Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Like a bargain?

Genealogy would just be names dates and maybe places, if it wasn't for
      • family stories (often published in trees and books by others in times gone past) and 
      • indexes and records held by 
        • archives 
        • libraries
        • museums
        • government departments
        • local and family history organisations
So what does this have to do with a bargain?

Well local groups around the world compile indexes with information containing genealogical value. This month and until the end of March 2014. The New Zealand Society of Genealogists (NZSG) is having a stock take sale.

Seems to me that the items on sale are valuable for all researchers with an interest in Australia and New Zealand so do check out the details below. IMHO the Victoria Passenger lists are a must have for everyone with Australian and NZ ancestors.

The indexes and records contained cover the topics of

  • shipping (certainly a genealogy disease for those of us in the "colonies")
  • military and navy
  • land
  • cemeteries

Buy any 1 for $25 or buy any 2 for $35 or
Buy any 3 for $45 or buy any 4 for $55 or
Buy any five for $65

So you could buy one of each, or just one or X of the same CD to give to others as a gift or a whole combination of bargains to suit you.

Here they is the list of CD's and some background info to help you decide if any or all of these disks are for you. To purchase online with a credit card or find how to order via other means there are more at the NZSG website...

 Passenger Lists - Victoria, Australia Outwards to New Zealand 1852-1923 (PC and Mac compatible)

Transcriptions of passenger lists of the ships leaving Victoria, Australia for New Zealand ports, as contained in VPRS 948 Outward Passenger Lists 1852-1923 have been indexed.

These were originally published as 4 sets of fiche:
Part 1, 1852-1860    Part 2, 1861-1865 Part 3, 1866-1870    Part 4, 1871-1880.

This CD contains all the data from the four published sets of fiche plus remaining data transcribed up to and including 1923. The index contains a total of 368,481 passenger records and 5040 ship records covering the years 1852-1923.  It is searchable by Passenger, Ship and Port of Arrival.

 The Naval Chronology of Great Britain 1803 - 1816*

This CD contains all three volumes of this rare book. Scanned and indexed, it is a must for any serious Naval Historian. Also contains narratives of shipwrecks, particulars of the most important Courts Martial, Votes of Parliament, List of Flag Officers in Commission and of Promotions for each year. The whole forms a complete history of British Naval History for the period, 1803 to 1816, illustrated with numerous engravings.

Discharged in New Zealand*

Originally compiled by Hugh and Lyn Hughes, the book Discharged in New Zealand was published by the New Zealand Society of Genealogists in 1988. An index was added when the book was published on microfiche. This project was completed with the help of volunteers from the NZSG and the wider genealogical community.

 A Return of Freeholders of NZ October 1882*

This facsimile gives the names, addresses and occupations of owners of land throughout New Zealand. It includes the area and value in counties, and the value in boroughs and town districts.

New Zealand Cemetery Records: Waikato, King Country and Taupo*

These are scans of the original NZSG cemetery transcriptions of headstones and burial records, preserved over the years. Also included are maps and some background notes. This is a valuable resource for any researcher with NZ research.
Coves: Raglan, Waikato, Hauraki Plains, Piako, Matamata, Hamilton City, Waipa, Otorohanga, Waitomo, Taupo, Taumarunui and Waitomo

*  Depends on version of Adobe Acrobat Reader

Sunday, 23 February 2014

Holding a Reunion?

I am an active member of a few mailing lists and Facebook groups and recently someone asked for some tips about planning and advertising a reunion. So I posted to the mailing list and the response made me realise it was time I got back into blogging about the genealogy and technology things that I am interested in, so here goes...

One branch of our family held a reunion back in 2007 to celebrate the arrival of the eldest sibling (3 others followed later and all their descendants were included), so here are some of the tips we learnt.

Tip 1

Allow lots of time and space for attendees to talk with each other, many long lost cousins came together who hadn't seen each other for years and wanted to reminisce. In other words don't organize too many things to fit into the day.

Many wont have the energy to do anything at night so I would advise against it. Others wanted to make time together with just their smaller crowd, so not having something at night gave them space to do so. We had a children's corner with colouring in and a paper based quiz sheet to complete (family tree things of course) and space for them to play outdoor cricket so they weren't bored and the family could stay all day.

Tip 2

We found a place that had family significance and held it there. One room was dedicated to family trees - the tree printout was 58 metres long and went round the room twice! We had free standing boards in the centre of the room, arranged in groups for each child of the original couple with lots of biographical and historical info and pictures on them.

Tip 3

We colour-coded each child so all name tags for those attending had the relevant colour. This meant that those more closely related could meet each other and get to hear each others stories.

Tip 4

We did four talks during the day - all short half an hour - the first one being about the families life in the home country before arrival and pointing out that ALL of us in the room were here because of them rather than just being descended from the grand parent they knew. Does this make sense? Hard to explain but many folk don't see themselves as related to those people over there, when actually they are all related if you just go back one or two generations!

Esther STRONG nee VICKERS??? the rear says "Mrs Strong, grandmother of J S UTHER reputed to have been painted by her son." This painting was brought to Australia by another grandchild, John Samuel's sister Sarah KIRBY (nee UTHER)

We were lucky to have a projector, so all the talks were accompanied by power point presentations, so people weren't sitting in a crowded room in warm weather just listening to someone speak (and hence falling asleep).


Tip 5

We had a sheltered spot outside - here we had larger family descendant sheets and attendees were asked to correct and update them.


Tip 6

Food, I often think food is the second rule of genealogy, morning and afternoon tea as well as lunch. We hired a caterer to come along and cook a BBQ lunch, so no work for the rest of us and had after lunch entertainment with a local period group of performers doing dance from the time period. The morning and afternoon tea was easy enough to self serve - we had two spots for this to avoid long queues.

Tip 7

We gave certificates of attendance to all the children, can't remember what age we cut off at but somewhere around 15 I think. We gave certificates to the oldest and youngest present (these people were also marked on the huge tree so people could see where they were in the scheme of things). Certificate presentations were done in front of everyone.

Tip 8

We had a small display room so attendees could bring their family treasure to show, we had a volunteer in the room at all times and had white gloves for handling and for some items a “please do not touch” sign. Some items had cards beside them with the item's story. Like a mini family museum.

Tip 9

We had pages available on the day, we asked people to write their family stories on them – what they remembered being told by older generations and we had an interview room where one of our family interviewed all the older members, one to one and recorded the sessions. These were announced as possible source material for a book.


Tip 10

A long time prior to the event we sent out family group sheets and asked them to complete them, with the aim of creating a book down the track, rather than having a book already done in time for the reunion and finding lots of new info as a result of those coming along on the day. Would be a good idea to have a mock up of a book if you plan on producing one and take orders and a deposit towards the end of the day. These sheets also helped find the living members we were not aware of so we could contact them ahead of time.

You can set up a mailing list with google groups or yahoo groups or better still facebook and keep family informed on your progress, save $ on postage and saves you time, as you only have to send one email or post.

Tip 11

We had an optional day two where we hired buses and did a guided tour of significant places, (houses, churches, cemeteries and places of work). You may find something like this worth doing if there are enough locations in the area you are holding the event. We even produced a pamphlet tour guide on a tri-folded A4 sheet. Later we sent a CD out with all the photos from the day. (You might want to make sure you get two photographers on the day to take random shots as well as group shots of those attending)
People came from around Australia and New Zealand and even the UK. The bus trip was really worth the organizing.

Hope this helps, do ask away if you have more questions. Advertising suggestions and more photos from the 2007 Reunion will follow later this week... Thank you for reading this far. :-)