Archive for June 2012

PapersPast just keeps the heritage newspapers coming!

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The extraordinary marriage case

The latest additions to PapersPast sent people flurrying to their computers the other day.

At long last, the New Zealand Herald (1863-1884), has been added . . . its a major New Zealand paper, and its digitisation will be welcomed by all - not least of all, by family historians!

The last batch (for now) of the Auckland Star (1927-1945) was also added at the same time.

PapersPast is a National Library of New Zealand website created to house digitised versions of our heritage newspapers.

Auckland Star and the New Zealand Herald have been digitised in partnership with the National Library and Auckland Libraries; and the goal is to eventually have all editions up to 31 December 1945 of the New Zealand Herald on PapersPast.

It didn't take long for the family history community to start finding treasures once the news was out.

Researcher Lyn Dear found a scandalous marriage case that must have raised more than a few eyebrows at the time - and indeed would probably still raise eyebrows today!

What stories have you managed to unearth so far?


Tombstone Tuesday - Czech Cemeteries & Headstones

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Image from StonePics website

The Central Auckland Research Centre has a brand new collection of 60 CD-Roms from StonePics who have been photographing cemeteries and headstones of The Czech Republic since 2003. This collection, Cemeteries of the Czech Republic contains over 81,000 names on a searchable database, many also important to German genealogy research.

Three CD-Roms contain records from Prague’s Vysehrad National Cemetery which was established in the 15th century next to the Church of Saints Peter and Paul. Many famous Czechs have been laid to rest there including Antonin Dvorak, Bedrich Smetana, Jan Neruda and Karel and Jozef Čapek.

A further 57 CD-Roms record headstones from Prague’s Olsanske Cemetery. This large complex of cemeteries includes Jewish and Orthodox cemeteries and graves of soldiers killed in both WWI and WWII. Olsanske Cemetery covers fifty hectares and according to some estimates, two million people have been buried there.

This is an amazing welcome addition to our family history collection.


A Family History from the Research Centre's shelves

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The Worn Stockwhip: Tracking Down a Past

By Beverley Gilbert

In 2001, Melbourne writer Beverley Gilbert sat in on a workshop on biographical writing and was asked to write about the most interesting person in her family. The person she chose was her father, Harold, a man who had died just six months earlier; a man who had deliberately kept the details of his past hidden away.

Over the next few years, Beverley went on a mission to reconstruct Harold’s early life, and to uncover just why he had been so intentionally evasive about his background. He’d grown up in a rural working class area, and had transformed himself into a respectable and prominent middle class man. He kept little of his early life other than his birth certificate, a watch inscribed to him from his mother on his 21st birthday, and a well worn stockwhip, the only tangible reminder of his childhood.

This is an engaging story that appeals on several levels. Not only the details of how the author sets about putting the pieces of Harold’s life together, but in the description of Melbourne in the early 20th century with it’s entrenched class structure, division between catholic and protestant, excitement over Phar Lap’s racing career and the effect of the war on Harold and his family.

Well worth a read next time you’re up in the Research Centre.

We have numerous such donated and purchased published family histories on our shelves in the Research Centre.


NZ Births Deaths & Marriages in the Central Auckland Research Centre

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New Zealand Historic BDMs are searchable online.

They can be searched for:
  • Births that occurred at least 100 years ago
  • Stillbirths 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
However, the Central Auckland Research Centres does have Indexes of BDMs for NZ from 1853 - 1991 on Microfiche and from 1991-1997 on our CD-Rom. After 1997 the indexes are not publicly accessible and you will be required to visit the Department of Internal Affairs or look for alternative ways of searching for a BDM.

On a separate register on microfiche are the 1913 -1960 Maori indexes for BDMs.

Up to 1955 we have the District Keys to NZ registration indexes to locate the registration area and the quarter of the year that the birth or death was registered.

We hold the NZSG’s CD of NZ Marriages 1836 -1956 and Burial Locator, which is not quite complete but searchable by name, and gives locations of burials in NZ.

Other alternative source for BDM information are the Hills Indexes which are on our shelves.
There are 5 volumes:
  • Vol 1 BDMs from the New Zealander 1845 -1866
  • Vol 2 Thames Newspapers 1869-1909
  • Vol 3 NZ Herald 1863 -1880
  • Vol 4 Daily Southern Cross 1843 -1876
  • Vol 5 Index of names of soldiers who died in WWI and whose pictures were published in the Auckland Weekly News.
Also on our shelves are, for example, St Mary’s Anglican Church baptisms 1890-1904; Persons drowned in New Zealand rivers 1840-1875.

On the Auckland Libraries website in the Digital Library the Knowledge Basket New Zealand Index can be searched for New Zealand Herald BDM notices from 2000.

Also in our Research Centre are the Death Notice Index & Death Clippings Scrapbooks.
The index is alphabetical by surname and are people for whom death notices were published in the NZ Herald (and some from Auckland Star). The index only covers the years 1886 -1946 but our death clippings scrapbooks go up to 1969 (arranged by date of death) with another set from 1971-1977, which are arranged alphabetically by surname, and  include some marriage/engagement/birth notices.

We also hold copies of the NZSG’s New Zealand Cemetery Records on microfiche. These are transcriptions of headstones and some burial records for hundreds of different cemeteries around New Zealand. Transcriptions are arranged in approximate geographic order from north to south.

In the birth, deaths and marriages section of the Family History web pages on the ACL website we have lists of online searchable databases, cemeteries in Auckland and throughout New Zealand.

We have many many more resources related to New Zealand birth deaths and marriages, available not just in the Central Auckland Research Centre, but throughout the 55 libraries.

You can find the above, and many more, by searching in our classic catalogue, using 2 NZL BDM in the call number field.

FindMyPast UK launches WWI & WWII POW records

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FindMyPast UK has published the prisoner of war records for both the First and Second World Wars!

Details in brief:

Prisoners of War 1914-1918
The records of 7,703 British Army Officers who were prisoners of war between 1914 and 1918

Most records will tell you the first and last names, rank, service, section, of your ancestors, and the date they went missing and date they were returned.

Prisoners of War 1939-1945
  • Prisoners of War 1939-1945 – British Navy & Air Force Officers: 19,229 records
  • Prisoners of War 1939-1945 – Officers of Empire serving in British Army: 39,808 records
  • Prisoners of War 1939-1945 – British Army held in German territories: 107,000 records
Most records will advise you the name, rank, regiment, army number, camp number, Prisoner of War number of your ancestor - and the camp type, camp location and extra notes, where applicable.

For more info, see their blog - or try searching for yourself online!

You can use FindMyPast UK FREE throughout all 55 libraries in the Auckland region.

Happy hunting


Kintalk features in "Around the World in 40 Blogs"

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Social media is a great way to keep up to date with what is happening in the world of family history. People that have heard me talk, know that I encourage people to make good use of social media tools, such as Facebook, Twitter, and blogging.

All are good ways of sharing information. Blogging in particular is fabulous way of sharing your research stories. Its also invaluable for learning from people who have more experience than you - or who have different experiences to you.

Often people share interesting websites, web pages and blogs via Twitter or Facebook, so I always keep a look out for any links that are posted to add to my own knowledge.

A couple of my Twitter pals were having a conversation the other day, that I took interest in. They were discussing an article in the US Family Tree magazine, which listed the 40 top international genealogy blogs.

I'm always interested in adding to my blog reading list, so I clicked the link that they were discussing to see what blogs of interest I could pick up.

I was thrilled to see Kintalk blog was listed as the New Zealand representative!

This was the second month that Kintalk had been listed in a magazine:- Australian/New Zealand magazine Inside History, had rated Kintalk a mention in their May issue.

People find such blogs via Google (or another search engine) or because they've noticed it on the a website such as our library website. Or they hear about it by word of mouth or "on the grapevine."

Twitter is the modern day version of "the grapevine". You chat with others via 140 character quick burst, post interesting links to share.

So have a look at both lists 40 top international genealogy blogs as posted by US Family Tree magazine, and the top 50 genealogy blogs as posted by Inside History magazine, and see what other blogs you can learn from. You'll see we are in really good company!

Take a note too, of the lefthand side of our page, at the "Blogs We Like" links and see what blogs we like to read on a regular basis in our Research Centre.

Don't forget you can follow Kintalk on Facebook by searching for the Auckland Research Centre, or clicking the Facebook button on the page - and/or you can follow @Kintalk on Twitter.

Happy blogging/reading!


Historic LINZ survey plans at Auckland Libraries


What is available?   The plans are on aperture cards, and cover just the North Auckland Land Registration District - Cape Reinga to Mercer, but not further into the Waikato.  

Each aperture card has a copy of a Survey Office (SO) rolled plan, or a Maori Land (ML) plan, or a Deposited Plan (DP).   They were filmed from the 1970s, are filed numerically, and cover from the 1870s to 1996.

We have SO 300 to 68624, ML 1 to 15956 and DP 1 to 177,743, along with Old Land Claims 1 to 882, Deeds Plans 1 to 1399, and an assortment of Application Plans and Trig Reference details.

What do these plans actually show?   They physically define legal boundaries of properties when surveyed, and provide the land area and the dimensions.
As an example, I used Auckland Council’s online Property and Rates Search’ by street number and street name to locate our current DP number. DPs are also on rate demands and Gazette notices, amongst other sources.   The relevant aperture card provided me with a copy of the original survey of the street area in March 1925, and allowed me to follow up the further subdivision of the property in August 1981.   The latter included an outline of our house, which was built around 1948.   The maps also provided other DP and SO numbers from other surveys in the immediate area.

How do they relate to Certificates of Title?   When areas of land were opened up for development, surveyors were legally required to submit these plans to LINZ, or their predecessors.   Once approved and formally “deposited”, Certificates of Title (CT), also known as land titles or records of land ownership, could then be issued.   Older plans may have settlers' names, English and Maori place names.   
Legal status.   Note that the information on these cards has no current legal standing.
Using the aperture cards:
·        They can’t be searched by landowner, or area.   This has to be done at LINZ, which also provides Certificates of Title.
·        If you do have a greater Auckland or Northland area DP, SO, ML, OLC or Deed Plan number then it is just a matter of us locating the right aperture card or cards for you.   They are available on request the following morning at the Central Auckland Research Centre, as they are stored in a secure area.  
·        We have reader / printer / scanners, which can read aperture cards, but you will need to use our Size 2 lens.   Either then print off an A3 copy for 40 cents or scan to a flash drive for free.   Normally we have Size 3 lens on the machines.

David Verran

Auckland Star on PapersPast

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Newspapers provide much more than the usual births, deaths and marriage notices, and the occasional obituary. They provide an insight into people's lives. Social history, local, national and political history - all of which add shape to the lives of your ancestors.

National Library is in the process of digitising New Zealand's heritage newspapers and has so far digitised more than two million pages, 70 publications across New Zealand, and covers the years between 1839 and 1945.

These digitised newspapers are being added to PapersPast.

People were pretty quick off the mark to discover in May, that the next batch of Auckland Star pages had been added to PapersPast. From 1870 to 1926 of the Auckland Star is now available online - more than 75 years worth, keyword searchable.

The Auckland Star is a joint project with Auckland Libraries and the National Library.

National Libraries say that PapersPast only covers a very small amount of New Zealand newspapers as yet, and that if you cannot find what you need online, you may find what you need in paper or microfilm formats at your library.

Access to heritage newspapers from round the world can be obtained by our Digital Library:-

And you can read more about our newspapers, both heritage and more recent.

Happy hunting


The Queen's Jubilee

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The Queen's Birthday weekend is upon us. In the UK, they are having a 4-day weekend to celebrate.
In recognition, The National Archives in England, have digitised about 60 Addresses to Queen Victoria for viewing in an online exhibition. It covers both jubilees in 1887 and 1897. The images are gorgeous, and you can also view a video clip telling you information about it.

Are you aware of our own Address to Queen Victoria?

In 1897, around 25,000 children in the Auckland education district signed a congratulatory address to Queen Victoria on the occasion of her Diamond Jubilee, celebrating 60 years as Queen. The Auckland education district covered all public schools from Northland to Rotorua and Tauranga.
The information available includes the child’s name, which school they belonged to and a page number which refers to the signatures in the original manuscript held in the Sir George Grey Special Collections (NZMS 540).
Because of its fragile condition, the original manuscript has been copied onto microfiche. These are available in the Auckland Research Centre and the Sir George Grey Special Collections.

You can search our database looking to see if one of your ancestors, is one of the 25,000 children that signed this remarkable address!

Hope you have a happy and safe long weekend

Happy hunting