tracking your ancestors by using Grandpa's GPS ... <b>WILD CARD</B> :: Genealogy
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tracking your ancestors by using Grandpa's GPS ... WILD CARD

Journal by ngairedith

I would like to share one of the best New Zealand sources of finding anything about the early settlers/pioneers and a site I have used probably every researching day since I discovered it years ago ... Papers Past

I was very surprised to read that one of the first things Samuel Revans did when he landed on Petone Beach back in 1840 was to set up his printing press and it surprises me more that someone has had the foresight to keep each issue ever since (unlike myself who thought yesterdays newspaper was for lighting the fire or wrapping the fish & chips !!)

Because of the small population during the early days of New Zealand, nearly everyone got their names in the newpapers at some stage (whether they wanted to or not at times) and most people liked to record their births & deaths etc to share the news with everyone in their community because everyone knew each other. So the likelihood of you finding something on your ancestors is very good.

As at this date Papers Past contains more than two million pages of digitised New Zealand newspapers and periodicals. The collection covers the years 1839 to 1945 and includes 77 publications from all regions of New Zealand. It is an incredible source of information for all Kiwis (or anyone researching settlers in NZ) and they keep adding old newspapers all the time

this then is my Wild Card ...
Tracking ancestors using Grandpa's Paper trailS

I offer some hints on finding info from the site

one of the easiest searches, if you know the date of death and if that person was a long-term settler of a certain area, is to enter at least the year of their death (the month is even better) and find their:
- this will often say things like, John Pyonere (I'm making up an ancestor here)
* arrived in NZ in 1840
* on board the Kiwi
* he married in 1860 to Jane Doe
* they settled in Wellington and
* had 10 children
* John was the Proprietor of a number of Hotels in the area
* he was the Counciller from 1850-1880 etc etc
* he leaves 3 daughters, Mrs A in Wellington, Mrs B in Auckland, Mrs C in Hastings and a son in Foxton
* another son was killed in Gallipoli
* his wife deceased him 3 years ago
- Wonderful amount of info from one insertion

If your ancestor was not a long term settler you can still track him fairly easily by searching his name by date.
John Pyonere name search might reveal:
? PASSENGER LISTS - 1840 into Wellington
- gives the name of the ship & port of departure and often his age
? COURT CASE - 1845 in Upper Hutt, John is fined for being drunk in charge of a horse after leaving his local hotel. This tells you he is living in the Hutt now
? LOCAL NEWS - 1848 in Featherston, John is standing for Councillor
- he has moved north but obviously settled for awhile
? MARRIAGE announcment - 1860 in Carterton
- he has moved a little north. The weddings were usually held in the bride's home town & often in the 'gossip pages' a detailed description of the marriage, who the attendants were, the spouses family, what they wore etc etc
? BIRTH announcements - 1851-1853-1855 in Masterton & Palmerston North
- you are tracking him moving further north. Go check BDM for children's names
? ADVERTISEMENTS - 1855-1865 John advertises his services as a Carpenter in Taihape. Jane advertises her home produce, flower seeds etc and they always give an address
? COURT CASES - 1870 John is in Taupo when he and his neighbours have a dispute
- still moving north
? ADVERTISEMENT - 1875 from the Taupo Post Office that there are 3 unclaimed letters for John. You know he was there but left (still heading north ?)
? MARRIAGE announcement - 1880, SMITH-PYONERE, Mary the youngest daughter of John & Jane to Fred Smith at the bride's father's residence, Hamilton (north again)
? DEATH - 1900, John Pyonere, in Auckland aged 73 leaves 3 daughters, Mrs A in Wellington, Mrs B in Auckland, Mrs C in Hastings and a son in Foxton, another son was killed in Gallipoli, his wife deceased him 3 years ago

When you have this list of his whereabouts you can then go search the newspapers for each town for any further info. Also check the cemeteries databases, census, district archives etc etc

If you're lucky you will find some juicy bits of scandal :)
I was surprised to find 2 of my maternal ancestors who were caught with an illegal still in the bush way back in 1883!! The court case went on for quite some time and provided a great deal of information
Happy Hunting ...


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by ngairedith Profile | Research | Contact | Subscribe | Block this user
on 2012-09-30 01:56:29

ngairedith has been a Family Tree Circles member since Feb 2008.

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by ubby on 2012-10-05 09:03:57

Grandpa's GPS here in Australia is TROVE and yes, I also use it often as a great source of ancestor info

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