A Kiwi in search of her ancestral tribes

Category: Genealogy (Page 1 of 5)

Accentuate the Positive ~ 2021

Given the madness of recent times, it’s lovely to take up the invitation Jill Ball aka GeniAUS has extended to everyone – to celebrate and share all the positives of the last year with her geneameme Accentuate the Positive.


  1. I got the most joy from my study buddies/partners in crime Pam and Zoë who helped me through the IHGS Diploma in Genealogy course this year.  It was a crazy year of work, study, assignments, and a hefty dollop of stress, and those two kept me (relatively) sane and made it such a fun experience.
  2. The Covid situation gave me an opportunity to view many talks and presentations I wouldn’t have been able to see otherwise, and also connect with other genealogists around the world.  Plus, I got to study with IHGS and sit the diploma exam via Zoom.
  3. I managed to attend a face to face event at the Palmerston North Genealogy Research Day in April, helping out on the Scottish Interest Group stand.  It was marvellous getting out and about and catching up with people in person, even if it was only two hours up the road!  And then in August I travelled to Auckland for their Family History Expo just before we all went into lockdown again.
  4. My main focus this year was on study, study, study.
  5. A new piece of technology or skill I mastered was finally getting to grips with Disk Utility on my Macbook.
  6. A geneasurprise received was being contacted by a second cousin once removed and having a wonderful afternoon chatting to her about our O’Rourke family.
  7. A Facebook Group that helped me was the private group three of us set up for our diploma studies this year.
  8. My 2021 social media post that I was particularly proud of was one about my 3x great grandfather Thomas Gaffney and the quest for his final resting place.
  9. A new genealogy/history book I am enjoying is Vincent O’Malley’s Voices from the New Zealand Wars He Reo nō ngā Pakanga o Aotearoa which I bought a couple of months ago and finally have the time to read.  A stunning book, recommended!
  10. I was impressed by my passing all three sections of assessment and being awarded a Diploma in Genealogy.  I did harbour some doubts during the year of it actually happening.
  11. A great journal or newspaper article I found was John Schuerman’s article on The Arches and Knolls families in Lancashire and Yorkshire in the 12th-14th centuries (available online on the fantastic Some notes on medieval English genealogy website), which helped me unravel a few mysteries on a pedigree I was working on.
  12. I got the most value from this subscription: Essex Archives Online, which enabled me to complete the research task requirement for the diploma.  Other subscriptions were also of huge benefit to my studies this year: Findmypast, Ancestry, The Genealogist and RootsIreland.
  13. I progressed my DNA research with a four day Masterclass with Angie Bush, Blaine Bettinger, and Jonny Perl, along with locals Cate Pearce (Perth) and Elena Falla Fowler (Auckland).  This event was originally scheduled for 2020, was postponed till 2021, and went ahead via Zoom as travel restrictions meant our speakers couldn’t attend in person.  Organised by Fiona Brooker, Michelle Patient and Paul Alpe, this was an intensive deep-dive into DNA – absolutely fabulous.  I think my brain was wrecked for several days afterwards.
  14. I taught a genimate how to get more out of researching newspapers, and the Irish Valuation Office records.  At least, I hope those attending the two talks I gave this year (as part of the IHGS Diamond Jubilee celebrations) may have picked up a tip or two.
  15. A blog post that taught me something new was all of them.  There were so many posts and articles I’ve read online this year, I couldn’t even begin to choose one of them.
  16. A DNA discovery I made was more cousins, lots more cousins, though I’ve yet to identify exactly how all of us connect.  A task for the year ahead.
  17. A newly found family member shared stories and identified individuals in some family photos.
  18. I finally found ……… six feet under: the elusive Thomas Gaffney.  At least, I think we have.
  19. I splashed out and purchased several reference books for my diploma studies.  Several are available in digital format, but I really needed hard copies for the exam, and they’re so much more satisfying to use.
  20. Another positive I would like to share is I’m a 1921 England & Wales Census ambassador for Findmypast and just a little bit excited for the release on January 6th (00:01 GMT / 13:01 NZDT)!

Findmypast - home of the 1921 England and Wales Census

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 join in too.

1939 Register ~ Closing presentation for Family History Month

AFFHO (Australasian Federation of Family History Organisations)’s  closing presentation this evening (8pm NZST / 6pm AEST) is via Zoom and there’s still time to register.  It features Christchurch genealogist Fiona Brooker from Memories in Time talking about how to use the UK’s 1939 Register for your family history research.

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The party starts today ~ Family History Month Aotearoa/Australia

Family History Month starts today in Aotearoa and Australia!  What are your plans for the month?

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Family History Month 2021

Family History Month is celebrated every year during August across Aotearoa and Australia. It’s a chance to learn more about researching your whakapapa/family history, whatever stage you’re at, and explore ways to share your stories with whānau and friends. There are several major events happening around the motu for family historians, with Auckland and Christchurch…

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Thomas Gaffney ~ where’s the body buried?

One of my father’s great quests is to find the grave of his 2 x great grandfather, Thomas Gaffney. The family story is that Thomas’s son Michael travelled from New Zealand back to England to place a headstone on his father’s grave. While I was living in England, I was determined to find that headstone.

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Palmerston North, 1912, by Muir & Moodie studio

Research Day programme ~ 17th April

The programme is now out for the NZSG Palmerston North’s Research Day this coming Saturday at Kilwinning Lodge, Church Street. If you’re in the Lower North Island, you might like to pop along.

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Finding John Clarke, soldier

For one of my portfolio pieces for the (IHGS) Diploma in Genealogy I’m undertaking this year, I have decided to focus on my 3 x great grandfather, John Clarke, who served in the 74th Regiment of the British Army during the mid 19th century.

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Palmerston North, 1912, by Muir & Moodie studio

Genealogy Research Day, Palmerston North ~ 17th April

Covid levels allowing, the Palmerston North branch of the NZ Society of Genealogists will be holding a Genealogy Research Day on Saturday, 17th April at Kilwinning Lodge, Church Street, Palmerston North from 9.30am to 4pm.

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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.

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Family History Month 2020

Family history events taking place, both in person and online, across New Zealand in August.

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