Janet Few


Going Further Back   Recently updated !

We all have them, those pesky ancestors who’ve been lurking at the top of a branch of our family tree for years, or even decades. They seem to have come from nowhere. We are desperately searching for their parents so we can extend the line but the necessary records elude us. The first step is to revisit the life of […]


The Commemorating the Missing Project

At the recent New Zealand Society of Genealogists’ conference one of the keynote speakers, Maurice Gleeson, launched a very exciting ‘Commemorating the Missing’ project. 526,816 of those who died in the First World War have no known grave. Remains are still being found and DNA is being used to attempt to identify them, so they can be named at burial. […]


Taming all Those Agricultural Labourers

Every family tree has them, the ubiquitous Ag Labs and we tend to treat them as an amorphous group, frequently neglecting to find out more about their lives. How often do we hear, ‘My family tree is really boring, it is all Ag Labs’? As with any ancestor’s occupation, we owe it to those ancestors to find out more about […]


In Pursuit of the Domestic Context

All too often, we view our ancestors in terms of vital events. We seek births, marriages, deaths and relationships with vigour. We really should be in equally vigorous pursuit of the domestic context. In order to turn our family members into three-dimensional characters, we should be investigating the social history that was the backdrop to their lives. What did they […]


The Words and Voices of our Ancestors 1

As genealogists, we spend our time trying to recreate our ancestors’ lives. As we make progress, most of us move from collecting bare facts about vital events, to looking at the social historical context. If we are lucky, we may have photographs of our more recent ancestors, to help us to visualise what they looked like. Failing that, we may […]