Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Scotland going it alone?

I see that Alex Salmond and British prime minister David Cameron have signed an agreement paving the way for the possible break up of the United Kingdom.  The Edinburgh Agreement was signed by the prime minister and the first minister at the Scottish government headquarters at St Andrew’s House.  The deal sets out the terms for a ground-breaking vote in 2014 on Scottish independence.

I've been watching a weekly programme on channel 12 (NZ) about Scotland's history.  What a tumultous history Scotland has endured.  Our own McPikes fought at Culloden on the side of 'Bonnie Prince Charlie', before escaping to Ireland.

I wonder what independence now would mean for Scotland.

Monday, 15 October 2012


Going by messages on genealogy mailing lists, it appears not all family researchers are impressed with the latest series of the popular UK television programme 'Who Do You Think You Are?'.  I think it's great that a series of this sort is on telly.

I put forward my view that a 'celebrity' likely has enough money to pay researchers to do the grunt work whereas an average person does not, and that it would be nice if the show's producers did a series about 'average' people's family histories.  Apparently this was done several years ago and it wasn't popular; people want celebrity.  Someone commented that when it comes down to it the show is about entertainment, that the show's producers are in competition with other channels, so give the viewers what they want.

If I don't know of the celebrity in question, I won't watch, so maybe there's something in that.  Then again, if the programme was about Josephine Blogg's family history, maybe I would.  Real researching doesn't happen within the hour - it takes days, weeks, months or years.  I'd love the professionals to find all the documentation for me; they know where to look after all.  Even better would be not having to pay for it.

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Safeguarding memories

We're all getting older and as we age, illness and deaths in the family become more commonplace.

What do you know about your parents and grandparents early lives?  Have you ever thought of recording them?

Several years ago I created a form called "In a Nutshell".  My father was seriously ill at the time and I realised there were many things I didn't know about him and his formative years.  So I thought of all the things I wanted to know about him and sent him the form.  Then I did the same for my mother, and filled in one myself for my children.  My father is now no longer with us but I have his completed form and what a wonderful archive it is for his descendants (and in his own hand).

The blank form can be viewed and/or downloaded here.
Should you have a digital camera with video, consider recording your family members as you ask them questions about their childhoods and lives.  Ask their permission first of course.

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Tours of historic Bolton Street Cemetery in Wellington

Next tour this Sunday 7 October 2012 at 2pm.

Many famous early settlers are buried there, e.g. James Smith (of department store fame), the Wakefield brothers (NZ Company), not to mention some of our Mudgways.

See Friends of Bolton Street Memorial Park

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Lynda's Lot Facebook page

If you have links to any of the families on my Lynda's Lot and related sites, I've created a Facebook page where you can post your queries, information, links, photos etc.  Having a Facebook account is the only requirement.

Generous Genealogists (free research assistance)

Generous Genealogists is a new website providing free genealogical help to those in need; all countries seem to be covered.  As well as a forum on which to post your brickwalls (sign-up required but it's free) , you can make contact with a volunteer directly my email.

"...[We] are a community of volunteers who agree to provide free genealogy research, coaching and assistance, as an act of kindness, to "those in need."  But, that simple statement does not define us totally.  We are a vibrant, vital and growing community teaching and helping each other in the best methods and traditions of the genealogists of today, yesterday and hopefully tomorrow.
We are constantly striving for excellence, empathy and understanding of each other, our pasts, our families and who we are.  We are here to help you break through your brickwalls, discuss tools & techniques, provide coaching and learn from each other..."

Nostalgia sites

Nostalgia Buzz - My own site about life in New Zealand in the 1950s - 1970s

Down Memory Lane

Nostalgia Central

New Zealand Research Guide

Primarily this guide is for those whose people came from the British Isles.  I’m not saying you’ll be able to do all your research from the comfort of your own home but if you have a computer with Internet access and some time on your hands there is an awful lot you can do without setting foot outside.

New Zealand Research Guide

Lynda's List

I set up this site to help Kiwi researchers of British Isles descent, therefore links mainly relate to Australasia and the British Isles and its dominions.

Lynda's List

Is it Britain? Or United Kingdom? Or British Isles?

For a humorous inkling of how confusing the subject of Britain / United Kingdom / British Isles can be, have a gander at this sewing blog; well worth a read.

The Lnus of Lyndaland

This researching can be serious stuff but sometimes you just have to laugh.

When I was first starting out and discovered the IGI, I got really excited when I found someone I thought was an ancestor.  They had the unusual surname of Lnu and boy, there were lots of them.  Imagine my embarrassment when it clicked that Lnu meant "Last name unknown"!

Monday, 1 October 2012

Epidemics timeline

Epidemics and outbreaks


Though I don't associate earthquakes with the British Isles, it appears they do happen, though perhaps not to the scale we're used to.

Here's a Wikipedia list of earthquakes in the British Isles over the centuries.

For New Zealand earthquakes as they happen, there's GeoNet.