Treasure Chest Thursday: Hills Newspaper Index

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In the lead up to Anzac Day, there is another excellent resource in the Auckland Research Centre to share with you  – the Hills Newspaper Index to photographs published in the Auckland Weekly News between August 1914 and March 1919.

The Auckland Weekly News was filled not only with news and advertisements, but with an excellent assortment of photographs, and a service it offered during the war years was to publish a passport sized photograph of your wounded or killed family member. These photographs have all been indexed in to one easy-to-use volume, although its worth noting it does not included those photographs published in the Weekly News supplement.

Granted, the captions don’t give a lot of detail, and more information can be found on sites such as Auckland Museum’s cenotaph database but what this index offers you is a quick way to locate the actual issue – a nice addition to your family history records.  

The index is alphabetical according to surname and lists the date of the newspaper, rank of the person, name, details about regiment or NZ residence, and details such as ‘died of wounds’, ‘Died of sickness, ‘killed in action’, and so on. There are also group photographs in the mix.

If you wonder if your ancestor is included, then check the index next time you’re in the Central Auckland Research Centre. It can be found in our Family History NZ Military collection at 2 NZL MIL.


Hot off the press . . . Read all about it!

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In case you haven't heard the big NEWS, the New Zealand Herald has been digitized up to 31 December 1945 and is now accessible through Papers Past!  The Auckland Libraries homepage currently has a direct link to the database or alternatively, Papers Past can also be found under "P" in the A-Z listing of eResources in the Digital Library.

There has never been a better time to delve into your family history research and see what newsy items about your ancestors were published in the New Zealand Herald. Best of all, the contents can be downloaded, printed or saved in a pdf format for your records. If you would like some user friendly tips on getting the most out of searching on Papers Past, check out our research guides by clicking here.

While browsing through the pages you will also discover quirky, interesting articles and bits of gossip that will undoubtedly provide you with endless hours of distraction.

New Zealand Herald, 4 March 1939

New Zealand Herald, 22 March 1941

New Zealand Herald, 13 January 1927

Papers Past now has 83 titles and over 3 million pages of digitised content available. Besides the Herald and Auckland Star, the following list of historical newspapers on Papers Past also have Auckland content:

Albertland Gazette (1862-1864)
Daily Southern Cross (1843-1876)
Kaipara and Waitemata Echo (1911-1921)
New Zealander (1845-1852)
Observer (1880-1920)
Rodney and Otamatea Times, Waitemata and Kaipara Gazette (1901-1945)

Happy searching!


Census Sunday: Alternative Census Records for NZ

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Electoral rolls as alternative census records.

Electoral rolls are important genealogy tools in a country like New Zealand where census records are not available. Full names, addresses and occupations are listed in the rolls and, because they are regularly published, it’s possible to track family members over time and place.

1911 election night in Cathedral Square, Christchurch.
Auckland Libraries, AWNS-19111214-4-2 

The Central Auckland Research Centre recently obtained a new CD-Rom from the NZ Society of Genealogists which has fully indexed five rolls marking major changes in male and female suffrage in this country.

1881 Electoral Roll

In the first national elections of 1853, only male British subjects aged 21 and over who owned property were eligible to vote.

About 100 Maori men were enrolled out of a total electorate of 5,849 because few Maori qualified under the property requirement - their lands were generally held communally (as iwi, hapu or whanau groups) rather than under individual freehold or leasehold title.

This property requirement also excluded recent arrivals, and transient workers who usually lived in boarding houses, tents or shacks. As these men did not possess property, they were not considered real settlers.

Voter turnout was low and candidates were often elected unopposed until the 1881 election when, after much debate, universal male suffrage (excluding aliens and prisoners) was introduced. Provided voters had lived in the colony for one year, and in their electorate for six months prior to the election, they were now entitled to vote.

In Christchurch’s Heathcote electorate, the Star reported “at the time of closing the poll some disturbance occurred on account of a number of electors having congregated in the lobby shortly after 5 o’clock; and when the hour of closing arrived and their votes had not been recorded, they manifested a somewhat forcible unwillingness to leave the building until the assistance of a constable was called in.”

Observer, 2 December 1911, page 6
from Papers Past
Observer, 31 October 1896, page 7
 from Papers Past

1893 Electoral Roll

Despite opposition to women’s suffrage, franchise was extended to include women aged 21 and over in 1893, although women were not allowed to stand as candidates or be elected as parliamentarians until 1919.

“The Hon. Dr Grace opposed the clause to enfranchise women chiefly on the grounds that their system was too complex to stand the strain attendant upon the excitement of election. He thought too highly and tenderly of women to subject them to the excitement of politics.”    ~ Wanganui Chronicle, 25 August 1893