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Preserving the Present for the Future - Where Did You Live?

The importance of directories and electoral rolls to trace where our ancestors lived is a bit like the use of birth, death and marriage certificates in family history. They give us the names, the dates and the where but they don’t really tell the story. So let’s look at adding details to these addresses. First note down the basics of street address and the years that you lived there, you could even create a timeline of these. If you still live there you might like to record the actual land description from your rates or other land documentation. Who lived in this house? Did anyone move in or move out while you were living there? Who came to visit and...

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Pussycat Pikelets... passing on the tradition

When I was growing up and we went to stay with Nana she would make us pussycat pikelets. Sometimes they would even have raisins for eyes. This is just one of the memories from my Nana's kitchen.My Mum made pussycat pikelets for my nephew when he visited and her pikelets were yummy.Now I make pussycat pikelets for my children. We even made some today, not to mention square pikelets for minecraft blocks (try shaping those!) and a fence (that's another story). In the last couple of years there have also been letters of the alphabet, helicopters and whatever else the kids requested along with a bit of a competition sometimes to see if you can guess what the pikelet was...

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Preserving the Present for the Future - Music

Hearing a song can immediately take you back to a time and a place. Maybe it was a hit when you were at school or a piece of music that you learned to play, but when you hear it you're in that moment and the memories come flooding back. Ernie & Chris Cook - sing along around the piano at Chris' 70th birthday party, 1986. So let's think about music and the part it has played in your family. Here are some prompts to get you started with your writing. When you were growing up what sort of music can you remember listening to? Pop, Classical, Country, Jazz, Blues, Rock.... which is your favourite? What are your 10 favourite songs?...

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New Zealand Birth, Death and Marriage Indexes on Findmypast

Findmypast have added the New Zealand Birth, Death and Marriage indexes to their collections. The data comes from New Zealand Birth, Death and Marriage Historical Records website (NZ BDM), but the benefit of it being on the Findmypast platform is the improved search facilities. So let's take a look at what you can now do.Searching without a surnameMy great grandmother Christina Mathieson was born in 1883, I cannot find her birth on the NZ BDM website. I suspect this is because her surname is has been spelt incorrectly. However to search the NZ BDM website I need to know her surname.On Findmypast I just put in her first name and year of 1883 and search. 637 Christina's born in 1883......

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DNA... the waiting is almost over

It's that time... the waiting time... waiting for the DNA test to process...Anticipation.... I've been researching my family tree for over 30 years. There are brick walls at the end of a lot of my lines that are just waiting to be knocked down.  Is Hector Mathieson who dies in 1865 in New Zealand the Hector McDonald Mathieson baptised in 1830 in Lanark, the son of Neil Mathieson and Janet McDonald? His children's names would suggest it is so (Neil Downey, Mary McDonald, William, Janet, Hector McDonald), but I haven't found a document that confirms this link.   His wife Jane Richardson is even more of a mystery. Her first appearance is in 1856 when she marries Hector, but no...

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