“Part of the worldwide genealogy/family history community

FamNet eNewsletter March 2023

  ISSN 2253-4040

Quote: As you get older three things happen. The first your memory goes, and I can’t remember the other two”  - Sir Norman Wisdom


Editorial 1

Sue Greene. 1

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

Regular Contributors. 1

From the Developer 1

Interesting Deaths. 1

The Nash Rambler 1

How does a Professional Researcher Live?. 1

DNA Testing for Family History. 1

Things to know about DNA testing – Part 2. 1

Chinese Corner 1

More Famous New Zealanders You have Probably Never Heard Of 1

The 12th Countess of Seafield. 1

The Wilson Collection. 1

Marriages Database Updated. 1

Ramblings. 1

Guest Contributors. 1

Ken Morris. 1

The Big Questions – What is New Zealand’s Future?. 1

Pakeha Slaves – Maori Masters  ~  The Forgotten Story of New Zealand’s White Slaves. 1

Robina Trenbath. 1

Buried in Wool 1

An Invitation to Contribute: 1

From our Libraries and Museums. 1

Auckland Libraries. 1

Group News. 1

News and Views. 1

Various Articles Worth Reading. 1

Welsh surnames: Why are there so few Welsh surnames, and what are the most common?. 1

Researchers campaign to save Trove website from closure. 1

How to trace LGBT ancestors. 1

Ancestral Memory Is It Fact or Fiction?. 1

How to use kirk session records for Scottish family tree research. 1

How to use a research timeline to solve a family history problem.. 1

Get a copy of military service records   from Lost Cousins newsletter 1

When is a Father a Father?. 1

Merchant seamen crew lists: What are they, and where can you find them?. 1

In conclusion. 1

Book Reviews. 1

Help wanted. 1

Letters to the Editor 1

Transmission of Inheritance. 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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Description automatically generatedHello fellow hermits.

Greetings and welcome to another issue of the FamNet newsletter.

After a wonderful tropical autumn in England it has been very hard to enjoy summer in the north of NZ. I have forgotten the pleasures of swimming, sunbathing and a cold beer in the afternoon sunshine. This summer the sea is impossible to reach due to slash (the word of the year), and the chair to sit in the sun would have sunk into the mud if I sat on it. My vegetable garden has moved from home and visited the neighbours for a new home. I have lost 2 trees so far with another 4 to vanish this weekend. What’s sunburn?

This climate has caused much discussion about how one should safeguard their family treasures. Of course, it is probably impossible to rescue them if a hillside descends upon them. But digitalisation and off-site storage is preferred but even the off-site storage would not save them in Gisborne and the Hawkes Bay. You do need to have a plan, involving the family, on how to avoid a catastrophe of inundated photos, computers, letters, books etc. Maybe my coffee mates will come up with a few suggestions?

On a sadder note, I have noted the passing of a good friend of our newsletter, Sue Greene. I also note that other contributors are under a dark cloud also. I hope that is not catching.

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

Sue Greene

I was saddened recently when I was told that Sue Greene had died. Sue and I were friends for a long while even though we hadn’t seen each other for a while.

Sue was a straight shooter – a spade was a spade. You always knew what her feelings were because she let you know loudly. She was a leading genealogist in the Otaki area and if I was driving past Otaki and didn’t call in and visit, I was chastised loudly. One of the most pleasant days I had was when I attended, as an expert, a research day in Otaki. It was a day of much laughter. I remember a regional meeting of branches I attended, as Executive Officer of the NZSG, in which there was much ill feeling aimed at me as the official NZSG representative I arrived late due to flooding in the area and this raised the temperature of the meeting a wee bit. Sue’s offsider was in the kitchen and without me asking produced a coffee for me as the bombardment at me began. Sue, without any fuss, made sure I got to the front and got comfortably seated. I survived and Sue made sure I was fed and safely sent on my way home. She didn’t protect me but made sure it was a fair fight.

Sue suffered a lot of pain due to a back injury she had suffered. She struggled to move around and couldn’t sit still for long periods. But she was always ready for some mischief. I remember “setting her up” in the hotel in Ellerslie, one Friday night of a Council meeting. I told the bouncers at the door that Sue was coming and she had a crutch to help her walking. We arranged for her to not be admitted because the crutch was a dangerous weapon. It took some time for her to see us inside laughing loudly and realise that it was a joke on her. I paid dearly for that practical joke.

Another hilarious incident was when we both fought for the title of “most interesting death in our family tree”. I got dispensation to use my wife’s ancestor who drowned in a vat of beer at the Guinness brewery in Dublin. She used her ancestor who died of a snake bite in Ireland. Well, the large jury couldn’t arrive at a decision because they laughed so much and the heckling was beyond belief.

When I was on the Council of the NZ Society of Genealogists Sue was on as well. Between the pair of us we made the meetings enjoyable even though they took two days. Talk about micromanagement !!!

When the NZSG went through that tempestuous period in the early 2010s she did not volunteer for NZSG and broke all contact with the central body of NZSG which was a major decision for her. She then became the editor of this newsletter and played a major role in making it a “must read” for genealogists worldwide.

I miss her a lot.

Peter Nash

When I visited Kapiti to tell the branch about FamNet, I met Sue for the first time.  We quickly became friends, and when our first editor (Wayne Laurence) was unable to continue she willingly took over editing this newsletter.  From December 2010 her enthusiasm made a huge difference, both with her writing, and her visits to branches in the lower North Island to promote FamNet,  It was brilliant to have a real genealogist doing the editing, instead of somebody whose main interest was in solving the technical and commercial issues that come with developing a site like this.  By December 2013 however family and other pressures forced her to step back, and for a few years FamNet found it difficult to keep the newsletter going.  

I was sorry to get an email telling me of her death.  She will be missed by her family and friends, and by the genealogy community.  

Robert Barnes

Do you want to receive this newsletter every month?

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

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

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

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

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

Tell other genealogists so they can enjoy the newsletters too.


Peter Nash

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Regular Contributors

From the Developer

Interesting Deaths

A person with a beard

Description automatically generated with medium confidencePeter and Sue “fought” over who had the most interesting death in their family tree.  I’m not sure if I can claim this, as it isn’t a direct ancestor, but somewhere in my family tree there is an OLD who died in a farming accident by falling into a drum of pig swill.  I’ll see if I can dig out the details for next time.  Perhaps we should have a competition in the FamNet newsletter, judged by our readers, about who has the most interesting death.  What do you think Peter?



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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The Nash Rambler

How does a Professional Researcher Live?

A picture containing text, person, person, smiling

Description automatically generatedLast week I was approached to do some research for a client. I don’t do much professional research nowadays but 12 years ago I had a website, advertised etc and did quite a lot of research for paying clients. I ceased, after a couple of years, because of my research ethics and the fact that most of my jobs were “hopeless cases” and I had trouble charging clients for research that failed to provide answers. But every now and again I succumb to the temptations of making “millions” doing what I enjoy most.

When I first started genealogy research my mother-in-law was paying an English researcher who is now probably a genealogical data point (i.e. dead) to research her ancestry which was basically Wiltshire based. I did a bit of looking at her ancestry and found that her researcher was cheating her. For instance, he would find a census return and only report half the family and suggest further research which would find the rest of the family which he already had hidden up his sleeve. I informed him that I was prepared to publicise his unethical behaviour unless he produced everything he had found and refused any more work from her. Of course, he agreed – he was a well-known researcher.

I also have this “friend” who I drink a lot of coffee with who shall remain nameless. Allan keeps lecturing me on a number of genealogical ideas such as timelines, ethics, privacy and other heavy matters that are frequently forgotten by the unwashed masses of researchers. He seems to have great concerns about, in particular, my researcher techniques and insists that I only produce what I have been asked for and not produce everything I found. He loudly lectured me once when I told a client about an ancestor of hers that was jailed for poaching – she was very upset at this unwanted truth. I had accidentally found this by a general name search on because the poacher had an uncommon surname and given names. Allan thinks old ladies need protection from my antics and has made sure I never do that again.

Well, this latest client provided me with a death certificate for his mother who died at a very young age. He asked for a family tree and wanted to know who, in each branch of his tree, was the first into New Zealand and what was their country of birth. He was prepared to pay for two hours research. This would enable me to enjoy a couple of bottles of my favourite tipple and pay for a few of Allan’s coffee and scones but my rates are not very high so I will have to limit his scone consumption to one per session

I am always bewailing the avalanche of digital data that inundates my fragile brain. I am always moaning about how easy it is research nowadays and am always nostalgic about the good old days when each fact found was the result of many long hours of painstaking fiche and film reading and thus was treasured and spoken about with pride. In those days, getting three levels back in a family tree would take many hours of research and the purchase of a number of certificates. In this case it took two hours to get three levels back with double sources for each birth, marriage and death and certificates are not needed. It took longer to write the report.

What sources did I use? Firstly, I did not consult family trees until after I had finished my report and I found that I was right (if you believe the “facts” you find in those trees). The first source I checked was the Wilson collection – what a wonderful website. But then I’m biased because some of my work is there and I contributed to some of the databases there. I always check the “Matching Brides and Grooms” and Burial Locator” databases. This produced year of marriage and full names of brides and grooms and the cemeteries in which they were buried. I used the headstones on Findagrave and cemetery webpages to give death dates and who was buried in with whom. I then used Papers Past to find articles on marriages, deaths, inquests and obituaries. World War 1 service records for two different service men confirmed that I had the right parents and siblings and even the birth country of one parent (in Ireland and named the town). I found that one of my client’s great grandmothers had a horrible month in 1897 when her husband died after being kicked by a horse and, one month later, her father died as a result of being hit by a train. In small town New Zealand, if anybody burped it made the newspaper which immediately reported as to what caused it, how loud it was and whether it was a “one off” or a repeated “performance”. I am always amazed at what this source can produce. It is also an amazing fact that I never believe everything I find in a modern newspaper but believe everything I find in an historic newspaper.

All my “people” lived in or around Ashburton. They were, I think, Irish Catholics and bred very prolifically. So if you are researching BROWN, McCORMICK, BUCKLEY and McSHERRY ancestry in the Ashburton area contact me. I have done your research.

Now to the point of this rambling article. If I was living on the profits of my research I would be only eating, without a tipple or a coffee, for less than a week at the most. As an ethical researcher I gave everything I found and gave the source, including HTML, and only researched what I had been asked to do. Nothing is held “up my sleeve” in case my client wanted further research. Ethics can cause starvation.

Peter Nash

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DNA Testing for Family History

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

Things to know about DNA testing – Part 2

A picture containing text, clipart

Description automatically generatedThis is where I ended up in the February article…

The Y chromosome

Only men carry this chromosome and they only pass it to their biological sons (usually unchanged although every now and again a change occurs).  This change is known as a mutation.

Only FTDNA offers the full range of genealogical tests (with matches) for the Y chromosome and there are a number of these available”.


You are now reading the March article, so let me get to it.


I need to remind you that you must not consider getting a DNA test unless you are prepared to learn something you or your family may not wish to learn.  The worst case I have experienced is a close family member (who kindly agreed to test for me) and the discovery was that he was not the son of the man who he thought was his father.  I shall let your imagination work out the remainder of the situation!  And “no”, I did not “spill the beans”!


If you are female and you wish to learn more about your father’s line, ideally you need him (your father) or his brother or your brother or any of their male children to take a YDNA test with FamilyTreeDNA (FTDNA).

But as so often happens, maybe you have no living brothers (or they had no sons) and your father has no living brothers (and they had no sons).  In other words, your father’s immediate family has “daughtered out”. 

If this is your situation, you need to go to your father’s father’s male family and learn if there are any living males descended from your grandfather’s brothers.  If you are lucky and find those descendants still living, then write and encourage one to be your proxy male.

But if your situation is that your father was adopted, then the autosomal test is what you will need as opposed to a Y chromosome test – a Y chromosome test will come later.  Much later!


My motivation for this article (and that which you read in the February Famnet newsletter is to tell you about FamilyTreeDNA’s (FTDNA) new tool called Discover.

You will find it in your FTDNA account if you are a male or you are responsible for managing a male’s YDNA account.

This new tool is still in Beta mode which means it is the beginning of new things to come.  It is working now even though not yet complete.  It is dependent on Big Y testers agreeing to share their results.  It is also dependent on Group Project Administrators agreeing to display the YDNA of the men in their projects.  It does not work if the Administrator of that Group Project turns off that option.  (Whilst I am on this topic, why test and then join a Group Project if you are not willing to share your results?  Sharing your results does not – and cannot – identify you!).


Let us assume you are a male (or you manage) with Big Y YDNA testing results.  Let us also assume you have received your results and that you have joined a Group Project and that you are sharing your results and your Group Project Administrator has enabled YDNA to be seen by the public.  For ease of understanding, it is hoped you have joined the New Zealand Provincial DNA project (this is at   ).
So log into your FTDNA account and scroll down to your Big Y results – you will see. Graphical user interface, application

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Click on it and you will see a new screen appear.  Look on the left hand side and click on ‘Time Tree’.  You will see another screen come up but keep your eyes to the left at the top.  You will see something like ‘Example R-M222’.  Overwrite this with the name of a Group Project or a you have joined. 


For the purposes of this exercise, let us choose a surname from the FTDNA data base.  It might be Smith or Williams or Jones or Brown or etc. etc. but it needs to be a project you have joined.  (I am choosing a random project for this article but the principles are the same.)


I have chosen New Zealand.  Still looking at the left hand side, you will see there are 47 subgroups and 212 members with the Big Y.  The subgroups are named – I scrolled to the bottom and checked the subgroup for 7. Direct Paternal Settlers arriving to Old Province of Otago…
By checking that subgroup all the Big Y testers (15 of them) and their SNPs will be shown on the right hand side.  By hovering your cursor over each SNP in the table, you will learn the approximate date of that SNP age.  If you want more detail of those to the far right who all sit on the ’2000 CE’ line, scroll up and click on ‘Display Options’.  Toggle the Time Tree Height way over to the right and ensure ‘Confidence Bar’ is checked.  The screen to the right will change.
  Hint:  Do this on your computer because the iPad screen will be too small.
The whole idea is to experiment with what is available and with different projects.


Now, let us choose a Surname project.  Scott. 

Select all search Results and press Return (or Enter).  You will see there are 64 subgroups and 184 members who have their Big Y results posted. 

Scroll down and check the box for R1a1a – Family A.  There are 6 members in this subgroup with a Big Y and once you check the box, the right hand side of the screen will change.



Now, look at the placements and dates of these testers; starting with the surnames – there are 4 non-Scott named testers.  Meaning only 2 testers carry the Scott surname.
Note the common SNP of R-YP280 sitting around the 500 CE (Common era) position.  This is saying that every one of the men in this subgroup have descended from a man who lived about 1500 years ago.

If you happen to also be in this particular project and in this sub group, you can see details of who you are connected to by placing your cursor over the person’s silhouette or their flag.

You can select more than 1 subgroup to look at, simply by checking the boxes for those subgroups.

To make contact with that person, the easiest way is to log into your FTDNA account and scroll down to Advanced Matches.  Once there, check the Y111, the Y67 and the Y37 boxes, then alter the box where it says Entire Database to the name of the project you are in.  Finally, press Run Report.

If you have been reading my articles for any length of time, you will know that I administer many Group Projects for FTDNA.  The most recent projects I have taken on are Simpson, Echols, Eckersley / Eccles, Alves, Inglis.  Needing new members please, both male and female.

Gail Riddell 

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Chinese Corner 

 Fortune by Bev Moon

A family feast lovingly made from knitted wool will be revealed when the exhibition, Fortune by Bev Moon, opens on Friday 24 February 2023 at Waikato Museum Te Whare Taonga O Waikato.

“We are honoured to host Bev Moon’s carefully crafted tribute to her whanau. As well as showcasing her artistic expertise, this installation tells one of many of the key stories of the early Chinese settlers of Aotearoa New Zealand,” said Liz Cotton, Director of Museum and Arts, Waikato Museum.

“This exhibition skilfully explores the obstacles and opportunities experienced by our migrant communities through the medium of craft and food, made with love.”

During Auckland’s lockdown in late 2021, Moon began knitting a yum cha banquet. This was to mark what would have been her late mother Yip Sue Yen’s 90th birthday in March 2022 and News item imageto honour her grandmother Lee Choy Kee, whose knitting and cooking skills were passed down the generations.

“While others perfected sourdough, binged on TV series, or went for walks in lockdown, I experimented and did my best to source just the right yarn shades, weights and textures online to create patterns for various wrappers and shapes. I folded and stuffed them the way Mum taught me when I helped make yum cha with her, all those years ago,” said artist Bev Moon.

“Slowly the number of dishes grew into a feast, and I realised it was homage of sorts not only to my mother, but my grandmother as well.”

Born and raised in Wellington but now based in Auckland, Moon is descended from Taishanese men who first arrived in Aotearoa New Zealand in the 1880s in search of gold and new opportunities. Due to New Zealand’s discriminatory ‘poll tax’ immigration policy at the time, their wives had to remain in China. Moon’s mother and grandmother were two of only 500 Chinese women and children eventually granted temporary refuge by the New Zealand government to escape the Japanese invasion in World War II.

Moon’s professional life has been spent immersed in other people’s histories and stories. As a Collections Manager and Touring Exhibitions Manager, she’s worked with the nation’s taonga and art at Auckland Museum Taamaki Paenga Hira, Te Papa Tongarewa, The Dowse Art Museum, City Gallery Wellington and Adam Art Gallery.

On tour with the assistance of the Chinese Poll Tax Heritage Trust, Fortune is on display at Waikato Museum from 24 February to 2 July 2023 and entry is free. For upcoming events and koorero toi (gallery talks), please visit

Helen Wong

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More Famous New Zealanders You have Probably Never Heard Of

The 12th Countess of Seafield

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Description automatically generatedWhen she died in London in 1969, Nina Ogilvie-Grant-Studley-Herbert, 12th Countess of Seafield, was said to be the second richest woman in Britain after Queen Elizabeth II. She was said to have an income of £100,000 per year and spent much of her time in Paris and in the Bahamas.

Nina was born in Paris on the 17 April 1906 to James OGILVIE-GRANT and his wife Mary Elizabeth Nina née TOWNEND.

James Ogilvie Grant was born in Oamaru in 1876 to Francis William Ogilvie GRANT and his wife, and first cousin, Anne Trevor Corry EVANS. Francis had been a midshipman in the Royal and later Merchant Navy and came to New Zealand in 1870. He bought a farm in the Waiareka, near Oamaru[1] but later lost his farm and worked as a labourer, roadman for the Oamaru County and Bailiff for the Resident Magistrates Court. 

Meanwhile back in Scotland, Ian Charles Ogilvie-Grant, the 8th Earl of Seafield died unmarried in 1884. His estate went to his mother, The Countess Dowager, Caroline Henrietta Stuart. The estate consisted of 23 grouse moors, two deer forests, 20 miles of the Spey River, and several towns, as well as Castle Grant in Morayshire, Balmacaan House in Inverness-shire, Cullen House in Banffshire and over 300,000 acres. Cullen House has 40 bedrooms and seven miles of corridors. Caroline was known for her forestry planting on the estate. When she died in 1911, her estate was valued at £800,000.

The title of the 9th Earl of Seafield went to Ian’s cousin, James Ogilvie-Grant of Duthil, Inverness-shire. He had married three times and his oldest son, Francis William Ogilvie-Grant of Oamaru inherited the title, the 10th Earl of Seafield upon his father’s death on the 05 June 1888.  The 1887 Oamaru Electoral Roll has Francis living in Humber Street with occupation nobleman. He had twice stood for Oamaru in the NZ House of Representatives. Francis and his wife Anne had a family of three boys - James, Trevor and John Charles, and four daughters – Caroline Louise, Ina Eleanora, Sydney Montague and Nina Geraldine.

The oldest son James, as heir apparent then became Viscount Reidhaven. Francis died on 03 December 1888, and is buried in the Oamaru Old Cemetery. James, aged 12, then became the 11th Earl of Seafield and Baron Strathspey. James had attended Miss Alport’s Private School in Oamaru, then Oamaru North School before Warwick House preparatory school in Christchurch, Christ’s College in 1890 and then Lincoln Agricultural College. He was living in Auckland, with his mother, the dowager, before he married Mary Elizabeth Nina Townend, the eldest daughter of Dr Joseph Henry Townend and Harriett née COX at St Barnabas Church, Fendalton in 1898.

The couple moved to Scotland where the 11th Earl served as a Justice of the Peace for Banffshire, Morayshire, and Inverness-shire, and Deputy Lieutenant for the County of Elgin. He was commissioned a second lieutenant in the 3rd (Militia) Battalion, the Bedfordshire Regiment and upon the outbreak of war in 1914, was a captain in the 3rd Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders. James died from wounds received in 1915.

At his death, as the 11th Earl, he was Viscount Reidhaven, Baron Ogilvy, Baron Strathspey and 30th Chief of Grant. The earldom and the other subsidiary Scottish peerages could be passed on to female heirs, and his daughter Nina, at the age of nine, became 12th Countess of Seafield, Viscountess Reidhaven and Lady Ogilvy of Deskford and Cullen. She later inherited the estate. Her uncle Trevor became Baron Strathspey and could sit in the House of Lords in London, and 31st Chief of Grant.

Hon. Trevor Ogilvy-Grant had been born in Oamaru in 1879 and was educated at Waitaki Boys High School. He worked for the postal service in Wellington before marrying Alice Louisa Hardy JOHNSTON in 1905. They went on to have a daughter Lena in 1907, and a son Donald Patrick Trevor Ogilvie-Grant in 1912, who should have been presumptive heir, except for the wee Scottish practice of titles and estate being able to be passed to a woman, even aged nine.

Nina’s son Ian Derek Francis Ogilvie-Grant, born in 1939, is the 13th Earl of Seafield.

[1]  Sections 71-75 Block 11 Oamaru District

Christine Clement

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The Wilson Collection

Marriages Database Updated

To celebrate the second birthday of the Wilson collection, the marriages database has been updated with the addition of several thousand more marriage places. Isn’t this great?

Those who have contributed with copies of certificates take a special bow and award yourself a chocolate fish. It really makes a difference for genealogists all over the world.

It is also Interesting to follow the analytics and see where users of the site come from and how long they stay on the site. Users have included genealogists from China, France, Australia, Switzerland, Belgium as well as New Zealand.

It is also interesting to see the spike in usage when an update is published.

Don’t forget this Collection is only an index and you need to follow up on Papers Past  to get  further information about the event - You may find parents’ names, residences, occupations, and best of all descriptions of the wedding itself including clothes worn, presents given, and the weather!


Gay and Ann here.  We have taken on the responsibility of the Wilson Collection continuing as a free service to all genealogists.  Diane is managing well with hospice care and still retains a deep involvement in all we are doing.

The past month has been a busy time with helping Diane tidy up yet again her office and cataloguing her library of research books.

Update:  For our second birthday we have a new update to the Collection with many more marriage places attached.  We also have used the time to expand some references from an old newspaper which had been transcribed by others some time ago and we have added a lot more detail.  We have also been able to add many more marriages from certificates donated after a well-supported appeal on three Facebook groups.

The sources from Papers Past have been more than helpful and we are so lucky to have such a wonderful resource at our genealogical finger tips. 

The recent floods must make us even more aware of how fragile many of our records are and that they are not always stored safely.

We are also very grateful to John Strange who has offered to check and correct some headstone locations at Purewa Cemetery. Over the years the original work has been shifted from one program to another and because of the peculiar difficulties with the numbering of Purewa, the records in some cases appear as incorrect.  They are correct, it is just the way the computer is reading them.  The records were originally kept in three forms: one list geographically, one chronologically and one alphabetically.  Of course we added some names mentioned on headstones but buried elsewhere. However, John has undertaken to reformat the lists to get them straight again.

We all wish him well and know how grateful everyone will be when the task is done.

So many back-room tasks like this take place and it is hard to acknowledge everyone, but we certainly are grateful to you all for your help.

Ann Hamilton and Gay Williams

On behalf of the Wilson Collection

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Guest Contributors

Ken Morris

The Big Questions – What is New Zealand’s Future?


Description automatically generated with medium confidenceFourteen essays by contributed by separately approached individuals on a range of topics. The book was published in 2018, coincidentally after a change in the country’s government.

This is another of the books I purchased on a recent (Jul 2022) trip to NZ with a view to getting a better idea as to what was happening.

I have asked the publishers if they are going to do an updated edition by the same contributors to take into account what has happened in the intervening five years which has included a new government and the COVID pandemic, not planned, which is unfortunate.

The essay topics covered: Climate Change, Housing, Political debate, Healthcare, Children, The Arts, Children & Digital Future, The “Kiwi”, AI & Robots, Maori Law, Women, Prisons, City Streets, Our World.

The topics all have contentious issues of varying degrees and some are written in very angry tones leaving no doubt as to who is to blame for the current situations be it Maori-Pakeha relations, the rich-poor imbalance, or the female/male wages disparity. There are no references to anyone having a ‘personal accountability’ For some there are solutions suggested which usually involve the spending of a greater amount of public funds.

‘Is this the future for our city streets’ (Patrick Reynolds) had positive tone, with a futuristic, possibly a bit ‘utopian’ about where the country will go to after the age of the car since WWII,  -  “it will return the human voice and the scent of the sea to dominance. Citizens will encounter new and old sounds and smells, there will be much more variety; ‘unplugged’ buskers will be effective again; food providers will advertise by their aromas again. This is the return of streets as public places, not simply as traffic funnels.” This in reference to Victoria, Quay & Queen Streets in particular.

‘Can we learn to live with our world’ by Ann Salmon was a more general essay covering how it all started, how we have travelled as a developing nation. I learned about ‘The Great Chain of Being’, a medieval Christianity hierarchical structure. It’s structure albeit with less of Christianity bias still permeates and effects and causes problems in our modern social structure. Ann’s essay was written with a style of stating the problem, usually without specific blame and then a general way forward.

From the view of a ‘Kiwi’ from away back (1941-79) it was in part a confronting but necessary read, to get a better idea than that gained from holiday visits. In some essays there is a perceived attempt to make the reader (if a male pakeha) feel guilty.

With reference to my ancestors a family of eleven who arrived in 1857, my research hasn’t yet shown any serious untoward activities or misdemeanours (might be some dairy farm effluent run off) and none accumulated great landholdings and riches which I might be held responsible in some ways for today’s problems.

All racial groups have a range of characteristics and multiply this by the increasing multicultural groups in New Zealand together with the rapidly increasing population will need a positive conscientious effort by all, to make New Zealand a place to want to live in and to visit.

I still have one book to read ‘The Penguin History of New Zealand’ & may compare it with ‘Short History of New Zealand’ by Condliffe & Airey (Fifth Edition, extensively revised 1935) which I still have from my school days, and will try and work out what was meant by ‘extensively revised’.

Ken Morris – ‘a boy from Tauranga’


Pakeha Slaves – Maori Masters  ~  The Forgotten Story of New Zealand’s White Slaves

Trevor Bentley  was educated at the universities of Auckland and Waikato, and has a special interest in researching, writing, and teaching about the interaction of Māori and Pakeha in Pre & Post Treaty times in New Zealand. He has published 7 books.

ISBN 9781869665227 ISBN: 9781990003776 Pub Jan 2019 348 Pages

Not a normal book to pick up & read, but a well-researched book to provide an interested reader with a source of information that might uncover if one’s ancestors, both Māori & Pakeha were slaves in the early history of Pakeha visitations and settlement in New Zealand. I admit to having skimmed some of the book but know the book is a reference if needs be. My ancestors arrived in 1857 to what I understood to be a country well on way to being settled in an orderly manner, not so there were still many Maoris & Pakehas held as slaves and still cannibalism.

The book is set out in ‘Parts’ that cover the whole gambit of slavery in New Zealand:”

Slave Sources, Rituals of Enslavement, Slave Life & Roles, The Vassals, reactions & Resistance & Trafficking. In turn each Part has chapters, for Slave Sources there are: Mariners, Castaways, Runaway Sailors & Escaped Convicts.

This allows for easier location of areas of particular interest.

Each chapter has narratives of particular named people and their experiences of being a slave. In wandering around Google I did find reference as the authenticity of at least one of the “slave histories”.

For those looking to delve further into the topic there are extensive endnotes, a glossary of Māori terms, bibliography, and index. On a perusal I found some ~270 Pakeha surnames which, in itself, helps a quick perusal of the index to see if one’s ancestors are named - none of mine (I was not able to determine the number of Māori names in index). There are also ~ 70 ships referenced whose crew or passengers involved in some facet of slavery

In today’s society slavery is abhorrent (let alone cannibalism) and even though banned and legislated against for many years and in many countries it still exists. In the early settlement of New Zealand, slavery should not have been acceptable (both Māori & Pakeha held slaves of both their own and other races) but that was another time and it was what it was. The Pakeha versions of law & order were still being established, but the Māori had well established laws and tribal customs which, if the Pakeha transgressed any, there were real consequences and a price to be paid. In a 1935 edition of Short History of New Zealand by Condliffe & Airey, a text I would have had at school in the 1940s there is no reference of slavery or cannibalism in the contents or index, but I do remember learning about ‘an eye for an eye and tooth for a tooth’ and that there was a Māori expression for it. I don’t remember and only word I can find is utu for revenge, which doesn’t do the expression justice. In the more recent Penguin History there are no references in the index to slavery or cannibalism.

Ken Morris

Robina Trenbath

Buried in Wool

For many years (much longer than I care to remember) the notion of being buried in wool has intrigued me. Due to a recent near-death episode, the idea presented itself once more. Then, I recalled reading an article about a woman in NEW ZEALAND being ‘buried in wool’.

GOOGLE IT: Otago Daily Times, Saturday 1 October 2011: Woollen coffins: next big thing? “Since the burial of the first New Zealander in a casket made from wool earlier this year, the coffins have been creating plenty of interest”.

But, being buried in wool is certainly not a new concept

“No corpse of any person (except those who shall die of the plague) shall be buried in any shift, or shroud, or anything whatsoever made or mingled with flax, hemp, silk, hair, gold or silver, or in any stuff, or thing, other than what is made of sheep’s wool”. .                                                                        

   Burial In Wool Act 1666: An Act for burying in Woollen onely. Charles 11, 1666.

Rational for the Act: “For the encouragement of the Woollen Manufactures of this Kingdome and prevention of the Exportation of the Moneyes thereof for the buying and importing of Linnen, Bee it enacted by the Kings most Excellent Majestie….”                                   (Ref.  Rathby John; 1819, P. 598 in Statues of the Realm: Volume 5: 1628-80. Found on British History Online.) 

What it really meant was that wealthy landowners who held sway (euphemism for yarning on about their incomes) wanted to protect their interests which were derived from tenant sheep farmers and all the diverse activity of the wool industry.

An affidavit of compliance had to be sworn in front of a reputable person such as a Justice of the Peace or Alderman, within 8 days of the burial. If an ancestor had a notation of ‘A’ or Aff alongside the entry for a burial (especially in the period 1667-1814) then it would be confirmation of an affidavit for having being ‘buried in wool’. ‘Naked’ is another burial citation. It denoted the inability of the poor to bury their dead in wool.


However, the ability of the wealthy to pay the five pound fine, saw them ignoring the Act and burying their dearly departed in all the frippery and finery they could lay their hands on. Such was the recorded burial of celebrated English beauty and actress, Anne Oldfield who died in 1730 and was buried in Westminster Abbey. Alexander Pope, the 18th century poet, knew of the lady’s loathing of being buried in wool. Of the instructions she gave to her maid, she wrote: “No, let a charming chintz and Brussels lace Wrap my cold limbs and shade my lifeless face; One could not, sure, be frightful when one’s dead, and Betty give this cheek a little red”.

From the mid 1700’s the practice of ‘burying in wool’ fell into marked decline due to the country becoming awash with home-grown wool. The Act was repealed in 1814.

And, I would probably not have taken up an interest in The Buried in Wool Act if it had not been for going beyond the names and dates of our family’s ancestors. In my books they all deserve to stand alongside historical events and have their lives fleshed out.

So, it was that I arrived at the genealogical portal of my 4 x great grandparents Henry and Harriot STREET (nee Carter/ her parents were William NOAKE 1727-1807 & Mary CARTER 1728-1800). They were both from Berkshire. On 28 August 1771 they married at St. Mary’s Church, Uffington, Berkshire. Of their four offspring two died – the first born, a daughter in infancy and their third, a son named William died at the age of 8 on 18 February 1787.

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Transcript (Second entry):                                                                                                                      

Date                 Name of Deceased               Name Father/Mother     Age             Cause of Death                                       

Feb. 18                  William Street                   Harriot Carter                   8                  Cold & Fever                                      Where Buried: Near the path to the Womans door in a line with Yew Tree – in wool. By my oath of ? Office. Signature ?

Bonus: sixth entry down:                                                                                                                      

April 2n d              Walter Willis                                                               aged 80           died of old age.                                  He was buried…Near Wm. Noake’s Garden. William NOAKE was Harriot Carter-Street’s father.                                                                               

  (Ref. Berkshire Record Office/

Robina L. Trenbath

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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.

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

We circulate this newsletter to about 7,000 subscribers worldwide but is read by many more as it is passed on to other readers and LDS research centres. Every month I get feedback on my poor attempts at writing and I have now made many "new friends", albeit digital ones, I have even had some very helpful assistance in my research.

Why don't you contribute an article?

My basic requirements:

1) The column must be in English

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

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

4) The subject should be genealogical or historical in nature

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

From our Libraries and Museums

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

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

Auckland Libraries

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

Where: Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki  Gallery,
Cnr of Kitchener & Wellesley Streets . Also online via Zoom            Cost: Free

For queries contact Research Central ph 09 890 2412.


Did you miss one of our HeritageTalks, or would you like to listen to it again?

Enjoy our podcasts - recorded events and presentations

And see more on our YouTube channel


Nga mihi | Kind regards


Seonaid (Shona) Lewis RLIANZA | Family History Librarian

Central Auckland Research Centre, Central City Library

Heritage and Research

Auckland Libraries - Nga Whare Matauranga o Tamaki Makarau

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

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

Visit our website:

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Group News

News and Views



Various Articles Worth Reading

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

Welsh surnames: Why are there so few Welsh surnames, and what are the most common?           

Researchers campaign to save Trove website from closure

How to trace LGBT ancestors

Ancestral Memory Is It Fact or Fiction?


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How to use kirk session records for Scottish family tree research

How to use a research timeline to solve a family history problem

Get a copy of military service records   from Lost Cousins newsletter

Don’t order military service records just yet!

Obtaining military records from the Ministry of Defence has always been an expensive and lengthy exercise – at many times the waiting list has been so long that by the time a request reached the top of the pile the cheque in payment was out of date, resulting in even more delay.

It has always been free of an ex-serviceman or their spouse to obtain their file, but from 1st April it is going to be free for everyone (although there are some restrictions on who can place an order).

Follow this link to see what records are available and find out more about the process.

When is a Father a Father?

Merchant seamen crew lists: What are they, and where can you find them?

In conclusion

Book Reviews

Help wanted

Letters to the Editor

Transmission of Inheritance

Just a “simple” question I would like to ask of the FAMNET community:

“How was an inheritance sent from England to New Zealand in the 1920s?”


The reason I am asking relates to my grandfather’s parents dying in England, his father in 1920 and his mother in 1921 and he was due to receive his share of the estate divided equally between the children.

At the time, my grandfather was living in New Zealand and his siblings were in England.




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 may 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.

A Bit of Light Relief

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