Part of the worldwide genealogy/family history community

FamNet eNewsletter September 2018

  ISSN 2253-4040

Quote     “Home is the place where, when you have to go there, they have to take you in.” -Robert Frost

Editorial 2

Regular Contributors. 2

Hanley Hoffmann – Obituary. 2

From the Developer 2

The Nash Rambler 4

DNA Testing for Family History. 5

Jan’s Jottings. 6

Wairarapa Wandering. 7

Digging Into Historical Records. 8

Chinese Corner 8

Guest Contributors. 10

Ken Morris. 10

Caroline McKenzie. 11

Marlene Skelton. 12

From our Libraries and Museums. 13

Auckland Libraries. 13

Group News. 16

Whangarei Family History Computer Group. 16

Waikanae Family History Group. 16

Waitara Districts History & Families Research Group. 17

News and Views. 17 Search Tricks and Strategies. 17

How to trace your Irish family history: a step-by-step guide. 19

It’s easier than ever to trace your ancestry, using online church records to DNA kits. 19

Our  Ancestors  Used  to  Stink. 19

Lost Legacy: A PSA about Donating Your Research. 21

Book Reviews. 21

Help wanted. 22

Letters to the Editor 22

Advertising with FamNet 23

In conclusion. 23

A Bit of Light Relief 23

To Unsubscribe, Change your Email Address, or Manage your Personal Information. 24


Back to the Top. 17


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Greetings and welcome to another issue of the FamNet newsletter.

This month we are very pleased to receive articles from another three new contributors and I, again, also have a couple of other contributions for next month. Robert and I are elated that our readers find this newsletter a valuable read in their genealogical or historical life.

This month has some very interesting articles. Once again our regulars have produced their columns about various aspects of history, family history etc. My column, hopefully, will give you a feeling for how our regular columnists struggle to produce a readable article month after month. It is not easy.

There are a couple of articles in the news and views section that I draw your attention to. The first is about how to prepare your research so that the bonfire or rubbish skip is avoided when you die. I read this and reviewed all that I have done so far and vowed to make the number of cartons even smaller and to write up my family history.

Now, my ancestors never smelled badly (they couldn't afford to) but I have included an article about the odoriferous (love that long word) air that surrounded our ancestors. This is another background article to remind us of the day to day environment. After reading that article I wondered how our ancestors managed to breed, let alone so many times. My ancestors had very large families so you can understand my "logical" statement about my ancestors not smelling.

Please enjoy this month's offering.


Peter Nash

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Regular Contributors

Hanley Hoffmann – Obituary

We were sorry to receive Hanley’s death notice from the Dominion Post, forwarded to us by Rod Foster of the Waikanae Family History Group.  Hanley has been a good friend to FamNet, supporting it at the Kapiti branch of NZSG, with the NZSG itself, and then at the Waikanae Family History Group, and he has been a regular contributor to this newsletter.  A man with strong views on how genealogy and family history should be recorded and the proper functions of family history groups he may have sometimes had disagreements with others in the genealogy community, but he was always respected and his contributions here have always been valuable.  We will miss him.  We send our sincere condolences to Doreen and his family at this sad time.

Robert and Peter


From the Developer

Keep me logged on – From Last Month

Unfortunately we were wrong - the “Keep me logged on” checkbox worked no better after the change than it did before.  We’ll keep looking for an answer, but at the moment we’re out of ideas. 

Family History Expo

FamNet had a exhibitors table at the Auckland Family History Expo, and Peter and I were present for both days of the Expo.  Such events are a great opportunity to catch up with others in the family history community, as well as an opportunity to publicise FamNet.   This year I was not a speaker, and probably as a result there were fewer visitors to our table, but those that did stop by seemed really interested, and there were a couple of activities initiated that may prove valuable to FamNet users.

One of the people that I spoke to was Carolyn McKenzie, who has contributed a guest article in this newsletter.  She has set herself the task of tracking down the descendents of the passengers who arrived on the Shalimar, sailing from Liverpool to Auckland to arrive on the 23rd December 1859.   As Carolyn talked about her project we discussed how FamNet can help.  Obviously we can publicise her quest – articles such as that below will hopefully bring contacts with others who read this newsletter and can help.  Perhaps they also had ancestors arriving on the Shalimar, or know somebody who has.   But can FamNet do more?  An obvious thing that it can do is to provide a repository for the information that Carolyn has discovered already, and will discover as this project continues. 

I created a Voyage record, and then uploaded Carolyn’s passenger list into the Passenger table.  To see this, click [General Resource Databases] and select the Passengers table.  A search panel appears: enter Ship’s Name Shalimar and click [Search], to see the list of passengers.   Each of these passenger entries contains some basic information about the passenger, but now Carolyn (and others) can link these passenger records to records in FamNet’s Genealogy Database (GDB).  If you are descended from one of these passengers and have your family tree in FamNet you can click “Link GDB” and locate your ancestor’s GDB record.   Or a new GDB record can be created.  Wouldn’t it be great if, by the time that Carolyn is ready to start writing we’ve located most of the ancestors and have many stories that she can tell in her anniversary publication.

This sort of thing is the reason why FamNet exists, and we go to events like the Expo.  If you have a family history project, please get in touch to discuss how we can help you too.  We’re keen to help.

Another Expo initiative: as last year Peter and I went around asking other exhibitors if they’d like to contribute articles.  Time will tell if this bears fruit, but let me shout out to Helen Wong who writes the Chinese Corner series.  She was again at the next table to ours, last year I had asked her if she’d like to contribute and you’ve seen the results.  She has found the opportunity get free publicity valuable to her Chinese in New Zealand group, and for me I have gained a new appreciation of the place of Chinese in New Zealand history, and an interest in Chinese history generally.  I recently saw a program “The Story of China” on Choice TV and Mary and I watched it avidly: if it returns I really recommend that you take the chance to see it.  Did you know that about 1000AD the Song dynasty reached a state of civilization – laws, tolerance, human rights – at a time when Europe was mired in savage tribal warfare which would persist for the next several hundred years?  Not until the enlightenment of the 18th century would parts of Europe reach a comparable state.  As both Chinese history and European 20th century history shows, progress is not permanent, we must work hard to preserve and enhance the progress that we’ve made. 

Telling your story: Index

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

2.    Embedding pictures in Word documents

3.    Saving Documents for Web Publication.

4.    Saving Scrapbook Items

5.    Sharing your Story: Managing your Family Group

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

7.    Comparing and Synchronising Records

8.    Producing and Using Charts

9.    Merging Trees.  Part 1:  Why Bother?

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

11.  Merging Trees.  Part3.  Combining Existing Trees

12.  Finding Your Way Around FamNet (Getting Help)  

13.  FamNet – a Resource for your Grandchildren

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

16.  Privacy

17.  Indexes: beyond Excel.

18.  Linking trees

19.  Uploading a GEDCOM file

20.  Uploading Objects to your Database

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


Robert Barnes

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The Nash Rambler

A couple of days in the life of a genealogical columnist

All right, it's time to write my column. I have spent half an hour playing cards on this computer and I'm nowhere near getting a topic.

What shall I write about - maybe the Family Expo event that was held at the Fickling Centre? It was a great event. Good speakers aplenty and many old friends to talk to. And the coffee truck made good coffee albeit a little hot for my delicate old mouth. This conference seemed to be dominated by two topics - DNA and Public Trees on the various internet sites. These topics have become the major talking points of modern genealogy. Everyone wants to know about DNA and its interpretation.

I remember that it was only a few years ago that putting your family tree up on a website was viewed very suspiciously. It seems to becoming the way of the future with justification being a number of things such as backing up your data, future proofing your research, gaining more relatives and assistance in breaking down your brick walls. I can't argue against those so, maybe, I should change my resistance to this idea?

Gosh my coffee cup is empty. I'll take a break and fill it up.

That took too long - I picked up the newspaper and tried the crossword (unsuccessfully I might add). OK What am I going to write about?

I read an interesting article which I'll put in the newsletter. It was about what to do with your research to ensure that it is in a state to be useful after you fall off the perch and make that journey to hit that exclusive ancestor over the head when you see him or her in the next life. I remember when my grandmother died which was before this terrible affliction, family history, hit me. The senior members of the family had a big bonfire in the farm paddock and burnt all the old photos, albums, letters and documents before the "interfering" grandchild could get her hands on them. They considered that she was asking too many questions and I have, very much later, found a lot of the things they were trying to hide. I think that it is a tragedy that there is no organization in New Zealand that accepts a person's research after their death, although looking at the sheer volume of my files I can see why. This is a fact of life and we must do everything in our lifetime to put our research in such a form that it is easily saved for the family in the future. And we must also thoroughly brief somebody in the next generation explaining exactly what we have and what to do with it. My poor daughter came home after 8 years overseas and was sat down and shown everything I have. She was told her job was guardian of the "goodies" until she finds the next family historian.

Well after writing that I dug into one of my filing cabinets and picked up a photograph album from my mother's childhood. Luckily I had got her to identify every photograph.  But there was another album there of early Hokianga photographs that she had acquired in which the photographs are unidentified and will never be identified (probably) and is a prime candidate for the inferno that will occur after my death. Another half an hour wasted.

Back at the computer and I had better check my emails. There was an email from a lady who attended one of my speeches. She wanted directions to the grave of her great aunt in the Hillsborough Cemetery. I found the details and did a wee bit of research for her. That took half an hour and she is very happy with what I produced and the instructions on how to find the grave.

Back to my column!  I did some research into the family of my Irish father-in-law. Gosh Irish research is getting easier and easier for 19th and 20th century Irish research. I like the attitude of the Irish government where they make their historical data free to research. I think it is time that our government did likewise. All our historical BDM data should be free and up on the internet as per the Irish. I have managed to get the father-in-law's family back into the early 1800s and there is a huge amount of Irish newspapers online now, albeit a pay per view situation. This has added much background to my wife's ancestry including a great or great great uncle who drowned in a huge beer vat at a brewery in Dublin - which must be a perfect death for an Irishman. I bet he threw away his hammer pretty quickly and voluntarily swallowed a bit although the coroner said he drowned - maybe he stopped swimming and still drank.

Enough of this writing exercise I'm off to the neighboring coffee bar with that crossword and a dictionary - I'm going to solve it.

I didn't get back to writing this until next morning. I had better check my emails. I got thoroughly immersed in the daily newsletter from Cyndi's List from which I get most of my articles. Some very interesting blog articles today - maybe fillers for the newsletter.

I took another look at this article. Hmmm!!! Oh there goes the phone. Good news, today is Wednesday and my weekly coffee session with my genealogy mate. I'd better go now and get back to this later.

Early in the afternoon I'm back to put a sensible article together for the newsletter. I'll check my e-mails and there is one from an old friend of mine who has been a genealogist for well over forty years. She has just purchased her first computer! She needs lessons on how to use it for genealogy. Boy am I going to have fun. It is interesting that it has taken her this long to get digital and I thought I was a Luddite. It's time for another coffee.

During this break I was investigating the "Who Do You Think You Are" (or whatever it’s called now) event in London next April. Boy would I like to attend that? Is there any rich genealogist out there that needs me to carry their bags and entertain them on the plane trip in exchange for the price of my airfare? There must be someone silly enough to appreciate my company.

I can't write anything else so I'll close this off.

This process I have described is what our columnists go through every month. They produce interesting articles month after month. I am amazed at their efforts and Robert and I are very grateful. In fact we are so grateful that Robert has decided to double their pay for contributing. Mmm!!! Two times nothing equals????

Every time we get a guest contributor or two I am able to give a regular columnist a rest for a month. How about writing an article, our readers will appreciate it as will the columnist that has a wee holiday.

Regards to all

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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.


29   Do YOU know what you are doing with your DNA?

What would you think if you asked me a question such as “what did I have for breakfast” and I replied “fruit”?

If you were really interested in my answer, I suspect you would then ask “what fruit”?

If I then answered, “y’know, from the market down the road”, you would surely begin to feel a little frustrated with my answers.

Well, guess what.

I feel exactly the same way when I get a comment such as “I have had my DNA done”. 

Trying to be patient which is never particularly easy, I ask “which test”?  The answer usually comes back, “a DNA test”.

With my lop-sided detective hat on, I then have to go through a list of questions so that I can begin to understand what the first comment actually meant.

The outcome is usually that a person liked the adverts either on TV, YouTube or a social media site and decided to send away for a testing kit having little idea as to what they were doing; just that it had something to do with DNA for a family tree.

The result is that they do not actually know what they ordered and therefore can neither be pleased nor disappointed with what they get back.  Nor do they realise the risks they have taken.

If you have a roomy luxurious caravan, you are not going to buy a Honda Jazz to tow it.

You are going to make an effort to learn about horsepower and engine size and whether you need a 4 wheel drive and so on.  In other words, you know what you want to do, so you research and select what you can afford to do the job you have in mind.  Hopefully, you will also learn about weight ratio, stabilisers plus ‘freedom camping’ and similar, not to mention reducing risk that your awning will collapse (or fly) and the road rules and signs that warn of roads not suitable for caravans.

Things are no different for testing your cheek cells or your saliva.  Do the research.  Read the various rules and about privacy that each testing firm has. 

Yes, read them.

Small print and everything.

If you do not understand them, ask someone to help you.

For example, do you really want to be automatically connected to half siblings of your children when you did not know that such half siblings even existed?  I am not referring to your being able to learn of a match, I am referring to an automatic connection into your tree. 

It is the lack of control which is the risk here.

Another risk is your wanting to connect up a particular lineage, but you are not a direct male (or female) descendent.  In order to reduce the risk of wasting your money, please learn what test divulges what outcome.  A really simplistic set of videos exist here

After seeing this video, you will be able to say I have had my XXX DNA test done with XXX firm.

In other words, the fruit will have names.  How good is that?

As always, questions are welcome


Gail Riddell

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Index so far

Jan’s Jottings

Did you come to the Auckland Family History Expo????  If not, then you missed a PDG event.  FREE Event!! (PDG - pretty damn good - the opposite of NBG).

I so love closing my eyes and just listening to the buzz of excited conversation!!! So many people all talking about their Family History.
Yes, I am on the committee - how come?  Well, the Genealogical Computing Group has supported the Expo with manpower, TIME, expertise, and money. Etc.  Working in with all that Auckland Libraries supply - staff (staff with clout), the Event Centre, printing, marketing etc etc. It is mostly fun!!    A great learning exercise. I love organising the raffles. Remember, if you know of someone who has something that could be considered a raffle prize - let me know.  Mostly to enhance our hobby - but my hairdresser gives a $95 hair voucher!!  So someone can look and feel good as they research in their pyjamas.

A special feature is the lectures. Extra special is the lectures from overseas speakers.
I have been thinking about these lectures. Decided I would call it Education. So, could be lectures at the Expo, or your monthly meeting or a webinar. Remember at Conferences where the lectures may have a handout, or a file you can download - or there could be a book of the proceedings!!!  Lectures at your local library. Education.
Can you remember the last time, or how many times, you have gone back to a lecture?  Read it again?  Oops - FOUND it to read again??????
What a waste.  So I am working on something with TreePad.   TreePad plus you can try for 3 weeks. Then c$US40 to register.                                 
It will be called Education. There will be a folder for each event. And subfolders if there is more than one speaker at the Event. Or more than one lecture by the speaker.

You can search for anything in TreePad - so name the folders and subfolders carefully so you can find them again.  Think of keywords you might use and search for later.

You can paste anything into TreePad - so you could have handouts perhaps. Or links to a YouTube or similar file.

I am flying to Seattle next week for the Unlock the Past Alaska cruise. So I will try out my ideas. Then onto Salt Lake City for 2 weeks.  More practical tests.

Maybe you can see another program you could use! Try it!!  Look at AllMyNotes Organizer.

Peter and Robert - can you see how we could have a discussion area within FamNet where we could work towards a system that will meet our needs?

Think about it.  More next month.  I would like to have something to look at and work with during our October long weekend Salt Lake City to NZ Event.  A weekend of intense research with lots of helpful lectures and events.

Email for more info. SLC2NZ in subject. 19-22 October. Venue: motel in Newmarket.    

Wairarapa Wandering

From one Wanderer to another…

This true story starts in New Zealand but during WW2 it goes over to London.

It's hard to wonder where I should start it because I learnt about it when I visited my lovely school in London back in 1976 when I went to tell the community there that I was returning to New Zealand. Telling my old Head Mistress that I was to settle in Wellington, New Zealand, she suggested that I get in touch with Captain Ted CALDWELL who was stationed at the Convent during WW2. It was the first time I heard that piece of history.

I was there at Virgo Fidelis from Sept 1950, aged 7 years, as a weekly boarder together with my sister, Marianne, who was then 9 years old, two years and two days apart.  She loved boarding but not Adele who was most unhappy. So my parents decided to have us still attend that lovely school as day girls, which meant we had to have someone living in to care for us before and after school and if unwell at any time because both parents were busy working. Mum had started up a lady's and children's wear shop in nearby Westerham, Kent, and Dad was with Michael Lawson in Thornton Heath, in the car showroom Michael owned. Michael was an uncle of Stirling Moss.

The school was in Central Hill, Upper Norwood, not far from Crystal Palace.  The building is very gothic style built in 1841.

Over the years I kept in touch with the convent and they, in turn, sent me the school magazines, especially around the 1970s and early 1980s.

And today, I still hold a letter from Mother St Mark, dated 19th July, 1981, and she mentions on the back page about going to Rome and the other convents in France. She reminded me to please write to Capt. & Mrs Caldwell, 23 Ferniehurst St, Lower Cashmere, Christchurch and that they were in constant touch and would love to hear from you.  I did so.

Now, I joined New Zealand Society of Genealogy back about the start of 2000, and to my utmost surprise, a photograph of my old school was in their magazine with a write up by a Fay Roy. After speaking with a friend in Masterton about what was in the previous edition about the school, she immediately suggested that I ring Fay in Palmerston North.

So I rang Fay, and introduced myself being from London, now been in NZ this time since 1976. I told her I was educated at Virgo Fidelis, a lovely school, fondly remembered since I left there in 1958, and I visit it whenever I am in London. I asked her if she knew of Ted Caldwell and she replied that he was her uncle. He was stationed at the convent with the N.Z.E.F. during the War.

I suggest that readers to please Google the following you will see the lovely building and be able to read about the visit of the NZEF and about the Prime Minister, Neil Peter Fraser visiting the community in Cuckfield, Sussex.  In memory of the visit to the convent, Captain Caldwell presented Virgo Fidelis with an engraved silver salver as a token of his gratitude.

WW2 People’s War – The Wanderer’s Souvenir, B.B.C.

But its so interesting to read it all, and it's worth sharing to Famnet. 

Getting back to Fay, she came down to Carterton to meet up with me. Since doing history research I have only met one other Fidelian in New Zealand, apart from my sister, of course, who at one time was living in Campbells Bay and Takapuna over time, now in Perth. The other one lives in Kapiti and she also has been up to Carterton to meet up with me.

There is one lady out of Masterton who attended St Mary’s Folkestone, a sister school, She was with us one day, and I said to her where did you attend school, she was wearing her school scarf, it was so similar to my one that had to ask. She replied "oh you won't know it, but St Mary’s. I said Folkestone? Yes. I said we were at Fidelis! Oh the surprise on her face.

I was on Rootsweb for London at one time, and a lady from Sydney asked where in London was a school with an orphanage attached, I said my old school in Upper Norwood, Fidelis. She replied OMG, and you have Pentony in your name we are related.  I said how do you know? She said Pentony married a Fishwick and it's that family who was a pupil teacher at Fidelis in early 1900. She was later my grandmother who came over to Australia. I have met her, spent Christmas 2006 in Sydney and Canberra with her.

PS.  I am no longer a member of NZSG. I came out at Christmas because I cannot afford the subscription, but if I hadn’t joined in 2000 would never have known about Capt Caldwell being at Fidelis apart from receiving the school magazines to read about the community going to Meadfoot, Cuckfield during the WW2!

I spend hours helping folk, mainly early settlers buried at Clareville cemetery.

Wairarapa Wanderer.

Adele Pentony-Graham

12 Neich’s Lane



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Digging Into Historical Records  

From the Editor: Dawn is, at the moment, heavily involved in matters historical and is unable to produce a column for this month.









Pandora Research

Dawn Chambers

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Chinese Corner 

When hui and much more is same for Maori and Chinese - Written by Song Lam

The Maori performers tell of how their ancestors began their journey many centuries ago, crossing the sea from China to Taiwan and from there they reached then Pacific Islands including Aotearoa.

The pronunciation of five Maori vowels (a e i o u ) is exactly as in Chinese Mandarin (Hanyu Pinyin).

The Maori word “hui” which means meeting or gathering, has the same meaning and pronunciation as Hanyu Pinyin “hui”

The Maori demi god Maui has his Chinese counterpart in Monkey, Sun Wu Kong. Both Maui and Sun Wu Kong are shape shifters who could transform themselves in any shape or figure at any time.

Chinese legend has a woman called Chang E who stole elixir and flew to the moon and stayed there alone. In Maori legend a woman called Nona was punished by living alone on the moon.

Both Maori and Chinese value the land and pay homage to it – traditionally and now.

It is part of Maori and Chinese protocol to remove shoes before entering the Marae and a Chinese home respectively as a mark of respect. The Maori Marae is just like the Chinese Ci Tang where the people from the hupu or tribe worship their ancestors.

Before the coming of the European Maori Chiefs practiced polygamy, as did the Chinese.

Traditionally the Chinese do not encourage marriage between men and women with the same surname. In the case of Maori people from the same tribe are not encouraged to marry.

Traditionally in Maori practice, the marriage of a puhi, a virgin daughter of a chief, is arranged by the father or a kaumtua. This is similar to that of marriages arranged for the Chinese nobles in ancient times.

Like the Chinese, the Maori respect their elders and other senior relatives, such as older brothers and sisters. They have the responsibility of looking after their younger siblings. Both Maori and Chinese value and function in an extended family circle.

Both Maori and Chinese regard the head the most important part of the body. Traditionally the Maori used to keep the severed heads of their enemies as a kind of utu. In ancient times the Chinese did the same.

Rank or heritage right of Maori was theoretically based on the principle of Primogeniture. The first born in the senior male line had the highest rank, similar to the Chinese practice of naming the oldest Chinese son or Grandson heirs to the father of grandfather.

A formal wedding ceremony was not common practice among Maori and Chinese. They just invited relatives and close friends to attend a banquet or feast.

Maori tend to present a koha when the visit each other, as do the Chinese.
Published in iball 26 May 2006


A Thin Slice of Heaven

Paul Wah is a fourth generation Chinese New Zealander, born in Taranaki, and later worked in Wellington, as a Principal at a State School.

The author launched his book in Mangere, Auckland on Saturday 25th August, to a large audience of local Chinese. He described his life and the context of his book. The book is full of historical events that many of our grandparents endured. It is set in Jungseng, Canton, and recalls a life in old Wellington.

Amazon describes it as “A historical novel recounting the adventures of the author's great-grandfather, Ng Leung Kee, who migrated to New Zealand in 1880 and set up a successful Chinese merchant business in Wellington. Ng Leung Kee returned to Tiansum, China in 1922, to take his grandson Leslie to receive a Chinese education. They faced significant challenges, including the kidnapping of Leslie by bandits, during a period of tumultuous political, economic and social conditions in China.”

Gordon Wu. President, Tung Jung Assn of NZ Inc. review of the book. “Paul’s novel is based on his family’s experiences in China during the early 1900’s when China was an impoverished country wracked by famine, drought, internal conflict and incessant crop failures. He tells of how his great-grandfather came to New Zealand to start a new life and what happened when he returned to the village to give his grandson a Chinese education. The narrative is interspersed with history, Chinese customs and traditions. A novel many Chinese-New Zealanders can relate to. When I started reading the book, I could not put it down! The story was so compelling. A Thin Slice of Heaven is going to be a great seller.”





Copies of the book can be ordered from


0473412462, 9780473412463


Helen Wong

Guest Contributors

Ken Morris

From the editor: Ken is a regular book reviewer for the newsletter. He has submitted a small article below that is not a book review but very readable and caused a few memories to come to my mind about my early years.




I have always liked books. I can remember my three favourite Golden Books: Scuffy the Tugboat (1946), The Taxi that Hurried (1946) and Tootle (1945). Mine would have been first editions and now can still be had on eBay. Unfortunately mine have long gone, together with the various Boys Own Annuals. Radio Fun 1949, we still have and was passed onto our son in 1967 and I still have books I purchased in the 1950’s and which have survived some 16 moves in their life.

In 1955 when I started 3rd Form at Tauranga College our English Master was Mr R R Alexander (he was of gaunt looks and had the nickname of Ghandi (unofficial of course) after the Indian activist). In addition to getting us to take an interest to the English language and literature he said to get a notebook and record all the books we read, with title, author and a one-line description of the book. Over the following ~ 63 years I’ve done this and now have read over 1,500 books. The number of books read is of small significance & varied from 6 up to 90+ depending what I was doing in any one year. The important thing was writing down the details and, in most cases, with the “one-line” is enough to bring back a memory of the book. I’ve occasionally thought of digitising the data to make it easier to find. But no, by trying to pick the year I thought I’d read the book means I get to recount many memorable/enjoyable reads during a search (& to note how one’s writing has become scrappier over time).

The list of books also shows how my reading habits changed over the years. In 1955 (age 14), of the 77 books read, the majority were WW II stories, but with a smattering of Haggard and Kipling and 12 books in a row by Ion L Idriess. The Desert Column by Idriess is my most re-read book, 5 times. The first time at aged 14 it was like an adventure story, in later re-reads & having been to Gallipoli and the Middle East it was more reflective reads of the stupidity of many facets of war, but the story still carries the message to look after your mates, work as a team and especially in the case of the troopers of the “Desert Column” to look after your horse.

My reading has mainly been non-fiction and did cover some texts from English studies, T S Eliot, C Fry, Orwell, Dickens, Hemingway, Swift, Crane, Mansfield, Steinbeck but the racier novels read in 1959 - “Peyton Place” & “God’s Little Acre” weren’t for English studies.

During work assignments in Kolkata India, the Oxford University Press bookshop was just around the corner from our office and they had reprints of all the “classics”, so I have plenty of either unread or rereads to get me thru on top of newly published works. Some of my books get recycled but it's great to be able to look up at well stocked shelves that will outlast me and then get recycled.

For the grand kids it’s a trip to the book shop when we catch up or a book voucher. I don’t know whether they keep a record of their reads but will try to get them to do so, if only to limit youth’s increasing obsession with digital devices and information. I’m sure my teenage years’ reading would have been greatly curtailed if there had been TV, computers internet and mobile phones, all of which have been embraced in later life

Ken Morris

Caroline McKenzie

From the editor: Robert received this communication and we decided to put it in as a guest columnist rather than as a letter to the Editor because of the information in the article.


Celebrating the sailing ship SHALIMAR and its arrival in Auckland 1859

On September 10th 1859 my maternal grandfather’s paternal grandparents, John and Susan DROMGOOL boarded the sailing ship SHALIMAR with their eight children. They were Irish, from County Louth, and John was a miller in the linen industry. Even if they had struck bad weather as they sailed across to board the Shalimar in Liverpool, they would have had no idea of what really lay ahead on the voyage to Auckland. Susan was about four months pregnant when they embarked: I wonder if she felt a special affinity to the child that would be born into their new life.

The ship, captained by J R Brown, was towed down the Mersey on 12th September and piloted into Auckland’s Waitemata on 23rd December.

For many years, in the weeks leading up to Christmas, I've thought about my great-great-grandparents and their fellow passengers’ arrival after that 101-day voyage. Who were they? Where did they come from and, more importantly, what did they do once they arrived here? Where did they settle? Did they stay in New Zealand, go to Australia or did they face the journey again to return 'Home'?

Towards the end of 2017 I decided to do something about finding the answers to my questions.

2019 will mark the 160th anniversary of the Shalimar’s arrival in Auckland. I am trying to locate descendants of the passengers and hope they will contribute anecdotes about their ancestors, with a view to creating a celebratory publication.

Here is a list of the passengers' names, including some possible spelling variations. Using various online resources and helpful contacts, I am building up a picture of some of the settlers and their families: others are proving much more elusive. If this list includes your ancestors, I would love to hear from you.

Saloon and Fore Cabin – Mr William Peter MELLING, Mr. MASEFIELD; Mr Andrew Mrs Isabella and William BONAR & Mr John BONAR (Andrew’s brother); Miss PATON; Mr. ALLOTT – his name was possibly Charles Aaron; Mr Robert & Mrs. HUSTON/HOUSTON; Landey/Landry KITCHING; Mr Thomas SINGLEHURST, Mr James BRANDON; Mr Thomas, Mrs Eliza, Georgina, Mary, Helen, Fanny, James KIDD; Mr James FAUGHEY; Messrs George and William SMITH; Mr James and Mrs Mary, Mary ;LAMB; Mr Hugh WYLIE; Miss Teresa Caroline/Catherine SWIFT (Mr Wylie and Miss Swift were married mid-voyage); Mr Charles H JONES; Mr Samuel JOHNSON; Albert GULY as his name appears on the passenger lists but was in fact GYULAI/GYULAY/GUYLAI/GUYLAY; 

Second Cabin, Intermediate and Steerage –  George Mary, Eliza, Mabel, George, Agnes, Augusta, Ada, Eva WYATT; Ellen EAMES; James GARDEN; William MURRAY; Samuel JOHNSTON; James WYLIE (Hugh’s brother); George CRAIG; Walter HUMES; James, Mary, and Mary LAMB; Edward LEYLAND; Mr Thomas Mrs., Maryanne, William, Thos., Deborah, Harriet, Lavina, Agnes, Francis, Isabella WHITE; Patrick DARCEY; Thomas BOSTOCK; George ROBERTS; Daniel PETTIGREW; Patrick O'CALLAGHAN; John COCKCROFT; Mr William Mrs Helena/Eleanora, Ann FLAVELL; Septimus MASON; John FREEMAN; Thomas FERRIS; Christopher, Isaac SMITH; W. THOMSON; Richard, Mary A., Bridget DALY; John DUDDRIDGE/DUDDERIDGE; John MILLER; John FULTON; Daniel DELANY/DELANEY; Mr. JONES; Mr. DAVIS; William, Mary, Mary, Janet, William, John V. KERR; John, Mrs., Charles, Miriam, Thomas, James McDONALD; Charles John THOMSON; John FORSTER; John RILEY; William, Mrs., Harriet, William, Florence, Ernest, Meteor, Bridget McKINSTRY; Thomas WARING; Edward, Margaret, Anne, Susan, John, Henry, Edward, James, Eliza, PILKINGTON; David and Anne FISHER; Samuel YOUNG; brother and sister George, Susan LANGLANDS (Susan later married passenger William MURRAY ); Hannah BACKHOUSE; David CARDEN; Alex. WOODBURY; George, Sarah, Sarah CUMMING; W. STERLING; John and Mrs. BEADON (mother and son?); William McCULLUM; George HUNT; John and Mrs. SWALES and Annie and Job Horton SWALES; William. B., Eliza EVANS; Charles and Eliza (Webb) CLEVELAND; Anne BAGSHAW; James, Mary DURRAND/DURAND; John and Susan DROMGOOL and their children James, Charles, Michael, Patrick, Mary Anne, Peter, John and Bridget DROMGOOL; Mary HANLON; Thomas HIRST; John WATSON; James CURTAIN; Patrick KERRISH; Arthur CLEAVER; William, Anne, George, Arthur, Jane, and Wm. APPLEYARD; Geo. COOPER; Josh. W. and Mrs. HORTON and infant; John and Mrs. McLEOD and family (3); James, Mrs., and Thos. WALKER; Mary and Henry THOMSON; brothers Alex and Hugh McLEAN; Joseph/Joshua & Sophia MUVIN/MURVAIN; Wm. BROWN; Rob. ESSAM; Anna McCORMICK; James McKEOWN; Wm. HAWLS/HAWES; George BRADBURY; Amelia, George, and William CLADWORTHY/CLOTWORTHY; Henry and George KENT; Edward MORTON; Ralph SMITH; John KEMP; Joshua RUSHWORTH; John and John MILES (Father and son? Cousins?); James CROSSLEY; R. GOODWORTH; George RYMER; Joseph Isabella, James, Isabella, Joshua, and Robt. DIXON; Mathew HOWAT; John OUSELEY/OUSLEY; Joseph CLIFF; Andrew HUNTER; James BANKS, Daniel CUDDY;  Mr L H SMITH; John, Sarah, James EDMONDSON; John LONGWORTH; John MOFFATT, Mr William, Mrs Susan, and Jane, and Susan DALGISH/DAGLISH/DALGLIESH

Contact details:

Carolyn McKenzie

110 Wilson Street, Thames 3500 Waikato NZ

(0064) 027 8686072 and on Facebook

Marlene Skelton

From the Editor: Marlene is deeply into the process of writing up her family history. I have included an article she wrote to an English society a few years ago for your reading pleasure.


What Price a Newspaper Article?

Imagine my delight when “The Times” was made available on the internet.  At last, this long distance researcher could wallow in what many take for granted.

What better way to learn about local history and your forebears than to read the newspapers of the day.  For a genealogist like me, those names and dates take on a whole new meaning and dimension with some real substance to wrap around them. 

I had long known that my New Zealand Paul family came originally from Tetbury and as they were “gentry” had high hopes of finding some mention of them. This I certainly did, but one in particular touched me and set me thinking more than the rest.

A search using the word “Tetbury” found a heading, “Melancholy Accident”.  Now the word melancholy means, at least according to my Oxford dictionary, a habitual tendency toward sadness and depression or of things sad, gloomy or depressing.  Intrigued, I continued further.

It described the death of Mary Elizabeth Paul of Tetbury, daughter of Walter Mathews Paul of Highgrove Hall.

(From “The Times” Friday, 22 March 1850, page 6, column E)

"A lamentable occurrence took place in the family of Mr Walter Paul of Highgrove, near Tetbury, on Wednesday evening.  Mr Paul gave a ball and Soiree previous to his son, Captain Paul leaving home to rejoin his regiment.  At about 9 o clock Miss Paul retired from the ballroom having an attack of tic douleureux; she proceeded upstairs to her own room.  It is supposed that she fainted as she proceeded from one room to the other, the lighted candle fell from her hand, and her dress, being composed, of white lace, rapidly ignited, and the young lady was instantly enveloped in flames.  She endeavored to extinguish the fire by throwing a basin of water over herself, her screams alarmed the attendants; but we are sorry to say that before their efforts could subdue the flames she was so severely burnt as to leave but faint hopes of her recovery.

We have lately received the following additional particulars from a correspondent: - About 11 o clock Sunday last she ceased forever to feel the unspeakable sufferings she must have endured.  This in a few moments that family was thrown into the most permanent and deepest grief, as well as a large connexion by whom this lady was greatly beloved, and to whom for her many excellent and virtuous qualities, she had endeared herself.  "In the midst of life we are in death".

Sad, yes.  Depressing, definitely.   There were 254 such articles and a number were accidents within and around the home environs due to fire or drowning. It was a poignant reminder of how different the times were that our ancestors lived in.

Marlene Skelton

From our Libraries and Museums

Triggered by an email from Seonaid (Shona) Lewis, we are offering a forum to our libraries and museums to publicise their events, and to contribute articles to this newsletter that may be of interest to our readers. Auckland Libraries is starting to make good use of this free service, let’s see if other libraries and museums take up this offer.

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

Auckland Libraries

HeritageTalks @ Central Library, Auckland

Are you interested in family and local history? The history of New Zealand, as well as the rest of the world? Then why not come along to one of our fortnightly HeritageTalks 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.

HeritageTalks take place every second Wednesday at 12 noon in the Whare Wānanga, Level 2, Central City Library, Auckland unless otherwise stated. Booking is recommended but not essential.

Phone Central Auckland Research Centre to book, or book online:




Life through the lens with Keith Giles

Wednesday 12 September

12pm to 1pm

Crazy cameramen and profligate photographers.

Life in 19th century New Zealand was not easy. Auckland Libraries’ Principal Photographs Librarian, Keith Giles, takes a look at some of the country’s early photographers who had to struggle not only with limiting technology and frequent bankruptcy but also with love and death.


Wāhine Take Action: The exhibition speaks

Join the curatorial team as they share the stories of women and their actions, and discuss the choices behind the content chosen for the feature exhibition, Wāhine Take Action. Different curators on different dates, so gain a different perspective by coming along to more than one.

Wednesday 19 September, 11am to 12pm

Thursday 4 October, 1-2pm

Tuesday 9 October, 6-7pm

Thursday 1 November, 1-2pm

As part of the Wāhine Take Action series, Tāmaki Pātaka Kōrero (Central City Library) presents a feature exhibition showcasing Aotearoa women who took steps to create social change; from the nineteenth century to the present day. Today's tour precedes one of our feature events, Creating the change; a talk exploring the ways in which creativity has played a part in the desire for change for women. The tour will run for about 45 minutes.

These tours are part of the Wāhine Take Action series, celebrating 125 years since New Zealand women won the right to vote.


Creating the change with Sue Berman and Joanne Graves

Wednesday 19 September

12pm to 1pm

There is power in the arts to both influence and inspire. Creativity has often played a role in campaigns to make a difference; from poster art to the written word to music.

As part of the Wāhine Take Action series at Central City Library, Sue Berman and Joanne Graves will explore ways in which creativity has played a part in the desire for change for women.

The Special Collections curatorial team will be on hand for tours of the feature exhibition in the Level 2 Gallery from 11am. Come early for an in-depth exploration of this fascinating exhibition which highlights the tools and tactics women have used to fight for their causes and support their communities.



Māori cloak project with Bethany Matai Edmunds, Auckland Museum

Wednesday 26 September

12pm to 1pm

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

Auckland Museum is enhancing over 2500 textiles in the Taonga Māori collection through the Te Awe project. The Te Awe team are collaborating with a group of expert weavers to integrate language and cultural knowledge about how to best describe, conserve, store and display these taonga. To ensure that we honour the mana of each individual object and improve their records to the highest possible standard.



Auckland Heritage Festival - 29 September - 14 October


Influenza 100 - Commemorating the pandemic of 1918

Wednesday 3 October

1pm to 5.30pm

Commemorating the influenza pandemic of 1918, hear four historians speak and give their accounts of what happened. An afternoon of HeritageTalks for Auckland Heritage Festival.

Hear the following accounts at this commemorative event:

* "Why do we still need to know about the 1918 influenza pandemic?" with Geoffrey Rice, author of Black November

* "The stories behind the names; who were the victims?" with Jason Reeve, Ancestry

* "Lived experiences - remembering 1918-1920" with Auckland Libraries' Principal Oral History and Sound curator Sue Berman

* "The “Spanish Lady” and the Armed Forces - The "flu" and warfare in 1918" with military historian, Michael Wynd.



Looking for a better life with David Wong Hop and Lisa Truttman

Sunday 7 October

11am to 1pm

The Chinese poll tax certificate records in Auckland with David Wong Hop and Lisa Truttman. A HeritageTalk for Auckland Heritage Festival.

Auckland historians David Wong Hop and Lisa Truttman present their work from the recently published book Looking for a better life, a collection of information sourced from poll tax certificate information held at Archives New Zealand, along with general information as to Chinese settlement in the Auckland region, from the 1860s to first quarter of the 20th century.


The people of Wai Horotiu with Lisa Truttman

Wednesday 10 October

12pm to 1pm

Early settlers and the Queen Street stream. A HeritageTalk for Auckland Heritage Festival with Lisa Truttman.

From the arrival of Lt Governor Hobson and his staff, the settling of the centre of Auckland City was intimately connected with the flow of Te Waihorotiu and nearby watercourses. The aspirations many early Aucklanders both rose and fell along the course of what is now hidden.

Historian Lisa Truttman will introduce you to the stories of some who lived and worked beside the stream.


See more Heritage Talks throughout Auckland here:


Made in Auckland: screening the local with Carolyn Skelton

Wednesday 24 October

12pm to 1pm

In this HeritageTalk, Auckland Libraries' Senior research librarian Carolyn Skelton discusses Auckland's history with New Zealand filmmaking.

In the first two decades of the 20th century, filmmakers began shooting films in New Zealand. Aucklander Rudall Hayward was an early filmmaker with films like Rewi’s Last Stand (1925 and 1940).


By the 21st century, Auckland had become a significant centre for shooting diverse screen productions. Auckland locations have been used to represent local, national, international and fantasy locations.



Colleagues of Empire with Georgia Prince

Wednesday 7 November

12pm to 1pm

Join Principal Curator Printed Collections, Georgia Prince, for this HeritageTalk about two well-known historical figures, Florence Nightingale and Sir George Grey.

How did social reformer and founder of modern nursing, Florence Nightingale, know Sir George Grey?

Preserved in the Grey collection at Auckland Libraries are letters and books which Florence Nightingale sent to Grey, best known as one of New Zealand's most controversial 19th century Governors. In this talk, Georgia Prince of Heritage Collections will explore how the two came to know each other.


Lost an ancestor in London? With Marie Hickey

Wednesday 21 November

12pm to 1pm

In this HeritageTalk, Marie Hickey, Research Central, advises on what to do if you or your ancestors are "Lost in London".

When did your ancestral place become part of London? Can’t find your ancestor/s in Church of England records - why not? Where do you look? What records are available to help further research of your London connections?

The talk will also include a look at some of the hidden gems available through subscription websites such as Ancestry, Findmypast, The Genealogist and MyHeritage.


HeritageTalks take place every second Wednesday at 12 noon in the Whare Wānanga, Level 2, Central City Library unless otherwise stated. Booking is recommended.


Phone Central Auckland Research Centre to book, or book online:


Nga mihi | Kind regards


Seonaid (Shona) Lewis RLIANZA | Family History Librarian

Central A uckland 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.

 About GenealogyWise and Frequently Asked Questions

“GenealogyWise is a service of The National Institute for Genealogical Studies. GenealogyWise is a genealogy social network website that allows members to connect with other members, post content, participate in chats, and seek assistance for genealogy research problems.

Membership on this website is free. We will never ask you for credit card or billing information. We have nothing for sale on the website. Links to The National Institute for Genealogical Studies are posted. The National Institute for Genealogical Studies offers education courses for a fee.”       


“Unlock the Past is about promoting history, genealogy and heritage in Australia and beyond. It is a collaborative venture involving a team of expert speakers, writers, organisations and commercial partners throughout Australia, New Zealand and overseas.”


Family History Research

“A family history can be so much more interesting than just names and dates. Finding their stories helps us understand our ancestors' struggles and achievements.”



Waikanae Family History Group

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

Venue: Meets every 4th Thursday morning at the Waikanae Chartered Club, 8 Elizabeth Street Waikanae, just over the Railway Crossing from 9.30am to 12 -12.30pm, every month from January to November.

Research days: at the Waikanae Public Library, 10am to 12 noon on second Wednesday of each month.



Waitara Districts History & Families Research Group

The contact details of this group are:

Waitara Districts History & Families Research Group

Rose Cottage 33 Memorial Place


Tel: 06 – 754 – 3212



President:- Rona Hooson 

Vice President:- Doree Smith

Secretary:- Trish Smart

Treasurer:- Marilyn O’Lander




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News and Views                 



            Search Tricks and Strategies Search tricksVanessa WielandAugust 17, 2018

Are Your Searches Turning Up Effective Results? has millions of records in over 37,700 record collections, so if you’re not getting the results you want when you search the site, why not try a different approach? In this week’s How to Maximize workshop, we’ll be exploring the many different ways to search effectively. Don’t miss your chance to turn up better results by using all of the available search tools.

Search Strategically

Review Your Search Strategies

Do you know when to do a simple search vs. an advanced search? Are you using wildcards? There are plenty of options when searching and sometimes, a change in one of those fields will turn up a plethora of new results. In the video presentation, Essential Search Strategies, instructor Nancy Hendrickson demonstrates several tricks for taking a strategic approach to your searches.

Research the Card Catalog

There are times when you want to do a general search but other times, you’re looking for a specific record or record type.’s Card Catalog not only lets you search specific collections, you can also learn about the scope of the collections, the details they include and their historical background. Some even offer tips on searching them, so they can save you a lot of time and effort. Learn more about the collections in Explore Collections presentation in the workshop.

Can You Take a Hint?

Hints can be incredibly handy, but you have to explore them closely to ensure they match the ancestors you’re researching. Did you know that there are steps you can take to improve the quality of the hints you’re getting? In the presentation, Master Hints, you’ll learn how hints work and how to create a family tree designed for successful hints, as well as what to do with them once you get them. 

Explore All the Possibilities

“Wonderful course. I can’t wait to start in with all these new ideas of how to find information. I am sure this will help with my difficult to track down ancestors.” – Deborah S.
There are seven video presentations, along with some articles and a discussion board for you to ask questions of your instructor, Nancy Hendrickson, and get answers throughout the week.
In this workshop, get 7 video presentations showing how you can search the site effectively.

Meet Your Instructor

Nancy Hendrickson, author of numerous non-fiction books, and over 300 magazine and newsletter articles, is a Contributing Editor for Family Tree Magazine and a course developer and instructor at Family Tree University. She is an expert in using the internet for genealogy research, and the author of The Unofficial Guide to and The Unofficial Guide to Workbook.

Nancy’s interest in preserving family history began in childhood, with family stories of wagon trains, Civil War battles, Indians, and prairie fires. Since that time, Nancy has been an avid genealogy researcher, photographic archivist of the frontier west, and family history book consultant.

A professional writer and historical researcher, Nancy helps family tree enthusiasts track down the fascinating tidbits about the times in which their ancestors lived. Find out more at


Image result for genealogy funnies     Image result for genealogy funnies

How to trace your Irish family history: a step-by-step guide

It’s easier than ever to trace your ancestry, using online church records to DNA kits


Image result for genealogy funnies


Our Ancestors Used to Stink

Dick Eastman · August 21, 2018 

Let’s face. Our ancestors used to smell. You probably won’t read about personal hygiene in history books but the historians all will tell you attention to one’s body odors was more-or-less unknown until recent years. The “good old days” may have been good but they also were smelly.

Writing in the Irish Examiner, Robert Hume investigates what our ancestors did to keep themselves cool and deal with body odor. Or, as the Irish write it, “odour.”

Here are a few of Hume’s statements:

“The fondness for bathing stopped once the medieval church warned of the evils of nudity. In Europe, bathhouses were closed down in the 14th century as a way of trying to check the spread of plague.”

“Aristocrats were often as dirty as peasants. A visitor to King Louis XVI’s court at Versailles described it as a ‘stinking cesspit’”.

“When Elizabeth Drinker had a shower installed in her backyard in Philadelphia in 1799, she said: ‘I bore it better than expected, not having been wet all over for 28 years past.’”

“But at first soap was a luxury. Only when the soap tax was removed in Britain and Ireland in 1853 could most people afford to buy it.”

You can read more if you hold your nose and go to

Camp life during the U.S. Civil War

While not mentioned in Robert Hume’s article, I am always fascinated by the clothing in old photographs taken the the late 1800s or early 1900s, often showing men and women alike dressed in heavy clothing and standing in outdoor backgrounds that look like summer weather. Those wool U.S. Civil War uniforms had to be mighty uncomfortable in August in the Confederate South and probably not much better in the North! Of course, civilian clothing was much the same: lots of wool although some linen, long sleeves, formal coats and jackets, and dark colors.           

The photo above appears to have been taken indoors but long before the invention of air conditioning! I am guessing this gentleman probably wore similar clothing outdoors all year long.


Image result for genealogy funnies       Image result for genealogy funnies


Lost Legacy: A PSA about Donating Your Research

From the Editor: This is a very important article.

What is going to happen to your research when you wander away from this world and the need to continually keep breathing? Do you want your research and precious family artefacts to go onto a big bonfire or go into the local landfill? 

Unfortunately there does not appear to be a place where your family can deposit your research. Just look around at your filing system. It is probably very large, mostly paper etc. This article should tempt you into  condensing your research material, writing your family history or reconsidering what is valuable and where it should go.       


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Book Reviews

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Help wanted

Letters to the Editor

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


To the Editor:

Came across a printed up email dd 18Jun2008 from Tony - stating

'we have taken the liberty of copying your datebase wickwoo.ged etc'

I think at the time I was not too impressed that my gedcom, even though in the  public domain, was being copied to your webpage. Sadly I do not have a copy of my reply to Tony's email!!

So I did not become a member and I don't know if my gedcom is on your webpage.

Over the last ten years I have enjoyed your monthly newsletter and have learned a lot - especially about DNA.

I congratulate you on your commitment to Genealogy and all its facets.

My mother was born in Petone in 1921 and Pearce/Forsyth, Reece and Kehely/Madgwick ancestors have been well researched by myself and a myriad of other descendants over many years.

My mother's family came to Australia in the 1920s.

I just did a name search on Pearce (my ancestors on Byrne.ged but that's another story),  Reece - yes my Elizabeth b 1838 (have a wonderful photo of her funeral cortage in 1908!) and her father William (Fencible) b 1803 on the Samuel Graydon.ged and Boyd Family Tree and nothing on KEHELY.

I have a HUGE Genie File on my New Zealand Ancestors - and would be happy to put all that I have on an USB and snailmail to you.

There are many letters from the Gloucester (Stonehouse and Randwick - the main villages) Pearce family to John Pearce who married Elizabeth Reece (daughter of William Reece the Fencible) - translated by June Dicks in NZ.

I will be 70 in August - and have been researching my family since my father died in 1979. The thought of at least a part of my research being in safe keeping with another 'person' pleases me.

I have my electronic family research on a  programme called Brothers Keeper and  a 'paper' version in 30 Foolscap Ring Binders.

My husband died nearly three years ago so have learnt how transient life can be!

I started an update of my entire research in recent times which may take a while!!

If you do not have the facilities to 'store' my information that is OK.

Just thought I would run this past you all.

From Robert:

Vicki, that you for your email.  I've cc'd my reply to Peter and Tony, as they won't have got your email directly from


We do not have a database named "wickwoo.ged" in FamNet, so it seems that your "not impressed" letter led us to delete it.   Although we didn't see anything wrong in loading publicly available databases, a strong principle that we always maintained is that the data belongs to the database creator, not to FamNet who are only custodians holding it in trust, so we tried quite hard to contact people whose database we had uploaded to tell them we had done this, and we always removed them if they replied objecting to this.  We only had a few such requests, as I recall. 


I'm delighted that you've had a change of heart, and that you want to entrust a copy of your family records to us for safekeeping.  The only way to ensure that your hard work remains for future generations is to spread it around with multiple copies, and we're happy to provide a repository for anybody with an interest in family history.  There's no problem about there being enough space: FamNet is hosted by Amazon Web Services (actually out of Sydney), and there's no limit to the number of records that we can store, so if you can create a GEDCOM file and either upload it yourself, send it to me at the address below by email, or snail-mail a USB to me at the address below, that would be great.  I always recommend that the best approach is to include everything in the GEDCOM, don't try to limit it to "only dead people" or "only NZ ancestors".  Regarding privacy and the "only dead people" rule, FamNet is unique (I think) in applying privacy rules to individual records, not to a database, and it is very good at sorting out whether a record should be kept private or not.  The only errors we're aware of are in the conservative direction, where we have kept records private because we can't tell that the person has died.   As for "only NZ", we are all descended from people from elsewhere.  


A GEDCOM only gets the people and relationships into the database, but we'd really like to have the pictures, letters, and other documents ("stories") that turn a family history from a boring collection of names and dates into something interesting.  You'll have read my enthusiasm for this in my "From the Developer" column.  To me, the most important part of any family history are the memories of the living people, the rest can always be discovered later by our descendents, but our memories will be lost.  So I really want to get all this other stuff as well as the bare GEDCOM.  I don't know how this is organised, but if you put the folders containing the digital copies of the documents, plus a way of relating the documents to the people, then we can sort it out.  A copy of the Brothers' Keeper database on the USB, as well as the GEDCOM, will probably sort this out for us.  I'll need to find a local user with a copy of Brothers' Keeper, but it's quite common so this shouldn't be hard.  If Brothers' Keeper is one of the systems that keeps scrapbook information as links to normal computer files then it's easy, as we will already have everything we need from the GEDCOM and the document folders.

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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In conclusion

A Bit of Light Relief   Genealogist Journal: Friday Funny #geneabloggers #genealogy



 From the Editor: Here are some more headstones I would love to visit.


If You Can Read This           All Dressed Up An No Place To Go




A Poet to the End is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list 33 Tombstones of People Who Died Laughing 


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

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

Copyright (Waiver)

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

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