Sunday, March 28, 2010

Papers Past - Brilliant Online Archive of New Zealand Newspapers

Just found a brilliant resource, Papers Past, an online archive containing more than 14 million articles digitised from over 238,000 New Zealand newspapers and periodicals. The collection is from 1839 to 1932 and includes 52 publications from all over New Zealand.

Papers Past is part of the National Library of New Zealand and allows searching by a word or a phrase. The results can be sorted in different ways.
Alternatively, you can browse by date, region or title.

The articles are displayed as they appear in the newspaper, with highlighting, one can select an article and download it as a printable PDF or as a high resolution image, or even have it converted by Optical Character Recognition into a text document on the web page.

And, even better, it's free !

In the very first issue of the New Zealand Gazette and Wellington Spectator for 21 August 1839, I found ads for potential emigrants as well as 'Regulations for labourers wishing to emigrate to New Zealand'.

This article stated that free passage to the colony was available for agricultural labourers, shepherds, bakers, blacksmiths, braziers and tinmen, smiths, shipwrights, boat-builders, wheelwrights, sawyers, cabinet-makers, carpenters, coopers, curriers, farriers, millwrights, harness-makers, boot and shoemakers, tailors, tanners, brickmakers, lime-burners, and all persons engaged in. the erection of buildings, as well as their wives. Children under 1 or over 15 also went free, but the fare for other children was £3 each, a huge cost (about 4 months wages for a Borders farm labourer). The port of embarkation was London, and of course, there would be the cost of getting to London, too.

The advertised on-board diet for adults seems pretty generous and included daily: 1 lb of ship's biscuit (a hard biscuit often with extra protein in the form of weevils), half a pound of meat, 4 oz of flour, a quarter pint of peas, 2 oz of rice, 6 oz of potatoes, and 6 pints of water. The only fruit was raisins - 4 oz, twice a week. On Sundays, a quarter pint of pickled cabbage (presumably to prevent scurvy). Each adult was allowed to take up to half a ton or 20 cubic feet of baggage; but they also had to bring their own bedding.

Why is Borders Family History Society interested ?

Lots of Borderers emigrated to New Zealand, some just went for a visit; and there and a few modern-day Kiwis that came from New Zealand to see the places from which their ancestors came, fell in love with the Borders (very easy) and have decided to stay.

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Thursday, March 25, 2010

Hawick Reivers Festival, 26th to 28th March 2010

We will be providing a Family History Surgery at the Hawick Heritage Hub on Saturday 27th March from 10am to 1pm and from 2pm to 4.45pm.

Come and ask us or the Hub's expert staff on how to get started or advance your family and local history research.

Staff from the Scottish Borders Archive and Local History Service as well as us will be on hand to advise, discuss resources that can be used and challenge you to find your family’s story.

As usual, we'll have a selection of publications for sale, including the recently published and very popular 52 page book Days of Our Youth - Memories of Melrose that describes life in Melrose, the shops, excursions, church antics, local characters, celebrations, holidays, and school in the late 19th and early 20th century.

There's lots of other events - see the full programme, including a medieval market during the day, and a torch-lit procession and fireworks on Saturday evening.

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Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Local and Family History Day, Berwick, England

There will be a Local and Family History Day on Saturday, 20th March from 10am to 4pm at the Guildhall, Berwick (upon Tweed), England, with exhibitions on local and family history in North Northumberland and the Borders.
It's free to get in, so you can afford to take the whole family.

The Programme comprises:
  • 11am Cross Border Family History records - Fred Kennington
  • 12 noon Maritime Berwick - Jim Walker
  • 1pm Bell Tower - Jim Herbert
  • 2pm Aspect of Berwick's History - Francis Cowe
  • 3pm Berwick's Forgotten Motor Industry - Fred Kennington
The aspect of Berwick's history to be covered at 2pm will only be revealed then, so come along and find out what it will be !

Last year's event was really interesting, and I'm sorry to miss this year's event.
Fred Kennington is our membership secretary, and a really good speaker with oodles of experience, so come along and listen to him.

We'll have a stand there, so do come and see us too.

Also, while you're in Berwick, take a wander around this historic city, so often in the midst of conflict between England and Scotland.

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