A Kiwi in search of her ancestral tribes

Tag: McGonnell (Page 1 of 2)

Accentuate the Positive ~ 2020

A bit late to the party as usual, but I couldn’t resist taking part in Geniaus Jill Ball’s Accentuate the Positive geneameme this year. And of all years to be late, it was the tenth anniversary of starting my blog, exactly one month ago on 3rd January. (The posts may be few and far between lately, but I’m still here!)

The last twelve months have certainly been… interesting. In terms of genealogy, there have been some definite highlights, despite the cancellation of events I had planned to attend in person.

Just before lockdown, I gave my first genealogy presentation, and now have a webinar lined up for February 10th (10am GMT, 11pm NZDT) as part of the IHGS Diamond Jubilee events. If you’d like to learn more about using historical newspapers for family and local history research, there are still a few places left. There are some wonderful tutorials on offer over the week, all presented by current and former students and IHGS staff, plus their ongoing tutorial program.

Institute of Heraldic and Genealogical Studies - 60 years of family history education

Last year Findmypast asked me to join their Friends of Findmypast program as a Global Ambassador, and I’m thrilled to be part of the Down Under team highlighting the records you can find, plus news and upcoming events such as their Facebook Live sessions. (Disclaimer: As an ambassador for Findmypast, I receive a free subscription.) To start the year off, I’m taking over the Findmypast Twitter account this Saturday, February 6th (that’s Waitangi Day for us Kiwis) from 8pm to 10pm NZDT. Pop along and say hi!

Friends of Findmypast Twitter takeover with Maggie Gaffney

What else happened for me in 2020 (from a family history perspective)?

1.  An elusive ancestor who continues to remain elusive is my great great grandmother, Elizabeth Rose. According to her children’s birth registrations, she was either born in Northumberland, England, or South Africa, and I’ve been unable so far to pinpoint her likely parents in either place. However, some DNA matches on that line have given me hope that we might be able to crack that one this year.

2.  Some great newspaper finds were shipping intelligence reports, detailing the comings and goings of passengers and goods aboard ships sailing to New Zealand. I’m hoping I can identify which voyage my ancestor Michael McGonnell crewed on to reach New Zealand.

3.  A geneajourney I planned but didn’t take was a trip to Christchurch for their inaugural Family History Expo in August. While some of the talks moved online, it was a shame to miss out on the social aspect as well as the family history research I had planned. Still, there’s hope for this year’s event!

4.  I located an important record, a transcript of the memoir of Henry Rose, captain of the Mermaid, which brought immigrants to New Zealand during the 19th century, among them my great great grandparents, Martin Burke and Ann Philp. And just this week I’ve found a published account of his life based on the memoir, written by Karen Slade: Driven by the Wind – The Memoir of Captain Henry Rose.

Captain Henry Rose

Captain Henry Rose, image from Cyclopedia of New Zealand, 18971

5  A geneasurprise I received was being invited to join the #ANZAncestryTime team to help with a weekly Down Under twitter chat on Tuesday evenings. It’s been lovely to connect with genies on this side of the world, and we often have others from around the globe popping in.

6.   My 2020 posts were few in number but the blog page that I was particularly proud of was my Family History month calendar of events – it took a while to set up, but I’m hopeful it will be easier next time, and that it might prove useful to readers. At least it will help me keep up with all the events going on.
Family History Month ~ August 2020 Events Calendar

8.  A new piece of technology or skill I mastered was using Lucidchart to build DNA relationship charts to help visualise the connections for a DNA tester. Thanks to Angie Bush for the inspiration, and Blaine Bettinger for his helpful webinar!

9. I joined the Fife Family History society, and look forward to making the most of my membership this year.

10. A genealogy education session or event from which I learnt something new was all the Scottish Indexes conferences. There were so many opportunities last year for online learning, but I think the Scottish Indexes conferences were a standout, from the way they were organised to the range of speakers and topics. Plus, global timezone friendly!

11. A DNA discovery I made was matching with descendants of my great great grandmother, Elizabeth Rose, and identifying more of her siblings. I hadn’t looked at that family line for some time, and there were definitely some (shockingly large) gaps in my old research.

12. A new genealogy/history book I enjoyed was Kirsty Wilkinson’s Finding Your Scottish Ancestors, and I’ll be using some of her tips to sort out my Nicholson and Philp familes in Fife.
Finding Your Scottish Ancestors - a book by Kirsty F Wilkinson

13. Zoom gave me an opportunity to attend international conferences and presentations that I wouldn’t have had access to in person, plus take part in Talking Family History sessions during lockdown and beyond.

14. I am excited for 2021 because I’ll be studying for the IHGS Diploma in Genealogy as their first overseas-based student, and hopefully passing the exam.

Thanks to Jill for the opportunity once again to focus on the positive aspects of the last twelve months.  Check out Geniaus Jill’s page to read contributions from other genies.

  1. “Captain Henry Rose”, The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Wellington Provincial District], (The Cyclopedia Company Limited, 1897); digitised publication by New Zealand Electronic Text Centre (http://nzetc.victoria.ac.nz/tm/scholarly/tei-Cyc01Cycl-t1-body-d4-d14-d6.html : accessed 3 Feb 2021).

Happy 100th Birthday, Nanna!

My Nanna would have been 100 years old today. She was born Myrtle Jean Louisa McGonnell on 4th April 1915 in Lepperton, Taranaki, daughter of George Tunnecliffe McGonnell and Naomi Myrtle Florey, and died almost 96 years later, on 2nd February 2011 in Paraparaumu.

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The Arrival of my Ancestors ~ Waitangi Day

Today is Waitangi Day in New Zealand. It commemorates the date the Treaty of Waitangi was formally agreed between the Māori tribes of Aotearoa/New Zealand and the Queen of England way back in 1840. For all the Treaty’s faults, it helped pave the way for my ancestors to emigrate and settle in New Zealand. So,…

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Anzac Biscuits ~ Family Recipe Friday

I love Anzac biscuits.  Apparently they were made for the Australian and New Zealand troops overseas in WW1 because they kept really well, containing no milk or egg. A friend posted a link to the New Zealand Women’s Weekly recipe earlier this week, so I thought I’d have a go and see how they turned…

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My Genealogy Year 2012 : Accentuate the Positive!

Jill from Geniaus came up with a wonderful idea to celebrate the high points of 2012:  Accentuate the Positive 2012 Geneameme, rather than concentrate on what we didn’t achieve during the year. So instead of feeling a bit depressed over all the things I didn’t quite manage to do this year, I get to feel…

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My Nanna and me ~ Wordless Wednesday

Today is my birthday – the first one without my Nanna. Wordless Wednesday is an ongoing series at GeneaBloggers.

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My Heritage Pie ~ SNGF

Every Saturday night Randy Seaver sends out a Saturday Night Genealogy Fun challenge at Genea-Musings.  Usually I miss out because of the time difference, but this week I thought I’d just post a day late! Our mission was to list our 16 great great grandparents, along with their birth, marriage and death dates. Then, determine…

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Remembering ~ Matrilineal Monday

Today would have been my Nanna’s 96th birthday. She passed away on the 2nd of February this year, four days before I was due to arrive in New Zealand to see her. She was born Myrtle Jean Louisa McGonnell in Lepperton, Taranaki, New Zealand on April 4th, 1915, the only child of George Tunnecliffe McGonnell…

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Beannachtaí na Féile Pádraig!

I always knew I had Irish ancestors, but was never quite sure who they were and exactly where they were from. In the 1990s I spent several years living in Ireland. Oh, when I think of all the research I could have done! But, I was busy studying and working and having fun. Back then,…

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NZ Research plan – review

Auckland Archives office Customs Inwards letter – The High Commissioner for New Zealand, London – Alexander Wright – passenger to Auckland per “Rimutaka” leaving London 12 June 1908 (possibly great grandfather) I decided not to visit the Auckland Archives in the end. I wasn’t sure the item would be connected to my family at all….

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