Archive for August 2010

Was your ancestor one of "Massey's Cossacks"?

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"Massey's Cossacks" (many of them farmers or farm workers) were sworn in as "special constables" during the 1913 General Strike.
The New Zealand Government under Prime Minister William Massey used them (mounted on horseback and armed with batons) to protect strikebreakers working on the wharves at Auckland and Wellington.

Manukau Library has an interesting section on its website "Massey's South Auckland Cossacks".

In addition, Auckland City Libraries', "Index Auckland" which indexes material from a wide range of sources, includes the names of those serving in Auckland, which were listed in the "Camp Gazette" publication, giving name, initials and the district from which they came. 

The constables were not just from the Auckland region, as the places mentioned are from as far away as the Waikato and Northland.

Janelle Penney

Make the Library Homepage your own

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As some of you will have noticed the home page of the library website has changed recently. This is to allow customers to focus on their chosen areas of interest. The idea is that by creating a web account, you can personalise the home page of the website with the links that you use most frequently. You can also contribute to the blogs and discussion groups with ease and access your library account information all at the same time!

There's a great wee tutorial that only takes a few minutes to watch that explains how to set up the account - having just done it I can vouch that it's very easy – it’ll only take you a few seconds.

After creating an account you can then use the tools or widgets - to personalise the home page. Do this by clicking on the wee spanner symbols on the grey boxes and where you can personalise you will see lists of possible options that you can select to have on the home page.

So for all of you family historians you may wish to add Kintalk as your blog of interest and start adding some comments! You can then adjust the Quick Links for your liking for example Family History eResources and Family History collections may be two you could consider adding. You may also want to add Heritage Special Collections eResources and Heritage Services and Collections as quick links. Others I'd recommend adding include Local History eResources, Local History Research and of course News and Newspapers allowing you quick access to  Papers Past, Australian Historic Newspapers and Nuipepa - Historic Maori newspapers.

You can also use the new titles function to see new books for any particular collection for example Family History - meaning you'll be kept up to date with new items in the collection as they arrive.

If the page is too busy for you, you can of course delete some of the widgets that you don't wish to use.

All of this will only take a few minutes to set up but once it's done it makes life lots easier and gives you access to the collections and items that you use most often from our website ultimately saving you lots of time!

And when you get fed up with the look of your web page you can go back and change the features making sure it always personal and relevant to you.

What a great new cool tool that will undoubtedly save you time and effort in searching for the things you love to use most frequently, leaving all the more time to track these elusive ancestors!

New Zealand Family History Fair, Hamilton July 16 to 18, 2010

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NZSGOn Thursday July 15, 2010, Marie Hickey and myself, attended the first NZ Family History Fair in Hamilton, representing the Auckland Research Centre, Auckland City Libraries as exhibitors. It was organised by the New Zealand Society of Genealogists, who the Auckland Research Centre has a close relationship with.

We left about lunchtime so that we could get to Hamilton early enough to do some professional visits to Waikato University and the LDS Family History Research Centre.

Waikato University have some lovelyinhouse databases, of interest to the family or local historian - many of which can be accessed only onsite. Its worth remembering, that you don't have to be a student at the University to access their library.

On Friday morning, we visited Hamilton Public Library, who have a very good Waikato focussed family history collection. One of the things we were surprised and happy about, was the fact that they had Intentions to Marry 1880 to 1956 for the Hamilton district available. Well worth the visit if you have Waikato ancestors.

The Fair started on Saturday morning with seminars being run throughout the day over both days of the weekend. Marie and I alternated between looking after the stand and attending seminars.

We had probably the best position right at the entrance to the exhibition hall and right next door to the main NZSG stand; which meant we attracted a lot of exhibitors.

Our stand was decorated with posters and flyers of our Family History events, and leaflets promoting our Family History collections, as well as a few promoting the Governor Grey Special Collection and the Library as a whole. We had a Powerpoint presentation running on loop on the datashow, which showed off our digital library and what sort of information could be found within, and again, slides of our posters about our FH events.

The datashow proved very successful at pulling people into the stand, and allowed us the opportunity of being able to do live demonstrations on the other laptop of how to search on our digital library. On Saturday morning alone, I managed to find a total of SIX ancestors for researchers - immensely satisfying!

The NZSG seminars were of good quality - they covered all different topics and were relevant for the beginner right through to the more experienced researcher. As I often present to the public these days, it was of interest to me to watch the different presenting styles. Of value, too, was getting insight and inspiration of what might prove useful for future family history lunchtime sessions.

For me, personally, the most useful tip I learned was to use a different colour folder, box etc, for each branch of my family tree, and to start a new folder for each member of the family once they got married. That way you can tell at a glance which branch they belong to. Useful, as my personal research has got so large, its become quite hard to manage and so a major re-filing event is a head for me, when I get a chance.

The Fair closed at 5pm on Sunday - and was extremely successful. Well in excess of 1000 people visited the Fair over the two days, and its hoped that it will be held again in two to three years time.

Can't wait for the next one!

Happy hunting
Seonaid