We had our annual lock-in on Friday 17 September.
The Lock-in is an annual event at the Auckland Research Centre, that allows family historians the opportunity to be locked into our research centre overnight to do their family history research, while being supported and assisted by staff and volunteers from the NZSG.
It was my first one and I have to say it was AWESOME! I got such a buzz out of it, and am buzzing still!
All-up, we had 60 people, including volunteers. We had researchers from all over the country: Wellington, Taupo, Northland, Tauranga etc.
We started with a welcome from team leader and local historian David Verran, who also remembered and paid tribute to my predecessor Karen Kalopulu, before handing over to me. I took care of the housekeeping, order of business and introduced our NZSG volunteers before handing over to my colleague Anahera Sadler. Anahera did a fabulous short mihi maioha after which I introduced our other staff members, lock-in veterans Bridget Simpson and Marie Hickey.
We had the traditional “Lock-In Class Photo” taken with staff, volunteers and researchers, with quite a few people wearing the new rebranded “Karen Kalopulu Family History Lock-in” T-shirts with pride.
Helping out this year were Geraldene O’Reilly, Robyn Williams, Malcolm McDonald, Viv Parker, Keith Vautier and Owen Ormsby.
It was the first time for Malcolm and Owen, but Geraldene’s sixth time, and staff and volunteers were all kept really busy throughout the night.
In a small departure from previous years, we had a one hour workshop on offer to those of Irish heritage, with Malcolm McDonald explaining and demonstrating how to use the Lands and Grantors Indexes to the Register of Deeds.
We have recently acquired these films on indefinite loan from the LDS, and Auckland Research Centre staff have already been through a training programme with Malcolm, so that we can assist researchers when they visit us.
There were numerous success stories through the evening, but two notable ones were of a 30-year genealogical brickwall that came tumbling down; and a young man new to family history research, who was assisted in tracing his family back to England 1841 via census records. Hopefully, he’ll now go off and use the clues the censuses give him, to verify births, deaths and marriages!
We had snacks and refreshments to keep us sustained, along with pizza at midnight, and quite a few people made it through to the end at 8am on Saturday morning.
Having had my first taste of a lock-in, I now can’t wait till next year’s!
Happy hunting all