Tuesday, 29 August 2017

Family in the News : a Family History Tip

Rotorua People in the newspaper

Did you know your family member was in the news? Have you thought of looking through Don Stafford's Research Folders for your family member?

At Rotorua Library we are blessed to have in our collection Don's research folders, which include 8 volumes of biographical information about Rotorua residents of the past up to the late 1980,s when Don published his 2 volume history of Rotorua.   The library also has Don's card index of Rotorua people.  

In Don's Sports Folder we find his research of the Bay of Plenty Times and Rotorua newspapers this shows the earliest events to be Horse Racing (1872) and the Rotorua Jockey Club being in existence in 1881.  The list of names as noted by Don are the following : President William Kelly; Judge Henry W. Mitchell; Starter Capt. H. Way; Clerk of the Course J.L.R. Fraser; Clerk of the Scales James Stanley Esq. ; Handicapper Joseph Ellis Esq.; Treasurer J. H. Taylor Esq. and Stewards Messrs J. Kelly, R.D. Dansey, J.H. Taylor, B.F.J Edwards, J.D. Wrigley, C. Hetley, T.J. Bennett, J. McRae, W.A. Thom, J.C. Young, W.Harvey, Wi Maihi and W.A. Ellis.

Perhaps one of the men above is your ancestor, did you know they were so involved in the races?

Another well reported event was the Annual Regatta which needed funds raised and therefore the following committee was formed : President - Mr Robert Graham, Vice President Mr William Kelly and Secretary Mr W.A. Ellis.

Rotorua Regatta as reported in the Bay of Plenty Times 19 Apr 1881
excerpt courtesy of Papers Past
What else might your ancestor have been involved in? 

Rotorua Library is also blessed with another historian by the name of Phil Andrews who has written several books, these being :
Ngongotaha's Story ; Ko Mata : the life of Anne Chapman ; No fear of rusting : a biography of Rev. Thomas Chapman ; Gold & geysers ; Women in Wonderland ; Mokoia: a brief history ; Stones bones steam ; Government Gardens : a walk through history ; Rotorua Streets: the story behind the street names... and Tarawera and the Terraces.

Phil also had a column in the Rotorua Daily Post where he wrote a lot of Rotorua stories.

These are just two authors and history enthusiasts who have put together books that showcase Rotorua past, the past is why Rotorua has grown the way it has and will continue into the future : Community involvement at it's heart.

Build a picture, of where You came from, using either Don's or Phil's well researched publications held in the Heritage & Research area of Rotorua Library.

Monday, 14 August 2017

Family Photographs for Genealogists

Portraits, Family Gatherings, Christenings...

These are all important items to keep and digitize wherever possible and NAME everyone in the photograph! In 10 years, 20 years whose going to know who they are or remember names? This is one of the most often things we hear at the Heritage & Research Help Desk, "this photo was taken sometime in the 1920,s or 1890,s  Mum/Dad are gone/cannot remember their names".

Family is how we figure out who we are and where we came from, and increasingly this means genealogy research is becoming our only way to find out especially as family members grow older and forget or in some cases choose not to pass on the family stories. With Ancestry.com and other genealogy resources growing bigger and better and privacy laws changing it means we now have access to millions of records from all over the world.

Family photographs are often lost or destroyed through house fires, floods and other natural disasters so now is the time to record these for future generations. There are many technology tools available to save these precious items, here are just a few...
  • Use your smartphone as a scanner and save the image to the Cloud or pen drive, read this blog post by Dick Eastman for more ideas. Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter
  • Scan to email at your local library Rotorua Library Services
  • Use a digital camera and download all photographs to an external hard drive or USB, from there you can pay an online Photograph Book service such as SnapFish, Diamond Photo or PhotoBox, there are many to choose from, and this allows you to share with family via a password secured service or printed copy of the book.
  • Use genealogy software to record your family tree. Again there are lots to choose from, a great resource to figure out which one is best see Eastman's Blog or Cyndi's List
  • DON'T put precious photographs on Facebook or other social media, because when you read their fine print conditions you will find they own the digital image and can do what they or anyone on the WWW want to do with it.
Alan Lord kindly allowed Rotorua Library to add this photograph to
our online archive Kete Rotorua
Any one of the people in the photograph could be You! or your parents, brothers, sisters, cousins. Kete Rotorua and DigitalNZ are safe repositories for photographs like this one as they are secure sites which always give the copyright owners their rightful place.

Rotorua has had many professional photographers and here are a few that allowed their images, mostly weddings, engagements and coming of age photographs, to be published in the Rotorua Photo News 1963-1971.

Arawa Studios - Michael Burton
Bachelor Photographics - Alan Wilkinson
Camera Craft - Unknown
Fenwick Photographers - Peter Fenwick
Rotorua Home Portraits - Wyn Lambert
Michael's Portraits -  Mick Coebergh, Richard Krall & Russell Robinson
Modern Age Photography - Richard Krall
People Publishing Studios - B.J. O'Neill

Charles E. Jones ; Clarke Mahoney ; Louis Edwards ; Jack Lang as well as lots and lots of proud Mum's and Dad's  :)

The Rotorua Photo News can be viewed in the Heritage & Research area of Rotorua Library.

Friday, 4 August 2017

Family History Month in Rotorua

What did your ancestors get up to?

When you are researching your family member the basic details you might be looking for are : Birth Date, Death Date, Where they lived and where Buried, What did they do for a job/career, and who else are they related to.  

Something else to consider : What did they do for fun? or in the community?

To find out you can look for : Obituaries, newspaper articles and local history books, these are not always online for free.  

In NZ we have Papers Past which covers most New Zealand Newspapers and some journals dating from c.1839 to c.1948. One of those journals is Te Ao Hou "was a bilingual quarterly published by the Maori Affairs Department, and printed by Pegasus Press, 'to provide,' as its first issue said, 'interesting and informative reading for Maori homes ….. like a marae on paper, where all questions of interest to the Maori can be discussed" published 1952-1975.  There were often obituaries published in this journal.

Most Libraries have their own newspaper collections on microfiche or film. 

Hot Lakes Chronicle 1895
Rotorua Library holds: 
  • Hot Lakes Chronicle 15 Feb 1895 – 20 Feb 1897, 4-5 Nov 1905
  • Rotorua Chronicle 10 Aug 1931
  • Rotorua Morning Post 24 Aug 1931 – May 1948
  • Rotorua Post May 1948 – Dec 1960
  • Daily Post Jan 1961 – Present (with some gaps, please ask staff on the Heritage Information Desk for details on 07 3517047 or email library@rotorualc.nz).
  • Rotorua Review Oct 1984 – current year
  • The Weekender 1993 – current year
We are also very fortunate to have an index done by Don Stafford up to 1987, which lists people that appeared in the newspapers above or in other research documents which Don used to write his 2 volume history of Rotorua.  We are also thrilled to have all of Don's research notes in subject folders and DVD's of Interviews he filmed with individuals who were long time residents of Rotorua.

A brief look at a club from 1940-c.1965  

The 30,000 Club was formed in 1940 and existed until c.1965 when Rotorua attained it's City Status.
The club did a lot of fundraising for worthy community projects. Foundation member, Hamilton Archie 'Dick' Spurdle, had his obituary published in the Daily Post in 1981, in which the reporter talked about his involvement in the community.  Included is the following information "He was Patron of Springfield Golf Club, Founding member of the Arawa Bowls Club, 25 year member of the Rotorua Chamber of Commerce, President of the Rotorua Lions Club, former Jaycee, played in City of Rotorua Municipal Band, the Rotorua Brass Band, and much more... all this information can be read in Don Stafford's Biography Folder.

Ask our experienced and helpful staff at the Heritage & Research area of the Library for advice and access to Don's folders.

Also for Family History Month the "Rotorua Branch of the NZ Society of Genealogists" will be available for free advice on each Wednesday of the month of August - Drop in from 10:00 am. They are also available on the 2nd Wednesday of every month (except December & January).