Part of the worldwide genealogy/family history community

FamNet eNewsletter October 2022

  ISSN 2253-4040

Quote: Research for ten minutes then reward self with two hours of pointless internet use– unknown


Contents. 1

Editorial 1

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

Regular Contributors. 1

From the Developer 1

FamNet is back Online! 1

The Nash Rambler 1

Thoughts on the David Lomas TV Programmes. 1

DNA Testing for Family History. 1

A New Tool specifically for Big Y 700 testers. 1

Chinese Corner 1

The Mooncake and the Kumara. 1

Interesting New Zealanders You have Probably Never Heard Of 1

Henrietta Lavinia Kelly (1871-1931) 1

About NZ Ancestor Search Helper 1

Guest Contributors. 1

Ken Morris. 1

MAD on NEW ZEALAND – a Webpage of “all sorts” 1

Imagining Decolonisation. 1

Robina Trenbath. 1

“Lookout New Zealand! The Fenians Are Coming!” 1

Martyn Yeo. 1

Does genealogy interest younger people?. 1

An Invitation to Contribute: 1

From our Libraries and Museums. 1

Auckland Libraries. 1

November 1

Group News. 1

News and Views. 1

Various Articles Worth Reading. 1

How to find Merchant Navy records. 1

ScotlandsPeople confirms 1921 census still due to be released in 2022. 1

What are manorial records?. 1

How to find Irish wills. 1

Scottish names and naming traditions. 1

Best photo colourisation apps tested. 1

What is the 1939 Register?. 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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Description automatically generatedHello fellow hermits.

Greetings and welcome to another issue of the FamNet newsletter.

I need to apologise, in advance, for the absence of a November issue. During October and early November I will be enjoying the wonderful autumn weather of England. I will be having meaningful discussions with my recently born grandson (the first grandchild) and I hope he will listen to my many words of wisdom. I will be acting according to my wife’s high standards of behaviour and, at all times, be interested in my surroundings. No moans will pass my lips. I shall be receptive to all suggestions for activities. But I shall be looking for any reason to escape captivity and participate in that English pastime, the pub. Consequently, I cannot assemble the November issue. Therefore no issue next month. Robert has threatened me with a pay cut because of my absence – a wage of $0. But I must say he is very generous with percentage pay increases.

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

From the Developer

FamNet is back Online (Continued)!

A person with a beard

Description automatically generated with medium confidenceFamNet has been running smoothly, and I’ve managed to restore the timeline view.  I haven’t got the ability to print charts back yet, it will be a while before this is done as it’s not easy.  And thank you to Laurie for his tolerance: some of this records weren’t transferred, and I’ve found them and got them ready to transfer from a temporary database to FamNet, but I have been unable to find the time to figure out how to do this.   In theory it’s quite easy, but the real problem is that I’m severely distracted by the requirements of my Jazz software project.   I promise you Laurie, I’ll get it sorted in a week or two!   Hopefully my 50-60 hour weeks working on Jazz will ease off a bit soon.  And I’m looking forward to the break in November.


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

Thoughts on the David Lomas TV Programmes

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Description automatically generatedI have become very interested in David Lomas’ TV programmes in which he tracks down “lost relatives. Of course I may pass comments about how he tracks down his targets and his apparent high success rates but that is being petty minded. Obviously he only shows his successes, but I have to say that I cannot criticise his genealogical search methods. He appears to be a “lucky” researcher which is something I reckon I am, but this comes about because of his knowledge and lateral thinking. Basically, I watch these programmes to be entertained but I always end up trying to think how I would go about solving the genealogy puzzle before he reveals how he achieved his results. This is a different type of genealogy, ie the hunting for live people, and is something I have not experienced since I wrote the family reunion book for my NASH family in the mid-1990s.and is more difficult because privacy restrictions block a lot of options of research.

I run a U3A genealogy group which gives me great pleasure and keeps me on my research toes. The group members have passed the stage of beginners so the sessions have become a problem solving exercise. We end up trying to help someone and everybody makes suggestions and we explore some during the meeting. Every time the research problem is chasing people who lived 100+ years ago.

Last week a member raised her problem which involved the father of her daughter who was born in the 1970s. The daughter wants to know if her father had any siblings, and obviously nieces and nephews. She wants to know if he was married in England before he met her mother in NZ, and after he left her, and where and when he died. There you are, we have a David Lomas problem.

The father was the lady member’s partner and gave very little family information to her. He was born in 1946, in Hexham, Northumberland and given the name David THOMPSON. His parents were John THOMPSON and Violet Wardle nee ROBERTSON. Unfortunately there are a few David Thompsons and potential fathers. I found the wedding details of David’s parents very easily thus a certificate should be purchased. Next I found, on the UK BDN indexes, 5 other THOMPSON children born after that marriage date (1939 in Brentford) in the same registration district as David, and before David’s birth. HMMMM!!!!! Too many Thompsons marrying a Robertson lady but a high possibility of siblings.

Luckily David Thompson’s mother has an unusual collection of given names, Violet Wardle. Looking for her, I found a death in Grantham, Lincolnshire dated 16 October 1989 with a burial, cremation, or both in the New Somerby Cemetery but no headstone that I could find. Using David Lomas logic, I thought that a death notice or obituary would indicate the names of all her children and I could track these down. It could also tell me whether her son, David, had predeceased her.

Next move MMMMM!!!!! The lady member has to find the death notice in a Lincolnshire newspaper. That may involve communication with a library or the Lincolnshire Family History Society. But she has to do the legwork because it is her research, not mine.

Maybe a reader in England could help. Maybe I could travel to Lincoln during my month long trip to the UK but I can’t see my lovely wife agreeing to such a day drive to find a newspaper death notice. MMMMM!!!!!!

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

 A New Tool specifically for Big Y 700 testers.

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Description automatically generatedThese are exciting times for males who have taken the Big Y test with (FTDNA).

This Big Y 700 test looks at over 16 million base pairs on the Y chromosome (carried only by males).  The Y chromosome is passed down through the male line and is sometimes referred to as the Surname Test.  The Y chromosome results form a valuable part of genealogical research, so if you are a female, beg the men in your father’s lineage to take that Big Y test.  Brothers, Uncles, grandfather, male 1st, 2nd and 3rd cousins etc. 

Do not be put off by the Big Y’s price.  It is truly worth every dollar – assuming of course, that you are serious about your patrilineal genealogical research.  I have often referred to this in various articles I have written over the years.

For example, the Big Y test is dynamic unlike the STR tests (Y12, Y25, Y37, Y67 and Y111) which are static.  Meaning once you have their results, they do not change.  (The static behaviour also applies to single SNP tests and to SNP packs). This is because the lab looks only at predetermined positions on the Y chromosome whereas the Big Y test is one of discovery.  And whenever a new person tests who happens to be in your SNP pathway, then your terminal SNP may change.

In the recent past, while many paid out for this test, they were flummoxed by the results – they did not know how to understand them.   Although FTDNA provided plenty of reading material and video presentations and many knowledgeable people wrote blogs and articles, somehow many seemed to miss the mark and the reader remained unsatisfied.

Just recently, FTDNA released a new tool called ‘Discover More’.

In my opinion, it is aptly named.

In the beginning, it was a fairly ho-hum tool and gave me personally, nothing new.  It gave a bit of history about the Terminal SNP found as a result of the test.  But I did not care about such things when they were purported to have occurred about 1900 years or even 1500 years ago.  I wanted something that could be tied into my genealogy research.  That research went back to 1600 AD.

Here is the narrative from what I received.

Haplogroup R-A752 represents a man who is estimated to have been born around 300 years ago, plus or minus 250 years.  That corresponds to about 1700 CE with a 95% probability he was born between 1480 and 1849 CE.

R-A752's paternal line was formed when it branched off from R-A751 and the rest of mankind about 500 years ago, plus or minus 200 years.

He is the most recent common ancestor of at least 2 lineages known as R-YP174 and 1 yet unnamed lineage.

There are 3 DNA test-confirmed descendants, and they have specified that their direct paternal origins are from Scotland.

As more people test, the history of this genetic lineage might be further refined.

Having read that, my feeling was that finally I was starting to get worthy genealogical results from this particular test.

But wait, I noticed more…. a ‘Timetree’.

This timetree was a later addition and in a graphic form. 

Here is a portion of the screenshot I took.  Notice the date of the start – approximately 1450 CE which is about 550 AD.  I was very happy with this as it ties in nicely to my genealogy research.

A little up from the bottom is the red background circle of my tester and by clicking on him, I get this explanation “… estimated to be a man born about 300 years ago…” at which time, two lines run from him to the testers of today – all show Scotland.  By clicking on that small graphic circle of YP174, the explanation is that man was estimated to have been born about 150 years ago!!!

This does not mean the person was literally born then, but that the SNP was formed – either in a generation or two earlier or later.  But the indication of the time period is valuable.

Finally, I felt I was getting somewhere with such results from that o-so-expensive test, and I did not have to get out of my chair to do it.

I still have not totally solved this puzzle of precisely who the other SNP’s families are in my genealogy but I intend to do so when I get a break.  (I am supposed to be retired but somehow, I seem to be as busy as I was when I was still working a 40-hour week).

In the meantime, I want to draw your attention to one of the flags.

Someone has made an error saying his ancestor originated in Australia and the DNA indicates this is about 550 years ago.  Given Australia’s history, that is not possible.

Which leads me to a new issue. 

When you join FTDNA, you are asked to put the name of your most distant known paternal relative in your account along with his birth and death place. 

If this is unknown – DO NOT GUESS. 


If you want help, email me.

If you cannot work out latitude and Longitude, email me.

Gail Riddell 

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Chinese Corner 

 The Mooncake and the Kumara

The Mooncake and the Kūmara, an award-winning play written by Faculty of Arts alumna Mei-Lin Te Puea Hansen, is making its return to Auckland, in October 2022.

The play is loosely based around the story of Mei-Lin’s grandparents, who met ninety years ago in a New Zealand market garden. Their two families — one Māori and the other Chinese — became part of a romance that would uproot their lives over generations.

The Mooncake and the Kūmara started life as a ten-minute entry, co-written with Mei-Lin’s cousin Kiel McNaughton (Shortland StreetAuckland Daze), in the Short + Sweet Festival, where it won Best Drama.

Layered with myth and fable and told in a rich mixture of English, Māori and Cantonese, The Mooncake and the Kūmara tells that story, one intertwined with history, duty, secrets and the delicate balance needed to grow families.

From the very earliest days of New Zealand colonization, Māori and Chinese lived side by side, and developed a kind of affinity in economic and political adversity. The first Chinese person arrived in New Zealand in 1842, just two years after the Treaty of Waitangi was signed.

Initially Chinese men came to New Zealand to work in the gold fields, leaving their wives and children in China. From the late nineteenth century their sons and young male relatives took up market gardening as the goldfields became exhausted. At their peak in the 1960s, Chinese market gardeners produced 80 per cent of the country’s green-leaf vegetables.

In 2002 the New Zealand Government issued a formal apology to Chinese New Zealanders for a poll tax which had been imposed on Chinese immigrants for more than 60 years.

Mei-Lin is “pleased that the story about my tipuna, who were incredibly strong, self-sacrificing individuals, is being told on stage. I’m excited that tickets are selling so well and that even though loads of my whanau are coming to it, there are other ticket buyers out there interested in hearing a story about a part of New Zealand’s history that’s often overlooked.

The Mooncake and The Kūmara

“For a good chunk of my 20s and 30s I practically lived at the English Department at the University of Auckland. As a student and then later as a tutor, I was surrounded by smart, creative, articulate and generous people who had a profound and lasting impact on my love of literature, study and research.

“While I was studying in the Faculty of Arts I also became much more aware of the importance and significance of my Māori heritage. I don’t think I would have been presented with so many ways of looking at my personal history and culture or that of others if I had joined the world of work directly after high school.”

Best of all, like her grandparents in that interwar market garden, Mei-Lin met the love of her life while studying drama in the Faculty, and they are still together after 20 years.

The Mooncake and the Kūmara is showing at the Pitt Street Theatre – 78 Pitt Street, Auckland CBD (21 October to 29 October) Seed Theatre Company.

Get your tickets

Helen Wong

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Interesting New Zealanders You have Probably Never Heard Of

Henrietta Lavinia Kelly (1871-1931)

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Description automatically generatedHenrietta Lavinia KELLY was born around 1871 in Porangahau in the Hawkes Bay. Nothing is known about her early life, but she died in the Hawkes Bay Earthquake of the 3 February 1931.

In May 1931, it was announced that under Henrietta’s will £35,000[1] was bequeathed to the Hastings Fallen Soldiers Memorial Hospital, in Hastings. The trustees were directed under the terms of the bequest to pay the money to the Hawkes Bay Hospital Board to be applied toward any such purpose as rebuilding, building additions to the present block, in maintaining the hospital, "or in any other manner for the benefit of the hospital."

Her total estate was valued at NZ £37,039 ($4,457,811) of which £34,810 ($4,189,541) was invested in first mortgages on freehold securities and was yielding interest between 6 and 6½ per cent.

So, who was Henrietta Kelly and surely £37,000 was a huge amount of money for a single woman. In Hastings you could buy a “Pretty Bungalow Home, in first-class order. Electric range, hot and cold water, gas, cupboards, bins, wardrobes, linen press and all the latest conveniences. Glassed-in sleeping porch, built to the sun, garage, concrete paths, lawn and garden”[2] for £975.” Smaller houses were available from £590.

On the 28 April 1931, in the Supreme Court of New Zealand, Herbert Mountford BISHOP, noted as her nephew and a retired hotel manager, made a three-page statement on his search for Henrietta Lavinia KELLY. He had last seen her on 2 February 1931. She was last seen alive by Charlotte McKenzie DAVIDSON, spinster of Napier at about 10.45am on the 3 February. For nearly a year prior to the earthquake, Henrietta had lived at the Masonic Hotel, Napier – occupying room J on the first floor of the hotel.  The room had a window, but not a door, opening on to the balcony on the first floor.  There were two balconies to the Hotel, one of the first floor about 18 feet above the ground and the other above it on the second floor.  Both balconies faced the sea front. In the earthquake the hotel was destroyed, followed quickly by fire. Henrietta’s body was not found.


Herbert Mountford BISHOP was the son of Thomas and Elizabeth BISHOP nee KELLY who had married at Te Aute in 1875. Bishop was a wealthy landowner and stock agent. He and Elizabeth had seven sons of whom only Herbert survived to marry. Herbert did not appear to have any children with his wife Hilda Maud RIVERS.

When Thomas BISHOP died on the 26 May 1888, he left his estate to his wife Elizabeth and after her death to ‘my children including daughters to be held by them for their sole and separate use free from the debts control and engagements of any husband to whom they may at any time be married…’[3] None of the children were named. There are no daughters registered to Thomas and Elizabeth. Maybe he was thinking of future children? Four of his sons had died before him, and the baby died less than a month after the death of Thomas.

The 1928 Hawkes Bay Electoral Roll lists[4] -

KELLY Henrietta Lavinia, 308 Knight Street, Hastings, spinster

BISHOP Elizabeth, Knight Street, Hastings, widow

Were Henrietta and Elizabeth living in the same household? Was Henrietta the daughter of Elizabeth especially with Herbert saying he was her nephew? Was Henrietta the daughter of Thomas BISHOP? If she was, why did she get that amount of money before her mother, or half-brother Herbert?

Henrietta’s birth does not appear to be registered. She may be one of the earthquake’s unidentified issued with a death certificate ‘sex unknown’.

Elizabeth BISHOP died on the 17 March 1931. Her estate was valued at £9,600 ($1,230,674) and was all left to Herbert Mountford BISHOP. Elizabeth was said to have been born about 1853 in Bath, England.

[1] Approx $4,300,000 according to the Reserve Bank of New Zealand Inflation Calculator as at 25 Sep 2020.

[2] Hawke's Bay Tribune, Volume XXI, Issue 120, 7 May 1931, Page 1

[3] Probate record Archives New Zealand

[4] From 1908 both women were noted as living in King Street, Hastings with no house number given.

About NZ Ancestor Search Helper

 This prototype tool collates results from NZ DIA's Births, Deaths and Marriages searches, as well as results from:

Auckland Museum Online Cenotaph

Dunedin City Council Cemeteries

Wellington City Council Cemeteries

Christchurch City Council Cemeteries

Christine Clement

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Guest Contributors

Ken Morris

MAD on NEW ZEALAND – a Webpage of “all sorts”

I came across this page some time ago when looking for a 2nd handbook on NZ military history. Since then, I get regular emails as what’s been added to the many sections of the webpage, which is free to register and log onto, there is advertising

From the About Us Page

MAD on New Zealand is a New Zealand owned and developed website for New Zealand content. Over the last five years, the MAD team has developed software that allows us to create websites based on a combination of social, eCommerce and information media.

MAD on New Zealand went live in July 2019, so we're relatively new, but growing quickly.

MAD on New Zealand is an information media strongly influenced by photography both old and new. Numerous galleries are provided showing content relative to New Zealand people, places, activities, and culture.

MAD on New Zealand aims to provide content of interest to both New Zealanders and tourists who choose to come to this wonderful country. The site is broken down into a selection of sections, galleries, and communities that can be found in the menu at the top right of the screen. Each section or category allows users to simply navigate through the vast content on the site.

Founder and CEO of MAD on New Zealand is Richard Wooders. Richard was born in Christchurch in 1963 but has spent most of his adult life in Auckland. Richard's passion towards New Zealand and all things New Zealand comes from being a passionate collector, ex-auctioneer, stamp dealer, historian, editor, author, and publisher to name a few over the past 40 years.

There is free & paid membership & there are competitions & quizzes, for certain activities you need to compete a profile. There are instructions on how to complete your profile, to upload & download phots/videos and the school photos. There is a search capability

Some of the sections include:


NZ by Region (#)

The MAD Shop

Seen Around Town


NZ Trivia

Nostalgia – Photo Memories

Motoring Nostalgia


Old School Photo Gallery

Nostalgia NZ

NZ Events


Special Collections

Sports Teams Photo Archives

Photographs Aerial


NZ Historical Items

NZ Pets

The Billy Ho Show


Pictorial NZ

On Water NZ

Vintage Motorcycles


NZ Fun Facts

Richard’s NZ – a Facebook Page

Conversation Starters

NZ Directories – places to shop

(#) some ‘then and now” photos are interesting

So far I have just wandered about mainly looking at old photos of places I’ve lived and visited, with much ‘side-tracking’

And found a section called New Zealand – Ephemera and in the military history section had POW Pamphlet like below at $30 and is the actual item, so presume when sold it will be removed from Mad on NZ site & lost for later researchers?

There are also event programs, event tickets etc, I had to stop getting side-tracked to be able to finish this review!

I recall an earlier website/collection of photos etc ‘Old Friends NZ’ that fell by the wayside and not sure what happened to items that had been uploaded. There is also Wiki Commons as a place to upload images and also DigitalNZ part of National Library and Auckland Library

So Mad on New Zealand is certainly a place to find photos, and a host of other activities, but is it the best to upload and store one’s own images of note for posterity or is DigitalNZ the way to go.

So, a bit more research to do.

 MAD on NZ my well be known to the readers of this newsletter and if like me will find something new on each visit

Imagining Decolonisation

A collection of essays by the academics as listed on the cover and published in 2020 with a number of reprints


Description automatically generatedUntil I picked up this book ‘Imagining Decolonisation” in July 2022 and referenced it in an earlier article ‘A visit to My Country of Birth” I hadn’t been aware of the expression ‘decolonisation’, but find many references to it with a Google search and it being applicable to many countries. I would have associated many of the countries & events as to ‘gaining independence’, but decolonisation has meaning differences especially in relation to the population mix of the indigenous peoples and the colonisers/settler-colonials/neo colonials

The reading of ‘Imagining Decolonisation’, the bios of the authors (in the main academics), together with papers, articles and definitions found on a Google search has prompted me to limit my review & comments on decolonisation.

I would be on a hiding to nothing, in relation to any views I express for or against the praxis of decolonisation.

The decolonisation movements deliberations will have an effect on how my family history is viewed. I am an ‘old white male’, a 4th generation descendant of English settlers (not colonists) who braved a long sea voyage in search of a better life. Today they might be described as ‘boat people’ trying to escape to a country where in earlier times colonisers from Polynesia settled.

I grew up in NZ in the 1940’s-70’s and now live in Australia & have worked in several SE Asian & Asian countries, that had colonial masters of varying hues and are now decolonised/independent, hopefully this enables me to have a balanced outlook as to where any “unscrambling” may lead.

Suffice to say I recommend ‘Imagine Decolonisation’ be read together with other publications and to look back over the history of one’s life and one’s settler ancestors lives to see how it stacks up with the perceptions including an anti-capitalistic bias of at least some of the authors.

(I’m hoping the reviews of the other books on NZ will be easier)

Ken Morris

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Robina Trenbath

“Lookout New Zealand! The Fenians Are Coming!”

Here we go again – paperspastnz. Like a bag of Liquorice All Sorts – good for you, good for me and good to go. Let’s sample a couple of ‘treats.’

2021: PROOF POSITIVE of a gt.grandmother’s line back to Cornwall & 3 more generations. A 30 year brick wall, tumbling down in seconds by searching the name of her street. (Ref. FamNet/ Dec. 2021.)

2007: EVIDENCE of a gt.grandfather’s arrival in Christchurch, 1871. And this is how it went…


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After more than 4 decades of searching for a child of the Redruth workhouse system, there he was in black and white – H. Trenbath. 
But, I will not take credit where it is due elsewhere. There is a gent (of Cornish origins) who wanders around Christchurch cemeteries recording Cornish names. He also runs a superb blog Early Canterbury Photography. 
2007: I was trawling cyber space late one night, up he popped and said he had been following my searches for some time. He suggested that if I had a whiskey around, I might like to pour a nip, then go to paperspastnz and various other sites wider afield. 
I surely needed that scotch… there was screeds and screeds on the man – but like I’ve said before… ah, that’s another story. 

Who are the Fenians? The Fenian Brotherhood was an Irish republican organisation founded in U.S.A. in 1858. It was a precursor to Clan na Gael, a sister organisation to the Irish Republican Brotherhood. Members were commonly known as ‘Fenians’ after the legendary band of Irish warriors led by Fionn mac Cumhaill. (Ref. Wikipedia/ Fenian Brotherhood.)

Fighting the British for home rule in Ireland was no mean feat. In 1867 forty-five civilians and seventeen military prisoners were charged with treason in that they had acted, with force of arms, to rebel against and oust, the British presence in Ireland.

On 12 October 1867 the sixty-two Irish political prisoners were part of the contingent of 280 convicts and 108 passengers on the three-masted full-rigged ship named the Hougoumont. She would be the last ship to transport convicts to Australia. The Inclusion of 17 military Fenians flouted the UK’s unwritten policy not to transport military prisoners.                       (Ref. by Tom Lawrie 7 Nov. 2013.)

In the sizzling heat of 9th January 1868 the Hougoumont docked at Fremantle turning her miserable human cargo over to the guards of Swan River penal colony. The 62 Fenians were not your usual criminal element. Among their numbers were learned men, a high rate of literacy was noted. They were in for three years of utter deprivation and hell-on-hot-bricks under the Convict Establishment system, before any considerations were given.

1871 Conditional Pardon: allowed convicts with life sentences freedom of the colony, but they were not allowed to return to the U.K.  
Baines, Fennell, Flood, Gouldney & Kelly left Western Australia on 11 May 1871 aboard the Queen of the South bound for N.Z. Upon arrival in Port Lyttleton on 5 June they discovered that N.Z. had passed an Introduction of Convicts Prevention Act, 1867. South Australia & Victoria also had identical laws. In addition, unlike the ‘civilian Fenians’ the ‘soldier Fenians’ were barred from returning to Ireland. A hundred pounds was raised by Irish miners of Greymouth so that the Fenian Five were able to obtain passages to Sydney on the Queen of the South. (  


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N.B. paperspastnz has very detailed accounts of the Magisterial proceedings, shipping arrivals & departures plus the passenger list for Queen of the South and the interesting cargo she was carrying for some intrepid individuals. Look it up!

Thomas O’Malley Baines 1844-1899: (high treason/ Fenian  recruiter – 10 years) farmer. Baines wrote his autobiography My Life in Two Hemispheres: What was Suffered for Love of Country. (San Francisco 1889.)

Thomas Fennell 1841-1914 : (Treason – Fenian 10 years). In 1900 Fennell wrote a manuscript on the events which overtook him during his years of incarceration. It was published by his great grandson as: Voyage of the Hougoumont and Life at Fremantle – the Story of an Irish Rebel Thomas McCarthy Fennell by Phillip Fennell. He became a hotel publican in Elmira New York and served as its first Superintendent of Public Works. 

John Flood 1841-1909: (treason/ Fenian - 15 years transportation) Editor of The Wild Goose, a weekly shipboard journal when aboard the Hougoumont. “…was somewhat reserved in manner and disposition, but those who were privileged to know him intimately keenly appreciated his richly stored mind, his sound judgement, and his fidelity to principles and  friendships…” (Ref. The Gympie Times/ Australia, 24 August 1909)

John O’Neil Gouldney/Goulding 1845-1883: (treason/ Fenian – 5 years) labourer/ carpenter. Took up farming in Gerrigong, N.S.W. Australia. (Ref. “The Great Shame: A Story of the Irish in the Old World and the New” by Thomas Keneally 1999.) 

John Edward Kelly 1840-1884: (high treason/ Fenian – Life) worked in the newspaper business. Died in U.S.A. “The highest honour that a man can bear in life or death is the scar of chain burns in a good cause.” John Boyle O’Reilly/ Fenian 23 Nov. 1885. (Ref. Boston Irish/ Peter Stevens, 3 Jan. 2012.)

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               BAINES             FENNELL        FLOOD          GOULDNEY         KELLY

N.B. Beyond 1871 there were six other Fenians (military) who never received any consideration for release. Destined to rot in their cells, they were rescued on 17-19 April 1876 by cunning, daring and courage by the Captain and crew of an old American whaler named Catalpa. Now, that’s a darn good read. (The Catalpa Rescue by Peter FitzSimons : 2019)

                                              Anois ta deireadh le mo sceal

Robina Trenbath

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Martyn Yeo

Does genealogy interest younger people?

The style and content of this newsletter and many others I enjoy reading suggest an authorship and readership that is biased towards the higher end of the age scale. This is emphasised by the anecdotal comments and the cartoons that often feature in its pages.

Genealogy seems to have become the preserve of those of us of mature years, so unless we can attract younger people to its fascinations and challenges do we risk its eventual demise? The widespread use of commercial web sites on which much unreliable data is entered and subsequently copied with ease should certainly give us further cause for concern.

Many of the younger people with whom I correspond seem quite unprepared for the intellectual rigour that genealogy demands. Is their level of education insufficient to allow them to deal with the content and handwriting in the documents we study? Do the challenges of parish records, double-dated years and antiquated spellings make such sources inaccessible to them? Are they so accustomed to obtaining information very quickly that the concept of taking time, sometimes many months or years, to track something down is alien to them? Would they be prepared (and do they have a sufficient level of literacy?) to read a reference book such as Anthony Adolf’s Tracing Your Family History, which is seldom far from my elbow.

And do we perhaps need to look at our behaviour? Should we take some time to become familiar with how we can interact with various types of social media? Should we consider our approach to making our fascinating world of genealogy more open to those who approach it from a different or less sophisticated perspective?

Perhaps the editors of this newsletter will consider allowing space in it for comment and debate on this subject.

Martyn Yeo

Hampshire, England

September 2002

Martyn Yeo runs the One-name Study for Yeo and variant surnames and also has an interest in the less common surname Ginbey. If you have any connection to the small number of Yeo and Ginbey emigrants to New Zealand, please contact him by going to and entering YEO in the search box on the home page.

From the Editor: I have quite an interest in how to capture the attention of the young. I’d welcome a conversation in this newsletter about this topic. What should we do? What are groups doing and what is successful?

Martyn Yeo

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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.


Sunday 2 October 11am - 12 noon

From Flour to Towers: Josiah Clifton Firth of Auckland and Matamata with Lisa Truttman

For over 40 years, Josiah Clifton Firth and his businesses were an integral part of Auckland's developing economy in the second half of the 19th century. He was an ultimate capitalist who rode the waves of opportunity to profit by both his businesses and the Waikato War. He was also an obstinate defender of his own self-interests, and a dreamer of dreams that saw the creation of at least two enduring features on the landscape, testaments to his fancies. Join Lisa Truttman as she discusses the life and times of this complex captain of Victorian Auckland industry.


Wednesday 5 October 10am-11am

Ulumate Project: Sacredness of Human Hair Series with Daren Kamali and Joana Monolagi

The Ulumate Project has been a 25-year year journey to make a contemporary ulu cavu wig and revive the ancient practice of Fijian wig making. It began with the collection of Daren Kamali’s hair in 2007. “It was at Auckland War Memorial Museum in 2013 that Ole Maiava (photographic documenter/ Artist) brought the ulu cavu wig to my attention” - Daren Kamali. In 2021 heritage weaver Joana Monolagi completed the creation of an ulu cavu using magimagi (coconut coir) and Vau (Hibiscus stem). Join Na Tolu – The Three in talanoa as they share the work and knowledge on the Ulumate practice.


Wednesday 5 October 12 noon-1pm

History in a Coffee Cup – better than your latte fix with Tony Batistich

In Greenwoods Corner there’s a café brimming with history: a special ‘sense of place’ for Tony Batistich that led him to tell its story and its part in the web of its neighbourhood’s growth and change. Not in a book, however, but by using a coaster, a QRCode and a StoryMap. Auckland Libraries’ collection of photographs is integral to this, imparting graphic histories and prompting us to look more deeply into what they depict, and by combining images, biographies, documents, interactive maps the story breathes life.


Wednesday 12 October 12 noon- 1pm

A bird’s eye view - aerial photographs
at Auckland Council Archives with Owen Gordon

Auckland Council Archives holds the historic records of the legacy councils of the Auckland region, including thousands of aerial photographs dating back to 1940. This talk will include a brief history and explanation of aerial photography in New Zealand, before focusing on Archives’ collections. We’ll look at the qualities that make these photographs so valuable and show how they have been used by local authorities for many different purposes over the years. We will also talk about how these photographs can be accessed and show how they might be of interest to local and family historians.


Wednesday 19 October 12 noon – 1pm

The passing of the pioneers: The obituaries of
the Old Colonists and a changing country
with  Liam Appleton,  Auckland Libraries

(Change of topic from previous)

Throughout the late 19th and early-mid 20th-Centuries, New Zealand newspaper readers could regularly find the stories of early settlers memorialised in extended obituaries, a genre reserved for the commemoration of “Old Colonists”. The columns recorded both the ordinary and remarkable individuals who collectively comprised the foundational generation of settlers. Yet the category of Old Colonist clearly designated a distinction between present generations and the gradually fading frontier experiences of these foundational figures.  In this talk, Research Librarian Liam Appleton asks what these efforts to remember the Old Colonists might tell us about Pakeha New Zealanders understanding of themselves amidst an increasingly developing and urbanised country.


Wednesday 2 November 12 noon -1pm

Settling the Waikato
with Marie Hickey, Auckland Libraries

In the early 1860s the Government developed a scheme to bring large numbers of people to settle in the North Island. The reality was that a vastly reduced number of immigrants were brought out under what became known as the Waikato Immigration Scheme (not to be confused with the military settlers of the four Waikato Regiments). This talk looks at the range of records of this scheme from passenger lists, land allocation, provision of seed, etc. What requirements did they have to fulfil to be accepted? What incentive was offered? Who was sent where? Where are records/information held?


Wednesday 16 November 12noon – 1pm

My Mother and Other Secrets  with Wendyl Nissen

When Wendyl Nissen's mother was suffering with Alzheimer’s, she told some extraordinary stories about her background that Wendyl had never heard before. Determined to get to the bottom of these family secrets, Wendyl found some wild and intriguing stories of loss, grief, and love. She uncovered new relatives, deeply sad adoptions, harsh parenting, complex marriages, and a few rogues.


Additional talk for 2022

Wednesday 30 November 12noon – 1pm

An Italian in New Zealand with author Wilma Giordano Laryn

TITLE OF THE BOOK: Tales from the Wood’s Edge – a memoir

A small Italian family of parents, daughter and dog, moved to New Zealand in 1996. Here they met adventures and natural disasters, observed animals and nature, while establishing a vineyard and winery, and doing many more things. The book also tells of their life in Italy and Japan, and holidays around the world. It is also a woman’s personal story of emigrating to a new country and integrating with the local way of life. A large and entertaining cast of characters, human and animals, intertwine their stories, told with freshness, nuance, vivid imagery, introspection and a sense of humour.

About the author

In Italy Wilma studied and taught Maths, and acted in a feminist theatre group. In New Zealand from 1996, she’s been Marketing Manager of the family wine business, president of Christchurch Dante Society and founder of its Language School, radio broadcaster and presenter and producer of a TV cooking series. She taught Italian for Musicians at the Christchurch University School of Music and cooking at evening classes. She received a civil honour from the Italian Government and a medal from the Dante Headquarters. Now she’s retired and lives in Auckland where, besides writing, she plays bridge and goes sailing.

Copies of the book will be available for sale for $30 cash


This ends 2022 HeritageTalks programme – thank you all for your support


HeritageTalks for 2023 begin again on Wednesday 8 February 12pm

We are taking expressions of interest and/or suggestions for speakers and topics for next year’s HeritageTalks programme

DEADLINE for expressions of interest submission

For the programme Feb-June 2023, deadline will be 17 October 2022 (programme distributed 1 Jan)

For the programme June-Nov 2023, deadline will be 27 March 2023 (programme distributed 1 June)

Please email


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:

@Kintalk on Twitter / Auckland Research Centre on Facebook

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Group News

News and Views


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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.

How to find Merchant Navy records


ScotlandsPeople confirms 1921 census still due to be released in 2022


What are manorial records?


How to find Irish wills



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Scottish names and naming traditions


Best photo colourisation apps tested


What is the 1939 Register?        

In conclusion

Book Reviews

Help wanted

Letters to the Editor

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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