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
  • 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). 

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