Motivation Monday: 2016 Auckland Family History Expo

The hero of the Auckland Libraries' New Zealand Family History Month programme this year, was the Auckland Family History Expo, that was held at the Fickling Convention Centre, Three Kings Friday, 12 to Sunday, 14  August.

The Expo was organised as a community partnership with members of the Genealogical Computing Group (GCG), an interest group of the New Zealand Society of Genealogists (NZSG), who sponsored our international keynote speakers, Dick Eastman and Shauna Hicks.

The theme for this year's Expo was "The Melting Pot" to signify Auckland's wide diversity of cultures.

There were 130 people at the Friday night opening event, to listen attentively to Dick Eastman's The family history world in 10-years' time and Shauna Hicks' DNA: sex, love and damn lies. Both talks were so entertaining and informative.

Dick Eastman, US
Expo keynote speaker

Dick's talks reminded us of where genealogy had started from, and its steps along the way to where we are today - with an introduction to Cloud. Dick said that the genealogy community was getting younger - driven by technology and media. He predicted that future researchers won't be interested so much in pedigrees, but will be interested in the stories. With global immigration, our collections will need to be broader and more inclusive of non-white ethnicities.

I was pleased to be able to tell Dick, that we've already tried to make a very good start with this. We have active Maori and Pasifika researchers, and hold terrific genealogy and family history resources for them at Auckland Libraries. We support the Chinese community on the Chinese Digital Community website and there are many authors and historians in the local Chinese community. And we purchase their books as they come out.

Smita Biswas from the West Auckland Research Centre is in the midst of an awesome project with the Indian community, helping with collecting genealogies and family histories.

Shauna Hicks talked about her DNA experience, and how she came to discover a lie in her family's history which meant that some of her research based on the paper trail was incorrect. The story was quite a poignant one, but delivered in a humorous, informative way.

Shauna Hicks, Australia,
Expo keynote speaker
You can read Dick Eastman's account of the Expo here. You can also read an account about the Expo on Shauna Hicks's blog here.

On Saturday and Sunday, we were kept very busy. It was hard to accurately count how many people came through. Some people stayed all day, others came for a while - there was a constant turnover of people.

Saturday was our busiest day, we counted 350 people (in the two seminar rooms and the exhibition hall) at around lunchtime, when the crowds had thinned out a little. From the sale of the USBs with speakers notes, we estimate we could have had as many as 500 people through. We had a lot of people through who were completely new to genealogy and family history.

Sunday was less busy, and alot of people that came, had also come on Saturday. Our estimate for that day was between 200 and 300 people.

We had 24 exhibitors, two-streams of 30 lectures, four computer workshops (held in the Mt Roskill Library above the Convention Centre) and 12 "ask an expert" workshops. The exhibitors were kept very busy helping people with their research. The Auckland Libraries stand dealt with 152 reference queries on Saturday, and 53 reference queries on Sunday!

On Sunday, during Emerson Vandy's talk about the new PapersPast, and Shauna Hicks It's not all online - where else can I look? an alarm went off so we conducted an emergency evacuation of the Fickling Convention Centre, just in case it was a fire. In the end, it turned out to be a faulty security alarm, which was rectified after an hour. Being made of stern stuff, once no danger was apparent, our people simply re-entered the building and continued where we left off.

I was most impressed firstly, by the awesome demonstration we all showed in how to evacuate a large crowd from a building, and secondly by the determination and patience of everyone there to endure such a dreadful noise for an hour!

You can view photographs from the event on Auckland Research Centres' Facebook page. Further details and more photographs available on the NZ Society of Genealogists news page - just scroll down till you reach 12 and 13th August..

We're very grateful to our sponsors who contributed with financial sponsorship:
Auckland Council Libraries, Genealogical Computing Group of the NZ Society of Genealogists, Findmypast, Ancestry, and the NZ Society of Genealogists.

Additionally, we also had 72 raffle prizes donated by sponsors valued at over $6300 in total.

Winners of the raffles were as follows:

● World Heritage subscription and DNA pack (5)
Debbie Stanford
Daphne Ellis
Joy Todd
B Fletcher
Glenda Jamieson

Auckland Libraries 
● Auckland Libraries Heritage Pack (4)
Bruce Ralston
Valerie Price
Jean Philpotts

Eastman’s Newsletter
● Annual Newsletter Subscriptions (2)
Joan McCracken
Raewyn Nevin

Family Historian
● Family History V6 (2)
Ron Jackson
Tony Christianson

● Pen and pencil set (1)
Coral Shearer

● Famnet Annual subscription (10)
Anne Megget
Bruce Ralston
Alan Brierley
Kathy Hill
Leslie Cornwall
Roy Clements
I Whetton
Wendy Fitzpatrick
Myrine McMahon
Jan White

● Findmypast World Subscriptions (5)
Shauna Hicks
Daphne Ellis
Clyde Downes
Karen Bruford

Family Tree Maker
● FTM v14.1 program (3)
Bronwyn Bernard
Rosalie Bromwich
G Gibson

● Legacy 8 program (2)
Debbie Archer
Nancy Buckman

Let’s Research (Beehive Books)
● Two hours research with Jan Gow (2)
Claire Becker
Bev Thomson
● Skeleton Travel Mug
Robyn Johnson
● Sail Away 3D pencil tin
Tony Christiansen

Memories in Time (Fiona Brooker)
● Family History Research
Reiana Tema
● Made for you
Fredda Martin

My Heritage 
● My Heritage subscription (2)
J Ryde
Margaret Diggelman

NZ Society of Genealogists
● NZSG Family Historian Vol 1
Daphne Ellis
● NZSG Family Historian Vol 2
Paul Carter
● NZSG Passenger Lists CD        
Lynden Ansell
● NZSG Naval Chronology
Robery Finlay
● NZSG NZ Cemetery Records
Alex Robinson

Salt Lake City Plaza Hotel
● Five nights accommodation

● Charting Companion 1
Melanie Middleton
● Genelines
Delma Moore
● Map my family tree
Barbara Jessiman

Roots Magic
● RootsMagic v7 program (2)
Graham Wilson
Rex Wood

Simon Fowler (author and genealogist)
● Branching out  and Ancestors in Army (10)
Colleen Moore
Christina Mac
Glenda Bennett
Pam Shoebridge
Christine Woods
Brian Jones
Lyn Tocher
Jill Earley
Cathy Owens
● Tracing Naval & Tracing Army (5)
Liam Garrity
Christine Briely
Roger Williams
I Whetton
G Gibson

The Genealogist
● The Genealogist Diamond Personal Premium subscription (2)
Sue Crookston
Dennis Hildreth
● Treeview program (2)
June Castle
Kathy Hill

Thank you again to all our wonderful sponsors. We couldn't do this without you!

Our exhibitors were:
● Ancestry ● ArchivesNZ ● Auckland Libraries ● Auckland War Memorial Museum ● Beehive Books ● Chinese genealogy community ● FamilySearch ● FamNet/Jazz Software ● FindMyPast ● Guild of One Name Studies ● Indian genealogy/West Research Centre, Auckland Libraries ● Mt Roskill-Puketapapa Historical Society ● National Library of New Zealand and PapersPast ● New Zealand Fencible Society Inc
● New Zealand Society of Genealogists Head Office and Interest Groups:
▪ Cornish, ▪ European, ▪ Greater London, ▪ Irish, ▪ Maori, ▪ Midlands & Northern England, ▪ Pacific Island, ▪ Scottish, ▪ South England & East Anglia

Thanks also to all the awesome speakers, exhibitors, volunteers and Auckland Libraries staff, who supported this event.

Happy hunting


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