Part of the worldwide genealogy/family history community

FamNet eNewsletter September 2023

  ISSN 2253-4040

Quote: If your family members won’t talk about a particular relative, a seasoned genealogist knows that they are keeping mum about something very interesting – unknown


Contents. 1

Editorial 1

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

Contributors. 1

From the Developer 1

Sorry about the delay last month. 1

Family History Expo. 1

The Nash Rambler 1

You cannot do it by yourself 1

DNA Testing for Family History. 1

Chinese Corner 1

How Our Lives Intertwined in the Past 1

More Famous New Zealanders You have Probably Never Heard Of 1

Ballinger Arthur Samuel (1860-1941) 1

Robina Trenbath. 1

Life’s Lesson – Stand On Your Own Two Feet, But…. 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

Convict records: Where to find them.. 1

Early Auckland coroner’s inquests. 1

“Puzzle fiends”: the crossword craze in New Zealand. 1

Toilets for all: a brief history. 1

Colonial Tinder 1

Where can I find workhouse records?. 1

What are tithe maps?. 1

Parish chest records: What are they, and how can you use them in family history?. 1

MyHeritage introduces AI tool for estimating when family photographs were taken. 1

In conclusion. 1

Book Reviews. 1

Help wanted. 1

Letters to the Editor 1

From Anne Sherman. 1

Advertising with FamNet 1

A Bit of Light Relief 1

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


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A picture containing text, person, person, smiling

Description automatically generatedHello fellow hermits.

Greetings and welcome to another issue of the FamNet newsletter.

Well last month FamNet and I were at the Auckland Public Library and NZSG Computer Group “conference” held over a weekend at the Fickling Centre. Well Robert and I “fickled” very well. It was an event that had a very good spirit. I was honoured to be acknowledged as an expert at the first lecture I attended and from then on I was approached for advice, a chat or plain gossip. I gave a lecture that I was particularly pleased with.  I must admit that my Old Fogy Genealogy Group friends were notably absent from that lecture.

 Robert was very busy and, consequently, he was unable to give me my annual bonus – a coffee.

In my article below I suggest very strongly that a researcher must talk to others about their results, problems etc. This will help break your “brick walls” and may help to avoid the many “rabbit holes” available to disappear down. The Fickling Centre event is highly recommended as such an opportunity to mix and mingle with other genealogy addicts.

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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From the Developer

Sorry about the delay last month

A person with a beard

Description automatically generated with medium confidenceI was panicking last month: Peter and I had assembled the newsletter, all the contributors had checked their contributions, and everything was ready to go, and so I was at the stage where I click the [Send] button to send out the newsletter.  As you probably know, you can’t easily send a large number of emails using your normal email supplier, you’ll get blacklisted as sending spam, so we use Amazon SES which is supposed to stand for “Simple Email Service”.

It was particularly important that this newsletter went out on time if we were to advertise the Family History Expo.  Normally no problem, for years it’s just Click and off it goes, but this time there was just a message
    Access to the path '\\NewsletterEmail.htm' is denied

This message was followed by a lot of incomprehensible Microsoft diagnostics.   I dug around for an answer for a bit, then I posted a query on a Microsoft Help forum, and hoped that somebody would reply quickly.   I did get some replies, people were trying to help, but none of the answers were right.  And the number of days left before the Expo got less, and less.  After several days I rang my local IT support company, who said they’d get back to me on Monday.  More delays.   Fortunately, they did get back to me on Monday, and we were able to sort the problem out relatively quickly when Phil at IFM ( took control of my computer remotely, and we stepped through the code to find out where the error was.  I still have no idea why it had failed – I changed nothing Your Honour – but at least the newsletter was going out at last, with about a week to spare. 

Hopefully this one will go smoothly as we’ve fixed the problem permanently, I hope.  But there’s another problem lurking:  Amazon SES required me to upgrade the security level.  I think I’ve done this, but if I’m wrong then we’ll find out this month or next when the upgrade becomes mandatory.

Family History Expo

Back to more pleasant topics.  I enjoyed meeting people at the Expo, and hopefully we’ve picked up more emails for the newsletter.  We need to be adding about 40 a month to keep up with the average attrition, there were a few NZSG group convenors who were going to promote it within their groups.   We encourage all readers to send the newsletter on to any of their contacts who are interested, and for those of you who are reading this via a forwarded copy, please go to our web site,, and register.  It’s free, and then you’ll get your own copy every month.

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

You cannot do it by yourself

A picture containing text, person, person, smiling

Description automatically generatedYesterday I attended a meeting of the Old Fogy’s Genealogy Group, (West Auckland Branch). This is a very exclusive group that meets irregularly for various reasons mainly due to the members’ increasing dementia i.e. we forget to arrange it. To be a member one must be a researcher of at least thirty years’ experience, aware of your surroundings, be invited, and have genealogy problems among the myriad of life’s other problems. We meet in a coffee bar that has a big table and the noise level is low.  The idea is someone brings a problem and we brainstorm it. The ensuring discussion can be raucous and funny as ideas are tossed back and forth, in spite of our poor hearing and ability to concentrate for long periods. We have been very successful in the past. This is the group that solved my Julia Murray “brick wall” which will be discussed later.

Allan had two problems he needed to discuss. He brought spreadsheets with all his findings to date arranged in a timeline. He also had his computer so that he could produce any documents we wanted to look at. We have found that each of us read documents differently and subsequently come to different conclusions.  If you don’t consult others you may go down a “rabbit hole” created by your own misinterpretation.

Allan’s illegitimate birth problem

On his tree Allan had discovered an unexpected twig that he has researched for nearly ten years. He has located the branch that subsequently developed from this twig but not the twig itself due to the fact that it died just before it was located. He has done a magnificent research job on this but is/was unsettled because he wanted to find the father of this twig. Together, he and I have postulated all sorts of theories and DNA testing has failed to produce any clue.

Well, for some unknown reason, Allan searched the Police Gazettes and found an advertisement for a man (I’ve forgotten the name) who was missing and failed to pay maintenance to the mother of the aforementioned twig. This led Allan to that dangerous resource, Ancestry Family Trees. He found a tree with the said maintenance defaulter in it (with sources, photos etc).and Allan contacted the tree owner who, after a few exchanges, cut him off from any contact after Allan mentioned the illegitimate birth. This amused the group because we have all met researchers who will not believe that an ancestor of theirs would produce an illegitimate child or do other “things” not permitted by the Bible and/or clerical people.

Allan is still little bemused and wary of this finding because the name used is not exactly the same as the registered birth name. After more than thirty years’ experience we all get suspicious of names not being quite right. Well, the group made many suggestions about further research Allan should do to fully prove the fatherhood situation, including service records, court records etc. and now he has a list of about a dozen things to research. At least he has a couple of portraits of said defaulter. The others in the group were jealous of his impromptu and serendipitous find and provided many suggestions as “punishment” for an offhand search of the police gazettes without cause or reason.

Allan’s missing great grandmother

This problem has been causing concern for over twenty years. Basically, the problem is that his great grandmother came to NZ in the early 1870s, married, had two children and then scarpered off somewhere leaving the husband and children. There are many tantalising clues existing about where she went. Some are obviously red herrings but which ones is the debatable point. The combination of forenames and given names are not that usual which doesn’t help.  Allan’s timeline is massive. The timeline references and clues were discussed and further research developed, another long list was compiled which will keep him occupied for some time to come.

It is very inept of Allan to mislay his great grandmother but I have no doubt he will find her (probably by another impromptu search as per his illegitimate twig above).

My Julia Murray problem

For thirty odd years I have been looking for the ancestry of my Julia Murray. I found a murder case in Onehunga in the mid-1860s in which a Julia Murray was killed by her husband. I had done a lot of research but it was only a few years ago that a cousin did a DNA test and that case was tied up as my Julia Murray’s mother. The Old Fogy’s Genealogy Group then had a session or two on this problem and together we postulated a theory that this family came from Tasmania and were convicts. The murder victim changed her name and, the theory suggested, she was Brigit Higgins. We traced the line from her conviction in Ireland, her arrival in Tasmania, her marriage (widowhood and motherhood), a long de facto relationship with a James Skinner including three children (including my Julia), his conviction for sheep stealing, another marriage.

It was a flimsy theory which hung on a name change (Brigit Murray to Julia Murray) but we were proud of our whimsical proposal because it fitted so beautifully and gave me genealogical royalty – a convict or two. Obviously we had facts to back up most of the suggestions but a name change was the only way we could tuck it into my ancestry.

I wrote an article on it and circulated it widely hoping that somebody would prove it or destroy it. Well last week I received a telephone call from Brisbane from a cousin who had done a DNA test and our whimsical theory has solved a few of her DNA hits. She had proved the theory to be right She had also found out the ancestry (a few layers back) of James Skinner which added a few more convicts to my family tree. All I need now is a royal ancestor and I will have a “Full House”.

Believe it or not, the Old Fogy’s meeting took over two and a half hours and two coffees each. Allan has a very long list of suggestions to follow and we are all basking in the satisfaction of solving my problem.

The moral

There is no doubt that a researcher cannot develop a family tree alone. He/she must get out of their computer room and talk to other researchers. A brainstorming session like our Old Fogy’s Genealogy Group may shine a different light on a problem and interpret findings a little differently .If you get the right group you may get your hardest “brick wall” broken by some idiotic suggestion that can arise from some demented but well intended coffee addicts. Many “rabbit holes” may be avoided.

Therefore, a researcher must join a U3A genealogy group, join a society and/or a branch, attend public speeches at libraries, attend research sessions and conferences etc and generally natter to the addicts that attend such functions. Someone may solve your problems with just a few words. Remember that to get your problem discussed you may have to endure somebody else’s boring problem but even listening to that may help you.

No, you can’t join our group unless you “grease our palms” with big sums of money, also we are too demented to travel outside West Auckland.

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 picture containing text, clipart

Description automatically generatedGail is having a break this month.





Gail Riddell 

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Chinese Corner 

  How Our Lives Intertwined in the Past

The death notice came as a surprise, and I joined in to the funeral online. Rev. David William SELF - Service Number 621716 – aged 90.

As an adult, I only met him once – when he officiated as minister at my mother’s funeral in Hawera in 2005.

At his service, I learned that he had come from the UK to New Zealand, as a young boy, orphaned at the age of 8. He was educated a Flock House in Bulls, and eventually made his life in Manaia.

My Grandfather was in Manaia, from the early 1920s to 1957.My father, uncles and aunty were born there in the 1920s.

Rev Self had a nursery, and along with the usual vegetables and flowers, he grew all the boxthorn hedges, from the seed that young boys used to gather for him. He grew thousands of them.

Later in life, he met my father, who worked at Maypole between 1957 and 1963, and who had a role in the fruit and vegetables department and looked after the seedlings.

I often wonder whether the Chinese did mix with the English and Māori, outside of business, in these years. But listening to the memories, it did sound as though we each did well within our own community; but within the wider community we probably didn’t mix.

Chan Sheen Chong 陳善祥

Chan Sheen Chong’s arrival in Stratford, Taranaki in 1904, was at least 30 years after the first Chinese in the province. It is believed C S Chong, first came to New Zealand in 1894, as an eleven-year-old, under the care of his sister, Mrs On Kee. After returning to China, he came back as a 21-year-old, later taking over his brother-in-law’s business. His brother-in-law, Wong On Kee, was in Stratford C 1894 to C 1906.

On the 5 January 1920, on his return to New Zealand with his bride, Ah Yin, they re-married at a wedding ceremony in Wellington. Returning to his residence in Manaia, they raised a family of three, born between 1921 and 1925. It is recorded that Ah Yin resided in Wellington, probably sometime between 1925 and 1933. On C S Chong’s return from China in the late 1920s, he was accompanied by Chum Moy. Together they had a daughter born in 1930 and a son in 1932.

C S Chong had businesses in Stratford, Manaia and Hawera, from 1904 until his death in Manaia in December 1957.

Ken,Jack,Mary CS Chong,Chum Moy,Dora and Joe.jpg

Back L-R Ken, Chum Moy, Jack, Mary, Chan Sheen Chong Front L-R Dora, Joe. Studio Photo taken prior to the departure of Chum Moy, Jack and Dora, to China, 1934 (Photos courtesy Alison Downs (nee Tai)



Poll Tax records for Chan Sheen Chong

Helen Wong

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More Famous New Zealanders You have Probably Never Heard Of

Ballinger Arthur Samuel (1860-1941)

A picture containing text, person, person, wall

Description automatically generatedArthur Samuel BALLINGER was born in East Melbourne, Victoria, in 1860, the son of Joseph and Elizabeth Ann Ballinger nee DYER. Ballinger is an old Gloucestershire surname and Joseph and his family moved to Victoria during the gold rush, later moving to New Zealand during the Otago rush.  They travelled to Invercargill in the ship Sea Shell.

By 1875 the family were in Wellington and Joseph, a plumber, operated a business from the Waring Taylor and Maginnity Street corner. The eldest son Joseph William Ballinger (1850-1935) was a painter and paperhanger in Wellington. Second son Thomas (1852-1929) a house and ship plumber, gasfitter etc from Willis Street, and Arthur and his brother William Henry (1859-1934) worked for their father.  The business grew and by 1897 ‘about twenty hands are employed, and the wages paid per month run to £150 and upwards.’[1] They were large importers of water closets and wash basins from England and could curve iron to any radius for roofing and verandahs.

William and Arthur began full-bore marksmanship while school cadets and became members of the City Rifles, Wellington Guards and later the Petone Rifle Club. In 1878 the New Zealand Rifle Association was formed and held annual national championships with a cash prize “and the right to keep and wear the Champion Pouch and Belt for the Best Shot in New Zealand during the year in which he wins it.”[2]

In 1879 the competition was won by William Ballinger, then in 1893 by Arthur. In 1895 the two brothers tied, but William won it in a shootout. Arthur won it again in 1897, and then again in 1907. Because he had won the belt three times, he was given the prize outright. However, in 1938 he presented the belt back for the competition. The New Zealand Rifle Champion Belt then became known as the Ballinger Belt. Outside of horse racing it is New Zealand’s oldest sporting trophy. 

In 1897, New Zealand sent a team, including Arthur, to the hotly contested international full-bore championships still held annually at Bisley, Surrey. Here they competed against ‘the Motherland’ with other countries of the Empire for the Imperial Challenge Cup, known as the Kolapore Cup. They lost narrowly to Victoria (Australia). However, in 1904, Arthur was a member of the New Zealand team which won the trophy. New Zealand next won the trophy in 1960.


 The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Wellington Provincial District] The Cyclopedia Company Ltd, 1897, Wellington

Reserve Bank Inflation Calculator - £150 approx $34,595 in 2023.


. The first woman to win the competition was Diane

Blaymires, later Collings of Te Puke in 1981. She has won it three times.


Christine Clement

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Robina Trenbath                                                                                                           

Life’s Lesson – Stand On Your Own Two Feet, But….

1. 1954:” Your father has accidentally drowned while crossing the bar at Whakatane”.               

I was nine and I could not conceive of a parent who would no longer come home carrying three melting ice creams covered by a brown paper bag. However, I did understand that my mother went into such grief as not to be aware of much that was going on around her, until I was nearly fourteen.

By then, it was too late. I had taken charge of my three younger siblings, had got myself as much before and after school hours work as I could muster, managed the household accounts and learned how to scrounge. Scrounging was what occurred when there was no food in the house and there were four of us to get off to school with some kind of lunch. Often, I went without but I survived on the generosity of my teacher-nun who would send me up each lunchtime to the convent kitchen to scrub the pots and pans. My reward was left-over custard.

2. If you have to borrow – always pay back as soon as possible.

Three of us would go to different neighbours and ask for a shilling – enough to buy a pie each with change left over to get a loaf of bread. I was paid on Saturday afternoons by a sole parent woman* who ran the local paper round. My wages were 2/6 (half a crown) for Monday to Friday delivery of the Auckland Star and 2/- for Saturday collection of newspaper money for those deliveries. Sometimes the unbelievable would happen; Mrs. Oats would rub a cox’s orange apple on her apron and present it to me or Mr. Jessop didn’t have the correct money, so gave me half a crown and told me to keep the 6d change. In case there was any doubt I always told Mrs. Rudge* about the sixpence and honesty was repaid with her trust: “Thank you for telling me. You earned it so you keep it”. Eventually, I got sufficiently ahead of my earnings so that I no longer had to rely on the kindness of neighbours.

When the strawberry season arrived Jan Grefstad (later - Avondale Hollywood Cinema owner1.) would wait for me at the Mitchell Street Bus stop and at 5 a.m. in the morning (7 days each week – 2 hours before school) we’d walk the two miles to Heaphy Street, Blockhouse Bay to pick the punnets of ripening fruit. Jan began his love of cinema at the Kosy Theatre, Blockhouse Bay.


Ninth birthday – me & my bike.            The Kosy Picture Theatre, Donovan St. Blockhouse Bay.2.

3. Money for jam.                                                                                                                                         

Thank Daisy Basham3. & T. Edmonds4. for cookbooks (Aunty Daisy’s Cookery Book and Edmonds ‘Sure to Rise’ Cookery Book) and being endowed with a love for reading. During the summer school holidays my sisters and I picked wild blackberries down Kinross Street and we made jam which I hawked around the neighbourhood for 1/- a jar. To this day my second youngest sister still picks wild blackberries and makes jam. Nothing on the market comes anywhere near to the lusciousness of our homemade spread.

A book with two people

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While meandering up the paths towards the houses I’d keep an eye out for empty bottles (mainly beer bottles). About once a month there’d be a gigantic pile of bottles at the front gate, all washed and sorted for the bottle man to collect. Locals knew their drop-offs were much appreciated. Photo: our 2 bedroomed ‘butter-box’ home 19 Mitchell Steet was home for 25 years.

4. Bonus Times.                                                                                                                                                    

My best friend lived across the road and her brother was a famous golfer. There were many occasions when the two of us caddied for visiting celebrities at the Titirangi Gold Club. The most memorable were the 1956 Springboks. Standing alongside the South African Captain “Basie” Vivier5. was a gigantic moment in every respect. Two skinny 12 year old kids, the winter sun shining in our faces, chasing golf balls, lugging whatever there had to lugged was not work…it was bliss.

5. Jack up your age.                                                                                                                                       

My sisters were tall, strapping girls who looked at least 2 years beyond their age. By comparison, I was a weed! But what I did have was… ‘the gift of the gab’. With me at thirteen, I found three of us jobs which paid 10/- each, every Saturday. From 4.00 a.m. pick-up to 6.00 p.m. back home we went to Ellerslie Racecourse and made mountains of sandwiches (corned beef & pickle was the most popular), washed dishes, cleaned tables and cleared away. This experience ensured that in all my life I would never be interested in taking a bet or going to a racetrack.

May, August and December school holidays found me on the packing line at Aulsebrooks Biscuit Factory in Mt. Roskill. Wearing a white smock, a net-covering over my hair, clocking on and off and being part of the general day-to-day banter of workmates made me feel confident about my place in this adult world. My hand always went up for overtime and working in the clammy confines of the chocolate room for an extra 1/- per shift.  On payday I bought a ninepenny bag of broken biscuits to take home as a treat. 

6. 1959:  working alongside mother to establish her hairdressing business & market garden.               

In her life before marriage, mother had been a hairdresser and she now took a lease on a new shop built on the front of the Kosy Theatre – Madam Pompadour had come to the ‘burbs. She taught me well and soon I was in paid demand, to comb-up beehive hairdo’s for Saturday night ‘fever’.  I never did follow in mother’s footsteps.

Having an acre of land, we set about clearing it to plant potatoes, rhubarb, silver beet and figs. One day an Indian family came to see us. They owned the local fruit and vegetable shop and wanted to set up a mobile fruit and vegetable service. This was to be a trade (no money involved) which was mutually acceptable to both parties – food for food exchange.          

Photos: ‘Our tribe’ building haystacks after clearing the land for planting.

        A group of children sitting on a fence

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Though my life changed on 18 June, 1954, I would not wish to alter anything which came after. I learned to stand on my own two feet, but…”it takes a village to raise a child”.  Our ‘village’ was the area comprising Mitchell Street, Taunton Terrace, Blockhouse Bay Beach, Green Bay, French Bay and Titirangi. Within that environment children were given care and freedom enough to ensure that they were safe, thrived and flourished. Our caretakers included Justice Alexander Kingcome Turner Q.C; Nell & Tom Te Kanawa, Garth Tapper (artist), Joe Papesch (blind organist & composer), the Mane-Wheoki family of Titirangi, Arthur ‘old man’ Godfrey (who grew amazing cabbages) & so many more endearing folk who, by their own example, passed on to ‘our tribe’ the values by which to explore and grow with confidence.



 1. Jan Grefstad.                                                                                                                                    

 2. Kosy Theatre:                                                                                                                                                                

 3. Aunt Daisy’s Cookery Book.                                                                                                                                                                                    

 4. Edmonds Cookery Book 1955.                                                                                                                                                                     

  5. ’Basie’ Vivier.  


Robina 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: Central City Library, 44-46 Lorne St, Auckland City Centre, Whare Wananga, L2
also online via Zoom


For queries contact Research Central ph 09 890 2412.



Wednesday 6 September 2023 12pm-1pm             A literary approach to writing local histories with Dr Janine Irvine

Dr Janine Irvine is a collaborative storyteller, researcher and oral historian who writes the stories of peoples’ lives and explores connections to places and communities. In 2021 she published the findings and observations of her doctoral research, made available through the Auckland Library e-book collection. The Stories of Places: A literary approach to writing local histories is an easy-to-read and contemplative resource for writers of local history. Janine has also written a collection of personal, family, and local histories.


Wednesday 20 September 2023 12pm-1pm          Koreans left in Sakhalin after the Pacific War

            Changzoo Song is Senior Lecturer in Asian Studies at the University of Auckland. Receiving his Ph.D. in Politics from the University of Hawai’i as an East-West Centre Fellow, he worked in the United States, Latvia, and Ukraine joining the University of Auckland in 2002.

His research interests include nationalism, national identity, and Korean diasporic identities. He travelled in the Soviet Union, including Sakhalin, in the early 1990s when the country broke apart.


Monday 25 September 2023 12pm-1pm                 From Go to Wow! Aotearoa New Zealand's largest women's protest march, 24 May 1983

            Kathleen Ryan and Karen Stacey were involved in the International Day of Action for Women Acting for Nuclear Disarmament (WAND) that became the largest women’s protest march in Aotearoa New Zealand’s history. They had varying experiences at that time and afterwards.

Wednesday 27 September 2023 12pm-1pm          Audioculture presents: The Jazz Age in Auckland

            By 1923 the Jazz Age was in full swing in Tamaki Makaurau Auckland, with a variety of venues to listen and dance to jazz. From The Dixieland to Trades Hall, The Cafetaria to Click Clack Cabaret, a century later this talk takes you on a digital tour of Auckland’s jazz venues in the 1920s.

She will explore the bands, audiences, and scandalous behaviour that had morality campaigners concerned for the safety of people’s characters.

Dr Aleisha Ward is an award-winning jazz historian and music writer who specialises in the history of jazz in Aotearoa New Zealand. She was a recipient of the 2016/2017 Auckland Libraries Sir George Grey Researcher in Residence, was the 2017 Douglas Lilburn Fellow, and was awarded a 2018 Ministry of Culture and Heritage New Zealand History Research Trust award, all for her project researching Aotearoa’s jazz age.

Aleisha is a Professional Teaching Fellow at the University of Auckland and writes for Audioculture.

Thursday 28 September 2023 12pm-1pm              Secrets of Martha’s Corner

You might have heard the row of old shops and restaurants on the western side of the junction of Victoria Street and Albert Street in Central Auckland referred to as Martha’s Corner, but who was Martha anyway?

Join Dan Windwood, Senior Built Heritage Specialist at Auckland Council as he tells the story of Martha Lindsay and her family in the nineteenth and early twentieth century based on newspaper reports from the time.

If you think the activities of the West family in Outrageous Fortune seemed a little unreal, come meet the Lindsays.


Friday 29 September 2023 12pm-1pm        No Nukes: the story of the nuclear free campaign in Auckland

The story of how ordinary people created a movement that changed New Zealand's foreign policy and our identity as a nation.  This is part of Auckland’s heritage as the Waitemata Harbour was host to significant events including the tragic bombing of Greenpeace’s Rainbow Warrior.

Maire Leadbeater, author of ‘Peace, Power and Politics: How New Zealand became Nuclear Free’ (2013) and Frances Palmer will focus on the energy and creativity of the movement from the hundreds of Peace Squadron boats confronting nuclear warships and submarines to the diverse groups of scientists, doctors, engineers, artists, and ordinary citizens to who took this cause to the politicians and to the streets.


Wednesday 4 October 2023 12pm-1pm     The Snow Murders: greed, lies and violence in colonial Auckland

In October 1847, the infant colony of Auckland was rocked by a horrific crime: a man, woman and child were murdered in their beds on the North Shore. Were Māori rebels to blame, hoping to incite a war, or was the true criminal closer to home? Sarah Ell is researching and writing a book about the Snow murders, which sheds light on race and gender relations, criminality, drunkenness, and the justice system in the years following the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi.



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) Harvey 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.

Convict records: Where to find them


Early Auckland coroner’s inquests


“Puzzle fiends”: the crossword craze in New Zealand


Toilets for all: a brief history


Colonial Tinder



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Where can I find workhouse records?


What are tithe maps?


Parish chest records: What are they, and how can you use them in family history?           


MyHeritage introduces AI tool for estimating when family photographs were taken


In conclusion

Book Reviews

Help wanted

Letters to the Editor

From Anne Sherman

Thank you for another enjoyable newsletter and especially for two specific articles.

I have just started looking at New Zealand census returns for a friend, and Don’s article confirmed that the dates I want don’t exist – ah well.

With regard to the book ‘Useful Toil’, I have owned this book for several years as Emmanuel Lovekin  is related to my husband’s family tree. Emmanuel’s daughter Sina married my husband’s 2 x great uncle so it was very interesting to get a glimpse of family life and it explained why Sina and Frederick were looking after her brother’s children.  Another interesting book by the same author is Destiny Obscure. This is also a collection of autobiographies but that time looking at childhood, education and family life from 1820 to the 1920’s. (see image).


Anne Sherman

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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He decides to test it out at dinner one night.

The father asks his son what he did that afternoon.

The son says, "I did some schoolwork." The robot slaps the son.

The son says, "OK, OK. I was at a friend's house watching movies." Dad asks, "What movie did you watch?" Son says, "Toy Story."

The robot slaps the son.

Son says, "OK, OK, we were watching porn."

Dad says, "What? At your age I didn’t even know what porn was."

The robot slaps the father.

Mom laughs and says, "Well, he certainly is your son." The robot slaps the mother.

Robot for sale!

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