Monday, 28 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.