Don’t forget your family, yeah

Don’t forget your roots, my friend
The ones who made you
The ones who brought you here
Don’t forget your roots, my friend, yeah

family historySix60 have a great song about family and provides the inspiration for a set of courses being held at Christchurch City Libraries during August. We are running two Family History programmes and you can choose the one that suits you. It’s all about discovering our family stories.

Getting Started: Beginners Guide to Family History

Start your family history research with this six week course that will introduce some key resources available at Christchurch City Libraries and beyond. Key life events such as births, deaths and marriages will be researched, along with sources covering migration, military and electoral information. We will be looking at online and paper-based resources.

Basic computer knowledge is needed.

Where: South Learning Centre & Central Library Manchester
When: Tuesdays, 4 August to 8 September (6 weeks)
Time: 6.00pm – 8.00pm
Cost: $15

Family History Images from Kete Christchurch

Family History Starter Series

A four week course that will introduce online resources to find information on:

  • Key life events – births, deaths and marriages
  • Living in New Zealand
  • Arriving in New Zealand
  • Where to next?

Bring along as much as you know about your family and we will help you fill in some gaps. We have tips and tricks to help you uncover your story and get you on your way.

Basic computer knowledge is needed.

Where: Linwood Library
Dates: Wednesdays 19 Aug, 26 Aug, 2 Sept, 9 Sept (4 weeks)
Time: 6.00pm – 7.30pm
Cost: $10.00
Bookings: Ring 941-7923 to book your place at either course.

If you are keen to know more check out our family history guide.

Marae comes alive at night

MatarikiIt’s a frosty evening in Christchurch tonight but somehow the sound of Cook Island drummers beating out a welcome as I pulled up to Nga Hau e Wha marae made the temperature seem a few degrees warmer.

The programme of Matariki events on offer this week in the evenings (Tuesday and Thursday) might not all have the effect of making you feel wistful for summer but there’s definitely something here for everyone.  I just gave a session on how to use library resources to research whakapapa to a small but appreciative audience.  If you’re worried you missed out then fear not, I’ll be back here on Thursday night dispensing advice (and tucking into the pumpkin soup that I keep being offered).

There’s heaps here for families including the chance to sign up for a library card, star gaze, and listen to some great Polynesian sounds, in fact I’m off right now to check out the Island Summer Orchestra.

The history of you and yours

MatarikiAt this time of year there’s an urge to go into what I like to call “hibernation mode”.  This involves hunkering down at home on frosty nights with books or DVDs.  Believe it or not my Māori ancestors did just the same, but instead of modern amusements they turned to things such as craftwork, storytelling, waiata, and whakapapa to wile away the long winter nights.  Matariki, Māori new year, is a time to explore some of those traditions again.

In particular whakapapa was and is an important part of Māori culture (though the drive to trace and record one’s forbears is not limited to those with Māori ancestry).  For those who are interested in learning how to use library resources to trace whakapapa I will be giving a series of presentations on this topic over the month of June (see our schedule of Matariki events for dates and times).  The first session is on 4 June at Waitikiri Learning Centre so book your place now if you think you’d like to explore your Māori family history. (Warning: whakapapa/genealogy research is highly addictive)

Otherwise consider checking out these titles –

Or have a gander at our whakapapa and family history pages on the library website.