Family History Month is here

It’s August so it must be Family History Month 2016. Here in Wellington it’s a busy month as the Wellington Branch of the Society of Genealogists collaborate with the National Library of NZ to bring a number of events to the region. At Wellington City Libraries we will be featuring these events in blog posts and on our social media channels and highlighting a months worth of genealogy resources available at our libraries and linked to from our website. This post features ‘Probate Searches’, the “Who Do You Think You Are” DVD’s and the ‘Online Cenotaph’ as well as a couple of Wellington based genealogy events. On the second floor of Wellington Central Library you will also find a display of these genealogical resources.

Who Do You Think You Are?
Syndetics book coverWho do you think you are? : the essential guide to tracing your family history / Dan Waddell. “Published against a big multimedia TV event, this book is a jargon-free idiot’s guide to tracing your family history. Light in tone, sometimes funny, often moving, and aimed at absolutely everyone, the book combines both stats and pub facts, with very real emotions as people discover the heroes and villains in their family’s past. Rather than a dry ‘how to’ guide though, this book is inclusive, non-patronising and lively, and emphasises the human and emotional side to this popular pastime.” (Abridged syndetics summary)

In the long-running television series on DVD you can follow celebrities as they trace their family history – and along the way pick up lots of tips on genealogy research techniques and sources. As well as the original UK series, there are also versions from other countries including the USA and Australia. Drive through Yorkshire with Jeremy Clarkson as he investigates his roots, or share Nigella Lawson’s surprise at what she uncovers about her ancestors – each episode is both entertaining and instructive.

Here is the series that started it all:

Who do you think you are? UK series 1 [videorecording].
Ten of Britain’s best-loved celebrities embark on inspiring, emotional and personal journeys, taking us back in time and around the world as we see how their ancestors’ lives have shaped the world they live in. People include Bill Oddie, Amanda Redman,Jeremy Clarkson, Lesley Garrett and Vic Reeves.

Recommended events coming up this week:
Starting your family research: using technology to get it right.
Weds 3rd August 5:30pm
Connolly Hall – Guildford Terrace, Thorndon.
Mary Shadbolt : A case study showing how McDonnell forbears and living extended family were found using a range of electronic and other sources in NZ, Australia and throughout the world, starting with two original documents.
Hosted by Kilbirnie Branch of the NZ Society of Genealogists

Family History at the Turnbull Library
Weds 3rd August 10 am
National Library of NZ, cnr Molesworth and Aitken Streets
Introductory tour of the family history resources.
Bookings required, email ATLOutreach@dia.govt.nz

Probate Searches
To save you a trip to Archives New Zealand offices to view the originals, Family Search has collaborated with Archives to provide digitised images of NZ probates. NZ probate records for 1843-1998 are indexed and images are available for all but the last 50 years.
Probate records contain many types of documents including wills, affidavits, property records and death certificates. They are a goldmine of clues for genealogical research, including the death date and occupation of the person making the will, names of heirs, guardians and executors, relationships, residences, addresses of property owned, an inventory of the estate, and names of witnesses. Click here and then on the search page, click on ‘Learn more’ for tips on searching the NZ Probates collection and things to keep in mind about probates records.

The Online Cenotaph
The Online Cenotaph is a living memorial to those who served this country in times of international conflict. It is a biographical database, and information sources include the official nominal rolls and New Zealand Gazette notices, and in many cases there are links through to digitised personnel files held by Archives New Zealand. While digitised records are an important part of the database there is also the feature of the public being able to submit personal war experience stories, photos and information. There is also the chance to lay a virtual poppy beside the name of the person you are researching.

poppy

For more information on genealogy research, visit our Genealogy Popular Topic page.