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House History - The Family Historian’s Viewpoint

It's a two way streak, when you research a family, where they live is part of their history; likewise when you research a house the people that live there create part of the houses story.  As part of Heritage New Zealand's seminars on Research Your House, I got the chance to give the perspective of the family historian. The talk covered a number of sources to find out information about your house by tracing the people that lived in the house. A handout can be downloaded from here. As part of a team delivering the seminar's I didn't go into the land records that are available from Archives New Zealand. But there is some information about Historic Land Records on the LINZ...

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Hidden Histories - Jason Gunn - Day 10

From starting the research as 100% Kiwi, if we look at Jason’s 16 great great grandparents, he is now 7/16 (44%) Scottish, 5/16 (31%) Irish and is 1/16 (6%) English, Welsh, Swedish and Danish. All of these ancestors made the journey to New Zealand to start new lives and are what make us who we are.   Backwards & Forwards We’ve concentrated on going backwards, but it’s also good to trace the family forwards to find cousins who may have been the ones to inherit family stories and information. We often inherit photograph albums of unnamed photos. We know that they are family, but don’t know which family they are. By working together with other cousins there is the chance...

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Hidden Histories - Jason Gunn - Day 9

One of Jason's ancestors told us exactly when he was baptised and where in England he was from (in a newspaper article).  But sometimes working out where our ancestors came from can take intensive research (Jason has a few of those too).    Beyond Our Shores – Researching Outside of New Zealand Once you trace your ancestor to a place outside of New Zealand then your research does change a little. You will still be relying on “the bones” of birth, baptism, marriage, death and burial records to support your family tree, but you also have access to different types of records. One of the main record collections for United Kingdom research are the 1841-1911 censuses.  These can be searched...

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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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