Archive for 2009

Guest post: What's new online

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Guest contributor: Marie Hickey

New on - Canada Ocean Arrivals 1919-1924.

Unlike previous immigration databases these are digitised copies of the actual arrival cards.

Information given includes: name, age, marital status, if accompanied by spouse their name, current occupation, intended occupation, birthplace, religion, why going to Canada, whether or not they intend to stay, if previously they lived in Canda where, and why did they leave, ports of previous entry and departure from Canada with dates, amount of money in possession, whether they can read, what language, who paid the passage, where in Canada are they going to, which Canadian railway will they be travelling on to their destination, nearest relative in the country they may be coming from, physical or mental defects of self and/or family members travelling at the same time, signature.

The name of the ship is noted on the index page as is the port and the date of arrival.

Else Churchill has written a very informative blog on the Society of Genealogists' website about these records which is well worth

British Army records WWI
All records held at The National Archives, Kew, have now been digitised and indexed. These have been uploaded onto the website which is available at most Auckland City Libraries.

Guest post: London parish registers

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Guest contributor: Marie Hickey

As many of you will be aware, digitised copies of London parish registers held by London Metropolitan Archives are now available through the website, These are separated into four groups; Baptisms, Marriages and Burials 1538-1812, Marriages and Banns 1754-1921, Births and Baptisms 1812-1906 and Deaths and Burials 1812-1906. Not all parishes are included (for instance, St Margaret, Westminster) and date coverage varies considerably.

It is possible to do a name search in all of these databases except for Baptisms, Marriages and Burials 1538-1812. To learn if your parish is available, scroll to the end of the page (of the section you have chosen) where you will get a list of the parish/es included. Click on the parish and you will then have a choice of years and time periods. You will need to scroll through as you would with the films but at least you now have access to the films which you would not have had in the past and also access to post 1837 marriage certificates.

Karen Kalopulu (1957 - 2009)

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Karen Kalopulu. Born in Auckland, Karen grew up in the new suburb of Otara and following work with an employment scheme started her library career as a library assistant at Mount Albert Library in 1979. She obtained her library certificate in 1983 and remained with Mount Albert until 1987. 

In 1987, she moved to the Central Library as a senior library assistant and worked as a member of Coral Ridling's esteemed Social Sciences Department. It was here that she learned how to use non-New Zealand family history material, a collection which was being built and expanded to recognise the burgeoning interest in that area. This became the area of her specialisation from the early 1990s. 

In 1996, she moved to the newly created Auckland Research Centre with family history as one of its key specialties. She worked with others to create a separate shelf identification system for the integrated New Zealand and non New Zealand family history material. In 2000, she achieved her ultimate goal of becoming the Family History librarian and significant changes ensued. 

In 2003, she was celebrated for the library's acceptance by the Genealogical Society of Utah's (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints) allowing the direct borrowing of their genealogy microfilms. 

In 2005, she inaugurated the library's first 'Lock In', with 40 keen researchers taking the opportunity to study in the Auckland Research Centre from 8pm to 8am from Friday evening to Saturday morning. The fifth annual 'Lock In' took place in September of this year. 

In 2008, she piloted 'Our Stories' at Avondale College and in 2009 very successfully expanded this to many other schools in the Auckland City area. 

All this while she regularly attended family history conferences both here and in Australia, was a regular speaker to family history groups around the greater Auckland area and conducted training classes to expand people's knowledge of our library resources. She also initiated the Central Library's lunchtime talk sessions, along with the 'Telling Your Life Story' workshops. 

All remarked on her cheeriness, dedication and passion, which she brought to family history and the collection we have here at Auckland City Libraries. Allison Dobbie, group manager Libraries for Auckland City, said of her, "Karen is highly respected and much loved by her colleagues and by the many customers who value her outstanding skills as a family history librarian. Karen's work extended across many libraries and many community groups and organisations. We will miss her very much indeed. This is indeed a very sad passing." 

Karen leaves two sons, two daughters and a grandchild. 

David Verran,
Team leader, Auckland Research Centre.

Guest post: Auckland City Libraries family histories database

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Guest contributor: Bridget
We have over a thousand family histories in our collection donated to the library’s research centre over the years. The family histories are housed in their own bay of shelves in Auckland City Library’s family history collection under the call number 2 NZL FAM. With the help of our volunteers and casual staff we have been able to make this collection more accessible to our customers by creating a name searchable database. Because of the number of names involved within a family we have limited the inputted names to three generations only.
At this stage you will need to ask staff at the desk to search the database for you but it is well worthwhile. A single name search can show how connected some New Zealand families can be with one family name sometimes appearing in half a dozen other families’ histories.
The example below shows a result from a search on the family name Williams. The name can be found in more than 30 other named family histories, all of them on our shelves.


The Auckland Research Centre in Auckland’s Central library is open until 8.00 on weekdays and until 4.00 on the weekends. Access is free and membership is not required to browse our collections.

Guest post: Scottish resources in the Auckland Research Centre

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Guest contributor: Frances Devaney

Following on from the Scottish theme in my blog in May I wanted to alert you to some of the family history resources that you can find in Auckland City Libraries research centre.

One of my favourites is the Register of New Zealand immigrants of Scottish birth arriving in New Zealand before 1 January 1921. This has been compiled by the Scottish Interest Group of the New Zealand Society of Genealogists and contains not only an index giving the name, year of arrival and the year and county of birth in Scotland but copies of the original forms that people completed giving information about their ancestors. These can contain further information such as the ship of arrival, parent's names, names of children, and so forth.

On microfilm we have the Scottish index of births 1907-1955 and of marriages 1932-1956 and the Scottish 1901 census. Although this census is available on the original images of the census forms are not. However, with our new microfilm reader/printer/scanners you can get copies of the original forms from the microfilm. 

We also have a large variety of cemetery information both in hard copy and on CD, particulary monumental inscriptions, most of which have been compiled by various local genealogical societies. Because of  variations in title these can be difficult to locate in our catalogue. One of the easiest ways to find out what Scottish cemetery resources we hold is to use the classic catalogue search option on our and search by call number using the family history call number notation 4 SCT CEM. Give it a go and you'll be surprised by the gems held in our collection.

This is only a small selection of the Scottish resources available in the Auckland Research Centre so if your ancestors are part of the great Scottish Diaspora don't despair, you can still carry out some of your research in New Zealand through our fanatastic collection here.

Guest post: Who do you think you are?

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Guest contributor: Marie Hickey
For those of you who follow the TV programme Who do you think you are? you may be interested to know that the Australian series is currently showing on UKTV. Unfortunately, Prime have no plans to screen this series but are planning to show the American series in 2010. The Australian series is available on DVD at

Ever wondered about the bits which seem to be missing from the programmes? You can view some of the previously unseen footage at
Click on "about the series" and choose the celebrity whose footage you wish to see. To the right of the text you should see a box which includes "unseen footage". Click on this and watch to your heart's content.

If your ancestor lived in the York area and it was possible that they may have been incarcerated in the Castle prison then this database may be for you. It has three sections and a good explanation of the database is on the site:

Chinese Digital Community

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Auckland City Libraries and the New Zealand Chinese Association Auckland Inc. have collaborated to develop the first New Zealand Chinese digital community website.
This new initiative is being launched at the Rising Dragons, Soaring Bananas International Conference on 18 July at 3.30pm and 19 July at 8.30am at the University of Auckland Business School.
The Chinese Community is full of rich, everyday stories which resonate with people from all walks of life. This is a landmark project which will ensure Chinese New Zealand stories are kept alive forever.
The Chinese Digital Community hopes to create connections within the Chinese community and assist with bridging the gap between generations of Chinese New Zealanders. Users of the website can upload family history, photographs, videos and stories about life in New Zealand.

Chinese Digital Community homepage.
A series of workshops are being held across Auckland to show people how to use the site and upload information. Click below for further information, and to book for these workshops

Guest post: New Barnado's archive service

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Guest contributor: Marie Hickey

Children's charity Barnado's has launched a new family history service, offering people the chance to access records of the thousands of children cared for by the organisation since the early 1870s.

An initial search to determine whether your forbear was a Barnado's child costs 15 pounds, with additional charges of twenty to eighty-five pounds to acquire copies of documents or photographs.

A full history package (where available) includes contextual information, a handwritten admission history, a handwritten ledger of correspondence with family and friends, employment records, a photograph of them and of their Barnado's home.

For further information visit the Who do you think you are? magazine website at

1911 Census online

Great news, the census is now complete - all remaining records have been added. These include Guernsey, Isle of Man, the Islands of Alderney, Jersey and Sark and also troops stationed in overseas military bases, and crew serving on Royal Navy ships.

Guest post: What's new?

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Guest contributor : Marie Hickey

With the advent of the internet, the amount of resources coming available to family historians is increasing at a rapid pace. Below are some websites and television programmes which may be of interest. 
Many board of Guardians records for the Poor Law Unions of Hampstead, Lambeth, Holborn, Islington, Paddington, Westminster, Poplar, St Marylebone, St Pancras, Southwark, Stepney and Wandsworth. The images have not been name indexed; some collections are individually indexed but do not indicate this so check the early images for one.
Obituary [death notices] collections for various countries, including New Zealand and Australia.
Large collection of French and German records.
Crockford's clerical directory 1932.
Contains a variety of records. Search of the index is free but fee charged to view and download screen images.

The Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI) have added a name search database of pre 1858 wills.

National Library of Scotland - Ordnance Survey maps (1843-1923, Scotland, and 1945-47, England and Wales), including the six inch to one mile series now available to view online.

1911 census - all English counties now covered; Wales and military abroad still to come. - a newly available online database of over 400,000 entries and hopes to cover the UK and Republic of Ireland. Currently includes some London cemeteries, Angus Council area, Kent and Sussex crematoria and Tunbridge Wells, Kent. - gives surname, first name, address, next of kin and ship embarked on.

Huntingdon Library and Archive centre is due to open at its new premises on 11 June 2009.

Check out  :
- courses offered on A fee is charged but may prove to be well worth the cost.
- Larkrise to Candleford UKTV (10 part series, started mid May)
- Who do you think you are? on UKTV and Prime

Last but not least, we now have an almost complete set of Ancestors magazine (PRO/TNA) bound and available on the shelves in the Auckland Research Centre.

Guest post: Scottish resources on Ancestry

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Guest contributor: Frances Devaney

Many people when using Ancestry get stuck on the major collections - the UK census collection, military records etc and forget that some of the smaller resources can provide rich untapped seams for the family historian. It's always a good idea to go browsing and see what's new and explore some of the lesser known collections on this fantastic resource.

I was enthralled when browsing through recently to find two resources of which I had been previously unaware. Fife, Scotland, Cupar Library Newspaper Index Cards, 1833-1987 and Perth, Scotland Newspaper Index Cards, 1809-1990. Both can be found under the births, deaths and marriages Scotland section.

The first contains a collection of index cards referencing articles and announcements found in several Fife area newspapers from 1833-1987. I was delighted to locate information pertaining to various family members who resided in the area ranging from birth notices to their involvement in the local dramatic society.

This Perth database is similar in that it contains a collection of index cards referencing articles and announcements found in several Perth area newspapers from 1890-1990 (with a gap in coverage from 1890-1920). Although it is recorded as being only up to 1990 I have found reference to family members up to 2006. Most of the cards reference births, deaths, retrials, golden and diamond wedding anniversaries, or personal tragedies.

And finally a reminder that anyone, member or non-member,  can access Ancestry from any of our 17 Auckland City Library sites.

Guest post: New Zealand newspapers on microfilm

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Guest contributor: Frances Devaney

Can’t find a record of that ancestor? Have a gap in your family history? All avenues leading to a cul-de-sac? Have you tried our collection of newspapers on microfilm?
Newspapers are an important resource for family historians and researchers. They provide information that may pertain directly to your own ancestors but also document the social history of the period. As was highlighted in Kintalk, September 2008 Auckland Public Libraries provides access to important historic British newspapers through the digital library while for New Zealand the National Library’s Papers Past website has revolutionised access to late 18th and early 19th century newspapers.
However Auckland Research Centre has an extensive collection of New Zealand newspapers on microfilm many of which are not available through Papers Past. Although customers may be aware of some of the most obvious items in our collection for example the much loved and used New Zealand Herald from 1 May 1863, I want to highlight some of the lesser known titles.
If your ancestors are Roman Catholic or of Irish origin you may wish to have a look at the New Zealand Freeman’s Journal (1879-1887), a weekly Catholic journal published in Auckland. It carried general news items, family notices, news items from Ireland as well as advertisements and could help fill some of these gaps in your research.
For those with Yugoslavian ancestors we have on microfilm several issues of Napredek (Progress) written in the Croatian language and published irregularly in Auckland from December 1906 – June 1909. As well as publishing news from Yugoslavia and beyond,  it includes items like marriage notices, reports of weddings, advertisements etc providing a rich resource for family historians.
It may be possible to track ancestors linked to the Thames gold mines in the following titles. Our earliest Thames paper is the Times and Thames Miners Advocate, dated February 1869, followed by The Mail, March 1870. For each title we have only one volume on microfilm. These were followed by the Thames Guardian and Miners Record, published 1871-72 and the Advocate and Miners News published 1974-1899. Both titles published a range of content from business advertisements, local news and court reports to issues and events surrounding the mining industry and land ownership.
The Waitemata Post 1910-1914 continued by the Waitemata News 1914-1917 provides a glimpse of life on the North shore. Covering Devonport, Northcote and Birkenhead it provides a great source for North Shore news, issues and events including news from the Borough Councils, some personal notices, and even news of people entering and leaving the area.
This is a very brief selection from some of our lesser known items. So what are you waiting for? The centre is open Monday-Friday 9-8pm, and Saturday/Sunday 10-4pm. We have ten microfilm readers five with the capacity to either print, or scan and save an article as an electronic file, so remember to bring a memory stick with you. We look forward to seeing you there soon!

Guest post: Historical New Zealand BDM's now online

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Guest contributor: Bridget Simpson

As you probably know by now we are lucky  to have New Zealand historical BDM's accessible online.

There is more to this searchable website than meets the eye. Click on the Timeline for a wealth of facts to help you in your New Zealand research for, say, finding a marriage. Did you know that it was up to as late as 1933 that 12 year old girls and 14 year old boys were able to marry? Or that in 1911 a separate registration for Maori marriages was introduced?

What information is actually available online?
  • Births that occurred at least 100 years ago
  • Still births that occurred at least 50 years ago
  • Marriages, and eventually Civil Unions, that occurred 80 years ago
  • Deaths that occurred at least 50 years ago or the deceased's date of birth was at least 80 years ago
Although official registrations didn't start until 1848 there are earlier records taken from church and place registers dating back to 1840 included.

When seaching you will be asked to include two mandatory fields; one has to be the family name, the other a seach from date.  If you want to search the entire family name or have no idea when to start searching from, simply type in 01/01/1840. Of course, for a specific search, the more detail the better. You are able to order a printout or certificate online, unless you require a certificate for legal reasons our preference is for the printout because of the extra information it usually includes.


The New Zealand Gazette. What's that?

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Many family history researchers seldom seem to get beyond the standard research tools for family history. You know, things such as BDM’s, directories, electoral rolls etc. and never venture beyond the material in the “family history” collection. There are many excellent resources in existence which hardly ever get used.
Government publications – particularly 19th century and early 20thcentury – are a gold mine of information. The New Zealand Gazettes are not consulted enough when doing New Zealand research.
What is the New Zealand Gazette?
It is the official newspaper of the New Zealand Government and has been published in various forms since 1840. It is the means of publishing all kinds of official notices and proclamations.
Names of people can be found under headings such as:
  • Commissioners of Trade, Customs, railways, native lands
  • Consular and vice-consular appointments
  • Dentists' register: name, address, date of registration, qualification
  • Justice Department: appointments and resignations of judges, coroners, crown prosecutors, magistrates, justices of the Peace
  • Licensing committees: district appointments
  • Mail services: contractors 
  • Marriage celebrants
  • Medical practitioner: name, address, date of registration, qualification
  • List of qualified or registered teachers in various formats since 1887
  • Mining companies: company's and shareholders' names and addresses
  • Partnerships: registered, amended, dissolved
  • Patents: name, address and description of the product
  • Post and Telegraph: appointment of postmasters
  • Prisoners: appointment of gaolers, surgeons and visiting justices
  • Public Trust: names of deceased people whose estates are under management
  • Public Works: lists of applicants tendering for work
  • Registrars of births, deaths and marriages, of electors, the Supreme Court and Court of Appeal
  • Sheep farmers: names of farmers and the number of sheep owned   
               (information taken from Tracing family history in New Zealand, Anne Bromell)
As you can see, the people listed in the Gazette are many and varied and it would be well worth dipping into this source.

Many libraries through out New Zealand hold the New Zealand Gazette.

Auckland City Libraries also has an electronic version of this valuable resource. 

Guest post: AFFHO Congress

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Guest contributor: Marie Hickey

Every three years AFFHO holds a congress and this year, the 12th one, was held at King’s College, Otahuhu, Auckland hosted by the New Zealand Society of Genealogists (NZSG) – the third time they have done so. 
This year 440 people attended the congress coming from such far flung places such as England, USA, Canada, Ireland and over 100 from Australia. The speakers were from New Zealand and abroad including such well-known personages as John Grenham, Michael Gandy, Chris Watts, Dick Eastman, Sherry Irvine and David Hey. They enlightened, educated and entertained us on a wide-ranging variety of subjects from how to make the best of particular records to forthcoming material available through commercial providers such as FamilySearch and, digitisation projects and conservation.
Each day began with a plenary talk from 8.30-9.30am (no lying in bed late for us), however, the plenary talk which stood out for me was that given on Sunday morning by Elaine Collins, Commercial Director of about the newly released1911 census. Elaine was unable to attend in person so, instead, spoke to us via satellite. The index is currently available free of charge at: (it will later move to but transcriptions and viewing of the original entries are pay per view. The project is currently 83% complete with Wales, parts of Yorkshire and some northern England counties still be added. One of the new pieces of data available with this census is that it includes how long a couple have been married.
While our days were full with the more serious side of research our evenings after dinner was more relaxed with visits to the NZSG Research Centre at Panmure, films from the NZ Film Archive, light-hearted talks and Speed Genealogy. The latter was an opportunity for attendees to spend 10 minutes discussing research problems on a one to one basis with one of the international or NZ experts.
Many old friendships were renewed and new ones forged as well as information shared along with plenty of light-hearted banter and laughter. At the banquet on Monday night Michael Gandy regaled us with quips and songs about life from a cockney perspective which had many of us singing along with him.
Karen, Bridget, Paul and I attended talks and seminars, answered queries from all and sundry, caught up with other exhibitors and old friends and generally had a thoroughly good time. We launched the Lock-in for 19 September 2009 at the Congress and already have five paid for bookings. 
The convening committee are to be congratulated on providing a thoroughly enjoyable and enlightening time.