Staying at home may mean you are doing some of those things that have been sitting on your ‘To Do’ list for a long time. If one of those tasks has been to sort through old family photos and papers and that gets you thinking that it’s time to research your family history but sadly the library is closed, then we have great news for you!
With kind permission from the people at Ancestry and Proquest, Wellington City Libraries’ cardholders will be able to access this amazing family history database from their own homes. Usually, Ancestry is only available using our Library subscription from a library computer, but from now until the 30th April you will be able to have the same free access we can usually provide at the library in the comfort of your own home bubble.
**Update: home access to Ancestry has been extended until 31 December 2020!**
Ancestry Library is a research database for genealogists and family history enthusiasts aiding you to trace your family history, with records from the US, UK, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand.
That includes historical births, deaths and marriages and electoral rolls.
To access the free library Ancestry database go here and login with your card details. If you don’t have a library card yet you can register online to become a library member.
There are also lots of helpful links and advice on our genealogy page here and our heritage page here.
Have fun but a word of warning – starting family research and the thrill of the hunt can be quite addictive, so be careful you don’t get lost chasing leads down too many rabbit holes!!
Family History Month is underway and it was great to see so many people at our first lunchtime seminar on Tuesday who were interested in finding out more about using library resources to help with their genealogical research.
Our second free Ancestry in August talk this Tuesday (9th August, 12 noon – 1pm at Central Library) will be given by Emerson Vandy, Digital Services Manager of the National Library of New Zealand. Emerson will be talking about Papers Past, a popular database run by the National Library, which has opened up a huge new source of source of genealogical information for researching family history in New Zealand. The collection of digitised newspapers and periodicals covers the years 1839 to 1945 and includes 68 publications from all regions of New Zealand. You can use and search Papers Past for free on our computers at any of our branch libraries or from anywhere you have internet access.
Papers Past have just published their two-millionth page and to celebrate this landmark they are holding a competition called “Find yourself in the past/Lose yourself in the papers”. To enter simply search Papers Past for your name and find the most interesting match for your namesake. All entries go in the draw to win a Kobo e-book reader – click on the competition link for more details.
To celebrate Family History Month, Wellington City Libraries is holding a series of lunchtime talks for anyone interested in learning more about researching their family tree. Come along to Central Library and join us on the 2nd (top) floor at lunchtime on Tuesdays in August to learn more. All the sessions are free and there’s no need to book – just turn up on the day.
An Introduction to Genealogy at Wellington City Libraries
Tuesday 2nd August, 12noon-1pm
Gábor Tóth and Jessica Berg take you through some of the resources available to begin your family history research and help explain their strengths and weaknesses. The talk will include an overview of the library edition of ancestry.com, a powerful new database which is free to use at any Wellington City library branch.
Papers Past: a guide to the database and its use in genealogy
Tuesday 9th August, 12noon-1pm Emerson Vandy, Digital Services Manager of the National Library of New Zealand, will introduce this database which has opened up a huge new source of genealogical information for researching family history in New Zealand up to 1945.
Finding your Whakapapa: an introduction to Maori genealogy
Tuesday 16 August, 12noon-1pm Presented by Brenda Joyce from the Maori Interest Group of the New Zealand Society of Genealogists, this talk will help explain some of the intricacies associated with researching Maori family history.
BDM and Beyond: a guide to official records and more
Tuesday 23 August, 12noon-1pm Jessica Berg from Wellington City Libraries presents an overview of using official birth, death and marriage records, including related records to help you find the next link in your family history.
Wellington Local History Resources: an introduction to Wellington-specific resources and their use
Tuesday 30 August, 12noon-1pm Gábor Tóth, local history specialist at Wellington City Libraries, will give an overview of some of the lesser known sources of information which can be used to research ancestors who may have lived within Wellington.
If you have any queries about these seminars, please contact Gábor Tóth, phone 803-8572