Family History Month 2012

August was a very successful month for Auckland Libraries.
It started out  on August 1, with a joint Auckland Libraries/ NZ Society of Genealogists/ Ancestry panel discussion event on “National Identity and what it means to be a Kiwi today”, hosted at Central City Library, with Brad Argent (Ancestry), and representatives of New Zealand’s multicultural society: writer/film director Roseanne Liang, actor Fasi Amosa, Sandra Metcalffe (NZSG), Margaret Ngaropo and myself.
It got news coverage, including an excerpt on Te Kaea, the Maori Television news and World TV the Chinese channel. This helped set the tone for Family History month.
Marie and I went on to deliver 54 events over 25 different libraries during the course of the month.
Between us, we offered a list of about 14 different subjects for libraries to choose from. In the end the popular subjects chosen were:
·         Auckland Libraries Family History eResources (Seonaid)
·         Beginning Family History (Seonaid)
·         FindMyPast UK (Seonaid or Marie)
·         FindMyPast Ireland (Marie)
·         FindMyPast Australasia (Seonaid)
·         Passenger Lists and Immigration (Marie)
·         Research Your Ancestors with Ancestry (Marie or Seonaid)
·         Research your Scottish Family History (Marie)
·         Treasures of the Central Auckland Research Centre (Seonaid)
·         Using heritage newspapers to enrich your research (Marie)
·         Wills & Probates (Marie)

We even had Maureen, another colleague here in the Research Centre, deliver another two events on her specialist subjects Researching Irish in New Zealand and WWII Prisoners of War; and also Sue Berman, Oral History Librarian based at West Auckland Research Centre, delivering hers on Oral History for Family Historians.
This was twice as many events as last year, so obviously the demand is there from Auckland Libraries customers! Marie and I travelled a lot of miles between Mahurangi in the North, Waiuku and Pukekohe in the South and points east and west  of the Auckland region, attendances were good and altogether we spoke to some 940 people during the course of the month! Phew!

Family History Month is a great opportunity to get the word out about family history, and I’ve been very pleased to see some NZSG members in the audience, but also to see lots of non-members in the audience too.

A delegation from the Far North branch
of the NZSG at the KK Lock-In
 The month ended with the Karen Kalopulu Family History Lock-In, where we had 60 people locked in to our Research Centre. That was as successful as always.
Jan Gow gave a wonderful pre-Lock-In presentation on Hatches, Matches and Despatches, which Marie and myself followed up with a tour of the Research Centre.
Sincere thanks to the Central Auckland Research Centre team for getting the Centre ready for the KK Lock-In and also coping so wonderfully well in the absence of myself and Marie!
Many thanks also to the Lock-In team: Research staff - Marie, Joanne, Margaret, Everett and NZSG volunteers - Keith, Viv, Robyn, Lyn Whelan, Lyn McOnie, Geraldene and Jan Gow.

All in all a very successful month for us here at Auckland Libraries, proving the popularity of Family History Month - and indeed the subject of Family History!

The traditional group photo taken every year,  of the guests, staff and volunteers
at the 2012 Karen Kalopulu Family History Lock-In

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