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Hidden Histories - Jason Gunn - Day 8

100 years ago today, Private James Gunn (Jason's Grandfather) joined the 2nd Battalion, Wellington Infantry Regiment (WIB) battalion in France towards the end of the Battle of the Somme. He was 26 years old.      How to research your World War I Ancestor The personnel files of the New Zealander’s that served in World War I have been digitised and are available to download, at no cost, from: Archives New Zealand: archway.archives.govt.nz Discovering Anzacs website: http://discoveringanzacs.naa.gov.au/ This website also includes Australian World War I records. Each page of the original file has been scanned and in some places you may find that there are multiple copies of documents, sometimes handwritten, sometimes typed.  Sometimes the writing can be hard to...

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Hidden Histories - Jason Gunn - Day 7

Imagine taking 94 days to travel from the UK to New Zealand. You had to endure the changes in temperature as you sailed from one hemisphere to the other. The food was preserved and the water not that fresh. All your washing was done in salt water and had to be dried inside if the weather outside wasn't good. If you didn't like some of the other passengers you were stuck with them for the entire voyage. Think about this the next time you fly overseas and make the same journey in a day. Immigration to New Zealand When you have identified the ancestor that arrived in New Zealand, then you need to try and work out when they arrived. If...

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Hidden Histories - Jason Gunn - Day 6

Death certificates and obituaries can tell us more about our family. We can find out about our ancestors medical history and we may find out about the lives of our ancestors but it's important to remember that the person with the first hand knowledge is not the one giving the information. Researching using records of death Newspaper Death and Funeral Notices and Obituaries When you know the date of death it is worth searching the newspapers to see if there is a death notice and/or a funeral notice. These may give you details about other family members or where the person lived. In some of the earlier newspapers the death notices are found in a different area to the funeral...

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Hidden Histories - Jason Gunn - Day 5

Jason's male ancestors seem to have four main professions: Out at  Sea, Working with Wood, Working on the Railways or on the Land.What did your ancestors do? All in a Day’s Work Tracing an Occupation You may have already known about an ancestor’s occupation or maybe you have discovered it as you have been researching. Government Employees If your ancestor worked for the government, then records should be held by Archives New Zealand (as keeper of the Governments Memory). There are a number of guides to help you with your research that can be found on their website: http://archives.govt.nz/resources/research-resources There are also several older publications that are a guide to some of the archives holdings. These can be found at Christchurch City...

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Hidden Histories - Jason Gunn - Day 4

Some of Jason's ancestors made the newspaper more often than others. But you don't need to be rich or famous to make the news and sometimes it's just the everyday things that add so much to your family history. Extra, Extra, Read All About It Researching in Newspapers Newspapers are great sources for adding flesh to the skeleton of your family tree. The National Library of New Zealand has a digitised collection of 19th and 20th century newspapers available at Papers Past: https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/ These have been scanned and OCR’d. That means that you can search for specific words in the newspapers. The technology isn’t perfect though and sometimes the software has difficulty with blurry newspaper print, so be prepared to try...

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