Thursday, 24 December 2015

Of Christmas Past in New Zealand

Book Review : "A New Zealand Christmas: three centuries of Kiwi celebrations from the Alexander Turnbull Library" by Sarah Ell.

Here's a few interesting facts from this beautifully illustrated history of Christmas in Aotearoa :

  • In 1769 artist Sydney Parkinson along with the scientists, officers and seamen of Captain James Cook's Endeavour voyage were the first Europeans to observe and record the flowers of what would become known as New Zealand's Christmas tree, the pohutukawa. 
  • In 1865 Benjamin Leopold Farjeon wrote one of the first novels published in New Zealand "Shadows on the snow: a Christmas story"
  • In the 1880s artist John Philemon Backhouse painted beautiful greeting cards depicting our NZ Manuka in flower.
  • In 1893, women were granted the right to vote in local body and parliamentary elections Political cartoonist, William Blomfield's response was to publish a satirical cartoon of "Some good old Christmas customs reversed by the female franchise"  in the "New Zealand Observer and Free Lance" on 23rd December 1893.
Skipping forward a few years... 

  • In 1913 8 year old Edna Crompton wrote a letter to "Father Christmas" asking for 1. a thumb Bible 2. a dolls head 3. a box of good paints 4. a nice picture book 5. a small dolls house 6. some orange, apples and nuts 7. a box of chocolates 8. a good note book 9. a pretty money box 10. a toy and in closing "Now I must close a loving friend Edna" and one last comment "don't bring German things" 

This book is a most fascinating look at Christmases past in NZ and how world events influenced how we looked at Christmas and the reason for the season.

Available to borrow from the 2nd Floor, NZ History & Travel 993z ELL

Monday, 14 December 2015

Rotorua's Festivals in times gone by

New Year's Eve Parades

This magnificent swan was in the Parade,
Photograph courtesy of Jane Gilbert

Many locals got involved in these annual parades and made them very special and enjoyable events as shown here in the Rotorua Photo News of 1965.

Another popular event on New Years Eve, Rotorua Photo News 1964
The Rotorua Photo News was published from September 1963 to April 1971 and can be seen in the Don Stafford Room,  Heritage Collection on the 2nd Floor.

If anyone would like to send us your memories of these fantastic events please either email the Rotorua District Library or go to Kete Rotorua, register and type your memories straight into our community online archive.

Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Gardening of Yesteryear

New Zealand Gardens

Important mainly for food, in the early colonisation of New Zealand, as the advertising shows :

Papers Past -- Hot Lakes Chronicle --  5 February 1910
From : Papers Past 

Gardening soon included flowers for the housewife to pretty up the house and enjoy.

Te Puke Times of 1917 & 1918

Rotorua has a strong history of green thumbed residents who showed their prowess at the annual Rotorua Show run by the Rotorua Agricultural and Pastoral Association.  These shows have be held in Rotorua since c1910.

Rotorua's First Ever A & P Show
These and many more articles and advertising can be viewed on Papers Past a free online newspaper archive Papers Past contains more than three million pages of digitised New Zealand newspapers and periodicals. The collection covers the years 1839 to 1948 and includes 120 publications from all regions of New Zealand.

Monday, 23 November 2015

Gardening Guru's of New Zealand

Two Well Known Gardening Gurus 

Eion Scarrow 

Gardening personality Eion Scarrow with his wife Ann.
Photograph from : Waikato Times 29.04.2013
To see an example of Eion Scarrow's "Dig This" programme click this link to NZ On Screen Dig This

Eion also wrote many useful gardening books and was a hit on National Radio with tips and advice.

For a list of his books visit National Library of NZ

His 'Palmers Citrus Handbook" is available to borrow from Rotorua District Library 634.3z SCA

Prof. Walker (T.W. Walker)
Photograph from : The Press, 18.11.2010

Prof. Walker

Prof Walker became a TV celebrity when he joined the 'Maggie's Garden Show team, but before that he was a well known Professor at Lincoln University for 27 Years. To read his obituary click this link Garden Show Prof dies at 94

Read and learn from his book "Vegetable gardening with Prof. Walker" available to borrow at the Rotorua District Library 635.04z WAL

Click the link to see a clip of Maggie's Garden Show on which Prof Walker starred in a cameo role for the Ellerslie Garden Show in 2000. NZ on Screen

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Book Review : 1000 Years of Gardening in New Zealand by Helen Leach

An Anthropologist's View of Gardening History

Helen Leach's "1,000 years of gardening in New Zealand" published 1984 and Illustrated by Rotorua's well known artist Nancy Tichborne is an in depth look into Pre-European gardening and plants throughout Polynesia and Europe so as to give us the big picture. 

Quote from the Author " It is my belief that every New Zealander who has ever thrust a spade into a back garden and started a vegetable plot should know something about his or her antecedents... whether Maori or European" 

Along with Archaeologists and first European explorers, diaries and other published works, Helen Leach paints a word picture for us of young New Zealand pre-colonisation and moves us through time to the early 20th century of gardening for food and survival. Beautifully illustrated by Nancy Tichborne, early maps, charts and photographs.

Available to borrow from the 2nd Floor New Zealand History & Travel section at 635.0931z LEA


Monday, 9 November 2015

Rotorua Firsts

It's our Blog's 1st Birthday! so we thought we would celebrate a few of Rotorua's 1st's.

A Chronology  by D. M. Stafford

Don (D. M.) Stafford 

1340        Arawa Canoe arrives at Maketu
Sir George Grey (From : Te Ara)
1340-50   Exploration of Rotorua District
1650        Ngati Whakaue occupy Ohinemutu and surrounds
1835        1st Mission Station set up.
1852        1st Resident Magistrate appointed at Rotorua
1866        Sir George Grey visits Rotorua District
1870        1st Royal visit (Duke of Edinburgh)  First Rotorua Royal Visit
1872        1st Hotel opens at Ohinemutu
1872        1st organised horse racing in the district
1875        New Post Office opened in Ohinemutu
1881        1st horse sale in district
1884        1st Blue Bath built and 1st hospital built
1885        1st marathon run between Rotorua and Tauranga
1885        1st issue of Hot Lakes Chronicle is published
1886        1st known volcanic eruption
1888        1st gold prospecting begins in district
1889        1st meeting held to establish a Library
1892        1st Brass Band established
1894        1st Telephone in the district installed
1895        1st Grand Hotel opens
1897        1st street lights established
1898        1st ever (in NZ) Bicycle tracks laid in Rotorua
1900        1st Elections for Rotorua Town Council
1902        1st Bank of NZ opened in Rotorua
1903        1st car arrives in Rotorua
1908        1st Rotorua Golf Club established
1910        1st A&P Association Show
1919        1st YMCA opens on Pukeroa Hill
1923        1st Borough Council elections held
1924        1st Te Arawa Trust Board members appointed
1926        1st Rotorua Bus Company
1928        1st St John's Ambulance service
1929        1st ANZAC service held at Ohinemutu

Ohinemutu War Memorial
 ( From
1930        1st 'Talkies' at Majestic Theatre
NZ Herald 18 Dec 1931 (From Papers Past)
1935        1st tar sealed road between Rotorua & Ngongotaha
1937        1st parade of Rotorua Boys Brigade
1939        1st Rotorua Yacht and Power Boat Gala Day
1943        1st  American Servicemen arrive in Rotorua
1947        1st  Jukebox installed in Rotorua Milk Bar
1948        1st use of New Soundshell
1949        1st official broadcast from Station 1YZ Rotorua.    

There are of course many more 1st's for Rotorua this is just a small selection.   You can read more Rotorua History in Don Stafford's well known books 'The Founding Years in Rotorua' and 'The new century in Rotorua' available to borrow from the 2nd Floor.

Friday, 30 October 2015

Rotorua Transport Companies of Yesteryear.

Tourists Travel by Luxury Car to Rotorua

With thanks to Don Stafford's 'The new century in Rotorua' for the following information.

In 1902 it took just 2 days to drive from Auckland to Rotorua by car, the road conditions were deemed acceptable, with the stretch of road through the 'Oxford Bush' (now Mamaku), which had been cut up with the timber and fire wood wagons, being the only exception.

Mr Edwin Robertson's coaching company was the biggest private employer during the early 1900s, by 1903 his company was taken over by a group financed by two Auckland businessmen and two other men who had also been in Rotorua coaching circles, William Carr and Thornton Walker.

The new company was titled "Rotorua Motor Coaching Co. Ltd" By 1908 R.M. Coaching Co. had a fleet of cars as well as the coaches, however the condition of the roads between 1910-1919 was of greater concern for those using motor cars than it was for horse-drawn vehicles.  Unfortunately by 1918, the R.M. Transport Co. was in dire financial straits and folded soon after in 1919, at that time the last coach ran also.

 In September of 1920 a new company by the name of Rotorua Motor Transport Co. was formed that also took over the Hot Lakes Transport Co. as well.  During 1922 the Kusab's transport company became "K Motors"  from this time the new players in the transport industry grew and Taxi companies were formed and later Bus companies began operating between town's making travel that much easier albeit a little bumpy! and sometimes the roads were impassable too.

From "Wises New Zealand Post Office Directory" 1898

One of the first ever transport companies in the Rotorua region.

c1910 Map of  Hot Lakes Transport Co. Trips around Rotorua.
From the Rotorua District Library Collection

From : Papers Past, article in 'Auckland Star' 3rd September 1937

Friday, 23 October 2015

Book Review : "Last train to paradise : journeys from the golden age of New Zealand Railways" by Graham Hutchins

Romantic Rail

Rail travel has long been the only way to see the country, especially when you are not driving!

This lovely book "Last train to paradise" gives us a picturesque look at how it once was for sightseer's and visitors to our fair country from 1920 to the 1950s. Written not as a travel guide, but giving much detail about the countryside the train passed through and where it stopped. From North to South "trains not only linked communities, they were communities in themselves"

In the chapter on the 'Rotorua Limited' (previously 'Rotorua Express), the author tells the story of how it was for the passengers of this new style of train "with enclosed vestibules between carriages. It was now possible to walk the length of the train without having to negotiate the vagaries of wind and weather" you can almost imagine yourself on that train, so vivid the description of scenery, smells and stations. The black and white photographs capture the essence of rail travel in the golden age. 

This book can be borrowed from the NZ History and Travel section on the 2nd Floor.

The Rotorua Express
From 'NZ Railways Magazine, Dec 15th 1926"

Friday, 16 October 2015

Aeroplane Travel 1960s Style

Rotorua Airport 

Officially opened by The Rt Hon Keith Holyoake on Saturday 3rd October 1964. 

Rotorua Photo News 24/10/1964 p7
Festivities on the day included over 100 aircraft from a 'Friendship' to a 'Tiger Moth' converging on the airfield, sightseeing trips took 100s of trippers round the lakes, Aerobatics, gliding, topdressing, supply dropping and parachute skydiving. The Prime Minister's arrival coincided with an artillery demonstration by the Australians, their blank shots making a fitting salute.  The day was organised and run by the Rotorua Aero Club and local Jaycees. (Source : Rotorua Photo News October 24th, 1964)     

Rotorua Photo News 24 October 1964, pg 8.

In March of 2014 Rotorua celebrated with the Airport on it's 50th Anniversary 

Excerpt from the Daily Post, Saturday 29th March 2014 : "Retired Rotorua electrician Maurie Street recently dropped off the official programme of events from the big day to the Rotorua Daily Post, which included messages from then Prime Minister Keith Holyoake, Rotorua Mayor Murray Linton and Rotorua County Council chairman Neil Hunt.

  • The programme states the original cost for the airport and new terminal was 350,000 (approximately $12.5 million).
  • The terminal itself cost 30,000 and was wired up by Mr Street and his team of electricians.
  • Work began on the new 4500ft (1371m) runway set on 143 acres (58ha) on land bought from Te Arawa hapu Ngati Uenukukopako.

On November 12, 1962, machinery began to crush scrub and Waikato Earthmovers Ltd began to fell trees which dotted the area. A few problems caused by bad weather, hidden underground springs and a layer of hard rock delayed construction, but by March 1963 a workforce of 24 men driving seven bulldozers, five large scrapers, three water carts and six heavy rollers were preparing the site for the new sealed runway.
Lots of local firms were involved in the construction, including MJ Street Electricians, GN Dodds painters, Larkin Bros construction, Walsh and Cox roofers, H Allen Mills engineering contractors and Lee Brothers joinery."

This image was published in a booklet by the Photographer D. Therkleson "A scenic Souvenir of your Rotorua holiday" c1960s

The above sources can be viewed at the Library on the 2nd Floor and you can read the Daily Post coverage and see the photos online. 

"I still remember my very first Aeroplane flight at age 5 or 6, it was an NAC plane from Gisborne to Napier" Blog Author, Alison Leigh.  

Monday, 12 October 2015

5 Ways to see New Zealand

Travelling around New Zealand

This can be managed many ways as evidenced from the many travel guides on offer, so I've decided to give you just a few.  All titles are available to borrow from the 2nd Floor,  New Zealand history & Travel section.

1. "New Zealand the great walks" by Alexander Stewart c2009.  993z TRA 

This compact guide covers 'the great walks' as the author dubs them, these being : The Lake Waikaremoana Track ; Tongariro Northern Circuit ; Whanganui River Journey ; Abel Tasman Coast Track ; Heaphy Track ; Routeburn Track ; Milford Track ; Kepler Track and Rakiura Track.  The tries to cover some historic facts, geology, flora and Fauna and supplies an overview map for each, though helpful if you own a copy of this guide it would be better for eager walkers to obtain up-to-date maps from the local Dept. of Conservation offices or go on a guided walk there are many options available.  

The author also gives prices for a realistic budget, these are liable to change from one year to the next so be careful to get up-to-date prices online.

2. "Classic New Zealand road rides : 100 recreational road rides in New Zealand" by Jonathan Kennett and Kieran Turner with Foreword by Sarah Ulmer. c2010. 993s TRA

This is a really helpful guide if you plan to ride around NZ in your own time, the ride times for each of the featured rides are based on people averaging between 15 and 30 km/h. You can read up on road conditions, ride gradings (i.e. easy to hard) and what clothes and gear you'll need depending on where you are in NZ. The authors cover the whole of NZ taking you from Northland to Bluff and are experienced road riders as well as competition rides.
  This guide is great for the novice as well as more experienced riders.  

3. "Pubs with personality : a personal selection of over 150 of New Zealand's best" by Peter Janssen & Steve Reid. c2008. 993z TRA

A great way to see historic New Zealand and meet the locals. This is a pocket history of each of the featured pubs, where you can stay or just get a meal and wet your whistle.  The oldest pub in NZ is the Horeke Hotel in the upper Hokianga Harbour built in about 1833 to supply liquor to the local workers at the ship builders yard even though it wasn't licensed until 1842!.   Find out all the amazing facts (and tall tales) of this fascinating part of New Zealand's history and see the country at the same time.

4. "Let's go camping : 66 great places to pitch your tent or park your van" by Sarah Bennett and Lee Slater c2009.

"No matter where you are there will be campgrounds less than an hour away" This book covers just 66 of them in depth, but also lists other campgrounds as supplied by the AA. As you read through each review you can see that the authors know what they are talking about and have sampled many a campground throughout the country, they also cover (briefly) freedom camping for those who prefer the wild side. Beautiful colour photographs throughout make you wish you were there! 

5. "Twisting the throttle : New Zealand a Kiwi's guide to the top 50 motorcycle rides in the land of the long white cloud" by Mike Hyde c2013.

Part travel guide, part personal experience and part history lesson Mike Hyde style. The author covers from Ninety Mile beach in the North to The Catlins in the south, he makes no apologies for his forthright advice and let's the reader know that if you want spoon fed information you should buy a Lonely Planet Guide. Beautiful color photographs lead you into the by-ways and hi-ways that make our country unique. 
An easy read with kiwi humour thrown in for good measure.

Friday, 25 September 2015

Hobbies of the 1960s

Rotorua Photo News 

This magazine published in the 1960s is a great source of information and photographs that show what past and present Rotorua folks did in their spare time (as well as work, school, engagements, weddings, coming of age parties and much more) 

The following images are from the March 14th 1964 edition and depict the Ngongotaha Garden Circle's annual flower show and a group of young people who got together and called themselves "The Crusadoes"

Stunning Floral Arrangements from pgs. 26 & 27 of March 14, 1964


Bikies 1960s style from pgs. 30 & 31 of March 14, 1964
The original photographs from this magazine are owned by the Rotorua Museum, copies of the original Rotorua Photonews can be viewed in the Rotorua District Library, Don Stafford Room on the 2nd Floor.

Friday, 18 September 2015

Hobbies are for everyone

DIY it's in our DNA 

Quote from "Blokes & Sheds" by Jim Hopkins " A bloke's lost if he hasn't got his workshop" 

For NZ blokes, hobbies can be anything from collecting oil bottles to making DIY Fly Catchers. Then there's making model ships, cars, trains or useful things to sell or give, mostly from found bits and pieces or wood off cuts.  Above all no matter what the hobby a bloke must have his shed. 

Jim Hopkins books,  'Blokes & Sheds' and 'Inventions from the shed' are a great source of ideas and inspiration for any bloke looking for something to occupy his time or just get out of the house.


Excerpt : Douglas Chell and the Anti-thumb thumper. p.50 

"This is the invention every bruised thumb has been waiting for. And it took a good bruising to get it invented... unexpectedly, his invention's been a hit, so to speak in kindergartens... teachers love it, because they don't have to hold the nail." 

Something so simple and practical! 

Both titles are available to borrow from the New Zealand Collection on the 2nd Floor.

Friday, 11 September 2015

Book Review : How to make a piupiu by Leilani Rickard

Traditional Maori Crafts

Information from : How to make a Piupiu 

Leilani Rickard a Whakarewarewa Guide in the 1970s had to weave taniko headbands, bodices and other garments as part of her job.  

At the time the guides were told that the modern piupiu was manufactured mainly as an entertainment accessory during the cultural renaissance of the Maori people at the end of the nineteenth century. Leilani goes on to delve into the history and tradition of piupiu making.  

Harakeke (Phormium tenax) is the material used and this can be harvested many times, however Leilani cautions against harvesting too often as this affects the fibre in the plant.
Leilani goes on to talk about the tools, methods including the plants used for dyeing and patterns.  
Her step by step instructions for making you own piupiu are clear and easy to follow with colour photographs, a flow chart showing the production process, a glossary and references.

This photograph was taken in the Rotorua District Library
when Leilani demonstrated her craft. August 2008
Available to borrow from the Maori Collection on the 2nd Floor 746.41z RIC

Friday, 4 September 2015

Discover Your Hobby @ the Rotorua District Library

A brief history of knitting in New Zealand

The Loving Stitch : a history behind knitting and spinning in New Zealand by Heather Nicholson.

Excerpt from the Introduction :
"This New Zealand Story of the craft of knitting is a celebration of our Anglo-Celtic heritage... as New Zealanders, those of us with northern European roots have our own traditions and a culture that is quite distinct from 'the old country' wherever it may be"

From this book I've learnt the following 5 facts :

1. The early missionaries were responsible for bringing and teaching the art of knitting to New Zealand as early as 1814 when Samuel Marsden set up his mission in Rangihoua. It was deemed necessary to introduce the "Arts of Civilized Life".

2. Most of the old pattern books included recipes for lace edgings, beaded purses, collars, trims, gloves, pin cushions, window curtains, various sorts of wraps and scarves along with cloths and runners.

3. Some women preferred knitting curtains to doing monotonous black wool stockings! I see their point.

4. Among the earliest records of jersey's worn in New Zealand are Angas's portraits of Hone Heke.

5. By the mid-1890s rugby teams were tidily uniformed in standard collarless jersey's with reinforced leather facings and long knee length knickerbockers.

There are many more fascinating facts and photographs to enjoy in this book, which can be borrowed from the 2nd Floor New Zealand History and Travel section at 746.432z NIC

This book by Kari Cornell and Jean Lampe showcases a great range of vintage patterns that you can make for yourself or your family. 

This book has some quirky patterns for the intrepid knitter, and, 
this seems to be a more modern knitters fashion, knitting food...

even Boyfriends, yes you can! 

All these titles are available to borrow at the Library, so try a new technique today!

Friday, 28 August 2015

Family History Books

Self-Help Genealogy Guides

These titles are available from the Family History Collection on the 2nd Floor of Rotorua District Library :

Tracing  your family history on the internet by Chris Paton.
929.10285 PAT
Every day new records and resources are put online in repositories such as,, genealogy blogs and family history sites. These have become so numerous that it becomes more and more like a needle in a haystack or simply a rabbit trail that may or may not lead you to what you seek. This book will help you navigate the internet and how to trust the sources you find.

How to get more family tree time by Megan Gibson  
929.1 GIB
Top tips from a TV Researcher for "Who do you think you are" promising tips for the time poor!

The everything guide to online genealogy : trace your roots, share your history, and create your family tree by Kimberly Powell.
929.10285 POW
Packed with tips on using free databases, new websites, and a growing number of genealogy apps, The Everything Guide to Online Genealogy, 3rd Edition has everything readers need to find their ancestors going back generations!

Tracing your ancestors through family photographs by Jayne Shrimpton.
929.1072 SHR
Almost every family and local historian works with photographs. They are one of the most vivid and memorable ways into the past. This concise but comprehensive guide describes the various types of photograph and explains how they can be dated.

Who do you think you are? : the genealogy handbook : the essential pocket guide to tracing your family history by Dan Waddell.
929.1072 WAD

Drawing on celebrity stories to illustrate and inspire, and providing hints, tips and practical step-by-steps our attractively packaged pocket handbook will bring family history to life for fans of the show, and for any amateur sleuths starting out on their own journey of discovery.

Thursday, 20 August 2015

Ancestry Searching Tips

Searching for New Zealand Records

Ancestry has a large number of New Zealand Records, to search for these, the following steps are the best way to start. 

  • Go to your local library and click the Ancestry Library Edition link from the Catalogue -- Rotorua District Library Catalogue
  • When Ancestry opens, click the word Search from the top menu bar
  • Don't select anything from the drop down menu, you want a new page to open that has Explore by Location  and a continent map of USA with some tabs that have other continents on them will appear on your screen.

1. Click the tab that says Australia & NZ
2. If you only want NZ click the map of NZ and from there you will get another window that has the Data Collection lists.

  • See my blog post from 5th August for a sample of what's available.
3. Choose your source i.e. Electoral Rolls, a new window will open with a Search form to fill in. 
  • In NZ the electoral boundaries have changed on several occasions and this will mean that you will have to search not only by town but also by location e.g. Bay of Plenty for years 1853-1860 the electorate was called the "Southern Division" of the North Island, 1860-1870 it was Franklin.  For more information on historic electorates see the book "New Zealand Electoral Atlas" by Alan McRobie, published 1989 and available to study in the Genealogy section of Rotorua District Library. 
4. Fill in the name or names you are looking for and click Search
  • When you start typing in the location box a menu will drop down showing the options you need to choose by clicking the appropriate town or region. 
5. The results list will have the most probable names and dates at the top, if your ancestor does not appear there, try editing your search by broadening your search. E.g. Take the first name out. 

6. Click the View Record link, then click the image to see the page with your ancestor's details.

7. If you want a copy of this you can click the print icon, select Full page view or zoomed (close-up) and click Continue. Ask a Librarian to help, as they will know which printer to choose and how to optimize your image.

These instructions are also available from the Librarian on the 2nd Floor so please don't hesitate to ask for help.

Friday, 14 August 2015

Genealogy Tips

Births, Deaths & Marriages 

There are a number of sources to find this information when trying to piece together you family tree.

  • Newspapers through the ages have had notices published when the families have been able to afford it, so in some cases there won't be a notice. 

Rotorua District Library has the Daily Post and its predecessors back to 1895 (The Hot Lakes Chronicle) with gaps between 1905 & 1931 due to an unfortunate fire when the then Editor kept the back copies in a shed.

Papers Past is a free website where you can search across a wide range of New Zealand newspapers 

    Papers Past contains more than three million pages of digitised New Zealand newspapers and periodicals. The collection covers the years 1839 to 1948 and includes 119 publications from all regions of New Zealand.
          Public Libraries have (most libraries) on microfiche lists of  Births, Deaths and                         Marriages 1840-1990, they only have the names and dates and a folio number which               you need to send away to the following  address to purchase a copy of the certificate :   
          Births, Deaths, Marriages and Citizenship, PO Box 10-526,  Wellington 6143 
          ** Note there are costs involved.
  • the Library Edition also has records, however the NZ records able to be searched on have not been provided by Births, Deaths and Marriages (BDM) New Zealand.
New Zealand Birth, death and marriage records available on this website  BDM Online  are historical as follows : 
  • Births that occurred at least 100 years ago
  • Stillbirths that occurred at least 50 years ago
  • Marriages that occurred at least 80 years ago
  • Deaths that occurred at least 50 years ago or the deceased's date of birth was at least 80 years ago.

Ask a Librarian on the 2nd Floor for any help you may need or come to the New Zealand Genealogists drop in session on the 2nd Wednesday of every month except December.

Thursday, 6 August 2015

Family History Month

Ancestry Library Edition

This global website is available to search for FREE at Rotorua District Library.

Just getting started on finding out who you are? First pick up or print out a basic family tree, put your name on the tree and start by working back each generation that you know.  

Now the fun starts : Ancestry has learning guides with videos you can watch or you can ask a friendly Librarian to help.  

Ancestry covers the following New Zealand records :
New Zealand Electoral Rolls 1853-1981 ; New Zealand Birth, Marriage & Death 1800s-1964

New Zealand Military WW1 & WW2 ; New Zealand Immigration & Travel ; New Zealand 

Schools, Directories ; New Zealand Tax & Criminal, Maori Land Claims 1858-1980 ; 

New Zealand Reference, Dictionaries & AlmanacsNew Zealand Stories, Memories & 

Histories (a select list) and of course they cover the rest of the World too.

A sample of what you can see from the Wises Post Office Directories

Wises Post Office Directory 1898

Electoral Rolls for Bay of Plenty 1905-06