Archive for December 2012

Follow Friday: Heritage et AL

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The Central Auckland Research Centre belongs to the Heritage and Research unit within Auckland Libraries.

Followers of this blog, may have noticed that a new blog called Heritage et AL was started back in May of this year. (- A wee play on words on the et al = and Auckland Libraries?)

This blog has loads to contribute in the way of Heritage news, not just about Auckland Libraries' collections, but also news from the Heritage sector, written by heritage specialists from across the Auckland region.

So if you aren't following Heritage et AL yet, I recommend its worth you having a look!

Lots of interesting stuff in there, which may help you with your own family history research!

Happy hunting


Just in time for the holidays . . .

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My two favourite subscriptions websites have just launched some lovely new resources in time for the holidays.

Ancestry invite you to unlock your family secrets this Christmas, and have launched New South Wales Police Gazettes 1854-1930 collection and added 120,000 new records to the New South Wales, Gaol Description and Entrance Books, 1818-1930 collection.

FindMyPast's December newsletter announced the exciting news that they'd added thousands of new British Army and service pension records, which include attestation forms and discharge papers.

So some lovely new resources to get our teeth into!

Don't forget, Auckland Libraries provides free access to all at every one of its 55 libraries and 4 research centres across the Auckland region. If your community library has WiFi, you can also access both websites using your laptop - just ask your friendly librarian!

Happy hunting


Tombstone Tuesday: Richard Leneham, Waikumete Cemetery

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Heritages Images database
Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, 4-RIC255
Showing the grave and tombstone of Richard Leneham in the Roman Catholic section of Waikumete Cemetery.

The inscription reads:

Of your charity pray for the repose of the soul of Richard Leneham who departed this life 12th September 1894 aged 56 years

Manuscript Monday: Old Colonials Association Register

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Early this year we blogged about how the Old Colonists Association Register images had been digitised and were now available for viewing online by searching our Manuscripts Online database.

We've now made the images even easier to find by adding them to the entries in Index Auckland. So now, if you find mention of someone in Index Auckland, who belonged to the Old Colonists Association, the image will also be attached there as well!

We have other blogs that tell you more about Index Auckland and our related database the New Zealand Card Index.

Happy hunting


Canada, Germany, Italy, New Zealand, Peru, and the United States from FamilySearch

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FamilySearch Adds New Collections from Canada, Germany, Italy, New Zealand, Peru, and the United States

Great news from FamilySearch - updates from Canada, Germany, Italy, Peru and the US. For us here in New Zealand, Probate Records have been added!

New Zealand, Probate Records, 1860-1961


Digital images of probate records from the Archives of New Zealand. The records were created by local courts throughout New Zealand regions. An index is available on the Archives of New Zealand website ( which will give the probate file number associated with a name. Some records at the beginning of the file sets are often out of numerical order. This collection is being published as images become available.
So we just search the index on Archway - then find the browsable image on FamilySearch and voila!

Happy hunting


Dare to Explore: Auckland Libraries' summer reading adventure!

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This year the Central Auckland Research Centre is excited to be taking an active part in Auckland Libraries’ Dare to Explore summer reading adventure for 5-13 year olds.

Children on the Dare to Explore programme complete a number of challenges ranging from jandal throwing to fishing for books. Part of the aim is to have children coming into the libraries around the Auckland region to have fun, increase their love of reading and feel comfortable as library users.

There are six lists of challenges. The children need to do their home library challenges but have the option to complete the challenges from the lists of the other five; Geyserland, Wild and Windy; Sunny Sounds, Coast to Coast; and Bottom of the South.

They get a passport that is stamped when a challenge is completed and a party to go to when they have completed their home library’s challenges.

We decided that it would be fun (and appropriate) for us to have the crest making challenge, with inspiration coming from our many books on Heraldry and Crests.

Marie has created a cabinet full of different kinds of crests from people such as Sir Edmund Hillary and Catherine Middleton (now the Duchess of Cambridge) and pictures of Heralds and Knights in full attire, and we plan to have tables with art materials for the children to make their own.

Each branch has to do their own challenge, taken from the lists, and the Central Auckland Research Centre decided to do find out who the NZ Prime Minister was in the year that you were born.

Come in and see the wonderful colourful timeline that Sam has done, with pictures. Staff in the Research Centre plan to put our own names by the Prime Minister in power at the time of our births (due to our demographic, most of us will be down in the first cabinet - not in the second containing Lange up to Key).

Come and see us! We love having children come to visit us in the Research Centre.


Treasure Chest Thursday: Index Auckland

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In our Digital Library, Index Auckland is a rich resource of history, art, theatre, film and music references sourced from Auckland area newspapers and journal articles.

The music references provide a comprehensive overview of the musical history of New Zealand and include:

  • music in Auckland scrapbooks from 1890 to 1930
  • New Zealand music scrapbooks from 1960 to 1995
  • music programme collection
  • various journal articles, performance reviews, and newspaper clippings from the New Zealand music vertical file. The local history, biography and family history references include:
  • Auckland scrapbooks 1923 to 1994
  • New Zealand scrapbooks 1916 to 1975
  • obituary scrapbooks 1933 to 1941 and 1949 to 1979
  • pioneer women's roll of honour, Auckland province
  • Maori electoral rolls for the North Island, 1919
  • Auckland city area suburban newspapers, particularly from 1996.

Tombstone Tuesday: Reverend James McDonald

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Heritage Images database
Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, 4-RIC252'

Showing the grave and tombstone of Reverend James McDonald in St Patrick's Cemetery, Panmure.

The inscription, in English reads: Of your charity pray for the repose of the soul of the Very Reverend James McDonald Vicar General who for 38 years laboured in the Diocese of Auckland and was devoted to the Maoris who raised this monument to his memory.

He died at Purakau Hokianga July 6th 1890 aged 63 years. May he rest in peace.

The inscription in Maori reads:
I runga I ngakau aroha inoi atu ki tu atua kia takoto pai te wairua o Hakopa Meketanara Wikario Henerari 38 nga tau i mahi ai ia i tana mahi karakia i roto i te tiehehi o akarana me tana aroha nui ano hoki ki nga Maori. Na ratou nei tenei kohutu i whakaara hei tohu whakamaharatanga ki a ia. I mate ia ki Purakau i Hokianga i te 6 o nga ra o Hurei 63 o nga tau. Kiaokioki ia i runga i te rangimarie

Shalom! Happy Hanukkah!

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Jewish ancestry?

Why New Zealand? Some had heard of Australia but New Zealand? 
For me it was absolutely the right decision – there was no where further away from Germany...”
- Hansi Silberstein in Promised New Zealand

 The eight-day Jewish holiday, Hanukkah (the festival of lights) is celebrated this week, in commemoration of the rededication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem.

This year, Hanukkah runs from Saturday December 8th until sunrise on December 15th and while there has never been a large Jewish population in New Zealand, there are certainly resources to help you start your research if you think you may be able to lay claim to Jewish ancestry.

Gary Mokotoff’s Getting Started in Jewish Genealogy (we have the 2011 edition in our collection) is recommended by New York’s Museum of Jewish heritage (and their website).

Mokotoff shows how you can trace ancestry on line and he describes a search he conducted on a family (going back 200 years) using familiar sites such as with its Ellis Island databases.

While Kiwi Jewish ancestors are less likely to have travelled via Ellis Island, in our collection we do have several books to mull through, such as guides to cemeteries and how to read headstones (in Auckland, both Symonds Street and Waikumete have Jewish sections), and especially relevant to our country, stories of post World War 1 Jewish immigration (such as Freya Klier’s Promised New Zealand.)

Interestingly, a couple of our prime ministers can lay claim to Jewish roots– Sir Julius Vogel was a practicing Jew, and John Key has Jewish ancestry via his mother, an Austrian immigrant.

If you’re looking for aids to begin your research, use the Central Auckland Research Centre call number on the catalogue, which is... 1 GEN REL JEW.

Bring on the potato latkes and Mazel Tov in anticipation of some excellent finds.


FRIDAY SHOWCASE: New Zealand Card Index

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Our Digital Library contains the valuable gem: The New Zealand Card Index which began in the 1950s and closed in 1996. It indexes a range of sources including local and national newspapers, New Zealand periodicals, books and scrapbooks.

The digital version of the New Zealand Card Index provides keyword access to local history, biographical and family history references from sources such as:

  • Auckland scrapbooks (1923 to 1994)
  • New Zealand scrapbooks (1916 to 1975)
  • Obituary scrapbooks (1933 to 1941, 1949 to 1979)
  • the New Zealand Herald
  • the Auckland Star
  • Auckland area suburban newspapers before November 1996.
The main geographical focus is Auckland, but other New Zealand material is also included.

Subject-wise, the database focuses on people, places and organisations. The index includes references to information on Auckland buildings, businesses and places, plus references to obituaries, death notices and marriage notices for 1877 to 1886. 

See also the related database Index Auckland.