Family History Expo

Christchurch Family History Expo - Friday 19 to Sunday 21 August 2022

Christchurch City Libraries, in collaboration with Memories In Time, invite you along to three days of family history fun. There will be a range of speakers and workshops covering a variety of topics.

The Expo opens on the evening of Friday 19 August with a welcome function, then continues across Saturday and Sunday with a range of talks and workshops by genealogists, local and family history enthusiasts, and international experts in family history research. There will also be information stands and displays in our exhibition space during the weekend.

The evening function on Friday 19 August is by ticket only.

The sessions on Saturday and Sunday are free to attend, but bookings are required for the workshops as there will be limited places.

Family Group, 1910s. Entry by Glyn Williams in the 2014 Christchurch City Libraries Photo Hunt. No known copyright. CCL-PH14-095

Ties That Bind: registering family connections - display

Tuakiri | Identity, Level 2

A display of the Church Register Index using a case study of one generation in a family. A demonstration of how the registers and other sources such as Papers Past can provide threads of information that can be woven into a more complete family story.

Display running throughout the Family History Expo.

Friday 19 August

Family History Expo 2022 Opening Event - The Hidden Women of the Cyclopedia of New Zealand

Auaha Hīhī / Spark Place, He Hononga | Connection, Ground Level

Presented by Fiona Brooker of Memories in Time.

Come and find out about tracing the hidden women in your family history.
You can even get involved over the weekend and trace one of the hidden women of the Cyclopedia of New Zealand.
This is a chance to get to know each other and includes refreshments and light nibbles.

Cost: $18 + booking fee
Bookings required - Book online

10.30am – 11.20am, Saturday 20 August

Hidden Gems in FamilySearch - Mike Higgins

Auaha Hīhī / Spark Place, He Hononga | Connection, Ground Level

The workshop will cover a variety of ways to search for information on the FamilySearch.org website, including searching the Family Tree, the catalogue for online digitised microfilm, digital images not yet released and many more. New to intermediate users.

Hidden in the Small Print - Mia Bennett (International Webinar)

Ngā Purapura / Activity Room, Hapori | Community, Level 1

Discover how little details can reveal the answer to your problems. Look at where additional information may be hidden within documents you have already viewed, and different ways of examining and viewing records to get more from them. Often it is these small clues that can help break through brick walls.

First Steps to Whakapapa - Māori Services

Nga Pounamu Māori, Tuakiri | Identity, Level 2

Interested in finding out more about your ancestry? Come along for an introduction to the tools of whakapapa research held at Christchurch City Libraries

Family Tree Maker 2019 Seminar and Q&A

Taiwhanga Rorohiko / Computer Lab, Auahatanga | Creativity, Level 4

Take part in a live introduction and Q&A discussion to answer all your questions about Family Tree Maker. Remotely from his office in Utah, Mark Olsen, the Family Tree Maker Ambassador will teach you how to install and use FTM 2019 to build your family tree and begin adding family, photos, stories and more details to your tree.

Bookings required - Book online

11.30am – 12.20pm, Saturday 20 August

Researching your English Roots - Seonaid Harvey

Auaha Hīhī / Spark Place, He Hononga | Connection, Ground level

With England more than 18,000 kilometres away we can be grateful that so many records are online for us to use for our research. Seonaid will take you through some English case studies from her own research to show you how you can bridge the distance.

Acquiring Content & Engaging the Community - Jason Reeve

Ngā Purapura / Activity Room, Hapori | Community, Level 1

Join Jason as he shares some insights from his experiences working with acquiring family history records for the Ancestry site, but also what he has planned to help Ancestry.com.au be the very best it can be for all of us.

Colouring in your Family Tree

Wāhi Whakaako / Teaching Space, Tuakiri | Identity, Level 2

Using print resources to connect and build context. You have the bones of your family tree, now begin to colour in some details of your ancestors’ lives using the Aotearoa New Zealand Collection at Tūranga.

Bookings required - Book online 

12.30pm – 1.20pm, Saturday 20 August

Researching the history of your house - Christine Wybrew

Auaha Hīhī / Spark Place, He Hononga | Connection, Ground level

Every property has a story to tell. Find out how to research the history of a house using Kate Sheppard’s home as an example. This will cover a range of research sources, many of which are available free online

Researching Air Force Ancestors from WWI to Present Day - Simon Moody

Ngā Purapura / Activity Room, Hapori | Community, Level 1

The presentation will look at what records are available in New Zealand and overseas to find out about the service of Air Force ancestors. It will also suggest other sources of information that can help interpret and explain what these records mean.

Ancestry Tips - Michelle Patient / Fiona Brooker

Taiwhanga Rorohiko / Computer Labs, Auahatanga | Creativity, Level 4

Hands on help using the Ancestry website, including tips for searching their record sets and some helpful tree building techniques.

Bookings required - Book online

Library Archives ‘Open House’ from 1pm to 4pm

Wāhi Rangahau / Research Room, Tuakiri | Identity, Level 2

Drop into the Archives Room on the Tuakiri Floor to find out more about the Christchurch City Libraries’ archives holdings.

2pm – 2.50pm, Saturday 20 August

Writing Life Stories Your Way - Jo Bailey

Auaha Hīhī / Spark Place, He Hononga | Connection, Ground Level

Author Jo Bailey will share some top tips from her comprehensive writing workshops which help people to get their personal and family stories onto the page, covering everything from researching, interviewing, writing, and editing, to how to present, publish and print these important stories.

Session kindly sponsored by the Ted Gilberd Literary Trust.

MyHeritage: Advanced Features and Technologies (Webinar)

Ngā Purapura / Activity Room, Hapori | Community, Level 1

Check out the latest MyHeritage innovations to expand your research! Explore advanced MyHeritage features that will enhance your family tree and make the most of your DNA results. Learn more about Pedigree View, PedigreeMap™, the Consistency Checker, the Theory of Family Relativity™, AutoClusters, and much more.

Canterbury Stories Discovery Wall

Taiwhanga Rorohiko / Computer Lab, Auahatanga | Creativity, Level 4

This repository allows us to present online collections from our digitised archives, publications, photographs, and community. This material can aid family history research. You will have the opportunity to learn how to upload your own digital photographs using Discovery Wall, while considering issues around licensing and rights.

Bookings required - Book online

Family History Detective

Wāhi Whakaako / Teaching Room, Tuakiri | Identity, Level 2

Especially for the budding genealogist and their family, this session will help young people to start tracing their family history. Join Fiona Brooker of Memories in Time to cover charts, oral history, and civil registration and introduce some internet sources.

Age: Suitable ages 8+
Bookings required - Book online

Library Archives ‘Open House’ from 1pm to 4pm

Wāhi Rangahau / Research Room, Tuakiri | Identity, Level 2

Drop into the Archives Room on the Tuakiri Floor to find out more about the Christchurch City Libraries’ archives holdings.

3pm – 3.50pm, Saturday 20 August

Found Drowned - Case study of an 1895 inquest

Auaha Hīhī / Spark Place, He Hononga | Connection, Ground Level

Selina Russell’s body was found washed up on the shores of the Avon. How did she get there? What happened to her? Investigating the inquest uncovers a tragic tale.

Using Ancestry DNA in your Research - Michelle Patient

Ngā Purapura / Activity Room, Hapori | Community, Level 1

Had your DNA tested? Not sure what to do next or what it all means? Michelle will explore some fundamental steps to get the most out of your AncestryDNA results, as well as tips and hints for extracting genealogy evidence to help further your research.

Family History Beginners Session - Fiona Lees

Taiwhanga Rorohiko / Computer Lab, Auahatanga | Creativity, Level 4

Come along to this hands on session to get some practical help from the Canterbury Genealogy Society on getting started on your family history research.

Bookings required - Book online

Library Archives ‘Open House’ from 1pm to 4pm

Wāhi Rangahau / Research Room, Tuakiri | Identity, Level 2

Drop into the Archives Room on the Tuakiri Floor to find out more about the Christchurch City Libraries’ archives holdings.

4pm – 4.50pm, Saturday 20 August

Family Recipe Books: What can they tell you? - Jane Teal

Auaha Hīhī / Spark Place, He Hononga | Connection, Ground Level

Family history can tell us who owned the recipe books but where did the recipes come from? What were the favourites and why? This talk will help to answer these questions, but also suggest ways of preserving these documents.

Family Tree Maker 2019 Overview 

Ngā Purapura / Activity Room, Hapori | Community, Level 1

View what's new as well as a comprehensive overview of Family Tree Maker, the world’s leading family history software for more than thirty years. Great for beginners or as a refresher for more experienced users. These are pre-recorded sessions with Norm Jager of Mentis as the on-site emcee and Family Tree Maker support on hand remotely to answer questions.

10.30am – 11.20am, Sunday 21 August

Preserving your Family Treasures - Kathleen Stringer

Auaha Hīhī / Spark Place, He Hononga | Connection, Ground Level

This presentation covers the best ways to handle, store and preserve items that may be associated with your research. These treasures include textiles, photographs, paper, medals etc Participants are invited to bring photographs or items they want help with.

Hidden in Plain Site - Mia Bennett

Ngā Purapura / Activity Room, Hapori | Community, Level 1

This talk looks at free online sources that are often overlooked in preference for the main commercial sites. Mia gives ideas on where else you can go to expand your hunt for your ancestor’s life story. The focus is on English resources, but many of the sources can be applied internationally.

Family History Detective

Wāhi Whakaako / Teaching Room, Tuakiri | Identity, Level 2

Especially for the budding genealogist and their family, this session will help young people to start tracing their family history. Join Fiona Brooker of Memories in Time to cover charts, oral history, and civil registration and introduce some internet sources.

Age: Suitable ages 8+
Bookings required - Book online

MyHeritage: Tips and Tricks for beginners with Fiona Lees

Taiwhanga Rorohiko / Computer Lab, Auahatanga | Creativity, Level 4

A hands-on session of tips.

Bookings required - Book online

11.30am – 12.20pm, Sunday 21 August

Four Generations of a Polish Immigrant Family - Margaret Copland

Auaha Hīhī / Spark Place, He Hononga | Connection, Ground Level

Nearly 150 years ago, fifteen families from Prussian-occupied Poland arrived in Lyttelton, on the Friedeburg. They came with a range of education, skills & occupations and most became market gardeners in Marshland. This is their story.

Getting the most out of Papers Past - Emerson Vandy

Ngā Purapura / Activity Room, Hapori | Community, Level 1

This talk will focus on the tools and features the website provides to support different research subjects and approaches. What’s the best way to find what you need in this collection, and what’s coming up for Papers Past?

Putting your People in their Place

Wāhi Whakaako / Teaching Room, Tuakiri | Identity, Level 2

Exploring your ancestor’s backyards using local history resources.

Bookings required - Book online

12.30pm – 1.20pm, Sunday 21 August

The Beginnings of Freemasonry in NZ - Dr John Richardson

Auaha Hīhī / Spark Place, He Hononga | Connection, Ground Level

Even before the First Four Ships docked at Lyttelton dedicated freemasons were living in Canterbury. Learn about the earliest lodges and the men who founded them.

Early Canterbury Schools - Rae Wilson

Ngā Purapura / Activity Room, Hapori | Community, Level 1

Members of the NZSG have transcribed details from old school admission registers, some dating back to the 1860's. These school records can trace the movements of families and sometimes information of a child's achievements.

Practical Tips for Sharing your Family Stories - Jenny Lowe

Taiwhanga Rorohiko / Computer Lab, Auahatanga | Creativity, Level 4

This session will provide users with a basic level of Microsoft Word with some ideas about using the tools in Word to help get your research off the shelves and ready to share with friends and family.
Session kindly sponsored by the Ted Gilberd Literary Trust.

Bookings required - Book online

2pm – 2.50pm, Sunday 21 August

Finding your Family’s Footsteps in Ireland - Maggie Gaffney

Auaha Hīhī / Spark Place, He Hononga | Connection, Ground level

Not sure whereabouts your Irish ancestor hailed from? This talk focuses on Griffith's Valuation and the subsequent Revision (or cancelled) books – what they are, what they can tell us, and where you can access them - and the sources you can use to help identify your family in these records.

Updates from the New Zealand Society of Genealogists - Sarah Hewitt

Ngā Purapura / Activity Room, Hapori | Community, Level 1

The New Zealand Society of Genealogists have been helping the genealogists of New Zealand and beyond since 1967. Find out more about the benefits of membership and our plans for the future.

Digging up your dead

Wāhi Whakaako / Teaching Room, Tuakiri | Identity, Level 2

Investigate library resources such as Church Register Indexes, Cemeteries Database, Tombstone transcripts and cemeteries maps to locate burials.

Bookings required - Book online

3pm – 3.50pm, Sunday 21 August

Trans Tasman Mining - Shauna Hicks

Auaha Hīhī / Spark Place, He Hononga | Connection, Ground Level

This session will look at tracing mining ancestors who travelled between Australia and New Zealand during the gold rushes. Resources for both countries will be included.

Family Tree Maker - TreeVault® Cloud Services and More

Ngā Purapura / Activity Room, Hapori | Community, Level 1

With TreeVault, Family Tree Maker is no longer an isolated desktop application, but rather the hub of a growing ecosystem of mobile apps and cloud services. These are pre-recorded sessions with Norm Jager of Mentis as the on-site emcee and Family Tree Maker support on hand remotely to answer questions.

Ancestry Tips - Michelle Patient / Fiona Brooker

Taiwhanga Rorohiko / Computer Labs, Auahatanga | Creativity, Level 4

Hands on help using the Ancestry website, including tips for searching their record sets and some helpful tree building techniques.

Bookings required - Book online

4pm – 4.50pm, Sunday 21 August

Where to Now - Fiona Lees

Auaha Hīhī / Spark Place, He Hononga | Connection, Ground Level

Now you are starting along your journey following your Family History, you may need some help and ideas along the way. Some tips on what to do, where to look and who to ask for help.

MyHeritage: Integrating DNA and Family Research (webinar)

Ngā Purapura / Activity Room, Hapori | Community, Level 1

The MyHeritage DNA test can contribute immeasurably to your family history research. Learn to leverage MyHeritage’s advanced technologies and tools, and discover how the platform integrates your family tree with your DNA information to help you gain a deeper understanding of your origins.

Speakers

Talks and workshops will be presented by international, national and Canterbury experts in many different fields of family history research and social history. The programme will be headlined by international genealogist Mia Bennett. Mia has been researching her family history for over 25 years and is now a professional genealogist specialising in using DNA to solve family history mysteries. She is based in Gloucestershire, England and has recently finished a 6 year term as a trustee at the Society of Genealogists. She loves using her analysis skills to investigate the fascinating world of her own, as well as others', relatives.

Jason Reeve is originally from Adelaide, and is currently the Content Manager for Ancestry. He is a passionate advocate for all things history. He works with a range of archives, registries, historical and genealogical societies to uncover new collections and share them with the Ancestry community. He is a regular speaker at events on Ancestry and AncestryDNA genetic testing.

Daniel Horowitz has been Dedicated to genealogy since 1986. Daniel was the teacher and the study guide editor of the family history project "Searching for My Roots" in Venezuela for 15 years. He was a board member of The International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies (IAJGS) for 10 years, now is involved in several crowdsource digitization and transcription projects, and holds a board-level position at The Israel Genealogy Research Association (IGRA). Since 2006 Daniel has been working at MyHeritage liaising with genealogy societies, bloggers, and media, as well as lecturing, and attending conferences around the world.

Michael Higgins looks after FamilySearch’s New Zealand and Pacific operations, including training volunteers, creating relationships with government officials and archive leaders in an effort to preserve significant genealogical records sets, and enjoying pleasant tours like this where he gets to engage with others who love this work. He recently graduated with a masters’ degree in business.

Shauna Hicks has been tracing her own family history since 1977 and is a fellow of the Queensland Family History Society. She has worked for over 35 years in libraries and archives, including the State Library of Queensland and the National Archives of Australia in Canberra. She is currently Director of her own part time research and consultancy business.

Fiona Brooker has served as both President and Treasurer of the New Zealand Society of Genealogists (NZSG) and convened the 2008 and 2018 national conferences. She holds a Higher Certificate in Genealogy from the Institute of Heraldic and Genealogical Studies and began Memories in Time to help others trace their family history. She is a co-founder of Talking Family History  and a member of the Christchurch Family History organising group.

Jo Bailey is a Christchurch based author, editor and publisher. She won the 2020 Brockenhurst Scholarship from the Christchurch Memorial RSA (NZ) and Christchurch Sister Cities Association (UK) and is looking forward to being able to travel to research her scholarship project about a WWI nurse who served at the New Zealand No 1 General Hospital at Brockenhurst, Hampshire, UK.

Margaret Copland is a professional storyteller with international experience. Her stories are original, strongly grounded in local history and genealogical research and presented as a dramatic monologue. She brings a woman’s perspective to aspects of New Zealand history. In 2020 she received a medal from the Polish Government recognising her contribution to Polish culture.

Gail Cook is a Resource Description and Access Librarian with Christchurch City Libraries. She is one of the team describing and enhancing access to digitised photographs, negatives, manuscripts, maps, plans, publications, audio, video and other items preserved in the Library's digital heritage repository, Canterbury Stories.

Simon Daisley is a Community Stories Liaison at Christchurch City Libraries. This role develops and maintains community relationships to enable communities to collect, manage and promote their local histories and stories in the Christchurch City Library’s digital heritage repository, Canterbury Stories.

Maggie Gaffney is a professional genealogist based in Wellington.  A fourth-generation New Zealander, she has traced her family lines back to England, Scotland, and Ireland, visiting repositories and archives across New Zealand,  the UK and Ireland.  Maggie holds a Diploma in Genealogy from the Institute of Heraldic and Genealogical Studies, and an Advanced Diploma in Local History (with Merit) from the University of Oxford.

Seonaid (Shona) Harvey has been senior research librarian, family history specialist based at Research Central, in the Central Auckland Library, for more than 12 years, assisting customers with their research queries. Seonaid has been researching her own family history for over 25 years and has personal research interests in England, Scotland, Ireland, Wales and Newfoundland.

Sarah Hewitt is currently President of the New Zealand Society of Genealogists.

Fiona Lees is a keen family historian and experienced working with computers, helping others to use computer skills for their genealogy research.  Fiona is the current convenor for the Canterbury Genealogy Society. She was involved in organising the 2018 NZSG Conference and is a member of the organising group for the Christchurch Family History Expo.

Simon Moody is the Research Curator at the Air Force Museum of New Zealand at Wigram, Christchurch. He has worked in the GLAM (Galleries, Libraries, Archives, Museums) sector for 20 years, specialising in curating archives and providing research services. He has a specialist interest and knowledge of military history and military aviation across a number of periods. 

Michelle Patient is a scientist and genealogist, past President of the NZSG and current NZ representative of the Guild of One Name Studies (GOONS). She has spoken in New Zealand, Australia, and England, and has an interest in education, surname research, adoptions, methodology, and technology. She set up the New Zealand DNA Users Group and is a co-founder of Talking Family History.

Dr John Richardson recently completed his PhD thesis in 19th century British military reforms in sanitation and how they affected public health in India. He has presented on his research in several countries including England, Scotland and the Czech Republic and was the winner of the James Hight Memorial Prize in History for his Master's Thesis. He has been associated with Freemasonry in Christchurch for some years and will bring his historical insights into the beginnings of the movement in Canterbury to this presentation.

Alison Rodgers is a Local History Librarian at Christchurch City Libraries and has a particular interest in helping people researching the Christchurch branches of their family trees to uncover more about their ancestors’ neighbourhood.

Kathleen Stringer has been tracing her family tree for almost forty years (She started very young!). She has also been involved the museums and heritage sector for many years, being an objects curator as well as archivist, with a special interest in textiles, paper based objects and archives as well as photographs.

Jane Teal is the Archivist for the Anglican Diocese of Christchurch and Christ’s College.  One of Jane’s interests is Food History. She has contributed to conferences and publications in this field.

Emerson Vandy is the Digital Services Manager at the National Library of New Zealand.

Annette Williams is a Family History Librarian at Christchurch City Libraries. She has been researching the life and death of Selina Russell for some years, and is constantly finding new twists and turns to the story.

Rae Wilson has been a member of the Canterbury Branch of the NZSG for nearly forty years. She took on the task of Membership Secretary in the 1980's as well as transcribing church records for the Branch. She has also been part of the team transcribing probates as well as other old registers at Archives N.Z. She has worked at NZ Methodist Archives for many years and has a good knowledge of Canterbury and Westland place names. She delights in the ‘hunt’ and finds it satisfying finding results for researchers.

Christine Whybrew is currently Manager Heritage Assets South for Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga.  Following her early career in New Zealand museums she graduated from the University of Otago in 2010 with her PhD on the Burton Brothers photographic studio. She enjoys discovering and sharing the stories of historic places and finds this no less exciting after a decade of work in this field.

Jenny Lowe has an extensive background in administration, and brings these skills to family history and in particular to sharing family history via publications. She has been involved in organising the 2018 NZSG Conference and is a member of the organising group for the Christchurch Family History Expo.

Members of the Ngā Ratonga Māori and Multicultural Services Team are proactive in encouraging library customers and others to explore their Whakapapa. This workshop will be delivered by Julia Keogh-Cope (Ngāti Porou) and Ngapiu Tainui-Maclure (Ngāi Tahu, Te Rarawa), Pou Kohikohinga Māori for Christchurch City Libraries.

The Tuakiri Team at Christchurch City Libraries is supporting the 2022 Christchurch Family History Expo with several sessions. They bring their enthusiasm and experience for family history research with a twist of local history insight to these sessions. The members of the team regularly deliver programming workshops and talks to library customers wanting to begin their family or local history journey.

Sponsors

We are grateful to our sponsors who enable us to make this event happen.

The Christchurch Family History Expo has been arranged in conjunction with Auckland Libraries who we thank for their assistance.

Venue Information and Exhibition Space

The Christchurch Family History Expo Exhibition will take place in Tautoru / TSB Space, Hapori | Community, Level 1. Information stands and displays will include booths for Ancestry, Memories in Time, MyHeritage, New Zealand Society of Genealogists, Canterbury Genealogy Society, New Zealand Micrographic Services, FamilySearch, The Family History Society of New Zealand, and many more. Come along to find out more about how to kick start your family history journey of discovery.

The 2022 Christchurch Family History Expo will take at Tūranga, Cathedral Square. This award-winning building will provide a stunning backdrop to the two days of events focusing on family history.

Talks will take place in:

Workshops will take place in:

An exhibition space with information stands and displays will be set up in Tautoru / TSB Space on Hapori | Community, Level 1.

He Kohinga Puranga / Archives on Tuakiri | Identity, Level 2 will be open for drop-in visits on Saturday 20 August.

Back to Top