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