genetics)  famous people in my family tree;

·         I administer scores of Surname projects (for example, Rutherford,  Scott,  Elliott,  Fleming,  Watson to name but a few) and all are surnames that are “household” words;

·         My genealogical tree is huge and although I can no longer spend the ‘wished-for’ time on my tree, I frequently find that members within “my” projects are actually members of my own family – whether we can name the common ancestor or not is another matter.

Enough preamble, allow me to get to the point of why I bring this subject up.  In recent discussion with Robert Barnes (who devised and who engineers the Famnet concept), he asked me what my opinion was regarding a recent article which was published in the Guardian Newspaper.  You can find this at  When I first saw this item some time ago, I dismissed it. 

Why?  A colleague of mine (in England) unwittingly and without discussion, gives an opinion more diplomatically than I would and so I quote  “...I believe that [it] is possible to trace a genealogical link to Charlemagne.  Basically if you can find a genealogical connection to any European royalty the trail will eventually take you back to Charlemagne.  However, everyone else in Europe will have an undocumented genealogical link with Charlemagne.  Whether or not anyone shares his Y-chromosome or his autosomal DNA is another matter altogether…."

Now, allow me to take this closer to home, by considering some scenarios. 

For example, are you a male with say a SCOTT surname?  Or might you be a female with a SCOTT father or grandfather?  And might you have heard at intervals that you are related to say Sir Walter SCOTT or even related to His Grace Sir Richard SCOTT, the current Duke of Buccleuch?  In addition to these men, there are some notorious SCOTT families of the Border Reivers (being the Lowlands of Scotland and the most northern part of current day England (one such patriarch being nicknamed ‘Auld Wat of Harden’) and one of those descendants was Robert Scott of Antarctic fame.

Let us call this the SCOTT Scenario.

If this is you, how can you learn if you are indeed one of this family?  If you are male, let me step you through the logic of the matter.

1.      Do you have a documented paper trail from yourself back to this person?  By that, I do not mean relying on anyone else’s work; I mean have you sighted the original records for yourself?  (I ask that because I have lost count of persons that quote this, that or something else, but on sighting the original document or a copy thereof, such a quote is, to put it bluntly, utter rubbish!)

2.      If it is say, Sir Walter SCOTT who features in your tree, is he the poet?  Alternatively, is he the acclaimed historian?  I ask this because there was more than one such titled personage with that name.  (At my last count, there were six of them and all in differing time frames – the latest being born in 1771 and the earliest being in 1325 or thereabouts).  You need to know such detail because it will affect the sequence of testing you may need to consider.

3.      If it is His Grace, Sir Richard, the current Duke of Buccleuch, are you aware that he is not a SCOTT paternally?  As a result, any Y-DNA test by any SCOTT surnamed person will not locate any connection to him.  So you must do your genealogical homework if locating your famous connection is your aim.  Anything less will result in “money thrown away”!

4.      Let us now say, all the research still points to you as being a descendant, then a Y-DNA test to the highest level you can afford with (FTDNA) is the one to take.  I recommend Y-111, although you may get lucky with Y-67.

5.      A note of warning here, are you aware that because the SCOTT surname is classed as a “geographical surname” and that many who changed countries were labelled with such a surname, purely because they sounded like Gaelic speaking Scotsmen – irrespective as to which part of Scotland or Ireland (or even Cumbria) was their starting point in the period of 1600s through to say 1800.  When surnames came into being, many (who wished to retain their personal reputations built up by their inventiveness or their skills), sensibly continued to use such a surname even though it was not a name by which that man’s ancestors were known.  So today, we have hundreds of totally unrelated families all using the same surname but who are not at all paternally related! 

Let me now turn to the female whose father or grandfather was a SCOTT but her problem is that there are now no males alive in either her immediate family, nor in her father’s family (or her grandfather’s direct male descendants) who could take a Y-DNA test on her behalf.  What does she do?

1.      Just like her male counterpart mentioned above, she needs to know who it is about whom she wishes to learn more in terms of whether she is related.  Accordingly, she will need to also ensure she has the appropriate paper trail back to that person.

2.      If the person whom she believes is a famous male relative of her Scott line and he was born in say the last 300 years, she may get lucky by only her needing to take an autosomal test.  But then comes the issue of which company to choose.  If she chooses 23and me, she can only then go to a site at to transfer her results and compare with a much larger data base.  If she chooses Ancestry, she can then both transfer to  as well as to FTDNA (although the latter transfer may cost her a few more dollars).  She can also go straight to FTDNA (the cheapest of the three) plus join the appropriate surname project which is not available through the other testing firms, as well as transfer to

3.      The above applies similarly to a male whose mother or a grandmother descends from, in this scenario, the SCOTT family, AND who has no SCOTT males who can be asked to test.

If, say, in your genealogical sleuthing, you suspect that a parent or a grandparent was adopted, or even if you, the reader, have been adopted, the above does not apply to you.  You represent a different scenario altogether irrespective of your surname.  This is a specialised study to which I shall return.

This leaves us now to deal with the male or female who has SCOTT female ancestors.  As we learned earlier, the Y chromosome comes through only the males so what might the tester do if the ancestor was a female – for example a sister of the famous Scott male.

There are two possible solutions:-

1.      From you, the tester, consider whether you can trace a direct line back through your mother to her mother to her mother and then to her mother and so on?  If you can, then take a mitochondrial test.  Select what is known as the full sequence (this is abbreviated by FTDNA as “mtDNA FMS”).  If there is another person in the data base who has also tested this option, then you will find a match, although her name will not be SCOTT.  (Females have this habit of changing names at each generation!)

2.      If you, the tester cannot trace the line through your direct maternal line, which is the more usual situation, then you will need to have a good idea as to when the person lived, to whom she married and her children.  From there you will need to track the lines through to the present day, taking note of the various marriages and the new names associated with the offspring of those same lines down through the years.  The test to order is an autosomal test (often abbreviated to atDNA) which is sold by all three major companies – FTDNA markets theirs as ‘Family Finder’. Please be aware that an autosomal test is best taken by more than just one person.  Siblings and first cousins and parents may also be needed.  This is because each close relative will bring a differing set of chromosomes for eventual comparison.  In fact, if you can also get one of your parents or one of their siblings and even a cousin in that same line to take this same test with the same company, then the odds get better.

[I have placed a table at the end of this article to indicate a price comparison based on the 27 May 2015 exchange rate.  This has been put together by a colleague Louise Oakley – her website is  Only FTDNA offers the full mitochondrial test and the complete range of YDNA testing.

I have used the surname of SCOTT in the above scenario, but obviously you can substitute any surname you wish in place of SCOTT – the principles involved will be exactly the same.

I now propose to turn to Royalty, namely the British throne, but in actual fact it could be any European throne. 

There are certain principles to keep in mind. 

1.      No house of royalty has retained its original patriarchal name.

2.      The current British Royal family adopted the surname of Windsor.  The official website states “…In 1917, there was a radical change, when George V specifically adopted Windsor, not only as the name of the 'House' or dynasty, but also as the surname of his family. The family name was changed as a result of anti-German feeling during the First World War, and the name Windsor was adopted after the Castle of the same name…”

3.      Prior to this time, the monarchy had no surname except that of the ‘house’ or dynasty to which they belonged.  Even today, when Prince William (Duke of Cambridge) and Catherine nee Middleton (Duchess of Cambridge) registered the birth of their 2nd child, Catherine Middleton was described as Catherine, Princess of the United Kingdom, although her maiden name was stated on that certificate.  William, on the other hand, had no surname stated – just his title.

4.      Prince Philip was born Prince of Greece and Denmark and adopted the name of Mountbatten in 1947.  His grandfather (Prince Louis of Battenberg) married a granddaughter of Queen Victoria and that means both Prince Philip and Queen Elizabeth II are therefore related. 

5.      This scenario repeats at intervals in the British Royal Family down through history and it is essential that you first get your facts and figures regarding your pedigree as accurate as possible.

Such name changing is important.  (Let us not divert into the spelling scenarios of which I am certain you will be familiar).  This name changing was done for numerous reasons.  As an example (and this applies to more than only the nobility or royalty), let me return to Sir Richard SCOTT, the Duke of Buccleuch.  His pedigree is as follows: 

1.      Prior to surnames being used, one of his direct paternal ancestors was the ‘Steward’ of Scotland. 

2.      In due course, that ancestor became known as STUART or STEWART of Scotland.

3.      In 1603, James son of Henry STEWART and Mary, Queen of the Scots, became James I King of England (he had been earlier crowned as James VI of Scotland), and the spelling was altered to STUART as a result of his LENNOX STUART line having spent time in France.

4.      His grandson (Charles II) had a mistress and their son James, married Anne SCOTT who was an heiress to the Buccleuch title.  James, illegitimate, took on his new wife’s surname.

5.      In due course a direct male descendent of that same family, Henry, married into the Montagu family.  In keeping with those times and in order to enjoy the estate his wife brought him, the name Montagu was added to Henry’s own surname. 

6.      In a later descendant, the surname Douglas was added – for similar reasons.  In addition, that direct descendant also married into the current Royal family.  So, the issue now becomes one of just which family is it from whom you descend.  Do your homework and ensure you have the paper trail with accurate dating.  From here, looking at the line on paper, you can then work out which test it is that you should take.

Having now worked through those issues but retaining the SCOTT scenario and its principles in mind, let us return to the topic that initiated this “add-on”:  Charlemagne. 

On the first page, I gave a website regarding this news item and supplied a quote from an English colleague (Debbie Kennett) who is highly regarded in our genetic community.  This was as a result of receiving a question from Robert Barnes on the topic. 

If you have now read the article, then you may be wondering whether or not you truly do descend from him – meaning Charlemagne…  Of course it does not matter who “him” is: your interest might be King Canute, William the Conqueror,  Genghis Khan, Ramses of Egypt, Lucretia Borgia and so on. 

What does matter is that you have the most accurate facts that you can locate of the person;  amongst these facts will be the birth year, the spouse’s name and a good idea as to how you actually descended from that person.

Having done your detective work and having a clear idea in your mind and on paper, we are going to now work forwards from that person.  (Generally when we are doing genealogy we begin at you and work backwards, so now we are going the opposite way around).

Charlemagne is said to have been born in 742 AD or 747AD in either Belgium or Germany of today, depending on what sources you have available to you – using the calendar of the day.  His wife was somewhat older than he and apparently born in the 720s AD.

From here, you hunt out his possible Y Haplogroup.  No easy task!  But let us assume for the moment it was G2 – simply because of his background…  This is rare, but nevertheless many people still carry it today – it is just not common like the R1b Y Haplogroup.  (In the ISOGG Y-tree it is classed as G-P287 which is the uppermost SNP designating the G2 Haplogroup).

Now, say you happen to NOT be of this Y-DNA G2 Haplogroup, we need to consider the mtDNA Haplogroup he possessed.  This means we need to now learn who his mother was and what her mitochondrial haplogroup was. 

She is said to be Bertrada of Laon and with some searching, it seems her mitochondria was of the B Haplogroup.

Assuming this is correct (and I pass on a word of warning regarding a mother’s supposed haplogroup based on the old adage ‘ Mother’s baby; Father’s maybe?’), since the possible connection is some 1300 years ago), what are your Y-DNA and mtDNA haplogroups?  If you have either, then there is indeed a remote chance you are, in fact related by either a direct patrilineal or matrilineal ancestor.  If you have neither, then automatically (always assuming the above is accurate and please note that I do not refer to any study on this) we know that it is possibly an autosomal match.  And, quite frankly (please excuse the pun since Charlemagne was named ‘The leader of the Franks’), autosomal DNA does not go back this far!

Email me if you have any requests or suggestions for further articles.


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.

We have lost our Convenor as Gloria and her husband, Barry have moved to Kawarau, but we are carrying on with the meeting formats that have worked. Most meetings of late revolve around how members were introduced into family history and how they handle the information they gather about their ancestors. The next big step is how we tell the story about our ancestors and how we will publish it, we do have discussions on the subject, but nothing concrete yet, maybe in our next report.

Waikanae Family History Group


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

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

Contact Hanley Hoffmann for information and to let him know you are coming – we will need numbers in advance so that we print enough handouts.

A couple of items from the August newsletter: -

FAMNET Next Months Important coming Attraction

Following our earlier Skype presentation we are going to have Robert Barnes visit us at next month’s 24th September meeting and we are going to have a continuous workshop on the system. We will still have our usual session for those who want it. We are inviting members from other branches of NZSG and local groups to join us. This is a New Zealand system database which already hosts millions of records, and it is a facility that the whole of NZ should have embraced over the years, but politics and bad grace got in the way. Overtures have been made to NZSG to embrace the facility again and since we have ensured that all our members (up to a point last year) had free membership we need to take a concerted effort to encourage its use. We will be seeking funding again this year to give every member of our group free use and we need you to respond accordingly.


Sharing family histories around the family sometimes comes with unexpected hurdles, as I found when I issued my Hoffmann O’Reilly tome to a cousin in Gisborne. I had previously given her a printout of just her Gowling family. She protested that I had a couple of mistakes and omissions, one of which was showing a second wife of a marriage as the first! Yes, I looked in the Family Tree Maker programme, and there was the problem, I did not have a date for the second marriage – so of course the system could not establish the correct chronology. So finally here is what our mutual cousin in South Australia had to say when I asked about the marriage date – and I got a whole lot more;

Good morning Hanley,

Harry William Gowling is the father of William (Bill) Charles Gowling. Bill Gowling married Dulcie CANTLON and they had 5 or 6 children. Bill and Dulcie were travelling by car and had a terrible accident which took Dulcie's life and left the youngest child Drew severely disabled. Bill re married Anne Florence FOX. Annie was a widow or divorced and had several children from her marriage prior to her marriage with Bill. They decided some time later that Anne's children would change their names to GOWLING by deed poll which they did.

This is just off the top of my head Hanley so hope this helps. (Bev Rowe nee Gowling)

So now I have to cope with putting in Anne Florence’s previous marriage, and much blessings on them for wanting to change the children’s names, what a merry mix up and how! And to think that all this was caused by my great Aunt Annie Hoffmann marrying William Mead Gowling after his first wife died. So all along this Gowling family have presented me with hurdles. But wait there is more, both Bev and I think that we have the wrong family member from my great Aunt’s family marrying William Mead Gowling. Because my Great Grandfather was German and a great imbiber of fine wine, and a gutteral German accent, he gave birth registrars a headache with getting his children’s names right when he was registering them. So three successive girls had very similar names, and birth dates that were also easily confused, one 31 March and one 13 March. We think that the 31 March sister married William Mead but she insisted her birthday was 13 March!  (I deliberately did not use the girls names!!!)  So confusion still reigns.

Hanley Hoffmann

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News and Views

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

A Useful Web Site

We received this in a Letter to the Editor: -

I wanted to share with you today a collection of resources to help your users search genealogical records online and evaluate their validity -

As genealogy continues to grow in popularity, finding and determining accurate sources has become a real challenge which is why we put together this guidance.

The site is “WhoIsHostingThis”, and it has a U.S. orientation that will not be appropriate to many of FamNet’s users, but if you have any U.S. ancestors this might be a useful supplement to the sources that you’re already using.  It’s strength seems to be in explaining what you can expect to find at various US sites such as the National Archives, Rutgers University, Texas other state archives, etc.

Wairarapa Wandering

Cilla Black, RIP. 

August 1st 2015, was starting to be a BLACK day for me, hearing that Cilla Black had died.  She was a wonderful caring person, no airs and graces, a pure natural girl.  I had met her on London TV’s Surprise Surprise show just after Easter 1997: I had been flown over from Wellington to be on the show with a friend (Ted) from Wellington who was to be featured on this show as I had found his long lost family.  Back in the 1990’s I never had a computer so had to rely on “media” - newspapers, magazines, etc - heaven knows if the messages ever got through, but one did!  I had a feeling, “Go for it one more time”, so wrote to Editor, Bournemouth Main Newspaper. Bournemouth, Dorset. England, listed his parents, his mothers maiden name, his sisters, and brothers.  Ted and his brothers had been bought up in boys’ homes so there was never any address to write to.  Ted, together with a boy who had grown up with him in the homes had jumped ship here in Wellington during WW2, he had to serve a few months in jail for this but his friend never got caught. Both have since died, but I know who the other one was, he used to ring me sometimes after hearing about his friend being on Surprise Surprise. 

Great excitement when one of Ted’s brothers rang me from UK, saying he was left off the list! I said “Blame your brother he made the list”, but after a long chat with him, I asked that he ring Wellington to speak to his brother, so gave him the number, and asked Ted to please ring me back later in the day.  Ted came up to Wairarapa the next day, full of hope as only his parents had passed on but his brothers and sisters were still alive, one living in Perth. WA.  He said to me, “I thought you had given up”, I said “No I just battle on until I get some answer”.  I wrote to London TV about the find: months later a phone call from the producer, “We would love to have him on the show, Cilla said get him organised please”.

Ted had never been on a jet before, no passport, but we soon got him prepared.  I said to him a few days before he was due to fly, “Come up Clareville, and leave the car here for your 6 weeks, and we will take you down to Wellington for the flight.  You’d think he had two heads this time, he was so excited, who was he going to meet? he had no idea. Of course I knew but it wouldn’t have been a surprise if I had I told him and it had to kept secret, not leaked to his family, or the show would have been canned. 

The following morning, loading up the car, he said “There’s a lot of luggage”. I said “Sorry, I forgot to tell you, I am escorting you to London!” Ted didn’t know what was ahead, he’d never been on planes, nor seen busy airports. I had three weeks in England, enough to see all my family, and he had 6 weeks..

The show was fantastic, Cilla made you at ease immediately.  Ted met his two sisters, one had been flown over from Australia.  Cilla, RIP.

Adele Pentony-Graham

Carterton Early Settlers Researcher.

The Nash Rambler

Now I apologise in advance for the disjointed nature of this month's column but I never promised to be logical. Therefore there are three parts to this column.

1) Writing your family history or autobiography:

I know a lot of people who have decided, some time ago, that they would write their family history or autobiography. They have spent much time, and money, on research and therefore should have enough to put together a few pages of narrative. But they do not know where to start or they do not have enough information on the early ancestors to feel comfortable to start.

Procrastination is a wonderful attribute - your proposed work of great literary significance is just that - proposed. It will always look good on the drafting paper. I also know that, in order to get your thoughts together a few games of patience on the computer is helpful. Then a good cup of coffee – not instant – is needed, and then the phone goes. Your partner demands to be escorted to the supermarket. The dog needs a walk. Before you know it, lunch is a requirement. Then, things to do and places to go become more important. Voila, a day's writing has been spent.

Well who says that a family history or autobiography has to follow a chronological order? A lot of confusion can be created by a lack of chronological order and/or switching backwards and forwards in time. This would be helpful if you are trying to hide an episode or two that is potentially embarrassing. I suggest that you start writing a chapter on a person or time period you know a lot about. Writing about a favourite grandfather, or the World War 1 service of your family members can be an effective way of getting the creative juices flowing. Before you start use a few pages to jot down the sorts of things you want to mention. Using this, just let the narrative flow and fill out the page, making sure you cross off on your draft what you have covered. Spend an hour or so just putting the words down. Then, save this (where you can find it), keep your page of draft notes, and then start doing the things mentioned in the previous paragraph. Now you will win more games of patience because you will feel sanctimonious.

The next day open the previous day's creative masterpiece and read. Make corrections, additions and deletions as you go. You will find that you need further research to make the story more complete. It would pay to add notes to your narrative as you go, giving the information about where you found the key "discoveries" so that the readers (and youself) can check the data. Do not forget to cite your sources for the quotes you have used.

Do this again and again. Your chapter will grow and become more polished.

Remember there is no minimum or maximum length for a chapter. It is your masterpiece and "stuff the critics". Remember when you read the first poem by E E Cummings, or should I say e e cummings. Remember his complete lack of accepted formatting which "acceptable" poetry was created in. He ignored convention, so why shouldn't you with your masterpiece.

If you have reached a point of boredom start another chapter. Use the same process.

Now consider that a finished autobiography or family history (if it can ever be deemed to be finished) is a collection of chapters. They do not necessarily have to follow one another in chronological order. Modern computer programmes make it easy to stitch together the chapters into the order you prefer. Remember there are no particular formats, computer programmes, fonts and fonts sizes etc (which have been deemed mandatory by the so-called experts who regularly pontificate on these matters) which are obligatory to a creative master author like yourself. Love that sentence!

2) The 1960's

I have used the process above to write my creative masterpiece. But I have come to that great period of NZ history - the 1960's. I must admit to fully partaking of most of the activities which gave that era its reputation. Remember long hair, the beginning of coffee and wine consumption, the longer opening hours of pubs, drugs, burning the bra, antiwar protesting, great loud music, free love, great fashionable clothing, ...... OOOOH I am lost in a great wave of nostalgia. Remember it! You can't!!! Nor can I - we must have been to the same parties. And that is my problem.

I am writing my autobiography so that my kids (and their potential kids but they have to hurry up in this exercise) can understand what environment created that idiotic person they call "Dad". Thus, I have been furiously reading all the material I can find to help me with my memories of the 1960's. They were spectacular years of major change in NZ society. Remember when petrol was 30 cents a gallon and beer was 30 cents a pint or even jug. Remember marches up Queen Street .... here I go again.

Two books that have been helpful, on an international perspective have been:

1968 by Mark Kurlansky, published 2004 by Vintage Books, ISBN 0-09-942962-4 (found in a Hospice shop)

The Baby Boom by P J O'Rourke, published 2014 by Grove Press, ISBN 978-1-61185-573-9 (bought from Whitcoulls). This book is subtitled "How it got that way and it wasn't my fault and I'll never do it again".

I have also read and quoted from autobiographies and biographies of New Zealanders who lived through that time, such as Greg McGee, Helen Clark etc.

I always think that a scene-setting introduction about the environment, both physically and socially, will help sympathise the reader when I start to explain my actions and achievements. We all do things for a reason and if you can get sympathy from your readers you may be able to be liberal with the truth. My chapter is not satisfactory in background setting (probably not satisfactory in some of my performances but, hey, I have already confessed those sins). So, if you have any suggestions for reading material please let me know.

3) Portrait

Have a close look at my image at the beginning of my column. It is not a photo. Those that know me will instantly agree that it is not a photo - I am not, and was never, that ugly or fierce looking.

One of my major ambitions is to be a thorough nuisance to my children. So far I have been fairly successful but with this picture I have stepped up a level.

A friend mentioned that she used to paint and had, in fact, starred in a TV series on art for the BBC. She wanted to resume her career so I volunteered to be a model - stipulating that I did not want a "photo" but wanted her interpretation of me. I should say that she knows me fairly well and she has sold paintings for several thousand dollars each - so she is no mug or amateur artist. Anybody can get a photo taken of themselves but how many can say that their portrait has been painted in oils. Isn't that a class above the average Joe Bloggs? Well that picture above is her finished masterpiece.

This has caused much angst among my children. I have declared this to be an heirloom. They are fighting over it already, much to my amusement. You see, none of them want to inherit it. They describe it with words like "hideous", "scary", ugly" etc and they are probably right. BUT God has spoken - it is an heirloom and cannot be destroyed. Oh it is wonderful to have such power.

But the point is that there are other ways of leaving a legacy for your descendants. Explore other ways, besides writing, so that something tangible is left when you decide to "wander off into the sunset". Maybe creating your own pottery, poetry, handcraft and other artistic mediums would be considered valuable by your family.

Peter Nash

Jan’s Jottings

Portable Genealogy

A question I was asked today:
I use Legacy for my genealogy programme on my PC and I have heard others speak using it on to their tablet or ipad, so they can have it with them when researching.

For me, I do prefer to have my notebook, even though it is a pain when flying, I have decided it is worth while. Then I have a Phablet, which is a phone and tablet together. I am very happy with this.

This year two of the people with me on the Hooked on Genealogy Tour came with tablets only. Both iPads. These were great for internet searching and emails, but they were very frustrated with their genealogy programs and some of the software they were used to using and could not. Also iPads are so difficult when you want to store extra data. Android tablets have HDMI or USB ports: this lets you have more data with you and be able to access, for example, pdf copies of certificates etc.  I know those two people would have a notebook computer with them another time.

I have decided that I don't really like the Legacy app Families. And because I can access Legacy on my notebook, I can make this decision!!  I know I have not given it a fair test but I just don't have the time or the inclination to spend this time just now. I could be the loser because of this, but one has to make some decisions!!!!

I quite like the look of the RootsMagic app, which is free. If I had time and I needed to I would install RootsMagic and gedcom to this and then use the app. But then, this isn't much good because I would make changes (and we need to be able to do this) and then would have to ged com this back to Legacy!!  Not good. Another solution is to upload to Ancestry (but, for me, only from great grandparents back).  Then the Ancestry app is free  and it is quite good.  But again, any changes will need to be made back to Legacy, but could be used to check your known research.

Now here is another thought, which I am testing just now!  This is an Intel Compute Stick. About the size of a small cell phone - it is a computer!!! So very easy to travel with.  You will also need a keyboard and I have found a lovely small, light, wireless keyboard with a large mouse pad.  Then an external drive (I do suggest you travel with two of these anyway).

Computer will be around $300 and the keyboard around $60.  Then you need to be able to plug into a TV screen or monitor. This is no trouble in most hotel rooms and libraries.  You would just sit at a Library computer, and plug your computer into the monitor and use your keyboard. It’s set up to use the internet of course.  It is just like using any computer.  Has to be a HDMI port.

Downside is needing to find a monitor so you may like to have a cheapish tablet to use as well. But it is an interesting choice. I am OK because I can have my data on my Phablet.

Interested in hearing what others are doing, especially if they are happy with their choice.

Email for further information. 

From Robert: For those with iPads or other tablets there's always the option of using FamNet.  Remember that FamNet is not just a catalogue of GEDCOM databases, it is also a full browser-based genealogy program, and we have some users who have recorded their family history using nothing else. For myself, I loaded a GEDCOM in 2006, but I’ve used only FamNet since.  FamNet wouldn't work too well on a phone - it needs a reasonably-sized screen - but it will work quite well on anything with a screen as large as a notebook or tablet.  The only software that it needs is a browser.  

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Information Wanted.

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

Click here to post a photo

Click here to request help with some information

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

Susie Lyndon is looking for help with this 65th Wedding Anniversary picture.  Can you help her to fill in any of the missing names?


Here’s what she knows already: -

65th Wedding Anniversary Photo – Thomas & Mary Ann Smith (nee Williams).

Photograph taken at “Willowbank”, Kaiwaiwai, Wairarapa – Feb/Mar 1906

Front Row (seated on rug) – Alison Beryl FAWCETT,  dog, Rosalie (Rose) GOODRICK.

Second Row (seated) – Anne Catherine (Annie) FAWCETT (nee Goodrick), holding Oscar FAWCETT, Charles Francis GOODRICK, Jemima GOODRICK (nee Smith), Samuel SMITH, Thomas SMITH, Mary Ann SMITH (nee Williams), William Osborne WILLIAMS, Frances WILLIAMS (nee Benton), Amelia (Millie) HANDLEY (nee Goodrick), holding Clare HANDLEY, Kate Mary GOODRICK (later Roberts).

Third Row (standing) – Mary Ellen (Nellie) GOODRICK (later LYALL), female, poss. Maria SMITH (wife of Samuel Smith), female, Violet GOODRICK (later Simmonds, then Henderson), female, female, male, female.

Fourth Row (standing) – male, female, female, male, female, female.

Back Row – female, male, female, female.

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Book Reviews

Te Tau Ihu O Te Waka. A History of Maori of Nelson and Marlborough – Hilary & John Mitchell

Reviewed by:  Janice Louise Wilson

If, like me, you claim whanaungatanga to Ngati Tama or Te Atiawa who settled in the Nelson-Marlborough area during the 1820’s and 1830’s, the series of 4 volumes contained in Te Tau Ihu O Te Waka: a History of Maori of Nelson and Marlborough will be of immense interest to you.

The completion of the fourth and final volume sees the end of a decade-long publishing commitment for Hilary & John Mitchell who have dedicated their time to this project from their home in Nelson.

The major theme of their meticulous research is the significance of whakapapa during this turbulent period of New Zealand history borne out in the titles of the four volumes. Concentrating on pre-colonial times and land issues, the first volume published in 2004 is titled Te Tangata Me Te Whenua - The people and the land.  Volume ll published in 2007 titled Te Ara Hou - The New Society won the History section of the 2008 New Zealand Book Awards. It covers the period 1830’s to 1900 documenting the locations of Maori at the time of European arrival along with the impact Christianity and European ways had on the traditional Maori style of living. With its emphasis on records of baptisms, marriages, census and land ownership, John refers to Volume lll published in 2009 “like reading a telephone book” aptly naming the volume Nga Tupuna – The Ancestors. The title of the fourth and final volume published in 2014, Nga Whanau Rangatira o Ngati Tama me Te Atiawa: The Chiefly Families of Ngati Tama and Te Atiawa contains twenty-eight biographies divided into five sections according to the geographical settlements formed which makes it easy for your research. Of significance in these chapters are the previously undocumented whakapapa tables tracing the Maori lines back several generations before the union with the Pakeha traders. 

Commenting on the motivation for this project, Hilary Mitchell said “We started writing these really because we got so annoyed with people saying ‘Of course this was never really a Maori area’ or ‘Of course there weren’t any Maori here when the settlers arrived’. That is so patently untrue. There is an absolute disjunction between what people think and what actually happened. We hope it will make every Maori very proud of their ancestors. The kindness they showed to the settlers was extraordinary after the things that happened to them.”

My own particular interest is in Volume lV, chapters 16,18 & 19 which follow the arrival of the trading vessel Adventure at Ngamotu in Taranaki in 1828 with the resultant setting up of a trading post, the attack by Maniopoto/ Waikato taua on Otaka Pa early in 1832 followed by the subsequent Te Heke Tama Te Uaua to the safety of Te Rauparaha’s Kapiti Coast and on to Te Awaiti on Arapaoa (Awapawa) Island in Queen Charlotte Sound arriving late 1833 or early 1834. The three chapters following the lives of Keenan (my ancestor), Love and Barrett provide a detailed portrayal of a vibrant, mixed-race community in this isolated area of New Zealand with its record of somewhat difficult everyday life which included not only the dangers of chasing whales in small row boats but attacks by the powerful South Island tribe Ngai Tahu.

First hand accounts in the Heberley chapter (17) leave the reader in no doubt that these were dangerous times and connections to the powerful Ngati Toa chief Te Rauparaha made it all the more dangerous. Seeking utu for the 1824 attack on Te Rauparaha’s stronghold on Kapiti Island, “Te Rauparaha laid siege to Ngai Tahu’s centre of power at Kaiapoi Pa, just north of Christchurch. After the destruction of Kaiapoi, Te Rauparaha and his allies returned north, pulling in at Te Awaiti in May 1831. James Heberley (who had previously arrived in the area aboard John Guard’s ship Waterloo) witnessed the events, recording ‘There were close on two thousand, including females and children. Among them were five hundred prisoners. They arrived in sixty to seventy canoes, all decorated with dead men’s hands and heads’. After a speech from Te Rauparaha and a celebratory feast that included the cooking and eating of slave prisoners, the party rested for about nine days before departing for the Kapiti Coast” (p297). Shortly after the arrival of Keenan, Love, Barrett and their families at Te Awaiti (16,18 &19)  “ their hopes for a more peaceful existence were dashed in early 1834 when a Ngai Tahu taua from Otakou, frustrated at being unable to locate Te Rauparaha to exact utu, sacked every whaling station they could find in the area, including those at Te Awaiti.” (p323)

This series of Te Tau Ihu O Te Waka is supported by an extensive glossary, bibliography and index. It is easy to read with historical facts interspersed with personal accounts which makes it all the more interesting. I highly recommend it not only to those wishing to research their family history but also for those who are interested in this period of New Zealand history.

Volume 1        ISBN 1-86969-087-7

Volume 2        ISBN 978-1-86969-294-0

Volume 3        ISBN 1-86969-401-2

Volume 4        ISBN 978-0-473-30088-3

Volumes 1 and 2 available from Huia Publishers,  phone (04)4739262

Volumes 3 and 4 available directly from the authors,

Johnny Enzed by Glyn Harper

Published 2015 by Exide Publishing ISBN 978-1-77559-202-0 (Available through Whitcoulls)

C:\Users\Nash\Documents\Peter\Johnny Enzed.jpgThis book is a history of World War 1 written from the point of view of the NZ soldier. Using quotes from diaries personal memoirs and letters, the author goes through the whole experience of war from enlisting, training, traveling to Egypt or England, the Gallipoli campaign, France, Palestine, hospital and return to NZ. It is not a description of battles and the tactics etc of the commanders. Here the reader gets a feeling for what the food, accomodation, the environment, the stress and general pressures of waging war that the kiwi soldiers underwent or experienced.

The book, although a weighty tome, is very easy to read. I really enjoyed reading it because it is one of  the few written from the point of view of the ordinary soldier.

When you are writing your family history and are covering the First World War period this book, together with individual Service records from National Archives, and another book, "The Great Wrong War" by Stevan Eldred-Grigg, (Random House, published 2010, ISBN978-1-86979-263-3), will give you the story of the family experiences from all perspectives, ie the soldier & the family at home. Remember that every family and township in NZ experienced the effects of that war. Nobody was immune to the horrors of participation, the resultant wounding and or deaths that resulted.

I recommend this book to all NZ family historians.

Peter Nash

In conclusion

A Bit of Light Relief

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