Family history

Family history talks online

Watch video recordings of family history talks at Auckland Libraries.

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Family history lunchtime series

Colleen Fitzpatrick: CSI meets Roots

20 April 2015

Forensic genealogy has established itself as the modern approach to family research. Reference materials such as photographs, databases, and DNA can provide much more information than you ever dreamed. But are you really using your genealogical materials to your best advantage? The goal of this talk is to spark your imagination to discover new ways of looking at your family mysteries.



Colleen Fitzpatrick: Adoption searches

20 April 2015

This talk will give you insight into adoption searches – how to use explicit and implicit information in conjunction with DNA to locate someone even if don’t know his or her name.



Colleen Fitzpatrick: The "Unknown Child" of the Titanic - identified?

20 April 2015

Of the 328 bodies recovered by the salvage operation of the SS Titanic, just one was that of a child. His identity was unknown for nearly a century until 2002, when Dr. Alan Ruffman and Dr. Ryan Parr announced that they had identified the remains of the “Unknown Child”. But was this identification correct? Hear how we resolved the controversy so that the Unknown Child of the Titanic was unknown no longer.



Exploring Online Cenotaph with Victoria Passau

15 April 2015

New Zealanders have served this country in many international conflicts. Online Cenotaph, created by Auckland War Memorial Museum, aims to commemorate the stories of these veterans. This session showcases the new Online Cenotaph and discusses how family members and private researchers can contribute.


  • Victoria Passau


'The three uncles' The Cole brothers in the Great War with Tina Blackman

15 April 2015

An in-depth look at how the First World War affected one family where four brothers went to the Western Front and only one survived. In Tina Blackman's book, The three uncles: the Cole brothers in the Great War, readers will discover an extraordinary story that will resonate with many whose families were touched by the First World War.


  • Tina Blackman


Irish place names with Geraldene O'Reilly

1 April 2015

The majority of Irish genealogy records are arranged by locality and most people within them are identified by the place name where they lived. The townland is the most fundamental land division in Ireland, the basic address for a rural family. Listen to Geraldene O'Reilly's talk to help you investigate Irish townlands and other place names.


  • Geraldene O'Reilly, Convenor of the New Zealand Society of Genealogists (NZSG) Irish Interest Group


The records of the English parish church with Viv Parker

4 March 2015

The records of English parish churches recount the day-to-day running of the parish, including not only baptisms, marriages and burials but also a wealth of information about our ancestors. Their findings also uncover the roles of the vestry and church wardens, who held the responsibility for raising funds, appointing people to various jobs, maintaining roads and bridges in the parish, the care of the elderly, dealing with miscreants and illegitimacies, as well as ensuring the removal of those who had no right to remain in the parish.

Download the English parish church presentation slides (PDF, 44MB).




New Zealand Cemeteries Heritage Week (2 - 5 February)

Logos of The Navy Museum, Ancestry, and NZSG. These seminars cover a large sweep of New Zealand’s history, including some of our most catastrophic disasters and a 'how to' in locating your ancestors through burial records.

The New Zealand Cemeteries Heritage Week talks were a joint endeavour between,  the New Zealand Society of Genealogists, and Auckland Libraries.   


New Zealand Cemeteries Week launch

The New Zealand Society of Genealogists discusses the history of their cemetery collection; a national database of nearly 1400 cemeteries, public, private, and urupa.



Far-flung resting places: The shipwreck cemeteries

3 February 2015

Two specialist speakers discuss some of our country's worst shipping disasters and their associated graveyards. These remote burial sites tell tragic but often heroic stories.


  • Gay Williams, President, NZ Society of Genealogists
  • Michael Wynd, Researcher, National Museum of the Royal New Zealand Navy



The 1918 influenza pandemic: 8000 lost in nationwide tragedy

4 February 2015

The 1918 Influenza Pandemic claimed the lives of 8600 New Zealanders between October and December 1918, as World War One came to an end. Over the three-month period, New Zealand lost half as many people to influenza as it had in the entire war. It remains to this day our worst disease outbreak. Gay Williams highlights some of the tragic stories contained in the burial records.


  • Gay Williams, President, NZ Society of Genealogists



Locating your ancestors through burial records

5 February 2015

Specialist speakers provide a ‘how to’ in extracting value from the cemeteries collection database, containing 1,623,788 individual records from across a 200-year period. In addition, Librarian David Verran presents a special seminar on the 1882 Cemeteries Act.


  • David Verran, Team Leader Central Auckland Research Centre, Auckland Libraries
  • Ben Mercer, Content Director,
  • Gay Williams, President, NZ Society of Genealogists
  • Diane Wilson, Vice President, NZ Society of Genealogists
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