Sentimental Sunday - The wonders of the City of Auckland’s 1908 map

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Friends of mine moved in to their new house recently, one of those established Ponsonby villas which has been done up with a garage put in. It has the same bones of its early 1900s self but with far less land than it would have originally been on.

It is in St Mary’s Road and it was an interesting exercise to explore the Auckland Council’s Archive to see if the property was on its City of Auckland’s 1908 map.

A simple google of Auckland Council Archives takes you straight to their home page and clicking on  Search the Archives takes you to the link to the map.

There are two different ways to search the City of Auckland’s 1908 map. One is by browsing; the other is by doing a keyword search. Using the keyword search we typed in St Mary's Road and up came the portion of the map with that particular street in it.

Once you have enlarged the map you will notice the blue pins.

My friend’s house on St Mary's Road has a blue pin, which we clicked on. This went straight to the 1908/1909 valuation record for the property.

The Auckland City Council Valuation Roll Database 1908-1909 contains partial transcriptions of entries from the validation rolls and gives the names, addresses, occupations, property and legal descriptions etc. It gives the properties original street number with annotations added later to depict changes to buildings, streets, street names, etc. up to at least 1918/1919 and even 1923 for some parts of the city and incorporated into the map. It also shows the subsequent numbering of a property.

You can also browse the map. Browsing is on the index sheet of the 1908 map. Each populated grid square represents a sheet of the map. Moving your mouse over the grid highlights a section of the map and clicking on it takes you straight into the map on the database. Aside from the location of a property the map highlights the location and position of streets, footpaths, tramways, post and telegraph fixtures etc throughout the city as it was in 1908.

The City of Auckland 1908 map, whether you have connections to that part of Auckland or not, is a wonderful resource to search just out of interest to see the Auckland of over 100 years ago.


Talented Tuesday: Colleen Fitzpatrick, forensic genealogy - video presentations online

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Colleen Fitzpatrick, forensic genealogist and author
On 20 April, 2015, we were extremely fortunate to have Colleen Fitzpatrick PhD, visiting forensic genealogist and author from the US, come and speak for us at Central Library.

Colleen is a nuclear physicist, who is a consultant in some high profile cases that involve using both genetic and forensic genealogy to solve a case. 

She has a really impressive CV.

Colleen is also the author of 

Colleen is a talented researcher and an excellent speaker with a wide choice of subjects to choose from and has a real talent for making the complicated and the technical both easily understood and entertaining.

Fortunately, her visit to us coincided with our "pilot" scheme and we were able to video her talks which you can find here on our website.

The presentations she gave us were:

CSI meets Roots
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.

Adoption searches
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.

The "Unknown Child" of the Titanic - identified?
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? How was the controversy resolved so that the Unknown Child of the Titanic was unknown no longer.

So make yourself a cup of tea, sit down for an hour or two and enjoy!

Happy watching


Census Sunday: 1911 suffragette evaders

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By 1911 New Zealand women had voting rights for nearly two decades, while their UK sisters still battled for their rights and a voice.  The Women's Freedom League incited members with its Manifesto to " … oppose, hamper, destroy if possible, the power of an unrepresentative Government to govern women, refuse to be taxed, boycott the Census, refuse all official information until women have won that which is their absolute right – the right of a voice and vote."

Women and the vote, 1914.
Sir George Grey Special Collections,
Auckland Libraries, AWNS-19140416-48-6
The Women's Freedom League initiated a boycott of census day, Sunday 2 April 1911, to protest their lack of rights to vote. These suffragette evaders refused to have their names added to their own household registers, effectively 'vanishing' from the census while many left their homes for the day. 

Evaders such as Louisa Burnham defiantly wrote the words "No vote, no census. If I am intelligent enough to fill in this census form I can surely make a X on a ballot paper" across the schedule.

1911 Census of England,
 RG 14/2277/362 [Ancestry]

1911 Census of England,
RG 14/152 [Ancestry]
So, if you have been looking for a female family member and she is mysteriously missing from the 1911 Census of England and Wales, perhaps she too made a stand and boycotted.

Auckland Libraries has recently added two new books on the subject to the collection and there are borrowable copies.

Women and the vote : a world history by Jad Adams, 2014.

Vanishing for the vote : suffrage, citizenship and the battle for the census by Jill Liddington, 2014.

Central Auckland Research Centre