Archive for October 2013

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.