Part of the worldwide genealogy/family history community

FamNet eNewsletter June 2023

  ISSN 2253-4040

Quote: I was reading this book today, The History Of Glue, and I couldn't put it down.” – Tim Vine


Editorial 1

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

Regular Contributors. 1

The Nash Rambler 1

Obituary: Diane Wilson. 1

Ancestor Envy. 1

From the Developer 1

FamNet and FamilySearch. 1

Diane Wilson. 1

DNA Testing for Family History. 1

Have you ever wondered what happens to your DNA sample after you send it in for testing?. 1

Chinese Corner 1

Jovial Spirits - Chinese Holiday Auckland Scenes. 1

The mixed blessing of a fingerprint 1

More Famous New Zealanders You have Probably Never Heard Of 1

Patrick Shanahan (1867-1938) 1

Guest Contributors. 1

Ken Morris. 1

Vegemite is recognised. 1

Legacy of Memories. 1

Settlement By Sail – 19th Century Immigration to New Zealand. 1

George Warcup. 1

Henry Warcup. 1

Robina Trenbeth. 1

Eliza. 1

An Invitation to Contribute: 1

From our Libraries and Museums. 1

Auckland Libraries. 1

JUNE.. 1

JULY.. 1

Auckland Family History Expo 2023 | Tāmaki Huinga Tātai Kōrero. 1

Diane Wilson. 1

News and Views. 1

How to find Boer War service records. 1

How do I find probate records online?. 1

In conclusion. 1

Book Reviews. 1

Help wanted. 1

Letters to the Editor 1

Advertising with FamNet 1

A Bit of Light Relief 1

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


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A picture containing text, person, person, smiling

Description automatically generatedHello fellow hermits.

Greetings and welcome to another issue of the FamNet newsletter.

I have just spent a lovely morning in the Auckland Museum Library attending a presentation of some of the NZ historical holdings they have. I was very impressed with the presenters and their enthusiasm. I have now been inspired to spend some time exploring their website and their digital holdings and their catalogue. I have spent some considerable time researching there in the past and I, now, seriously suspect that there is more for me to see.

This leads me onto another matter. I have a speech I give on safeguarding and the future of your genealogy/family history records and material. I have donated some material to the Hokianga Museum. I think you should look to donating some to your local museum or library and, in particular, those of the area you have been researching. We all must take big steps in avoiding the post-funeral celebrations that usually end in a bonfire or a rubbish skip. Think about it very seriously.

Anyway, back to reality. Once again, we have an interesting newsletter. The articles are varied. The jokes are funny although they are not the main reason for reading the newsletter.

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

Peter Nash

Do you want to receive this newsletter every month?

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

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

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

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

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

Tell other genealogists so they can enjoy the newsletters too.


Peter Nash

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Regular Contributors

The Nash Rambler

Obituary: Diane Wilson

A picture containing text, person, person, smiling

Description automatically generatedI cannot let Diane Wilson’s recent death pass without making a comment. She would hate it and she once told me that I was not to write an obituary for her. She considered herself just a small cog in the machinery of genealogy.

Before I wrote this I was looking through some old balance sheets of the New Zealand Society of Genealogists. During my short span of employment by that body this society received from CD Rom sales as much as or more than their annual subscriptions. I am talking about fundraising of about half a million dollars per annum which enabled that group to rapidly expand on its services, particularly the growth of the library.

Diane had a unique ability to enthuse many people, whether members of NZSG or not, to partake of the joys of indexing. She would choose a subject and her team would work away until the index was produced. The only reward we received was a chocolate fish (a paper variety) and a regular newsletter encouraging more work. When she ran out of inspiration for the newsletter we were kept informed on the status of Murray’s (her husband) vegetable garden, particularly his tomatoes. I looked in my computer and I have copies of a Stratford electoral roll, a Timaru electoral roll and other “weird” electorates or cemeteries which I have indexed for her. To me the two most important indexes she and her team produced was the Marriage CD rom and the Burial Locator and I used them almost every day.

When the society decided that her indexes were no longer wanted she created her website – The Wilson Collection. I am very thankful to her for making this valuable website free to access and spending her own money on developing it. This has now become, to me, the first port of call when I’m doing NZ research. She asked me to allow some of my indexes to be put up there and I’m very proud to say that she thought them valuable enough to publish. I was constantly consulted on what she should index and how she should make it available to everyone. Just recently I told her I was giving a speech which included her website and I was going to rename it to “The Nash Collection”. This was not received well because she regarded it as not belonging to any one person.

Before the current proliferation of online data, NZ research was not easy. Diane, and her team, made it somewhat easier for people to research their NZ ancestry. Just think about the breadth of their indexing – 1800s Electoral Rolls, World War 1 servicemen, Burial Locator, Marriage locator, Marriage index etc.

I am proud to say that Diane was a special friend. Without her encouragement I would not have achieved half as much as I have. She was constantly suggesting subject matter for the newsletter and I will miss that.

Thank you very much Diane.

Peter Nash

Ancestor Envy

A person pouring coffee into a cup

Description automatically generated with low confidenceWell, Allan, my Wednesday coffee drinking mate, has outdone me. He has finally succeeded in annoying me so much that I’m seriously considering cancelling our regular sessions and looking for an alternative “play mate”. He has obviously forgotten that he is the butt of my humour and I am to be admired for my genealogical expertise etc. But he has changed the rules and made me the butt of his jokes and he believes he is superior to me in matters genealogical.

Today was a regular Wednesday – the scones were wonderful and the coffee very satisfying (probably because it was his turn to pay). We were discussing how we both were trying to get back into our own research after a couple of month’s inactivity. Independently of each other, we have both started to check a branch of our ancestry on our genealogy programmes. This involves checking the data, correcting any errors, entering source material correctly, scanning into the database our certificates, photos and other valuable assets and then filling in the holes in the genealogy database by finding missing death dates, burial dates and marriage partners. We both aim to have a database that has no blank spaces in it, all dates are correct, the sources are correctly entered and names are correctly spelled (or is it spelt?). Talk about two idiots (like us) expecting to end up with the perfect database. This will be impossible.

We both had picked a branch that we hadn’t touched for a year or two and both were very satisfied with what we had achieved in the last week.

Then Allan started to tell me about some he had dealt with. His particular line had among its family:

A learned gentleman who had researched a scientific treatise on NZ lakes and presented a paper to the Royal Society in London

An engineer that was one of the leaders of the group who laid the first undersea cable to NZ from Australia. Allan didn’t tell me why NZ needed to be tied to Australia but I presume it was a telecommunications exercise

A princess or (viscountess?) who was from the Russian nobility. He stressed that it was a minor nobility but it was, at least, nobility.

Much to his amusement all I could produce was a “gentleman” who drowned in a vat in the Guinness Brewery in Dublin and an Irish soldier in the British Army during the Irish Uprising. He chuckled about my two losers who couldn’t swim or pick the winning side in an uprising.

He then proceeded to laugh about my tree that has army deserters, convicts, murderers and victims of murder, illegitimate births etc. He took great pleasure in my embarrassment about the lack of intelligence and royal blood in my ancestry. He said words to the effect that my ancestry was substandard and that I should curtsey to him every time we meet and that I should address him as “your eminence”. This is certainly going too far because my old knees will not allow me to perform such a movement.

I should also tell you that he didn’t whisper his insults but spoke very loudly. I cringed at the lack of expected respect he showed. I could hear neighbouring giggles and laughter. I drank my coffee very fast and we curtailed the session. He chuckled all the way home.

To further add injury to insult he then emailed to me the proof of his royalty and then proceeded to edit my first draft of this article and made suggestions on how to improve it. He now considers himself to be a better writer and suggested that my attempts at humour are pitiful.

I have informed him that I’m looking for an alternative, much better-looking person to share my valuable Wednesday morning sessions. We are meeting next week but, since I’m paying, I think I will order him a children’s fluffy and forget the scone. So I need a subservient and respectful person who will appreciate my humour, my genealogy expertise and writing ability. This person must be wealthy and wants to pay for the scones and coffee every week.

Incidentally I have given another speech. It was a total success. I didn’t drop my papers, fluff my words or wander off topic. I have regained my confidence. I must confess very quietly that there was no slide slow and there were only about 10 listeners but it was a speech.

Peter Nash

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From the Developer

FamNet and FamilySearch

A person with a beard

Description automatically generated with medium confidenceBack in September 2021 I wrote that I’d solved the problem of ensuring that your family trees that some of you have entrusted to FamNet would not be lost when I can no longer keep FamNet running, but would be uploaded to FamilySearch giving them a permanence that FamNet can’t guarantee.  Only one family tree owner objected to this (and her data will be excluded), everybody else was pleased that this was going to happen eventually.  However, nothing was going to happen quickly because we would be waiting for their development of a new system that supports pictures and documents – what FamNet calls “Scrapbook”, and FamilySearch calls “Memories”.

Since then, you have heard very little about this, and you may have wondered if this had all been forgotten.  However, the team in Salt Lake City have kept in touch with me, their development has progressed, and so we’re now thinking that we’ll start copying data from FamNet to FamilySearch starting next year when their new system is ready.  Once we start, I expect that it may take a few months to develop procedures that can smoothly transfer data from FamNet to Family Search.  The final result will preserve privacy – only the record owner will be able to see records of living people – and include scrapbook items, but it will look very different.

A reminder: if you have records in FamNet and you DO NOT want them to end up in FamilySearch, let me know.  Unless you tell me, they will be included in the transfer.

It will be interesting to see what the new FamilySearch system looks like, and whether we want to keep a subset of FamNet’s Genealogy Database on line indefinitely as well.   These are questions that can’t be answered now, but the full FamNet, with more than 15 million records, will never return because FamNet will have to stay under 20MB of data to be affordable.

Diane Wilson

I didn’t know Diane as well as others, but I met her to see if she wanted any data from FamNet (she already had what we have), and Peter and I have been happy to accept contributions from her for this newsletter.  Hopefully this was helpful in publicising The Wilson Collection. I knew that she was terminally ill, and I’m pleased to learn that she died peacefully surrounded by her family, and that she remained interested in everything until the end. The Genealogy Community has lost one of its giants.

Telling your story: Index

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

2.    Embedding pictures in Word documents

3.    Saving Documents for Web Publication.

4.    Saving Scrapbook Items

5.    Sharing your Story: Managing your Family Group

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

7.    Comparing and Synchronising Records

8.    Producing and Using Charts

9.    Merging Trees.  Part 1:  Why Bother?

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

11.  Merging Trees.  Part3.  Combining Existing Trees

12.  Finding Your Way Around FamNet (Getting Help)  

13.  FamNet – a Resource for your Grandchildren

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

16.  Privacy

17.  Indexes: beyond Excel.

18.  Linking trees

19.  Uploading a GEDCOM file

20.  Uploading Objects to your Database

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

23.  Have YOU written your family story yet? 

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

25.  It’s the Stories that Matter

26.  Using QR Codes for your Family History

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

28.  Our Shared Database Grows

Robert Barnes

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DNA Testing for Family History

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

 Have you ever wondered what happens to your DNA sample after you send it in for testing?

Jim Brewster of FamilyTreeDNA takes you through the lab process behind DNA testing to give you a better understanding of what happens to your sample and how it’s analysed. From sample A picture containing text, clipart

Description automatically generatedcollection to data interpretation, he walks you through each step of the process to demystify the world of DNA testing.

Congratulations! As a proud new tester, your sample enters this world weighing almost nothing. What challenges will this fragile new sample encounter as it learns and grows and struggles to find its place in this big, wide database? I’ll be your host, David Attenborough Jim Brewster as we explore the world of the DNA sample. [cue epic inspirational music]


What Is a Sample?

FamilyTreeDNA Test Kit and Two vials for sample.Before we start looking at what happens to the sample, let’s take a moment to explore what the sample is in the first place. This may seem like an obvious question, but there is a lot more than DNA that goes into a test vial when you swab your cheek. When you scrape the inside of your cheek, you get cheek cells, saliva, bacteria, the blueberry muffin you had for breakfast, your hopes and dreams for the day, etc. All of this is collectively referred to by the scientific term “Sample Stuff,” which is totally a real term and not something I made up.

Cell cross section structure detailed colorful anatomy isolated on white background. vector illustration.The cheek cell is the important part of this Sample Stuff, as the DNA lies inside. DNA is inside the nucleus and the mitochondria, both of which are surrounded by cytoplasm, organelles, and other five-dollar words. These are all protected by a cell membrane. So the golden nuggets of DNA are pretty well protected.


Cheek cells and friends then go into the plastic vial full of liquid. That liquid has several components. First, it has some preservatives that help prevent the bacteria in the swab from growing. It also contains a lysis buffer. Lysis works to burst the cell membrane so we can get at the DNA goodness inside.

The Lab Journey

After swabbing and signing the necessary paperwork (I mean, where would we be without paperwork?) the sample makes its way to our lab in Houston, Texas, USA.

Receiving the Sample

First, it is received by our accessioning team, who scan the paperwork and the sample barcodes and send one vial to the lab to be processed and the other vial to storage for future use. The lysis buffer helps preserve the storage sample, so it can remain viable for years at room temperature for future testing.

Entering the Lab

The first step in the lab is to mechanically extract the Sample Stuff from the vial. Next, a chemical called Proteinase K is added. Proteinase K helps break down the proteins inside the cell so that the DNA can be separated from the other Sample Stuff.

FamilyTreeDNA DNA Testing in the GenebyGene labSome of these proteins (such as histones) protect the DNA from degradation, so from this point on, the sample must be kept in cold storage to prevent decay. Our state-of-the-art sample freezer keeps the extracted samples at -20 degrees Fahrenheit at all times. We also have a backup generator so the samples can be maintained in the event of power outages.

At this point, the rest of the steps in the testing process will probably make more sense if we first discuss the chemical structure of DNA, since this structure is what ultimately provides the information the lab needs to unlock.




A Short Interlude About DNA Structure

Most people know the famous double helix shape of DNA first published in 1953 by Watson and Crick. This shape, discovered by Rosalind Franklin, is composed of two strands of phosphate polymers that form two spiral strands, wrapping around each other. These strands are connected like rungs on a ladder, and Scientifically correct illustration of DNA molecular structure, featuring labeled diagrams of adenine, thymine, guanine and cytosine.there are many components within this shape.

You may think of plastic when you think of a polymer, but a polymer is just a group of large molecules made of many repeating subunits. Think crystals, hair, that gross jello stuff with hotdogs in it that was popular in the 70s, the sickly green upholstery that was also popular in the 70s… Honestly, the 1970s were a dark time for polymers. Not that the 80s were doing well either, what with the neon windbreakers. Anyway, I digress.

In the case of DNA, the polymer is a chain of phosphates that form two spiraled strands. These strands are connected to each other like rungs on a ladder by four chemicals called nucleotides, abbreviated as A, C, T, and G. These stand for adenine, cytosine, thymine, and guanine. Each rung is composed of a nucleotide pair, with one half on each strand. We call this a “Base pair”.

Because of their chemical structure, in each base pair, A is always paired with T, and C is always paired with G. This means if we look at a specific position and see an A on one strand, we know there is a T on its companion strand. This is referred to as “Chargaff’s Rule” after the Ukrainian geneticist who first identified this phenomenon.

There are millions and millions of base pairs in our DNA. Through hard work, geneticists were able to map out this “ladder” in a method much like putting together pieces of a very complicated puzzle. Each base pair is assigned a position, like coordinates on a map, to find where it fits in the puzzle.

Ok, back to the lab.


Testing Your DNA

Fluorescence Spectroscopy - a technique used by FamilyTreeDNA when analyzing DNANow that we have extracted DNA from the other Sample Stuff, we can run tests on it. We want to make sure that we only use a portion of the sample in case we need to rerun a test for accuracy or run additional tests in the future.

The meat and potatoes of DNA are the nucleotide pairs. Those are the pieces of information that can vary from one person to another and that unlock the history of our ancestry. The next step, then, is to peel apart the strands to see the nucleotides within. We do this with an enzyme called helicase, which is naturally occurring.



Remember Chargaff’s Rule? When a DNA strand is peeled apart, copies of a complete double helix can be made from a single strand because only the A on one strand will always bind to T and G to C. New polymer chains are built, and they are DNA Replication with clamp loader, helicase. dna polimerase and beta clamp process stock photoconnected to the two half strands with complementary nucleotides at each base. Essentially, a mirror image of each strand is made, and one helix becomes two. This is how cells grow and divide naturally.

We can do the same thing artificially. We can make more and more copies using a process called a polymerase chain reaction, or PCR. With PCR, we can make millions of artificial copies of your DNA. These artificial copies are limited in their shelf life, but they allow us to do two important things.

First, having many copies ensures that we can get reliable, quality reads on more regions of your DNA. Second, we can take only a small portion of the extracted sample while leaving the rest in cold storage for future testing.

Now that we have millions of copies of your DNA to study, how do we actually study it? How do we find out what nucleotides are attached to the strands? Contrary to popular belief, we do not actually have hundreds of teeny tiny gnomes with magnifying glasses to look at your DNA. I know, I was pretty sad to find that out, too. Talk about disillusionment.

Instead, we use a property of chemicals called fluorescence spectroscopy. I know, it’s a mouthful, but bear with me.

Fluorescence Spectroscopy

Different chemicals and elements react differently and at different wavelengths when subjected to radiation such as light or heat. This is called fluorescence. A white fluorescent light, for example, is a tube of mercury vapor. Mercury vapor fluoresces white when you introduce a low-level electric current, and this is what causes the bright white shine. All the different colors of neon lights work the same way.

When we use the PCR process to create extra copies of your DNA, we also add special chemicals that make the artificial nucleotides fluoresce as well. Different test types (Y-DNA, Family Finder, mtDNA, etc.) are run on different machines using different processes, but each utilizes this principle to read the nucleotides. The strands are aligned and run under lasers that are attuned such that each nucleotide will fluoresce at a different wavelength.

This process is repeated several times so that even if some of the copies had a slight copy error or if the laser had a slight misread, we could make sure the results were reliable.



Analyzing the Data

Inside the lab at FamilyTreeDNANow we have a massive amount of data, with different wavelengths read at different locations. All of this data is then sent to our analysts for review.

The initial process is designed to detect any abnormalities in the testing process and to make sure that the results that were produced are within the parameters of what we would expect to see. Abnormalities are flagged for closer scrutiny, and if needed, the samples are rerun.




Transcribing Your DNA

FamilyTreeDNA's microarrays, or Next, the data is processed into a readable format. The results for each test require specialized software, so the data is sent to the appropriate section of the network. We feed it into the appropriate proprietary software, which translates this data into results.

For example, the autosomal DNA is compared against our reference populations in our myOrigins database to provide your regional breakdown of ancestry.

The results then undergo a final quality control check and are uploaded to the database.



The End Result

Woman doing family history research on a laptop.And there we have it, folks. From cheek swab to computer, the trials and tribulations of your sample are over. Now the real work begins as you get to compare this data to your matches and your genealogical records to uncover clues about your family history.

We will keep the remaining extracted sample safe in our cold storage and the second vial in our temperature controlled storage facility. That way, if you ever decide you want to order additional testing, we will have plenty of Sample Stuff to run the test(s) on!




Gail Riddell 

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Chinese Corner 

 Jovial Spirits - Chinese Holiday Auckland Scenes

It was said just before Christmas and the New Year that business in the Chinese shops of Grey's Avenue Auckland, would be very poor. And, indeed, there was room for such an argument, for 1932, with Its manifold difficulties, bore heavily on Auckland's Asiatic population (says the Auckland "Weekly News"). There was a time, several years ago it was pointed out, when the Chinese area, almost a quarter, In Grey's Avenue, presented every sign of activity. But financial stringency affects the East, although it is transplanted In Auckland. Similarly, the holiday spirit, although it Is not comprehended in the Chinese mind as it is In the European, did not leave Grey's Avenue untouched.

Those interesting restaurants where long soup, fried rice and. the many chop sueys are consumed throbbed with a vigour which would have been usual in 1928 or 1929. Those Intriguing shops where stuffs for jellies are actually sold by length and mysterious preparations are offered in squat and lavishly decorated bowls won new patronage.


Unjustified Mysteries.

In the Chinese clubs dotted round the city, some of them profusely adorned with signs In the Cantonese script — a circumstance likely to create an air of mystery, not at all justified, in the mind of the seeking European — a jovial and holiday countenance was assumed by members and guests. There have been guests in the clubs.

For one thing, Chinese who worked industriously in remote districts throughout the year — laundrymen from country towns and gardeners from the province and outer suburbs— descended upon the Auckland Chinese district with obvious enthusiasm.

There were race meetings to engage their attention, opportunities to discuss with their city fellows Japan's intentions in Manchuria, and the delight of sampling the culinary conjuring’s of the city chefs.  And, to a Chinese who had prepared his own rice and poultry for a year, there is a degree of relaxation in being able to command, even once in year, table service.


Pans Like Steel Helmets.

So, the cafes attracted many diners. The solemn men of the kitchens who cook rice in pans resembling nothing more than exaggerated steel helmets, who prepare pastry- with rolling-pins five feet long, and who offer quaint oils and sauces to spice their delicacies, were of first importance to the country visitors.

The spirit was reflected in the street appearance of Grey's Avenue. Chinese congregated in eagerly talking groups beneath the lofty and restful tree which favour the thoroughfare, enjoying to the utmost the coolness of Auckland's summer evenings. Their conversation? It was pleasantly; commonplace. There were discussions on the prospects of certain racehorses, reminiscences, perhaps, of the quality of the sow chow and the cha, liquors of excellence, in far-away Canton, and more serious speculations regarding the future of troubled China.

For the Cantonese remain very largely ardent Nationalists. The Nationalist Party, Kuo Mln Tang — It is pronounced Kwok Man Tong — extends to Auckland. It Is remembered that, on the occasion of Japan's warfare at Shanghai, influential members of the community promoted a new long, or society, to contest Japanese commerce, even as the trade affects the Chinese Hok Lun, as Auckland laurelled in Cantonese. The organisation survives. There is more than a suggestion that It will be active because of Japan's now offensive in the beloved province of Jehol.


Intrusion On Holiday Spirit

Such things are subjects for earnest debate, and It Is to be feared that the new turmoil is Intruding on the holiday thoughts of Chinese who came to Auckland for their annual enjoyment.

Yet other Interests have attracted them. When opportunity offered, the wandering visitor could listen to the music of the deservedly lauded Chinese fiddle of the golden notes. There was one evening recently when the instrument was heard in a shabby room within sight of the Town Hall. It was not intended for European ears, and, indeed, Europeans can scarcely appreciate the swift turns of tone of the fiddle. But the Chinese listeners forgot the shabbiness of the room and heard, with distinct appreciation, a ditty of Pel, the graceful dancer of Swatow.

Music wins the reverence of all Chinese. Not so the Japanese, an inquirer will be told. The Japanese were always disgracefully lacking in musical taste.

There remains, however, in Auckland a different music — the almost-chanted hymns of the odd little Chinese mission church where Cook Street plunges down to Freeman's Bay— which has its following. It is there that sermons are given in liquid, if rapid, Cantonese, and there where Europeans who have lived in China and understand some of many souls, occasionally so to recapture Eastern expression. It Is Europeanised, of course, but often the most rigid of European ritual does not obscure the essentials of Oriental emotions. Grey's Avenue rests on newly gained life and spirit to-day. But 1933 looms ahead with Its commercial perplexities In New Zealand and Its war clouds

In the East when problems wise in their numbers, as they always do perhaps the musical story of Pel and the happy conversations over chop suey mid chopsticks will serve as a sufficient diversion. 


The Telegraph (Brisbane, Qld. : 1872 - 1947) Friday 20 January 1933 p 4 Article


Helen Wong

From the Editor: I found this interesting article on the National Archives Website. I enjoyed reading it and felt that it should be included in this section of the newsletter.

The mixed blessing of a fingerprint

Chinese poll-tax certificates at Archives New Zealand are unique records of adversity and bravery

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More Famous New Zealanders You have Probably Never Heard Of

Patrick Shanahan (1867-1938)

Patrick SHANAHAN was born in on the 06 November 1867 in Shanat Castle, County Limerick, Ireland. He came to New Zealand as a young boy with his mother Ellen Shanahan née NOLAN and younger brothers John and Daniel in 1875 on board the Jessie A picture containing text, person, person, wall

Description automatically generatedOsborne to Lyttleton. Their father and husband John had possibly preempted their travel as he is not recorded on the Jessie Osborne.

By 1878 the family had settled at Arrowtown where John Shanahan applied to lease 30 acres of the mining reserve for agricultural purposes on the south-west side of the Arrow River between the road and the river.[1]

Patrick attended St Patrick’s Roman Catholic School and was possibly Shanahan, the member of the Arrow Cadets who won first prize, a gold pencil case and pen holder in a shooting competition in 1880.[2]

When he left school Patrick worked at Macetown, a gold mining settlement on the upper Arrow River. He then left the area and joined a sailing ship at Bluff and worked his passage to England where he joined the British Army. He was known to have been stationed in Egypt and could be the Patrick Shanahan in the 2nd Battalion of The Royal Irish Regiment in the Second Egyptian War of 1882.[3]

After discharge he returned to Arrowtown for a while but soon left and sailed for America where he joined the United States Navy.

Shortly after enlisting, Chief Boatswain’s Mate Shanahan, on board the training ship Alliance, dived into the sea, and succeeded in bringing a shipmate, William Stevens to safety. This was without any thought of the danger to himself, and the deed was verified by other sailors. This A picture containing water, blue

Description automatically generatedwas on the 18 May 1899 off Annapolis, Maryland.[4]For his heroism Patrick was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor, the only known New Zealander to be awarded this.

In August 1908 Patrick came to Auckland as part of the United States ‘Great White Fleet’ when sixteen American battleships sailed in to the Waitemata Harbour. Members of the New Zealand Parliament met the fleet after travelling from Wellington by train – the first to traverse the whole length of the still unfinished Main Trunk Line.

In 1917 Patrick was promoted to Lieutenant and spent the war laying mines in the North Sea and the North Atlantic.  He retired from active naval duty in September 1922, and spent much of his time painting sea and ship scenes, and carving ship models.

He died in Brooklyn, New York on the 07 December 1937 and is buried in the Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia.[5]

His father died in Arrowtown in 1890 Arrowtown, and his mother in 1915. Three of his brothers survived him – Daniel Shanahan of Glenorchy, Denis Shanahan of Tuatapere and Police Inspector Thomas Shanahan of Timaru.

[1] Just imagine what 30 acres in Arrowtown would be worth now. There is a Shanahan Lane between Centennial Avenue, the main road and the river in Arrowtown.

[2] Lake County Press, Volume IX, Issue 474, 17 June 1880, Page 2

[3] UK, Military Campaign Medal and Award Rolls, 1793-1949

[4] Some reports have this deed in the Pacific Ocean as part of the Philippine Insurrection.


   New York, New York, U.S., Index to Death Certificates, 1862-1948 (ancestry)

Christine Clement

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Guest Contributors

Ken Morris

Vegemite is recognised

Legacy of Memories

A close-up of a letter

Description automatically generated with low confidence

Settlement By Sail – 19th Century Immigration to New Zealand

A picture containing text, book, book cover, ship

Description automatically generatedText & Original Paintings by Gainor W. Jackson (1926-1997), Published 1991 ISBN 0-477-00025-8

My copy via an ABE Books seller in NZ The book of 48 pages has in addition to the narrative any colour photos of the paintings of sailing ships by the author, and who has published five books on marine & yachting subjects.

I purchased the book in part for research for an ongoing project as well as for the fine renditions of some majestic 19th century sailing ships

The author lived in Devonport and as a boy in the 1930’s used to row his dingy out to see such vessels as the Grace Hawar, Winterhude & the well-known Pamir.

In addition to the copies of the paintings there are excellent sketches of maritime scenes as well as what London was like in the mid-19th century and of ship board life.

The chapters:

Victorian Britain: The Land they Left

The Wakefields and the NZ Land Companies

     Early Settlements and their First Fleets

                The Voyage Out

                                        The Sailing Routes

                The Perils

    Shipping Lines

               Immigration Cycles

Appendix: Some Founding Ships

Although the chapters a relatively brief they give a good feel for the subject and there are references to most of the early settlements and the original ships are listed. There is no index and no family names but the Appendix summarises the ships for each settlement and there are some drawings showing accommodation layouts for a variety of ship types/sizes and migration periods.

Being published in 1991 there are no webpage references, but the acknowledgements provide some useful information.

Ken Morris

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George Warcup

Henry Warcup

My great grandfather Henry Edward WARCUP was aged twenty four when he left London to immigrate to New Zealand. Henry first lived in Nelson for a year before travelling to Auckland to await the arrival of his fiancé Emily ANDERSON, and where he meet up with his brothers Fredrick and William and his friends Simon DONOVAN and Robert NEWBEGIN who arrived in Auckland on the sailing ship Portland on the 31st of August 1864. The young men from Newington London were attracted by the colonial governments’ offer of land grants to new settlers. This offer sounded attractive and so the five men knowing that they would probably never see their homes or families again embarked for New Zealand.

On arrival the new emigrants found conditions in New Zealand were not quite as they were led to believe. Most of the North Island was still under Māori control with white settlement by and large confined to areas near the coast.

The colonial government, while endeavouring to exert its authority over the Māori, was encouraging emigration and opening up the interior of the North Island to white settlement. Some Māori saw the relentless encroachment into their territory as a threat to their existence. There were 20,000 British troops in the colony and the North Island was embroiled in a civil war. Auckland was a town prepared for a siege.  In 1863 all able bodied men were required to join the militia and drill in readiness for a possible Māori attack

At first it appears that the WARCUP brothers intended to stay in Auckland. Fredrick took the plunge and acquired some property in the suburb of Dedwood (now John Street, Ponsonby). While, by 1864 the Māori threat to Auckland had receded, the colony’s seat of government was about to be shifted to Wellington, and so to the new arrivals Auckland probably did not look the best prospect.

Henry was engaged to be married to Emily ANDERSON, and she agreed to follow him to New Zealand. Her best friend Jane LARKIN was betrothed to Henry’s friend Simon DONOVAN. The two girls set off to join their fiancé’s arriving in Auckland on the sailing ship Nimrod on 17thDecember 1864. They stayed in Wellington Street Auckland until marriage papers were finalised. Henry and Emily’s intention to marry was filed on the 9th of January 1865 and they were married on the 30th of January 1865 in the Auckland Methodist Church. Jane was Emily’s bridesmaid and Simon was Henry’s best man. Next day the roles were reversed, Jane married Simon DONOVAN and Emily was her bridesmaid.

The two couples and Henry’s brother Fredrick moved south while Henry’s brother William aged nineteen went north to the kauri gum fields above Kaitaia. Simon previously an inn keeper from Newington accepted a land grant in the Wairarapa and commenced farming..

 Henry at first also intended to become a farmer and was attracted to land near present day Foxton, however as the survey had not been completed, and his attention was drawn further south, and then considered settling on land near Porirua.  By this time all the good land near Wellington had been taken up and Henry knowing little about farming turned both these offerings down.

While Māori Wars continued over the centre of the North Island in the 1860s Wellington had at last attained the ambitions of its founders and in 1865 it became the capital of New Zealand. An era of rapid expansion followed, and the new capital appeared as Henry’s opportunity. Henry and Emily rented a house on the corner of Lambton Quay and Mulgrave Street, and Henry commenced business as a boot maker

Henry’s family lived upstairs and the ground floor was turned into a workshop. Henry a good tradesman, soon built up a large clientele, employing staff to keep up the workload.

A tragedy struck the WARCUP family on the 15th June 1865 and the following notice appeared in the Wellington Independent Newspaper.


Warcup. _ At Lower Hutt, on Sunday  morning at 1 o’clock, May 21, 1865, Frederick Warcup , aged 23 years. Auckland papers please copy.

Copied from the Papers Past website national Library of New Zealand


Fredrick’s death notice was published three weeks after his death, and it is believed that he died of pneumonia probably before his brothers even knew he was ill. Fredrick died intestate and a further nineteen years passed before his estate was finally wound up by which time his next of kin, his father, had died in England and his property in Auckland passed to Henry. Henry displayed no interest in his inheritance and in 1885 the property then valued at fifteen pounds passed back to the government.

Lambton Quay in 1865 was very different from the present day, while harbour reclamations had commenced at its southern end, the foreshore still ran along most of its length its shops and businesses facing the harbour. Mulgrave Street was unsealed with a rubbish-filled open drain running along its western side. Henry soon found that the northern end of Lambton Quay was not the best site for a high-class boot maker and began a series of moves that was to last the rest of his life



Begs to intimate to gentlemen favouring him with their patronage, that they can rely upon a perfect fit.
Workmanship not to be excelled by any other house in town.
Manners Street.

1868 Henry opened another shop in Manners Street and for a short time continued to operate from both from the original and new site, and soon his advertisements proudly displayed the patronage of the Governor.

 In the following years the boot making business expanded and its location changed several times, the best shops were locating at the southern end of the Quay and Willis Street.  In 1872 Wises Directory places Henry in Willis Street.  In 1874 he was relocated with his family to Lambton Quay, next to the Bank of New Zealand.

Like the business Henry’s and Emily’s family also grew. A son Henry William (Harry) was born in 1865, followed by George Fredrick in 1868, and Edwin Thomas (Ted) in 1870. Their first daughter, Emily Eliza (Sis) was born in 1872 and was followed by Henrietta Jane who was born above Henry’s shop in Lambton Quay. In 1876 another son Herbert Robert (Pop my grandfather) was born and probably by this time the family was living in Molesworth Street The last of their children Florence Beatrice was born in 1879.

On the 21st of May 1877 the following advertisement appeared in Wellingtons Evening Post

Unfortunately, from that date it seems Henry was employed by and possibly was in partnership with Robert Hannah. Henry a skilled and innovative tradesman invented an improved and economical method of making boots. Henry called his design the pug nose boot. The new boots sold well and soon became fashionable. Henry a traditional hand sewn boot maker and Hannah disagreed as to how their business should be run. Hannah believed in mass production saw the possibilities of Henry’s design, and patented the pug nose boot. Henry found that he was prevented from using or profiting from his invention. It is certain that Hannah and Henry were again in opposition by 1879 when on the fateful night Henry’s business was destroyed it was also noted that a small fire in Robert Hannah’s boot shop around the corner in Cuba Street was successfully extinguished. Robert Hannah prospered and the shoe shop chain that he established is now spread throughout New Zealand.

It seems that in addition to the boot design Hannah also acquired some of Henry’s trained staff as from that time Henry chose only to employ members of his family.

To compound Henry’s problems New Zealand was entering a prolonged period of depression. An enormous amount of money had been borrowed by the colonial government in the 1870s with the intention of opening up the country with a policy of emigration and public works including the construction of railways. For a while all went well until dry weather and poor harvests in 1878 and 1879 reduced the country’s capacity to earn money and the government was in danger of defaulting on its loan repayments. The depression lasted well into the 1890s so what should have been Henry’s most productive years were spent in just working hand to mouth. 

By 1880 Henry with his business destroyed, was unable to pay his creditors. The WARCUP family moved from Molesworth Street and relocated to Ingster Street (now named Vivian Street) in working class Te Aro, where they were to live for the next seven years. In spite of these problems, Henry’s reputation remained intact and in February 1880 he commenced employment in charge of the bespoke department of Samuel Stone’s new City Boot Emporium in Willis Street

After working in the gum fields in the far north Henry’s brother, William, moved to the Thames area and became a gold and coal miner. William’s name then appears on the electoral rolls in Wellington 1879 when we find him boarding with Henry in Molesworth Street. By 1881 William was living in Lambton Quay in 1887 he was shown to be living in Te Aro and again in 1893 at Johnsonville. In every case around this time, his occupation was given as boot maker so it seems likely that for at least ten years William lived in or near Wellington. Like Henry, William was an active member of the Workingmen’s Club, he was elected a member of the Johnsonville Licensing Trust and was the secretary of the Anti-Chinese League. The League reflected the fear of the working classes of the time that the capitalists meaning the government for the benefit of their supporters the employers and farmers would allow unrestricted Chinese entry into the country which was already suffering from the effects of a worldwide depression.   William never married liked a drink and while in Wellington worked for Henry. Sometime during the first decade of the twentieth century William returned to Thames.

Henry’s wife Emily reportedly was an extravagant lady and would only shop at the most expensive shops. She loved clothes and spent a lot on dresses and hats. Money came and money went. Whenever they had a flush of money Emily would call it “Corn in Egypt” and spend it all. However, when Emily went to church she only gave a widow’s mite, a threepenny piece.

The money that Henry earned usually went on rent for their house, his shop and caring for their large family.

In 1893 Henry’s family were living in Hopper Street. As this was the first occasion that women were accorded the vote the electoral roll records two Emily’s’ mother and daughter at that address with their son George. Unexplainably Henry is recorded as living Arthur Street and William is listed as living at Johnsonville. All the male Warcups’ occupations were recorded as boot makers.

If we take a short walk from Parliament Buildings along Wellingtons Lambton Quay it is easy to miss a narrow arcade called Mason Lane. The lane now flanked by small shops has survived as a thoroughfare since the beginnings of European settlement in 1840 and ends as it always has in a flight of steps ascending to the Terrace.

Henry’s shop was then in a prime shopping area, next door was the Queens Hotel. Outside, on Lambton Quay, the horse drawn tramway passed the front of the shop on its way to Wellington’s nearby railway stations. Close by was another boot making shop and factory of Henry’s erstwhile employer and main competitor Robert Hannah.

On one corner of the lane facing the quay, is now occupied by a menswear shop occupies the site which where during the last decades of the nineteenth century  Henry made his third venture into the competitive boot making business.

In view of his experience with Hannah, Henry now chose to employ only members of his family, his son George and his brother William. Unfortunately the traditional hand sewn footwear the family produced could not compete in price with the factory made products on sale just down the road. There is also some evidence that Henry was too generous in extending credit to his bespoke customers Hannah on the other hand operated on a cash only system. To compound the family’s problems Henry suffered from diabetes and his health was slowly declining.

In due course the eldest son George found other employment and, as ships carpenter, left New Zealand never to return.

William, Henrys brother finally left Wellington and died in Thames in 1915 and where he is buried on a hill overlooking the township in the Shortland Cemetery in an unmarked grave.

Around the turn of the nineteenth century Henry closed his Lambton Quay shop and moved his business to Charlotte Street now the lower part of Molesworth Street opposite Parliament buildings.

When Henry was too old to work in the shop his extended family moved from Wellington to Petone. Henry had a room set up with a work bench and did boot repairs at home. The house was in Gear St. near the railway station so Henry was able to travel to Wellington to buy materials.

Henry died of heart failure and diabetes on the 21st May 1912 at Petone he was seventy-three years old, and buried in Karori Cemetery.


Henry’s obituary published in the Evening Post on the 20th of May 1912.

From the Papers Past website national Library of New Zealand

George Warcup

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Robina Trenbeth


Eliza was born on 10 December 1838 the third (second living) daughter of James and Mary Ann Crampton. She was born in their rented rooms above a shop at 19 Hertford Street, St. Mary-le-bone, Middlesex, England.

1865: Hertford Street became Whitfield Street.  It lay within the Fitzroy Estate, later to become the bohemian quarter of London known as Fitzrovia, with residents such as George Bernard Shaw and Virginia Wolfe. The houses, numbers 7-23 were built on the site of an old brewery and destroyed by a flying bomb 19/6/1944.1.


But there was a problem.  Her sister, Mary Ann, aged 20 months, suffered from hydrocephalus and, as her mother went into labour Mary Ann went into decline.

On 20 January 1839 Mary Ann passed away with water on the brain. Bereft, James’ wife trudged off the next day (21 January 1839) in the cold and sleet to see John Riley, the Deputy Registrar at St. Pancras. She had two items to record: the birth of one daughter and the death of another.

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N.B. Eliza’s birth certificate/ date entry: Tenth December 1838. 25 Minutes past 7 A.M. 19 Hertford Street.        “Registrars were instructed about giving times of births and deaths for twins (who was born first could be important for the inheritance titles), but not otherwise”.2.                                                                     On Free BMD UK/ Births & Deaths there is nothing to support the notion that Eliza may have been one of a twin. Citing the time of birth was more a feature on Scottish rather than English records.

1842: William Crampton (our Gt. grandfather) was born.      1846: Edward Crampton was born.    1847: Louisa Margaret Crampton was born on 9th of November.    1847: Mary Ann Crampton, wife of James died of puerperal fever following the birth of her 6th child on 6th December.

It fell to Eliza (4 days before her 10th birthday) to raise her siblings and care for her father. James did his level best to keep his children from the workhouse. But by 1st March 1848 William was working alongside his father (carpenter) as a labourer, Edward and infant Louisa were ‘farmed out’3. via the Barnett Union (Louisa died 17 days later) and Eliza went into domestic service. Her father had formerly been a gentleman’s valet.

But, there was a problem… she disappeared…. until…                                         


1861: England Census Middlesex > St. Pancras > Regents Park > 12 Mornington Place

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Eliza Crampton (servant to Magdalene Dalton/ Artist). Aged 20 (well no, she would have been 22 yrs 4 mths). So, was this the right Eliza? Well, yes, because… 

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1862: London, England Marriage Banns. There’s Eliza at Mornington Place. Father is correct.           

Eliza and her husband, William Richard Watkins went on to have 8 children. Eliza died at her home in Essex, England in 1909.

But, what of the problem of her 14 year ‘disappearance’….

Browsing New York Passenger Lists 1820-1891. Two items intrigued me.       

 ( i.1852: Thrompton Eliza aged 13, birthplace England. On the ‘James Nesbit’ for New York.

 (ii.) 1856: Crampton Eliza aged 17, birthplace England. On the ‘Carolus Magnus’ for New York

 Interesting. I put the ship manifests into my investigations folder for attention at a later date.

But, the story is not over, yet…

Eliza and Richard’s grandson, Jack Augustus Watkins (1896-1960) emigrated to Fremantle, Western Australia in 1923. As I do, I threw Jack Watkins W.A. into GOOGLE. Hey presto! – in 2000, someone had written a book about him                                          “a long-serving president of Cottesloe Surf Life Saving Club, soldier, pioneer, chef, artist, musician, administrator, inspirational community leader”.5. One word caught my eye – artist.  

1861: back to the England Census. Eliza had been a servant to an artist named Magdalene Dalton. Throw that into GOOGLE, too. BLIMEY!                                                                           

Magdalena Dalton (nee Ross was born 1801). She was Queen Victoria’s miniature painter.

1840: Her brother, the miniature artist Sir William Charles Ross painted this miniature of his sister.6. Father, William, exhibited at the Royal Academy 1805-1825. Mother, Maria (nee Smith) “- was one of the most admired female artists of her time”.7. The Scottish Ross clan enjoyed friendships with Charles Dickens. Janet Ross (a cousin) married Ed. Barrow, Dicken’s maternal uncle. Her husband, Edwin was also an artist  (biotype) and photographer. Married 1841, they never had children.


The Ross/ Dalton families travelled extensively through North America, Europe and Australia. 

2013: back to Jack: he was my 2nd cousin 1x removed, so I bought the slim volume and was blessed with family photographs and familial names. Telephone books (remember those – bet you never thought they’d turn out to be genealogical research treasures). I got hold of a W.A. directory and phoned Jack’s daughter (b. 1930). That 2 hour call had WOW factor. After a month of long talks there was only one thing to do – get on a plane and fly to W.A.  

The book, early family letters and photographs, source documents + familial stories brought the story of Eliza full circle. With the break-up of the Crampton family (1848) she had gone into domestic service with Magdalena Dalton. When the family moved, she moved too. Yes! Eliza Crampton had travelled to New York in 1856. While the 1852 entry (Thrompton may have been a transcription error) there was no proof positive that it was her. Eliza was taught to prepare artistic materials for her mistress, mix Magdalena’s paints; watch, attend and be part of that creative process which ultimately inspired Eliza to pass on that knowledge to her family who, each in their own way, became accomplished artists.

And then…my cousin’s daughter arrived with a parcel which Jack Watkins’ father (Eliza’s son) had given to him, on his departure to W.A. in 1923.

1863: Eliza found her father a year before he died and re-established close ties with both her brothers who were serving in the Royal Navy. Her husband was witness at William Crampton’s marriage to Harriet Street (GGM) in 1874. Close family ties were maintained beyond Eliza’s death through her children, to Harriet who died 1928. Robina Trenbath.

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1862: Painting Eliza Crampton in her wedding dress. Magdalena Dalton. 
Her dress reflected the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood notion of ‘anti-fashion’; juliette sleeves, soft colours, hair simple. 
For 14 years Eliza had been immersed in a world of oils, chemicals, paint-daubed cloths, brushes and easles. She was exposed to the work of Edward Dalton who invented the medium of biotype (photography coloured over with pastel).8. Her world was of comings and goings of both people and places. More companion than servant, she never lost contact with Magdalena who died in 1874.


Ref. 1.British History Online: Survey of London. Vol 21. Whitfield Street, Parish of St. Pancras, Co. of Middlesex.                                                                                                                               

Ref. 2.Family Tree Magazine, P.29, June 2010.                                                                                             

Ref. 3.Farmed Out by Angela Buckley in Who Do You Think You Are Magazine, P. 70, Issue 31, February 2010.                                                                                                                                                

Ref. 4.British History Online: Survey of London, Vol. 24, The Parish of St. Pancras, Part 4.                

Ref. 5. Proud to Call Him Pop: The Jack Watkins Story by Christopher John Mayhew; Victor Publishing.                                                                                                                                                     

Ref. 6.Magdalena Dalton nee Ross (miniature before 1840). Victoria and Albert Museum. Wikimedia Commons.                                                                                                                                

Ref. 7.English Female Artists, Volume 1, P. 392 by Ellen Creathorne Clayton.                                          



Robina Trenbeth

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An Invitation to Contribute:

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

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

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

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

When: Wednesdays, February to November, 12noon - 1pm


For queries contact Research Central ph 09 890 2412.


Wednesday 14 June 12 noon–1pm

Researching your house

Join experts to discover the resources available to help you research your property.

How do I know if my property contains an archaeological site? Is my house a Victorian villa or a bungalow? Who lived there and what did they do?

What changes have been made to my house?

Experts from Auckland Council’s Heritage Unit, Auckland Council Archives, Auckland Council Libraries, Archives New Zealand and Heritage New Zealand

Pouhere Taonga will provide an overview of these resources and will be available to answer any questions.

Wednesday 28 June 12 noon–1pm

Under the Mountain – Auckland’s volcanoes with Kirsty Webb, Auckland Libraries

Maurice Gee’s creepy, exciting children’s book Under the Mountain is set on the shores of Lake Pupuke on the North Shore and features shape-shifting aliens hiding under Rangitoto and Maungawhau.

All three locations are part of Auckland’s volcanic field, first mapped in 1859 by the German geologist Ferdinand Hochstetter.

Maurice Gee’s story will be a jumping off point for a look at Hochstetter’s famous geological map, Māori representations of the volcanic world and the way other travellers and writers positioned Auckland’s geology at the intersection between science and the uncanny.


Wednesday 19 July 12 noon–1pm

Una gemma Italiana ad Auckland (An Italian Gem in Auckland) with Giuseppe Gallina

The renaissance in Italy: the study of ancient books that led to a flourishing of stunning art and to the end of the Italian principalities. The speaker also presents a renaissance portrait, held in the Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, and attributed to Italy Lavinia Fontana, one of the very few renaissance European woman painters.

Wednesday 26 July 12 noon–1pm

Search, save, research and write: How to use DigitalNZ with Kelly Dix, National Library of New Zealand

National Library’s DigitalNZ website began in 2008 with a purpose: to bring the wealth of Aotearoa’s digital content into one easily searchable place. DigitalNZ is primarily a search service which aims to make New Zealand digital content more useful and easily discoverable. We pull together over 30 million items held by over 200 heritage, media, government, and research organisations. Find out how to search DigitalNZ, then use the story tool to collect, curate or write about the things that interest you. You can even upload your own images!

Auckland Family History Expo 2023 | Tāmaki Huinga Tātai Kōrero

Auckland Libraries and the Genealogical Computing Group  (an interest group of the NZ Society of Genealogists) proudly present a weekend-long event covering a wide range of topics on researching genealogy and family history.

Join us on Friday 11 August to Sunday 13 August 2023 at the Fickling Convention Centre, 546 Mt Albert Rd, Three Kings.

Meet the Speakers

Friday 11 August 2023: Opening event $25 per person to cover catering expenses.

Learn more and book your ticket to the Friday night opening event.


Saturday 12 August 2023: Free entrance for all.

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Take advantage of our free seminars, from beginner to advanced, computer-based tutorials, ask-an-expert sessions and research assistance on Saturday 12 August and Sunday 13 August. No booking required. Bring your laptops to take full advantage of the workshops and tutorials.

Full Expo programme for Saturday and Sunday published by 14 June – please keeps checking back

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Diane Wilson

On behalf of the staff at Research Central, Central Auckland Libraries, we’d like to pass on our condolences to family and friends of Diane Wilson.

Diane contributed a lot to the genealogy/family history community, and was a regular at our Research Centre – most particularly pre-Covid – and also at the Auckland Family History Expo and many other genealogical events.

We know she helped a great many people with their research and she will be sadly missed.


Nga mihi | Kind regards


Seonaid (Shona) Lewis RLIANZA | Family History Librarian

Central Auckland Research Centre, Central City Library

Heritage and Research

Auckland Libraries - Nga Whare Matauranga o Tamaki Makarau

Ph 09 890 2411| Extn (46) 2411 | Fax 09 307 7741

Auckland Libraries, Level 2, Central City Library, 44 - 46 Lorne Street, Auckland

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