New Zealand Family History Fair Review

I’m back home now, my mind is still buzzing with everything seen and heard at the New Zealand Society of Genealogists Family History Fair in Auckland. For me the highlights were the talks given by overseas speaker; Dr Jo Appleby, Brad Argent, Joshua Taylor and last, but by no means least Diane Loosle. When I attend genealogy conferences and fairs in NZ I always make a bee-line for the overseas speakers on the theory that they might not come this way again.

I’ll post some interviews later in the week, but here are a few snippets from the talks.

FamilySearch will have all the films in the Granite Mountain Vaults digitised and online within 5 – 7 years.

FamilySearch Wikis are worth looking at for each ancestral parish as they have lots of info plus links to outside websites.

Ancestry is working on putting the best parts of the old search form into the new search form – wonder if this will make the search the “new new search” ! will be putting online records for Lunatic Asylums. Maybe this is where your missing ancestors are. Ancestry thought long and hard about these records online in case they caused upset, but decided they should as it is all part of someone’s family history.

FindMyPast is also improving their .com search form and making it as good as their .uk form (about time too in my opinion!)

FindMyPast is working on making their family trees searchable and available for others to view.

Richard III

Dr Appleby who dug up Richard III was only there because no one else was available and she would have much rather been out in the wilds of Russia digging up Bronze Age bones which is her area of expertise.

Of the two people who are direct line ancestors of Richard III’s sister Anne of York one, Michael Ibsen of Canada, agreed to being named, but the other decided they wished to remain anonymous. Because of the ensuing publicity and public interest that might well have been a good move! Most people with English ancestry will be related to Richard III, very distantly but still related (he is my 3rd cousin 16 times removed!) however direct line Mitochondrial DNA was what was needed.

Dr Turi King University of Leicester geneticist who worked on Richard III’s DNA did a happy dance with relief when she could match the present day descendants DNA with that of the car park skeletons.




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