Archive for 2013

Treasure Chest Thursday: Family Histories Collection

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We have a lot of delicious family histories that have been donated to us, or purchased by us, in our collection. They come in every shape, size and format.

When we receive a new family history we pop the details of it into our family history database. In this database we input the family names of generations of a family. It’s a wonderful tool for searching for a surname that may be found in someone else’s family history - that also happens to be yours!

At the moment I am inputting a door stopper of a family history called From River Thames, England to peninsula waters, Canterbury, New Zealand : the story and history of Arthur and Louisa Waghorn, 1850-2000 onwards.

In her forward, the author Virginia Mayo writes, “I make no apology for mistakes and the lack of much background history – our elder generations did not keep diaries and so the recording of their lives and the early happenings are lost – we can only piece together with a lot of guess work their early days and times in New Zealand.”

As shown on page 244.

At 690 pages there has been a lot more than guess work in this family history. Full of clear illustrations, maps, genealogical trees, portraits, memorabilia (including autograph books and a photo of Louisa Waghorn’s best black satin hat) the book is much more than the history of a family.


Military Monday: Hospital Ships for NZ during WWI

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With the ever rapidly approach of 2014 and the start of the WWI commemoration events it is perhaps timely that a book recently received in Auckland should be about New Zealand’s hospital ships.  It is titled The White Ships: New Zealand’s First World War Hospital Ships by Gavin McLean.  There is a reference copy in the Central Auckland Research Centre but there are borrowable copies throughout Auckland Libraries.

This book is very well presented with many photos of ships, crew and some records.  There is a list of their movements 1915-19 as well as what happened to them after the war.

Image from color plate, page c.4.

While I have not read this yet myself, I think that anyone with a connection with these ships will find it invaluable as a matter of interest or to add to their research.

Marie Hickey

Treasure Chest Thursday: Auckland Area Passenger Arrivals (Part 1)

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Do you know what the source was for the Auckland area passenger arrivals database?

Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, AWNS-19100217-1-2 

Some of us have been lucky enough to get hits on our ancestors' names in the Auckland Libraries' online index of passenger arrivals for the years 1828-1889, 1909-1921.

However, many of us have had no luck. The index was based on newspaper lists, signatories to a book celebrating Sir George Grey's birthday in 1886, and a few records obtained from Archives New Zealand. All of these sources have gaps in the information they offer, and for a long time, there was little else available in the way of online sources for Auckland. But things have changed.

The website Papers Past offers an online and keyword searchable versions of historic NZ newspapers, including the Auckland Star 1870 to 1945 and the NZ Herald 1863 to 1924 – which will also eventually go up to 1945. Papers Past is a free website run by the National Library in Wellington. These two Auckland papers offer hope to people whose family names never appeared in the Auckland Area Passenger Arrivals Index. Many people who 'hopped across the ditch', were not indexed in the original project but their names, regularly published in the port news of the Auckland papers of the 19th and early 20th centuries, are now available amongst the lists of passenger arrivals from Australia.  Of course, those of you familiar with the way the newspapers of the day published the lists, are aware that often only family names were published e.g. Messrs Smith, Brown, Jones.... This can make identification difficult if you don't have a distinctive name to search for, so it is not necessarily a 'magic fix' to your research problem.

For additional information about Auckland and New Zealand passenger and immigration lists, consider looking at the resources section on Auckland Libraries Heritage et AL blog.


P.S. Check back soon for Part 2 about other sources for NZ passenger arrivals.

Book Review: Family Secrets

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This book on the “What’s new?” shelf  at the Central Auckland Research Centre caught my eye the other day  –  “Family Secrets: Living with shame from the Victorians to the Present Day” by Deborah Cohen.

The issues covered – divorce, illegitimacy, homosexuality, adoption, interracial children - barely raise an eyebrow today but they have been huge causes of distress in the past.

It’s a fascinating book to dip in to as it traces real people and gives an understanding as to why they did what they did – why adoptee parents feared their children finding out they were adopted,  the stories behind the “bachelor uncle”, the stigma of being a “bastard” child. A fascinating chapter is devoted to the children who disappeared – mentally disabled institutionalised boys and girls and how attitudes differed Victorian to early 20th century times.

The author concludes the book by discussing how getting all these “shameful” secrets out in the open has become something of a badge of honour, with the growing popularity of celebrity-featured entertainment shows like “Who Do You Think You Are?”  This is a book that may well provide breakthroughs for the family historian in the brick walls of their sleuthing - well worth a dip in to. "Family Secrets” is in the Research Centre under 4 GBR FAM but there are borrowable copies in the Auckland Libraries collection.


Workday Wednesday: Old Occupations

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Last month I wrote a blog post about revisiting old copies of family history magazines as articles which may not have had relevance at the time could be the very thing you are needing now. This got me thinking about a series of articles which were published in Family Tree Magazine 1987-1994 about old occupations.  

How often do you wonder exactly what a strange occupation on the census or certificate involved?

Of course, there are a number of books which describe different trades and occupations but these usually only give a short explanation. For example, a Cheirothecarius is a glove maker, and most records would use that term, however, the articles give more detail as to what was involved with a particular occupation.

One of life's more perilous occupations.
Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, AWNS-19290814-37-2 

Each article is a minimum of one page and some are split into 3-4 parts over several issues.  The occupations covered are varied, there are the usual suspects of agricultural labourer, nurse, shoemaker, midwife, etc but also include: lace cleaning, pugilist, cider maker, Proctor, Chapman, fuller, Mersey Flatmen, and English merchants in Aleppo to name a few.

Have a look at these articles as you never know what you will find and it may be that the mystery which has been put aside may just be solved. 

Do check our catalogue as well as we have a growing collection of books concerning specific occupations.

Marie Hickey

Workday Wednesday: Railway men and Posties

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Did your ancestor work on the railways in the UK?

When I give my family history talk on, I always like to mention the databases of Railway and Postal employee records as most families will have, at a bare minimum, at least one family member who was employed by one of these organisations.

Palmerston North Railway Station, 1899
Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, AWNS-18990728-3-1
Auckland Libraries has in its collection the Who do you think you are? magazine and the February 2012 issue has a good background article about what some of those working for the railways did and covers the post World War One period as well. The article ends with a round up of depositories and a brief description of the resources held at each of them.

Rural postal near in the Cambridge District Auckland, 1914
Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, AWNS-19140618-48-5
If you have a railway employee in your family you may also find the following books of use and they are all available in our family history collection at the Research Centre:

Was your grandfather a railwayman?: a directory of records ... by Tom Richards (Federation of Family History Societies, Lancashire, 2002)

Railway ancestors: a guide to the staff records of the railway companies of England and Wales,1822-1947 by David Hawking (History Press, Stroud, Gloucestershire, 2008)

Tracing your railway ancestors: a guide for family historians by Diane K. Drummond (Pen and Sword, Barnsley, South Yorkshire, 2010)

Marie Hickey

Treasure Chest Thursday: Ancestors magazine is a treasure of articles

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While I was recently indexing some of my own copies of the now defunct Ancestors magazine, I was
struck by the wide array of subjects covered in the articles.  This is one of the reasons I had taken
out a subscription albeit a little late as publication ceased shortly afterwards. We do have the complete run of this publication in our collection at the Central Auckland Research Centre.

Ancestors, September 2005 issue.
The records covered by the magazine were, in the main, held by The National Archives (formerly Public Record Office), Kew, England.

Did you know that competition between doctors was so fierce at one time that soliciting for patients sometimes resulted in a duel?  This and other fascinating facts about the medical profession are found in an article - Health of the Nation which was featured the November 2004 issue.  There are several articles about how the Derbyshire village of Eyam dealt with the bubonic plague which arrived in the village in the form of infected fleas in a parcel of cloth from London.  A short article in the September 2005 issue describes the type of clothing to be worn when travelling by train; aimed at first time travellers by this mode of transport that included the suggestion to wear light coloured clothing and patent boots instead of ordinary ones.

Of course, there are many articles about all branches of the military and their records, those who
emigrated or were transported, Friendly societies, Freemasonry, and tips on preserving records and recorded media as well as the occasional article featuring a particular person.

If you have never delved into this magazine do have a look particularly if you have UK connections as there should be something of interest to you.

Marie Hickey

Tombstone Tuesday: Brutal murder of Rev Carl Volkner, Opitiki

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'Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, 4-6097'
Showing the headstone and grave of Rev Carl Sylvius Volkner CM,
who was murdered on the 2nd March 1865

Read the story in PapersPast

Brutal Murder of Rev. Mr. Volkner,
Resident Church of England Missionary
at Opitiki, Bay of Plenty

Treasure Chest Thursday: Scottish Land Transactions

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Many of you reading this will have Scottish ancestry,  have you considered checking land records for your family? Okay, I can hear some of you saying ‘my family were too poor”.  While this may apply to England and Wales it does not necessarily apply to Scotland, so give it a try and you may be pleasantly surprised!

Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, AWNS-19130731-50-1
One of the most used land records are the Sasines which record transfers of land and in some instances can include extracts of wills.  We recently purchased microfilms of the Sasine abridgements c1768-c1968, places index 1781-1930, people index – between 1781-1868 (date coverage varies between counties), General Register index 1617-1700.

Person Index
Place Index
To use the abridgements, first check the index.  These are often separated into years so you should check the whole of the index for the place/person of interest so you can be sure of locating all entries.  For instance, your place may be Kinross, so using the places index you may find an entry in 1831-1835 for Kinross 31, 59, 82 etc.  By going to the abridgements for this date and referring to number 31 etc you will find your entry.  The same applies to entries from the name index.

Sasine abridgements.
The abridgement is often enough information for most people but you may want a copy of the Sasine itself (which will usually be several pages).  To order a copy you will have to contact National Records of Scotland (formerly National Archives of Scotland) quoting the GR or PR reference in the bottom right hand corner of the abridgement.

Marie Hickey

Tombstone Tuesday:- Michael Gallagher, Symonds Street Cemetery

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'Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, 4-RIC265'

Showing the grave and tombstone of Michael Gallagher in Symonds Street Cemetery.
The inscription reads: In affectionate remembrance of Michael Gallagher who died May 26 1894 aged 38 years. Erected by his widow, H K Gallagher. In charity with all men.
The grave and headstone of his mother Mary Gallagher is partly visible to the left.

Treasure Chest Thursday: Ranfurly Home, a fine and noble institution

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If you have been travelling near Three Kings, Auckland, lately, at the intersection where Mt Eden Road meets Mt Albert Road, you would have noticed a vision of historic gorgeousness appearing  – the stunning, original, century-old 1903 Ranfurly Veterans Home which for decades has been hidden behind other far less attractive buildings.  Over the past few months, the demolition work has revealed the house that had remained virtually hidden to most commuters along Mt Albert Road.

Originally known as the Auckland Veteran’s Home, the facility was the initiative of Lord Ranfurly (the same Ranfurly who gave us the Shield) and was inspired by London’s Chelsea Home to honour those who fought in the Boer War.

Those residents in the early years also included returned servicemen who had fought in both the Crimean and New Zealand Wars, and as a correspondent wrote in the Evening Post in 1926, the home was regarded with much respect. “As a frequent visitor in bygone years to the Veteran’s Home at Three Kings, Auckland, this institution has always appealed to me as one of the finest and noblest works ever achieved by any Governor of New Zealand…. .  I had the privilege of being present when the late Lord Kitchener inspected the home and the resident veterans; it brings a lump to the throat now when I remember how smartly, yes smartly, though some of them were bowed with years,  those veterans paraded, how intently they listened to Lord Kitchener’s brief address, and how spruce were their quarters.”

Lord Ranfurly himself was also viewed with great affection by the residents as this 1924 report says, “The Earl of Ranfurly who was governor of New Zealand from 1897 to 1904 was remembered with gratitude by the older inmates of the Veterans home on account of the keen interest which, during his residence in this country he displayed in their welfare. Last Christmas 20 inmates of the home sent  to the Earl an original Christmas card  designed by one of their outside friends Mr Payne  and bearing the signature of each of the senders...”

If you suspect an ancestor may have been a resident of the home, there are records held by the Ranfurly Trust, including a list of those buried at Waikaraka cemetery, but these records have not been maintained over the years and are sparse. Your best bet is to contact the voluntary archivist at the Trust for further information at

In the meantime, if you can’t get along for a glimpse of the house in person, enjoy these glorious photos of this historic building. It appears that views of Lord Ranfurly’s most excellent vision may well be obscured again from street level once construction begins on the apartments of the new retirement complex.

House with bare ground around it, 1905.
 Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, 1-W1241.

House from a distance with trees around it, 1924.
 Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, 1-W1826.

Photo of war memorial inside the Ranfurly Veteran's home, 1924.
Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, 1-W1833.

Photo showing interior view of the library and reading room, 1905.
Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, 1-W1503. 

Photo of residents sitting on the steps of the building, 1924.
Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, 1-W1828.


Tombstone Tuesday: Josiah Clifton Firth

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'Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, 34-F56F'

Picture of the headstone of Josiah Clifton Firth
born October 27 1826, died December 11, 1897
Aged 71 years


Those Places Thursday: Did your ancestors come from Oxfordshire?

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Are you like me and have links to Oxfordshire?  Have you had a look at the libraries catalogue to see what resources we have for this county?  If not, you may be pleasantly surprised!

Apart from the usual suspects of parish register transcripts (whole county), monumental inscriptions, wills and census, what else do we have?

Kirtlington Park, Oxfordshire
Sir George Grey Special  Collections, Auckland Libraries AWNS-19390104-40-1 

Among the collection we have the following and there is something for everyone:

Alumni Oxonienses (Oxford University)
Banbury constables 1775-1925
Bastardy papers
Boat People of the Oxford Canal
Coroners Inquests 1820-37
Constabulary recruitment register 1857-1904 (includes some photographs)
Freemen of the City of Oxford 1663-1997
militia rolls
Oxford City Police Court minute book 1837-42
indexes to Poor Relief (Henley-on-Thames)
Probate records
Quarter Sessions 1687-1830
Victoria County history (these include information about flora, fauna, history, manors, occupations, churches etc)

"The People of …" series include transcriptions of many different records eg settlement records, early censuses, list of the poor, confirmations, poll books, etc.

All of the above are on the shelves/CD drawers in the Central Auckland Research Centre but there are other titles available throughout the library system such as Lark Rise to Candleford (good for getting a “feel” for life in rural Oxfordshire) and if you don’t feel like reading the book it is available on DVD.

Just a word of warning, some parishes which were in the ancient county of Oxfordshire are now in Berkshire – check Phillimore’s Atlas and Index of Parish Registers for pre-1974 boundaries.

Marie Hickey

Tombstone Tuesday:- Christopher Greenway and his son Herbert George Greenway, Symonds Street Cemetery

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Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, 4-RIC263

Showing the grave and headstone of Christopher Greenway and Herbert George Greenway
in the Symonds Street Cemetery. The inscription reads:
Sacred to the memory of Christopher Greenway who departed this life March 20th 1889 aged 70 years
and in loving memory of Herbert George who departed this life September 27th 1871 aged 13 years and 5 months. Beloved youngest son of Christopher and Helen Greenway his wife.
'His will be done'

Treasure Chest Thursday: Jury List

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A while back a colleague from a sister research centre contacted us to see if we had a copy of the Jury List published in the Southern Cross issue of 16th February 1858.  Their customer was searching for an ancestor mentioned on that list, and they had found the issue on microfilm, but there was a problem. The jury list on the microfilm was incomplete. The list began on page three and went over to page four only to have the words at the bottom of the page read “For continuation see supplement.”

Supplement? What supplement? There was no supplement.

Did we have a supplement on our microfilm?

So I checked our copy and wouldn’t you know it, just like my colleague, there was no supplement. No separate publication at the end of the roll – nothing. For some reason, it had failed to be copied during the microfilming process many moons ago.

However. We did have the print copies of the Southern Cross in our news stack, those precious 150 year old originals, accessible only via Sir George Grey Special Collections. But did this original have the missing supplement?

Silence in the Court
Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries,  973-39 
Yes, it sure did, and they were, with some difficulty I gather, able to scan a copy of the complete jury list from the original to send to the customer and also provide us with a copy to bind and add to our collection on the open shelves, located at 2 NZL COU AKD. A nice treasure to have here in the Central Auckland Research Centre.

As a bit of background on jury lists, each year in New Zealand the police magistrate in a district would come up with a list of men, aged between 21 and 60,  who could serve on jury. These lists were published in newspapers such as the Southern Cross and listed three things; name, occupation and street or suburb.
The Southern Cross as it was known from 1843 to 1862 was a weekly paper which became daily in 1862 – hence the change of name then to Daily Southern Cross. It merged with the NZ Herald in 1876.


Military Monday:- New Zealand Rifle Brigade, Egypt

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Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, AWNS-19160803-44-1

Military Monday:- 58th Regiment dedication, Maori War

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Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, AWNS-19330823-33-1


Treasure Chest Thursday: Was Your Old Man an All Black?

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If he was – yay, you!  You’re one of a very select few who can make that claim because, according to the Bateman Rugby Facts book,  as recently  as ten years ago only 1037 men had ever worn the black jersey for New Zealand. Current estimates put the figure around 1130.

Lighter side of the All Blacks rugby tour of Great Britain.
Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, AWNS-19351030-52-5 
Just as they are today, these gorgeous photos from the early years of All Black history show  the men in black were absolute superstars, with the folk back home getting a taste of their overseas tours via the Auckland Weekly News.

The first of the "All Blacks" leaving the mail steamer Sonoma.
Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, AWNS-19060315-7-2 

The crowd round the ferry company's wharf waiting to welcome the "All Blacks." 1906
Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, AWNS-19060315-6-2 

All Blacks entertained by famous London comedian.
Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, AWNS-19250101-46-3

The King shakes hands with New Zealand's "All Blacks".
Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, AWNS-19250129-48-5

Unfortunately, while it looks fun-and-games for the men, life back home for the wives in the pre-professional era was a struggle. With the man away for months at a time,  it  was a burden on the women running the household on her own – especially those women managing a farm and the children. The money often dried up when employers couldn't afford to pay their All Black while he toured, although there are stories of local rugby clubs getting collections together to help tide the family over until the breadwinner returned.

The effects weren't just financial, though. Lady Verna Meads recalled in The A-Z of Meads book that back in the day Sir Colin was on tour, players were allowed only one phone call a month, “and when they did come home, wives told heart-wrenching tales of children not recognising their fathers or screaming when dad went to pick them up.”

Bon voyage: 1934 "All Blacks" team departing for Australia.
Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, AWNS-19340801-50-1
Whatever your interest in our men in black, we have a collection of all Black material in the library that includes biographies such as Richie McCaw’s “The Open Side” to histories of the games right back to the 1905 originals.  And for something a little lighthearted on All Black life, check out this newspaper article from August.


Tombstone Tuesday:- Agnes Rich and Evelyn Arthur Rich, St Mark's Cemetery, Remuera

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'Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, 4-RIC283'

Showing the grave and tombstone of Agnes Rich and Evelyn Arthur Rich in St Mark's Cemetery, Remuera.

The inscription reads: Sacred to the memory of Agnes wife of Evelyn Arthur Rich who died at Parnell
February 27th 1884. Also of Evelyn Arthur Rich, late 34th Light Infantry third son of Vice Admiral Edwin Ludlow Rich who died at Rose Hall Parnell November 12th 1892

Tombstone Tuesday:- Charles Reynolds and his children, Symonds Street Cemetery

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'Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, 4-RIC284'

Showing the grave and tombstone of Charles Reynolds and his children Eva Alice Reynolds, Ella Maud Reynolds,
Ivy Olive Reynolds and Ida Olive Reynolds in Symonds Street Cemetery.
The inscription reads: In loving memory of Charles Reynolds who died 8th July 1896 aged 46 years and
his children Eva Alice died 31 August 1879 aged 3 years, Ella Maud died 20 Sept 1879 aged 1 year,
Ivy Olive died 12 March 1885 aged 1 years, Ida Olive died 26 May 1895 aged 9 years.
Not lost but gone before.

Tombstone Tuesday:- Hannah Matthews and Edwards Matthews, Symonds Street Cemetery

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'Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, 4-RIC306'

Showing the grave and tombstone of Hannah Matthews and Edward Matthews in Symonds Street Cemetery.
The inscription reads: Sacred to the memory of Hannah Matthews beloved wife of Edward Matthews who died 1878
aged 49 years, also Edward Matthews, beloved husband of the above, who died 12th July 1896 aged 70 years.
'Thy will be done'.


Tombstone Tuesday:- Samuel Morrin, St Mark's Cemetery, Remuera

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'Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, 4-RIC307'

Showing the grave and tombstone of Samuel Morrin in St Mark's Cemetery, Remuera.
The inscription reads: In loving memory of Samuel Morrin who was born in County of Two Mountains,
Canada on the 12th August 1842 and died at Remuera Auckland on the 15th April 1886

Tombstone Tuesday:- Johanna Brophy and Hilary Brophy, Symonds Street Cemetery

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'Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, 4-RIC326'

Showing the grave and tombstone of Johanna Brophy and Thomas Hilary Brophy in Symonds Street Cemetery.
The inscription reads: Of your charity pray for the repose of the soul of Johanna Brophy who departed this life 20th May 1889 aged 44 years. May she rest in peace. Also in loving remembrance of Thomas Hilary Brophy,
son of the above, who died February 18th 1878 aged 5 years. Cum Christo in pace.


Tombstone Tuesday: James Joseph Conway, Symonds Street Cemetery

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'Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, 4-RIC327'

Showing the grave and tombstone of James Joseph Conway in the Catholic section of Symonds Street Cemetery.
The inscription reads: Erected by the Shipmasters of Auckland in memory of Captain James Joseph Conway, accidentally killed 18 March 1897 aged 50 (or 56). May he who rules the billows speed us on our way.


Friday's Faces of the Past: Individual Portraits

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As family history month draws to a close so does our photographic feature from the mystery Album #224. If you have not been following this series throughout August then I encourage you to have a  browse of the photographs in the previous Friday blogs and as you never know, you may recognise someone from your family's past.

Charles Henry Manning's photography studio in Christchurch was in operation from 1887 to 1895. So we know where and approximately when the picture was taken and by whom, but it does not get us any closer to discovering who this pleasant-looking young lady was.

C.H. Manning,  Christchurch.
Thomas Edward Price operated his studio T.E. Price in Timaru for only a period of three years from 1875 to 1878 and we believe this is when this photograph was taken.  Price was originally from New South Wales and made the journey to New Zealand in 1863. Towards the end of 1878 he went into partnership with another photographer, Rudolph Haigh, as Price & Haigh in Timaru. His photography business operated in multiple locations around the country until 1895.

T.E. Price photographer.
This woman's photograph was taken by T. Plimmer who established his Belfast studio in 1860, but other than that fact, we know very little about him and we don't have any clues to help identify the woman.

T. Plimmer photograph.
I had another look through the photographs from this album and I noticed that the same person was in at least three of the individual portraits. Each one captures this mystery man at different point in his life and offers a nice glimpse of how he matured throughout the years.

Photographed by Alfred Thomas Robottom, Christchurch, c.1878.
Photographed by William Sherlock, Christchurch, c.1871- c.1890.
Photographer, location and date are all unknown.
If you have any information to share about this last group of photographs, please contact us at the Central Auckland Research Centre on 307 7771 or send us an email at:

If anyone is interested in viewing the original album it is held in Sir George Grey Special Collections and is identified as Album #224.


Tombstone Tuesday:- Robert Clapham Barstow, St Mark's Cemetery, Remuera

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'Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, 4-RIC328'

Showing the grave and tombstone of Robert Clapham Barstow in St Mark's Cemetery, Remuera.
The inscription reads: In loving memory of Robert Clapham Barstow died 28th September 1890 in his 70th year.
Waiting for the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Faces from the Past: Group Portraits

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Another instalment of the Album #224 mini-series, this week's focus is on group portraits. We are making an assumption that these are couples and family groupings but we are not sure of the relationships. Interestingly, in all of these featured portraits the individuals were captured with neutral facial expressions - at best! When did people actually start smiling for the camera?

This first photograph was taken in Belfast by E.T. Church. He was an active photographer from 1870-1879 throughout Europe and the UK. Husband and wife?

Photograph by E.T. Church.

A young couple? Unfortunately her left hand isn't visible so we can't tell if she is wearing a wedding ring or not. 

Cabinet card photograph by Eden George Co. Ltd., Christchurch, no date.

This photograph has been interpreted as a family portrait, most likely a mother and her daughters? Count the number of young ladies . . . . yes, there are ten!

Another cabinet card by Eden George Co. Ltd., Christchurch, undated.

Probably another family photographed together - a young lady with her parents? The outdoor setting is quite refreshing and perhaps this photograph was taken to commemorate a special occasion? We do not have any additional information regarding the photographer, P. Ginn, but this is the only example of their work mentioned in Auckland Libraries Photographers database.

Portrait by P. Ginn Photography of Linwood, no date.

If you recognise anyone in these photographs we would love to hear from you! Please contact us at the Central Auckland Research Centre on 307 7771 or send us an email at:

Next week is our last instalment.